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Mr. Crawford also believes that if royalties were abolished to-morrow, “he did not think the money
THE KNIGHTS OF LABOUR. would find its way into the pockets of the labourers at all," but that would depend upon legislation of
The Knights of Labour have recently held their a right kind. No doubt the classes in the Govern
annual convention at Richmond, U.S. Every year
these conventions are growing in importance, and ment would like to appropriate the royalties as
| their proceedings are watched with an interest well as other money, but that would have to be
almost as great as that felt in the doings of prevented. In short, Mr. Crawford knows nothing of the
The Order now numbers over one nuillion economy of the subject, and is perfectly useless as a
members in good standing, with an increase in member oí Parliament for assisting in its solution.
meinbership of about nine thousand per month. It would take longer to impart that teaching he
At this rate it will not be many years before the invites, and much longer to remove his class prejudices, than to find a proper representative able
Knights of Labour will have enrolled under their and willing to enforce sound doctrines in Parlia
banner the great majority of the wage-workers of
the land. So vast an organisation working ment. The miners would receive much more wholesome
harmoniously for the education and the elevation advice from Mr. John Ferguson and Mr. William
of working-men cannot fail to raise labour to a Simpson, who attended the demonstration by
level that it has never before occupied. The good invitation, but these gentlemen are not M.P's.
effected by the Knights is already perceptible in
| the increased respect paid to the demands of labour Until the miners and other wealth producers of the country send better men to the House of
by Congress and the State Legislatures. Commons than ignorant economists and landlordinterest advocates their case will not be very
Attitude of the Catholic Church. hopeful without something more than mere talking. JAMES M. CHERRIE.
The enemies of the Order have spread broadcast Glasgow, 11th Sept., 1886.
the report that it was condemned by the Catholic
Church. This was done with the object of pre---:0:
venting Catholics from joining the Order. This
statement has, however, acted as a boomerang, as REVIEWS.
its only effect has been to draw forth from the Mr. Silas Mainville has written an excellent hierarchy and clergy of the Catholic Church words letter on the sermon preached by the Bishop of of praise for the Knights of Labour. Cardinal Salisbury on Hospital Sunday. After pointing out Gibbons, for example, in refuting the charge that that the privileged classes “have become legally
the Church was opposed to the Knights, used the possessed of riches and all good things by simple following strong language :--"I infer that the objects legislation," he adds, “I do not wish to be under of the Knights are praiseworthy and in no way stood as calling in question the patriotic and opposed to the views of the Church. The Catholic honourable motives of the old landlord Parliaments, I prelates will to a man declare in favour of the which originated this state of things. Let us sup
organisation of Labour. Organisation is the basis pose that they were willing to make laws for the of all progress-political, social, and religious." people (without salary) simply because they loved In using this language the Cardinal expressed the them so much, that they didn't see that the result views of the Catholic clergy throughout the United of their laws would be to enrich themselves-the States. idlers-and to present to themselves, the commonwealth, the values which the public in common give to the land. If they did not see this then they
MR. JAMES CHAPMAN, of 123, Aldersgate-street, were very stupid, and have made a big mistake,
was summoned, under the Sanitary Acts, by which their successors should lose no time in
Inspector Thomas, on behalf of the Bermondsey correcting by voting en masse and unanimously
Vestry, for keeping three houses in King-street in for a Bill carrying out the purposes of Mr.
an unsanitary condition. Mr. Thomas said the Saunders’s resolution for the taxation of ground
houses and the yards adjoining were in a very bad rents."
condition, the rooms were incapable of ventilation A pamphlet is published by Mr. Ellingham
as the sashes were out of order, the passage was Wilson, Royal Exchange, E.C., entitled “ From
dirty, and the staircases also were dirty. Mr, Hand to Mouth,” in which the writer advocates
Chapman was fined £3lls. in each case, making in the extension of the system of small allotments
the aggregate £13 10s, and costs. in districts to be connected by tramways with large towns.
