The gullibility of the worker is proverbial. The amount of arrant nonsense talked by the members of the capitalist class is sufficient proof of the point, as it is also of the fact that the masters recognise their credulity, and are prepared to trade upon it. Any measure they may frame, any reform or rearrangement of their business they may propose, is always brought forward from some entirely disinterested motive, and is “solely in the interest of the working classes.”

Of course.

“Mr. W. Albright, who has recently visited Lisbon in company with Mr. W. Cadbury in connection with the labour system obtaining in Angola, sends particulars of an experiment in free Lahour carried out by Senhor Fernando Reis. This gentleman, who is a member of the Portuguese Anti Slavery League, inherited last year his father’s estate in Angola, which was manned by 100 slaves. He immediately set them free, substituting voluntary paid labour, which his experience shows to be at least 40% cheaper.”

The above extract from the “Daily News” is an instance of the motive behind the action of the good capitalists. These benevolent gentlemen are always ready to relieve the suffering and distress of the down-trodden slave providing that a profit can be made out of the transaction.

Brother Cadbury himself is an excellent example of the cute employer who will provide “comfortable” conditions for his employees up to the point where no advantage can be obtained, and then his benevolence suddenly vanishes. Good conditions in the English factory means greater productivity and a consequent, increase in profit. “Garden cities” are a big advertisement, and mean augmented sales, therefore Brother Cadbury is a philanthropist. When similar methods in the plantations bring similar results then Cadbury will be in the van urging their adoption. Until that time raw cocoa can be produced by slave-labour.

Free labour is as necessary to the full development of capitalism as are poverty and prostitution, and men like Cadbury are keen enough to see and act upon anything that is likely to increase business. A writer in the “Daily Chronicle” says : “Slavery lingered in the Scottish mines until the very eve of the 19th. century. Mr. Hackwood, in ‘Good Old Times,’ draws a picture of the Scottish miner’s unhappy lot in the past. ‘From about 1445 to 1775 the miners of Scotland were bought and sold with the soil. It is stated in old chronicles that bloodhounds were kept to trace them if they left their employment, and to aid in bringing them back.’ It was 1799 ere the last law gave the working miner his complete freedom.”

To read of the conditions prevailing in the mines at the time of the Whitehaven and Hulton “accidents” and then to talk of the miner receiving “his complete freedom” is typical of the cause for which such scribble is written. Yet the majority of the workers will swallow it and thank Gawd that there are no slaves in England !

Conditions have changed since 1775, and the boss does not need to incur the expense of keeping bloodhounds to look for workmen. He drops a post-card (no stamp required) to the nearest labour exchange, his wants are made known to other exchanges, and hundreds of “free” men fall over each other in their haste to become slaves.

The master has recognised that starvation is a more powerful weapon than a bloodhound, consequently we are “free.”

So apparent is the benefit to be derived from “benevolence” that scores of capitalists are following in Cadbury’s footsteps and endeavouring to keep up dividends by “sharing” profits, etc.

Mr. John Taylor, presiding at the general meeting of Messrs. Mather and Platt (engineers), said :

“The traditional interest of the firm in the workpeople has been continued, … for these facilities no charge is made, and your directors are incurring this expense because they believe that to treat our workers humanely and place them in good and healthy surroundings is conducive to good work, and that from a purely business point of view it pays to do so.”

How the shareholders must have swelled their chests and patted themselves on the back (metaphorically, of course) and thought what good fellows they were !

Pay ? Why, certainly. The brotherhood are in business for profit, and precious little do they touch unless a substantial surplus is derived. But some of the brethren are so dense. They want to see the advantage before they enter the business, and in order to enable them to do so it has to be made plain at times, even though the workers hear and maybe understand.

As instance that great pension scheme. The stodgy dullheads roared at the “Socialistic” legislation of the Government until the reverse of the medal was shown them, and they could only be prevailed upon to keep quiet when the rate-saving capacity of the measure was made plain to them.

So also with the present insurance proposals. The fact that the workers are to be swindled is so obvious that the outcry against the measure is less noisy. Mr. Lloyd George, doubtless to allay the fears of the employers, made the matter fairly clear in an interview with a representative of the “Morning Leader.” He said : “I know they [the employers] will have to pay and I cannot be surprised if some of them feel it, but I put it to them that they will get back every penny in increased efficiency and security of their workmen.”

Lord Furness, one of the most astute of the gang, after stating that, the firm he represents will have to pay £8,000 a year, goes on to say : “When we examine the benefits, both direct and indirect, which will accrue, to the manufacturers, . . . I feel convinced that the advantages will far outweigh the employers’ annual contribution.”

At the onset some employers will object, but the plain facts are too obvious to be missed. To again quote Lloyd George : “In Germany the employers began by opposing Bismarck’s insurance schemes, and were at first generally against them, but now they are completely converted and entirely in favour of insurance. In fact they are offering larger contributions in order to place the whole scheme on a sounder basis.”

And this is the greatest of all the great schemes of the most “democratic” Government of modern times !

In certain trades the unemployed are to receive the magnificent sum of 6s. or 7s. weekly for 15 weeks providing they were not sacked “by their own fault,” or are not on strike or locked out.

And then Mr. J. R. Macdonald “hopes that every trade union in the country will place itself unreservedly at the disposal of Mr. Lloyd George.”—”Morning Leader,” 6.5.11.

Ramsay need not fear. The unions, bossed as they are by capitalist henchmen, will do as Ramsay has done.

While the workers remain politically ignorant they will continue to place themselves in the hands of their enemies, and will be continually deceived. When they realise their power in society, and see things in their true light, then, and only then, will the bosses cease from swank¬ing and the workers be at rest. For swank will not be sufficient for a wide-awake working class, who, instead of cheering for a measure that gives them nothing, will see to it that they receive the full reward of their labour.


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