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«Part II: The Transformation of Money in Capital Ch. 4: The General Formula for Capital Ch. 5: Contradictions in the General Formula of Capital Ch. 6: ...»

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[153] EXPORT OF WOOL FROM THE CAPE TO GREAT BRITAIN. 1846. — 2,958,457 lbs. 1860. — 16,574,345 lbs. 1865. — 29,920,623 lbs.

EXPORT OF WOOL FROM AUSTRALIA TO GREAT BRITAIN. 1846. — 21,789,346 lbs. 1860. — 59,166,616 lbs. 1865. — 109,734,261 lbs.

[154] The economic development of the United States is itself a product of European, more especially of English modern industry. In their present form (1866) the States must still be considered a European colony. [Added in the 4th German edition. — "Since then they have developed into country whose industry holds second place in the world, without on that account entirely losing their colonial character." — F. E.]

–  –  –

[156] In an appeal made in July, 1866, to the Trade Societies of England, by the shoemakers of Leicester, who had been thrown on the streets by a lock-out, it is stated: "Twenty years ago the Leicester shoe trade was revolutionised by the introduction of riveting in the place of stitching. At that time good wages could be earned. Great competition was shown between the different firms as to which could turn out the neatest article. Shortly afterwards, however a worse kind of competition sprang up, namely, that of underselling one another in the market. The injurious consequences soon manifested themselves in reductions of wages, and so sweepingly quick was the fall in the price of labour, that many firms now pay only one half of the original wages. And yet, though wages sink lower and lower, profits appear, with each alteration in the scale of wages, to increase." Even bad times are utilised by the manufacturers, for making exceptional profits by excessive lowering of wages, i.e., by a direct robbery of the labourer's means of subsistence. One example (it has reference to the crisis in the Coventry silk weaving): "From information I have received from manufacturers as well as workmen, there seems to be no doubt that wages have been reduced to a greater extent than either the competition of the foreign producers, or other circumstances have rendered necessary... the majority of weavers are working at a reduction of 30 to 40 per cent. in their wages. A piece of ribbon for.

making which the weaver got 6s. or 7s. five years back, now only brings them 3s. 3d. or 3s. 6d.; other work is now priced at 2s. and 2s.

3d. which was formerly priced at 4s. and 4s. 3d. The reduction in wage seems to have been carried to a greater extent than is necessary for increasing demand. Indeed, the reduction in the cost of weaving, in the case of many descriptions of ribbons, has net been accompanied by any corresponding reduction in the selling price of the manufactured article." (Mr. F. D. Longes Report. "Ch. Emp.

Corn., V. Rep., 1866," p. 114, 1.) [157] Conf "Reports of Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1862," p. 30.

[158] l. c., p. 19.

[159] "Rep. Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1863," pp. 41-45.

[160] l. c., pp. 41-42 [161] l. c., p. 57.

[162] l. c., pp. 50-51.

[163] l. c., pp. 62-63.

[164] "Rep. &c., 30th April, 1864," p. 27.

[165] From a letter of Mr. Harris, Chief Constable of Bolton, in "Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st October, 1865," pp. 61-62.

[166] In an appeal, dated 1863, of the factory operatives of Lancashire, &c., for the purpose of forming a society for organised emigration, we find the following: "That a large emigration of factory workers is now absolutely essential to raise them from their present prostrate condition, few will deny; but to show that a continuous stream of emigration is at all times demanded, and, without which it is impossible for than to maintain their position in ordinary times, we beg to call attention to the subjoined facts: — In 1814 the official value of cotton goods exported was £17,665,378, whilst the real marketable value was £20,070,824. In 1858 the official value of cotton goods exported, was £182,221,681; but the real or marketable value was only £43,001,322, being a ten-fold quantity sold for little more than double the former price. To produce results so disadvantageous to the country generally, and to the factory workers in particular, several causes have cooperated, which, had circumstances permitted, we should have brought more prominently under your notice; suffice it for the present to say that the most obvious one is the constant redundancy of labour, without which a trade so ruinous in its effects never could have been carried on, and which requires a constantly extending market to save it from annihilation. Our cotton mills may be brought to a stand by the periodical stagnations of trade, which, under present arrangements, are as inevitable as death itself; but the human mind is constantly at work, and although we believe we are under the mark in stating that six millions of persons have left these shores during the last 25 years, yet, from the natural increase of population, and the displacement of labour to cheapen production, a large percentage of the male adults in the most prosperous times find it impossible to obtain work in factories on any conditions whatever." ("Reports of Insp. of Fact., 30th April 1863," pp. 51-52.) We shall, in a later chapter, see how our friends, the manufacturers, endeavoured, during the catastrophe in the cotton trade, to prevent by every means, including State interference, the emigration of the operatives.