A CELEBRATED playwright was leaving his club Mr. William Boon, of Beak Street, Regent Street, | one evening, and, as he was about to enter his cab, has published a useful pamphlet comparing the was stopped by a stranger. “Excuse me, but is rates charged by the Post Office with those of the there among the members of this club a gentleman different railway companies from London to more with one eye named Is- ?” The dramatist than 13,000 places. The author states that in pretended to put on his considering cap. Then a most cases the railway rates are 50 per cent. lower thought seemed to strike him. He turned to the than those of the Post Office. He might have questioner and, with a smile that was childlike and added that in many cases the railway rates are bland, asked, “What was the name of his other not a fourth part of the Post Office rates.
| eye? "
THE BIBLE SOCIETY'S BINDERS.
The fingers would never have been mado of flesh
and blood if needle driving for ten hours daily was A correspondent at Cardiff has asked us to
their natural and proper occupation. However, inquire into a complaint frequently made, to the
the work has to be done, and it is done. Thousands effect that the persons engaged in binding the penny
of people begin, continue, and end their working Bibles issued by the Bible Society are grossly under
lives in such occupation, and the competition for paid and overworked. In accordance with his
honest employment is such that for every vacant wishes, we have made the necessary inquiries.
place there are numerous applicants. On visiting the chief binding establishment at
When the jaded workers leave the factory there are Walworth, where the greater part of this work
glaring gin shops and convenient brothels ready to is carried on, we were at once admitted, shown
receive them, and to take away for the moment orer the workrooms, and supplied with information
that sense of weariness and pain, the result of on crery point.
labour which exhausts physical nature and gives no It appears that the directors of the Bible Society take every precaution in their power by stipulating of mankind.
satisfaction to the mental and bodily requirements in each contract they make that the wages
Esau, the great historical fool, sold his birthright paid shall be the full average wages of the trade,
for a mess of pottage. The majority of our factory and that the comfort of the workpeople shall be
workers do this daily. Their whole life is a conregarded. In order to ensure the carrying out of
stant strain for the barest satisfaction of the lowest these regulations they reserve power to visit at
animal requirements. any time the factories in which their work is carried
What would any member of the middle or upper on.
classes think if their sons and daughters were subIt is evident that at Walworth the wishes of the
jected to such constant and monotonous toil for a directors are fully carried out. The wages paid
payment which amounts on the average to less are at least equal to those usually paid for similar
than thirty pounds per annum ? work. The hours of labour are within the legal and
The misery of the matter is that we are not only customary limits. The workrooms are spacious
satisfied with such things, but positively rejoice in and well ventilated, and the general appearance of
the fact that men's souls are so brought down the workers is superior to that of ordinary factory
with labour—that they devote thereto the whole hands.
energies of existence — that the spur of neThere is obviously no ground whatever for reflec- ||
cessity and the thong of competition has mastered tion either upon the directors of the Bible Society
them so completely that they are content to or upon the contractors. On the contrary, much
be only machines, and actually covet a position praise is due to them for the care and consideration
in which the better elements of humanity are which is bestowed on their employés, who evidently
often altogether lost, and their existence is always enjoy more than the average rate of comfort and
imperilled. We pride ourselves upon having carried emolument.
this system to a degree of perfection which enables This conclusion is arrived at on taking into
us to supply Bibles and Testaments and other account " the highest average standard of morality
manufactured articles to all the world. of the day," by which alone is it fair to judge of
Is such a fate for poor and industricus people the our neighbours, as that is the standard by which
inevitable condition of human society? we judge ourselves.
Is it intended that the sole end and object of How far short is this standard of the principles
human existence should be the pushing of needles which ought to regulate human affairs? How far
through paper, and that for such work, when short it is of the standard which is set forth in the
absorbing all the time and energy of a human book which the Bible Society is engaged in multi
being, he shall be paid barely enough to satisfy the plying will appear if we bestow on the subject a few |
waste which is created by the labour ? minutes' consideration.
