Newspaper Page Text
SHOVELS BUSY AGAIN AT
PANAMA V IKE the phenix arising from I « its aches, the Isthmus of Pana- J J ma has awakened of late to new activity. A few years ago the visitor could hardly meet fifty people crossing the "zone." To-day workmen are clearing the Jungles, making roadways and repairing the old dwellings for occupancy. Every steamer arriving at Colon brings hun dreds of negroes, mostly from Ja maica and Fortune Island, situated in the Windward Passage. They leave their families at home, to send for them later as soon as each has a home prepared. Once such a family arrives it generally stays. They are rounded together in groups of fifty, the port physician examining them very close ly. Afterward they are given In charge of the proper agent, who conducts the THE POWER OF CO-OPERATION IN THE BRITISH ISLES co-opnurrox IN enoland. ih^and. Scotland -and wales IK ENGLISH ____^_^^ ■ • POUNDS ($4 87). Bodrtles ■ ' ' ■ ' - ~~- ~~ : —————— _^ jess. *-— . '.;<ga. «sa. /^ > roflt - • About . ~ - » ... • 7.- T~ — ~ ' '■" •'" — r~" U81 ... 80 ° v *«* *833.»0. ................ £1.612.117 ................ ,18« 4. 1052 * 171.6*7 • r1.478.1W £186.7*4 6.001.160 £398,578 187* .. MO 887.701 8.612.963 .497.760 15,662.463 l IU 9 028 1879 .. 1165,. .673.084 6.747.841 1.« M,2«, 2 « 20.365,602 « 1,949.512 ■ 1885 ... ( 1288 803.747 8,T».T6» 1.827.108 29.882.679 2.883 761 1881 .. 1809 , 1,126,626 . .12.064,693, 8.054.262, 46,916.905; 4,648.417 1897-.. -1780. ( 1.620.860 18.783.900 8.160.700 61.687.194 6.428 006 " 1900.. 1817.. ? j 1.778.401 28.255.887 10.962,283 . 77.529,916 8,069.850 1908-.. -I'ltfiQ-K 2,116.127 1 27.017.278 10.140,760 U 89.216.223 | 9.873.388 '"' Car lton H . Parker WHEN I landed in London early In November, amazed by the bewildering mass of the city, good fortune had given me an Introduction to Sidney Tv>bb. Besides having written the world's two text books on trade union ism, Mr. Webb Is the authority In the London County Council on Educational work, and, In conjunction with his wife, Beatrice Webb, is writing a criti cal history of municipal government in England, which promises to be epoch making. So, when Mr. Webb said to me: "Sooner or later, better sooner, you must go to Manchester and see the home oX co-operation; you have no more right to ignore it than an investi gating American manufacturer to lg the existence of English trade unions; it is too big to overlook; I will laborers to different places along the canal. The negroes are a good natured, happy, don't care sort of people, fully realizing the dangers, especially during the first few years, the work will bring. It is said that 135,000 laborers are buried up in Monkey Hill, the ceme tery near Colon. During that fearful year of 1888 42,000 men were buried there. Although the Government has made experiments with Chinese and coolie laborers, the Jamaicans, it was found, caq bear the hardships of the climate better than any other laborer. They require very little to eat; tropical fruits grow in abundance. They plant l l^, Ir J yam ' a BOrt of root - which when boiled tastes not unlike potatoes. A lit tle yam and a banana or two, some times a little rice, constitute a laborer's meal. Give you a letter to Mr. Grey, the gen eral secretary of the Co-operative Lnion," I took the letter gladly and left for Manchester. Manchester is a great, gloomy, fog grimed city of smoke stacks and stone wharves. It, not London, is the heart of England. Taking Manchester as a center, within a thirty-mile radius is a population of ten millions; London cannot say the same. Grouped within a few miles round the city are suburbs of 100,000 and 160.000, each a powerful milling community, full of the soul of hard work, devoid of a leisured class, and making England commercially great and to be feared as it has been for 200 years. In Oldham, with 176,000 people, I was told there do not live more than 250 who have not worked with their hands. So, when co-opera tion selected Manchester for head quarters, it > had gone to the place where no socialistic theory is received with inattention, and where legislation affecting penny values is worth bitter fighting. Ride through the endless dis mal factory Btreets in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and you know why men will starve in striking for better hours or against a reduction in wages. The two objects compose their entire hori zon. In a big brick building in the heart of Manchester I found the head office of the Co-operative Uriion, and got my letter to Mr. Grey. Mr. Webb's name is a recommendation anywhere in the English labor