« ForrigeFortsett »
tion Price's Candle Company), yet pains had to be The next experiment was also one in coal-mining. taken to make such bonuses mere gratuities, so Thé « South Buckley Coal and Fire-brick Comkeeping them out of the sphere of legal contract. pany, limited," was formed substavtially for the The important Act I have mentioned provided working of certain mining properties in Flintshire, (amongst other relaxations of the law) that “no ou a capital of 50,0001., in 107. shares. The revised contract for the reinuneration of a servant or agent Articles of Association, as in the case of Greening of any person engaged in any trade or nndertaking & Co., authorised the directors during the first five by a share of the profits of such trade or undertaking years to reserve shares for allotment to the comshall, of itself, render such servant or agent respon pany's managers, secretaries, foremen, colliers, bricksible as a partner therein, por give him the rights of makers, and other persons engaged in the service of a partner." This enactment is the true foundation the company, exclusively; such shares to be issued of all legal* bonus to labour” irrespective of share at par value either to individuals, or to subscripbolding. Such bonus was fixed, in " Henry Briggs, tion clubs formed by the men amongst themselves. Sod, & Co., limited," at 101. per cent. on wages to the scale of voting was, in this instance, still more workers who are also shareholders ; 51. per cent. to liberal towards the smaller shareholders, the addithose who are not; facilities being moreover afforded tional votes beyond the first 100 being only at the to the men to form clubs among themselves for the rate of one in twenty. 500 shares would thus only purchase of shares.
give forty-eight' votes to a single shareholder. The "Greening & Co., limited,” of Manchester, are directors were empowered, before recommendinga constituted on a similar basis. The firm was a well- | dividend, to set apart a reserve fund for the followknown one of manufacturers of iron and wire-fences ing amongst other purposes, viz.,and gates. On its passing into the hands of Messrs. Go For or towards creating and maintaining a sick fund Greening Brothers, as sole surviving partners, these in favour or for the benefit of the servants of the congentlemen determined to turn their establishment pany; ,."
"For or towards creating and maintaining a fund for O Jurut-stock company, in which the nanas establishing and supporting a library, news-room, work. should have special facilities for becoming share- men's club, or other educational benefits for the servants bolders during three years, and in which, 'after of the company.” paying an average of 15l. per cent. dividend' on And, subject to any appropriation to the reserved capital, all surplus profits should be divided equally fund, all profits over 51. per cent. on paid-up capital Letween capital and labour." In this instance also were to be divided equally between capital and such arrangements were not embodied in the “ Ar- | labour ;-terms more liberal than any yet offered to ticles of Association " (which were simply those com- the worker. prised in "Table A." to the Joint-stock Companies. In the “ Cobden Memorial Mills Company, limiAct), but were carried out by what is termed a ted” (“Memorandum of Association” dated 29
special resolution under the Act. But by the September, 1866, later than one or two other bodies adoption of “Table A.,” with its scale of voting, of which I shall presently speak), co-operation is the overwhelmiog preponderance given to the emplaced in the very fore-front, among the objects for players in Crossleys & Co. and Briggs & Co. was which the company is constituted, and one of which, taken away, the statutory scale being one vote for says the " Memorandum of Association,” dated every share up to ten, one additional for every five 29 September, 1866, is " to secure the co-operation after the first ten up to 100, and one additional for of all persons in the employment of the company by stery ten beyond the first hundred. Thus, where dividing amongst them, in such proportions as shall
shares wonld give 500 yotes in the former com- be fixed from time to time in general meeting, one plities, the same number would only give sixty- half of all surplus profits, after payment of 101. per sght in Greening & Co.'s. Whether due or not to 1001, on the subscribed capital of the company." the larger amount of confidence thus exhibited in The capital is 80,0001., in 101. shares, of which 2000 ttan, the co-operation of the workers in the un- (representing one-fourth of the whole) are to be set dertaking seems to have been especially hearty in apart as “ reserved shares" for allotment "among this instance. To quote Mr. Greening's words, the clerks, overlookers, spinners, weavers, and other * The handsi immediately formed themselves into a
persons in the employment of the company .... club to assist us, elected their own chairman, treasurer,
| upon such conditions ..... as the board shall and secretary, subscribed their shillings weekly to take determine, but so that every reasonable facility be up shares, and discussed at their monthly meetings' vanous noves for increasing the profits of the concern.
