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wines, ales, and liquors consumed by the wage-laboring classes of Great Britain lower than £100,000,000 per annum. Mr. G. R. Porter, in a paper read before the Statistical Society, adopted the estimate that one-half the income of workingmen earning between ten and fifteen shillings a week was spent by them on objects in which other members of the family had no share; while the proportion thus selfishly devoted by higher paid and presumedly more temperate artisans earning from twenty to thirty shillings, not infrequently reached one third.'
Yet, in spite of strong and urgent tendencies to dissipation and extravagance among the manual-labor classes, the statistics of the savings-banks show a steady growth of the principle of frugality, the total deposits in 1873 reaching $312,000,000. The deposits in savings-banks throughout all Europe, exclusive of Russia and Turkey, are estimated, in a report of M. Normandie to the French National Assembly in 1875, at a total of $1,180,000,000.
Statistical Journal, xiii. 364. Mr. Baines states that pineteen-twentieths of the occupants of cottages in Leeds pay their rent weekly, and could not be trusted longer. (Statistical Journal, xxii. 136, 138.) The plan of Monday-morning payments has been widely urged as a simple, practical measure in aid of the laborer's instincts of frugality. French laborers find less difficulty in carrying their earnings past the cabaret.
Mr. Brassey relates that during the construction of the Paris and Rouen Railway, the Frenchmen employed were, at their own request, paid only once a month. (Work and Wages, p. 17.)
Mr. McCulloch in his Commercial Dictionary (p. 478) argues strenuously that the State should refuse to protect small debts, with a view to promote frugality on the part of the working-classes.
The fullest body of information relating to banks of saving is to be found in a recent report by Prof. Louis Bodio, the accomplished chief of the Italian Bureau of Statistics. “Casse di Risparmio in Italia, ed all'estero."
• Russia, however, has her system of savings-banks, numbering sixty-two, with deposits to the amount of four and a half million roubles, in the name of seventy thousand depositors. In contrast with these facts, we find in little Switzerland not less than 353,855 depositors, or one in every seven of the population. In Denmark the proportion is one to eight and a half.
On the Continent of Europe the amount of deposits in. savings-banks represents but a fraction of the accumulations of the working classes. The passion of the common people for acquiring land leads to the continuous application of circulating capital to the purchase of this species of property,' while the various classes of credit institutions facilitate the erection of workingmen's houses. If it be asked how the acquisition of real property by the working classes consists with the mobility of labor which is so much to be desired, I answer, one need have no fear that the true mobility of labor will be impaired at all by any form which the savings of the working classes may take; that the virtues which are required for the exercise of frugality, and which the exercise of frugality strengthens, afford the best security for all needed movement of labor at the right time and in the right way; and finally, that the individual acquisition of real property is never likely to become so general as not to leave a considerable portion of the members of every trade without ties to the soil.
It is quite another question how the extensive acquisition of public property by the Swiss communes'affects the desired mobility of labor in that country. It would certainly appear at this distance to be inexpedient, as requiring an undue sacrifice on the part of individuals whom the conditions of industry seem to invite to other localities.
The statistics of savings-banks in the United States are not to be used with much confidence, for the reason that onerous taxation has in several States driven large amounts of personal property, belonging to persons of means, under the protection of these institutions, which
'In the Canton of Berne, of 500,000 inhabitants, the real property. holders numbered, in 1868, 88,670. (Report of Mr. Gould on the Condi. tion of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 670.)
3" The estimated value of the property held by the Swiss communes between the years 1863 and 1864, independently of the Cantons, may be put down at the large sum of 586,853,077 francs.” (Ibid.)
enjoy a partial immunity from contribution. It is not un. usual to deposit, up to the limit of the amount authorized by law, in each of a number of banks, and still further to multiply such deposits by entering equal amounts in the names of wife and children.'
Notwithstanding this, however, it is evident that a vast body of wealth is held by the laboring classes of the United States in movable form, in addition to the sums invested in houses and lands. In 1873 the savings-banks of Maine showed 91,398 separate accounts, with an aggregate deposit of $29,556,524; Rhode Island, 93,124 accounts, $46,617,183; Massachusetts, 666,229 accounts, $202,195,344; New-York, 839,472 accounts, $285,520,085.
