« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
remedies, but we are practical business men and the Irish farmers who are foolish enough not to don't believe in neglecting present opportuni emigrate to this country. I don't take much ties on account of past grievances and some stock in them myself, but I'd sooner have them present political disabilities.
than the Chinese, or even the Italians. MR. PLUNKETT : That is the right way to ap SENATOR : You bet! I have no use for the proach the Irish problem, and I am delighted to Italians. You always have to get an Irishman find how general this attitude of mind is becom. to round them up, as you'd say, when there is ing among all those who still take an interest in any political work to be done. the Irish question in this country. So far, our
JUDGE : But I don't think Mr. Plunkett is conversation has brought out the main facts of much interested in the Irish as politicians out the situation which we are discussing. What here. He was telling us about them as workers we have to deal with is the problem of rural life at home. in a country whose physical conditions render MR. PLUNKETT : Yes, perhaps the Senator agriculture the main dependence of the people. would allow me to continue my remarks upon My ranch friend asked, just now, what the Irish the way in which my countrymen are endeavor. farmers were kicking about when so much had ing to solve their rural problems in Ireland, and been done for them by legislation. Unhappily, to postpone to some other occasion a discussion about the time when their position was being so upon the assistance they are giving you to solve enormously improved by the legislative changes your municipal problems out here. which I have described, a new trouble overtook SENATOR : Cæsar's ghost ! them in the form of agricultural depression, re PROFESSOR : Yes, we know something about sulting from the opening up of vast tracts of agricultural combination in this country. No virgin soil in the Western Hemisphere and in doubt you have heard of the Grange movement, Australia, and also from the extraordinary de which really is a business organization of farmers velopment which has taken place in rapid and for the purpose of jointly purchasing farmers' cheap transportation, as well as in processes of requirements, the joint ownership of costly agrifood-preservation.
cultural machinery, the joint sale of produce, PROFESSOR: Are not these causes of the Irish and so forth. farmers' difficulties likely rather to increase MR. PLUNKETT : I have made some inquiries than to diminish ? It is not an extravagant about this movement, but I could not discover forecast of likely developments in this direction that it had exercised any very important into look forward to a time when it will make little fluence upon American agriculture. I believe, difference in the cost of perishable commodities however, it has exercised some political influence, for consumption as food where they are pro and has to some extent molded legislation in duced, or indeed when they were produced, so favor of its followers. But I have gained the cheaply will they be carried and so efficiently impression that they have lost in economic effiwill their freshness be preserved.
ciency what they may have gained by going into MR. PLUNKETT: Well, of course, things are politics. moving in that direction, but the advantage of
THE "GRANGE" MOVEMENT IN IRELAND. nearness to market will never, I think, be altogether eliminated. That much protection, even MR. PLUNKETT : The economic situation is a in free-trade England, the home producer will grave
and difficult one, but in so far as this infor a long time enjoy. The public taste is be. tensifying trouble I am speaking about,--agricoming much more fastidious, and will detect cultural depression consequent upon foreign the difference between a peach, a pat of butter, competition,—is concerned, all the other counor even a mutton chop, which has traveled half tries in Europe are similarly situated. They round the world and similar articles which have have, however, changed their methods in two been produced only a few hours away. More distinct ways to meet the altered circumstances, over, your consumption in this country may in and they have done it with such success that crease as rapidly as your production,-especially they are in many cases better off than before in the case of live stock,—though I admit that this world-wide competition,--the opening of the there is an immense margin of possible improve world-market, I think the Professor would call ment in the agricultural methods of the richest it, -came about. In the first place, they have agricultural sections in the United States involv completely changed their business methods; they ing enormously increased potential output from have applied to farming those principles of comthe land. Most of the farming I know in the bination which, under modern economic condi. West is distinctly wasteful.
tions, have been found to be essential to the RANCHMAN : It looks pretty rocky, then, for success of all other industries. They don't own
the land on the coöperative plan in these pro giving advice as to the principles upon which gressive European countries, but whenever and these business combinations can be made to work wherever it pays the farmers of a district to com efficiently and harmoniously, and so to be perbine for any purpose connected with their busi manent. ness they organize themselves into associations LAWYER : What is the legal status of these to carry out those purposes.
associations? Are they merely partnerships or SENATOR : I think in Ireland anything like corporations ? They must be one or the other, the Grange movement would concern itself very and in the former case their liability would be largely, and I am sure very effectively, with unlimited. politics, and not make itself very conspicuous in
COÖPERATIVE CREAMERIES. business.