ir monthly meetings va- given to all persons in the employment of the comAfter working half-a-year, we balanced the books and
mi pany to purchase one or more of such reserved book stock to ascertain the result, and were greatly gra-, shares.” In making calls, the holders of such retitlel to tind that, notwithstanding the disastrous effects served shares are "pot, in any case," to be " deof the auttle plague upon our trade, which lies almost | ulusiyely amongst agriculturists and landed propri
prived of the right of paying by weekly or monthly Sears, the profits had been maintained considerably above
instalments." It is provided, moreover, that "one the average, by the united exertions of all parties con- fourth, at least, of every 'issue of new shares, or emned, and we felt ourselves warranted in declaring a such larger portion as may be determined in general cixidend at the rate of 16 per cent. per annum on capital, and voting a bonus of 5 per cent. on wages to our
meeting, shall be reserved shares.” The scale of voting (which appears to have been borrowed from
that of the “ Jamaica Commercial Agency Com- capital is, I believe, all that has ever been put in, -pany," to be presently noticed), gives one vote for and working under most unfavourable conditions, every share up to ten, one additional for every ten since they are scarcely erer in contact with the beyond the first ten to 100, one additional for every actual customer, had last year reached one of the twenty-five beyond the first 100 up to 200, and one foremost places in their trade, employed regularly additional for every tifty beyond the first 200 up to seventeen men, under conditions more favourable 300, with a limitation of the maximum number of than they could get anywhere else in the trade, dių votes to twenty-five.*
i ; | business to the amount of 25001. in the year, and had I need hardly observe that these “industrial latterly divided a bonus on the earnings of non-assopartnerships,” or “ partnerships of industry,"_tociates. This little group of co-operative producers, use the terms now applied to undertakings which having received overtures from their landlord, ali are based on a sharing of profits between capital and master framemaker, who is also one of their em labour,--are simply developments of what is, per- ployers, have formed themselves with him into ai haps, over-well known in modern political economy ," Frame-makers' and Gilders' Association, limited," books as "The Léclaire experiment," from the under the Joint Stock Companies Act, on a capital of 1 name of a Parisian house-painter, who, for a time 60001., almost the whole of which is contributed in a successfully, shared profits with his men. The same stock or money by him, by themselves, or by their system has been adopted in several large continental workmen. The articles of association are modelled establishments, and it has with us nothing really on the pattern of those of the “ Cobdeb Memorial new but its practical application, within the limits of Mills,' the provisions as to reserved shares, and an the English law. If we examine its latest features ultimate division of profits equally between capital amongst ourselves, we may perhaps sum them up and labour, being equivalent. The rent to be paidi, as follows st. Reservation of a certain amount to capital is fixed at 74 per cept, but a concession of share capital for the workers of all grades in the is made to it in the scale of voting, which is at the establishment, with encouragement to the formation rate of one vote each for the ten first shares, and of share-clubs, or facilities for payment by weekly one for every ten additional ones. Fixity of manor other easy instalments ; 2nd. A scale of voting agement (in the hands of three managing directors) sufficient to give some substantial participation in is provided for by a five years' term of office. I the government of the concern to the many ; 3rd. may and, as a remarkable feature of the amal. A distribution of profits such that, when labour has gamation, that two out of three of the managing received its wages, and capital its fixed hire; the directors of the company belong to the Gilders' residue, subject to a deduction for a reserve fund, Association, and that the whole control of the wors shall be divided, generally in halves, between both shops is vested in one of them, hitherto foreman of these elements of production ; 4th. If thought fit, the co-operative shop.
