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to increase the demand in a corres- structive lesson--that is, in its origin, ponding ratio. At this time, depress- and before it has degenerated into a ed and impoverished as the nations a. buse; for in this state it may still be round us are, there is no such decay of said to be in most parts of Scotland : our exports, as to justify an opinion, and I have observed, that nothing is that we shall not be able to export as more hurtful to the morals and usemuch of the products of our industry fulness of the poor, than removing
The most important of all from them, in the least, the shame of our markets, that of the home con- dependence. Even the slight provisumer, will still be open to us; and, sion which we make in Scotland, is as before, we shall have the markets universally
admitted to produce, on the of colonies, which are themselves an manners of the lower classes, à résult empire. Surely, from the mere ap- that is to be deplored. This is maniprehension of an improbable event, it fested in many ways; but in nothing were a rash policy to establish amongst more than in the change of treatment us a new and permanent system of de- to which it exposes the old and infirm, pendence on public support, and in- from those who are bound by the ties stead of cherishing sentiments of in- of nature to support them. Formerly, dependence amongst the poor, to in- the poorest person who was blessed vite them to live on alms and a com- with health would have held it scanmon; to relinquish, on some hundred dalous to have suffered a parent or a thousand acres, all the benefits we dé- near friend to depend on the public rive from the improvements in the arts for support. But every parish meetof tillage ; and to make it better for a ing, now, furnishes evidence that this man to live on a public provision, than honourable feeling decays with the into offer his services where they could crease of the public bounty. be most useful. No political evil will In short, sir, it seems to me, that more certainly work its own cure than we cannot commit a greater error, in that over-cheapness of labour, which legislating on this subject, than to we are advised to prevent by artificial make it better for the poor to depend regulations. The cheapness of labour, on the public than on themselves for as of most things besides, increases the the means of life, or in any way to demand for it, by rendering the em train them to dependence by removployment of it more profitable.-In ing the shame of it. Mr Owen, howour country, from 20 to 30 millions ever, by the tempting allurement of sterling have been annually lent by comforts, invites his poor to depend individuals to the state, and thence, upon a public provision. He does inby the purchase of warlike stores and deed propose to make them work, and the various expenditure of govern- he hopes to make them virtuous; but ment, sent again, by innumerable their labour will be useless to the comramifications, into the general circula- monwealth ; the manner of employing tion. A great part of this vast sum, it will have all the effects of a charity; by being now employed directly in and their virtues will not be those of objects of private or public utility, men trained to an honest reliance on in new manufactures, canals, harbours, their own industry. railways, buildings, the embellishment Of the two classes of people who, or improvement of landed property, by usage or the law, are the subjects &c. &c.---will give employment to our of parish support, the one consists of population, and raise the rate of la- those who are disabled by age or natbour, in like manner, as the former ural infirmity from earning to themexpenditure of the state. Emigration, selves a subsistence; the other of too, will relieve us of part of our un those who possess the physical power, employed poor, and that assuredly to but who are supposed to be destitute no trivial extent, if the rate of labour of the means to obtain that return for shall be very low.
their labour which will afford them a
livelihood. The first deserves all the You, sir, have had an opportunity sympathy which is due to age and misof marking the effects of a public pro- fortune ; and though it would be well vision for the poor, in the fulness of that the task of relieving their wants the abuse of the system. I have had were exercised by those on whom nathe means of marking its effects, at a ture imposes it as a duty, yet, in the time when it affords a hardly less in- present corrupt state of this part of
society we cannot always entrust those who was capable of labour, the means unhappy persons to kinsmen who may of finding employment, we should go be unjust and cruel, and whom cusfar to lay the axe to the root of all this tom has long released from a natural monstrous system of abuse and error. obligation.
