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three acres, and the rent, rates, and tithes paid upon the three acres are at least three times as much per acre as paid upon the 2,000 acres. In this parish alone there are more than 100 workingmen's families without any land. Let the labourer and the land be brought together on fair terms, without any landlord intervening, and there is untold wealth in the productiveness of the land and the capacity for labour in the people.
LAND LAWS. SIR, -Your correspondent, Mr. Wheelwright, should rectify the want of erudition of which he speaks before he presumes to ventilate his crude opinions on land owning.
Ne sutor ultra crepidam. Let him study the laws of his country and he will soon understand that every landlord's title to absolute ownership of the land is indefeasible. Sept., 1887.
SIR, -A number of the employés at a factory at Peckham have formed a Society for the district, to study more particularly the Land Question and its bearings upon the position of the working-man. One of the plans they are energetically carrying out, is to induce their friends and acquaintances to carefully read and study every month the articles that appear in the DEMOCRAT, and they intend to hold meetings for weekly discussion, and when possible procure lecturers.
The objects of the Society are deserving of every encouragement, and are worthy of adoption, and in other districts the Radical cause could be greatly assisted by adopting a similar plan. The Land' Question which this Society will more particularly take up is one of the “ burning questions" of the day, and must be taken up in a practical manner. The address of the secretary of this admirable Society is Mr. A. Powell, 19, Carlton-grove, Peckham, S.E., who will be pleased to give any information as to the regulations they have adopted for the working of their Society.
It is my opinion that the only way to arrive at a satisfactory solution of the land question is to thoroughly discuss it in all its bearings, and without prejudice, and that the ultimate conclusion will be, in the words of Fenton Lawler :
“ The entire soil of the country belongs of right · to the entire people of that country, and is the rightful property of no one else but of the nation at large, in full effective possession, to let to whom they will, on whatever terms, rents, services, and conditions they will.".
A READER OF THE “ DEMOCRAT."
the labour expended on it on account of foreign competition. He went on to say that labour was so cheap in America that to compete successfully with that country English producers would have to sell at a loss.
As to allotments, I do not suppose 'hat they are intended to provide more than an additional source of income to the lessees, but this same farmer offered one of his men three acres with the bovine adjunct, to work it any way he liked in lieu of wages. The man refused the offer, the reason you may easily guess.
Taking up the Pall Mall Gazette Extra, No. 30, I meet with the statement from Mr. Harris, Devonshire, " With regard to the general rud of tillage land in England, a man cannot farm an ordinary tillage farm on the ordinary lines of farming, even if rent free, without loss." In the same publication there are other statements from other parts in England to the same effect.
I should like to know under what arrangements English land could be worked at a profit, as it seems that we should have to go a step further than even abolishment of rent and tithe. Clearly rent did not stand in the way in the case I have here mentioned, although if this situation is general throughout England, it makes the conduct of those landlords who insist upon an exorbitant rent the more execrable.--I am, Sir, yours, &c.,
LACKLAND. London, September, 1887.
(Lackland has urged a very common objection to the abolition of landlordism, viz., wat even without rent land could not be cultivated at a profit. This notion arises from the observation of very exceptional cases where cultivation is unprofitable from the extreme poverty o Ithe soil or unsuitable management. Tell a sensible agricultural labourer that land cannot be worked at a profit, even if rent free, and he will laugh you to scorn. He knows that he could keep a wamily in comfort on five acres, even if he paid to the State 20s. or 30s. per acre. Landlords still exact and receive from agricultural land in the United Kingdom £60,000,000 per annum, which is more than double the wages paid to all the abourers who work the land. The difference between agriculture in the United States and the United Kingdom is this. In the States men work on their own land, in this country men work on other people's land. Labour is not cheaper in the States, on the contrary, the same man who is paid jos, a week in Wiltshire would receive 30s, in the States. When Wiltshire men go to the States they get land of their own and then pour in supplies of corn, butter, and cheese into the Wiltshire markets. Instead of sending these men to the States let them work on land in this country at a fair rent and perpetual tenure, and we shall hear no more about unprofitable cultivation.-ED.}
SIR, I see that you draw attention to the large quantity of land lying idle in England, and give the number-page 230-of acres out of cultivation in Essex. The substance of a conversation I had with a farmer may interest you. On remarking that I believed one cause of the decrease in our agriculture to be high rents and adding that they would have to be reduced greatly before the land could yield anything like a profit, the farmer shook his head and informed me that a farm in Essex of 600 acres had let at £600 ; that this rent was reduced to a nominal one of £2 the 600 acres, and then the farm did not pay, and that if it were let rent free the produce would not pay the cost of
FROM S. M. BURROUGHS, AN AMERICAN
LANDLORD, TO MR. JOSEPH ARCH.