Basi liingia a provision that among the purposes of a reserve So alive, on the other hand, are the employers fuud may be included any institution for the com- becoming to the value of the principle of the parte mon benefit, physical or moral, of the workers. nership of industry, that a bold attempt has been " It is interesting to observe that this scheme, made by one firm to use it for the direct putting elaborated at first by capitalists, is now being down of trades' unious. . The following advertido adopted more or less exactly by bodies founded by ment (from which I omit the list of prices) appeared working men theinselves. Thus the ** London Co- repeatedly in the newspapers for October, 1866 : operative Cabinet-manufacturing Industrial Society,
1 - Co-operative' Ironworks: ---Messrs. Fox, Head, & Cou
. limited," (which was certified under the Industrial | of Newport Rolling Mills. Middlesboro'. hereby give no and Provident Societies Act, July, 1865,) propose, tice that their works will henceforth be open to apratite after setting aside a reserve and depreciation fund, on the above system, conpled with the abandonnento
their unions by both masters and men. The following and paying 51. per cent interest on capital, to
merest on capready to prices will be paid, subject to any general advance or to divide all profits equally between capital and labour, duction in this district (here folloses the priro-list). The
their capital being raised in 12. shares. A North-day-wages paid to the men not included in the above list ampton "Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Society, I the strike." In some cases no reduction will be made
will be 10 per cent. less than the rates paid previous limited," seems to be working on similar principles. After making reasonable allowances to meet bad debt A yet more interesting case is that of the “Working and other contingencies, and apportioning 10 per cent ti
i capital as interest, the whole of the remaining pront Gilders' Association," a small body of London
will be equally divided between capital and labour." working men who, beginning with nothing, -81. of
1: I eannot help doubting the policy of the above * Besides the above 'undertakings, Mr. Greening's paper offer. A point of honour would probably hinder the also mentions a cotton-mill in Manchester "which adopts | best men from deserting their union in the midst the industrial partnership principle of dividing profits be
er l of a strike, for a share in the employers' profits. To tween shareholders and workers," now “making 174 per cent. on its capital, and rapidly wipin off arrears of loss require them to do so at all appears to me, moreover, and debts incurred in the cotton panic." To the list a putting of the cart before the horse. Tlie workers must now be added Wardle & Co.'s Pottery, Venaby, enter into a trade-society for the purpose of mainnear Rotherham, C. Goodall's Printing Establishment, Leeds; the "Lloyd & Summerfield" Co-partnership. taining or bettering their condition. From tea limited,” Birmingham; &c.
*? moment they find in the "partiership of industry"
a more efficacious means of attaining this end, the division of profits, however, after 7 per cent, bias trade-societies will fall to pieces of themselves, or been divided on paid-up capital, any excess is to be assume a totally different character. Let the inen apportioned, 50 per cent on paid-up capital, 25 go into such an establishment as red-hot unionists, per cent. on labour (on the same terms as in the --if it be honestly carried on, they will soon find "South Buckley”), and 25 per cent." amongst the that association in labour is better than association customers of the company, rateably in proportion to in abstinense from labour; let them once handle a the amount paid to the company by each customer fair "boous, and they will be the first to deprecate for goods supplied to him or her by the said coma strike, *, og jer sundt to soggers blisti 1 1,++ of papy;", but customers are not to interfere in the
But when the partnership of industry” has been business, or be deemed members, or subject to the built up so far, it stands as it were over against the liabilities of the company. Pirms it is
-operative store, las did the smaller te working This is an exceedingly interesting experiment. men's associations, Vlor other societies for co-opera- The only doubt is whether it is completely legal or tive trades or matufactures, before it. The one safe, sinée the law certainly nowhere exempts cusis based upon production, the other on consámp- tomers from the responsibilities attaching to a tion. The one gives all profits (whether called such sharing of nett profits; and if they do become ar not) to the seller and those interested under him, thereby partners with the company beyond the the other gives all to the buyer and his allies. The number of pineteen, it may be contended that a old discord between employer and employed may be new partnership or company is formed, illegal unsolved by Messrs.Briggs or Messrs. Greening; that less registered under the Joint Stock Companies between buyer and seller i remains as harzh as ever. Act. The practice, indeed, of admitting customers Yet consumption and production are inter-depen- who are not shareholders to profits is not a new dept. Customi alone completes production. The one. :: Mr. Tidd Pratt's last returó shows nearly marriage of abundant and benevolent capital with forty societies registered under the Industrial and skilled and willing labour must remain unfruitful, Provident Societies Act, including several of the if both are starved for want bf orders. Herice the most influential, which allow a share of profits further idea sprang up, of interesting the consumer to non-members; and since it is difficult to see also in associated production, by means of a share what ground remains for excluding mere cusin profits. That idea has long been afloat, but was, tomers from the benefit already allowed to