'Tis then the two classes of poor would But of those whose claim for public be entirely separated ; no one whom support is founded on their inability nature had not unfitted for toil could ito procure a return for that industry be held to have a claim for public which they are able to exert, every support ; and the whole object of the reasonable claim will be satisfied, if laws would be confined to a part of they are presented with an object for the poor which does not perhaps extheir industry, and a return for its ex- ceed one-fifth of those to whom assistercise. It were well that they them- ance is now afforded. selves were forced to seek for the one, These things are necessary, if we and, like the inhabitants of every other would accomplish this great work: country, to take the market value of the labouring poor must be contented the other. But the greatness of our to receive the market value of their manufacturing population, the sudden labour, as they would be forced to do variations of commerce, the increase in every country but their own; and of our numbers, long use, and the dis- if the community shall supply them missal from the service of the state of with objects of industry, they must thousands who were formerly main- look for no better return for it than tained by it-render a return to this will afford them food and raiment, natural state impracticable for the which we may consider as the minipresent, and will probably render it so mum rate of labour in a prosperous for as long a time as any of this gene- country. The community, again, in ration has to live. Necessity, there affording the materials of industry, fore, will impose on the community and in placing them within the reach the burden of affording support to of every person, must be careful to those who are destitute of the means hold out no boon for the people to of obtaining employment; but neither labour for the public rather than for necessity nor humanity call upon the themselves, or for those who can empublic to minister, as hitherto, to ha- ploy them. bits of vice and excess, and to cherish By adopting a plan founded on these idleness by an indiscreet profusion. principles, we should enable every perIt were idle to descant on the evils of son to procure to himself a maintensuch a course. Our present system ance, without being beholden to any has, for more than a century, been a species of degrading charity; we should source of vexation and abuse. The not interfere injuriously with the price laws of settlement, to which it has of labour, but should suffer it to rise given birth, are, perhaps, beyond all or fall, as it ever ought, with the delaws that ever were devised, perplexed mand for it, and the profits of it; we and confused are the source of innu- should teach the labouring classes to merable frauds and never ending liti- resort to the frugal habits becoming gation, and subject the poor of Eng. their condition in life, and most suited land to a tyranny and control unsuit- to their own happiness and virtue ; able to the spirit of a free people. Our and we should wonderfully simplify fatal desire to promote the comfort of the business of legislating for the poor, the poor has rendered every eighth by rendering none but the really helpperson a beggar, in a country where less the objects of parish support. All the demand and reward for industry but these unfortunate persons might have been greater than in any other in have employment, if they chose to acEurope ; has removed from many cept of such an equivalent as the prohundred thousand souls the shame of fits of it could afford: if they would dependence on a public charity; and, not-if they would renounce none of in rendering the old degraded and de- their luxuries when the rate of labour praved, has contaminated the young was low-not even the dear delights of to future times.
the gin shop--the folly and the punI presume to think, that if a method ishment would be all their own. If could be devised, cheap, simple, and the poor of England shall be able to of easy execution, to afford to every indulge in habits unknown to the poor person, of either sex and of every age, of any nation in Europe, it will be
well; but it is time that the means duce, and the means of procuring mawere supplied from the profits of their own labour, and not from the bounty Every person, male or female, young of the commnnity.
or old, should be entitled to demand In suggesting a plan for effecting work in these establishments, and to the object in question, I take it for be immediately accommodated with a granted that it is possible to employ lodging: Every family should obtain our population in objects of useful in
one apartment; and all the children dustry, the contrary supposition ap- above the age of three should be repearing to me to be a mere opinion, ceived into lodging-houses fitted for without proof or likelihood to support their reception. The number of un it.
married grown-up persons to be put I propose, that in every county (or into one apartment should not exceed district of two or more counties, where three. these are small or not populous), one The rate of labour should be fixed or more large manufactories, of that by statute, at a sum which should be sort which will give the greatest em- merely sufficient to procure the necesi ployment to human labour, be erected saries of life; but a cheap and regular at the public expense, and that these supply of those necessaries should be be surrounded by buildings fit to ac- secured, proper market-places being commodate, on a medium, from 2000 provided, and contracts entered into to 4000 persons, besides children; with butchers, bakers, dairymen, and and that in these establishments every others, for the supply of the requisite proper measure be taken to separate provisions: these provisions the inha the young from the old, that the fore bitants should be suffered to purchase mer may be kept from the contamina. for themselves, no farther interference tion of vicious habits, and carefully being made with their manner of living instructed.
