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THE 50UTHEJ1JN' STAft. SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 1834.
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GRAXD CONCILIATION MEETING AT THE CHARTIST HALL BLACKiSIABS-ROAD . "Weils two Irishmen are at present upon the Snglisb . Etaee , each professing a desire to ameliorate the condition of the working classes , and both declaring union to be essential to the success of their mndstaking , "while tkej pursue different means in accomplishing the .-desired object , the ibllowing particulars of a meeting -which took place at the Souih . London Chartis : HalL on Monday nigh * , last
feecomes particularly interesting to the " working classes . Mr , O'Connell having recently denounced the Chartiste as enemies to Ireland , and having recommended the Irish Repealers to jjin the Sturge party in their agitation , together with the subject announced for discussion by JMr . O'Connor , on Monday Tiighi the recent State Trials in Ireland , " led to a belief that the Chartists would receive some opposition from their Irish brethren : a belief , however , which subsequent crests proved to be unwarranted .
Mr Thomas O'Connor , an Irishman , a Repealer , mnd s Tce-totalkr of seven years * standing , was unanimously called to the chair ; and although in hid opening speech ha declared that he had not previously taken an active part in politics , he nevertheless defined the real democratic principle ^ and ^ the necessity of onion and sobriety as the means of accomplishing it , ht a manner which left * o doubt upon the the mind f of those present , that he has been a deep and sagacious thinker and reasoner upon political subjects . ^ His address was delivered in a clear and snh&sitatnig tone ; his reasoning was conclusive ; his appearance was most prepossessing ; and the impression convey ed to his andience , by his whole bearing , was , thai he is a man worthy of his own freedom , and anxious to confer it upon his order , without distinction ot coiDtry , colour , or of creed . The excellent Chairman concluded his address
amid hearty applause , by introducing Mr . O Conkok , who spoke for nearly two . bour 3 , making the proper distinction between that sympathy which iras neoessary for the protection of the oppressed , asd that which was alcnlated to obscure or extinguish the great Irish qaestion of Repeal . Hi scoated the idea « f a Shrewsbury ! a Camoys , a Langdale , a jRossell , or a Cobden , being , siuoere in iheii ioTe for Ireland , however they may affect sjsipachy for those whose strength might ensure their order fnriher triumphs . He said that if a 5 ury should be unanimous , and if the whole English
people and the whole Irish people ratiouauy dissented frsm the verdict of the Oixnge Protestant dozen , lhe conviction of that jary wa 3 reversed . Separai « the trial from the questions of Protestantism , or Catholicism , as they might , he assured the iBeetipg that the best claim that those jurors could hereafter lay before the Government for patronage , when acy of their sons were fitted for Holy Orders , would be , not that they found a Terdict according to law or evidence , but according to Church and Siate . necessity— ( tremendous cheering ) .
Mr . 0 Cossos challenged Mr . Oloxxell or any other man in the world , jo the proof that Cobdes and Co . were she friends of lreland ^ and tie English Chartists the enemies of Ireland ; ^ whilc he contended that if ibe English Oligarchy were instrnmtntalinoppressing Ireland , the Irish Representatives sitting in the Houseof Commons from the Union to 1833 had been the greatest instruments of oppression , both of England and Ireland , at tho command of each successive Ministry ; aad that the liberal Irish Members , from . 1833 to the present moment , Were not one whit better ; and bad equally assisted in ihe oppressisn of tha working classes .
AIict Mr . O'Connor had disposed of the subject ol -the Irish trials , he then entered into a clear and lucid ilJosBranop of the Ten Hours Bill , the Master and Servants Bill , and the reasons why Graham and She Whigs opposed the one and snpport the ^ other . Daring his speech , Mr . O'Connor was frequently interrupted by partial distDrbanees fn different parts of the room , which , however , he assured tbe meeting , if left to himself , without their interference , he weald silence is his own thunder , and which he effectually accomp lished . At the close of his address he wa 3 greeted with several rounds of applause , after Which , - - > . '
Mr . Dwaine , another uncompromising Repeal er and Chartist , proposed a Tote of thanks to the -Lecturer . It is creditable to Mr . Dwaine aad hsnoursble to Mr . O'Cosnor to state , that in the outset he < Dwaine ) was -violently opposed to Mi . O'Connor as a Repealer ; but baring narrowly watched the © curse of agitation during the last year , and having fairly judged of the Chartist party and Mr . O'Connor by las own reason , he has been an uncompromising and nnflincbing supporter of . Repeal and Ciariism . Mr . I > waine staggered his countrymen .
xeany of whom were present , by the following pithy observation :: " Uow , " said he , ** I will ju * t ask you , my own countrymen , one question . Why is it i thssFeargus O'Conaor is eiernally abused in Dub ; iu , while that little contemptible Tenegade , Dickey Xawlor Shiel , who sold Ireland for a mtss of Greenwich soup , and who wanted to subject Irish paupers to trial by Jury composed of Proiestant landlords , as a means of ensuring conviction * , should not only escape denunciation , but receive the applause of the same part }?*'—Uoud and longcontinued cheering ) .
Mr . Drou , that uncompromising Chartist , seconded lhe Tote of thacis , which was carried by acclamation , after acknowledging which , Mr . O'Connor proposed a gamjlar lion our to his namesake , hi * countryman , and bis friend , obstrTin » that that minature which presented an Iriehms-n in the chair , an Irishman as the principal speaker , ana an Irishman and a sound English Chartist moT-DS and seconding » vote of thanks , ¦ syaswniijous of that full-length picture of union 'which ere long rou ^ i pull down every vestige of corruption , and establish ike rights ot labour upon an impregnable ba « is . An nnanimouB Tot 6 of thanks to tha chairman was then passed , and the meeting separated m m ^ b spirits .
