The heavy collective fine of seventy-four thousand dollars has been assessed in Hartford, Conn., by a jury in the United States circuit court against about two hundred trade union members who had tried by boycott to destroy the business of a manufacturing hatter, Mr. Loewe of Danbury. The action was brought under the Sherman or anti-trust law. In 1902 the employees of Mr. Loewe's firm went onstrike, with the main object of making the shop a closed or union shop. To carry their point the strikers and their friends not only refused to buy the goods (a thing they had a perfect right to do), but they systematically instigated boycotts against firms everywhere which sold these goods. The supreme court properly held that there was a wrongful restriction of interstate traffic, that individuals acting in and through a union could violate the law as truly as could corporations. Such a combination as a secondary boycott might be, under the common law, a conspiracy to injure, and under the Sherman law it became a combination to restrict interstate commerce. The decision affirms the individual responsibility of every member of a union, though an unincorporated body, for the acts of its officers and agents in furtherance of its purposes.

At the hearing before the House agricultural committee on the bill to create a forest reserve in the White Mountains and the southern Appalachians, it was stated that all the streams in this country which are benefited to any very large degree by forest reserves supply less than ten per cent of the water-power of the country. The acquisition of two hundred million acres has improved only the tiniest fraction of the water-power used by the nation. If the White Mountain reserve is acquired, it will benefit thirty-seven per cent of the water-power of the country, for that is the fraction which is supplied by the rivers rising in the proposed reserve. No single reserve which has ever been acquired has affected the commercial prosperity of the country to such a degree as the White Mountain reserve will affect it.

March 5, 1910

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