I see by the Pall Mall Gazette that your congress of working-men call us rich landlord idlers, brigands, a word to which the Pall Mall Gazette takes great exception. I am one of the landlords, and have been thinking for some time that our position is rather peculiar and unnatural.
C ontrary to the general law of nature, we do not earn bread by the sweat of our brows, but by
that of others. We do not thrive in proportion to our efforts or usefulness, but in proportion to the industry, intelligence, and thrift of other people. The more they have, the more they can give us for the privilege of stopping upon this planet, and I am ashamed to see that we charge people as much for God's earth as if we ourselves created it.
In these respects we do rather resemble brigands, for they live by charging toll or tribute for the roads which they did not make any more than we made the earth.
Land values or ground rents are purely a creation of the public, and are apparently a provision of nature for supplying public expenses, which increase in proportion to population and civilisation.
If land or ground values were taxed, then improvements, the result of industry, would by such an amount be freed from taxation and an incentive given to employment of labour which does not now exist because it is taxed by the State and appropriated by us brigands.
September 9th, 1887.
That treadeth out the corn ; "
That have all earth's burdens borne.
And to labour His word commands; Yet millions of hands want acres,
And millions of acres want hands.
OH! WHAT A SURPRISE ! — While Mr. Balfour was in Dublin Castle concocting his proclamation for the suppression of the National League he had a most unpleasant visit in his study. The visitor was a process-server, and he bore in his hand a summons from Mrs. Dillon, the midwife, upon the defamation of whose character Mr. Balfour largely based his plea for a Coercion Act. The bearer of this document deserves credit for his ingenuity. On two of Mr. Balfour's previous visits to Dublin the server was close on his track. But this precious believer in “law and order” as applied to others, found discretion the better part of valour when there was an attempt to apply it to himself. So great indeed was his discretion that he surrounded himself with detectives and constables in yet larger numbers than before, and these protective measures were pointed to by the Tory press as a proof of the dangers of Irish government. As a matter of fact they proved nothing more than that the highest in the land cannot with impunity take away a poor woman's character and livelihood for party ends, except, perhaps, when the instruments of law and order are put to the unscruplous use of securing such an impunity. But the process-server showed that even against such a tyrannical abuse of power as this last, justice combined with ingenuity can come off the victor. Writ in hand, this sharp-witted officer of the law tracked the Chief Secretary to the Viceregal Lodge. But this he found full of soldiers and constabulary. Mr. Balfour had escaped by the back door. Nothing daunted, he went up to the Castle and demanded to see the Chief Secretary, quite accurately stating that he was the bearer of an important document from Lord Ashbourne-for the Lord Chancellor's name is, of course, necessary to the making out of a summons. The summons cannot be ignored, and the case will be thoroughly thrashed out in court. Mr. Balfour once stated that his greatest desire was that “the Queen's writ should run in
Ireland.” Well, it has run, even in his own * study. Was ever a desire more fully accomplished? And yet we hear that Mr. Balfour is said to have been quite annoyed at receiving this summons. Some men are so very difficult to satisfy.
Who hath ordained that the few should hoard
Their millions of useless gold,
While profitless soil they hold ?
Shall fence round miles of lands,
And millions of acres want hands?
'Tis a glaring lie on the face of day
This robbery of men's rights; 'Tis a lie that the Word of the Lord disowns,
'Tis a curse that burns and blights. And 'twill burn and blight till the people rise,
And swear, while they break their bands, That the hands shail henceforth have acres, And acres henceforth have hands.
-A. 7. H. Duganne.
