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The Boise Citizen
FRED FLOED'S PAPER VOL X BOISE. IDAHO. JUNE 4, 1909 NO 27 BETWEEN TWO TRUSTS SAD PREDICAMENT OF THE SHOE MANUFACTURER IN THE UNITED STATES Is the Beef Trust preparing to absorb the shoe business? In The American Magazine for June, Miss Ida M. Tarbell, in an article "Where the Shoe Pinched," marshals facts which indicate the logical steps in the process of the gradual absorption of the leather industries. During recent tariff hearings the president of the Wholesale Saddlery Association of the United States protested against the duty on hides, and expressed confidently the opinion that if present conditions in the leather business "advances with the same strides during the next ten years that it has during the past five, not only will the beef packers control the manufacture of the leather, but they will likewise control by ownership the shoe, harness, beltipg and other leather ' dustries." Only recently leather manufacturers declared they "are fight ing for their very existence ,and that if the tariff be retained on hides they will have to close their plants." Hides for tanning, it is said, "cost 250 per cent more than they did ten years ago," and 25 per cent of it has been put on within the past thirty days bv the Beef Trust. of the largest tanneries has gone steadily on until the united packers "control fully thirty of these." If the Beef Trust owns the hides whv not tan them? became the immediate question. If it does the tanning, why not make leather goods? When Mr. McKinley was dis posed to put a duty on hides, nearly twenty years ago, Mr. Blaine wrote "an emphatic letter," asserts Miss Tarbell .in which he said: "It will yield a profit to the butcher (Beef Trust) only, the last man that needs it." The duty was then prevented, but Mr. Dingley gave m But more than this, as Miss Tarbell shows, the absorption it. The Beef Trust, however, is only one combination that is "on the trail of the shoe." Another is keeping pace with sure, meas ured steps. The power that controls shoe machinery and linen thread has an eye to the main chance. In 1901, the New England Shoe and Leather Association gave evidence of some alarm, as fol lows : "The fear has been expressed that should one company control all the machinery in use in the production of shoes it would to quite easy and enormously profitable to create a trust which would be a monopoly in the shot manufacturing business." But" at that time little was suspected about the strength of the linen thread which is used in stiching shoes, by the general public that since the McKay sewing machine, the first practical sewing machine, in shoemaking, others rapidly followed, until the many operations were performed by machinery. At first these machines were made and handled by different companies, until 1899, when "the twelve most important concerns were combined" into a trust, and tocame the United Shoe Machinery Company, under the laws of New Jersey. It was capitalized at $25,000,000. Ac cording to the last report, 1907-1908, "The capital of the company, says Miss Tarbell, "had in eight years increased from $17.250,000 to nearly $32,000,000, its surplus from $1.355,914 to over $13,500, 000, and the net earnings from $1,770,110, to over $4,500,000. I his is certainly doing well." The "Shoe Machinery Trust" controls the shoe manufacturing business by a method peculiar to itself. It does not sell its machines, ■but rents them to the manufacturers for a term of years, charging a royalty on each shoe made. The shoe machinery combine receive« by inheritance this method. It then proceeded to "tie" together its various machines into a system, to insure the practical control o t îe continuity of operation in passing along the shoe from machine to machine. This resulted in increase of output for the manufacturer and increase of earnings for the operative, but it put the tru^t in t je position whereby it could rent its system in preference to sing e machines. To protect this idea a lease is devised, requiring t îat t îe method of tying together shall to maintained in bottoming an< ast mg, and if any ouside machine is introduced in any part ot t îe pro cess the company has "the right to take out the remaining mac mies of the system." A similar deal for general machines was devised, even making lessees liable for damages for using outside mac une. . In the use of certain machines, like metallic fasteners, concessions were made by the Shoe Machine Company, but pay is secuiei >} 111 eluding rent in the prices of findings, as tacks, eyelets, v\n e nan s am the like, which the manufacturer is required to buy of the trust In 1901 it was arranged that the manufacturer could buy an out side machine to use with metallic fasteners by pacing 11 pei c more for his material. But what is It may not be known the' relation of linen thread to he shoe machipery Thereby hangs the tale. Linen thread enters mtc»the: shoe. The Linen Thread Company enjoys a high proectne an ox - and thread, and continues to advocate it in order to pr< >tec L fant industry" of flax raising here .although there ne\er ia> raised in this country "flax suitable for making liner '. port of the Bureau of Plant Industry for March, 1909, shows that flax here is grown not for fiber, but for seed, foi ma mg ,nse 1 ... ' "In spite of fhe fact," says Miss Tarbell. "that we have been steaddy paying from $20 to $22 a ton on undressed flax for many yea, have scarcely ever produced a ton fit for thread. îe pro L ... . linen thread induced English manufacturers years ago > branches in this country in order to enjoy a tariff piouan n ■> which they had been exporting. One branch was ioun< o ■ son by the Barbours, of Lisbon, Ireland; another in e '!,V ] 1 - , n c "''.rshals, of Leeds, and at other places in the country. 