Popular Science Monthly/Volume 27/September 1885/The Relations of Railway Managers and Employees I

THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

SEPTEMBER, 1885.


 

THE RELATIONS OF RAILWAY MANAGERS AND EMPLOYÉS.
By Dr. W. T. BARNARD.
I.

THE problem how to secure the most effective and harmonious relationship with their employés is one of rapidly growing importance in the minds of those managers whose duties bring them into close contact with the rank and file of railway service, and is also beginning to force itself upon the attention of investors in this country, as it has already largely done in Europe. Though quite generally the real underlying cause of strikes and labor agitations, among rail-way people especially, is unequal enforcement of discipline, irregularity in or unequal distribution of work, debts incurred through the misfortunes—rather than, as a rule, through the fault—of the operatives, inducing restlessness, etc., their discontent usually forces itself upon the attention of the railway director in the first instance as a wages question. As the successful and economical operation of a railway requires a certain number of reliable servants thoroughly trained for and skilled in their respective positions, considering the rapid extension of our railways, many years must elapse before the surplusage so cheapens this class of skilled labor as, on the one hand, to induce managers to relieve overburdened servants in busy seasons by dividing their duties among a larger number than will barely suffice for current needs, or, on the other, affords them security from strikes and unjust demands through the presence of unemployed skilled artisans eager to supplant the discontented. Meanwhile the necessity of meeting competition and reduced earnings by improved machinery and increased technical efficiency will constantly enhance the importance and value of a permanent and zealous corps of employés with whom fair wages, while important, are overshadowed by other considerations personal to their service. In its simplest aspects the subject of the wisest form of adjustment between labor and capital is enough; but, when considered in relation to our American railways, so many and complicated questions of management and economies arise, and the possible consequences of innovations are so great and serious, that few officials possessing sufficient influence with their directors and stockholders to make their advocacy effective have time or courage to take the initiative in an intelligent reform, which, under the most favorable circumstances, could only be established by overcoming the timidity of capital and the obstinate opposition of the ignorant and prejudiced. At first blush the proposition that intelligent beings would not welcome with hearty support and co-operation any measure whose patent object was the improvement of their welfare seems untenable, but the student of history will recall few instances where the violent opposition of the masses has not followed all general efforts to ameliorate their condition, since and before the day when the founder of the Christian religion suffered crucifixion for his temerity in a kindred cause. It is generally recognized at home and abroad that only through the betterment of their present physical condition and surroundings can a body of permanent, satisfied railway servants be secured; yet the path to success in such an enterprise is strewed with many difficulties, the primary one in this country arising from the absentee ownership of our great railroads, and the difficulty which a body of stockholders, or their representative directors, have in recognizing the needs and feelings of the rank and file operating their properties—living, as they do, far from their lines, or, if near, immersed in pursuits that do not bring them together. The ownership half of the railroad world—in the United States, at least—certainly knows little, and recks less, of how the employé half lives. True, no difficulty would probably be experienced in getting investors in railroad securities to admit, in glittering generalities, the desirability—even necessity—of bettering the condition of those upon whose energy, honesty, and fidelity they rely for dividends; but when confronted with any systematic measure for the accomplishment of this result, which apparently involves a considerable expenditure, they "back water" with alacrity. Philanthropy and benevolence find no resting-place in the bosoms of the average railroad shareholders; at least few think of beginning their charities among the homes of their people; therefore, to enlist their pecuniary support of any costly plan for helping railroad operatives, it must be shown to pay the shareholder. Treating the subject from a purely business stand-point, let us see if it pays our great corporations to rest their connection with their employés upon the mere payment of current wages.

At the close of the year 1884, 125,000 miles of railroad[1] were in operation in the United States and 9,949 in Canada; the estimated gross earnings of which were, in round numbers: United States, $770,684,908; Canada, $33,421,767; and the net profits: United States, $268,064,496; Canada, $7,826,872. The year's freight traffic over those lines was: United States, 390,074,749 tons; Canada, 13,716,462; while the passengers carried a mile were estimated at: United States, 8,778,581,061. In Canada it is not given; but the total number of passengers carried was 9,984,354, against 334,570,766 in the United States. The business transacted over the lines was handled by an estimated force of 1,600,000 employés,[2] whose combined earnings, while unobtainable with accuracy, must have been enormous. Considering the magnitude of the interests involved—not only the value of the property operated, but the vast number of human beings who freely intrust their lives to the railroads—and the growing demand for increased speed in transportation, it needs little illustration to show that their responsibilities as common carriers are such as make it of paramount importance to their managements to secure and retain the services of the most experienced and reliable citizens obtainable; thereby obviating, as far as possible, the often fearful consequences of inexperience and negligence, and promoting public confidence by the knowledge that the lives and property of their patrons will not be subjected to unnecessary hazard. There are few employments in the country more onerous and exacting, and not any where negligence, inexperience, or absent-mindedness has more fatal consequences than those embraced in the operating departments of railways; hence the necessity of protecting themselves against the depressing influences to which most men, struggling against present or impending pecuniary difficulties, are susceptible, must be readily apparent.

