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most promising effort ever made. We public to intervene in a labor war in trust that a new era is about to dawn on which public interests are concerned. a new Ireland.
The doctrine of what is known as the
“ Manchester school” may be stated The Coal Commission briefly in a sentence thus : Leave em
ployer and employed absolutely free. Report
Regard labor as a marketable commodity:
Let the laborer and the capitalist trade The question whether the operators and dicker respecting this commodity. were right or the miners were right is not The laborer will require the highest price, the most important question which the the capitalist will offer the lowest price. Coal Commission report, summarized in In the conflict of the market which ensues these columns last week, has decided. In justice will be secured.
Freedom of confact, it decides, as might have been antici- tract will result in equal rights. In this pated, that neither party to the contro- doctrine there was some measure of truth. versy was wholly right. It decides that It was an advance on serfdom. So long the miners had a grievance, and that the as the market-place contained a number of operators were wrong in refusing to give individual capitalists bidding against one any consideration to their grievance, for another, and a number of individual laborthe report definitely adjudges them an ers bidding against one another, a rough increased wage. It decides that some of kind of justice was secured, though it was their claims were impracticable, for it often accompanied with gross injustice to adjudges against them on the question the weaker and the less skillful. But preswhether the coal shall be weighed. It con- ently employers combined, partly for the demos the State for leaving the operators purpose of preventing labor competition to protect their own property by a coal in the market, partly for other reasons; and iron police which they pay for, a then laborers combined, partly for other method which has been condemned again reasons, but chiefly to prevent competiand again by public writers. It condemns tion in the labor market. Capitalists the miners for acquiescing in crimes of ceased to bid against one another; laborers violence perpetrated in sympathy with if ceased to bid against one another. Capinot in support of the strike, crimes for talists combined and offered an ultimatum; which there is no justification, no excuse, laborers combined and offered another scarcely a single apology. The Scotch ultimatum. Competition was changed into verdict of “not proven” may be regarded war, the market place into a battlefield. as rendered on the charge brought against Last spring a body of capitalists, who the miners' unions that they encouraged had control of all the anthracite coal in the crimes of violence, but they cannot the country, and who were sufficiently be commended for having done all in combined not to bid against one another, their power to discourage such crimes. were paying wages and furnishing condiIf the trades-unions were to expel from tions of labor which were unsatisfactory membership any man guilty of violence, to the laboring men, and which the Comand were to boycott any such person not mission now declare the laboring men had a member of their order, it cannot be reason to be dissatisfied with. Then the doubted that the crimes would be greatly laboring men combined and offered an diminished if not absolutely ended. It ultimatum to the capitalists which they is, however, incidentally worthy of note would not even consider as a basis for that the murders, which were reported by negotiations, and which the Commission some of the press as amounting to thirteen, now declare included some demands have diminished, in the light of this which it was impracticable to grant. investigation, to three in number.
Then began a tug of war between the But these aspects of the Commission's capitalists at one end of the rope and the report are not the most vital nor the most laborers at the other, and as fall apimportant; there are two other aspects of proached it became evident that the this decision much more important: the Atlantic seaboard would be almost wholly illustration which it affords, first, of the deprived of its necessary fuel, while Westright, and, secondly, of the power, of the er cities would be seriously inconven
ienced by the lessened supply. The illustrations of the same fundamental Manchester theory of freedom of contract principle; but in this case that principle was proved inadequate, because it took has been reasserted and carried a little no account of two important factors : on further. The mine-owners may not do the one hand, the possibility of such com what they please with their mines. They bination as would prevent the free com may not quarrel with their workingmen petition on which it relied for adjustment and leave the community to freeze. Their of wages; and, on the other, the inconven- right to own and operate the mines is a ience and distress to the public in case no right conferred by society, and it must be such adjustment took place.
