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on the conduct of special investigations as ordered by the conference. This office would be charged with the preparation of agenda for the conference and the publication of a newspaper in the French, English, and other languages.
Its duties in general would be to act as a clearing house on matters relating to the international interests of labor.
This office was to be controlled by a governing body of twenty-four members, of whom twelve were to be selected by delegates at a conference representing employers and workers respectively.
The most difficult question, said the report, was the method of making the recommendations effective, especially in view of the amendment of the Constitutions of States, of control of labor legislation as opposed to Federal control. It was finally agreed that the proposals should take the form either of recommendations to be submitted to the various nations prior to being carried out by legislation or of a draft convention to be ratified as a treaty.
Machinery also had been provided by which a State failing to carry out its obligations may be subjected to pressure.
PRINCIPLE OF SELF-DETERMINATION
A clause incorporated in the report recognized the principle of self-determination in labor questions. This clause provided that "no recommendation or draft convention shall in any case be accepted or applied so as to diminish the protection already accorded to workers by the existing laws of any of the high contracting parties." The intention of this clause was stated to be the safeguarding of legislation already in effect in any country which might be regarded by that country as better for the workers than that recommended by the Labor Bureau. The Labor Bureau definitely decided that the findings of the bureau must be supported by moral suasion in countries where special problems exist, rather than by invoking any force which the League of Nations might offer. Recommendations embodied in the report included the following:
Employers and workers should have the
right of association for all lawful purposes.
No child should be permitted to be employed in industry or commerce before the age of fourteen, in order that every child may have reasonable opportunities for mental and physical education. Between the years of fourteen and eighteen young persons of either sex may be employed at work which Is not harmful to their physical development on condition that their technical or general education Is assured.
Every worker should have the right to a wage adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of life, having regard to the civilization of his time and his country.
Equal pay should be given to women and men for work of equal value in quantity and quality.
AN EIGHT-HOUR DAY Limitation was recommended of the hours of work in industry on the basis of eight hours per day and forty-eight hours per week, subject to exception in countries in which climatic conditions, imperfect development of industrial organization, or other special circumstances render the industrial efficiency of the workers substantially different. The International Labor Conference was to recommend a basis approximately equivalent to the above for the adoption of such countries.
It was recommended that, in all matters concerning their status as workers, and in social insurance, foreign workmen, lawfully admitted to another country, and their families, should have a guarantee of the same treatment as the nationals of that country. All States should institute a system of inspection in which women should take part, in order to insure the enforcement of the laws and regulations for the protection of workers.
before the report was adopted, Emile Vandervelde, the Belgian labor delegate, made what was, in effect, a minority report. He advocated the admission to the International Labor Conference of delegates from countries with which a state of war still existed, saying that otherwise he felt there might be held another conference at which the proletariat from all countries would be represented and which would wield more power than the conference to be held in Washington next October.
SUMMARY BY MR. GOMPERS
Samuel Gompers returned to the United States from Paris, where he had headed the American labor delegation, on April 11. In his first public utterance after his return Mr. Gompers gave some interesting details about the working out of the Labor Commission report accepted by the Peace Conference. Mr. Gompers said:
I was perfectly satisfied before leaving that the convention we drafted would be accepted by the Peace Commission. It was an Instrument that can only make for the good of working people of all countries of the world. It provides the machinery for international conferences, to be held annually, and for a governing board In the interim, or, as is the case In the League of Nations covenant, a sort of Executive Council.
Great difficulty was experienced in arranging It so that the United States could become a party to the agreement. That was because of our dual form of
Government, in which the individual States and not Congress make the labor legislation. Congress, therefore, could not make an international agreement on certain points without trespassing on the powers of the States, it was decided, however, that the United States could dea' by treaty with such matters as Congress did control, such as interstate commerce and the commerce of the seas, and that In some of the other matters the consent of the duly constituted State authorities would be necessary to make the convention binding on them.
