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less needs regulation? It is, on the whole, enormously profitable, but with wide ranges of profit and loss; concentrated in location and in ownership; exploiting public demand for a preferred fuel; subject to protracted interruptions from wage disputes, and profiting even from such suspensions by the consequent scarcity and acute demand for fuel.

In the case of anthracite, my principal objection to nationalization is that while it would remove some of the incentives to progress and invention, reduce to some extent the resources which have enabled experiments to be made, it would, on the other hand, perpetuate in the hands of the present owners and their legal heirs the gifts of nature to which they have acquired title. National purchase would simply relieve them of the risks to which after all they are still subject. Not all the properties are really, in the long run, good investments. The Reading Company acquired large reserves-in effect, a huge real estate speculation-justified, no doubt, from the point of view of future tonnage, for a railroad corporation of perpetual life, but disastrous in its effect on the current dividends of a coal mining corporation. If, however, it were a question of selling them to the nation, I opine that no red-ink balances would prevent their acquiring considerable present value.

Not by purchase, but by taxation, can the monopoly problem in anthracite be solved; not by a state tax, but by a federal tax; not by a flat rate like the present Pennsylvania state tax,. but by a differential tax, such as we have on incomes, such as we have in principle on railroad earnings in the recapture clause of the Interstate Commerce Act; a tax which would fall lightly or not at all on companies operating at a loss; which would rise with the natural advantages, the thicker seams, the level seams, the seams lying nearer the surface, the seams which produce a larger proportion of the larger domestic sizes and those from which less water has to be raised along with the coal. These differential advantages, as is well known, are extraordinary. They have nothing to do with superior management or better equipment or more skilful engineering. They are geological phenomena. They yield large unearned returns. They are a legitimate object of taxation. Public revenues obtained from such taxation would not be paid by the coal consumer. This tax could not be added to the price of coal and passed on, to be augmented at each transfer. It would stay where it was put-on those who enjoy the natural advantages. By such means the public would protect the public interest, while retaining every advantage of private ownership and initiative and leaving the risks where we are accustomed to leave them on the investor, the financial backer, the operator.

True, there are those who oppose the use of the power of taxation as a means of securing social justice, as a means of bringing about some degree of equalization in the distribution of wealth. Mr. Mellon does. I am not overoptimistic about persuading Congress to adopt the recommendation of the United States Coal Commission for a differential tax on anthracite-or, for that matter, any of the other recommendations of the commission. My friend, Dr. John A. Ryan,


reviewing my book on coal, in which I try to set forth in words of not too many syllables my personal opinion as to precisely what can be done by mine owners, operators, miners, carriers, dealers, Interstate Commerce Commission, President, Congress, and the rest of us severally to remedy the situation, chides me for undue optimism in suggesting these ways out. As a clergyman and a professor of moral theology, Dr. Ryan feels pretty sure that none of these people will really do what we think they should do. But I plead not guilty to his charge of optimism. No doubt the preacher, temporarily carried away by his evangelical zeal, may sometimes speak as if he expected his congregation to act upon his counsels of perfection, and so invite an indulgent smile at his naïveté. But I confess I did not foresee that a clergyman would infer that I really expected even the President to do what I said he ought to do, to say nothing of operators, miners, and consumers. I was merely indulging my suppressed desire to preach, my thwarted but irrepressible inclination to show how easily the coal problems could be solved if each actor in the great drama would only play his part as the critical spectator sees that it should be played. I shall hardly get through this address without indulging that same inclination, though the censor has been doing his best to prevent. Fact finding, fact facing, analysis, drawing logical conclusions from your analysis as to what changes are desirable—that is one thing. That a disinterested student of social problems can do. But prophecy is quite another thing. Prophecies may fail. I am not without hope that fact finding, analysis, public discussion of remedies may so influence public opinion as to increase the chances of right action by encouraging or even forcing it. We may fail. It may require the threat of a revolution in this country, as in England, to bring about obvious reforms, but I sincerely hope not.

