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months out of employ, and then returned, taking a shilling less than their old pay. When higher wages are obtained in consequence of combination, the workman does not even then profit. Mr. Jackson of Sheffield gave this evidence upon the point: “The workman does not benefit by combination, though he gets high wages; he has sometimes to pay 20 per cent out of his wages to keep up combination, besides an occasional levy of ll. ; and to obtain even this advantage, they are sometimes out of employ for several months. I have often said to the workmen, that I defy them to prove that any steady workman ever benefited by it. The cost of obtaining the advance is greater than the advantage ultimately obtained.”—Another witness, Mr. J. Milner, who was himself a journeyman, says, “I believe that in Sheffield the rage for combination begins to subside, and many of the workmen who were zealous advocates for combinations a few years since, have had the combination surfeit.” Manufactures have actually been driven from places, where they had flourished, in consequence of these combinations. Paisley and Macclesfield owe their rise to the high wages demanded in Spitalfields; and Macclesfield has from the same causes lost to Manchester the trade which it gained from London. Manufactures have left Coventry for Essex for the same cause; and the combinations at Leeds have driven work into the west of England. The carpet trade has been moving from Kidderminster to Kilmarnock, having been injured by repeated strikes; but Ireland has suffered yet more severely. Owing to the Unions there, planks can be cut 35 per cent. cheaper at Liverpool than at Dublin; and consequently, shipbuilding is fast leaving that unhappy country altogether. An Irish manufacturer applied to a large master of iron works in Ireland, to execute him an extensive order. He was obliged to decline it, not for want of fuel, coal, or from any peculiar disadvantages, but solely in consequence of the combinations with which he was beset. A machine for making nails was erected for Mr. Robinson in Dublin. The Unions rose and prevented its use; consequently, not a nail is made in Dublin; but all are sent from Birmingham. The trade of the Irish capital is paralysed by these Unions. A Dublin witness in 1825, stated that he knew “five persons in different branches, and all largely connected in trade, not one of whom would take a contract, from the conviction that the moment it was known they had taken a contract, there would be a strike amongst the men.” Deplorable as are the evils, and great as is the loss of moving a manufacture from its long-established home to a place not so favourable for it, yet still there is one alleviating circumstance, that some part of our native country receives the benefit of it; that the loss is local and partial, that it still increases the general prosperity, and finds its way into the national revenue. But what shall we say, when we find that these wretched combinations are driving capital and machinery, and industry and talent and enterprise from our shores; and by the same act, enriching our rivals and impoverishing ourselves? A cotton manufacturer established a factory at New York, that he might carry on his business without impediment. The conduct of the Sheffield workmen threatens the ertinction of the trade of that town, and its transferrence to France and Germany. The same labour which costs 20 shillings at Shoffield, can be done at Molsheim near Strasburg for 1s. 3d. The consequence is, the exportation of these articles has ceased, the Continent manufactures for herself, and America is our only purchaser. “At present," says the author of this pamphlet, “the condition of the Sheffield operatives is far worse, in respect of comfort, than at any preceding time, and the town exhibits the extraordinary spectacle (the inevitable result of successful combination) of high wages, a decaying trade, and a destitute population.” In a cloth-dying establishment in Yorkshire, the workmen turned out for wages. The proprietors sent the cloth to Germany to be dyed there, free from the dictation of the Trades' Union. Two curious facts are connected with the history of these turn-outs. The first, that they are seldom resorted to, except by those who habitually receive high wages. Secondly, That the time of their occurrence is when trade is prosperous and brisk. In cotton-mills the strikes are by the spinners, who earn far higher wages than any other persons in the factory. When the fine spinners turned out at Manchester, they were earning from 30s. to 35s. a-week. When 30,000 persons struck at Ashton in 1830, they were earning 30s. a-week clear. Mr. Dunlop in his examination before the Committee in 1824, said that “the men never turn out when trade is bad;” and other witnesses agreed with him. The combinations spring up or fall as trade rises or decreases. “Those,” says Mr. Hobblethwaite, “who have the most wages are the most troublesome, and the worst eople to deal with. Those that acquire most money too, have been our iggest enemies. About two years ago we took an order for some ladies' cloths; we were to complete them in six weeks. As soon as we got the order, we were obliged to tell the men we should want them completed in six weeks; when we did, the men turned out immediately.” Mr. Farrell of Dublin also says, “It is one of the greatest misfortunes that a master has to encounter; he makes his contract, and the moment he does that, the men turn out for rise of wages.” The author believes that these societies have no connection with political circumstances. Their whole object, he says, has been to raise wages, and to this point alone are all their energies directed. With many, a principle of their constitution is to abstain from all interference in religion and politics; and to this they have studiously adhered. A rule appended to one of the Yorkshire Union laws, runs thus:– “You are cautiously to avoid all religious disputes, as quarrels from this source have been ever found prejudicial and often destructive to society. Let every brother freely enjoy his own opinion, but not lord it over another, nor introduce any particular intricate wranglings into the Lodge. Political disputes having an equal tendency to inflame the passions and sour the temper, are therefore with equal propriety excluded from the Lodge. You are enjoined to pay a due obedience to the laws, and respect to the Government of the country, and to live as peaceable subjects, but never to disturb or embroil the Lodge with your particular opinion of state affairs.”