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I think I had never before realized till that winter the high cost of being sick, the high cost of being born, and the still higher cost of dying. It was doctor, hospital, undertaker bills that had wiped out the men's surplus in nearly every case and left them little or nothing to go on when one of the ever-recurring periods of unemployment, which their fathers had known before them, struck them again.

Our Company employment offices were no longer crowded. The first stage of unemployment had passed. The second stage-apathy-had succeeded. There were no jobs.

And if a job did turn up here or there the Mohawk Company's laid-off men had a slim chance, they soon found, to get it. The very stability of the industry, relatively speaking, its great prestige, worked against its men. As soon as an employer learned they were Mohawk men he would say, 'Nothing doing! About the time we got you broken in, they'd call you back."

It was at this juncture that a thoughtful, and captivating, Englishman made a visit to the United States. He talked before various organizations on his personal effort to meet the problem of unemployment by a plan he had put into operation in his own factory. He talked in a way that made universities listen, the Academy of Political and Social Science take notice,

and even some American manufac

turers warm up.

A few of the Mohawk Company's executives had chanced to hear Mr. Rowntree. I thought about it a good deal, and at last one day asked the president if he would appoint a committee to study the problem of unemployment as it affected his own company, the committee to make any recommendations its study might suggest.

The committee met almost weekly, sometimes more than once a week, for the greater part of a year. It included a brilliant young statistician, the Company's ranking industrial engineer, an expert accountant, and three production managers. Four of its nine

members were deeply interested in the subject from the start, another speedily became so, and two more were open to argument. The chairman remained from beginning to end good-naturedly vague as to what was going on.

The member whose attitude mattered most was one of the Company's higher executives. Able but unassuming, Mr. Staub revealed himself at the very first meeting. 'I never thought,' he said, quite simply, 'that we had any responsibility whatsoever toward men we laid off.'

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unemployment, it would take pains to reduce the evil to a minimum, with Mr. Staub not only concurring in this view but offering invaluable suggestions for the unemployment benefit plan which began to take shape.

Practically everything that had been printed on the subject of unemployment was studied and discussed. The Company's own habits were scrutinized. Was it accustomed to planning so as to avoid the necessity of taking on hundreds of men to-day, only to turn them off to-morrow?

The committee tried to keep its proceedings confidential. But no group gathering regularly over so long a stretch of time could fail to arouse curiosity. What it was occupied with leaked out. It trickled outside the Company, to our astonishment as far west as the Pacific coast. From industries all over the country came letters of inquiry.

There were many encouraging signs. The plant managers kept inquiring in regard to the committee's progress. The president was apparently not much interested one way or the other. But, judging from the past, if his plant managers registered their approval of an unemployment benefit plan, he was agreeable to having one. To offset what might have been regarded as the president's indifference, I had never seen the general manager so unmistakably favorable to any proposal of the sort. It appealed both to Mr. Burlington's reason and to his conscience.

It seemed as if the plan in all its detail would never be ready. Spring approached. The unemployment situation, if not materially better in the Company, was generally slightly improved. The committee frankly recognized the fact that the plan had less chance of adoption with every day that the unemployment situation grew better. We harried the clerks to give

us their figures. The chairman, to the other members' consternation, ran off for a holiday. He was pelted with telegrams to return or to authorize his signature, that there might be no further delay. At last a day was appointed for the plant managers to consider the plan. The committee had requested that I should be present at the meeting.

The plan was not intended to afford any relief to the existing situation, and would not become operative till a year after its adoption. It was proposed that a fund should be built up adequate for disbursements in the next period of depression, estimated, if prophecy could be based on industrial history, to come in 1928. Whether it came in 1928 or not, it would recur within an appreciable period.

Copies of the plan were sent to the plant managers in advance of the conference. We expected some, though not insuperable, opposition. I was not, myself, altogether sure of the general manager. We counted, however, on Bob Welsh, the workman's friend.

