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A tnesis submit ted in conformity with 
the requirements for the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy 

in the 
University of Toronto 

J:._Hi_§TE\VART_REID May 1946. 



A thesis submitted in conformity with 
the re uirements for the degree of 
Doctor of Philos ophy in the University 
of Toronto 


ifey, 1946. 





B.A. (L'niversil> of British Columbia) 1920 
M.A. (University of British Columbia) 1942 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22nd, 1946, AT 3.00 P.M. 


Dean .\.NDREW Hunter. Chairman 
Professor Chester M.\rtin 
Professor F. H. Underhill 
Professor R. Flenley 
Professor E. McInnes 
Professor D. J. McDougall 
Professor A.. S. P. Woodhouse 

Professor D. G. Creighton 
Professor G. W. Brow.n 
Professor A. Brady 
Professor V. W. Blade.n 


1909 —Born, Coatbridge, Scotland. 

1929 — B.A., University of British Columbia. 

1942 — M..^., University of British Columbia. 

1944-46 — School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. 



Before the Labour Parly officially adopted a socialist basis in ils constiiulion 
of 1918, the Party in effect represented a composite of aims. One section of its 
membership already was dedicated to the establishment of a socialist common- 
wealth, but that section — the Independent Labour Party and the Fabian 
Society — was small in comparison to the majority group which consisted of the 
affiliated trades unions, trades councils and local Labour conmiittees. Of course 
in the memljership of the latter bodies there were still other socialist members, 
but their numbers were probably small. The common bond which held socialist 
and non-socialist together in the Labour Party was a belief in two things; in the 
necessity of immediate and far-reaching legislation for the purpose of reforming 
the social ills which beset English workers, and in the efficacy of the Labour Partx 
to bring about such reforms. 

In this thesis it was necessary then, to describe in some detail the conditions 
out of which this composite of forces finally emerged — in other words to describe 
the genesis of the Labour Party. Enough has been written about the closing 
years of the nineteenth century to indicate quite clearly that the all-absorbing 
problem of that period was what Carlyle named the "condition of England 
(|uestion." . The long period of industrial and agricultural prosperity which 
G. IX H. Cole calls the "honeymoon of capital and labour," came to an end 
during the decade of the eighties, and the workers of England entered a period 
when their conditions of life seemed to deteriorate and their resentment seemed 
to mount. Middle and upper classes, too, felt the stirrings of change. Orthodo.v 
Benthamite Liberalism which had apparently sanctioned the economic fatalism 
of laissez-faire, had been attacked by Carlyle, by Rusk in, by .Arnold and by the 
more insidious enemy of humanitarianism, which had provoked already a scries 
of acts designed to relieve the burdens of child labour, or woman labour, but 
which acted to relieve male labourers as well. Whether it was the literary men, 
or the philanthropists or the politicians who had brought the change about, 
matters but little — the fact remains that by the nineties, laissez-faire was a dis- 
credited doctrine. 

Of the classes in English society which stood in need of protective and 
assisting legislation, the working classes, both industrial and agricultural, were 
obviously the first. Both groups already had organized for action on their own 
behalf, but the agricultural labourers' unions had early been smashed. Not so 
however the trades unions in the cities. Organized and led b\ men of impeccable 
respectability, dedicated to purposes of "self-help" — an eminently respectable 
Victorian doctrine — and utilizing methods acceptable to the morals and con- 
ventions of the period, the trades unions of the years from 1851 to 1889 were 
signally successful during that time of England's industrial "golden age." The 

depression of ihe eighties, ihc extension of the ballot, tlie spread of information 
on social questions, and the impact of the new socialist propaganda agencies — all 
these factors combined to bring to an end the era of "old" unionisrn. 

The "new" unions were new in many ways. They aimed at improvement 
of their members' conditions, not by means of self-help activity, but by strike 
and political action. They appealed to workers of the lowest grades and with 
the smallest wages, ofiset their Ioa' dues b> large membership, and devoted their 
funds to "fighting" purposes. In a large measure they were convinced of the 
inadequacy of the measures which the co-operation of the old unions with the 
Liberal Party had brought, such measures of reform as Factory Acts, Merchant 
Shipping .\cts and the employers' Liability .Act. F"or these measures, like the 
old unions themselves, touched but a small fraction of the working population, 
and not at all that portion which most needed legislative assistance. Last of all, 
the new unions were in many cases at least, either led or strongly influenced by 
the socialist minorities within their ranks. The great names of the Labour 
movement before 1889 and the Dockers' Strike, were those of George Howell, 
Henr\- Broadhurst, George Odger and William .\pplegarth— good Liberals all, 
and steadil\- orthodo.x in their political and economic convictions. -After 1889, 
the names "of Tom Mann, Ben rillett, Keir Hardie and John Burns took their 
place — and all were socialist in one degree or other, and all rebels against the 
e.xisting order. 

One result of the new trend in the Labour movement after 1889 was the 
growing demand for separate Labour representation in the House of Commons. 
It is not surprising of course that the socialist trade unions were the first to take 
steps to realize that ambition. In 1893 the Independent Labour Party was 
founded as a socialist labour party; within two years that party had set itsell 
two objectives. One was to win socialist members, to secure socialist votes and 
to elect socialist members of Parliament. But another, just as keenly sought- 
after goal, was to create a workable basis for an alliance of forces between socialism 
and trade unionism. The policy of the "Labour Alliance" was to bring all 
workers, socialist and non-socialist alike, into a united organization dedicated to 
the purpose of sending representatives into Parliament who would represent 
working class interests to the e.xclusion of all other political ties. 

Eventually the efforts of Hardie, Mann, Tillett and the other socialist trade 
unionists were crowned with success when the Labour Representation Committee 
was founded in 1900. How successful that organization might have been under 
ordinary circumstances is very doubtful. There w-as no cornmon principle 
uniting socialist and non-socialist, propagandist and trade unionist, or even the 
various shades of opinion which divided the socialists themselves. The times, 
however, were not normal. The increasing economic distress, the absorption 
of the Salisbury-Balfour ministries in imperial politics, the apparent debility of 
the Liberal Party, and above all the threat to trade union existence contained in 
the Taff Vale decision — these factors combined to ensure the new organization a 
remarkable growth. 

One of the most startling features of a very startling election was the appear- 
ance in the House of Commons in 1906, of a body of twenty-nine new Labour 
Party members. They were committed to the policy of independence from either 
of the two old parties and they were dedicated to the task of winning legislation 
in the interests of the British labouring classes. Startling too, in many eyes, was 
the fact that over half of the members of the new party were avowed socialists 
and members of one or other of the socialist organizations then extant. 

Perhaps wisely, the socialism of the new members took second place to their 
advocacy of social reform and working class measures. Their choice was appar- 
ently vindicated by later events, for" this policy kept united a rather rnotley 
collection of members, and kept behind them an even more motley collection of 
supporters. Then, too, this policy seemed to be at least in part responsible for 
much of the advanced social legislation which followed the advent to power of 
the Campbell- Bannerman ministry of 1906, and the part which the Labour Party 

played in ihe shaping and passage of ihe 1 rade Uispiiles Acl, ihc Wurkmen- 
Compensation Act, the Old Age I'ensions Act, the Trades Boards Act, the Laboiii 
Kxchanges Act, and the .National Insurance Act, has often been eniphasizeil 
The influence of the Parly was most obvious in the earliest of these measure 
and its prestige was at its highest during the early years of the adnlinistration^, 
1906 to 1914. As the years went by, and issues other than those of social reform, 
monopolized the attention of the older parties, not only did the stature of the new 
Party diminish in the eyes of its Conservative opposition, "but in the e\es of it> 
Liberal partners as well, and, most serious of all, in the eyes of its own supporter?. 

This thesis has attempted to deal with this phase of Labour politics in the 
light of the growing dissatisfaction and the industrial unrest of the period immedi- 
ately preceding the outbreak of war. Much has been written of the growth of 
syndicalism in Labour circles, of the rising tide of strikes, of the growing tendenc> 
on the part of Labour organizations to use industrial methods rather than political 
methods to achieve such aims as the eight-hour day, a national minimum wage, 
or wider union jurisdiction. Little however, has been written of the elTeci of 
this tendency in British Labour circles upon the party which claimed to represent 
it in Parliament. 

The unrest which showed in the industrial field in unauthorized strikes, in 
syndicalist propaganda and in revolutionary tirades on the part of union leaders 
like Bob Smillie, showed loo in the Labour Parly and its affiliated sociali^t 
societies. In the I.L.P. as early as 1909, a movement gained some strength 
which had as its aim the severance of connection with the Labour Party and 
the re-establishmeni of the objective of a socialist commonwealth. The "young 
men in a hurry" failed to carry the day against MacDonald and Clynes and 
Barnes, but they made highly vocal a feeling of impatience and of distrust which 
affected many of the I.L.P. socialists by 1914. In the Labour Party, too, a 
section of the party was each year becoming more outspoken in its criticism of 
the Parliamentary policy of the majority group led by MacDonald and Hender- 
son. In fact, by 1914. there were signs of open revolt — -signs thai ver\' soon the 
clash between "moderates" and "wreckers", between "social reformers" and 
"socialists", between "evolutionists" and "revolutionists", might bring about the 
collapse of the Party. The story of how thai collapse was averted would be the 
next chapter in the long history of the development of the Labour movement 
from the Chartist agitation of a century ago to the Labour Gqvernment of today 


Major Subject: 

England, 18.50-1914— Professor F. H. Underhill. 
Professor D. J. McDougali. 

First Minor: 

Medieval England — Professor B. Wilkinson. 

British Constitutional History — Professor D. J. McDougali. 

History of the L'nited States — Professor G. W. Brown. 

Second Minor: 

Nineteenth Century Thought — Professor .\. S. P. Woodhouse. 




The stirring of the aouial ocinsoienoe - Hbe 
ohtLOged attitude to guTeiniiBnt action ou eooliJ, 
questions - The enlareed eleotoi-ate* p&Stt 1* 


'^elf-help'* the ebief aim - Restricted 
awfeerehip - The Mew Jniouista after 1389 patf* ii« 


Trade onion politioal action 166&-ld68 - 
Tory l>einooraoy - The Liberal ap;i>eal - T^aboor 
oo-operatlon with Liberal Party* paC* 47* 


?he S. D. F. and its inadetioaoy - The 
Fabian Society - Its contribution to the Labour 
l!oveii9i>nt . !>&£• 88. 


I to legacy from the Fabians •> Its oessage 
to the workers > The labour > llianoe. page 106. 

Ti. iJBsesBsan political actioh. 

Failure of old jjarties to laeet the challenge - 
ConTersion of the Trade Union Congress - The 
MSiflorial Hall Conference. pac* 123. 

▼II. THE L.'^JUK HLPBxSiSikllOi; G JiLl'SSE.Z. 

sooialism - Orowth in atret^Ui - Qie Taff Ttile 

Deol«ion. ptifce ' ^(^ 

Till, ms mEQTiati or i?06. 

?lif! l"r.aef> for Uibtair ~ C!he Llliertil Parl^ 
and Laboar oandidates. ,tfa£e ^ ''^ 


Absence of program - Polloy towards 
soolfcllnsi - :'ho short ttrm objectives of eooial 
ref ora« page ^ ^ 7 


The toilitant wine of the I. L. P. - The 

Fublenr - Guild Zooiulir-m - [Ti-ndloulism - The 

oall fair direot aotion. page ^'^ 


Critioisffl of legislation aohieYed - Deoand 
for Inuependenoe - "he annucil ooaferenoes. page l"^^ 

XII. LABOUR IN ?ARLIA!«fT 1S06-1910. 

The Trade rdspatee Act - The nforkmen's 
Cojqpensation Act • ?he ProTiaion of iBals Act - 
Old 'ge PensiocB - The Laboar Fizohaneea Act '- The 
Trade Boards Act - Labour and the '♦Right to Work", page ^*'^ 

XIII. LABJUH IH PAHLIA.ft£7 1910-1914. 

The no* sitaatioQ - The ae« leadership - 
The T'atlonal Insorynce \ot - The ?rade Union Act - 
The Iniiiautt a^e - 1^ prospect in 1914. , page ifi" 

Appendices, page 326-332. 

Bibliography. page 333-348. 


Ac tU« work was b«ixig GonpIet«d th« Satlcnal Sstecutivo 
of th« British Labour Party aaaouBc^d tb« publloaticn and circulation 
of tbm aor« than four hundred resolutions whioh will form a lar^a part 
of th« &£,«id& for the party's anr^unl oonforecce in June. It is quite 
evident that that meeting vdl^ once cvcre see a detemlaed attaapt <m 
the part of the silitant, left-adns radicals to set u,j for the Labour 
GcvenoBM&t a sowfa sore advanced goal and a greatly accelerated tisM* 
table of change* This laarmamat in the i-arty, and the desire vhioh it 
reflects* is not ae» in. the history of the British Labour tiorecent. In 
1946 it ssay take the f«v of an attack <m TOreign Secretary 3erin*s 
foreicB polioy as a continuation of the Consmrra-wiTe tradition; in 1914 
it took the fona of an attack on l^cDonald and nanderson for their 'sub> 
serrienee* to the Liberal govemBent, and in 1909 it took the form of a 
d a w i pd for "socialism in our tiake**. The sub;3eot has changed, but tlie 
conflict of forces in the Labour Party is still very aueh the seme. 

This thesis is an attsnpt to describe the conditions out of 
vhieh the Labour Parly appeared, aad the aohieveciezxts ndiieh it eas abM 
to olaiB by 1914* The plan has been to describe first tha chanced 
clisate of laglish opinion An the Iclsc quarter of the nin^ teenth century. 


both as to the nocessity of tccklini; the "condition of Soelaxul'' 
nil— 11 cm" mad as to tho conpotonce of the English eonrmroBMnt for 
that task. Turaiag to aor* speoific labour orgaziisatlo&f tho th«sls 
trios to dssoribo the orgwii£atiosi and the obJeotiTss of the "old" 
tarad* unions* thoir "sslf-taslp" idsal for workers* social IctiaroreBiflnt 
•Bd tiasir aoc^tsiw of political accioa through the Libsral party ^ 
th» b«at Bothod of bringii% about losislatlve aid to such l iia rpr s Btaat. 
Durlxtg the deoado of the •ighties* and particularly after 1869 and tha 
huaStm Dockers' rajrlks, a reaction set in. The new imionlai aftar that 
data turned frou "selfohelp" and the "Liberal Labour allianoa" to a 
polioy of indapstidant Labour reprosentation in tho Qousa c^ Ccaaoaa. 

Ham 4aaisloa to \is» indasxndapt represantation as the bast 
laethod of aohiariac lacisIatlTe action in the interests of the aorklng 
oXaasas* did not coi&a isBiadiately. 7ha dlssatlsfaotlon with the results 
of Labour's co->oparatloa «dth tha Liharal Party vas skilfully usad by 
tbm vmm aeeialists is tha Labour wawmmxt partly to win cozrrerts to tbair 
ballaf, but partly as well to oonvinoe non-sooialist workers of tha 
nsssssity of replacias tbair Liberal allianoa by an allianoe with tha 
socialist sociatiaa. Thaso twin objaotivaa vera carttilnly those of tte 
Isdapandent Labour .arty. 

Tha last daeada of the century saw all the socialist sociatlaa 
carrying on datarsdnad ca£^(«i£BS to win support frOK the British labour 
BOVSBsnt. Their success in this obJeotiTS was never startling* but 
the secondary objective of the I. L. f. - to create a Trada i^on- 
8oci&list allianoa for ;:olitical purposes - finally brought tha creation 


«f tb* Labour fi«. rvMoitaticni Ccnaitta* In 1900. Although the nmr 
M^aalsation started lifo under dirfioultios. a nu&ber of ractors 
to enewe I'or it a rcaarkable growth during its first six 
Deeply dissatisfied with the lack of activity on the part 
of t^ Balfour garamnent in sooial natters, fearful that the Toff 
Tale deeision mmmt the end of legal trade union exis tones and faced 
•ith a Liberal I'»rty split into hostile factions, trade unions I'iockou 
to affiliate with the nev politioal organisaiicai, so that by 1906 the 
Labour i arty was able to run fift^ oandidatee and via t«Moty-ziiz>e seats 
in thedoction of Uiat >ear« 

Ooriag the first eight years of its existsswe as a rerll— ti 
ary force the Labour Party at its annual conference saus si^ksed in the 
task of drafting a program and shaping a policy. The progi^i was one of 
expediency, of yeer by year stategaent of iiaaediate objectives - the 
failure to write a proijraia of lon^ tera alas was not an accident, but 
one result of the .eouliar natoire of the I art;, organiaaUon. ijince 
socialist ambers could consistently only support a socialist objective, 
and since non-socialist trade unionists mijiht balk at such a statSBCnt, 
tte best course of action seec^d to bo th at shich was pursued - to 
draft each yeer a progrsB of Iwediate aisis for that year only, and 
•Is^ly to refrain froo discussing tte possibility of a socialist or uay 
other basis for the Party. 

n>ere ware of course socialist elaccnts in the Party, partioid- 
arly in the I, L. i ., the Social DeBocratio Federation, and 


tbm FkbiaB«» vho yrp t— t i i aLca^iaat thla policy* asd the y«ttr* froK 
1909 to 1914 ««re years vMch saw several deterolnsd efforta to frea 
tlM Labour s-artjf flroa tfaa doadaatiozi of iiacDonald* Hmdmraao^ Baraac 
and thiBir follovers* Eoae of tha Bovaaests of ravolt wmI* auoc&seTul, 
alttiougb by 1914 tha unraat aad dias&tiafaotion* reixtfarced by tba 
srovth of ayztdioalian aad fuild aociedlaB aaaoas trnda uniozdats* Lad 
b«MH» a aarioua threat; to tb« cozttiaiMd eziaWooa of tba Labour Iwet^» 
On* raaaon for tha ability of ^oDoaald and BaiBdaraaa to kMp 
the reizta of laadaraldp in their baada in apite of the at^acka froa tte 
left, vaa the reoord of social refona legislation passed durijog the 
period vmdar dJsouaaioiu Svtch legislation «as of co jrae, jj^rioarily 
Liberal lei^islation but the Labour Party representatives in the House of 
OaaBons played a large part in initiating* aisending; and pasaiag acts 
sueh as the Trades Disputes Aot of 1^)6, the s'iorkcr.en's Cowpeneation Aot 
and the Old Age Pensions Act, and this fact added considerably to the 
prestige of the new Party and its leaders* 

Ibe daagsrotts faot, of o<mrse« «as that the Labour Party 
asMeir—etits eere von by oo-operation vith tite Liberal Party, particular- 
ly after 1910 and th^eleetioss of that year; and tiut this oo-operation 
jsight even baottea asaiailation into the larger, older body* Certtunly 
by 1914, the "^Bodcrste mm." in Labwir ranks seesMd to be travolling in 
that direction, uhile on the other hand, the ^ouo£ sen in a hurry" were 
in che direccicdi of a new socialist party and a oojoaiderable 
of the trade union eleeentB v&re reering away froK political 


action altogotlker* The situation for the Labour Party theu^ at 
tho outbreak of the war, uma aot proiBisizis;^ vbd there were not 
la ck in g , even in its emo. ranks, prophets tiic «aw the pofi&i'oilit^ 
of its early deeease. The -mr brought a stasis in the aiatter of 
elections, progrsas end caiyalana; ^hen those activities once &:ore 
beesiie practical politics, the situation of both the Liberal and the 
Labour Parties had TMitljr altered, ai^ the danger or disunity which 
so obvious in 1314, had fairly cospletely passed assy* 



f<ny disoussii.n of the part which British Labour has played in 
Dolving its own social probleaa lauat of noceaoity bo|^in, not at the 
moment when British Labour adopted its own distinct political 
organization, but rather at that period of the nineteenth century when 
social, eeononiic and political conditions were sucti ao to ooke that 
step seeci advantageous. P'or at least three decades before the formation 
of the Labour iiopresentation Coaaittec in 19^*0, the working uen of 
Snglend had be«i exerting a growing influence on the diroctlk«i end 
purpose of social ttiOu^t end social legislation. That this was now 
possible for tiiea wae partly duo, jf course, to the change in Uieir own 
political status brought about by tlio Refora Bills of 166? end 1584, 
but the grounds on which Labour couic justify its deiaends had filready 
been aede cleor. Oarlyle's bitter invoctlwe n^ainst the society which 
had aede necessary the Qiartist oujveaont, Matthew Arnold's plea for 
social equality and tlio diffusion of culture, John iiiskin's exposure 
of the ugliness of part of the social structure - those end scores of 
other factors had contributed to a new awareness that all was not well 
with England. 

The first three Quarters of the nineteenth centwry had been years 
of solid isaterial achievement. ";>plendid isolation", "the workshop of 
the world", "freedod" and "laissez-faire" were the watchwords of those 


decadea. In the last quarter century, however, the "coafident uiood of 

Bnglend began to I'alter**. (Ij t^lnston Churchill, in describing his 

father's role on the political stage in the eigjitieo, called this period 

the "end of an epoch". 

"The great victories had beai ffon....iAuthority was every- 
where broken, i^laves were fi^e. Coaacience ras free. 
Trade mss free. But hunger and scjualor and cold were 
olso free, and tiie people demanded ooiaethin^ T^re than 
liberty.^ {2} 

This awaraiess of the social problem, and doubt as to the correct 

solution* arc evideiiced by the vrorde of an observer even closer to the 

scene than Churchill, >.ritiag in 1879, the editor of the iiinotecanth 

Century tells ua that 

"Old lines of social dociorcation have beai obliterated, 
ancioit landmarks of thought and belief renioved, new 
standards of expediency and right created .... The 
preeise ftinctione of the new philosophy, science, 
theology and art are as loosely defined as the exact 
provinces of the throe estates of the reela, or the 
fuUire relations of the ditferent co.-sponent ports of 
society.... <1e are in the process of making up our 
minds what respect or attention. .. -is due to the 
popular will, whst obeisance to the sovereign, what 
confidmce in the sovereigp's advisors* We are in 
perplexity bs to ti^e ccwrse we should ateor between 
the deaocrstic and the aonar<^ioal principles, it is 
a faoot point ^Aether the governed or Uie governors 
should be the judges of the plan of £:ovenvuent ttict 
is adopted.... The respective riglits of eaployor end 
•BQ)loyed, capital and industry, are an unsolved 
problem. A clear and generally accepted notion of 
the duties of the state has still to be foraed." (5; 

(1; Lynd, R«54,, Sn;;land in the Eighteen Si-jitioa , p. 2^. 

(2) Oiurchill, vr. 3., Lord Randolph Churchill . I, pp. 268-?69. 

(5) Secott, T. H. b,, fariKland. Her People, Polity and t^ureuits , l,p. 2. 


About the exietonco of the ooclal* political end eoononlc problece 
which these quotations have posed, there was, by the decade of the 
ei(^teen-eichtios, little doubt* There was not, of course, the easao 
complete n^jreeaent with the contention tliet solutions to the problems 
had yet to be found. (4; In fact, triis decade vrea one in which e 
bewildering variety of solutions was offered. Carlyle already had 
presented to his readers Uie" condition of tinglsid question"; Englieh- 
aen of the last quarter of the century disoaaoed the question, a&QSsed 
a wealth of facte bearing on it end proposed not one, but oany enan^crs. 

i^hat were the conditions which had so obvioueiy disturbed the 
coaplacffiicy of fiid- Victorian England? toong those atill dependwit upon 
eigricalturo, (5; the aatter of most itsroediate concern wae, of course, 
the long depression of the seventies. >^hile the total area under crop 
had reaaiaed virtually the seae during the last half of the nineteenth 
ttffiitury, the proportion of that area devoted to pas tar age only, was 
steadily Increasing, (6) i)ne reaaan for tiiie development undoubtedly 
was the steady drop in ^eat prices, particularly after 1877. t7> 
Rents of ogricjltural holdings over tlie period from I676 to iS^d 

(4) Cf. The review of Secott's work by H, D, Traill in the fortni^tly 
Review, Jon. 1, VSc£j, vol, 27, pp« l^^l''*^* snd the editorial note 
on the review by John ..iorley, pp. Vi6~l^t9» 

(5) teeording to Claphao, J, H,, Aa Eeonoiaie History o f Modern .Britain, 
they made up in 1831, 12 tjer cent of the working population o£ 
Britain, At that tiae approxiaatoly 57 per cent of the working 
population was engaged in industrial occupationo. (II, p. ¥iQ.j 

^^) Agri cultural Returns of Grea t Dritain, I889 . This report i^ives 
stetiatios for the period froa I668-I889. 

(7) According to Clapham, {i^conoaic Kistoyy , froni 6O0. per quarter in 
1877 to 573- 6d. in 1867, Prices of otiier cereals went dwm too 
in the oacc period fron 23 per cent to JS per cent. To aalce 
aotters still worse, a succession of years of bed weetiier caused 
the sinual crop to drop fro^ 2^ bushels f)or noro to 19 buohela in 
1887. (II, pp. 279-280.) 

showed a reductioH of over 22 per cent; {8) Indeed In Ut© late 
seventies there was a panic which resulted in hundreds oi' rarais being 
deserted by tenant occupiers. (9^ The market lor fresh meat was 
gradually being appropriated by eiilpsusito under rol rit^eration from 
Aistralia, Kern Zealand, and the United States, (IC;"* while imports of 
otlier agricultural fO'Odstuffa froa abroad rapidly laounted. (llj 
British agriculture was st long last experiencing "the consequence of 
the repeal of the Com Laws". (12) The response of landed capital UJ; 
to the new situation was of course to desert Uio land in favour of 
urban industry. &it for the agricultural labourer and for the mall 
tenant fanser» the answer was noil^er so obvious nor so easily 
ifflplsQented. At the saoie tise, the increased mobility of the landless 
worlEer end the tenant farser (l4) tended to weaken the old rural 
village tradition and to eliainate a social relationehip between the 
landlord and his tenant or labourer, whi^ la tJie past had oftwi acted 

(8; Ibid. 11, p. 262. 

(9y Fey, C. P„, Groat jE>rit ain fr oa / dpts Saith to the Present Day . 
pp. 245-245. 

(10; The first shlpaent of frozwi .:autton arrived in London In 1862 from 
i^ew Zealand. Tliere was prejudice ogainst it et i'ijrst, but that 
prejudice rapidly disappeared. (Eneor, R. C. X., 1870- 

I2ii. p. 119.) 
(11/ fro'si 552 lbs, per person in I868 to 597 lbs- i^i I8SS. (A;sri cultura l 
Heturne of Greet Lritain , 1&69'> 

(12) Cole, G. D, H,, A Short History of th e oritiah ..orking Class 
■.'■ovoaent . XI, p. I??. 

(15) -Ars. Lynd, following Sscott, places half the land in Tjaglsnd in 
the hands of aoae 7i4i>0 proprietors, (p. 25 ; Probably a truer 
picture is given in Clapliaai, Economic Hjotory , II, p. ?64. 

(l4) Due cmcng other things to the nKsdification of the i\>or Lax re 

chnrgeability of the unions, iiee Aschrott, P, F,, and Freston- 
Thosaaa, H. , Tlie IJJigiliah Poor La» Systeta . p. 71. 


to alleviate sotae of the ills of the latter. This relatiowehip was 
Btill further weakened by the efforts of ttie egrlcultural labourers to 
aaulate their industrial brothers by coabiaing into union organizations. 
Under the leadership of Joseph Arch, the ..arwickahira Labourers' Jnion, 
organized in 1672, becoae in a few aonths the i atianal Agricultarel 
Labourers' Union with a aembership of over 100,000. (15; Jther 
eiailar organizations appeared in Kent and in Sussex; for a brief 
period, using industrial union methods, fera labourers were able to 
gaJji a gwieral rise in wagee. In iBjU, the Suffolk lebourers struck 
for a wage inoreeae, tut the employing faraera retaliated by a lock- 
out. This aetiiod of dealing nith the labourers' de.nands proved so 
effective that it was widely copied; by 1681 the national Union had 
dwindled to about 15,000 (16^ and its power to iaprove the lot of the 
agricultural labourer was virUiaily at an end. 

In aud^i conditions we isi^t expect to find the displaced jjCLibore 
of Sngiond's agricultural societyir following Oolds;aitJi*a classic 


formula,^ resolving to "leave the land". Out in the cities to which 
ttiey might flee, conditions of life for wor»ccrs were even less 
attractive and even less secure. Qy the beginning of the last quarter 
of the nineteenth century British industry had already passed its 
peak of development; gone elready was the day of "undisputed iiritish 
international supremacy in the old coa-aerce and the new industry". (17; 

(15; Arch, Joseph, The S to ry of His ;.ife. Told by Hia aelf . Ch.V and 

Ch. VI. 

(I6y Oole, British :r.orking Glass ^^oyafiont . p. 125. 

ill J Claph«8, Seonaai c. Hi stor y, II, p. 115. 


The agricultural depreasion of the oeventiee had its counterpart in 
English industry, althou^^ the vsorst yeera were not until 1885-1886. 
British exports, whlcli in l872 had aa^unted to 256 oillioua, foil 
hy 1679 to 192 millions. (l6; Increasing coci-otitlon frota Merican 
and Geman rivals oo.abined with t-ho adoption of high protective tarifi's 
by those and other countries (19) nhi:^> x'ormerly had been English 
sarketo to cut sharply into the British export trade. 

The problem of Sritish industry was still furtlier cotapiicatod in 
the eighties and nineties by the fact that the now procoaaes, iike 
those of Bessoraer, Sleoens and Gilchrist, irere nos in general use in 
caspetitor nations, thus wiping out an initial advantage which British 
firos had for long enjoyed. There wore still, of course, untapped 
aiarltets in the Par-Kaat and in Ai'rlca, but there was nevertheless a 
crowing fear that when the race for markets reached its final lap, 
British industry would continue to lag behind. To atoat the danger, 
which was fairly obvious in the decade of the eigSitios, (20} industry 
in Britain was already undergoing rapid changes. At the sase tli&e 
that British capital was 2ioving abroad, (21; the charecter of capital 

(18) CoIe« British Viorking Glaas aloyea«Mit « 11, p. I55. 

(19> E.g. /ustria in 1877. fiissia in 1377 and I88I, ;ieraany in 1879, 
France in I86I-I882 and Italy in IO82. 

(20; Of. Brown, B., The Tariff j vmi&it in Br itain, lSSl-lv95. 

The concern of British me;; . _ ca is voiced by severoi 
witnesaoa before the Ftoyal Cocauiseion on Depression in Trade and 
Industry in 18<^1686, (See Report sections 7^76.; 

(21j Thereby creating etlll isore cor.potitors. In i'.obson, J.;.», 

l aperialism (1502 ed,;, pp. 56-58, the estimate is tliat between 
1^72 and l3C2, IJrltish capital abroad increased by A6 per cent. 
In the decade froa 1882 to 1592, Hobeon eatioates that the 
increase was 96 per cent. 


investaent* at home was altering through the rajAd extension of the 
•lialted liability, joint stock coopany" type of business enterprise. 
The near type of heavy industry, calling for "highly specialized sub- 
divisions the increasing use of coaplex machinery and the greater 

econooy of aggregate operations", K27, made greater capital investment 
neceasary; that Incrosse was lartjeiy facilitated by the inveataents of 
scores of thousands of the middle classes in UiB new type of caapany. 
(25> Financial capital, then, as distinct froa industrial capital, 
was assuming the direction of auoh of Britain's aanufacturing. Khile 
this ehsige was taking place, British industry was rapidly adopting 

(22) * rederic f^arrison in hia speech to the Industrial I^eameration 

Conferer«co in 1G85. i^rinted in his ,:^tip nel an<i social x-rofa lo.ia. 
p. jijd ff . T^is Conference aas aado possible by a donation oi^~ 
^l,u^ £r:in Robert tilUer, a retired en^^ineer of Ldinburgh. to 
cover the expenses of a public representative inquiry Into the 
causes of Industrial Distress end possible re^aedies". oir 
Charles Dilko presided, aid testiaony was given by iiidividuais 
like John lurns, Arthur flaU'our, Frederic iiorrison. ^ir Robert 
Wflen, Professor £. S. Beesly and others, on tiie subject 

r.ould the -rore general distribution o£ capital or land, or the 
state rume^esaent of capiUl or land, pronote or inpair Uie 
production of wealth and the welfare of trie corztuunity?" Liemard 
^how spoke for the Fabl*n Society, while the social Doaocratic 
Federation, in addition to Tiuma, Imd Jack WlliiaaiB and others 
in attendance. The apeeciios, debates and evidence were printisd 
in lob6 In a Report of the. Industrial JifflJuneration^Conference. 
harrison s speech appears on pp. 42C-462 of the Report. 

(25; ^; I'ynf auggesty that the period of greatest developaont of the 
ir*^i^.. ^^^^^^^ ^^^"^ ^*°*^^ conpany. although lesoiized in 
tTS*'. "<'^coIil« ""til after I88O. (England in the Eighteen - 

T^^^^c^il ^''^ Probably the failure of the City of Glasgow 
.«ik in lt70, when shareholders were CRllod upon for £2,7X) per 
^iJO share, aay have helped to popularize the Halted liability 
feature of the new Investoents. iieo Fay, Great Br itain, pp. 113- 


what have b«en tsraed the chorBCteriatica of its nineteenUi century 
devolopment; (2^; the concentration into fewor preaieea of a greater 
share of Ite production, the integrctlon under a single control of a 
whole aoriea of oporntions, producing Uie flnlahed article, and the 
eo:nbination Kaong competitors to elialnato the "uneconomic" feoturea 
of free caapetitiMi. (25;. 

Si^lf leant chengea, then, had tnken place. The conditions of 
the early nineteenth century, «hen industrial ofmership wae etlll 
largely personal, and when busiaeaa success atiil largely depended upon 
the skill and initiative of the owner, had given place to tlwae of the 
latter period, in which the industrial unit sas much lar^^er and under a 
much diiTerent form of ownership. This cliange, of course, had a social 
si^ificanoo; ovoi the high priest of English Comtia-a, and the 
president of the rtjsitiiriot Society, insisting in 1885 that the answer 
to Eiij-land's social problera was that •'Industry jsuet be moralized" (26/ 
aust have realized that "rnoralleing* the thoustsnda of shareholders of 
4he John Brown and Conpany of Sheffield, or Ametrons end Ooapany of 
Kewceatle, was a vastly different task from that of moralizing a Ftobert 
Owen, or a Robert i'eel. 

{2^) E.g. ishley, S. J., Tlie Economic OrKoniaation of £n/;land. p.iSl. 

(25) taerosty, K. W,, T^e Trust aovenent in Byitiah Induetry . a lecture 
In Aahley, 7i.J, (ed.j, Sritish Industries . 

(36) Frederic Harrison's speech before tlie Induotrial Resianeratioa 

Conference, To this, John Bums replied, "Ifou aig^t as well try 
to moralize the lion who Is about to devour tl.e Leaab; you eiiiht 
as well attempt to aoralize the boo-constrictor the-t has his 
coils sround the bod/ of its victiisi" I Rep^ort of Industrial 
Heuunoraticm Conference , p. A64. 


lilhatever the roaeon* or reaeone, it eoecis nam as if British 
industry eiftar a remarkable advaace of over half n cei^tury hod reached 
a plateau o£ devolopaent after 1875. v:hile on the one hand, business 
interests used tha x^auae to reshafte their organisations and redirect 
thoir efforts, it is likewise true that legislatore, phil.3";phers, 
econoaists and rrorkera alike seooed to use the oaae pause to tutce stock 
of England* to ansner aa beat they co^ild the csany questions that case 
crowdin/r up from the huge section of England's society which now norked 
for wag©3. -he eoaplaoent opti;Bia:]i of the first three fraartere of the 
century was shaken by these questions, ^las the greet England a gpod 
Snglend as sell? %ere the mai^ifionit achieve:3eat3 in economics and 
politics being nullified by a neglect of social duties? \sa8 the freedom 
of nineteenth contury liboraliaia cseroly, for caany,^ f reodoa to starve? 
Those and many other questions wore debated by privote ^iquiries, before 
Royal CocamisBions, in lectiire halls and in street comer asserablios, in 
party motherings and in the Ik>uae of Ooamons itself, for this (tlie 
decode of the ei^jhtios/ "»«» a period.... nhen tije centre of political 
interest was shifting froca political forjs of liberty to social con- 
ditions of liberty". (2?) 

Virtually all who participated in these investigations aight e^ree 
that for tJiO labourer in England's cities, life was still a grisly 
business. Virtually all would a^ree with Frederic Hnrrison tihesa he 

(27 J AacDonald, J.R,, iitr. Qigaberlain as a Social nefomcr in :Ailner, 
Vlseount (ed.;. The Life oj Joseph O i aiberlain , p. 154. 


told the Industrial Reauacrotion 6onreronce in 16B5 that 

*To tae &t leasts it would be enou^ to candeun. modem society 
as hardly mi advance on slavery and serf dorr., if the pernian- 
ent condition of industry were to be that which ere now 
behold, that ninety per cent of the actual producora of 
wealth have no ho:ae U'lut they can call their own beyond the 
end of the week; have no bit of soil or ao much as a rooo 
that belong to them; hove noticing af value of any kind 
except as uuch furniture as will jjo in a cart; have the 
precarioua chance of weeicly wages whicl) barely suffice to 
keep tlie:3 in health; are housed for tlie moat part in piacoa 
that no ioan wo-jld think fit for his horse; are separated by 
80 narrow a margin froa destitution, that a ojontii of bed 
trade, sic^oiess or unexpected loss brini^^s Mitsu face to face 
with hunger end paupcrisa. This la the nonaal state of the 
aver&ge workooi la to«a or country." (2&> 

in even more bitter eondeaaiation wee that af General Booth« whoae 
Salvetion Any was very active in the oig^itiee on behalf of the lowest 
stratuta of England's society. ;?liilQ aieny obviously agreed wltJ-j Sir 
"llliesn l-arcourt, the Koae .;>ecretary, that t^»e aey-iode of the Aray were 
provocative, (29/ there naist have been .-sany who agreed with the TlaieB 
that the organization of gangs of roui^a to break up Aray ;i)eetlngs waa 
no way to :^et the problers which had called the Ans.y Into existence. 
"Another course lies before us all. It la to do the Army's work in a 
better vay.* (JO) 

Khan Oesieral Booth published in I69O his appeal for support for the 
Amy plan of enlgration, he ^titled it In Darlcest Enfilgyid. ahrewdiy 

(28 J la his address before the Oanfereiice. - Tinted in his iaational 
end Social Probleag . p. 579» and in the Report, p. 457. 

(29; Begbie, K., .Tjlliaia Booth . I, pp. 47D-485 and II, pp. >16, 
glTea aosoe of the oorreapondenoo betw«eu /larcourt eaid Dootli. 

(53) Tinea, Oct^ober IJ, I88I. 


capitalizing on tlio popularity ojf Stssiiey's In Dark est Africa. Englend, 

said Booth, could ahom her juntos as nell. 

"^A population sodden with drink, ateeped in vice, eaten up 
by every social cuid physical aalady, these are the denizens 
of rfarkeet t^iglnnd amidst whoa xny life has been spent, i^lj 
.... I sorrowfully that it wo;jld be Itopian in our 
present eociol arrangerjents to dreaia of attainin£^ for every 
honest F^ii^lishaan a jail standard of all the neceaacrios of 
life, ^oasetinte, perttaps. we may venture to hope that every 
honest worker on English soil rriii always be as warmly clad, 
as healthily housed, and as rogjLilarly fed as our criminal 
convicts - but that is not yet." (?2) 

for the present. Booth asserted it crould be possible only to press 
for the eetablishaont of the stsviard of the Lcmdon cab horae* and the 
"Cab-Horse Oiarter" caoe to be the sloi^nn of his caapai^. 

Even niore shocicing to respectable English eyes, because it caxse 
froci rospeotftbio sources, was the report of the invoatigations carried 
on in the ei^ties by Charles Boo'Ui. A Twalthy said retired sJiipowner, 
Bootli utilized the principles of investlf-.Btion already being suggested 
•s a basis for private philanthropy by the CJiarity >>yr£.;Bnize.tion Society, 
(5?; secured the services of people nho i^igjht claiin to be scientific 
investigators, and conraenced in 1686 a survey of the living conditions 
of the people of London* Preliminary reports such as those of Beatrice 
Potter began to appear in 1887, {^) and by 1892 the master report was 

(51> Booth, Ho« , In Darkipst England and the -ay Out , p. i7» 

(52; Ibid ., p. 25» For his "cab-horse" aetaphor he was indebted to 
Carlyle's Chartism . Ch, IV. 

(55; 'febb, B., lAy Apprejiticeehip .pp. 16^2CX). 

(54j i.ineteonth Century, ¥ol. 22 (lC67; , SqcJ^; t^tfft in Eaat Lomian; 
Vol. 24 (1888;. Epst I^ondon Labou r; "iol, 27 (iSS'Oy , The Lords 
and the Sweating fayat»B« 


in print. Tho nine ToluoeB of ijjfc emd Labour of th e Poople of London 
presented a grici picture of the London which nee the focue of nineteenyi 
century England* 

Booth's investigations shoved that ^»7 per cent of London's 
populntion wore living at or below »ub8lst«:ic« level. Of that group, 
.9 per eent were destitute, 7«5 per c«at were "Very poor", i.e., living 
in a state of d^ronio want, wiiile the remainder had barely Buffioimxt, 
in noraal tisies, for eubaiatenoe, their inooiae being estimated aa being 
between l6e. and 21a. per week. (^} Of the remainder of the population, 
another 55 per cent were in receipt of weekly wages up to ^s, - in 
other words, they represented a group whose me£bera were separated from 
deatitution by so narrow a laargin that a week's aickneea, or an 
accident, 3r a seasonal lay-off sig^t push thea bolow tlfiO aubsiatence 
level as well. 

Earlier atetistical studios had indicated that what was true of 
London was also true of Englmd'a other cities. ;i. IXidley Baxter, in 
hla survey, I»ctic«a l Incooe of the United Kjn.-tdoa , published in l868, 
had estiaated 20s. as the avera^^e incooe in England, i^ j while 
Professor Leone Levi had fixed 22s. 6d. as tiie average. (57j A Board 
of Trade Inquiry, began in 1886, determined tho average wafic for 
F-nglish workers as 238. Jd, for a«»n and 128. 8d. for woa^, with 

(^; Boo^, C. Life and Labour of the People of London , 11, pp.2u-21, 
I, pp. 55-50. 

(56; P. 81, Bolow -«r500 per year he put 2,525,400 persons^ above 
that figure, 255,000. 

(57 J ftftge a s nd Eam i njgs of the working Classes^ I66S , p. 9- 

■n •: : 


24 per coni of the former eeming laea then 2ua. CjS; These fi^ires 
did not include the WRgee of e^ioultural labourers. This ires eatl^oeted 
by vitAesses before the Industrial fietSLineretion Conference in 166? as 
being below 10s. per week. (59) Nor did the Board of Trade estiaete 
include the wages of those en>^ged in the ao-called "sweated'* trades; 
the I'iouse of Lords Select Coaaittee on ^veeting in Induotry* sitting 
in 1867» heard evidence of wages fr«n 4e. 6d. to Jo* per week, for 
adult workoro. (4-:}; The results of the Inquiry were published in tiae 
to furnish evidence for the rsoytil Oommlssion on Labour* sitting in lQ9% 
Before that oooffliesioA* Sir Robert Oiffen, president of the Statistical 
Society and eutiior of a glowing report on ij>gl«nd*s industrial deveiop- 
laent, (41 j in reply to a question froa Toa ;^2ann, gave it as his opinion 
that 24 per cant of England's workers wore still earning less than 2us. 
per «eek, which ho suggested as a bare eubsistence level, (42; end that 

(58; General Fieport on the ^airpes of the uianual Labour Closoes in th e 
United Kin^doffi , 1&95, i^.xxxi. SujEaerios of thia and similar 
reports nrc given in ^Uinphrey, A.n,, The rtorkers' Shore . pp.l5-55» 

(^9; Report of laduatriel Keajuneration Ccml'orence , pp. ICA-llJ. 

(4o) Report of nouse of Lords Select. 0aa.3it tee on Sweating in Industry , 
(Suiitaary of Evidence;. Of. too, Beatrice i-otter s article cited 
above (p. li ; and an article by lavid Schloss, The Sgeatinp-. 
iiyeteo . in the Fortni>:htly nevi ew. Vol. 47 (I850), pp. 5^2-551. 

(4l; The Pro;rroae of the working Olasaes in the Last Half C«itury . 

(42>i Henry Hyndioan's estlnate of the subsist^ce level, in his teetiuiony, 
was 25s. 2d. Keir Kardie's was 248. "Hie febian Society used Uie 
Report and these estimatee with telling effect in the i'ssiouo Tract 
lie, 8, Facts for Londoners . 


at least half of tliese were roceiving leao than 15s. (4^j In the vorde 
of the final Report, "There Is still a doijlorably large rosiduun of the 
population, chiefly to be found in the large cltiea, which lead 
wretohedly poor lives, and are aeldoQ far retnoved frocs the level of 
BtarvHtioa. " (44; 

It would seeji fairly clear froo the evidence presented by these 
studies, that by l{3o5 Vncre were in England sorae four or five tailiiona 
in a state either of destitution or of chronic poverty. In that year 
and the following, the situation becaae steadily worse as industrial 
depression added to the ranka of the unem;:loyod. In 1886, unoapioyaent 
matang trade uniona reached ten per cent of the total membership. Shea 
one reaembera that the trade unions of that date still to a large 
extent included only the ©lite aioong Englond'a workers, the fi<^re is 
proof of the eeriouoneas of the situation. (45) Demons trations by the 
unemployed of London were e co33on occurrexice in 1&85 and 1666; the 
Trafalgar Square riot in January of 1866 and "Bloody Sunday" in i^ay of 
1837 were evidwsiee that a very dangerous situation existed. 

(45; r^eport of itoyal Coaaisaion on L a bour, 18? J. x^lnutea of Evidefice . 
is 6S42. 6943. 

(44) Fifth (and Final) Report of above, p. 24, In the Report of ^ 
Royal Ooaad.8alogi on Ptouainfi of the aorkinfi Classe s . Id84-1885. 
the average wage of British workera «^ aatiaatsd at 168. per 

(45) Howell, G. . Labour Legislation, Labour <.lovgsenta end Labour Leaders . 
Ch. XXXVl . Oale, Gritieh pricing. Class aoveaient . II, p. 1S6. 

iliSB Edith Sivacox presented to the Industrial rteawneration Confer- 
ence a brief based upon retuma supplied by a number of London 
Sdiool Boerda, showing that in sosae areas 2^ per cent of the 
fathers were out of work. ( Report , p. iCA.) 


One docidedly novel eepeet of the oituetiou In London wiis ti:et for 
the first tloo the docntxiotratore end the dissatisfied could ccjunt on a 
reasonably fair "preea", IXtring this decade tr;c new .,ociaiist orgariia- 
ationa had been able to estsblloh their propaganda laachlaery, end the 
issues of Juptice and The CoiaaonKealte were auppiemeaiting the efforts of 
privste publications like those of Annie Besant, The Link , and of Henry 
babouchere. Truth . Other still oore influential periodical* i^j by 
the end of the decade of the eighties were devoting ouch space to the 
exposition of labour's probleas. {kj) 

That the reading |)ublie was not only interested in the social 
implications of ttto economic dieturbrncos, but disposed to give the 
workers a fair end fr'endly hccrlng, is perhaps beet cihown by Ita 
rec'>ption of two books; H«nry Ceorge'e I^rogress atui F overtyj in iCol, 
and l^rs, ftamphrey fterd's Robert Klofficre . In 1888. The latter served as 
a subject for debate «Bid discussion in ell circloB in England and its 
iiSportenoe »?e£ recognised by thf» person of one of its reviewers* the 
Friae minister hlasolf . 146/ "ohatcver the conclusions reached on the 
controversial religious questions in the book, its readers were bound 
to experience toat searching of the aoclal conscience which is so 
tyiiieed of the period. Henry George's work, too, provoked an iiaiiediate 

(46; The Star was founded in January l£66, the first "ha'penny" paper 
in London. Its eiii was to be the voice of Labour; its cusicai 
critic,wbo "wrote of elaost everything but asisic", was George 
Bernard Shaw. 

(47; As a result, the dockers in lS89 received pibiic support in a way 
that would have been impossible ten years before. 

(48; In the liinetoenth Century . Vol. 25 (1688; pp. 766-766. 


reaponoe. First published In I8OI, ProKrese and t overty sold 6o,iXX; 
copies in its firot year, ^'hiie tlie "single tux" as the cure for the 
social ills of England <frs bound on closer execiinsticn to be found 
inede^lURte, still it is eigpifioant to note how many of the leaderc of 
the new trede unionists, «id of the new socialism, consider tikat their 
interest in George's book iras the starting point of tlieir careers ae 
■ooial reforraere. i^9j Writing in l697» •!» /• Hobson olaiiaed tl^iat 
George could be considered to here had "a nore jrowerful fornstive and 
educative influence over English Redicalia-n of the last fifteen years 
tlian any other san**, (50j while t^rnerd ^aha* a few years later w&s to 
pay slaallar tribute. ^51) 

It was poBslLle, of course, to point to the reverso of the aedal - 
to show t^iet the workers oi EAgland were bettor off In aiany ways tlian 
they had ever been before, Gir Robert Giffen, in his e'jlogy of 
England's industrial gret?tue88, could point to Uie fail of prices, the 
increased eonsuapt-ion of flour, tee, tobecco and similar articles, end 
to the lncreaf?ed nuabers of depositore In 3avlng8 Beaks, to Oiipport his 
contrition that the workiatj classes , too, had shared in the general rise 
in living standards* (J5?j Certainly real wages increased during the 

(A9) i3emard Shaw, Tom :.;ann and J.".Clynea, to cite but three examples, 
have aade this stetersent. 

(50> The Influe nce of Henry George , Fortnig htly Peyiew , vol. 62 (iSS'Ti » 

pp. e55-8/»57~ 

(51; In a letter to Haalin 3firland, January 27» 19<-^. -uoted in 

Henderson, />, , Cioorir..c Bernard Uha w, p. 152. >ihas.- expiaina neatly 
not only the attrection of ueori^e'o theories, but tlieir inadequacy 
for their Einglish students. 

(52 > This is the theme of Giffwa'a J Togreas of . th e , .working CI as ees. 


perlod froa l8*50 to 16$0, (55; wltli the ehr.rpoet rise coaln^ In the 

last decade and a half. /. drop in prices retner than an increase in 

-3oney accounts for the change in real wa^ea, but it is north 

noting thet eoiae eoEanoditiee such as eggs and potatoes did not share in 

the genpral price decline, (54; «hile other products such as Diilk, now 

considered to be eaoentials of proper diet, fell only a fraction of a 

decicsal on tho index. (55/ PUrther study would perhaps reveal otiier 

particular and hidden hardships not shown by the official figures. In 

■ny evtsit, the decaanda of the social reforaers were not to be put off 

by the ooaplBCWicy of tiie official picture, for 

".'fter all has been aald as to tho rioe of wages, as to the 
fall of prices, as to the cheepening of bread and oUier 
necessaries, there comes la a series of questions aa Vo 
housing, ae to f.eraa«ienoe of e'zj-loytcont, ee to ^^jeneral 
conditions of life in cities ever more crowded, and in 
country ever aore and store enclosed, as to the nature of 
?.r»'.iatry in the sua. Theao are qaestioas that csnnot be 
settled by statistics end coiiopratiwe tables. It is 
impossible to balance & gain of 2d. on the quartern loaf 
against the growing unhealthiness and diseooi'orts of an 
increasing cityj" (56) 

The inescapable conclusion, of course, was that a vest lumber woic 
still below the level at wnidi they could taako use of the self -help 

(55; Cole, British f orking Cla ss ii ovement , II, p. 196, gives a chert 
based on figures froas 3owley, /.L,, History o f ■ in tee 
Nine te en t^i Oentary - The rise during the period nosed was froa an 
index of 100 to 166 at the later date. 

(54 J ji jy i cult ural r ^etuma of Gr e at pr itain^, 18^» 

(55) Claphaa, Flconoaic f l istory , II, p. 28l. 

(56; Harrison, I^ation al and Soc ial iroble aa, p. ^dO, Claphe:^, 

Ccoaoaic History t H, p. 4l, gives copulation density in Idbl as 
466 per square liile as eoaparod to 5^8 in 1351. A cosplete dis- 
cussion is in Kuczynaici, J., L abour C onditi on s in t.e stem i ujrope , 
1820 to 19^ . 


organlaatlons - th« Friendly Societies, the benevolent l"unde of the trade 
union orgenlzatlons, the eoneumere* Co-operative Societies and t^ie Peiuty 
Banks. A ne« "sorBethlng satst bo done" psychology seemed to have appeered - 
or perhaps roore properly, a new hlg^ pitch of Intensity «t»d a no» breedth 
of appeal in s de:2«id which had for lon^ been voiced by the few. 

The first reection of the classes which yot deteraslned England 'a 
policies was the obvious one of response to the luusaniterien appeal. The 
founding of Toynbee Hall In 1884, and the so-called "settleiaent ^ovenent* 
•hleh resulted, wore but llluatratliMxa of this response. The activities 
of the Charity Orsanisotion Society after 1679, <«id the scores of Jiansion 
House and other oojimltteee, raioiag funds for ohariteble scheues - all 
these represented the reaction of tlie alddlo classes end the erlotocracy 
to the deplorable situation which confronted thecii. They represented, too, 
at least b tecaporary defence against the new end hi^ly vocal social is t 
Interpretation of that situation. 

But an even aore sigait leant change was taking place ftraong ti'Loee 
who did oost to deteralne how f^ngland i»as tij Inking, - a change in the 
concept of the form, tl^ie fWiction ixnd the jurisdiction of English govern- 
ment. Ttie caitury had been. In England as on the Contincsit, e c^itury 
of developing liberty, of the constantly growing demand for the demo- 
cratic state, giving political freedom and political ri^its to all men 
In the nation. But tols process was bound to lead to a glorified Idea 
of the rigjits and duties of that govemoent; and that In turn would taean 
a denial of the prliiclple of laissea-faire. On the one hnnd, then, ho 
see new demands for fraachise refons and popular suffrage, on the other 
new est! » tee of the legltiaate functions of the English ParliaDient. 


In I&52« beiilnd the s^hig deaire for the extension of the franchise, 
was a firm belief in the "divine right of property". (57> The conviction 
was tto^tCHily held that the loan nith property had a "staice in the country", 
and so was entitled to be represented in i^'arliaoent. la fact the Vihig 
case for extension of the franchise in 18^2 was that atn of property 
■ere as yet excluded^ anxl that rarlianent could not represent nil the 
•interests" of the country ae long as sosie of those Intei^rjts - iu^portant 
Interests, too - had no share in its deliberations. In 1867, ^^hen 
Disraeli was sblc to persuade the Tories to extend tlis franchise once 
aore, the boundaries of the close which had a stake in the coaritry were 
widened to include the holders of personal property as well as real 
property. Zven that extension was probably due aore to political 
expedlwioy than to philosophic change, since it was largely influenced 
by working class agitation in the franchise doiaonstrationa lit 1666, 
by trade union political activities et that noiaent, (58) and by the 
possibility of capturirig a largo new blooic of votes. 

By iQBk the Liberal party at least had (^langed its views on tiie 
frendiise. Gladstone had aaiio his faisoua toid eootewhat aabigLioue 
declaration that "every aan who ia not presumably incapacitated by 
aoEW consideration or political danger, ia oiorally coititled to coise 
within the pale o£ the constitution." C59) His sbatesient was qualified 
In tiie next breath by the observation that "as yet" the fitness for the 

(57; Sutler, J. H. 4,, The Passin;^ of the Gre a t Refora Bill , p. S45. 
Cf. Jaaes !.-iill. (?n UovemnenTT 

(58) In an atte:5pt to safegiard their existence, jeopardized by the 
public outcry at "the riheifield outra^oe" » on<i ^ secure a 
ravoureble report from the Hoyal Cocaaiasion investigating trade 
union activity in 1866-67. 

(59) Kanser d. Jrd beries. Vol, 175, p. 524. 


franehiae was ooni'lned to a "select portion" of the norking cl tie sea, 
but the quellficatlofi »aa to a large extent i^ored. '•batever he had 
aemat, hi? decleraticn had been taken by norkin^. class leaders to mean 
that "every raan who is not a criminal : lo entitled to vote", and 
Radicals like •^ir Charles Dilke and I'&nry Labouohere had sedulously 
encouraged thea in this beliei*. The visit of Oaribaldi in 1664 had been 
the occasion for a tuaiultuoue seloonie to the ntsi «ho siore than any other 
European seeiDed to typify Ute new status ol political de^aocracy, (60; 
while the victory of the l>4>rth in the (laoricen Civil '^ar «»« loo:ced 
upon as vindicotion of that new faith. Inside the party itself, the 
"Csve of Abdullah" opposition to the new philoso^y was strong in 1667, 
but had virtually dioeppe&red by l864, so that t>hig and ;'^adioal alike 
were committed to a theory which looked upon Ferlieaicffit as the meeting 
of representatives of nuoibers of people, not interests or classes, (61; 
and the ^^lorm 3111 of l£Q4 plseod their conviction on the statute-books. 

