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close than at the beginning of the year. If, however, we refer to the table of liabilities we find a large increase in mortgages assumed, which causes a considerable decrease in actual assets. The following tables give the total assets and liabilities and receipts and disbursements for 347 associations reported in 1899:

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF 347 ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE YEAR 1899.

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RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS OF 347 ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE YEAR 1899.

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RECENT FOREIGN STATISTICAL PUBLICATIONS.

BELGIUM.

Rapport sur les Travaux de la Commission des Pensions Ouvrières.

Office du Travail, Ministère de l'Industrie et du Travail. 1900. vii, 273 pp.

This report contains the results of the work undertaken by a special commission appointed by the Belgian Government for the purpose of examininy the subject of old-age and invalidity pensions and of recommending such legislation as would tend to generalize this form of insurance among the working people in Belgium.

The report contains an account of the nature and workings of the various old-age pension systems in Belgium, the effects of legislation upon the same, and the causes which have retarded the development of this kind of voluntary insurance among the working people in Belgium. A review is also given of foreign legislation and proposed legislation with regard to this form of insurance.

The commission reported in favor of retaining the voluntary system of old-age and invalidity insurance, believing that State intervention can be sufficiently efficacious when it is limited to measures having for their object the facilitating, encouraging, developing, and assisting of individual effort. As a result of the commission's work a law was enacted May 10, 1900, placing the system of State aid for old-age and invalidity insurance upon a new footing and providing for liberal State subsidies to be granted persons availing themselves of the law.

FRANCE.

Annuaire des Syndicats Professionnels Industriels, Commerciaux et

Agricoles constitués conformément à la loi du 21 Mars 1884, en France et aux Colonies. Office du Travail, Ministère du Commerce, de l'Industrie, des Postes et des Télégraphes. 10° année, 1898–99. liv, 614 pp.

This is the ninth annual report on trade, commercial, and agricultural associations organized in conformity with the provisions of the law of March 21, 1884 (a), in France and her colonies. Under this head are included trade unions, employers' associations, organizations

a For the more important provisions of this law see Bulletin No. 25, pp. 838, 839.

composed of employers and employees, and farmers' associations. The report mainly consists of a directory of these organizations. It also contains short summary tables, a reproduction of the law of March 21, 1884, and the Government decrees enforcing the same, and a review of the orders, instructions, and decisions relating to such organizations. The first of the two tables following shows the number of these organizations on July 1 of each year from 1884 to 1896, and on December 31, 1897 and 1898, and the second table shows their membership each year from 1890 to 1898.

INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, AND AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATIONS IN EXISTENCE ON

JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR FROM 1884 TO 1896, AND ON DECEMBER 31, 1897 AND 1898.

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MEMBERSHIP OF INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL, AND AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATIONS ON

JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR FROM 1890 TO 1896, AND ON DECEMBER 31, 1897 AND 1898.

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Saisie- Arrêt sur les salaires. Office du Travail, Ministère du Com

merce, de l'Industrie, des Postes et des Télégraphes. 1899. xxiii,

138 pp.

The present report is the result of an inquiry conducted by the bureau of labor of the French ministry of commerce in response to a request from a senatorial committee charged with the examination of a proposed change in the law regarding the attachment of the wages of working people, clerks, etc. The report contains the text of the existing law relating to the attachment of wages enacted January 12, 1895, the proposed amendment to this law, which passed the French Chamber of Deputies on April 18, 1898, and the results of the inquiry.

The law of January 12, 1895, provides that the wages of working people can not be attached or assigned beyond one-tenth, regardless of the amount of the wages. The same exemption applies to the salaries of clerks and functionaries whose earnings do not exceed 2,000 francs ($386) per annum. Certain exceptions are provided for, which, however, have no bearing upon the object of the present report. The greater part of the text of the law relates to the procedure for the enforcement of attachments of wages, and this procedure is so cumbersome that by the time an attachment can be legally enforced the expenses are frequently greatly in excess of the amount of the debt, thus increasing the burden upon the debtor without conferring any special advantage upon the creditor or employer of the debtor.

While the amendment proposed by the Chamber of Deputies does not contemplate any change in the proportion of the wages that may be attached, it provides for a complete alteration of that part of the law which relates to procedure, with the view of its simplification and the consequent reduction of legal expenses.

When the proposed amendment reached the Senate, after its passage by the Chamber of Deputies, it was referred to a senatorial committee for examination. This committee requested the minister of commerce to institute an inquiry among the larger industrial and commercial establishments and other corporations with the view of ascertaining their opinions as to the advisability of maintaining the principle of attaching a portion of the wages of employees or of adopting the principle of total exemption already in force in England, Gerinany, Norway, Hungary, Spain, and Brazil. For this purpose 2,000 circulars of inquiry were sent out, of which 817 were answered. These answers were then compiled and analyzed for publication by the French bureau of labor.

Of the 817 responses 412 were in favor. of total exemption, 368 favored some form of attachment, while 37 were indefinite. Only 69 responses favored the retention of the law of 1895 in its present form, 172 favored the retention of the law with a reform reducing the legal expenses, 60 favored this reform, together with certain other alterations, and 57 favored the retention of the existing law, with certain alterations other than a reform of the legal expenses. Of the 817 returns 742 were received from industrial and commercial establishments, 709 of which employed 515,597 working people. The remaining 75 responses came from chambers of commerce, employers' and employees' associations, and similar organizations. The report contains a detailed analysis of the returns received, classified according to the nature of the responses, of which the following is a digest.

LEGAL EXPENSES.-In many cases these have been in inverse proportion to the amount of the debt, sometimes reaching 1,000 per cent. The mode of procedure is such that hardly has the workman incurred a debt, no matter how small, in many cases less than 5 francs (964 cents), than he is immediately pursued by his creditor, who generally disregards the expenses, since they are at the charge of the debtor. These expenses are also largely increased by the formalities observed in the distribution among several creditors of the amount retained from the workman's wages.

A large steel company in one of the eastern departments of France furnished the following statistics of 27 cases of attachment under the law:

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A director of a tobacco factory furnished the following examples of cases coming within his knowledge.

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INCREASE IN NUMBER OF SEIZURES.--Since the application of this law the number of seizures has greatly increased, and the merchants resort to it to recover the most insignificant sums. A mining company in the Pas de Calais registered 5,182 attachments, as follows:

ATTACHMENTS AND AMOUNT OF DEBT.

Number of attachments.

Amount of debt.

263.. 1,722 1,415 1.035 559. 105. 53.

$1.93 or under. 2.12, to

$9.65 9.814 to 19. 30 19.49% to 38. 60 38. 79/ to 96.50 96. 69, to 193.00 193. 19; to 1,698.40

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