It is not so. Nature, or Providence, is not so The great feature of the establishment, which inexorable as that! We are not straitened in must be apparent to the most casual observer, is Him-we are straitened in ourselves. the intense earnestness of the workers. Both
Man's inhumanity to man young and old apply themselves every moment to the driving of needles through paper as if their
Makes countless thousands mourn. salvation depended on obtaining the utmost speed. In the present day this inhumanity takes the form From eight o'clock in the morning until eight of robbery according to law. In the great city o'clock in the evening, with time allowed for meals, where these people toil and spin from youth to this work goes on, and the proficiency attained is age, the idlers vote into their own pockets and amazing. The young people become excellent receive for doing nothing more than half of the binding machines, although at the best, and after | wages which the toilers earn, but do not receive. exclusive and intense devotion, human fingers are Such work as we have described must be done, but not so quick or so regular in their action as the it is not necessary to keep young lives ten hours teeth and claws of well-constructed machines. Day daily in such employment. If " work and labour after day, week after week, year after year, from done" were recognised as the only ground for prothe age of 14, our brothers and sisters are doomed curing reward there would be no need for long to stitch, stitch, stitch, with brains and fingers hours and short payments. Every honest worker that were evidently intended for other work. The would have time and means for the exercise of brains are, of course, left out of account; in the those higher faculties which were not created for ordinary sense of thought they are not wanted. 'the purpose of being destroyed.
Man cannot live by bread alone, and the millions
CORRESPONDENCE. who are unjustly doomed to a life of mere breadwinning toil are as ruthlessly destroyed as if fire, sword, and famine had devastated the land.
AN EX-CHANCELLOR OF THE In the great city where these things occur sixteen
EXCHEQUER ON THE LAND millions sterling are annually taken from the in
QUESTION. dustrial classes by idle landlords, who, in the name of law, demand blackmail from all who desire to work
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEMOCRAT. on the land which Nature has freely provided for The following correspondence has been forwarded their use.
to us for publication : In the country districts a still larger sum, in pro
1. portion to the population, is ruthlessly demanded, I and the exaction of these sums and the restriction ! To the Right Hon. Sir W. V. Harcourt, M.P. of industry drives down wages until nothing but SIR,—The attention of the Executive of the the merest subsistence is derived from continuous English Land Restoration League has been called labour. The intense application required for the to a passage in your speech in the House of Comproduction of the necessaries of life have left the mons on the 21st ult., reported in the Daily people without time or brains for the study of their Chronicle of the following day as follows:own just claims, which have hitherto been in “ They could not judge of the land question of abeyance. But the time is coming, and now is Ireland by that of England. In England twowhen it will be well for those who rule, and for thirds of the rent really represented the interest of those who support our rulers, to give heed to their the money which the landlord had spent upon the ways, and see to it," that they offend not one of land." these little ones."
The Executive feel so deeply the importance of this statement in its bearing upon the English
land question that they venture respectfully to HOW ENGLISH LANDLORDS SERVE
ask on behalf of the members of the League (1) GOOD TENANTS.
whether your words are correctly reported in the
Daily Chronicle, and, if so, (2) whether you will A well-known Wiltshire farmer, named Thomas
kindly refer them to any statistics or other Lavington, having been compelled by the depressed
authority which might be useful in demonstrating state of agriculture to quit his holding at Fyfield,
the above-quoted fact, so little known at present, near Marlborough, a demonstration was made at
to that large and increasing body of the public the sale of his stock on Thursday in condemnation of the action of his landlord's agent, who has let
which keenly interests itself in the English Land the farm to another tenant at 30 per cent. less
I have the honour to be, Sir, rent than the outgoing tenant has been giving.