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Baxxslet . —Peckett ' s strike is still pending . A Tery good meeting was held at Burton , on Tuesday sight , Mr . Thomas Lister in the chair . Mr . Frank ilirSeld addressed the meeting , and was followed by Mr . J . Grimshaw , who spoke at considerate length . A loBGE meeting was held on May-day Green , on Monday list , to petition Parliament against clause the fourth in the Masters and Servants' Bill . The meeting was addressed by Messrs . Hoey , Collins , 2 $ oble , Garbutt , and others . Shoehakebs' Stbiks , BBJU > FOK » .- > -Thisbody held a special mee&Dg at the Boy and Barrel Jnn , Wes ; - gate , on Monday last , at iwo o ' clock . Tbe . balanoeotThe
Eheei was read and approved . process o tbs strike was then entered into : it was start * . ' tbsi Jar . Huggan had agmd to settle the ditpu : e -with iis men , ana signed a statement to that t-ffect ; but the men refusing to work untilthe five men who had opposed ihe trade were discharged , Mr . Hug-an refused , and erased his name from the document . The expense of the strike has amounted to £ 16 Os . 6 d ., and tha incama to X 17 Is . 8 i . A resolution vra = carried , with caly two dissentients , to conunue * he . strike , and a levy was laid on the trade to meet the expense . A great number entered the society . There is every prospeci of a speedy termination of this svrifce in favour of the men .
FeXKKWOEK ILSJTIEBS . —SlHBSBLEY , ItiAE > OT u > chaji—At the weekly meeting of the united fiAmrwors knitters of K -mberley , and tbe adjacent Tildes , employed in the wrought coiton host branch , held in the Infant School Room , Kinibtrity , On Monday , the 4 ih instant , and again confirmed by a geaacal meeting of the same body on Monday , ih 8 25 ihof March , it was ' rtsolved unanimously—** Xhai ^ we , the workmen employed in the coiton ¦ wrought hose brandi of lumberley , and adjacent Ti-la ^ es , being of opinion that the introduction of wide frames into onr trade is the main cause of our
presenr lew rate of wages , and that the aonndasce of 5 pnrJon 3 ly produced articles from suchfrases will continue nnnl a preventative be found ; ? nch bting brought in competition against oar regular "RrcughJ anicles , we pleugo ourselres not "to vr- ^ Tk any ! rame ¦ wider than the common narrow frame—that is to sty , from sixteen to seventeen inches wide , in the mshufacture of cotton hose ; that we recomoiend the ssme to ba adopted by oar fellow-wprkzne-n id the ¦ varied branches of the framework- ksntiBg trade ; aad that we Bolicit the oo-operation of the whole of the framework smiths to enablems to caiiy this desirable object into effiCtT *
Mektesg or ihk Tailobs op Norcw-. ca . —A meeting of ths jonrneymtn tailors of the city of Nor-• Hieh wa 3 held on Monday ETecing la * t , at the Bear and Siaff Inn , Pisher ' s Lace , to take into consideration tha present depressed condition of their trade . RssolHiions , condemnatory of unprincipled eompeiition , aad pledging the meciing to nse all legal and constitutional means to suppress ho . nefarious a system , were unanimously adopted . The meeting was numerously attended , and a Soe-ety formed to carry the iesiluvions into eff = ct . SocnL&JtPios SBOEmSEBS , —A meelnig of thss Way wis held o »; lload * 3 [ last , to take mo mderation the address , of the Lonaon I * d 1 < 9 ) &hoejnakers . The meeting was addressed by Messrs . Payton and Oliver 5 sixteen- new members were enrolled ; and it was resolved to ¦ make arrange-Bjents " to send a delegate " to ' the Birmingham Conference in May " "" " ¦ " .
. ; ; _ , . Ytotil Tjolobs . —A meefing of the Tailors of YoOTiland Sierborne was held on the 2 oth psu , to-elect a delegate to the forthcoming A * ational Pelegafion . Mr . Wslker was called to the chair j and Mr , Milborn was unanimously elected the dekgate . Mr . * H . addre ^ ed the meetiBg at great lebsih , and vis enthusiastically cheered . The meeiiag wss ih © lareesv ever held hire by the Operative Tailors . ¦ Um briuxta Tailobs' Tbu > e rnorrcnou Sociktt , _ Woolwich .-A public meeticg of the Sad ^ which , was numerously sttoded , was held ^ l&nday ^ ening latt , atthe Royal Oak , New Boai Woolwich , to take in » coDHderanon tho £ 3 m i- ~ stete of the trade J and to-explain ftefest Su > d theemployed , from the withering eff ^ s IfeiLrs ^ w ^ s ^^ ss
London ; and , on the motion of Mr * Lattin , eoconded by Mr . Evans , Mr . Joseph Wcldon was nnaniffiously roted to tho chair . The Chairman having opened the proceedings , Mr . Parker read the petition to Parliament on the grievances of the trade , which was adopted unanimously ; and a large sheet laid at the other end of the table , for . the purpose of receiving signatures , which were liberally supplied during the evening . Mr . Parrott then moved tbe following resolution i— " That , in the opinion of this meeting , ths present position of the Tailoring Trade is such as to require the active so operation of all classes and members of the trade to accomplish any change that may be beneficial ; and , as this co-operation can only be secured by a General Union of the whole in town and country , it pledges itself to use every legitimate
method , to effect such union by becoming members of the Tailors' Trade Protection Society—foiming a section in Woolwich in connexion with the Bame , and promoting the extension of its principles in all parts of tie United Kingdom . " Mr . Eam . es seconded the resolution j Mr . Paiker supported it ; aud , after Messrs . Clark and Bainoshad also spoken to it , it was carried unanimously . The deputation explained the principles and objects of the Union , answered several questions pat to them by those present , and urged them to co-operate heartily for the attainment of the objects proposed . The effects of their observations were shown by the cards , laws , &c , disposed of : and , after tbe usual officers were appointed , and their next night of meeting fixed for April the 3 rd , is the same house , tho meeting separated .
