Transatlantic Business Unionism

interests. Italy resents the status quo in industry as in politics, and argues that international agreements must not aim to preserve things as they are, but must leave the door open for readjustments, and in particular for liberal arrangements guaranteeing manufacturers south of the Alps the raw materials they need. This month British representatives of industry and finance are scheduled to make a return visit to Germany to continue the conversations held in London earlier in the year. M. Loucheur, a former French Minister of Finance, who is not only one of the leading industrialists of his country but is also an ardent advocate of international trade understandings, recently delivered an address to the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, in which he stressed Europe's economic decline relatively to the United States. He declared that protection and free trade were equally out of date, that we were entering a new era of international industrial combination, and that the sole cure for Europe's present depression was a complete understanding between State and State for the better organization of trade. He would have industries combine first nationally and then internationally.

France added an important link to her highly developed system of internal waterways last April when she dedicated a canal tunnel linking Marseille with the River Rhone. This great engineering work, which pierces the mountain chain behind the city, is about five miles long, and is large enough to permit barges of fifteen hundred tons to pass each other at any point along its course. French foreign trade returns for March indicate that the falling off in exports the previous month was only temporary, for they record a resumption of the favorable

balance that began nearly a year ago. Although Germany's industrial output has been at practically the pre-war level ever since 1925, her Germany imports of raw materials and semimanufactured commodities are only three fourths of what they were in 1914. This is due in part to the fact that industries employing domestic raw materials have made relatively quicker recovery and have progressed faster than those depending on imported raw materials. Scientific discoveries, such as the substitution of artificial silk for imported fibres, have also helped to make the country selfsupplying. After the Easter holidays the bank rate stiffened in Germany. This started a new agitation against the Government's policy of discountenancing foreign loans. Although these are evidently still necessary, Germany has again begun to invest money abroad. A Charlottenburg pottery company has acquired a majority of the stock of a similar enterprise in New Jersey. The Krupps and their associates have recently bought iron mines in Sweden. The Siemens-Halske Company has invested two and one-half million dollars in the Greek Telephone Company. Altogether, since the beginning of the year more than twenty-five million dollars of German capital have thus found employment in foreign countries. Iron prices have been raised in Germany on account, it is said, of a general increase of eight per cent in wages granted by the arbitration courts on April 1. Two years ago the two-shift, twelve-hour day was abolished in German blast furnaces and the three-shift, eight-hour day was substituted for it, with the result that the number of employees in the industry is now about forty-two per cent greater than it was before. The twelve-hour shift still prevails in rolling mills, but a movement is under way to

introduce the shorter day there likewise.

The suit brought by our Department of Justice against the American representatives of the European potash combination under our antitrust laws met a quick response on the other side of the water. A writer in Berliner Tageblatt says: 'It is amusing to observe how shrewdly the Americans have seized the opportunity to put themselves before the world in the light of champions and defenders of consumers. It is, of course, an excellent thing for them to try to keep down monopoly prices. We are obligated to them for what they have done to make coffee and rubber reasonable. On the other hand, such professions are directly contradicted by their attitude in respect to the Interallied debts, their own trusts, and their tariff. . . . Americans protest against our national monopolies, but raise no objection when their own monopolists put on the screws,- for example, in case of bananas and sugar, - or when their own financiers supply money to the very monopolies over here which they are fighting.'

The Harriman Company, which is operating the famous Chiaturi manganese mines in Georgia under a concession from the Soviet Government, has protested against the unfair competition of the Russian authorities. Under its contract the Company pays a high export duty on all the manganese ore it ships out of the country. It has been obliged to expend four million dollars or more upon betterments, all of which revert to the Soviet Union after twenty years. These and other expenses, ordinary and extraordinary, compel the Company to charge a high price for its manganese. Meanwhile the Soviet authorities have opened rich mines at Nikopol in South Russia, and, as they ship their ore free of tax, are underselling the Harrimans. Moreover, the Soviet ore goes to a rich

German group of steel-makers, to whom it gives an advantage in international competition.

