OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 02, 1912, Image 4

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-02-02/ed-1/seq-4/

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ing justice and fair dealing be
tween any classes of citizens
whose economic interests seem to
clash-.
Railway strikes on such a scale
as has recently been witnessed in
France and in England, a strike
of coal-mine workers such as we
have more than once witnessed in
this country, and such a whole
sale relinquishing of a public ser
vice as that of the street cleaners
recently in New York, illustrate
the serious danger to public well
being. In spite of the frequency with
which we are exposed to these
dangers and in spite of the ab
sence of provision for dealing
with them, we continue to assume
with easy-going confidence that
in each new case, somehow or
other,, the parties to the dispute
will find some solution which will
be agreeable to themselves and
consistent with the public inter
est. We all see the grave objec
tions to strikes and lockouts,
however necessary they may be
in extreme cases; and we are
ready to criticize the more ex
treme phases of -the industrial
conflict such as boycotts and 1
blacklists ; but-we leave the situa
tion such that industrial disputes
lead inevitably to a state of in
dustrial war in which these are
the only weapons left to the two
combatants. N
No more clumsy or expensive
method of determining the rate of
wages and the hours and condi
tions of labor could well be de
vised. At the moment when the dis
comforts and dangers incident to
industrial strifcafe actually felt
by the public there is usually an
outcry for the establishment of
some tribunal for the immediate
settlement of the particular dis
pute. But what is needed is some
system, devised by patient and
deliberate study in advance, that
will meet these constantly oc
curring and clearly foreseeable
emergencies not a makeshift to
tide over an existing crisis. Not
during the rainstorm "but in "fair
weather should the leaking roof
be examined and repaired.
The special investigations that
have been made or recent indus
trial conditions, whether private
or official, have been fragmen
tary, incomplete, and at best only
partially representative or typi
cal. Their lessons, nevertheless,
are important, and until some
thing comprehensive and ade
quate is available they serve a
useful purpose, and they will nec
essarily continue to be made. But
unquestionably the time is now
ripe for a searching inquiry into
the subjecrof industrial relations
which shall' be official, authorita
tive, balanced, and well rounded,
such as only the Federal Govern
ment can successfully undertake.
The present widespread interest
in the subject makes this an op?
portune time for an investigation,
which in any event can not long
be postponed. It should be non
partisan, comprehensive, thor
ough, patient, and courageous.
o o
A girl with a thin voice should
sing her songs in a skeleton key.
-

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