the Factories bill . DISGRACEFUL 8 TBUGGLB OF THE MINISTERS TO XriZT THE DECISIONS OF " THE HOCSK . " " PROFOUND POLITICAL ECONOMY . " If ever the Parliament of England was in danger of falling into utter coktemm , it surely is at tbe present , when the Ministry ia openly applying the Treasury-whip to procure the reversal of a solemn drcision that the infantile and female labourers in factories shall be protected from undue : and excessive Eive labour ; ? bo 7 £ ct £ D , because such endue and excessive labour is attended with moral and physical evil iccalculabte / threatening danger most imminent to society it&lf . It was one of the standing jokes of the "Monarch of the Pr&ss , " that Castlereagh
caused the House of Commons to pass a bill visiting with banishment any one who should endeavour to bring it into oontompt , because he had once jocularly observed that if he stretched a cord across the highway , and took the first 653 men so caught , he would find more patriotism and more real statesmanship , than could be found amongst that assembly of 658 gentlemen , which had dubbed iisdf the " Collectivjs Wisdom of the nation" ; and rignt well and often did he ** ring the changes " up * n the fact that Parliament was so jealo-Js of its own character as to accord banishment even to those
who should only attempt to bring it into contempt 1 Whenever a more than ordinarily vAse decision was oome to , such as the notable one , one day , that " a one pound note and a shilling were equal in value to a guimain gold , " at a tiao when- it was notorious that a one pound note and seven shillings were regularly given for a golden guinea ; and the no less notable one , the next day , that those whe gave more than a one pound note and a shilling , for % guinea in gold , should be subjected to severs " pains and penalties "; at sneh a decision as this , " Old Cobbett" used to run rioi , and spTft the sides of his readera with laughter at the needlessneaa ot the provision of banishment for attempting to bring such
an assembly into contempt , unless it was intended that the members of it skonld banish themselves for of all efforts or attempts to engender contempt in the minds of the people of England , surely the " sayings and doings" of the Coixectitjs Wisdom" itself were the most signally successful 2 And had that powerful writer but lived to the present day , and seea the " inextricable confusion" in which " the House" has involved itself , by its eondaot on the Factory qnestioD , his pen would surely hare received fresh and stronger licence in support of his position , that it was needless for any one to attempt lo do that lor " the House" which" the Hon . House " had most effectually done for itself 1
On Monday week , after a debate of two nights duration ; a debate of more than ordinary interest i conducted calmly and dispassionately—the only ebulition of warn feeling in the course of it being consequent on Qaaker Bkight ' s audacious personal attack on Lord Ashley , which the House very properly , but Tery indi ^ n ^ ntly , made h ' retract } a debate in which the merits of tho question were mainly set forth , amid heaps of trash and nonsense from Bpeakers en both sides , and some not very justifiable attempts to alarm the ignorantly timid as to the probable effects of tho limitation of labour to Ten Hours a-day ; but after a debate , as full and as complete as could , or can , be had in the House of Common ^ with its
present amount of knowledge , it was decided , twice over , that the governmental proposition for twelve hours as the factory day , ( exclusive of meal times ) , was far too long ; and that Ten Hours for actual work was quite enough . " The House" then decided , that women and children should not he permitted to labour in factories during the night ; and it further decided that the word " night" should be interpreted to mean the time included between Six , T . h , and Six , A . M : thu 3 rendering it impossible for women aud children to ba within the factory more than Twelve Hours , out of which would have to be deducted Two Hours for meals and rest , leaving Ten for laburiouB toil .
On Friday last ( we write on Wednesday ) the question of the number of hoars again arose , Sir Jame- , Graham , on tho part of the Administration , having refused to aequitsce in the decision of " the House . " For a report of the proceedings on that occasion we refer to another page ; contenting ourselves here with merely stating the resnlt . The Ministerial whip had been well applied , as will be evident from the names we publuh elsewhere of parties who
came" to the rescne" of Ministers on Friday , and who had been absent on the Monday ; and the consequence was , that Lord Ashley's second proposal for ten nonis , on another and separate clause from the one previously adopted—( a proposal necessaiy to make the Bill consistent with the former decision ); this second proposal was negativrdby a msj jrity of seven while ihB Governmental proposal of twelve hows was also again negat ' rved by a majority of three 3
There , for the present , the matter stands . Thrice has the Bouse dofeated Ministers on their twelve hours proposal—twice on Monday week , and once on Friday last ; and while it has " enacted" a clause which makes it impossible for women and children to work more than ten hours a day , with time for meals and rest , it has also decided that their labour shall not be limited to that ten hours a day !! a decision alike disgraceful to those who have given it , and those whose threats and persuasions have caused it .
The question , therefore , at the time we write , stands just as it did when we wrote respecting it last week . Lord Ashley ' s first victorious motion ia unaffected by the subsequent proceedings . It has no ; been rescinded . It still stands good J and it can not ba got rid of , if the present Bill is gone on with , without an eclual vote to set it aside . We doubt not but the dread of incurring the odium that must nesessaiily attach to another effort to get rid of thfc decision of the House for ten hours , has induced the Ministers to seek to get out of the mess by withdrawing tho present Bill , and iatrodacing another . This Lord Kowick clearly saw : and saw-also that with
a new Bill the fight would have to be begun again : and he , therefore , mo 3 t proptrly wa think , advised that Lord Ashley should resist the . attempt to dislodge him from his ' vantage ground by withdrawing the Bill * Whit course will be pursued in opposing the disgraceful struggle of the Ministers to coerce the Commons we have no means of knowing ; bat we do know that if the Commons submit to be bo r ; coerced out of their decision , they may banish every ; man but themselves out of the kingdom j and even then they -will not be safe from contempt ; for every rone of the " , Hon . crew" must despise both hisfel-Iow 3 and himself , and bold both in the greatest pes ' sible contempt )
The question is confessedly so involved in * ' inextricable confusion , " that wo shall forbear all speculation on the probable result of the next " debate . " By the time this sheet is in the hands of the reader another * ' decision" may have been arrived at ; but not in time to enable ub to mak ' eit known . Any sort of guess as to what that decision will be , oan be but a mere guess : for the vagaries of Hon . Members render calculation from known premises absolutely impossible . Like tho satyr of old , they blow hot and cold with one breath . On Monday a measure is necessary and just and proper , * on Friday it is impolitic and dangerous I
Leaving it , therefore , for the chapter of accidents to determine what the next u turn op" ia the House" may be , we can address ourselves to the merits of the question itself , and try to expose and counteract some of the ravings of our " profound political economists , " who are trying to " fright the isle from its propriety" at the prospect of suceesa to a measure restricting factory labour to tea hours a-day .