Even sore slgaixicent ws? the second change which we have noted - 
the change in the conception of the fu&ction of this new larlisfsent. 
That liberty which the BenUtsi^aitee advocated, was in essence a negative 
freedom; the duty of the state, it woe in^plied, was to secure to the 
Individual conditions whidi would penait his to pursue his own Interests 
with a jilniosura of interference* (62) The liberty oi the individual. 

(60; />aquith, K. H., .ieaor i es ytd ^ Ref l ec t i on e , p p . 10-11, 

(61) Irofossor Dicey In Lew and I\tblic :)pinlon in Fiingland stresses 
tiirou^iout the very definite connection between the extension of 
desiocracy on the one hand and the developaeat of a theory of 
social responsibility on the other, 

(62) Davidson, ^, L,, ^-^olitie al Thou^ yit in 'jr^-.I and. Thfc Jtilit orien a 
fro23 Gent haa to J. >•» .iill^,pp. 221-222. . tephen, Leslie, The 
English utilitarians, T, pp. 509- 51 J. 


theaa, was furtiiered only by the forbidding of others to infringe upon 
it. -tore end .-aoro thia doctrino tfflided to b«ocH3a i:i the letter part of 
the omtury a doctrine of social and econoisic fatalism. The econoolc 
corollary of Bcnti-iei'jie;a was "laisaoss^faire", and for year* tliat doctrine 
was regarded as the theoretic basis for tiie policies and achieveii^itB of 
the new England. It is necessary to notice* of course « Xhn'c never ut any 
tlrse did Uie nincteetith century hold exclusively to the principle of 
noa- interference by the state. For example, tho oo-colled "free contract 
between eraployor and esployoe, actually has never existed in Iinglish 
le». The rii^t of the individual to personal liberty, and the rig^t of 
the state to force the individual to iUlfil his aocial obli/:;ation of 
refraining frtws actions haraful to others were both recognized. IXiring 
the first half of the century it was the first of these ri^ite that was 
eaphasized; by the aiddle of the period, tho social oblig^atlons of tiie 
individual were receiving growing attention-, iiut, even in tlie early 
part of the century, laisnez-fcire did not hold the field unchall^i^ed. 
Ashley points out that althaigh in iGlJ aid 1614 Uie TUdor code as to 
apprenticeships end wag^es was swept anay, yet five years Inter legie- 
lation was being enacted to restrict the hours of labour for children 
in the cotton ioills. (6^> Huaanitarianlsa and the humanitarian response 
to the special nature of the circumstances revealed in each case, aay 
be said to explain the early Factory Acts, the ^ines Act of 1642, the 
Dangerous Trades Act of 1864, or the tierohant Shipping Act of 1875, 
but this legislation also set precedents nhioh made It al.^ost impossible 
for Parliaci«it to refuse to consider lUrther legislation on grounds of 

(65; Aahley, Sconoalc O r/.Bnigation of ui^gil snd, p. 164, 


prlnciple only. Such legislation continued to be justii'ied, usuelly 
on the ground tijat Dane particiilar £roup was suffering aooie particular 
hardship, iiuaanitarian coneiderations, Uicari« or the exigeucies of 
practical politics, on occasion forced a retreat frota "laiseea-faire", 
for not many politicians ccn afford the luxury of coneistency trhich ^^as 
possible to John Bri^t, who supported the repeal of the Com uews, 
opposed the Factory Acta, and fou^t for franchise extension, all with 
equal sicill and tenacity. '^ a theoretical basis for n conception of 
govomment, hovever, to be disallowed only in special cases, for 
special reasofis, iiic doctrine continued to serve fairly Tfell. 

Riskin i6Uj and Oerlyle ^65y had already attacked both Uie doctrine 
end Its riijld application; "atthetr Arnold had uttered his pica for a 
ne« Kid stronger ctate, (^^j end John Stuart ;'ill hiaself had expressed 
his desire to see "the adaptation of existing ideas of property to the 
grovtti and i-ii^roTesieat of huaeii affaire*. (67; i'<ill in fact had 
through the Land Tenure Ftofora /issoclation, vhich he fouztded in 1662, {,6^^ 
done his utaost to bring ab>xit auoh adaptation. V:hile ^-^ill's .edifice* 
tlon of his political phil.>sophy is certainly overstressed if on© cells 

^^j Unto this Last . Ch. 111. 

(65. ghartiffis. Qi. VII. 

i66j Essay on Dftaocracy . in iillxed rAsays , pp. 1-47- 

(67; Qmpters on oociailsa « Fortai^tly Hevlew . Yol. 25 (1S79>» 
PI?. 5?0* 

(66) John -lorley, Charles Dilke and i^enry Fawcett were ataang its 

members, alcsig with George Odger, Randall Oresner and B«ija:3ln 
Lucraft, trade union leaders of Uiis taid later days. 

- ii :^ 


bia a 'convert to aocialisa" (69; still tli«re Is evidence la :v;iil'8 
later writings (7^> tiiat tiio social roaponslbillties of tiio individual, 
ratiier than hia personal liberties, «fero becoming aore and caore the 
i^aportant conaiderntion. 

Oxford awwi, following the lead of lliaaae iiill Green, had begin, 
too, to draw a dietinctioa between mere freedom from restraint and 
froedoaa in a auch hi^er acnse - "the poser of aen to iaake W»e beat of 
theasolves"- (71) v^mold Toynbee, one of Grewi'a pupils, not only was 
prepared to reco^iae the principle of state intorforonce whenever the 
ri.^its of the iadividual should conflict with the rij^ita of society, 
but WB8 roody ta advocate atate action aheaover the individual was him- 
self incapable of providing for himself Uiose ti^inga trhoao possesaion 
are of social benefit. (72; 

In leriBlstion, too, a nea apirlt wee proving that the doctrine 
of laiaaes-faire iiidlviduaiiot liberalise wna on the way out« and was 
being supplanted by a uow estiaate of the reapoctivo ri^its of the 
individual, his duty to trie stato, and his duty to hia fellows in the 
oooHsunlty. The Iri:rfi Land Act of I87O was a clearly recognized negation 
of the ri^t of free cxitract on the part of landlord and tenant and a 

(69; In the House of Go:n;aona in 189?. Kansard. 4th Series, vol. 92, 
pp. 1175-1179. Hardie quoted the faaous paasa£;c fro;a kill's 
AitobioKraph y, p. l^J, in which iill speaks of "coaoion ownership 
in the ra«< nmterials of the globe and an equal participation in 
all the benefits ot" coiubined labour, t'-jr John ^orley's view of 
J£lll as a socialist, see btaebler, >. , The Uib e rai -iind of Joto 
i^orley . p. SO et aeq. 

(70) "t^e C hapt ers on oci nli9 Q» published postliuiaousiy in tiie iort- 

ni>ihtly Revi ew, vol, PS (1679;, pp. 217-2^7, 57>-5S2,and 51>55o, 
were credited by Willlaa liorria .^ith having converted him to the new 
doctrine. ( Kow I Bee a ae . a l ^ oolelist . pp. 9^10.) u.ill'a step-da .1 goiter, 
Helen Taylor, was one of the founders of the social I«aocratic redoretion. 
(Tly Green, T.f'., Liberal Leid alatio n and Freedoa of Contrecjt., in The 

JiOrks of Thagfts Hill OreeM , III, p. 3^7. 
(72; Toynbee, •. , The Industr ial "evolution of the Sixt eenth Century 
in anglond . pp. 2J2-253. 



diroct aseertion ol" a new principle; Lord .'.orlfty tella us t-h^t It was 
fou^t in Cabinet discuaalona on thoae grounds, (75> but It pasaad ''^ 
Co-aiaona nith aurpriaing eaae. fthen the Laiid Act of 1881 was under con- 
aideretion there was auch more discjasion, and the oppoaltlon charged 
thnt the .acaaure tfra flirting witli coa-auniaa and expropriation. (7^/ 
But by l8Si'6 when the Co^-nen8etion for Accidenta /ct wao being debated, 
"one of the asoat proainent aeabers of the oppoaition observed that it 
was 8 gratifying fact thet froa no section of the houae waa the old 
language about grandnotherly legialation interfering wltii the industry 
of grown ;aeo any longer heard", (75; "Se were all Tory ai^archiata 
once", waa the way Sir Chsrlea Dilke au^oraarized the economic tneorios 
of hla youth; (76; hla later record aa a chempion of legialstion 
desired to protect ttm industrial conditlona of the worltera is an 
earnest of tlio change in hla philoaophy. Even the capitslist himself 
responded to the new intellectual enviromient apparently; newapaper 
accounta of the faceting of the British /association In IQSX), diacusaing 

(75; Morloy, J. Life of Qlrids tone, li , pp. 29^256. For the 

algiificBnce of this legislation see too Dicey, Lew an d Opinion , 
p. 264 and Lecky, •., F.. H,, Democracy and Liberty , I, pp. ISO-IS'J* 

(74; jJorley, Life of tJladatono, III, pp. 55-57. 

(75; Locky, I'eriOcraey and uiberty , I, p. XVI. Herbert c^pencer, in hia 
S ynthetic ^hil^8ophY , published in the saae year, acLxsitted hiaaelf 
"deprosaed" by the spread of "aocialiet views of the function of 

the state". -(pT f f'-i* earlier >:art /er aus ti^ie ^tate aaa e cry 

against the encroaoh:::iaita of the state upon the personal liberty 
of the indivldtial. 

(76; Gwynij.S., end Tuckwell , The Life of Sir Caiarlea Dilke . II, p. 542. 
The poasibility of Dilke ever being eiUiftr "Tory* or "anarchist" 
is startling, to Bay the least, '-'is reoeurk probably tied r general 
truth when applied to of faia Liberal-;':adicnl colleSi^ieB, 


the subject Soaa Econogl c ia llaci ea o f ooc lal Rerora , shaved en 
'estonishing tendency to accept the dDCtrino that the problein of eociel- 
Isa (i.e. state interforonccy was only one of degree, not of kind." ^77/ 

In the House of Lords the old doctrine, slth Ite denial of the 
soclsl responsibility of tlie state, continued to be espoused each year 
by Tory spoicesicea like Lord .<e:ayss; outside parliaaent tiie Liberty and 
if^operty Defence Lea^e was founded, with Lord tteniyas as its chaircnan, 
and with the stated objects "to resist Owerlegiaiatioii, for mainteining 
Fr«edorn of Contract., «>nd for advoceting Individual iaoi as opposed to 
-Socisliam*. {J&j Apert frois these islands of resistance, the gradual 
erosion of econouic liberaiisj:; that had been going on in actual practice 
throughout tJhe whole century wee now being recognized in theory as well, 
and the ''condition of England question" which had been perplexing England 
for several decades, now lay squarely before pRrliasient* Few wijuid now 
challoigQ the competence of Farliaoent to deal with that probieui; in 
fact, increasingly Ijigland was looking to Parliament to deal c^ith it. 
Herbert opencer, tlie lest ciiemplon of the old i.iberal doctrine of 
Individual freedoa from state coritrol, was bovring^the inevitable mica ne 
ruefully admitted in 1884 that "anyone who questions ita competence 
[that of state govem::aent] ....will be reviled as a reactionary who 

(77; Gretton, H.H,, A Sfcodem Hi story of the Britis h reople . 1, p. 275. 

(78> Lynd, Sn^^land in the Eighteen-Eigjitiee , p. T5. a, H« ^lallock 
was the leading literary light in the organization. Cf. hie 
articles on .'ealth and the i.orkin,-x Qlasseo , i ortni;4^ tly Rev iew , 
vols. 4l and 42 (l£C7y» his >>ocial Equali ty, and his response 
to Hffliry George and the Land x^ationalizetion l^ociety, i^roperty 
and ?rQ^:res8 . fhe iToface to this latter la a clear statement 
of ilia views. 


talks laisaesv-faire", (79; and U)et he had flmall hope of reconverting 
any hut a very fa* to his way of trtlnking. (80; 

Already scuaething had been done. It has beea pointed out that 
Parlieaent on nui^ieroua oceasi^ne had "interfered" on behalf of an 
oppreesed social group. Tt 1b true, of course, that such interference 
»a0 looked upon as extraordinary legislation, to be justified only by 
extraordinary cirojiiateaees; it is just as true that as soon as it 
became possible to point to miaierous cases where otate action had 'joade 
industrial life a little .aore hsimene, or had cured soae particular 
cause of huaan miaer>, the abstract theory of liaited ^tate authority 
was blown to the winds. 

Out this new attitude In F:nglish politics was not only reflected 
in acts of Parliaaent. Royal Oo.imiaalone by t^e score had inTCstigeted 
Various phases of the social probleasa now being so keenly considered, 
(6lj «id adalni strati ve action had often followed. Tor exaisple, a 
Royal CoBJffliaaion on the tloueing of the ..orking wlasses, erter aessione 

(79j The ^an versus the State , p. 55. 

(8o; Ibid .. Foatscript. 

(8l; The tiineteenth century was the age of Royal Coamisoiona. The no* 
foras of €Mi:uiry auperaoded the old select cocaaitteee during the 
fifties and sixties, producing for i'arliaiient infcnsstion and 
recouuMidatlona on subjects ranging from deciuial coinage to 
historical nanuacripts, end froE cop.l supplies to cltiurch ritual. 
During the decade of the eighties, 52 such co-ainissions we;« set 
up. It is Bigfiif leant to notice that the subjects with which they 
dealt were generally social in nature, dealinji with the agricult- 
ural depression, the depression In trade end Industry, housing, 
technical education, etc. (Clokie, H. M., end Robinson, J. h». 
Royal CoaaaiBsiona of Inquiry , np, 76-7&.) 

•. l« . 


In 1884 and 1685 brought in a report (82; which stren^^tijenod iaimenaely 
the hand of Sir Charles Dillce, i^resident oH the Locel Cjovernoent boa.r(i, 
in hia policy of delegating powers of land purchase, of industrial 
inspection and of establisliiaait of asunicipally owned public utilities. 
This policy, faciliteted one extended by tiie Local vOvemaent Bill of 
1888, laid the foundation for that vest enlari^eaent of local authority 
which gave cjigland its "gas and water socialism", and which qavc so 
much apparoit justification for the Fabian theory of evolutionary 
socialism and for Sir Killiaoi Hsroourt's wry edEission that "-e are 
all socialists now**. 

The Chartist dKiands of the thirties and forties had been largely 
political in nature, and had aiet uncocpramising opposition from the 
classes arid individuals in whose hands control of England's govemiient 
still lay. Hit those clsasoa end thooe individuals had theiBeelves 
underi^one considerable change. The i'arliecaent to which Labour uvade 
their political appeals in 1866 and 1867 *•& a vsstly different body 
froQ that to which the Great Charter had been presented, end the Reform 
Bill of 1867 was to aako still aore dtien^^ea. After that date we find 
Labour organigr-tions turning laore and nsore readily to that body for a 
solution of the social ilia which bore so heavily upon the working 
classes of the country. 

( 82 J Report of He r Majesty's Coaiaiiasion for Inquiry into the Housin g 

of the ..or'Cinf; Jlaaees. 1885 , Dilke presided over Vjs co.aaisoion, 
which included the ^^5nce of Hales, Lord Salisbury, Cardinal 
isenning and Henry Droedliurst. Lllke wanted to appoint .-iiaa 
Oetavia Kill of the Charity Orj^anization Society, but the 
opposition of Hartington and riarcourt was too strong for hia, 
(Gwyn'^ and TuciCBell, Sir Ggharles Dilke , II, p. 17* > 



L/BDOR Or-tOAftlZATlOI* - OLD mi! tiU . 

It may hevo beeti trae, as Cpriyle cleimod, that the chiof result 
of the Caiartist claim Tor consideration o£ working cleas {jrobieaia wae to 
toech England a salutary leason, to force "all thinJclng sen of the 
oo3£Siinlty to this of this matter'. (1) In any event, it is certainly 
true thfit the failure of thct movement tau^t those working clasees not 
one but several leaeoris. In the firi^t plnoe« t'or csany years after the 
fiasco of the i»atiunal iotition, iJritiah Labour tou^nt iteelf to dis- 
trust the asthoda which had charncterized Chartisr., to ateer away from 
the idea of ouiae organization of labour to aahiave a 3«»esping end con- 
elusive political reform. The failure of the iaovctnent, too, tau^t 
Sritiah workers Uint the 'only activity of theire which would meet with 
popular (1.9. middle does; approval aaa the activity of "aelf-help". 
Then, too, the failure of the appecl to j'ariioaeit for le^^ialative 
recognition of working class aspirttiona^ engendered a diatrust in 
political action by Labour as a group - a distrust which wae to re- 
appoar again and arein in Labour rentes *h«»iever political action eeesied 
to be failing to win working class objectives. It would be unwise to 
•ay that there was ever a period in tirltish Labour politics when the 
"no politics" ory was ever aucij uiore than a plausible objection to a 

^^/ Chartlsa , p. Jll. 


Bpeclfic proposal* (2; but it is true that the period «hen thi« cry 
1188 aost often rsisod was the period betrrcon the end of Caiartiem end 
the inception of the Liberal-Labour alliance aiter the Heforci flill of 

It will be tiie purpose of thlo chapter, then, to deal with this 
period in British Labcxir history; to describe the "new" unions tu'ter 
1851, irith their restricted oeabership, limited objectives, respectable 
Qetiiods, and with their success in wiiviing middle class approval. Uiring 
this period, and until well into the decade of the ei^tios, the over- 
iriielaing majority of British labouring men had little or no coiuiection 
with the trade union fflovoaeat - In fact had no orijanized voice of any 
kind, uiesatisf action with this condition, and with the aohievejoita 
of the period in social rofona, brought the Inevitable reaction, ixiring 
the ei^ties a new soveoimit arose which sou^^t to introduce still 
another "new" type of union - thet of the general workers, with utass 
organizntion. Ion fees, u::restricted aemberBhlp, and with a taste for 
•fighting" oethods. The dock striice of iSSp is a convenient event with 
whicli to asrk this transition* 

The conditions of the first decade in the second half of the 
century were audi as to Insure for the "new" type of union orgmizetlon 
a reasonable measure of success. Qiartisas had had Its ci-iief weapon in 
the exposure of the econonic disorders and bitter hardships of the 
thirties and forties; that weapon was blunted by the revival of trade 

(2; Cf. Qlllesple, F.E., Labor aaad .olltics in Lar.lend. l83C)-.l867 » 
which brings out this fact. 

» - 


during the fiftiee. t'orkiera ceine to look lor leadersirilp, not to 
advocetee of revolution, bjt to practicral isen who nould secure for tiiesa 
a share in the preveiling prosperity. The next two decades «rere 
capitali«B*8 "Golden Age", and In the prevalent prosperity it waa 
easier to win concessions from eraployers. The tixtes ware such thct it 
waa in aost ceses less profitable for iixe capitoiist-eiaployer to fight 
his workers then to aatce agreements vith them, and tl'iis condition 
explains a great deal of the success which the nev unions achieved. 

The shining example of Vno now unions was the Malgaziatad society 
of Tjigineers. I-ajnded in 1651, in vbet a Gorman Socialist waa to call 
"a spirit of resignation", (5> within four years it had reached a 
manbership of 12,500, with over /55#OljO in its treasury. (4; ^ther 
or.^atiizetlons modelled tJieir policy end their aims along the linee 
laid down by the A.G.L., and met with similar auecese, until by l866, 
it is estimated, tJaere wore bocm 500, wOO worioers enrolled in such 
bodies, (.5/ 3y 1874 the number hod risen to l,19i, 5<^2, ^6; but 
depressed conditicsis had raduoad that total, by IbdO, to 6o4,7l6. (7) 
Plainly th«i, tiiesc unions never cone close to representing the aivaa 
of the greet oiaBs of British Labour - hut tJian of course, that was 
never at tmy time their object. In general, the new saodel trade 

(5) Sorabort, s';., ^cialism ^nd the Social moveaent, p. 146. 

(4) Postgate, H. H,, The Suilders* History , p. 906. 

(5> Ludlow, J..J,, and Jone«, L, , ProRrese of the Aorklnif, Glasses, p.2u5. 

(6; %ebb, S. and B, , Trade Unionism , p. j526. 

(7; Ibid ., p. 550, and Appendix VI, pp. 746-749. 


unlon «aa a olosely-knit fedcreitlon« or en ABftl^Bifited society, 
organized on either e netianol or a trade besls. It pjsseaaed uouelly 
an efi'lcient, centrellzcd organization, with tull-tiire, paid officiele. 
Its fees were high, not only to meet the resultant adaiinlBtrativo ex- 
penses but to provide aany benefit features as well. 

In general, too, the unions looked to industrial aethods to achieve 
their objects, (6; end pinned Uieir faith on conciliation bocrds end 
eliding scales of waRes rather than on any possibility of state inter- 
ventioa on their behclf. In fact, it would appear that just as foiddle 
class Mnglsnd, of vhl^ their oiaployera were representative, was beginn- 
ing to lose its faith in laiosez-felre econoiales, the trade union 
vorkers ox" England seested to. be Otnicing th««t doctrine their orni. A 
delegate to the Industrial r^ejaineratiian Cxiferenoe froai one of the 
typical unions, the y^algeaated Ckjtton Spinners' Soci^-ty, could affirm 
thst it »a8 his considered opinion "that the remuneration of a working 
siBii ou^t to be the utmost that orderly and lawful means can oor:2pel 
capital to tay.* (9; 

The now unions, thon, were esseritially conservative in thoir alias, 
ess«Hitially respectable in their practices. Particularly was this true 
of the isen who aeauiaed leadership of the trade union movement during 

(8) Cf, a letter froo Engels to Edward Bernstein on Jvine 17» iC/C. 

"The British Labour lioveaent is today, ond for .-isny years hao been 
working in a nerrow circle of strikes which are looked upon not 
as an expedient, and not as a oeaas of propagfuide, but as ean 
ultiaiate aia." (Quoted by Hutt, A,, British Trade Unionism , p. 55 ♦> 

(9/ Report of Industrial ^eaajneratljn Conference, p. 165« -'^ eteteaent 
by Jaacs I'ewdsley, later to be a prominent laeaber of the Conservat- 
ive -orkingaen'o Association, and a Tory cendldate at Jldhaa in 
1900. AinstCKi Churchill wee his junior running mete. 


the decade of the sixties, lien like Robert Applei^orth, uiliiaa Allen, 
Omieral v^ecretary of the A. S, E,, Demlol Quile, secretary of the 
Iroof ounders ' Union, and George Odger, secretary of the uondon iredes 
Council, «ere ref reseats tlve of the new leadership. (10; They theav- 
selves were both product and example of what John i^tuert xill called 
the "progress of populcr enligjhten.^ient''. (,11; aroctly increased 
grents to both Church and hon-conforuist seliool organizations were 
suppleiaented by en imaenso variety of voluntary efforts on b«^alf of 
working class education, ^my of these efforts were by the norj^ers 
thetnselvoa ; in 1530 over JOO .4echanics Institutes were providing educ- 
ational opportunities for thoir 107,00'j cieiJibera. (12; By l66l there 
were sooa 1,20C such workingoon's organizations, with a iseabership of 
aoso 200,000, (IJ; providing in large port the trode unitm leadejrship 
which proved, for a tlsBe et least, oo eminently practical end so 
aainently rucoessfui. 

The new uniooieia efter 1351, it has already been suggested, was 
not based upon on/ principle of oppooition oi" interest to the cnpiteiist 

(lOj Of the«e men ti'ie >ebbe say they possessed a ooabination of hi^ 

poracHial chsroctcr, exceptional businesn ability and a large share 
of that, official decorua which the inglisfa middle class find so 
iapressive. (, Trade 'Jnionijaa tPp. 255-259-/ MatUiew Arnold, tlie 
hi^ priest of English culture, sew in >-^d^er the "virtuous mean* 
in his possession of sympathy and action. ( Culture and Anarchy , 
p. 100.; 

(11; Principles of political Econcaty . (let ed.j II, p. %9m 

(12) Haoaiond, J, L, end B, , T^e Aae of the Chartists . p. 522 

(15; UidloTi end Jones, Progress of the forking Classes , p. 169« Rayoond 
i^ostgote in The Builders * i'istor y (pp.l9C-200; deprecates the 
value of tills activity, suggesting that it facilitated the manip- 
ulation of the press by Liberal middle class agencies, and made it 
poasible for the latter for years to carry on "en educational war 
in the interests of capitalism*. 


organlsation oi industry - Uiere tsaa yet no dactrine o£ the clesa 
struggle being preached in Foiglsnd. i'<or na& it ijuui&ed upon any hope 
o£ legislation to improve tf>e lot of worit^ers, but raUier upon a ooi>> 
ecioua and deliberate plan oi* helping 7-orkers to help theoeelvca. The 
trade uniona theoeelves did auicii in t^ie way of encouraging thrift end 
individual effort to provide security* tJ-irough provision of benefits 
to laembers. At the atata tine, union KCKibers were to a lar^e extent 
elao the supporters of other typea of the "oelf-help" organizBtione ao 
cherecterietic ol the aiddle years of the century. 

Of Uie inatitutlone founded on this eelf-hoip principle* the ;uo3t 
effective vea that of the Co-operative Cocieti^a. .6 early 68 17^7* 
cMsocietioiiK had bean fonaed in an attempt to elii'^incte the hi^^ profits 
and to prevotit the sharp practices of ulddie-aaeii in the uilling 
industry. (l4> /. number of such associations were in existttftoe in 
England before 1815, and baking sooieties on co-operative lines had 
appeared in S»}tland by Uiet date. (15; The growUt of Onenito social- 
isa* of course* imeasurably strengthened Uiis early i&ovei>»nt« since 
that sovement painted to co-operative enterprises as the ioeans of 
establishing the new c:>£&t3onweelth; the Jray^s Inri Labour Exchange, 

(14; totter, B. , 7he Co-ope r ative Moveaaent in Great Britain, p. 42, 

On tlie fly-leaf of Uiia work, published in 1891, e coitiaeat of the 
London Timea ia printed, "..^iss i^otter writeo with a strong 
social feitl'i; we nig^t. Indeed, cell it, in k sonse socielistic, 
if the word were not aabigiious, acid tiieref ore liable to 
coaatructlon, end apt to create a prejudice." The ^r^. r.ebb of 
later dste hardly deserved such delicacy nnd consideration! 

(15; Ibid ., p. Aj. 

j^:lf % 


founded in 1855» was but ono of many stteapts by the Owenito Sooielists 
to osteblisli a aarket where cousaodities would be exchanged at their 
"labour value". (16) The years from 1&2S to ISJ^ wore years that saw 
ffiueh co-operative activity, so that by the latter date, some 40u eocio- 
ties wero functioning in I-ngland and Scotland. (17^ Since the whole 
novement was so closely identified with Owoiite C^ocialisa, it waned 
with that cause, and as the interest of the workers was distracted by 
the Chartist agitction and by the depressed conditions in the forties, 
the co-operative naovement virtually disappeared. 

A decade later, Ijowever, in l34A, a group of 20 Hoclidele flannel 
weavers opened their now-famous "union shop", thereby initiating a new 
Co-operative -Joveaent. Their capital was soell - but £2S - their 
stock almost laughable, (lb) but their venture was founded on a new 
principle which gave it a popularity and a permanence which was lacking 
in the earlier societies. The Hochdale store sold its wares not, as 
Owen would have suggested, at a price to cover only raw nsterial plus 
menagffaent expenses plus labour costs, but at the current amrket price. 
Thus a profit was realized, but the profit instead of being declared as 
a dividend on the invested capital, was distritHited according to ttie 
purchases of the soabers. The "tin ticket" system entitled the 
purchaser to a share in tt»e quarterly profits proportionate to the 
amount of his purchases. Juch dividends could be saved for the pur- 
chaser and tamed into capital investtaent paying a fixed rate of 

(16 j In this case, the cost of the raw apterial plus the cost of the 
labour espendod on it, valued at the rate of 6d. per hour. 
(Ibid., pp. '^7-^8.; 

(17; Ibid ., p. 51. 

(l8j ftolyoake, G. , History of t>te Rochdal e i-loneer s. p. IJ. 

.-*• -•'■»* 

t/ n*"^ 

■J • • » '. V"--' ■» ^i .'•<». •»» i d- 


intercst, thereby onabling his, without tKe purchase of stoek« to 
beeoote a partner In tiie rssnagesiont cf the concern. 

The auceosa of tho Rochdulo exporinent ao invited iaitatitin that 
by 1051 tticre tserc in Sritain Bixie i^ stares operating an sicilBr 
lines. (19/ Au obviouo next stop was Uie Tederetion oi tiiese oiisiltir 
unite; in I065 g nuabor of stores in Lmicsshire and iorkohiro grouped 
to fora the i»orth of England Co-operotlve wholesale society* nrhicn ten 
years later bcccsne the ^glish itholeaele woolcty* Scottish stores 
fonaed a similar federstion in I66S, for siailer purposes, i.e. to 
•ffect savixtgiB by Ifirgor purchases and lot handling. By 1889 tlr^eee t*o 
co-operative unions embraced 1,297 differarxt eatorprisea, tnrolling 
952,000 oecibera, and having « total sales voltuae of nearly 36,000,000. 
(20; The decade of the ei^ties aeir too, en extenoion of the scope of 
co-operative enterprise* whoi Uie principle of purchaser- divi dend ves 
applied to the proceaa of supplying the stores theaselves. The usual 
:aethod v«s to set up a "productive depurtaent* in a store, deaigwd to 
produce goods for sale to the parent and other shops on tiie seiue basis 
wm that on which Ute store itself sold to the individual, ic^rtioularly 
suooessfi^l were such attfrspts in the field of flour luillizig, (21; but 
siaiilar aethods were used to produce mcny other articles. 

Attempts to operate co-operative productive enterprises, unconnected 
with the Co-operative >holesale Societies, met with much less success. 

(19; Potter, Co-operative lioveoent , p. 77« 

(20) ?iebb, S, end B. , The Caosui ijer^a So-operoti ve Hoveoet^t . (Cherts 

after p. 250. ; Slightly different statistics were ^iven by i-liss 
Potter in the earlier cork. 

(2i> By 1915 tlie Co-opcrp-tive nilla ware turning out l?/j:o,OOC worth 
of flour each year, (.^ebba, Consuaera* So-ope rativ e koygaient , 
p.27'». ; 


A« opposed to the tredltionai bsBis of orf.anizeilon, i.e., an associat- 
ion or coneM-xrB Riralng to nee.ire low price and good quality by eliain- 
ating the profits of trader and aanufacturer, the ansoeiationo of 
prodacers proposed to ensure tj-i© best prices for Uieir labour by 
eliminating the profits of an employer* That auch atteEspta vtertt oaieh 
less sueoesslbl is shown by the returns given by ^isa Potter in her 
study of the noveuesit in 1591* Out of the inore then iOG so-called 
•producers' co-operatives'* which were founded in the severatloB and 
sixties, but 54 were registered and operative In 1689. Uf that number, 
aoat were soell enterprises; (22) their total volume of trade was abcwt 

A ao3ie«het aiailar type of industrial organization was the goal of 
a series of nttcsspta at "Profit-Sharing'* by philanthropic eaployera. 
The exporicsonte at Ueaars, Briggs' Oolliorieo in 1666, wid at ^^osars. 
Fox and Head Engineering;; ftorics Sii 1669 - expericxents in the practice of 
aheriJttg with esnplojre^i all profits over and above the anraial Interest 
barges on capltfil. - rsoelved a great deal of popular attention, but 
by 189».) they ha-! been quietly burled, (24) ac had the Qirictian 
Socialist enterprise of the Sobden t^iils, and various trade union 
sponsored productive ageneiea at Sheffield, Glasgow and Olditao. (25; 

(22) Only 7 «nploy»d oore thwn 150 woricere, while TJ of tiioo eapioyed 
less than fK). Sec statistics ni'tor p. 241 in Batter, 
Go-3perotive Vloveisent . 

(2?) Ibid., p. 40-41. 

(24) Ibid., p. IJfi, 

(25; Ibid ., p. 157- 

-■ t . « 



Of 8 nuiabor ol' Bttesapts thwi, to laprove the lot of tbe workere by 
their own eiiterprlee, in control oiti^er o£ production or of distribute 
ioa« aseocietions of coasuuiers alone proved to be aucceaefui. 

liuch j^re successful nore attempts of the workera to gunrantee 
their security through the sutuol insurance se^teises of tiie Friendly 
;<ocietiee. t.,rdera lilce that of Uie foresters or the uddxoiiows were 
in existeace long before the period under dlecussion, aithou^ Uioir 
activities core at best tenuous alter Uie Corresponding bccieties Act 
and the C;oabinatio<i8 Acta of 1799 had in theory uade their continued 
existence illegal. in I830, however* the loijal existence of these 
outual benefit societies was recog|cuzcd« - tt^ie older orders reorganized 
end new local societies bogaa to appear. (26; The feature coi3::ton to 
all of tneso societies was the provision of benefits in case of sick- 
aese or deatn, but after ibk6 new local societies begaii to offer a 
wider range of benci'its, nr»u some bocaae Building Societies, or voluntary 
Savings Banks as well. At the sauie tlae« these newer societies, 
providing in aost casec ssialler benefits and requiring stualler contrib- 
utions, reached a iuch poorer section of the jx^puletion theri tne older 
orders had ever touc^ied. Jbring the second half ol the century, hundreds 
of ticiese Societies were founded - noat of th&j small and laony of them 
financially unsound. Dut the aoveiaet^it was rerriarkable not only as 
indicative of the efiort of tlie working classes to provide security for 
theiaaslves, but also as exejiplifying one of the chief purposes of the 
trade union organizations of Uie period. 

{,26) Vvllkinson, Froaie, The Friendly Society i.ovem(Mit » p. 54, 


Host of the unions of the cunalgaiseted society type sot up 
oonstitt^tiona which hed embodied in them the essential features of a 
Friendly i^ociety. i27j They provided for their meisbere not only strike 
pay end uneoployxent benefits, but sickness end accident influrance« ond 
even in some cnses a euperonnuetion plon as well. In order to pay theee 
benefits* aifloborship fees sere high* usually o shilling per Keek* hb a 
result the unions, and the Friendly Societies as nellt were societies of 
skilled creftamen, and tiielr interests lay aore often in waging "war 
upon intruders into the craft* (26 j than in waging war upon eiaployers 
or upon disabilities in the trade* 

This is the rioriod of tlie honeymoon of capital end labour; as is 
usual with sudi episodes* ti^ere were cooaients of violent discord too. It 
haa already bewi pointed out thst one factor in the ioproved relations 
between industry and the lobour organization? was the improved conditions 
of trade in the decode of the fifties. The next decode* however* sew e 
less happy condition, A number of factors, chief of which was tiie loss 
of the kaerioen trade due to civil war botReen the states end a resulting 
cotton famine, cooibined to cause severely depressed conditions in scaae 
trades. The resulting hardship invoked bitter disputes •> in Sheffield 

(27; Webbs, Trade ;j nioniaa,p p.21».220. 

Cole, Britial' uorking Class J.ov<suent t II, CJh. II. 

(28) Cole, G. D. 11., end Postgete, P., The Co^r^iion ,cople , p. 5^8. The 
testimony of Robert i^ni^it, general secretary of the Boiler takers 
and Iron Ship Builders -ocioty, before the Royal Conmission on 
oabour in 1891, shows that this attitude persisted even after the 
second instalmoat of "new unionian" in 1889. (See f>ePort of the 
Royal Gcsaiaission on Labour . Digest of Evid«ice, vol. Ill, Abstract 


end In other oities employers used the lockout extensively to bring 
unions to terms. Violence flared, &nd lurid pictures were drawn by the 
middle claas press of the revQlutiv>aory nature of union activity. 
Essays like Carlyle's ahootina l«iai;&rB; and /vf ter, or Arnold's Culture 
and /inerchy reflect tho feeling of ecicrgency of which one ee&ise at 
least was the disturbed state of lebour-employer relatione, l^teering 
Uie unions through the troubled waters of l666-l671f without foundering 
upon the rock of general disapproval on the one hand* or of loss of 
legal status and practical bargaining power on the other* was a tesic 
whic^ fell to Applegarth end /lien end others of the orthodox leaders, 
and one which Uiey perfor-aed with consuoKnste skill. C29j The uniwis con- 
tinued in the aslii to deal with what Uill would have called "self- 
regarding" acts; t^elr function contixsued to be entirely in line with 
the solid Victorisn precepts of Uvrift, aelf-holp nnd advancefflont 
throu^ work and worth. In l&T^ the secretary of tho A.S.£. could once 
again congratulate t^ie mecabers of the Society for"ita prestige for 
tooderation in advaaoing those morcmeata which are oaloulated to prosiote 
the well-beiiig of our aeaiberc, without resorting to strikes, or causing 
lock-outs". (^Oy ^c>i lesiders ae Allen, and Henry ^oadhurot, secretary 
of the newly- fonaed i srliaaeatary Oonuaittee of the Trade Union Oongress, 
not only had the confidence of the ge:ieral public, but the confidence 
of the Liberal Party as well, and were fina believers in tho intwition 

(29; This matter is dealt with aiore fully in Ch. Ill, where the 
political activities of the unions are considered, 

(350; Yearly report of the AaalKa a ated Society of Sn^ineers, l8 7^. p. 2. 


and ability of that i^arty to look after the workers* intoresto, Aa en 
eam«st of that belief, wo Bee the entrance Int-o f'url lament iii 1&J4 of 
two miners' representetivoe. Thooee Burt and Alexander .iacdonald, the 
Bucoessful liBbour ^en, both eampai^ed ae Liberals and had official 
Liberal support. In 1380 they were joined in rariiasient by Henry 
Broadhijrst, and in the election of 1&85 the number of Labour aen in 
Parliament was Inorensed to eleren. (^1) 

nt a reeult of their special nature and special iXinctions, the 
trade unions of this period gained aouch in respectability* <is a result 
of their Intiaate coiu»ectlon with the Liberal Party, it is iKJSoible, too, 
that they gained in effectivenees (elth(x>g^ Uiia contention la open to 
argitTient). {3^) The inescapable fact, of course, is that neither the 
unions nor the Co-operntivea nor the friendly Societies with which they 
were so closely relattK!, ever succeeded either in voicing the opinions 
or protecting the interests of the greet mass of Lnglish workers. They 
did not • in fact could not - open their ranks to any but the better- 
paid artisan, for they depended upon a moBbership able to pay tiie 
relatively hl^ costs of thet essabership, (JJ^f and the onset of widesproad 
industrial depression would be likely to strike them • siortel blow. As 
instruments to solve the problems of the unskilled workers of England, 
poorly paid, unorganized, uncertain as to tenure of employment , they 

(5I; {^laphreyA, A. '.-. , A History of Labour Repre a entation , p. 192. 
The mesibers In 1885, in addition to Burt and Broadhurat, 
(Macdonald hsving died in l88ly were ?>. .Abraheo, J. Arch, 
%. Crawford, '^. H. Cres&or, C. Penwick, G. Howell, J« Leicester, 
B. Piekard ond J. Wilson. 

(52; See below, p. if 

(55; Frederick Horrlson estinsted in 1865 tiict only 5 per cent of 
England's workers were in a position to belong to trade unions 
(i.«. to qualify for iiicabershlp aid to pay the fees;. 
(Betional said Social ^"r oblea s, p, JiS.; 


were totally madequnte. The Friendly societies required the woricer to 
invest U\e aurplus of hie wegee - and ozily tiio I'ortunete Tew had e sur- 
plus. The Go-operstive ;>ocietiee« which had the broedeet and laoat 
democratic basis, {^ j aiude cash purcl^ese the "open eesaoie* to their 
benefits - and purchase an credit wao a grici necessity for hundreds df 
thousands. The Trade Unions required of their membership skilled 
oraftsnien's qualifications and high dues - e^d themselves worked to 
liait ot ail tiunes the nuxber who could possess both. 

%ith this state of ai'feirs, dissatisfaction became vocal and wide- 
spread during the seventies. A hine Moura agitation achieved striking 
suecese in Glasgow, in Sunder laad, end in the building trfide in London 
despite the fact that it received no support either froin the Aaalgaa- 
ated oocietiee or from the Trade Union Congress which had been foraed 
in 1868. /. Geo Stokers* Union, organized in 1&72, opened its ranks to 
seai-skilled workers, while Joseph Arch's r.etional Agricultural 
Laboorers* Union has already be«i described, (^j Lven woaen workers 
began to find organizaticKi desireblo, and the ■-o.-aon's i'rotective and 
ff evident Union appeared in IbjM as tne fore-runner or the f.oaien's 
Trade Union. \,56> 

(54 > John vStuftrt kill in IC"^? clsLaod that "The forja of association 
whicfi, if -zankind continue to i-cprove, rnust be expected in the 
end to predooiinate, is not that which can exist between a 
capitalist es cJriiof titid work people without a voice in tlie 
aanageaient but the association of the labourers thojiseives on 
terms of equality, collectively owning Uie capital with which 
they carry on their operations, and woricing under asnagers 
elected and removable by theaaolvea. ' ( f'rinciples of Political 
Economy . ; 

(55; See p. s' above. 

(56; Largely duo to the efforts of fArs. -4ark iattison, who in 1885 
beceoe the wife of :;ir Charles Ldike. 


Kot only was there disss tisf action with the inadequate eoope end 
liaited purpoeee of the existing unions* but disaatiafection with the 
aethoda used as veil. The period froei l66u to I&65 was a period o£ 
gloom and disillusioanent; a writer in Heynold'a l^ewapaper on January 6, 
I&82, sneered that Labour bad "about as much real power as the child 
enjoys, who trios to get hold of the etors. Nurse gives it a bit of 
colcxired glaaa«...and the little silly goes oomforted to sleep." The 
fturse wae obviously the Liberal party, and "our two half '^hig, hali- 
Liberal tmd very weak-kneed Redlocl Burt end Broedhurst are our bit of 
coloured gloss!" ?*lllift3 aorris was expressing e view shared by at 
leost the socialist trnde unionists when he cleiuied that in Xo^, "the 
old leaders now no longer represent the whole class of workers as 
working men, but are rather charged with the office of keeping the 
huaan part of the cnpiteliota' machinery in good working order, and 
freeing it from any grit of discontent." (57/ 

The unemployed dononstrations In 1866 and IS67 end the sirpriBing 
public sympathy, seesed to act as a sigpel to all those outside tiie 
ranks of the existing unions. In I68& the girls employed at iiryent 
and ^ay'e sateh factory in London, without or^^anl zation and without 
funds, struck against the conditions and pay of their employBent. Fhe 
way was prepared for them by -^rs. Ixinie Iseeont, whose articles in 
the Link in July told a story of inhuman treatment, starvation pay 
end the r^nvages of the oecupati(X»al disease of "jAjossie-jaw". The 
success of the London match girls inspired a striice on the part of the 

(57; ^ackail, J. Sf., The Life of ^^llllaaa ^rris . II, p. 21. 


Beokton Q«a-t;orker8 and Oenoral Labourers' I'niaa. I'tithin a tern weeka 
not mly had the union (newly organized and including unskilled workers) 
WOA Its de:^iend for e reduction of hours of labour* but its success had 
won to its ranks ninety per cent of tlie workers affected. C?3; 

Iheee successes were but preliaiinery to the most ajoazing victory 
of ttll - the London Dock. ..orkers' strike of 1869. The story of that 
effort has been many tiaes told; {*9j oiffice It here to note the 
leseons which it taujdit to Lnglish workers. The philosophy of the old 
unionisra was that no strike could be auecessfUl without e great union 
behind it - yet in this esse the strike otwoe first and the organization 
of the union i'ollowed. The old uniiWiist bad believed that no strike 
could be BueceesfUl in e sltietion where the supply of "scab or "black 
leg" labour mia unllsited, yet in this case the great Dock Campeniea 
could call upon the whole indij,ent population of En^lMid* The corollary 
to this belief was^ of course, thst unskilled labour had no chance of 
wiarxing a contest Pith ecnployers, yet the Lcsidcxi Lockers succeeded in 
gaining el.'oost ell of their dwieoids. For in Loadan nt leeet* the 
trades stood together* and eytapathy strikes aided the dockers icomeneely. 
i^ibllc opinion not only had strtmgly supported the dockers, with very 
tangible aid in the form of public mjtbsoriptlons* but had also shown a 

(5^) Mann, Toso, ..•.eaoirs. p. 81. A sigalflc&nt feature was that the 
leaders of the strike were assisted in or,;;anizati<3n by Lleenor 
i^£irx and her husband Edward Avellng, both of the Soel&llst Lea^e. 

(59) Tlllett, Sen, iAe.^K>r le s and Refle ctions , pp. 119-1%. iiann, Tom, 
Ihasoire . pp. 8^110, Sebb, o, and B, , History of Trade; Unipniam, 
pp. 400-405. S-aith, H.B., and i^aeh, Veughn, The .tor.y of "the 
Dockera' Strike , SI ton, England, Arise !, pp. l46-17i. 

clear epproval of the ne« icind o£ union. (40 j bithin three years, tJae 
nuuibers of trade unloaiate had more than doubled, reaching 1,500,000 
in lB9Z, (4l) and aooet of ttie new n«sbers belonged to unione of the 
aatae type as that foriaed by a RellKay ^<oricerB' Congrese In I690, vhen 
the resoluticn was otrembelmingly oridorsod that *the union shall reaain 
a fitting one, and shall not be encumbered with any oick or accident 
fund". (42 J 

In general, the new uriioais^ turned its back upon the old policy 
of defence; and turned instead to e |>olicy of ettacic. Tn general, tiie 
new unicxia were not as before, simply friendly societies and Dutual 
beaexit aasociaticHis, but unl^xiB of workers organized to deal vith 
eaployere and if necessary with the State, in order to seoare advances 
in pay, in jurisdiction over conditions and hours of woric, over status 
of appresitleeship and a host of other iaatters :»ice the exclusive pre- 
rogative of the etaployer, end coat^itted to a belief in the solidarity 
and eooDusi interest of all ranks and all trades* Most ijiportont of 
all, the new unions were in caost cases led by new and younger eugx, a 
great aajority of whoa had already be«i converted to socii^lis^ and 
were saeabera of one or other of the socialist societies. 'Siey 
advocated unions open to all workers, skilled or unskilled, with dues as 
low as possible, with a sweeping pnrliaaieat&ry program based upon 

(40) Lord Roseberry, as Chairman of the London County Council, 
suggested that "It (toe strike; narks an epoch, not laerely in 
the history of Labour, but of rjiglend - nay, even of humaiiityl* 
(C^oted by Frederic 5i.arri8c»i in i>;ational epd Social i'roblyaa , 

p. 425.} 

(41) t-ebbs, Trade Unioniaa, p. 422. 

(42; Quoted in Howell, George, Trade Unioniaa, mow and Old , p. 57» 


oppositlon aod hostility to tho statue quo, and upon an identity of 
intercat with ell other unione in all other trades. 

It is obviaua of course, that a Tredas Union Songreee committed 
to sucIj principles and straagly influenced by theae new leaders, by 
oen like Keir Hardie, John ^ros. Torn i^ann* Qen Xillott and ;';ill 
Thorao, to naae but a few of the •^ociellat trade unionists who no* 
saized the centre of the 8tei£e« «ould be a vastly different bodi' from 
such a body under the influaiee of Ksnry Broedhurst, Thooas Hurt, George 
Rowell and all the other Liberal-uabour trade unionist yi.F's. From 
Ihis tiae forvsrd «e can trace the "close alliance of thou^t and pur-> 
poae" between the Gocialist (Bovemant on the one heiid end the Trade 
Union Moveoent on the otimr, '*whioh in due time was to produce the 
Labour i-arty" . (45) >h«tiier it be "Socielisa putting on the business 
accoutre.2idnt8 of a Trades Dnion, or Unionioa suddenly inspired with the 
passion and aspirations of tho iioclalists" (44; matters but little for 
our purposes. 

hit the i^ocialist appeal to tb« new u^iions of England depended for 
its success to a very large seaeure upon a growing sense es&ong the 
workers that the policy of respactable aaaocletion with the Liberal 
i'arty was a policy which had failed. A aenBe of xrastraticn, of growing 
•xasperatioa at the failure of each succeeding adstinistration to meet 
its needs, had at least as auch to do with the success of the Socialist 
societies in winning the leaders of the new u^iionisffi to their cause, as 
had «iy ideological appeal in the new doctrine, the conversion 

(45> Tlllett, i| ei3oriea aid Reflections, p. 116. 

(44} Harrison, F., Mational and Social Probleas, p. 429 • 


of the mejorlty of English workers to the idea of en indepoadent 
political party, and of the oiajority of its leaders to the idea of a 
Sooialist objective, can only be properly explaiueo \a li^t of the 
failure of tlie foraar policy of co-operation with the existing 
political stmcture. -e i:^at thert retrace our atapo to describe 
that policy end its failure. 




Since the failure of the Chartist Uovaaent, tl^.e whole process of 
development by British Labour of a body of social deaands end a plan 
of action to achieve Uiose denands, has been ^aarked by three fairly 
clearly divided stages. During the first period* the alas of labour 
orgeaiizations were dual; to irin political rights for union aeaaberehip» 
end to win lecal recognition a/id legal protection for Uie anions and 
Uieir funds. Ihe i^eforsi Bill of 1567 end the trade union acts of 
1875 uiarkod the realization of these alas. (1> fXirin^ the second 
stage, to 1895* the aim of the existins trade unions was to protect 
and foster the welfare of their still very selective aecaberahip 
throu^ the acans of eolf-help activity on their okti part, and legi8-> 
letivo eiiactaent won by co-oper&tioa with the existing political 
parties - usually with the Liberals, hat on occasion with the Tories 
as well. Biis was the period when the trade unlcsis took political 
action ttirou^i their own reproseiitotives In i^ariiaa^it, who for tt^se 
ffiost part acted siaply as a working class wing of the Liberal party. 

(1; Trade union participation in politics did not, as is aoaetiaes 
assumed, re-appear in tiie franchise agitation of l366 after a 
long period of abstention. (Of. Oillespie, F.E., , Labor en d 
jplitica i n Lng , lend. 1650-166? . ^ The situation, however, was 
sucii tiiat for tl'ie realization of the very liasitod alias of ti-»e 
uni(»i8 diring t^ie period 1^0-1367, political action was 
umally unneoessary. 


This, th«i, was tho period of the ''Libcral-l^fibour eliioaoe'*. Just ua 
the first Gledstonion adjiinistration had laariced the transitiai I'rcst 
the first to the Beoood of these stages of dovelopae»t# &o the f jurth 
Gladetonian adaini strati on frota 18S'2 to 16S^ oarked the trarisition 
frota Uie eeeond sta^ie to the Uiird •> that of independent political 
action by an independent working claes political party. The object 
was still the aaae " to win enactcaente trfai^ Kould provide better 
oonditions and greater security for labouring men and vosaea, but the 
methods used to attain this goal vere quite difxorent* llie ae» 
tendency ie evidenced by the fonaatioo of a new political party with 
working class support* tlie Indepeadeait Labour Party* by the failure 
of the old Liboral-I-abcKir leaders lon^^er to control Uie Trade Union 
Confesses and by the opening of trade ualon ranks after lcS9 to include 
all classes and gredee of workers* Throu^^. these three stages of 
development we must ti^e our ox«3iinGti<»i of the iiritish Labour aovatieat* 

The Chartist aoveaent and its failure had st«aped at least one 
conviction on the (Slnds of most workers - the conviction that the 
securing of political rights was a necesstury prelixninary to any legis- 
lativo otto:ipt to saeet the social probleoia of the workers. Menee« 
until 1866 the deoends of workers were usually political d^uands. (2; 
In general* working class agitatiozw of this period were designed to 

(2 J One ahould note too* that after the failure of Chartiaia Uiose 
deaands were being effectively voiced only by the trade union 
aoveaant* which as we have seen* represented the upper ranks of 
labour only* and which as a result was perhaps less aware of 
the urgent need for steps to ameliorate tiie conditions of the 
vast nuoibers of ncNa-uni;»i workers. 


influence i'arliaoetit in too natters - to extend ti^te franchise, and to 
grant legislative and legal sanction to the continued existence end 
operation of trade unionise. Tite plan wae to influence l-arliasaent by 
aeana of defnonstretions , (^> lobbies, deputations to govemoient 
officials, and above all by the (induct of trade union affairs in so 
constitutional and so respectable a acnner as to win the support of 
those sections of society nhich did possess the political power to 
iiopleaent l^abour's desires. 

the Refora Bill of 1667 aarked at least a partial success for the 
first of these two objectivcw. Froa tSiot tiae forward trade union 
organizations directed tiielr ofiorts particularly to aci.ieve Uieir 
aoconi goal, - a satisfactory legal status for union activity, in its 

(5; Like that of iiay 6, 1666, in Hyde Park (Pork, J, n.. The Sn>aiah 
Refora Bill of 1S67« p. 51.) organized by the flefora Lea^e which 
from lG6!5 to 1869 nirabered as siembers practically all of the 
Labour leaders of the noment. The Lea^e et one tiae "threatened 
a universal eesaatioR from labour until Uieir political rlj^its 
are conceded", /. dissenting .-uinority, headed by George Potter, 
formed another body, tiie London ftorltlng ;aen'8 Association, and 
the two bodito carried on a spirited eoapai^ in favour of 
frandiise refora, aided by sucli Tiadicale as John ^i^t and Ssauel 
-.or ley. (Huaphrey^, A.U., Itobert Apple^erth; Trade Unionist , Educ- 
ationist, Refortaer , tells the story of the agitation.; / detailed 
account, based largely on the papers of the Refona Lea^e, and as 
yet unpublished* was aede available by Or. Kaye Lamb of the 
University of British Columbia. The activities of tiie London 
Working iini's Association were publicized by the Beehive, tvhose 
editor, George I\>tter, wrS also chairtaan of the Association. The 
r'.ebbs, in their account of the sovement, deprecate the work of the 
latter body (pp.25f> and 298; but it is si^ificant that aaong its 
members were lienry I^oadhurst and Joseph Leicester, both later to 
sit in the House of Cosaons, and that the Association went iUrther 
than the Heforai Leagae in advocating separate representation in 
Perliosent, on a national basis, for working nien <- the first time 
that sudh a proposal had been made. (Humphreyi^, Labour •^present- 
ation . pp. 28-50.) 



begifuiing theirs was a defensive aoveaent. initiated by a growing fe&r 
of attack on the whole trade tonion aoveaant. tie have already aeen that 
t>)e .-sethode of the trade union leaders had produced s certain success in 
the field of negotiations with etnployers > so mich apparently that soate 
at leRSt of the latter were beginning to ooaplain of the "dangerous 
increase and organization of the Trades Unions". (4; In October of 
1866, labour disputes in Sheffield provoked the ouch discussed "Sheffield 
outrages*, when eiaong other incidents, ti-ie ho.i» of en alleged "blacks- leg" 
wox>ker wee ureckod by en explosion. (?; Demands for an inveati Ration 
into trade union activity had already been voiced (6> end had already 
forced the unions to call a national conference i7j to devise steps for 
autual assistance and def^ise. The Sheffield outragea gave urgency to 
the efforts of both sides in the co:aing dispute. la January ot lb67 a 
crippling bloc was struck at the finaticial basis of successful trade 
u:iioai8J3 when a Queen's Eoieh court handed down a verdict that a trade 
unim could not by legal aeans recover its fuzids wrongfully held by 
c»ie of its own officials. (8/ In February of the saiie y^nr, a Royal 
Co.irnlsaion was appointed to investigate the whole subject of trade 

(4; Bail lie Cooitrane, A.P, in the Bouse of Commons in June, 1666. v>ebb8. 

Trade Un io nlKn. pp,256-257. 
(5) i'lebbe. Trade Un ion! s a. pp. 259-261. 

(6j E.g. by the Tiaes, :^iarch S6, 1866. 

(7) ^t of this oonferoice at Sheffield in July of 1866 coae the United 
Kingdo<i» Alliance of Orgenized Trades. (Sebbs, Trade Unionism , 
pp. 257-258.; 

(8> la tiomby vs. Close. Ibid . . p. 262. Cf. too t/ie Ticaea, Jaiaaury i7» 
1867 (the day after the judgement; and January 21. 


union activity and to deteriain« among other thinga if the unions 
operated, as had been alleged, in restraint of trade. Almost iauaed- 
iately the leaders of labour organizations went into action, i. con- 
ference of Aaalgfltuited Trades entrusted the work of presantin^ the 
union side of the case to fk>bert Applegarth, {9i while various oUier 
eorxaittees were sot up to strengthen the union cause by auoh :aetbods 
as the sliding of printed questions to candidates in the forthco<3in£ 
election, by public support of candidates who ^ve the necessary 
aesursuices of support and by carefully prepared ateooranda to pro^inecit 
individuals of both parties. (10; fhe advisability of tasking per>;iiuitn-'' 
provision fur national action in such^eoiergency we^s recognized in April 
of 1666« by the ji^aneheater end oalford Trsdea Council, which sent out a 
circular celling the first Trade Union Congress, a body now necessary 
'beecuse of the probability of an ettejjpt bein^ eade during tiie present 
Session of Perliament to introduce a steasure which aight prove detri- 
aoital. .. .unless soae prouipt and decisive action be taken." (11 j ^ a 
result of thnt sction, the Trade Union Congress cejae into being. 