world, and within a few minutes I was In the presence of a square-faced man In a very brilliant vest, who was seated at a table swamped in documents, charts and printed stuff. In a minute I knew the union was most assuredly safe In its secretary. "I think," he said, "you had better know what we are, and what we have done, first; then look around." He reached for the report of 1904, and read: "We number In Eng land 2,116,127 co-operationists, belong ing to 1671 societies. To the Co-opera tive Union belong 1638 of these socie ties, and these figures relate to this latter number: The sales in the union, wholesale and retail societies, in 1903. were about $445,000,000, with a profit to consumers of 546,000,000. The English wholesale house here In Manchester Eold $100,000,000 worth of goods, with a profit of only $1,760,000. Notice the immense saving to the consumer in the retail business. The production of the mills and factories belonging to mem bers of the union- sold for about $40, 000,000 last year. The produce from all co-operative institutions in the year was about $80,000,000. The recent!^ or ganized bank of the Manchester Whole- THE SAN FRANCISCO SUNDAY CALE, Bale Society handled $220,000,000. Jn all the population of England 4.7 P er cent are members of the Co-operative Union. Leaving out of consideration our strength compared with the vol ume of English business, you- can easily see that as a unit of absplute strength we are a powerful factor. Now go out and putter through our wholesale department and the offices here, and when you get full of ques tions, come back to me." I was furnished with a guide and went into an Immense block of brick buildings, dodging between the drays, whose teams carried the big "C. W. S." of the society on their harness. The three letters were to become very fa miliar, as they appear on everything about the plant The wholesale de partment, exclusive of its productive work employes, has some 4000 men and women employed. The establishment was in appearance like a well ordered and immense private concern. Respon sible, well-paid men are In charge, lack of industry is an immediate cause for dismissal of a clerk, and a member of the society is no more entitled to a po sition than any outside applicant. It is run on hard business rules. In only three characteristics are the offices different from a private firm. First, they keep in semi-official and sympa thetic touch with the unions, observing the union wage standard, and usually being a "closed" shop. Second, they, by declaration, promise -extreme sani tary comfort to all employes, even to free hospital attendance, both emer gency and convalescent, and, third, the wholesale department sells to no retailer except retail co-operative stores. In English co-operation, as distinguished from Scotch, no premium on profits is paid to the laborers, all of it going to the consumer. Union wages, or better, are paid, with in some places a week's holiday a year, with pay. The society, with great Arriving at his quarters, the first thing a negro does is to dig for silver. As there are no banks in the country rears ago the laborers buried their sil rer around their quarters. So many died that considerable amounts have been found by their successors and the search for treasure has become second nature to the negro. They are willing workers.' Each camp has a commissary 'depot, where supplies are to" be had; the larger camps have their own slaughter house, where fresh beef can be obtained. In case of sickness they are well taken care of, either at Ancon or at Colon; every afternoon the "funeral train," consisting of an engine, ca boose and boxcar, passe? over the line, to put the sick in the caboose, the Scad in the boxcar. AH laborers are buried at Monkey Hill. A curious grave on top of this" cemetery can be seen from the railways, that of "Bohio Dan," who requested that he be buried standing up, facing the railroad, track, so as to see the trains pass. His re quest was granted. Old, rusty machinery is being re paired, tracks are being relald, the lo comotive's whistle sounds through the Jupgle. All along the line of the canal from Colon to Panama there are magazines or storehouses filled with machinery nnd rolling stock, such as dirt cars, lo re-motives, railroad supplies, etc. One thousand machinists are at work re pairing machines, building sidetracks near Culebra, which win greatly facili tate the work. The great steam shovels are excavating at a surprising rate to the onlooker. Culebra has a peculiar formation of earth and basalt rock, which is very hard. Diamond steam drills bore