It is much to be regretted that the Select Com. mittee on Sunday Postal Labour had not the How is it possible that things should be well in courage to affirm their belief in the Fourth the sight of God or man if, within the allotted Commandment, not in a Sabbatarian but in a span of human life, such mountains of gold, such humanitarian sense. In other words, whatever royal estates, can be heaped up? I am not versed they decided should be done about delivering letters in arithmetic, but this I absolutely cannot underon Sunday, they ought to have laid it down as a stand, how from a hundred gulden one can reap fundamental principle that every postal employé twenty every year, nay, can make the coin double should have at least one day in seven to himself. itself. It is not done from corn or cattle, for the If the staff is inadequate, then the staff should be wealth of the ground cannot be so multiplied increased. That every man has a right to one day | by human wit. I commend the problem to the in seven is a Democratic formula of which a good knowing ones of this world. This, however, I deal will be heard in the coming years, and it is know, that it were a far goodlier business to simply abominable that the Post Office, which is extend agriculture and check trade. They are the State—that is to say, is the instrument of on the right track, who work the land and seek a Democracy-should deny its own letter-sorters this living there. inalienable human privilege.-Pall Mall Gazette.
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION.-It does great
A BATCH OF EAST-END STATISTICS.--Mr credit to the great manufacturing towns of the Charles Booth's investigations in the EastNorth, that they should so readily give their End have at length appeared in the Statistical spare time and money to the University Exten Review. . They have been carried out over the sion movement. What a contrast the enthusiasm whole of the Tower Hamlets, a district containof Newcastle is to the apathy of London on this ing 500,000 inhabitants, and Mr. Booth has subject! Life is not entirely made up of manu made use of the School Board teachers as a factures. It is not upon material wealth alone, source of information. In the process of rebut also upon character and conduct that the mitting fees, these teachers have to investigate future of nations depends. And the “ideas carefully the condition of the fathers of families. which govern character and conduct," as Mr. Mr. Booth draws the line of poverty, for a John Morley pointed out in his admirable ad- . “moderate family," at 215. to 18s. On this basis dress at Newcastle, are best given by literary | he finds that 69 per cent. of the population are education in the broadest sense. For it cannot ! above the line of poverty—that is, earn from but help men in living a good life to know “the 30s. to 22. a week-while 22 per cent. are on the best that has been thought and said” by the line--that is, earn from 2is. to 18s, a week -- while world's greatest on the “art of living."
13 per cent. fall beneath the line altogether, and earn less than 18s. a week. This last class he
divides into-(1) the lowest class of all, which FASHIONABLE RIOTING.--If the disgraceful
he says consists of men in a “savage" condition riot at Lillie Bridge-in which buildings were
of existence, and which form i per cent. of the burnt, policemen maltreated, and a signal in
population, and (2)casual labourers, whose number spector virtually killed by the excitement-had
varies very much, and who form, he says, a taken place in Ireland, Unionists would have
"distress meter." Put in plain terms, there are pointed to it as proof of Irish lawlessness. As
65,000 human beings out of these 500,000 alone it is, we have all the English papers excusing | whose existence is one long struggle with starvait, and showing an unpleasant anxiety to screen tion, and of these 7,500 have been reduced to the the offenders. “Too much is made of it,” says
state of Fijians by our social conditions. Further, the Spectator. In fact, the same papers that
there are 110,000 of these 500,000 who are always abuse an Irish political crowd for defending
engaged in a fierce struggle to keep the wolf themselves from the police, justify an English
from the door. And the rest are considered sporting crowd for making an attack on the
happy, and congratulated by eminent statispolice. The reason is not far to seek. Sport
ticians because they earn over 22s. wherewith is fashionable, and a means of pleasure to the
to keep a moderate family! Let the eminent rich; freedom of speech is unfashionable, and a
statisticians try to perform for themselves the means of safety to the poor. Less rent, less
statistical miracle of paying a high rent and “sport;" more “sport,” more rent. The rack
keeping a moderate family for 225. a week! rents of Ireland too often go to enrich the ! Their congratulations are more significant than bookmakers at Curragh.
any commiserations could be.