II. Individual and mutual intelligence among the working classes. The phrase mobility of labor is very useful in discussions of the questions of wages, as expressing better than any other the one condition upon which laborers can receive the highest remuneration which the state of productive industry (their own present efficiency being taken into account) will allow, and the sole security which society can have that the inevitable immediate effects of industrial pressure or disaster shall not become permanent. Yet there is danger that the conception of what is involved in this term will be inadequate. Assuming the desire of industrial well-being to be universal, the mobility of labor should supply on the part of the wages class all that is needed for a perfect competition; and this clearly requires something more than legalized freedom of movement, something more, even, than the possession of the physical means of transportation and subsistence needed for migration. The laborer must be in a position to discern where his real interest lies, for to move in any other than the right direction may be more injurious than
One case has come to my knowledge where a depositor, after ex. hausting the list of his human family, entered the maximum amount in the name of his dog.
to abide in his lot, since all movement implies loss of force, and is only to be justified by the prospect of a distinct gain in the result.
This ability to discern where one's interest lies requires two things, the acquisition of just information and the rejection of false information. Of the former it is not necessary to speak. It is seen in the mere mention, how large is the requirement it makes of the working classes ; how slight the probability that this requirement will be completely filled. The second requirement is, among an ignorant population, even more difficult. So prone to discouragement are men, especially men lacking in mental training and culture; so efficient is Rumor in her evil office of spreading the news of failure and disaster, that the effects of acting upon false information in a single instance may, with ignorant persons, neutralize the most substantial inducements of self-interest in many other instances. Such persons have little to hold on to, or steady their minds upon; they generalize hastily and passionately, or, rather, they do not in any true sense generalize at all; and after the first shock to their contidence they become absurdly suspicious.
Even in enterprises of less pith and moment, the cloud of prejudice, vague apprehensions, and false conceits, originating in ignorance, obscures the view, in every direction, of the laborer's true interest.
“ Few,” says Mr. Chadwick,' “ who have not had experience in the administration of relief to the destitute in periods of wide distress, can be fully sensible of the difference, in amount of trouble and chargeability to the ratepayers, between educated and intelligent and uneducated and unintelligent people of the wage-class—the heavy lumpishness of the uneducated, their abject prostration, their liability to misconception and to wild passion, their frequent moroseness and intractability, and the difficulty
1 Statistical Journal, xxviii. 11, 12.
of teaching them, as compared with the self-help of the better educated, who can write and inquire for themselves, and find out for themselves new outlets and sources of productive employment, and who can read for themselves and act on written or printed instructions. The really well-trained, educated, and intelligent are the best to bear distress; they are the last to come upon charitable relieflists, and the first to leave them.”
III. Sexual self-restraint. I am not speaking here in the Malthusian sense with reference to the general supply of labor. In Malthusianism the average number of children to the family is the single consideration; it matters not whether each family have four children, or one family none, and the next eight: the supply of labor is equally affected. Again, while in Malthusianism the age at which marriage shall be contracted and children produced is not a matter of indifference, it is only of consequence as it affects the period within which population shall double. I here adduce the desirableness of sexual self-restraint on an account which is wholly additional to this, namely, the influence it must exert upon the mobility of the laborer. We have seen the occasion in modern society for a frequent, one might almost say an incessant, readjustment of population and industry. It is clear, that though the laborer can never wholly escape from this necessity, it is of peculiar importance that he should be as disembarrassed as possible during the years when he is coming to find out his own powers and capabilities, learning how to work, and getting into industrial relations, presumably for life. It is certain that he can make a favorable disposition of his labor then, if ever; that he will never be able afterwards to seek his market with so little of effort and so little of loss.
It is, therefore, economically desirable, without respect to the effect his earlier marriage might have on the general supply of labor, that at this critical period his mobility should be at the maximum. Of course, this proposition does not apply generally to communities in