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TRADE BOARDS HOLDING THE FIELD

The Trade Board holds the field as the best machinery for the determination of industrial conditions. It is

better than unfettered competition, which leaves the weak at the mercy of the strong. It is better than the

contest of armed forces, in which the battle is decided with no reference to equity, to permanent economic

conditions, or to the general good, by the main strength of one combination or the other in the circumstances

of the moment. It is better than a universal State−determined wages−law which would take no account of

fluctuating industrial conditions, and better than official determinations which are exposed to political

influences and are apt to ignore the technicalities which only the practical worker or employer understands. It

is better than arbitration, which acts intermittently and incalculably from outside, and makes no call on the

continuous co−operation of the trade itself.

My hope is that as the true value of the Trade Board comes to be better understood, its powers, far from being

jealously curtailed, or confined to the suppression of the worst form of underpayment, will be extended to

skilled employments, and organised industries, and be used not merely to fulfil the duty of the community to

its humblest members, but to serve its still wider interest in the development of peaceful industrial

co−operation.