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“Clogging and tailoring commenced also in this year. “The wholesale department commenced in 1852, and marks an important development of the Pioneers' proceedings. This department has been created for supplying any members requiring large quantities, and with a view to supply the co-operative stores of Lancashire and Yorkshire, whose small capitals do not enable them to buy in the best markets, nor command the services of what is otherwise indispensable to every store—a good buyer, who knows the markets and his business, who knows what, how, and where to buy. The wholesale department guarantees purity, quality, fair prices, standard weight and measure, but all on the never-failing principle, cash payment.” In consequence of the number of members who now reside at a distance, and the difficulty of serving the great increase of customers, “Branch Stores have been opened. In 1856, the first Branch was opened, in the Oldham Road, about a mile from the centre of Rochdale. In 1857 the Castleton Branch, and another in the Whitworth Road, were established, and a fourth Branch in Pinfold.” The warehouse, of which the original Store was a single apartment, was taken on lease by the Society, very much out of repair, in 1849, “Every part has undergone neat refitting and modest decoration, and now wears the air of a thoroughly respectable place of business. One room is now handsomely fitted up as a newsroom. Another is neatly fitted up as a library. . . . . Their newsroom is as well supplied as that of a London club.” It is now “free to members, and supported from the Education Fund,” a fund consisting of 2% per cent of all the profits divided, which is set apart for educational purposes. “The Library contains 2200 volumes of the best, and among them, many of the most expensive books published. The Library is free. From 1850 to 1855, a school for young persons was conducted at a charge of twopence per month. Since 1855, a room i. been granted by the

Board for the use of from twenty to thirty persons, from the ages of fourteen to forty, for mutual instruction on Sundays and Tuesdays. . . . . “The corn-mill was of course rented, and stood at Small Bridge, some dis. tance from the town—one mile and a half. The Society have since built in the town an entirely new mill for them. selves. The engine and the machinery are of the most substantial and im. proved kind. The capital invested in the corn-mill is 8450l., of which 37311. 15s. 2d. is subscribed by the Equitable Pioneers' Society. The corn. mill employs eleven men.” At a later period they extended their operations to the staple manufacture itself. From the success of the Pioneers' Society grew not only the co-operative corn-mill, but a co-operative associa. tion for cotton and woollen manufac. turing. “The capital in this depart. ment is 4000l., of which sum 2042. has been subscribed by the Equitable Pioneers' Society. This Manufacturing Society has ninety-six power-looms at work, and employs twenty-six men, seven women, four boys, and five girls —in all forty-two persons. . . . . :1 “In 1853 the Store purchased for 745l. a warehouse (freehold) on the opposite side of the street, where they keep and retail their stores of flour, butcher's meat, potatoes, and kindred articles. Their committee-rooms and offices are fitted up in the same build. ing. They rent other houses adjoining for calico and hosiery and shoe stores, In their wilderness of rooms, the visitor stumbles upon shoemakers and tailors, at work under healthy conditions, and in perfect peace of mind as to the re. sult on Saturday night. Their ware. houses are everywhere as bountifully stocked as Noah's Ark, and cheerful customers literally crowd Toad Lane at night, swarming like bees to every counter. The industrial districts of England have not such another sight as the Rochdale Co-operative Store on Saturday night.* Since the disgraceful

* “But it is not,” adds Mr. Holyoake, “the brilliancy of commercial activity in which either writer or reader will take the deepest interest; it is in the new and im

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proved spirit animating this intercourse of trade. Buyer and seller meet as friends; there is no overreaching on one side, and no suspicion on the other. . . . . These crowds of humble working men, who never knew before when they put good food in their mouths, whose every dinner was adulterated, whose shoes let in the water a month too soon, whose waistcoats shone with devil's dust, and whose wives wore calico that would not wash, now buy in the markets like millionnaires, and as far as pureness of food goes, live like lords.”. Farbetter, probably, in that particular; for assuredly lords are not the customers least cheated, in the plesent race of dishonest competition. “The

are weaving their own stuffs, making their
own shoes, sewing their own garments, and
grinding their own corn. hey § the
purest sugar and the best tea, and grind their
own coffee. They slaughter their own cattle,
and the finest beasts of the land waddle down
the streets of Rochdale for the consumption
of flannel-weavers and cobblers. . (Last year
the Society advertised for a Provision Agent
to make purchases in Ireland, and to devote
his whole time to that duty.) When did
competition give poor men these advantages?
And will any man say that the moral cha-
racter of these people is not improved under
these influences? The teetotallers of Roch-
dale acknowledge that the Store has made
more sober men since it commenced than all
their efforts have been able to make in the
Game time. Husbands who never knew what

it was to be out of debt, and poor wives who
during forty years never had sixpence uncon-
demned in their pockets, now possess little
stores of money sufficient to build them cot-
tages, and to go every week into their own
market with money jingling in their pockets;
and in that market there is no distrust and no
deception; there is no adulteration, and
no second prices. The whole atmosphere
is honest. Those who serve neither hurry,
finesse, nor flatter. They have no interest in
chica . They have but one duty to per-
form—that of giving fair measure, full
weight, and a pure article. In other parts
of the town, where competition is the prin-
ciple of trade, all the preaching in Roch-
dale cannot produce moral effects like
“As the Store has made no debts, it has
incurred no losses; and during thirteen
years' transactions, and receipts amounting
to 303,8522., it has had no law-suits. The
Arbitrators of the Societies, during all their
years of office, have never had a case to
decide, and are discontented that nobody
* The latest report to which I have access
is that for the quarter ending Sept. 20, 1864,
of which I take the following abstract from
the November number of that valuable pe-
riodical the Co-operator, conducted by Mr.
Henry Pitman, one of the most active and
judicious apostles of the Co-operative cause.
“The number of members is 4580, being
an increase of 132 for the three months i

