The Wages Question: A Treatise on Wages and the Wages Class
1.  Not only is not, but could not be. I say this to meet the suggestion that wealth, though actually not exchanged, is yet always subject to exchange in the sense that, if that particular form of wealth were to rise, or some possible substitute for it in use were to fall markedly in price, exchange would then take place, so that such wealth should still be regarded as within the domain of exchange. But the state of facts assumed is not real. No matter how much rice might advance, or other food decline in price, no human power could take all the crop out of India and bring back a food-substitute to the people, even were it Liebig's extract. The whole transportation system of India, reinforced by the revenues of the British Government, broke down under the effort, in 1873-4, to distribute to the people of certain districts of India an amount of rice equivalent to but a small portion of their usual crop. The railroads and water-courses of the United States could not take all the crops from the farms where they were raised.
2.  N. W. Senior, Pol. Econ., p. 54.
3.  "When we speak of an American farmer, we generally mean one who is the absolute owner of the land and every thing on it."—T. Sedgwick, Pol. Econ., p. 54.
4.  It may be said that the father and husband is bound, both morally and legally, to support his wife and children out of the product; and that the subsistence thus derived by them constitutes, in effect, their wages. To this it will be sufficient to answer, first, that the amount and character of that subsistence are not determined by contract between the parties, as in the case of what may properly be called wages, but, within the limits of the mere support of life, are wholly at the will and discretion of the head of the family, having no relation to what other persons, rendering the same character and amount of service, may be receiving next door; and, second, which settles the question, that the head of the family is equally bound to supply subsistence whether the wife and children labor or not. In the case of children too young to labor, or of an invalid wife, the obligation of the head of the family, in respect to subsistence, is precisely the same.
5.  P. 220.
6.  Chapter XII.
7.  Throughout the present discussion I shall waive all question of the amount derived by the government from taxation. Whether taxes be, as Professor Senior claims (Pol. Econ., p. 182-5), "a form o[???] expenditure," and hence only cognizable in the department of Consumption, it is not needful to decide here. Suffice it to say that even though government were to be regarded as, in a certain sense, a partner in the production of wealth, and a sharer in its distribution, yet, inasmuch as government always enters by force and carries away its part, determining for itself alike how much it will take and to what use it will apply what it takes, political economy can know nothing of it. As the laws are silent amid arms, economical science bows before the tax-gatherer. Whether government shall take much or little for its own purposes out of the wealth that has been produced is the business, not of the economist, but of the statesman. The methods and subjects of taxation do come within the field of political economy, but it is only because they affect the production of future wealth, its distribution, its exchange.
Part I, Chapter II
8.  To the considerations enumerated must be added, as Mr. Ward has shown, still another, in the case of laborers working by the piece. "When piece-work is done, you have to consider not only the price per piece paid, but also the conditions, as of machinery, etc. Thus the Hyde spinners in 1824 struck because they were getting less per piece than others, though all the time they were, by reason of improved machinery, actually earning more per day."—Workmen and Wages, p. 23.
9.  The shilling in America suffered a still harder fate—twenty "York shillings" having the value of but $2.50, and 20 New-England shillings the value of $3.33. In Pennsylvania the "dollar" was, at different dates, worth 4s. 6d.; 5s.; 5s 6d.; 6s.; 6s. 6d.; 7s.; 7s. 6d.—Colwell's Ways and Means of Payment, p. 99.
10.  Essays on the Gold Question, 1858-60.
11.  Works, ix. 463.
12.  Works, ix. 249.
13.  Works of J. Adams, vii. 199.
14.  Even when wages are paid in money, there are two methods by which their real value to the laborer may be reduced in addition to all the causes mentioned under the preceding head. These are, first, the practice of "long-pays," by which the workman is held a long time out of his wages, and obliged to purchase goods meanwhile on credit, on ruinous terms. This is sometimes necessary in new countries; but in old countries it is often resorted to needlessly, and forms one of the standing grievances of the laboring class. The second is the practice of "truck," by which the workman, though perhaps for form's sake paid in money, is compelled, under fear of discharge, to purchase goods at the employer's store. The effects of the latter practice on the welfare of the laboring classes will be discussed fully at a later stage (pp. 324-42).
15.  Fourth Report, Commission on the Employment of Women and Children in Agriculture, p. 110. " Part payment in food still prevails extensively in Wales."—Frederick Purdy, Statistical Journal, xxiv. 329.
16.  Die Lage der ländlichen Arbeiter.
"The married farm-servants," says Mr. Petre in his Report of 1870 on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of Prussia (p. 50), " are called 'Deputaten,' or persons receiving an allowance in kind, to distinguish them from other farm-servants who all take their meals together at the farm. The 'Deputaten' receive in addition to their wages a certain allowance of corn, potatoes, etc. This primitive practice is, however, gradually giving way to the system of paying full wages in money."
17.  "In the departments Bouches du Rhône, Gard, and Gironde it is not customary to pay in kind. In some, this description of payment does not amount to more than 10 francs (a year). In some, it surpasses in value the amount of money payment."—Lord Brabazon's Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of France, 1872, p. 42.
18.  Report on the Payment of Wages Bill (1854), pp. 103-5.
19.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of Italy, 1871, p. 231.
20.  In Devonshire and elsewhere a "grist-corn" perquisite is recognized, by which the laborer is allowed to have grain at a fixed price per bushel, whatever the market rate. The amount so allowed to be taken ranges from two or three pecks to a bushel every fortnight.—Heath's English Peasantry, pp. 95, 96, 140, 141.
"In some counties, as Dorset, the farmer pays part of his men's wages in corn at 1 shilling per bushel below the market price."—Mr. Purdy, Stat. Journal, xxiv. 329.
21.  Fourth Report (1870) Commission on the Employment of Women and Children in Agriculture, p. 58.
22.  Ibid., p. 110.
23.  See Mr. Tremenheere's Report for 1869.
24.  The Hon. Edward Stanhope, Assistant Commissioner, says of the cottages in Shropshire: "The point especially deserving of attention in this county is the infamous character of the cottages. In the majority of the parishes I visited they may be described as tumble-down and ruinous, not water-tight, very deficient in bedroom accommodations and in decent sanitary arrangements."—Report on the Employment of Women and Children in Agriculture, 1868-9, p. xxxiv.
25.  Address as President Br. Soc. Sc. Association, 1866. Transactions, p. 9.
26.  P. 94.
27.  P.95, cf. 140, 141.
28.  Pp. 55, 56, 86, 87.
29.  "In Dumfriesshire even the keeping of a pig is often prohibited on the ground that it affords inducements to little acts of peculation." Fourth Report (1870) on the Employment of Women and Children in Agriculture, p. 85.
30.  A Journey throughout Ireland (4th ed.), p. 371.
31.  English Peasantry, p. 113.
32.  Ibid., p. 115.
33.  Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1872, pp. 395-8.
34.  H. Fawcett, Pol. Econ., pp. 254, 255. W. T. Thornton on Over Population, chap. viii.
The Commissioners of 1843 reported strongly in favor of the Allotment system; they declared that it did not tend to reduce wages, but that all the proceeds of the land thus cultivated constituted "a clear addition to wages."
On the other side, Mr. Mill, in his Principles of Pol. Econ., wrote, "The scheme, as it seems to me, must be either nugatory or mischievous."—I. 441, 442.
35.  The industrial disadvantages of the employment of married women in factories will be spoken of hereafter. To their full extent, whatever that may be, the superiority claimed by Prof. Senior for the spinner or weaver must be discounted. Again, so far as the employment of the female head of the family in outside labor, or of very young children in any sort of labor, tends to reduce health and strength or to shorten life, this must be set off against the advantage of increased present earnings, in accordance with the principles to be noted in the paragraphs which immediately follow.
36.  Lectures on Wages, pp. 8-9.
It is not only true that the opportunities for extra earnings vary greatly as between different occupations, as shown by Prof. Senior's illustration, but such opportunities vary greatly within the same occupation in different localities. Thus Mr. Purdy's tables of Irish agricultural wages show that the "harvest wages" for men range from 2 shillings 6d. a week above ordinary wages, all the way up to 11 shillings.—Statistical Journal, xxv. 448-50.
37.  This irregularity may be greater or less according to climate or the character of the crops. Some crops require far more days of labor in the year than others. Some countries are locked in frost half the year; in others the ground opens early and freezes late. "In the countries on the Danube, these operations are spread over seven months; in the countries on the north of the Volga they must be concluded in four months."—Hearn's Plutology, pp. 74, 75. An English farmer is ploughing while a New-England farmer is hauling wood on the ice and snow. Mr. Purdy's valuable tables (Statistical Journal, xxiv. 352, 353) show that February is the worst month for employment in agriculture in England; August, the best.
Mr. Purdy gives a table which he deems fairly representative, exhibiting the divisions of agricultural wages between the seasons as follows:
38.  In brickmaking, in England, it is estimated that men can be employed but 45 weeks in the year, in consequence of rain and frost. In the Northern States of America the failure of employment is for a much longer period.
39.  Mr. Lecky remarks of holidays in Catholic countries: "The number that are compulsory has been grossly exaggerated."—History of Rationalism, ii. 323.
Diplomatic and consular reports to the British Government give perhaps the most recent and exact information on the subject of holidays in the Greek Church.
Consul Calvert reports from Montastir that, reckoning Sundays, there are more than one hundred days in the year when the Christians voluntarily cease work (1870, p. 244). Consul Stuart states the number of days besides Sundays which the Eastern Church attempts to withdraw from labor at 48. Formerly, he says, the number was greater; but the opposition of the working classes to the loss of so much time has caused a reduction in this respect, which will doubtless proceed further (1871, p. 780). Mr. Gould gives the number of working days in Greece as 265 (1870, p. 500). Consul Sandwith gives the number of fête days in Crete as 30 (1872, p. 382). Consul Egerton states that in Russia "besides Sundays there are about 24 holidays in the year, when no work is allowed. Some are saints' days; others, state holidays" (1873, p. 111).
40.  Gibbon, chap. xlvii., of the Jacobites, whose five annual Lents the historian is disposed to regard as an instance of "making a virtue of necessity."
41.  Mr. Dudley Baxter, speaking of the operatives in this branch of industry, wrote: "We all know their periodical distresses. It may be said that these were accidents. They are not mere accidents, but incidents—natural incidents of our manufacturing economy. They are sure to recur under different forms, either from gluts, or strikes, or war, and they must be allowed for in computations of earnings."—National Income, p. 45.
"In 1829 the weavers of Lancashire and Cheshire were earning, at best, from 4s. 4½d. to 6s. per week when at work. The most favored had to wait a week or two between one piece of work and the next; and about a fourth of the whole number were out of employ altogether."—Martineau, History of England, iii. 167.
42.  Statistical Journal, xxiv. 501. I have sought to show elsewhere (p.391, n.) that all the time occupied by a strike is not necessarily lost.
43.  P. 5.
44.  Pp. 41, 42.
45.  The cost, at contract prices, of raising an orphan child to the age of 11, is computed by Mr. Chadwick (Statistical Journal, xxv. 505) at £130, or the value of a team of four first-class farm-horses.
The same eminent authority estimates the average loss of working ability, by premature deaths from preventible causes, to be at least 10 years (Stat. Journal, xxviii. 26).
"In the production of dead machinery," says Dr. Edward Jarvis, "the cost of all that are broken in the making is charged to the cost of all which are completed.... So, in estimating the cost of raising children to manhood, it is necessary to include the number of years that have been lived by those that fell by the way with the years of those that pass successfully through the period of development."—Report Massachusetts Board of Health, 1874, p. 340.
46.  "Le salaire d'un ouvrier doit comprendre... l'amortissement du capital employé par ses parents, avec lequel il peut alimenter son enfant qui le remplacera un jour dans la société."—Jos. Garnier, Traité d'Économie Politique, p. 462.
47.  P. 184.
48.  Report Mass. State Board of Health, 1874, pp. 341, 342.
49.  50 years, i.e. from 20 to 70 years of age.
50.  Krankheiten der Arbeiter.
51.  Returns to the order of the House of Commons, 13th May, 1872.
52.  See the evidence collected by Mr. Jellinger Symons under the English Commission of 1841; also, Dr. Greenhow's report in 1860, in the Third Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council.
53.  Report of Mr. J. E. White, Asst. Commr. Employment of Women and Children, 1865.
54.  Sir Thomas Bazley's report for 1870 states the number of deaths from accidents in collieries and ironstone mines at 991. In the same year 373 persons were killed in works under the Factory acts; 1378 were so injured that amputation was required, while the lesser injuries footed up 16,828.
"En France, ces accidents sont beaucoup plus rares, et l'exploitation des mines n'a jamais été mise au nombre des industries qui créent une position insupportable aux ouvriers."—Théodore Fix, Les Classes Ouvrières, p. 146.
55.  Dr. Angus Smith, Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1865, p. 241.
56.  Report of the Poor-Law Commissioners of 1842, p. 200.
57.  Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, July, 1872, p. 98.
58.  The mortality among the "china-scourers" is something frightful. "In all the process the operatives are exposed to the inhaling of the fine dust with which the air of the different workshops is charged, and which dust the finer it is the longer it floats in the atmosphere and the more dangerous it becomes."—Ibid., p. 109.
59.  "The diseases engendered by lead-mining may be stated as asthma and chronic bronchitis."—Ibid., p. 103.
60.  The heat in copper-mines was found by Dr. Greenhow to be very much greater than in tin-mines. In one mine which he visited the temperature was 125°. "Steam was coming out of the shaft in volumes at the time of inspection."
61.  Letter of Canon Girdlestone to Mr. Heath, "Peasantry of England," p. 100.
62.  National Income, pp. 41, 43.
63.  Transactions, 1869, p. 18.
Part I, Chapter III
1.  Masters "prefer those laborers who earn the most wages."—Mr. Chadwick, Statistical Journal, xxv. 510.
Sir Joseph Whitworth, the great manufacturer of cannon, told Mr. Chadwick that "he could not afford to work his machines with a horse that cost less than £30."—Ibid.
2.  History of England, vii., pp. 229, 230.
3.  Prof. Senior, in his Lectures on Wages, stated the average annual wages of labor in Hindostan at from one pound to two pounds troy of silver against nine pounds to fifteen pounds troy in England.... Mr. Finnie, who was engaged by the Madras Government as superintendent of the cotton experiment from 1845-9, says, "the interest of the money invested in the purchase of a laborer in America, added to the actual cost of his maintenance, would pay for nine able-bodied men in India."—Wheeler's Cotton Cultivation, p. 100.
4.  "In the weaving-mills a Russian rarely has the care of more than two looms, while in England a weaver will frequently look after six." (Report of H. B. M. Consul Egerton on the Factory System of Russia, 1873, p. 111.) Mr. Batbie states that the English farmers on the shores of the Hellespont prefer to give 10 pounds sterling a year for Greek laborers to giving 3 pounds for Turkish laborers. (Nouveau Cours de l'Economie, i. 73.) Even with the best Continental labor there is a decided inferiority to English rates of production. In Switzerland the number of hands employed per 1000 spindles does not average less than 8 to 8½, against 7 in England. (Report of Mr. Gould on the Factory System of Switzerland, 1873, p. 129.)