Only ten hours a-day i "What will Mrs . Grand y say ?" Our immense masse 3 of machinery ; the greater part of our male adult population —( for we are now taught that the manufacturing interest predominates i)—with their wives and children to aid them : alitheBoto work ONLY tea hours a-day ! Why there is social buin , destrooiion , DEATH in the * bare proposal ! at least , so aver the "profound political economists . "
" the hocsb" unfitted to legislate ok labodr
QUESTIONS . Lord Howjck wa 3 never more right ia his life than when he said that " the House" was wholly unfitted to legislate on Labour questions : for it did not , nor could not , possess the requisite knowledge to enable it to do justice to all concerned . Of this fact the recent " debates" have afforded most conclusive proof ; for had " Hon . Members" generally possessed the . slightest knowledge of the question they were called to legislate on , they would not have tolerated the poor compliment made to their Judgments in the base and unworthy attempts
to frighten them from doing justice , by conjuring up mighty horbobs &s the effects of that measure which common feeling alone told thorn was necessary and just . M The very existence of this powerful state depends on the keeping of women and children in the faotories at work for twelve hours a day . " 11 With the two hours' cessation from labour , will cease our social and politioal being . " " Reduce the hours of labour , and you add to the cost of production ; and thus annihilate our foreign trade : for the * foreign competitor is j « st at our heels . " " Work only ten hours , and wages must be reduced
tvfenty-five per cent .: for to expeot twelve hours ' wageB for ten hours' work is folly run mad . " "Two hours a day subtracted from national manufacturing toil , will decrease our manufactured productions one sixth ; and wages will therefore deorease oae fourth . ' Such are the representations that have been made to the folly , the ignorance , and the childishness of the " Colleciivb Wisdom ;" and not a few have been moved by them to vote that death-dealing toil ehall not be
abridged , for fear of the auful consequences that would '' inevitably" ensue from allowing the producer of wealth the time required alone for rest and recruit from bodily exhaustion , to Bay nothing of time for mental and moral culture ! The poor ingerant things to whom these representations were addressed could not see that they were contradictory in themselves ; that the one answered the other and that all were in direct opposition to the principles of political economy itself .
** TROTOVND" TEACmroS OF THE " LEEDS KEBCURV . " Bat tbe work of alarm has not been confined to u the House . " The press , particularly that portion of it devoted to the party who wish to cram " cheap bread" down the throats of tha labourers ; the Free trading anti-monopolist press , has been as " hard atit" out of the House , in circulating misrepresentations , and in parading boggarts before the eyes of tho lieges , as Sir James Graham , Sir Rc » ebt Peel , Sir William Clay , or Geouse Henry Wabd , have been in the House . Among these the most prominent has been our old friend , THE " profovnd Po&tical Economist" of the Leeds Mercury . He has been more than commonly active . We will just have " a taste of his quality . "
" To u » , " b&jb he , " -who have do interest in this question txcept that of the great and Industrious popnlatiou among which we live , the decision of the House ot Commons looks like an act of infatuation—an act of daring and rashness tbe most incomprehensible We feelieTe , with - Mr . L . Homer and Mr . Sounders , the Factory Inspectors , whose authority was quoted by 8 r J . Graham on Monday last , that " Ute passing of a Tea Hours Bill would have the worst tffect on the iuleresU ofth * working classes . " We believe , with Mr . Homer , Sit James Graham , Sir Robert Peel , Mr . Senior , and many others , that it would produce a reduction of wages to
the amount of 25 per cent ., ot at the ver , y laaat of 16 per cent . No man in Parliament on eitner aide of iLe qaeatioD . now tlousts that the measure mubt produce a reduction in wa # es equal to tha reduction in labour . The Btupld Bophluma by which tbo working clos * have been persuaded for years that they coulU obtain twelve' boars' wages tor ten boars' work , are admitted to be utterly delusive . If the workmen geueral ' . y knew this , they would speedily ' bark back , ' and nbaudon that Strange combination of Socialists , Chartists , ana Ultra Tories called the ' Short Time Commiitee , ' —a set of men as little deserving of caDtidence for their judgment ua any existing in tbe kingdom . "
Of course , the working people firmly believe that the Lzcds Mercury has not , nor ever bad , any in lerest but that of * 'tho great aud industrious population among which u lives" ! They may have a notion that the Mercury has rather a queer manner at times of evincing his interest iu thuir welfare ; but then they know tastes differ ; and thoy know also that though it has been their fate to bo always placed ia direct opposition to the Leeds Mercury on eicry question affecting their labour or their supposed " interests , " yet this has arisen from the fact that the " profound one " could see beyond hie nose , and knew what was best for them ; much better than they know themselves ! It was this "interest" in their welfare that induced
the Leeds Mercury to array itself in deadly hostility to the tjiades r . MONS of 1832-3-4 , weekly inserting lying and scandalous accounts of their " tyranny " and "intimidation , " and calling on the employers of labour to join in tracks unions to put down those of the men . It was this lively "interest" lor the good of the workers that caused the Mercury to support and defend the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act , and the Rural Police Act : though the one was notoriously passed to beduce the labourers to live on a coarser sort of d'tl ; and the other instituted to cram the New ' Poor Law Act down the throats of a revolting people It is a strong sense of the " interest" the man of vast
" PBOFCiiDiTY" takes in all that appertains to Labour's good that inducts him always , on all ooca fcions , to take the side of the employer against the employed ; to justify every attempt of the former against the rights or privileges of the latter ; never to -deacuuoe reductions of wages , but always to speak diBp » ragin « ly of attempts by the workers to get " more " : it is this feeling of . " interest" in the comfort and happiness of " the great industrious population" that prompts to action the Leeds Mercury ; and ri ^ ht well do the operatives know it ! ! It was needless therefore for him to parade so ostentatiously bis good feeling and deeply "interested" motives of action 1
