31 AUGUST 1878, Page 21

Science Primers—Political Economy. By Stanley Jevons, LL.D., M.A., F.R.S. (Macmillan.)—This

little manual is admirably clear and terse. Here and there we do not entirely agree with Professor Jevons, as for instance, in parts of the in general very excellent and

• Spectator, October 27, 11377.

lucid chapter on Trades Unions. We hold that in estimating the losses due to strikes and the set-offs, Professor Joyous forgets too

much the general effect which combination among the men has had in making the masters willing and even anxious to allow their labourers their full share in a rising rate of profit, many weeks, and perhaps even months, earlier than they would otherwise have gained it; and on the other hand, reluctant to diminish their cperatives' wages with a falling rate of profit till circumstances really compel the change, though in a market where there was no combination of labourers, the reduction would have come much sooner. In fact, combination, if it has, as of course it has, led to much loss of production, has also given the labourer the advantage which the power to resist and wait always secures, in "the higgling of the 'market." But these are but trivial

criticisms of ours on Professor Joyous, On the whole, the "primer" is as impartial as it is lucid. Let any one, for instance, who has read only the (relatively) old-fashioned books on political economy, turn to the sections on "division of labour," and see how fairly Professor Joyous has set forth the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the division of labour, and he will be satisfied that this primer is written by an economist of judicial as well as of clear and vigorcus mind.