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the farmer or the farmer's sons work alongside of them as fellow-workers; and that there is a free passage and a constant movement of the more enterprising of the farm-servant class into the ranks of the farmer class.

The results are noteworthy. The Scottish farm servants desire no wages-boards to come between them and their employer. That is why Mr Buxton's Act of last Session does not extend to Scotland. As a class, they are very expert, very contented, with a high sense of responsibility, and are, moreover, the hardest-working wage-earners in Britain. The notable success of Scottish agriculture rests, indeed, very largely upon the admirable quality of the Scottish farm servants. The relations between them and the farmer are, as a rule, excellent; their sympathy with his difficulties, and, be it added, their alacrity, when times are good, to secure from him good wages, are very marked. Most significant, however, for our present purpose-they view with great disfavour any extension of the practice of one farmer tenanting more than one farm. Led farms,' as these extra farms

• , are called, are bitterly opposed by the Scottish ploughman, the explanation, of course, being that the more the 'led farm system is extended, the more restricted becomes the opportunity for the ploughman to get a farm for himself. He particularly dislikes, that is to say, even the narrowing of that free passage for labour' into the ranks of capital,' which in the manufacturing

. industries, the modern system has completely blocked.

But though it is worth while to note, in passing, that the defects of the modern industrial system really were in great measure absent from its predecessor, no sane man supposes that it is within the realm of possibility to set back the hands of the clock. Only by the highly concentrated, highly organised industrial system of today can our population produce enough of wealth to maintain itself and its standard of living. Evolution, therefore, not reaction, can alone solve the problem ; it is by going on, not by looking back, that safety lies.

If the fundamental defect of the existing system be that the wage-earner is merely an industrial machine, and if it be this inferiority of status which gives Socialism its point of attack, then the solution of this particular

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problem can be found in the extension, in every department of our industrial life to which it can be applied, of the principle of Labour co-partnership. Co-partnership is the clue to the future. It leaves the system of private enterprise intact, with all its wealth-producing capacity unimpaired; it gives to the wage-earner a share of the profits, an increasing interest in capital, a share, too, in at least the domestic management of the business in which he is employed; and it offers him the best, because the most practical, incentive and opportunity to understand the principles which govern industrial activities and the difficulties with which they must contend. And it does more than leave the system of private enterprise intact, it makes it secure, by calling to its support the great mass of men who, in fact, can only exist through it. It contains, too, a great constructive ideal in fullest harmony with the character and genius of this industrial age, because in grappling with the industrial problem it also points the way to a new and sounder social system through the development of a property-owning democracy. All roads to-day lead to a property-owning democracy, for in such a democracy lies the remedy of industrial unrest, the application of the political principles of the modern world to the actual material life of the people. Further, it is a property-owning democracy which, in the ultimate analysis, represents at once the fundamental and complete antithesis to the tyranny of Socialism, and the only means by which the stability of the life of the community can be permanently secured. And, it should be added, just as the nationalisation of industry is a policy of peculiar hazard to Britain since, if it were to result in a serious decline in the quality or quantity of the goods produced here, it would make impossible the purchase and importation of the food required for our population, so, it would seem, Britain with her long tradition of freedom, of respect for the rights and human status of the individual, of private wealth, of stability and steady progress, is the community in which this pregnant and progressive ideal should naturally be turned into a living reality.

And how does co-partnership actually stand in Britain at the opening of the new era ? Labour co-partnership is, of course, no new idea: it has been discussed, canvassed,

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and experimented with in many countries for many years. It has for long had devoted adherents among both industrial leaders and political thinkers. But the hostility of the Trades Unions, a want of unanimity amongst employers, the admitted faults and failure of some of the schemes introduced, an element, too, of sentimentalism and vague philanthropy rather than a clear constructive motive in some of its advocates, have, in the past, made it look more like a hobby than a policy. The fact that a Socialist Labour Government has held office, and the practical certainty that one day such a Government will be in power, has changed the situation. In particular, it has become part of the definite policy and aim of the Unionist Party to assist in the extension of co-partner. ship. In their reasoned statement of policy, issued in June 1924, the leaders of Unionism declare that they will encourage the admission of the workers, by the application of the principle of co-partnership, to a direct share in the success of the undertakings in which they are employed.' That, meantime, the public mind is becoming increasingly interested in the idea may be gathered from the statement in the most recent report of the Labour Co-partnership Association. Now, when the whole country,' it says, 'is seeking methods of

, bringing together employer and employed, the principle of co-partnership comes as a revelation to many who had never heard of it before.' And even the Trades Unions apparently feel that an attitude of mere negation will no longer serve, for, at their Congress in 1923, a resolution was passed, declaring, indeed, that the Congress believed: that capitalist attempts to introduce forms of Co-partnership are designed to mislead the workers and to prevent Trade Union solidarity,' but, none the less, instructing the Geueral Council to explore all workings of the Co-partnership and Profit-sharing concerns in the kingdom with a view to reporting on their advantages or disadvantages.'