(9) Ths Lozulon ('OrJcing^ien's Association were permitted to have an 
observer present at the sittings of the cofoiaission, but after 
he had attacked one of the siembers of the coo^ission at a public 
meeting in July he was excluded from the later sessicaris, leaving 
the union case entirely in Applegarth's hands. (Humphrey, Robert 
AppleKarth . p, 104.; 

(10) ^.ith a measure of succesa, apparently, since tiic Conservative 
govemoient brought in a new "laster and Servant Act, eliuiinating 
one of the worst feeturea of the inequality at law as between 
o&ployer and employee. This bill received royal eiasent on Am^^et 
20, just five days after the Roforai Bill itself, (i.obbs, op. cit.. 
pp. 2^9-255.; 

(11) The circular is reproduced in The 3tory of tl^e rrsd e Union 
Congress . published by the General Cotincii in 1^25. 


Ponding the appearance of the Report of the Royal Coisraission, an 
election had to be fought. In eplte of the fact that it vas a Tory 
uieasure which «iebled so iany workere for the flret time to cast m. 
ballot* working cloas eupport went al^aost entirely to uiberal candidates* 
The Hefora League, a largely trade union body in which not only Apple^artb 
but aen like &illi&a Allen, George Howell, Daniel Guile, and George Odger 
were asaocieted, ueed its influence to secure the return of Liberal 
eaodidatea. (12; How effective their assistance waa is difficult to eay, 
but ttndoubtodly It was one of the forces co:2ibining to return the Liberals 
to power under uledstone for t^e next five years. 

There ere, of course, zasny explanations for the founding of this 
first Lebour- Liberal working alliemce. To most of the workers of Lngleod 
the winning of the frftnt^ise had been tl^ie goal of most of toelr efforts - 
the fact that it was a Tory administration which passed the measure 
could not outwel£-^ the aeawry of the long co-operation between Radicol 
Liberal and working raan, or the feet thet it was Bright and iilll, Gobbett 
and .'orley who had been the earliest end strcmgest advocates of franchise 
refona, or Ui&t loost proijilnent Tories had been eloquent in their 
denunciations of the laove. Even in 1868, Disraeli's seasure seetas to 
have been regarded as opportunist ia character; aiid the very 

(12; Or* Lamb in the unpublished work cited above, uses evidence froa 
the miiuite book of the Lee^e and from the correspondence of Its 
secretary, George Kowell, (now in the Howell Collection in the 
Blshopsgate Institute y to prove not only that there was an 
arrangement by which the League traded its aapport for a proislse 
of legislation to safeguard union funds end le£;alize union 
statfes, but also that the Lea^^e fulfilled its obligctions to the 
extent of refusing support to one of its own officers, George 
Odger, when he received a noaination from tlie Chelsea VVorking 
jien's Electoral Association. (Cf, Huaphrey, Labour g^epreswitatioa^ . 
pp. 22-25.; 


oooaidttratioos shiofa von the grudgijag aequiescence of hie Tory followers 
(15y served to oaiDisaize his eeooapllsteaoat in the eyes of Labour ieadersi 
Ctely after the disastrous results of the election «eri? efforts oade to 
win the aevly enfranohised irorkiag class vote to the Tory baruier. (l4j 

Had the trade uiiion raoveaeat of 1866 be^o as catholic in its 
aaober^ip as it «qj9 later to become - had it included all raoka of 
workers •> it is possible that the Tory appeal aig^t have beea cuoh 
stronger, for the Tory record in providing legislation in the interests 
of the poorer classes nes at least aa iospreasive as that of the 
Liberals. The Disraeli of ijybi l end Coning^by . the Disraeli of Ute 
Young Qigland aovejieat, had been as unsparing in hie coad»anativ»i of 
the evils in England's society as the later Socialist orators ever were. 
It wns his aini to sot up a txem order "not by levelling the fen» but by 
elevating the aeny". (15) He objected to the Rofora Bill of 1852 not 
because it razed the oral la of aristocratic privilege* but because it 
erected in their stead a freaework of .'iiiddle class power, {16, and 
saw in a "union between the Ckmaervntivo ^arty and the Radical aasses 

(15) Park, J, n., Reiona Sill of 1067 . pp» l8u-l&5. Cecil, Lord iai^i, 
OonservatiscQ, p. 71 • 

(14) John Uorst, later to be one of that strange coterie, the Fourth 
Party, was in cliarge of organization of Conaervetive t'.orking 
-iea's /dsooiations after 1866. (Jstrogorakl, •^«, Detaocracy and 
the Organization of Political Fcrtie e. I, p. 252 ff.) 

<15> Sybil . Bk, II, p. 55. 

(16; He saw in the Bill a danger, not of 'raapant decaooracy, but of 
lapending oligarchy". (The Times, December 51 » ISJS, quoted in 
l&ilkinsoa, s.,, Tory Deoocrae y. p. 55«; 


....the only aetao by which we can preserve the Empire". (17/ 
Dieraeli's desire for social refona had been shared by advocates like 
Shaftesbury, Rlohord Dastler and lieheel Sadler; the party had eonforaed 
to the opinions of these aiid other Tory rei'oraers to the extent tJ-:ot it 
had been responsible for at least two- thirds of the factory Acts of the 
century. (18) The Coal Mines Regjiletion Act of 18^2, the Oo-operatives 
Act of 1852, and the faster and Servants Act of 1867» noted above, are 
but exasplea of Tory legislation in the interests of tiic wording ciesees, 
while leasursa like the Ten Hours Act of 1847 owed their passage by a 
Liberal goveamaent to pressure organized and led by Tories like Oast lor. 

In 1068, hoeever, e-Jiong the union leaders of the Applegertb type, 
the L-iberal party as a whole shared in the esteem won by ita Radical 
wing. It WPS the Liberals who, in the period fros. I652, had introduced 
into English j^ovemaeat such democratic features as it possessed; they 
had extended the fr&achise, reformed the Civil Service, r^-orgajiized 
the criminal law, dis^establisiied the Church in Irelaid, reriioved the 
disabilities of Dissenters, end initiated a achecae of local ^vemoent. 
(I9j Then, too, the Liberals were for the ajost part strongly Ron- 
Conforaist, ea also were the majority eraong the trade union leaders. 

(17) In a letter to Chcrles /rtwood, quoted by ioneypenny, 'Jl.F., oad 

Buckle, G.K,, in The L i fe of 3en.1a^in Dia raeli, barl of SeeCfms- 
f^ield . II, p« 88. Diaraeli maintained o aost unorthodox doctrine 
when ho stated in a speech at :^anchester in 1872 Umt "the first 
consideration of a .iinieter should be the peoples' health.«.«ure 
air, pure water, the inspection of habitations, tlio adulteration 
of food, these and kindred matters aay be legiti.aately dealt witli 
by the legislature". (Kebbel, T.E. (ed.;, select ed Speeches of 
Bgniaain Disraeli, Larl of Deaconsfleld , II, p. 511. j 

(18; Hutchins, D.L. , and Harrison, A., A History of Factory Le>;ia- 
lation . Of. list of acta in App^idix I. 

(19) Professor Lowell claijiod for the Liberals the credit of "bringing 
the State into heroKmy with siodem conditions". The Governagit 
of England . II, p. lOJ. 


AbcHit the Liberal party there was en etsosphere o£ liberty; in Ite 
raolce were acn like Charles Bredlau^, John Stasrt Lilll and Joseph 
Oo«an» the publisher of the Uevocstle C^nronlcle, of whooi it was aaid 
Xii&t he "knetr ever:f conspirator in li^rope* aod aalntained half of theu*. 
(20) In short* to Most working :aet\, the ec^iieveamit of deaocrecy still 
seined the otoet worthy of all desires, and the landowning of Tory 
aristocracy still tfie greatest obstacle to that achievoflent* ^21> 

the working alliance between Labour end Liberal had not even been 
openly established* however* before subversive forces be^eu to underline 
its foundations. t:<Vea before the eleotion of 1868, and at a tiaie when 
the efforts of preoticslly all labour organizations were being strained 
to obtain and siaintain adequate legal protection for their existence 
and their funds* a new note was being soinded by Uie London ^^orking 
lion's Aseociation. i&iiile quite in agree:i»3nt with the larger and oore 
influential Reforcs Lea^e as to the necessity of iuntediate legislation 
to protect union status* the leading spirits in the speller organizations 
were sharply in diaagraesffiit with the Lea&to as to the cethods by which 
this «td mibsequent legisleti^m should be brou^it about. At a meeting 

(20) v^at8!»i* /i., A iigw s paperasan's .JfeaQries, p. S^. In 1564 Qjwen oiTlc- 
ieted at the presentation of a jewelled sword to Garibaldi when 
that worthy visited Ivewceatle in IB^, as captoin of a aerciiant 
ehlp. He wps instruaental in seciiring the election of Thoiaas ^rt* 
one of the two working men returned in tiie election of 187^. 
(v.'ataon, A. A Qr eot Labour Leader; The Life of the Rt. Hon . 
Thoaas flu r t i.P. j Tlie autiior o£ these works was at one ticie 
editor of Cowen's paper. 

(21) Cf. Humphrey* Labour Representatio n* pp. 119^120. Beer* M., 
History of soc i alism in Gr eet ari tai n, TI, p. 197 ff» 


of the L. ff. Il« A. in 1866, Robert HartneLl urged the necessity of 
seperate Labour repreeenteticm in the House of Co.tEaone for working 
oXasseSy snd cited speeches encouraging such e. course at action by 
T. D. Potter end A, H. Layerd, both Liberal .'l*i'»'s, snd by Thcxnas 
Hugjhes, ttxc Radical- Co-operationiet author. (22) Itothing ca^e of 
this appeal* largely because the full oiergy of the ^eoeietion was e.t 
the sxMMnt absorved by the franchise agitation and by the necessity of 
united action before ttie sitting Hoyel Coaiaission on trade union 
activity, but in ld6& the as»ooiation drafted and printed a maniieato 
to British workers denanding "direct repreeeutction df i>ebour in 
Psrlia:ient". (25y This demand drew critical opinions I'roa Liberal 
leaders like John dri^t, who opposed the introduction of the new 
principle of representation of a class. On tlio other hand, John 
Stuart Mill had a decsde before encouraged the candidature of a 
aeperate Labour reproseatetire • George Jacob Fiolyoaice in X857# (24; 
while Charles Dilke, Jacob Bri^t and Professor Fawcett also gave their 
approval to the new id«a» At ti>@ election in l86d, five octfididates 
offered themselves ae possible representatives of Labour in Parliac^ont, 

(22> r^m^rey. Labour Representation , pp. 13-13. 

(25; Ibid ., p. 18. 

(24j rolyoake, G. J., Sixty years of an Agitator's Li fe.lTp. 73 Cf, 
Uill*s letters to H«tiry Kilgour, ^gust 15, IS70, snd to Cieorge 
Odger after his unsuccessful fight in a by-election et Southwerk 
in 1870. The former is printed as an appendix to f&iaphrey'o 
volume and the latter is used in quotation on p. 3^. It was 
printed in full in the Beehive for February IJ, l8?5» and is 
reproduced in Webbs' Trade Union ism, p. 287, n. 2. 


but none oet with auccoaa. (25; In by-elections in 1869 end I870 the 
etory was still the s«ae - ofiicial Liberal opposition resulted either 
In «ithdr(>«Bl or defeat. (a6; 

The failure of the L. S, Ji. A, and sirsilar organizationa did not, 
however, discredit the idea 01 separate represisitation. The uladstone 
adtainl strati on of 1868-1874 failed coapletely either to satisfy the 
daaands of organized labour bodies or, it una alleged, to implemeat th« 
promises which had secured the support of those bodies. When the -ioport 
of tho Royal CocmaissicHi was brougjit down, its aejority roccxacieridation 
was for legal recopriitlon of the unices, while tho minority recontnend- 
ation was virtually the eoneession of all union demands. (?7) ^t not 
even the majority report was iaplet»ented« In April of 1669, Ihoaas 
Hughes and A. J« ^&indella sponsored a Trade Union bill which embodied 
.lost of the recotsaendations, had it approved by a Oonference of 
AauLlgamated Trades in London, cvid utidertook to pres^it the bill in the 
Oo'saons and if nccessnry force a division there, But the Kotoe oecret^ 
ary gave notice of intCiition to introduce a trade uui^i measure and the 
^ndella draft wbs then withdrawn. (28) When in »arch of I87I, after 
nuc^ delay and recricilnation, the Trade Union Bill was finally intro- 
duced, sorse of its oleusee were considered by union leaders to be 

C25; Odger end Hert«ell were nominated in Chelsea and Stoke-on-Trent, 
but both withdrew when official Liberal ca;ididates opposed tiiea. 
Randall Cresier, George Howell and &. J. urcening, e pwKalnent fi^re 
in MiB Co-oporatives, were all opposed by Liberals and defeated. 
(Huaipbrey, Labour P.epresesntation . pp. 29-51 •> 

(26; Ibid ., pp. 31-32. ".ebbs, IraAe Unionise, pp. 267-289. 

(27; The Viebbs celled it "a complete charter of Trnde Union Liberty". 
(Trade Julonisa . p. 271 •; "Hie ;,'inority import was presented by 
FVederic ' nrrison and Thomas Huglies. 

(28/ }iinphrey. Labour P.epr es entati <m,pp.7^77» '.>-ebbs, Tradejinlon- 
l83, p. 275. 


totally unsatisfactory - particularly those clBusee dealing with th« 
union ri^t to p«aoef\jl picketing. T5je disoatisfacticai of or&onized 
labour was .flade :aore vocal throu^ Xmo new orgsilsatlons wiiich were now 
on the aoe.'te* ti^ie Trade Union Ckngrese end Wie Labour riepreoentBtion 
League, aotli bodies protested bitterly against the inadequacy of tiie 
proposed bill; the a>ily result was a division of the meeeure into two 
parts. The second of these giieas>ares, the Criraiiiel LewMoidBent Aot« 
in its original fora was ooapletely unsatisfactory in meeting the 
demands which Congress delegations made to the Bocae oecretary, i4r. 
Bruce; after the Bill vent to the Lords It received ov«i aore objeqt- 
ionable esiendnents which were accepted by tlie uovomiiont, and the 
measure becaae law. The ri^t to peaceful picketing disappeared eoift- 
plotely from the aaended aaeasurc, end with it a large measure ot tlie 
amity and co-operntion between Liberal govemnwit and trade anion bodies. 
(29) The Ballot /%ct of I87I "as another bitter disappoinfeient to those 
who had expected greet things frosi the oladetoae ed^olnistration^ for 
the clause placing election exp&ises on tne rates was first amended to 
require a ^QO deposit froo each eendid^te, end finally^ in face of an 
adverse vote in ootxnittee* wta dropped entirely. The meawire which had 
sensed to be the answer to raost of Labour's difficulties in securing 

(29) Si^ifieant of the changing teraper of the Labour leaders wee the 
action of the i^r 11 anient ary C-o^mittee of the Trade Jnion Gori£;res8 
in printing Mie division list on this Qeemire. This publication 
is in the Howell collection and is cited by Dr. Li^ib. 101 Lib- 
erals were shown as voting for the obnoxious amended Bill. Sir 
^'illiazs Jiewco'jrt asked for an assurance of iurtiier legislation, 
but Gladetcne refused to give it. (Humphrey, Labour fve present - 
atlon, pp. 7^78. 


repreeeatetioa In i^'arliaiient had beooae but a ehtts victory. (^0) It 
Is not surpriaing that tihen a nu.^ber of Conaervetive peers In 1872 
conceived a ratiier conic opera plan ifor the eetablish^ncnt o£ a now kind 
of goveniaeat and a new social aovoaent* they were able at leeat to 
negotiate with nen lite Applegarth« Howell, Potter end Broadhurat. (51) 

At Uie election in 1&74 the effects of the Liberal failure to 
awet Labour's deaande were cleerly shown. The London v>orking Uen's 
Association had already urged the neceasity of indepemlent working claae 
representatioa in rarliestent; after 1669 Xiio omne course was advocated 
by the Labour Representotion Leaijae. The L* H. L* iae:3bersliip was a 
virtual cross-section of the working class leadership in 2nglend« since 
practically all the oen who now donsineted the Labo«ir scene vere included 
la its rsnks* .Although unsucceasful in its backing of Labour ceodldateo 
at by-elections in 1870 and 1871 » its support grew atrcaager oa dla- 
satisfaotion with the Libernl administration grew. At the ga^ieral 
election of 18 7^, the League* its branches, or similar organizations 
had 15 CQtididatea in the field. Jf tiiet nuaibor, 12 mif^t be teraed 
Labour candidatea, end of toeae only two received any support iroiri trie 
official Liberals, it was sigtiificcnt that only these two, (Alexander 
^iacdonald in Stafford oad Thomas Burt in Morpeth; were successful. Of 
the otiiors, althou^ tsost described theniselvoB as Liberal, or Liberal- 
Labour or Boasthing similar, nine were opposed by official Liberel 

(30) The Labour Representation Leugje ^bliahed the division list on 
this measure. 

(51 ; The Scott-Rissell i lot. Cf. Tiaes, January, 1872. 


eondidetes, with the inevitable result that Tories son six of the 
contested seats, i^j The facts were clear; tiiat a Labour candidate 
stood little chance of suoesss without official Liberal support* end 
that Liberal candidatas opposed by Labour wojld continue to lose 
their seats until, ss '^.(ill put it« "the 'Ahigs will be happy to co:^ 
prooistt and allow a few working.:ien representatives in Ute House". C?5y 

The Tradaa Union C:»i£ress, meeting each year since lci6&« i^j 
reflected the seoe dissetisf action with the Liberal progransep and the 
saoe desire z'or separate uebour representation. l<eitlaer the Congresa 
nor the League envisaged a nev political party » both were desirous 
only of securing the election of a fav worki/xg sen to Parlie£ient for 
the purpose of voicing Labour's views. After 1875 the a'arliaseatary 
Onrsittee of the Trede Onion Oongres8« end the Labour Kepresmtation 
Lea^e shared the sazoe objectives* t>ie aeoie headquarters office in 
London, end very ouch the saae adatinistrative personnel. For lack of 
iUnds the latter orj^anization ceased to operate in I67&* (JS; but the 

(52J The election facts are canvassed in taiaphrey. Labour Repreaent- 
ation , Ch. IV, and in Cole, li.:).H., British .^o rkinK Claisa i-ol- 
ities, pp. 261-262. Of. the oebbs. Trade Lnionisa , pp. 2^9^29^ 
sod p. 680. Sir caiarles Dilke, Joseph Cowen and >>aiauel Pliiaooll 
were asiong the 15 candidates, but they could hardly be called 
Labour sen* 

(35) mil 'e letter to George Odger after the letter's unsuccessful 
cendideture at oouthwark in 1&7^. (Cited above, p. 56. y 

(3^> Ko Oongress was held in 1&70. 

(55; The Xebbs say "it faded away about I88I" ( Trade 'Jnionisa , p.6SQ, 
n. 1; but the last entry in the ninute book of the Lea^e was on 
July 19, 1878. (.ncoording to Laab's cited work.y One week after 
that date the t^ational Libarel League was founded with Howell as 
ehairaoi, and Broadhuret as secretary. 


the Pnrliaisaitary CojBBitte« continued to function. For years ita 
chief figures, Henry Broad})ur8t, George Howell and Thoaas Bart, were 
also leading lights in the nevly fonaod iiaticmal Liberal i^eagae, (J6> 
and the Coamltteo was in effect "the Radical wiag of the liberal ^jarty", 
(57/ As an evidence of the new stature of Labour men la the Liberal 
organization, r.enry Broadhurst ontPi-ad ?arlla^.ent as a Liberal in 
1880, and five yeere later, he and hjrt were Joined by nine aore 
Liberal Labour raraabers* Urged to this course by Charles Cilke end 
r>illiea Harcourt, by Latouchere and Qiiasiberlain, Uie Liberal organiz- 
ation had adaitted the obvious lesson of 1674, and by i860 was prepared 
not only to extend official support to Labour candidates, but to in- 
corporate the Bueeessful into its own pai^y machinery as well. In 
Febrjary of I886, for oxaa3pi©, Ftenry Broadhurst becarae Ondep-oecretary 
for the Hooe Depertoent. i>ot all 'Uie eonoessica was on the part of the 
Liberal organization, however. £he;i George Shipton, president of the 
London Cab-Drivere' /^sociation end secretary of the London Trades 
Council, insisted on standing ee an Indepeitdsit Labour candidate at 
Southwark in I8d0, (58; be was opposed by Howell, Creoer, Broedharot 

(56; Sillieei -Jorria, the poet-reforaer, was its treasurer. After two 
years of waiting for Liberal enact-^ent of social refora, Morris 
left the League to become a aaaber of the iociel ue:aocratic 
Federation. (Flielsn, /-nne. v<yn. H., The So cial iliilosophy of 
fell Ilea lorris. p. 4o4. iiiaekail, villiea ...orris . 11, p. 8. 

(57y aroedh:jr8t, H., The Story of His Life; Froat a Ston e ^iason' s 
Banch to the Treasury . Seneh . p. 15. 

(58) Shipton wae ssipported by H, !:. Ojaapion and several others who 

were socm to bo closely asaociated with tiie socielist revival of 
the eighties. His expenses were in part paid by Hel(si Taylor, 
John ituart bill's step-daug^iter. (Soutter, F. v;,, Recollecticms 
of a Lat>our Pioneer, pp. 76-22. j 


and other lisbour leoders, who appeared on the platror^i of his ijiberal 
oppoaent. There were other eiailar inatancsB o£ disagreemflnt with the 
ao(}dpted policy of co-operwtion with the Liberal Party, but only on 
the part of Individuals, and no concerted and organized etteapt was 
aade to supply esi alternative to tije Liberal-Labour alliance until 

Before ve atterapt to estiaete the value of tliis al Hence fro3 Uie 
point of view of the Labour partAer, it is neccaaery to note that the 
Liberals were not peraittod by their Tory opponents to capture without 
challenge the working claas vote and the working class representatives, 
loeediately after the election of 1868, efrorts were oade to organise 
the Ctxisorvntive .'iorkingmen'o -seociaticsia on a large scale. i^9) 
Disraeli had already given evidence of his belief in tiie identity of 
interest between ?ory aristocracy and the labouring masses « as opposed 
to the V'hi^middle eleea capitalist and industrialist. The ztiiiistry 
which took office in 187^ eeeaied desirous of proving that identity, for 
one of itc first actions was the appoin-baent ox* another Royal (kKi^ission 
on Trade Unions. (J*Qj Following its report, the obnoxicws Crisinal Law 
Aaeodaent Act was repealed, and Mte Ccmspiracy ead Protection of 
Property Act substituted. "Rje final ratification of trade union status 
and protection of unicai funds oasse in the Employers' and Soiiczien's Act 
and the Trade 'Jnion j^siendoient Act in 187<6« For ti^ieae aeasures the Trade 

(59; Ostrogorski, Deaoc raoy an d the Orfiffliiaetion of i^ol iticel rertiee . 

I, pp. 250-252. 

(40; On which ;iecdonald and Burt were both invited to serve, .-^acdonadd 
consented and presented a Miiiority i^eport onbodying aost of the 
concessions which ?'ercourt, I^ghes and :£undella had tried to have 
the Liberals accept in 1875. (Iluaphrey, Labour Representotion , 
pp. 78-81.; 


Union Coogress gave thanks to the Conservative government in a motion 
alooet unsnlmoualy carried. (Alj A Factory /lot consolidtiting and 
iaproving its many predecaasars oeme in iQlB, ae did a Hoasing /jBt 
laeklng available public funds for loans to provide wortcing class 
dwellings. In the some year Saouel Plimaoll, a i<iberal d.»t'm , and his 
trade unicxi iButanants liice J* H. ^iiilaon of the Seaom^'s Union and 
George Hovell, finally as* tlie Merchant Shipping Act provide soae 
oteoaure of protection for the lives taid conditions of serchent 
seaaen. (42) Once again a Tory adcainistration had established a 
record of social reform and working class concessions which aould 
eoapere aore than favourably with tiiat of the preceding ed.-ainistr- 

(4l; Report of the Ei a ^tth Annual Trade U nion _ Congrees, p. 9» H» 
tone of discussioa was generally tiiat e ri^^t had been 
recognized » but there was little evidence that any of its 
speakers felt any great urge to ^ilogize the Conservetive 
Party for its acticm. 

ih2) 'Vilson, J. Havelock, :iy f to ray Voyage Thfou^ l^ife , pp. 151- 
157. Kowell, Cieorge, Labour Legialationj yabour LLovemeats 
end Labour Leaders . Gh. XXVII. 


atlm. (45 j ,:;nce again, however, the Tories failed to win the 
allegieaee o£ working olaas voters in any great nuabers. One reason 
undoubtedly was that by I&60 a nutaber oi tiie leaders o£ the unions 
and trades councils had beeoae out-and-out uiberels (44; eiUier 
hoping for orficial party support, or assured of off icicd Liberal 
nOi:rdnetloa at the corning election. Then too, the Liberals of the 
older era were being rapidly replaced, not oaly by the Lib-Labs like 

(45) 0, 0* H. Cole (British v.ork i ng Cl ag8_^ oveaent , II, p» 128) calls 
thie "the aost Bctivu period for oocisl legislation of the entire 
nineteenth century". .Alexander Mcdonald, the i:.iner8' i.^. , was 
reported to hevo said in 1879 that "the ConeorvRtive party has 
done aore for the working classes in iivo years than the :>iberal8 
have in fifty". (Staffordshire :ientinel, Jan. 16, lo79, quoted in 
Wilkinson, Tory Dezaocrac y, p. 162.; ll&cdoneld was apparently 
neither an orthodox nor a very constant Lib-Lab. Perhaps it «aa 
as well for tiie alliance that he died in Iciil. 

Sacauel I'liissoll, after seeing his 8<^eens for protection of merci)- 
ant seosen ifflpleraeatad by tiie Tories, in a letter to the riisea 
U-iay 15, 1875; mnde the steteQeant tliet "tJie interests of the 
working class, when at issue between ttieinselves and the capital- 
ists, fire eaier with the Conservntivea than with the Libereds*. 
Henry ^oadhurat, in a marginal note in his own copy of Uie 
Sebbs' liistor? of rrsde I'-tioni sra, observed that "the years 1875- 
1865 were a period of great developjaant of Toryiea in Labour 
ranks". For this information 1 ao indebted to Lr. Laaib's cited 

Tears later, Joseph Cha.3berlaln was eble to rati^n&llze his unicm 
with the 5aIi8bury-i3alfour administration on the ground that a 
policy of social reforia was "as ouch (or aore; in hai^aony vitii 
Gonservetivc? traditions tiiai Liberal ones". (In a conversation 
with Balfour, reported by the latter in c letter to -alisbury, 
July 24, 16S^, - aigdale, B.E.C, Artlair Jaaes Balfc^r . I, 
p. 210.) 

(44) Like Joseph /rch.- Of, his Hi tobiorr aphy . p. ^. 


Broadhurstf Qurt, Hovell end Haadall CrtKsaer, bat also by Uie ne« 
Radicals like Dllke and Chaaberlain. /.galrist this Toneidable array of 
parsonel talent the Conservatives had only Rsndolph C3iarchill and hie 
Fourth rarty. 

According to his son and biographer* ^C^>urahlll ass early iuipressed 
by the possibility of disaster to the Tory ^arty unlcfss it adopted a 
prograai of advanced social refora. (45; vUrsauy oar.^eu oy aaorihoaox 
behaviour, (A6/ QBuirdiill in an article in the tortnightly Hoview in 
1885 (47) proposed for his party rai active, progressive deaocratic 
policy, '^f course, witti the Tories out of office after 1650, suob 
views were auire acceptable then if tiiey had been sug^sted while the 
party «gs in a position to icplisient sush a pro'^ra;:. durchill 
probably never succeeded in converging those kku^ ne celled "the old 
gsng" to a sense of the ur^^eney of such a pro^sQ, but he did win the 
aupport of John Goret, Sir iienry DruaiQad-i»olff and on occasion Arthur 
Balfo'ar. Tills little st^xtp, the cu(di publicised Fourth Farty, nade a 
stir in the P^rliaaAit of lS£0. They obstructed legislation, howled 
dotm I^iberal speakers, and carried the filibuster end Uie obstruction- 
Ist speech to exasperating extr^ses. They levelled telling criticisoi 
at the Employers Liability Act of l8dC, heralded as a great achieve- 
oont of Liberal-Leboir co-operation - end their eriticisai was that the 

(45) Chur<*lll, -inston S., Lord Rand o lph C3iur<^ill , II, p. 8, 

{k6j In 1677 he publicly urged a concilistory policy tosords Ireland, 
so affronting the loi-y elder stetesnsen that his father the Duice 
of Marlborcw^ sent a letter of apology to Sir ill«Siael Hicks 
Beacii, tiie Chittf Secretary for Ireland. ( Ibid .. 1, p. 92* j 

(47) Vol. 55, (I8S5; pp. 615-621. 


blll did not go far enou^, that ita jurisdiction should bo ooxipulBory 
and in ell trades » not optional and in but i'our industries. {UBj They 
levelled the a&me criticiBsa at the Fra/ichiae Hill of 1684; they 
deraanded from their party the inclusion oi woricsen on its lists of 
cnndidstea; they scored tiio inadequacy of existing govern:ii©iital aids In 
the provision of hotising. In health inspection and in Factory Act 
enforcement* (4^; While Disraeli still lived he g,ave his Interest end 
his encourageTiwjt to the efforts of uorst and Churchill; tSOy following 
hie lead even Uie Tiiaee voiced its approval of the new conception of 
"popular aJid deaocratio Torylsffl''. (51 J 

In the election of 1885 the Conservrtlvee, partly because of the 
appecl of the new "Tory De:^ocrats*, were able to win several working 
class seats froa the Liberals. (52; So obvious was the consiecticn be- 
tween the new policies of the Fourth Party and trie new Tory popularity, 
that Salisbury had to include Churchill In his cabinet aa Secretory of 
State for India* end to accept, and at least by ixplicetion, sanction, 
"Randolph's* views rxi the necessity of social reform. Salisbury hiia- 
self had soae very advanced ideas when he served on the Royal Cosaaiasion 
on ttie Housing of the r>oricing Classes in 1664. Sir Cixarlds Diiice, tne 

(48; Haneard . Jrd Series, Vol. 255, pp. 241-245, 588-589. 

(49) Churchill, Lord Randolph C hurt riiiU , 1, pp. 509-515. 

(50j According to the son of each. (CJairciiill, Lord Randolph Ghurohlll . 
I, pp. 156-160 > and Gorst, Harold, The Fourth Party , p. 148. j 

(51 j Liay 8, 1884. 

(52) E.g., Arthur Balfour was retnamed, partly at least, by working 

aien's votes in Manchester. (Churchill, Lord Randolph Churcl^iill , 
J» P» 577j Dugdale, B.E.G. , Arthur James pclfour , I, pp. 92-95*) 


Coomission's caieiraea* i^oordod aa eoiuaiag ineidoit in which Salisbury 
made a "rather wild suggestion", whereupon l'.&:iry ^roadhuret "ieid dawn 
bis pen and looking up in a pause said wiUi an astonished air, "ohy, 
that is ^ocielisai'* at which there was a loud lati^ all found." (5^; 
Dilko hiaself COTtae.'ited on Salisbary's "teaporai'y Hedicelisxs, which 
unTortunQtely soon wore off" since when the Report of the Qoiaiaiaaioa 
was handed down, its findings consisted merely in a statement of the 
conditiona which the CooEsission had found. In a letter to Lilke, 
Salisbury seid tiiat he bad "reconsidered his e&rlier views, in t^xe 
li^t of iixe doctrines which.... [Joseph Chamberlain] hail receiitly laid 
down*. (54/ Ferhaps tlie fact thiat he wpe by thfit tli^e in office, and 
in a position to iapiearait his recont views, ooy Jiavc had auohi to do 
with his change of heart. (K/ In any event, the ebullient Churchill 
was aoon at odds with his nioro sober and sore conaiatent collea^es 
over official policy in Irelsnd, (56; and over their failure to iiaple- 

(55; Gwynnand lUcicwell, Sir (diar i es Dilke , II, p. 18. 

i.^} Ibid. . II, p. 104. 

(55) His attitude, and that of other Tories, was exnaplified by his re-^ 
aiark apropos of Joseph Ciie^iberlain's joining forces witn hiia. in 
a letter to 3clf jjr on July ?6, lSy2, he srote, "I fear tiiose 
social questions aire destined to break up our i-'arty; but why in- 
cur tlie danger before the necessity has arrived, - and while the 
i-arty aay still be usoi'ul to avert Koaic itile?" (Dugdale, Arthur 
J aaea balfc-ur . I, pp. 212-215*) '^S IJalfour tiie story was told by 
Charles .iasteroan that at a dinner at the ho^e of the it ebbs, he 
turned to hie hostess to inquire ''By the way, what exactly ie a 
trade union?" (.-»a6toraan, L., C. l\ Q. .ieBtoraian , p. 6l.; 

(56; He was opposed to Hoste Fble, at least officially, but also opposed 
to coercion, ailfred Scawen Blunt, a Cwiservative d,i\ of rather 
exotic stripe, who advoceted Egyptian Hoaie rljle and went to jail 
for protesting against "Bloody Balfoar's* policies in Ireland, in 
aty Diaries . I, p. 52 claiaed that Churchill was not so opposed to 
Hoae J^le as has been usually believed. Cf. too en article by 
Blunt Li Mneteentii Coitury , 7ol. 59 (1?j6; pp. 4u7-4l9. 


aient hie st^ese to deoiocratize loeel Conservntive Basoeiatione. Kls 
resi^ation evoked a stori} of protest troa Coaservetivea at large, and 
Priaroae ueagiers, to that when Saliebtjry fonaed his second adi^^niatr- 
ation i-.i 1666, Randolph Churchill vaa ita Ohaneellor of the l^x^equer. 
Again, at leaat by intplication« official aonction »aa given to the 
"Tory Oeaoereey" prograa of land, education and local govem^ant re~ 
fom, houaiag plana* loanicipal omierahip of utilitiea and state refl- 
ation to improve ccvtdltiona and houra of labour in ascated industriee. 
(57) 'Jnce again the enf ant terrible of Tory politics found it iapoasible 
to force hie program upon his callce^es, and once a^ain he reaigried. 
Whether his action cas motivated* as hia son auggcats, by his desire to 
protest against the lack of aupport for his prograa (36; or whether, as 
his «i«nieB have raaiatained, by petulance and an overveeaing personal 
ambition, Uie fact reaains thet his progras of "Tory naaocracy** ceased 
to be en integral or even an iTjportant factor iji Citaxservatlve election 
campai^a for aoae yeors. (59) 

The party «hl<^ (laiurchill atteaipted to nin back to Disraeli's 
conception of union betweeii aonarchy, aristocracy and the iuaases waa 
alrfady a auch different party from that with which "Dizey" iiad had 
to deal- 'B long as the Tories reisainod the party of land, opiX>9ed 
to the Liberals as the party of industry, there vea of course an 

(57) The whole prograa was outlined by Churchill in a speech at 

Salaall in July, 1889. (Tiaes . July 50, I889. Caiurchlll, i^rd 
Randolph Churchill, IT, p. 07 ) it was first developed in 
the Dartford speech in October, I886. (Jennint;s, L,J. (ed.>, 
SpeediGS of Lo rd Rendol ph Oiurc hill , II, pp. 68-86.; 

(58/ II, pp. 223-225. Cf. Justin ..IcOarthy, History of our Qua 
Tiaea. Ill, p. 204. 

(59; ^tthew Arnold, in sn article in t^ie t. ine toentti Ceatary, Vol. 
21 (1837;, pp. 1A&-164, -oakes 1686 ttie zeniWi of lory strength 
end Tory popular support. 


obvious reodinesR on the pert of the former to use homanlterifln con- 
sidemtions b s a reaaon for factory acta, end other f orate of state 
intervention in Industry* for such reforms aeetsed to be at the expense 
of their political opponents. In aioiler faehion tlie Vihl^s could 
jaetlfy their scheaee of lend rcsfom. &at the aicjple difitinctlon 
between land-oiming Tories and fact-ary-ownlng fthigs was fast dis- 
appearing. .' recent study of the econoaic interests represented in 
the House of Coijmoas ^rlng the ninetftentii century shove this change 
clearly. V<hereas in 186S, Liberal ai«3bers predominantly represented 
financial « eocssiercial pnd industrial Interests, opposed by Caxservative 
aersbers ^lO still voiced the opinions of landowners, by the end of the 
c«itury both parties wore dominated by aen shiTing rou^ly the seme 
interests. {,60 j The rflel difference botreen the pertifss in the last 
two deosdes of the ceiitury was a dii'ioreacc as tj tJrie area in which 
the finKicial end industrial interests were held, with the Liberal 
aeabers still largely interested in strictly British enterprise but 
the newer Oonsorvativo interests being largely fixed in foreign or 
Imperial fields, and with the ens^aaie steadily iiicreacing in the 

(60; Thotaaa, J. .A,, The House of OcmBoaa l85g-1901 . pp. 14-1?, 
The eeti-aate is that in I868, "B per cent of the Liberal 
aeabers had interests in lend, while 65 per oont could be 
elassitled ea represeatetlve of co^aacrce, finance or in- 
dustry. At tiie 8826 ti:2e Conservative aerabers in the saaie 
Categories were 60 per cent and AO per cent respectively. 
By 19CX), 14 per c«it of tlie Liberals had land interests 
and 86 per cent industrial interests, while the figures for 
tlie Tory aeabers had beccsie JO per emit and 7^ per cent. 


1 at tor category. (6l; For our pirpoees, the ijiportoxice of thie sUidy 
is that It demonatrf)t9« etatiatically the fact that by the end of the 
century the biberols were no longer the party of industry, wadded to 
the doctrine of laieseai-faire and oppoaed to any state policy ahich 
:Big^it weaken the accepted Victorian value of "self-help", and the 
Torlea aero no longer the party of land, influenced by ti^e huaanitarian 
appeals of its clerics and evangelicals end appalled by the cost which 
Baglish society was paying £or England's industrial supreoaoy. Herbert 
Spencer claijied that the philosophic basis of the parties was changing 
as well, - tiiat the Liberals were becoming ettached to the doctrine of 
coercion end suppression of individual will, thus beccxning the '^new 
Tories^, while the old party of that naae was allying itself to the 
cause of tlie Liberty end t'roperty t'efenae Leagae whose slogan was 
"Individonlisai versus boci alien". {62) 

In spite of UiBlr failure to omke social refom the ertlef planic 
in the Tory party platfora, the fourth rarty, and Randolph Churchill 
in particular, achieved three things: they kept alive the Disraeli 
tradition of Tory Intoreat in socIaI reforoi* they ^ade it quite 
wiraissible for such an avowed social reformer aa Joseph Ohenberlain to 
step ev^itually Into the place vacated by i^iurchill hiaiself, and to 
bring other Liberal Unionists with hiai, and they suggested at least one 

(61; In 1S80, 46 Liberal aeabera had interests ebroad as opposed to 
29 Conservative aoabers. In 1865 the figures were 5? and M^; 
In 1895 they were ^ and 75» and by 1900, 19 and 65. ( Ibid ., 
p. 17.) It would be rash to explain the Conservative Interest 
in forel^i and laiperial aattere during the Salisbury- Balfour 
adainlstre'.ions by this fact alone, bit undoubtedly it is one 
of tr;o factors ti.nt nust be considered. 

(62; The ' .an Versus the .^tate , p. 17» 


aethod by vhioh Tory political fortunes oig^t once again be revived 
if once again they should falter as they had in 1668 ond in 1860. (63; 

Perhaps the real Influene© of the revival of Tory Democracy by 
the Fourth Party woe not upon the paroat bodv bat upon the liberals 
th^sselvee. At any rate, very real clianges sere tailing place within 
the ranks of that group as well. One of thoa we have already seen; 
the incluaion in its Parliaaeitary strength of 1885 of a group of sen 
avowedly Liberal in political ayapet^ies, but avowedly rep reseat at ive 
of working class organizations also. 

There was probably. In the legislative records of the two old 
partiea, very little reason for working olaes represeatatives to ally 
theT.aelves with the uiberal ore,aniz?tion rather than with its opposite 
nii!:^er* *e have slreedy seen thet the only reel advantage which lay 
with the Liberals was their traditional assoeiaticm witii Kadie&liss. 
But tTiSt advaitage was accentuated during the eigjitiea. The worJdngr 
BMn voter aaw on the cme hand the reception which the Tory Party as a 
whole gave to the Churchill eoheBBes for social desooracy, while on the 
other hend he could see the grcjiwing isportenee and caounting influence 
of Radical elenaents in the Liberal ranks* As long as Gladstone 
reaiained its leader there were of course serious obstacles in the path 
of any far-reaching plan of social reform for the Liberal i-arty; he 

(65) After the defeat In 1906 there was cauch recriminetion aiiainst the 
Party's failure to deal adequately with social questions. A 
writer In the 1-ortnightly r<eview in I906 (Vol. 35, p. 4?6> said 
that Balfour should '♦read Sybil , study the Labcur Party, and read 
Sybil again." Cf. D. 3. tosby, Seatnins ter Review, Vol. 163, 
(1906;, p. 256, and J. 5. Barker, Fortnijihtly i^view . Vol. 92, 
(1909), p. J04. It will be very surprising if the same reaction 
does not becoine aerked Kaong younger Conservctives in 19'>6. 


hlffisolf, «hlle atill a s«aber of the Torice, had voted s^ainat I'actory 
legislation. In a letter written attor hla retirement he adxaltted that 
in eonaideratiao of aoelal questions ha had always been ci^vlnoed that 
•it la not by tlie State that man oan be regenerated, and the terrible 
woea of this daz^oiad world effectaally dealt with". (64> iJut siladstoae 
ly 1885 was already the Grand Old 'Jiaa, end already considering the day 
of his departure from polltlce. To replace the uledstonioi Leadership 
there rsa by 1689 a now dynasio in the party ranks - a new spirit 
•xe.t>pllfled bQT Jose;^i Chaaberlein and Charles Dilke. Cha-!iberlala 
iindoubtedly was ita ntost effective spoicesmen. As early as 167^ he had 
danouneed Cngland's "coa.T»erclal pr38perlty and Vie co-exiating misery 
and diaoontent of a large port! an of the population". The hom^ of 
&igli8h workiiig am, he maintained, "would diagrace a barbarQua 
country", Wieir "lack of culture and education leaves theta a ^rey to 
aerely anisial instincts, they find it difficult, and ofton lupossible, 
to procure the barest neoeasitiea of life." (65^ By 1865 Chaaberlain 
had a fine record as the promoter of nunlcipal onterpriae at 
Birsln^sm and woe en outspoken advocate of everything later essocieted 

(64) Raaaell, G. K. S. , One Look Bac k, p. 265. J. A, Hobson, in his 
work The Crteis of Liberalism , p. 5» ©ays of (jledstooe that 
•constructive lo^sletion, coping with pauperisai, sweatlixg, un- 
eaployrtient, old age destitution, or wigaiiing tiie State in coi»- 
atruetive work for the development or Uio productive resources 
of our lend and labour, lay (Xitaide hla eonceptioa or practical, 
or even legitl-aate politics**. 

(65; In ^ article in the Kort nlghtly Review for Septftuber, 1875, 

Vol. 14, pp. 2&7-3502. The passeges quoted above appear p. 291 
and p. 292. 


vith the *geB aod areter ^oei&lisui'of the Fabians. la Jeouarjr of l&i)6, 
be irent still further and in tbe faunas "nanaosi tipeeoh" at Biraia^^iaB 
issued s bold call to the iiibersls to east oiT the recai^iaata of Whiggiaia 
end aoltsrk upon a eonsprehensive soheise of social reforia. Ab one .-sight 
expect fros a succeeaful 3enufeeturer« Oia'sberlaLn's chief quarrel was 
■itii Uie exictin/^ situs^io^ as regards land-holding* ire had already 
condenned Lord uallebury as the spokessian of a class *whicl^i tail not* 
neiti^ier do tiiey 8p!n*, and whose fortunes, founded in "grants iade long 
ago for such senrioes as courtiers render kings", have iacreasod "vblle 
their owners slept". (66; dy lS65 he sas read/ to deaend of Daglsnd's 
landlords, "-^hat raxisoa will property pay for tr.e security which it 
enjoys?" {67 j 

For the election of l&o?, (^aaberlain offered a sveeping progrea 
of social and acononic change. Lend refora, free prisary education, 
sMohood suffrage end pay cent of oeabers, local govemaent for the 
counties and diaestablishiieiit of the State CSiurch, > these were but 
the boldest feeturea of the fftnoue "utiauthorized program*. It was a 
progracB which Qiaisberlain hioiseli agreed **sounded tiie death Icnell of 
the laissez-faire systea". r^hen It was argued that the proposed 
legislation was Socialist in tend«rtoy, he replied t^iet the "iopeaehoent 

{66^ In a speech on inarch ^, I8&5. Quoted by J. A. Spender in his 
article, 'dr. Chaaberlain as a Radical, in uilner, Viacount and 
otf^ers, Life of Joseph Chaaberlain , p. 10&. for uladstone's re- 
action to this and other of caiaaberlain'a provocative speeches , 
of. Lord .iorley's Life of Gladstone . II!, p. 112 ff. 

(67; Jueh of the speech is quoted in Spender's article cited above. 


Ksy be readily adaitted**. (66; fihea QiBrlee BooUi advocated ccatrib- 
utory old age peasions as one iitiuae of alleviating the conditions which 
h« fo'^d 8o shocking in Landoii*8 Laet md, {,69 j it was Qhasberlain who 
took up the suggestion end embodied it in Uie ainorlty report of the 
Royal Coni'fliasion on tho ioor l*iwi, sot up In lS92. {TOj 

Chanberlein's alter e ^ .at this stage of his career » was Charles 
Dilka, who as President of the Local Govemcicnt Board in Uladstone's 
cabinet, had taken adnjinlstrative aotic»i to facilitate csich of the 
sunieipal waterprise of the ei^tiee, by SLithorizing nainicipal corpor- 
ationa to issue debentures after securing a provieicnud order froafi the 
Locel iiovemaent Board* raUier than by proceeding under a separate Loans 
Act in FarliK2i«nt. this was an wionoous impetus tfO municipal affairs* 
according to a leader in the T jrae s for Jamiary 16, 1864. In a speech 
at Glasgow on .-larch 11, lBSK>, he expressed his desire to aee "towns 
ansed with the powers to destroy without coiztpeneetion.... filthy dwell- 
ings where it is proved.. ..the owners are at failt....Iu all oases we 
ou^t to give powers to public bodies to take land for public purposes 
at a fair price*. iJi) Dllke was an &rd«at. odvoccte, too, of free 

(68) Tl^ Radical Froforipae . published in July 1685, For working class 
spokeemen's re9Ctlc«r»s to this and other pr<aiounceraent8 by 
Ohaaborlain an soci&l questions, cf • Thooas Burt in I>ineteeaath 
Century . Vol. 52 (1692; pp. 670-691, H. H. CJheBipic«i in the saoe 
volume, pp. &7S>662, and Kelr iiardle, pp. 6d>-890* Theae were 
published along with an article by Chaiaberlain hl&tself cm The 
Labour ^estion (pp. 677-710;. 

{69) PsMperitga end Uxe Endowiaent of Old &gfi, published in 1692. 

(70; -teport of the Hoyol Goagitesion on the I'^or Law, 1895 , pp. 5^7-365. 

(71 J Owynnand Tucfcwell, Sir CSharles Dllke, II, p. 277- 


eorjpulsory e(fcicotion« of •tstutory lisiltation of hours of work, of 
taxation of unearned ineretaent and of laenhood naffrage • more iaportrJit 
•till* he vae the :ien who more than any other Liberal was responsible 
for the aecoptence of Labour Liberals as an insportant - mwen a 
oeoeeaery - part of iiie Liberal party orgaiizatioo. (72; Jther depart- 
laents were perhaps not as progressive ea ttiet of Dilke, which fact 
accounts for the pe&iliar picture of an adainistratlon from l880 to 
1886 "which wandered in and out of the treadles of the old individual- 
ists cknd the eeouting parties of the new Socialists » with an absence 
of nind concerning social end econoxie questions that becacn in the 
following decades, ti\9 charaoteristic feature of Liberal stetosaianship".^?^) 

The r'arliecQttit of 1685 was the Psrll&aent to which woricing man 
looked for the i.Tiplesiffiiting of the prossisos whidt had ken i&ade« 
Ai^stine Birirellt in hie biogr&;diy of one of the new Liberal aumbmn 
of Uiat perliaaent^ says that these eten "come flocking to 5t« Stephens, 
full of the new wine of that HedioRlissi which had been preached up and 
down the country". (7^) In rapid succession eaae the defeat of the 
Salisbury tidrsinistration on en aaendsent to the (keen's Speech, 
regretting that nothing bad been said in that speecti about allotroents 

(72 j *. J. Davis in hie official History of th e , Trade Union Conpreas 
describes the meetings which took place between Dilke and other 
Radicals, and the Parliesentary Co^zdttee of the Trades Union 
Ccttgreas, to talk over Labour c^estione in tho (louse of Coomona* 
After Dilke had taaporerily retired froa public life because of 
his connection with a lauch publicized divorce action, the 
iMetingB ceased. They were revived in l8i^ and continued 
unofficially until 1906. Lven after that time, it is obvious 
that liaison continued to be opwi and easy. In their biography 
of Dilke, Gwyniand Tuckwell describe these i^setings. (II, pp. 
54>-551.; In 1688 Dilke encouraged both Chaapion and iieir 
Ilardie in their advocacy of a separate working class party. 

(75) Sebb, Beatrice, i'.y Apprenticeship , p. 178. 

(74) In his life of 5lr frank Lookwood . p. 102. 


or KSftll holding*, (75; and the formation of a Liberal sslniatry. Thea 
6«M Gladstone's Xlrst ax>eeeh on Hocae htle (on April 6, 1686), th« 
defeat of hie bill (on June 6), end Uie split in Vne Liberal ranice. 
The issue « and the vote« "sent the l>Kid Hestorers and the i^ooial 
Reforrnere frisking and nhisking off the F&rli«a€atary 6ta£;e lilce so 
oany ^ily^beribbcmed peasants in an opn*8 bcxtffe at the rolies 
Bergeres. It was a great dispersion!" (T6) 

The Hoeaa Hulc controversy bulked so lar^e in Ehgllsh politics 
that all other oonsi derations irere now pushed into the background* 
Even the Liberol Labcur aerabors irere not? 6o oaeh a part of orthodox 
party aa^inery that they too becacae involved in the manoeuvres end 
eounter-aanoeuvrea of the next fee Tears* Althou^ Bernard Shew may 
have been correct when he said t^at the English workers **did not end 
do not cor© a dtosp, one way or the other, about Irish Home siile", (77> 
that opinion was apparently not shared by Burt, Broadhurst end the 
other Labour taen in Parllsiafint. 

Over the Raoe Hule cueatlon, then, the ijlberels went out of 
office, /ifter an unecjay period of existence as Liberal Unionists, (78) 
Gfaaifiberlainf Lord Hartington end Uie other Liberal opponents of Hcxae 
Hula entered into unoff ieial coalition with the Gcsiserv^tive party 

(75; The aaendoent wee looved by Joseph Cheaberlain's stout oipporter, 
Jesse Ceilings. 

i76j Ibid ., p. 104. 

(77) In the faaous To Your T«ita. Israel article in the ^ortni;jitly 
Review . I.oveaber l£95. Vol. 5^, pp. 569-5Z9. 

(78) From 1886 to 1895 they were "the mules of politics; without prida 
of ancestry or hopa of posterity" - a reamrk att, " ^ ! by 

Herbert Asquitli to the Irish meaber John Tower. xea and 

Raf lecti^ms . p. 125.) * fi^od picture of this period is in 
Gardiner, A. a.. The Life of Sir ■ illiaa ilaroourt . (Vol. 11.; 


•hich hed clready virtually repudiated fteidolph Churchill and his 
•<^«E]M!S of social refoRs. By 139S, the union officially was recognized 
by the oatry of Ghaaberlain and P.artiAgton ijiom the luke of liev^nehire; 
into the Salisbury cabinet ca Colonial Seeretekry and Lord TTesident of 
the Council reepeetively. The social roforaer of ISQZ had notr beeose 
tiie colonial admlaistrato r and was in due time to bee>xae tiie apoatle of 
iraperialiaa end the sponsor of protective tariifs - the oon «bo could 
aay in 1899 that *to talk of aocial reform now was parochial*. {.79 j 

With Chcuaberlain in the enemy co3^» nith Dilke out of parliament- 
ary life froa 1886 to 1892» and with Gladstone still primarily occupied 
vith Hooie liule, it le not surprising ^at there should be a growing 
dissatisfactian in working class ranks with the policy of the Liberal 
Labour alllanoc. In October of \Q9l the i^ationol Liberal i'ederation 
coade an atteoipt to revive those policies which had been eclipsed in 
1866, end drei'ted iixe I<o«caatle x^rograra - a pro^aei «:iiieh advocated 
free educes tion, paynant of meebera, land refom« diseetablishsient of 
the Church in Salee and Scstlmtd, &\d local option, as a prograa cm 
which to fi^t the eootag election. (80) Thio was the progrea which 
the Fabians liked to attribute to their own "Wrlre pulling arts', (81 ^ 
and which contributed an important part to the Liberal victory of 

iT9j Gardiner, Sir -nillia-a Harp-jurt . II, p. 4^7. Dilke said of the 
Chaaberlaixi of the later period tiict he had '*loet ttie convictiMi 
of conviction*. (Owyn and »uckwell. Sir Charles Dilke, II, p. 267.) 

(80; .' facaindle of the official leailet appeors in the Fabiaji Tract 
lio. 49 . A Plan of Qcnpaiffl^for, Labour * For m account of the 
hopee which were pinned on UjIs prograa eee Gardiner, r^jr illioa 
Harcourt , II, p» 160. 

(81 ; Thie claiis was :n8de by Shav in a letter to Jaaes Sexton in the 
letter's eutobiography Sir Jaaea Sexton, Atdtator . p. lJS-140. 


In office after 1892 the Lilberais were no raore succesefbl in 
inpleaenting UiC l>e«Cf»8tle iTOgraa, or in aieetlng the need for escial 
refor-M, then they had bean In 1886. >:«ce again the Hosae Rule Bill 
took precedonce over all other aiae, once again the reforae which trade 
unionists had ori:anized to secure, receded Into the background of the 
political plctfire. It is obvious that asny working a»en awat have been 
given cpuse to reconaidar their opinions; it is obvious at any rate 
that sone of the Korklaig class leaders began to add up the aua total to 
date of legislation In the interests of England'd workers. The nee 
Soclsliat union leedere, end Socialist bodies like the Fabians, were 
of course only too ea^er to add the sua: and point the iorel, for the 
total was <aea£re. mblications like CJeorge ratter's beehi ve until 
1878» Kelr Rardie's Miner and the Labour f ^ipydcy. Its successor alter 
1868, Joseph Burgess' ";orksan's Tiae s alter 1890, and most influential 
of thea all, Robert Blatchf ord 's Clarion , all helped to bring hoae to 
the worker the conclusion that as yet not ouch had been achieved in 
the faatter of solving the "condition of F*igl«ad question" during tne 
period in which British Labour had depended upon the action of the 
old parties* 

The aost iapreasive record of le^iislBtion in the metter of iaprovc- 
iBsat in working conditions, waa in the field of tt.e factory lairs. 
Perhaps because govomaento began as early as l802 to intervene <xx be- 
half of workers in some of Britain's workshops* later legislation had 
not to .'seet with any such charges of innovation and revolution as had 
other atte-.pts at social reform. But the act of 1602 shortening hours 
of labour for children end women, and setting up reflations regarding. 


for exanple* ventilation, "was conspicuous for Its non-observcuce by 
those concerned" (52 J largely because? its enforcement wbb entrusted to 
voliBitary inspectors. The I855 Act renedied this delect and began thet 
process which sfw govem.-a«it-paid inspectors investigating and reporting 
on conditions of labour in an increasing nuabor of factories - conditions 
ranging from hours of labour, and ages of eaployrawit, to ventilation and 

M nttaapt ires made in 1664 to place part of the Kork of eniorcLig 
the factory Acts upon the shoulders of local authorities, but the ctioti^e 
was not a happy one, and the Factory Act of IG?!- restored tiie old 
situation, A J'aetory and Korkshops Act Cooaiaslon in 1876 reported that 
the Inspecting staff was by thnt tLae covering over one i-iundred and ten 
thousand establiahraents. (85/ 

The Disraeli administration which n&at into office in 187^ produced 
several Factory /eta. Itie first in 187^ prohibited the eisploy3a6n.t of 
children under IC and fixed tiie working hcairs of "youns persona" at 
flfty-slx per week. A flirther Act of I676 served as e Conaolidating 
Act and provided regulations concerning overtiae, darxgerous saachinery 
and other hazards. In the scantLne, the Factory Acta were widening In 
scope, so t^&t by the Act of I878, textile and non textile mills, 
dangerous industries of all typos (except ainlng; and other industries, 
all fell within the scope of the Factory Depart..:«it. in addition, the 

(82; Ojang, T. K., Factory Inspeoticm in Qr e at Sri tain , p. 28. 