[167] "Ch. Empt. Comm. III. Report, 1864," p. 108, n. 447.





[168] In the United States the restoration, in this way, of handicrafts based on machinery is frequent; and therefore, when the inevitable transition to the factory system shall take place, the ensuing concentration will, compared with Europe and even with England, stride on in seven-league boots.

[169] See "Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1865," p. 64.

[170] Mr. Gillott erected in Birmingham the first steel-pen factory on a large scale. It produced, so early as 1851, over 180,000,000 of pens yearly, and consumed 120 tons of steel. Birmingham has the monopoly of this industry in the United Kingdom, and at present produces thousands of millions of steel-pens. According to the Census of 1861, the number of persons employed was 1,428, of whom 1,268 females from 5 years of age upwards.

[171] "Ch. Empl. Comm. II. Rep. 1864," p. LXVIII., n. 415.

[172] And now forsooth children are employed at file-cutting in Sheffield.

[173] "Ch. Empl. Comm., V. Rep. 1866," p. 3, n. 24; p. 6, n. 55, 56; p. 7, n. 59, 60.

[174] l. c., pp. 114, 115, n. 6, 7. The commissioner justly remarks that though as a rule machines take the place of men, here literally young persons replace machines.

[175] See the Report on the rag trade, and numerous details in "Public Health, VIII. Rep." Lond. 1866, app., pp. 196, 208.

[176] "Ch. Empl. Comm. V. Rep., 1866," pp. xvi-xviii, n. 86-97, and pp. 130-133, n. 39-71. See also III. Rep., 1864, pp. 48, 56.

[177] "Public Health. Sixth Rep.," Lond. 1864, pp. 29, 31.

[178] l. c., p. 30. Dr. Simon remarks that the mortality among the London tailors and printers between the ages of 25 and 35 is in fact much greater, because the employers in London obtain from the country a great number of young people up to 30 years of age, as "apprentices" and "improvers," who come for the purpose of being perfected in their trade. These figure in the census as Londoners, they swell out the number of heads on which the London death-rate is calculated, without adding proportionally to the number of deaths in that place. The greater part of them in fact return to the country, and especially in cases of severe illness. (l. c.) [179] I allude here to hammered nails, as distinguished from nails cut out and made by machinery. See "Child. Empl. Comm., Third Rep.," pp. xi., xix., n. 125-130, p. 52, n. 11, p. 114, n. 487, p. 137, n. 674.

[180] "Ch. Empl. Comm., II. Rep.," p. xxii, n. 166.

[181] "Ch. Empl. Comm., II. Rep., 1864," pp. xix., xx., xxi.

[182] l. c., pp. xxi.. xxii.

[183] l. c., pp. xxix., xxx.

[184] l. c., pp. xi., xii.

[185] "Child. Empl. Comm., I. Rep. 1863," p. 185.

[186] In England millinery and dressmaking are for the most part carried on, on the premises of the employer, partly by workwomen who live there, partly by women who live off the premises.

[187] Mr. White, a commissioner, visited a military clothing manufactory that employed 1,000 to 1,200 persons, almost all females, and a shoe manufactory with 1,300 persons; of these nearly one half were children and young persons.

[188] An instance. The weekly report of deaths by the Registrar-General dated 26th Feb., 1864, contains 5 cases of death from starvation.

On the same day The Times reports another case. Six victims of starvation in one week!

[189] "Child. Empl. Comm., Second Rep., 1864," p. lxvii., n. 406-9, p. 84, n. 124, p. lxxiii, n. 441, p. 68, n. 6, p. 84, n. 126, p. 78, n. 85, p. 76, n. 69, p. lxxii, n. 483.

[190] "The rental of premises required for workrooms seems the element which ultimately determines the point; and consequently it is in the metropolis, that the old system of giving work out to small employers and families has been longest retained, and earliest returned to." (l. c., p. 83, n. 123.) The concluding statement in this quotation refers exclusively to shoemaking.