I need not enter into similar particulars respecting the Corn-Mill Society, and will merely state that in 1860 its capital is set down, on the same authority, at 26,618. 14s. 6d, and the profit for that single year at 10,164!. 12s. 5d. For the manufacturing establishment I have no certified information later than that of Mr. Holyoake, who states the capital of the concern, in 1857, to be 5500l. But a letter in the Rochdale Observer of May 26, 1860, editorially announced as by a person of good information, says that the capital had at that time reached 50,000l. : and the same letter gives highly satisfactory statements respecting other similar associations: the Rossendale Industrial Company, capital 40,000l. ; the Walsden Cooperative Company, capital 8000l.; the Bacup and Wardle Commercial Company, with a capital of 40,000l., “of which more than onethird is borrowed at 5 per cent, and this circumstance, during the last two years of unexampled commercial prosperity, has caused the rate of dividend to shareholders to rise to an almost fabulous height.” It is not necessary to enter into any details respecting the subsequent history of English Co-operation; the less so, as it is now one of the recognised elements in the progressive movement of the age, and as such, has latterly been the subject of elaborate articles in most of our leading periodicals, the most recent, and one of the best of which, was in the Edinburgh Review

the capital or assets of the society is 59,536!. 10s. 1d., or more than last quarter o 36871. 13s. 7d. The cash received for sale of goods is 45,806!. 0s. 10}d., being an increase of 22831. 12s. 5%d.; as compared with the previous three months. The profit realized is 57131, 28.7%d., which after depreciating fixed stock account 1821.2s. 43d, paying interest on share capital 598l. 17s. 8d., applying 2% per cent to an educational fund, viz.1221.17s. 9d., leaves a dividend to members on their purchases of 2s. 4d. in the pound. Non-members have received 261. 18s. 4d., at 1s. 8d. in the pound on their purchases, leaving 8d. in the pound profit to the society, which increases the reserve fund 1047. 15s. 4d. This fund now stands at 13521.7s. 11}d. the accumulation of profits from the trade of the public with the store since September 1862, over of above the 1s. 8d. in the pound allowed to ich purchasers,” -

for October 1864: and the progress of Co-operation from month to month is regularly chronicled in the “Co-operator.” I must not, however, omit to mention the last great step in advance, in reference to the Co-operative Stores; the formation, in the North of England (and another is in course of formation in London) of a Wholesale Society, to dispense with the services of the whole. sale merchant as well as of the retail dealer, and extend to the Societies the advantage which each society gives to its own members, by an agency for co-operative purchases of foreign as well as domestic commodities direct from the producers. It is hardly possible to take any but a hopeful view of the prospects of man. kind, when in the two leading countries of the world, the obscure depths of society contain simple working men whose integrity, good sense, self-command, and honourable confidence in one another, have enabled them to carry these noble experiments to the triumphant issue which the facts recorded in the preceding pages attest. From the progressive advance of the co-operative movement, a great increase may be looked for even in the aggregate productiveness of industry. The sources of the increase are twofold. In the first place, the class of mere distributors, who are not producers but auxiliaries of production, and whose inordinate numbers, far more than the gains of capitalists, are the cause why so great a portion of the wealth produced does not reach the producers—will be reduced to more modest dimensions. Distributors differ from producers in this, that when producers increase, even though in any given department of industry they may be too numerous, they actually produce more: but the multiplication of distributors does not make more distribution to be done, more wealth to be distributed; it does but divide the same work among a greater number of persons, seldom even cheapening the process. By limiting the distributors to the number really required for making | the commodities accessible to the con: sumers—which is the direct effect of the co-operative system—a vast number of hands will be set free for production, and the capital which feeds and the gains which remunerate them will be applied to feed and remunerate producers. This great economy of the world's resources would be realized, even if co-operation stopped at associations for purchase and consumption, without extending to production. The other mode in which co-operation tends, still more efficaciously, to increase the productiveness of labour, consists in the vast stimulus given to productive energies, by placing the labourers, as a mass, in a relation to their work which would make it their principle and their interest—at present it is neither—to do the utmost instead of the least possible in exchange for their remuneration. It is scarcely o to rate too highly this material enefit, which yet is as nothing compared with the moral revolution in society that would accompany it: the healing of the standing feud between capital and labour; the transformation of human life, from a conflict of classes struggling for opposite interests, to a friendly rivalry in the pursuit of a good common to all; the elevation of the dignity of labour, a new sense of security and independence in the labouring class, and the conversion of each human being's daily occupation into a school of the social sympathies and the practical intelligence. Such is the noble ideal which the Fo of Co-operation should have efore them. But to attain, in any degree, these objects, it is indispensable that all, and not some only, of those who do the work, should be identified in interest with the prosperity of the undertaking. Associations which, when they have been successful, renounce the essential principle of the system, and become joint-stock comanies of a limited number of shareolders, who differ from those of other companies only in being working men; associations, which employ hired labourers without any interest in the