1 ^ * the tariff protection is the Linen Thread Company, or • • which William Barbour, of Paterson, is president, and A. k. ner, vice-president, and both are also directors of the I nite Machinery Company, according to the directory ot ' 1 rct Barbour is said to to "the largest owner of linen thread st ' • • „ also "a large individual stockholder of the l nite< v 1oe ' , l 1 1 t j iat Miss Tarbell asks this pertinent question: ( an anyone p such a relation has not been of importance to the -mi n ' ^ ]t pany in securing the 80 per cent of the linen thread nisints controls?" When it is also considered that the 111 machinery chinery company owns more than 90 per cent of t k s " . Y J of the country," the bearing of this alliance is more: clea y seen. Mf Barbour, of Paterson, is identified with many o c i , : tef j enterprises of that city. He has an ambition to become * L his ass control A re Mr. thread, renders efficient aid in carryipg out the plans of Mr. Bar tour. Both have been "the chief advocates before Congress of high duties on flax and thread," and Mr. Barbour is "an active member of the Protective Tariff League." The particular benefit the public gets from a tariff on an article in which there is no competition, is an ipcrease in the price of shoe thread. It is asserted that 50 per cent more on an average is charged than it cost, and No. 4 slur thread is sold at a price per pound which makes it "nearly twice what it cost," by means of the protective duty. On the one hand eyes of the Beef Trust are cast on shoe and other leather industries by control of tariff-protected hides, and on the other hand the alliance between shoe machinery and linen thread is reaching out to absorb shoe manufacturers, and by the same aid. Which will win out? Will the shoe be pinched by squeezing its hide, or will linen thread wrap round and round its strands until the shoe business is a fast prisoner? THE ABSURD MR. LOCKER La Follette's Weekly : John A. Locker used to be a dealer in tobacco in New York. Possibly he is yet, but if so he seems to to dealing under difficulties. He did something that displeased the American Tobacco Company—theTrust—and it refused to sell him any more of its goods. He went into court complaining that as the Trust controls most of. the tobacco of the country, its refusal to supply would put him out of business. It sort of seemed to him that there ought to be law somewhere that would protect him in the right to do business. Kindly, but firmly, the New York Court of Appeals pointed out to him that, while it would be a crime for two or more firms to conspire to ruin his business by refusing in concert to sell him to bacco, one concern, consisting of the merged and digested bodies of many firms might tell him he would have to get along as best he could without tobacco. If the American Tobacco Company didn't like him, it din't have to sell to him. One company can't conspire withitself to ruin anyone. The thing is absurd. "Conspire" is a word derived from two Latin expressions, and means "to breathe together." You see how it is, Mr. Locker and ladies and gentlemen. When bad people get together and plot evil to others, like labor agi tators arranging not to buy a certain firm's goods, they gather about a table ,and their breaths mingle as they plot. They "respire," and at the same time they "conspire." This is wicked and people who do it must be sent to jail for it. But if a lot of corporations are mingled in a new corporation, they cannot conspire. There is only one of them, you observe, and one cannot "breathe together." And as a matter of fact and law a corporation having no lungs, mouth or breath, is both legally and physically incapable of breathing in any way, though it is a citizen and may own things. This man, Mr. Locker, is doubtless ashamed of himself for behaving so absurdly. Doubtless the intention of all trusts is to absorb all the busi ness, as Mr. Havemeyer of the Sugar Trust, and Mr. McCormick of the Harvester Trust have stated it to be in their particular cases. And when a trust which cannot "conspire" completes its control, the merchants will know just where they are at, to quote a Southern Con gressman. The trusts can sell them goods or not just as they em phatically please; and the merchapt can always find out whether or not he is to exist on an ygiven date by wiring headquarters. Pleasant prospect for people with breaths, isn't it? THE DEADLY HOUSE FLY The following indictment of the house fly should to read by all. It shows how earnestly present day medical science is fighting the real pests of mankind ; and it shows as well how long it took the world to learn its real enemies. Facts about the Fly which everyone should know : The common house-fly is a carrier of disease. Typhoid fever, diarrhoea, dysentery, and tuberculosis are carried by flies. Flies feed on food and also on filth. They go from the one to the other. In this way they carry disease germs to the table. One fly may convey six million bacteria. Flies breed in manure heaps, outhouses, refuse, ash-pits, and all decomposing animal or vegetable matter, and unclean places. Do not allow decayipg material of any sort to accumulate on or If such exist, cover with lime or kerosene oil. near your premises, and remove as early as possible. See that your sewerage system is in good order. Screen all food; cover food after a meal; burn all scraps and refuse. Screen all windows and doors. Burn pyrethrum powder in the house if flies gain entrance. If there is no filth there will be no flies. If a nuisance understood is a nuisance half abated ,the departure of the fly from the abodes of civilized men may be said to have be The exodus, however, is not likely to be sudden. The fly is gun. . too widely spread and too prolific a pest to to disposed ot m as sum mary fashion as the yellow fever mosquito, or the plague bearing rat Yet if all stable manure throughout the land could be and his flea. screened, the number of flies next season would not to a tenth ot the fly population of this; and the prompt and proper disposal of gar bage would go far toward accounting for the other tenth. The wav is simple, but in the present state of public information, it is none the less a hard road to travel. ia THE BANK OF IDAHO. i!li • ■ i GET THE HABIT The practice of banking and saving bespeaks thrift, intelligence and stability ci character. We put forth our best efforts in giving encourage ment to these virtues. 