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The non-sequitur is very enlightening.

But very few, even of those who are inclined to view Co-partnership favourably, realise the actual progress it has made in Britain, or the results which it has already achieved. It is not possible to describe these

Vol. 244.–No. 483,

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and 40 per

fully here; but a rapid summary may be made thus. In practice the system steadily gains ground. In the decennial period, 1911-20, 186 schemes were started, whereas 80 (in 1901-10) was the highest figure for any previous ten years. Although there has been a heavy mortality amongst the 484 schemes commenced since 1829, due, of course, to natural causes, such as employers going out of business, etc., as well as to dissatisfaction on the part of the employers, apathy to and even, in some cases, dissatisfaction with the scheme on the part of the employés, there were in existence, at the close of 1923, 238 schemes of which six have been in operation for over forty years, 11 for over thirty, 13 for over twenty,

ent, since before the war. Not all of these are complete co-partnership schemes, for they comprise all that the Ministry of Labour is prepared to classify as merely profit-sharing in nature, and include those (such as Armstrong, Whitworth's) which are only deposit schemes whereby employés receive on sums deposited with the company whatever dividend the company declares on its shares. For 1923, details are only available for 172 schemes, but they show that 121,022 employés participated in profits in that year, and that the average share was 71. 68. a head, or (if the deposit schemes be excluded) that in 153 schemes, 110,304 employés received on an average 71. 188. 4d. a head. 1923 was, however, a year of bad trade, and the 13,464 participating employés in 22 engineering shipbuilding and the metal trades concerns received an average share of only 11. 2s. 4d. All the more striking is it that in industries connected with the manufacture of food and drink, 7771 employés in 16 concerns received an average of 121. 98. 3d. a head; in two insurance businesses, 13,254

l employés received 91. 8s. 7d.; in 24 merchants, warehousemen, and retail businesses, 5148 employés received 121. 18. 5d. ; and in 22 schemes described by the Ministry of Labour as 'other businesses,' 9639 employés received an average of 11l. 10s. 9d. a head. And analysed from the point of view of the ratio of bonus to wages the results obtained were solid and satisfactory. Out of the total of 121,002 employés, it is true, no details are available on this point in the case of 22 schemes, except that in them 38,263 employés received in all 273,2781.,

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or just over 71. a head. Of the remaining 82,739 employés, however, 15,495 received a bonus equivalent to between 4 and 6 per cent. of their wage, 9179 between 6 and 8 per cent., 3760 between 10 and 12 per cent., 2982 between 12 and 16 per cent., 2448 between 16 and 20 per cent., and 2243 20 per cent. or over. Thus 38,030 employés received 4 per cent. or over, while 13,356 secured the very substantial addition to their wages, in such a year as 1923, of 8 per cent. or over. Of the results in building up a property-owning democracy by co-partnership, the English Gas Companies afford the most interesting example. There, in a total of 32 companies conducted on a co-partnership or profit-sharing basis, 33,023 employés owned in 1923 shares and deposits valued at 1,571,8891. out of a total share and loan capital of over 61,000,0001. Or let an example be taken from a business where co-partnership and profit-sharing have only recently been adopted. Messrs Bryant and May introduced their scheme in 1920. The bonus is paid to the employés in cash. Thereafter, at their own free will, they may apply for Partnership shares in the concern. In the first three years, 72,0001. had been paid over for distribution among the workers, and they, in their turn, had applied for and secured shares to the amount of 17,2341. And it is interesting to trace the results which can be obtained over a period of years by the individual worker. A man employed for twenty-one years in the firm of J. T. and J. Taylor, Ltd., woollen cloth manufacturers, received in all 27791. 188. 8d. in wages or an average wage of 21. 10s. 104d. per week. In addition, he had received in bonus on wages, dividends on shares, etc., 11131. 158. 10d., or an average addition, during the period, of 1l. Os. 4fd. a week to his wage, or over 40 per cent. And, finally, as can be seen from the most recent official report on the subject, in which details of many schemes are collected, together with the observations and experience of the employés, there is a consensus of opinion that the existing schemes have resulted in nearly all cases in better relations between employer and employed, in immunity from strikes and labour troubles, and that, in many, an

Report on Profit-sharing and Labour Co-partnership in the United Kingdom. Ministry of Labour (Intelligence and Statutes Department), 1920, Cmd. 544, 13.

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