(85; Ibid ., p. 45. The stcif at the Beme tiae numbered fifty -one, so 
that one lai^t assuae that inapections would be neither frequent 
nor very tiiorough* 


Department wae Inter ontruatod with the eaTorwsaeHit of the Truck Act of 
1887» prohibiting peyment in kind« and of other epecial acts ea well. 
By 169?, Uien, legislation and adainietration of the various acts had 
so developed and lr:proved, that inapectoro were ©apowered to deal with 
Infractiona of a very complex aet of mleo in a widely extended nuaber 
of operRtiona, The Acts covered textile mills, printing eatablishaents , 
Iron foundries, bleach and dye vorka, to mention but a few exa^splea; 
they regulated working hours and working ccaiditions; they colled for 
certain mini:au2a atanderda oi safety; C64j of ventilation (85; end of 
sanitction; they prohiblt«i the eaployacsit of ciiildrwi under eleven. (86; 
In gerierel, whet was done for manufectiiring, was done for the coal mining 
industry by the 'eta of 1&47, I872 and 1666 and the Gonsolidsiting /jct of 

It auat be pointed out that while thia legislation undoubtedly was 
of great iaportoiice in eelegLJarding the lives end the health of countless 
workers, still it auat have been viewed on occa&ion by workers as a mixed 
blessing. Child labour as revealed by the Poor Law CoatBission of 18^ 
undoubtedly vaa en evil blot on the industrial scene, but it sust be 
reosembered that «agoe of tiiat labour isuat have nseant, to ^sany indig&it 
or near-indigent faailiea, the difference between aubsiatence and starv- 
ation; indeed the prevalence of <^ild labour would org^e just that fact* 

(84 j E.g. Fencing wr^a required around all exposed gears by the Act of 
X856. (Ibid., p. 152.) 

(85 j E.g. The Cotton Cloth Factories Act of 1639 reqi^ired e fresh air 
supply of 600 cubic foot per head per hour. ( Ibid. . p. 179./ 

(86/ But the Ldueetion Aet of I&80 required attendaxice at school of all 
children up to the age of thirteen. 


A more legitiaiate critieisa of the Factory Act eyatee was that aony 
workers, notably those in the 80-c«lled sweated industries, pieoe-worlc 
eaployees of clothing asnufacturers, as well as shop esslstants and 
clerics, (87} did not es yet Ehtre in tiie benefits of supervision by the 
Factory Depertriant. In spite of inedeqiJeeies, the whole Factory Act 
system represented e considerable advance in thinking ebaat social legis- 
lation. 3o, too, did another exaaple of this type of "welfare" iegis- 
iatlon, the .ierchant Shipping Act of I876. The protective clajses in 
this act were undoubtedly a greet blessing to England's merchent soaaen, 
but this act too had loopholes by .iiesns of which even the owners of 
Englleh-regiotered ships were able to escape soae of its restriction^ 
both on the hi^ seas and in port. 

The sooet tragic feature of the industrial accidents which these acts 
were designed to reduce in n.£aber, wbs that such accidents inesnt always 
loss of wages end soisetiices loss of eaployment - most trsgic because 
even teriporary loss of ineone often seant destitution for others of the 
worker's faiiily, (38) It was to aeet this need thst the Easployer's 
Liability Act of I88O wae franed. By this njeasure the worker was en- 
titled to eonjpensatioc for injury incurred during the hours of his 
•raploynent. Tbe benefits of the act were seriously lessened, however. 

(87 ) See the testiiaony of Ulargaret Bondfield and others before the 
House of Ijords Select (^Konsittee on Sweating In Industry, 1687. 
A start rris Ticde towards relief of the c;xidition8 of shop 
assistants only in 1654, (Pipkin, C.i»'«, Socisl t'olitic s arui 

ioder n De-ao cracies , I, pp. 50-52. j 

(88) The problea of destitution and the relief of the Poor Lew is 
discussed in a Ister cJ-ispter. iee p/» J^y-iiO 


by provisions that before cotspensatlon vould be paid to a •orksawi, 
negllgenoe on the part of Uie o&ployer had first to be proven ta diffio- 
ult tesk, since such proof usually depended upon testimony of other 
otftployeee; and notice of the eocideat had to be filed by the injured 
within six weeks of its occurrence. (89) At Trades union Ccmgreasea 
of the late elgjitiea and early nineties atrong protests were leuached 
by delegptes about th« operation of the act. (90) 

Kor had the workasoi yet an effective safeguard ai;cinst loss of his 
Income through slcknese. The Friendly Societies had been of sooie 
aeaistence* at least to the bettor paid sorkers» and their existeiioe 
was legalized by statute in 1875, ijiallarly the trade unions which were, 
as wo have seen, providing similar benefits to the saae class, were 
recognized and their flmda protected by the acta of the snae year. (91; 

(89) Jaaes Sexton fractured his skull and lost an aye in e fall into 
an opea hatch in iC^yl, but c<%ild collect no coispeneatlon because 
he could .aoet neither of these conditions. See hie autobio^aphy, 
pp. 735-76. "ihe official ^ovemnient staterneifit on the introduction 
.-?f the new Coapeneation /ct la 1697, said of tho for:3cr ect, "the 
present law is notoriously inadequate; it fails to co:2peasate 

for accidents if c&used by fellow servrjits. If co^itribrated to by 
the injured and if resulting frcoi the risks of Uic occupation; 
it caused costly litigatiiMi, 35 per eent of the araount recovered 
being legal expense; it leaves the oaployer i^orant of what his 
liability is.** (Getteay, C. F., rtecent Br i ti sh L egislat ion 
Affecting gorkinjSMn» p* 22^») The courts ruled in I68I that 
"contr; ' ■ xit" from the l&SO act wea permissible, cud tiius one 
2iore oi^ , .ity was givan to euployero who wiairied to evade its 
jurisdiction. Even the Improved Act of 1897 which established 
the riglit of the worker to compensation regardless of Uie exist- 
ence of negligence on the pert of the employer, waa still full of 
snags and tricks. 

(90) See the Reports of the Trade UnLon Goggreae. 16 66 and 1869 partic- 

(91) 3ee p.^L above. 


But for the majority of Eiiglend's srorkers these benelite wore out of 

L088 of income through loss of eniploymeat waa, of courset the 
grlasaest of the dangers facing the greet mase of t^nglish workers by 
iSj*^. Ab y«t tliore had be«i no atteizipt on the part of jt^overnaent to 
deal with the probloa of persietenty recurring unemployment - a. 
problem thr.t in vies; of England's industrial developiomt naa becoming 
more and :sore a problem of urgeacy, and sulctt eitor 1689 end the advent 
of the "new unionlem", was beoosilng aore particularly a siotter of trade 
union concern. (92) 

As for govermaent interferwice by statute for the purpose of pro- 
viding ainLaua wage sta>idarde, the day had not yet come when either 
Liberal or Gonsorvative lendera could look upon audi interfereiice aa 
within the legitlaote sphere of legislative action, it is true that 
Sir ^enry Gaapbell-Bannerrian in the Hoaae of OoEraons on iiarcik 6, I695, 
could and did annoiaice the intuition of his adaLuistration "to be 
eniOTigat the best ejaployers ia the country", (95; in the roatter of 
fair wages, but the prevailing opinion wea still thr^t of the neiaber 
who, in 1902, replied to criticisa of the wages paid by a govemamt 
department to its aaployees, that "since t»)e wages being paid got the 
work done, tJriere was nothing wrong witi'* the wages". (^) 

{92 J fn article by John Uums in the I.inetcentl -i Centur y for Deoeaber 
1092 and reprinted by the Pabian 2jclety as Tract Uo, ^7, 'fhe 
Unttaployed . Of. The graph of unenploynont atetiotics in 
Appendix, p. ^zC 

(95) This waa used with tolling effect by 3haw and »«ebb in the Fabian 
T o Your Tents, Isr ael in the ?prtaijj~.tly Review for ilovftsber 
1695, Vol. 54, pp. 569-589, and in -uie later tract A t^lan of 
Ceiapaiigi for Labour . 

(94; Hansard , 4th Series, Vol. 1U6, pp. 678-68O. 


In the matter of provision of healthful, adequate living conditions 
for the laasB of the working class population by 165C» only little pro- 
gress had been made. Beginning in 1651 and continuing throu^ the 
Torrens Act of 1868 (the /\rtizan8* and Labourers' uwcl lings Act,, and 
the Cross Act of 1&79> legislation had been passed to permit the local 
authorities to conderan unfit habitations and to levy rates for the 
eroctlon of aaiteble qucrters in their steed. (S6; This aathority 
■as vested in the office of the medical officer of health, a post made 
necessary in all coristltated sanitary districts by the fublic Health 
Act of 1872. "^e Housing of the Vorking Classes Act, in l&d5, and the 
further Housing Act of 15<A>, boU» resulting £rosi invootijiations of 
the Royal Cooaiselon of 1884-1885, still fUrtlier facilitated action of 
the local euthoritics to deal with the probl«n. Uit^t tlie i::^>rove(aent 
of local ad-ninlstraticns and tiie exteiosion of their rii^ts and 
facilities for the raising of funds for lainicipal eritcrpriae, and with 
the establishsent of municipal organization in ttie rureil areas by the 
County Councils Act of 1636, a lauch ^roster activity in the field of 
provision of working class housing took place. That it rras inadequate 
to meet the needs of the situation would seera apparent fraa surveys 
based on the c«isua of 1891 (96; which indicated that close to 50 per 

(95; Dewsnup, S, R, , The Housing Problea in Enicland . Gh. VI, 

(96) See table in Dewsnup, The .'lousinfi i^obleni, p. 77« Curing the period 
1&8>>1888 lees than 2«000 houes sere condeoined under these acts. 
( Ibid. , p. lAS.; In fact only four towns outside of London (lian- 
choster, liottin^ao, Oldhaa and «est Maia; reported any activity. A 
survey ctaiducted by the c'all l^all Gazette in 1884, Into living 
conditions in Soho, revealed that out of 164 tenesaent houses viaited, 
55 were reported "good", 51 "passable", 56 "bad* and 24 "aboainable". 
Evan in the poorest the rent for 2 rooas was on tlie average 10s. 
p9r meek.. ( Heport of Industrial Recaune r ation Conference, p. 10 1. ^ 


aeat or Sngland's fcrailles were still living in habitations o£ four 
rooins or leas. i97) It ie possible too that the operation o£ the 
housing projects was :Bade the exejso for jerry-building and scandalous 
lend proilts; (96) it would at least be surprising if that were not 
tr^e in socie cases* 

To the thinking workingsan of the early l890'e • and a perusal 
of the debates in the Tredea Unicm Qwigresses of the period confirm the 
suggestion that there were many such - the record of the legislative 
ac^iievesents of Use lest two dec&dea juot have seeaied a soanty cme. 
George Kowell, a Labour- Liberal la,F», mi^t point to en iapreesive list 
of fifty-three neasures raore or iess promoted by» or the direct result 
of, the action of the Trodee Unions end their Congresses* and uore 
recently of Labour nepresentatic»i in Parliaoenti (99> but the new 
Socialist labour leaders heaped scorn not oaly on tiie office cy of the 
aessures theasolves* but the idea that working class eX'forts had be<m 

(97) Cf. :AastomG»» C.f .G,, ate Qondi tion of Etigland. for the London 
situotion. The f'&bimi society issued tlie Tract Ho, 7^ !» 1900, « 
Houses for the People, which gave wide publicity to the housing 

(98; This charge was aiftde by Jesies Sexton in his Ajtobiojgraphy (p. 90) 
concerning operations in Liverpool where the riealth and General 
Purposes Coioaittee "was packed by jerry- builders arid Uieir esente" 
and wiiere the local overseer for th«t coniciittee was a jerry-builder 
hiaself. LocgI trade unions interested theaaelves in the trans- 
actions, so it was soaetiaee necessary to hold the oorooiittee liieet- 
ings to sanction the application to borrow-/ money for tliese 
nefarious purposes at 9*^ a.m. end in the home of oao of the 
eosaotittee members, in order to avoid the intrusion of union 
delegations of protest. 

(99j Trade Union Coniaresses and i^ocial Lejtieletion , in Contemporary 

Review for 18^, Vol. 56, p. 4l6. In a survey of legislation in 
the interests of working classes in his later work. Labour Legls- 
iation. Labour .lovcraeats end Labour Leaders , pp. 469-^72, Howell 
lists eighty- two rjcasures. 


reaponsible for the gains laade. (100) 

The labour leodors of the atoap of Robert Applegarth, Gearge Howell 
and Henry Ift^3adhurst had eaoused as their oaly legitimate objective, the 
winning of lef^aletion to esaist and legalize their own aMena of aelf- 
helf » and to prosiote the peraonol safety and welfare of the workers in- 
volved in their sBOveoetit* A lauoh larger end a such different objective 
wee ROW being proposed for Labour, particuleurly and ooet vociferously 
by tt:e nevs soelaliat trade uuioniote. their coaception of the legitioiate 
function or social legislation was tbet it would provide not only the 
welfare of a few, but the economic security of ell. The Factory Acts, 
the various Housing J(cte, had aado a start towards the reiilization of 
%h9 old goal. But by lS9?. the defend aas being voiced by Liabour for 
6\idn new Isglelation as to gaerantee "living «cge" levels, to provide 
old age pensi'^ia, to Insire against sickness end accident, end above 
ell to tackle the problem of unemployment. Uritish uabour, by the 
begiiuiing of the last decade of the century, wa» beginning to think of 
a new goal - the proviaicKi of security for British workers* 6oae at 

(lOOj Tott «8nn, Ben Tiilett, Ben Turner, ^ir Hardie end Jas^s 

Sexton, to naiss but a few, were eloquent in their estiiaate of 
tJie inadequacy of Social legislation in 165>2. The sebbs in 
their History of Trade Unioaioia (p. 371 > deprecate the 
effect of working cIsbb political activity to ditto. It waa 
natural ti^at Howell, a product of the Liberal ^rbour alliance, 
should cni^asize its value, and that the '.'ebbs, who after 
1695 were advocp-tes of an independent working class party, 
should ^ini::aize a^ieveaeite of the Labour group in Uie 
Liberal ranks* 


leeat of its new leaders, not content sia&ply to edvocate new ains, 
were advocating a new oethod of achieving those aiaa, the creation of 
an independent working oleee political party. Ttiat this new party 
should have a Socialist basis was to tliom at least, although it was 
taany years before t)ie majority of their followers were won to their 
conviction, a natural result of their associations with the now 
Socialist or^'^onizatlona which had becojce so nuclv-discussed a part of 
the Lngliaii political picture by 1692. 



It has bewi euggested trial what sueeeas the new Goclalisia had in 
appesling to English workers at the end of tiie century deponded in 
large measure upon the conditions which we have just dieeaaaed; en in- 
tense interest en the pert of all clessos in the social question, a 
sesiee of organization* solidarity and poseession of political power oa 
the part of the working claos« and a deep-seated dissotisfaction with 
the existing reaedies for the social ills which bore so heavily upon it* 
Since these conditions were eo olwrlouaiy preaent, it would be easy, 
althcxagh ■»:>8t unwise, t^> overe^i-phosise the influence of the new doctrine* 
The Socialist societies dld« it is true« win to their ranks a lar^^e 
nuraber of the ablest of the new Isp.dere of the working elaas ^noveaent of 
Great Britain after 1889* Thott too, Uic sjcietios* and Uieae saeezitiers, 
did ajceeed in converting a majority of their fellows to the ciwiviction 
that independent pollticel action, and e working class political party, 
were botiri aecesoary* 3ut that conversion for aany years was neither 
uneniaoms nor peroioneEit, end aany labour leaders oontiiUied to saaUitaln 
an uneasy sort of liaison with the Liberal Party, and to be re.>,arded in 
soae circles as but a Labour wlag of that party. The eij: to convert 
the iaejority of Sngllsh workers to the Locialist point of view - even 
the pe^iliarly British, particularly palatable fora of ^ocislisa wUioh 


ItB En^;;lleh proponeats finally evolved - nea Btill Tar fr^.a realization, 
Rhet the ncsr .Socialist propegandiets did do at this atpge of Labour 
polities was to deepen the workers' resertt^^arit at the ineuioquacy and 
unfairness of existing social arrGago:a«wita, to strengthen tiieir distrust 
in the iatoation and abilities of existing political machinery to change 
those arrangeacaate, and tiius to pave the way for their support of a new 
political party. (IJ The iiapect of the new Sooielisa, tlion, was one 
of the forcGS ffhldi was to eroRte the Labour Forty; befsr© kg can deal 
adequately nlth the appear once of tinat body we cxist examine the fora 
and the purpose of the Socialist societies the>a9clve8. 

At nae been pointed out by an eminent British historian that "tlie 
aoveaents by whidi the new Britain wp.s striving to remedy the evils 
atteridant on the Industrial Revolution - Co-operatloa, Factory Lawe, 
Trade Unionisrj, eree Trade - were all, like the Industrial l^cvolution 
itself, British in conception end origin*. (2; He mi^t with alffioat 
equal truth have added ts hia list the Socialist stoveaent in England. 
Certainly the Socioligt societies were called into being, and justified 
their existence, aa organisations "striving to resaedy the evils" in toe 
now society. And elraoat ea certainly, in their origin, their constitw- 
ions, tijeir avowed purposes, they were peculiarly British. Tliey had a 

(1) ^ther factors ootitributed as well to bring about independeiiL 

political action, and tJieae :au8t be later considered. Increasing 
unsiaployaent, rising costs of living, and particularly tiio threat 
to trade union existence iaplied in tlie Taff Vale decisioji, had 
as much to do with the conversion of Uabour to indepeiident polit- 
ical action as hed the efforts of the jocialiste in tiie independ- 
ent Labour i^arty. 

(2) Trevelyan, Q. i., British Rlatorj' in tite I^ineteenth Century, p 278« 


traditiofl bohlnd thota tfhich was essentially Er.gliah - the Co-operative 
Socieliaa of Robert Owen, the political sociQliea of botoo of the 
Ohartiats, (5, the C^iristian SocieliesB of liaurioe arid Aingpiey, were 
all desigQed for Eiiglish disciples ond for English sitiaatiana, and 
were oaiy to a sliij^t degree iafluonoed by the vioiseitudee of the 
Cantineatal ooveoent. Karl :<iarx and his disciples made for less 
forcible an impression upon London working oleas circles ti'ien upon 
eiailar circlos in Ciermany; 'Aarx himself seeaa to have been in London 
but never of it. T>ie ilrot International, when it wes founded, drew 
the grecter part of its support froo British trede union orgeniaatiorxs, 
but the British delegates (aen like George i'otter, for exaisple; aiust 
have be«i a source of disaey to ';arr and Ijigels. r'robably the oajority 
of the trade union delegates e^o lietaaed to Jerx's addreee at the 
opening of the first aeeting of the latenititional working :ien'e 
Aesooletion in I^ioveaber of 1864, could follow bat few of his argusients, 
ovon though tj^ey knew f\ill well the truth of the premises upon which 
those arguneats sere baced. (^y It is fair to ao;/ the^ during Uie two 
decodes of the sixties nnd the seventies, the new "scientific sociRlism" 

(^) From the Qiartist agitation ccuae a heritage of advanced ideas tiiet 
■Bade it possible for tlie leoders in the London i'-orklng lien's 
Aseoeiotion in 1864 to accept the stand of Karl j^iarx, even thju^Jb 
t^«y probsbly did not underatajid his doctrines. The CSiartists, 
too, loft b^ilnd tii03 for I^iglish workaeri the conviction thnt 
possosaiosi of the franchise, and ropreaentation 5ji i arlia-neat, were 
not only their riit^ts, but t^ie necessary prellainarlca to the 
desired social aid ecoaoalc refornu Julius est, in his History 
o f the Chartist 'ovgaent t p. 2S6, oays thet tiie ceoveaent nCiievod, 
not the six Points, but a stp.te of laind, a stpte of aind which the 
Kaia<.'K>nd8 cell "a stepdy end responsible quarrel witi*! the conditions 
of their livoa", (The Age of the Stxartiats , p. 2.) 

(4) The address appeared In the Beehive for iiovecaber 12, 1&64, 


a«de but little progress except In the negative sense of SiUllasi 
itorris'a observe tion thct by I88O ''there »&b no longer* among the 
mass of the woricing class In London, any deoided hostility to SociallHs". 
(5/ "Qic decade of the eighties, hoaever, «as to aao a raaaricable 

A nu^aber of factors cosbinod to bring about Vae reblrtii of social- 
ist ectlvity in England. Undoubtedly one of ttiese factors was the 
result of i-Ierx's pereonal appes-ls, nnd the publication of the t-aglish 
traisletion of hie greatest work. £ut to overatreas :.iarx' inl'luenea 
vould be to throw e falsa li^t on the whole story of Socialist davelop- 
aant in Iiiglsnd since I86I. It aay be true* as 'iax Boer clststs* thnt 
aodem sooielia-s in Grest iJritain and the Labour aovecaent itselx't ere 
"inseparably linked* with riarxiaa, <6, but one raj at reaei^er tiiCt tiieae 
two aoveoenta are aleo "inseparably linked" witin o number of otiier 
influe^-^oes as well. (7; "hile such uee was loede of the iiarxian ilasorip- 
tion of British working class oondititaas, «id chile ao^e of the Marxian 
vocabulary sooii beoaae port of the vocabulary of the Ixiglish socialist, 
atill it is a truthful ^-terallzation that ^ arxian i>oeialie:^« iririi^ 
by "its analysis of the conditions of U\e working clasa la nineteenth 

(5; Q;aoted in ilaeKail, yjli i- is,, li, p, 81. " ' ijl , a aontiily 

publication, be/^sn brovei, aeffield in 1877* ailed aiter 

issuing but six nuabers. Cf. Tiaes leaders for June 7» lS77f end 
in several nuabers in May 1672. i>Jt the nrx Hey jew (Vol, 

54; Jenacry, I878 has an article by "ill; Jific, Tne 

Progreaa of Socialisi^ in England , which is eti anticipation of the 
Fabisn view aoon to be edopted. 

^^J A History of British ^ocialisia (1929 ed,; 11, p. 2U2. 

(7) Of. Beer's own statanent, II, p. ^5, iiidney tiebb states quite 
categorically that "uiorx added notl-in^ to tiio Labour aove^jent", in 
his article on Fabiaaien» in The "jncyclopedia of the Lab our .iove iuent, 
N. B. Lees 3:iith ed* i>emard Shaw in his Appa:idix to r'eese, E.H., 
Hiatory of , , the Fabian Society , eays very ouch the aoae trjing. 


•«ntury hngXend, actually ^ave the strongest dynamic lopulee to world 
SocialiKn"* remained for raost purposes aad to ax»8t social lata in 
England an ecade'jic doctrine and one to which grave objections could be 
raised. (6j The nem 8ocieti(»a of the ei^ties never at «iy time in 
their developia«it shared the anti-religloua tendency of Continental 
otarxisra; in fact it was the consciousness of the sinful nature and 
unohristisn aapeota of aodern Industrial civilization that drove 
hundreds likja Too 'Aana and George Lansbury into the socialist anoveiaent. 
(9; They became socialists , but their gods were national, not inter- 
national* and '*at tiieir head acs JehoveUi, not ^.ax^"* (10; Engllah 
•ocialiam never adopted the J^arxiBt djctrines in toto; the doctrine of 
the class struggle and the^tl'ieory of value sere never accepted without 
question as tiicy were by at loF^at one section of the Caitinental oiove- 
atent. In fact» tho ablest critics of those theories were the Fabi&.s, 
not the Coaeervatives of E^igland, end it has be«i suggested by people 
like H. C. iU £n8or« that Edward Dernstoiu's revisionist doctrines took 
shape during his eojoiirn in England. Certainly tiie Fabians whoa 
Bernstein colled the "best brains in England" influciiced him greatly. Ul; 

The importance of this irtdepeiide^ice froa Continental and Marxist 
soelaliaa is obvious. In the form in whid:i it finally became the 

(8; This is the opinion of a Qenaan socialist - 'Vertiielaor, L. , i'ur trait 
of the L abour fartyi p. 196. 

(9) "For every Socialist created by Das Kapital, (in Engleadj a 

thousand have been created by the Ulble." UlutcJilnson, H. , Laboar 
in toliticB. p. 97. 

(lOj Dssaond, 5., Labour, the Giant with ; eet of Clay, p. JS. 

(11; Cf. -iy Years in Exile. 


phllosophy of the British Labour Party, tiagllBh aocieliaa sus evolution- 
ary in character, refonalat In its inteatione and pariianetitariaa in its 
tactics, iiot the leeat o£ the sourcoe of its strM^cth was, in tho irords 
of Raias«^y .iacDonald, «je fact ttmt It has always boon possible for its 
leaders t^:> soy "that a reply to larxiat dogaa is not a reply to Gocial- 
laa". <12; Ihe LngHah sociRlist Qoveajoat has be<sn able to keep its 
ranks open at ell ti:aa8 to C^uirehman as veil as apostle, to the reproo- 
entetive of the bourgeoisie as well ea to the worker, to U\e professional 
isan as aell as to the trade-uniamiot, and the eatiiolie nature oi its 
i^entbcrahip has been a source of strength to itself as well as a source of 
aaaseme'it to Its obsejrvers on Uie Continent* 

iaaturally esoou^, there was a school of socielist opixilon in England 
whiohi ver/ socai uttered a protest against any such unorthodox tendency. 
The Social Democratic Federation, foundod In l8Sl r.s the Democratic 
Federction, looked upon itself as Uie oaiy con;sioteiit oxpouent of the new 
and trje lerxiat doctrine q£ scientific socieliam. (15> Ita founder 
and moving spirit was Henry -Jayera Kyndaan, whose Soctallsa ^de rlaJn , 
published in 168^, jsirported to be the case ror wooialiaai in bn^lnnd. 
Throughout its exiataic^ the 5. D. F., as it was popularly k:iown, con- 
si ateatly advocated the fall gospel of -iarxisa. Its laotsbora did not 
reject sociel refowt, since "soclalla-a does not reject useful palliatives 

(12; ^ecOoneld, J. ^., , The Social let aojyemea t» p. ^J. 

(15 ; Yet Hyndjitu^i hL:iaeif assies to rietiry George as greet b role as 

that of ilarx in the foundation of his society. Cf. The Historical 
Basis of wQcielism in Lnglend , p. 292. The Record pf an , 'dventur- 
ous Life, pp. 280-282, 290-295. 


of existlns snarly", but they did ineiet that 'such pailiativeo, how- 
ever ettraotive In appearance, will only provide better wage elavea 
for capitaliats under existing inatitatioaa*. (14; ihat Um S. D. F. 
aaoberahip was prepared for wns the coanlfite collapse of •apitalist 
Booiety. In all of fiyndaan'a writing, as in the apeeehee or hia 
lleutraianta, the neseaalty of this collapse, aa well as its lasainence, 
ie stressed. The year of the founding of the 3. D. F. was to be tlie 
Pawn of a r leyo lut ionar y Lpoch; (15 j when several yccrs passed and the 
dawn still reflised to break, aany of the raecibers began to leave the 
rKiiia. Frankly insurroctlonary, the Federation had a stormy exist- 
ence. Ita best known recruit, billies -.orris, left the or^anizaticm 
In 1884, along with Belfort Bax, Ralter Orane and Lleenor larx, in 
protest Rgaiost the fiyndtBaa-sponaorcd jxjlicy of participation in 
political ecticn. The dissidents, who were united in a^^eaaent as to 
the futility of seeking either aselioration of social oonditlsKis, or 
refom of the ediuiniatrptive aachlnery, snd as to the necessity of 
demanding instead a new order, not a change in the old, (,16) th«i 
formed the Social ist LeagLie. The purpose of the latter was simply 
"to stake Socialists", and to t>mt purpose all else was to be eubordin- 
ated. Political action was abandoned entirely, and the new 

(lA) Hyndaan, H. a.. Social Democracy , p* 24. 

(15) l^is was the title of an article which Hyndraan contributed to 
the i^ineteon th Centu ry in January, l88l. (VjI, 

(16/ According to "-•orris, T-duoation towards Revolution seess to me 
to express in throe words what our policy should be." (Froa an 
article in the Qooraonweal in 1886, quot«i ia lilackail. Life of 
Hillitta -lorria . il , pp. 15>-154.> 


or^iizatioo opened its ranks to the anarehiet eloaaite «rt«> bad been 
attracted by tiie teachia^^ of i riaoe iiropotkln. By ttie end of the 
decade -orris. Sax and Craiio were out of the League end it had beoose 
entirely duainated by the /snarcliisto. (17; 

Althou^ doacrtod by the "ortist-Soclaliata'', the S. D. P. still 
retained Uje alle^enoe oi such jen as John iiums, H, K. CJhaapion, 
Harry Quelch of the Loidon Trades Council, J. L, Joynes, end Jack 
Uilliei»i» All of tlieee aien were indefatigable atreot-comor oratore, 
all were agreed upon the necessity of using political oeeae to obtain 
the perty objective of a •ocielizsed society, (16; At the election 
of 1885, the party ran three candidates under its banner. All were 
defeated; in fact tiT3 o£ ihcci. Jack ^llliaoie in ile^pstead and Joiu^ 
fielding in Kwmingtoa, polled but 59 votes betveen thoia. In addition 
to this set-back, the Federation suffered greet lose of face when it 
becaaie knosm that those eaae two candidates had been partly financed 
by "Tory gold*. Shile Rich tactics were quite ecco? table to the 
doctrinaire .3e::sbers of the federation, they were beirildering to the 
veet :^tajority of the London srorklng class, and w. ^. i. prestigp sank 
low. Hyndsimi's feaous reply to the criticise of accepting "Tory gold" 
was "iiCHi oietJ" - (It does not afflolll"; - whicii certainly did little 
to explain or reassure. IhB shook to London nadicalieu wee great. 

(17; Bax, E, Belfort, F^ini sc onces pnd nefl exions o f aL .'Uddle_an d 
Late y'ictprian , p. 8l. Qlaaier, J. 3., ..iJllevi _ .orri3 and the 
i^ly Dave of the 3jcia li8t3o yeE s« tt, pp. 122-1 Ju. 

(18; / lettrir to the Tiaes « iiay 16, l£9^, hy i'.yndaan auaiiiarlzed the 
3, D, F. position in regnrd to political action. 


since both pBrties to the transaction were made to appear foolish - 
"the Tories who had bought 59 votes awey from the Liberal caadidatea 
at a coat of about >^8 apiece* and the SoclQliBta who had sacrificed 
their repntfitians for nothing". (19> 

A teEnporary revival in peurty fortune caoe in 1886 end 1887, when 
the unemployed dcsocstratisma were skilfully used by John Gums, 
(Sianplon end Jack i-illiaas to the advantage of the S, D, F, In fact 
these aen, along with Hyndoen hlnself , becaae the leaders of ttie un- 
eaployed, "iitob aaidsy", February 8, 1886, and "Bloody >iunday* in iioy 
of the following year, c:ark the hif^ieat point of 3. D, F. influence. 
Thereafter, in teraa of popular following et least, the noveaent de- 
clined eteedily. F-voa T.jadasn hii^taelf years after admitted that the 
Pederctlan "did not aeet a long-felt want", (20> althou^* he did njt 
see that one of the rcsaoaa for the inadequacy of hie sioveaont lay in 
hie own person. For Kyndatao wea the 'aea green incorruptible", 
admitting of no comproaise on cocanlete socielisra, accepting no half- 
oeasures, (21; As the leader of an inaurrectionary laovttiient deeig^ied 
to draw its support froQ unaldlled workers and the un«aployed, he was 
ein^larly ill-fitted by appearance, teuperaaoit and aetlona. 

(19) Shwi, Th e Fab ian S ociety; Its aerly Histor/ ^Fabian Tract lio, 41, 
p. 6, J 

(20; J^ecord o f ea Myent urous Life, pp. 506-507, 

(21) The story is told by J, P., Clynes in hie i-ieooira . 1» p. 256, of 
Hyndraan's participation as a isteober of the Conausiera' Council, 
eet up in 1918 to assist the Food Lllniatry. Iiyjadaan agreed to 
join, but p.t its first oeetiag he "aoleanly Altered a protest 
egslnst the ii'onorable J, R, Clynea^ as a >.iovemaant official, 
acting as Caiairaan of a Gonsusaers' Council. " iiavine thus cleared 
his dialectic skirts, he settled down to do gpod t?ork in the 


Tlje ajoat serious Inadequacy of the S. D« F., however, »as ita 
failure to provide a prjviaional, or tranaitlon prograau ehlle twaiting 
the revolution, the seabers of the L. D. y, were prepared to acaej-t a 
houaiag pro^srain; or free, coaipulaory educati«ij or a ache^e of iree .seals 
for needy chlldren» 8ut the purpose of the organization was aot to win 
these or any other palliatives (22; - Ita purpose wes to create a 
socialist state after the cetaclys:^ of cepitaliaji's overtiirow. The 

(22; The program of I883 ep(>eare In Hyndaen's .socialisei 4a de t lain. For 
tlie Inadequacy of the 3, D, F, and Its failure to capitalize on 
the aocisl refar;! anntlrieat of the last two decedeB of Uic century, 
ef, Se«r, British Goe laliga, II, p. 269. ior the reaction of a 
working Joan see Tom tgui's eaoirs . p. 56. Bernard Ghau'a 
appraisal is in rebissi Tract ^-o. 4l, The ' .e rl ^rX-PiLii'^ 

Pabim SocjLety . M interesting co^aaont ia tj i reiderictj 

Fngels, who in a letter to Sorge In 1890 reciarkecl tiiat "the feder- 
ation alw!iya ao'ts as t?iouc;i besides itaalf tliere are only asees 
and quacks'^. (Quoted by iKoiton, 0. D. , social i& iu^ a^Cri tic&X 
Analysis, p. 266./ 

Pertiaps the beat instance of 1 ederction obduracy was the 
attitude of its seabershlp t^j iho other .socialist or sei&i-aocialist 
bodies. Each year at the Annuel Conference of the Labour i^.rty, 
S. D. r. 3ecibera, atter ' a Trsde Union or Trades Cooncll 

delegates, since tho !> ^n itseli was not affiliated with 

the Labour i'nrty pfter 1501, eole:tinly offered first a resolution 
which would sake the Labour Perty en. tyut^and-out Sociftliat ori_an- 
ization. Wh«i that was defeated, oa^ other .^esber could Uiea 
offer a resolution whose purpose wa.? to drive out all Socialists 
as such (i.e. the delete tea of the Fabian Society end the Indepeod^ 
ent Labwir rnrtj), and to .'oake tho Party an ou'b-end-out trade 
uniailst organize tion. for ersaple at the Belfast Coaferonoe in 
1907» '• AtkinacHi and Harry *jelch :30ved for a iocidlst objective 
for the party, and wore defeated - 90,000 for, and 655,OCX< ei^ainst. 
(Report of /^nnual Conferenc e o f tho Labour P p rty. 1907 , p. 55* J 
A few hours later, Ben Tillett and Queich noved to require every 
S.P. , every candidate and every deiegnte to be a ^aaber of e trade 
union, and were defeated - jSl^OOD for, and 555,00U against, (p. 56 
of Report . ) 


S, D, F, aade Its appeel to the hoed, but not to the heart of the 
British wr>rker, tried to convinoe hia of th© logic and inevitebiiity of 
the Socialist poaition, hut had fow answers to his questions about food, 
shelter and work for today. (SJ) Its lack of success can be seen in its 
electoral record alter the disastrous experience of 1805. In 1392 the 
Federation ran two candidates who secured 657 votes, and in 1895 four 
eandidptcs, who polled 5»75^ votes. In the treuendous political up- 
heaval of 1936, ei;-ht Social Deoocratic noainees nustersd soae 72,000 
votes, although none were elected, but at the first election In 1910 
the total vote of the party had dropped to 5,6lu. (2A> 

/. aKJdi aore iaportant role in the social politics of the i/sriod 
was played by the Febi«o 3oel«ty. From the beginning of its existence 
the Society was s-uch aa to drair to its renJca some of the aoet brililarit 
ainds In England - Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice ^ ebb, Graham «allns, 
Sidney Olivier and M/ile Boaant ifor^ but the best known of its recruits 
by 1886, while later years have seen people llJce R. C. K, Snsor, 
H. G. Sells sad C. D» M« Ocle serving on its executive. 

According to Shaw hlaself , for a year or two the Society was 
*just aa anarehletlc as the Sociollst Leo^e end just as insurrectionary 

(25/ Robert Blatchford once said to Shaw Deeisond that "the thing which 
waa troublinc; the factory girl was not either the downtrodden pro- 
letariat or the U.eory behind international Socialises, but what 
she nas ^ing to rxit into her stODech and what M\o IXike said to 
the lUcheaa in the conservatory after dinner.'' ^Dcm-jsond, S*, 
Lpbour, th e Giant with F e et of Clav . p. jB-j If he had substituted 
"the cup-tie on SR^rday* for the society item, he inl^^t liave aade 
the 8o/2ie stateracfit about the factory &a& as well* 

(24 j Tracay, H. (ed, } The Book of the Labour P prt y , 1, 90. 


SB Uie [iioclal Ettaocratlc] Federation", (25; but •tablnn wiados gr«» 
out of Fabian experience", oad by 1886 both anarrfil«8 md insurrect- 
ioniea had been ropudinted. {26) The Society had beecxoe what it was 
to be for the next several decades, a laiddle claea society - dispensing 
"light withfxit heat", more intersated In apreediag information than In 
winning meabere, frankly opportumletic and frankly ready to cultivate 
eny group wJiich could offer assistance in the winaing of any aeasure 
of sociel refora. Its philaaaphy was based on a cooeeption of society 
as a living end growing organiso; to the Fabian, a eooialist sjciety 
was but one stare of that life end growth, while he hiisseli was 

(25; pir Fabian Society; Its Early His tory, p. 4. (fabien Tract Ho, 
^l. J This would appear to be a typical Shavian exaggeration - 
possibly tr.JO of "^haw hiasolf but probably not of tiio Uiclcty. 
the first tract published by tiic Society after less then a 
year of existence, »hy Are the ..i^any 'iiior ':' , appeals to "you 
wtoo live dainty end plosssaat liv38» reflect Uiet your ease 
aid luxury are paid for by the osisery end went of ottiers", end 
siniK •surely all fauaanity is not burnt out of yoa by iiie gold 
y"4ir fathers left you" invites such individuals "to corae out 
of your ease end superfluities to help uel" This la hardly 
an enar^int or an insurrectionary approach to the probloi of 
sociel refoml Jin e»-ticle by one of Its aembers in Today , Oct- 
ober, 1684, is typically later fabicn in its inaiateace upon 
perlisaentary procedure* echaoetion of the massee, etc*, as 
part of the evolutionary socialist process which the Society 
was to advocate. It was Shaw hifflsclf trho penned the ^atiifeat o. 
Issued before ''.ebb and Olivier and >i alias becisio se^Qbera, 
which atatod baldly "that we had rather face a civil war tnan 
audi enothor century of suffering es the present one has beoti'*. 
(Fabiai Tract No. 2.) 

(26; In that year the &• D* F. refViaed to send delegates to the 
Annual Conferwiee of the ^iociety. 


an "evolutioniat ppr exeellsRee". (27; ^iiB object wcs to secure 
reforaa la the existing sooial etructure, the sua total o£ which 
reioroB would eventually conetitijte e oocieiist orge&lzetioa. Hia 
tactics were to bring pree»jre to bear upon voters by propaganda* upon 
csiididRtos by printed questions, by public speeches end by securing a 
voice in local electoral aseociations , up<m legislators by personal 
contacts and reeacsied persuasion* upon administrators by otaselng of 
facts end logic of sugg^tions. (23j To attain their aids the Fabians 
usod the fenKXis policy of *persieation'*» of capturing or !::i8nipulatijag 
the existing political rsschinery rather than of attempting to set up 
new. {29} Said Freidcrioh £ngiBl« of their policy, ""nielr tactics are 
to fl^t the Liberals* not as decided opponents* but to drive thecs on 
to Bscialistic ooneequeiccs ; therefore to trick them* to peroieste 
Llbera^sa with Soeialiftji* and not to oppose Socialistic candidates to 
Liberal ones* but to palia thesa off* to thrust theci on under eooie pre- 
te«t*. (>>} 

Ttoero is little doubt that for a frw years at lenot* the Fabian 
policy of permeation bad a neesure of sueceso* Lentil the early 90 'a 

(27; iiaeD<xiaid* J. R. , SociallsB; Criti c al end Con atructive , p. XII. 
Sidney ;>ebb carries his evolutionary ideas to the extreme in 
Ejaglish Progreas Towards Uaclal D esy> cracy* Fabian Tract Uo, 15. 
"There will nevor come a Qoi&ent vixen we can say 'liow let us 
r^t* ^r Soclaiisai Is ^tabllehftd' ." 

(28; Both «ebb end Olivier thoaaelvee were of the Civil Service. 

(29; On iieptoaiber 17* 1886 the Society annual meeting resolved that 
It was advisable that Socialists "should or^ftaizo tlioaaelvee as 
a political party." As a re«iit a aeparate orgEUiizotion, the 
Fabian larliaaesatary Leasie, was established. /Iter several 
years of rather torsjous exiatence Uie Leai^uo raerrjed a^jain into 
the liociety. (Pease* Fablsi Society* pp. 6S-65'. ; 

(JO; In a letter dated in l095» qiJOted by Skelton* woclpliaa. p. 289. 


ocay prosninent Liberals had fairly cloo© and friendly relations with 
the Society, sod ouch of its activity was to provide the tools with 
which Hadioele like Sir Caierles Dilke were to attempt to rebuild and 
redirect the party* They Identified ttieioSRlvee with supporters of 
Factory .^ta, Jinas fle^latione Acts* the ^i«rebant Shipping Acts and 
the Kaployoes Liabilities Act as "progressive restrictions an Uie 
despotisa of the private eaployer"* aa projects for the "partial 
recovery for the nation of the toll which property takes from industry." 
(^1 ) Whether they wero actually pusiiing the progressive elements of 
both political parties into the advocacy of social refers or whether 
the Fabians, the Tory Deaocrats a&d the Hadicals were but different 
phases of the sasoe new interest in social queationB a^ion^ 
people of all political persuasions, (^2; is a matter on which opinioas 
differ. Oertainly whatever influeace the Fabians had« did not lack 
advertiseaient as long as the Society could avail itself of the services 

(Jlj Fabian Tract i^o. 7, gapital a nd i^en d, The phraseology is 

curiously si^^ilar to thot of Joseph Chamberlain's "ranscja" 
speech at Blrsingham in 16£5. 

(52) The latter ie apparently the opinion of one Conservative philos- 
opkier who suas up the whole dovelopiaent in one sentence which la 
pei4iapa aore splsidid than deGcriptive, "uhen lu iji^laad, Thoaaa 
Hill Qroen end his disciples in Jxford added the yeast of the 
Hegelion Staatslehre to the alxture of Plato end Aristotle, i^.ant 
and Pichto, Carlyle and ^iaurico, it produced a fersaent of 
collectlviaoi out of which ultimately was br©»ed the small beer 
of Pabien aociallsa." (Ueamshcas, ¥, J, C, The D<9VelopaQnt of 
Political Ideas , p. 56. On the other hand, Shaw's biographer 
claimed that "such Idetio as are embodied in ir. i>loyd George's 
bud^^t end the Old Ago ^^ensiona Bill are unmistekeable aarks of 
that gradual socielistlc leavening of linglisr) political tJiought 
upon which the Fabians heve been engaged over since 1884". 
(Henderson, A., George Bern ard 3hew« p . 175.; 


of propagendiets ae provocative as ;^he« or ae Indefati^ble as the 

After 169? the rabien influence ,up<» the Liberals at leest* was 
probably lauoh veekeoed. That party nas divided on iioKte i^Lff* and social 
questions ceased to be of pararsount political isportance* Tlte 
Gladstofiian section looicod upon Fabianism as "a mixture of dreory« 
gassy, doctrinoirisa and crack-brained farcicality, set oiT by a port- 
wttous anniscienee «ad a flinty egotism not to be zaatched outside the 
•alls of a lunatic asyltss*** (^^; Perhaps the vehaaeace of the denunci- 
ation is partly explained by the fact that the r'abi«i8 theasolvea had 
by this tiae eeaaed to follow the poarneation policy eixi nere now 
magiBiglBd in vi^roue attack upon the Liberal ?rogro.T7io and the Liberal 
record, i^) After 1899 and the outbreak: of the Boor «8r, the estrange- 
nent bet«e«3 the Febiane and the (iadicsl ning of the uiberala b&s 
intensified by the fact that nhile the younger Liborala like Oaapbell- 
Bennersanf Charles -lastenuan and Lloyd George adopted the unpopular 
"pro-Boer" stand* prominoit f'abiane like Sham, Vkebb and tiubert Blond 
adopted the lotperialiat Br@£3fsita and becase ali&oet as stKinch in 
defence of Britain's role in Africa as vas Joae^di Choaberlain hiiaaelf. 
fhen the turn of events brou^t the Liberals o^ain into office in 1^06, 

(55; An article in the Speaker , in 1695. Quoted in HendersMi, OeorKe 
. Bernard Shaw , p. I07. 

(54; Jne of the sost feaous of these attacks was In the article T9 
Your Tents, Israel J. a bitter condeanation of the Liberal 
reoord in office. It appeared in the rortni^htljr ileview for 
November, 1895, Vol. 54, pp. 569-589. 


the neiB saverrment wax asioh leas susoepiible to Fablen suggestion than 
hftd been Its i^saedlate predeeaaaor. ^^; 

i-robably the really l2ipcrtaat reaction to febian influence lay in 
a different direction altogether. For to a very large extaat, they 
supplied the doctrine aii:' the philosophy of the new Independent Labour 
Party after its iouadixi^ at aredford In lS9J# aupplied that party witti 
facts and witli statistics upori which to base ite appeal to the voters in 
the constituencies irtuH-e its csndidetee offered thaaselves, ond gave it 
an invaluable arsioury of the beat kind of political prope^^anda. 
Sasentially .aiddle claaa Uieisoelves, the Fabians nevertheless could 
couch their aaasages in lan^ief^e poisjliarly suitable for a working clese 
audience. They told that eadionee y:hat Social iau* Is in teroa they could 
readily understand. "Vihat we want in order to taeke true progress is 
aore bakers, aore echoolsjasters , acre wool-weavers end tailors, and aore 
builders; what we get instead is 3orG footaen, n^ore gfloe keepcra, oore 
jockeys end saore proatltutce. That is «hat our newepepera call 'sound 
political ecanoay". iVhet do you think of it? Do you intend to do any- 
thing to get it rossedled^'" Cj^; Eni^ish workers could appreciate auch 
fflore readily then politicieuis, even Radical ones, a political philosophy 

C^; Fabian opposition to eosoe of the ouch publicized legislaticsi of 
Lloyd Geor^'s "war on poverty" only aerved to aggravate the 
differences, as had suapectod Fabirn assistance in the drazting 
of the Balfour-' iorant sponsored f^ucntion /ct of l!^2 against 
whi^i Liberal Iion-Oonforalsts had launched fierce ettaoka. 

i^j yfaat Socialisa Is. Fabian Tract i.o. IJ. 


baeed upoa the cl&iia "that the ciost striding feature of our preeant 
8yat«a of fnnalng out the national land and oeplteil to privete 
indlvlduede, has been the diviaion of society into hostile claasee, 
with large appetitf^a and no dinners at cne oxtrttaft, and large dimiera 
end no appetites at the other." (57 y 

The Fabians then at the outset had eet thesiselvee tvo definite 
taoks; "first to provide a Psrliamentary prograji for a Priae :\ini8ter 
e<mverted to Socialism as ?e«l was converted to tree Trade; and 
•econdly to rmke it as easy and caatter-of -coarse for the ordinary 
respectable Haglisluun to be a Socielist aa to be a Liberal or a Cai-> 
sorvntive". (58/ They failed in the first of their tesics and they 
vero at best only partially successfaX in ttie aec^sid. People like 
Professor i>lfred i^arshall could aay "In one sease indeed, I gq a 
aocinllRt, for I believe ttiat eloost evory existing institution raust 
be changed", (59; while politicians like .iir isilliaa tiarcourt taid 
Joseph CJia^berlaln and churohnen like Qardinal iileoning were led to 
raa!ie siailar canfeasi-jfis, but by tiie ti-^o tfisso confessions wore 
oacse* the rabione thoiisclvea were siBsisting in the task of redefining 

(57) Ifea Fabian :iyxif esto , Tract uo» 2. Lven the delicate aibject 
of the franchise for viomsn was preaeTtted in a new li^t to 
British woricers, for the Fabia;i advocacy was baaed upon the 
clais "that 3ie!i no longer need special political privileges to 
protect the:a3el¥e8 against woaon, and the sexes should enjoy 
W|ual political rights.** 

(58; Introduction to the 19^8 edition of Fabian Essay s in .SooialiBa . 
Of. Show's Preface to Beck to iaettataelah . p. 9- 

(59; In hie testiacaiy before the Inductrial Reixineration Conference, 
1685. Report, p. 175. 


the tarsi "sodalia'a" end giving the isoveaent a definite purpose and a 

definite goal far beyond euything whidi Uioee men :ir:3uld find acceptable. 

It is true* as the historien of the Fabian Society uas claiaed« that 

people who would not droKn of calling thecoeelvos aocialiats, 
zauch leea contributing to the fUnde of e .Socialist Society* 
baeoa» enthusiastically interested in separate parte of its 
program*., provided those parts are prese&ited on their own 
rzierits. Indeed* meny. ..will ^id:» expulsive socialist 
investigations and subscribe to elaborate socialist soheeiee 
of refora under tiio impression tiiet noticing that is thought- 
ful* practical* well-ixu'oriaed and ecHistitutionsl , ctsi 
possibly have any connectica with tho Red ;i;peetre «iiic}i 
stands in their isiegination for ^ociallsa*. (40 ; 

It is likewise true that these specific suggeaticaas of refora, each 
fraikly opiJortanistio, each ecilnently practical and each highly desir- 
able to the working classes* added up in tloie to a sua of doctrine 
setisfectory to the socialists of liiglend on the one hfsnd* and to the 
non«-«ociali8t trade union workers of England on the other. This then 
was the real function of Fabienisa. Althoui^ ti-ie i«>ciety refused to 
beeooe a political party itaelf , on the grounds that such a party auat 
have a body ma well as a head* It lent its support to the frsriKly 
socialist Independent Labour P&rty when it was organised. Then* too, 
its oeaibers aesis^ted in the task of building a workable allience 
betseen that organisation and the trade uiiicais of England* end of 
creating out of that alliance the British Labour Pprty. S"n«i that 
Party itself becaae avowedly socialist* Its conversion was in no saall 
meaaure due to the fact that the Fabians ha^l helped to create a kind 

ikOj Pease* Febi sn Society , pp. 213-219. 


of Boeialiaa p«oulierly ojited to the purposes of English Labour, 
dressed In ger^sents of sober respectability, - orderly* constitutional, 
end nbove all practical. Its authorities were, not -larx or Bngels, but 
Joiax Stuart Sill, Profeaaor v.Rllece, Stwtley Jevme, nrxd J« E. Calrnes. 
It agreed that "ttie restitution to public purposes of rejit and interest 
of evory laid cannot be effected by revoiation, or by one or a dozen 
Acts of Parliament". Instead It celled for "the thoroughly organized 
exercise hy ell ttie local euthoritle9.,..of the powers they already 
possegs. The supply of water, gas end electric li^t, ttie eetabliahraeat 
of aarkets, sleugj^iter houses, trorsroys, bctfca, wcshhouacs, ceaetorlos, 
harbours, lilNr&ries» bonds, art galleries, cusewss, open spaces, gyi>» 
nasia, allotaents, U>e b^ailding of worknan's dwelling and muiicipal 
lodginc houses, are being carried en by '.%inicipel euthorities for the 
oaaaoD good." Oy this ae«ne and by "pro^essive taxation In the shape 
of graduated, differoaitleted inccxK tax and the rating of l«id values.... 
the eo:«ieipation of the workers tTtyn the burden of prlvste ssxiopoly 
will surely cojie.'' (41 ^ For the ^^glish workers, th«i, here wee a 
BociflLliaa whose aia was desirable, and whose means were possible. It 
even provided for the contingwioy of being in and out of office under 
Uie existing ctxistitutional arrangesienta. "The continuance of rival 
political parties - whi^ are indiepoaeible to e genuine Deciocracy - 
Lndicates that no party, not even the one calling itself liabour or 
Socialist.... con ever expect to be continuously in power. At best it 
eaa only alteraete in power with the Opposition {^"arty, whatever tiiis 
aay be called...." (42; 'Vh«} sooialisia tti^tered politics in 1&^? in 

(^^^ F« ^ctB for Sooiallta . Fabian Tract lo, 5. 

(42y 3i.iiney Sebb in his article on Fabioiisa in The Dicyelopedia of 
the Labour Uoveaent, p» 369. 


the guise of the Independent Labour i^mrty, it was Bociixlift:i of the 
Fabian type as far as its doctrines i^ero ccsicerned* altbou^ as ex- 
pounded by the I. L. P, orators those doctrines now were displayed 
«ith heat as well as ll^t« eith an eye to votee as well as to en- 
li^tecL-neiit, and couched in the acott^ta of workers rather than of 
Uie iniddle class Feblau tntollectuiftl. 




Until 1892 and the ToraatLon of the last Clladstooe euiaiinietratioa, 
only e t«m of the leaders of organized labour In Great Britain had 
coapletely lost their faith in the Liberal Ir'arty* and the poeaibility 
of securing through it the laglalation which they dealred. liere and 
Uiere, however, o working class orgeAlsetlon or a working elaea leuder 
waa coiaing to the conclusion that aotse other eavioir had to be found. 
Naturally <moug^« it was the sjclnllets a^iong tti&x. ^o first took etepa 
to provide a now political organization ee that naviour. 

In 'Jiartii of 1888 the Liberal Assocleti&n in the Leottlah constitu- 
eaey of iiid-Lanark wtt3 colled upon to select its cendidate in a by- 
eleotion to fill the vacancy caused by tb9 death of the sitting ffiesber. 
:::ae of the na^aee sugposted was that of James Keir Hardie. Cf working 
class origin* a R«go eemcr aijice the age of seven, ac baker's boy, 
shipyard helper and ainer* a uulon organizer and official at the age of 
twenty euid labour Joumallst cf no little skill, Hardle was Uie 
obvirius choice for the candidature, if Ute Liberala ^ere to be at all 
eonsistent in their clelais to represent ttte Ayrshire workers. ?arty 
eansider&tlons decreed otherwise however, tsnd the official Liberal 
nomination wont to a young ^elt^ lawyer. Hardle had already {jublicly 
expressed his doubt as to the further elTectiveneos of working class 
co-oporation with Uie Liberals.; (1; his doubts were now eonfiroed. 

(1; Stewart, illlaa, J^ Keir Ha rdle. pp. 3^26* 


and he stood aa ma Independent Lab^xir oendidote. He reeeived support 
fro-a iiie l^cottish .linoro* fed9rat,loo, fro^a ti.a -sottish ^oao liile 
oaeietjr* whose secretary, Jeoes Raaei^ MaoDonald, saw In Hardie's 
aetloa e ctioace to "rooonatract ^i^cottlsh Liberalisa* and to chaapion 
the ''I'.fitlanal cause", (2j from the Hi^land Land Leagie and froa the 
GlaagoK Trades Coancll. Froa toe Labour electoral Asaoclotion, a 
trade anion body «^iOse recent rorsation reriectad the aoiac dlsaatia- 
footion vith the aohievcci^ita of the Liberal'-i.>abc&>r allianeec case 
official support and the at^a of £400 to defray election expcuaoa. (5y 

At the election Itself Jiardie polled only 617 »otea alter a 
cafflpel^ into uhicii enough bitterness had entered to aeke peroMnent 
the breaci) betaeen toe Literals and thet eectlon of Labour iiAiich Hardle 
repreactited. The sequel to toe ccxiteet case In /ugaat when a Ejecting 
in Glesgo^- I'onaed toe ocottiah l-arliseentary Labour Pnrty. Prominent 
in the or^anisatltsi were R. B. Ounnln|^aae Oraheei and J, &, Clarke, 
boto aesbers of Perliasent under ostensibly Liberal auspices, but boto 
already kno«<n ae Radicals, favcxirlag separate Labour repreaantetion and 
pursuing alas ahioh in eoae rospecta were ofOJ^ly "Soeielistie". iiCir 
ftardle beeetue eaoretary of toe new organ is&atl<sx, and toie wito bis 
existing secretaryship of toe Ayrshire ;ilners' Union and of toe iscottish 
liners* Federation, gave hiss a position of considerable prestige at the 
Trade -Jaion Congresses of toe next few years* In those gstherings he 
bececae now toe le&ier and apokessttn of toat group which wae already 

(2j Ibid . p« 42. The letter is quoted In full. The objection to toe 
official condidste waa toat he was an "obacure English barrister". 

