Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

were

ladies presented their bouquets; against the metal. Had the unwhich, after taking, his Majesty resisting cloth been there instead, handed to General Lehndorff, who who can tell how different the endwalked directly behind him in this ing of the tragedy might have been? farewell progress.”

I was

the Two or three days after the last in line, and to my great sur- attempted assassination, the old prise, as I offered my horse-shoe of monarch asked to see the clothes flowers, the emperor drew from he had worn on that fatal day. his pocket a little case containing Looking at the military cape riddled a horse-shoe in gold, which he with shot, and the dents in the hoped I would wear in remem- eagle-capped helmet, he turned to brance of der alter Kaiser. Natu- those standing by his bedside, and rally I was much pleased by the with tears in his eyes, said, pointgracious gift, which to-day is ing to the marks of the bullets, amongst my favourite possessions. “Thank God, it was not one of my I bent and kissed the old man's own Berlin men who did that!" hand, and then watched him drive During those dark days in the away, surrounded by his flowers, German capital while it was not feeling that I looked for the yet certain what the end might be, last time upon brave old Kaiser the anxious solicitude exhibited Wilhelm.

by all classes of society from the I had myself been in Berlin highest to the lowest, and through when both attacks

made the length and breadth of the upon the life of the Emperor,- land, proved that if one hand had when Hoedle shot at him from been found cowardly enough to fire the crowd, and Nobling from a at the oldest monarch in Europe, window overlooking the celebrat- there were still thousands of men ed street, Unter den Linden.

A eager to prove themselves loyal curious little incident occurred subjects of the Emperor William. upon the latter occasion. As the It is seldom that history records Emperor was going for his after- a life whose later years have only noon drive in the Thiergarten, he added to, instead of dimming, the asked an attendant standing in the greatness of its reputation; but at hall of the palace why such an an age when most men have been unusual and gaily dressed crowd laid aside as useless, and long after thronged the streets.

the date which even Scripture They go to see the Shah of limits as the practical end of man, Persia, your Majesty," was the Kaiser Wilhelm continued to add

new dignities and triumphs to his “Ah! then I also must put on reign; and since establishing peace, gala attire," the Emperor remarked, has nobly championed the cause of smiling, and forthwith took from a peace, giving all the weight of his table his Prussian helmet, replacing great influence to keep Europe unwith its steel plating the military disturbed by the horrors of war. cloth cap which he had before Rarely has there been an old age placed on his head. When a few more honoured, or more worthy of hours later he was brought back honour ; and one and all must unite to the palace, wounded and bleed- in hoping that the rejoicings of ing, the helmet was dented in the year 1887 may not be the last several places where the mixed to greet the gallant Emperor at shot used by Nobling had struck Berlin.

answer.

LABOUR AND CAPITAL IN AUSTRALIA.'

46 we

The depression of trade and resist, for manhood suffrage has agriculture at present prevalent laid it at the feet of the working over nearly all the world is in classes. What they demand must Australia more fictitious than real. be conceded. Loans, therefore, are The unemployed are there in large raised, and the working man prosnumbers, as they are in England. pers for the present. What matBut how different is their position ters it to him how much the loans from that of the same class at increase, how much public debt is home! In Australia they are un- piled up? He has no future inemployed, not because there is no terest in the country, and as long work waiting to be done; they do as money can be borrowed, as long not hunger for bread and meat, but as labour can be kept up at a fictithey thirst for unlimited beer, and tious price, so long will he stay uphold the “eight hours a day” and prosper. But when the time principle, which in their opinion is comes—as it surely will come, unthe utmost time a man ought to less forms of government different be required to labour for his living. in material respects from those at Sustained by a paternal Govern- present in use arise to control the ment with daily wages on relief future—when no more money can works, paid with the money kind- be raised, then will the working ly provided for them out of loans man depart to some other place. subscribed by a credulous public “What need we look to, except at home, why should they work to the present?” is his cry; for private employers of labour, have no stake in the country; who can only afford to pay at the the Government stock is not ours; rate the state of trade justifies we can always go away and try them in giving ?