In periods of activity such classes of labor are frequently overtasked, while in times of depressed trade their earnings are generally decreased by actual reduction of wages, or variable employment, to a bare subsistence. Then, when disability or old age overtakes them, few possess reserve earnings from which to draw for the necessaries of life.

In the report of the English Select Committee on Civil-Service Superannuation, it was stated that the dread of poverty had a very injurious effect on the minds and health of business-men, artisans, etc. The celebrated Dr. Farr, of England, when consulted upon the advantages of remuneration, partly by salaries and partly by provision for old age, thus sums up the evidence and arguments in favor of such an arrangement:

"In the first place, superannuation is a guarantee of fidelity; in the second place, it encourages efficient officers; in the third place, it retains good men in the service; in the fourth place, it induces men to retire when they become old or inefficient from any cause; and, in the fifth place, it prevents old servants from falling into disgraceful dependence, or distressing destitution, which would be a public scandal, and would deter desirable persons from entering the service."

It is not always true, in the history of railroads or other corporations, that the one paying the highest wages is best served. The company that is most forward in caring for the general welfare of its employés, particularly in the matter of providing support for those disabled, aged, and of long service; that holds all its officials to a rigid responsibility for arbitrary or tyrannical exercise of power; that convinces its lowest servants that they will be protected against injustice, even at the hands of their highest official superiors—will soon obtain such prominence among the masses as will bring to its service the best material the market affords, though it give no more than—nor often quite so much as—others, who regard their employés only as so much material to be utilized or expended in the interests they serve.

The writer has for a considerable time studied the relationship existing between the managers and employés of many of our large corporations, and his observations seem to justify the conclusion that, whereas, in no other business employing large bodies of labor is there a wider field for cultivating cordiality and reciprocity of interests between owners and employés than in railroading, also in no other business (except, perhaps, mining) have such opportunities been more neglected. The admirable results he has observed following even a partial recognition of the equities between the executives and the rank and file of one or two railroads affords a glimpse of the great possibilities—easily made certainties by proper cultivation—of community of interests and aspirations between the two, that in unsettled times must prove invaluable.

It is unnecessary here to analyze the causes which produce the discontent and lack of unity between managers and employés, painful to observe, but too generally prevalent in this country, where the fascinations and the esprit de corps of railroading are so great as to give powerful support to any systematic and liberal efforts to reach a better understanding. One prominent origin of the lack of attachment to corporate interests here alluded to may be cited by way of parenthesis, namely, the system prevalent on most railways under which subordinate officials may discharge those under them without explanation or question. Where rigid accountability has been substituted for such irresponsibility the happiest results have uniformly followed, for thereby the lowest as well as the highest individual in the service became assured that, while he might be suspended for a short time by the exercise of arbitrary authority, a full hearing and exact justice would ultimately be had from an unprejudiced tribunal; while such supervision over those vested with limited authority naturally made them careful and discreet in exercising it. By uniform and consistent dealing with misdemeanors, not only is discipline preserved, but the culprits and all others concerned are made to understand that justice only will be administered, while harsh criticism and complaints of injustice receive no sympathy; the standard of service is elevated and its efficiency increased; and all fear of personally incurring the displeasure of superior officials, and the consequent currying of favor—generally to the company's disadvantage—are obviated.

Railroad companies not only need men sound in body, but in this country they frequently need the moral and political support of their employés. This, a mere wage quid pro quo will never develop. Why not, in addition, identify the interests of their employés with their own, either by that most potent of all bonds, pecuniary advantage, or otherwise engender personal devotion to those officials who are responsible for the conduct of the service?

