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"Labour and Capital after the War." Edited
by Professor S. J. Chapman. London John Murray.
Pp. 280. 6s. net.
This volume, to which the Right Hon. J. H. Whitley, M.P., contri-
butes an introduction is described by the editor as a frank discussion of
what is present to the thoughts of representative men and women with
regard to the future relations of employers and employed. Almost every
phase of the labour problem has been touched upon to a greater or less extent
by the dozen writers who participate in the symposium, and the volume
can be recommended for perusal by all students of industrial reconstruc-
tion. In the list of contributors appear the names of such well-known
and representative persons as Lord Leverhulme, Sir Hugh Bell, Mr.
Seebohm Rowntree, the Bishop of Birmingham, Mr. J. R. Clynes, Mr. R.
H. Tawney, and Miss Susan Lawrence, Miss A. M. Anderson, M.A.,
Mr. Dudley Docker, and Mr. F. S. Button.
"Problems of Reconstruction: A Symposium."
London: Fisher Unwin. Pp. 315. 8s. 6d. net.
This volume reproduces a series of lectures and addresses delivered
at a Conference at the Hampstead Garden Suburb in August, 1917. The
Marquess of Crewe contributes an introduction, and papers are con-
tributed by such well-known people as Canons Masterman and Lyttleton,
Professors Muirhead, John Adams, Selwyn Image, Miss Maude Royden,
Mrs. Barnett, Mr. Sidney Webb, Mr. A. D. Hall, F.R.S., and others,
the total number of contributors being twenty-seven. The subjects are
classified under four heads. The First Principles of Reconstruction,
Reconstruction in Education, Social and Industrial Reconstruction, and
Arts and Crafts in Relation to Reconstruction. The book is full of good
things, interspersed with much that is of indifferent quality. It is a
volume, however, which no students of reconstruction questions can
afford to miss.
"Britain after the Peace. Revolution or Re-
construction." Brougham Villiers. London: Fisher
Unwin. Pp. 263. 8s. 6d. net.
Mr. Brougham Villiers, like many other students of public affairs, is of
the opinion that at the end of the War Britain will be face to face with an
industrial crisis such as has never been known in history, and this book is
an attempt to show on what lines statesmanship should proceed in order to
avert national disaster. When the Kaiser declared war, Mr .Villiers says, he
began not a war but a revolution. On that day society, as we have known
it, committed suicide. The problem of reconstruction after the War
is essentially a revolutionary one in the sense that it implies the making
of fundamental changes in a rapid manner instead of by the slower
methods of reform, and the purpose of this work is to show how the
revolution can be carried out without violence. It consists of a series
of eight chapters which discuss such problems as those of demobilisation,
taxation, industrial control. land and development, and suggests the
establishment of a National Works Department. Present day agricul-
tural policy and landlordism come in for a good deal of criticism, and
public land ownership is advocated, with the development of co-opera-
tion, afforestation, the reclamation of land, road and railway construction,
and other reforms which are already familiar to most students of applied
economics. The book provides interesting reading, and is useful as a
statement of problems. The discussion of the problems, however, is very
inadequate, very few original proposals are made, and the difficulties in
the way of the adoption of the measures suggested are not really faced.
"A New Way of Housekeeping." Clementina
Black. London Collins. Pp. 132. 3s. 6d. net.
Considerable interest is now being taken by women in questions of
house planning and the re-organisation of housekeeping methods, and
the present volume is a useful contribution to the literature of the subject.
Miss Black discusses the disadvantages of the present wasteful method
of domestic organisation, and advocates the adoption of a co-operative
system. She suggests that groups of families, say fifty, should organise
themselves into federations for the purpose of having all domestic work
done by a common staff of servants, all food purchased, co-operatively
and cooked, and served at the federation centre." Each federation is
to elect its own housekeeping committee who will employ a well-paid
manager and a staff of trained servants. The system is intended to apply
under existing housing arrangements, but the authoress hopes that as the
federation idea gets better known specially designed dwellings will be
erected around a well-planned communal centre. Miss Black's
criticisms of present-day house plans are very illuminating.
Economic Problems of Peace after War." Pro-
fessor W. R. Scott. Cambridge University Press, 2 vols.,
1st series. Pp. viii., 122. 4s. 6d. net. 2nd series.
Pp. vii., 139. 6s. net.
These two volumes reproduce the W. Stanley Jevons Lectures delivered
by Dr. Scott at the University College, London, in 1917 and 1918. In
the first series an attempt is made to indicate some of the chief general
principles which should guide us in contemplating the economic future,
and in the second series these principles are applied to the consideration
of two particular groups of after-War problems, those connected with
the project of the League of Nations and those connected with Finance.
The author himself warns us that economic prophecy is difficult and
speculative, but however uncertain may be the results there can be no
doubt that to give no consideration to future problems at all would be
sheer insanity. Dr. Scott's treatment of highly complicated questions
is extremely lucid and careful, and the volumes should be closely
studied by all who desire intelligently to anticipate the economic
conditions of European nations after the restoration of peace. The
discussion of financial problems in the second volume is of special value.
While emphasising the need for economy by the Government spending
departments, the author takes the optimistic view that the nation has
ample financial reserves to last out the War if these reserves are wisely
used. The financial result of the financial investigation," he says,
shows that, if the system be used judiciously, there are no grounds to fear
interruption of a vigorous conduct of the War through failure of adequate
resources. Still less is there reason to expect that the burden of taxation
which the War will leave behind it-heavy as this must be-will prove
intolerable. It appears as clear as any thing can be during the uncer-
tainties of a state of war that, given prudence in the use of our financial
resources, those who predict either financial exhaustion during the war
or financial collapse after it are ill-informed in their despondency."
Past and Future," by Jason." Chatto & Windus.
3s. 6d. net.
These essays, chiefly collected from Land and Water, are marked
by a refreshing optimism. For Jason the experience which we have
gained has removed the word impossible from the language of politics.
It has brought a new faith in human power, a new sense of the freedom
and range of human will. It is like the breaking of a long frost."
He analyses the part which the State has taken in the control and stimula-
tion of our industries, the benefits which have accrued from such experi-
ments as the Cotton and Woollen Control Boards, and the hostility to
State interference which has resulted from government mishandling of
labour. Out of these conflicting influences one tendency of inestimable
promise has arisen, the movements towards co-operation between the
employer and the workman, and the coalition of both against State
intervention. Exactly what form this movement is to take Jason
does not attempt to define. His essays have the fault as well as the merits
of current journalism. Their freshness and enthusiasm spring from
their author's close contact with contemporary events and passions, but
the same element begets a certain superficiality. He dallies with the
idea of guild socialism, but does not seem to have made up his mind as
to its feasibility. In the same way he seems to point at the possibility
of some continuance of State influence by means of a retention of control
over the supply of raw materials, but he does not succeed in relating
this possibility to the growing prejudice against State control. This
fluidity of thought however represents truly enough the actual condition
of industrial politics to-day. The Whitley Council," which is the
first definite product of the new spirit, still stands on the threshold. It
may develop into an organ of State control or it may be a new manifest-
ation of our British spirit of individualistic democracy. In his heart
Jason seems to believe (as most of us would like to do) in the latter
course of development, and if he does not state his position quite as
clearly as one could wish, one can none the less be grateful for the faith
and enthusiasm which animate him.
C.T.
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