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with inconsistency in obtaining the establishment of the Labour Statistical Department of the Board of Trade, because here again, in the collection of information, there is considerable interference with the adult individual. I cannot plead guilty to the alleged inconsistency. I do not pretend that the individual is capable of doing everything which can be effected by an executive, with the vast means of the nation at its disposal. A national census could hardly be successfully achieved by individual enterprise, unless under a stimulus which would render its results open to suspicion, as, e.g., a census of the customers of licensed victuallers in view of a liquor traffic debate, or an enumeration of the attendance at particular churches in view of a Disestablishment proposal. Labour statistics are admittedly useful alike to employers and employed. Such statistics, to be available for common reference in times of dispute and difference, need to be collected in ordinary times by agents as independent as possible, and to be issued in such a manner as to have authority and weight alike with capitalist and workman. I do not at present see the possibility of this being done in all industries, except by some such department as the Labour Bureau in the United States or the Labour Statistical Department in this country. Proposals on which Parliament is to be called on to decide, and on which members are to be ranked like goats and sheep, as Individualists or Socialists, are fairly numerous. I will take only a few as illustrations. (1) A maximum daily period of labour; (2) a minimum daily wage ; (3) national or municipal factories and workshops, or other industrial undertakings, so that none may be unemployed; (4) the prohibition of foreign pauper immigration; (5) prohibition of the employment of foreigners by British subjects. Numbers 1 and 2 I hold should be, and can best be, settled in each industry in conciliatory conference between employers and employed. Parliament ought not to have the duty of pronouncing for it has neither the requisite knowledge nor sufficient leisure to differentiate from year to year in the varying circumstances of each industry ; nor is it possible in practice to make one hard and fast rule that shall serve for all. A minimum rate of wage, even when enforced by a trades union, means that those who are too young, or too unskilled, to earn the minimum will not be accepted, though VOL. IV.NO. 21.
willing to take a little less until they can earn more ; that those who have grown a little too old
to continue to earn the fixed minimum will be discharged, although willing to accept lesser wage, knowing their reduced power, and yet feeling too strong to be enforcedly idle, and too proud to be beggars.
No. 3, applied to general industries, is either superfluous or it is mischievous. There are special undertakings, as gas, water, and tramways, requiring special authority of interference with rights of way, or practical monopoly of way or supply, which the local authority might well conduct. There are undertakings, such as railways, needing special Imperial authorisation for their construction and working, in which the Government, in exchange for the monopoly of road, given for a period of years, might well insist on reversion to the State of the concern and plant, after a lapse of time sufficient for redemption of cost and reasonable profit. But to ask that local authorities shall compete with ordinary manufacturers is, if the industry is reasonably profitable, unnecessary, for private enterprise will greedily seek out such occasions for getting return on capital. In the cases of unprofitable undertakings the loss will be so much utterly wasted capital, which will have to be reimbursed from the local rates, and which loss will have reduced the profits and lessened the purchasing power of wages earned in any profitable businesses conducted within the jurisdiction of such local authority. If I say very little on Nos. 4 and 5
5 it is because they are, as yet, only vaguely urged, and the careful evidence taken by the Select Committee which sat for two years (1888-9) shows that, except the Jewish immigration, affecting certain well defined areas, and excepting the Italian musicians, who as beggars might well be prevented, the percentage of pauper immigration is exceedingly small, and that in no case has the effect of any such immigration (here including the Jewish) been shown to be injurious to the well-being of our home work people. The Jewish poor do not, as a rule, become chargeable on our rates; the
; wealthier Jews, who are of course rated to the relief of our poor, also provide for their destitute co-religionists. The industries in which the immigrant Jews chiefly find occupation are export industries, mainly created by their own people. It is a little curious that
while the movement, so-called Socialistic, is said to be international, there are very strong national antipathies manifested between workmen who, in various European countries, are found repeatedly appealing to their Governments to prevent the entry of foreign workmen.
Those who clamour loudest for increased statutory powers against immigrants, forget or ignore that from these islands we were recently the largest emigrating people, and that even now we are only rivalled by the Germans. The right of each country to exclude persons it does not approve is, of course, indisputable. On the question of hours of labour, where excessive hours may, as in the case of railway workers, involve danger to life and limb of others, the duty of the Legislature, under whose authorisation such enterprises exist, is to interfere, and it may well do so by making the fact of such undue employment involve a primâ facie case for damages against the railway company where injury results, and by making the high officials criminally responsible where accident to life or limb has followed. Nor do I see anything unfair, when a
a railway company comes to Parliament for privilege and powers without which it cannot conduct its business, that Parliament shall, in granting those privileges, annex such conditions as to hours of working as it thinks fit in respect of such occupations as signalmen, guards, or engine drivers, where inattention resultant from weariness has caused loss of life and grievous bodily injury to the general public.