As a rule the operatives of railroads reside in those counties and districts in which they work, and are more or less influential political factors. With us majorities rule, and as employés necessarily outnumber their employers, who are constantly compelled to seek concessions from political bodies, therefore, for their own welfare and safety, the latter should pursue such a policy as will enable them to count upon the support and friendship of their masters.

Mr. Charles Francis Adams, Jr., some years ago published in "The Nation" a communication from a correspondent who concluded some suggestions on promoting identity of interests between railroad managers and operatives with the following language: "The railroad man who makes suggestions of this character from the Western end of the line renders himself liable to have his ideas ranked as 'Utopian,' 'visionary,' etc. I have, however, been through the mill, and believe that a little attention to these matters would give our owners a more zealous and earnest service; would foster and preserve a higher esprit de corps; would develop a strong attachment to the line and its owners; would remove the possibility of strikes and riots; and would lead to the securing of a better grade of men, which means increased efficiency and increased net earnings; and all this can be secured at small cost and with little trouble to the local management."

That such views are not "Utopian" is proved by the fact that many of the principal English and Continental railway companies have on various occasions, and with considerable expenditure of time and money, inaugurated for their employés (and devoted large sums to sustaining) benevolent societies for promoting one or more of the objects the writer quoted outlined. Such action by financiers and railroad directors, whose keen business perceptions, stimulated by close competition, are not apt to be misdirected or clouded by philanthropical or sentimental ideas, shows how important they regard the cultivation of bonds of sympathy and fellowship with their armies of operatives— susceptible as they are of an organization and discipline as perfect and efficient as distinguished the greatest armies of history.

If further proof of the utility of such action is desired, it can be had by observing the result attained by one of our Eastern trunk lines—the management of which has made itself prominent in organizing for its employés protection against financial distress resulting from sickness, accidents, old age, and other vicissitudes of life and death—which will be noticed further on—as also in the fact that such measures have actually and uniformly been found to compensate for material differences in wages; to put the service offering them at a premium, and ultimately to secure it the best and steadiest men at relatively insignificant outlay.

But it has often been asserted that corporations, no more than individuals, should enter into the philanthropy business, and that railroad companies are not more than other employers interested in the personal welfare of their people. Such assertions convict their authors of ignorance of social science and lack of forethought unpardonable in this advanced age in those intrusted with the overshadowing interests of our great American railways. In defense of such assertions it is alleged that individuals and classes of men are in the market representing labor, and other individuals or combinations of men representing capital are likewise in the market; that the one is perfectly justifiable in purchasing the other at its market value, and, when capital ceases to be able to pay the market value of labor, the other will naturally seek other purchasers, and that there the claims of one upon the other cease; that as labor is never held bound to maintain its connection with capital to the laborer's disadvantage, so, when labor ceases to make profit for capital, the latter must be allowed to exercise the same right to sever their associations.

While as a broad proposition this must be admitted to be true, railroads are, more than most other employers, interested in the prosperity of their employés, and, like all other corporations whose work is dangerous, are partly answerable for the misfortunes of their employés, and peculiarly interested in providing means for lessening liabilities to accident, and in relieving the suffering and hardships caused by injuries received in their service. In partial recognition of this principle, many individuals and corporations employing small bodies of labor continue the pay of their men when sick, but where large masses are to be dealt with such a course would entail an expenditure beyond all reason. As an illustration of this, on one of our Eastern trunk lines, the employés of which number something over twenty thousand (and several of its rivals have more than double this force), the sick and disabled from all causes have, within the writer's knowledge, numbered continuously more than six hundred per annum for at least four consecutive years. Increased remuneration for labor will not alone solve the problem under discussion, for railroad men are proverbially improvident as a class, and under certain conditions increased payment means only greater extravagance. Therefore, a wise policy, if not higher considerations than those of self-interest, should prompt the managements of large corporations to provide, even at considerable expense or financial risk, not only for the protection of their employés from, or indemnity for the effects of, injuries, but also for their physical, mental, and moral improvement, so as to render them contented, zealous, and forbearing.