(5; Ibid ., p. 41. 


prcesing the olaL-a that the ti-^ae had oooe for indepcndoit palitieal 
representation in Parliaii^it for the workers of Britain, 

The Scottish Labour iarty was not# in the beginning at least* a 
c<Mpletcly aoclelist body. Its programs colled for "atate aaqulsitioa 
of ralletqr»'» ttfwi for a *national bonking eystea", (A^ but otherwise 
Its platfora went hardly fjrther than did the officiel Ulberal platform 
at the next general election* It «ca talcing Its stand, however, al<»ig> 
aldo soclallat organlzaticms when it advocnted the creation of a new 
Perllaaentary organization £or working class roprese-'itetivos, and the 
conyeraico of its leaders to .^oclalis.Ti was ev«i then taking place* i5> 

At the election of 1892, the Cocial D«aoeratlc iederation of 
course had its candidates. A nasber of other Labour* or •'Socialist* 
or Social Istp-ijaboar candidates also appoarod. for exa^jplo, a uabour 
I'arty wns or^aiized locally In Srodford in 1391 and selected Han 
Tlllett OS ita candidate* roceiving botft support and financial assist- 
ance froa iiie Fabian Society for his caapaiiji* t6) The sorteaea'e 
Tletes . edited by -Joeeph BuriSess, carried on a spirited cfinspaign In 
1891* publi^ing an appeal to all workers who agreed on the necessity 
of Independent working class political organization, and offering 

i^J Ibid*, p. A7. 

(5> Hardie represented the Party at tiie Ititematlcnel conference In 
iiondon In ioveaber of 1889 out of which ceoie the Second Inter- 
national, arid there began his long asooclatlcxi witii ftllllaia 
Liebknedit end ^^st Bebel. 

(6) I!ls cat^algn brougjtit his within 557 vot^ of being aocccssX^jil. 


aaelatance to any local groups orgeuiissed for tola purpose. (7> Even 
aor© iiifluential waa the support given to the now principle by "'obert 
Blatchrord In hio Clarion publlcationfl. The Fabians by inforejice at 
leest in their publicstiona, and by direct cctlon in conetltuonclee 
auch as Bradford and Batteraee* gave their support to the idea of a 
new working class politicel party. The feaoua Manifesto which appeared 
in June 1892 (8; wee e blunt expression of disgast with iiie policy of 
the Liberal party orgcnlsation end an open advocacy of the for-iietion 
of a workers' party. Shlle the .'lanifosto etill deopaired of working 
cl«a0 initiative In the matter and still refused *to pretead that 
there la any euch tliing yet in existerioe as a Labour party, or thst 
the preeant aoveaeat of popular feeling in that direction is worth 
oufficlont pounds, shillings and votea to ruui twenty genuine ^^abour 
candldGtes", (9) nevertheless the Fabian support »a« of gre«t value, 
/ftor the election, and uTt^r the Liberals had telUKi office to iaplesent 
tiicir wewcastle i-rograa of socisl rcfora, the Fabian position altered 
to a considerable de^7«e, for the failure of the aiodstone adciini str- 
ati en to carry out iiwt crograa brougjit the stinging attack " to Your 
Tents. I srael, in the I-ortnij.iiatlv Review for i.ov«SBbor, lo95. Xhe 
Liberal proaises were compared with Liberal actions since taking office, 
and the failure of Liberal lainisters even to change conditicsis of 

(7) As a result of this appeal, a nuraber of suolti local groaps wez^ 
formed. ne was at Liverpool, withi J&ses Sexton as its leading 
spirit. Cf . his Ajt tobioyjrophy . ?. 12G. 

(8) Fabian Tract lio. 40. 
(9j Tract iio. 4o, p. 10. 

(10) Vol. S4 (IG95> pp. 569^589. 


omplogfaoat in government servleas was used as the basis £or the oori- 
elusion thftt fbraatian of a workers* political p«-rty wee an Indiaperis- 
able preliiairiBry to any improreaient for the working oiaesea of 
Britain. (11) 

Otesi before iite Fabiena had reached this o«»iclusion, atapa had 
boen taken in the direction wiiich they now advocated. f> nutober of 
independent Labour eandidatda had appeeled to the electorate* and 
three such individuals* John Bbrne in Ssttereee* Keir Hardie at West 
Kan* and J. i^iavelook Silaon at liiddleeborou^i* had been returned to 
i'arliaaent in the new gjlae of independent Labour si.r.'a. In January 
of 1895» a nunsber of i«abour clubs* trade unions* local Labour r-artlee, 
and Socialist societies, ssnt del^satee to a conf^rejce at the i*bour 
Tnatltate In Bradford, Socialist delegaten were in the tanjority, and 
when they decided to orisanize a new political party it was not aur* 
prising that they t^ould adopt as ita priaary object "the collective 
ownejpship (1?; of the l«ad Kid all sseena of production, dlatributlwi 
and exchange. (Ijj That they were I'w froia being socieiiat In the 
co'arlotely obdurate tradition at the 3, B. F., and that th^ were 
aiffiing to win Labcur* not nerely socialist* support* they ahowed by 

(11; if^e article wns expanded end appeared as a acparate tract in 
January of 189^ under the title A Plan of OaoBti^zn for Lfifaour . 

(12; At the second annual conferttice iim worde "and control" were 
utded , (Report of /omal Oxiferwice of the X« L» ?y. iSj^^.* 
p. 17.; 

(IJy ^port of the Fir^t Amu al Conf oregice of the I. L« P ., 1893 , 

p. IJ, Ed-ard Bez^stein was a visitor at ^.o first osjiiferO'ico. 
Shaw, Blatohford* Burgees* 3exton* Tillett end Bob Smillie 
were deleg/atea. In fact alaost every well-known Socialist waa 


ref using to adopt a rasolution that the n«ae of tho new party should 
bo the Socialist Labour Party, prererring Izxstoad an aBsod^afiot 
aaking the officio! title the Independent iiabour i'arty. (14 y 

Tho seabership of the ne» pcxty, since It wna to be a political 
instruacnt designed to win votes, bbs dollbetately leit open to 
people of varying de^ees of political radicelisau iihwi fred Josett 
proposed that *no meaber of «Biy organizati:»i connected with the Liberal, 
Liberal Unionist, Irish liationaliat, Caiservetive or tny other party 
opposed to the principles of the !• L. P., shall bo eligible for 
aersbershlp '\ (15; ho found foraidable oppooition from Bernard Show, 
who pointed out that he, tor exan^iie, was on executive aeober of a 
Liberal jtesooiation, and the nesting finally agreed on the principle 
"that no person opposed to tite prinoiplea of the party shell be a 
sMtsber*. (16; Kh«a Robert &lat<^iford t^oved a resoluti(» requiring 
party oeabers to abstain froa voting iriierevesr an off iolel candidate 
was not in the field, the oeeting decided instead to leave such a 
decision to tho local organistatlon of the party. (1?.' 

At Its first raaoting then, the new Independ«»t Labour Party 
took upai itself ooat of the characteristic features rtiidri it was to 
retain for the first twenty years of its life. Qaitc frmkly ooelnl- 
ist in Its objective, the party aiaed at capturing far nsore that 

(I*; Ibid ., p. J. 
(15. iMa., p. 15 

(16; Ibid., p. Ik* 
(17> Ibid., p. 17. 


• iaply socialist votes. While its leaders at ell tiotes looked upon 
themselves as propagandists for the cause to which thoy were devoted, 
Miey never forgot that they were afl"ir.alng at the saae ttae the claiu 
that the tiae had ease when a distinct working class political party 
was needed. ?.h«n eventuelly, such a party was forjiod, no single 
group could cleia aore credit for i.av.a^ convertea iiritisa ijaboar to 
its support, then the taoabers of the 1. Li. P. 

The progree whi* the new party adopted at the Bradford meeting 
was first deeigaed to reflect the .iii.\i3a -jtives of its founders. In 
addition to the socialist objective^ which they adopted while refusing 
to name it as such* the progrmii colled for abolition of overtime* 
piece work and child labour, the ei^it hour day, end provision for 
the sick and the disabled* and tor widows* orphans and diildren. (16; 
.'. federated constitution k&s adopted, since it was the plan to cover 
the whole country with e network of local parties U^iroug^ which 
propagttida could be widespread. Bow r-ell this was done w«3 evidenced 
in 18S)5 at t^te next electionji sbaa 2& csiuiidetes took the field with 
official I. L. P. backing. (1S>) Inme were returned, (even Keir 

(l6j Shaw claioed iixat he tn.6 Hardie dreited the prograa sitting on 
tiio stairs of the hall while the meeting was in progress. 
(Letter to Ja-aes Sexton in the letter's ^'Sutobiog.raphy , pn. 1^- 

(I9j Sotae were of course noolneted by trade union orgenizaticms end 
had their campaigns to a large extent financed by such agency. 
Hardie in his address to the second annual Cixifereiice predicted 
optimistical ly that ""with iar. Gledetane's disappearance froa 
politics there would eooe a scraoblo assongst the different sect" 
Ions of the [Liberal] party for sapresacy. . . . > h«i that scraable 
eooe, iBsny would be driven in disgiist into the Tory party, but 
aore would be attracted to eexy organization which stood for 
ri^teausn^s in the state". C Repor t of the /in nual Gonference 
of the I. U P.. 1894 , pp. 4-5.) 


Hardie* the oae sitiiog iMKber* lost his eeat; but thoy polled a 
total of ^,59^^ Yotoa, md the party leaders professed theoaelvee 
pleased with thla shonlng. (20) iThlle of oourse it is always 
possible for politicians to cln5jfl a "moral" victory in defaet* and 
while the loss of the seat at v^est hca deprived the !• L. P. of by 
far its soot effective axeaxa of propsgoada^ still one oust note that 
the porty ha<I laede remarkable progress In the provislcai of local 

During the years intervming until the next general election* 
the I. L. r, fought a number of by-electlojis, and Increasing votes 
gave occasion for soao optioles on the part of the naticmal execJtivea. 
(21) Cf course the stiKMphere in 1900* «hen the next general elect- 
ion was fou£^t, B83 definitely oofavoureble to I. L» P* prospects. 
Tlie war in South Africa^ Uie "jingo" appef^ls of Tory oendldetes esxd 
the uncoopro-TiiBlng pacifiea cf the I. L. P, seeswd to preclude the 
possibility of capturing any parllaoentRry seats. Heir Mardie alone 
was returned, at Vicrthyr Tydvil. Once again the I. I.. P. had a voice 
in Parlieaent; althougli raoet of Kardie*e sork In Comacs» dealt with 
the war and its pro8eaitii»i» he was able on ooeasion to draff 

(^} Report of the I^ationBl -^idjiinistrative Council. This report was 
Included eac^i year in the P>eport of tlie Amual .leeting. In 
this case it is tlie Repo rt of th e Annu el, Confe r enoe of t^ 
I. l>. P.. 18S4 . p. l^TT" 

(21; At Attercliffe in I696, Fr«ik Smith polled 1,249 votes, Ik per 
sent of the total recorded. Joseph iSurgesa at Leicester polled 
4,402 votes, aid at &est Bristol in the following year the 
I. L. ?. csididato, with e total of 5,995, csae within I60 
votes of belnis elected. Reports of li. A, C. In IQ97 and I896 
appear in the •iepox'ta of the /innaa l Con f ereoc e for those years. 


attention to labour statters suoh as the provisian of aaployaeat* at 
unloa rates, for reluming veterans. (22) On oooasion, too, he was 
able to introdoee In one fora or another a reaokitlon embodying th« 
Soelelist objeetivoy succeeding thus in directing U\e ll^t of 
publicity upon his party* a policy^ and upon the poverty and destitute 
ion, the grovth of trusts and ayndieatea and the <rar»like proclivities 
of cepitalia'a which» the I. L. P. olaiaad, aade necessary the social- 
1st o o t a a on nealth. (2?) 

The story of the early days of the I. u« ?. is <xne which caore 
resftables the story of the itotiKidist revival than that of the cca^teap- 
orary Socialiat ttoveaaenta on the Contin«it. Like the L:eUiodl8te« the 
pioneer propagf^ndists of the I* L. r. were actuated by en intensity of 
feeling nhloh sas religious in its character and fervently eaotlooal 
In Its appeal* Philip Siiovden in his /totobio^aphy tells the story 
of one convert to the t&oveaent «^o assured him thet he could xav 
understand the Christian aartyrs going to the stake, for he said *I *d 
be willing to go to the stake for cgr iocialisa", (2^y 'fhe saese 
ehamct^', one Johnny Coe by n&ae» told e visiting 1. L. P. lecturer 
to make his epeooh slaple» to avoid Karl ]ierx end surplus value, but 
trh«i he eae eoaing to his close to be sure "to put e bit of *CSoae to 
Jeeus' in It*. (25; Certainly the foot thft their case rested not 
only oa tiie hordshlps and the Injustioe^ of the. existing organization 

(22) nanaard . 4th Series, Vol. 88, p. 855. 

(25) On April 2^, 1901. (Hansard, 4th Series, Vol. 92, p. llSO.ji 

(24) Autobio^ aphy , I, p. 82. 

(25) Ibid ., I, p. BZ* 


of society, but upon ite Iniquity as veil* wao a scxiroe of strength to 
the I. L» r. lecturers. 

^Rm I. L. £. orgsTiizations whidi soon appeared iu rjoat industrial 
centres were not taere debating clubs. Bands » choral clubs, cycling 
cluba and study groups were essential parts of the organ! zatiou* end 
party activity esrae to monopolize the whole leisure tloe of x^st of 
the sasmbers. The I. L. P. bands were used to attract a crowd for the 
lecturer to herangiiey Uie choral society sang the Socialist son^ of 
-fxiward Carpenter « or the highly estotional Hed Flag. (26; Lvon the 
cycling clubs ccx:;itri bated to the cause by distributing leaflets end 
pasting up dodgers on their jaunts into the country or to neighbouring 

When the I. L* t-. lecturer began hie appeal to the crowd asseoibled 
before his» it was usually directed at the eootione of his listeners. 
Seldaa did one of tliesi nake the aioteke waioli the ^. D. F. was so 
procie to aake» and talk over the heads of his audience. Instead he 
fixed upon eotoe siople abject of griovwice end be^ed his case upon it» 
couched in the terras of hontely oollocjuialis». ^^t their annual con- 
ferences « the delegates addressed one another as '^Comrade" - but ended 

(26} Composed by Jla Connell, the song is indicative of the tendency 
to eyotionalisa which was prosrait in tiio I. L. P. propaganda, 
for not until 1912 was tiie *<hingeon dark* a very serious threat 
to a socialist, end the "gallows grim" have still to take their 
first victia. 

"•'ith heads uncovered swear we all 
To bear it onward till we fell; 
Coaie dun;;;eon dark or gallows grim 
This song shell be our parting hytan. 

"Then raise the scarlet standard hi^ 
Within its shade we'll live and die; 
TSiOush cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
tteUl keep the Red I-lag flying here." 


thelr taBetingp with the singing of Aild L«mc Sya a. Bren in thoBe 
me«ting;8, ahere oily Xi>e convinced vcre present » iarxien dialectics 
would have been as out of place (and perhaps os little understood; 
as at e saeoting of the ^'rimrose Lea^e. 

To prea^ Hio gospel of their eocialis& to the un^lish and 
Scottish workers « the I* L. ?. could call upon the services of s&ea 
end wo!^n who cere bd indefetirjable oe any aovemeat has ever had. v^len 
like I^^ete Curran, B«i IVimer* tcm ;.iann» Jeiaes Sexton, Ben Tillett esnd 
Bob ^^^aillie had one other great advantage as well - they were active 
working men and ::20st of thea occupied poslticms of trust and resiK^ns- 
ibility la trade union organizations* Jthers like J. Bruce ulaeier, 
Rameajr -^aeDonaldy who joined the party in 189^, (27/ ^^^ utaoy and 
Catherine Uonway, gave to the party a oertsdJi prestige as en attraction 
to Lntell factual wor'^ers as well, but In general it recmined & working 
class organization. 

&elr Hardie hlseaolf w«a always at casisiderable pains to oc^haslze 
this fact, and the ''cloth cap'* legead «hi<^ grew up around hia was 
less a result of accident ^«a of deeiga* Opinions about Hardie 
ranged all the way froa that of hia aupp-ortere who eulogized hiQ as 
"the )io8ea who led the children of labour in this cowitry, out of 
bonda^", (26; to that of the Liberal editor who sneered that there 
was about him "a good deal of hollow pretense and swaggering self- 

(27; i'ie letter of application to hardie taede it clear thet he was 
joining a Labour party, not a Socialist party. (Stewart, 
^» Keir Hardie , 

(2d; J. n. iieeDoQald in the Introduction to Stewart, J. Keir Hardie . 
p. XXI. 


Importnnoe". (29; John ;'orley doecribad him as "an obaervont, hm-d- 
headed honest fell^v* but rsther vain end eroztaed fUll of vohesieat 
preeoncrptlans, espeolelly chi all the moat delicate and dubious part 
of politics." {JDj To Kelr Hardle no part or politics p?a« either 
delicate or dubious, and the Parliaaantary gaaae was aever eittior an 
end In it«elf or a llraitin£ fector In his reasoning, Pertiaps herein 
ley not only the secret of his appeal to his eol leases « but the 
ohlef difference betneen his and his successors like i.4acBonald« 

The creed «hl(^ the X. l>. P. preached to the norkors of lilngland 
arid Scotland «b8 a aociellst creed. According to its leader, "The 
I. l>. P. Is a Socialist, and not, as its title ndg^t aeecs to izsply, 
a purely working class organization. It aima at the creation of a 
3o-oi3cra.tive Ck»(Eaon»ealth faanded upon tJne aociolizetion of land end 
eapltal". (Jl . ''>♦ if it is tm© to say that the Fabians had already 
evolved a kind of sociallsit pe&iliarly suitable and peculiarly 
acoepteble to tho t&.aper and envirc»rt:acnt of Britain, it is equally 
true to say that the I. L. P» meat on to evolve a kind of Sooielism 

(,29) otaon, Aaron, /; Netspf fijer Ma n 'e :i<5EK)rlc>8, p. 25^. 

(350) llorl^ contiouea with the typical reflection thp.t '*Perhap8 it is 
ally tho men with these ujiacrupuloua preconceptions - knocking 
their heads against stone walls - who force the world along*. 
( Hecol l<>GtionB , II, p. 255.; ." oost illuffilnating picture of 
Rardie was givan in a conversation betire«i Gherlos i^astera^i 
and v.inBtoa C^Kirci^till . iViien -astei^an observed that '*He is not 
a great politician but he will be in Meavoij before either you 
or oe, . inston!", the latter replied "If Heaven is going to be 
full of people like Hardle, the - can have thea to him- 

self I" (^asteraian, L., C. F. G. ._l: , ,_-am . p, I66. 

(31 J From one of liia editorials on ttie Labour Leader. ."Re- 
printed in Cnsor, H. C. K,, .Modern >>ocial ,isc, p. JOS, 


poouliarly auiteble mad peculiarly aeoepteble to the tec::per end 
environaent of the working classes of Britain. They preached a 
revo lutionary doctrine* but at the saae tiiae insisted that refarso- 
ative iaproveaeats in the workers' conditions did not necessarily 
veaken ttieir revoluti<»iary principles. They denounced the present 
epoch as "a ^^ataeacxi-worshipping e^*' , and proposed "to dethr':»ie the 
brjte-god -iaaaon and to lift tuauiity into Its place'.'* (52; Their 
appeal was to the esnse of rij^teousxMraa, not to the knowledge of 
ecoaomics or history. 

The I* L* P. doctrlxut thsi was a uuoh ntore elastic type tiien 
that of the S, D. P. or even of the Fabisna. A Ten^jerance lecturer 
like Uoorge uansbury, or a Calvetion •.jr^s' '^'orker like Frank Sadth 
were attracted os strongly as en intelleGtual like Glasier. RamsBy 
aacDonald joined as a profession of his devotion to l*abour, Victor 
Qrayso.-i as a si^'i ui his devotion to -arxisci. /.a a oocialiet 
political party, the 1. !>• P. entered negotiations with the S, D. F. 
in 189^, for united action, (35 j but alter soveral yoars of parley 
during wiich ttie latter body insisted upon the eidoptioa of the name 
"Socialist" in the joint title, the I. L, P« snn ial confereaoc 
decided to drop the whole idea as ^anwlse aod unnecessary". (J^) 
Detwrainodly socialist in its piiilosophy, the party preferred to be 

(52; iiardie in a sp^ch in the Oottaona in 1^1. (ftanaard . Uth 
Series, Vol, 92, p. II80. 

(55) Repor t of th e Amual Ctmference of th y I . L» ?,^ JjSS U'*A*C» 
Report), p. i7» 

(5*) Report of the Jm»iaX Conference o f t he I. l. P ., lS99, p. 9^ 


opportunist in Ita taeties. (J5} 

Uomhere naa this tendency saore ole&rly ovideaoed than in the 
policy of the I. L. P. toverds U-.e trade union organizabijns. ^hlle 
the -. •.■» . . soug^jt to brias trede union aeatiers into eocicliea by 
the proceas of conversion and aesiailatiany the I* 1<» P. by the turn 
of the century hewi eoae to the c<»iclusiaei U»at the Identity of 
intereats betveen socifilist and noo-socinlist trade unioalate cjuld 
bo acknowledged equally veil in & working allience between thea. 
Thua we find the I. L« F. leedera working on the erne hand to win 
aesibere to their body ee e^cif^lists, bat 'cai the other hand advocating 
joint political ection between those Qerabere and all other trade 
unionists not yet converted. In their own deliberstione we see thea 
just ea vetieraent in preaching up the valjo of a working alliance 
with trode unionlea aa in preech^jng up the revoluti^i. In wiaaing 
the allegiance of peidnip neitibera to their eociety, the I« I*. P* 
orfttore had but fair &jooees» for their aeabership never aueii 
exceeded 20,000 in allj C56; but in acting aa a aocialiet leaven in 
local trade unions, local governing bodies* local churches, in co- 
operatives. Friendly Societies, and above all in the Trade Union 

(5^; The dissension In the ranks over this tendency oerae to a head 
in 1909 and 1910, end is dealt with below. (Ch. X./ 

(56; See table of Labour i^arty meaberahip fi|^rea in ^pendix, p. ^2.7 


Oongress, the members of the I. L» 1\ exercised en influenoe far 
out of proportion to their nu^abcrs. Sihea in thet letter body a cry 
arose which wee strcxvgly critical of the accepted policy of oo- 
operatioa with the Liberal party, and 8tr<sigly fevoirable to a ae« 
indepeiidcfit political organ izat ion of iiorkora, it is not aurpriaiag 
to find the I. L. ?. voices loudest in that cry. 




Bhon the Independent Labour Party was fomed in 1895# Ita 
founders had taken arhet aeeaaed to be a corspletoly lllogicai step in 
refusing to adopt the sociollot na:ae while insisting upon adherence 
to a socialist prograia, Ben Tillett, in speaking against the ^aotion 
to give the iie« party the neoe "Socialist Labour", gave quite 
bluntly the opinion of the taajority present, when he clalsed that they 
ehould seek the support not of tl-jc revolutionary groups already in 
existence, but of "the eolld, progressive, aatter-of-fact fijjating 
trade talons of England''. (1) Of the 101 delegates «ho voted, 91 
agreed siUi him on the value of the "Labour Alliance'* mid t^e creation 
of that alliance beoaae for the 1. L. P., froa its first oosieat, one 
of its prlamry objectives. i2j Fev of the members of the new party, 
either then or later, vere either veil-grounded in Marxian econc»2ic8 
or C';»iTinoed of the inevitability of the class war, and few of than 
ever saw anything objectionable in the purKJtit of ffiselloration of the 

(l; Report of U ie //inua l Conj E'e rence of -Uie I. L. P«. 1895 . p- 45. 

(2; Joseph Clayton in Th e liise and Decline of Socialiagi in Greet 
Britain takes tlie view that this begins the "decline" and that 
frota 1695 on, British Labour cioved away frosi Socialises to 
Social Deform* Cf. pp. 11>117 end 126 ff . 


vorker'a surferinge under capitoliSia. Ae & result* few of theoi ever 
ea» eny reoeon why co-operation with non-socialist workera to eecure 
audi anelioration was not deeirablo. to win such oo-operatioa, par> 
tlcilerly In the Trade 'Jnlon Gongreaa, beeaoie 4piitc openly the I. L. P, 
policy* To win euch co-operation it was necessary then to add the 
I. L, ?. voice end Influence to the rising tide of dissatisfaction 
which was alrondy obvious etaong British trede unionists* - dissetis- 
f action with the aicaa, the methods and above all the results of the now 
traditional policy of co-operation with the Liberals. By 18S^ the 
Liberal- Labour alliance was elrcady being attacked • end not only by 
the socialists In the Trede Union Congress. 

In 1865* at the Industrial Rcawnerstion Conference, workingaen 
witnesses had spoken bitterly of the failure of the Liberal adoinistr- 
ation Just ending its five years of office* and had noted "Uiat utoney 
could be found to sand troopa to j^g^iistan* Zululond and to E^ypt, 
but could not be found to aaeliorato Uio conditions of English 
people*"* i^j Attother witness* Jac& '^illia'ss of the S* D« F. * made 
the observation triat "the nadicals of today are the ' /j-tful Codgers* 
who go up end down the oountrj' telling the people to taSce hold of 
the landlord thief* but to let the greater thief* the capitalist, gp 
seot-freei" (4) His reiaark wee greeted with appleuee. 

At the sittings of the Royal Cooalesion an Housing of the t^orking 
Classes* during the saiie year* once again workingaeo witnesses availed 

(5) Testiaony of J. Toyne of the Miners' i.ational Union, depart of 
Indus trial .. Reauneration Qonference , p. 491* 

(4; Report of Industrial Pgxuner atl on Oon fer eoce, p. 55^* 


theaselves of tije opportunity to offer bitter critieirai of the efforts 
9hich had beoa made by the verious HouBing nots to rcKaedy whet vae 
undoubtedly oie of the tsost iaaediate and aost pressing of their par- 
ticular pivsbleaa, V5) Again in 1892, workers were called to testify 
before the Foyal Conaiesion on Labour which had been aet up by tlie 
Salisbury govemijont the preceding ye&r. /. large number of trade 
unionists, froa all tredes aid all parts of the United Klngdas were 
invited to give evidence. Amongst other matters, they were asked to 
report <»i the benefits of the operation of e series of statutes which 
were thwi in force osteasibly for the b«ief5 t and protection of the 
anions which they represented, the aeesures to the efficacy of which 
they were eaked to testify included the Trades Union ^^cts of I87I end 
1876, tiie Conspiracy a.~jd T'rotecticHi of I-roperty /^t of 1875, the 
Merchant Shipping Act of I876, the Factory and t^orkshop Acts of I67S 
to 1891, the Eoployer's Liability Act of I88O, tlie Shop Hours Act of 
1886 and the Truck /.ct of I887. Here wao en imposing array of legis- 
latism adaittedly in working class interests, end tefitifying to the 
Interest of bot/i the old parties in the problesus of teat class. But 
the almost unania:xis testiotoay of the vinion representativee was that 
the acts were either inadequate or not being properly Oiforced. The 
fectory inapecticm syatea was criticized as being nemied by en 
insufficient number of Inexperienced ^oA unsuitable sea; as g result 

^5; Report of the Royal Co aigaission on Hou sin g of the aorJtlng Class os . 
See the evidence of deorge Shipton, of the London Tredes Council, 
pp. 475-481, of T. Jennings, pp. 89-IO7, and of 3. i^kie, pp. SAj- 


"it «B8 a eoamon oeourreeace to hucabug the iospectore". (6> The lo^al 
protoetion of trade unionist activity In strikes could be threatened, 
as it had been by police action during recent strikes in Uondou and 
Manchester. (7; 'Hie benefits of the Liiployer's Liability Act were, 
it w&s cLaijuedf being p>r e clude d to aost workers by the period o£ 
notice of accident required, by the cost of the proceedings usually 
necessary, by the limits of ^e coaipensntion and by the accepted 
practice oa Xhtt part of the eeaployers of either iaairing "Uieixieelvee 
against claias, or of insisting en their employees "contracting oat" 
of the Bcheoie* (6) The I^op Hours /.ot, it sas clai:aed, had never been 
enforced, (9j while the spirit at least of tho Txuck /^t, prohibiting 
the scaling doim of wages by such devices ea payment in icind, nas 
being evaded by even more objectionable stesns such as requiring workers 
'*to leave on the table" en agreed fraction of the wages supposedly 
received, or by ^inea for infraction of ""snop rules''. (10) 

It is worth noting too that despite the fact Uiet there was still 
a difference of opinion in the House of Ckxanions as to whether organized 
Labour really was desirous of legislative restriction of tlie hours of 
labour, (11 J there was a considerable degree of egreeoient emoag iiie 

(6 } Repor t of the r kjyal Coeflffliasion uti Labour. Digest of Syidence , 
Vol. 11, Abstract HI, p. 106. 

(7; Ibid .. Vol. II, Abstract I, p. 75. 

(8) Teatiaiony clang tJ'iese lines was coaBaon to alaoat all the witnesses. 
Ibid ., ■fol, li, Abstract III. 

(9> Ibid .. Vol. I, Abstract I. 

(10) Ibid .. Vol. II, Abstracts II and III, 

(11; Cf. p. ('^<' below. 


union witnesses, for out of 24 examined by one oommittee of the 
oooaission, 12 were completely in favour of the iomedlate enacttaeat 
of an £i^t Hour Day Act, 7 testiried t^at their unions wanted the 
elg^t hair day but preferred to work for it by industrial »Bthod8 
rather than to trust to legislation, while only 5 witnesses testi- 
fied that their unions were opposed to the principle of the proj^K>aed 
bill. (12) 

The aajority report of -Uie oossnissicm did little but euai&arize 
the ewidenoe which had been presented, te^t a aiinority repart was 
subnitted etreselng the inedequacy of the le^ieletlcm as yet pro- 
vided, y.ore significant, for our purpoeee, was the fact thnt the 
oinority report was aij^ied by Toa Aaan of the I. L. P., by Klllian 
Abraham, a iiiberal-Labour '4. P., by :4iehael Ajieten who entered 
Perlisaumt as a Lib-Lab in the election of 1892, and by J sues 
^iawdesley, perhaps the beat known aeciber of the Ckxiservatlve forking 
Man's Association, {l^j For while >>brehaa and Austen were still 
convinced both of the ability and the intention of the Liberal Party 
to bring about the desired iffiprovenieiit, end while i^iauwdesley still 
looked to the Tories for the seae kind of action, i»3nt\ spoke for a 
new sentiment among trade unicm members* Beeides being oo30itted 
to the advocacy of soeleliem he was also firoly convinced of the 
necessity of a new working class political psrty. 

(12; R eport of Hoya l Cosmiss i on on Lab ou r. Digest of Sylden ce, Vol.11, 
Abstract III. 

(13^ Report of the P^ yal Ooar^isaion on Labour . The Report was 
published in 159^. 


Britlel) trade unions « as we have seen* vcre In the cmin early 
converted to the desirability of winning aoclnl roforji by political 
action, (1^/ end froa 1669 on the Parliamentary Ooocoittee of the 
Trade 'Jnlon Congrese acted as a Cabinet of tiic Labour movooent. 
Even in the beginning of its career the Congress was to henr s plea 
that such action should be on independent lines. At the second Con- 
gress* the question of labour ropresfKitation was diacunoed* and it 
was suggested by at least one speaker that Labour's representation 
sho<jld be quite distinct frofs that of either tiie Tory as an "open 
foe* or the Liberal as a "false and perfidious friend". U5> During 
the next few years the matter was of first importance to succeeding 
Congress laeotings, and lojk sew a resolution (proposed by rlenry 
Broer.hurat; calling for a parliesoentary levy froa all affiliated 

As we heive seen* the Liberal party was slow to see the iiaport of 
this deaand; not so those employers who had had scKste coalings already 
with the Junta of the trade unions. In 1675 e National KodorstisMi of 
iimployers wp.s organized, with the avowed inteation oi circuaventing* 
by lobby and organized proa sure, the growing pariiaaentary iiifluecxce 
of the trade unions. (16; After the election of IBJU, of course* 

(l^ ) Cf. Ch. II above. Cf, too Brand, Oarl» British Labour ' s Rise t o 
Power, Gh. I. 

(15; fhuaphrey. Labour Representation, p. 65. 

(16 y The loanifesto of the new body appe&rs in the Appendix to !toBe,f*H.» 
T [^e Coadng Force; the Labour ^oveoent . 


official Llber&l policy adopted a lunr lino tovarda the trade union 
moveaeat and the "Liberal Labour Allionoo " e«ae into bein£. 

The cry for independent representation vas not, however, coia- 
pletely atilled. In l86l iioorge Shipton, editor of the Labour 
Jtaid{:rti . ran a canpaign In his colu'ana for a "distinct and national 
Labour party." (17) In this ho was giving expression to a deaire 
nnich the S. D. F. lecturers sere soon to echo veheszently* In the 
meantisie resolutions continued to be offered at Congress oeetinge 
calling for a r'p.rliE.ientary levy to aaiUi possible the cendidetare of 
a large nuxbor of Labour Ciou at gcacroi elections* ^ost sx the resol> 
utiona were vitiated by aaiend:aa[ita in favour of action to secure pay- 
•aoat of meabers, md as a result nothing was done. Liberal-Labour 
raen continued to be the only trcde union reprcBCKitetives who could go 
to the polls with any chance of success. 

By 1666, however, the stress of econCKsic unrent, the rising dis- 
•atisfectiom with Uio results oi the old policy, and the incesoaiit 
prodding of socialist delegates to the Congress, brought success to a 
resolution setting up a purely Labour conmittee to proaote and finaixce 
the ccndidature ox worlcing aea representatives. (16/ The following 
year this co:2^i<itteo became the Labour Electoral Association. (19) 

(17, E.g. in issue of iay 7# l88l. Cited by Dr, Laob. 

(18/ Huaphi^y, Labour rep r esentation , p. 64. Davis, Histo ry o£_tho 
Trade Un i on S on Kress , 1, p. 119. 

(I9j The London section lent its support to Kelr li&rdie's cnapaigi 
at So.-oe of the other brandies becas.o quite openly 
in favour of naalnation of acn not tied to either tlie Liberals 
or Tories but free to act in an independent aanner. 


/•Ithou^ the new body vas not yet oom^aitted to the polioy of seoaring 
the election of working elasa aembers who would act independently of 
either of the existing old parties, (20; tiiet policy was advoceted 
strongly by e aiinority at botii Congresses. 

the difference of opini<xi cancernin^ t^e de^iree of independaice 
fro3 existing parties which Lab<xir meabers should have, reflected a 
deeper disagreesaoit with the whole policy of the Liberal Labour alli- 
ance, Spokesaien for the minority group wiiLch vigorously denied the 
value of continued co-operation with the Liberal party, were Keir 
Hardie and John Bums. At the Congrese e.t Dundee, in 18&9, Uardie 
used the controversy over the tig^t Hour Day priaciple to unleash a 
bitter attacic upon Brordhurst and the older leaders trhose opinions 
still doidinated the Farliarsentary CoataJttce. ^^upport i'or the principle 
of legiai^ation to restrict the woricing day to eig^t hours had beocsse 
fairly general in trade union ranks an a rssalt of a cnaipalgp carried 
cwi by i'Aea. 'seller in the isiaual Congress iieetiu^, by ri. h. Champion 
in The Labour electo r and by socialist union ofx'icials in local gather- 
ings. In spite, then, of the apposition of the Lurhaa and l.orthuiaber- 
land iners' unions, end in spite of the opposition of liroadlrarst and 
the other Lib-i^ab members, tlie Congress of I867 had instructs the 
Parliaaseritary Ooaaittee to take a oesibership vote on the issue* In- 
coaplete retama had already Indicated a swing of opinion in favour 

(20; Thn Seerotary of the Labour Electoral Aseociatlon in an article 
in 189't insisted Uiat the teat for qualification as p. Labour 
ccndidste should be "direct expQrist\C8 of the woricaan's life", 
not "adherence to a platfona". (Tlireliell, T. H., iifttio)ial 
Review. February iS?^. Quoted by Elton . Iji;f , land Arise 1 , p. 188. 


of the new principle, but in the neantla© njost of the Llb-Lebe hod 
been called upon to face the issu*^ ^ii Parlionent, where following the 
lead ot saost Liberals, they had voted egainst an Tiig^t Houre Act. (21; 

Hardie's attnclc in the Dundee isseting wes largely beaed an the 
personal Oilpabllity of the old leaders. He enlarged tiiat Broadhuret 
was a ahareholder in the brunner '.^ond concerns end pointed to the 
labour record of that firm. So hitter raa hie attack end that of 
Oha-tiplan In The Labo ur El ector that it defeated its own pirpose. On 
a vote of confidence in the rerllaaientery CoEscittee broRdhurst waa up- 
held by e vote of 177 - ll« (22> The vote, however pleasing to 
Bro8dJair«t peroonally, did not alter the awing of opinion to the ccuae 
which he opposed; at the Congress of the following year, the first 
since the Dockers Ji«d won their ataazing victory, John lUrns took up 
the attack. The titstnendoua personal prestige which Bums now enjoyed 
•aore than ccxapeneated for the traditional twidernesa of British Labour 
for its leaders "grown gray in the service"; a resolution in favour 
of Tessure for an El^t Houre Bill was adopted 195 - 155, end 
iiroadriurst soon after resigned. (25 j 

The .-aen who had won this victory over the old gaard - Sums, E^ann, 
Hardle, Tillett, and the rest « were al.aost "sithout exception ?iOcleli8t. 
AlaoGt without exception, too, they t>ok up again the cry for l-idepead- 

(21} The Eight Hours controversy is dealt with by the n'ebbs. Trade 

Unionism, pp. 589-595; Davis, r:i8tory of t j -.e Brit ish Trade Unio n 
Congress . I, pp. 155-I50i and by Broadkirst In his Autobiography » 
pp. 218-224. 

(22 j Sebbs, Trade Jn i oniaca , p. 596. Eltaai. (England. A rise!, p. 177; 
has miaread figjres and aakes the vote 188-11. 

(25) »ebb8. Trade Un l onisa, p. 4X. 


ent political representation Tor Labour. Their prospects of oucoess 
were etihaaoed nocr by a nuiisber of changed conditions. For one thing, 
the Trades Union Congress itseix wee uuder^oing rapid ehozige in 
persoimel aa a result of the spreading "lieiv Uuiorti&a", which brou^t 
into the Congreee not only now unions but new delegates froni old 
unions as well. Thoa too« the sooiniist affiliation of ::»et of the 
advocates of en independent ivorking claes political organization 
could no longer effectively be used as a deterrent to following their 
lead. At one tiae the na'^e of "sociolist''' had be«a &iou^ to evoke 
a sense of alaruiy but by tlie decade of the nineties the Fabian society 
had given to the naose a new elecaatt of respectability. That decade 
SBK Stewart liaadlea's CKiild of St. Uatthew, the orr,an of Ji>rletiem 
-ocialiaa, enrol In addition to Headlaa, oeorcs of Ghardti off ice re , (2^ ; 
while the Christian Social Union led by Canon iscott Holland had* by 
1899# 28 bran^es and 2,6O0 zaeubers of whoa most wore clergyaet; or 
professional n«i. V25y Than too, the aajority of the now aeabers of 
the trade union Qoveaent had too ireshly In their ;aiads the saeiaories 
of the dopreasod conditio^ia of i6S5>-l88C, <26 , to adopt as yet the 
cooplaconcy and acceptance of the status quo which had aarked the 
policies of the old Junta, 'lost ioiportant of all, for oar purposes, 
was the growing sense of the inadequacy of the existing legislative 
neaaurea on bdialf of working claae interests, and a deepening;, dis- 
trjst in the intwitioi of either Liberal or Tory adainlstrations to 

tSA, Bettaoyj C. P., Stwiart Jieadlao: fa Aitobiograpliy, p, 78. 
(25; Elton, riifiland, Ar isei. pp. 1SX^192. 
(26; ClaphsQ, Eeonaalc History , III, pp. 5"9» 


apply roaedics* vn both counts the 2« D« P. trade unionisto, and ai^ter 
1695 those iriio belcmged to the 1. :.. P., were only too anxious to 
provide evidence. They pointed to the eucoeas of the Irish i^ationaliata 
08 an eza.2ple of independent political ection»and the peculiar advant- 
age which that group held as a reault of the elfsetion of \5'92 lent 
muth foreo to their argusients. 

A Liberal ministry went into office again in lB92, apparently 
pledged to a program of social refora. But the Liberal party which now 
held office was still led by Gledstone* atili coataitted to noste 5Ule. 
Its foraer Jiadical spokesioan Josep^i Chamberlain was with Partington now 
in alliance with the Tory forces, while Charles iJilko, who returned to 
parliament for the Forest of Dean after an absence of six years, was now 
no longer tiie heir-apparettt to the leadership. Until hla death he con- 
tinued to be an oddity in the fliause - a aenber whose party loyalty 
could never be oouiited upon i4: his personal convictions on we^setthood 
suffrage, ersty refora or labour laws sh ould t» concerned. There was no 
one yet axKMig tho Liberals to fill Xixe placA that tiifjse two men had 
occ.:pied in the Liberal ranks before I886; Lloyd Qeorge _e*«i- Charlea 
^astenaan end Winston Ohurchill were still below tlie >iorizon. Sir 
f. llllaa "arcourt had urged the necessity of a progrsBa of social reform, 
but he was now i^aaersod in the Treasury, while tiie rest of the party, 
includiog the "Lib-^aba" as well, turned their attentic^ to the Hom« 
Rule question again. (27) 

(27; The party standings after the 1892 election were 

Liberal and Labo«ar 27^ Ocmservative 269 

Irish iietlonellet 81 Liberal Unionist 46 

555 515 

These figures explain in part both the necessity of dealing with 
Home Vuie and the paralysis which ensued when the Bill failed to 


So have already seen bow the Fabian Society reacted to tiie failure 
of the Liberal aduinistration to face toe Reeesslty of revised arid ixi- 
croeeed aooial legislation (28/ - and how aocialiat Borking aon turned 
to the I. L. P, eo their aew hope, T^ere was a etirring, too, aiong 
non-evClalist woricers. We hove aeei it already in the etateaents aade 
by the trade union repreae:)tBtiveo bolrore the Boyal Catssiasion oa 
Ukbour, (29; end it was soon reflected in Uie proceed ia£,a of the Trade 
Union Congreaa. 

At the Belfast Congreae in iBi/J, Bm Tillott offered a roeolutian 
proposing aepprate and independent Labour repreaeatetlon in f'arliaaait, 
en^ P trede union levy to support elected aejibera. In a charact- ristio 
speech he heaped aeom upon the benefits to be won frua either oi toe 
old parties. {yi)j The Gongress defeated hia reooiution; bat curiouely 
enou^i, proe^ided than to pese an asiesided resolution fron Jaaec 
ilcUonald, propoeing t.;:at csndidBtea, to win endoreaticHi ai trie u-jii^jreas, 
"•hould pledge tii©nB»<»ivee to support the principle of collective oaner- 
ahlp and control of all the aieene of production ond diatributicm" . (51 > 
Row It was proposed to reccmcile this reaoluticm with the contijiued 
existence in Perlianent of fifteon Labour aoabera of the Liberal irorty 
was a question which no>one bothered to aak. At the Oongreas in 

(26, Above, -p. i"^"- 

(29; Above, p. '2.t 

(JO, Report of th e Trade Jnian Gon^^rea s, l695» p. 17- 

(51/ The vote wee 157- 97. (Ibid ., p. 55.; Devis, History o f the 
Trade U nicm Congreae . H, p» 57. 


Korwieh the following year, a slailar resolution, prop38ed this tiae 
by Kelr Kardle, wea passed by a still larger majority. (52y Obviously 
a tide of opinion sas beginning to flow in trade union raaka which 
would soon carry the Ocngress to positions wiere Ita iiborfli partners 
could not follow. 

In 18S6 the general election ooacnterily checked this tide, / 
ConservBtive adainlatratlon took over, and in the rentes of that adialn- 
istraticxi were men like Joseph Qianiberlnln and John uorst, both or 
whoa had long before given very strong evidence of interest In working 
class probleoa. But C&aasberlcln went into the Colwiicl Cffice eni 
Corst to the Education Depert'aerit, acui tfceir anercies were diverted 
into channels other than that of social refora* Cn occasion w^iile in 
opposition, Tory .^erabere ha-d voiced strong critieisa of the Liberal 
failure to face the problosss of uneBployaent, poor law refona and 
industrial regi lotion. (55 > St** then too, the Tory opposition had 
beei responsible for an aoend-nent to a proposed new Employers* 
Ldafaility /ct which would have given statutory recogriition to the 
practice of "contracting ouf of its jurisdiction - a practice to 
whi^ the trade unions were strongly opposed. {^ j 

(52, Repo rt o £ the Tra de Union Conffryw. 18^. p. 57* Of* Davis, 
liiatory of the Trad« Unica^ Coajqreas . II, p. 9^. 

(53; In Deccober, l£95, Keir ! rardie's roaolutioii colling for refora 
of the Poor Law adtninistrction had 75 stipi^orters, taost of thea 
Conservatives. ( Hansard . 4th Serioe, Vol. II, p. 1519.; 

(54j It was decided to hold a sories of big sieetinss at woriting class 
o«itres to boost the scheMe. i.ord IXadloy tried to address one 
sucii meeting at Beraondeey. Trade uiiior4ist8 attended iri lar^^e 
numbers, ho>7led bin dotm, then staapod exit of the hall to a meet- 
ing of their own, (Soutter, Frank, Recollectiona of a Labour 
Ijoneer. pp. 182-184.; ^ihon the aaendaent was rrittan into the 
bill/nthe Lords, the govemaent dropped the whole bill. 


There was little reason thea, for tJie trode union loetders to 
tiMor whea the Tories took ovor the adalni strati en in l89Q. i.ever- 
theless, had thie been the chief desire of the new goveraaoat» it 
■ight quite easily have von to its support a large aajoritj of the 
non-socialist trade unioiilsts. for the some election in I89O had 
•een the I. L. ?. and its indepoident working class ooeialist candi- 
dates go down to corq^lete defeat. Of the 28 candidrtes not even 
Keir Hardie sas returned. The reaction to this defeat oaae very eootx 
in the Trade Union Congress « at the etmual aeetlng in the fall of 
I&95 the resolutions which Hardie sad his sup:x>rtera had succeeded in 
peeing the year before »ere quickly rescinded. vJS^ The I, L, P. 
and the 2. D. F. candidates were bleoed for the defeat of i^ibcral 
eaodidates^and one speaker even charged that they had "helped to wipe 
out the Labour Party". (56. The prestige of the aocielist aeotbers of 
Hie Cciif^ress nsa so s^iarply loirored that a proposal obviously ai:aed 
to shut 80:30 of tttfo out of fUture Congresses was received end adopted. 
Bjf resolution the standing orders of the Cangrese wero so altered that 
in future delegates oust be either working sembers of a uni-:in« or paid 
officials of that union. Hardie and Jcrtm Bums were both thus ex- 
cluded. Card voting was adopted instead of the old method of voting 
by heads; tn future a delegate's vote oouutted for the camber of men he 

(55; Report of the Tr ode Un ion Congress^ i8$6 , p. 18. The usual resol- 
ution ceiling for support for tiie principle of nationalization of 
all aeans of production, distribution end ex^ango, was defeated 
by a vote of 607,CX>J to 186,000. 

(56y Ibid ., p. 18. In 1895, 12 Labour Liberals were returned in 

place of the 16 who held sents prior to the dissolution. In no 
case did an I. L. P. candidate run against a liberal Labour candi- 


represented. Glnrlouely this too was oa attotapt to eliodzt&te that 
state of affairs in which it had oftan been claiaed that the eooiaiist 
tail waa wagging the whole trride union dog. 

To capitalise on this aootaatary reaction iu trade wAaa politics « 
and to aaice a detemined bid for working olaes Eupport, was however, 
not the chief ai.i of the new Conservative adiiLnistrBi^ion. its pre- 
occupation with iaperiel ai fairs was clearly shomi by the action of 
Checiberlain in taking the post of Colonial Secretary -> a post whi<^ 
was to be eeocmd in iaportance only to thr.t of the l^ine .minister 
during the next decade. 'Hie ^outh Africa:} ^>ar end Tariff sefora beerma 
the issues of the oooaat* and once again social refor>;i recedod into the 

During its two terme of office tli© Sallobury-oalfour goventaent 
produced in that iield but sll^t resulta. The I^ducation Depart^^ient 
of coarse was particularly active, Sir John <»orat and later Arthur 
Balfour hlauielf , ably advised and aseistad by i«}bert iorant* piloted 
throu^ the :;ou6e a series of eaectaaita which laid the bcsia for the 
preoeat educational systera of Ehglend, providing financial easistence 
to board schools in poorer districts, 07^ a reformed and unified 
central administrative syatea, (i56> and finally a workable basis for 
the unificeticMn of both volun^tary end board schools on a national 
basis. (59; The Educst oai Act of 1902, however practical a solution 

(37 > Eleaentajry Education Act, 1&97- 
(56; Board of Lducction Act, 1699« 
(59/ The Education Act, I9t>2. 


to the tengled probleat of providing u natioaal educatiooai eysteca for 
riiglar«i, aroused bitter oppoaiticm in licav-Gonforaiat Labour ao ■ell aa 
^on-Conforaist Liberal; and working clase ayaipathy in the fierce dia- 
putoa which folloaod were undoubtedly on Uie side of thoac «ho pro- 
tested the support of volt«itary« ehuroh-aponaored schoola by roeans of 
the rntea. nie very working claae leader a who perhepa ahould liave 
hailed the Tory educational reforiAa with approval - the Sooialiata - 
were either alionaitad by the '^ rate-aid to woluntaiy achoole" feature 
of ttio Act, (^y or were ao firaly convinood of the iniquity of fory 
legialation aa not to be moved by it at all. 

In other fields of legislation the new ainistry wrs to receive with 
perhaps .'aore Justification the sauie working olaas, trade union oondessk- 
atioij. In 1897 the saidi oritieieed haployero Liability Act of 1680 
was finally replaced by the i'iorkcien'a Codapflnatttlaa Act* tio longer was 
it neosBsary for a worker to prove both aegligsnoe on Uio part of his 
employer, and absence of negligence on his own part - in i'uture, eota- 
pensation for Injury was to be automatieelly gmntcd. The scale of 
eoQpenaatlon was not generous, for it guaranteed ttie worker SO per oeat 
of his weekly wage unless that figure exceeded the-£l per week which was 
fixed as the aaxlixBisu In case of death* ^% was paid; in case of 
peraan»it disability the co:apansati«i grants equalled three years' 

(^) Ejy a aajorlty vote, the 1. L« P, altered an "eaphatio protest" 
against the Act on the grounds that "it withdrswa education froa 
public control, subsidiaes denominQtionel education and deprives 
wocaan of their rlg^t to sptrve on the educational authorities". 
(Rffport of t he >'\nn ua l (anco of th fi I« L , i-* .^^ l^Og, p. 5?. > 

:n toe other hcsid tho • uomius, or at any rate the ^tobbs, by 
reaac^ of their personal ocaitecto with Balfour end iioraiit, were 
popularly supposed to have had soaething to do with its framing. 


wagas* or « aininum sua of ^yXi, The oecupatione covered were those 
In i'aetorlee, cslneo, querrioe, docks, railways, «iglneerlag worlcs . end 
In the conotructioi or detuolition of build iage exceeding thirty feet 
in height. In theory the /ct represented not only a r«al oonceasi.jn 
to trade uiiion doaanda but also a real advance in Conservative think- 
ing on l»abotir problesas; in practice it proved to be fiill of anega and 
tricks. The courts ruled tJiat snip-loedtng operations could be covered 
only If the ship were .-aoorod at a doclc, and even then &ade a distinction 
between tlio loading operations on the "'quay-aide" and on the "ll^jhter- 
side*. and that «K>rk on the hatches or a ahi|> «ea not part of the loading 
operation, on the &aelogy that ""rO-DovinE a cork was not part of the 
process of filling or e.iptylng a bottlel" Thea, too, the ijzt had the 
famous "5^ foot clause" ahioh gave the extrts such taeks as deciding 
the exact height of a wall under oonatmction, or detoraining whether 
«n excavati ao ttvir^ feet deep catae under the clause. (41} 

The only other instance of attempted aocial reforca until after the 
eonclusitm of the S<]uth .^riom ^bt mt^ in a relatively xtniroportant 
field. In 1899, the o<Hi9tant pressure of 3ir Charloe Dilke (42; and 
his working class collesi^es finally brought legislative action to 
reaedy the worst features of coaditi';me of work for shop asslBtants and 

(Al) Raaolutloaa cm this Act and its deficifmcies Ctfae Bl:aost eoouaiiy 
at the Trade Union Cangreea. Gf. c^exton, fu to biogr a gh y , pp. 122- 
l?5,f3r the Dockers' Unicxi reaction. 

(42, ^aci: yeea- atXer 1US6 DilJce intro^iucod privntely r Shop Houra Bill 
but it was not until 1909 that hie aain j;r3i:oanls reihoure and 
oonditlooa of labour for ahop workers wore finally iapleaeatod in 
the Act of thf . The National Union of Shop Assiatants and 

%ar<NiouseciM3:i ^; La na'ao to their headquerters buildiiig in 

London as a i&ecstoriel to his efforts. (Owytm «ui Tuckwell, ^ir 
Ct tarlee .Dlik»» ^ ' » P« ^2. ) 


varefaouseaen in the Shop Assis tents Bill of thst year, but the act 
provided ineffective oeans of enTorceaent and its prs^vieiona vere 
gKierally ill-obaerved. 

The Salisbury rainiatry then had aiade little or no attaapt to 
^I m ia any legislative action in working class interests, Soae Tories 
gave their aup>^>ort to a iiiners' Sight near Bill, but no ufliuial 
policy was expressed , and the bill was dropped arter second reeding. 03 ^ 
They failed to aeet the growing dooand for old a^e p«aaions, in spite 
of the fact that Chaaberlain in 1&93 had been the ,::io8t vigprous advocate 
of such provision* In lS99 a aolect oo-j^iittee uxider Henry Uhaplin «es 
appointed to study the raatter* hit its report vcs that a ^ainLsL&a sf^eae 
would cost £10 oillion, and tis setters stood in 190j such exp«iditure 
vaa iaposaible. (44; The ^outfa Africwi seu* expenditures of course bad 
first call on the Treasury as yct» aid wh«a the war ended aany Tories 
had beca-33 protectionists aad irero oaly too ready to vi«» tariff refona 
as en indispensable and* prerequisite -wtoavire to social roforsi. (45; 
li^ile the Conservative adrsir.lstration was thus turning its back upon 
aaasures to aeet the growing deuiands of trade unionist leaders for 
laproved conditions and a meeaure of eoonoialc security, the workers 
^eoselvos began to feel ttet their ama statas crfiS being altered for 
tho worse* Uie Icsi^ proceaa of falling prices during iho last quarter 
of the century, a condition which had partiolly coapensated for the 

(43; Raasard . 4th Series, Vol, 79, pp. 1J40-1542. Thojaae Burt and 
Qierlos Fen^ick were still voting against the measure* 

(44; Ibid*, pp. 257-2?8. 

(45; bikewise, according to CJieurles 'aotcraari, meny Liberals were un- 
willing to ac!-3it the need of social lejrlslatlon since they felt 
such aisission would accept the need of tariff refona as a aeano 
of raising tho necessfiry funds* ('^asteraan, li., C . ? « g *.i.Bfl teraan , 
p. 58, 


statio or falling sage rates in industry during the eaae period, com 
to an «nd about IQ96, : sudden rioe In prieeo, and tii© inevitable 
lag in wage increases* brought sharp discontent in union circles. (46/ 
In 1597 the tealgKaated Society oi' engineers eabarked upaa a strike 
vhioh after sovwi aonths ended in deleat for the uni3n« (47; The 
following year the South ^iales coal miners oaae out. For six laontha, 
90,000 ainers fought a firla struggle, but in tho «ad were forced to 
give up their demands* -ther industries faced the seme deoends, end 
a wave of industrial diopiite ocoirred during theaf> years. (48; 

Cne r^ult of the epidemic of strikes which occurred in the years 
fro3 1896 to 1698 wq3 the reappearance of tiie old question of the 
legality of picketing. nee t^^cwght to be settled cci^pleteiy by the 
Conspiracy and rrotocticsn of iroperty Act of l&75f Uae ijroblem was 
onoe more brouf^t to the fore by eaployere mxious to se<%ire a favour^ 
able ruling en their oloi's for a liaitation on the right of "picicet- 
ing and persuoaion". T^v^xi before the Congress of IC96 at >!4inbur^, 
a nxaber of judges had handed dovsn decisions which scosicd to upset 
the accepted interf>ret*:ti«i of the 1875 statu tej end that Congress, 
by resolution, grve both uural and financial support to the London 
Trades Council's plan to appeal one such ruling. (49; 

(46 > Claphaa, tlconocaic H istory. Ill, Both aoveaents are charted on 
p. 12 end p. ^6t, 

(47; Sir JKoes Kit8<»i, a well-known Liberal i&.P., was one of the 
owners involved* 

(48; Of. the table showing trade disputes in terss of working days 
lost; Clai!Jia&, Sconoiaic History . Ill, p. 499* 

(49; Report of the Trade -Jniim Con gress ^ 18^ . p. 26. The Taff 
Vale decisicsi was by no means an unexpected blow to trade 
union security* See pft.iui-iui below. 