than would be were they living in I apprehend that fifty-two for Enge towns, and employed in the manufacă land and Wales (or at the rate of one tories of individuals. In short, the for each county), and three for Scoto inhabitants should be freemen, and land, will be sufficient. These, at the not slaves labourers for their own medium rate of 3000 persons for each, support, and not dependants on alms. will accommodate 165,000 persons, They should live as they might at besides children--a number which, home, subject only to such regulations there is reason to believe, will exceed as should be necessary to secure the the whole working poor of the king- peace of the society, and to preserve, dom, who, in ordinary times, cannot as far as possible, their own morals, otherwise be employed. But to ac- and those of their children. commodate any increase of number, In order that every one might be cheap temporary buildings of wood paid in proportion to the time his could be erected, as occasion required. strength or his wishes kept him at
Without entering into details, I work, the rate of labour should be compute that the whole expense of fixed by the hour. If that of the men each of these establishments would were fixed at ltd., of the women at not exceed £160,000, or £8,800,000 1.d., of boys and girls below a certain in all, and that temporary buildings, age at ld. each, by labouring a suffiwith the necessary furniture, to ac cient number of hours, might earn à commodate 100,000 persons more, support. The man who worked ten could be erected for £1,200,000 hours a-day would receive 15d. ; his making a total expense of ten millions wife might earn in proportion to the sterling
time she could spare from her domestic Thus far might the suggestion of duties; and the children would conMr Owen be adopted. Land in the tribute to their own maintenance. neighbourhood might be rented, and They should be paid weekly, and laid out for garden-ground, to be cul- should be at entire liberty, with their tivated, according to certain rules, by families, to quit the society when they the members of the establishment, and chose, and to seek elsewhere for more the produce sold to defray the rent profitable or more agreeable employand expenses. This system, however, ment. as I have said, would need to be limited All care should be employed in by the extent of the mart for the pro- watching over the conduct of the
young, by keeping them as much as
want of the necessaries of life, for a possible under the eye of those ap- longer time than he could consume in pointed to observe and instruct them. travelling to one of those manufacA certain part of each day should be tories; and the most forlorn wretch devoted to their education; they should would instantly have the power of benot be suffered to injure themselves by coming an industrious member of that overworking; and they should be ina society, to which he might have otherdulgel with opportunity and time for wise proved a burden and a curse. those healthy recreations which are Many of the crimes and misfortunes suitable to the age, and beneficial of the poor might be traced to those the temper, of children. Sixpence a- intervals of idleness and discontent day will support a young person, and which the want of employment occasix hours' labour would procure sions and which are the times when
The regulations of the society, and the minister of blasphemy and treason the rate of labour, being fixed by po- is able to make his most numerous prositive statute, the whole manufactory selytes. But all occasion for those should be let for a term of from three periods of misery and guilt would now to five years. Directors should be ap cease. A poor man could, with a word, pointed to watch over the interests of procure the means of support, without the institution; to observe that the sacrificing in the least his independregulations, in regard to the rate of ence; while he earned his bread, he labour, &c. were rigidly fulfilled ; and would neither be a beggar nor a slave; to appoint teachers, and the proper he would have the power of introducofficer or officers to receive the rent ing his family into a well-regulated soand manage the disbursements. The ciety, instead of being forced, as must lessee should be the sole proprietor of often occur at present, to carry it into the manufactory in every thing else, the receptacles of misery and debauchpaying and superintending his labour- ery; his children would be trained to ers, furnishing the materials, and re- habits which they never else could have ceiving the profits of the manufactures. acquired; they would see, in their The directors should be the whole parents, persons honestly earning the justices of peace of the county, who means of life, and not the sharers and should annually appoint a special com- abusers of an ill-judged charity. mittee of their own number, or of But as these establishments could gentlemen in the district. The rent, not be completed at once, and, extenafter defraying the expenses, should sive as they may seem, would be inbe applied as a sinking fund.
sufficient to maintain the number of The sum required for the building poor who are at present inadequately and machinery could be raised by a employed, I propose that an effort public loan, a land-tax being imposed shall be made, worthy of a great state, to pay the interest. This land-tax to lighten in the mean time that mass would be payable by the tenant, with of misery, which, pressing on the body recourse on his landlord, if the latter of the people, excites a dark and broodpaid the poor's rates. Of all the taxes ing spirit of discontent, of which no that could be devised, this would be human sagacity can foresee all the the most easy; for while it would form evils. It is well known, that in order a very small per centage on the pound to begin and complete innumerable of rent, it would ultimately relieve the works of public utility, as roads, land of at least four-fifths of its present bridges, canals, harbours --nothing is burden.