holes and expert miners dy namite those portions which cannot be excavated by dredges or the strong steam arm of the shovel. The old Belgian engines are very use ful here. The trains of cars are run on a track beside the steam shovels or dredges, and the dirt is dumped miles out in shallow-places. The old machin ery strewn along the canal strip is valued in all at $18,937,309 43. Think of it! Near $20,000,000 wc-rtn of scrapiron! A foundry at the isthmus could do a fine, remunerative business. There are rive sections in the "zone" — Ancon, Empire, where the marine soldiers are stationed; Gorgona, Buena Vista and Cristobal. Throughout th' 2 section all laborers are paid in silver. They earn about $1 50 silver a day, or 75 cents in American money. They are housed free, and almost every one has a family. All nations are represented. There you see the Spanish negro, the type mostly found; the Martinique dar ky, with his sweet French accent, and clearsight, always endeavors to keep employment continual, and fights against the disastrous lapses in work so frequent among private firms. Co-operation has achieved in material advancement a growth exceeding even the enthusiastic dreams of the "Roch dale Pioneers," and, before discussion of Its .economic qualities, a short table as given above is necessary in explaining the development. The figures are tak en from the official reports to the Co operative Congress of 1904, and are en tirely faithful. The consolidation of societies gives in some years (1897, 1903) a false impres sion of loss in numbers. Industrial co-operation is a slow fight of years, stable because time has sea soned its structure. First be it known that English co-operation is in no way connected with Socialism, factory own ership by the workers or trade union ism. Each of these three has its organization. The society is one purely of consumers, who, through thair cen tral organization, or by their own local society, have become factory owners and operators, curious in the fact that they make only for themselves. In 1860 the father of co-operation, the Rochdale Pioneer Society, published the following principles, all of which, with one unfortunate exception* form the basis for the present organization: 1. All capital shall be of their own providing. 2. Only pure provisions should be supplied, and in full measure. 3. Market prices should be charged and no credit given nor aaked.- ■• 4. That "profits" should be divided pro rata upon the amount of pur chases made by each member. 6. "One member one vote" in man agement, and equality of sexes. 6. That the management should be in the hands of officers and commit tees elected periodically. 7. That a definite percentage of 3000 MEN PREPARING FOR THE 15000 SOON TO BE AT WORK ON THE CANAL. USING OLD ~ FRENCH with SOME NEW AMERICAN MACHINERY the Jamaican humming "God Save the Queen." I asked one of those Jamaican darkles why he saW "Queen," as Ed ward was King. The negro would not believe me until other 3 told him that hfs Queen was dead. He had been at the isthmus for fifteen years and of course never read a paper. More than 70 per cent of the workmen cannot write, public writers occupying a aeat at court and doing a remunerative bus iness. The bands of laborers are in charge of white men, generally engineer*. The men are very willing and polite. A blacksmith shop on wheels travels up and down the strip to sharpen and re pair broken tools. Water boys carry water for the laborers; the men work from six to nine, and then breakfast at ten; they work until eleven and from two to half-past five p. m. When canal work is at its height it will require about 15,000 men. At present there are 3500 laborers busy, not including 1000 mechanics, engineers and others.- One thousand tons of powder and dynamite are required to finish Culebra cut. The idea of cutting the canal across the isthmus dates as far back as the sixteenth century. The first actual survey was made in 1531 by Antonio Peretra. In the year 1620 San Diego de Marcado submitted an elaborate report to the King of Spain, but that monarch silenced further discussion, saying that the will of God was made manifest by the fact that He had created an isth mus instead of a strait and that it would be impiety for a man to attempt to unite the waters of the two oceans which God had separated. In all at least twenty-five projects of the kind have been advanced. In 1879 two French engineers, Wyse and Reclus. advanced the proposition of digging a sea level canal. A con gress of engineers, scientists and capi talists met at Paris and, after thor oughly considering