An admirable illustration of this fact is found in an inspection of the cotton-spinning factories of Windisch, near Zürich, the most extensive of this character on the Continent. Educated in England in all the technicalities and ramifications of his business, its present head, Mr. Hans Wonderly, has evidently imbibed and has put into practice many of the most advanced ideas respecting community of interests between employer and employé there prevalent. On the way to the mills one passes the hospital built by the firm, a pretty building healthily situated on a hill-side, near a sharp bend in the river Reuss, surrounded by flower-gardens and containing accommodations for thirty beds. At present it serves as a dispensary in which the district doctor dispenses medicines and advice at the expense of the firm. This firm provides neat cottages for over one hundred families of its workmen, conveniently located at short distances from their factories. Though it employs over a thousand operatives, and though it rents these cottages for only four pounds per annum, more than one half of its employés own their own houses, the surroundings of which are marvelous in beauty and neatness. The work-people remain in the firm's employ from generation to generation, and great kindness is shown their disabled and superannuated. Though at times embarrassment is experienced in providing employment for all who look with natural dependence upon it, this firm uniformly maintains its fatherly protection over all permanent employés. All its overlookers are trained on the spot, and the principle of giving its high positions to its own deserving people, which is strictly enforced, encourages aspiring young men to look for promotion at home rather than elsewhere. Thus a feeling of clannishness has been established which has kept its workpeople united and satisfied, when at neighboring places all sorts of disputes and agitations have been in progress, and a strike has never occurred at any of its factories. This exemption from all labor troubles is attributed by the firm not alone to good management and satisfactory wages, but mainly to the great consideration and forbearance shown by the work-people themselves in times of financial depression. Time-breaking through drunkenness is unheard of in these factories. Well-organized schools for the young people are operated under the auspices of the firm, and there are also excellent night-schools wherein subjects interesting or advantageous to the operatives are taught free by instruction and lectures. The operatives are supplied with food, clothing, and other necessaries, and with luxuries, through excellently organized co-operative stores, and a savings bank and building association are also in operation under guarantee of the firm. The work-people are reported to be remarkably cleanly and well dressed, and to show in a high degree the effects of comfort and civilization, which, considering that, as compared with the English and American standards, their incomes are very small, is gratifying evidence of the beneficial effects of such a system (vide vol. i, "Second Report of the Royal Commissioners on Technical Education").

Another exemplification of the practical wisdom of what would by some be classed as Utopian ideas can to-day be found nearer home in the town of Pullman, near Chicago, where proper provision for the comfort and welfare of the attachés of the great works there located has secured for this manufacturing company the most skillful workmen in their respective departments probably to be found in the country; that without any marked increase of current wages has made a most satisfactory return for invested capital, and built up a town surrounded with influences that refine and elevate the minds and character, and permanently benefit alike the company and its workmen. Abundant evidence is furnished by manufacturing and other corporations abroad that paternal care and solicitude for their operatives are not thrown away, but tend in no small degree to establish good feeling and community of interest, and that, instead of conflicting with the cold calculations of business economy, such care is in reality the prompting of self-interest best understood. While railroads nor other corporations employing large masses of labor can withhold their employés altogether from improvidence and recklessness, from the consequences of which the employer must generally suffer, they can, by means kindred to those above suggested, compel their people to provide for their future welfare, and in other ways elevate their standard of efficiency; and neither the lukewarmness nor opposition of the servant releases the employer from an obvious duty to himself, his ward, and the public. Railroad corps especially are, like armies, amenable to rigid discipline judiciously applied, and where the necessity for self-protection is so obvious the justice of the employer inaugurating and enforcing measures promotive of their mutual interests will always be early recognized, and opposition will be sporadic and short-lived. Arguments and statements illustrative of the great necessity for the employer securing a closer affiliation, if not co-partnership, between his interests and those of his employés through other and additional means than are now operating among our American railways, manufactories, etc., might be multiplied ad nauseam but, on the assumption that the foregoing, if not within itself convincing, will at least suggest what will be conclusive upon this point, let us consider the manner in which substantial gain may be effected at least cost and with less risk to capital, premising the discussion with a few remarks as to some of the troubles that are constantly arising under current methods:

By the laws of many of our States, railroads are held legally liable for physical damage to their employés, though resulting from causes beyond the reasonable control of executive management; and the disbursements of those railroads whose lines traverse States in which public sentiment or the laws are at all hostile, on account of donations, judgments, costs, etc., for injuries to employés, form heavy and ever increasing items in their operating expenses. In England a workman (in railroad or other hazardous service), when injured, or his legal personal representative in case the injury results in death, has the same right of compensation and remedies against the employer as if he had not been a workman, nor engaged in the service of the employer, though there the law is carefully discriminating, and is effective only when the injury is caused:

1. By reason of any defect in the condition of the ways, works, machinery, or plant connected with or used in the business of the employer; or

2. By reason of the negligence of any person in the service of the employer who has any superintendence intrusted to him while in the exercise of such superintendence; or

3. By reason of the negligence of any person in the service of the employer to whose orders or directions the workman at the time of the injury was bound to conform, and did conform, where such injury resulted from his having so conformed; or

4. By reason of the act or omission of any person in the service of the employer done or made in obedience to the rules or by-laws of the employer, or in obedience to particular instructions given by any person delegated with the authority of the employer in that behalf; or

5. By reason of the negligence of any person in the service of the employer who has the charge or control of any signal, points, locomotive-engine, or train upon a railway.