The chairman of the British-Italian Banking Corporation, in his last annual report, gave a very optimistic account of business conditions in Italy. During the past year the capacity of her hydroelectric power plants has increased about twenty-five per cent. Her adverse balance of trade has been reduced from seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty-two million lire to seven thousand, two hundred and seventyone million lire. Although the tonnage of freight crossing her wharves declined in 1926 as compared with 1925, — largely on account of the British coal strike, loadings and unloadings from vessels flying the Italian flag increased by one and one-half million tons. The production of sugar beets more than doubled, but an unfavorable season reduced the wheat crop by over five million quintals, or about one twelfth. Spain is reported to be prospering behind the highest tariff wall of any country in Europe. The Government has refunded a floating debt of nearly five and one-quarter million pesetas on a five-per-cent basis. The immediate consequence of the conversion was to ease the money market and to start a boom on the Stock Exchange, where some shares have risen more than fifty points since the first of the year.

In discussing the effect of the disorders in China upon American markets in the Orient, it is not China and always realized that we buy Japan more from the Chinese than we sell to them. In 1925 our exports to that country were valued at ninetyfour million dollars and our purchases from it at one hundred and sixty-nine million dollars. One of the largest items among our imports is raw silk, which accounts for fifty million dollars a year.

Vegetable oils, varnish resins, antimony, furs, wool, and hides constitute the bulk of the remainder. We purchase annually more than one million dollars' worth of dogs' skins, which make good imitation fox, in that country. The big items in our export trade with China are tobacco and petroleum. Despite boycotts and civil wars, the Chinese maritime customs returns increased last year. The net profits of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, probably the largest Occidental institution of the kind in the Orient, also rose. Shanghai, which has been the centre of so many labor disturbances during the past two years, has one hundred and eight tradeunions, with more than one quarter of a million members. Thirty-one of these societies, with sixty-six thousand members, are among cotton-mill operatives. The Chinese market represents far more to Japan than it does to us. Between 1913 and 1925 her exports to China increased, in round numbers, from seventy-seven million dollars to two hundred and thirty-four million dollars, while her imports increased from thirty million dollars to one hundred and seven million dollars. The loss of trade due to the civil war has impressed upon Japanese manufacturers the need of diversifying their market so that they will not be as dependent as hitherto upon China for their prosperity. As a corollary of this, they must improve the quality of the goods they export so that these can compete with those of Europe and America in the new trade fields which they seek to enter. Japan's total foreign commerce during the first three months of 1927 fell off more than seventeen per cent as compared with the same period in 1926. The enormously heavy drain which Japan's unfavorable balance of trade has made upon her resources since the war is

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Partly on account of their diminishing sales to China, and partly because of their meeting increasing resistance from Lancashire in the Indian market, Japanese spinners are reported to have agreed to curtail production fifteen per cent beginning the first of May. It is rumored that some textile companies have not made sufficient provision for depreciation during the recent period of high output, and are having difficulty during the present financial crisis in getting capital for replacing their worn-out machinery. In this connection we should bear in mind that Japanese mills work twenty hours a day. Although the average yield on stocks in Japanese industrial corporations, as reported by the Mortgage Bank, has been slightly better this year than for the first three months of 1926, a sensational Stock Exchange decline has accompanied the present financial panic. The average shrinkage since early in the year has been more than seven points. On the other hand, shaken confidence in the banks and the withdrawal of deposits have caused a lively demand for government bonds and conservative company debentures. For example, the bonds of the South Manchurian Railway Company and the Nippon Yusen Kaisha Steamship Company have shown marked ad


