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Active work on the preparation of the nineteenth annual report of the Bureau and the collection of data therefor was begun some months ago, and rapid progress is being made. This report, which should be available-in summary form, at least--in the spring of 1904, will comprise the largest and most representative collection of data relative to wages ever undertaken. The period covered will be the

years from 1890 to 1903, inclusive, and it is expected that every important manufacturing industry and every large industrial center in the United States will be adequately represented.

One of the first official acts of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor on the day the Bureau of Labor was transferred to this Department was to direct the employment of a special agent to make an investigation in England as to the effect of trade unionism on British industries. The agent's report, which is to appear in an early issue of the Bulletin, will commend itself to the attention of those interested in this subject.

In view of the attention which the subject of trade unionism commands, and the efforts made by employers and employees to improve their relations, to prevent strikes and other industrial disturbances, and to provide a ready and certain method by which disagreements can be adjusted, it is believed that this report, explaining the methods adopted in Great Britain and the lessons they teach, will prove a valuable contribution to the literature of sociology and may offer some suggestions which can be profitably adopted in our own industrial system

The Bureau of Labor has rendered effective service in its special field. The Department will utilize to the fullest extent the experience that has been gained in this important Bureau, and will seek to make more and more available the information it can obtain and to secure larger results from its work. Not only is there at present a bureau doing work pertaining exclusively to labor, but it is proposed to make every other bureau in the Department do its share, so far as its organization will permit, to “foster, promote, and develop the labor interests,

of the United States.” The Department's statistics on labor, as well as its statistics on other subjects, will be gathered fairly, given out fairly, and as far as possible will be made to represent accurately conditions found to exist. Whatever rearrangement may be found necessary in any of the duties now assigned to the Bureau, the great interests of labor and of industry in their broadest sense will be subserved.

The new Department should not be expected to do impossible things. If it can be helpful to any considerable extent in improving existing relations as between employer and employee; if its publications can furnish facts from which there may come fuller understanding; if, having gained the confidence of the people, it can, from time to time, point the way to better feeling and broader views as between contending interests, it will accomplish one of the most beneficent results of its organization.

LIGHT-HOUSE BOARD.

The establishment of a light-house system properly received the attention of the founders of the Republic. Letters signed by Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Gallatin, and others, testify their interest in the subject. Among the first appropriations made were those for aids to navigation. While it was recognized that commerce meant prosperity to the country, it was equally recognized that the light-house meant safety to commerce. As light houses and other aids to navigation have been multiplied, the premiums on marine insurance have been diminished.

When the present Light-House Board was organized in 1852, Congress adopted a policy which, when carried fully into effect, will equip the coasts of the United States so thoroughly with lights that no vessel off our shores will be out of sight of a light, or out of hearing of a fog signal. Harbor lights and fog signals show the sailor the way in and out of port. The whistling buoys, the lighted buoys, the ice buoys, the can, nun, and spar buoys do in a small way what the light-houses accomplish for larger areas. The various instrumentalities have been brought to such a degree of efficiency that navigation is from year to year made easier and commerce safer.

Demands are being made by commerce and navigation for lighthouses and other aids to navigation in the waters surrounding our insular possessions. The Porto Rican light-house service has been taken over and is now being administered by the Light-House Establishment. The Hawaiian Islands are urging that their light-house service be administered by the Federal Government. The Philippines are requesting similar assistance; and Guam and the Midway Islands also present claims for a proper light-house service.

What has been done to make Alaskan commerce safer and easier they wish to have repeated for them. They insist that such lights and aids to navigation as they already possess shall be brought up to our standard, and to do this thoroughly and economically they claim properly that their lighthouse service should be administered by the Light-House Establishment. This matter is commended to the serious attention of Congress.

The Department invites attention to the need of meeting the estimates for the maintenance of the Light-House Establishment with full appropriations. The amounts asked are urgently required. Any diminution of them will retard the operations of the establishment to just that extent. The increase in the number of aids to navigation since the last appropriations occasions the increase in the requirements of the establishment. The estimates have been carefully framed and are based on an aggregate of items. Hence the reduction of the estimates will require the abandonment of items to the extent of the reduction.

Especial attention is invited to the several estimates for the cost of building light-house tenders. These vessels are the eyes and hands of the establishment. By and with them the quarterly inspections are made, the personnel of the establishment is kept up to its standard, the 1,550 light keepers are paid quarterly, supplies of oil, fuel, and other necessaries are delivered at the light stations, and repairs of old stations and the construction of new ones are made. The lack of sufficient light-house tenders has made it necessary to do certain work by contract which otherwise would have been done by employees of the Department with greater promptitude and at less expense. Attention is invited to the estimate for a light-house tender to be used in Porto Rican waters, especially as it will be necessary to use her in connection with the aids to navigation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the naval coal station has just been established.