MR. PLUNKETT : Senator, you seem to know a MR. PLUNKETT : They are corporations, mostly good deal about my countrymen out here, but registered under the Industrial and Provident you are not quite up to date in
information Societies Act, which provides for limited liability, about those who have remained at home. We and they differ mainly from the ordinary jointhave a Grange movement which is headed by a stock companies incorporated under the Com. central society known as the Irish Agricultural panies Act in that the capital is elastic and can, Organization Society, composed of men of all without expense, be altered by resolution as the creeds, classes, and politics, and existing for the interest of the members dictates, and almost any sole purpose of teaching the farmers to organize arrangement as to the division of profits may be their industry in all its branches upon these agreed upon. This is held to be essential in combusiness principles which we are discussing. panies of this kind, because they are not prima. The Organization Society is heading a great rily intended as investments for capital, but as movement which remains absolutely non-political associations of individuals for mutual advantage. and is producing the best possible business re The arrangement usually is that interest upon sults. The movement has only been in existence capital at the rate of 5 per cent. is the first for a dozen years, and yet, at the moment, the charge upon the net profits, and that the reassociations which are organized under it em mainder of the profits is divided among the brace roughly some seventy-five thousand farm farmers and the employees of the society upon ers, who are shareholding members of over an equitable basis which seeks to allocate to each seven hundred associations. As the shareholders contributor to the profits a share in proportion are, generally speaking, heads of families, it is to his contribution to them, so far as this can be safe to say that over three hundred thousand ascertained. For instance, in the case of a copersons, or about one-sixth of the entire farm operative creamery, the milk is paid for at the ing community, have thus become interested in price a capitalist would give at a proprietary the movement, and it is going ahead at an un creamery. But the capitalist would make more precedented and rapidly accelerating rate of than 5 per cent. on his capital. Therefore, if progress. They build and equip creameries ; the farmers manage their undertaking as well as everything that the farmer wants in his in he would,--and they ought to manage it better, dustry they purchase in a large wholesale way, —they can pay 5 per cent. on their capital and and pay particular attention to quality as well have a surplus to divide among the suppliers of as to price. Some of the associations, called ag.
milk and the workers in the factory,—so many ricultural banks, aim at getting cheap credit for cents on the dollar's worth of milk supplied and farmers through mutual security, thus enabling on the dollar of wages earned. them to add to the working capital available for
MUTUAL LOAN ASSOCIATIONS. sound practical development of their industry.
Many of these bodies develop home industries, PROFESSOR : I suppose the object of this arwhich employ the female members of the family rangement is to harmonize the interests of all chiefly, such as lace-making, crochet, embroidery, participants in the undertaking, and so produce hosiery, rug-making, shirt-making, and so forth. the best results. But all the associations, whatever their purpose, MR. PLUNKETT : Exactly, and so it works out are organized on the coöperative plan, the cap in practice. The same principle is observed in ital being provided by the members, and the all the societies, excepting those known as agrimanagement being in the hands of a committee cultural banks, which are incorporated under democratically selected from among themselves. the Friendly Societies Act. In these, the liabil. The movement is a severely self-help movement. ity of the members for the debts of the associaNo financial or other responsibility is taken by tion is unlimited. They are chiefly located in the parent society, which limits itself strictly to districts where the farmers are all so poor that
they have little tangible security to offer. They
They to meet the altered conditions. You have told therefore pledge their joint and several personal us many things that they are doing, but they security and raise a loan. Having thus created all seem to range themselves under the head of a capital, the association, through its committee, agricultural coöperation. It is, in effect, a remakes loans to the members, also upon the per organization of their business by applying to it sonal security of the borrower and two sureties. the principle of combination. What was the The peculiarity of the system is that loans are other respect in which a change of methods is made only for productive purposes,—that is being effected ? I should like to hear the whole purposes which, in the judgment of the com story, if possible, before we have to join the mittee, will enable the borrower to repay the ladies. loan out of its application. When this condi
APPLIED SCIENCE IN FARMING. tion is satisfied, the loan is made for just as long a period as is required to enable the bor MR. PLUNKETT : Well, I must be getting on rower to fulfill the purpose for which he bor to the second main point, where there is a great rowed. There is, Professor, a point in this deal more to tell as to the effect of the self-help which will interest you.
Our farmers complain movement which I have so far described. But of the hard-and-fast term for which money is perhaps its most important effect is that it gave advanced to them,
-a term dictated by the to the Irish farmer an education which made usages and suitable to the requirements of trade him realize for himself the next step which had and inanufacture, but not to the conditions of to be taken. When competition with the whole agriculture. For instance, the farmer borrows world became a condition of agricultural promoney to put in his crop. It is absurd that he duction and distribution, the margin of profit should have to repay it before he harvests the crop. became very narrow and only realizable by the
RANCHMAN: That interests me much more application of science to farming in a manner than it does the Professor. I always argue that and to a degree not before dreamed of. The way to those one-horse Wyoming banks. But provision of this education is, of course, the they tumble to the racket, and I begin to wish duty of the state. In all progressive countries, I could transfer my business to Ireland.