exercised subject to the superior right of Then it was that President Roosevelt Society to regulate the methods of operaappeared upon the scene and invited the tion, if it becomes necessary for the welcontending parties to a conference. He
He fare of the community. did this with the explicit statement that But the finding of this Commission he was concerned only for the third party and the general acquiescence in it illus-the general public ; that he took no trate not only the right of the people but part in the controversy as advocate either their power. It was truly said, both by of employer or employed, of capitalist or the President and to the President, that laborer; that he took pari solely as an he had no legal power to compel either informal representative of the great pub- operators or miners to accept his arbitralic, on whom the most disastrous effects tion. They might have refused his inviof the strike were about to fall. The tation, and no constable could have been reluctant acceptance of his interference sent after them. When the Commission by the operators, the appointment of the was appointed, it was without legal power ; Commission, the return of the miners to it could not compel the attendance of work, based upon the agreement by both witnesses or the production of papers. sides that the decision of the Commission We do not think it had any power to should be accepted; the decision of the administer oaths, or to punish for perjury Commission and its acceptance alike by in case of false testimony. Now that its miners, operators, and the general public, decision is rendered, there is no legal emphasize the fact that there is a third power to enforce the decision. If the party. It is a National recognition of the operators do not choose to pay the addi. truth that there are other rights besides tional ten per cent. wages, there is no individual property rights ; that no man legal power to compel them to pay; if may use his property to the injury of the the miners do not choose to go on with community, or refuse to use it if that their work under the conditions recomrefusal involves serious and widespread mended by the Commission, there is no injury to the community; that private legal power to compel them to go on with rights, so called, are subject to the supe- their work, Everything from beginning rior right of the public to have its inter- to end is outside the domain of law. ests promoted, its welfare regarded, its There is no coercive authority. rights respected.
And yet it is quite apparent that neither There is nothing absolutely novel in miners nor operators have acted in the this doctrine; there is only a novel illus- premises in a wholly voluntary manner. tration and application of it. Health They have been coerced, not by law, but boards which forbid private owners to by public opinion. There are other powpollute private streams in such a way as ers in the country than those of sheriffs to promote disease, legislation forbidding and constables; there are other incenchild labor, regulating woman's labor, pre- tives than those furnished by mere money scribing conditions in mines and factories, considerations. Men care for the good railroad commissions exercising super- opinion of their fellow-men; they are not visory power over great railroad corpora- wholly indifferent to the sufferings of tions in their management of State and their fellow-men. When the President National highways, tenement-house laws proposed a method of adjustment which determining the conditions under which would give relief to the public, and the landlords may build and tenants may operators at first refused to consider this occupy houses in the great cities, are all mode of relief, there was an outburst of
indignation against them. It found ex- centrate public opinion, making it effectpression in some extraordinary proposi- ive by making it intelligent. The prestions, such as that of the Democratic ent conditions do not demonstrate, but party of this State that the National they indicate, that a recognized body, Government take possession of the coal- impartial in its character and judicial in its mines, under the right of eminent spirit, with power simply to inquire into domain, and operate them for the benefit and report upon the facts, would possess of the public. It found expression in all the power necessary for the adjustment other forins, perhaps more sane, although of great industrial difficulties in which the more passionate. The small body of men interests of the third party, that is, the who had the legal ownership of the mines, general public, are seriously concerned. and legal authority to close them and with all that is said from time to time leave the public to suffer, were not willing concerning the power of public opinion in to face this public opinion; they were not America, we have not yet learned how to willing to be held responsible by the pub- concentrate and so to utilize it. The lic for all the suffering which would be Coal Commission's report, and its unientailed if the mines were not reopened. versal acceptance, indicate one way in When at length the conditions of reopen- which this dormant power can be used in ing were agreed upon between the opera- the public interest and for the promotion tors and Mr. Mitchell, the threatened of public justice. opposition to continuance of work upon those conditions, emanating from a few of the wilder spirits among the miners,
A Preacher's disappeared before this same public opin
His Work ion. The President, by his action, focused that public opinion. He did what a burn- Twenty years ago there was a dying ing-glass does when it concentrates the church on the East Side of New York. rays of the sun on a pile of leaves and Families that had lived in the vicinity were starts them into flame. Behind the ver moving away. Their houses were being dict of the Commission is this same public transformed into flats. The incoming opinion. So far as we know, no miners' population was to all appearance indifferunion and no operator, either corporate
ent to what the church had to offer. The or individual, proposes to disregard the emptying houses were being refilled with Commission's decision. This is because more people than they contained before. the public have accepted that decision The emptying church became each year and have made it their own. The power emptier and emptier. The church was of concentrated public opinion has per- offered for sale. Nobody would buy it.