The right to deal • ith sea commerce covered the matter of our Seaman's act. Some other maritime powers having in the past objected to certain of its feati'-es, it was necessary to protect this act. I was chosen to draw up a protocol for this purpose, and one was drawn up that provided. In effect, that no Government should be required to enforce any agreement of the convention that would lower Its present standards. The Seaman's act now allows for the very highest standards, and so this protocol will protect It. •
CURRENT HISTORY IN BRIEF
[period Ended April 18, 1919]
Surrender Of The Austrian Fleet
NEARLY five months after the armistice was signed Austrian warships were handed over to Italy. The ceremony took place March 26 at Venice, in the presence of King Victor Emmanuel. Admiral Del Bono, Minister of the Navy, and other authorities went to meet the ships five miles outside Venice Harbor. The delay in the consignment of the fleet was due to one of the last acts of the Emperor Charles of Austria, who, by an imperial decree, handed the entire AustroHungarian fleet over to those Judgoslavs who had been his most faithful supporters to the very last days of the war. By that act he hoped to prevent it from falling into the hands of Italy. He actually succeeded in delaying this transfer for five months.
The Jugoslavs particularly favored by the Hapsburgs were the Croats and Slovenes—a distinction must be made between them and the Serbians and Bosnians. It was to the Croats and Slovenes
that the Austrian fleet was specially assigned. They took immediate possession of the Austrian ships, and when, after the armistice was signed, the Italian fleet steamed into Pola it was received with sullen demonstrations by the Jugoslavs of Croatia and Slovenia, who refused to hand over the Austrian Navy and were on the verge of open hostility to Italy. It required five months' patient waiting and negotiations before Italy obtained her rights.
Venice was decorated, and presented a festive appearance for this occasion. King Victor Emmanuel and the official party set out on board the Audace, together with the British, French, and Japanese Naval Attaches, to meet the ex-enemy fleet, which, escorted by Italian warships, was encountered five miles outside Venice. The sight was an impressive one. The last vestige of the former great military empire was represented by this fleet. The vessels were steaming slowly, in single file, without any flag, and manned by Italian sailors. First came two modern cruisers, the Admiral Spaun and the Franz Ferdinand. Then the dreadnought Admiral von Tegethoff, and finally a numerous flotilla of torpedo boats, destroyers, and submarines. The engines were stopped, and the fleet remained motionless. The destroyer Audace, with the King and the official party on board, then steamed round the entire fleet, which was thus passed in review by King Victor Emmanuel, and when this ceremony was over the captured warships slowly started for the port of Venice, where they appeared at 3 o'clock. Their arrival was. hailed by a vast crowd assembled on the quays, all the bells of the Venice churches pealed out, and sirens were sounded in sign of public rejoicing.
* * *
Austro-german Atrocities In Venetia
THE first volume of the Royal Commission's report on Austro-German atrocities in the invaded Venetian provinces, which was published in Rome April 6, abounds in heartrending stories, many of which will not bear reproduction in this magazine. Immediately after the invasion the average death rate bounded up from 22 to 65 per 1,000 inhabitants, and some 37,000 civilians succumbed to ill-treatment.
In the Alpine City of Feltre alone onefourth of the total population died, those lodged in public institutions. As an instance of the amazing barbarities to which the people of that town were subjected there may be cited the case of one Delia Caneva. After he had rescued a girl of his family from the outrages of five Hungarian officers he was stripped naked and, after an entire bottle of brandy had been forced down his throat, his beard and eyelids were burned off with a lighted candle and his body was cauterized all over with a red-hot iron. His martyrdom lasted for several hours. The tortures were stopped, as the tormentors were proceeding to further indescribable atrocities.
Out of 16,000 civilians deported to be interned in camps of Germany and Austria-Hungary, 3,000 perished from star
vation. As for the Italian military prisoners, who numbered 570,000, the official lists already forwarded show over 43,000 deaths. This average proportion of 75 per 1,000 captives represents a mortality rate eight times greater than that among the enemy prisoners held in Italy, and a similar rate among the population of the Central Empires would amount to 8,000,000 deaths per annum.
