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influence, to call a second general strike on April 14, 1913, for the purpose of forcing the government to grant full manhood suffrage. Between 400,000 and 600,000 workingmen and women-the workers claim 682,000, the capitalists 400,000 -stopped work. After three days a compromise was effected between the Party and the government, which resulted in the appointment of a commission for the purpose of studying the suffrage situation. This commission had not yet reported when the war interrupted its work.
The Co-operative Movement of Belgium is a noteworthy part of the Belgian labor movement. The printer, Edouard Anseele, founded the first co-operative undertaking at Ghent in 1873. This was followed shortly after, during a period of high priced bread, by a co-operative bakery, founded by the same organization. In 1880, the famous Vooruit (Forward) was started with a capital of thirteen dollars. This undertaking has met with phenomenal success, and has become so powerful an organization that it overshadows all the other labor organizations of Ghent. Anseele, the Socialist deputy,` is still at the head of the "Vooruit" which to-day possesses one of the most beautiful buildings in Ghent, a library of 33,000 books, bakeries, which produce 100,000 loaves of bread a week, general stores, restaurants, a brewery, 7 drug stores, coal yards, six clothing stores, six shoe stores and twentythree grocery stores and likewise controls a co-operative sick-benefit fund. Members of the "Vooruit," who are 60 years of age or over and have been members for 20 years, receive an old age pension, the amount of which is determined by their purchases in the Vooruit stores, varying from 2/2 to 6 francs per week. In 1912 57,000 francs were thus paid out in old age pensions. As famous as the "Vooruit" is the "Maison due Peuple" in Brussels, which contained the National Office of the Labor Party as well as the International Socialist Bureau until the war broke out. It is larger than the "Vooruit." It had in 1913, 32,000 members, 450 employees, property valued at 800,000 francs. It has a number of butcher stores, 3 large bakeries which produce 211,000 loaves of bread a week, 6 department stores and 39 branch stores of various kinds. In 1913 475,000 francs were paid out in dividends to the membership, 40,000 francs worth of bread distributed to the poor and 120,000 francs paid out for sick benefits and doctors, and almost 100,000 francs given to Socialist propaganda. Besides party and labor organizations are given offices free of charge in the co-operative buildings.
Attitude on War.
The Belgian Socialist movement took a definite stand on the war. On August 3, 1914, the Council of the Belgian
Labor Party decided to abandon all anti-war demonstrations, and issued a manifesto to all Socialist workingmen in which it was stated that they were justified in exercising the legitimate right of self-defense. "The Party shrank from nothing," reads this manifesto, "to warn the people, to prevent the folly of armaments, to drive back the catastrophe which will strike all European communities. But to-day the harm is done, and by the fatality of events, one thought dominates us: that soon, perhaps, we shall have to direct our efforts to stopping the invasion of our territory. We do so with all the more ardent hearts in that in defending the neutrality and even the existence of our country against militarist barbarism we shall be conscious of serving the cause of democracy and of political liberty in Europe." At the same time, the Council decided that the Socialist deputies in the Chamber should vote for the war-budgets. A few days later Vandervelde entered the Cabinet as minister without portfolio.
The whole Belgian Party, whose headquarters have been transferred to London, during the war, seems to be unanimous on the war question. In Ghent, Anseele is publishing the Vooruit under German military censorship. Before the war the Vooruit had a circulation of about 20,000, since then, partly because a number of Party newspapers ceased publication, it has risen to 34,000. The paper is published in the Flemish language, while the Socialist organ in Brussels appears in French. Anseele, the editor of the Vooruit, has held the paper aloof from all chauvinism, free from all hatred and nationalist prejudice. There is besides a local weekly Volksteem, which prints 1,000 copies.
Secretary Labor Party, L. Vandermissen, Rue Joseph Stevens, 17, Brussels.
Secretary Labor Federation, C. Mertens, Rue Joseph Stevens, 17, Brussels.
Constitutional monarchy. King and National Assembly (Sobranje). Parliament consists of 211 members elected by universal manhood suffrage; one representative for every 20,000 population.
It is no mere accident that Bulgaria should have the strongest and most highly developed working-class movement of all the Balkan States. Capitalist development has progressed in Bulgaria during the last 15 years, with tremendous strides, has built up an industrial system, and with it, an industrial proletariat, has introduced a system of extensive farming and, by so doing, has turned the farming population of Bulgaria into a class of exploited and oppressed farm hands and wage slaves. In spite of the industrial development of the nation it was impossible, until 1911, to
succeed in sending a representative to the Sobranje. In December, 1913, there were already 37 Socialist representatives. In 1901, the two Socialist Parties, the "Broadminded" and the "Narrowminded,"-the Opportunists and the Radicals polled 3,768 votes. The Socialist vote in subsequent
The first Socialist representative, a member of the "Broadminded Party," Sakanoff, justified the faith of his comrades, when the mobilization order was being ratified by the Sobranje, he was the only representative who voted against the ratification, declaring: "We do not want a Balkan Confederation instituted with a view to war. What we want, what we are preparing is a confederation uniting all the Balkan nations, including Turkey, for a work of peace, of labor, of production and exchange, a work of liberty and progress." When he went home from Parliament he was attacked by a mob of students armed with clubs and knives, and narrowly escaped with his life. But it was Sakanoff's great work that has opened the eyes of the Bulgarian people to the real causes underlying the war against Turkey, and later, the war against her recent allies. It was to his credit that in the election of December, 1913, the 25,000 votes of 1911 were increased to 107,000. The "Broadminded" elected 21, the "Narrowminded" elected 16 representatives. The government, however, refused to work with such a "socialistically poisoned Parliament," as the Prime Minister called it, and called for a re-election on March 8, 1914, in which only 20 of the 37 Socialists were returned to Parliament. Nevertheless even this was a huge success, for it showed that the Socialists were able to hold in times of peace 80 per cent. of the tremendous vote it had polled in a time of feverish war excitement.