But then this " interested" feeling caused the " PROFOUND one" to look upon the passing of the Ten Hoars' limit as " an aot of infatuation ! an act of daring vai . rashness the most incomprehensible" ! Only thitk of the Christian legislature of a highly civUixed nation , in the middle of the nineteenth century of gospel light ; only think of the " CoLLECriTS Wisdom" of the most thinking people on earth ; only think of such a set ot l&w-givers DARING to pass it as their opinion that women
and children should only ; only ; ONLY , bo allowed to work . ' ten hours a-day ! What " infatuation" to think that civilixntion meant time for anything but toil ! that Christianity could endure any cessation from misery-engendering , disoase-anddeath-prodnoing labour ! What a "daring" act of " rashness" to attempt to interfere between the helpless victims of a murderous system , and tbe system itself 1 Horrib ) e ,: moBt horrible , to think of 1 The very cap , . bella aad alljol our " profound "
philosopher is lifted from bid head , at the bare thought of such an " act" of atrocity ! HOURS OF LABOUR IN OLDEN TIMES , BEFORE THE WOBLD WAS BLESSBD WITH " CIVILIZATION . " We have read somewhere of a nation that existed in times long ago betid , —before " civilization ' bad ehed its humanizing influences over the earth , and almost before the name of Cubist had become known to man ; we have read of some nation er other that was accounted powerful and great : powerful in being able to rid itself of iavading hosts , driving the •* conquering hordes "
into the sea ; and great , because its people Wore HAPPr and free ; so happy and plenteous in condition , that when golden and costly - bracelets were exposed on the road-side to tempt and try the cupidity of the people , they remained there unmolested : and bo free , that their institutions were in advance ot the yvorld t and have , many of them , remained to this day the "envy of surrounding nations , and the admiration of all : " we have some faint glimmering of some such nation and some such vnoivilised people having existed , presided over by one whom they called , and whom history has
recorded , the Great Alfred : and we have a sort of notion , that that eminent law-giver , promulgated a ( tyrannous violation-of-all-sound-principle ) regulation that the day of twenty-four hoars should be divided into three parts ; eight for work ; eight for recreation and mental culture ; and eight for rest ! Was it not well for Alfred that he had no " profound" philosophers living in his kingdom at that lime ; or his " aot of daring rashness , " in presuming to interfere with the "freedom of industry " and the power of the employer to exact his own
terms , would have driven him from the throne , and sent him packing after the sea-swallowed-up Danes ! The poor benighted ignorant Bavages would have been enlightened as to the value of principle ; and taught that tha ( must be maintained , at whatever cost of human suffering , tears , or blood . Philosophy disdains such minor considerations as human happiness or life , when asserting and maintaining her glorious " truths" ! Hearts , broken and bleeding through they bo , avail nothing when placed in the scale against an " axiom . "
Besides , what was ffy for savages , for the uncivilised Saxons , would not at all apply to the state and , condition of an enlightened people ; particularly when we have steam and gas to aid as in the production of wealth ! Eight hours' work might do , in the absenoo of the useful and glorious discoveries of scientific application , to procure , by the labour of the adult man , enough to make his home a happy one , and his family so contented , that costly gems , when they oould be had for taking up , could not tempt them to break the morality oi'savageism : bat had' Alfred lived in our day , and seen Epoch L
II , and III of the " history of the Tea Kettle ; " seen the complication of wheels and pinions j of straps , rollers , and pullies ; of spindles , looms , and dressing machines ; seen the great steam engine moving all , with mathematical precision , and propelling aoross the ocean the stately vessel laden with the fruits of skill and toil ; had Alfred but seen this , and learned that all , all , ALL was in aid of the labour of man , to whioh hag bean added the labor of woman , and even the child , since the reign ot civilisation set in ; and had be bat had the benefit of modern "
enlightenment ; " sucked ia tho truths" of " profound politioal economy ; '' had he but seen and heard with our eyes and our ears : had he but learned the lessons that " profound politioal economy" alone can teaob , he would have deemed it ' * an aot of gross infatuation , " ot reckless " daring , and rashness incomprehensible , " to attempt to restrict the labour of the living agent to ten hoars a day ! I an aot which could only eventuate in the annihilation of our " glory" and our " power" ! and possibly of tbe 8 tat « itself !
O t the bhssings of civilisation ; of philosophical light ; of Gospel teaching ; of " profound political economy" ! . ' Would that the people could but appreoiate them ! and pour out their hearts in thankfuluess and joy to those " stern-path-of-duty" devotees to principle , who " Give them leave to toll" I
" PROFUNDITY . " WKIG 0 ED IN THE BA . LAKCB . But the cause for our man of deep " profundity " standing aghast at tha " infatuated aot" of the " Collective Wisdom , " the knowledge that " the passing of a Ten Hours' Bill would have the worst effect on the interests of the working classes ; for it would produce a reduction of wages to the amount of twenty jive , or at the very least fifteen per cent . " For this discovery wo have to thank " profound political economy . " There is a monstrous deal of difference between politioal economy , and '' profound politioal etsanomy . " Tae teachings of the former aro wholly at variance with the wise saws
axioms , and discoveries of the latter . " A general reduction in the hours of labour wiil inevitably produce a reduction in the wages of labour . " Suoh is the axiom of the " propound" ones . ' ¦ it is everlastingly in the mouths of such teachers as the Mercury , thu Chronicle , lho Globe , tho Examiner , the Manchester Guardian , and their mouth-pieoes , Sir R . Peel and Sir James Guaham ; and this too , when in the very same breath they tell us that to restrict the hours of labour to tea per day , would lose us the foreign market , because of ( he enhanced price of cur manufactured productions , consequent on the iwcheasrd Wages , or cost , of producing them ! I Is not that indeed profound t
But if a reduction in tbe hours of labour inevitably leads to a deorease in wages , should it not follow that an increase in the hours of laeour should aH inevitably lead to an increase of wages ? Say , ye profound oucs ! Common sense would seem to say that this should be evun no : aud common experience but too conclusively proves that tho converse of the " profound" axiom is a mighty big lie ! H is notorious that the hours of labour have increased enormously : and it is as notorious that wages have decreased moat enormously also ! Pray tell us , man Of " PROFUNDITY , " hOW 18 tttifl !