In England, moreover, it should be noted, the machinery is almost uniformly run at a speed not known on the Continent.
5.  Whereas female labor in the cotton manufacture is paid at from 12s. to 15s. a week in Great Britain; at from 7s. 3d. to 9s. 7d. in France, Belgium, and Germany; at from 2s. 4d. to 2s. 11d. in Russia, the one thing which is most dreaded by the Continental manufacturers everywhere is British competition. The demand for protection is loudest in France, Austria, and Russia, where the average wages reach their minimum....
The average price of labor per day for puddlers is 7s. 6d. to 7s. 10d. in Staffordshire; 6s. 4d. in France; and from 4s. 7d. to 5s. in Belgium. Yet the average price of merchant bar-iron was £6 10s. in England, £7 in Belgium, £8 in France.—Mr. D. A. Wells' reports, as Special Commissioner U. S. Revenue.
6.  Brassey's Life and Labors, p. 160.
7.  Ibid., Preface, xvi.
8.  Work and Wages, p. 87.
9.  Work and Wages, p. 69.
10.  Ibid., p. 90.
11.  Four thousand Englishmen were sent over to work on this road.—Ibid., p. 79.
Two thousand English and Scotch were sent to Australia to work on the Queensland line.
12.  Ibid., p. 115.
13.  Ibid., p. 82.
14.  Social Sc. Trans., 1868, p. 524.
15.  January 24th, 1874.
16.  "I protest," so writes a farmer, "that one of the Scotchmen whom I formerly employed would do as much work as two or even three Suffolk laborers. It 'makes one's flesh creep' to see some of the latter at work."—Clifford, Agricultural Lock-out of 1874, p. 25, note.
17.  Second Report, p. 105. "I have myself in Northumberland heard a Northumbrian farmer declare that one of the strong big-boned women who worked in his fields was worth much more than any average southern laborer."—Clifford, Agric. Lock-out of 1874, p. 25.
18.  On this point of waste I select two illustrations. The first is taken from an address of George J. Holyoake, the historian of Co-operation:
"It has been calculated that the working colliers at Whitwood and Methley could, by simply taking the trouble to get the coal in large lumps, and by reducing the proportions of slack, add to the colliery profits £1500 a year. If they would further take a little extra care below ground in keeping the best coal separate from the inferior, they could add another £1500 to the profits." (Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1865, p. 482.) All this without diminishing their own earnings.
The second is the result of an experiment, noticed in the Statistical Journal (xxviii., pp. 32, 33), for the economy of coal in an engine-furnace, through giving the stokers a share in the money value of whatever saving might be effected. The result was to reduce the consumption of fuel, without loss of power, from 30 to 17.
19.  H. B. M. Consul Egerton, in his admirable report of 1873 (Textile Factories), notes the great irregularity of attendance at work in Russia. "It is therefore essential to have a large staff of supernumeraries who have learnt their work, so as to be ready to supply the vacant places."—P. 112.
20.  "It may appear incredible," remarks Mr. Carleton Tuffnell, the Poor-Law Commissioner, "that a great demand for labor may exist simultaneously with a multitude of people seeking employment and unable to find it. The real demand is not simply for labor, but trained labor, efficient labor, intelligent labor."
21.  M. Batbie states the results of certain experiments with the dynamometer by which it appears that while the figure 50 represents the sheer lifting-weight of a native of Van Diemen's Land, 71 represents that of an Anglo-Australian cultivator.—Nouveau cours de l'Économie politique, i. 70.
22.  This statement is taken from Mr. Thornton "On Labor," p. 16, n. Of the (very) "tall men" (6 feet 3 inches) enlisted in the U. S. army, 1861-5, there were of each 100,000—of English birth, 103; of Scotch, 178; of Irish, 84 (Statistical Memoirs of the Sanitary Commission, p. 159); while of the "short men" (under 5 feet 1 inch) there were in 100,000—of English, 690; of Scotch, 610; and of Irish, only 450, the proportional number of Germans in this class rising to 770, and of Frenchmen to 950, (Ibid., p. 177.) The mean height of the native soldiers was much reduced by the enlistment of large numbers of very young persons; but if we take the soldiers from 35 years upwards, we find the natives of the United States surpassing in stature those of every other nationality. Thus the mean height of soldiers from New-England was, in inches, 68,300; New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, 68,096; Ohio and Indiana, 68,980; Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, 68.781; Kentucky and Tennessee, 69,274, etc.; while the mean height of soldiers born in Canada was 67.300; England, 66.990; Scotland, 67.647; Ireland, 67,090; France, Belgium, and Switzerland, 66.714; Germany, 66.718; Scandinavia, 67.299. (Ibid., pp. 104, 105.)
23.  Statistical Memoirs U. S. Sanitary Commission, p. 403. As was remarked respecting mean height, the average of the native soldiers of the U. S. army was brought down by the great number of boys enlisted.
24.  Speaking alike of the weaving-sheds of the cotton districts and of the woollen districts, Dr. Bridges and Mr. Holmes, in their report to the Local Government Board, in 1873, say: "The work is done in the great majority of cases by women; a considerable portion of these are married, and the practice of working until the last stage of pregnancy, and of returning to work within a month, sometimes within a fortnight, or even a week, of childbirth, is as common in the West Riding (of York) as in Lancashire." (Report, p. 33, cf. pp. 38, 39, 55.) An old factory surgeon says: "I regard the mother's return to the mill as almost a sentence of death to the child." It is also a fruitful source of permanent injury to the mother herself.
25.  Transactions, p. 537.
26.  Fourth Report (1865) of the Children's Employment Commission of 1862.
27.  See the reports of the Commission of 1862 on the Employment of Children, and of the Commission of 1867 on the Employment of Women and Children.
28.  "Each Frenchman consumes on an average 16 oz. of wheaten bread a day; each Englishman, 32 oz.; the former, 1 2/3 oz. of meat; the latter, 6 oz."—Alison, Europe, 1815-51, ch. xvii., sec. 126.
"Des expériences ont démontré que l'ouvrier français, lorsqu'il est aussi bien nourri qu'un ouvrier anglais rend à peu près autant de travail."—Batbie, Nouveau Cours de l'Économie politique, i. 71.
I should be disposed to believe that a somewhat greater difference would remain, notwithstanding equivalent subsistence, than M. Batbie's patriotism will allow him to confess. The causes adduced under the previous head must count for much.
29.  Mr. R. R. Torrens, M.P., stated, at the meeting of the Social Science Association in 1867, that when he was employed in sending out emigrants from Ireland in 1840, he found that "a large portion of the Irish people were living on a kind of potato called 'lumpers,' which were so inferior in quality that even pigs could not fatten on them."—Transactions, p. 670.
30.  Pol. Econ., p. 471. Lord Brabazon, in his report (p. 54) on the condition of the industrial classes of France, 1872, cites the opinion of Dr. Cenveilhier that the French population are, as a rule, insufficiently nourished. "Many a French factory hand never has any thing better for his breakfast than a large slice of common sour bread, rubbed over with an onion so as to give it a flavor." (Lord Brabazon, p. 52.) Mr. Locock writes from the Netherlands (Report of 1870, p. 19): "Meat is rarely tasted by the working classes in Holland. It forms no part of the bill of fare either for the man or his family." From Belgium Mr. Pakenham reports: "Very many have for their entire subsistence but potatoes with a little grease, brown or black bread, often bad, and for their drink a tincture of chickory." (Reports of 1871, p. 20.)
31.  Heath's English Peasantry, p. 100.
32.  Sir Joseph Whitworth is reported to have said that he could not afford to work a horse in his establishment which ate less than 18 lbs. of oats a day.
33.  "It is physically impossible that any permanent rise in wages should take place without corresponding diminution of profits."—H. Fawcett, Pol. Econ., p. 264.
34.  Pol. Econ., p. 107.
35.  Economical Position of the Br. Laborer, p. 231, note.
36.  Where slaves were kept and worked only for purposes of gain. Where slavery was a political and social institution, as in the Middle States of the American Union, something of grace and kindliness might come to climb up about it.
37.  I have never chanced to hear of any premiums offered in Devon or Dorset for the fattest and sleekest, or the most manly and athletic "team" of agricultural laborers, though there have been, all honor for it! instances of prizes given for "model cottages." "Comment! Vos cultivateurs consacrent des sommes considérables pour couvrir leurs champs d'engrais, vos industriels ne négligent aucun soin, ne reculent devant aucune dépense pour assurer et faciliter le jeu de leurs machines; et vous, vous négligez de cultiver votre champ le plus fertile, de graisser et de soigner votre machine la plus precieuse, votre machine mère, de laquelle toutes les autres dépendent, puisqu'elles en sont sorties."—Blanqui (aîné) Cours d'Économie Industrielle, ii. 352.
38.  Doubtless race-characteristics have very much to do with the ability to subordinate greed to real interests, and to take a large view of economy. We should expect to find the Teutonic peoples surpassing all others in this respect; the Slavonic peoples far to the rear. Mr. Consul Holmes, in his Report to the British Government on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of Bosnia in 1871, remarks that the Eastern Christians, like the Turks, "look far more to cheapness than excellence in what they purchase, and good workmanship and conscientious labor is neither appreciated nor desired" (p. 762). Mr. Consul Palgrave makes a similar remark respecting the Anatolians (p. 732). "The very appreciation of good work," writes Sir P. Francis from Turkey, "is, I believe, lost."—Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, p. 372.
39.  Edwin Chadwick. Poor-Law Report, 1842, p. 212.
40.  Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1866, p. 737.
41.  Journey Throughout Ireland, p. 379.
42.  Heath's English Peasantry, p. 100.
43.  Statistical Journal, xiii. 47.
44.  Stat. Journal, xxxii. 75.
45.  In his Alton Locke.
46.  See Report Poor-Law Commission, 1842, pp. 98-104.
47.  How, indeed, do human beings live at all under such circumstances? Fresh and vigorous constitutions would go off at a gallop in some form of active disease, under such ever-present infection. The only reason why the very miserable live under it is because they have taken on a lower type of being, which is compatible with existence in such surroundings but altogether incompatible with great exertions. "Their freedom from specific evil is only evidence that they have subsided into a coarser and lower nature. The florid, strong-pulsed man, fresh from a wholesome country dwelling, would die right off when subjected to the deficient sanitary conditions which are innocuous to the lower physical development of the very poor vegetating in the purlieus of large towns or in mud-built country cottages."—Charles Lamport, Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1870, p. 532.
48.  Soc, Sc. Transactions, 1867, p. 561.
49.  "Le travail suppose 1. l'intelligence qui conçoit et 2. le main qui exécute."—Batbie.
50.  Pol. Econ., p. 117.
51.  Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Industry and Wealth, p. 380.
52.  Hearn's Plutology, p. 59.
53.  P. 173.
54.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 775.
55.  In a debate in the House of Lords in 1875, Earl Fortescue stated that Sir Joseph Whitworth, the eminent manufacturer of arms, had expressed the opinion that "a workman who had acquired the habit of moving promptly at the word of command was worth on the average 1s. 6d. a week more than a man of equal manual dexterity who had not acquired the habit."—The Times.
56.  The proportion of looms to weavers in England as contrasted with the proportion which obtains in Ireland and Scotland is significant in the same regard.
Nearly three looms to 1 weaver in England; not quite 2 looms in Scotland and Ireland. (Report, p. 16.)
57.  Report, p. 27.
58.  The famous Committee of the House of Commons on the Exportation of Tools and Machinery dwelt on the "want of arrangement in foreign manufactories," as an important reason for the superior cheapness of production in England.
In the evidence given before them is found (p. 363) the following highly-suggestive remark: "A cotton manufacturer who left Manchester seven years ago would be driven out of the market by the men who are now living in it, provided his knowledge had not kept pace with those who have been during that time constantly profiting by the progressive improvements that have taken place in that period. This progressive knowledge and experience is our great power and advantage."
59.  Notes of a Traveller, p. 290.
60.  Work and Wages, p. 117.
61.  P. 104.
62.  Statistical Journal, xxviii., p. 307.
63.  Prof. Cairnes, in his able work on "The Slave Power," sums up the economical defects of slave labor under three heads: "It is given reluctantly; it is unskilful; it is wanting in versatility." (P. 44.)
64.  "The experience of all ages and nations, I believe, demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it appears to cost only their maintenance, is, in the end, the dearest of any. A person who can acquire no property can have no other interest but to eat as much and to labor as little as possible."—Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, i. 390, 391.
65.  Mr. Turnbull, in his work on Austria, says: "A large Bohemian proprietor, who with his brothers counted on their estates 18,000 subjects, has frequently observed to me that he found it usually more advantageous to accept even a very small part of the legal commutation-money, and to hire labor from others, than to take it in kind from those who were bound to yield it."
66.  Instance the action of the nobles of Hungary, at the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, in transmuting the urbarial tenure of lands into unrestricted tenure by freehold. "By this great and voluntary concession," says Alison, "the property of 500,000 families, consisting of little estates from 30 to 60 acres each, and comprehending nearly half a kingdom, was at once converted from a feudal tenure, burdened with numerous duties, into absolute property."—History of Europe, xxii. 612.
67.  "An activity has been here that has swept away all difficulties before it, and has clothed the very rocks with verdure. It would be a disgrace to common-sense to ask the cause: the enjoyment of property must have done it. Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine years lease of a garden, and he will convert it into a desert."—Travels in France, Pinkerton, iv. 122.
68.  How the magic of property turns sand into mold, a truer source of wealth than placers or auriferous quartz, has been shown in the maritime districts of Belgium.
69.  Arthur Young in 1777 described the Irish as "lazy to an excess at work, but spiritedly active at play" (Pinkerton, iii. 872.) When the Irishman has a fair chance under equal laws, he imports all this activity into his work.
70.  Plutology, p. 41.
71.  I will guard myself against a critic's sneer at the introduction of this word into a treatise on wages by citing Mr. Mill's remark, "It is very shallow, even in pure economics, to take no account of the influence of imagination."—Pol. Econ., i. 392, 893.
72.  "Almost invariably an unemployed day in Belgium." (Report of Mr. Consul Grattan on the condition of the industrial classes, 1872, p. 19.) Much the same story comes from Norway and Sweden, England and Scotland, whose inhabitants we reckon among the noblest peoples of the world.
73.  P. 67.
74.  Pp. 397, 398.
75.  Wealth of Nations, i. 86.
Part I, Chapter IV
76.  The Financier, August 1, 1874.
77.  "There is considerable evidence that the circumstances of the agricultural laborers in England have more than once in our history sustained great permanent deterioration from causes which operated by diminishing the demand for labor, and which, if population had exercised its power of self-adjustment in obedience to the previous standard of comfort, could only have had a temporary effect; but, unhappily, the poverty in which the class was plunged during a long series of years brought that previous standard into disuse, and the next generation, growing up without having possessed those pristine comforts, multiplied in turn without any attempt to retrieve them."—J. S. Mill, Pol. Econ., i. 41.
