Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV: The Distribution of Industries in Belgium - Socialistic Fallacies
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CHAPTER IV: The Distribution of Industries in Belgium - Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies 
Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910).
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The Distribution of Industries in Belgium
My information as regards Belgium is drawn from the “Récensement Général des industries et des métiers (analyse des volumes iv. et v.).” Mr. L. March's analysis in 1902 before the French Statistical Society contains the following introduction: “The principal unit for the purposes of the Belgian census is the industrial “enterprise,” but the definition of the enterprise is slightly different from that adopted in France for the establishment (“établissement“) in the census of 1906. In France, the establishment is defined as a group of individuals working in common under a firm name and at a place of business in a particular locality. An establishment may, therefore, comprise, for example, a spinning factory and weaving mill combined, under the direction of the same master, in the same place. The compilers of the Belgian statistics treat two such establishments united in the same building or in continuous buildings as a multiplex or complex enterprise, embracing two divisions of enterprise or two establishments. If an industrial proprietor owns establishments which are not contiguous, in different parts of a town or district, each of these is counted as a separate enterprise.
In October, 1896, there were in Belgium, exclusive of State workshops, 326,089 enterprises in active work, and 11,306 enterprises (or 3.3 per cent.) lying idle. The 326,089 enterprises and divisions of enterprises were distributed as follows:—
The population engaged in trades and industries numbers 1,102,000 individuals.
Employers manufacturing in their own factories number 232,500; employers who send out work to be manufactured number 5,400; total, 237,900, or 21 per cent. Number of wage-earners 864,200, or 79 per cent.
Persons in receipt of wages or salaries are distributed as follows:—
The enterprises carried on by individuals or partnerships number 324,000; those carried on by limited companies number 2,000. The analysis of the census sets up two categories:—
In the two categories almost the whole are carried on by individuals or partnerships. The number of limited companies is 1,854, but they employ 278,200 wage-earners out of a total of 600,0001 , or 41.90 per cent. of the total number of workmen employed in industry properly so-called. If we deduct the coal-mining industry, in which nearly all the workmen are employed by limited companies, this number falls to 164,000 out of 547,000. The mining industry (underground and surface mines combined) includes 115,800 workmen, of whom 97.48 per cent. are employed by limited companies.
The industries in which enterprises carried on by limited companies employ between 75 and 100 per cent. of the total numbers employed are as follows:—
Then there follow eight industries with less than 2,000 and more than 1,000 workmen, two with more than 500 and six with more than 100.
A great deal is said of Belgian co-operative partnerships. They are 167 in number and only employ 2,100 workmen, of whom 660 are employed in baking and 611 in loading and unloading. The latter are really commercial labour partnerships.
In industry, properly so-called, exclusive of home industries and of industries carried on in the public workshops, 160,400 out of 231,420 enterprises and divisions of enterprises, i.e., 69.32 per cent. or more than two-thirds, belong to the minor industries. In 14,500 one or two masters or heads of establishments work without the assistance of any workmen, members of their family or otherwise. In 17,800 (7.71 per cent.) one master or several masters in partnership work with one or more members of their families, who are very generally children. In the whole of the 231,400 there are only 70,900 or less than one-third, which employ at least one workman properly so-called.
It is difficult to find a standard for the minor industries which is suitable to all branches of manufacture. A flour mill employing 7 or 8 workmen does not fall within the minor industries, while a weaving establishment which only employs ten workmen does.
The directors of the Belgian census take as their empirical standard the figure of four workmen and less; 55,000 enterprises (or 23.76 per cent.) or one-fourth of the total number of those employing at least one workman fall within this standard. They represent a total of 96,000 workmen, or an average of less than two for each enterprise or division of an enterprise. The tailors, dressmakers, shoemakers, joiners, carpenters, bakers, farriers, locksmiths, masons, painters, wheelwrights, slaters, plumbers, seamstresses, milliners, etc., are all included in the minor industries, and a large proportion even in quite the smallest industries.
In Belgium, moderate-sized industries are taken as including establishments employing from 5 to 49 workmen; their number is 13,380, or 6 per cent. of the whole, and they are represented by 173,000 workmen, or 26 per cent. of the total number of workmen. These industries include the businesses of masons, breweries and maltsters, builders, carpenters and joiners, ladies' clothing manufacturers, quarries, foundries, metal workers, etc.
The larger industries, employing from 50 to 499 workmen, include 2,000 establishments, represented by a working population of 295,000, or 146 workmen per enterprise or division of an enterprise. Of a total of 664,000 workmen engaged in industry properly so called, there are therefore 295,000, or 44 per cent. employed in these greater industries. In the coal mining industry, out of 115,800 workmen, there are 86,000 who form part of this group of larger industries. Deducting these, we find 209,000 workmen, representing 142 per enterprise and 38.78 per cent. of the total number of workmen. These large enterprises include the same kind of industries as are found in the United States and in France—the metal trades and constitutional metal works and spinning factories. Of 100 workmen, 44 are employed in the larger, and 15 in the largest, industries—a total of 59 per cent.
By a computation uniting the complex enterprises the Report arrives (p. 23) at the following result:—
This would give 24 per cent., or a quarter of the total number of workmen employed in the largest industries. This is in accordance with the character of Belgian industries—mines, constructional metal works, spinning factories and weaving mills.
This population is classified as follows:—
I have included managers, overseers and clerks in the same class with the heads of establishments, because the workmen look upon them as having interests distinct from their own.
We therefore have on the one hand 71 per cent. of wage-earners as against 29 per cent. of heads of establishments and clerks; that is rather less than three wage-earners for one head of an establishment. The smallest industries are represented by 70 per cent. and the minor industries (4 workmen and less) by 23 per cent. To this must be added the home industries. The greater industries have therefore not stifled the smaller ones in Belgium any more than in the United States and in France. The facts do not confirm the theory of the concentration of industries put forward by Karl Marx in any of these three countries.
I suggested at the sitting of the International Statistical Institute, held at Copenhagen in August, 1907, that the word “concentration” ought not to be employed in the language of statistics except for the purpose of denoting an absolute and a relative decrease in the number of agricultural, industrial, commercial, financial establishments, correlative with an increase in the total activity of the category into which they fall. This suggestion was referred to the Committee which was appointed at this Congress for the purpose of dealing with statistical terminology.
THE INCONSISTENCIES OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIALISM
This is the name given to establishments in which men, working either alone or with the members of their families, or with paid workmen, are able to hire a room, and generally motive-power as well.
This figure is slightly less than the figure given above.