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LABOR IN EUROPE.
REPORTS FROM THE CONSULS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE SEVERAL
A LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE TRANSMITTING THE SAME TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
In a report upon the price of labor and the cost of living, embracing the moral, social, and economic condition of the people, a few general observations concerning the geography and characteristics of the country specially dealt with seem desirable. By common consent Wales is divided into two sections, North and South. The counties of Flint, Denbigh, Anglesea, Carnarvon, Merioneth, and Montgomery constitute North Wales, while South Wales is composed of the shires of Cardigan, Radnor, Brecknock, Glamorgan, Carinarthen, and Pembroke. The area of the principality measures 4,721,823 acres. The physical features of the country are varied and attractive, consisting of rich valleys, barren rocks, dense forests, lofty mountains, and desert moors. Agriculture and quarries are the wealth-producing agenties of North Wales. In the southern division husbandry consists in large measure of sheep grazing, which is carried on upon a large scale and with good results in several counties where the land is mountainous and only capable of sustaining from one sheep per acre upwards. But the poverty of the surface is abundantly compensated by the rich mineral deposits of the hills. The population of the country, according to the census of 1881, was 1,359,895. The wage-earners, or working classes, may be comprehensively divided into (1) agricultural laborers, (2) slate quarrymen, (3) miners, and (4) iron-workers. To these particular classes must, of course, be added the ordinary craftsmen and laborers of progressive society, who build houses and their appurtenances, construct railroads, highways, and canals, as well as rolling stock, vehicles, and boats, and those who handle and facilitate the machinery of commerce and of communities. South Wales now takes the first position as a coal-exporting district. This draws to the ports of the Bristol Channel a large amount of the tonnage of the world; and in shipping Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea take a prominent position among the great ports of the Kingdom. Notwithstanding the advantages of this district in the presence of coal and iron, and the existence of some of the largest mills in the Kingdom turning out ship-plates in large quantities within a few miles of tidal water, ship-building, beyond the mere business of repairing, has not yet been established on the banks of the streams of South Wales. But the advantages enumerated, together with the employment afforded to tonnage, cannot fail to induce capitalists to erect ship-yards on the Taff and other streams on the Bristol Channel. In the preparation of this report I have not confined myself entirely within the lines indicated by the circular of the Department dated February 15, 1884, and before dealing with the specified requirements of the circular I have introduced chapters dealing with the political status of the British workman, local government in England and Wales, local taxation, and the social condition of the people. Following these will be found papers and schedules dealing with life and labor in Wales upon the plan suggested by the circular.
THE POLITICAL STATUS OF THE BRITISH WORKMAN.
The parliamentary electoral qualifications are manifold and complex in the United Kingdom; to an American they are even confusing. Ad