HERE are two excellent instances of the entirely partial way in which the Coercion Act is being administered in Ireland. At Balinasloe twelve men, including some of the most respectable inhabitants, were sent to prison with hard labour for terms varying from six weeks to two months for assembling at the station to say good-bye to a friend named Barrett, arrested on the charge of resisting the police at an eviction. The police accused them of “obstruction.” But their notions of obstruction may be judged from the fact that one constable swore that he believed it to be obstruction of the police to cheer for Mr. Gladstone. Now look at the companion picture. A magistrate named Mr. Paul was summonsed for trespass and reckless destruction of crops in crossing a tenant's holding with his police, because it was the nearest way to an eviction. The charge was not denied, and Mr. Paul declared he would do it again when necessary. The resident magistrates fined their lawless brother sixpence, and then drew attention to their “bravery in having fined the highest representative of the Crown in these parts." And this is the reign of law and order !
The Pressing Question.-Home Rule, Mr. Matthew Arnold contends, is not the pressing question of the moment; the pressing question is the question of the land and the landlords. He says : -" The greatest possible service which the body of quiet, reasonable people in England can now render to their country is to set their face like a fint against all paltering with this question, and to insist on a thorough and equitable settlement of it." Anything short of recognising the fact that the land belongs to the people, and that they must no longer be deprived of their own property, will be“ paltering with the question." It is fortunate that " quiet and reasonable people" begin to see his.
Mr. Vere Foster has aided in all 18,000 single young women from the poorer parts of Ireland to emigrate to America. Those 18,000 young women have remitted home to their parents in Ireland no less a sum than £200,000. Certainly not less than half of this has gone in paying rents, which otherwise must have remained unpaid. Is it right that landlords like Lord Clanricarde and Lord Dillon should be drawing their £18,000 to £20,000 a year from the savings of poor servant girls in America? Again, law says “Yes," conscience and common sense say "No,"_" The Plan of Campaign," by S. Laing.
" THEY HAVE RIGHTS WHO DARE MAINTAIN THEM."
Vol. IV.–No. 108.
no friendly feeling, show that in each case where the peace has been broken, the police were the cause of the disturbance. All "outrages” were either conimitted or provoked by them. It is perfectly appalling to think that brutal policemen, like so many bull-dogs, have been turned loose upon inoffensive and starving men. Our resolute Government stick at nothing in the way of repression, and do nothing in the direction of cure or relief. It is true that Lord Salisbury has sold his ground rents, so as to secure himself, but there is no indication that the Government intend to take any practical steps. This delay is inexcusable, as the reports of Royal Commissions show that the just application of taxation to building land would at once relieve the present ratepayers, and bring land into the market ; thus providing employment for those out of work and house room for those who are overcrowded.
Progress No. 1. TWELVE months ago the Plan of Campaign was commenced under the auspices of Mr. Dillon. When first propounded it was received with almost universal distrust. Experience has shown both the necessity for its adoption and the value of the results which may be thereby obtained. With the judicious addition made by Michael Davitt in urging that all “reasonable resistance" should be offered before surrendering a homestead to the unjust rapacity of landlordism, the Plan of Campaign has become a power which tyranny is unable to resist. The people are winning all along the line, and statesmen are now vieing with each other in earnest competition as to who can be first in helping those who are so determined to help themselves. Action, which was begun under the resolution of Despair, is now continued with the reinforcement of Hope, and it will be ended in the attainment of Justice, Peace, and Abundancethat Abundance which Providence has provided for all mankind, and of which the people have been robbed with unscrupulous audacity on the part of our rulers.