We had hitherto thought that the teachings of political economy were , that" wages do not depend on either masters or men , but are governed solely by the law of demand and supply : if tbe supply of labour be greater than tbe demand , wages will fall , spite of all efforts to the contrary ; and if the demand be greater than the supply , wages will as assuredly rise ; for whatever tends to enhance the demand for labour , tends to enhance the price of labour . " But it seems that political
economy , itself has been wrong ! or we surely should not have the " profound" ones giving utterance to the stnpid sophism that to decrease the supply of labour in the labour market , would doorcase the price ! To produce the quantity of goods with ten hoard' labour , that is now produced by twelve hours , must call " more " labonrof some sort or other into play ; tbedemarcd must therefore increase ; and if there be any truth in political economy at all , at least wages will not fall under such circumstances , if they do not even
. EFFECTS OF FORMER REDUCTIONS OF HOURS OF LABOUR
Oh WAGI . S . It matters not to the men of . " raoFUKDiTr"' that facts are wholly against their theory ; and that our everyday experience gives their " axiom" the lie . Notwithstanding this , the assertion is constantly on their lips ; is continually iterated aud reiterated with a degree of earnestness and seeming candour that causes the easyful and the ignorant to be led away by the representation . As Mr . Bbot&erton well remarked in the debate , the cry of lower wages , and of danger and destruction to our commerce , has boon set Hp against every attempt to reduce tub hours of labour ; and has been found in practice , to be wholly senseless , if not also wicked . The hours
of labour in factories have been reduced ; generally reduced ; aud yet our commerce , our foreign trade , i » greater &i the present moment than it was ever before known to be ; while John Bright is a witness that " wages os high , if not higher , continue to be paid" ! And , fortunately , . there is the operation of the last Factory Act to appeal to , whioh -reduced the iabour of all under thirteen years of age from ... fourteen to eight hoars daily ; and all between thirteen ' and eighteen' to twelve hours daily . Did the " axiom" hold good in that case 1 that enormous reduction of working time ? Will even THE ' *' profound" mau of the Mercury venture to assert that it did 1 We have
tho evidence of Mr . Brotherxon to the effect that the wages of those below thirteen were not reduced while we have universal experience to prove that by far tbe greater portion of those above thirteen immediately received higher wages for less time , which they haye continued to receive to the present hour . It is notorious that two children above thirteen now receive as much as three did before the Factory Aot reduced their working hours ! And yet England occupies the same spot on the map of the world that she formerly did . She has not shifted from her moorings ; nor has there been any indication that she was likely to sink beneath the ocean from the ] weight of misary caused by that aot of " short time . " Oar oommsroe has not suffered
in amount at all events : for , as was before remarked , it is now " greater" than ever I The gloomy forebodings of the " profound" ones have proved to be ' < Baseless as the fabrio of a vision— : Leaving not a wreck behind" ( The " axiom" of " profound politioal eooaomy" has been swallowed up in fact : and the utterers of the miserable sophism proved to be a charlatan crew .
THE COLLIERS' MODE OF ADVANCING WAGES BY WORKING SHORES TIME . Were it at ail needful to multiply proofs as to this point , we might instance what is passing under our eyes at the j present momout . Taa workers in Mines are no mean proportion ofthe sons of labour . By Marshall ' s " Analysis of Occupations" according to the census of 1831 , 180 , 000 families , comprising 600 , 000 ! persons are immediately dependant on Mining operations for subsistence ; The sheet new in the hands of the reader contains proof that nearly one hundred thousand
of adult operative Miners are combined together in one [ bond of Union , to procure for themselves higher wages , and shorter lime of work I " O wh ^ at fools , " exclaims the man with the cap and the : bells ; the dealer oat of" profound " axioms of politioal economy ; " only to think of higher wages with shorter time ! Why , the men are cracked ! Pray how do they mean to accomplish their unattainable end f" Simply by giving you and your " science" the lit . They seek to obtain HiGHfiR wages by working shorter time ! Aye , and what is more ; THEY FIND THAT PLAN TO ANSWER ! They find that the sure way ,
the one only way , to procure higher wages , is to work shorter time I and they bare , therefore , reduced their hours of labour very considerably ; ia many instances more thaa one-third ; while for the two thirds of their former amount of labour they receive at least one-third "more" in amount of wages ! ! besides having ( called into regular employment hundreds of their brethren who had before time "to stand in the market-place , idle" It has been well said that j" one fad is worth a bushel of theories : " and here , is proof of the truth of the saying . The Colliers' / a" / of higher wages FROM shorter time , is the grave of the '" axiom" of " p rofound" palitieal ; econonvr .