Mr. Mill here explains the whole permanent effect upon the grounds of Malthus, overlooking the equally important consideration that, without respect to the numbers of the laboring class, the efficiency of labor must have been seriously impaired by inadequate food and clothing, unhealthy dwellings, and, more than all, by the loss of hopefulness, cheerfulness, and self-respect.
78.  Report, p. 202.
79.  "Modesty must be an unknown virtue; decency, an unimaginable thing, where in one small chamber, with the beds lying as thickly as they can be packed, father, mother, young men, lads, grown and growing-up girls are herded promiscuously; where every operation of the toilet and of nature—dressings, undressings, births, deaths—is performed within the sight and hearing of all; where children of both sexes to as high an age as 12 or 14, or even more, occupy the same bed; where the whole atmosphere is sensual, and human nature is degraded into something below the level of the swine. It is a hideous picture; and the picture is drawn from life."—Appendix to the First Report of the Poor-Law Commissioners, p. 34.
80.  "C'est surtout pendant les époques de chômages que l'ouvrier, ne sachant comment employer see heures, hante le cabaret."—Rapport (M. Ducarre) Salaires et rapports entre ouvriers et patrons, p. 269.
Part I, Chapter V
81.  "The principle which guides the American farmer is to take the most paying crop which can be grown with the least cost of labor."—James Caird's Prairie Farming, p. 21.
82.  "In a new country and among poor settlers... poor land is a relative term. Land is called poor which is not suitable to a poor man, which, on mere clearing and burning, will not yield good first crops.... Thus that which is poor land for a poor man may prove rich land to a rich man."—Prof. Johnston's Notes on North America, ii. 116, 117.
83.  Prof. Cairnes's answer to those who deny the diminishing productiveness of land is absolutely conclusive. "If any one denies the fact, it is open to him to refute it by making the experiment. Let him show that he can obtain from a limited area of soil any required quantity of produce by simply increasing the outlay—that is to say, that by quadrupling or decupling the outlay, he can obtain a quadruple or decuple return. If it be asked why those who maintain the affirmative of the doctrine do not establish their views by actual experiment, the answer is that the experiment is performed for them by every practical farmer; and that the fact of the diminishing productiveness of the soil is proved by their conduct in preferring to resort to inferior soils rather than force unprofitably soils of better quality."—Logical Method, etc., p. 35.
84.  Be it remembered that in our community there are neither rents nor royalties.
85.  "The soil of England produces eight times as much food as it produced 500 years ago."—Rogers, Pol. Econ., p. 181. Of the agriculture of the former period, Prof. Rogers says: "In those days half the arable land lay in fallow. The amount produced was, to take wheat as an example, about eight bushels the acre in ordinary years, i.e., little more than a third of an average crop at the present time. There were no artificial grasses. Clover was not known, nor any of the familiar roots. As a consequence, there was little or no winter feed, except such coarse hay as could be made and spared. Cattle were small and stunted by the privations and hard fare of winter. The average weight of a good ox was under four cwt. Sheep, too, were small, poor, and came very slowly to maturity. The average weight of a fleece was not more than two pounds. With ill-fed cattle there was little or no strong manure."—Pol. Econ., pp. 157, 158.
86.  Pol. Econ. i. 230.
87.  Pol. Econ., p. 82.
88.  Economy of Manufactures, pp. 163, 164.
89.  J. E. Cairnes, Logical Method, etc., p. 36.
Part I, Chapter VI
90.  The Principle of Population, i. 474-6.
91.  The Origin of Species, chap. iii.
92.  Pol. Econ., p. 30.
93.  "Throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms nature has scattered the seeds of life abroad with the most profuse and liberal hand, but has been comparatively sparing in the room and the nourishment necessary to rear them."—Malthus, The Principle of Population, i. 3.
"L'accroisement des moyens d'existence et l'accroisement du capital ont nécessairement des limites dans un espace de temps donné. Au contraire, l'accroisement de la population est pour ainsi dire illimité.... Si donc, entre ces deux productions extrêmement inégales, la prévoyance humaine ne s'interpose, une calamité est imminente."—M. Chevalier, 7ème Discours, d'Overture du cours de l'année, 1846-7.
94.  "The same power that doubles the population of Kentucky, Illinois, and New South Wales every five-and-twenty years, exists everywhere, and is equally energetic in England, France, and Holland."—J. R. McCulloch, Pol. Econ. 226.
95.  Prof. Rickards, Population and Capital, p. 127.
96.  Indeed, the reproductive capability might even be increased during the first stages of diminishing returns. This would doubtless be so if the previous returns to labor had been so liberal as to encourage luxuriousness and some degree of effeminacy. In this case the first effects of diminished returns might be to induce a greater physical and nervous vigor.
Part I, Chapter VII
1.  "The cost of purchasing labor, like that of every thing else, must be paid by the purchasers. The race of laborers would become altogether extinct unless they were supplied with quantities of food and other articles sufficient for their support and that of their families. This is the lowest limit to which the rate of wages can be permanently reduced, and for this reason it has been called the natural or necessary rate of wages."—J. R. McCulloch, Pol. Econ., p. 385.
2.  The number of deaths actually attributed, on inquest, to starvation, and so reported in the famous Irish census of 1851, was 2041 in 1846, 6058 in 1847, and 9395 during the two years following. (Report, Part V., vol. i., p. 253.)
3.  It will be seen that the wages of the laborer thus made necessary must include not only his own subsistence but that of those persons, not themselves productive laborers, whose maintenance is a means to the supply of labor in the immediate future. Thus the wages of the bread-winners must provide food and care for women in the weakness of childbearing, and for children in the years of infancy. Whether they shall also provide food and care for the aged in their decrepitude, and for the crippled and infirm, is determined by other considerations, to be noted further on. These, at least, are not essential to the supply of labor; and in barbarous countries not a few, the horrid custom of making away with those who are regarded as a hopeless burden shows that the support of such is not an element of necessary wages among those peoples.
4.  "Happily there is but one passion of the same nature; for if there were two there would not be a single man left in the universe who would be able to follow the truth."—An Eastern writer.
5.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 800, of. 721. In Koordistan the annual earnings of the artisan appear to range from £12 to £18.
6.  The eminent statistician, Dr. Engel, of Berlin, has given the following comparative statement as showing the average relative expenditure in Prussia of families of three classes, ranging from those of well-to-do artisans to those of persons in easy circumstances:
From this table Dr. Engel deduces the following proposition: While the proportion of the total outlay upon food increases as the family becomes poorer, the percentage of outlay for clothing is approximately, and that for lodging is invariably, the same in the three classes taken for consideration. Dr. Engel seems disposed to regard this very much as a law of expenditure. I am disposed to believe, however, that the apparent conformity has been reached by merging urban and rural communities which if considered separately would show very wide differences of expenditure on the several objects indicated; and, secondly, that the extension of the inquiry to other latitudes and other social conditions would develop great diversity in these respects. The Baron Riesbeck in his Travels in Germany (Pinkerton, vi. 147, 173), in 1780, notes the very marked differences existing between Southern and Northern Germany as to the scale of expenditure on dress. The lower orders among the Turks probably expend more of their earnings relatively upon dress than the higher classes. The same may probably be assumed respecting the ordinary Danish workman, who insists on passing himself off as a gentleman on Sundays. Again, the scale of expenditure on lodging varies greatly according to social conditions. In England, Mr. Clifford says, "the agricultural laborer seldom pays, even for a good cottage, more than 1/10 of his income, and more commonly 1/12. The town laborer receiving 18 or 20 shillings weekly will certainly not pay less than 1/3; the artisan receiving 30, 35 shillings or £2 will pay 1/6 and, including rates and taxes, probably 1/5.—Agricultural Lock-out of 1874, p. 246.
In France, Lord Brabazon reports: "Whilst at about the same period town workmen were earning wages 53.32 per cent higher than agricultural laborers, these latter were paying 40.45 per cent less rent."—Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, p. 49.
The well-known passion of the Netherlander for having a whole house, however small, to himself, must, I think, result in a larger proportional expenditure in this direction by common laborers than by the higher classes. I note also that Dr. Engel's computations do not agree very well with those given by Mr. Scott respecting the expenditures of families in Würtemburg. (Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, pp. 196, 197, 205.)
7.  Mr. Brassey says of the Coolie laborers employed on the railways in India: "Their food consists of two pounds of rice a day, mixed with a little curry; and the cost of living on this, their usual diet, is only 1s. a week."—Work and Wages, p. 88.
8.  "No fewer than four great scarcities, amounting almost to famines," since the mutiny, namely, 1861-2, 1865-6, 1868-9, 1873-4.—The Duke of Argyle, quoted by London Economist, May 9, 1874.
9.  "A laborer in Ireland will live and bring up a family on potatoes; a laborer in England will see the world unpeopled first."—General T. Perronet Thompson.
10.  "Three times the number of persons can be fed on an acre of potatoes who can be maintained on an acre of wheat in ordinary seasons."—Alison's History of Europe, 1815-51, xviii., p. 11.
11.  Prof. Cairnes makes a remark in his Logical Method of Pol. Econ. which is liable to be misunderstood. He says: "It is not asserted that population in fact increases faster than subsistence; this would, of course, be physically impossible." In one sense of the word increase, that, namely, which the vital statisticians intend by the phrase "effective increase," Prof. Cairnes's remark is unexceptionable; but there is nothing to prevent persons from being born into the world in large numbers, for whom there is not food enough to keep them alive, and who must consequently die prematurely. Most people would say that in such cases "population in fact increases faster than subsistence." Population, of course, can not increase and remain beyond the limits of subsistence.
12.  "The habits of the English and Scotch laborers of the present day are as widely different from those of their ancestors in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I., and Charles I. as they now are from the habits of the laborers of France and Spain."—J. R. McCulloch, Pol. Econ., p. 392.
13.  Malthus, Pol. Econ., p. 229.
14.  Note, for instance, the very general introduction of cornmeal in place, in part, of the potato. (See Mr. Purdy's paper in the Statistical Journal, xxv. 459-60.)
15.  "When the standard of natural or necessary wages is high—when wheat and beef, for example, form the principal part of the food of the laborer, and porter and beer the principal part of his drink, he can bear to retrench in a period of scarcity. Such a man has room to fall; he can resort to cheaper sorts of food—to barley, oats, rice, and potatoes. But he who is habitually fed on the cheapest food has nothing to resort to when deprived of it. Laborers placed in this situation are absolutely cut off from every resource. You may take from an Englishman, but you can not take from an Irishman. The latter is already so low he can fall no lower; he is placed on the very verge of existence; his wages, being regulated by the price of potatoes, will not buy wheat, or barley, or oats; and whenever, therefore, the supply of potatoes fails, it is next to impossible that he should escape falling a sacrifice to famine."—J. R. McCulloch, Pol. Econ., p. 396.
16.  Pol. Econ., pp. 70, 71.
17.  One pound of wool manufactured into flannel costs 3s. 1d.; 1 lb. flax into shirting, 2s. 4d.; 1 lb. cotton into shirting, 1s. The materials for a full dress of outer garments if composed of wool would not cost less than thirty shillings; while the same quantity of material of cotton, and of more durable quality, costs only 7s. 6d. to 10s. (Mr. Ashworth, quoted by Prof. Levi, Statistical Journal, xxvi. 36.)
18.  One hundred pounds of flax will produce about 200 yards of white cloth. One hundred pounds cotton, 300 yards of pretty equal general appearance, taking a medium set of light cloth as an example. (Mr. John Mulholland, Soc. Sc. Trans., 1867, p. 151.)
19.  No small sacrifice for poor folks. Mr. Gould in his very interesting Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of Switzerland, in 1872, estimates the average loss to working families from requiring the school attendance of children above twelve years of age to be £10 to £12 per annum, for each child so withdrawn from labor (p. 349). Such expenses, when made "necessary," are a deal better than dear food.
20.  I have before me the tax and valuation lists of a township in Massachusetts containing a smart manufacturing village. The total population of the township was about 3300. The Irish males above 18 years of age numbered 229. Of these, 128 paid taxes upon property. The total amount of estate owned by these 128 Irishmen, exclusive of all money in savings-banks (the deposits of these institutions being taxed en masse by the State without distinction of ownership), was $163,560, being an average to each holder of $1278.
21.  "Custom has rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England. The poorest creditable person of either sex would be ashamed to appear in public without them. In Scotland custom has rendered them a necessary of life to the lowest order of men, but not to the same order of women, who may, without any discredit, walk about barefooted. In France they are necessaries neither to men nor to women, the lowest rank of both sexes appearing there publicly, without any discredit, sometimes in wooden shoes, and sometimes barefooted."—Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, ii. 467.
Mr. Senior says of shoes: "When a Scotchman rises from the lowest to the middling classes of society, they become to him necessaries. He wears them to preserve, not his feet, but his station in life."—Pol. Econ., pp. 36, 37.
22.  "The worst-paid class in England, the agricultural laborers, expend about two thirds of their revenues in food and one third in other objects."—Jones, Pol. Econ., p. 99.
Mr. Mill makes this strange remark respecting "the workpeople," having, presumably, those of England in mind: "They are not the principal customers, if customers at all, of most branches of manufacture." It would puzzle one to tell of what branches of manufacture the workpeople of the United States are not customers.
23.  Wheat-flour is very cheap in the United States, corn and oat meal relatively much cheaper. The cost of these articles can scarcely be said to govern the expenditure of an American family. Many a mechanic spends as much for milk, butter, and eggs as he does for flour and meal.
24.  "The great preventive check is the fear of losing decencies."—Senior, Pol. Econ., p. 38.
25.  The proportion of breadwinners to dependants will of course vary greatly with the habits and dispositions of the people in the respects mentioned in the text.
The results of Cantillon's computations are thus stated by Adam Smith: "Mr. Cantillon seems to suppose that the lowest species of common laborers must everywhere earn at least double their own maintenance in order that, one with another, they may be enabled to bring up two children; the labor of the wife, on account of her necessary attendance on the children, being supposed no more than sufficient to provide for herself. But one half the children born, it is computed, die before the age of manhood. The poorest laborers, therefore, according to this account, must, one with another, attempt to rear at least four children in order that two may have an equal chance of living to that age. But the necessary maintenance of four children, it is supposed, may be nearly equal to that of one man."—Pol. Econ. i. 71. The rudeness of these computations appears on the face. In Belgium, in 1856, 49.3 per cent of the population were reported as pursuing gainful occupations; in the United States, in 1870, only 32.4 per cent; in England and Wales, in 1871, 51 per cent; in Scotland, 43.7 per cent.
26.  Contrast the Swiss and the Russian. Consul Egerton reports that an incentive to labor is the great desideratum in Russia. "In the truly agricultural districts the peasant, earning enough for his wants during the summer months, remains idle throughout the winter."—Report of 1873 (Textile Factories), p. 92, note. So much for a land where the people are universally ignorant, and are despotically governed. In Switzerland, to the contrary, Mr. Gould reports, "Men who during the short tourist season frequently earn as guides, porters, etc., enough to keep themselves and their families in comfort during the remainder of the year, may nevertheless be seen in winter willingly exposing themselves to the severest hardships for the small sum of a franc or two a day."—Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, p. 346.
Part I, Chapter VIII
27.  The substance of this and the following chapter appeared in the North American Review for January, 1875; art., The Wage-Fund Theory.
