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I HAVE no intention of writing a preface summarising the main ideas of the following enquiry. I should like, however, to explain shortly how the material was collected, on which my account of former and existing monopolies and my theoretical conclusions are based. I owe very much to the excellent work of various English economic historians, and most of the facts used in treating of existing monopolist associations to Mr. Macrosty's very instructive book. For Parts I. and III. of my essay there were many previous books, both general works and monographs, from which I could gather useful facts and hints and which suggested promising lines of enquiry ; but for Part II. I found practically no precursor.
The laborious pioneer work of extracting details of former English monopolist associations out of long-forgotten Parliamentary Reports was, however, lightened by the delight of being one of the first in the field.
It was, of course, necessary to spend a considerable time in England. For some years the British Museum and the Patent Office were my headquarters during my holidays. The library of the former provided me with the historical information I needed, and the trade papers preserved in the latter explained to me the present day. For investigation into English industrial conditions the examination of these papers is especially necessary.
We in Germany, if only by reason of the number of theses produced, possess a large collection of more or less useful studies of particular industries, but in England such things only exist, if at all, in the case of
the main industries. It is extraordinary that there are no monographs on the economic position of such things as iron and salt mining, the cement trade, industrial spirit and whisky distilling, the tobacco trade or engine making. The enquirer must turn to trade papers for information on their economic or technical position, their geographical connections or their finances. To these I added prospectuses of large undertakings—often very instructive material for my purposes—and reports of important events in the Commercial and Financial Supplement of the Times, the Financial Times, the Manchester Guardian, and that admirable paper, the Economist. But such a collection, taken mostly from newspapers and interested parties, could not, of course, be used without considerable scientific caution, and required to be interpreted in the light of personal statements, of criticism from the opposing interests and of explanations from the leaders of the industries in question.
I cannot sufficiently acknowledge the assistance I have received from all kinds of persons, many of them friends gained at the time of my studies in rural economy who were also connected with urban industries. For valuable information as to the steel and iron trade, I have particularly to thank Sir Hugh Bell and the editor of the Iron and Coal Trades' Review, Mr. Jeans; for the paper trade, Mr. Dykes Spicer, Sir Albert Spicer, and Lord Northcliffe; for tobacco, Mr. A. C. Churchman; for the salt and soda industries, Sir A. Mond, M.P.; for the tinplate trade, Lord Glantawe; for coal mining, Mr. D. A. Thomas, M.P. My attempts to gain information even of the most elementary kind from the directors of large textile undertakings generally failed, and I cannot help feeling that the leaders of these monopolist associations desire to avoid discussion. I am the more grateful to Mr. W. B. Morison, of the London Stock Exchange, for placing his great experience of the textile industry and its combinations at my disposal. My investigations led almost continually to comparisons between English conditions and tendencies with those of
German and American monopolies, and I derived much help from the results of my former visits to America.
In conclusion I would draw attention to the Appendices, in which I have included certain documents which I could not quote in sufficient detail in the text and to which I would particularly direct the reader. More especially would I recommend even those who are otherwise unwilling to spend time in studying appendices to read Lord Furness's speech. It is a most excellent illustration of that movement towards the concentration and combination of large industrial undertakings which has led many English industries towards new organisation on a monopolist basis, and which will continue to do so in the future.
HEIDELBERG, October 1909.
EFFECTS OF MONOPOLIES—THEIR FALL
(a) Effects (general conclusions-rise in price and depreciation
in quality-influence on the development of new trades-