I believe, first songht to be practically realised some workers, it is probable that a further amendment 1 years ago by a body of Co-operative Box and of the law to this effect would, if properly urged,
Packing-case Manufacturers:?: somewhere near be willingly assented to by Parliament. When Houndsditch, which I fear has long since disap. i this is done, it may be said that for the first time peared. A more important attempt in this direc. full legal means are afforded for the working of a ten, had it been carried out, was the projected system in which the three hitherto jarring interests *Clayton Plate and Bar: Iron Company" (1865), of the capitalist, the worker, and the consumer, are which proposed, after dividing 10 per cent. on capital, sought to be brought into harmony. lis .... I to apportion the surplus profits requally, between The development of the co-operative principle purchasers from the company in proportion to their has now to be considered under another aspect, that custom, shareholders in proportion to their shares, of its application, as distinct from its form. The and officers, clerks, and workmen, in proportion to bodies I have hitherto spoken of belong all to the their wages. , I do not know what caused the sphere of trade and trading industry. They have lailure of this scheme, which was supported by no connection with agriculture, except incidentally; several good names'; at any rate, the idea has been as in the case of the farms which are owned by some since taken up by an"enterprising body, which has of the great co-operative stores. Mr. Tidd Pratt's already made no small stir in the world--the "In return of 1866 includes, indeed, one society, the dustrial Partnership of Clothiers, limited.” It is “Self-help Industrial Co-operative," of Moston, in constituted upon a capital of 25,0001., in shares of Laocashire, founded in 1963 for the purpose of the low denomination of 11. each. "The clause as to “farming," which, as the return stands, would the reservation of shares for persons employed is appear to possess seven members, and exactly Il. identical (except as respects the special designation of capital; but I should infer that the return is of such persons with that in the "South Buckley" defective, and that a figure of 77., which appears articles, and the scale of voting is also the same, as in another column, would be nearer the mark for well as the reserve funde” provisions. In the the latter item. This is, however, a solitary ex
ception amongst the 417 returning societies. The ..Since writing the above, I find similar advice given result appears singular, when one remembers that by Mr. Greening in his "monthly share-list" of "part
the land was the chief field of the old socialist and Derships of industry," for December, 1866. It appears from this that Mesers. Fós, Head, & Co., do not invite
communist 'experiments, froin Mr. Owen's different their workpeople to take shares, but simply offer to re establishments to the farm of the communists of ceive their capital at 5 per cent. interest--they taking the 44 Leeds Redemption Society.” In several quar10. It is difficult to believe that terms like these, which seerti devised to place the worker in the entire depend- ters, however, there are indications that the tide of este of the capitalisty will meet with much acceptance." I co-operation may before very long be expected to flow towards the land. Mr. Gurdon's experience in is to be considered a charge on gross profits, and is Suffolk has shown that farms may be safely and to take precedence of all commissions or per-centprofitably let to partnerships or small companies of | ages to the compauy's officers. Nett profits are to agricultural labourers. His experiment has now be divided, one-third upon paid-up capital, and the outlasted the received average of a generation, since other two-thirds among colonial members only, upou it was in 1831 that he first allowed thirty labourers the total amount of the nett proceeds of their custo occupy a farm, lending them money for cultiva tom, as sellers or consignors of produo, and upon tion in the first instance without interest, and the the amount of their purchases of goods. The colo farm is still a co-operative one, having borne, Mr. nial producer has thus every incentive offered to William Lawson, of Carlisle, has said from personal him to subscribe to the company, and to give to it inspection, “great and glorious” effects. The ex the full benefit both of his production and consumpperiments attempted by the latter-named gentleman tion, and the company may be said to unite a parthimself are no less interesting, though I have not nership of industry” in colonial farming with a space to detail them. He proposes to divide among colonial co-operative store. Care has moreover the workers at his various establishments, farms been taken to stimulate the energies of the leading included, one-tenth of the profits realised. And officials--two managing directors here, two mana we have seen lately a duke's son, Lord George gers in each colonial distriet-by giving them, over Manners, astonish his father and the squires and and above salaries of a low figure, to the one class farmers around him, at an agricultural dinner, by a commission on orders for goods or sales of produce, a suggestion to the same effect as Mr. Lawson's to the other a per-centage on the nett profits of practice, that the labourers should receive a share their respective districts. of farming profits, by way of checking that dearth Arising out of an association of small producers, of hands which is pressing more and more upon the who are believed to need special help, but have labour-market in many directions at once. Even at shown themselves capable of vigorous efforts to the Christmas dinner of the Royal Agricultural | help themselves, the “Jamaica Commercial Agency Society the same idea has been mentioned, though Company” requires the directors to limit, from of course pooh-poohed. , .