wanting but those funds which it exThe raising of ten millions Sterling ceeds the power of individuals or sowould be of no injury in the present cieties to procure. There is hardly state of the money market. The ex a county in Britain, in which some pending of this great sum would at of these great works would not be once give employment to many thou- undertaken, if the means of doing sand mechanics and labourers. In the so could be commanded. Let governcourse of twelve months many of those ment, then, be authorised to manufactories would be erected, and by loan, a sum to the extent of five or in the course of three years the whole six millions,* and empowered to take plan could be completed.-What then would be the result ?-No person Communicated to the Committee before would need to be idle, or to suffer the Mr Vansittart's plan was made known. VOL. I.
shares in every canal, or similar work, not nearer their end than when they which should be begun in the course were first invented.” of a short period to be specified, to an II. Mr Laing takes no notice of the amount not exceeding three-fourths of term Tory-but of Whig, he gives the the whole expense; and also, to ad following as the origin : vance money to a similar extent, at the Argyle and Lothian had begun rate of 3 per cent. for the building of an insurrection in the Highlands," and bridges, making of new roads, &c. so forth. “ The expedition was termproportional part of their revenue be ed the Whigamores' inroad, from a ing set apart to pay the interest and word employed by these western pealiquidate the debt. The benefits that sants in driving horses; and the name, would result from a measure of this transferred in the succeeding reign to kind would be unspeakably great. If the opponents of the court, is still preproper enactments were made to hasten served and cherished by the Whigs, as the beginning of the works, I will ven the genuine descendants of the coveture to assert, that in six months from nanting Scots." the passing of the law, little short of III. Bailey, in his dictionary, gives one hundred thousand persons would the following: be employed in objects of publicutility. “ Whig (Sax.) whey, butter-milk,
or very small beer,”-again, The really helpless poor could not " A Whir--first applied to those perhaps be tter maintained than by in Scotland who kept their meetings moderate pecuniary allowances in the in the fields, their common food being parishes in which they live. I shall sour-milk,t - a nicknamegiven to those not, however, extend my remarks, by who were against the court interest in entering on a subject which would the times of King Charles and James merit and require a more minute ana II., and to such as were for it in suclysis than I could now bestow upon it. eeeding reigns."
To the plan I have ventured to sub With regard to Tory, he says, mit to your consideration, many objece “ A word first used by the protesttions of great force may doubtless be ants in Ireland, to signify those Irish urged. But from these, it is not in common robbers and murderers, who the least probable that any measure stood outlawed for robbery and mur. which can be proposed or adopted will der ; now a nickname to such as call be free. Perhaps we shall do well in themselves high church men, or to seeking to change a system to which the partizans of the Chevalier de St the policy of the state has given all the George. sanction of time, to limit our hopes to IV. Johnson, again, has “ Whig the obtaining of a great good by the (Sax.) 1. Whey.-2. the name of a enduring of considerable evil.
faction,"_and as to Tory, he supposes it to be derived from an Irish
word, signifying a savage. “One who ORIGIN OF THE TERMS, WHIG AND
• For a further account of the term
“ Whigamore," see Burnet, as quoted in I. “ This year (says Hume; Hist. Johnson's Dictionary. Eng. 1680) is remarkable for being + In different parts of Scotland the the epoch of the well-known epithets term Whig is still commonly applied to a of Whig and Tory, by which, and
sort of sour liquid which is obtained from sometimes without any material dif
milk or cream. The whig is taken from ference, this island has been so long days for a kirning, and is drawn off by a
cream after it has been collected six or eight divided. The court party reproached spiggot from the bottom of the cask or can. their antagonists with their affinity to It is also taken from sour-milk, when in the fanatical conventiclers in Scotland, a coagulated state, or what the Scotch call who were known by the name of lappert milk, being merely the thin watery Whigs : The country party found a substance which is separated from the curd resemblance between the courtiers and on stirring it about. The whig, both of sour. popish banditti in Ireland, to whom milk and cream, is extremely tart to the the appellation of Tory was affixed.
It is not, so far as we know, used in And after this manner, these foolish
any way for food by the common people.
Might not this term have been first applied terms of reproach came into public and to the covenanters, in derision of their ausgeneral use; and even at present, seem tere manners and unpalatable opinions? ED.