the same old game elsewhere." “We shall not accept work from At the same time, the represenyou,” they say to the employers, tatives of the working classes see,

at a lower rate than Government and see very clearly, that if the pays us. No matter what is the unemployed of England and other state of the labour market, no countries ever become acquainted matter how depressed trade may with the real facts of the case, and be, we must not suffer. Employers understand the nature of the posimay be ruined, but Government tion, then will their day be nearly

raise loans which will be done. Other men willing to work utilised for public works—works will flock out to their shores, and to be made by us at a rate of their trades-unions, at present the wages which we consider necessary most powerful in the world, will for our existence. As long as be unable to absorb them all, and there is a Government, it is our the price of labour will fall to its right to demand from it that it proper level. The result, however should provide us with employ- disastrous to this selfish policy, ment and wages.”

would be that the country, which The Government, from the na- at present is insufficiently poputure of its constitution, of neces- lated, would become rapidly opened tity agrees with this. It cannot up. Millions of acres of land in

can

Australia which are practically the credit of their colony in a way valueless because of the expense that would stop the supplies in the of clearing at the present excessive shape of loans, which alone enable rate of labour, would become avail- the Government, really worked by able. Land which would be pro- the trades-unions, to obtain money fitable if cleared at £8 an acre, to pay the demands of the so-called now lies as useless as the desert of unemployed. Sahara for all practical purposes,

Have not the action and power of simply because it would cost from the trades-unions in New South £15 to £20 per acre under the ex- Wales, since the arrival of the isting state of affairs to clear it. emigrant-ship mentioned above,

About six months ago, the writer been shown in the Government happened to be in Sydney when an regulations of the colony on emiemigrant-ship came in. At that gration, where there is now writtime there were a number of unem- ten. “No application for assisted ployed at Sydney—that is, a num- passages can at present be enterber of men employed on the tained”? Government relief works, at the Do the paid delegates of the high Government rate of wages New South Wales trades-unions, -and there were

were immediately lately sent to England, think they loud outcries in the local papers have succeeded in hoodwinking against the Government for bring- their fellow labouring men? If ing more working men into the so, they make a mistake. They country. Nearly every man in the for the time may have thrown ship was engaged on the day of dust into the eyes of the many, its arrival, at what would be very but it will be wiped away. Let high wages in England, and there the English working man only ask

a demand for at least four these same delegates one simple or five times the number—es- question — How much does the pecially for agricultural labourers. man seeking Government relief

. Everywhere the same complaint in New South Wales receive as a was heard, that men were not to daily wage, in money and money's be got at any reasonable wages for worth, for his most valuable serthe stations. Yet the Government vices? When that question has of New South Wales dare not en- been answered, the Englishman courage emigration. The reason will be better able to appreciate is not far to seek—the members and understand why his colonial of its Parliament are elected under friends kindly take so much trouble the constitution by manhood suf- to warn him against their adopted frage. The working men have land. The responsible Governthus the Parliament under their ments of Victoria, New South thumbs, while they themselves Wales, and South Australia have are governed by their trades- ceased granting assisted passages unions, which say that the price to emigrants; but the colony of of labour must be maintained. The Queensland, where the squatters latter know that the most effectual are more numerous and powerful way to maintain it is to discourage than in the other colonies, do so as far as possible emigration, al- to a certain extent. though they are sharp enough to The rate of wages is highest in be aware that in doing this they New South Wales, where it exmust be careful not to run down ceeds £50 per head per annum.

was

It is lowest under the semi-respon- ceived that it sometimes pays the sible Government and amidst the working classes better in the longsparsely populated lands of West run, even at a slight apparent ern Australia, where alone nomin- sacrifice, to do a little for the ated emigrants are sent out free employer of labour, by levying of cost. Yet even there the gen- heavy protective duties on manueral labourer in town receives 5s. factured goods, rather than, as in to 75. per diem, carpenters and New South Wales, to act always masons from 8s. to 1os., farm- in opposition to his interests, under labourers and ploughmen in the the mistaken notion that what is country 155. per week with board good for the capitalist must of neand lodging