As to the judgment of the Short Time Committee , whioh the " profound" man impugns , we think that may safely be left to contrast with his ow n . The reader has had a " taste of Aw quality "" for judgement : how does j he like it ! THE ADVOCATE OF RURAL POLICE DBNOl / NeiKG iINSPECTORSHIP ! Fearing that the above base effort made to alarm the
working people , and drive them from their devoted and heroic adherence to the Ten Hoars' Bitl , would not be successful ^ because tho most ignorant labourer among them now possesses " nouce" enough to smoke out r « ai political economy from the * ' profound" on that , question at least , the Mercury makes another attempt in aid of his purpose , and in a new direction . Here are bis words , italics and all :-
" If Parllamont should go on tft interfere with tbe industry of tbe people on the principles and ia tbe spirit of Lord Ashley , we shall ere Uog have a Government Inspector of Work far every street , for « very hamlet , aad alnioat for every farm in the country ! Every workshop , ' and even every hoasa , will be subjected to tbe visit of an army of officials . The industrious classes will find too iate that they have been fastening a yoke upon their own necks , and a bridle upon Uieir oven heads" \
Now this allusion to Government Inspectors in connection with the Ten Hours' Bill is a most unfortunate one for the Mercury to venture . He ought to know who it was that inflicted that curse . Us knows full well that Inspectorship forms no portion of the demand ofthe Ten Hours' men ; that they have unfailingly set their ; face against it , denouncing it as a system of interference and spyism not to be borne ; and that it was forced on the country , by the Whig
Ministry , ia spite of the efforts of the advocates of Protection to Labour . The Mercury well knows that it , has ever been held bj those who seek for Parliamentary intorfence to restrain the crashing power of Capital , that if the Legislature would deal with those employers of labour who broke the law , as they dealt with the labomer himself , making them liable to the ; treadmill for their transgressions , there would be no need for Inspectors of any sort .
It is rather funny , however , to see tbe pious horror of our stifly-starched friend , at the bare idea of Inspectors in every street , overy hamlet , and on every farm : particularly when we call to mind the efforts of this same friend to inflict on the towns a Police Forcb , which regularly makes its appearauoe in every street ; and his efforts to procure for the couatry a similar blessing ia the shape of a Rural Police , who are not only to be found in every hamlet , | but almost on every farm ! It would be difficult to imagine a possibility of reconciling these seeming contradictions , were it not that tbe Mercury had himself furnished the
means . The Inspectors he has such an horrifio dread of , would ; be " Inspectors of Work ;'» appointed to protect the Labourer against the tyranny aad exaction of the Employer , and there , fore would be mo 3 t dangerous and most unendurable : the Police jForoes , both town , and rural , are for tho protection * of the property-men against the labourer , and therefore " all right" ; : for our . friend having " no interest but that of the great industrious population ; among whioh he Iive 3 , " would not for tho world submit that t > 4 iy should be the recipients of that protection accorded to their " betters . "
But , " profound" Mercury ; even were the industrious classes to " fasten a yoke upon their own necks , and a bridle upon their owu heads , " would it not be better they should do so , if they list , than that the yoke and bridle should be fastened by others , against their inclination ? ~ You , —kind , considerate "friend" as you are , helped to fasten tbe yoke aud bridle of the police force .
"PROFUNDITY" DEBP , AND DEEPER , STILL . The maiu reason , however , of the Mercury , why the Ten Hours' measure should not pass , and indeed why no protection should be accorded to the factory worker at all , is yot to oome . It is indeed a ** profound" one ! Let the reader judge : — " Factory Labottr ia not compulsory ; it U purely voluntary . A factory worker , if oat of bealtb , or dissatisfied with bis treatment or remuneration , or induced by any personal or domestic circumstance , or even by caprice , may qait hia work whenever he pleases ! He sees men in a thousand other occupations aiound him , and he may change his line ef life whenever be thinks fit , if by so doing he could belter himself . "
Now , is not that conclusive ! Can that be gainsaid ! Is itnot in ' accordance with fact 1 Cannot a factory-worker , | taken there by the parent when stern necessity forced him to do violence to his own feeling , and live oix tho earnings of his " little one ;" can not a factory-worker * so ^ OToed . into factorylabour—brought jup by the side of a single machine—taught but one division of one branch of business ; van not suoh an objec t ¦ " leave work whenever he ploases , add change his line of life whenever he sees-Su" \ Y \\ j'ftas-fce not the remedy in his own hand ? , " whenever dissatisfied , wth , h ^ % eatment or remuneration" ?!! . ' , _ 5 .
w hat , & fiae thing theory is . " Oar Courts of Law are as open to the poor as to the rich , " observed an arden' admirer of i our theory of Government , in the hearing of HornejTookb . '; and justioe can always be obtained by the wronged " . " Yes , " answered that matter-of-fact man ; " and so is the London Tavern , if you have means tof > ayforit ? Precisely so in this case . We / hav © " pr . ofouwd" men spinning
theories by - the mile , proving , most conclusively that the Labourer is free to choose his own condition in life ; that "he can quit work whenever he pleases , and change his lino of life whenever he thinks fitj » the fact being that he is tied down to the wheel by the stern unyielding lav of necessity , and forced to travel round and round , like the harnesses and tethered horse in a gin I To tell our operative population , who have ; no alternative but fo work on the conditions forced on them , or starts » to tell men so ^ ircumatanced tbaf " they can quit work whenever it suits even their caprice" aad " change their line of life , " is to add cruel insult to manifold oppression ! But what is that to ( me who looks at things as a ** profound" man alone can ?
Here for the present we must stop . Time and space forbid further examination of the Mercury ' s " profound ** discoveries , several of which we have not yet set forth . This shall however be done ; particularly the reason why the wages of . the hand-loom weavers are so l * u > . That addition to Profound " Information for tie People is far too valuable to be lost ! That single discovery alone proves the man of the Mercury to be the fbince of " Paofunditt" !
The 50uthej1jn' Staft. Saturday, March 31, 1834.
THE 50 UTHEJ 1 JN' STAft . SATURDAY , MARCH 31 , 1834 .
Friday morning ' s post has brought us further news . By it we learn that Lord Ashley has taken the coarse which to him and his friends seemed ^ best under the circumstances . Some portioa of the Whig Press , aad even tbe Times , has roundly insinuated that his course was a sort of compromising ; that ho was fearfctl of embarrassing Ministers ; that he had his eleotiou , to make between his Ten Hours measure and the Ministry ; and that he was disposed to save the latter even .
at the expence of the former . This we hold to be ungenerous . It should never be forgotten that Lord Ashley declined place and pay under the present Ministry , because they would not adopt his Ten Hours' measure . Had he been disposed te sell bis clients , it would surely have been when he oould "have himself pocketed tho price in hard cash ; and not when the price was merely the gratification of a predeliction iu favour of particular men in office .