. haps never had a more striking illustration To-day that church is one of the greatthan that which is furnished by the force- est powers for good in that great city. Its fulness of this wholly extra-constitutional services are thronged. Working men and and extra-legal proceeding for the adjust women sit and kneel beside people of ment of a great industrial controversy.
wealth and power. A Parish House joined It is this which gives to the decision its to it affords recreation for those who have greatest significance. This, too, indicates no other places of recreation than the to the public the method by which they saloons, the dance-halls, and the street, as may avoid future controversies of this well as for those who choose to go there description or solve them if they arise. from homes of refinement for the social For this purpose it is only necessary to life it affords. A trade school is maingive to the President the power which the tained by the church to supply industrial Canadian law gives to the Minister of training for the boys of the parish. Active Labor, to appoint at any time a commis- organizations thrive-religious because sion to inquire into conditions which ministering to needs that are fundamentally threaten seriously the National well-being. human. The church which two decades The power of a President to appoint such ago was itself in the grasp of death is a commission would be simply power to to-day living in that community that the turn on the light, to ascertain the facts, to community itself may have life and have determine the responsibility, and to con- it more abundantly.
Humanly speaking, this change has been Lenten Meditations wrought by one man. In 1882 he was acting as rector of St. James's Cathedral
Why Need Christ Suffer? Church, Toronto, Canada.
When he was called to this despondent church in New Should we not rather ask, How was it York, he went with a clear idea of what a possible that he should not suffer ? Can city parish ought to be and what ends it one come to the suffering, the ignorant, ought to serve. That idea, by persistent, the willfully sinful, seeking to deliver them active, courageous faith, he has translated from their suffering, their ignorance, and into a living, visible reality. That man is their sin, and not suffer for them and with Dr. W. S. Rainsford, and his achievement
them? is the great parish of St. George's.
Could he deliver them and not have The narrative of this achievement sug- compassion on them? But what is comgests the true solution of two kinds of passion but suffering with another? Could perplexity. There is the perplexity of
he deliver them if he had not sympathy those who believe in Christianity, but, for them? But what is sympathy but repelled by theories and dogmas, are dis- suffering with another? Could we accept trustful of the Church; there is also the
deliverance from an indifferent or unfeelperplexity of those who are in the Church ing deliverer? Must he not feel our but do not see how to bring Christianity, sorrows, if he is to succor us in them? which is the power of the Church, to bear
Is not this in truth the nature of all upon the life of men outside. The story
deliverance: that the strong deliverer of this man's work, besides being full of
enters into our sorrow and our weakness, sheer human interest, brings to those
and so identifies himself with us, and
then lifts us out of our sorrow and our troubled by the one perplexity information as to what the Church at least in one place weakness, and so identifies us with him? is doing, and to those troubled by the
he would have us share his experience, other perplexity encouragement as to what
he must first share our experience with us. the Church can do.
And how this his participation in our The story of human achievement is first suffering must have been intensified by of all the story of man. The story of every fering is wholly needless !
his consciousness that most of human sufhuman achievement is the story of some
He knew the human life back of the achievement. So remedy, and he knew we would not accept the record of what has been done near
the remedy. It is hard to stand beside
the sick-bed and see the one we love Stuyvesant Square in New York is ultimately the record of the experiences and
suffer; how immeasurably more hard if
we know how the suffering might be activities of the man who has done it.
It is because The Outlook velieves this stopped, and yet are not permitted to that it has asked Dr. Rainsford to tell the apply the remedy! To see a young man
walking carelessly, singing as he goes, story of his work. And Dr. Rainsford has
down the road to death, to know what consented. He has told it. He has not
the end must be to him as it has been written it. "A Preacher's Story of His Work,” which begins in this number of
to so many before him, to long to halt
him and turn him back, and to be utterly The Outlook, is literally his story as he
unable! To long to call out the word of related it in his study at St. George's warning to him, and be unable to speak; Rectory. It is what he has talked of to those who listened. And the readers of rejection of the call; or to see him stop
or to call it out, and hear his laughing this story, if they would get the story as it long enough to toss back a careless resowas given, must place themselves in
lution to be broken as carelessly to-morimagination in that room, where books and
row! Oh! the unutterable pain of such antlers covering the walls, bearskins on
an experience; who that has ever tried couch or floor, and papers on desk betoken
to be a deliverer to his fellow-men has not a life of combined thought and activity; known this suffering ? What must it have and then settle themselves, not to read, but been for Christ to look down the ages, to to hear.
see with prophetic vision all the misery
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