Leaving aside my no doubt overconfident attempts to answer the questions as to what individuals can do, and going back to the recommendations of the coal commission on which they were based, I would like to make clear that those recommendations, although radical in the literal sense of that word (reaching to the roots of the difficulties), were in line with American precedents and with what we may call American constitutional traditions. For that reason it would not have seemed-three years ago it did not then seem, in fact-unreasonable to expect from Congress some consideration of them.

Besides the differential tax on anthracite, the commission specifically recommended federal regulation of the whole coal industry, the creation of a coal division in the Interstate Commerce Commission, with power to carry out such regulation through a system of licenses on shipments from state to state and through the collection and current publication of the facts about the mining and marketing of coal-all the facts: royalties and depletion, costs and margins of operators, wages and annual earnings of miners, costs and margins of carriers, wholesalers, retailers, investments and profits of all; engineering facts, accounting facts, industrial facts.

Why did Congress, until within a month, pay no attention to these recom

mendations? Why did Congress take a couple of years even to publish the commission's report? Why did we have to go through all the trying experience of the anthracite strike last winter without a particle of assistance from the federal government, without even the machinery for mediation and conciliation which the commission also recommended? Why do we face the termination of the Jacksonville Agreement in the vastly more important soft-coal industry knowing that we shall be in no better position to deal with it than we were with the five months' suspension in 1922 which led to the creation of the coal commission?

I can find only one answer. It is not unlike the explanation of the failure in England to act on the recommendations of the Sankey and the Samuel commissions until the general strike. The responsibility for the failure to secure any consideration of the subject in Congress and any remedial legislation appears to me to rest squarely on the shoulders of Calvin Coolidge, since August 2, 1923, president of the United States.

The Constitution puts upon the president the responsibility for recommending measures to Congress. But I do not rely solely on this general constitutional duty. The act of Congress creating the coal commission directed the commission to report both to Congress and to the president. A report to Congress is necessarily rather formal and impersonal. A report to the president is more direct, personal. It transfers direct responsibility. It gives an opportunity for personal conference, for cross-examination. I have personally known five presidents. I recall that this is the twentieth anniversary of the Philadelphia Conference of Charities and Correction, of which I was president. I was prevented by duties in San Francisco from presiding over its sessions, but I remember that I performed one function in connection with it in persuading Grover Cleveland to take part in its opening session. I have often speculated as to what use President Cleveland, or Roosevelt, or Taft, or Wilson, or Harding would have made of such a fifteen minutes' interview as took place at the White house between the President and the members of the United States Coal Commission on the conclusion of their labors in September, 1923.

Certainly Theodore Roosevelt, at the end of fifteen minutes, would have had very definite convictions as to what should be done about coal, even if he had never had any before. From the rich technical experience of John Hays Hammond and his candid, open-minded study of the coal problem; from George Otis Smith's geological knowledge; from Clark Howell's familiarity with political conditions in the South; from Thomas R. Marshall's homely philosophy; from Charles P. Neill's long and unique experience as umpire in the anthracite industry, ever since Roosevelt himself had sent him there as assistant to Carroll D. Wright in 1902, he would have gathered in the harvest of our inquiries. And then something would have happened at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Senator Borah would have had his work cut out for him. Senator Cummins, chairman of the Interstate Commerce Committee, sympathetic with the ideas in the report about federal regulation, would have got busy, and as a reward for

his exertions might perhaps find himself in a little stronger position in his contest in Iowa with his late colleague, Senator Brookhart. Senator Pepper would have had an opportunity to put into form the convictions which I have heard it rumored he holds, in line with those of Senator Cummins, that coal is affected by a public use and that federal regulation is warranted, thus perhaps capturing a little of that sentiment among the miners which went to Governor Pinchot and which would have been so useful to him in the Pennsylvania primaries. Or perhaps, if the senators were preoccupied with World Court, war debts, and the like, the son-in-law of the doughty Colonel, at once speaker and reputed leader in the House of Representatives, would have had the chance to start the process by which a clearly formulated policy would be embodied in a legislative act. I must not go on with these anachronisms, but I feel warranted in expressing the conviction that no other of the presidents whom I have mentioned, including President Harding, who appointed the commission, would have been content merely to commend to Congress the consideration of the commission's report, without any indication of what particular recommendations, if any, met with his approval, or which one appeared to him objectionable. An Ohio newspaper says that it begins to look as if the way for the President to have Congress do something is to let it be known that he is against it. My complaint is that in regard to coal he failed even to do that. However, it is fair to mention that the President did lift one specific recommendation and, with slight changes, make it his own. He did recommend that in an emergency the president should be authorized to do what Roosevelt threatened to do in 1902 without authorization: that is, to nationalize the mines for the time being, appoint a fuel administrator to operate them. I have no right to say that members of the commission made this suggestion with misgiving. I will say that I did not agree to it until I had assured myself that it contained no suggestion of the use of coercion on the miners to work for the government except on such terms as they might accept. After the government had seized the mines, if the fuel administrator had no more power than the commission recommended, he would have either to fix wages satisfactory to the miners or else find others to take their place. He would have been authorized to fix prices of coal, but not to compel people to buy at his prices. So he could fix wages, but could not compel men to work. In other words, it did not include conscription. In a national emergency desperate measures may be needed, and I am not repudiating or belittling this particular recommendation merely because it is the only one, as far as I have observed, that the President adopts. But I am surely within respectful bounds when I insist that it is not the most important of the commission's recommendations, and that it is one which, if adopted, should, in my judgment, be hedged about most carefully to prevent anything like an exercise of arbitrary coercive power.

I have been told that people have difficulty in remembering just what the commission did recommend. Some think this is because we did not hold public hearings. I favored public hearings, but I do not share the view that their omis

sion accounts for the lack of appropriate action. The Sankey commission held public hearings galore, comparable to those of our own Walsh industrial commission. But the British Parliament and the British government and the British coal industry failed to act on their recommendations, as they failed to act also on the recommendations of the Samuel commission until the strike of the miners and the sympathetic general strike forced upon public opinion a realization of the need for action. As Patrick Henry once remarked when they thought he was on the verge of treason, we may profit by their example.

I have heard it suggested that people fail to remember what the coal commission recommended because the commission did not have publicity experts at its disposal; did not sufficiently take the press, reporters and editorial writers, into confidence; did not sufficiently interpret their great volumes of facts. George Otis Smith, of the commission, has admitted, in appropriate metaphor, that we may have spent too much time and money in digging out the facts and not enough in preparing them; too much in blasting, loading, and hoisting, not enough in breaking, sizing, and washing them. I favored engaging a qualified editorial expert to perform day by day just this function, and since the commission finished its work I have done what I could in a book, in magazine articles, in lectures, to drive home the commission's findings. Yet again I doubt whether the lack of definite results can fairly be attributed to such things, and there is some excuse for the commission's failure in publicity. We were instructed by the act creating the commission to report to the president and to Congress; and our legal members and advisers questioned whether, in view of that, we had any right to spend any money whatever in reporting to the public. Our deliberate and official position was that it was our responsibility to find the facts and to report them clearly, with recommendations, but that it was the duty of the president and Congress to decide, as far as any governmental action was concerned, what to do about the facts.

One other suggestion has been made recently, and I may refer to it the more appropriately because this also is in line with a proposal which I made on various occasions to fellow-members of the commission while its work was in progress. This is that an unofficial, representative, national committee or association is needed, analogous to those which have achieved notable results in the enactment of child labor laws, compensation laws, etc. The purpose of such a committee would be to keep the subject alive between strikes or other crises. The American Association for Labor Legislation has performed this service with admirable persistence and energy in pressing for the publication of the commission's report and in urging action to diminish accidents. The New York World and the Boston Herald have been outstanding examples—no doubt there may be others—of similar persistence and energy in intelligent editorial discussion of the need for a national coal policy. A committee for educational propaganda might be of the greatest value if it were so organized as to represent no special interest, and were to work steadily for the principle of continuous fact finding and fact facing, for

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