As fate would have it, during the time the managers were allowed in which to familiarize themselves with the plan before meeting to vote on it, the Chamber of Commerce issued a promised 'Survey.' Offering it as an exhaustive and dispassionate study of unemployment, the Chamber warned its four thousand members against any and all 'panaceas.' The effects of the British dole were dwelt on at length as a horrible, if far from apposite, example. It became plain, among other things, that a movement was on foot to forestall any such bill as had been introduced in the legislatures of Massachusetts and Wisconsin, and to render anathema the very term ‘unemployment insurance.'

A startling whisper now began to go around. Mr. Welsh was working

hand in glove with that powerful organization known as the Associated Industries.

The afternoon before the conference, Mr. Welsh telephoned to ask if I would come to his office. He sat humped over his desk with the committee's report before him. 'Sit down,' he said, and I took the chair by his side.

'Sounds,' he said, still reading, and talking out of the corner of his mouth, 'as if it had been written for a woman's club.'

I winced, and my heart began to beat fast, but I answered in the bantering manner in which Mr. Welsh and I had always conversed together, 'I suppose that's your flattering way of intimating that I composed the document.'

Bears your earmarks.'

'Now, Mr. Welsh, abuse is not argument. I plead guilty to being a woman, and to belonging to a few women's organizations - none, however, so far as I know, that maintain a lobby at

'What do you mean by that?' he caught me up, scowling, with a sharp look from under his shaggy eyebrows. 'Come! When was the Associated Industries, Mr. Welsh, ever on the side of -?'

He stopped me again, this time with a short laugh, not altogether pleasant. 'Oh, here!' Then, more in his accustomed tone, he asked, 'You know O'Shea?' a well-known lobbyist. 'You'd like Mike.'

'I don't doubt it,' I said. 'Some of the most delightful men of my acquaintance are thoroughgoing rascals.'

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'Fear of unemployment and the sense of injustice associated with this fear in the mind of the worker are two of the most potent causes of labor unrest.'

'You call that Socialism?' I asked. 'Oh, it's the whole thing,' he said impatiently, 'the tone of it.'

'Socialism! That's just what it is n't. It's Capitalism. It's an effort to tinker up the old machine, so there'll be no danger of its breaking down.'

'Pure Socialism!' Mr. Welsh reiterated unreasoningly. No other word, unless it might be its recent rival, 'Bolshevism,' was so devastating. With this word Mr. Welsh could destroy, I realized, all the work of the unemployment committee.

We talked till the light of the early spring afternoon had faded and Mr. Welsh's secretary had covered her typewriter and reached for her hat. I said all that I knew how to say, but it was talking against a wall.

I had jested with Mr. Welsh many times in the past, but I did not even attempt to smile as I stood with my back to his office door.

'God Almighty, Mr. Welsh, intended you and Mr. Burlington, with your great gifts, to be leaders, not followers

great liberal leaders!'

Mr. Welsh answered me with a prolonged stare.

Next morning I had hardly glanced at the first batch of mail before Mr. Welsh walked in.

By this time Mr. Welsh was in fairly good humor and we could get down to discussion. My hopes were reviving a little, when he suddenly picked up the report and, waving it in the air, said, "This thing's Socialism!' 'Socialism!' I laughed outright, in ing' again my hope revived.

'You kept me awake last night,' he said.

VOL. 199- NO. 1


'I'm honored. I'd hardly dared hope I had made so much impression.' 'You kept me awake thinking,' he repeated, and with the word 'think

'Still friends?' he asked, coming thing proposes, and you deprive him of closer. all motive to save.'

I nodded.

'We're friends?' he asked again.

'Never better,' I assured him, but I knew now, from his insistence, that only a miracle could save the plan.