—By a rule of the Union of the Seamen of the Tyne and Wear, a fine of 5s. was imposed on any member who should speak contemptuously of the present King and Constitution. And the regulations of the coal-miners' combination enact, “ that if any member speaks disrespectfully of the state and laws of the nation, his Majesty, or either of the Houses of Parliament, or any magistrate, he shall forfeit 2s. 6d. for every such offence." The fact, however, we are afraid, is that these regulations, so openly and ostentatiously displayed, are like gilded sepulchres, outwardly of fine show, but full of ottenness within. The great object of these Unions is to possess, as they do, an enormons power, and to sway and wield a wild democracy of opera. tives, and to bring their multitudes into co-operation, whenever their trumpet sounds, without Government being able to interfere with them, or the Law to dissolve those chains which they have forged in secret, to bind the bodies and minds of the infatuated multitude. Were they to assume a political character, or interfere with religious worship, they would become constantly liable to the severe penalties of the 57 Geo. III. c. 19. Not by these words of their statutes, but by their actions and works we shall judge them; and when we find their hearts full of disaffection, their writings (vide Corn Law Rhymes) of complaint verging on sedition, their conduct full of violence, and their hands stained with blood, we can only look on these words of outward peace and loyalty as words which their friendly Counsel suggested; and behind which, as behind a thick curtain, they may plot and devise the more securely. To talk of the loyalty of Manchester and Leeds, would be an insult to common sense; and as they have ungratefully and unduteously turned against their private masters, so would they, if occasion offered, turn against their general master the King; and they would be as ready for a national turn-out, as for a local one. A curious circumstance (says the author of this tract) occurred with respect to the religious feelings of some members of the Spinners' Union, when the national delegates of that association met in the Isle of Man in 1829. It happened that the assembly held its first meeting on a Saturday, when the Scotch members proposed that no business should be transacted on the following day. The English delegates objected, as involving a loss of time, and increase of expense. But the Scotchmen, with the usual pertinacity of their nation, protested that if their constituents knew that the Sabbath would be devoted to business, they would consider that no good could attend the Union, and would refuse to support it. They carried their motion. This fact forms a curious comment on the atrocious violence by which, in Scotland, above all places, the proceedings of this Union had been marked. The rigid austerity with which Sunday is observed in the north, tends to the conclusion that the countrymen of Knox were not misrepresented on this occasion. It stands as a physiological curiosity, that those who do not hesitate to put and take oaths binding to murder, and to act with a ferocity proportionate to that conduct, can consider it a pollution of the Sabbath, to discuss on that day what in their opinion saves themselves from poverty, degradation, and crime. All these societies are opposed to task work. High wages and little work is their motto. “The man who does task work (says the Trades' Union Magazine) is guilty of less defensible conduct than the drunkard. The worst passions of our nature are excited in support of task work, avarice, meanness, cunning, hypocrisy, all excite and feed on the miserable victim of task work, while debility and destitution look out for the last morsel of their prey.” Now comes the conclusion,--"A man who earns by task work 40s. per week, the usual wages by day being 20s. robs his fellow of a week's employment " Thus, without regard to talent or to diligence, every workman is to earn an equal sum, upon as little work as possible. How long, under a system like this, will our manufactures flourish : To such an extent do these shallow, superficial, indolent, conceited men go, that they have a rule which imposes the penalty of 2s. 6d. or expulsion from the society, on any member who should be known to boast of his superior ability, as to either the quantity or quality of work he can do, either in public or private company. These combinations also directly promote idleness and loss of time. The men who contribute so much every week, if an indolent fit comes on them, or discontent, throw themselves out of work, in order to be fed and supported without work by the committee. They also lead to the delusion, that the wages of the workmen are dependant on the pleasure of the employer, and not subject to the law of demand and supply. They also break up totally all good feeling and respect between master and man. The masters have no reliance at all on their workmen. One manufactory keeps coal by them to the value of 10,000l. to insure the proprietors against the danger of strikes. The members of the Staffordshire potteries went further than we are aware any other combinations ever dared to go. “They passed a resolution, that the masters should only employ their men on receiving orders for goods, and never in anticipation of a demand.” Thus they would have had their masters and his capital completely in their power. It is not at all unusual for 60,000l. to be invested in a cotton-mill; —now, consider what a tremendous loss a strike is to the proprietor of such a concern,-a loss of 751. a week on his capital alone, independent of his business Such is a statement of the terrific evils and dangers which accompany these unwise and unconstitutional, if not illegal combinations; and well it behoves