time to time, the amount of advances on single Meanwhile a very peculiar application of the co- consignments and of purchases of produce made to operative principle is being made to a novel field of or from any single person ; whilst its scale of voting trade, and to a combined system of production and by limiting the maximum of votes to be held by a consumption. Out of the “Cornwall Agricultural single person to twenty-five, removes all temptation and Commercial Association " of Jamaica, of which I to any large landowner or capitalist to take more have spoken in a previous number of Good WORDS,* than 300 shares (6001.) for the sake of influence alone, has arisen the “ Jamaica Commercial Agency Com- or otherwise than as a simple investment of capital. pany, limited ” (registered 24th August, 1866), which The fact that the producer members of the has for its present objects the collection and expor- "Jamaica Commercial Agency Company, will be tation in and from the island of Jamaica, of the almost all of them actual cultivators, sufficiently produce of the island, the importation of goods into establishes its title to rank as a scheme of industrial the island, and the sale of such produce and goods, as well as trading co-operation. It may, however, with power to extend the operations of the com be observed, that in the event of the profits attain pany to other British colonies; the capital being ing more than 101. per cent upon paid-up capital. 20,0001., in 21. shares (10,0001. to be paid up within the directors have power to apply, out of the excess two years), with power to increase. The company of profits, such sums as they may think fit, "for or represents in effect a combiuation of European capi- towards the education or moral improvement of the talists with Colonial producers, whose custom is at officers, clerks, or servants employed by or under the same time sought to be secured. Thus the the company in any district, or of their children;" | shares may be subscribed for in produce sold to or or by way of bonus on wages or salaries' amonget through the company; one-fifth of every issue of the officers, clerks, and servants of the company, shares is to be reserved for three months at least either in Europe or in any district," except milfor colonial members of the company, who are naging directors and managers; with a provision organised in districts, appointing each its “Local (also incorporated in the y.Cobdew Memorial Mallsa' Board ;” and although the supreme control is re- articles) "that if any invention or improved pro served to the Loudon Board of Directors and to the cess useful to the company shall be placed at its general meetings of the company at home, care is disposal by any officer; clerk, or servant to whom taken to secure the interests of colonial members | a bonus might be given is the value of such by providing (except in cases of grave emergency) | invention or improved process shall be taken into a long term of notice (two months) before any step | account in fixing the amount of bonus to be given can be taken which may seriously affect their spe- to him.” It will thus be seen that the principle of eial interests. The distribution of profits is pecu- co-operation pervades the whole scheme of the comliar ; 61. per cent. per annum upon paid-up capital pany. The value of the last provision will be w
cognised by those who know the heart-burnings • October, 1866. in a loften occasioned amongst working-men by the non
recognition of improvements suggested by them in up beside it another body for similar purposes, machinery or processes, although often of the most the “ Civil Service Co-operative Society, limited,” profitable character to the establishment.