28.  "Elle doit être avancée par le capitaliste et le retrouver, par conséquent, dans la valeur du produit obtenu."—A. E. Cherbuliez, Précis de la Science Économique, i. 415.
29.  Mr. F. D. Longe, in his Refutation of the Wage-Fund Theory, insists on this distinction. Of the wealth or capital used "for the maintenance of laborers while employed in producing new goods or wealth," he says, it "may come either from their (the laborers') own resources or those of their employers, or be borrowed from bankers or elsewhere." Of the wealth "to be used for the purchase of their work," he says, it "may consist of funds belonging to the consumer or of funds belonging to the employer, or both, or may even be taken out of the very goods which the laborers produce, or their money value."
30.  "There is in Ireland," says Alison, "what is called the 'starving season,' which is about six weeks before the 'new harvest.'"—Hist. Europe, xxi. 204.
31.  "A very little consideration will render it evident that laborers whilst engaged in any particular industry can not live upon the commodity which their labor is assisting to produce. The ploughman who tills the soil from which in the following autumn the harvest will be gathered, is fed with the wealth which his master has saved; or, in other words, the master pays his laborer's wages from the wealth which he has previously saved."—Prof. Fawcett, Political Economy, p. 19.
Here we find asserted or assumed, (1) the necessity of the laborer for maintenance while the crop is growing; (2) his entire dependence on the employer for that maintenance; (3) the natural equivalency of subsistence and wages.
32.  I may mention, in illustration, the case of transportation companies, owning railroads, canals, steamboats, or coaches. The employees of such companies in the United States number hundreds of thousands, and they are rarely paid by the day, commonly by the week or month. Yet the companies collect all their fares for passage and a portion of their charges for freight, daily. They are thus always in debt, often to a vast amount, to their laborers (using that term in its generic sense) for services which have been rendered to them, and of which they have availed themselves to the full extent. So that the companies are virtually carrying-on their operations on capital a portion of which is advanced by their own employees. Many other examples might be given.
33.  "Capitalists and laborers receive large remuneration in America because their industry produces largely."—J. E. Cairnes, Some Leading Principles, etc., p. 462.
Part I, Chapter IX
34.  "That which pays for labor in every country is a certain portion of actually-accumulated capital, which can not be increased by the proposed action of government, nor by the influence of public opinion, nor by combinations among the workmen themselves. There is also in every country a certain number of laborers, and this number can not be diminished by the proposed action of government, nor by public opinion, nor by combinations among themselves. There is to be a division now among all these laborers of the portion of capital actually there present."—A. L. Perry, Pol. Econ., p. 122.
35.  "The circulating capital of a country is its wage-fund. Hence if we desire to calculate the average money-wages received by each laborer, we have simply to divide the amount of this capital by the number of the laboring population."—H. Fawcett, Economic Position of the British Laborer, p. 120.
36.  "The demand for labor consists of the whole circulating capital of the country, * * * * The supply is the whole laboring population."—J. S. Mill, Fortnightly Review, May, 1869.
37.  "The spread of this doctrine in the United States is not to be explained in the same way. It would seem to have been accepted, so far as it has been accepted, upon the authority of the English economists. Certainly the conditions which have been noted as prevailing in England during the period when the laborer's subsistence came to be identified with his wages, have at no time been known in the United States. Here the people have not been shut out from the land; the laboring classes have been able to make and have made vast accumulations, and the great bulk of wages have, since the first settlement of the country, been paid, not out of capital, but out of the completed product when harvested or marketed.
"The wage-fund seems to have been considered, we know not why, a pillar in the temple of free-trade. Certainly the line drawn in the United States between those who have accepted it and those who have combated it, or let it severely alone, appears to intimate a general sense of some such relation between the doctrines. We find no trace of it among the writers known as protectionists. Professor Bowen distinctly rejects it. Messrs. Daniel Raymond and Peshine Smith omit all allusion to it, so far as we have observed. Mr. Carey, it is true, gave it countenance in his Essay on Wages; but then Mr. Carey was a free-trader in 1835. On the other hand, Professors Vethake, Bascom, and Perry, who take strong ground against governmental interference with the methods and courses of industry, all strongly pronounce the wage-fund theory.
"Dr. Wayland, whose treatise on Political Economy, though published in 1837, would appear (see Preface) to have been mainly composed prior to the emergence in distinct form of the wage-fund theory, followed Malthus in his statement of the law of wages. (Wayland's Pol. Econ., p. 312.) Excepting Dr. Wayland, Mr. Amasa Walker is the only American writer on systematic political economy, of the free-trade school, whom we remember as giving no countenance to the wage-fund theory. It can scarcely need to be said that we regard the idea of an essential connection between the two doctrines as wholly mistaken. Free-trade rose without this theory of wages, and will surely not fall with it."—North-American Review, cxx., pp. 93, 94, note.
38.  We have had a right to do better than this in political economy, in the United States. "The Americans are Englishmen whose intelligence is not intimidated and whose conduct is not controlled by many of the influences derived from tradition and authority, which govern the beliefs and actions of the mother country. From the course taken by the United states, we may often correctly interpret the bent which our nation will follow as they gradually escape, for good or evil, from the domination of the past."—Address of Lord Napier and Ettrick as President of the British Social Science Association, 1872. (Transactions, p. 17.)
39.  "If law or opinion succeeds in fixing wages above this rate, some laborers are kept out of employment."—J. S. Mill, Pol. Econ., i. 432.
40.  The writer has been sharply criticised for having said in a public address at Amherst College, in 1874, that "by the wage-fund theory, whatever is in wages, is right." This has been referred to as an instance of misrepresenting an opponent's position, the more easily to refute him. I confess myself so dull of apprehension as now, not-withstanding the effect of this castigation in sharpening my wits, to be unable to understand wherein my proposition is objectionable, even on the ground of my critics. If the wage-fund comprises all that can be paid in wages; if that fund is unfailingly distributed by competition; if farther to increase wages would be to trench on capital, and thus diminish future employment, and thus work permanent injury to the laboring classes, together with the rest of the community, why is it not right that the employer should pay just such wages as he does? Why would it not be wrong were he to pay more?
41.  "It thus appears that if population increases without any increase of capital, wages fall; and that if capital increases without an increase of population, wages rise. It is evident, also, that if both increase, but one faster than the other, the effect will be the same as if the one had not increased at all, and the other had made an increase equal to the difference."—James Mill, Pol. Econ., p. 43.
42.  The view here taken of the relation of the laborer's efficiency to his wages substantially coincides with that presented by Prof. Stanley Jevons in his Theory of Political Economy, pp. 256-262, and by Prof. Hearn, of Melbourne, in his Plutology. Mr. Jevons styles his own views "somewhat heretical." Mr. J. L. Shadwell, writing in the "Independent Section" of the Westminster Review (January, 1872), advances "the efficiency of labor" as one great cause for the variations of wages, wholly independent of increase of population or of capital.
43.  I omit purposely all consideration of the limited monopoly of inventions created by law for the encouragement of ingenuity.
44.  See the remarks by Prof. Senior on the possibilities of English agriculture, quoted on p. 97.
Part II, Chapter X
1.  "L'économie politique que j'appellerais volontiers orthodoxe... semblait être définitivement constituée, Comme l'église de Rome, elle avait son Credo."—E. de Laveleye, Revue des Deux Mondes, July 15 1875.
2.  See p. 143.
3.  "Certes, le partage des produits du travail est digne de toute la sollicitude de quiconque a de l'intelligence et du cœur. Cependant, elle est moins urgente à discuter, et pratiquement elle sera bien moins embarrassante que celle de l'accroisement harmonique et régulier de la production."—Troisième discours d'Ouverture du cours de l'année, 1841-2.
4.  Let me not seem, by omission, to do injustice. Many of the writers of this school have recognized, in the fullest manner, not only the moral and social, but also the industrial, advantages of education and political freedom, in increasing the productive power of the workman; but for the distribution of wealth, they hold strictly economical forces to be sufficient.
5.  No man can buy anything, unless at the same time, he sells something; else he does not buy the thing he gets; it is given to him. When a man buys a pound of meat he sells a shilling, more or less. The butcher may say, I will send home the meat now, and you may hand in the shilling at the end of the week, or of the month; but the credit given does not alter the substantial relations of the parties to the transaction.
6.  We here assume the industrial quality of all laborers to be the same, and all employers to stand on the same footing as regards business capacity and credit.
7.  "Every scene of competition is called a market."—F. W. Newman, Lectures on Pol. Econ., p. 5.
8.  "For this class (the prolétaires) as for all, the operation of competition is two-fold. They feel it both as buyers, and as sellers of services."—Bastiat, "Harmonies of Pol. Econ.," p. 280. Doubtless; but do they feel it equally, in their two capacities? For what Prof. Cairnes calls "the excessive friction" of retail trade, see p. 313-5.
9.  Le point de départ des Katheder-socialisten est entiérement différent de celui des économistes orthodoxes, qu'ils designent sous le nom de Manchester-thum, on secte de Manchester, parce que c'est en effet, l'ecole des libres échangistes qui a exposé avec plus de logique les dogmes du Credo ancien."—Laveleye.—Revue des Deux Mondes, 15 July, 1875.
10.  See this term defined and truck practices described, pp. 324-42.
11.  Fawcett, Speeches, p. 130.
12.  The Factory Act of 1844 was passed against the opposition of the majority of English economists in Parliament and out.
13.  Essays in Pol. Econ. p. 251.
14.  The mobility of labor forms the subject of Chap. XI.
15.  Charles Lamb—Essays of Elis.
16.  Essays in Pol. Econ., p. 246.
17.  Count Rumford's Essays contain much interesting matter in illustration of the losses which the working classes suffer in the domestic use of what they have purchased, from the want of simple and elementary apparatus for cooking, storing, etc.
18.  Thus, I cannot hesitate to assent to the opinion of M. Say, that the breaking down of all the fraternities in Paris, after the Revolution of 1830, and the sudden rush, without order or discretion, of a mob of labor into trades immemorially restricted, was the cause of great disaster in 1831; that it would have been better, both for the trades and for the mass of outside labor, had the barriers been removed more gradually.
19.  "Employment of children in factories," p. 15. Mr. Horner, who was government inspector of factories, states that in the lace mills of Nottingham, children, 9 to 15 years of age, were frequently employed 20 hours on a stretch, from 4 A.M. to 12 at night. [p. 14.] He quotes a witness who testified that "being frequently detained in his counting-house late at night, till 12 or 1 o'clock, he has often, in going home, in the depth of winter, met mothers taking their children to the neighboring print-works, the children crying." [p. 123.]
Dr. Villermé, in his memorable report to the French Academy used the following language in writing of the factory laborers of Alsace: "The rents in the manufacturing towns and villages immediately adjoining, are so high that they are often obliged to live at the distance of a league and even a league and a half. The poor children, many of whom are scarcely seven years old, and some even younger, have to take from their sleep and their meal-hours, whatever is required to traverse that long and weary road, in the morning to get to the factory, in the evening to get home.... To judge how excessive is the labor of children in the factories, one has only to recollect that it is unlawful to employ galley-slaves more than 12 hours a day, and these 12 must be broken by two hours for meals, reducing the actual labor to ten hours a day; while the young people of whom I speak have to toil 13 hours, and sometimes 13½, independent of their meal times."
20.  "So understood, I hold it to be a pretentious sophism, destitute of foundation in nature and fact, and rapidly becoming an obstruction and nuisance in public affairs."—J. E. Cairnes' Essays in Pol. Econ., p. 252.
21.  In England, the absence of a system of registering titles has burdened the transfer of estates most oppressively.
22.  "L'économie politique s'appuie sur les memes principes que le politique."—8th Discours d'ouverture de l'année, 1847-8.
23.  "It is one thing to repudiate the scientific authority of laissez faire, freedom of contract, and so forth: it is a totally different thing to set up the opposite principle of state control, the doctrine of paternal government. For my part, I accept neither one doctrine nor the other, and, as a practical rule, I hold laissez faire to be incomparably the safer guide. Only let us remember that it is a practical rule, and not a doctrine of science; a rule in the main sound, but, like most other sound practical rules, liable to numerous exceptions; above all, a rule which must never for a moment be allowed to stand in the way of the candid consideration of any promising proposal of social or industrial reform."—J. E. Cairnes' Essays in Pol. Econ., p. 251.
Part II, Chapter XI
24.  If Mr. Mill had said, "Political economy considers mankind solely as occupied in acquiring and consuming wealth," the statement would have been unexceptionable. But if "Political economy considers mankind as occupied solely in acquiring and consuming wealth," Political economy considers mankind most falsely; and the results in economical reasoning of that unwarranted assumption have been most mischievous. Political economy is not bound to consider mankind so far as they are occupied in anything else than in acquiring and consuming wealth; but it is bound in simple honesty not to consider them as occupied in acquiring and consuming wealth when they are not, and to a degree they are not.
25.  Introduction to R. Jones' Pol. Econ.
26.  The effects of speech-differences in preventing the easy and rapid flow of labor are clearly to be seen in France and Scotland. The greater number of the Bas Bretons cannot speak or understand French, and are hence confined more closely to their native fields, than the people of any other section. [Report of H. B. M. Consul Clipperton, 1872, p. 160.]
The commissioners of the Scotch Census of 1871 found the influence of this cause very powerful in preventing emigration from the northern and western parts of Scotland, including the Isles, where the Gaelic is still spoken. [Report p. 20. cf. 4th Report (1870) on the employment of women and children in Agr., p. 117.]
27.  Miss Martineau notes the jealousy of "imported labor" (from Ireland) during the Napoleonic wars. [Hist, England I. 332.] Even so late as 1846, the committee on Railway Laborers reported that not only did the Irish and the Scotch not work on the same gangs with the English navvies, but they were kept apart from each other. [Report p. 5.] There was especial jealousy manifested toward the Irish importations. [Ibid. p. 52, 77.]
28.  The knitting frame caused stocking-making in England to be transferred from its former seat at Norwich. The woolen manufacture has, within living memory, migrated from Essex and Suffolk to the North. Between 1857 and 1861 occurred a falling off in the muslin embroidery manufacture of Ireland and Scotland, which involved a reduction in the number of persons employed of 146,000 (Statistical Journal XXIV. 516.7). About 1846, the English power-loom caused the absolute destruction of an industry which supported 250,000 workmen in Flanders. (Ibid, XXVIII, 15.) Seemingly petty changes in fashion will often produce wide-reaching effects in production. Mr. Malthus states that the substitution of shoe ribbons for buckles was a severe blow, long felt by Sheffield and Birmingham "On a smaller scale and with less notoriety," says a writer in the Athenæum, "the dismal tragedy of the cotton famine, is enacted every year in one or another of our great cities. Every time fashion selects a new material for dress, or a new invention supercedes old contrivances, workmen are thrown out of employment." Prof. Rogers gives the following piquant illustration of the effect of changes in the mere fashion of dress. "A year or two ago every woman who made any pretension to dress according to the custom of the day, surrounded herself with a congeries of parallel steel hoops. It is said that fifty tons of crinoline wire were turned out weekly from the factories chiefly in Yorkshire. The fashion has passed away and the demand for the material and the labor has ceased. Thousands of persons once engaged in this production are now reduced to enforced idleness, or constrained to betake themselves to some other occupation. Again, a few years ago, women dressed themselves plentifully with ribbons. This fashion has also changed; where a hundred yards were sold, one is hardly purchased now, and the looms of a multitude of silk operatives are idle. To quote another instance. At the present time women are pleased to walk about bareheaded. The straw-plaiters of Bedfordshire, Bucks, Hertfordshire and Essex are reduced suddenly from a condition of tolerable prosperity to one of great poverty and distress." (Pol. Econ., 1869, pp. 77-8.)