Progress No. 2. The Plans of Campaign so successfully inaugurated in Ireland and Wales have been followed by demonstrations of the unemployed in London, which have shown that even the unwieldy and undisciplined crowds of the metropolis have learned to display a judicious mixture of valour and discretion. It is, perhaps, too soon to say that the Government will not succeed in provoking the people into serious conflicts, so as to enable the authorities to apply military law to London ; but we sincerely hope that such will not be the case. Whatever happens in future, it must not be forgotten that these demonstrations were peaceably commenced, and that the newspaper records of what has taken place, some of them written with
Progress No. 3. We may congratulate ourselves upon another kind of progress, which will be certain to produce beneficent results, and against which the policeman's baton is wholly ineffectual. Thinking men are rapidly beginning to see that the direct cause of poverty and starvation is the exemption of land from contribution to the rates by the expenditure of which its value is increased. The "taxation of ground values" has now become the recognised object of an organisation calling itself the United Committee. Meetings have already been held in various parts of London, addressed by such well-known advocates of the people's rights as Mr. James Beal, Mr. J. B. Firth, and Mr. Saunders, while other able men such as Mr. J. T. Torr, Mr. Sidney Webb, and many more are coming to the front on this question. Owing mainly to the valuable labours of Mr. Torr, a series of leaflets have been prepared, which are not only useful for popular distribution, but afford such com
plete information on the subject as will supply must be. No complications or limitations can anyone with the means of providing for his be permitted. A man votes because he is man, own enlightenment and that of others if he likes and the only arrangements required are such as to take to the platform. Clubs and political are necessary to secure the privilege to each organisations of all kinds should obtain lectures man, and to prevent fraud and inconveniences on this topic during the coming winter. For in its exercise. No disqualification should be assistance, application may be made to the entertained. Paupers must have votes ; they United Committee, 18 Bouverie-street, E.C. are for the most part paupers because of unjust
legislation ; as the chief sufferers thereby they
should not be debarred from seeking a remedy. The "Illustrious Liberal Party."
No man should be deprived on account of his MR. GLADSTONE applies this title to the party
official position. Policemen and soldiers are as of which he is the chief. He claims for it that
much entitled to think and vote as other people. its acts “make up at least nine-tenths of all
At present whole classes are disfranchised from that is good for half-a-century and more in the history of this country.” This is something of
the nature of their occupation. An employer which Mr. Gladstone may well be proud. We
might decide an election by sending away half-a
dozen workmen on the polling day. As to venture to think that when Mr. Gladstone's
sailors, they are rarely able to record their vote, good works are specified in detail, the largest
and this is probably the reason why their type will be used with respect to his legislation
interests have been so much neglected. Thererespecting land. He can claim the credit of
fore provision should be made for those who being the first statesman to turn the tide of
cannot be at home on the polling day to delelegislation in the direction of justice instead of
gate a representative to vote for them. It is privilege. Previous to 1870 all Acts of Parlia
useless to dismiss these points as fantastic and ment were in favour of the landlord, none in
impracticable. They are all founded on the favour of the tenant. Before that date it seemed
same principle, the inherent right of men to as if it were the special duty of Parliament to
self-government. Of this no one should be add to the privileges of the rich and idle rather
deprived, and any reasonable amount of pains than protect the just interests of those who till
should be taken to secure to everyone the exerthe soil. For this action the blessing of a
cise of his vote. Many men dismiss these and nation ready to perish will rest on Mr. Glad
similar topics because they have not themselves stone, and it will never be averted unless the
time to think out every point. It is not necessary great statesman should undo the benefits he
that all should consider and determine the has conferred and again sanction robbery, by
same subjects. There must be a division of bringing in a bill for the purchase of land. If
labour in politics as in other matters. But let there be danger to any special interests by the
no one be obstructive and dogged by objecting adoption of Home Rule, it will be only because
to others doing or considering what is necessary these interests are founded on injustice, and in
for the public welfare. any case landlords, the chief cause of Ireland's disasters, are the last persons entitled to especial consideration and protection. We
Merchant Shipping. earnestly hope that Mr. Gladstone's personal THE report on the wreck of the City of Montreal record, and the annals of the Liberal party, will brings home to us the unsatisfactory nature of never be disfigured by any system of land pur our laws in regard to shipping. In this particuchase. The more occasion which Liberals have lar case the carelessness with which the bales of to be proud of their history, the more careful cotton were packed seems to have been largely should they be that the power and prestige the cause of the fire which forced the passengers which they enjoy should not be prostituted to to take to their boats. The same carelessness personal purposes, or used in maintaining the sends many cotton ships yearly to the bottom of privileges of a class.
the sea. But this is only one among the many
evils under which our merchant sailors suffer. One Man, One Vote.
Since the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act DOES this mean that every man is to have a vote?) of 1876, no less than 699 British vessels, with if not, it falls short of what the Liberal programne their crews of 8,475 hands, have been reported