. having for objects, as its “Memorandum of AssoIt is satisfactory to learn that the.“ Jamaica ciation" (under the Joint Stock Companies Act) Commercial Agency Company” is being warmly states, to import or purchase wholesale articles of supported by the coloured population of the island; general consumption and utility, and to retail them that in addition to 1000 shares subscribed for be at prices sufficient only to cover the original cost, fore leaving England, by the deputation from the the expenses of management and distribution, and " Cornwall Agricultural and Commercial Associa- | to pay a moderate rate of interest (limited to 5 per tion, " many have been taken up in all parts of the cent.) upon the capital necessarily employed in the cokny; and that besides the “Black River undertaking; also to make arrangements with maDistrict,” already formed, the Directors have issued nufacturers, wholesale houses, and others, to supply enlars inviting subscriptions for a second, which articles not kept in store by the company at whole should include the city of Kingston. On sale or reduced prices.". The capital is 50
Two or three other recent applications of the co- 51. shares. The association is still more exclusive operative principle, in a somewhat different form than the previous one. Not only are no shares to from any hitherto spoken of, deserve to be noticed, be " allotted to, or held by, or transferred to any thongh I have been somewhat at a loss where to person or persons other than a member or members place them. The Civil Service Supply Associa of the civil service, except in the case of the death tion, limited,” has been established, says its fifth of a shareholder, when same [sic] may be held by price list, for the quarter ending 31st December, his executors' or administrators for a period not 1866, "for the purpose of supplying officers of the exceeding one year," but the issue of its yearly civil service and their friends with articles of all balf-crown tickets is confined to members of the kinds, both for domestie consumption and general civil service, or the widows or orphan children of 1980, at the lowest possible prices.” The capital is deceased members. Tow I 110 metriivit contributed by members of the civil service only, 1. The society is said to be highly successful. It in Il shares, which are paid up by instalments of has a large store at the West-end, and it's price-list 6x the first year, and 28. -6d. every subsequent year (I have before me that of July, 1866,) like that of till the amount is paid up; such sbares not bearing the “ Civil Service Supply Association," besides interest, but entitling the holders to all the benefits enumerating the various articles kept in store, with of the association, including participation in its their respective prices, contains a long list of wholegovernmenti Tiekets are given to each shareholder; sale aud retail traders (begimving with Messrs. hat sacb tickets can also be obtained by other Allsopp & Sons, the brewers), who have agreed to Dembers of the civil service, on payment of 28. 6d. supply members of the service either at wholesale
year, or by their friends on payment of 58. a or trade prices, or at a specified reduction,'amountyear; but no mere ticket holder can have any voice ing in one case to 35 per centi, with a note apin the government lof the association. (A1-some- pended, that other leading firms, who do not wish what similar practice as to tickets prevails in one their names to appear, have agreed to grant similar
of the French consumers' associations.). The price- terms. It has the usual professional officers (in- list proper contains, tu Ist, "articles kept in stock cluding a physician, surgeon, and surgeon-dentist),
* the stores ; ?10 200," articles supplied from and has made arrangements with an insurancepatterns through the storekeeper;" 3rd, " articles office for a return of 5 per cent. on premiums of sold on the premises by firms appointed by the members of the civil service assuring through its Besociation. These are followed by a list of "firms medium ; and it promises that "advice and assistwith whom the association has established beneficial anco will be given gratuitously to the widows or krangemente,"ice, which allow reductions, ranging families of deceased members of the service, in con
wpparently from 5 to 60 per cent., or simply supply nection with probates of wills, letters of adminisi their goods at wholesale prices. The association tration, residuary accounts, claims under policies i 1992 its 7 solicitor, architect and surveyor, stock of insurance, &c.'", 17 nyt
brokers, doctors, and accountants ;' and it is stated The two bodies I have just noticed are in fact that advantageous arrangements have been made co-operative stores, with some peculiar features, with the professional officers."' i Its present stores formed for the benefit of one.' of the most imare in Monkwell Street, City, but Mit is in con- portant groups of the middle class, which it is teroplation to open a West-end store as soon as the interesting to see thus taking up an idea carried necessary arrangements can be made.", "se into' successful practice by the working classes,
The "Civil Service Supply Association " seems under a new form' adapted to its own habits. For to have been in 'great measure set on foot by gen the two civil service societies, with their subtlemen connected with the Post Office. Whilst it scribed share-capital, and outside of the circle bas succeeded in maintaining itself for upwards of of their shareholders,' the larger one of ticketa twelvemopth, it is to be presumed that it has not holders at half-a-crown or five shillings a-year, given eatiral satisfaction to the class for 'whose reproduce in fact the type of an insurance-office benefit it was established, since there has grown with a small proprietary capital, and a number of