29.  But it may be said, if industry abandons population, and wages become reduced, this of itself constitutes a reason for industry to return, as it will have the advantage of cheap labor. This is much as if one should say: the approach of cold induces shivering: shivering is of the nature of exercise: exercise induces warmth; therefore a man may not freeze on a Minnesota prairie in an ice-storm, with the thermometer at 40 degrees below zero; and indeed the colder it gets, the more he will shake, and consequently, the warmer he will be.
30.  In 1870, 7,500,000 persons of the native population were living in states other than those of their birth.—See Census Reports. "The full-blooded American," says Chevalier, "has this in common with the Tartar, that he is encamped, not established, on the soil he treads upon."—Travels in the United States, p. 129.—In Russia, too, the freedom of migration from place to place, has frequently been noted. Sir Arch. Alison attributes this to the Tartar blood.—History of Europe xv, 164.—See Sir A. Buchanan's account of the industrial nomads of Russia.—Reports, H. B. M. Consuls, etc. 1870, p. 301.
31.  "No cause has, perhaps, more promoted, in every respect, the general improvement of the United States than the absence of those systems of internal restriction and monopoly, which continue to disfigure the state of society in other countries. No laws exist here directly or indirectly confining men to a particular occupation or place, or excluding any citizen from any branch he may at any time think proper to pursue. Industry is in every respect free and unfettered."—Albert Gallatin.
32.  The Advance, Dec. 10, 1874. In the last century the Irish emigration was from an altogether different class. "The spirit of emigration in Ireland," said Arthur Young in 1777, "appears to be confined to two circumstances, the Presbyterian religion and the linen manufacture."—Pinkerton, iii. 868.
33.  Fortnightly Review, III. 50.
34.  Statistical Journal, xx. 75.
35.  "The assumption commonly made in treatises of political economy, is that, as between occupations and localities within the same country, the freedom of movement of capital and labor is perfect." [J E. Cairnes, "Some Leading Principles," etc., p. 362.]
36.  Statistical Journal, xxviii. p. 12.
37.  A part of this effect, viz., the preference of emigration from the kingdom over migration within the kingdom, is due to the ineffable stupidity of the act of 12 and 13 Victoria (c. 103) which enables guardians of the poor to borrow money to send laborers out of the country; but does not authorize them to spend a penny in sending a person from the parish of his residence to another part of the kingdom where employment may be freely offered.
38.  Report on the Stoppage of Wages, p. 172.
39.  Wealth of Nations, I. 79.
40.  In discussing his extremely valuable Returns before the Statistical Society, Mr. Purdy says: "It would appear that no commodity in this country presents so great a variation in price at one time, as agricultural labor, taking the money wages of the men as the best exponent of its value. A laborer's wages in Dorset or Devon are barely half the sum given for similar services in the Northern parts of England."—Statistical Journal, xxiv. 344. Mr. Purdy refers, as among the causes of this, "to the natural vis inertiæ of the class.... and above all, a well founded dread of the miseries of a disputed poor-law settlement in the hour of their destitution."
41.  Professor Rogers, in his History of Agriculture and Prices, expresses the opinion that not only the transport of freight, but the transit of persons, was as free in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth, as in the eighteenth century. The roads were maintained in good order, chiefly by the monasteries, and travelling was then professional in many trades. The tiler, the slater, the mason, and the finer carpenter (who made furniture) were migratory. [Hist. I. 234-5]. Of a period a little later, Prof. Rogers says, "Labor travelled in those days (1530-1620) as freely as now; indeed, in the account books of Elizabeth, we find that mechanics for Greenwich and the Tower are procured from places as distant as Cardiff, Dorchester, Brighton, Bristol and Bridgewater."—[Statistical Journal, xxiv. 548.]
The practice of travelling or "wandering" as it is called, which has come down from this period, still prevails extensively in Germany among the younger journeymen ("Herbergen")—see Mr. Petre's report on the condition of the industrial classes, 1870, p. 56. The ease with which the German artisans are "metamorphosed into Frenchmen, Englishmen, Italians, Americans or Turks" (Mr. Strachey, Ibid p. 507) has doubtless contributed to the freedom of their movement. Not less than 8,000 German workmen were reported at Mulhouse before the war of 1870.
Consul Wilkinson reports that the settled population of the province of Macedonia is augmented in winter by five or six thousand itinerant artisans who quit their native mountains in central Albania, and distribute themselves over the province in quest of employment, [ibid p. 248]. M. Ducarre's report to the French assembly of 1875, notes the considerable proportions of the annual migration from Italy into Corsica. [p. 247.]
42.  Pol. Econ. p. 167.
43.  See p. 26.
44.  It is not merely by differences in the birth-rate and in the death-rate of these natural labor-populations, that the supply of labor is made to vary. The census of Scotland quoted above, shows that the proportion of males born varies greatly in the different occupations. Thus, among the workers in chemicals there are but 85.2 males to 100 female children under five years of age; among operatives in silk factories, there are 93.9, in cotton-factories, 95.3, in woolen factories 97.8; while among the agricultural population there are 105.2, among fishermen, 107.5, among general out-door laborers, 106.6, among quarry-men and brickmakers, 107.8, and among railway laborers and navvies, 117.1. See Report, p. 44. Of course the greater the proportional number of males, the greater the supply of effective labor.
45.  Report, p. 42.
46.  Wealth of Nations i, pp. 103-4.
47.  Some Leading Principles, etc., p. 362.
48.  "The founder of the cotton manufacture was a barber. The inventor of the power loom was a clergyman. A farmer devised the application of the screw-propeller. A fancy-goods shopkeeper is one of the most enterprising experimentalists in agriculture. The most remarkable architectural design of our day has been furnished by a gardener. The first person who supplied London with water was a goldsmith. The first extensive maker of English roads was a blind man, bred to no trade. The father of English inland navigation was a duke, and his engineer was a millwright. The first great builder of iron bridges was a stone mason, and the greatest railway engineer commenced his life as a colliery engineer."—Hearn's Plutology, p. 279.
49.  Some Leading Principles, etc., pp. 70-3.
50.  "That doctrine may be thus briefly stated: International values are governed by the reciprocal demand of commercial countries for each other's productions, or more precisely, by the demand of each country for the productions of all other countries as against the demand of all other countries for what it produces.... Whatever be the exchanging proportions—or, let us say, whatever be the state of relative prices—in different countries, which is requisite to secure this result, those exchanging proportions, that state of relative prices, will become normal—will furnish the central point toward which the fluctuations of international prices will gravitate."—"Some Leading Principles, etc." pp. 99, 100.
51.  Some Leading Principles, etc., p. [???].
52.  "Even sometimes as many as eighty or one hundred may be taken from a neighboring town to one farm." Report of E. B. Portman, asst. comm'r.,—Employment of women and children, 1867-8, p. 95. "At present, parents solicit employers to take children into service often so young as to be worthless."—Ibid. p. 97. "In Cambridgeshire, the children go out to work as young as six years old, many at seven or eight."—Ibid, p. 95. of. pp. 12, 15, note.
53.  Social Science Transactions, 1874, p. 4.
54.  Report of 1865, p. 13.
55.  "An agricultural laborer is not suddenly converted into a cotton weaver. Such a transition rarely takes place; but if there is a manufactory close at hand many of the children of the agricultural laborers will be employed therein."—Pol. Econ., p. 170.
Part II, Chapter XII
56.  "Whose Essay on the distribution of Wealth (or rather Rent) is a copious repertory of valuable facts on the landed tenure of different countries."—J. S. Mill, Pol. Econ., I. 297.
57.  Pol. Econ., p. 15.
58.  "You have no other peasantry like that of England. You have no other country in which it is entirely divorced from the land. There is no other country in the world where you will not find men turning up the furrow in their own freehold."—Cobden, Speeches, II, 116.
59.  Address of Lord Napier and Ettrick. Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1872.
60.  Wealth of Nations, I. 69.
61.  "In Tuscany," writes Sismondi, and the remark holds true of most parts of Italy where the metayer system prevails, "public opinion protects the cultivator. A proprietor would not dare to impose conditions unusual in the country, and even in changing one metayer for another he alters nothing of the rent."
"In this country (England) the cultivator of the soil and the owner of the soil are, as a rule, different persons; in other countries they are, as a rule, the same; or where they are not the same the owner of the soil rather occupies the position of a perpetual lessor or mortgagee than that of a landlord whose contracts with his tenants are constantly liable to revision."—Prof. Rogers' Pol. Econ., p. 151.
62.  Prof. Jones finds the origin of the metayer system of Western Europe, in Greece, from which it was adopted by the Romans, and introduced into Italy first, and France and Spain afterwards. Prof. Rogers finds that the metayer system was introduced quite generally into England after the great plague of 1348, and prevailed for about sixty years, when it was "superseded by the growth of a hardy and prosperous yeomanry, who either purchased the land in parcels, or bargained to work it with their own capital, and at a money rent." Pol. Econ., 168, 170. The fate of these yeomen in England has been noticed.
63.  Of the 682,237 holdings in Ireland, 512,080 are of less value than 15l. a year each, 527,000 are tenancies at will.—Statistical Journal, xxxiii, 152.
64.  Day-laborers in agriculture were, until recently, almost unknown in Ireland. They are now appearing in considerable numbers.—Leslie's Land Systems, etc. p. 44.
65.  "The unhired laborers who are peasant cultivators," according to Prof. Jones, comprised in his day "probably two-thirds of the laboring population of the globe."—Pol. Econ., p. 14.
66.  Pol. Econ., p. 420.
67.  Wealth of Nations, I, 332.
68.  Wealth of Nations.
69.  "The (third) class of hired laborers, paid from capital, has so exclusively met the eyes and occupied the thoughts of English writers on wages, that it has led them into some serious and very unfortunate mistakes as to the nature, extent, and formation of the funds out of which the laboring population of the globe is fed, and, as usual, they have misled foreign writers."—R. Jones, Pol. Econ., p. 15.
70.  Log. Meth. Pol. Econ. p. 139-141.
71.  p. 4.
72.  With the assistance, it may be, of his wife and minor children whose labor is, in the eye of the law, his own.
73.  "No English agricultural laborer, in his most sanguine dreams has the vision of occupying, still less of possessing, land."—Rogers Hist. of Agr. and Prices, I, 693.
Part II, Chapter XIII
74.  Ricardo's theory of rent applies to land only as it is assumed to be unimproved. Differences of fertility wrought by actual applications of capital, are to be compensated on the same principles as investments of equal safety and permanence.
75.  Mr. Ricardo makes this distinction in respect to the banker himself. "The distinctive function of the banker begins as soon as he uses the money of others." Yet, though it is the use of other people's money that characterizes the banker, it is important that he should be known or supposed to have money of his own to afford guaranty of his good faith and prudence.
76.  E.g., Lawyers, physicians, clergymen, architects, engineers, government officials, and the like.
77.  Bagehot's Lombard Street, p. 12.
78.  "Profits proper, or interest."—Prof.Rogers, Pol. Econ., p. 189. "The return for abstinence is profit."—Prof.Cairnes' "Some Leading Principles," etc., p. 48.
79.  As Mr. Amasa Walker is the only systematic writer on political economy, with whose work I am familiar, who recognizes the employers of labor as constituting a distinct industrial class, so he is the only one who gives the word Profits the significance it has in the text, "By the term profits we mean that share of wealth, which, in the general distribution, falls to those who effect an advantageous union between labor and capital... the parties, then, to production are (1) the laborer, (2) the capitalist, (3) the employer, or manager. Each has a distinct province and a separate interest."—Science of Wealth, pp.279-80.
80.  "Profit: a word which, like many others in political economy, is very loosely applied."—Prof. Rogers' Pol. Econ., p. 5.
81.  "Some Leading Principles," etc., p. 258.
82.  It has been shown that it is possible that an advance of wages may be made in several ways without involving a reduction either in profits or in the returns of capital.
83.  Pol. Econ., p. 243.
84.  European financiers have been more than once astonished by the enormous accumulations of the French peasantry, when these were tapped by a popular loan.
85.  Coal rose, between July 1871, and February, 1872 in the proportion of 100 to 256, iron following, though at a considerable interval.
86.  Pp. 81-2.
87.  Pp. 278-9.
88.  See p. 194.
89.  See p. 164.
90.  History of New England, II. 219-20.
Part II, Chapter XIV
91.  Thus the peasant proprietor takes all the responsibilities of production, determines its courses and its methods, and acts, so to speak, as the entrepreneur in respect to his own little affairs, at the same time owning the capital employed and performing all the labor.
92.  "The ultimate partners in any production may be divided into two classes, capitalists and laborers.... If the distributor be the capitalist, the share of the laborer is called wages. If the distributor be the laborer, the share of the capitalist is called either interest or rent."—Hearn's Plutology, pp. 325-7.
93.  A wholly erroneous conception of coöperation, due to the neglect of the entrepreneur-function, is exposed on page 264.
94.  P. 215.
95.  For remarks of Prof. Cairnes regarding the office of economic definition, see page 218.
96.  P. 392.
97.  Thus, even in Austria, one of the most backward of European countries in the organization of industry, we find that 493 employers provide lodging for not less than 59,343 workmen. In France, Messrs. Schneider & Co. ("Le Creusot") employ 10,000 workmen. Anzin employs 15,000 under a single direction. At the great cannon foundry of Krupp, at Essen in Westphalia, between 8,000 and 10,000 are employed. In Great Britain, like gigantic establishments abound.
98.  P 238.
99.  The Financier, August 1, 1874.
100.  Errors in directing production are never offset one against another, as mistakes in computation so often are with a result of substantial accuracy. Whether the employer err in being too timid or too venturesome, loss is alike sustained, an injury is suffered which is without compensation. There is no balancing of one mistake against another in industry.
It is needless to say that the employer is almost always either too timid or too venturesome. The perfect temper of business, we might suppose, is found in no living man. But the sterner the responsibility to which the employer is held, the more steady and severe the competition to which he is subjected, the nearer will be the approach to this ideal, the less will be the waste in production due to mis-direction of the industrial force.
101.  The evidence before the Committee of 1854 brought out strongly this feature of the truck system; that it was chiefly resorted to by small and doubtful establishments which thus contrived to make up, by "sweating" the wages of their operatives, what they could not make in legitimate profits, and thus kept themselves alive. Indeed, the excuse most frequently urged by truck masters was that, but for gains thus realized, they would be obliged to give up business. It is needless to say that the sooner such employers are driven out, the better for the laboring class.