On this point we are able to offer conclusive evidence . From a member of the London Central Short Time Committee , we have received the following , which fully explains Lord Ashley ' sposition : — " The Times baa an article this morning founded oa misconception . Lord Ashley has sought , and aad , t / ie best advice from both sides of Hit House . It ha had resisted tbe withdrawal of tbe Biil , be wonJd haVd bad a large majority against him ; and this , not upon the
main principle involved , bat upon a question which would leave many to vote with the Government , without turning thtir backs upon th « principle . They would have « ot off on a matter of form—almost a technicality . This would have been bad policy . The question now , therefore , will be re-discussed ( after Ejster ); and L jrd Ashley , I doubt not , will then enter iato th » commercial part of the question , to do which he is folly competent "
Bat we are also able to say that the Governmental motion to withdraw the Bill will not be permitted t * pass as a matter of course . When Sir J . GbahaX moves ** that the order of the day on the Factory Bill be read , in order that it may be discharged , " Mr . Duncombb will move that after the word ^ discharged , " these words be added : — " With a view of carrying into effect ths recorded decisions and intentions of this House , that the = laboax to be performed in factories bj women and young persons , aball be less than twelve hoars per day ; thereby aot only maintaining good faith with those whose oonfldence ia indispensable to the existence of this Hou « aa a representative and deliberative assembly , but sl » upholding its own dignity , by establishing a character for integrity and consistency . ' . . . .-
This is a good move ; ono very neoessary and proper for the House to adopt , if it would not become the laughing stock of the country . It will be seen that Mr . Duncombe ' s motion does sot oppose the discharge of the order of the day ; but imposes on Ministers , if it be adopted , the carrying into effjot the decisions of the House against twelve hours . It is a inaat proper instruction f <> the House to give . Mr . Duncombe attended in his place oe Thursday sight to give notice of his intention ; bat as tbera was " no House , " he Was prevented from doing so * But we have the best '' authority for saying that W ? motion will be inade ; aod that ho will divide the Houseouit . We shall see how " Hon . Members '
get out of the " fix" it places them in I < Mr . Duncombe has also succeeded in putting 0 % till after Easter , the Bill affecting Sertants and Aetificeks , to which we called public attention li $ week . He has done this , that jbhe people may ha ^ time to meet , and back up . their friends ia their opposition to a measure which will , if ^ y allowed to piss , place the workmen oomple ^ in the hands of their employers . Let the Easte * holidays ^ then , be devoted-to the sacred purpose , « Labour : to wring front . Government the * & Hours' Bill ; and to prevent Government & «* passing the new Servants aud Artificers' Bill .
. Next week we shall give ut'length the able petition against this latter Bill , drawn by Mr . B obsRTS * Want of space-alone prevents our doing it ** * ° ^ present . That petition fully sets forth the evils » Labour ^ that will ensue if the . infamous proposal becomes livr . .
Derbt .-A general meeting of the members ofjjj Chartist'body otthia town , will bo holden oa ^ "v ( tormorrow ) , eteaiug , at seven O ' clock » a |? n f ^^ , attou room , Thoratxee-lane , when the subject w-v * Conveatioa wUl be f ought before the meeting-
Since the above was written , we find that Lord Ashley has intimated his intention to permit tho Government to withdraw , the present Bill , and introduce another , without opposition . Oar own feeling is against this course ; bat we doubt not bat that there are reasons for the proposed mode of action . No doubt but that the Noble Lord hag measured his strength , and calculated his chanoes of success ; and also taken counsel with his friends as to the best course to be pursued . The uhip is being stoutly applied , as we learn from the Times of Wednesday , who significantly enough says : —
" Much ia it to be deplored that Sir James Graham should first be enabled to throw the House into ' inextricable confusion , ' and then procure a week ' s delay before anothtr division . A wees , though a short peried for tbe propagation of a righteous cause by righteous arguments , la a long time for the threats and persuasions of authority—a sbt > rt time for the House of Commons—a long time for the Treasury . Tbe members of tbe Administration are active—the members ot the House are , some of them , easy . We hear already that some are getting oat of tbe way ; They must excuse our reminding them that they cannst escape responsibility or animadvaraioD . "
The . courso determined on by Lord Ashley will have one ^ oo < i effect : it will give the country time to speak out ! and speak out it mast !! Tbe present is no ordinary question ; nor are the circumstances connected with it such as can be ordinarily passed over . By a vigorous effort' Labour may gain a oompiete and solid advantage . Let the opportunity slip , and it may be long ere itpre s » n 6 itself again . .
Arrangements ought to be instantly made for large public meetings , to back up the efforts of the people ' s friends ia the House , and against Ministers Let every working man read the reports of the efforts already made ; and then say Whether Lord Ashley , Lord Howies , Mr . C . Bullish , Mr . Duncombe , Lord John Russell , ' Lord J . Mamnebs , Sir R . Inglis , and the others who have stoutly defended Labour ' s cause against Ministers ; let every workman say , whether , on this Question , these men are not deserving of , and entitled to , Labour ' s support . We say they are ; and trust it will be given most energetically . Let every hand b 8 summoned to the pump ; ever shoulder placed to the wheel !
To the letter of Mr . O ' Connor , in aaother page , we invite special attention ; particularly ot those to whom it is addressed . We trust the special recommendation it contains will be at once acted on in the town of Nottingham ; and that the other portions of it will sink deep into the hearts of the working people , aud cause them to do in other Boroughs what the Nottingham people are invited to do in theirs .
A THE NOftT H ERNSTicR . | March 3 0 , ; 1843 . -
Northern Star (1837-1852), March 30, 1844, page 4, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ns/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1258/page/4/