The Light-House Establishment is now limited by law to 16 districts. The Light-House Board in its annual report has set out the need for two more districts, one to embrace Alaskan waters and the other to embrace Porto Rican waters, as well as the aids to navigation now in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to be hereafter established there. The aids to navigation in Alaskan waters are now looked after by the inspector and engineer of the Thirteenth Light-House District, who have their headquarters at Portland, Oreg., or about 1,800 miles away from some portions of their work. This great distance makes it very difficult, and in some instances impossible, to give that careful supervision to the work which the interests of commerce and navigation require. The establishment of a new district, with headquarters for the inspector and engineer near its center, will do much for the increased convenience and safety of the growing commerce in these waters. The aids to navigation in Porto Rican waters are now, and those in Guantanamo Bay will be, under the supervision of the inspector and engineer of the Third Light-House District, whose offices are on Staten Island, New York, some 1,500 miles away from this work. The establishment of a new district will enable the Board to place an inspector and engineer, say, at San Juan, P. R., where they would be within about 100 miles of their work in Porto Rican waters, and much nearer Guantanamo Bay than is now the case.

The Board, in its estimates for special works has repeated many estimates which it has submitted from year to year, in some instances for many years past. In every case the necessity for such work has been determined by careful examination after repeated demands therefor by commercial interests. The estimates have been carefully made by the light-house district officers and thoroughly verified by the LightHouse Board in its committees and by its executive officers. It remains for Congress to decide whether it will grant these demands of commerce, and to determine the order of their importance. This Department, however, invites particular attention to those special works which are required to light and make useful by night the channels cut by Congressional authority, or which are now nearly finished, and to. those for which authorized contracts have been made, but to finish which additional appropriations are needed.

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS.

The Bureau of the Census, transferred to this Department from the Department of the Interior, had completed one year under its permanent organization on the date the transfer was effected. The operations of that year, as described in the report of the Director of the Census to the Secretary of the Interior, indicate gratifying progress with the special investigations assigned to the Census Office by Congress to be taken up upon the completion of the main reports of the Twelfth Census.

Since the transfer the Bureau has issued several additional publications, including the Statistical Atlas of the Twelfth Census and the Special Report on Employees and Wages in Manufacturing Industries. Other important reports are on the verge of completion. The Bureau has also entered actively upon the work of compiling the census of the Philippine Islands, in accordance with the order of the President.

At my request the Director has submitted a supplementary report, which presents in some detail the plans already made or now under consideration for the future work and usefulness of the permanent Census Bureau.

This report makes it evident that Congress acted wisely in placing the Census Bureau on a permanent basis. All the advantages anticipated from that action, including more thorough preparation for the Federal decennial censuses, their earlier compilation and publication, their greater comparability with each other, their greater accuracy and continuity are destined to be realized. But more than this, the establishment of a permanent office has opened up unexpected opportunities for beginning much-needed statistical reforms all along the line which are certain to result not only in the avoidance of duplication in Federal statistical work but also in bringing into closer harmony with Federal statistics a great body of statistical material collected in different States and municipalities.

Much of this material relates to subjects closely akin to those covered by the census reports, but it has heretofore been compiled on lines so diversified and so dissimilar to those of the census that it has been impossible to coordinate the results. Undoubtedly it will take many years fully to accomplish coordination and collaboration between the Federal census and the many State bureaus engaged in similar

statistical work; but the Director's report shows that substantial progress has already been made in several directions; and I can not resist the conviction that as this movement for the standardization of all classes of official statistics proceeds and develops, it will come to be recognized as marking one of the greatest and most practical reforms in official statistics.

Still another great advantage arising from the establishment of the permanent Census Bureau, and from its transfer to a department containing other bureaus engaged more or less in statistical work, has impressed itself upon my mind from the first. The Census Bureau is a purely statistical office, employing a body of experts whose main business it is to study statistics and statistical methods, with a view to their improvement and perfection. To this work they give their undivided attention, and it is reasonable to believe that a steady improvement in the character of official statistics will result from the concentration in such an office of as much of the statistical work of the Department, no matter what its immediate character, as can be centered there without interference with the administrative duties of the other bureaus.

In accordance with these views, and acting under the authority conferred by the organic act of the Department, I have already transferred from the Bureau of Labor to the Bureau of the Census the compilation of the annual statistics of cities of 30,000 population and over, provided for by the act of Congress approved July 1, 1898, and from the Bureau of Immigration the compilation of the statistics of immigration.

The first branch of work thus transferred was so similar in its character to work imposed upon the census by law, as to make it imperative both as a matter of economy and for the sake of uniformity, that one office should compile the two reports. My action in making the transfer was taken after a conference with and upon the joint recommendation of the Commissioner of Labor and the Director of the Census.

The purely scientific work of the Census Bureau is closely related at many points to the practical affairs of the nation. A striking illustration of this fact is found in the current investigation of the Bureau concerning the receipts and expenditures of cities. The schedule prepared for collecting data relating to this subject has become the pivot around which is now centering a well-organized movement for securing a uniform classification of municipal accounts and a more intelligent presentation of them. A conference for the critical study and perfection of the schedule of municipal receipts and expenditures, recently called by the Director of the Census, brought together a large gathering of the representatives of the offices charged with the administration of finances in our greater cities, and of others interested in the more general adoption of improved methods of municipal accounting

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