No. 5.] SEPTEMBER 1, 1828. [1d.


(Continued from No. 4.)

1. Since our last number was written, there has been a meeting in this town for the relief of the Kidderminster Weavers. As we fully believe that Co-operation, in the shape of a Working Union, will, infallibly secure the independence of any fifty or hundred workmen, who are sufficiently enlightened to form such a society; so, we do not believe that any other plan, or system, or relief whatever, will be of the least advantage to them.

2. It gives us great pleasure however, to see any signs of that sympathy and goodwill towards each other, which ought ever to pervade the working classes, and which will, when properly directed, lead them to independence. We are only sorry to see their efforts misdirected. The subscription which has already been made, for the Kidderminster Weavers, would have made them an independent body of men, working on their own capital, for themselves exclusively, had they united themselves into one body, made use of the subscriptions as common capital, continued their work as usual, lived in the same economical manner, and laid up the profit to increase the common capital.

3. The same plan would have answered equally well with any set of workmen, in any trade. It has sometimes happened, that workmen have struck for wages, for several months, during which they have done nothing, either for themselves or others: yet they have lived all this time upon an allowance made to them by a committee, entrusted with subscriptions for that purpose. It is strange it should never have occurred to such a committee, to employ the workmen, so supported, in manufacturing their usual articles. These articles might have been sold to the public, through the medium of one of the workmen, acting as agent for the rest. The public would have come to this agent to supply themselves, just as well as they did before to the master manufacturer. They would never have enquired how the goods were made. They would not have supposed that they were made and sold in this manner, in consequence of any quarrel between the men and their masters: and even were such an event known, it would not influence the public as individuals. The public care for nothing but cheapness. Wherever the market is cheapest, there they will go. They will not enquire, when they go to buy, whether the shop is supported by one individual, or a company; or by a master, or journeyman.

To be continued weekly for the month of September 2023. These writings are exactly 125 years ago! Annotations supplied.

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