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whole future of the insurance of workingmen against sickness in France is involved in this movement, it is worth our while to consider it with some care. The two main objects aimed at by these efforts are: first, the elimination of all granting of charitable aid by the societies; and, secondly, the reorganization of the societies upon a scientific basis as determined by mortality and morbidity tables and mathematical calculations of probable receipts and expenditures. The first object has already been largely accomplished. In mutual aid societies as originally constituted, no clear distinction was made between what was granted in the way of guaranteed relief, and that in the way of charitable assistance. To such an extent was this true, that it was a matter of doubt whether they should be classed as charitable or provident societies. The most significant feature of the whole history of these societies has been their steady evolution away from the idea of simple relief, until now they constitute insurance institutions. The proposed changes have for their object the completion of this transformation. The second purpose, that of reorganizing the societies upon an actuarial basis, is, therefore, at present the one of the greatest interest.

It would be thoroughly impracticable to attempt to follow all the attempts to reform mutual aid societies since their first legislative recognition in 1852. But little good, moreover, would be obtained by doing so. It is only within the last two decades that the question of insurance has become a prominent

If we concern ourselves, therefore, with the modern movement only it will not be necessary to go back of the year 1881. In that year there was introduced a measure, which, though repeatedly modified, still forms the basis for the measure at present before the French Parliament. The legislative history of this proposition is simply that of its alternate modification and passage by the two houses. The result of this fifteen years' consideration is that both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies are agreed that further legislation is desirable. The difference of opinion between the two now relates but to matters of detail, and it is only a question of a short time before a complete agreement will be reached, and a bill substantially similar to the one now before the Assembly become a law. The

one.

following brief sketch of the essential features of the bill will show how important are the changes which it is proposed to introduce, and what will certainly be the general policy that will be pursued in the future in regard to these organizations. First, the existing division of societies into those authorized and those approved is maintained. The utility of this distinction rests in the fact that though it is deemed best that societies should be subjected to a certain amount of governmental regulation as regards their actuarial basis, the inspection of their accounts, etc., nevertheless, the greatest liberty should be left to the people to form societies of whatever character they may desire. It is hoped, however, that most societies will voluntarily enroll themselves in the first class. To encourage them to do this, therefore, certain important advantages are accorded to them. Thus there is given to them the right to make use of the National Old Age Insurance Bank under specially advantageous terms for the provision of old-age pensions, the right of investing their funds either in the National Savings Bank in government bonds or other guaranteed securities through the caisse des dépôts et consignations, the right to form syndicates among themselves for the mutual provision of insurance, and, finally, a participation in the annual subsidy granted by the government to mutual aid societies to encourage them in their efforts to provide old-age insurance.

Secondly, the government makes various provisions obligatory upon the societies, the object of which is to make it certain that the relation between receipts and expenses shall be established upon a proper basis. Before a society can be approved, and therefore entitled to the privileges which its official status confers, it must satisfy the government that its resources are so calculated as to enable it to meet in all possible contingencies the engagements which it assumes towards its members.

Thirdly, every effort is made by this bill to encourage the societies to enter, or rather to extend, their operations in the field of old-age insurance; and at the same time to ensure that when they do so an adequate financial basis is provided. The great defects in existing conditions lie in the fact that the services of sick and old-age insurance are not kept separate, and

that each year is not made to provide for the burdens which are really incurred in that year. A number of important provisions are, therefore, made obligatory upon all societies which desire to enter the field of old-age insurance. Whenever such insurance is offered, a special service must be created, entirely independent as regards receipts and expenditures of the sick benefit work. Without such a separation, scientific old-age insurance is impossible. A condition necessarily accompanying this is, that special contributions proportionate in amount to their ages must be required of all members contracting old-age insurance.

Fourthly, the important power is given to societies to insure their members individually in the National Old Age Pension Bank as well as collectively, as has been done in the past. Under this system each member will receive an individual account book in which his payments will be entered. The amount of his pension will thus be determined according to his personal efforts, and will not be dependent upon his remaining a member of a particular society. The latter, in fact, will only act as an intermediary between the national bank and the workingman.

Finally, the question of a subsidy by the state is left open to be determined by the finance committee. While the authors of the present measure of reform have felt that it was unfortunate that there should be any such question, they recognized that any attempt to abolish the subsidies now granted would excite such antagonism as probably to defeat the whole measure. They frankly avow their desire, however, to restrict this subsidy within as narrow limits as possible. "We recognize willingly," the reporter of the bill says, “that the payments of honorary members and the subsidies of the state are useful, especially at the present time, which forms a transition between the régime of assistance and that of pure mutuality. We are persuaded, however, that though it may be necessary to augment them, the Senate should be warned against the fatal illusions to which they may give rise *** The subsidy of the state itself should never become a constituent element in the budget of the societies * * *. To be truly useful, the subsidy of the state ought to be restricted to certain limits, and its true pur

pose preserved. This purpose is to provoke saving and providence, to encourage the indifferent to affiliate with mutual aid societies, and to persuade the societies themselves to enter the field of old-age insurance, and possibly to come to the aid of the societies at the moment of their organization, or in times of emergency or distress as the result of epidemics or other great misfortune.”

To sum up then, the modern movement for reform attempts to complete the work of making mutual aid societies purely insurance institutions, to see that they are established upon a sound actuarial basis, to separate the different kinds of insurance, and to make of the societies effective agencies in securing the individual insurance of workingmen against old age through the national insurance institutions.

WILLIAM FRANKLIN WILLOUGHBY. U. S, Department of Labor.

RECENT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION

IN THE UNITED STATES.1

MORE than half the annual and biennial laws of the States

for 1897 have now been published, and while there is not a large proportion of economic and social legislation, such as there is, in some States, is very radical. Decidedly the most important law, and the most far-reaching in its consequences, if it stands, is the contempt statute (Kan. Laws 1897, Ch. 106) which practically wipes out all the peculiar force of the chancery jurisdiction, and will put an almost complete stop to the protection given by the civil jurisdiction to corporations and property-owners against strikes and the disorders resulting therefrom.

Not long after the Chicago strikes, the writer hazarded the prediction” that if civil judges sitting in equity were to apply the principle of the blanket injunction against an indefinite number of unnamed persons from doing acts in themselves otherwise criminal quite as boldly as they did in 1894, public sentiment would hardly tolerate it. The peculiar feature of a single judge sitting in equity is that he is both judge, plaintiff, party injured, witness, and jury in cases based upon the observance of his own decrees or orders; and although an old historic power of the chancellor, originally the King's chief man of justice, it is the only instance afforded by Anglo-Saxon communities of a power at once judicial and executive, singularly like that of an Eastern potentate. This was said not by way of criticisin of the specific performance and contempt principles of equity jurisdiction, which have proved most useful, and are the only real "strong arm of the law” in civil cases; but by way of warning that if carried to the extreme of some reported decisions, the people through the legislatures would be likely to destroy this valuable jurisdiction entirely; and now this, in Kansas, has been done. The statute is called "An act to establish trial by jury in cases of contempt

1 See YALE Review, Vol, v, p. 250. ? Political Science Quarterly, June, 1895, “The Modern Use of Injunctions.

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