The workman has not the right of compensation nor any remedy against the employer:

1. Unless the defect causing the accident arose from, or had not been discovered or remedied owing to, the negligence of the employer, or of some person in the service of the employer, and intrusted by him with the duty of seeing that the ways, works, machinery, or plant were in proper condition.

2. Unless the injury resulted from some impropriety or defect in the rules, by-laws, or instructions of the employer.

3. In no case where the workman. knew of the defect or negligence which caused his injury, and failed within a reasonable time to give or cause to be given information thereof to the employer or some person superior to himself, in the service of the employer, unless he was aware that the employer or such superior already knew of the said defect or negligence.

The amount of compensation recoverable under this act may not exceed such sum as may be found to be equivalent to the estimated earnings, during the three years preceding the injury, of a person in the same grade employed during those years in the like employment and in the district in which the workman is employed at the time of the injury; but under our various State laws, when interpreted by juries, the measure of damages is usually severely onerous, if the employer be a railroad corporation, and, even when such cases are appealed to higher judicial tribunals, the tax costs are very heavy. In Germany, railroads—whether owned or controlled by the Government, or owned and managed by corporations—are not only legally compelled to assess their employés for the benefit of authorized relief funds, but are required to contribute thereto from their corporate funds—generally in amounts equaling the premiums collected from their members; and conformity to this regulation is invariably required in all the working departments of the roads.

In Great Britain, it has become quite general for employers to seek release from personal liability, or from costs for damages or partial indemnity, by either subscribing to the several employés' liability insurance companies or by wide-spread attempts to evade their responsibilities under the law by inducing the workmen to contract themselves out of the act. Several other methods of securing release from liability have been devised, the most prominent of which, perhaps, is the length to which defendants go in the appeal courts.

The employés of most American railroads are incessantly confronted with petitions for charitable contributions in aid of their fellow-workmen and companions overtaken by misfortunes, which almost always involve others dependent upon them for the necessities and comforts of existence. Such appeals to people too generally living in the presence and under the dread of the embarrassments and evils incident to interrupted wages can seldom be ignored, though often their alms frequently materially encroach upon the previously mortgaged incomes of men engaged in pursuits than which few are more exacting, and that taxed their abilities and time to such an extent as precluded the possibility of supplementing through extra labor wages reduced by competition to barely living rates. The higher officials of the company are constantly importuned in the same direction, and the contributions they feel constrained to make sometimes reach considerable sums. The recipients of such charity naturally experience a sense of humiliation; their self-respect is lowered, and upon recovery from sickness or injuries they too frequently resume their occupations handicapped by the discontent and restlessness of debtors, to whom such condition is too novel and harassing to be borne with equanimity. From this results constant anxiety to better their condition, and it prepares them for any and all alliances or changes that promise increased wages, and makes them easy dupes of the designing and turbulent.

One result of the indifference of railroad managements toward their subordinates has been to array against them agencies most potent in fermenting discontent—secret societies, brotherhoods, and similar organizations; for it is a notorious fact that these mainly owe their success and strength to the assistance and relief they hold out to their members and their families in sickness, disablement, and death. Thrown upon his own resources, the man who has constantly before him the perils of his vocation and the misfortunes that would result from inability to earn wages, naturally enrolls himself in any organization that promises the needed protection. Constantly confronted with the history and with comparisons of the grievances of his fellow members, and without motive or cause for attachment to his employers; perhaps, unconsciously, feelings of discontent and ill-will arise, and naturally he meets any reduction of wages or suspension from labor with outraged feeling, and often with violent actions born of long though secret hostility, where there should have been but fraternity and good-fellowship of affiliated interests. That this is no senti, mental picture, many of the actors of the great labor-strike of 1877 testify. On more than one line was the statement afterward repeatedly made by railroad men, that had it not been for the protection from want afforded by the Locomotive Brotherhood and other kindred organizations, whose influence in antagonism to capital was so potently felt in that struggle, and which protection they had repeatedly besought their officers to inaugurate for them, they would never have joined or been influenced by those organizations.