The Royal Commission calculates the minimum indemnity due to Italy for actual damage at $30,000,000,000. * * *
Belgian Treasures Valued At $500,000,
000 Restored "DELGIUM'S national treasures, val■J-* ued at $500,000,000, were transported from London to Brussels on March 16, 1919. They consisted of thousands of sealed packages containing bullion, scrip, and all the valuable State documents of the Belgian Government and Crown, including a large number of secret papers which belonged to the late King Leopold. The assets of the Post Office Savings Bank—a great deal in actual cash—also formed part of the cargo, which is described as the most valuable load ever taken across the seas.
When the Germans made their onslaught on Belgium, the national treasures were hurried across to England piecemeal, any reasonably safe method of transit being adopted. On arrival in England they were all assembled at the Bank of England, where they have been kept since.
The task of getting them back to Belgium was one of great responsibility, and every precaution was taken to insure secrecy and safety. The cargo was sent in special trains to Tilbury in the charge of bank and Government officials. At Tilbury docks three special ships of the John Cockerill Line were waiting to take it across. Ten or twelve "watchers" mounted guard on the voyage. The vessels were escorted by destroyers as far as Dutch waters.
At Antwerp the cargo was transferred to special trains and carried to Brussels, where it was received by officials of the Belgian Government.
Belgium Grants Partial Suffrage For Women
THE Belgian Chamber of Deputies on April 11 adopted unanimously the Electoral Reform bill after the various political groups had reached an agreement on disputed points. The passage of the bill prevented a Ministerial crisis. While not giving the vote to all women, the measure gave the ballot to widows who have not remarried, and to the mothers of soldiers killed in battle or of civilians shot by the Germans. It granted universal suffrage to all males over 21 years of age.
* * *
Independence For The Filipinos
A DELEGATION of forty prominent Filipinos headed by Manuel Quezon, President of the Filipino Senate, visited Washington on April 4, 1919, to present a memorial asking for complete independence. Secretary of War Baker, who received them, assured them of his agreement with their views, but read to them a letter written by President Wilson to him in which the President, with foreknowledge of the visit and its purpose, expressed the hope that it would gain the desired end.
The fate of the Filipino plea rests with the next Congress.
President Wilson's letter to Secretary Baker under date of March 3 was as follows:
Will you please express to the gentlemen of the commission representing the Philippine Legislature my regret that I shall be unable to see them personally on their arrival In Washington, as well as my hope that their mission will be a source of satisfaction to them, and that It will result In bringing about the desirable ends set forth In the Joint resolution of the Legislature approving the sending of the commission to the United States?
1 have been deeply gratified with the constant support and encouragement received from the Filipino people and from the Philippine Legislature In the trying period through which we are passing. The people of the United States have, with reason, taken the deepest pride In the loyalty and support of the Filipino people.
Though unable to meet the commission, the Filipino people shall not be absent from my thoughts. Not the least
Important labor of the conference which now requires my attention is that of making the pathway of the weaker people of the world less perilous—a labor which should be, and doubtless is, of deep and abiding Interest to the Filipino people.
I am sorry that I cannot look into the faces of the gentlemen of this mission oj the Philippine Islands and tell them all that I have in mind and heart as I think of the patient labor, with the end almost in sight, undertaken by the American and Filipino people for their permanent benefit. I know, however, that your sentiments are mine In this regard and that you will translate truly to them my own feeling.
* * *
CAPTAIN BARTENBACH, commander of the German submarine bases in Flanders during the war, who commanded the first German submarine and was still in the submarine service of Germany on April 9, 1919, made the official statement that it was an anchored mine, planted by a German U-boat, that sank the British ship with which Lord Kitchener went down.