102.  P. 294.
103.  Statistical Journal, xxviii. 3-5.
104.  "As, even when relieved from the pressure of necessity, the large-brained Europeans voluntarily enter on enterprises or activities which the savage could not keep up, even to satisfy urgent wants; so their larger brained descendants will, in a still higher degree, find their gratification in careers entailing still greater mental expenditures."—H. Spencer, Principles of Biology, II. 520.
105.  Mr. Gould's Report, p. 346. Mr. Bonar reported in 1870: "In enumerating the highly favorable circumstances in which the Swiss working man is placed, prominence must be given to the immense extension of the principle of democracy, which, whatever may be its defects and dangers from a political point of view, when pushed to extremes, serves in Switzerland, in its economical effects, to advance the cause of the operative, by removing the barriers dividing class from class, and to establish among all grades the bonds of mutual sympathy and good will."—Report, p. 271. Coxe, in his travels in Switzerland during the last century, notes the frank, courteous assumption of absolute equality on the part of the Swiss peasantry.—(Pinkerton, V. 657).
Part II, Chapter XV
1.  "Some Leading Principles," etc., p. 339.
2.  "Essays on Political Economy." How singularly unfortunate this would be as a definition, even were Prof. Cairnes not mistaken in his general view of coöperation, will be seen when we say that the above would be a very good description of a peasant proprietor, or small American farmer. He "combines in the same person the two capacities of laborer and capitalist." Is he [???] coöperator?
3.  "A scheme... by which the laborer can unite the functions and earn the wages of laborer and employer by superseding the necessity of using the services of the latter functionary."—Prof. Rogers, Pol. Econ., 108. This is a strictly accurate, and but for the regretable use of the word wages, would be a felicitous, statement of the design of coöperation.
4.  "Double interest is, in Great Britain, reckoned what the merchants call a good, moderate, reasonable profit." Adam Smith 1, 102.
Sir Arch. Alison gives as an argument against what would practically be coöperation, that the profits if divided among the laborers, "would not make an addition to them of more than thirty or forty per cent"—(Hist. Europe, xxii, 237.) "Profits" here include both the returns of capital and the gains of the middleman. Prof. Senior says; "it may be laid down generally, that in no country have profits continued for any considerable period at the average rate of fifty per cent per annum." (Pol. Econ., p. 140.)
Mr. Purdy estimates the division of the annual product of the land of England and Wales as follows:
5.  Fortnightly Review, III., 482.
6.  Social Science Transactions, 1871, p. 585.
7.  "Les sociétés coöpératives n'ont pas en jusqu'à ce jour en France le succès qu'elles ont obtenu, soit en Angleterre, soit en Allemagne.... En France, les societés de production n'existent qu'à l'état de minimes exceptions"—pp. 264-5.
8.  Report of Mr. Gould, on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, p. 355.
9.  "Pour la petite industrie, les placements sont en quelque sorts assurés; le marché est là sous les yeux du producteur, il en peut à chaque instant consulter les besoins, il reconnaît à des signes certains l'engorgement et la pléthore, aussi bien que l'insuffisance et la disette."—Blanqui (aîné), Cours d'Économie Industrielle, II., 62.
10.  "It is impossible to hire commercial genius, or the instincts of a skilful trader."—Fred'k Harrison, Fortnightly Review, III, 492.
11.  "I am confident that the manual operations will be skilfully and probably more diligently performed in a coöperative establishment. The personal interests of the workmen will be so directly advanced by their application and perseverance that they will naturally work hard. But their best efforts will fail to ensure a satisfactory result, unless the general organization is perfect also."—Mr. Brassey, at Hali fax. The Times' Report.
12.  The Times' Report.
13.  My honored father has told me of the discussion once held over a note for $250, offered at the bank of which he was a director, signed with the then unknown name of James M. Beebe.
14.  Mr. Thornton (On Labor, p. 441) argues that while societies of workingmen may be unable to administer their affairs directly, they may be competent, like political societies, "to provide for their own government." To the contrary, Mr. Harrison urges (Fortnightly Review, III., 492) that "he who is unfit to manage, is unfit to direct the manager."
15.  Mr. Babbage has shown (Econ. of Manufactures, p. 172-188) that the earnings of persons employed in the production of pins, in his day ranged from 4½d. to 6s. If the workmen who were capable of doing the higher parts of the work (pointing, whitening, etc.) were to be put to making the whole pin, through all the ten processes described, the cost of the pins would be three and three-quarter times as great as under the application of the division of labor, with payments to each workman according to his capacity.
16.  An apparently successful experiment in this direction obtains notice in Prof. Fawcett's Pol. Econ., pp. 292-3, note.
17.  Perhaps the difficulty of the problem will be best outlined, to those who are not familiar with this special subject of undivided profits, or "unexhausted improvements," in agriculture, by presenting the following classification of tenants' expenditures on the soil, which was embraced in the Duke of Richmond's Bill of 1875. That bill divided improvements into three categories; permanent, wasting and temporary. In the first class were included reclaiming, warping, draining, making or improving watercourses, ponds, etc., roads, fences, buildings, and the planting of orchards and gardens. With respect to these, it was proposed that an outgoing tenant should be allowed compensation for the unexhausted value of such of them as he might have made within 20 years of the termination of his tenancy with the written consent of his landlord. The second class included liming, claying, chalking, marling, boring, clay-burning, and planting hops, and it was proposed that the tenant should be able to claim for these processes, if done within seven years of the end of his tenancy, no consent being necessary. So also with respect to the third class—consuming by cattle, sheep, or pigs, of corn, cake, or other feeding stuffs, or using artificial manures—where, however, a claim could not go back beyond two years.
18.  In Mr. Babbage's admirable little work on "the Economy of Manufactures," published in 1832, a plan of industrial organization is proposed on the idea that "a considerable part of the wages received by each person employed should depend on the profits made by the establishment." (pp. 249-50.)
19.  J. S. Mill, Pol. Econ., ii. 335-7.
20.  Thornton "On Labor," pp. 369-84—McDonnell's Survey of Pol Econ. 220-1.
21.  Report of Mr. Gould on the condition of the industrial classes 1872, p. 355.
22.  Report of Mr. Herries on the condition of the industrial classes of Italy. 1871 p. 234-5.
23.  The proposal of the Messrs. Brewster was most honorable at once to the good feeling and to the sagacity of the members of the firm, especially Mr. J. W. Britton, with whom the enterprise originated. The firm offered to divide ten per cent of their net profits among their employees, in proportion to the wages severally earned by them, no charge to be made by the members of the firm for their services prior to this deduction of ten per cent, or for interest on the capital invested; the business of each year to stand by itself, and be independent of that of any other year. This handsome proposal was accepted by the employees, and an association formed. The plan worked to the satisfaction of all parties, as high as $11,000 a year being divided among the hands: but at the great strike of the trades in New York three years ago, the workmen of this establishment were carried away by the general excitement, and the strong pressure brought to bear upon them from the outside; and the scheme was abandoned. So long as it worked, it worked well; and showed that the plan had no financial or industrial weaknesses. The failure was at the point of patience, forbearance and faith, a very important point; but may not masters and men be educated up to this requirement, in view of the great advantages to result?
24.  For remarks of Messrs. Mill and Cairnes respecting the "excessive friction," and consequent undue profits and expenses of retail trade, the reader is referred to page 313-5.
25.  Very recently the coöperative societies of England have decided on a new and far reaching step, and have undertaken the importation of foreign supplies required for their numerous stores and shops. This step evidently involves a very large addition of responsibility and risk, without, as I should apprehend, a proportional gain in the event of success.
26.  Transactions, 1872, pp. 449-50.
27.  Soc. Science Transactions, 1864, p. 6-8.
28.  P. 265.
29.  McDonnell's Survey of Pol. Econ., pp. 224-5.
30.  Report of Mr. Strachy, 1870, p. 512.
31.  Report of Mr. Lytton, 1870, p. 564.
32.  I am disappointed to find so little precise statistical information in Mr. Chamberlain's work on the Sovereigns of Industry. Figures of arithmetic are more needed than figures of speech, in discussions of coöperation.
Part II, Chapter XVI
33.  Mr. Frederick Harrison, in a somewhat noted article in the Fort-nightly Review (vol. iii., p. 50), strenuously maintains that "the laborer has not got a thing to sell." This seems to be a question of the proper use of two words, thing and sell. There are no facts or economical principles involved in the dispute. If Mr. Harrison were to acknowledge the propriety of our use of those two monosyllables, he would not object to our statement otherwise. If, again, we were to take Mr. Harrison's view of the etymology of these words, we should not claim that the laborer had a thing to sell.
34.  I am here speaking broadly. In an individual transaction the employer may fail of his anticipated profits and the laborer yet receive his wages all the same; and in other possible cases an employer may consent to pay wages, and sacrifice his own present interest in the product, for the sake of profits to be made in better times.
35.  On Labor, p. 93.
36.  The scholars and men of letters who distribute their labors equally over the fifty-two weeks of the year are, I apprehend, very few.
37.  The most marked exception is found in the matter of domestic service. The employers are here more numerous, but only in a moderate degree. The number of families employing one or two servants only, vastly exceed the more highly-organized households. But, upon our definition, domestic servants belong to the salary or stipend class, and not to the wages class.
38.  This exception is important. We have a strange dictum from Professor Cairnes in his work, Some Leading Principles of Political Economy (p. 268), as follows: "The temporary success of a strike does not necessarily prove its wisdom; but the failure of a strike, immediate or ultimate, is decisive evidence that it ought never to have been undertaken." It would be possible to place a construction on this language which should remove the remark from the criticism which the plain sense of the words invites. Surely it is conceivable that a body of workmen should make a demand on their employer which the state of the market would fairly allow him to concede, and which, in another mood, he might cheerfully concede. The demand, however, being made or met, it matters not which, in bad temper, illblood is aroused and a conflict precipitated. In such a contest the workmen might be beaten by the longer purse of a wilful, resolute employer, and finally obliged to yield, without proving their demands unreasonable, any more than a poor patentee being obliged to abandon an invention to a powerful combination of manufacturers, in these days of tardy and costly justice, would prove that he never had any rights in the case. Of course, if it be held that failure in human affairs of itself proves folly, Professor Cairnes's remark is justified. In that case it would be correct to say of a ship which should sail by the usual route from Liverpool to New-York and be sunk by an iceberg halfway across, that she ought never to have undertaken the voyage.
39.  Somewhat aside from this consideration, yet here mentioned in order to avoid multiplying distinctions, is the fact that, in some industries, besides the sacrifice of the employer's profits during a stoppage, there are considerable expenses (additional to loss of rent and interest) to be incurred in maintaining the service in condition for resumption. Such expenses are those of keeping mines free from water, and keeping furnaces in blast. If these things are to be done, it is at a great cost; if omitted to be done, and the mines are allowed to fill up and the fires to go out, a heavy tax is imposed upon the resumption of production. On the other hand, it deserves to be mentioned that the suspension of production may at times be a relief to the employer. This may happen when the reduction of profits, through the depression of trade, coincides with an occasion for repairing or renewing machinery or enlarging works, or converting buildings to different uses. Thus we find it stated concerning the great Glasgow strike of 1874: "Advantage is being taken of the present opportunity to execute any important repairs and reconstructions that can be undertaken; so that even though the strike were at an end to-morrow, some days would elapse before the work of production could possibly be in full swing again."—Iron and Coal Trades Review.
40.  Many manufacturers and dealers will recognize this element as of no small importance. They identify the products of different establishments by their style and finish, as easily and certainly as the editor of a newspaper comes to identify the smallest clipping from a contemporary by its paper, type, and "make-up."
41.  Many trades unions or societies disavow the purpose to prevent workmen of exceptional merit from receiving wages above the average.
42.  A very striking demonstration of the importance of this consideration in many branches of industry is to be seen by the most casual observer in the phenomenon of a part of the laborers in a trade wholly unemployed. Why are not all employed at lower prices? This would be the effect of simple competition. The answer is found partly in the force of personal consideration and respect arising out of acquaintance and association; but mainly in the employer's interest in the continuity of employment. He could not afford for a short time to take on new hands even at lower rates.
Part II, Chapter XVII
43.  See p. 169.
44.  Rogers, Hist. of Agr. and Prices.
45.  "Because a great part of the people, and especially of workmen and servants, late died of the pestilence, many, seeing the necessity of masters and great scarcity of servants, will not serve unless they receive excessive wages," etc., etc.
46.  Namely, those wages which had been paid in the 20th year of King Edward's reign, or the average of "five or six other common years next before."
47.  I select the following examples from the laws of the Massachusetts Colony:
1630, 23d August.—"It was ordered that carpenters, joiners, brick-layers, sawyers, and thatchers shall not take above 2s. a day; nor any man shall give more, under pain of 10s. to taker and giver."
28th September.—"It is ordered that no master carpenter, mason, joiner, or bricklayer shall take above 16d. a day for their work, if they have meat and drink, and the second sort not above 12d. a day, under pain of 10s. both to giver and receiver."
Two other acts had been passed of a similar nature, when, on the 22d March, 1631, the General Court "ordered (that whereas the wages of carpenters, joiners, and other artificers and workmen were by order of court restrained to particular sums) shall now be left free, and at liberty as men shall reasonably agree." In September, however, the Court suffered a relapse, and for four years longer continued to fix specifically the wages of labor.
48.  The Massachusetts General Court reached the same conclusion some hundreds of years later, and having repealed, September 3d, 1635, the law "that restrained workmen's wages to a certainty," enacted in 1636 "that the freemen of every town shall from time to time, as occasion shall require, agree among themselves about the prices and rates of all workmen, laborers, and servants' wages; and every other person inhabiting in any town, whether workman, laborer, or servant, shall be bound to the same rates which the said freemen or the greater part shall bind themselves unto."
49.  Many of these acts were doubtless passed in the spirit of 2 and 3 Edward VI. (c. 9): "Therefore, as the malice of man increaseth to defrand the intent of good laws, so laws must rise against such guile with the more severity, day by day, for the due repress of the same."
50.  Rogers, Pol. Econ., p. 122.
51.  M. Ducarre's Report of 1875, to which I have several times referred, presents a good view of the course of measures by which labor in France has been emancipated (pp. 22-64).
52.  "The corporation system exists with more vigor in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden," wrote Mr. Laing in 1851, "than in any other country."—Denmark and the Duchies, p. 301.
53.  Since 1862. See Report of Mr. Strachey on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1870, p. 505.
54.  Report of Mr. Lytton, 1870, p. 522.
55.  I am here speaking of wage-laborers as they are and not as they might be. There could be a better state of things still than that in which "custom" protects the poor—that is, a condition in which the laboring class should be so intelligent, and hence so strong, that they could not afford and would not endure to take a defensive position, but should welcome the utmost that competition could do. But so long as the working classes remain, as in most countries, ignorant and inert, it is possible that causes reducing the severity of competition may be properly correspondent to their weaknesses, and thus beneficial. However that may be, it stands by itself, that the working classes, being inadequately prepared to follow around after changes of price, must be injured by whatever makes those changes more frequent and violent.