your own included, agricultural departments MR. PLUNKETT: The real basis of security is the keep the farmers fully informed of all that it is capitalization of honesty and the industry of the necessary for them to know as to the discoveries community, and this is not as visionary an asset of science in relation to their industry, the state as it might appear, for, owing to one provision of the markets for their produce, and all other of the constitution,—the unlimited liability, I matters of necessary and useful information. mean,—the members of the association take very They further pay special attention to the edu. good care not to admit to partnership any man cation of those who wish to devote themselves to who does not come up to the standard in these agricultural pursuits. Nothing of this kind was respects.
done in the British Isles, and in Ireland no inRANCHMAN : I like the capitalization of honesty telligent demand for such state assistance was and industry. I will try to capitalize mine when heard until the influence of these organized selfI go out West again.
help societies began to put pressure on the state MR. PLUNKETT: Well, if you could get the to supplement the organized self-help of the whole round-up to join you in the loan, and to people. Three years ago, we thus obtained,—I approve the purposes to which it was to be ap dare say you have heard the story of the Recess plied, I dare say you could get a moderate Committee ; at any rate, I cannot tell it now, amount on the security you were prepared to a new department of government which was to offer. But, seriously, the scheme is, as I should serve the people in the manner I have indicated. have described it if you had not interposed your One result of its having arisen out of a popular frivolous remarks, perfectly sound in actual movement was that its constitution followed its operation. There are over one hundred of these origin and was made more democratic than any agricultural banks in Ireland, and they have other central government institution in the Britproved themselves to be perfectly solvent ; in ish Isles. It has a popularly elected council, deed, their members never fail to repay their which is a sort of business parliament, and two loans, and consequently the banks never fail to popularly constituted boards which to a large ex
tent hold the purse-strings. JUDGE : I understood you to say there were two ways in which the Irish farmers, following, I think you said, the example of other European PROFESSOR : But, Mr. Plunkett, before you concountries, were changing their methods in order clude this interesting survey, there is just one
point I should like to call your attention to. MR. PLUNKETT : Yes, we are convinced that You have described, I think as lucidly as was we must work along distinctly economic lines, possible in so short a space of time, the agricul and that all our efforts should be directed to tural developments on the self-help side, which the continued stimulation of self-help, under are certainly a revelation to us here, and you competent central direction, rather than to the are going on to describe the functions of a de. substitution of industries bonused by the state, partment of agriculture which comes in with re and, to that extent, founded on an artificial markable appropriateness, it would seem, after basis. the resources of self-help have first prepared the PROFESSOR : I am delighted to hear that, beway. I presume the department will perform cause from my knowledge of foreign departthe same functions as similar departments else. ments of agriculture, on which you tell us yours where, and with these most of us are more or was largely molded, they take a too paternal less familiar. But, of course, agriculture, al view of their duties and responsibilities,-they though in all countries the most important, work, you must remember, in an atmosphere of and in Ireland by far the most important, in protection and bonuses, and I think your dedustry, cannot by itself make a country very partment, while copying many of their methods, prosperous. Is nothing being done by those might judiciously draw the economic line a who are devoting themselves, as you seem to be, little more sharply between doing too much and to economic and social work to develop some in doing too little. In Ireland you have an oppordustries subsidiary to agriculture in the rural tunity of showing the right province for selfdistricts, and also to further develop the indus help and the due measure of state aid with which tries in the towns ? For although, as you said, self-help ought to be supplemented. there is not much highly industrialized town life RANCHMAN : When you and the Professor get except in Belfast, still there are other towns through with your philosophy, could you give scattered about the country where you might us an idea of what the department means to do surely develop industry.
to bring in dollars and cents to its expectant RANCHMAN : Galway, for instance.
admirers ? MR. PLUNKETT: I will get on to your political MR. PLUNKETT : Very little, I am afraid, that record in Wyoming presently. But, yes, Pro would meet with your approval. You will be fessor, I was going to deal with that side of the shocked to hear that we attach more importance new development in Ireland next.