To recapitulate the many serious disadvantages and losses, direct and indirect, suffered by our railroads through strained relations with their employés, though recognized and felt with anxious solicitude by their executive and administrative officers, would little interest the general public; nor, indeed, as a rule are railroad investors apt to give serious attention to what they consider matters of administrative detail beneath their notice, until, at last, they force themselves into prominence by threatening their profits or speculations. But the unparalleled rapidity with which railway, mining, and manufacturing industries dependent thereupon have sprung into existence in America in the last three decades, calling for an ever-increasing supply of labor skilled in the manipulation of coals and metals, and their products, has had the effect of directing the attention not only of those immediately or by contiguity interested, but also of the general public, to all that pertains to the welfare of workers in that field. While labor agitations and strikes do not now, perhaps, exercise graver influences for good or ill over those pecuniarily interested than they have always done, the publicity given to such movements by a press eager for news and exciting incidents, and the avidity with which political manipulators seize upon opportunities afforded by the agitation of bodies of men, wisely or unwisely, eager to secure material advantages through any immediately effective agency, unitedly operate in bringing into prominence those accidents and losses of life and property inseparably connected with mining and railroading. In the United States the operatives of railroads have, as already stated, been too generally left to their own resources, though now public opinion is gradually forcing upon employer and employé a recognition of the duty of securing both the laborer and his dependents from the consequences incident to his occupations. Where humanitarian considerations are not governing, those of self-interest are more potential, and the increasing frequency of successful suits for damages on the one hand, and on the other the constantly accumulating difficulties of earning a livelihood without steady, uninterrupted occupation incident to increasing population, are unitedly forcing this question to the front.

Recurring to the inquiry, by what means within reach substantial improvement can be effected in the condition of railroad servants at least cost, and with a minimum risk to capital and a maximum of devotion to the service, we have seen, by means of an illustration, by what simple and inexpensive means partnerships, almost ideal, have been effected by private enterprise in Europe, and such illustrations might be multiplied indefinitely.

Further study of the methods of foreign railroads in dealing with this subject will show that their efforts (which must be successful, for labor disturbances are very exceptional abroad) have almost uniformly taken the form of benevolent societies, organized, or contributed to and fostered, by the railway managements.

The practical utility of such organizations has there been exemplified for many years. In their various forms (when established under the auspices of responsible authority) they meet many of the necessities of the railroad employé: they provide means for avoiding insurance organizations unworthy of confidence; lessen the risk of insolvency and loss of premiums paid; offer convenience, certainty, and regularity in making payments, and give a fixed and definite rate of assessment and compensation, in place of the uncertainties of cooperative associations, lodges, or brotherhoods, in which many members, though taxable on the death of a fellow-member, evade or refuse to respond to assessment.

Among such associations may be instanced the London and Northwestern Railway Insurance Society and Superannuation Savings-Bank; the Friendly or Providence Society and Mutual Guarantee Fund; the Great Northern Railway Benevolent Institution; the Great Western Railway Superannuation Society—all of England; the benevolent institutions of the Chemins de Fer du Midi of France; and a host of other Continental societies, all having for their objects the succor of railroad employés and their families in sickness or grave infirmities, or wounds entailing incapacity for work, old age, death, and the promotion of culture and habits of thrift and industry. Many of these societies reach further than mere relief, and provide for the moral and intellectual training and entertainment of their members and their children; aid them in acquiring and embellishing properties, and exercising a controlling influence in the councils of the nation in all matters of legislation affecting the working-men; they have elevated their members' conditions from servitude and poverty to independence and prosperity, and in other ways have exercised a paternal care and supervision over their interests. Early recognizing in such societies an agency potent to improve alike the secular estate and the moral, physical, and intellectual condition of their employés, and also understanding that easy circumstances and contentment develop increased usefulness in all walks of life—in none more so than in railroad service—the English railways, by liberal and judicious encouragement of such enterprises, have practically relieved themselves from many onerous burdens under which nearly all our companies are still suffering.

[To be continued.]

 

  1. These figures arc quoted as the nearest estimates obtainable from the best authorities.
  2. Estimate of United States Railroad Commissioner as to employés in the United States.