house on the top of another, or distribution into flats, ... the lessee acts as if the whole colony were encamped, not resident."69

"In pursuance of my instructions," says Dr. Stevens, "I visited most of the large colliery villages in the Durham Union.... With very few exceptions, the general statement that no means are taken to secure the health of the inhabitants would be true of all of them.... All colliers are bound ['bound,' an expression which, like bondage, dates from the age of serfdom] to the colliery lessee or owner for twelve months.... If the colliers express discontent, or in any way annoy the 'viewer,' a mark of memorandum is made against their names, and, at the annual 'binding,' such men are turned off... It appears to me that no part of the 'truck system' could be worse than what obtains in these densely-populated districts. The collier is bound to take as part of his hiring a house surrounded with pestiferous influences; he cannot help himself, and it appears doubtful whether anyone else can help him except his proprietor (he is, to all intents and purposes, a serf), and his proprietor first consults his balance-sheet, and the result is tolerably certain. The collier is also often supplied with water by the proprietor, which, whether it be good or bad, he has to pay for, or rather he suffers a deduction for from his wages."70

In conflict with "public opinion," or even with the Officers of Health, capital makes no difficulty about "justifying" the conditions partly dangerous, partly degrading, to which it confines the working and domestic life of the labourer, on the ground that they are necessary for profit. It is the same thing when capital "abstains" from protective measures against dangerous machinery in the factory, from appliances for ventilation and for safety in mines, &c. It is the same here with the housing of the miners. Dr. Simon, medical officer of the Privy Council, in his official Report says: "In apology for the wretched household accommodation ... it is alleged that miners are commonly worked on lease; that the duration of the lessee's interest (which in collieries is commonly for 21 years), is not so long that he should deem it worth his while to create good accommodation for his labourers, and for the tradespeople and others whom the work attracts; that even if he were disposed to act liberally in the matter, this disposition would commonly be defeated by his landlord's tendency to fix on him, as ground-rent, an exorbitant additional charge for the privilege of having on the surface of the ground the decent and comfortable village which the labourers of the subterranean property ought to inhabit, and that prohibitory price (if not actual prohibition) equally excludes others who might desire to build. It would be foreign to the purpose of this report to enter upon any discussion of the merits of the above apology. Nor here is it even needful to consider where it would be that, if decent accommodation were provided, the cost ... would eventually fall — whether on landlord, or lessee, or labourer, or public. But in presence of such shameful facts as are vouched for in the annexed reports [those of Dr. Hunter, Dr. Stevens, &c.] a remedy may well be claimed.... Claims of landlordship are being so used as to do great public wrong. The landlord in his capacity of mine-owner invites an industrial colony to labour on his estate, and then in his capacity of surface-owner makes it impossible that the labourers whom he collects, should find proper lodging where they must live. The lessee [the capitalist exploiter] meanwhile has no pecuniary motive for resisting that division of the bargain; well knowing that if its latter conditions be exorbitant, the consequences fall, not on him, that his labourers on whom they fall have not education enough to know the value of their sanitary rights, that neither obscenest lodging nor foulest drinking water will be appreciable inducements towards a 'strike.'"71

D. Effect of Crises on the Best Paid Part of the Working-Class

Before I turn to the regular agricultural labourers, I may be allowed to show, by one example, how industrial revulsions affect even the bestpaid, the aristocracy, of the working-class. It will be remembered that the year 1857 brought one of the great crises with which the industrial cycle periodically ends. The next termination of the cycle was due in 1866. Already discounted in the regular factory districts by the cotton famine, which threw much capital from its wonted sphere into the great centres of the money-market, the crisis assumed, at this time, an especially financial character. Its outbreak in 1866 was signalised by the failure of a gigantic London Bank, immediately followed by the collapse of countless swidling companies. One of the great London branches of industry involved in the catastrophe was iron shipbuilding. The magnates of this trade had not only over-produced beyond all measure during the overtrading time,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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