to giving practical education than to anything liamentary title of the department which I was else we can give to our farmers or workers. going to tell you about is “ The Department of RANCHMAN : You had more horse sense in the Agriculture and Other Industries and Technical old days. I remember the professor of agriInstruction in Ireland," and that indicates its culture who came to your ranch, and your telling scope and purpose. It happened that when the me that he was so full of philosophy he didn't time was ripe for the legislation to which I have know enough to live till morning. referred, Mr. Gerald Balfour was chief secretary, MR. PLUNKETT : I now know that had I listened and taking up the industrial-development policy to all he told me upon the principles of stockof his brother, formerly chief secretary and now breeding, I wouldn't have made the idiotic premier, he carried it much further and gave it blunders I did in bringing in those high-toned a popular character, as I have explained. Mr. cows who turned up their toes in the winter of Arthur Balfour was known for his light railways '85_'86. Our Irish farmers have more wisdom and Congested Districts Board, with which he than I had then, and are getting to see the dollar did immense good to the poverty-stricken parts value of science in stock-breeding, the use of of the country. Mr. Gerald Balfour applied to fertilizers, the production of early vegetables the whole country treatment of another and and fruit, the perfecting of butter-making, and much more advanced kind. He created this new a hundred other things of the kind. department to take over all the necessary func PROFESSOR : Don't you find the organized soci tions of government in relation to agriculture, eties of farmers of use to the department in its sea and inland fisheries, and industries, and also educational work ? gave it a liberal endowment further to develop MR. PLUNKETT : Oh, certainly. I don't believe these interests so far as the state can interfere in that any department of agriculture can do much these matters in a free-trade country.
good working through individual farmers, and PROFESSOR : Oh, I see ; your department will
there is no limit to the assistance they can give not, as might have been feared by laissez-faire to well-organized associations. Indeed, at the purists, overdo that paternalism which kills in present stage in these developments which I have place of developing.
been describing, I consider the work of the Irish
The full par
Agricultural Organization Society of more im variable applicability of the principle to modportance than that of the department. Unhap ern farming pily, it is very difficult to get people to under [Here some ladies entered.] stand this, and consequently it is hard to get JUDGE : Gentlemen, I am afraid this is a them to subscribe to this society. A good many deputation from the ladies. My dear, we have wealthy Irish-Americans have supported it, and just settled the Irish question. We will be with I doubt whether any of the generosity which you in a moment. has been shown by the exiles of Erin to those [The ladies leave.] they have left behind has done one-tenth part as JUDGE : Mr. Plunkett, on another occasion much good as these particular subscriptions. you must tell us more about this interesting new
SENATOR: Why shouldn't the same methods of movement, especially on its industrial side. agricultural organization be applied to the agri MR. PLUNKETT: I shall look forward to an. cultural districts in the United States, which are other opportunity, and if things go on at the suffering from the same kind of competition to present rate, I shall have much more to tell you which you have attributed the difficulties of the before long. I am sorry I could not tell you of Irish farmers ? For instance, some of the New our intentions for improving the industrial opEngland agricultural sections where the farms portunities of the towns and developing indusare being abandoned, or some of the Southern tries subsidiary to agriculture in the rural disStates where they are teaching the colored popu tricts. I hope you will all come and see things lation the principles of agriculture, but not, so for yourselves, and in the Wild West to which I far as I am aware, organizing the business as have now retired I can show my ranch friend you are doing in Ireland ?
some fat beeves which will be as great a revelaMR. PLUNKETT : Well, of course, I can't give tion to him as our politics to the Senator, or our an opinion without knowing all the local condi economics to the Professor. Now for the ladies, tions, but I do firmly believe in the almost in. but I won't go first.
THE TRANS-CANADA RAILWAY.
BY E. T. D. CHAMBERS.
L Ess than a quarter of fin century
ago, 9. per
which the company has added to its rolling cent. of the world's financial and railway stock, it has found itself badly beaten by the magnates were laughing at the supposed mad traffic of the Northwest Territories and the Prov. ness of a group of Canadian capitalists, backed ince of Manitoba, and a great grain blockade has by the government of the Dominion, who were resulted. Everybody realizes that another Ca. undertaking the construction of a transcontinen nadian transcontinental railway is loudly called tal railroad north of the Great Lakes, through for, and many are of the opinion that the next the then unpeopled prairies of Canada's North few years will witness the building of two or west Territories and over the Rocky Mountains three such roads. Already the Canadian Northto the Pacific coast. Canadians themselves were ern Railway is pushing its way through the park so far from confident in the engineering and lands of the Saskatchewan, to go by the path financial success of the project that the leaders so strongly advocated by Milton and Cheadle, of the great political party which to-day controls through the Yellow Head Pass to the Pacific. the reins of government bitterly opposed them. The Grand Trunk has become infected, and the selves to an undertaking which they regarded Grand Trunk Pacific is to be built at once from as far beyond the financial capacity of the coun North Bay or Gravenhurst. And now from the try and bound to result in disaster to all con minister of railways come mutterings that lead cerned in it. The phenomenal success of the to the inference that the government is itself Canadian Pacific Railway is known of all men. thinking of carrying its own railway system Its common stock earns 6 per cent., and its value westward, to add one more steel band from Athas hovered between 130 and 140 upon the New lantic to Pacific. It has well been said that no York Stock Exchange for several months past. man can guess what this infection of progress In each of the two last years, notwithstanding will lead to. the many locomotives and thousands of cars The most promising of all the new projects