56.  The Northern Monthly, May, 1868; article, "The Greenback Era."
57.  It appears that while the total number of persons reported as of gainful occupations at the census of 1870 was but 18 per cent greater than the corresponding number at 1860, the number engaged in trade and transportation had increased in the decade 44 per cent. "Some Results of the Census." (Soc. Science Journal, 1873, p. 91.)
58.  Pol. Econ. i. 291, 292.
59.  "In the great majority of cases, nowadays, the debate about the value of an article, called by Adam Smith, the higgling of the market, is confined to wholesale purchases and sales. But a generation or two ago, the habit of bargaining in matters of retail trade was general. It still is a custom in many European countries. It is all but universal in the East."—Prof. Rogers, Pol. Econ., p. 186. "The value of any thing in Spain is what you can get for it; consequently, every purchase, from the most expensive articles of luxury down to the poorest vegetable, entails a system of haggling and bargaining."—Mr. Ffrench's Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 606.
60.  Some Leading Principles of Political Economy, pp. 128-30.
61.  I do not speak here of the degree of taxation. Whether government shall take much or take little is a political question. In some countries, even in the present day, the only limit to exactions appears to be the limit of the people's means, and all above bare subsistence is carried away by the strong arm of the law, to be spent in pomp, luxury, or war. But this, as has been said, is a political question, and so long as taxation presses on each class of the community with weight proportional to its strength, I do not see that the economist can take account of the amount, any more than of the objects, of such expenditures.
62.  "I hold it to be true that a tax laid in any place is like a pebble falling into and making a circle in a lake, till one circle produces and gives motion to another, and the whole circumference is agitated from the centre."—Speech of Lord Mansfield, 1766, on the right of Parliament to tax the colonies.
63.  Cobden and Political Opinion, pp. 83, 84.
64.  The Nation, June 11th, 1874.
65.  Notes to Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, i. 349.
66.  J. W. Willis Bund on Local Taxation, p. 17.
67.  History of the English Poor-Laws, ii. 96, 97.
68.  Ibid., p. 253.
69.  The commissioners of 1832, as the result of extended comparisons, found that, while the pauper received 151 ounces of solid food per week, the independent laborer received but 122 ounces.
70.  "In some instances," says Dr. Chalmers, " the vestries have felt themselves obliged to rent and even to furnish houses for the reception of the newly-married couple."—Pol. Econ. 307.
71.  "The English law has abolished female chastity."—Mr. Cowell's Report.
"It may safely be affirmed that the virtue of female chastity does not exist among the lower orders of England, except to a certain extent among domestic servants, who know that they hold their situations by that tenure, and are more prudent in consequence."—Report of the Commissioners of 1831.
"In many rural districts it was scarcely possible to meet with a young woman who was respectable, so tempting was the parish allowance for infants in a time of great pressure."—Martineau, Hist. England, iii. 168.
72.  Foreign Poor-Laws, etc., p. 88.
73.  P. 11.
74.  Pinkerton, iii. 197.
75.  Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1871, p. 146.
76.  About sixty acts of the British Parliament have dealt with Truck.
77.  It was made lawful to stop wages on account of victuals dressed or prepared under the roof of the employer and there consumed by the artificer.
78.  "Nothing herein contained shall extend to any domestic servant, or servant in husbandry" (xx.). This exception was due in part to the reason of the case, and in part, we can not doubt, to the want of political power in the agricultural labor class.
79.  The words of the Massachusetts General Court are worthy to be commended to the high and mighty Parliament of England. "Whereas it is found, by too common and sad experience, in all parts of the colony, that the forcing of laborers and other workmen to take wine in pay for their labor is a great nursery or preparative to drunkenness and unlawful tippling,... it is therefore ordered and ordained by this Court that no laborer or workman whatsoever shall, after the publication and promulgation hereof, be enforced or pressed to take wine in pay for his labor." (May 14, 1645.)
80.  Statistical Journal, xxvii. 526.
81.  Statistical Journal, xxiv. 333, cf. 339.
82.  "In Herefordshire it has happened that a farmer paid his laborers 9 shillings a week in money, and during harvest-time 9 gallons of cider a week." Mr. Spender's computations assume that the cider was a good merchantable article. On this point see Heath's English Peasantry. One of the "clergy returns" published in the Report of the Convocation of Canterbury on Intemperance, states the allowance of cider to a laborer at harvest-time at 2½ gallons daily; another at nearly 2 gallons (p. 39). In one of the "workhouse returns" the governor speaks of laborers as "swallowing, some of them, as much as 3 or 4 gallons a day." (Ibid., p. 40.)
83.  The Act of 1st and 2d William IV. provides that "in all contracts for the hiring of any artificer in any of the trades enumerated, the wages of such artificer shall be made payable in the current coin of the realm, and not otherwise." The trades enumerated are the manufactures of iron and steel; the mining of coal or iron, limestone, salt-rock; the working or getting of clay, stone, or slate; manufactures of salt, bricks, tiles, or quarries; hardware manufactures, textile manufactures, glass, china, and earthenware, manufactures of leather, and others.
There was excepted the right to supply to artificers medicine and medical attendance; fuel, materials, tools, and implements in mining; also hay, corn, and provender to be consumed by any horse or beast of burden employed by the artificer in the occupation; also, to furnish tenements at a rent to be thereon reserved; also, to advance to artificers money to be contributed to friendly societies and savings-banks or for relief in sickness, or for the education of children.
84.  Sir Morton Peto, then a great contractor, and one of the partners of Thomas Brassey, testified that there was no difficulty in provisioning men on the most remote sections of railway. (Report, p. 75.)
85.  Commons Committee on Payment of Wages Bill, 1854. Report, pp. 37-9.
86.  Mr. Seymour Tremenheere, in his exhaustive evidence before the Select Committee of 1854, stated that the truck-shops were so small, and the persons retained to serve customers so few, that the women attending to get supplies for their families, on the credit of their husbands' wages, frequently could not enter, but that fifty or one hundred would be seen collected outside, waiting their turn to be served. He had himself seen women with children in their arms standing in the open air in bad weather, and on asking had been told they had been waiting for hours. (Report, p. 8.)
Other witnesses placed the time for which a woman might thus be compelled to wait at the truck-shop at two, four, or six hours, or even longer. (Report, pp. 42, 128, 156-7, 322, 330, 371.) Meanwhile the children not in arms were locked up at home.
Mr. J. Fellows, Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths at Bilston, but also, it ought to be mentioned, a retail grocer, stated that in sixteen years he had had occasion to record a number of deaths, which he placed, from memory, at eleven, of young children burned in the absence of their mothers while waiting at these shops. (Report, p. 43).
87.  Sir Archibald Alison appeared before the Committee of 1854 as the champion of truck.
"I think," he said, "generally speaking, the people are furnished with subsistence, and with articles of use for themselves and their families infinitely better than from the stores of private dealers."—Report, p. 229.
"From all that I have seen I think the establishment of stores has been followed by a great improvement in the condition of the workmen."—Ibid.
"I have known instances of workmen going miles to the master's stores in preference to dealing with the private shops."—P. 234. "... the immense advantage of the truck system in compelling the workman to spend a large portion of his earnings in food for himself and his family."—P. 245.
"I think the workmen in the great manufactories and collieries are just like a great ill-disciplined army. It is just as impossible to make them dispose of their money properly as it would be to provide an army with adequate subsistence if you were to abolish the commissariat and pay every man in money, and let him buy his provisions where he pleased."—Pp. 237, 238.
88.  Just as Sir Archibald Alison admitted, the masters made use of the opportunities of the truck-system. Thus he speaks of "periods of great distress, when the masters are driven to be sharp with their furnishings." (Report of the Committee of 1854, p. 232.) "I have no doubt that under these circumstances, during these periods of distress, they sometimes furnish inferior articles, at least to what they have furnished before."... The complaints which I have heard have almost always been complaints about measure; or, in some instances, I have heard complaints, in periods of distress, that the quality of the goods was inferior."... I think when a master is receiving high prices for his articles, for iron and coal, then his pockets are full of money, he is in affluent circumstances, and he is not, therefore, under the necessity of being strict with his furnishings; that is to say, when trade is good, he gives good measure, he gives the best articles, and is liberal with his workmen; he does not feel the pressure himself. If in bad times he is out at elbow and feels the pressure, as he always does in a monetary crisis, then he is obliged to be more strict with his workmen, and then complaints are made." There is something beautiful in this Tory confidence in human nature, leading to the assurance that masters will never cheat their workmen in measure or quality unless it is positively necessary to save themselves.
89.  Report of the Committee of 1855, p. 160.
90.  Ibid.
91.  Report of the Committee of 1855, pp. 163, 164, cf. p. 22.
92.  Ibid., p. 165, cf. p. 24.
93.  Fawcett's Speeches, p. 130.
94.  For instance, suppose in a truck establishment a workman to die having undisputed claims on the employer, for work done, to the nominal amount of 100 shillings: what amount would his widow be entitled to recover in money at law, or would the employer be entitled to pay the debt into court in groceries and provisions, in quantities and at prices to suit himself? If the man had lived, the 100 shillings would have been paid, wholly or in part, in truck. His death certainly does not change the nature of his claim; yet is it conceivable that a court should award a payment in kind?
95.  See Sir A. Alison's remarkable admissions on this point, quoted in note to page 333.
96.  "This is a great oppression," quoth Arthur Young. "Farmers and gentlemen keeping accounts with the poor is a great abuse. So many days' work for a cabin, so many for a potato-garden, so many for keeping a horse, and so many for a cow, are clear accounts which a poor man can understand well; but further it ought not to go,—and when he has worked out what he has of this sort, the rest of his work ought punctually to be paid him every Saturday night."—Pinkerton, iii. 815.
97.  M. Ducarre's report notices with approbation the attempt of the Orleans Railway Company to supply their 14,000 employees with food and clothing. The results seem to show that the workmen thus obtained their supplies thirty per cent cheaper than they could have done at the shops. There is no reason why such enterprises should not be carried out to a much greater extent, to the highest advantage of employers and workmen, and with general consent.
98.  Clearly the evil, if there is any evil in the system, will be somewhat according to the variety of the articles thus forced upon the laborer. The greater that variety the greater his disadvantage. One of the arguments against abolishing or abating agricultural truck has been that the arrangement was generally restricted to "one, two, or three distinct things."—Testimony of Mr. Tremenheere before the Committee of 1854. Report, p. 102.
99.  The effects of railways in taking the life out of small country towns, and drawing trade and manufactures to junctions and termini, are too familiar to need illustration.
100.  In some cases even the pretence of adapting the commodities, in which the laborer was paid, to his wants was abandoned, and the laborer was paid in whatever was most convenient to the employer. Evidence was given before the Committee of 1854 that workmen were sometimes forced to receive such an excess of flour, for instance, as to have to pay their rent in this article, of course at inconvenience and with a loss. (Report, p. 6.)
Part II, Chapter XVIII
1.  Mr. Mill says: "When the object is to raise the permanent condition of a people, small means do not merely produce small effects, they produce no effect at all." (Pol. Econ., i. 459.) The remark is just, but is perhaps liable to be misunderstood. Causes which, when contemplated as operating in a given moment, appear so small as to be inconsiderable, may, if they operate continuously in any direction, produce great effects; but then such causes can not, in a philosophical view, be considered small.
2.  Correspondence of the Daily News.
3.  P. 185.
4.  Pol. Econ., pp. 101, 102. The savings-banks statistics bear out this assertion respecting the laboring classes of these counties. By the report of the Penrith Branch of the Carlisle Savings-Bank, it appears that the total amount due to 260 male farm-servants was £9259 9s. 5d.; to 240 female farm-servants, £7904. 8s. 9d. Instances are given of £200, £300, or even £500 having been accumulated by a single person. (Second Report (1869) of the Commission of 1867 on the Employment of Children in Agriculture, p. 141.)
Sir Frederick Eden in his "History of the Poor" has preserved some remarkable instances of considerable accumulations out of earnings. (I. 495. 496, note.)
5.  Pol. Econ., i. 442.
6.  P. 74-7.
7.  The Temperance Reformation and the Christian Church, pp. 112, 113.
8.  Statistical Journal, xiii. 364.
Mr. Baines states that nineteen-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.
9.  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."
10.  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.
11.  In the Canton of Berne, of 500,000 inhabitants, the real property-holders numbered, in 1868, 88,670. (Report of Mr. Gould on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 670.)
12.  "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.)
13.  One case has come to my knowledge where a depositor, after exhausting the list of his human family, entered the maximum amount in the name of his dog.
14.  Statistical Journal, xxviii. 11, 12.
15.  Sir Archibald Alison, writing of the Irish peasants in the days before the Famine, speaks of them as "almost always" marrying at eighteen, and not infrequently becoming grandfathers at thirty-four. (Hist. of Europe, xviii. 5.)
16.  Marriages take place at a very early age in India. Mr. Beverley, the Census Commissioner, calls attention to the fact that the religious beliefs of the people contribute to this result, as it is deemed highly important that the burial rites, on which the welfare of the soul after death, according to their faith, greatly depends, should be performed by male offspring. (Economist, May 9th, 1874, p. 555.) In Ireland early marriages have undoubtedly been promoted by the influence of the priesthood. (J. S. Mill's Pol. Econ. i. 345, 446; Alison's Hist. of Europe, xviii. 10; Statistical Journal, xxii. 217, xxiii. 205; Prof. Senior, quoted in the Edinburgh Review, October, 1868, p. 328, cf. p. 336.) In England Mr. J. S. Mill charges that the policy of the Tory party has been to encourage early marriages. (Pol. Econ., i. 426.)
17.  Pp. 334, 335.
18.  "Quand l'enfant n'est pas exténué par un travail prématuré, et quand on attend qu'il ait les forces nécessaires avant de l' astreindre au travail, une fois parvenu à l'âge d'homme, il est meilleur ouvrier, travaille mieux, plus vite et produit davantage."—M. Wolowski:—Legislation sur le Travail des Enfants. (MM. Tallon and Maurice, p. 233.)
19.  Statistical Journal, xxiv. 462.
20.  L. Horner, Employment of Children, p. 45, cf. p. 54.
21.  Ibid, p. 105.
22.  Report of Mr. Malet on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of France.
23.  For the text of this law see the work published by MM. Tallon and Maurice in 1875, Legislation sur le Travail des Enfants, pp. 445-53.
24.  See the work of MM. Tallon and Maurice, p. 24.
25.  Report of Mr. Herries, 1871, p. 284.
26.  Report of Mr. Gosling on Textile Factories, 1873, p. 116.
27.  P. 66 (Mr. Walsham); p. 111 (Mr. Egerton).
28.  Pol. Econ., pp. 211, 212.
29.  August 4th, 1872.
30.  As I understand it, no man in England can be a justice of the peace unless he have an estate of £100 a year in land.
31.  Mr. Tremenheere, in his testimony on truck before the Committee of 1854 on the Payment of Wages, says: "I believe, from all that I have heard in different mining-districts, that, as a rule, the large companies, and the persons who are amenable to public opinion among gentlemen, do not resort to those petty and indirect modes of cheating their workmen." (Report, p. 40.)