Your obedient servant, The owner is Sir Henry Bruce Meux. Mr. Laving
FREDK. VERINDER, ton complained of the manner in which he had been treated after he had cleaned and improved the
Secretary English Land Restoration League. land during the ten years he had occupied the farm, and his remarks were loudly applauded by
II. the large company of farmers present. Some time
7, Grafton-street, W., ago Sir H. Meux offered a prize of £50 for the best
Oct. 10, 1886. cultivated farm on his estate, and the prize was
SIR,—The report of my speech to which you awarded to Mr. Thomas Lavington. He now leaves refer is substantially correct. the farm with a loss of £14,000.
The fact that a very large portion of the rent An inquest was held at Beachampton Hall, I paid by the occupier of land simply represents the Buckingham, on Thursday, touching the death of interest of the capital expended by the proprietor Thomas Flowers, aged seventy-three years. The is often overlooked. When I put it at the figure deceased was the tenant of a farm which had been of two-thirds of the rent I spoke roughly; of course in the occupation of the family for over 160 years, the proportion will vary largely according to the and through the depressed state of agriculture he circumstances ; but to give an example of what I had decided to sell off part of the stock on Thurg
intended, the following instance may be taken :day wherewith to pay the rent to his landlord, Sir Suppose a farm of 300 acres of mixed arable and James R. Walker, of Yorkshire. On Wednesday l grass yielding a rent of £300, at £l per acre. We the steward brought two men as bailiffs to remain must consider what would be the ordinary capital on the premises, and this seems to have terribly expenditure required to bring the land from a wild, grieved the deceased, who shortly afterwards threw uncultivated state into a condition capable of himself into the water and was drowned.
yielding this rent. First, it must be grubbed,
cleared, fenced, ditches, gates, and roads for access PROFESSOR HUXLEY, who has a pension of must be made. This could not be done for less than £1,200 a year on retirement from his position at £300 or £400, probably more. The grass land the Museum of Geology, has been given a pension would have to be sown at a considerable expense. of £300 a year from the Civil List, which is limited | After this is done the land must be drained-proto £1,200, and intended for widows. Who is bably 200 of the 300 acres would require to be responsible for this shabby conduct, more like that drained at a cost of £5 per acre, or £1,000 for of a huckster than of a Huxley ?
the 200 acres. Proper farm buildings and steadings
must be erected. These could not well be done glad to be set right. But, unhappily, there is no for a farm of this size at less than £1,800. room for mistake as to the wholesale confiscation, These figures will amount to a capital expenditure by ground landlords, of tenants' improvements, of nearly £3,500. As the works are all of a and even of the goodwill of tenants' businesses, character which will require'renewal within a limited which goes on under our eyes in London, and which period, it would not be possible to put the remu is the fruitful cause of poverty, misery, and disnerative interest upon them at less than 6 per cent. /content. The interest, therefore, would absorb more than
I have the honour to be, Sir, £200 for the capital expended, leaving not more
Your obedient servant, than one-third for the rent of the land, which corre
FREDERICK VERINDER, sponds to my statement. I think this is a fair Secretary English Land Restoration League, average calculation, though, of course, it is difficult 8, Duke Street, Adelphi, London, W.C., where the thing is not begun de novo to trace back
October 15, 1886. all the former expenditure. There may be many cases where the capital expenditure will have been less, but I should doubt whether it ever fell below
COMPENSATION. half of the rental. In most cases, in England especially in recent times, the whole of this expendi
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEMOCRAT. ture is defrayed by the landlord, except in the case SIR,Since the scheme for regaining the land of improving leases, where, of course, the corre- which I advocate in “The Land for the People" sponding deduction is made from the rent.--Yours has been criticised in a recent number of your paper, faithfully,
W. V. HARCOURT, and has been brought to the front by Professor
Wallace having adopted it in preference to his own, III.
I am glad to avail myself of your genial permission To the Right Hon. Sir W. V. Harcourt, M.P.
to state my position on this all-important matter.
