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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/44

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

journeymen would not agree to these claims the lockout was extended to include all the building trades and the iron industry. The conflict was settled after several months by the so-called September Agreement. The various rules then laid down might be interpreted as a victory for the employers, even though many of them could not be enforced without opposition. But definite resolutions were adopted with regard to the declaration of strikes and lockouts, which, it was stipulated, were not to begin without due notice. Moreover, the right of the employer to conduct and distribute work was acknowledged; and the chief organizations on both sides were to co-operate to check the excessive consumption of spirits. Any violation of this agreement was to be dealt with in a court of arbitration (Permanent Court of Arbitration established by an act of April 3, 1900). In this way the road was cleared for the social development of trade and industry during the following decade.

The Commission of 1875

Other factors had long been at work to create in Denmark a development of class relations corresponding to the demands that had grown up all over the world. In September, 1875, a commission was appointed to investigate and report on the circumstances of workmen. The report, which was submitted at the end of three years, did not lead to any practical measures of importance, but by its motley contents it aroused a wide discussion of many questions. Its recommendations and proposals reveal a truly remarkable conflict between old and new ideas. Declaring that the Trade Act of 1857 was too radical a departure from the established policy, it demanded greater restriction of trade. A few members even proposed a reversion to the conditions existing at the time of the guilds. Some advocated co-operative unions, and others declared themselves in favour of a system of profit-sharing between employers and employees. The latter idea was just at that time engaging the attention of political