32.  Cobden and Political Opinion, p. 94.
33.  Pol. Econ., p. 184.
34.  Is it said, You are speaking of a failure of competition as if it were favorable to a beneficial distribution of property? I answer, Absolute competition, equal on both sides, is the single condition of a perfect distribution. But if the laborers are disabled from competition by ignorance, poverty, or other cause—as the laborers of so many countries are, in the mass—then it is merciful that public opinion or the force of law enters to prevent them from being crushed, as they would be, in their inertia if competition remained in full force on the master's side. Competition to be beneficial must be exerted like the pressure of the atmosphere—everywhere and uniformly.
35.  "The landlord of an Irish estate inhabited by Roman Catholics is a sort of despot who yields obedience, in whatever concerns the poor, to no law but that of his will.... Nothing satisfies him but an unlimited submission. Disrespect, or any thing tending toward sauciness, he may punish with his cane or his horse-whip with the most perfect security. A poor man would have his bones broken if he offered to lift his hands in his own defence.... The execution of the laws lies very much in the hands of justices of the peace, many of whom are drawn from the most illiberal class in the kingdom."—Arthur Young, Tour in Ireland (Pinkerton's Travels, iii. 867, cf. p. 816.)
36.  Of three great divisions of Ireland—Leinster, Munster, and Connaught—Mr. O'Connor Morris says: "Probably seven eighths of the land belong to a proprietary of Protestants, and perhaps even a greater proportion of the occupiers are Roman Catholics." (The Land Question of Ireland, p. 231.)
37.  Constitutional History of England, iii. 382.
38.  History of England, chap. vi.
39.  "The Irish peasantry were incomparably worse off than the French peasantry were before the Revolution."—Prof. Rogers, Pol. Econ. 180.
40.  "I am aware that, in the view of political economy as taught by writers of the hypothetical school, an absent landlord is identical with a landlord present; just as, by Mr. Mill's definition, Simon Magus and Simon Peter, John of Cappadocia and John the Baptist, are exact economical equivalents"—Address at Amherst, 1874.
41.  It may fairly be assumed, for instance, that the ratio between the average value of male and of female serfs in Russia employed in agriculture before the emancipation—namely, £50 and £17 respectively (Statistical Journal, xxiii. 379)—fairly represented the relative worth to the owner of the two kinds of labor.
42.  Mr. Brassey states that in the construction of the Lemberg and Czernowitz railway, in some places half the people employed were women, who earned 1.60 francs a day, while the men earned from two to three francs. (Work and Wages, p. 105.)
43.  "It is a curious fact that in the great majority of occupations, the average wages of a boy, a woman, and a girl added together amount to those of a man."—Dudley Baxter, National Income, p. 49.
Lord Brabazon gives the average daily pay of French day-laborers in agriculture as one franc seventy-five centimes for men, eighty-five centimes for women, and sixty-three centimes for children; but women and children are employed for only a fraction of a year.
44.  Ninth census of the United States (Industry and Wealth, table ix, A).
45.  The disability which women suffer on account of their sex, when the conditions of industry require emigration from the country of their birth, may be seen from the following facts brought out by the Scotch census of 1871. Between 15 and 25 years of age there are 105.4 females for every 100 males; between 25 and 30 years there are 119.7 females for every 100 males. (Report, pp. xvi, xvii.)
46.  "We can not forget that some years ago certain trades-unionists in the potteries imperatively insisted that a certain rest for the arm which they found almost essential to their work, should not be used by women engaged in the same employment. Not long since, the London tailors, when on a strike, having never admitted a woman to their union, attempted to coerce women from availing themselves of the remunerative employment which was offered in consequence of the strike. But this jealousy of women's labor has not been entirely confined to workmen. The same feeling has extended itself through every class of society. Last autumn a large number of Post-Office clerks objected to the employment of women in the Post-Office."—Henry Fawcett, House of Commons, July 30th, 1873. (Speeches, p. 133, 134.)
"An important strike is now going on in the town of Leicester, and what is the cause of it? Certain manufacturers wished to introduce women into their factories, and the men claimed a right not only to determine the price of labor, but also on what conditions women should be permitted to work. Nor is this all. Within the last fortnight there has been a great meeting of delegates of the Agricultural Laborers' Union. Women were not admitted. Why? On the express ground that the agricultural laborers of this country do not wish to recognize the labor of women."—Ibid, June 23d, 1874. (TheNews' Report.)
47.  In their report made to the Local Government Board in 1873, Dr. Brydges and Mr. Holmes take note of the peculiar sensitiveness of female laborers to the praise or blame of their employers or overseers: "It would appear, from statements made to us which we have reason to think accurate, that it is very much easier to bring pressure to bear upon the energies of female operatives than of male. It is well known that with many workmen, especially if they be members of trades-unions, the consciousness that their fellow-workmen are present and are watching their work, tends rather to moderate than to intensify their zeal. Animated by the common object of selling their labor dear, they are apt to think an exceptionally zealous workman a traitor to the cause of labor. With women the reverse would seem to be the case. Less able to fix their eyes upon a distant object, less apt to enrol themselves in a well-drilled organization for which sacrifices are to be made, the ultimate compensation for which themselves and those immediately connected with them may never, or not for a long time, touch, they are far more keenly sensitive to the motives of approbation and vanity, and also to those of immediate tangible reward. It would seem to be as easy to goad women as it would be difficult to goad men into doing the greatest amount of piece-work in a given time. The admiration of their companions and the approbation of the overlooker appear to be at least as powerful inducements as the increase of their wages." (Report, p. 20.)
48.  Pol. Econ., i. 285.
49.  Brewing and baking were formerly purely domestic operations, and hence were performed by women, as the feminine termination of the words brew-ster and back-ster, like web-ster and spin-ster, indicates.
50.  By 37th Edward III. women were exempted from the prohibition against exercising more than one craft.
51.  In European Russia exclusive of the Baltio Provinces the number of females engaged in agriculture is reported as 12,917,593 against 13,444,842 males. In Prussia the number of farm-laborers was reported, in 1867, as follows: 1,054,213 females, 2,232,741 males. In England the census-tables show the following proportion between the sexes in agriculture: 183,450 females, 1,264,031 males. In Scotland the numbers are as follows: 50,464 females, 184,301 males. In the United States it is only among the late servile population of the South, and occasionally among recently-arrived foreigners at the extreme West, that women are seen laboring in the fields, even during the height of the harvest season. But women are probably nowhere employed through so long a period in the year as men. Lord Brabazon (Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1872, p. 44) gives the number of days on which men are employed in France at day labor in agriculture, as 200; for women the number of days is but 120. In England, as Mr. Purdy says, women in agriculture are "employed as supernumeraries to the men, and are only taken on at busy times." Arthur Young gives the following account of the Palatines settled in Ireland: "The women are very industrious, reap the corn, plough the ground sometimes, and do whatever work may be going on; they also spin and weave, and make the children do the same.... The industry of the women is a perfect contrast to the Irish ladies in the cabins, who can not be persuaded, on any consideration, even to make hay, it not being the custom of the country; yet they bind corn and do other work more laborious." (Pinkerton, iii. 849, 850.)
52.  "Whereas the workman," says M. Jules Simon, in L'Ouvrière, "was once an intelligent force, he is now only an intelligence directing a force—that of steam—and the immediate consequence of the change has been to replace men by women, because women are cheaper and can direct the steam force with equal efficiency."
53.  These causes operate with much greater force in some countries than in others. The following table shows the number of spinsters in each 100,000 women in England and in Scotland severally, as by the census of 1871. I only insert the figures for the period 20-65.
England annually celebrated 83 marriages for every 10,000 inhabitants; Scotland only 70.
54.  Report of 1867-8, p. 17, n.
"The wear and tear of a neglected home," says Mr. R. Smith Baker, "is greater than the income which the wife's labor adds to the weekly means; and he who can earn enough and to spare ought to feel it a degradation for the wife of his bosom to mingle in these dangerous assemblies. Moreover, a workingman's family is his wealth when well brought up; his bane when sickly and unhealthy."
55.  The disposition to allow married women to undertake paid labor in public places varies greatly in different communities. Mr. Carey in his Essay on Wages (1835) states that out of one thousand females in the Lawrence Factory at Lowell, there were but eleven married women (p. 88, n.) The proportion in these later days is much greater. I am indebted to the Hon. Wm. P. Haines for the information that of 1506 and 1203 persons employed respectively by the Pepperell Manufacturing Company and by the Laconia Company, both of Biddeford, Me., engaged in cotton-spinning, 105 in the former and 135 in the latter were married women.
Much indisposition to allow the wife to go into the mill is seen in the flax and jute districts of Scotland. Of 784 women employed in the mills at Arbroath, only 5½ per cent were married. "It appears," say the commissioners of the Local Government Board (1873), "to be considered somewhat discreditable for a woman to work in a factory after her marriage, and she does so only under the pressure of a stern necessity." At the same time almost 28 per cent of the females of Scotland were actually bread-winners. This is due to the excess of spinsters previously noted. The married women employed in the textile manufactories of England and Wales are estimated by Mr. W. C. Taylor, Inspector of Factories, at about 150,000 (Soc. Sc. Trans., 1874, p. 571). "Married women in factories are exceptional," says Mr. Phipps in his Report of 1870 on the Condition of the Industrial Classes of Wurtemburg (p. 223).
M. LePlay, in his work on the Organization of Labor, dwells strongly on the economical advantages of leaving the mother and daughter at the fireside.
56.  "Fancy," says Miss Emily Faithfull, "a gentleman seeking remunerative work sub rosa! And yet this is the state of mind in which so many ladies come to our Industrial and Educational Bureau, that they even refuse to state their requirements to the lady manager, but insist upon seeing me personally on `strictly private and confidential business.' Public opinion is to be blamed for this; and unless the press will help us to strike a blow at the false pride now in our midst, parents will still, neglect to place their daughters in honorable independent positions."—Letter to the London Times, 1876.
Part II, Chapter XIX
57.  Pp. 53-58.
58.  Fortnightly Review, August, 1865.
59.  Statistical Journal, xxx. 5.
60.  P. 194.
Doubtless a much larger proportion of the earlier than of the later strikes in England were attended by immediate success. The reason may be presumed to be that, after the repeal of the Combinations Acts in 1824, the workmen struck simply for bread enough to eat. They had been held down by law and ground by an unequal competition till they were reduced below the economical point of subsistence. As to this the testimony of all reports is unanimous. Strikes made for such a palpable cause are more likely to succeed than those which are made, as many of the later ones have been, for doubtful reasons, on ill-chosen occasions, or for the enforcement of trades-unions rules which must appear to any disinterested person as void of sense and against common justice.
61.  Prof. Fawcett, in his Political Economy, has collected a number of instances of strikes immediately successful. The best succinct account of the strike-movement in England which we have met is contained in Ward's Workmen and Wages. The same work also contains much information respecting strikes and trades-unions on the Continent of Europe.
62.  Hist. Agr. and Prices, i. 8.
63.  Not necessarily, as we have shown on a preceding page, by its immediate results.
64.  The loss to production by strikes is often grossly overestimated. Not a few strikes take place because of a threatened reduction of wages in consequence of previous over-production, and the strike results in clearing the market more thoroughly than would be done otherwise. Then, again, the enforced inactivity of a strike for higher wages is often succeeded by an increased activity, which does something to make good the loss of time.
65.  Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, ii., 70.
66.  "Yet they were not made lawful."—Sir William Erle, Trades-Unions, p.26.
A combination of workmen is thus, in England, still to be held to examination in the light of the general principles of the law by which unreasonable restraint of trade is prohibited. 'The practical application of these principles," Sir William remarks, "lies in indictment for violation of duty towards the public, or in action for violation of a private right." (Ibid.)
67.  Wealth of Nations, i. 70.
68.  Chaapter xii. of the report of M. Ducarre, already cited, contains the text of the laws of 1810, 1849, and 1864 relating to combinations.
69.  Workmen and Wages, p. 255.
70.  Mr. J. G. Kennedy's report (Textile Factories, 1873, p. 24, 25).
71.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1870, p. 25.
72.  The full text of this Code will be found (in translation) in the Report on the condition of the Industrial Classes of Prussia, 1870, pp. 101-141.
73.  I speak generally. As I understand the matter, combinations had been legalized in Prussia four or five years previously.
74.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1871, p. 379.
75.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1870, p. 507.
76.  H.B.M. Consul Colnaghi's Report, 1871, p. 284 (articles 385-7 of the Code).
77.  Workmen and Wages, p. 283.
78.  1871, pp. 209-248.
79.  1873, Textile Factories, p. 112.
80.  "Worse even than plague, pestilence, or famine, combinations among workmen are the greatest social evil which, in a manufacturing or mining community, afflicts society."—Sir A. Alison (History of Europe, xx. 206.)
81.  The objects of the "Amalgamated Society of Carpenters," comprising 190 branches and 8261 members, were thus stated by Mr. Applegarth, the Secretary, before Sir W. Erle's Commission: "To raise funds for the mutual support of its members in case of sickness, accident, superannuation; for the burial of members and their wives; emigration, loss of tools by fire, waste, or theft, and for assistance to members out of work; also, for granting assistance in cases of extreme distress not otherwise provided for by the rules." The proposed member "must be in good health, have worked five years at the trade, be a good workman, of steady habits, of good moral character, and not more than forty-three years of age." The admission-fee is 2s. 6d.; the weekly payment 1s. The several benefits are as follows: "Donation benefit for 12 weeks, 10s. per week; for another 12 weeks, 6s. per week; for leaving engagement satisfactory to branch and executive council, 15s.; tool benefit, to any amount of loss (or when a man has been a member for only six months, £5); sick benefit for 26 weeks, 12s. per week, and then 6s. per week so long as his illness continues; funeral benefit, £12 (or £3 10s. when a six-months' member dies); accident benefit, £100; superannuation benefit for life: if a member 25 years, 8s. per week; if a member 18 years, 7s.; if a member 12 years, 5s. The emigration benefit is £6, and there are benevolent grants, according to circumstances, in cases of distress."
The following is the exhibit of the liabilities and assets of the "Manchester Unity," an association numbering 426,663 members, and having 3488 places of business:
82.  The loss to the government was estimated by Mr. Finlaison at £95,000 a year.
83.  Pp. 36-38. Speculators in British annuities under the bill of 1808 had a penchant for Scotch gardeners, these appearing to constitute the longest-lived class recognized in the statistical tables.
84.  Ward's Workmen and Wages, p. 209.
85.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1870, pp. 479-482.
86.  Report on the Condition of the Industrial Classes, 1870, p. 509.
87.  Report for 1871, p. 290.
88.  Mr. Egerton's Report of 1873.
89.  Report, pp. xvi, xvii.
90.  This appears to be the sole office of the associations of artisans ("esnaf") in European Turkey. Mutual succor is an object which scarcely appears in their organizations.
91.  "Although it is undoubtedly true that in a normal condition of society the system of protection and monopoly, of which the corporations were the very ideal, is extremely unfavorable to production, in the anarchy of the Middle Ages it was of very great use in giving the trading classes a union which protected them from plunder and enabled them to incline legislation in their favor."—Lecky's History of Rationalism, ii. 240.