I am not going to make a detailed answer to SIR-I laid your letter of the 10th inst. before | Mr. Saunders' article, as that has been well done our Executive last evening, and am directed to by Mr. Jameson already, but simply state, as shortly convey their hearty thanks for the great courtesy as possible, my views on the subject. of your reply to their inquiry.
There are three classes of objections raised :-The Executive have read with much interest the 1.-Those of detail. I am told the price I proparticulars of the case given in your letter as an pose is too much-the interest is too high-that illustration of your statement in the House of there ought to be an inquiry into how the land Commons on the 21st ult., but they venture was obtained by the present owner, and a difference respectfully to submit that the popular idea is— made accordingly, and so on. and they cannot but believe that it is founded on | 2.-It is urged that rent will probably not risefact, and supported by authority-that the case that it is more likely to fall, and that, therefore, I you suppose represents the exception rather than am building a scheme on a false assumption. the rule; and that, even in England, the clearing, 3.-It is held that the principle of compensation draining, and improving of the land has not gener- is wrong, and that the land must be restored withally, nor even in more than a small minority of out any payment to the landlords. cases, been done by, or at the cost of, the landlords. I acknowledge the fairness of all these objections, On the other hand, there is a widespread complaint, and in answering I shall endeavour not to give the which seems to be justified by facts, that this work idea that I think there is but one side of the arguof improvement is done by, and at the cost of, the ment, but merely to state the reasons that made tenants, and that the continuous rise in rents me, after much consideration, suggest the method simply means the confiscation from generation to of regaining the land I have. generation of tenants' improvements by their The first set of objections, those of detail, I will landlords.
now put on one side by referring my readers to Undoubtedly, in the case of unimproved agri- the first few paragraphs of Chapter II., where it is cultural lands, landlords are often content or very plainly shown that whatever details I suggest obliged to accept rents small in actual amount; and figures I adopt by way of illustration I am far but the annual value of the land is small also ; from wishing to dogmatise about them. I begin as and the current belief that the landlord usually follows:-"In approaching the question of how to gets at least as much as the land is worth, and transfer the land from private into public hands, that, as the tenant improves the land, the land two things are apparent at the outset. One is that lord" improves " his rent pari passu, is unhappily the best scheme is not the best theoretical scheme, justified by abundance of instances.
but the best practical at the time; the other that The Executive are glad that their inquiry has every possible scheme must entail compromises and been the means of making it clear that, in your injustices.” Again, a little farther on, I say, “The speech of the 21st ult., you were referring only to best practical plan is the best pian that people can agricultural land. They remember with pleasure be induced to adopt, and what this is depends your sympathetic speech in the House of Commons, altogether upon the temper and sense of justice of when, on March 16 last, Mr. William Saunders, people at the time.” The figures I gave as illustraM.P., moved a resolution in favour of imposing a tions were more to show how the arrangement direct assessment on the owners of ground-rents. would work ont, even with the most liberal comIf the Executive have been mistaken as to the pensation to landowners, than as a statement of question of agricultural improvements they will be 'what I should consider fair could I have my own way. Of course the cost of management would be the question is ripe to be dealt with. I never prodeducted in valuing ground rents-I should be posed buying the land at an inflated price, nor very pleased to make the landowners take less; if was I ever sanguine enough to believe that we the interest was more than current rate the bonus should be able to nationalise the land during the could be “converted," as the funds are now. Let | next few years. It is true, however, that indethere be an inquiry and restitution of commons, pendent of external influences, it is possible that &c., as Mr. Chamberlain once proposed, by all the different footing that labour would be put on means. These are all matters of detail to be settled after the land was nationalised might tend to at the time, which it is as useless to try and settle diminish rent in spite of the increased wealth of now as to divide your chickens before they are the community. I have good reasons, which I have hatched.