cessity be bad for the labourer. The responsible Governments of New South Wales, with its coals New South Wales and the other and its minerals, is really a richer Australian colonies to a certain country than Victoria, with all its extent, and that of South Aus- gold, yet it does not prosper as tralia to a very great extent, have a country; while Victoria, which been forced to become, through the has done something for the capiaction of manhood suffrage, a part, talists and employers of labour, is and a most important and nec. becoming, in spite of the same deessary part, of the machinery of fects in its constitution, more prosthe trades-unions. It is to the perous every day. The Victorian Government that the unions look working man looks as far as an for supplies to pay their work- immediate future, while the working men to fight against the em ing man of New South Wales ployers of labour. The Govern- looks only to the present. ment at present, on account of So great is the unrealised wealth their loans, have practically nearly of the Australian colonies, so great unlimited power of capital to fight is also their realised wealth, that against the employers of labour, if they are only governed by inwho have only their own private telligent men, who, even while gov. means to back them up. The re- erning for the benefit of but one sult must be, either the with- class, whatever that class may be, drawal of private capital to places are yet not actuated by a shortwhere it can be employed at a pro- sighted and narrow policy, they fit, or to so raise the import duties must advance. But if the govthat capital can earn its fair profit ernment is given up to those who as well as labour. This is what do not see beyond the immediate has actually occurred in Victoria, present, is there any known land where, owing to its great natural rich enough to prosper ? resources, both agricultural and There is one class in England, pastoral, and to the heavy import at present suffering from the bad duties levied in that colony, a few times, who at this moment might manufactories are springing up with great advantage emigrate to which are able to a certain extent Australia, whose prospects would to supply the local wants of the be immensely improved by doing people. The finances of Victoria so, and who of all the classes are also in a better state than most would be the most likely to sucof the other colonies. The trades- ceed—namely, the tenant farmer, unions, and through them the who sees his little capital day by Parliament of Victoria, have per- day decreasing at home.

A prac

now

sons.

tical farmer with two or three sons, have taken the place of the sons with a small capital of from £500 and grandsons of their servants. to £1500, who has been bred up The fathers of those who are now all his life on a farm, and who has servants were originally masters, had that practical education in his and the descendants of the masters business which is instilled by daily are servants. The fathers association—such a man would in who send out their sons from EngAustralia be bound to succeed to land with £5000 or £6000 capital a certain extent. He would most are the men who in reality make probably have the satisfaction, as the fortune of Australia's richest he gets on in life, of seeing his sons Better would it have been started prosperously, either as man- for these same youths' fortunes, in agers of stations, or perhaps as most cases, if they had been kept the owners of stations themselves. at home. They go out there hav. There are ups and downs for every ing little experience of farming, one in this world, but there is more probably having been educated at chance of “ups " for people of this one of our large public schools, and class than the reverse. It is from brought up in a society where they this class that most of the rich have had no experience of what squatters have come. Their fathers hard work really is. How can originally emigrated to the coun- they succeed, even if they are try, and they have got their ex- hard-working and industrious ? perience at a cheap rate—an ex- In most cases they buy a station perience that is even more valu- for which they pay too much, or able in Australia than in most even if they have the good fortune parts of the world. A man like to obtain one at a fair price, they this knows the value of the land, buy too big a property in propor. which few of the new arrivals, and tion to their resources.

Instead of those who have even lived in of buying a station with half the the colony, really do, although they amount of their capital, and inthink so.

He will, if he is a pru- vesting the other half, they buy a dent man, have saved a little nest- property which swallows up nearly egg, and will probably clear, or the whole. We will allow that the partially clear, some new land, station is prosperous for the first which he will eventually sell for two or three years. There are 100 to 150 per cent more than it good seasons, &c., and they probhas cost him altogether. He will ably reinvest their profits in their gradually go on at this till he has own station, or enlarge it in order rolled up for himself one of those that more may be made out of it, immense fortunes, in the same even if they do not increase their manner as most of the rich squat- personal expenditure. Then bad ters have made theirs. It is not seasons come, there are droughts the young gentleman who comes other misfortunes, capital is out to Australia with capital who wanted to carry on the necessary usually succeeds. It is the son or expenses of the station, and they the grandson of the small man who have no funds to fall back upon. usually eats up the bigger man. They borrow from the banks In Western Australia this has at or 10 per cent — these occurred to a very large extent. banks which in the colonies are The sons and grandsons of the little better than huge pawnbrokmen who settled there originally ing establishments. Sooner or

or

« PoprzedniaDalej »