The meeting held surprises. Mr. Welsh sat perfectly glum while members of the committee answered questions put to them. The general manager, as chairman of the conference, delivered a sort of charge to the jury, prior to the vote, which must be unanimous if the plan was to be adopted, clearly manifesting his own desire that a favorable verdict be brought in. There was a minute's silence. Then he turned, as if in duty bound, to the manager of Mohawk Works.

'What do you think of it, Welsh? You have n't said.'

There was another minute of silence. 'Damned drivel!' came from Mr. Welsh, half under his breath, followed by the word I had waited for in dread, 'Socialism!'-then by another parrot phrase, a little louder and equally distasteful to the average manufacturer, 'Paternalism!'

'All?' I had held myself in check up to this time. 'All motive, Mr. Welsh? What about owning his own home, educating his children, sickness, old age, death? The workman's not embarrassed, if you'll permit me to disagree with you, sir, by any scarcity of objects to save for.'

'Bravo!' called out the manager of Mohawk Park, down at the end of the table.

It came to me that, if I should picture to these executives just one of the scenes my eyes had rested on during the two winters their men had been out of work, they could not fail to respond. What were these men around the table? The most thoughtful and indulgent of husbands, the kindest, most tender of fathers. Why not tap this well? But would it be playing the game? My momentary struggle came to an abrupt end with the sound of Mr. Welsh's voice, his old familiar nasal drawl, with all its humorous inflections. He was telling a story apropos, sidesplitting, deadly. The only chance was a better story. But if there was anyone living who could tell a better, I had never heard him.

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The conference broke up, left the room in little groups of two or three,

Everybody was straining to hear talking together lightly, as if nothing


'You'll soon get the workman so you'll have to feed him pap out of a spoon. It's folderol! Help him through periods of unemployment, the way this

had been at stake. There was only one thing for me to do to demonstrate that if business had taught me nothing else it had taught me to be a tolerably good loser.


Outstanding Events of the World: Armistice Day, 1925-Armistice Day, 1926


THE appointment of the Morrow Air Board was the most statesmanlike act of the present Administration. That board submitted its report in December 1925. Its recommendations, based on exhaustive investigation by disinterested experts of first ability, furnished out a fairly complete guide for Congress in legislating for the needs of army, navy, and commercial aviation. I make no doubt that the future historian will find that its aviation legislation (following, in a general way, recommendations of the Board) was the most important achievement of the late session. Commercial aviation has not yet found its stride, but it will ere long; suddenly, amazingly. Aviation will soon be in the very forefront of the nation's activities.

I am of those who believe that we should consult, not justice merely, but even ‘enlightened self-interest,' by total cancellation of the war debts; but the debt agreements (except the British, of which no generous American can think without disgust) probably represent as near an approximation to ideal justice as may be hoped for under present conditions in this our world of so fantastic a political and economic structure. Of the important agreements, only that with France remains to be consummated. Really, it's quite absurd. The French, so often 'stung'


that they are morbidly suspicious, hold out for explicit statement of certain considerations implicit in the general terms of the agreement as signed but not ratified, and we stiffly refuse to indulge them; with consequences sufficiently sad for France. Now would the British act that way? Certainly not. At Downing Street, whatever they lack, they possess humor, magnanimity, the grand style. At Washington they are innocent of all three. Otherwise, with inward chuckle and a grand and gracious air, they'd give France her 'safeguarding' clauses; Olympus rocking with 'sweet laughter.' There's no more humor in Washington than there was in old Jerusalem. There's a Boeotian quality in the air. For example: a typical Washingtonian statement presents us as 'the Good Samaritan in civilization.' No doubt, no doubt. But why say so? Why not enjoy our own virtue in silent bliss, 'ourself our own delight,' as Shelley would say? Why render ourselves obnoxious to the Comic Spirit? The British accepted the above statement, but with the trifling substitution of 'Shylock' for 'Good Samaritan.'

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It is by no means certain, but it is probable, that we shall ultimately find ourselves on the World Court; though a further ferocious logomachy threatens in that connection. 'Tis to be

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