our Government and our Senate, to consider how most safely and speedily they may be put down. The exhibition in the Metropolis the other day, was an insult to the King, to the Laws, and to the People. “They meant license, when they cried liberty;" and they have yet to learn, that to be free (as the poet says), a man must first be wise and good. Before we conclude, we must confess that we are more particularly pained by the fact, which the author of the excellent tract before us mentions, that the master manufacturers have the folly, the madness, occasionally to join the combinations, and promote the strike, in order to hurt or ruin a rival ; and the most unjustifiable and disgraceful means have been resorted to for that purpose, in this way. . Some of the Manchester manufacturers promoted an attempt to compel the masters in the vicinity to raise the wages of their men; and it is said, that it is only when the workmen have proceeded to the greatest excesses, and their tyranny has become absolutely insupportable, that the masters can be induced to unite for their common protection. When the Leeds combination caused a strike of Messrs. Gott's workmen, which we have mentioned, the other manufacturers, so far from lending any assistance, seemed to rejoice that a rival establishment was stopped'. when other masters were placed in similar circumstances, the same feeling was shown ; and it was only when the demands of the workmen were ex: tended to all the employers, and ruin stared them all in the face, that they began to think of opposing the combination by mutual co-operation. To show the suspicion that is constantly existing between the masters and men, and the arts which they mutually employ against each other, we shall mention one, not uningeniously devised by some houses in the north. They knew their men were waiting to commence hostilities, and make demands when work increased, and orders were received. It was a slack time, and a stock of goods was in hand. The masters therefore chose that time to inform their men, that they must cease to belong to the Union, on pain of dismissal. This, as was expected, met with a refusal. The men were thrown out of work, and lived on their resources; their intended movements were thus precipitated, and by the time that the orders for fresh goods arrived, the men's means were erhausted, and they were obliged to work at their masters' prices. It is the opinion of the author that the laws against combinations, which were repealed in 1824, should not be re-enacted, as the purpose aimed at would not be effected; but that a new, summary, and powerful enactment should be directed against that part of combination, which consists in intimidating other workmen from occupying the vacant places which the left. Manufactories during a strike are piquetted and watched night . day by men, who prevent any ingress into the deserted building, and who can command a mob of 3 or 400 to assist them. Mr. Campbell of Renfrewshire, says, in his evidence, “Their mode of effecting their objects was by intimidation; and without that, their combinations would not hang together many weeks; for the unanimity of the workmen alone can effect their purpose.” Mr. Robinson of Lanarkshire speaks to the same effect. We have said enough, we think, not only to alarm the timid, but to warn the wise and prudent. This system cannot endure with safety to the trade and peace of the country. We have seen that even the sacred seat of justice has been called before a tribunal that we hope will not be the more powerful one. And we cannot better dismiss the painful subject, than by transcribing the concluding words of the author himself: “Those whose lives and properties have been endangered by these ILLEGAL associations, have a right to call on Government to employ some additional means for their suppression. Those who wish for the prosperity of our trade, and what is of far more importance, the prosperity and happiness of the working classes, should equally desire their extinction. Those who hate oppression should give their suffrages for the putting down these most capricious and irresponsible of all despotisms. They are alike hurtful to the workmen who form them, to the capitalists who are the objects of their hostility, and to the public who more remotely feel their effects. Were we asked to give a definition of a Trades' Union, we should say, that it is a society whose constitution is the worst of democracies, whose power is based on outrage, whose practice is tyranny, and whose end" is self-destruction.”
CONVERSATIONS OF LORD BYRON AND LADY BLESSINGTON. (Continued from page 358.)
Lady Blessington confesses herself to be at fault as to the real character of her Hero. He mystified her Ladyship, and talked alternately sentiment, sarcasm, and scandal, and seemed sometimes so very repentant, and at others so afraid of cant and morality, that she could not catch the “Mutantem Protea formam.' We will go on with the Portraits;
“Of course, he said, you know Luttrell. He is a most agreeable member of society, the best sayer of good things, and the most epigrammatic conversationist I ever met with. There is a terseness and wit mingled with fancy, in his observations, that no one else possesses, and no one so peculiarly understands the apropos. His advice to Julia, is pointed, witty, and full of character, showing in every line a knowledge of society, and a tact rarely met with. Then, unlike all or most wits, Luttrell is never obtrusive, even the choicest bon mots are only brought forth when perfectly applieable, and then are given in a tone of good breeding which enhances their value.”
“Moore is very sparkling in a choice or chosen society (said Byron). With Lord and Lady listeners, he shines like a diamond; and like that precious stone, his brilliancy should be reserved, pour le beau monde. Moore has a happy disposition, his temper good, and he has a sort of fire-fly imagination, always in movement, and in every evolution displaying new brilliancy. He has not done justice to himself in living
* The author calculates that the working classes have taxed themselves to the amount of above a million this last year, in the futile attempt to raise wages.