4 PER CENT INTEREST Paid on Certificates of Deposit SAFETY BOXES FOR RENT $2.50 PER YEAR o ÛÛ CO THE BANK OF IDAHO r*t\ «■ '■i ■* u EDGE OF THE WEDGE M of THE ENGLISH BUDGET TO REVOLUTIONIZE LAND TENURE IN THAT COUNTRY There seems now to be little doubt that the Lloyd-Georp budget is destined to insert the "thin end of the wedge" whir when driven home, will split British land monopoly wide open, s* The Public. Whereas the Conservatives have all along been jeeringly call ing upon the Liberal ministry to resign and bring on a general elec tion immediately, they are now looking contentedly three years for ward for the earliest probable general date. This indicates that they are disposed to agree to the Lloyd-George budget, rather than meet its issue before the people : for in three years its basic princi ples will have been fixed in British policy. Their prudence does not desert them, bitter though their anger is and deep and loud th'-^ curses. While the curses of the Conservatives are distributed wit> judicious impartiality over the entire budget, their anger really ters upon land value items ; and with much less intensity upon trifling tax of a half penny in the pound on the capital value ot vacant urban and suburban land, or upon the more stringing one of 20 per cent on future increments of value, or upon the moderate one on the value of unmined minerals, than upon the plans which these taxes necessitate for an Imeprial valuation of all land—u ban, suburban, agricultural and the rest. For it is only by such valuation that the budgetary discriminations can be made. As ttii valuation would not only expose the enormous existing values of British land, both that which is in use and that which is held out of use either arbitrarily or through exorbitant prices, but would also pave the way for successive increases and extensions of land value taxation until industry was emancipated and land capital ism alone tore the financial burdens of the social state that fosters land values, the landed interests of Great Britain, alert for the protec tion of the parasitical privileges, are angered to their very hearts' core. v-C Never since land capitalization has become a pronounced phe nomenon of industry has there been a fiscal valuation of British land values. Not since the time of William and Mary has there been any attempt at such a valuation. With the growth of British in dustry, landlords and land capitalists have flourished parasitically upon "unearned increment" at the expense of the state, and pros pered unjustly upon the earnings of large classes forced by a stinted land market to bid for wages in a glutted labor market. The indica tion, slight though it to, of a tendency to uproot this indefensible system by the automatic processes of land value taxation, seems to the land value parasities and industrial exploiters like a premonition of doom. And that is indeed what it is. The valuation of all the land of Great Britain, for purposes of present and future taxation, and for the express reason that land capitalization constitutes a social and common, and not a private fund, can have but one out come. And that outcome is land value socialization. The strength which this movement has in Great Britain is evident from the inane, incoherent and hysterical protests it evokes from the privileged interests. They sense its progress much more keenly than do the interests whose working rights and incomes it would restore and. conserve. Some of them claim that - land is not a monopoly. Isn't this fardai in a community where the land to be taxed runs to enormous sums in capital value? Others argue that land values are the same as other values. This is like arguing that land is the same as products produced by labor from and upon land, which is in turn the equivalent of an argument that the field and the crop or the site and the structure are identical. Others whine that they must quit charity giving if the common social income they appropriate is taxed away from them. Of course they must; but what of that if the taxes take care of charities?. Shall we let private individuals keep the common income because they distribute some of it in charity? This harks back to the gen erosity of Dick Turpin. And though worst come to worst in that respect, isn't it quite conceivable that new charity dispensers might be had on better terms prorata, if the function were offered to the lowest bidder—the least "unearned increment" for the highest annual charity dole? Another set give warning that the small landowner and the ten ant will have to bear the brunt. This is a sordid wish, but not a rational thought. All the objections to the Lloyd-George land value tax simmer down to the test of a simple moral principle: By what conceivable moral right do the land owners of Great Britain retain the social values of British land Surely not bv right of ownership of the land. They can show only a conventual title, and conventional titles must yield to moral rights. The land of England belongs of moral right to the living people of England. So with the land of Ireland and Scotland and Wales and the islands round atout —it belongs in usufruct to the living people respectively of Ireland and Scotland and Wales and the neighboring islands. Do the landlords and land capitalists of Great Britain then own by moral right the values of British land because they cause the values, They do not cause them. Those values are caused by Brit ish industry, by British growth, by those subtle influences which spring from social co-operation as distinguished from individual activity. We may assign the value of a product to its individual producers : but the values of the planet can to assigned only to social wholes. Upon no moral plea whatever can the owners of British land daim exemption in any degree from taxation on its social value. The whole of this value belongs, by every sane moral test, to the diole community :and every penny the community leaves in the land owners' hands is a penny morally misplaced. Bv thier flimsy protests the land lords and land capitalists of Great Britain, and their hangers on in Parliament and in the press, make very great fools of themselves in stimulating discussion of their case in the" forum of morals. They would to wiser to appeal, as heretofore, to the doctrine of might rather than to the doctrine of v\ right.