not space here to explain, to believe that this would The question is, am I on the right lines or not? not be the case, but if it were, and a tax were imIs my scheme based on a true assumption with re posed to make up the deficit, the people would gard to the rise in rents ? and is compensation a then be paying no more than under the old proper principle to work upon ? Mr. Saunders régime, I should, however, advocate a condition says no to all these propositions, which brings me being made to begin with that in no case should on to the second class of objections to my scheme. more interest be paid to the bondholders in any Mr. Saunders says, in his article in this paper of year than the nett rent collected. August 14th, that royalties, agriculture, and town I Now for the third class of objections to my scheme, rents are likely to decrease, instead of increase in or those who believe in what is called confiscation. future. I take it that in making this statement quite admit that they can show a good case, the Mr. Saunders is not making his calculations on the rent is a robbery and a cruel one; then stop it. number of sovereigns taken, which may possibly be The land was obtainod by force, the tithes rest on less now than 10 years ago, but upon the purchasing force legalised as it was obtained; so let it be revalue of those sovereigns, which is, probably, at gained. What right have those who believe in least, as great as it was at that time. In other force to complain of our fighting them with their words, I understand Mr. Saunders to mean that own weapons. the amount of real wealth (because the incidental You can make a capital case for confiscation so value of a sovereign is neither here nor there) that long as you shut your eyes to the realities of life the landowners are able to abstract from the people and to the fact that ages of darkness on this subof this country has not only reached its height, butject have raised institutions which, faulty as they will, as years go on, decrease. This somewhat are, will crush countless numbers of perfectly innostaggers me, as I had always thought Mr. Saunders cent people who have been taking shelter under agreed with Mr. George's main contention in them if they are violently hurled down, while the “Progress and Poverty”—that as population and new ones, good as they may be, will take time to invention increase the productive powers of the build, and educate the people to their proper use. people increase, but that in the long run the in For my part I cannot forget also that but few even crease goes into the pockets of the landowners, of even the élite have been converted to the true faith that, in fact, the more we make the more they for many years, and that it is as well that we take. Is this true? Because a decreasing rent should endeavour to avoid that violent feeling appears to me to mean, without going into side against those of our forsaken creed which is proissues and possibilities, which there is no space for verbial with proselytes. True, the landowners have here, either that it is not, and that Mr. George is no moral right to the land, but they have a moral wrong in his main contention in “Progress and | right to consideration. I shall be asked at once if Poverty," or that invention and population will the victims of the present system have not a greater cease to increase in England. Mr. Saunders says right still, or as Mr. George expressed it in a that cheap drained and virgin soil abroad are re passage of surpassing eloquence at St. James's ducing rents here, and I admit that they are on Hall, “Stop to compensate the landlords, let any some lands. Mr. George shows how the landowners' man or woman go down to the lanes and alleys power to extract rent is kept in check in this way. and see little children lying down there in squalor We have felt its action ever since the Corn Laws and dirt, children brought up to worse than were abolished, but it has spent its force for the physical death, to the brothel, to the penitentiary, most part rather in preventing agricultural rents to distortion of soul as well as distortion of body, and royalties from rising as fast as they otherwise and then say that nothing could be done to remedy would have done than in causing any absolute this injustice until the landowners were compendiminution of rents in the country as a whole. sated," and, then, after a pause, “For their very But for the sake of the argument I will accept Mr. souls' sake they daren't.". Saunders' assertion that rents are going down, and Let me admit at once that I consider these little are likely to continue to do so. What then? Is ones ought to be considered before the landowners, this to go on till there is no rent? Or is the in and that had I the power to confiscate the land, fluence which is causing this reduction in reats and thought that by doing so I could put these likely to have spent its force by the time we are poor little souls in the positions God intended able to nationalise the land. In the former case Them to be in, I would do it at once-I would do we may cease to trouble ourselves about the it with pleasure. But to return to prose, we have ever-increasing ground-rents we hear so much neither the power to confiscate the land nor of about in this paper; the problem will solve itself. saving these little ones. These little ones must be In the latter case the present decrease of rent will provided with virtuous parents, healthy homes and make my scheme only the more practicable when 'surroundings, and undiseased bodies and minds