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Family Allowances

The Workers Under "Labour Rule."

 Lessons from Australia

The Labour Party Conference

 Under the chairmanship of Mr. Herbert Morrison, M.P., the 29th Annual Conference of the Labour Party was held at Brighton during early October.

 The Conference was the first to be held during the lifetime of a Labour Government, and the criticisms, therefore, were levelled at their own colleagues.

Cooking the Books: Women, Work and Wages

In an interview with the magazine section of the Mail of Sunday (26 March), the author and playwright Fay Weldon provocatively claimed that, through women going out to work,  'the feminist revolution' had led to 'halving the male wage, so it no longer supported a family.'

It is of course absurd to attribute women going out to work to feminism. That resulted from capitalism's need to overcome a labour shortage. In fact, if anything, it will have been women going out to work that led to the rise of feminism. In any event, there is nothing wrong with women going out to work, apart, that is, from under capitalism this being as wage slaves (Weldon's objection is the old-fashioned one that this means that children are brought up by nursery staff rather than their mothers).

The Family Allowances Fraud

Since the I.L.P. have adopted family allowances as one of the items in their programme of reforms, it would not be out of place to enquire into it and see whether this particular reform has any lasting benefits to confer upon the working class. Can the scheme be brought into being, and if so with what effects?

For those unacquainted with the scheme, I will state the broad outlines, and must refer them to Eleanor Rathbone's book, "The Disinherited Family," for fuller details.

The scheme was talked of before the War, but nothing definite came of it until the years 1916-18. A Committee then sat, including Mr. H. N. Brailsford, a prominent member of the I.L.P., and enquired into the cost and the method of application. They were inspired by the Government war-time separation allowance scheme, noting the good effects resulting from the working-class mother having a regular, if small, allowance paid to her at stated times.

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