Since October, 1914, the bitterness between the two Bulgarian Socialist Parties has been augmented by the acquiescence of the "Broadminded" Socialists in the government's war policy. The "Narrowminded" Socialists still firmly protest against all wars and have endorsed the Zimmerwald Conference and its declaration of principles. In October, 1915, they issued a manifesto calling the attention of the people to the intrigues of the government and demanding the preservation of Bulgarian neutrality. At the same time they indorsed the anti-militarist manifesto, which was adopted on September 16 by the Balkan Socialist Federation, repeating and indorsing the Socialist declaration given in the
Servian Skuptchina on August 23, 1914, in favor of a Peace Federation of all Balkan Peoples. As a consequence eleven members of the Bulgarian "Narrowminded" Party Executive Committee were summoned before a military tribunal to be tried for endorsing and distributing this manifesto.
The "Broadminded" or "United Socialists" have seven, the "Narrowminded" four newspapers, which altogether have a circulation of 168,000. The Socialists had, on January 18, 1916, 5,800, the "Narrowminded" 3,900 members.
The industrial working-class organization of Bulgaria, like the political, is divided into two Federations, which look upon each other with feelings that are anything but amicable. The General Federation had, before the Balkan war, 8,502 members, which were decreased to 5,350 and, on January 1, 1915, the reported membership was 7,584. The participation of Bulgaria in the war was harmful to the movement, for a large number of its members were called to military service.
Unemployed statistics covering 34 cities, taken in October, 1915, showed a large percentage of unemployed among the industrial workers, 8,719 out of 15,688 being unemployed. Altogether about 30,000 men and women were without work. The cost of living increased, at the same time, from 10 to 15 per cent. Socialists and Labor Unionists provided a fund for unemployed Socialists which in June 1915 amounted to 7239.12 francs, part of this sum being used to support needy Serbian comrades.
There was a lively strike movement as late as 1914, but this, too, ebbed with the outbreak of the war and Bulgaria's intervention. In the first half of the year 1914, the General Federation reported strikes in which 1,900 organized workers were involved. Ten of these were wholly and 12 partially successful; sixteen were lost. In these struggles 9290.40 francs were paid out in strike benefits.
Besides this General Federation there is the (radical) "Free Bulgarian Union Federation," which had, before the Balkan war 4,845 members, but had sunk to 4,000 members in 1914. On October 1, 1915, it had increased its membership once more to 4,900. The men and women who are employed in public departments and municipal industries, have also a national union, with a membership of 14,072, but are not permitted to join any "politically unsound" Federation.
The Secretary of the United Social Democratic Labor Party (Broadminded) is Constantin Bosvelieff, Journal "Narod," Sophia.
The Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (Narrowminded) is G. Kyrkow, "Naroden Dom," Levov Most, Sophia.
Constitutional monarchy. King and ministers responsible to Legislature. The Diet is divided into two bodies: the Landsthing (Senate) and Folkething (the lower house). The new constitutional law, passed by both houses and signed by the king on June 5, 1915, which became operative on July 1, 1916, provides general suffrage (men and women) for both houses. All persons who have reached their 25th year, who are not receiving public charity, or who, if they received such charity in the past, have since repaid it, are voters. The Landsthing will have 72, the Folkething 140 members, elected proportionally.
Denmark was in the midst of a political crisis at the outbreak of the war. The conservative group in the Folkething, which had consistently opposed every attempt toward establishing a more democratic constitution, had been reduced at the election in May, 1913, to a party of seven. In the Landsthing, the stronghold of the agrarians, the 32 reactionary representatives of this group were met with the united opposition of 33 deputies who stood pledged to constitutional reform. The Liberals had already moved for electoral revision in the previous Folkething, which proposed to make of the reactionary Landsthing a body which really represented the people. The plan proposed was that all deputies were to be elected by popular vote, the King was to be deprived of the right of appointment, all property or real-estate qualifications were to be abolished, and finally universal suffrage for all men and women over 25 years of age granted. In the election of 1913, the Social Democratic Party had polled the largest number of votes-107,365, or 30 per cent. of all votes cast. The King, therefore, called upon the Social-Democrats to organize the new cabinet which, however, they refused. The Radicals, under the leadership of Mr. Zahle, then formed a ministry, which promised that the election reform should be its first and foremost task, and in consequence were promised the full support of the Socialist representatives. When the war broke out, the bourgeois Liberals eagerly welcomed the opportunity to postpone the whole reform question until the return of peace. But the strong Socialist representation frustrated this attempt, and on June 5, 1915, the new suffrage law went into effect.
The Social Democratic Party of Denmark was founded in 1878. Its development has been healthy, steady and gradual as the following table of election results will show: