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EUROPE AND AMERICA:
A SPECIAL REPORT ON
THE RATES OF WAGES, THE COST OF SUBSISTENCE, AND
THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING CLASSES
GREAT BRITAIN, GERMANY, FRANCE, BELGIUM,
OTHER COUNTRIES OF EUROPE;
THE UNITED STATES AND BRITISH AMERICA.
EDWARD YOUNG, Ph.D.,
CAIET OP THE UXITED STATES BUREAU OF STATISTICS
Homo sam: humani nihil a me alienam puto.-- TERENCE.
LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
BUREAU OF STATISTICS,
Washington, June 17, 1875. SIR: In a country like ours, where all useful labor is deemed honorable, where the existence of popular suffrage renders the working. classes the chief repository of political power, and where the sentiment of the people harmonizes with the national traditions in support of a policy calculated to preserve, as between employers and the employed, that equality of rights asserted in our fundamental theories of government, i all trustworthy information on the subject of labor possesses an interest which becomes more general and pronounced as the rapidly-developing industries of the country increase in diversity and extent.
This interest has been much enhanced of late in consequence of the agitation in regard to the relations between capital and labor, which has signally marked the last decade; and since the organization of this Bureau the applications for information on this subject have steadily increased in number. Such applications are received from various classes of persons—from political economists and students of social science, from journalists engaged in the discussion of economic and social questions, from philanthropists desirous of improving the condition of the workingclasses, from representatives of labor associations, from persons representing the interests of employers, and, finally, from prominent members of both Houses of Congress desirous of applying to the task of practical legislation such data on the subject of labor at home and abroad as have been acquired by observation and experience. These applications have been especially numerous in connection with legislation on the subject of the tariff, and a review of the debates on tariff legislation*, for many years past, will show with what avidity both protectionists and free-traders have availed themselves of any information within their reach upon the subject under consideration, and especially on the cost of labor and condition of the laborer in those countries of Europe which compete most sharply with American manufactures.
It was owing to the frequency and urgency of the demands for such information, coupled with the inability of the Bureau of Statistics to sup. ply the same from its ordinary sources of intelligence, that tbeundersigned was induced, when in Europe as a delegate to the International Statistical Congress in 1872, to avail himself of the opportunities thus
* See Special Report on the Customs-Tariff Legislation of the United States.