I read with some attention the jeu d'esprit on the Socialist ideal in politics which appeared in the last issue of the NEW REVIEW, and am bound to concede that it is at least as coherent and as sensible as anything I have yet read from the same able pen, or from the pens of the writer's perhaps equally able, but certainly not more sincere, Socialistic coadjutors. That it contained no political programme, from beginning to end, is nothing, because this at any rate avoided the numerous and fatal objections which always arise when Socialism is stated in detail. That it mocked without comprehending the steadily growing thrift of the industrial classes, which has slowly but certainly during the last fifty years, and especially during the past thirty years, changed and ameliorated the general condition of the
masses, I do not complain. The figures given are so ridiculous, and the statement of them so irrelevant, that I will only stop to inquire what is meant by saying that "the Lancashire co-operators have secured only £80,000 of the capital of the Manchester Ship Canal for the factory operatives, whilst the balance of £5,920,000 has fallen into the hands of their landlords and masters." I presume, from facts brought before Parliament, that each individual who sought to get shares in the Ship Canal got them. I have not been carefully through the share list to ascertain how many of the allottees were respectively factory workers, landlords, and masters ; but even if the facts are as stated, and it is demonstrable that the savings of the industrial classes of Lancashire are immeasurably beyond the £80,000 mentioned, the only conclusion warrantable would be, if the whole of the £5,920,000 had been subscribed by other than factory workers, that these latter had not looked on the scheme with the favour accorded to it by larger subscribers. I have always regarded the distribution of wealth in this country as unequal, but I have before me Mr. Giffen's valuation of 1885, in his Growth of Capital, at £10,037,000,000, and am totally unable to deduce from it anything verifying Mr. G. B. Shaw's statement that of this only £200,000,000 is to be attributed to the wageearning classes. To adopt the language of M. de Castellane, in his Quatrième Etat Français, the effect of disregard of Individualism in politics is well illustrated by the course of things under Napoleon III. The excessive centralisation of which the Second Empire manifested itself so jealous killed alike all initiative in the workman and in the elector. The workman was brigaded, numbered, ticketed on his livret as if he had been merchandise, induced to look to the Emperor as to a universal Providence, the only one able to give him any happiness in life, and the workman ended by considering his employer as une quantité négligeable. But a result is that France was without the trades unions of this kingdom, or those of the United States ; it was without the ever increasing co-operative associations which meet us at every turn in England.
This spirit of centralisation seems implied in the letter of Cardinal Manning read at Liège on September 10th, in which his Eminence was understood to declare that he did not believe it would ever be
possible to establish permanent peaceful relations between employer and workman until profits and wages were regulated by the State.
It is hardly possible that in this practically moribund Parliament there will be any actual legislation on the points glanced at in this brief paper, but it is more than probable that speeches will be made in the House of Commons more with regard to the effect these may be expected to have on special sections of a particular constituency at a general election than as the result of grave and careful consideration of the ultimate consequences of passing any one of the many measures proposed, say, at the recent Trades Union Congress at Liverpool. There is hesitàncy lest offence may be given to the voters. Now, with generally increased education there is a natural and growing desire for a higher standard of comfort. This is good and should be encouraged, but men should be stimulated to achieve their own betterment, not be taught to look to the Executive Government for an amelioration which is only permanently possible by individual initiative and exertion. I note the word “blackleg " figures in the advocacy of Socialism in politics printed in your last issue, as it often figures in Socialist speeches; but the so-called "blackleg” is mostly only an honest man with a hungry wife and starving children, who is trying to work for food instead of begging or stealing. When a Socialist politician of any ability says that he has to make an effort to be serious in discussing these exceedingly grave questions, he has penned more effective condemnation of himself and the class of opinions which he advocates than anything I can write. The closing decade of the nineteenth century needs that there shall be most earnest appreciation by those who have hitherto governed, that the electoral change which commenced in 1832, which was carried further in 1867, and which made still greater strides in 1884-5, cannot stop short of one man one vote, and this attainable without the long residential period qualifying for registration. The people will have the suffrage control, but they will seldom exercise it unitedly except under pressure of emotion, sympathy, indignation, or hunger. On settled thought-out policy they will be at least as much divided as the governing classes have hitherto been. On Imperial policy as touching, say, the Maoris, the Zulus, the dwellers in