the question, adopt ed plans. It was estimated that 2,520, 000,000 cubic fset of eartn would have to be moved and that it could be com pleted by 1888 at a cost of $125,000,000. In 1879 M. Ferdinand de Lesseps, who built the Suez canal in 1868, became interested in the scheme, and in 1881, at the head of a company, he com menced operations. The company figured on constructing a sea level canal, and estimated that it would take eight years and cost $166, 000,006. The company received $260,000, 000; it expendeS $154,000,000 on the isth mus on excavating, machinery, making surveys, etc. The directors drew a sal ary of $50,000 a year each and were al lowed $50 a day for expenses. At the company's expense they built residences costing from $100,000 to $150,000. They also had Pullman cars that cost $42,000 each and palaces for offices in Paris, Panama and Colon. In 1891 the crash came; they failed, wjth less than two-fifths of the work done. In 1594 the receiver transferred the property to a new company, which obligated itself to complece the canal and to pay the old stockholders 60 per cent of the net receipts from the income derived from tolls until the old stock holders, numbering more than 200,000, were fully paid. With that understanding all tne profits should be allotted to education. This constitutes the famous "Roch dale system" of organization. The one important violation of this con stitution by modern co-operationists is the breaking of provision 3, relating to the giving of credit. Organized in the delicate manner that it is, to be safeguarded by faithfulness among its rank and file rather than its officers, this "tick" buying strikes directly at its heart and, keenly realizing this, pertain leaders are now arrayed in Ditter opposition to the rapid spread ing of credit among the retail dealers. It is a noteworthy fact that the early agitators for liberal education in England were forced to find their en couragement among the lower classes. The "definite percentage" proposed by the poverty stricken "pioneers" was faithfully kept, being sometimes 3 per cent, but usually 2V> per cent, of the society's profits. In 1903 $400. 000 was spent for this purpose. The work includes children's classes, teachers' classes, university extension lectures, scholarships, technical classes, reading-rooms, circulating and permanent libraries, literary and de bating societies, concerts and . many others. It is the greatest of the social benefits of the movement. I had a splendid chance to inspect certain co operative extension courses, and the interest and attendance at the lectures would be' a healthy example to some of the audiences in a fashionable ex tension center of London's suburbs. It was a wish to further this interest that gave purpose for a "woman's or ganization." and now the Woman's Co-operative Guild Is an element of enormous strength in factory sanita tion investigation and all co-operative agitation. The criticism usually directed against co-operation has been to accuse it of "profit hunting," of hiding selfishness under a socialistic mantle. A plain rights : and assets, consisting: of ths canal. Panama Railroad and expensive machinery scattered along the .whola length of the canal, together with 23, ,.780,000f, cash .belonging to the old com . pany, were transferred to the new'com. pany, whose sole capital was $13.000.00- , or . lees than the old company paid for nine-tenths of the stock of the Panama Railroad. The new company has had a small force at work since 1994. but it has allowed the canal from Bohio to the coa.ss (Atlantic side) to fill until in many 1 places it is almost obliterated. i. On May 3, .1904, . Lieutenant Brooke. , U. S. A., furnished the chairman of the 1 Isthmian Canal Company with a copy of the telegram from Messrs. Pay and Russell, then in Paris, and also inform ed the chairman. Admiral "Walker, that Mr. Renaudin, the director general of the French new company, had received instructions from his company to make delivery of the property. The transfer was arranged May 1, 1904. at half-past seven a. m. ■ : ; - The persons present • at - the transfer. besides Lieutenant Brooke and. Mr. Renaudin, were W. W. Russell. United States * Charge d' Affaires: Joseph W. Lee. Secretary •of Legation of : the United States; H. A. Gudger. United States Consul General, and Dr. Claude C. Pierce •-* the Marine Hospital Serv ice. Lieutenant Brooke's declaration was executed in French. English and Spanish, and authenticated by the cer tificate of Mr. Renaudin. The United States . Government paid $40,000,000 for the rights and title to the canal property, including the Panama Railroad, and $10,000,000 to the Panama Government for a perpetual lease of* a strip of land seven miles wide from ocean to ocean. It is estimated it will take nine years to finish the canal at a cost of about $150,000,000. Th- canal will be forty-six miles long, including three and a half miles sea reach In the . Pacific. The total esti mated -cost of completing the Panama canal is as follows: Colon entrance and harbor .... .87.334,673 : Harbor to Bohto locks. Including levee 10.713.238 Bohio locks. Including excavation. . 