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Seebohm Rowntree

Editorial: The War and the Workers

It is the season when the Christian nations of a Christian civilisation gather together to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Death stalks abroad, and murder is blessed by the followers of Christ. The battlefields of France and Belgium are heaped with the corpses of working men sacrificed to the religion of Christian capital, and the god Gold.

The patriotic capitalist takes advantage of the unique opportunity, and while forcing up the price of commodities greatly in demand, schemes and contrives so that he may find the wherewithal to pay for the war by driving wages down to the lowest possible point.

In normal times the lot of the worker is not an enviable one. His standard of living is on the average lower than that of the workhouse inmate or the convict. Years ago statisticians showed that the bulk of the workers did not receive sufficient nutriment to maintain themselves in efficiency, even by depriving themselves of the small "comforts" of life.

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