By 18^ tihe situation seetaed oiainausly ele&r to the trade 
unionist of Qritein. A Tory govenv^ent ^os in ol'fice nhich refused 
to meet Labour's demands far legislation oa uneaployaent or old age 
pwiaions, or even to reforo the existing smdilnery of govemnent reg- 
ulfition of industry. "The tise is not propitious for any dotsaestic 
reforss nhieh involve Isrge expeiiditurea* (50/ was the answer which 
Balfour could givr to audi dttaands - end until the war should be con- 
eluded and tariff refora assured, theris were fee in his party who 
would question his judgnent* 

As to the wisdoa of tumin^; out the Conserv^Mves at the coming 
election, end putting the Liberals in their stead, the opinion of trade 
un'onieta ajast have been at least hesitant* The latter pfTty was at 
sixes and scveais over ita ice^arahl-j and over Its i^--oHcy. The new 
yo'-jafjor elecaant of the party had esiopted the unpopular "pro-iJoer* 
stoui end there was little hope cither of reconciliation with the more 
orthodox party wing •'>r of winning an election during ror time? as long 
as the party was so split. The situation was clesr to aairour ni:s8elf« 
ahen challensed on the felluro of hia adalnistration to provide 
doosestic refoms, he replied to his critics in 1900 with a biting 
speech in which he exaained the Liberal record before hia. (91; The 
whole tone of his speech, done in the beet Balfour style, is that 
tone aad« tenaaa by King Oiarles who, replying to his brother Jaaes* 
wfrning of the dnnger of assassination, replied, **^hat! Murder lae 
to aaSee you king?" 

(50 y Hansard, 4th Series, Vol. 78, p. 4. 

(51) Hansard. 4th f.eries. Vol. 85, pp. 518-519. 


For at least ten years •'oeislist trado unionists had been points 
ing out to their fellows in the aovoaent that there was an alternative 
choice. For at leest ten yoare sane of thoa had labcurod to reach a 
dual objective* to win Labour to social las* and to create an 
independent tsorking does political party, -e have ae«n how their 
appepla had apparently won thea victory by 189^, and ho* they then 
experi@ieed a eet-be^ to tlieir hopes in 1&95 and 1&96. The condit- 
ions just noted above were to turn tJie tide in their favour a^ain. In 
1897* (52; and a^in in 1898 (55; resolutiooB calling for the 
establiahaent of a political flind to feollitate the election of 
meabers pledged "to act irrespective of all other political parties" 
were defeated, but by narrowing aiajoritiea, A eiailar resolution 
was rejected by tho 1899 Coiigress at Plymouth, but a eubstitate 
resolution was prescsited by James Holmes of the ftaalgecsated Society 
of Railway Servants, which reed: 

"This Congroos, having regard to its decisions in 
fomer years » and f;ith a view to securing a bettor 
repreeentatlon of Uie interests of Labour in the House 
of Gfxsmcne, hereby instracto the i'^erliaEientary Cotaalttee 
to invite the co-operation of all the co-operative, 
socialistic, trade unions, and other working or^^aniaot- 
lons* to Jointly co-operate on lines cutually agreed 
upon, in convening a special congreea 01 representatives 
froQ Buci'i of the above-aentioned or^^aaizations as say be 
willing to take part, to devise ways end caeens for 
securing the return of an increased nuciber of Labour 
-iftabers to the next Parliaaent." (54 j 

(52 J Report of Trade Uni on Ccax grec B^ ^ ^8^7 * P» 3^* 
(55^ Report of Trade Un ion Con^yesa, l696 . p. 55 
(54; _H eport o f Tr ade UniiHi Gonrreas, 1899 . p. 56. 


TtM resolutloG had bem draTted In the office of the Labour 
L»eeder by Hardie and .aoDunold; (55 y it was eeoonded end vigorouely 
supported by 1« U« P. steaber Jliaay 3exton, but it coataitied aot a 
vord about a sociclist basis* nor even a maggeatioa regardiag in- 
dependcace ol action oti the part or auch nem Labour saabmra as ai^t 
be elected. In epite, tiien, of Uie apposition or the Coitot Spinners 
and the ainere, t^ie resolution passed by a vote of 5^,0CX) to 45'l,000,(56> 

-^t was agreed too that the practicc.1 steps neoessery to iaplesent 
the resolution should be placed in the hands of a specioi coaisitteo, 
vhieii obviously should repres«it the bodies being asked to co~operate. 
r.enoe a group was nesamd consieting of S«a %ood8« ^. C* Steadaan, ir>ill 
Thome erad Hiohard Dell of the Parliamentary Coosslttee; Keir Hardie and 
J« n. leeDonald of the I. L. P.; G. S. ShsK end E, R. Pease of the 
Fabian Society* and Harry Quelch and H« R. Taylor frssi the S. D» P. 
Of the whole coctnittee, only Woods had no oonneotian of miy sort vith 
socialist organizations, 

Thla ooi-iaittee held several Qoetlngs preliminary to the conference, 
and drafted as a basis for its deliberations a series of eight resoi- 
uticsns. V97> -tie of thea celled for a "distinct Lahour group in Parlia^ 
aantt irtio should have their own whips and agree upcax their own policy", 
anotiier laid .as the basis for the eonctitution of the new Coosaittee, 
repreeentation of twelve trade>unianiate, ten eo^oi^erators , end two froca 

(55y Tracy, The B oo k of t he La bour I'arty . Ill, p. 117- Elton, fatglend 
Arise i . p. ,j.(.j 

(56; Report of the Trade Union Oangreso. 1599 , p. 75, 

(57 y They appear in extenao in Tracy, The Book of the Labour ^^arty . III, 
pp. 118-119. 


eftch of the three Social let Societies. Another called for the 8«tting 

up of a Parllam©atar7 f^and, peytaeat to nhich should be required of 

the aezaber bodies, ^ite out in the op<sn now were two new objectives - 

the Trade Union •> Soeieliat alliance* end the independent Wbour Party. 

Shen the proposed eonfereaoe was finally held in i'ebruary of 

1900, the o. D. F. apokeasnan Jsaeo :4e£onald Icaediatoly ^oved thtit 

adhercsiee to the soeiuliQt deowid for nationalization of the instrucients 

of production, distribution and exchange should be adopted as the toot 

for Lab-Tur candidetoa, (58; Dut Keir Herdie in tixe debate apparefitly 

voiced the opinion of the majority even of the socialists present when 

he Rr£;;ued that 

"The object of the confertmce is not to diecues first principles, 
but to aseertoin whether orgeuizaticms representing different ideals 
would find an l-a-nediote end conEaon grouad of action, leaving each 
orgsaization free to umintein and px^jpagato its own theory in its 
own way. secjro a united Labour vote in support of Labour 
candidates, and co-operation anon^st thea on Labour questionQ when 
returned. " (59; 

iith this object in view, then, Use Mceoriel Hell Ckmference 
proceeded to the adoption of those resolutions whidi framed the constit- 
ution of the Lab^xir Ttepresentation Cosisittee* Like its predecessor, 
the new or^^anisaticai belied its naae. The Bradford Confereiice of 1^^ 
had aimed to create a Socialist party, but had preferred to cell it 
"Indttpendcnt Labour"; tiie London Conference of 1$00 alnied to create en 
indopeadent Labour Party but preferred to cell it a "Labour I^eprcsent- 
ation Coasittee'*. 

(58 J R epor t of the ^iftaor ija l Hall Co oferw^o e of the,, Lab our •".epre s mita t- 
ion O o saittee . p. 27* 

(59) Ibid ., p. 51. 


(aUPTER tfll. 


Tlio now body which now wab to olai'4 for Itsoif the role of 
Labour^s voice in politics repreBcnt^t to a large extent, a eo8>- 
proaiso of alais, Althougfi Ita ixilicy *sa at first engineered for 
the iKSBt part by sodaliate, yet it reiueed to idwitify itself with 
the Cffijse oS soeinlisa. At t)r>e seeae tiaio, althou^ Ito wipport even 
ot the inception of the csovemeat wbs largely tz'ade union, it refused 
too to oonfine ita endeavours to purely trade union uiattera, ir 
there sas any unity of aim or purpose it lay in Ute eonscious desire 
of tlie siejority of the delegates at the first conference to acliisve 
a aeane of separate end distinct Labour reproeentation in ^orila^ent. 
But even here Ute departure in tactics nxist not be too otrongly 
e:aphasized, for there were sooic in the new Coaaittee, and osny in 
the bodies which created it* who wore still inclined to caet "sany 
a longing glance back at the old Liberal love", with which they were 
"still disposed to ffialntain a clandestine llaiaon". (I; uikewise 
too, there were aoae who would need but little evidence of failure 
of the new organization to tuntx back to the weapon of induotrial 

(1) Cole, British forking Claae Lioveaqat, II, p. 157 • 


action, or aaide to the new theories of gpild socialise or eyndicaii«ffl.(2> 
In fact* that the Labour Reproaentation OooKiittee eould ae^iieve auoh 
ajcceaa as it did in IS^» eTter such an inajapioious beginning in 
190^* ia a romarkable atory. 

Certainly the L. R. G. began life under difficulties. Ita whole 
incooie for the year 1900-1901 waa but £ 2^5, yet it ran fifteen Ottoudi- 
datsa at the general election in that year. Thia aea a *khaki* 
election, and isost of the L» F;. C. candidates were openly '*pro-Qoer". 
Df the whole oufflber* only two were oueeeaaful - Xeir Bardie at i^erthyr 
Tydvil C5; end Richard Bell at Derby. nd yet, despite Uie aany 
unfavourable cireuoateneea, the L. R. C. candidates polled a total of 
over 62,<XKi votes* which represented approxicoately jJ5 per cent of the 
total vote OQst in the constituencies wlJich were contested. During 
the next aevernl years increasing aeiabership, a growing treasury and 
a rising tide of opiniofi favourable to the L>. R. 0* objective of 
indep«uient representation, aade the prospects aure attractive. (4; 

(2; RsEBSsgr MaeOonald's clals that "the Labour laovaaeat ia et heart 
-■aore political than industrial in its etjphcsis, and is conscious 
of this** mint allow of soae qualification, ('-■oae A spects of 
Labour Ideals, in Ho^e (ed.) British La bo ur^.S peaks , p« \B»j An 
Acaerican historian. Pipkin* C.o, - ooeial politics and aaod^m 
Dftatocraciee - echoes 'iaoDcnald ' s opinion when he clainis that 
Uxero has cdsreya been in Englend "an unfailing belief of the 
masaeo of the workers in gaining reforms by political ways". 
(I, p* 24.; But Tool i/^erui as an individual, or the C;iyde8ide 
shipyard workers as a group, do not fit this pattern. ';>han the 
unions wore polled in 1915 (after the new Trede liniaa :ctj on 
the question of usinf^ their fUnds for purposes of uiaintairiing a 
political party, over 400,0^ oftabers were opposed to such 
action. (Heport o f the Aruaaal Cop fereooe of the Latour l- orty,^9l6 . ; 

(5) Hardio had won his plaice aaong the South nalco ainers by his 

support during their losing struggle in I698. ^iee p.i*/' above. 

(4) The affiliated societies and unions $sid their meaibersiiip, y'.>er by 
year, are shown in the table attached as Appendix^ pJij 


In 1SX)2 an official candidete^ D. J, Shackleton, nas returned unopposed 
at Clitheroe. In 190^, the ranks o£ indepeodoat Labour mftabors were 
svolled by the return of Hill Crooks froa Uoolwlch, eaid Arthur iicnderson 
fros BamRrd Csstle, i5; but the dei'ectJuHi of Bell from tiie L. >;. C. 
rsoka in 1S04 (6) brought the total of L« R. G» eeats in ^^arliamont back 
to four. Until the dissolution at the end of 1^05« this stsall group 
ites able to oeke excellent use of the Corxsms debates as a i'jeana of 
propaganda for the L. ;U C. by ttieir spirited attacks on the govemaeat 

fe' for- 

^n its senetion of the use of C^tlneee labcK^r In Sout^ Africa, en Its 
refusal to ateet the critical questions of trad© union status^^ ^ e n. - sratter s 
mirh «o the refora of the Poor La»« and above all ^ its inadequacy 
regarding uneoplujnaeat* ooapeaeatioo and old age pensions. 

During the yearo Crciai 1900 to 1906, the Ooiaaittoe at its annuel 
oonferences was engaged in the difficult task of hesBaoriag out a policy 
on file two questions whiloh had always tlureatened to divide the Labour 
-flovoaent. '^ the one hand a policy towards socialieia and the socialist 
iaoveaent had to be evolved, for while 30st of ttie I. i<. ?• end tiie 
FabifJi soeieliats wc»uld have be«i quite satisfied with the existing 
state of alliance with the trade unionists, not ao the 3. D. F. social- 
ists nor the snti-socialist union afSD* Then too, a policy hod to be 

(5; Crooks won in a straight fi^t with a Tory opponent. Itie Liberals 
gave hia no official support, but Lloyd George spoke In his favour 
at meetings not connected with the ee:;ipei0n. Henderson won in a 
three-K>mered fig?^t - the first L.. R. C. o&adidate oo to 
disting!uti9h hiaieelf. 

(6) See p. /i"*/ below. 


shsped and stated to regulate the parlloai^mtary aetlans of the nee 
BMobers with regard to co-operntlon with other political parties. 

Iha first of these problecno - a policy toaorda eociftliem - took 
up oonsidorebie tiae at the "ieeaorlal Hall conforonee. ,n a, D. F. 
epokesaan Introduced the whole aotter i^ proposiag tiiat the nee party 
ehould be '^separate froca the capitalist parties, based upon, the 
reeogiition of the olaaa war# aod having for its ultimate object the 
•ocinlization of the raeaBS of productioa» diotriixition and exchange. "(7J 
"Die viewe of the purely trade union and n<»-«ocieii8t partner in the 
alliance ■aere voiced iicEediebely in ma aateadaeat to the resolution* 
calling for a "Labour platform" of soaie four or five specific aims to 
•hi(^i tlie "raesses of tlie vorkera^ could agree. (B> This asaendaant 
finally carried, along «ith e IVirfc^er reealjtion trozi /^eir ilerdie of 
the I. I>. P. calling for the creation of a "diati^ict Labour Group in 
ParllKseat, i*»o shall have their own whips and a^ee upon their 
poll^, «hidi oust embrace a rsedlness to co-operate with any party 
which for the ti^ae being, say be engi-.^ed in promoting legislation in 
the direct interest of iiabour..." i9) Khiio agreeing, then, on Uie 
general question of operating on independent lines, the new party 
distinctly retrained frora the adopticsi of socielisa as the basis for 
ttiRt operatioQ. 

At the first anrual conference in i^SKJl the issue arose once 
sore* A siotion froa Bruce Glasier woild have inado the party's 

(7; Beport of t he *iea >orial iia ll ^Co nf areoee of the L« R» . . p. 12. 
(6; Ibid ., p. 1^. (Proposed by Alex, wilkie, later ^•P. for Cundee. > 
(9j Ibid ., p. 16. 


objective the "Industrial Gooimoasrealth, founded uixm comaion oimorship 
of land eid capital". (10; This th« delogatea rejected; in ito stead 
they accepted n resolution froa the Dockers' Union stating the 
objective to be the passage of *each 1b«8 as will j»jt an end to a 
systoa under »hi(^ the producer of voelth has to bear an exoraous 
burdon in tlie shape of rtsits and profits, which go to the non- 
producers". (11 J 

Refusal to adopt a declared policy of sociallsia brou^t the 
Inevitable breach with the fi, D, F. At its conference in 1901, that 
orgaalsatiai decided to diacontimie its affiliatitHri with the new body, 
and at its n«tt conference defeated by a large aajority a raove to 
reconaider ttmt nction. (12) Froa that time forTiard, tstiile 3, D. F. 
^aabers continued to appear at the annual conferoicoe, they aat as 
repree«itatlve8 of uniiMis or trades ©ouncila, cBd their central 
organiaatioQ had nothing Mt soom for the "political opportuniso* 
and the "social refonist" policies of the b, R, 0. (IJ; Frosi their 
now positions, however, the "claaa-war ooclalists" continued their 
offensive. At the Kewcastlo Conference In ISOJ, they Introduced 
resolutions making eoolalieai a test for candidates desirous of 
receiving official support. Their effort failed, and the resolution 
was defeated by a large oajority, bb was another which would have 
allowed those candidates to describe thersselvea as "Labour and 

(10) Report of the tonual C pnfer gnqg of the L. R« C . IS^l. p. ^J. 

(11) Ibid ., p. 55. 

(12) fiamphrey. Labour nepreeen t etigi , p. 1^7» 
(15; Of, Justiqc for Jctober 8, ISO'*. 


Soeialisf. (lA; These roeolutlana aoon bectese "hardy onnuala", and 
were to ro-appear at the oonf crenoea year aftor year, but their fate 
raoained the aacte. Wie orgaalzatlaa waa wllllne to adopt scores of 
reaolutlona on speoifio aattera, the aioi total of nhlch added to 
aocialiaaj It waa even ready on occasion to call for nati^xializatlon 
of industry; but It cantlnaod stoutly to roiUse either to label its 
policy as aocloliot or to peralt Its caadidatee to use that label. 

On the other hand* atte:2pta «orc also made to turn the ne« body 
into a strictly trade union organization. At the conference in 1505, 
for exeuple, a delegate of the Aaalfiaia&tcd :>3ciety of Hallway 
Lcrvonts olfered a resolution whld^» nould have dlaafi'iliated Trades 
Councila, the I. L. ?, and tiie t'ebian ioclety, on the grounds of 
"over- lapping ropresfeitetion''. "Trade Unioniste alone should be 
quite auffielent for their aovejaont", daisied the oover of tl»e 
resolution; but a siajorlty of the delegates did ziot share hla opinion 
and the rosolutiaa crna defeated by a large aajorlty. (15/ In 
resisting the efforts to make the L. K. 0. avoHodly cociollst. as 
well as blocking the attenixits to purge It of any tendency in Umt 
direction* the aost drtemined voices were usually those of the 
1. L. r. del^ates* who continued to stress the lisportcnoe of 
indepondemoe ratitcr than socialisxa as the essential and unil^ylng 
factor in the ne» siovesient. 

(l4^ Repo r t of the j'n nual Conference o f , the U^ R. g «, 1905* p« 57. 
(15; ?ie>port of the i\nnaal Gon ferano e of tfao L . n» C^, 1S05« p. 46. 


»ith but two oi'ficial osesabers in Perllancnt in I9U1, the question 
of tb«ir independence of action with respect to either the Coneervat- 
ivoa or uiborols nae reoog^izf^ as being largely an acaieiaic question. 
As to Uie posalbiiity of eo-operation ttliii the existing iiabour group 
in the Liberal ranks, (16/ Mardie for one was rather cautious^ taicing 
the view thct a3 raatters thAx stood, "It tree for ;ir. fiurfie to take 
the initiative'*. (17; ?or all practical purposes, of course, liardle 
and Bell were for the taost pert iiidlBtin^ishable as a group fross the 
other Labcxir a«nbera. 

lis the L, F» C. group increased in rasmbers, hovrover, ana as tiie 
possibility grew of a still greater increase efter the next general 
election, the question of its attitude tovverds other ^rolitlool parties 
becnase a subject of more practical ocsieern. Particularly was tijis 
ti^o AS it becotte evident not only tiiat the Liberals would fors the 
next govemjont, but t^Jct upon f oraation of that ^overaaoit they 
would be eoiTi:::4ttod to certain stops the necessity of which had been 
largely the reison d'etre of the new Labour organization. 

At the l.ewcRstle Conferonee in 1905* the delegates were asked 
to face tiie probleji. Tiie decision had been aadc in l^i^ to form a 
"Labour Group" in Pari iaaent, and the asattsption obviously had beai 
that this g^oup would certainly co-operate with the Liberals on 

(16.. ni^t in minber, and including ^. Abraham, H, Broadhurst, 
T. Surt, B. Pickard, J. nilson, r. . R, Oremer, C. Fenwidc, 
end John Oums* 

(17) Rei^ort of the Aniteial Confereaoe of , th e l...,L, P.. 1901 » p. ^- 


labour sattere. tShat its policy should be, of oourse« un such on isauo 
68 Rome Rule, or Free Trade, or Velsh DisestablishoKit, for exaaple, 
«a8 aot even discussed. Appareatly the individual aember was to be 
left to his own judgejiant. By ISCJ, hovever» 3U<± queationa nere being 
asked, and at the conference in that, year a decision was aiade. By tiie 
original cooatitution -neabera of the l>abour Group were called upon 
siniply to agree not to oppose any candidate who had the official support 
of the organization. Tne I^ewcastle Conference decided upon a nuch aore 
rigid kind of agreeaent, and constitutional changes were made to require 
all l>. R» C. meabers and candidates '*not to identify thesnaelves with 
another party", and to pledge thei^selves to accept .m ell aettera ttie 
decision of the asajority of the group in iorliaaent, or faiiing that, 
to reai^ their seat. John Sard, later to be the "Uatnries* it. P.", 
argMed that "Wiey wanted to get their feet well planted in the Hc;u8e of 
Coan^^s end t^ould not be e bit particular about the way in which ttiey 
did it", but hia brand of opportunia^n. was scorned by Kerdie, Sexton, 
Tiliett and GUrron, end by a aiajjrlty of the delegates. (18> These 
decisions Kere oi oioaantaus ijsportance, for the Labour Uroup in 
Parliaaent had now becaae a Labour Perty. (I9y 

(l8j Report o f the Auiual Gonfera i oe of t he L. R. . p . . 19C>5 . pp. 57-^1. 
The debate on the matter of independence reflects, of course, 
the prevailing mood on the part of Labour generally, of bitter- 
ness engendered by the Teff Vale decisions and the governiaent 
refusal eiUier to clarify or rectify the situation. Co e p? 

(I9j The tuate was not used officially tintil 1S»06, but was in fairly 

general use unofficially by 19^, Tine i^arty'a independence from 
control by the Trade Union Congresa was likewise officially 
recogjaized In 1504 when the cosotlttee dealing v^ith resolutions 
at the laeeting, ruled that all those proposing to endorse or 
emend U\e actions of the L. R. C« were out of order, since that 
organizetl-::]n was -'an independent and outside body". L Hep art o f 
the Tr ade Union Cc Higresa. 1904 . p. 65.) 


Althau^ It was quite openly recosnizod in ISOJ that the instruct- 
ion and the pledge were too rigid for ell cirouoetances, and probably 
not practicable, t;;G delegates at the anzttial coiiferenceo could not 
devise another oltrmative. to electoral incident in I90k ahowed that 
the complete control over aembera' actions vhioh the lost conference 
had hoped for waa neSthor desirable nor possible. In Jenuary of that 
year, in a by-electic« at liorrich, Q. H, Roberts raxi ao the off 1 del 
u. P.. C. candidate* He wen oppoood by b-otii uiberai and lory noiaineea, 
and the Liberel won the aaat - with the «upport taid pibllsned good 
wishes of aicJ'iard Cell, the L. R, C. raerab«r for Derby. The Executive, 
of course, condessied Bell's actiots, and he ceased to be i. _ c-iiber of 
the Group: but he did not reelyfi^ his seat, and he continued to play 
a proainent part in Labour politics, aot only in tiie House, but in 
the Trade Dnion Congress ao well. (20 j At U\e annual coriference in 
1904, as a reoilt of th±e incident, the constitution was altered 
again, striking out the clmaae requiring a aesuber of Perliaaent to 
resign when in disagree>:)ent with the majority of his collca^es and 
elaply empower in£ the sTxecutive to "deal with" such a matter. (?1J 
An att*«pt in the following year to alter the constitution still 
further, however, and to peroit either the Executive or ttie 
Parliojontary Group to support other tiian L. R. Q» candidntes, was 

(20) The incident is discuss^ in Humphrey, Labour Hepre a entation , 
pp. 16?-16% and fornied subject for caich diacusaion at the 
annual conference in l^j4. Bell had not signed the pledge 
as required by the 15^^5 coristltution, but was held to be 
morally bo^jnd by it. 

(21; Report of the /jiaual ao nference of \iie L. R. C^, 190A . p. 56. 


dofeeted by a large oajority (22> and a ciotion reaffirming the stand 
of independence froia oti-ior pertioa wes overwhelningly adopted. C25) 

The L, li. (J., then, refused eltlier on the one hand to identify 
itself opefily with socialiaa, or c» the otiier hand to deny the place 
of that piiilooophy in working cIesc politics and thua to become but a 
new version of the old iP&rllaaaitary Gooaittee or the Trcde Union 
Congreae, At the same tiae it ro-affinaed its belief that only 
through an independent political organization could Uic working class 
aovcxncnt achieve these aios. .Vhiie ti:i^e fundaaeatai alias were beitig 
evolved and stated, a good deal of work bob quietly being done toweurds 
creating such an organization, $«d saking it efficient. 

The greatest organizational difficulty was, of course, financial. 
At the first annual conference the need for funde eras etressod, iS^j 
and S, Sanders of the Fabien Society proposed a coapulsory levy on all 
affiliated societies to set up a f^orlia-ientary Fund. ^25; The 
proposal was defeated on the ground that "the tiije was not ripe". It 
was urged L'lsteed that affiliated bodies shcnjld make theoiselves respons- 
ible for Uie eninpai^i expenses and ii3aint<mance, if elected, of their 

(22; Report of U^o , Annuel . Confer ence of th^ L. R« C . , 1>05. p. 47. 

(25; Ibid ., p. 49. The vote was 59^,(X}0 to 2^,000. 

(24; In its first yeer tiie total incoae was /'257- if or the year IS^l- 
1902 the revenue sras J^jh^t nn^* for the succeeding year ;d"8C0. 
A financial stateaoit appears in each Annual Report* 

(25; iteport of the A:tnual Con ference of the L, R , C>. 1901 , p- 29. 

' 4" 


own cendidetes. ^26j At the conference in i9i-<2 the uatter sros dis- 
ou8»ed again, with •iailar results. Recent decisionB by the ftegistrar 
of Societiee es to ttxo illegality of including the election of aetabere 
to Parliament ea a legitimate flmction of a trade union had the 
effect of imposing oeution* However in 1901 the iiiaerB' Federation 
had decided upon the creation of a perllKaentary fund to be raised by 
levy of Id. per snonth per taember; and the action of this, the largest 
unicxi organization in Britain, served as a stiimilating exa'&ple, even 
though that union was not yet a part of the b. R. C* In 1^? finally 
the step was taken, shon the annual coafor^^nce approved the creation 
of a pariiotaontary tlmd throu^ a voluntary levy from affiliated 
Bocleties of Id. per annuoi per nieaber. The value of loced roaponoib- 
ility for cwididetea trould be retained, however. Shile this fUnd was 
to be responsible for the p^oent of the aiaintenence grant of t 200 
a year for elected meiibers, it covered but one quorter of tlie oa^pai^ 
expenses of tiw candidates. Hot only did the local cooxaittee tiuis 
retain tiie duty of fLicnclng a large part of the election caapaigp, 
but liJcewise it retained the aore pleaeoRt task of finding end choosing 
the candidate. Affiliated bodies willing to become resronsible for a 
candidate were invited to subait hie nacie for inclusion on the list of 
accredited cwididates. This list was publiahed yearly by the Execut- 
ive, or was sent up«n request to any local babour CcwLference desirous 
of selecting someone to ccntoBt the constituency, hut only after such 
a local body isoved In the matter did the Executive £;ive its sanction to 

(26 y Repor t of .Annual Oonfertaice of th e L. R. C.,__l>02. (axecutive 
Report. ) 


the condldeture. (27; By the end of 19(>4, six affiliated unions had 
pledged themselves as responsible for trie larger part of the election 
expenses of eleven accredited candidateo, Indlcotlng that the local 
:sachinory vrhose enthusinsoi end efficiency was to be shoim so stritcingly 
in 1906 was bein^ rapidly created. 

The table app«ided (page ^27 ) sliows a remarkable groitth of th« 
Iiabojr I'srty* both in affiliations and in inembership, during the period 
froT 1901-19CJ6. For this rapid growth the chiof reasons apparently 
were the failure of the Tory ad-aini strati on to bring out a satisfactory 
plan of social refora, the energy of -U-.e new organizaticm in capitaliz- 
ing apon that failure, and oost i.::^ortmit of all, the rising sweep of 
i^abour re6ent.:3ent at the blow to uuilon legality and union security in 
the Tal'f Vale decision end at the failure of the Balfour ministry to 
correct tije situation which then arose, These conditions contributed 
aaterielly to the reso-anding defeat of the Tory party at the next 
election, to the oreatiosi of a new Liberal ainiotry soon coinsiitted to 
a program of social reform, and, nioat significant of all far our pur- 
poses, to the creation in the House of Co^aoaa of a Labour xorty of 
healthy proportions. 

The record of the Conservative administration which followed the 
"khatci" electit:^ of 1900, in Labour eyes at least waa a dismal one. 
Shsi the war in South Africa ended, the general satisfaction ef victory 
had but short life. Ilea of navy personnel by the govcm-Mnt to help 
breaic a strike at QibreltBr, (?8; the treatment 01 TKorx.er3 at the 

(27; Report of t he i^nual Conference of the L, R. C«. IS^ (Executive 

(28) See Kelr Kardie's vehwaent protests in the House of Corrcaons iri 
June, 1902. ( Hansard . Ath Series, Vol. IO8, p. ISJJ; Vol. 110, 
pp, 17-18; Vol. 112, pp. 8O7-8O9.) 


govera^etit arsenals, and above ail the sericiotiing o£ the i&iportatlon 
of indentured Chinese labour int? South Africa itself, se<r:ied the 
baldest of affrcmts to trade union priaciples* Then too, Uie detsobil- 
ization of large nucabers of troops served to esaphasize the tact that 
Brother period of eaployaant crisis was at hand. Prices continued to 
rise, but ve^e levels began to fall; a Board of Trade uagea Int^iry 
in 1506 showed wage levels al.::K>8t stationary for the period of 1SOO~ 
1904 in the textile trade only, - in both raining end engineering tliey 
dropped considerably. (29 J 

As a result of tiie drop in reel waijce, end of the growing incid- 
ence of unsaploysaent . (,^) eoiwioialc hardship increased. (Jl; ijiberal 
spokescten were, of course, quick to see the opportunity for a revival 
of party hopes. Speaking at Perth in IS^^J, 51r lienry Caapbell- 
Beoneraan ecoaauaxeed the intuition of the Liberals to take up the 
question of "the twelve taillion people in uxgiami twhoj were living on 
the verge of atarvation" . (52^ By far the aost picturesque spokeaaan 

(29) Cf» the cJmrt in Clapfcaa, Seonojiic nistory , lii» ?• 468. stood, F,, 
The Sourse. of Pe al ^a>!;e6 In Lond^t l^QO-l^l^* cited by ClapiiOi-i, 
eatimatea that not until 191? did real wages reach their level of 
1900 again. In view of the Trnde fJnion Congress - Fabian agit- 
ation for a listional «iniaua wage of JOs. per week (^ebb. Industr- 
ial Deaocracy y It Is significont to note thot the Board of Trode 
Inquiry showed that only in the clotiiing, printing, building and 
engineering trades was the pvereRe weekly wage of men et or over 
that fiaare. (P.eport of the /.n nual Qonf es eaoe of the Labo ur 
Party. 1^9 » Bxeoitive Report, Appendix I.; 

(50) Claphaa, Cconoaic H istory, IIT, p, 29, gives tJie rise rs from 
2^ per cent in ISfcK) to" over 6 per cent in 1J»5. Gf , graph of 
uneaployosent statistics in Appendix,/? i^t 

(51 ; Sir Leo Chioatsa aooey's investigetlone in 1905 convinced hiia that 
Oit of a population of aaae 44 aillion, 58 million were in tlie 
category "poor*, ("iches end i^ v erty [10th edition] pp. 45-47,; 
Of., too. The Rep ort of the H oyal Co saBieaion aa the t^ar Lpws 
and Relief of pi stress. Part II (The Statistical Survey of Poor 
Law Problems; pp. 15-52. 

i32j June 5, I905. C^uotod in Spender, J. A. The Life of tl ie nijd^t 
Kpnor ab lo --ir -'-'enry Qacspbell- Bannerpan , II, p. 120. 


of the new Liberal inimtlons «es the fiery Lloyd Georse. Speaking 
to the Liberals of Cardiff in 1906, he boldly prodaLaed that the new 
function of Libereliaa was "to cope seriously with the social con- 
ditio of the people, to roshjve tlie national degr^ation of elucis and 
widespread poverty end deatitaticHi in a land glittering with wealth", 
end warned Liberals iiiet they oust not shrink "to attack boldly the 
aaln cease of this tackle the landlords, and the 
brewer 3, and the peers, as they have faced the parsons ". Jtherwiae, 
he claiaed, "there would a real cry arise In this land for a now party, 
and aany of us here In this rooa would join in that cry*. (55> both 
Liberal and Labour, then, vied with each other for ti-ie post of people's 
chaapion; the tactics of both were to piece aide by side in invidious 
coraj^arlson the presoit condition and the present logialation. 

To meet the deaand for increeaed efficiency in Uie adainiotration 
of the Factory .'Vets, the 3elfour <ainistry brou^Jit in the Factory and 
?forkahop Consolidation Act of 1901. *B its short title iaplied, how- 
ever, the act was rather intended to group and consolidate the sia^id- 
aenta £snd extonsiona of the Faotsry Acta of the period since 1873; it 
did nothing to extaid either the scope or *Uie efficiency of the super- 
vision of industry already provided, (34;! To seet the demand for 
legislation to remedy the housing conditions of the labouring section 
of Lnglond's populatlcai, the Act of 1^00 was passed. This measure 
still farther clarified tiie power of local aithorities to purchasd lend 

(55> The speech is quoted at length in Beer, British a oeialia a. II, 
pp. 548-549, 

(54; Hutdiins and lierrison, i-actory Le^isl^titm, Appendix B, pp. 52'>" 
522. A discussion of the administrative features of the act is 
in Fipkln, Social Po litics, I, pp. 4a-48. 


for purposes of erecting vorkaen's dwellings; but like its predecessor 
in 1897* it wss penaissive legislatioa only, ^oording to John ijums, 
"the oieasure whispers hoiising reform to the ear» end breaks it to tiio 
hope of every poor t7oriG&en". ^55) To caeet the growing cry for 
legislation on hours of labour two aeasurea were presented. A .iines 
(£i^t Hours; Act in 1902 went to a seccmd reading before it was de- 
feated. In spite of the fact that some Coaacrvatives and ^aost of t^ie 
Labour iaeabers of ell persjaeiona were in support oi tiie .iecsare, mid 
in spite of the fact that it was a :30st -aodest proposal aiaed oaly to 
fix the ei^t hour day for youths under 21* the govemuont refused to 


take^the aeosure c^ again, v^j tsi atteapt was aiade by the Shop Hours 
Act of I90k to pat an effective ll-ait on the hours of shop assistants 
and warehouQ02ion« but its failure was the thane of repeated deuionstr- 
ations by the union involved. (^7J iiiaeh year Sir Charles Ullke 
introduced unauccessfUlly into the Coiasons a private measure desig^ned 
to roeet the need of the situation by coutpulsory closing and a sixty- 
hour week; each yenr his tiieasure rent to a 8oc-:nd reeding aiid then was 
defeated or shelved, (^j 

(J5; Heaisard . Ath Series, 7ol. 82, p. I4l7, 

(56^ I^e vote was 2C6-a67« flurns, Creaer, Sroedi-urst eaid Hardie spoke 
for the aeasure, but Giarlcs Foiwick opposed it, voicing the 
opinion whicla years before had been held by the CurhajB and 
liorthuT.beriend aiiners. ( tian sard, Ath Series, Vol. 104, pp. 51&- 
524; 555-559.) 

(57) See the speeches of Margaret Bondfleld end ::. C. j^derson in 

Repor t of tii e A niaial , Oonf erenee^ of _the liabour i^art y, iS9§» P» ^^* 

ifBj The Dilks aeasure received the support oi: the Labour aembers, sxul 
was approved by resolatiMi of the party conference. (Report of 
the Annual Confereice of the l^abour ■t'Brty. 1^9. p» S6.; 


The inedequacios of the r,orkffl«i'8 Componsetion Act of 1697 had 
repeatedly been pointed out by Labour spotceaaen, with the apperent 
result of forcing the goveiTir>i«nt into eonsiderotion of en aaending 
act. At the spring aession of 1905 euch en act wee introduced, (59 > 
It proposed to reaoTe the notorious "JO foot" clau8e« and to extend 
eatspenaaticm beoefits to tr&aney find railway eraployeee and to norkoim 
in shops eaploying five or more hands, but still did not cover seamen 
or f ishenae^ or the ecaployees in &.7iall businesses. It n^a attacked 
by Liberalo like Sidney Buxton and by Labour aen like Hardie and 
Crooks, whe pointed to the Inadequecy of the extension and to tlie 
fact tirnt the financial arrense.'ionts of the old Act were still un- 
cl'.onged. (40) liirlag the debet© a Liberal aecaber offered an eaetid- 
laetit which K.xild hevo extended oo<ape<tcetioa to workers suffering from 
such al'aitted occupational diseases as anthrax cr«d lead poisoning. (41; 
Before the debate concluded, adjournment tiae vbb readied, and no 
division was taken. Tn July, Balfolir announced that the bill wsa with- 
drawn, hea CJBapb«il-3anner'Jian, Buxton, Ghurchiil, iiardie and Crooks 
voiced the indiatintlon of the opposition to this strategy, Delfoar 
taunted them with their eorller criticism of the bill. V49y Justified 
or not, the i'rinie .fillister had zaatsi tiie oest possible .j . »xj jf 
strengthening the existing resoxtaent of Labour aoa against the sitting 
govemasent. Coatpeasation continued to be paid on the old basis- 
si'ocll cash payierits based an average weekly earnings, witii no rBinimam 

(59) ^ iaroh 17» 1909, in the House of Lords, ( n^eard. 4th ;ierios. 
Vol. 145, p. 521. 

(40; The debate on the second reading in the Ooaaons e^pesred in 

hansard, 4th Series, Vol. 14?, pp. 797-614. The Lords debate 
appecred in Vol. 144, pp. 265-285. 

(41 J Hansard . 4th Caries, Vol. 147, p. 811. 

(42j For Uie debate on the withdrawal of Wie bill, iienaard 4th series. 
Vol. 150, pp. 955-1024. 


under the scale of benefits. The courts continued to allow oueh 
latitude In the matter of deteralnlng the averace wage on ichich 
benefit payrients were besed, witi'i Uie result that cesee were reported 
to I>abour oieetings of sen drawing as little as four shillim(B a week 
in eoapensntion for accident and loss of employiaent. (4^/ 

In atte^apting to deal viUi the problea of azumployj^eat, the 
Qojiservf'.tives had even 1^8 suecees in answering the jibes of their 
Liberal nnd Labour critics. The Uaesployed f-orkioen Act of 1905 
implied whftt one hostile critic called ''the iirst faint reco^ition 
of a public duty toKsrde the unevlciy^''t (^^; and so constituted 
»n advance in thinking. Uaoaployaent for the first tiae was 
■•recogpized by statute as a product of iiiduatriel dialed justinerit', (■^Sy 
and for the first tise* too» it nas proposed to provide assistonce 
end relief to the unemployed, without puniehi&ent or stigoa. but the 
ae&ns provided in ti^e ctatute to acnieve this airs Keie woefully in- 
adoqupte. Local "distress coai:iittee3" »ere set up to deal wlttj the 
problem, and the adalnistrative expenses of thesR bodies were to be 
aet froQ public i\mds, bat the funds which they wore to us-a for relief 

(45j One such case eas tliat of Jnslow vs. Ihe Cannoch Gbas« Colliery. 
It was discussed at the annual cotxferoiice in lylO during a 
debate on the efflcccy of the 1906 /vet. C?>eport of the Annual 
Conference of the Labour f'erty, 1S'10» p« 92* j 

{hUj Sole, British 'rtorking Class .v^Qveaent , III, p. ^. 

(A5j !!ill, A. C. C, and Lubin, 1., The British Attack on Uneapl oysnent* 
p. 25. 


purposea had still to be raised by voluntary contributioa. ^46; Iihet 
actually then took, place was simply a reoognition and a very limited 
subsidy of the existing private chnrity agencies. And privete charity 
»a8 no longer adequate to aeet the needs of twentieth ccntt»y in- 
dustrial England, Lloyd George very neatly suuioed up not aaly the 
virtue but the weakness of the bill whw he pointed out that "it 
recogiized the rlg^t of a raan to call upon the State to provide him with 
work, to wiiich the State replied by recognizing the rigpt, but reruaiug 
to provide the work.* (47; 

H^e whole question of relief of destitution was one of greet 
public Snteroet during the period under discussion. Agitation on trie 
issues of housingt sweating in industry, uno^ployacnt, malnutrition 
afflon^ ehildr«Bi end destitution in general was being sponsored by news- 
paperi publi c ation s 11 tee the Daily liews j end by periodicals titee tiie 
Speake r and the po- aaca wea lth . i\»blic figxree li)ce Sir Charles DilJce, 
prominent ohurchaen like 3cott Hoi lend and Bishop Charles Gore, snd 
philanthropic industrialists like Geor^ Cadbury »ere heading personal 
oruBsdes to arouse public concern on those aiatters. An evidonoe of 
the interest of the Snglish public in the question was the reception 

(46 y Ibid ., pp. ?4-25. Tlie Act was to be in force only until 

,^^st, 1S*08, since It wss regarded as being experl-aental in 
nature. According to a Labour Party Report, the Distress C^jo^ 
aittees, up to i.iarch of 1907f i'-sd receivod applicotions for 
assistance froa 6? #001 perscais, had given assistance to 
60,4l6, but had given that assistance in the form of work to 
only 56,?80. ('^'eport of a Special Conference on Une-riployoent 
on Jenusry 17, 1908. Report of th;^ /nnual Conference pi the 
Britis h Labour i^artyj. 1^, /.ppendixl, pp."8>-S5.) Of. too 
Poor L ay Report , i-art IV, pp. ^^/J-SIO, and A'art VI, pp. 56O- 
jSjT also Htmsard . 4th Series, Vol. l45, pp. 450-465. 

(47/ Hansard. 4th Series, Vol. 151, p. 4^2. 


given to a series of nesaya on vrrious aspocte of Life in London, 
edited by Gharlem aaflterraan under the title Heart of h mp int, Th« 
contributors were men like A. C. Figou, Q* 'A, ?revclyan« F. ti, Pethicic- 
i'ewr«ice, and iaateman hirasalf. They painted r very gri-n picture of 
London life, and one whldi waa widely read* Fftrticulerly .aoving were 
audi appeals whtin they could dwell upon the effects of poverty and cial- 
autrition upon tJ-je children of Britain, for evidence of such oonditioa 
wee everywhere to be eeen. Alercaing reports circulated of netlonel 
physical degradation, revealed during the Soutti African war by the 
wholesale isedical exaainstions for military purposes. As a result, a 
ao.a-'iittee of the House of CoiiTons was set up in 1SW35 to investigate; 
its report gcve startling evidence not only on pbysicel deterioration 
but also upon the subslstenoe etendsurds of aany of England's school 
children of that date, (A8) 

Aa a resiilt of this public a(;^tation a Royal CofiLnission was 
appointed to exantine the whole question of destitution and its effects 
and to report on the adefjuacy or otherwise of the existing machinery 
for the relief of dietress under the Poor i^aw systea. Unlik.e iiv>st 
suci'i bodies, the Royal Conaission on the Poor Law worked in the fVill 
glare of public attention. Perhaps this was due to the presence on 
the CoaiBiBBion of such able propagandists as Dentrioe '^ebb and George 
Lansbury, but perhaps too it was due to the twsaendois public intoreot 
already existing in the question. ISie poor law systeia croetod in I6j'» 
ha:? been founded upon t^e principle of "deterrence", of aliovieting 

(48; Report of P arliaasentary CojBJJtteg on i hyalc^ peteriorationj,-l$^« 
Gf. .^.ilklnson, Tory L-eiaopr acy, pp. 2^1-?45. Kanaard , ■^tl^ Series, 
Vol. 145, p. 1256 and Vol. l47, pp. S^l-SJJ. Ihls public interest 
led to the acceptance in 15A>6 of Ujo uabour bill lor the feeding 
of necessitous school childroi. 


vagreaey and doetitutlon by the provielon of relief oiily cm such con- 
ditlone as would still keop the state of destitution lesa attractive 
physically ttian. thet of a free labourer. (49; lienco Uiere aust bo 
associated with the receipt of public assistance eoae forjx of public 
sti^nai hence too the di8franohise<Aent of relief recipients; hence 
too the system of workhouses so stigmatized by the -minority Report of 
the Oo-iaaisoion when it was finally brought down. Protests against 
the whole principle of "less eligibility" as it was called, were early 
imde. while rrosident of tJie Local 3overa-a«nt Board in 1886, Joseph 
(Siaaberlain had issued a circjlcr to local Kithorities urging that 
there should be "no idea of degradation^ eonoected with the relief shich 
they were administering, (50; but tiiore wes no other official action to 
change the prevailing practice, balvation Arsny officials hail proteated 
against the whole systea of workhouses as a toot of a relief applicant's 
wililn^eas to work, (31; and local autiiorlties such as tiJat of iiaplar 
had urged revi8i<»i of the sdieas* l^e Tabiac Society in 189? and again 
in 1898 issued its Plea for Poor .iefora, ^52 > while the 1. L.. ?. 
at its aaivie.i conferwices fro.Tj 1895 QR adopted resolutions calling for 
the roplacftTseBit of the Poor ^-bw. The public agitation on this matter 
was reflected in FarlioiBeht in 19^, during the debates on the 
Uneaployed v.orlanen Act, end Prliae 5finiater Bcdfour agreed to Wie need 

(49; ';« the principles of Poor Law adralnlstraticxi niter loy*. cf. De 
Schweinltz, C, , ayitein's rto ad to Soc i al :: eeurit y. p, I62 ff.. 
Bill and uibin, Uneraployment . Oha, 11 and III, Dicey, Law and 
Opinion , pp. 19^202, and tJve ^oor Lew Heport , i'art IV, pp. 8S- 

(50; ?oor Lew Report , Tart IV, p. 88. 
(51; Booth, In Dturkest Lneilend , pp. 86-90. 

(52; Fabian Tract Ko. 44, The penaphlet called for "laproved educat- 
ion for cnildren uiider the Poor Law; state pc^islons for Uio 
aged; the hunianizlng of the woi^^iouaes, public aid for Vne sick; 
refors of the casual ward; adainistrative reform; d«30cretic 


of a public inquiry. Late in 19^ tho Royal CoEKBission vaa set up, to 
eonaider how far the p*»e«««t powera of the I'oor Law Author ities were 
adequate to Jtodera candltiorve, end to report on ererythlng that per- 
tained to the problea of the Poor, CSJ;. 

While the Caaaiaaloti did not report until i909» at a tiaae when 
the oapabilitiea of organized Labour to act in the isatter of acoiai 
refora had altered trejondouoly, it is eortli notiiig at this atet,o 
toat the appolntotent of the Coju^iaslon itscf»lf repreaenta a ocxtccssion 
to a deauand which had been largely or^aitized and largely supported by 
groupa actively affiliated with the new Labour or^enization, (54; end 
the ..inority Report itself was virtually a atataccait of cinljia which 
tttut oriioniaatlon had already aado. v,59; 

^ile the Balfour p-dmlniatrati-jn c^oited quietly for its end in a 
session which Arthur FffiiderDon celled "the :!K>Bt barren In oodem 
pollticel hiatory", (56> the L. H, O. sie:sbera of ^-erlioasnt were 
busily ttigsged in idoatifying theoieelves with a nuaber of projects 
designed to win the support of worlcingaei voters at the ooAing 
election. Hardie eaQtiimed his effective and aggressive policy in 

(55/ Poor Law Report , pp. XI - XIII for the Royal cerrent. 

(54 > iXit the ■Crusade" whlcJi the ftebbs now organized, utilized the 
services of oucli people as G. a. Glic^terton, John -aaefield, 
ffeipert Brooke and llu^ de iielinccxirt, es well as i-ir Frederick 
Pollock:, .-.. F, iollard, C, Loeea i-ick<mson, heerboi'iia Tree, 
Stanley Jevons, Winston Uiurchill and Granville Jaricer. 
Political affiliation was neltiier bar nor qualification in 
this crusade. 

(55; the speei^ of *lll Orooke, i.P. , at the Special Cksnfsrence oa 

Unesiployaent, sponsored by the L. ?., 0, , and held on Janucry 25, 
1903, was virtually the deaend for the break-up of tiie Poor 
Law. V. Appendix 1 to .-eport of /aa u al Confer ence of ti-. e Lf R, C. . 

(56 j Report of Mnua l Conference of the I^abour Party. 19-^6 . p. 4u. 


Perliaaent* while Henderson aad Shaekleton oaatinued to display 
CQsrgjr In championing trade unionist causes, no setter bow sffiell. 
Orooka , at course, becauee of his long record of service on local 
authorities, had coae to be particular I7 associated in the popular 
mind with the existing cgitation on the question of poor law relief* 
All of tl^eai pointed to the Inadequacy of the Unemployed Korkoen Bill 
end to the defects of the Compensation Act* They found a sponsor for 
a bill to eiaend the ILdueation Act of 191^2 in order to pertait local 
autiiorities to provide aeale for needy pupils (57/ and oade ouch of 
the Govern rient's refusal to take the bill beyond the second reading. (56 j 

Their caost effective appeal to the greet aass of trade union 
voters was loade, however, on the issue which to those aMi was the 
aost ifflportent of all - the failure of the Tory adainlatration to re- 
peat their gesture of 1875 and to provide satisfactory le?;Bl status 
for trade unions and protection at law tor union lUada* once t'nought 
finally confirmed by the TrsiJe Union Act and the Conspiracy and 
Protection of Property Act of 1875, the trtiole question of the legality 
of union ori^anization and the rl^it to striice and to picKet were a£,ain 
being threatened by court decisions. As early as I65A union spokesmen 
had deplored the lack of clarity in the law regarding suit against 
trade union fUnds, (59 J but the clarification for which they asiced 

(57) W, T* 3il8«i sponsored the bill* (Hansard , ^th Series, Vol* lAj, 
p. 1251. 

(56; Hansard * 4th Series, Vol. lAj, pp. ISJl and 1720; and Vol. 145, 
pp. 554 and 1542. 

(59) E.g. In the Minori ty Hepoyt of the Royal Goaaiaslon on Labour in 


•aa not that vhlch mae being provided i^ judges very soon alter, la 
the ease of Lyoos rs. iillcins in I896, an employer was eble to secure 
en injunoti<»i against picketing of hie premises by striking workers, 
and the following yeor, in the onse of Allen vs. Flood, daaages were 
allowed against the toalgaaiated Society of Boilenaakers for inducing 
the Olengall Iron Ooapany to discharge a non-uniort eutployee. fthlle 
In this latter case the House of Lords finally refused to confirm the 
judgement of the lower court, the question was settled on its specific 
details, not en the general ground that the union funds were not liable 
for suit. The case of Leathac! vs. Uuinn, in 1898, sew a judgement 
that a trade union operating in restraint of trade (in this case by 
threat of strilce; was operating in an iliegftl aunner. (60) 

Coupled with this disturbing trend of legal decisions, end 
Lsioiedlately alter the settleaent of the latest case, that of the Taff 
Vale Railway Ooapaay vs. the Aatalgsaated i>3ciety of Reilwey Serventa, 
osise a series of erticles in the Tiiaes on Th e Oris is in LnE;l iBh 
InAjstry . The articloa dealt with the decline of £^glish industry 
as compared with its ^iaeriCBn ooapetitor, end gave as one reasoo for 
AaariCfsi superiority the fact that "English Trade Unionis:a* had by 
its !nethods iziposed "a check on individual energy". The articles 
called then for some restriction upon the scope and effectiveness of 
unic»i organization. (61; The sane aentinMBit wss expressed in the 

(6Cr; On these decisions see Schloesser, H«H. , end Clark, W. ii,. The 
L egal P&s ition of T rade Uni ons , pp. ^17* and iioldoworth, oi r 
g^T^r-. --ifltory of Fnp -.] l Hh i . agj VIII. p p » 5*^=5^. 

(61 j Ihe articles appeared froia iiovesber 1901 to January 19^2. They 
were reprinted in 190A under the signature of L. A, rratt, and 
the title of Trade Unlcmlsa a nd. Brit ish Indu stry. The quotat- 
ions above are frozn p. I80 of this volua». 


House of CoaBnona by C. B. Renshan* a Conssrvative it. P., who told of 
a visit by a factory-owning friend to inspect industrial plants In 
the United i-tetes. There the friend saw one men operating six 
QHtdiinea, whereae in H^glend trade unions would have forcod the 
employer to retain six aien • one for eadi machine. v62> 

£ven without the Taff Vale decision the situation would have 
been et least confused and unsatisfactory from a trade union point of 
view. But that decision aeeaed to strike at tlio very existefice of 
union organization, ^r. Justice Farrsell ruled in the cose of a olais 
for damages by the Taff Vale Railway Cocip«c^ against its ejiployeea 
that* as a corporate body* the u/iion could be sued in its regiatored 
name. His decision too was ooudrted in tertaa of umsistakoeble 
hostility to "such irrcsr^nslble bodies. Kith such wide capacity for 
evil". C65y Althou^ his decisive was reversed in the Court of 
^ppeels* it was e<^if irsM»d in 19U1 by House of Lords declsioa. M a 
result* it bocssae denr that desages could now be elaiated aj^ainst any 
trade union for acta of its officials in calling a strike, and» by 
making trustees of trade union funds defendants in eucii en action, 
those daaagea could be cleiaed frora j;;^eral union funds. In several 
cases in .leles such actions followed, and trade oiaions wore called 
upon for crippling sums. In England itself, no such actions followed; 
but the reason lay probably in the desire of employers to ciaintain 

(62; Hspsord. Ath Series, Vol. 108, p. 5O5. 
(65> Cf. Hanaard , 4th lieries. Vol. IO6, p, JOl. 


satlsfaetory rolatlona with their ©.aployees - certeinly there was 
no reason at law why any striking union shoild not now be proceeded 
ageinat. (64; 

The reaponee of trade unions to this threat to their •xistenoe 
was proapt and vigorous, Aeny unions decided on affiiiatioj^i witn tne 
I>. R. C. as the beat means of bringing political pressure to bear on 
the -aatter, and as a result the strength of the new orgaiiizaticwi in- 
creased greatly* V65; Tlie Trade Union Congress orgKiir^ed a deputation 
which 3iet with Aaquith end Caapbell-23aaneRsan end rooeived asourance 
of Liberal support i"or legislation to protect ujiion funds. (66; The 
ease deputation :aet the Cabinet* hut tilth less definite results. In 
May of 1902, V>. O. aeaLtaontt Liberal meiabar for I^xhaci, intr>7duoed 
intO;^Co:3.jon8 a niotion tliat "Legislation is necessary to prevent work- 
aen being placed by judgo-aade law in a position inferior to thet 
intended by Parlisaaent In 1675'*. (67 j After a debate in which 
virtually all Labour raenbers spoke s»>et ctapheticelly of the effect 
upon unionists of the pres^n^t c:>nrjised etete of the law« Beauaont's 
ffiotlon nas dexeoted (68/ and on aiieadaent passed "That this House 
declines to eoomit itself to fresh leglsletlan on the ajbject of 

(64) Tliiere is a wealth of legal literature on thio case. 31e««or» 
H,!i., and Sskor, C, , Trade L'nion Law , pp. 262-264 j Schloaaaer 
and Clark} Trade Unione . p. 17 ff«> ^ ^'^t^""^"*!-- , ■'^^, A i3h l e m , 
H, pp. 4na"^nrk. the ..ebbe, Trad< : ism . pp. 6u.->-6u6. 

There is an excellent article by „ ocArthur in an appwidix 
to Qwyn/isnd XUckwell, .^.ir Charles Dilk e. II, pp. 565-^67. 

(65 y See table app^ided, p»i^7 

i66y Qwynnand Tuckweli, i-ir Char lea iJilke , II, p. 545. 

(67) Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 108, p. 278. 

