25 JANUARY 1908, Page 17

The Berlin correspondent of the Times reports that the numbers

of the unemployed are daily increasing. On Tuesday no less than nine meetings of unemployed were held in various working-class quarters. Resolutions were adopted declaring that the consequences of the industrial crisis which has already begun had only been mitigated for the working classes by the influence of the Trade-Unions in preventing wages from sinking to a very low level. The State was called upon to carry out immediately all the building and other enterprises which it contemplated, to maintain the Trade-Union rate of wages, and to remit all duties upon the necessaries of life. The municipalities were requested to proceed with special works to meet the emergency, and to remit local taxation in the case of the unemployed. There were some conflicts between the demonstrators and the police. We need not labour the meaning of these events, which is simply this. A wave of slackness in trade is apparently approaching ; but one of the first countries to suffer acutely is a high Protectionist State whose rigid tariff has prevented trade from adapting itself easily to meet and mitigate the difficulties. Already in Berlin desperate uneconomic remedies are being proposed, such as Tariff Reformers tell us are never called for in Pro- tectionist countries.