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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY. OCT. 30-th 1920
A Crisis Near In Great Britain
By Max Worth,
European Correspondent for the Federated Press.
Just how serious the economic crisis is in
Great Britain, no one seems to know. That it is
of considerable proportions, and that the leaders
of public opinion regard it as a grave matter seems
to be quite generally taken for granted.
Furthermore, this economic trouble at home
comes at an ill time for the imperialists, with the
unrest in Egypt, South Africa and the Near East;
the open hostility to the Government manifested
in India, and the revolt in Ireland.
There has been since the war a tendency for the
British workers and manufacturers alike to limit
production. The workers did it because they be
lieved that was one way to stave off unemploy
ment. The employers did it because they saw it
as the only likely means for the maintaining of
The consequence has been a low scale of product
ivity in many of the leading industries, such as
mining and cotton and engineering. Then, too, the
large umber of the strikers and the trade disputes
have had a tendency to interfere with production,
even in the trades not directly effected.
Then came the spectre of unemployment, first
in the shipping centres, and later in the textile
centres a spectre for the worker because it
leaves him to starve along with the meagre un
employment allowance, which everyone realizes is
insufficient; a spectre for the Government, be
cause a great wave of unemployment at home in
the critical juncture of British imperial policy,
may wreck the whole elaborate ship of state.
As the winter draws on, unemployment is in
reasing. Men come together in little knots and tell
one another about it, or else they speak of it to
outsiders with very grave faces and in sober tones.
"With prices where they are, it will be near
impossible to get by", said one longshoreman.
"Work has been getting harder to find every day
for weeks past, and I am beginning to wonder
what the missus and the two kiddies are to do."
The London Times carries a leading article under
the title "Slackening Trade. Uncertainty in the
Big Industries." Their correspondent, writing from
Manchester, says that "where there is not a slump,
there is a strike."
"The cotton trade is shaken," he says, "and re
ports from the woolen districts suggest that things
there may be even worse. Shipbuilding and en
gineering are faced with a gloomy outlook and the
prevailing uncertainty is reacting on most kinds of
business, down to that of the humblest retailer."
Making all due allowance for the desire of the
Times to warn the miners that this is not the
time to strike, the fact remains that the reports
of workers and of other agencies correspond with
the Times story.
British Capitalism came out of the war in pretty
good shape, but there must be a reduction of prices
before the machinery can be got into its old form.
Wages must go down first, the ruling class insists,
and there is the rub. How can the worker get on
with less while prices remain so high?
For the moment, the worker is taking the brunt
of the difficulty in the form of unemployment. It
remains to be seen how long he will be willing or
able to shoulder the load. It begins to look as
though the British Ship of State was anchored
with old cables close to some menacing rocks.
THE CHICAGO C. L. P. CASE.
The argument on the motion for the new
trial in the C. L. P. Chicago case was finished
Saturday morning. Argument began Friday Oct.
8th and lasted till Saturday Oct. 16th. Judge Hebel
has taken the matter under advisement and will
render his decision Saturday October 30th. At
torney Wm. Forrest presented the case for the
defense, claiming error in the manner of jury
selection, in the admission of evidence, and in the
Court's instructions to the jury. Attorney Frank
Comerford, the state's special prosecutor, opposed
the motion for a new trial. Mr. Comerford seems
to have caught something from his star witness,
Ole Hanson, ex-mayor of Seattle who put down
the Bolshevik revolution in January of 1919 single
handed. Ole wrote a book and took the lecture
platform at $300.00 per lecture. And now Ap
pleton's is bringing out a book by Comerford, tell
ing how he Comerford saved the nation in the
summer of 1920.