(68; ^ a vote of 205-174. Ibid., p. JJS. 


trado diaputoe until it, 1b ahovm that the exiating la* does aot 
suffioioatly protect workaen in the exercise of their lawful righta . " (69> 
In the debates not only Labour aen but the Liberal leaders, Asqulth 
and Campbell-Banneracn as well, appeeled to the Prlaie Uiniater i^or en 
asauraaee that the coniused end unsatisfactory state of the law w(}uld 
be "cleared up", (70; but withcxit rowalt. "^e following year, David 
Shackloton ii\tro<hieed Into^ CcrrKJna a private bill to legalize picketing 
and to roaiove the threat of tiie suit lor damagea (71; which now could 
follow a strike* Kls bill aet with the scuae fate as had Beauisoat's 
:30tlon. One result, however, waa the annoimeQ::ieat by the ?riae 
Hlniator of the appointment of a Royal Cofaslaslon to Inveotigctc the 
■hole question of trade union relatione. (72; ?*othing could nore 
clecrly show the prevailing caood of ^glish trade union labour tiien 
ita reaction to this eiift(xmce3i3at. % resolution of the Trade Union 
Congress of 1905» and on the rec-jjiieodaticxi of the Parllrejoatary 
Cotxnlttee, it waa agreed that no seaber should give evidence before 
the Corrsaisaloa. (75) Ostensibly the reason for this attitude was 
that no Labour representr.tlve eat on Uie Gossslsslon; actually It 

{69} The sBMiukaeat oarried 19S>-177. (Ibid., p. JJS.j 

(70) Ibid. , pp. JJ26-527. 

(71) Haoaard. 4to Series, Vol. 122, p. 204. This bill, popularly 
known as the Labour Party 3111, got second reading nc;Bin in 
1904 end again In 1905, but gpt no lUrtlier. On the division 
In 1505* t^o vote on second reeding was 246-226, with the 
Liberal end Labour vote solidly for ttie proposed bill. 

(72; Hensard. 4th Series, Vol. 122, p. 699. 

(75) Report of tee , Tra de Union gongreaa, 19Q5 « p» 56. 


«a8 probably tho growing conviotlon that norkin^Mn could hop« for 
no iaproveaent in their legal position as long as the Balfour 
rainiatry continued in office. By the ti^^se the Coctadealaa reported, 
^74; TJorklng class opini(Xi bad already helped to end that tenure. 
For ancug^ vorkiag aen now turned to the support of Lab(»jir candidates - 
eandidetes eoaaitted to the L. R. C. policy of independence - to 
return 29 of thea to the House of Coiacscnis, One of those new members 
waa to clalu later that "had there not been a Labour t'erty in 19^1, 
to shl<^ angry woria&«i ooald flock, the Taff Vale blow at the justice 
they olaiaed. oi^t have caused theia to strike a counter-blow by 
procladain^ a state of open revoluticxi tiiroughout the big industrial 
centres of Englwiu . (7S; r^net^.ar this claLa is true or not» ther« 
is evidence to boliove that the events of 1906, (and the working 
elasaes had at least a share in then), constituted in theaselvee but 
another form of the sasae "open revolution", and a xarei^^a oo-icrvor 
n«8 said of the election that while ixi the surface it was a victory 
for Free Trade* it waa '^in raality and at bottoa a victory of the 
proletariat". (75) 

(7^; On JaiMiory 15, 1^, The Comaission Bseobers were The Right 
Honorable A. C. ieurray. Sir silliaa Lewis, 3ir uodfrey 
Lushlngton, /Tthur Goh«i and i>idney i'-ebb. The majority Report 
recoasaonded restoration of le^al protection for trade union 
tanda and was sliced by alurray, Cohen and v<ebb. A dissenting 
Minority Report was signed by ;jir .illiaa Lewie, (See ^\eport 
of Royal Qoae ai saion o n TrGcIe isp utea end Ooabinotions » i Gf. 
Qettocay, Recent British Lagialat ion, pp. 5^1 60. 

(73> J. R. Clynee In hie :.leaoira. I, p. SS« 

(76; Halevy, Elie, A Histo ry o f the Eof^lish People , Bpilogae, II, 
p. 118. 




In Doceaber of 1905 the Balf.^xir minietry came to an end, Faeed 
with a stosdily deoreeslng Oaasano sajority end with the capture of 
his own followera by Chaaberlaln'a seherse of "Tariff aefora", Balfour 
still sew in the apparent liberal split over Hoase I^le tactics (1; 
an opportunity to regain some of his lost ground before the inevitable 
electiai took place. For this reaeon the govonusent did not dissolve 
Parliament but aiaply resided « and Carapbell'-Banneroiea was called upon 
to for's a ajLnistry. 

Tha eoanpoeltlan of the Liberal cabiriet rhici-. now took office was 
itself an indioation of the greet enengea ssnlch woi'c soon to cjuie on 
the English political scene. /.Ithou^ the old Gladatonian tradition 
was still strong, and evld^ieed by the post? Bsoimed to AstruitJi, to 
Sir Edward Qrey, to Heldans and to Herbert Jiacswiie, ti^e veterans of 
the old Radical eleotent were likewise represented in .-lorley and bir 
Pobert i^id end Bryoo. There was something new added« aa well. John 

(Ij In Hoveraber Campbell- Banner Jan in a speech at itirlins had 

announced a new "Btop-by-atep* policy to attain Home f^le. He 
was iaraediately and publicly attacked by ftasebery who announced 
that he could not oerve "Hinder that bariner". The new policy 
already Jtowever had the approval of Sir Edward ^rey, /equith. 
Fowler, mid raost of the other Liberal chieftains, and the only 
result of the apparent split was Rosebery's retirement froa; the 
party co'jneils. (Lnsor, England, pp. 58O-56I.J 


durae, still ostensibly (althou|^ slataksolyy a wabour oisober* aaa 
given the Local Government Board, while junior posts went to a group 
of y^junger ''aew iiiberals" of wncra liioyd George, wydney Duxton and 
Wiiistan Ca^urohill were beet the best known* J£ the letter ^roup 
practically ell had oosisitted themselves to support of a new and 
radically coaprtijenaive aohosie of social reforcu 

Rhen the inevitable election was held in January of 19^6, tl-ie 
doctrine of social refora for which the Liberals stood, at least by 
implication, receiv«l overwhelming public approval. Of course, oocial 
refora was not the only issue at ti^e election; indeed as the eev::ipeisa 
processed it evoo beceae a oiinor issue in so far as the fi^t between 
Liberal and Conservstive was ccHioemed, Free Trade versus f'rotection 
was the single question on which aoat oratorical ener^ wcs expended. 
In go:-icral, Lebair Candidates took their stand on the Beae -jround as 
the Liberals - tmt tariifs on foodstuffs which algfit result in an 
increased cost of living would be an intolerable Linovation. Offici- 
ally the new Labour Party stood aloof froa the controversy; in 
special conventlcsi in January of 19^5 it had declared that "as the 
eseoe tiling Luneaploya3nt3 prevails in countries whore Protection pre- 
vails, this Conferaice declares that neither Protection nor so-called 
Free Trade is a retsedy", {2} and the chairman of the regular con- 
feraace had scoffed at Cha^^sberlain's fiscal policy as "a red herring 
to distract the attention of workers". C5> But a "red herring", if 

(2; Report of Special Conference on Uneaployraeiit. .rlated in lie port 
of the .Annu e l,, .Conference of th« L. R. C. 1 9^5, p. 78. 

(5; Ibid., p. 58. 


e»ftl loved, mi^t have dangeroue conaequttnoAB* end a groat amny Labour 
eandldatea did what they oould to prevent their CfMistltuentB frxxa 
•wallowing thio dangerous Tory doctrine, 

Althou^ the Free Trade versus I^otection i8s>je was probnbly Ute 
ao»% important in the eeapeign, it la by no oesns possible to explain, 
88 John EUma was represented ee having done, the Liberal victory as a 
victory for their fiscal i>olicy alone, nor to explain the now Labour 
group of 29 laetabera of the House of Cotaatcms as but "driftwood on the 
wave of free trede." (4j For there were other iesuea as well. 

Perhaps the oiost effective and certainly the most vigorous 
election appeal wes made by the uiberels on tiie oharg.e tiiat the CSiiinese 
labour brou^t into the mines of tlie Hand after tlie ^outh .<frican 
hostilitiee had ceased, had been imported under oontrncts and was 
working under c<widitiona neither of n^ilch were better tlien those of 
slavery. The Liberal protest was osde :30re forcible by sooe election 
agents who paraded on Uieir platforso *«ret<^e8 diBg^i8ed as Chinoisen, 
•quipped with pigtails end loaded with r»enaclea/' (5; as illuatratioos 
of the result of the Tory policy. Election posters, about which 
Joseph Chanberlain protested vigorously, showed Chinaaen in chains, 
Ghinaaen roped toj^ther like the old blade gangs, snd Chizueaen being 
Ictshed by white overseers. (6) Tories of course had retaliated in 

(4; Tn sffi article on Socj^el isai i n the tioua e of Qoaoo ns. in the 
t^aiauarm -' ;eview. Vol. 204 Cl506y, p. 275. 

(5j The ;.iar<iui8 of Lanedovme in the House of Lords after the election. 
(Hansard, 4th £«rlee. Vol. 152, p, kl,} 

(6j Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 152, pp. 156-158. 


kind with poators showing Liberal candidates standing aloogiside 
President Hjnxger mid sasisting him to haul down the Union Jack, (7; 
(kx sueh on issue sad in 9u<^ a dispute there was little uncertainty 
as t-i vhcre BritSsh Labour would stand. Trade Union principles were 
too openly insulted by the "coolie labour" policy to warrent any 
other stsnd than that already taken by the pro-Boer Liberals. 

Rone fiile for Ireland was another issue at the election, even 
thou^ the traditional Liberal steartd was now sotaewhat less cloar-cut 
since Caapbeil-Banneraan's "atep-by-step" speech. By all its previous 
aetions* however, the Liberal party was still cotojiitted to the 
•etabll8h!3ent by ao-se iieans of Irish i^ile. On this iesue as 
well, most Labour candidates could do little but lollos tiie Liberal 
lead. Individual labour iien« of oouroe« pointec: to U)e issues of 
Konse 'kile or l^ree Trade as being unioportent and, in their eyes at 
least, irrelevant bo the ^saln problea. Unttsployatoat* destitution, 
needy old age tnd union insecurity were Uie evils which oiost loudly 
were crying for reT»edlen. J'aro too it W5<jlfl seoa difficult to detect 
or to explain any fund&tental difference betwocti the stand of 
Liberals like Ci^urciiiil, or 'Juxt^an, or Oharlos Uesteraa., that 
of Labour v»n like HtKidorson, or Shackleton, or Bouer- an. For botii 
Liberal end Labour CKididates were caialtted to tne aavocaoy of very 
mxcki tho sa-ae things, /^uitl^ and Oacpbell-Baonoraan had both given 
assurance of Liberal intentlctfi to raaaedy the situation brou^t about 

(7) Lord ir^ivy Seal In the Kouso of Lords, february 19, 19u6. 
( p ansard « 4th Series, Vol, 152, p. 51./ 


by the lal'f l/ale decision; they and other Liberal etalwarta had 
supported tne extension o£ <^orica«i*8 Cosspensetion Act benefits during 
the last session of the old Parliaiaent; end had been outepoicon 
adTocates of state reapoasibilLty for the problem of unesplajpi^Gnt* 
-lany of tl^ie younger Liberals were identified witii tiie old Radical 
Club i^ioh Sir Charlee Lilke had revived on ttie basis of a proves 
shidi included Uie ainsle vote* pay-aent of sMtabers, paynent of 
election expenses, a Single Chamber end extended local authority, 
ulsiy of tiiaa* too, belonged to the nev "Deaoeratic Club", a body nith 
a lorge aezaborsiiip of both sexes and of audi politicQl persuasion as 
to include Hichard Haldaae and Joibn ^rley along «ith Toa Kann and 
8ea Tillott. (8) I^any of thaia, sum like the i3ujctons, Noel and -:>ydney, 
diaries Trevelyan, C. ?• Qooeh, Arthur F^^sonby, Charles ^asteraan snd 
F. T. rothick^bevrence, had through one a^eciey or snother ideiitified 
thoaiselvea «ith the new and r«(^ieal social refons nx>Texent« Soase of 
these aen irere contributors to Ceooa Scott Holland's publication the 
Cooaanwealth . the organ of the Christian social Union; sosie vere 
active in the h^etional Gooaittoe for Old Age r'ensiona; ooae were 
proalnent in the Webbs-aponsorod "Craeado* for reform of the Poor Law 
adalnistration. Ml shared with one another and with the Labour 
candidates a co;3ajc»i disbelief in the necessity oi -uic existing odaery. (9j 

(8; ^ataon, j\ litewapa per .len * s ^leaor ies , p. 228. 

(9) After tiie debacle of 1919 it Is not surprisin^r, to find many of 
them joining the Labour farty. iro;iiaent recruits were Lord 
F'aldane, H« B. Leea-Saith, Sir Leo CSiioaza Jtoney, ronaonby and 
the two Quxtone, while .iaa terpen waa toyir^g cith the idea before 
his death, (^ieis tertian, C. j'. •:••. -^esteraan, pp. 527-520, y 


On -Uio vioj^e of both I<abour ead Liberal groups there wore, of 
course, groups o£ aen between whose opiniaxa end beliefs stretched a 
very wide Qxlt, The faster of Elibanfc, diieT Liberal «hip after 
I^DS, «ae en outspoken opponent of anything savouring of boeialisci, 
and 8a« in the prospects of iixoreaaed Labour represeatation soothing 
bat the direst of consequences for the l>iberal csuae. Having just 
ooapleted "a oruasde against Protection", he was Inclined to thirJc 
thfit it v/ea now necesBary for the Liberal rarty to conduct "a erutsade 
against c^^ociallBm", since Liberals did not believe In the public owner- 
ship of the tatmut of production, aQr»...tiiot It a&s the rl^t of every 
man to obtain labaur fr<»i the atftte...2(X0) Herbert Asquitii, while 
Hoeae Seeretaiy durizig the laet Gladetone alnistry, hod given aoiae 
evidence of entl-Labour tendencies, (11; «hi<^ had earned hiia the 
na'ae an. one occasion of "aurderer" , although his advocecy in 1905 of 
the tVorkouHi's Qoapenaatlon Act and the Uneaployod Uork-^^en Act had 
done a&toh to r«:iove the ueaory of his previous actions. Perhaps 
John Bums hio^elf should bo Included as an exataple of the Liberal 
islnority whose opini^anc aa tlio social questions it would be hard to 
reoi:aiclle with tiiooa of taost of the new Labour meabers. (12; With 
the opinions of the great mass of the new Liberal atecabers, however. 

(10) In a apoech on August 26, 1906. ( ^^ocialia a in t he House of 
Coaaofis . Edinbur>d^ Revleir . Vol. 20^ (1906; p. 275- 

(11) He was tedmlcelly responsible for calling troops to the 
leGtherotone Collieries In 1895# where two miners were killed, 
(r.i3or, , p« 299.) 

(12> Jn the change in Bums, uiaor, ui^lsnd . pp. 5l6-5lS, Cf. his 
speech in opposition to a Tory-sponoored V.orj&ln.^ .^t in lyl2, 
( hansard. 5tli Series, Vol. 51, pp. 765-7G0> and his species 
in the Uneaploysent Debates of 19^8 and 1909. 


there was no auch difficulty. Saie of th«a, like Lloyd uaorgs, aay 
have had political ootlves for the advocacy of a Liberal plan of 
social refora, seeing such s pleii as t^iis the necessary proliainary 
to staking Liberalim ;»ice again the faith of the aasses* Like Lloyd 
George, they wanted "the aseietanoe of Labour to give direction to the 
policy of Libereliaa, and to give nerve and boldness to ita attack", 
mxd in this way to ooko "a real effort to counteract t.}u> socialist 
mission aawngst the workaon", (IJj Other Liberals ii^e ^.^astenaan 
and probably Ca^ipbell-Bannerman aa nell, saw the need for legislation 
in Uie interests of the workin*; classes as the .iioet urgent problena of 
England, sav a Liberal effort to eoivo tiiat, problem: as the hi^^est 
ain which the party could have« and felt that "the only real altrim- 
ative to i'rotcction ie a large m^ vifprous {.olicy of aociel reior.iUl4; 

i>ven iiie leader of t^e new political organization of uabour in 
iiiQ House of Coojions fo^tnd it difficult to lay donn the distinction 
between Liberal « Liberal-Labour end Lcbour in the rapidly changing 
politics! scene during tiie last yoara or tiie Consorvatlvc aduiinistr- 
ation« i'hile ha atill deprecated the possibility oi Labour aciiieving 
its ends by eo-oporaticri with the Liberal Party, (IS; and still 
feared the ';hig skill "at the g^ne of gagging their dangerous rivals'*. 

(15) Speech at Cardiff, October 11, IS"^. (Beer, British oo ci alisa. 
II, pp. 546-5*9. i 

(14; Jtaateriaan, C. f. G. Maateraan , p. 65. 

(15j Speaking in 1894 of the possibility of using ihe Liberals for 

L-abour purposes, he felt that "the spectacle of a saaii coaijun- 
ity of kids in the midst of a horde 01' ttolvea, confcrting Ui&ar- 
selves with the belief that they were about to use the wolves 
for their own advantage, would not be aore absurdl** (In an 
article in the Labour Leader * June 16, ld94. Reprinted in 
aisor, R. C, n, , Modem ^9cia li8Q, pp. 5'-'5"5®5»; 


Kardie sew no reason «hy he ehajild scorn the sssistaace oz ui bared 
Individuals, and, forecasting a psirty of fifty L.abour aien after the 
election of 1906, saw the prospect of a conbined effort with the 
Irish I<atlonaliats Kid the Radicals, which would be stroa^; cvigug^ 
to drive nhig tend Tory into conbined opposition and which would offer 
oagiificent possibilitiee to euoh a politician as Lloyd George. 
•T^ple versus Privilege" would be the issue* he felt, and here would 
be "a leadership to gratify the hi^est ajmbition and satlofy Uie 
loftiest aspiraticKi.'' (l6j 

Jia eleetlcn contest t^ien in 1$06 between, on the one hand, a 
Liberal candidate advocating Free Trade, fiooe I'^le and •social Reforn, 
and on the otlier a Labour oeadidp.te aJvocetiaf^ iiociel !^eforas. Free 
Trade end Hooa Tb^le, was obviously soiaettiing to be avoided if possible. 
As a result* althcu^ there is no evidence of any agreeaent aa to 
eatididetoree, only eighteen of the fifty Labour candidates £oaad 
themselves opposed by Liberals. (17) Thus, in ell but U.aBc f«w 
pieces, the election iaauee were still fairly clearly <;r&w]a tor the 
voters. If furthsr proof wore needed of the rather obvious fact Uiat 
both Liberal and Labour eandldates were appealing in generfil f isr the 
8&!ie voteo, that proof oeae in the election results* for ol U.e 
twenty>nine successful Labour Candidates* all but five had been un- 
opposed by Liberal nooiziees. 

(16; In M O pen Letter to Lloyd George in the Labour Leader , larch 7» 

1905. Humphrey, Labou£j^r<?: ' ' , p. 155. Joseph Burgess 
published yoera later an intr:. _.ocaletion in pamphlet 

f oral - y^lll L loyd, ileor g e ik ippl ant Raasay ^' acDonald ? 

(17; Election flgires an following page. Kalevy, The aijejlieh ?eppltf , 
tlpllogie, II, p. 4^, speaks of negotiations for such an agree- 
aent, but hie roferenoe Is to Gardiner* A. a.. Life of G eorge 
Cad bury . «4il^ voluise does not give the suggested evidence. 


ZLscncm OF isos* 

Libvals 577 Irish £3tioiisuLlst...83 CoMMTVAtivt. ...Iu2 

Lib«ral-Labour.. 11 Labour Pfixi^. 2i^ Liberal Iteioniat..*... 2& 

Labour Party, 

Total oeJ3dida,t3«« .SO * 

SMta voau ...29 

I« In Single sMffibeo' coDstituancias* S«a,t« won* 

Cppoaed by Llboral ooly. ... 1 

* " Conaerrative cmly ZZ 16 

* " Llusral and Cozxaervacive*.... .14 S 

Il« In DoubI« iMobar oonstitiujtiaiaa. 

Opposed by 1 Liberal and 1 Conaarv&tiTe. .........4 4 

"•2" "2 " 11 

""2"" 5" 1 

n m 

Z Liberala only ..♦1 1 


In hi* atetiatical aurvey a£ the also JLon in his J^itish . carkin z CJASg 
P olities, (Appendix I, .:.• 281-331), S. D, li. Cola £;ive8 a •aBewhat'iirftriBt 
^M— ry elMwii^ 5A OHAdidates* Since ha is dealing wdtb labour re -ircscntr.tlcn 
ke kaa inoltj^M teversl vhc did not hare the offieial endorsatioai of the Labour 
Party* I have pref wared in rtea.llng with all tfareo eleotions, to iaolude only 
tkoae oandi dates vho vere offioially endorsed by X£>» I'arty. In say event, the 
SSBoluaions liiieh Cole has drann trom. the figures v^ioh he i^resents are vary 

the saiue as these dnon heare« Cf • p« 201 of Cole's Morlc. 


The election of I906 provided many surprises. The size of the 
Liberal isajority was one (18) end it eould only be explained in the 
lig^t of the shifting of emphaaia fr«3 Hotae atle to Free Trade end 
to Social Refora. From 1906 oa, it booaiae the Liberal task to iJroYe 
not siaply that a prograa of social refora was necessary, but that it 
eould be financed without recourse to the use of tariffs for revenue 
purposes. At the saue tinsc, it became the Conservative note of 
oppositlcm thnt such a prograa was not practicable unless sucii tariffs 
were adopted. Said Joseph Cheaberlain in one of his lest eppearenoea 
in the Rouse, "I do not thinVc the Cha;\cellor of the Exchequer will 
ever find the axmey which he requires lor t.hi8 policy,.., especially 
such Q sohene as old-age pensl(»i8, unless he is able to widen very 
aich.,.,the basis of taxatioa". (19) ^irely the ground of battle 
was shifting rapidly wh«3 tiie chief issue in the aotter of old-age 
pensions, for example, weo teit the manner in which the necessary i'unds 
were to be raised. 

The second greet «arpriae of the 1906 election was, of course, 
the accession to Perliaaient of a Labour Party large «iou^ to be 

(18; 1906 was the only electicm since I886 in which the Liberals 
won an Ehglieh taajority at all. 

(19; I'moard . 4th Series, Vol. 152, p, I65, 


dlatingulshed by that nffine. (20) Althougji many of the new manbers, 
and practioolly all of its better knovm figaroa, were aacialiata, 
they »©r« aeabera of a party ^ich vaa not yet coaoitted to a 
aoelelist objootive. Since they had advocated cuoh t)iat the Ulberala 
now proposed to «i8ct« they were cotaaitted in Lftrge meesnire to 
eupport that party, and Ukis exposed very obviously to the danger 
of losing their identity, of giving the lie to the principle of 
•independence" which had sailed the party into being, of beeoaing 
aierely a new fora of the old Labour Electoral Association, .-^fter 
1906, theri, it becG-Tie increasingly cleer that to avoid that possibil- 
ity the only sethod was the adoption of a platfora and e policy which 
would be sufficiently differant froa that of the Liberals to warraiit 
continued separate existence; one nay safely BsatuM that to some of 
the tr&de onion element in the Labour Party, this ceme to be the 
most valuable feetajrc of the socialist basis which the party finally 

The rccoorkable political u{^eaval of 1906 brought to nan of all 
parties the sobering realir.ation that an. era had ended; that a new 

(20) nhen the Party .set to choose a chairman, i^eir Hardie waa 

elected in a contest which saw three votes taken before he 
was chos^:} over David Shackle ton, Vae other nominee. The 
easting vote, it was usual ly thought, was that of nansay 
-■iacDonald, who as secretary had refrained from voting in 
the first two ballots. Years later, in a review of .'.Gry 
Hsoiilton's blograj^y of Arthur Henderson in the r'abian 
i«ewB, £. R. Pease told a peculiar story about the election. 
Jotm Hodge, one of the trade uni(xi aeabers, conl'ided to 
Pease that on the third ballot he switched his vote from 
Shacicleton to Hardie. If the story is true, it is perhaps 
indicative of aiacDonald's waning faith in the efficacy of 
clecn Booialisca as the required doctrine of the Labour 


kijid of politics was now to be played. To aoae of the older Tories 
this was a aatter of regret, for there was ooaplaint that "all the 
old-fashioned oeabers of l-'erllecaent disappeared. There vere only a 
handful of gentlemen left 1a the House which.... has proceeded to 
pass bill after bill for every wild scheaae of progress." (21/ 

llach asore realistic, naturally, was the reacticra of Salfour 
hiiBelf. In a letter to uedy Callsbury aiter the election rosuits 
were complete, he observed, "If I read the signs eri^t, what has 
occurred has nothing whatever to do with any of the things we have 
been squabbling over the la»i- few years.... witat Is going on here is a 
faint echo of tt^e aaoko aioteaant wiiich has produced iaassacres in 
St. retersburg, riots in Viwma end oocidist prooessicHis in Berlin. 
VSe always c&tch Continental diseases, thou^ we usually take th«a 
aildly...." (22) 

The next few years were to show that «ven among iieH'our's 
followers there were syaptirniis of this particular disease. Although 
the Cecils, Sir Frederick Banbury, Kerold Cox, Balfour hiinself at 
titsos, and the aejority of the Qotiservative zkembers were to continue 
that process which finally sew the CcnservetivR iorty take over the 
forser Liberal role of cha:3pion of individual Treedoa from govern- 
mental restraint, <si e. nur.ibor of oeeaeions younger Tories like 
Leopold Aaery and Oliver U^cker-u&apson gave eif active supi>ort to 

(21} De Salaa La Terriere, B. , Days That 're p one, p. 265, This 
work is a "period" piece. Hugh Cecil, too, alleged degrad- 
ation of the House of Canseoue, althou^ belfour sharply dis- 
agreed with hij. (Gwjn and Tuckwell, :jir caiarlee Dilke, II, 
p. •'♦7.) 

(22; Dugdale, Art^Bjr Jaaee Balfour . I, pp. A58-459. 


Labsur proposals such as that for providing laeals for undemourlahod 
sehool children^ iriiile the :ioml aK ■r 'ost usually was aoro eyiapetlietic 
to such proposals than the Liberal organs. Tory criticism of audi 
aeaaures as the Unciaploy-^ent Insurance Bill was sooietlises to take the 
form of anendiaento vhidi nrould have widened the scope and inoreesed 
the benefits of those measures. (2?j 

Jmxig the great aass of not Liberal seabera^ of course* the 
disease wan rampant. Said csie gravely apprehensive observer, "what 
raay be called the spirit of soclelis^u pervades the whole House", (24; 
ftinston CJhurchill, for exfliaple, on the question of state responsibility 
in the Tiatter of uneiaployraent, could state quite ontogoricaily Uiat 
*hore end now in this vealtl^y country and in this scientific age. It 
fthe roeponsibility of the state] does in my opiniorj exist, lo not 
discharged, ou^t to be dlscriariied, and will have to bo discharged. "(25; 
Under the proaptiag, then, of individuals like Cmrchill, Lloyd 
3oorge, Mastcraen end Sydney 3uxto&, tlio Liberal Party secsned to be 
in a fair way to aect the daaatade of the new Labour organization, and 
possibly to swallow that body as it already had swallowed the Labour 
nepresentatlon Leagie and the Labour P.lectoral Msoclation. The unc 
known factors in the situation of 1906 were three; the ability of the 

(25; Of. the speech by Aistin Chaoberlain, Uiensard . 5th Series, 
Vol, 25, pp. 6650-6651. > 

(24; Socialis -s in the Ho use of QocaiBons . The IJdinburgti l leviow . Vol, 
204 (1906) p. 275. 

(25; In a speech at Dundee in 1908, .'Reprinted in his Liberal isa end 
the S ocia l Problem , p. 197, 


orUiodox Liberal Ring to resist tlie netr redicalisu» Uie extent or 
the willin^iess of the Labour Party to accept aociel reform as its 
chief goal rather than the establiahssent of a aocialist Btate* end 
the poaaibility tii&t ae in 1886 or in 1892 , another coiapletely 
separate issue ai^t arise nhich ncxild otico again push the iaaue of 
social refora into the background of politics. 

The speech fraa M\e Throne at the op«iing of the new Perlieuent 
indicated quite clearly whet «ss to be the new problem of the oabour 
Party. The govemtaent announced its intention to introduce a 
Trades Disputes Act* a ne* Unesployed Workmen Act snd sn saesiidateQt 
to the liorksan's Ooupensation Act ^26; - an announeirient which evoked 
froa Kelr Hardie i^at was in effect gloving praise. "Bio bill of fore 
in the King's speech is* in the proaiee at Inast* fairly satisfactory "(27; 
For the assent » at least* the party which Hardie led would adopt the 
role of fri«idly critics. t-TiOther it was to becoeie more friaid thian 
critic, or nore critic ttttn friend, was a queation waraly debated in 
the Labour Party during M\e next eight years. 

(26; Hansard . Ath Gcries, Vol. 152, p. 2A. 
(27) Ibid. , p. 196. 




The twontywnine (1) asatbers of tho new utLuoar i arty ia 
Parliament In 1906 were faced with their obvious problem Lxiedl- 
ately. If se accept Eds:sid 5urk»'s definition of « political 
party* ve caiot regerd the new group as bound by a coesaan agreement 
oa one principle end a co^aon devotion to one cause. Out it is 
difficult to decide Just what wee that principle* or that cause. 
They were certainly united in the d^aatid for legislation to reverse 
the 7aff /ale declsloa - but then so too wore the Trade Union 
asaberSy so too were the Ltiboral-l'abour aenbors, and so too a large 
isajority of the orthodox LiberGils* so that this bond seetaed al-3oet 
certain to disappear very quickly, 3f course » e largo nu.3ber of 
the new Labour nusi were socialists ctnd had socialist afiiliatioos, 
but they had entered t''arliaisent not under that guise but as 

(I) Tho number beceae thirty when J. «. Taylor, a Miners* member 
frost Gheetevle-otreet sigjied the Labour Party ccmetitution, 
and was further swelled by tho eloction of Pete Ourran at 
Jarrow in 190? and of J. Pointer at Attercliffe in 1909. 
See list in Appaidix, p. Jiv 


representotiTea of a purely Labour organizatlcsi. (2) Porhap* th» only 
single political principle whii* distln^ished them as a group was 
their insistence upon their "Labour" title end upon their "indepwid- 
eace* oi ecticHi. iJut in a Farlissent In i&iich the viovernoent oould 
count upon a party sajorlty of 84 over all other partioe combined, 
indepeodeaee aa such, for th« Labour Party* vaa largely an acedeciio 

Instead of a aln^le unifying principle, then, the no» party was 
forced to adopt Icraedlate objectives - to strive not for a reformed 
social oystera, but rather f 5r reforas in the aoclai syetca, first 
and foreaoat, of course, the party aiaasd at a now guarantee for trade 
uniaalsraj the pmsaatg/B of the Trades Disputes Act ii\ 1906, and the 
content of tnot aeasure, were in aoiae oeasure at least detensloed by 
the policy and actions of the Labour Party, (j; The provision of a 
B^ieme for old-age pensions, of a satlsfsctorv plan of vjork-sen'a 
eoapeosetion, of adequate revision of the oxis^inij ^..nop aours Aot 
and the Truck />ct - theae were typical ahort-terts objectives of 
perliBseotary action during the first few yeara. 

(2) The S, D, F, ran eight candidates wiWiout electing any, while 

three "Ind^pendoit Socialist" candidataa offered their services. 
(S, G, Hobson, the "father" of Qulld Sociellsa, received support 
In his candidature at ?<ochdale fro3 liubert Bland and ti. G. ;^ell8 
of the Fabians. The others were Q* Delt at Haasasreinlth and 
George liansbury at Middlusboroug^. ; Hbe 1. u. P., In addition 
to Its candidates accepted by the Labour Party, had seven others. 
£o candidate was returned on a straight Socialiat platfom, how- 
ever, until tho by-election In Colne Valley In 1907 »ben Victor 
Grayson Altered rarlloaent as the first Socialist '..P. 

(5) This and other aeesures of eocie.1 refora during tlie Liberal 

ad- alni strati on to 1914 are discussed in Gliaptera XII and XIII, 
as Is the part which the Labour Party ployed In their paosage. 


To determine not only objectivca, but the plan of action as weil. 
It becnao cuBtaiary lor thic i'arllanentftry Party and the isatlonal 
Executive to laeet jointly at the beginning of each aession. At this 
.-aeeting the resolutions of the i^Anual Conference of the Labour i'Rrty 
were considered, along wIUj the reaoluticme froa Xiie annual Trade 
Union Congress. Using these resolutions as a basis, ttie joint /meeting 
dr«» up a list of party bills and subjects for motion. Tlie laeabers 
in Farlia'aoit were required to agree that if they were suecessibl in 
the ballot for private billo, they would present thiese selected bills 
in the order of priority decided upon by the joint meeting, keoibers 
were, however^ free in t^ioir choice of a subject or subjects for 
aotions in the House, and could select iroa the list of such subjects, 
without regard to order or iG^>ortance. (4; 

To secure the support and co-operation of other Labour men in the 
Hou8e« joint aeetioge were also arranged with thea at uionUily inter- 
vals during ttie session, it^&- a dil'ferent chairaan being elected on 
each occasion. (5> 51noe the Trade Union aeobers were still directly 
affiliated with tlie Liberal caucus, and responsive in coost matters to 
the Liberal whips, en obvious liaison was thus established with the 
govemoent. On natters such as the Trsdee Disputes Act and the aoric- 
aen's Conpensation Act, this liaison was obviously of value to both 

(4) Sucii lists as prepared for the spring session of 1914 appear in 
the Labour Year Book (1916;, p, 519, Ihe list of Party bills 
included 25 "Beasures, ranging in iaportanee froa the "Riiiit to 
fiorlc* Bill to one providing for Sunday closing for hairdressers 
in »ale8. The list of subjects for :^oti on had 26 iteas, in- 
eluding the -liniiflua Vage, Sooialiaa, House of Cocaatons Procedure 
and ^ilitarisa. 

(5; Parliecusntsry Report by Arthur Henderaon. fieport of Annu»l O on- 
ferenoe of the Labour Party 1909 , p. 29. 


parties, end Keir Kardle himself «rae of the opinion Uiet Uie agree- 
nents reached at theee joint a^etinge '*doubtlea8 woif^ed with the 
Oovemnient when considering their course of action". (6; He could 
support his dain with the evidence of Lpbour resolutions accepted 
by the Qovemaient, end of Labour aoondaente (e.g. to the siorkiMM's 
CoTipensation Act; whidi had been siiailarly received, ^ost important 
of all, of course, wea the success of Labour representations in so 
altering the form of the goveraiient Trades Disputes Act es to aiake 
it virtually the Labour bill. (7J 

On the issues whl<di the Parliacientery Party had drafted as its 
objectives in 1906 and 1907» agrceaent with the Trade Union group 
was epsy, sJnee all the issues were either trade union matters, or 
reforms of the nature of the ^iduceti<»i (Feeding of School Children; 
Act, on Trtiich thiere could be little difference of opiaion aaong 
Labcur representatives, ^s a result of this agrectaent, negotiations 
early began between the Labour i^erty group end the Trade Uniai group, 
for consolidation as well bs co-operetioo. The Perl iaraentary 
Cofflaittee of the Trade Union Cwigross reported to tlie annued meeting 
at Bath in September of 1907 that such aegotlations nere under way. 
Sharp eriticissa was voiced by miners ' delegates, but the Congress 
finally defeatCKi a aotion instrjcting the CX>a:sittee to terminate the 
negotiations, after it had been opposed by Labour ir'arty aen like 

(6; Parlittoentary Report by ^elr Hardie. Fseport of Annual Oonferen|ge 
of the Labour Party . 1907, p. 4o. 

(7) ->eo pfii'''i7i below. 


Pete Oarraa aid David Shaokleton, and by trade imion !.:.?• 'a like 
Riidiard Beli and Viillia^ Abra}ia:i. (8) The condition or union was to 
be the ofevioua agreeoient to act together cm Labour matters, to oake 
joint decisions at the otonthly inee tings, end to refrain froa oppoaing 
eadi other's candidates at elections. (9) 

The decision of the liiners' Federation of Great Britain to 
affiliate with the Labour Party (10) sede these negptiations no 
longer necessary, since after that decision no trade union group of 
any importance remained outside the Party organisation, and the few 
trade unicm Liberals who continued to ait in the House after the 
election of January 1910 ceased to have any otlier identity than that 
of Liberal aeobers. (11) 

One result of the V.iuora* Federation decision was to bring to 
the fore again the troublesome question of the Labour Party attitude 
to the Liberal Govem-aent* If eny principle can be said to have 
caused the appearance of the Labour Party, it was, surely, the 
principle of indepcnde^tee, end party leaders had continually re- 
interated their adherence to this principle. The official policy of 

(8) Report of Trade Unio n Ocaigress. 1907 . p. 8?. Cf. too the report 
of the Labour Party delegate to the Congress (/rthur Hwiderson) 
in Report of th e Aanuftl Gqtifeyenee of t he_.La bqur Party , 31908, 

p. 28. 

(9) According to Philip Snowdai in hia report to the I. L. P. confer- 
ence at Huddersfield. (fie port gf the /Jin u al Gonfer o ace of the 

I. L. P.. 1908 . p. 71.) " 

(10; Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour i'a rty, lyoS. Re:>ort 
of Lxeoutive, p. 5. The vote in fnvour of Uic nove was 215,157 
to 168,29^. 

(11; E.g. Thoaas Burt and Cfharles Fenwick were not opposed by any 

other Candidates althou^ they refused to join the Labour ^'erty. 
Ten of the forty Labour Party laeabers elected in January 1910 
liad formerly sat as "Mlnera' ileabera*. 


the Fnrty towards the Liberal govorjxawit, 8ald its <^iair-a«i in 1SW3, 
vae to be "exactly the eaae as It was totinrda the old Goverryaant*. (12; 
"He shall give thea support when it ia possible," he continued, 'but 
«e shall oppose theoi when it is necessary." The job of the Labour 
aeabers was siaply "to see tJiat value is received for the support 
which is siv*" ^ ^^o Qovem'aent of the day." (IJ; I. L, P. noabers 
like i^tiilip Snowdm continued to cherish the belief that there was no 
aore hope of achieving ti^ie ultimate aict of a socialized eccsiossy 
throu^ the Liberals tiian there had been through the previcxjo Tory 
adrainlstrstions, (1^; but oven they agreed that in the «ianing of tlie 
aore iaaedlate objectives of the Labour rcrty Itself, oo-operati^]; 
with the Liberal administration had produced soine very satisfactory 
results. (13/ It was liicewiae fairly clear that those sueoesses had 
reaoved at least one of the iis^^odiete reasons for the existence of a 
Labour Party - the reversal of the 7aff Vale decision - and hod aiade 
necessary the adoption of a policy or a progreci which would secure 
the united support of its followers* st^sap it as dictiiiCt fro^ all 
other existing parties end Uius justify its continued exlsteaee and 
continued "indeperidence". 

(12; 'rthur r?enderscH» in his address to the annual conference. Report 
O j f t he /naual Conference of the Labo ur Party » 1906 , p. 4l. 

(15) Kelr Fiardie in his address to the annual conference. Report of 
the irwual C on feronee o f the Labour rarty, 1S07 « p. 59 • 

(l4j Saowden gave tiie Perliarswitnry report to the I. L, ?• annual con- 
ference In 1508. Report of the /n n ual Conferenc e of the I. l. P , 
1908, pp. 68-70. Three years before, in his prosidentiul address, 
Sttowden asked tiie rlietorical question "To what extent has the 
Liberal Party learnt wisdoa froa adversity?" and gave it as his 
c<MiBldered opinion that thoy had changed very little sLioe I8B6. 
( Report of the .'jinua l^ Coi^ e retuce of th e I. L. ?. . 1 9'~'5, _. p » 26 . > 

(15) Jta opinlvai frequently expressed on the debate which followed 

Snowden's re^Kj rt. Report of the /juutal Confereaoe of the If L» P , 
lp08 , pp. 71-75. The real criticiao was levelled not at the 
failure of tiie Labour Party to achieve its objectives, but at 
the inadequacy of the objectives theouielves. 



In spite of growing suspicion that the principle of independence 
of action was being circuiavented by at leaat aocae of the aecabera in 
Farliaaent* that principle continued to be the official policy of the 
Pnrty. fte have seen how at r.ewc^stle in I905, the members were re- 
quired to abstain froa identifying th«aselvee with any other party, 
end bow an etterspt in 1905 to perait t^e Sxeoutive or Parliaaientary 
Qrtwp to support other then L. n. G. cnndldr, ton, had been defeated. (16; 
In 1909. the cooatitution was altered in. a dUforent direction; whereas 
in the pest, candidates and meobere had agreed not to identify thom- 
selves with any group not eligible for affiliation to the Labcjur Party, 
trie new constitution required the:a to diesociate theouelves iroa any 
Sr:aip not affiliated. (17j This farther declaration of independence, 
hoaever, did not alter the situation - a satisfactory basis for the 
independent unity of the Labour Party wao still v^ oe iojiid. 

Early in its existence, the Labour Party waa to hear d<»aands for 
a coi^jrehensivo, long teru prograaj but early, too, it developed that 
disinclination to define its aine end objects which has ao bewildered 
foreigp observers, (18) According to its chairmen in 19t>5, "wheii we 

{16} See pp. 16>1!55 above. 

(17; Report of the /n nual Ccaxfero nce of the^Labo-jr, i arty^ 1^9. , pp . 66- 
72. The liinera^ Federation affiliation aade ttj.8 cliange practic- 
able now. 

(18; Ootssenting on iiie fact that not until 191& did the Labour Party 
feel "the need for a definite atateaent of its alios and objects", 
'^ertheiaer suggoats that the delay wse due to "a .iiistruBt of 
theory and syeteoiatic thou^g^t which can be observed everywhere in 
English life and history." ( I'ortrait of the La bour ? &rty , p. ^•) 
m mgliah observer* coonenting on the prograu of 1918, whicli he 
called a "policy of aobitious vagueaesa", remarked that "tiiere 
is nothing the British worker loves so iauch as caiable vajsaenees, 
unless it be its first cousin - coup roaisc... .There ia nothing he 
shiea at aoro than theory, pluaing hiaself upon being •practical', 
which is one reason vrfiy ho abhors 'prograoa'". (Desaond, Labour , 
the Giant with Feet of Clay, pp. 52-3?»> 


are able by the strength of our party In tlie House o£ GosaaoaSf to 
have a deciding voice in the legislation of this country, ttien will 
it be soon enou^ for ue to promulgate a progran." (19) At the 
sixth annual conference of the Party, the flush of victory in the 
election just p&seed brought a long debate on the advisability of 
adopting a specific prograa, with S. D. F, spokeeoen calling for 
such action and the trade union - 1. L. r. voice opposed. (20; 
iSith such a diviaioa of forces, the proposal was ovemhelmingly 
defeated. At the next ccjofereace, in 1907, Harry Quelch of the 
S« D. F. proposed that a pi*ogrKa should be adopted based upon the 
resolutions of the Trade 'Jnion Coagress, but the proposal was 
defeated by a vote of 1,021,000 to 76,OCX;. (21; The following year 
8a» a r«solutiai by 'dill Tiiome calling for a party progrtu, wittt 
"Socle lizati<xi of land end railweye, secular education, abolition 
of child lebouir»and the ci^t hour day" as a basis. (22) i^ith 
support co..iing again only froa S. D. F. circles, tho resolution was 
defeated. /- siailor resolutiortiin I909t called siaply for "a party 
Perliaoentary program of not oore than six ite^iss." Speaking in 
oppositloi to the r^olution, -the party secretary, KasLSay MaeDonald, 
deprecated tho setting up of a program which "eitlier had to be so 
far ahead that neiUtcr Liberals nor Tories could steal it, in which 

(19) Addresa of toe Oiaiman (D. J. Sh««skleton) , Report of j^ 
Annual Caxference o j^ the Ly. R.^C^^., 1.905, p. 59. 

(20) aeport of the Jhanj jtul Oot if^rer.Qe of the Labour Pa rta^ liO^»PP»5>55. 

(21) Report of the ;te>ual Conference of the Labour x arty. 190 7. p. 58. 

(22) Report of the /nraial Oonference of ti io Labour ^-^'ertgj .lj06, p. JS. 


ease the rarty would becoae an inefficient fighting force; or it 
oust be so practical that both could steal it if they liked, in 
which case it would be iapossible to oiaintaia their iadepe(uieace."(2?; 
Quite frankly, iiacDooald was celling for a year i^ year polioy* to 
be baaed upon eacpedleney and the exigoncy of the laaatent, and his 
opLiion W&8 upheld by the :imj3rity preeent. 

The S. D. F. attempt to provide the L.abour i-'arty with a socialist 
prograsEse had no laore success than had their atte^ipt to provide it with 
a socialist objective; althoug^i tr^e annual conference in 19Q3 was 
willing to declare itself in favour of "the socialization of the actns 
of production, diatributisn end exohan^', the vote was very close and 
the decision was clearly aeaat ae but 8:1 expression oi' opinion. (2^). 
Heeoluticns which attempted to do raore than this, to periait candidates 
to call thecaoelves "i^ocialist^ or ''Socialist Labour", for example, 
continued to be defeated. At the Belfast Conference in li»C7» a 
resolution froa «• Atkinson and Harry Queloh to adopt a socialist 
objective for the ir'erty wee voted dovn aX'ter it had bettx opposed by 
audi I. L. ?. stalwarts as Pete Ourran Kid Bruce (ilaaier. (25> 
Althou^ declaring thus a^iost aoeialisji as ita objective, the seise 
conforeice refused to declare against eocialiste as members, and 
defisated a resolution offered by Ben Tiilett whidi wo-ald have 

(25; Report o f the A nnual ponfer^e e of th^ Labour ^erty» 190^ » p. 83. 

(2A^ Fveport of the /nnual Oonfere nee of , t h e Labour Tarty. 1SX)6 . p. 66. 

The vote was 514,000 to~56Sf,OtX». 

(25; Report of the Anrtual Conferenoe of the La bou r i^arty. 1^7. p« SJ. 

The vote waa 855,000 to 96,000. 


roquirod a union cnrd for every njeaber, candidate or delegate. ^26/ 
Ve^o and innootous resolutians favouring "socialization ol tiie jieens 
of production, diotrlbution and oxCiiBnge'* were paeasd by suoceeding 
conferenoes i*ien they were offered from reepectable I. L., JP, or 
trade union sources (2?; biit any attecapt to oake the creation of ft 
socialist state the prime o;id stated objective of the Psrty or its 
candidates was stoutly resisted, not only by the n<aw8oclalist trade 
union serabers like David Sheeklet<^ but by the i. .., .. advocates of 
the "Icbour allisnce" as noil. 

In spite of tSie aurt-airs of discontent which occasionally arose 
before 1910, (28) t*ie policy of the ^*orty in Parliaawit continued to 
bo a policy of limited and specific objectives. I aving secured ti-ie 
new Trades Disputes Act in 1906, it ccaitiauad to regard itself as 
the Parliaaentery watchdog of trade union interests and to secure, 
whan possible, favourable consideration tor specific trtide onion 
proposals. For exa-nple, s Labour resolution of .^arch 1, 1S06, called 
upon the Govemaent to pay standard union rates of wages to its 
employees in national dockyards, and received official proaise of 
eoaplience. (29) -'' similar resolution in June covering govcntiient 
•mployaea in the '^voolwich Arsoial received a siiailar response, iy)/ 

(26; Ibid ., p. 56. "CTie deboto was long and acriionious, with Tillott 
ajoking soje verj' bitter reaarka about tiie present leadership of 
the Party, ills asotion was dofeetod 355,000 to 581,000. 

(27) E.g. by Bruce Glasier in 1905 (ReiK^rt o f tlie .'ru. •ferwice 

of the L aboijr l^rtv. 1906. p. 68. y or by J. J. Ste:,i,^-.Ldon of 
the A. S. C. in the same conference, (Ibid ., p. 76. > or by ii\e 
Batteraoa Lebjur rerty in 1907. (Report of the ijcmtel Confer- 
«aoe of the Labouf Party. 1909 » p. 75»> 

(2G) oee Chapter XI below. 

(29) tianaard. Ath Cerles, Vol. 152, pp. I565-I570. 

(50; Hansard . 4th Series, Vol, 158, pp. 559-54C. 


Thls policy, not of opposing hut rattier of pricking Qovoraaent 
agencies into action, continued to be the policy of the party until 
the Osbomo Judgerioit of 1910 once again raised a trade union issue 
of the gravest importence. 

On other than trade union raatters, tlio Labour i'arty continued to 
draft its policy froa year to year only, A opaoiai rarty conference 
in 1905 had gone on record as favouring tJiose reforas of the Poor l>am 
systea whi<^ were later to bo incorporated into the inority import 
of the Royal Cooaission on that subject, i^l) uhen that Report was 
published, and the (Vebbs* "Crusade for the Break-up of the Poor Las" 
began, both ttio Labour i-'erty and the !• L, P. gave official sup£>ort« 
.«n I. L. P, conference in Laidcsx in October of 1910, with Raasay 
UacDonald, G. ». Barnes, George Lanabury, Viebb himself, and Bernard 
Shaw as the principal speakers, parsed unani'sously a resolution call- 
ing for the isipleraenting of the :rtlnority Report. (^2; The Labour 
Party toox aiailar action at its ««nuai laeeting in 1910, on a isotion 
by George Lensbury, i^^j and r»-«ffirmed its stand the fallowing 
yoiir in a resolution proposed by Arthur Henderson, i^j In thue 
identifying itsolf with the L^inority proposals to allot the work of 

(51) Report of this oonfor«%ee appears as en appendix to the Report 
of ttie /nnu al Conference of t he Labour Representation Coi&^ttee . 
1905 . pp. 6&-76. 

(52} Report of the /amual Conference , o f tjie I. L, P., 1911 . neport 
of the special conference appeore aa on appendix. 

(55/ Report of the /onual Coaferaice of the Labo ur r prty. 1910 . p.59« 

(54) Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Pi^rty. 1911. p. 86. 


edainloterlng relief of destitution to the appropriate local educnt- 
lixi or health aathorltloB, or to the proposed now Lllnistry of Labour, (55> 
the Labour Forty was, of course, not adopting a stand <rtil<*» aarkod It 
ns differing froca the official policy of otlier political parties, for 
botli Liberal and Conservative spokesmen wore used by the ^ebbs in 
their Grusndo, end tJie Liberal governaoat, in tiie legislation which 
followed the Report, turned rathier to the Qeraen schecie of national 
insurance than to either the '<5ajority or Minority proposals. (56 j 
The acta setting up Lsbour tuxchangea, contributory insurance against 
uneraployaont, and a scheiae of neti<xial healtii insurance "left un- 
touched both tlie evils and Wie coat of the iioor Law and thus gave the 
go-by to the proposals of the oosaiaeion," but these loeaaures 
•presently absorbed the whole attcsitian not only of the Cebinet and 
tiie Lej-isleture, but of the public. All the atetKn went out of the 
aoveraont . * ( 57 j 

The Labour policy on the Poor Law ai^itation was not then 
8ufflci«it in itself to constitute a single identifying party 
principle, in opposition to ell other parties. i*or did any other 
single principle appear to fill t^mt need, ^o^etliing in the nature 
of a demand for the "national ainliauB" began to appear in resolutions 

(^; CI', ^e Burxaary of proposals in the minority Report, pp. I05I- 
1052 and 1215-1217 of report of the Royal Qoau^ission on Poor 
Lews an d the Relief of, Ldstress. 

i^j The Ck>vomnient*8 diief adviser on the i'tational insurance Act 
was G. V'. Qraithwaite,. who had spent sooe ti.:3e in Qeraeay 
studying the scheme in opernti^si there, (eiaatejnoan, C. P. G . 
Masterp jan. p. 132.) 

(57) ?f«bb, 3. and B.. English Poor Lew History, p. 725. 


calling for a minisia wage policy, but aet opposition in the party 
conferenoee froa liaoDonald, who advlaed that they should not "tinker* 
with 'intricate and delicate questions liice we^co." (58; *hen 
rnsolutions of such a nature passed, they were usially in favour ol a 
stated alniaum wage (thirty shil lings j for i-ien, in a specified 
district and in specified trades. (59; 

Until I9l0t the Labour I'arty then, continued to act without a 
prograra, unless the yoer by year decisions on specific items of 
legislation can be di^ified by that naine* the 1. u, x>.,at a general 
election coaferwice In December of 19^9 t drew up a seven-point pro- 
gram on Wi'iich to fig^t the election, but its exaisple was not followed 
by tJ'ie larger body. (40> Ineteed, the Labour i-'arty preferred to adopt 
short tera objectives - objectives which were obvi<>J8ly attainable 
sincr; they did not run counter to any official policy of the Liberals 
in office. Indeed in ao/iy cases tlie Labcur objectives were acts of 
legislation to which the ^'^ovemjjant was in some degree or other 
Oo;z£2itted, and the rol© of tJie Labour i'orty because very rouch Umt of 
an advanced wing of the party in power - no matter ho« much individual 
Labour aesibers ai^t protest tlie truth of the generalisation. In 
principle the Labour ?arty wae not yet sociollst; la 1909 It was otill 
denying the doctrine of state responsibility for the oaiatenance of 

(58; .'{eport of th^ /lumal Conference of \he Labour I'arty. IS06. p. 7^- 
(59) Ibid ., pp. 77-78. 

(40; Report of the >aviual gonference of ttie I. L. P.. 1^10 . The 

prograa included the Ri^t to .^ork, Jiopeal of Indirect Taxation, 
Taxation of Jneamed Incouo, the Breuk-Up of Uie Poor Lew, &cpal 
Citlzenahip for Hen and rtomen, tfie Abolition of the iiouse of 
Lords, and the 'Stabliehaent of U.e ;.ociBliBt -tate. 


ehildren. (Al) Ite tendencies torerdB socialistic legislation were 
being strengthened » of course, as socialist organizations continued 
tiielr work of propagandc, (42 j as socialists won olectioiis and by- 
elections, l»th juniolpal end national, (4»j and particularly when 
the tsborne Judgesaeat of 1909 dispelled the comforting illusion 
tiiet the Trade Disputes Act of 1906 had made the trade union position 
irapre^ablo. Dut tho party was still not coaaitted to a socialist 
progroa, or indeed to any prograra at sll« and its policy was 
obviously one of political opportunlas* Aith this x>olicy> express- 
Icna of dissatisfcction were early heard; b-jt tho obvious foot was 
Uiat while Labour -'arty co-operation with the Liberal proposals 
ae«nt,in eorae easos at least, victory for Lnbour projects, oub-«nd- 
out Labour Pf>rty opjxtsition to Liberal cxilicies as oaeh would have 

C^l) Re port o f the . ^lual Conferenc e o f fJi\e Labo ur r^rt./^ , lyJ9 » p.?^. 
But Ujo debate ehoBred where tiie logic of evcaits was taking ti»e 
party. The Educction (deeding of Ghildrwi; Act of 1906 was a 
I-p.bour :::eosurc; it provided for feeding of needy children by 
tVie local educiiticsi nutfiOritlea, But to determine need, aedical 
inspection was naoes^nry; thet medicnl Inspectioa produced 
necessitous cases froa hotaes of vcrying economic staadardo, end 
led to the blanket ee.iertian of the state's reajjonslbllity for 
the hoalth end aaintensnce of all children. Lven Keir iiardie 
was aghast at the clois. The resolution pro,;08iiiii Uiis priiiC- 
iple was defeated 712,CK>a to 248,CXjO. C lbid .. pp. 75-74. y 

(42; !lardie in his presidential address in 1910 spoke of "the firowlnfi 
recogyiitlon of the fact that ell tJ*o palliatives witli wliioJi we 
are concerning ourselves are but teiporary expedients for tiding 
us over a condlti<xi of tilings which has grown with the eges". 
S, D. F. delegates cl^eored ironically. (Repoyt of the./jumal 
Conference of the Labour .-^a rty.^ l^l*^* P» 57.; 

(45; Victor Lirs^yson as a Socialist end Pete Ourran as I. L. P. - uabour 
Party nominee, were returned in 1907, and in five other constitu- 
encies Labour Party noiaineea with socialist a: filiations as well 
polled increnainsly large votes-, A strong entl-sociallst caapaign 
began at Uiis time, producing such works as H,w. Arnold- Forstor's 
Enpilish Social ism of Toda y (1908; and The Case Against ^oe l olisia^ 
published by the London Municipal Society, with a foreword by 
Arthur Balfour. In lainicipal politics, Lebour and I. L, P. candi- 
dates to tJie nuaber of 540 contested elections in 1<?J7» wir«ning 66 
posts; by 1911, of JIS candidBtes, l42 w°re elected. Reports of 
zauDieipal elections are suaEnerized each year in the Annual H euorta 


h90a in soae oases a d«iial of labour elains* end in all eases a 
useless gesture. 