Most of the important trading countries in the Southern Hemisphere have suffered, like our Western farmers, from low world prices of farm produce and raw materials. New Zealand reports an adverse trade balance and a mild internal depression due to this cause. Although Argentina's exports last year exceeded in volume those of the previous season by two million tons, she received seventy-five million dollars less for them than in 1925. An adverse balance of trade resulted, and exchange was supported in no small degree by national and provincial loans floated in New York. The same world market conditions affected Brazil, where business was still further depressed by the Government's overenergetic policy of deflation. The result was a fall in the price of Brazilian products which seriously curtailed the purchasing powers of the interior, or producing, districts and caused a contraction of both import and export trade. Though shipments of coffee, which amounted to nearly fourteen million bags, were larger than in 1925, their value declined by well toward five million dollars. São Paulo, the principal textile manufacturing centre of South America and the most important industrial city on the Southern Continent, was especially hard hit. Many of its mills suspended operation for most of the year, and an unprecedented number of failures occurred. Peru, which is also in the trough of a depression, has radically raised her tariff under an emergency law in order to supplement her revenues. The increases range from twenty per cent to one hundred per cent, and apply to textiles, manufactures of wood and

metals, stationery, and in fact most articles of ordinary consumption, as well as luxuries. The chairman of the British Bank of South America echoes in his last report to the company the same complaint of increasing American competition that his fellow chairmen of other British corporations doing business in that part of the world have made in previous statements to their shareholders. One factor working in behalf of our own exporters is the greater stability of labor conditions in the United States. The established reputation of British goods 'has of late been offset by the lack of confidence on the part of overseas buyers engendered by incessant strikes in this country [Great Britain] and by the consequent uncertainty of securing delivery of the goods ordered.' In addition to this, part of 'the demand for goods formerly satisfied by imports is now satisfactorily met from local manufactures.'

Argentina's railway directors have just caught on to the idea, which Jim Hill's policy on the Great Northern and that of other railroads in our own country and Canada might have taught them long since, that it may pay them to spend a little money to promote agricultural progress along their lines. Ten of the principal companies have just promised the Government to raise in the neighborhood of two million dollars for this purpose. They plan to bring Italian, Hungarian, Austrian, Spanish, and German immigrants into the country and to settle them on farms, selected by and temporarily cultivated under the direction of the railway management, but sold to the colonists at cost.



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English and American Book Prices DEVOTED followers of Books Abroad and Our Own Bookshelf have probably been struck many times already by the 'curious discrepancy,' as the London Outlook calls it, between the American and the English price of the same book. Popular novels cost roughly the same, — in England seven shillings and sixpence and in the States two dollars, our slightly higher figure being more than explained by labor and manufacturing costs. There are, however, certain books where the difference in price cannot be laid at the door of our lofty general price-level. The Outlook mentions specifically Dreiser's American Tragedy, which costs five dollars over here— except, of course, in Boston, where no virtuous and law-abiding bookseller is allowed to offer it at any price- and sells for ten shillings in England. Bruce Barton's version of the Bible, The Book Nobody Knows, costs two dollars and a half in America and three shillings and sixpence in England considerably less than half our price.

The Outlook permits itself to wonder why this spread exists, and expresses a wish that one of our American publishers would explain it. To save them from that embarrassing task, this department is happy to step forward and lay it up chiefly to the fact that publishers, like everybody else, ask as much as they think they can get. But circumstances alter cases, and the two books mentioned, having won a considerable success in this country, could be assured a definite sale in England at a definite price. Here, where they were

published first, they were unknown quantities to some extent, and the publisher had to ask a price that bore some relation to the risk involved. Another point, too, is that very few books over here can be sold in bulk to libraries, as they are in England, and with our large country and scattered population distribution costs are considerably higher.

There were, however, two books that the London Outlook did not mention. Revolt in the Desert and Emil Ludwig's Napoleon both sold over here for three dollars, whereas in England Lawrence's book cost thirty shillingsvirtually seven dollars and a halfand the other sold for a guinea. The low cost over here was due to the fact that Book-of-the-Month Club selections must not cost over three dollars, and that publishers, with that market in view, will occasionally bring down the price of their wares to the reach of the common man.

Wolf Children of India

THE recent rescue near Allahabad of a seven-year-old boy who was discovered living with wolves in a cave brings up one of the most baffling problems of the jungle. Stories of children being reared by wild animals are so often told in India, and have been so frequently authenticated, that they cannot all be dismissed as mythology pure and simple. In this latest instance the boy is completely wild, he moves at great speed on his hands and knees, his back is covered with heavy callouses, and he barks loudly but cannot speak. His appearance is

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