He stated that the Germans had no submarine base in America, nor did the submarines which operated off the American coast have a mother ship or receive supplies from there; he stated that one submarine that visited America was absent five months. He said the great passenger ship Laconia was sunk by Captain Berger and the Lusitania by Captain Schweiger, both of whom later went down with their submarines. He also declared that the channels for passage of German submarines at Ostend and Zeebrugge were never closed by the obstructions placed there by the British Navy.
Captain Bartenbach was positive that none of his submarine commanders ever fired on or rammed small boats in which survivors were attempting to escape from the wreck.
Any U-boat commander who did such a thing [said the Captain] would be court-martialed first, for Inhumanity: second, for idiocy, because he would be wasting time and ammunition and putting his boat crew in Jeopardy to no purpose. Some excited people In small boats after their ship had been struck would sometimes declare the submarine had come up near them and tried to run them
down when all the submarine commander
was after was to find out the name of
the ship he had sunk. It was announced at London early in the year that out of 203 German submarines lost during the war, 120 were sunk with all on board, and fully half of the crews of the remainder perished. Of 59 British submarines lost, 39 were destroyed by the Germans, 4 were interned, 7 were blown up in the Baltic Sea, 4 were sunk by accident, and 5 were wrecked in collisions. In the course of the war Norway lost 27.6 per cent of her tonnage, Sweden 14.9, and Denmark
17.1 per cent.
* * *
Official German Losses
THE first official figures of German losses during the war were made public on April 12 by Dr. Rubner, Privy Councilor of Prussia, as follows:
The number of soldiers killed outright or who died of wounds was 1,486,052 and soldiers who died of sickness numbered 134,082.
The total number of civilians who died from sickness due to malnutrition is placed at 562,769.
The greatest number of deaths of soldiers from battlefield casualties was during the first year of the war. and amounted to 481,506. Soldiers who died of sickness in that year numbered 24,329. The battlefield casualties for the second year were 330,332, and the deaths from sickness 30,329.
Battlefield casualties for the third year were 294,743, and deaths from sickness 30,190.
In the fourth year the battlefield casualties were 317.954, and deaths from sickness 38,167.
The number of civilians who died of disease, which Dr. Rubner sets down as "due to the blockade," were for the first year 88,236, for the second year 121,174, the third year 259,627, and the fourth
* * *
The German War Cost
THE German Finance Minister, Dr.
damages in Germany amounted to $1,112,000,000, and claims of shipowners to $375,000,000, and that $1,125,000,000 was sent for the relief of the families of dead soldiers.
The debts contracted by the Government during the war aggregated $39,425,000,000, the annual interest on which was $1,975,000,000.
Dr. Shiffer estimated that the national annual expenditures for the future would be $4,500,000,000, compared to $600,000,000 before the war. The annual expenditures of individual States and communes in the future would be $1,125,000,000, compared to $750,000,000 before the war. The total amount to be covered by taxation in the future would be $4,750,000,000 each year. Before the war $1,125,000,000 was raised by taxation. * * *
Total Cost Of The War.
WHEN the German figures were announced the total cost of the war was figured by experts as exceeding $250,000,000,000, of which the share of the Allies was $150,000,000,000, and that of the Central European Powers as
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Monroe Doctrine Flurry In Mexico
GENERAL AMADO AGUIRRE, Under Secretary of Development and Agriculture of Mexico, announced on March 29 that concessions to exploit agricultural lands in Lower California had been granted to Japanese corporations. The affirmation was made that the concessions were fully authorized by the provisions of the Mexican Constitution regarding the area and position of the territory in relation to the ocean shore and the frontier line. There was nothing in the concessions, it was asserted by the Under Secretary, that might possibly lead to difficulties so far as the Monroe Doctrine was concerned. The lands referred to comprised over 800,000 acres acquired by purchase by the California-Mexico Land and Cattle Company of Los Angeles, Cal.
The announcement created a flurry in political circles. The State Department of the United States at once instituted an inquiry, and within a few days