10.902.345 Lake Bohio .......".." - 2.788.440 Boiabo gates ..." . 265.435 Culebru . section 44,378,335 Pedro ' Miguel 1 locks, • Including ' ex cavation and dam 8, 4*6.320 Pedro Miguel level. 1.160.611 Mlra Sores locks, Including excava- , • • •• tion and spillway „..' 8,720 363 Pacific level r 12.386.9H Bohio dam i.TT.-.-Ti;*. B.3oo. QfifM Gigantic spillway .....". 1,124.52^ Channel between th.9 marshes...... v 1.14.4,076 Chagres diversion 1,!)25,97rt Gatunclllo diversion ......'........ 100.000 Panama Railroad diversion , 1,267.500 Engineering, police, sanitation 23,723.763 Aggregats $142,342,370 This estimate Is for the completed .project; A canal begun. upon this plan may be opened to navigation earlier than expected. If .single instead of double locks be used and the bottom width be 100 instead of 150 feet the cost will be reduced 126.401.364, and the estimate becomes $115,941,214. - .. "At, Bohio will be located a double flight of locks, having a total lift vary ing from 82 feet at the minimum level of the lake to 90 feet at the maximum. 45 feet to each lock, „ the normal lift being 85 feet. . . ? These locks are on the location adopt ed by the French company. . The esti mated cost of , this flight of double locks, four lock chambers in all, is $10, 902.343. The Pedro Miguel locks will be simi lar to the - Bohio locks, the aggregate lift varying from 54 to 62 feet. There is an excellent rock foundation here. The ;. estimated cost of these locks, including an adjacent dam, is $5,496,326.-, ,.- The Mlraflores lock varies from 18 feet at high tide to 38 feet at mean low tide. There Is a good foundation for this lock. A spillway will be required to regulate the height of this leveL The estimated cost of this lock is $5 - 720.363. Lake Bohio will be an artificial lake, covering 31 square miles. Its waters will be from 55 to 65 feet deep. The dam will be built of earth and ma sonry, and will cost $9,786,449. >*-' Alhajuela Lake will cover 5900 acre*, and will be 165 feet deep. Th» dam will be i. constructed ' of masonry, and will take five years to complete, at a cost of $3,500,000. .It will furnish j motive power for operating the locks and lighting the canal at night from ocean to ocean, In cluding the cities of Colon and Panama statement of the principle of co-opera tion would be: "To eliminate the agencies between himself and the prim* cost of the essential elements of ie- Qent human conditions— pure food, com fortable clothing, pensions, etc. " This seems to allow the criticism, but the second principle, "To accomplish this fundamental object by honesty and fair dealing." vindicates at once the association. There are few fact and few stores In Northern England that have not felt the salutary Influence of the competition of the roomy, well ventilated and well-warmed mills and; stores of the society. The hours of labor, th? honorable treatment of employes by foremen, ham made the work places of the s much sought after, and the ex. has helped where legislation has powerless. There are 97,321 employ** of societies in the union, who rec- in 1903 $17,700,000. The criticism f "profit hunting" might be, and is, a danger among th« associations t "workmen producers." The ten<! there might be to cut their own wage* and scale down necessary expense order to better fight the outside com petition. The unions have to watch these organizations closely, lest they establish a wage scale below the stand ard of life, but in the co-operative con sumers' associations, which are bound first by the unions, and second in own natural cajiacity as working not only ia this tendency absent but a sympathetic treatment of all reform is the rule. While the vigil—^y of the co-operatives' upper fflcials i» not uncertain, the direct Incentive to strict supervision is. of eours*. absent, and. to replace it, the societies have en deavored to build up an esprit de corps, a voluntary personal Integrity,, fey open treatment. And the success of this ->n-^| deavbr is the best indication of the stability of the movement.