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ment near Bolton, belonging to H. and E. Ashworth, I have the following statement. They employ 675 persons above the age of 13 years, and 98 children under 13 years, working short time; in all, 773.
so do 13 to 16 126 employed. —Average weekly earnings 4 8} 17 to 21 97 »
95 21 and upwards 136 ,
Females. 13 to 16 113 employed.-- Average weekly earnings 48 17 to 21 135 »
" : " 67 21 and upwards 68 »
8 9 In all 675 persons.--Average weekly earnings 9 57 Of the 98 short time hands, 49 are boys, and 49 are girls : their average earnings for the half week's work being 1s. 6d.
Here again we have between the ages of 13 and 21 years, 223 males and 248 females, whilst above 21 years, there are 136 men and 68 women, shewing that at 21 years, or thereabout, the women are withdrawn from factory employment, and betake themselves to household and family duties.
But the rate of remuneration is a subject well worth enquiring into; and how do we stand in this respect? I allude to the concern of which I am a partner, from no wish to boast, -many establishments in the trade being superior to ours in almost every particular,--but because I am well acquainted with the facts I now produce.
We have near our premises 51 cottages, whose 51 families are all employed by us. In these 51 cottages there are 314 persons, and of these 166 are employed, being about 64 individuals, and 31 workers in each cottage. The average weekly earnings of each of these 166 workers are 11s., and the average weekly earnings of each family are 35s. 9d., and the average annual income of each of these families is 921. 198. (Hear, hear, hear). "The account furnished me from other mills is equally favourable, and I am quite sure equally true. H. and E. Ashworth's statement shews a list of 69 families ; the average number of individuals in each is 5%; the average number of workers in each is 2}; being in all 228 individuals, and 115 workers. The average weekly earnings of each worker are 11s. 44d. : the average weekly income of each family is 33s. 4d., and the average andual income of each family is 871. 78. 31d. From Messrs. Whitehead and Brothers, of Rawtenstall, I have the following returns :—These gentlemen employ 342 persons, and I may remark that in this case there is the same withdrawal of women from factory employment above the age of 21 years. In 32 cottages there are in each, on the average, 6 individuals, and 3} workers. The average weekly income of each of these families is 338. 0fd., and only one of these heads of families has received parochial relief, and that one a widow, whose means of living were for a time taken away by the destruction of a mill by fire. (Hear, hear.) Of the 342 persons they employ, the average weekly earnings are 9s. 6£d. I know that to read over these details is tedious to the House, but they are facts most important for this House to be acquainted with, and I cannot with a due regard to my duty as a Member of it, and towards that vast branch of our national industry with which I feel it an honour to be connected, withhold them. (Hear, hear, hear.) From Messrs. Eccles Shorrock, and Co. of Darwen, I have the following statement:They have 54 families, including 396 individuals, and 230 workers ; the average number in each family is 7}, of workers 43. The average weekly earnings of these 230 workers are 10s. 7d.; the average weekly income of each family is 45s. 1d.; the average annual income of each family is 1171. 78. 9d. From J. R. Barnes and Sons, of Farnworth Mills, near Bolton, I have the following statement :- They have 81 families, including 442 individuals, and 197 workers. The average weekly earnings of each worker are 12s. 9d. ; the average weekly income of each family is 31s. ; the average annual income of each family is 802.12s. Now, very few of all these families have ever received parish relief; from enquiry made in the case I have given from Rawtenstall, out of 32 families, only one has received sạch relief, and out of the 51 families I have mentioned connected with our own concern, I believe only three have received such relief ; and these are cases in which distress of no ordinary kind has driven honest independence to this resource, and when my brother made the inquiry necessary, to enable me to state these facts, he was careful so to make the inquiry as to avoid wounding the feelings of those, by whom a character for honest independence is held in the utmost esteem. (Hear, hear, hear.) What a contrast does this present when compared with the state of things in Dorsetshire, and some of the neighbouring counties, where one in seven or eight of the whole population, including nobility, gentry, clergy, bankers, professional men, farmers, merchants, and traders, and labourers of every class, is almost invariably receiving parochial assistance. (Hear, hear.)
I will now call the attention of the House, and especially of the Members for the county of Suf. folk, to a fact which I trust will silence the cry of injury done to farın labourers, by a removal to the manufacturing districts. My friends, H. and E. Ashworth, have been slandered over and over again, because they engaged some of these labourers, for whom in their native counties the only choice was the Union-House or starvation. Let us see how the case really stands. One of these labourers Samuel Rudlen, came from Suffolk in the year 1836. His family then consisted of 10 persons ; his earnings as farm-labourer were 8s. per week ; his eldest boy, about 14 years of age, 2s. per week ; next younger (cow boy), 12 years, 1s. per week; parish allowance one peck of flour worth Is. 4d.10 persons to 12s. 4d., or ls. 2d. į per head per week. Now his family consists of 11 persons,
and they earn altogether 55s. per week, or 5s. per head per week. Several families came from the south about the same period, and under similar circumstances, but the chief part of them having so far improved their circumstances as to enable them to remove to other mills or localities have done so whenever they saw a chance of receiving a higher rate of wages. Similar cases might be afforded with regard to labourers from Buckinghamshire and other counties. I think I have now said enough with regard to this part of the subject (loud cries of “divide") — apparently too much for Honourable Gentlemen opposite (hear), who appear only anxious to hear and applaud one side, and many of whom have not even heard that (hear and cheers).
But notwithstanding all these facts I admit there are evils, serious evils, and much distress in the manufacturing districts; many are still out of employment, and in many branches of trade wages are low. We have violent fluctuations in trade, and periods when multitudes endure great suffering, and it becomes this House to inquire why do these fluctuations occur, and what is the great cause of their suffering. I attribute much of this to the mistaken and unjust policy pursued by this House, with respect to the trade and industry of the country. Hitherto manufactures have had no fair chance ; you have interfered with their natural progress, you have crippled them by your restric