profits (and I grieve to say that the Manufacturing Society even of Rochdale has thus degenerated), are, no doubt, exercising a lawful right in honestly employing the existing system of society to improve their position as individuals: but it is not from them that anything needs be expected towards replacing that system by a better. Neither will such societies, in the long run, succeed in keeping their ground against individual competition. Individual management by the one person principally interested, has great advantages over every description of collective management: co-operation has but one thing to oppose to those advantages—the common interest of all the workers in the work. When individual capitalists, as they will certainly do, add this to their other points of advantage; when, even if only to increase their gains, they take up the practice which these co-operative societies have dropped, and connect the pecuniary interest of every person in their employment with the most efficient and most economical management of the concern; they are likely to gain, an easy victory over societies which retain the defects, while they cannot possess the full advantages, of the old system. Under the most favourable supposition it will be desirable, and perhaps for a considerable length of time, that individual capitalists associating their workpeople in the profits, should coexist with even those co-operative societies which are faithful to the cooperative principle. Unity of authority makes many things possible, which could not, or would not, be undertaken, subject to the chance of divided councils, or changes in the management. A private capitalist, exempt from the control of a body, if he is a person of capacity, is considerably more likely than almost any association to run judicious risks, and originate costly improvements. Co-operative societies may be depended on for adopting imrovements after they have been tested E. success: but individuals are more likely to commence things previously untried. Even in ordinary business, the competition of capable persons who in the event of failure are to have all the loss, and in case of success the greater part of the gain, will be very useful in keeping the managers of cooperative societies up to the due pitch of activity and vigilance. When, however, co-operative societies shall have sufficiently multiplied, it is not probable that any but the least valuable workpeople will any longer consent to work all their lives for wages merely: and both private capitalists and associations will gradually find it necessary to make the entire body of labourers participants in profits. Eventually, and in perhaps a less remote future than may be supposed, we may, through the co-operative principle, see our way to a change in society, which would combine the freedom and independence of the individual, with the moral, intellectual, and economical advantages of aggregate production; and which, without violence or spoliation, or even any sudden disturbance of existing habits and expectations, would realize, at least in the industrial department, the best aspirations of the democratic spirit, by putting an end to the division of society into the industrious and the idle, and effacing all social distinctions but those fairly earned by personal services and exertions. Associations like those which we have described, by the very process of their success, are a course of education in those moral and active qualities by which alone success can be either deserved or attained. As associations multiplied, they would tend more and more to absorb all workpeople, except those who have too little understanding, or too little virtue, to be capable of learning to act on any other system than that of narrow selfishness. As this change proceeded, owners of capital would gradually find it to their advantage, instead of maintaining the struggle of the old system with workeople of only the worst description, to end their capital to the associations; to do this at a diminishing rate of interest, and at last, perhaps, even to exchange their capital for terminable annuities. In this or some such mode,

the existing accumulations of capital might honestly, and by a kind of spontaneous process, become in the end the joint property of all who participate in their productive employment: a transformation which, thus effected, (and assuming of course that both sexes participate equally in the rights and in the government of the association)* would be the nearest approach to social justice, and the most beneficial ordering of industrial affairs for the universal good, which it is possible at present to foresee.

§ 7. I agree, then, with the Socialist writers in their conception of the form which industrial operations tend to assume in the advance of improvement; and I entirely share their opinion that the time is ripe for com mencing this transformation, and that it should by all just and effectual means be aided and encouraged. But while I agree and sympathize with Socialists in this practical portion of their aims, I utterly dissent from the most conspicuous, and vehement part of their teaching, their declamations against competition. With moral conceptions in many respects far ahead of the existing arrangements of society, they have in general very confused and erroneous notions of its actual working; and one of their greatest errors, as I conceive, is to charge upon competition all the economical evils which at present exist. They forget that wherever competition is not, monopoly is;

* In this respect also the Rochdale Society has given an example of reason and justice, worthy of the good sense and good feeling manifested in their general proceedings. “The Rochdale Store,” says Mr. Holyoake, “renders incidental but valuable aid towards realizing the civil independence of women. Women may be members of this Store, and vote in its proceedings. Single and married women join. Many married women become members because their husbands will not take the trouble, and others join in it in selfdefence, to prevent the husband from spending their money in drink. The husband cannot withdraw the savings at the Store standing in the wife's name, unless she signs the order. Of course, as the law still stands, the husband could by legal process get possession of the money. But a process takes time, and the husband gets sober and thinks better of it before the law can move.”

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