50 Years Ago: Shorter Hours In 1909

In his address to the Economic Science and Statistics section of the British Association Professor Chapman said:

  “These changes” (i.e., in the character of the world’s work) “all tended to specialisation, to concentration, both in working and leisure, and to constant demands for the curtailment of the working hours of the day.
“In the course of long investigations he had found no instance in which an abbreviation of hours had resulted in a proportionate curtailment of output. There was, indeed, every reason to suppose that the production in the shorter hours seldom fell short of the production in the longer hours, and in some cases the product or its value had actually been augmented after a short interval. He (Professor Chapman) sought also to show that the value of leisure would inevitably rise with progress and that the working day would become less in the future.”


From Socialist Standard, October 1909, quoted from Daily News, 27 Aug., 1909.