[191] In glove-making and other industries where the condition of the work-people is hardly distinguishable from that of paupers, this does not occur.

[192] l. c., p. 83, n. 122.

[193] In the wholesale boot and shoe trade of Leicester alone, there were in 1864, 800 sewing-machines already in use.

[194] l. c., p. 84, n. 124.

[195] Instances: The Army Clothing Depot at Pimlico, London, the Shirt factory of Tillie and Henderson at Londonderry, and the clothes factory of Messrs. Tait at Limerick which employs about 1,200 hands.

[196] "Tendency to Factory System" (l. c., p. lxvii). "The whole employment is at this time in a state of transition, and is undergoing the same Change as that effected in the lace trade, weaving, &c." (l. c., n. 405.) "A complete revolution" (l. c., p. xlvi., n. 318). At the date of the Child. Empl. Comm. of 1840 stocking making was still done by manual labour. Since 1846 various sorts of machines have been introduced, which are now driven by steam. The total number of persons of both sexes and of all ages from 3 years upwards, employed in stocking making in England, was in 1862 about 129,000. Of these only 4,063 were, according to the Parliamentary Return of the 11th February, 1862, working under the Factory Acts.

[197] Thus, e.g., in the earthenware trade, Messrs. Cochrane, of the Britain Pottery, Glasgow, report: "To keep up our quantity we have gone extensively into machines wrought by unskilled tabour, and every day convinces us that we can produce a greater quantity than by the old method." ("Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1865," p. 13.) "The effect of the Fact. Acts is to force on the further introduction of machinery" (l. c., pp. 13-14).

[198] Thus, after the extension of the Factory Act to the potteries, great increase of powerjiggers in place of hand-moved jiggers.

[199] "Report of lnsp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1865," pp. 96 and 127.

[200] The introduction of this and other machinery into match-making caused in one department alone 230 young persons to be replaced by 32 boys and girls of 14 to 17 years of age. This saving in labour was carried still further in 1865, by the employment of steam power.

[201] "Ch. Empl. Comm., 11. Rep., 1864," p. ix., n. 50.

[202] "Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1865," p..22.

[203] "But it must be borne in mind that those improvements, though carried out fully in some establishments, are by no means general, and are not capable of being brought into use in many of the old manufactories without an expenditure of capital beyond the means of many of the present occupiers." "I cannot but rejoice," writes Sub-Insp. May, "that notwithstanding the temporary disorganisation which inevitably follows the introduction of such a measure (as the Factory Act Extension Act), and is, indeed, directly indicative of the evils which it was intended to remedy, &c." (Rep. of Insp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1865.) [204] With blast furnaces, for instance, "work towards the end of the week being generally much increased in duration in consequence of the habit of the men of idling on Monday and occasionally during a part or the whole of Tuesday also." ("Child. Empl. Comm., III.

Rep.," p. vi.) "The little masters generally have very irregular hours. They lose two or three days, and then work all night to make it up....

They always employ their own children, if they have any." (l. c., p. vii.) "The want of regularity in coming to work, encouraged by the possibility and practice of making up for this by working longer hours." (l. c., p. xviii.) "In Birmingham... an enormous amount of time is lost... idling part of the time, slaving the rest." (l. c., p. xi.) [205] "Child. Empl. Comm., IV., Rep.," p. xxxii., "The extension of the railway system is said to have contributed greatly to this custom of giving sudden orders, and the consequent hurry, neglect of meal-times, and late hours of the workpeople." (l. c., p. xxxi.) [206] "Ch. Empl. Comm, IV. Rep.," pp. xxxv., n. 235, 237.

[207] "Ch. Empl. Comm. IV. Rep.," p. 127, n. 56.

[208] With respect to the loss of trade by non-completion of shipping orders in time, I remember that this was the pet argument of the factory masters in 1832 and 1833. Nothing that can he advanced now on this subject, could have the force that it had then, before steam had halved all distances and established new regulations for transit. It quite failed at that time of proof when put to the test, and again it will certainly fail should it have to be tried." ("Reports of Insp. of Fact., 31 Oct., 1862," pp. 54, 55.) [208a] "Ch. Empl. Comm. IV. Rep.," p. xviii, n. 118.



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