The olectio&s of 1910, however, changed the whole situation 
considerably. By-elactiona in 19(^7 end 1^8 had shoim an obvious 
swing to the Tory Party once more; had an election oooe nort&ally, it 
is quite possible that a Gonssrvative aiinistry nig^it onoe aore have 
taken office. (44 y But the election did not cooe as the normal 
result either of expiration of time or defeat in Uio House of 
Coat^ons. Rather the iasje was that of tiie veto power of the House 
of Lords, as exercised in its rcfutsal to pass the l<loyd Geor^ 
budget of 19^. Two days after that action, Asquitit iiioved sod 
carried iix the CoEJone a resolution "Thmt the action of the House of 
uorda in refusing to paoa into Iqw the f ii^aociai i^rovisions ui&da by 
this I'ouae for the Service of the year is a broach of the Constitut- 
ion, end a usurpation of tlie rights of the ConjiKHis." (45/ On this 
issje the vlovemrient resigned and appealed to the coui.try. 

Just as in X906t It was difficult for electors to see t^ 
difference between Liberal ea<idic!atC8 and those with Labour t'atty 
backing. Certainly in the issue of ojrbing the power of the Lords 
end prevnnting a recurrence of its attsapt at constitution- 
breaking, t^^^ere was no disagreo&ent between then. n;ere mi^t bo 
said to be a difference of opinion as to aethods of aciiieving that 

(44; Ensor, England , p. 4l6, estimates that a Tory aa.jority of 
100 WGS possible in January of 1909. 

(43; Hansard , StJi Ceries, H.C, Vol. IJ, jO, 546, 


purposo, as to the neceeoity of "andtng" as op|Kj8«d to "esaonding" tiia 
upper House, but then that asae difforeacc of opinion appeared in the 
Liberal ranks as veil. Just as in 1906, then, l>iberel end l>ab;ur 
cendidatee had to take their stand on very sliailer grouiids. Just aa 
in 1906, however, only in vary few eonotituencies (46; were electors 
celled u^on to aaice a ohoice bctveen the ttro, since the L>iberel8 re- 
frained from nominating in all but those few oonetitueaeiee. Just ae 
the election caapei^ was at its hei^t, (47; a real Labour issue 
appeared, in the decision in the House of LordB,csi the Osborne caaOt 
to ujiiold the decisions of lower courts that it was illegal for a 
trade union to provide for parliaaentary ropreaontatiQn by aecas of a 
OOBipulsury levy fron ite ciecbership. It was too late, of caurse, lar 
the Liibcrals to t^akB any cosimitmsnt on t^ie Issue - in any event it 
would probably have bejm i^ored in view of the depth of feeling 
already existing an the constitutional issue. The new and disturbing 
factor in the strtus both of trade unions and the Labour Perty itself 
partly explains the fact tiiat Laboir spokesmen ev&a. urged Uieir 
supporters to vote Liberal wherever tiicy could not vote labour, 
rhllip Snowden, for exa':iple, in his ceopai^ at Blackburn, a two-seat 
constituoK^, urged his supporters not to •plump* for hira, but to 
give a vote to Sir Thoseas Barclay (the single Liberal ocndidatey as 

(46} In but 26 eonotituencies were there Liberal ncminees in 

opposition to Lebcttir Party candidates, -ee election figures 
on following page. 

(47; The decision in Uie Lords was made on December 21, 1909. 



Liberals 275 Irish S&tionaTist. . .82 

Laboar rrrty ....... .40 

Labour Pbi^j^ 

ToVl eendidate*.. 78 * 

Seats wm. .....«..• 40 

I. In Siagl* a«ib«r oaaatitawtiM 

Cppocad by Libaral only C 

" " ConsorvRbive only.... •. 40 

* * Liberal and ConsarratiTS 25 

Il« la Doabla iMBbar nnrt'ltno— !■■ 

Oppoaad by 1 Liberal and 1 Conservative. ..... • 1 

• ^ 2 " "2 • 1 

" "1 LiBaral, 1 Coasenm.':iTe and 

1 ladepesodent Libaral ..,.,. ... 1 

" "I Liberal, 2 ConserratiTas azkd 

1 Independent. 2 


Saats .'.gn. 






I.B* !• In 13 double iwhered cc>nsU,tixajK(ias« only 1 Labour candidate 
had to faoa 2 Liberal op .ou&at«. 

II. All 40 of the Labour seats were won. in oonstituonoida where ao 
offioi&i Liberal oppoeitioa «ae faced* 

Cole bas 85 "Labour* oandidatea, ya-klig Claaa Polltiee, p« 231. 


well* since *lf they wanted the Osborne judgement reversed* tbatf 
had to see that the Liberals went back In too." (48) 

llie eleotion of January 1910 established two facte cleBTly, 
and both wore simply confinned by the seeood election in December 
of 191&> (M9j The ConservRtive claia for the expanded powers of 
the Lords was rejected, since the parties opposed to such extension 
had a clear majority of 124 scats. But the Liberal position had 
altered traaendously too, since that Petrty oust now depend upon the 
support of the Irish votes and the Labour votes to carry measures 
ot^er then the budget or the proposed Veto dill. For the Labour 
Party the chan^d position was of isuch significenoe. During the 
past four years Labour aenbers hod set on the opposition bezxehee, 
aaialy of course beoeuse the trsaendoas c^ovcrrKnent siajority left 
no rooai on the government aide of ti;e House. The seating arrenge- 
zaent, however, served as well to txsghasize their oftenp-assertad 
position of independence. Alter the election or January, 1910, 
at the request of the Speo^cer, the Labour Party oonibers took up 
Uieir seats oa tiie govemaent aide of the liouse, on the benches 
ioBsediately below the gEnfway* The change was Bade of course on 
grounds of seating exigency, but it symbolized the now position of 
t^e Labour Party as well. For given eitiier abstantlun fron vutixig, 
or division oi opinion aaong the Irish aecibers, it was possible 
now for the Labour vote caa. occasion to nsem either approval or 

(48) Roberts, 0, E, B., Philip aaowden . p. 150, 

(49) See election figures on following page. 

THE BL&Cnc a OF TaSBaiMP, i?l?j^ 

S<at« Bo n ._ 

Liberala. .272- Irish imuicaMilist..., 84 Uiaonist. 272 

Laboiar ivorty 42 

Labour Part^. 

Xotta caudidates SS* 

S«at« won .42 

I« In Sijael* B«Blinir constitu«iol«a Saats ivon* 

Oppoa«d by^ Liberal caoly i t 

" " CotMinn^tivtt onl^r 30 ZG 

* " Libaral and Cozis«rva-ST«. .. 7 

• ■ Lib«!ral» Co&servativa and 

Indopendant... .• 1 • 

QKippoaad* ..'.. ..... -.......•. ...5 j| 

II • In Double nwbar oonatltussciea 

Oppoaad by 1 Llbaral and 1 Conaanra^ra d • 

* " I Lit>«ral s^nd 2 " 9 5 

* "1 Libaral and 2 CoDaarralves and 

I ladapandant. 1 1 


I.B* !• Bo Liberal eandldatea a^-aarad to o^ . oso Labour can in doubl* 
KffiBbor eaata. 

II* Cf tha 42 aaatt mm* only in 2 otisaa had ttaara baen a Li bared 
caiuiid&tCf and «!• of tb«B vaa as "unofficial" oandida.k«« 

1 Cola haa 62 Labour oandidataa* 


defeat of goTomoent aeaBures. find defottt of a Liberal aeaeure nould 
aaaa at least the poaaiblllty of enothor Conaerrative adainietratloa. 
A new responaibility now entered into the party taotiea In Farliaaontf 
a now eonaideration now attached itaelf to each FsrliaDcntary oovo. (50; 
Likewise, of course, the opportonity wpp nnm preeent to give effective 
evidence of that indepeidonce of iriiich the party had hlttjerto been ao 
proud, and a body of opini^m within tJie oovecient began to presa for 
action* CbBTgeB had been toade before this, regarding the party's 
failure to achieve reoults in Parliamoit, but the aittlng ssembers had 
been able to point to the "rulea of the liouae" whlcli prevented the 
twenty-nine Labour rsen fros ex»3apoiizing the tiioe of the Oomsiona, find 
from introducing, except by luck In tho ballot for private bills, tine 
:seaBures whidi they supposedly had been instructed to introduce. But 
they had never hod to answer orltioisos on their actiono on dirision 
in the House, and they had not been faced vHii the charge of ioaeping 
the Liberals in office - a oiiarge which wfts often to be heard during 
the next four year«. 

The new situation had direct results, too, upon ti^e Liberal 
progrsB and policy regarding social refona. Of the new and sjore 
radical younger Liberals, <a:iarlea Uasternan for exa^iple had been early 
conscious of a sense of fruetraticm epongst those Liborala of his own 

(50) The olaasic oaa« was in 191^ wh«i a Labour .iieniber offered an 

eB«Kidaent on the reply to the Speech from the Throne, regretting 
that "no aention is made. ...of tJie serious and increasing 
number of accidents in mines and on railways, and that no action 
for dealing therewith is promised." After Uie home Secretary 
had promised a bill dealing with sine ro^lati<»],s, and the 
^ceident of the Board of Trade had promised a Oomoittee of 
Enquiry, the Labour ?arty weo willing to withdraw its ataendzient. 
Hbe Conservatives, howover, forced a division, so the Labour 
awKabers voted on division against tiieir own aaendiient. ^*3&rd . 
5th Series, H.C., Vol. 5(3, pp. 45Q-459 and kTk~5^.j 


persuesion. He described later bis iapreasions of e 1906 seasioa 

In which e Labour member proposed a ootlon "of a general type thnt 

ia Uie opiaion oi' tiiis IIouso it is deoirable that every :zexi end 

■omon end diild in the country sliould enjoy universal happiness 

and eoai'ort", and hotr a Liberal aneaber seconded the motion, "oon- 

gretulating his honourable friend on the oodoratlon of his doiiBi'tds, 

and assuring hiia that beneath sany Liberal bre&sts beat heeo'ta in 

unison with the beating of the heart of Labour," Ki^teen other 

Liberals also jrose* "each desirous of exhibiting before the world 

his desire for universal happiness and coafort." ^pocieliats 

revealed that "reisote countrioa sudfi as DcHnaark and i<ew Zeol&id 

have already attained happiness and ooiafort.^ Protectionist 

oeabera rose thai to assert that "the Tory Party b«i olHays been In 

the forefront of tho struggle for happiness and cool'ort. " At the 

conoluelon of the debate, a Cabinet minister rose. 

•a© assures the House of tho coisplete sympathy of the 
Govemsent wit)-; the caotlon. The Govomaont's sole desire 
Is Looedlately to praaote universal happiness and coacfort. 
For his pert, his heart bloods vshcnover he tliinks of the 
ooraparative absence of happiness ond cornfort. Unfortun- 
ately happiness and coaifort cost :2oney. The Govemacnt 
has no aoney. Tho disorganizsd state of national finance 
prevents t^e Qovoranent having any noney, it would be 
idle to hold out to the House aiy iamedlete hope of tho 
Oovemraent obtaining any ooney. 'the debate hastily 
closes. The queatioa Is put by the i>peeJcor. uo 
unsniffioualy vote for universal happiness and cosifort. 
Then in the saall hours of the taoming, we wend our way 
hoaiiaward - pondering." (51 j 

(SI) ilasterasaa, C. F. G« Uasteraan * pp. 70-71. 


It was t^.ls senae of frustration vhioh caused kaaterjiaan, by his 
own aocaont, to hesitate trD take office aa Under Secretary to the 
Local Gairemaent Board when Herbert /jaquith aosuaed the preuierahip 
in I90B, (52 J and whi<di prompted hlia in Jessuery of the following 
year to offer his reaigieticm to Asquith, coffiplaiaing of "official 
opposition [from John Sums] to reforms [e.g. of the Housing Acta] 
which have bean advocated by the aajority of uiberal aeabcrs." (55 > 
One of the tasks on niiich liasteroan had beoa engaged daring his 
first months of office had t»ai to conduct "intwisely difficult uid 
importsnt ajTsngecoeats between V^au^ian Kash and hendorson, the 
I.abo>ar leader" (SJ^J) regarding the appolntaent of a Cabinet Oo-raittco 
on fJneaployiTient. liot only was the ootxaittee appointed, over the 
objection of John Duma, but ClKirohill and Buxton (who served on it) 
and -iastersen and Lloyd George, ur^d that the Labour policy bo 
adopted. (55/ 

Llojrd George wes, of course, the most effective apokessan for 
that group of Liberals anxious to see a renewed eaphaaio on the 
problems of healtli and housing;* unenploycjent and destitution. As 

(52 Jlbid .. p. ICA. 

(5J; The letter was shown to Vau^an i-ash, secretary to the i-ri-ie 
.^iaiater, but withheld at hia request. 

(5A; Ibid. , p. Ill 

(55; The Llo^ C3ec»rga - Churchill caabination failed to carry the 

Cabinet on this aatter, and Bums was highly elated at "aoashing 
'«n*. He added, in hie conversation with ..eoteruan, "Uiere's 
more behind them than Cieorge and Chur^ill....4l Groavenor 
Roadi" This ref er«ice to the Pebbs suggests a closer relation- 
ship between the yaunger Liberals end aooe of the Fabians than 
perhaps existed, -.aateraan end Buxton, at least, however, were 
intiaate not oaly with the '^ebbs, but with H. G, laells also. 
(Ibid ., p. 112.; 


early as October of 19Q6» he toyed with tho idea of •coalng out with 
a real deisocratio polioy*, and eaked lilosterman l£ he would follow. 
"I would, like 8 shoti" replied tho junior mlnioter. "weil, you 
iBuat convert C3iurc^;ill'', was Lloyd Geor^'s eoasnent. (56 y ferhaps 
tho real interest of the Cheooellor of the Exchequer lay not in the 
"reel deiaocratic policy* but in the more personal Blatter ol his own 
political prospects, for little more than a year later he wao involved 
in negotiatiooB regarding the forma ticHi of a coalition with the 
Conservativea , (57; end one of the conditions of Buch e coalition was 
to be a Joint refusal to oeet Labour's d«3aD«i for Uie reversal of Uie 
Oabome Judgesiant. (5Cj 

llhatever the reaoon for their p«r«<nal intereot in a new program 
of social reforui, the fact was obvloue that the general opinion la 
the Liberal ranks favourable to such a progrsa was at least as strong 
after l^lw &a it had been in 1906, The stature of Lloyd George had 
increased trestondously both ee a result of the budget debates in 
1909 and the conetitutional crisis whioii hie budget had precipitated, 
and he had avowed his Litention to wa^e his "war on poverty", 
-inston Uhurchill, now elevated to the office of Kojae Secretary, had 
proclaimed hLaaclf openly as rcco^izing the duty of the state to 

(56; TTie ccaiversation was reported in iiaateraan's diary. CIbid .» 
p. 112.; 

(57 j Lloyd George, D., ::eajira , 1, pp. 5&-41. Spender, J. A,, 
and Aequith, C, .Afe of Aagui. t h, I, p. 287. Birkenhead, 
Earl, Frederick Ldwin . E^rl o f uirkwthead, I, pp. 205-2O6, 
Haidaae, Birrell, ,>3quit)^i, Lloyd George, Churchill and the 
E-arl of Crewe were syjipothetic, as were JUstin Chaabcrlain, 
F. E. Smith and Balfour. 

(56; Birkenhead, F.arl of_Bj^rteBnhead . I, pp. 205-206. A letter froca 
&iiith to i\uotin Oiaraberlain, dated Jctober 20, 1910, is quoted 
in full. 


grapple Inxaediately with the problems of unoaployiaont and deBtitution. (59) 
Sydney Uurton* a lc»ig>tlae advocate of houaing rcfora, went to the 
Board of Trade, and there were proootiona aa veil a::«>ng the junior 
offices. The tide of "the old spirit of radlcaliaiB* was nioning 
strong in Liberal circles in 1910; once the eonatitutlonal crises 
could be settled, the rc-appeeranee oi a bold program on social 
aatters seeaed an obvious consequence. Perhaps Lord Maldane was 
correct when he later claiised that the Liberals had felled to realize 
in the bci^lnnlng of 1906 tiiet "the spirit was rapidly cliengiaii, and 
that the outlook of Victorian Llberollsij was not sufficiant for the 
progressive aovaaont which had set in", end that the Liberals "...had 
underestioated the extent to which the Labour spirit had operated on 
the c>!jididates at the election [of 1906]." C6C) At any rate it can 
hardly oe argued that those who were determining Liberal policies in 
the yeax>s froa 1910 to 191^ were ^ilty of the aaae mistedcee. 

If it be true thet the distance betwec;i Liberal and Labour 
objectives was stesdily narrowing duririg these years, thet change is 
certainly not to be explained only i:i tenas of e Liberal shift to tiie 
left. Ttiere were sooie at loest. In the Labour Farty, who saw and 
deplored a corresponding ;:iovo3ient In that body, but to the rig^t. 

(59) Kia Libcrelisia an d, the Social Problem is a collection of 
speeches on tJiese and other sLiller subjects in IS'OS and 1509. 
They are also fine enrly exesnples of that rhetorical skill 
which newspaper writers of later date were to call 


(60) Haldone, R. B, Autobiography , pp. 212-215. 


They saw the t^idency of the press, the public and Liberal statesiBen 
to regard the Labour Ifirty «a but a left wln^ of the now Lib«raliss>.(6l> 
They saw too the consistent refusal of the Labour i-prty still to adopt 
the socialist principle of the abolition of poverty by the eubstitutlon 
of netional for private ownership. Instead they sen? its consistocit 
adherence to ihe social rofom principle of the mitigation of the 
.aisory of poverty by ncans of taxation of the existing ec:;noniio systeo. 
These dissident elemezita in the Labour rentes - and they appe&red la 
trade unions, parly and socialist societies aliioe - pointed to the 
Labour sieabers' wipport of the budget of 1^9, to the Labxir maiabere' 
unvillin^css after 1910 to vote againet Liberal Qeasuree, to the 
Labour racrabers' co-operation with Liberals in coaaitteo room and in 
prlvnte conferences. All these tendencies tiiey c^ideizned, and their 
oondeamation iHrou^t diss<»8ion shieh by 191^ seemed to threaten the 
continued existence of s united Labour aovement. 

(61 j "Labour, although e growing parllaaentary factor, was still 
generally classed* • Liberal. In the euaataries in the 
press of «ie subsequent election [of Deeeciber, 1910] the Liberal 
and Labour votes were usually lumped together, and there were, 
I believe, in that election, not more thsn three or four cases 
in which there was e strai^t figiit between Liberal and Labour." 
(Asquith, H, H., jj^aories an d :^ef lections , j 




Dkirlng the flret Liberal adalnlatretlon from iyj6 to 1910, the 
suspicion was growins in Labour ranlca thet Libereliem was slowly but 
surely "sterilizing" the socialist end Labour sioveinerit. iiy enlisting 
into the bureaucracy prominent, and enerf^etic labour leaders, by 
giving resiunerative posts to trade linioa officials, to elected Labour 
members, and to Fabian arid opwxly socialist young university roea, ttim 
new admlnistratic»i was, it wcs ^larged, »Jcoeeding in eaasoulating Uie 
aoveaeat which had brought these mca to prominence, /fter the 
elections of 1910 there was even ^nmrQ ground for suspicion. When 
Sins ton Churchill went to U»e Home ■''ffloe In 1910, one of his first 
acts was to appoint two Labour Advisers. One 9&o Thoaes Richards, 
foraer miners' meaber, and the other was Devld Sheckleton, long 
proainont in textile unicais, end a former cbairasn of the Labour 
Party. "Wie creation of Trnde Boards, LBb<xir Exchanges, and adrainiatr- 
ative aacdiinery for the liational Insurance Act seeaed, in soae eyes, 
likely to create an English version of the "spoils " system, a syaton 
which could be used, if It was not already so being used, to play 
the old Whig gaae of "gagging a rival*. (1; 

(1; On this matter see Halevy, E., /. Eistory of the Ljifr,Ii9h P»opla» 
Epilojjie, TI, pp. 458-440, and Orage, A. P., l«etional Guilda . 
pp. 217-218. 


A growing lack of faith in existing leederehip* and a growing 
sttise of disilluaioniBQat regarding the aixoa and tiio principles which 
had brought the Labour Party into being, noc bccaste en obvious eleaant 
In the internal politics not only of the party itscli' but of the Trade 
Union movement end the socialiat eocietiee as «oll. The drift of 
one>time leaders of the Labour juveiiefit into positions of responsibil- 
ity, end attractive remuneration, under the Liberal ^vernrsont was 
cited as being but one of many evidwioes to justify this suspicion 
and this lack of faith. 

Charges were early laade that srrangeaents had been entered into, 
regarding electicsi policy, between the Liberal organieation and 
responsible Labour rorty loaders. Tiuch chargea were difficult to 
prove, of course, but the evidence was clecxr on two points at least. 
In the first place, such erreng&:ftRats, in tirte li^t of what had 
happened in IB/A end 1856, and In view of the affinity of Litereata 
on so many points between Liberal and Labour candidates, would be 
of very obvious advantage to bot^l sides. In the second place, the 
facilities for snaking sudi arrangements were obvi(Xie and aeny. 
Labour men and Liberals co-operatod closely in Free Trade organizet- 
iona, in the I«atlanal Old ^e Pensions Leagjute, (2> in i^^on-Coni'onoiat 

(2) 'Shen the object of the Louj^e nas accoapll-s'^®^ by U»c iJaaoo^e of 
the Old Age Poiioiims Act, q aeaoricl tablet t-os placed on Uie well 
of Browning Hell. On it were inscribed the nameo of those raost 
responsible for the success of the organizotion. The nnaes 
included iiiose of G. h, Barnes and Frederick jvagers 'yfirst ciioir- 
aan of tlie L, S. C. > along with Uioae of F. H. Stead, (Siarles 
Booth and Edward Cadbury. (The Cadbury fira practically financed 
the Leagae. / (Gardner, A. G. , The Life of George Cadtury , pp. 


soeieties for varying purposes, and ««r« often unofficinlly together 
in the House lobby, in the re^lar aieetings on Labour omtters, and 
In private awetings with Sir Charlee Dilke, (ieorge Cadbury, B. 3. 
Romtree, Sir Leo Chiozza Mmey or oUier Liberal stalrrcrts. 

Certainly the election etrat©£y of the LiberaiQ in lywo anosed 
a conoideraticHi for Labour candldatea, (5) in the J? single :aernber 
sects contested by »uch candidates, the Liberal organization 
nominated in only fifteen. In all Uie others, the uauxir csndidute 
had a etrai^t figlit vitli the Uonservativei end partly on this 
account, for l^ie majority of Liberal votes 3U3t have gone to the 
Labour osndldate. Labour was able to show l6 victories in 22 ecxitests* 
In the 1^ double laecaber con8tit»iencies in which a single Labour 
candidate was no^alnated, a single Liberal ran with hia in all but 
5 cases. Proa these contests cesao 8 .<aore Labour i^rabers. Over the 
whole country, then, the Liberal organization had shown, perhaps 
wisely, a certain restraint in the aatter of opposing Labour 
candid ft tea. 

Of course, to 8u<^. Liberal restraint there could be, in Labour 
eyes, no very logical objection. But when the eituotion be^^en to 
show in reverse, with the Labour org««izetion apparently showing the 
saise restraint in the inetter of aofflination against Liberal candidates, 
then a storj) was bound to burst in Labour ranlcs. 

At a by-election in CockenBOith in 1S06, i3ob Salllie of the 
Miners' Federation received tiie support of ti^ie Scottish .uabour raity 

(Jj See p. lyi- 


and of the I. 1.. P., but was not officially oodoreed by tiie Labour 
i''Brty itself. In li>*07» at Jarroe, rete Curran received aach eodore- 
ation, «oe opposed by both Liberal and Ooascrvative« and yet son the 
ecat. The rnaaltant .-sood of optioisa was hei^tened by th» election 
in t>ie sacae year of Victor Ch>ay8on as an independent woci allot at 
Colne Valley* Ucm Crreyson bed not received the officiel endorsation 
of either the Labour Pnrty or Uio I. L, ?,; he wae opposed by both 
i^iberai and Cksaservativc candidates » was Aipportcd in hio caapai^^ 
by none of the pro.-ninent platfona aan of the Labour Party vwlth the 
siajl^^ exception of PJillip 3nowden>, and yet won the scrct. His 
election ^ave etrcxig impetus to a growing opinion ir. ooui uab-oar end 
I. JU. P. ranics thet the tiae had now oo^e for bold opposition to 
the uiberala wherever end whcsiever poeaible. (4; 

In 1908 the apokesioen for this new opinion saw further grounds 
for ai}arp oriticiaa. Official candidates were aoEiinated at South 
Leeds and at DeisBbury, but in both cases Liberals took the seat. ,'.t 
IXmdee* a double-isieiabered const itaency for vhich one Labour meaber 
■aa alreedy aittlngj a local Labour conference nominated G. H« 
Stuart* an official of the Postal >ork:ere' Union. The Liberal 
candidate was -inston Churcliill, newly elevated to cabinet rank as 

(A) The by-elections each yeer were noted in the Pftrliaaentary 

Report subaitted to the /^^nual Conference of the Labour ?orty. 
This report was discussed at each annual conference, and the 
debates are recorded. For those constituearicies in which 
I, L. P. or I. L. ?. - Labour cendidetea were interested, the 
saoe material appesirs in the Reports of the /nnual Confer eixces 
of the 1. L. P. 


Prosldoat or the Board of Tredo. After "duo considcretion of the 
clrcuTistancos" the 'Executive of the Labour x'erty decided to withhold 
endorsation of iJtuart'a oaridldetui^. A Tory similar aituatian ptarte 
ct -ontroae, where "Lulu" iiarcourt sou^t coiuiraation of kie iu- 
Cluaion in the new Aequith cabinet aa Firat Cosnaiiaaioner of i>orlcs. 
There Joaej*! Durgeea wrs nominated, but like Stucrt, foiled to receive 
official fflridoraatlwi. Both Oiurohill and hercourt wan tiioir contestB, 
with 3tuart end Burgoso, oupported only by the Scottish Labour Party, 
finiahing at the bottoa of the poll. 

,'t the annual conference in 1SW9 m«iy bitter reraarka were oade. 
Stuart hlaaolf attended as a delegate and nioved what amounted to a 
▼oto of censure on the Exocjtive, cleLiiing that that body had isade an 
agreeaent not to fight "double-barrelled* const! tuimciea where one 
Iiabour aoat was already held, atid that had ita members given aiiy 
aupport either to hinself or to aurgeas at Montrose, boUi aeata 
could have be«i won. *It has been charged,'' ho concluded, "tiae wid 
time again that the "-xecatlve has e-jld ua to the Liberal i'arty. I 
entirely acquit thea of that. The Executive haa not senae enough to 
sell us. They gave ua awayl '' (5; Speaking in 8upiX)rt of Stuart 'a 
criticism, Fred Knee of the Lwidon Society of Coapositora went 
further and charged tJmt the Perli&a^tary Labour leaders had in- 
directly assisted Churchill against their otm candidate. ^6) 

(5; Report of th e /.nnual Conferettee of tlie Labour l^nrtv. 15^9 j p. 62. 
<6j Ibid., p. 85. 


Qiring the debate, reference was also made to the action of the 
Executive in regard to the by-election at '♦escaatle. There, in a 
double-oenbcr constituency with a sitting Labour oeabor« ttie local 
L. 7, C, had asked the executive oooKsittee of the /xttalgesaaied Society 
of lingineors to sponsor the candidature of J, J, Stephenson, one of 
lt« officials. On the advice of the Labour Party executive, however, 
that union had refused to nominate. At Leicester, where the situation 
was the same* (J. R. JiecDOTiald w^ the sitting Labour representative 
in a two-aeabcr oonstituoncy) no Labour candidate had been nominated, 
"The coTivicticxi is growing", said one delegate, "that the Labour Party 
is but a wing of the Liberal rr-rty." (7J 'Hie conference in 1^^ 
finally voted to support tlie Sxecative in the actiw\ which it had 
token, but obviously a spirit of suspicion was in the air. 

The saae gcsneral suspicion was voiced at the I. L. ?. cortferenees 
as well, Tlie revolt of the *young aan in a hurry" within the I. L, ?, 
ranks was occasioned by other ttien electoral grieviMices, but already 
In 1909 one delegate deiotindei to Know if thore was "an understartdlng 
with the Liberals re the running of candidates in double-barrelled 
constituraicies where Labour had one seat," Keir Hordie emphatically 
denied the existence of sny such agreeiaent, (6j but the iiaplied 
crlticisa continued to be voiced. 

At the Labour Party conference in the same year, a resolution was 
proposed to require the Executive to publish in the 'Quarterly Circular 

(7} Ibid ., p. 65. 

(8) Report of the Annuel Conf eren ce of the I. L. P.. 19 P9. p. 66, 


its reasons few not contoatlng a scat, and suggesting that *tax no 
account shall emy consideraticm whatever ror either the Liberal or 
Consorvatlve parties be allowed to influtmce the i,xocutive Conasittee 
in deciding not to contest a seat*. (9) The secretary, J. R. 
MaciScHield, aald that he "had no objectians", but the chelrasn, J. R, 
Clynes, pointed out that tlie stateasent waa unneoessary, since "what 
it required was already dofia. * (10) Tha resolution, however, was 
put and carried. 

At t»o by-elections in 1$»9, Labour candidates were opposed by 
Ltiberal nwninees; in neither of thers was Labour sueceasful, but at 
Attercllffe, where no uiberal candidate appenred, J. .winter won another 
seat for Lebour* liost atteatltim, of courae, waa being foeusaed on tlie 
preparations to coatest a large nuaber of seats at the next general 
election* "ihen the dissolution ce»e, the Labour organization was 
sufficiently strong to put 7Q candidates into the field, (llj In 40 
single aeober coostltiiencles tiic -jiberels once again refrained frcxa 
noaination; In 25 others official Liberal candidates appeared. In IJ 
double oeoibered constituencies, single Labour candidates were nominated; 
in theae placee, single Liberal noainations only were made in all but 
one. Sh«i the election returns were all in. It was soon pointed out 
tiiat of the kO Labour zsesbera in the new Oosnxxis, not one had been 
opposed by a Liberal candidate. Certainly, if the Liberals were to 
ask for co-operatlcwj froa those nifiabers, they at least had grounds for 

(9j Report of the Jjinuftl Conference of the Labour f'g .rt y , . 1909. p. 72. 
(10; Ibid ., p. 75- 
(11; See p. loi 


0ueb a roquoot. 

The eocond eloctioQ in 19^0 son t^ie number of Labour ceudidotes 
decreased to 56. (12; In 44 single metsber constituencies* u&bour 
candidates mere opposed by Liberals In lu cases. In only 2 of these 
were Labour condidatoe successful. In 12 double sBestberedl oonstitAi- 
eneies, single Labour candidotes ran aith single Liberal no^iilneee. 
In no Case did tvo Liberal candidates appear* and in 11 of these 
eoiatituencies Labour aen were returned. In tliree conetltuoieios. 
Labour aea were returned by acclamation. 

Although Labour representation in Parlieuent was thus i:iereased 
by the eccjlsition of two new inejibers* tl^e ^.ain was not sufficient to 
a tea the gracing euspicion of tlve shole electoral strategy of the 
rarty laedership. At the 1« L* P. annual conference, held shortly 
after the resjlts of the Januery electiori were :aede known, a nuaber 
of delegates rose to eiialleage the l>6tlanal Adsoinlatz^tive Council 
for Uie meaner In aiiicli the election had be«i fought by I. L. P. 
no:ain6e8. Qiarges were made ti>nt the agent of the Labour candidate 
in 'oest -^olverha-iipton had aou^it tiio aasistcsico by letter of the 
local Liberal Aasaciaticm. Another delegate charged that in East 
Manchester the Lab<xir election eossiolttee had appealed in both the 
Manchester i..ewa imd in the Guard ian for the votes of "Liberals and 
Frogreasivee'* and for their aotor-cars and corriagos as well. In 
theae and other cases* it was charged* the candidates theosolves 

(12/ 5ee p. ^»^' 'Ehe decrease was partly for finariciel reaoono, 

partly because "hopeless" constituencies were not contested. 


were oaking "better appeele for l^lberaliaa than for boolalisia'* . (15> 
At the Labour Party conf eroace the saiae rasiarics «er« aade. One 
delegote reported Uiat the Liberal caididftte at Eorklxigtoa had 
displayed an his plaoards ihe stataiient that he had peroonaily aada 
an arrangaaoent with iUrthur Kmderaon "regarding on election oofflproffllse . " 
Oynplalnte were aade regarding the official troationt of Bon Tillett, 
the party candidate at Swanaoa. It waa alleged tiiat Ramsay ^aoDonald, 
in a reply to a letter froa a nevapaper writer, had used the words, 
•Had I a vote in Swansea, it would not be given to TillettJ'*, end that 
his words had appeared on hoardings cud bills throughout the 
constituency. (l4; The fact that .^acD(xield was speaking poraonally, 
md that hie personal antipathy to Tillett had perhaps very obvious 
justification, did not suffice to hide the very evident si^s of strain 
within the Labour Tarty or^ziization. 

It would be lapoasiblo, of course, to prove the charge that 
arrsttgeaonts were aade between the officials of the Liberal orgenlsatioa 
and proralnent figures on tho Labour i-srty cjtecutive regarding 
noioinatlans and elections. Such arrangoia^tts, if made they were, were 
probably verbal, end possibly only by implication, .ointing to the 
existence of such iaplled and verbal agreon^it is the stateaent of 
CSiarles ^iaaternarj, who recorded In his notes in 19^9 that before 

(15; Report of the Annual Conferenc e of the I. L . P.. 191Q . p. -^5. 
Fred Jowett, the ehairciffii of the conference, adoitted that the 
K.A.C. "had been accused of considering the interests of the 
present Govern i^nt", but defended the election policy of 
discouraging "hopeless contests". Ibid ., p. 55. 

(14^ import of tho /y yiua l Co nferen ce „of^ t h^„ Labo ur ^ty. 19^9 , 
pp. 82-85. 


^^aoIXsneld went to India tbet year ho left with (''.astcraan a special coda 
to be used in cabling to hin the noma of the political devolopiueiite 
froa the budget dispute with the House of Lords, ahen it beOBDU 
evident that the budget would be rejected, it beceae necoooary to gpt 
'iaoDonald baclc frota India "in order to matce oaue arrangcsaoata about 
the election", ao a cable In the apeeial code went to hia in lioveaber 

of 1909. (15; 

Pointing to the earae ccuiolusion were the stateae^ita of Kalr Hardie 
and tiill Ihomo at the Special Conference on i^olioy held by the Labour 
ir'nrty in 1^1^* when they deprecated t/ic tendencies to arrive at agroe- 
u*eata with the Liberals "behind the Speaker's d-xalr". {16 j M 
electoral incident in 1913 se«s»d to argue the sene o^M-icluslon. ^hon 
a vacancy occurred at Leicester («^ere UacDonald already sat as one 
of two (aetabers/, U)« local Labour cosoaittee noainated George Banton. 
The I^aticnal Mmiaistrativo Council of the 1* L* P. agreed to accept 
hia aa eaiididate, but Uie Executive of the Labour Party withheld its 
approval* In fact* ti)o Liberal candidate published what was olai^sed to 
be «3 official stateiiei^it fro:a the f.xeoutive* that in the event that 
Santon received official ^idorsation, ueci^onald hi0aelf would leave the 
party. The "atatffi&eit" turned out to be a personal opinion expressed 
by a, h, Roberts to Sir aaurice Levy, the Liberal i:^*P. , but Roberta 
was the Chief Whip of the Labour i'arty, and his indiscretion, if each 

(15; rJastersan, C. F. Q . :^.a3tergoR . p. 148. 

(16 y Report of this Conference appeared as an Appendix to the neport 
of the /tanual. Confe renpe of the L abour Party^ 191 4, pp. 71-87« 


it waa, was of great value in ©©curing the eleoticai of a uiberal 
meaber at LeieeBtor. (17; 

At the I. L. P. annual coofercnoe in 191^ « ^kaoi>oaald was charged 
witii having aade euch a stataoieat* and with the aore Qeriocia ain of 
having oomitted the party not to contest certain secto. rciuier 
Broelcvoy, Bob baillie and Clement Attlec were all openly critical, 
afaile Philip ^ovden was forthri^t in his aaaertion. (Id/ 

'ifoel'^anald denied both allegatiooa Issaediately* but hla denial la 
sorth quoting. "So far as I ata conceraed« there is no approach [on 
election stattera] between the liobour larty and the Itiberal i'erty* 
that laeens tliot the Labour r'arty is goiiig to change its policy by one 
halrabreadih in order to suit the oonvo^cnca of either the Iiiberal 
Pnrty or the Tory Party." Using the saae appeal that had beea 
Kiceeseful in 190Q tsid 1909 against the "aociaiiaa in a hurry** rebels 
of that tLae« he appealed for more trust and confidence in the party 
leaders, ^owden refused to accept the conditioned dwiial« and 
daoaanded if luaoIDonnld alao denied that '^egstiatlons had taic«i place*, 
and wrung from hiia the admisoion that the oatter had been "loerxtioned" 
at en Executive meeting of the Labour pRrty. i.aid ^nowden in roply, 
*I aa going down to no by-«lectl<»i ao long as the proaent situotion 
remains. I am not going down to the constituency to denounce a 
Liberal govemseat as an infautsen aid diabolical onoster, when I know 

(17; The incident was discussed at the Special Conferwftoa on Policy 
and at the regal ar annual conference as well. ( Report of_the 
Annuel Sonferenoe of the Labour Party. 191^ « pp. S^ll, 17-19. 
and 73-Bl.j 

(16; -Report of the Ann ual Gonf erenee , of the I. L. P.. 1914 , pp. 75- 
85. The debate was long and bitter. 


I am leaving my colleatjies nt ueetoiinater to keep that uovemnent In 
power. 1 went a little more honesty. 1 wiggoet that our policy in 
the Houee of CoriEaonB should be in oonfonnity with our plotforra 
propagandai " (19) 

In his denuneiotion Snowden was^ of eourae, tojchlng an a nietter 
of oriticiatn ajuch more iaportant in 1. L, P. ©yea than siaply the 
charge thjit I. I^. P. mec&bero of toe Lebour P?irty had taade election 
arrongesienta with Uie Liberela, In 1906 and in l^OJ the charge already 
had been made that both in its function as a partner of the uabour 
Party and in its tore particular function as a Socialist propagandist 
eg'wicy, tiie I, u, P. was deserting "clesn socialism'* and turning to 
politloal »pportunieii. At the 1906 conference, Jla Larkln ^ave 

evidence of the opinion whlcii was Inter to lend him to syndicaliaa 

and "direct actiiMa". •CKtr^.P. 's, he ciei.aed, "are too tame; they 

never oake a forcible ^roteat. They have allowed tilings to pass 

which should heve been objected to by any socialist. They seea to be 

afraid of the Irish tactics, bjt should obstruct everything to gain 

their ends.* (20) Another delegate, in criticizing the action of 

the li. A. C. in failing to support the candidature of Victor oreyson 

in the Colne Valley by-election, celled for a "cleaning out of the 

Conservative cobwebs which have eccuffluleted". (21, 

(19; Ibid ., p. 81. 

(20; Report of the /"innuBl Conference of the I. L« P.. 19i^6 . p. 42. 

(21) Ibid ., p. 45. 


Grayeon hifflaelf« whose victory at Oolae Valley had brought hia 
tresendous publicity* end vhoae subsejuent exploits in the House had 
continued to keep bio well in the liswli^t* appeared at the 1909 
confermce of the I* L. if', as a posoible leader of a rebel ^aovement. 
Called "the ycxang sea in e hurry"* until the debates becesie acriuuaious, 
wiien the nesie "wreekers'^ was applied, the dissident group isoved triet 
the !• L. ?. 8h<xild secede from the Labour i^arty, on the grounds that 
"at presait the tendency of the Labour Party is rai,ner in the direction 
of the liberal .-'erty'*. (22; The rebels failed In their desire thus 
to give the I. u. ?. a new political objective, i'or their amotion was 
defeated ^78-3. (23> '- sympathetic observer noted later that they 
were defeated in their objective by "the appeal of Uie grey hairs* - 
by the traditicMial consideration for the veterans "grown gray in the 
service", and by the ioipliod threot in the resignation froa: the ».. .. S. 
of Hardie, jlaeOonald, Slasier snd Sncmden, (24; 

Raasay iacDonald put tiic case for a "practical" policy in a speech 

which in llgj'it of leter events is fairly revealing: 

"1 eooetiaes", he said, "receive resolutions beginning in this 
way. 'Seeing thot the Unemployed are of tsore importance than 
the rales of the House of Co-niuons - ,' You icnow the rest. If 
I said tbett I see notoing of the kind, I would, of cjurse, be 
misunderstood. So I shall put it this way, - The opposition 
between i-arliasentary procedure and the question of how to 
dttal with the un«aployod is a purely fictitious one. The 
unemployed can nevor be treated by any iarlia^iient except one 
which has rules of procedure, eeid those rules oust prescribe 
majority responsibility, iivery facility given to a lainority 
to iapose its will upon the majority is a facility which any 
minority could use, end not merely a L>abour or -iocialist 
iainority. 7o protect the conditions and tl»e existence of 

(22/ neport of , the /J inual Oonfe renee of the I. L. P.. 1^9 , p. 55. 

(25; Ibid ., p. 56. 

(24) Desaflnd, Lebour. the aiant with Feet of Clay , p. lOJ. 


d«aooratie goventoent is juot as essential to the building 
up of a socialist state as is the solution of the problem 
of uneoploymcait. . . . The Party which proposes to strike at 
the heart oi' deiiocratic govemaent in ordor to maice a 
•how of earnestness about unecaployjent, sill not only not 
be tolerated by the country, but does not deserve to be," 

Socialisa will oobics, said '^acDoneld, not by a sudden c^iange brou^t 
about either by force or by legislative action - such a change to hla 
was 'HinthinJtablo", The role of a Socialist party, he claimed, was to 
be not that of agent of violent cbsnge, but rather tiiat of "a coneci-jus 
factor in social evolution *=. (25; That this was also the opinion of 
i3oet of the delegates at least, was shown by the overwhelming vote 
ag&inst the proposal to secede frwa tne t^ebour i arty. 

There was mora syiapethy for the rebel olaiais thaa the vote on the 
resolution would indicate, however, for e later regolution effiruing 
the rig^t of the I, u, i, to run csndidates Irrcajective of the 
approval or disapproval of the Labour Party secured I56 votes against 
a4A opposed, (26; snd a reaolutloa of satisfaction with the wojSc of 
the Labour Party carried by a vote of 2'»8-l25. (27y There waa 
apparently a fairly strong lainorlty already convinced, or at any rate 
atrcnigly suspicioua, that the road to the estebiish.i»nt of the socialist 
eos^KXiwealth did not lie through the Labour ^'arty, and several speakers 
referred to a vegje sch&ae to create a new ^^ooialist peu-ty in britain, 
ostensibly to include *the oreaot of the I. L* P.", certain oocial 

(25; Heport of the Annual Ci»>fere n ce of _ thg I « L. P,. 190 9 » pp» hj-kd. 
(26; Beport of tJ-ie , /ovtua l .Co n fe rence of the„I» L» P«. iyJ9 » p. ^. 
{27 J Ibid ,, p. 4l. 


Deoooratio Party branches and poaeibly aiatchford's "Clarion Soouta*. 

This sehsae* if it ever existed, soon died. Grayaon was defeated 
in 1910 and his eslgratian left tii« rebel group niUiout an obvious 
leader* But the general criticiam which they had voiced - tttat tiie 
present polipy of the 1. L. F. in co-opera tion with the Labour i'erty 
was inadequate to the realization of the fonaer body's elm of aocial- 
isTi - continued to be widely expressed. At the conference in l>ilu it 
•as once again charged that t^io uabour Party had aon become aiaply a 
"wing of the preseiit uoveraaent". This tiae the rebellious jiinority 
received support from Keir liardie himself » who expressed his ijtpatieoce 
at the Labour Party's feiiuro to presa au aaieadment proposed by ^111 
Thome on Vne unemployment debate, and his disagreecient with the 
presKit policy of avoiding a division in which Tory support alght oeen 
govemaent defeat. The I. L. ?. sieabers at least, said Bardie, were 
in the CosL-aons *not to keep f^ovenx^aents in office or to turn them out, 
but to organize ti»o w^rlcln^^ cla^s into a great independent political 
power to fight for U»e ooaing oi socialism*. (28> i>aid another 
critic in the debate, ''J« R« ttacDooeld is a poweriul leader, but he 
is leading the Labour fioveaent in the wrong direction. The revialon- 
Ist policy that he stands for is not the policy represented by the 
I. L. P. in the past." (29j 

Later in the seaio year the ease of the dissidwit minority 
still further strongUiened when fair oembers of the ^;atiLHlal 

(28) Report of the Moual Conferenc e of the I. L . P.. ly^Q. p. 59. 
<29. Ibid ., p. 70. 


AdESiinletrBtive Council itself issued e slated ttanifesto, condooaing 
the present policy of the Parliamentary Party, Their action eas 
oensured at the ccffiforence of 1911 « by a vote of 2S^59» but no 
attempt was made to discipline theca, and in the debate much syspathy 
was sbosn for their attitude. (^; A resolution iras ooved by rred 
Jovott, a foroer (^airaan and one oho could not be aooiaed of being 
oerely "one of the young ib«} in e hurry", requesting the liabour Group 
in Porliaisent "to ignore all suc^i possible oonaequaiees [the throat 
of '-Ministers who treat ell questions as votes of confidence, end 
threaten dissolution if defeated] end declare their intention to force 
their o«n issues and to vote steadfastly on ihe aaerits of the questions 
br-xi^t before them**. George Lansbury, newly elected 'AmP* for Poplar, 
and Leonard Hall, supported the move, claiming that to continue as at 
pree^Tit aeant simply being esallosed by tiie Liberal Partyi but toe 
issue was finally solved by the expedient of Eoving the preceding 
question. (Jl; 

In the debate, hovmrer, telling oriticiaa vas directed at the 
Parliamentary policy of the Labour sasabers. It was pointed out that 
only 51 out of k2 aeabers had voted on the Labour Hif-Jht to Sork Bill, 
eend t^'iat only 17 had voted against the goveriiLQent. on the issue which 
Kelr Hardie had raised regarding Uie uae of police end soldiers in 
the Tielsh colliery strike. It was pointed out too that while no effort 

(50; Repo rt of th e .^mugl Gonf er<ar} ce_of the I. , L. P, . 19 U# pp» 51-56. 
The four meabers of the Council were Leonard Hall, J. ii. 
UcLachlan, J. H. Belcher, and C. T. Douthwalte. 

(51 ; Report ci: the /Ann ual Qonf eregice of the I. L. P.. 1911 . pp. 55-58. 


had been awde to raise the quostion of eocialisation oi' industry, the 
Labour oaabers bed been proaeat in Toree to vote for the z>ecent 
Copyright Mil, which was daasied as "a grave extension of veoted 
iatereeta*, end to support the laval Liatioatee for Uie Year. (32; 

At the following annual confer&^o« in 19^-2, Fred Jowett moved 
a aiailar reaolution, ei^aiu celling for a aore aharply independent 
policy in i^rliarawit, and deprecating the ever-closer relations with 
the Liberals. His iBotion was defeated 195- 73» (^^z but at the con- 
ference in Manchester in 191^ he moved the ease resolution again. His 
support caiae froa Joseph Burgees, Uansbury and uiowdea; this tlois 
they could point t^ the party policy on the liatiooal Insurance Bill of 
Ipll. i^j Ihe Labour P«rty had put down a:seiidiBente to this laeasure, 
but ttie c^iairunn of the Tarty hed then to an agreacaent with the 
govemjient not to laove thaa. In spite or the feet Uiet the contributory 
faeture of the Bill toade it cucapleteiy unsatisfactory froQ a socialist 
point of view, in spite of the feet thet aore then half of the Labour 
iBOTibers were supposedly socialist as well, only Jowett, Lansbury, 
Snowdea, 'Grady and i^ill Thome had refused to obey the nhips and had 
voted e^ainst the third reading of ttxe bill. V^; In the absence of 
UaeConald, J. H. Clynes had to defend the actions of the Parliamentary 
group, and once a^ain the argMaents of opportunisa ("half a loaf is 

(52; Ibid. , p. 56. 

(55; Report of the /'/m ual Opnfereng^e_of__Ute JL._i:!L»-^-g.jiJkS3:£» P« ^7* 
For the detete, ef . pp. 77-S7. 

i^j Report of the ;nmtqa Confere nc e of t he I. L. P.. 191 3i pp. GO-QS. 

(55) Hanaard . 5th Series, H.C., Vol. 52, pp. 1527-1528. The division 
was on .-eceaber 6, 1911. Cf. Roberta, ^hilip Snowden. pp. 15S- 


iMtter than none*/ and of fear of Liberal defeat carried the day. 
ajt the margin of victory was growing eoaller; In 15?15, Jowett'a 
reaoluticm waa defoatt»d only by a vote of 150-llA, (56; and it wao 
beeoising inereaaingly obvious that people like Clynea and tecOanald 
an the one hand* and London and Lransbury on the other* might aoon be 
faced arith the necessity of chooeing between tliOir Labour ariilietion 
end their aocialiet afflliatiwi - of beeoiaing either practical 
politiciene or socialist propagandista. To be bot^i at one time ■as 
beeoodng inereeaingly difricult* 

The other socialist society still aTfiliatod to the iiabour i'erty 
also had its rebels against the existing political situation. In the 
ranks of the Fabian Society, too> there appeared those who dcpreceted 
not only the aohiev«aents of the Labour Party but its efficacy as a 
aoane of establishing aoclGlisa as well, i^ow the Fabisiis had always 
insisted upon the evolutionary nature of the change, upon the value 
of peraeation as a polley and upraa, tiie value of eo-operation with 
any other politloal organlsatiori to achieve a speciiic goal, and the 
Fabians had looked with equMuiaity on a situation which saw four 
Beabers of the Fabien Society elected aa Labour siccbers in 1906, and 
three as Liberals. (57;. It ia aocMi^at surprising thou to see even 
aoaog the Kabians a growing disgust at ttie policies being displayed 
by the party whoso founding they had advocated in 1695. 

At the election of 1906, H. G. \"ells and Hubert Bland had assisted 
in the css^aign at todidale of S. Q. Hobaon, an independent i/ocicliat. 

(56^ neport of the Annual Conference of the I« L, P.. 1915 , p« flS» 
(57) Pease, Fabian Society , p. 155. 


fiells had already criticised the baals and [Kjlicy of tfao i:*ociety in 
his paper "Faults of %t\e I'abians", and as a oonaequaice bad been made 
ehaixnaan of a coTnlttoG to suggest refonas. (JS; Hla eoouittee'e 
report stressed the necessity not only of enlarging the doeiety's 
oeisberstiip but of Baking it political in Its operation, end socialist 
in ite politics. The victory of so aany socialist Labour meabera in 
the 1906 general electiori gave to Wells' soheme a general nlr of 
plausibility; in tiie new era which was now begin ling, a tabian 
Socialist political party sseoied not only possible but even necessary. 
The vsella plan celled for a naticanal or£,eaization for the society 
in order to incroese its cizo, its inz'lueace, its incoise and its 
activity. Tiie new orf,aalzatian was designed to do two things new to 
Fabian policy; to aai<e socialieta in large nucibere* and in a hurry, end 
to eater politics as a colieotivo and independent party* i*o action 
was taken on Uio .^ells Pcport by the special meetings which discuaaod 
it; in fact 'i^ells finally witLdres the isiotion CDilinc; for approval of 
the roport. (59 > towever, a strong desire for iiidepeaderjt political 
action on the part of Fabian aociciliste was voiced by other i^nabers 
during IS07, and was pressed by en active minority on the society 
Executive during subsequent years. In spite of tiiis agitation, 
Pabiana continued to enter Farliameat as Liberals or as Labour Jieabers. 
After the general election in January of 1910, tiiere were eig^t Fabian 
Society aeabers sitting in the Mouse, evenly divided between the two 

(58> In February, 1S06. Ubid .. pp. 165-169.; 
(59) Ibid., pp. 175-175. 


Ottnpe, ikUj jTne f'ablsn political party hod yet to appear. 

By that tiae there had already appeared a nuoh oore eerious 
threat to the existing nltuation In wJjlch Fntian aocialleta gave at 
leoat tacit Oippart to the uabour i"arty*a policy or sooiol retora 
throu^ parlianentary tactics. In I507 the Hew Age nas founded by 
Fabian Society aeabers, and under tho able editorshlr of A. R. 
^rage, socxi beoeme the chief organ for tho spread ai a new doctrine - 
thRt of g4ild socialism. Orage hirjaelf, S. 0. Hobaon and d. D. H. 
Cole uaed the r<ew A^-tp to expound their belief thnt the way to elicinote 
the social evils of the existing industrial society was not to use the 
unicai weapon of strike to win conceaalons theiuaclvos only omeliorntive, 
and not to depend upon For liaTaentsry ectlon to win iaprovetaente in 
labour-.iiariasecietit rolatlone. Said the ^jildeaen, the only way to 
rojove tlie evils inherent in the wage ayatea was to oliainate the wa^e 
ayetem ItaslT. Strikes for bij^er wages, and acte of r'nrllosent to 
i,>rovide old aj^o poi.tslon8« alike were but divcreions; the corkiuaa .rust 
^eae to sell his labour for waives. Me oust be perouaded to join with 
his fellows, not to fora a narrowly li^aitod trade union but to create 
a syatca of nr ti'Sial gjilds, few in nuiaber and clossely related in 
ad olni strati on. ihon the great jsajority of labouring 'awi and women of 
all renks and occupations should have united in such an orgaiiiBati<xi, 
it coild then demajid control over the nachinery of production, in 
t^ieir aielyaee the djildaaen foresaw a period of struggle with the 

(40 > Ibid ., p. 155, 


eapiteliat olass, but saw too the way out of the i.::pasae. The State 
eould expropriate the csachlnery of production, paying ita fonaer 
holders oa the basie of annuities g^cranteod for two generations, titea 
oould lease this siachinery to the orgo^iized g^iilda, wl;icb •ouid th«i 
prooeed to loenutaeture , to adainistar, to exchange products and to 
reflate not only the aQOunt but the kind oi' articles to be produced. 
An annuel conforonce of guilds coald be empowered to set up 
adainistrative aachineiy to deal with questions of interest to, or 
differences between, the different guild organizoticais. (4l; The 
national guilds would include '*a cotabination of all the lobcRir of every 
kind, adoinistrativo, executive end productive, in any industry", (42y 
end the oxiBtiug trade unions would becoine but inte^al pnrts of a 
gij-antic whole, all of which would be organized on dediocratie lines (45> 
to achieve the ultimate goal of "self-govemniont in industry". 

The question naturally arose as to the purpose and function of 
tb« Pftrliasentary saohine faced with such an eocuoiaic or^eaizatio.i. 
To the Guild iiociolist, the State would be but one of ^aany importaiit 
organizations, snd by no means t^ie aupreae power in the ooosJiunity. 

(41; The gpneral principles are exjxxinded in 5. G. 's Uiii d 

rrinciplee in .er pnd Pea ce (1908;, Uie later al ^ U>ailda 

(191^;, A, J. Penty'e Old '-.orlds fo r feew. and in J, D, H, 
Cole's first work, Tiio or Id of Labour * published in 1915« 
The fullest and laost convincing exposition of gyild social- 
tsa is Cole's later work, 5elf-uovem a en t in Industry , pub- 
lished in 1917. 

(42} iiobaon. Guild i^inciples , p. 26. 

(45; "If dftaocracy is good in the State and in local govomcaent, it 
is good, they hold, in industry as well.* - Cole, National 
Guilds , in Labour Year iiook, I9l6, pp. 187-138. 


Kaving fulfilled its raoat i.-aportont task in handiiij^ jvor the uacninery 

of production to ttto guilda, the State teen would esstuoo ita two 

proper functions: to aafeguRrd the intcreets of the canoi^aoro, and to 

,- lit t.i-— •«•■''•/• 
aalatain conditiais of ©QaExast^ poace and ordor^, Ihe Stata would 

actually be "the owner of the aeaia of production", the gailda 'Wrauld 

be In possession of the matis,te snent of industry". iM j The whole 

national life would becone operetive in a number of "autonotaous 

aafjoeiBtiona", and in this diversity of huaan association, the State 

"could claim an important place, but not a solitary grandeur". (45; 

There would be not one, but twa legislatures - tiie Farliaaent snd the 

Guild Ooazresa - with the latter having coapetenee over all matters of 

production, technical training and econoalc planning, and the forcer 

aaklng lews In all other fields. (46) 

For purposes of this discussion, the iaportance of the new doctrine 

lay in the fact that it eeeised to be but one more blow at the long^ 

accepted belief of Labour Ux the efficacy of Parliesientary action to 

win reforms in the existing systea, for the <juild ^cialist pointed to 

the flitllity of expecting such roforas frcra a Parliosent doe-alnated by 

the capltftllat class. To th«? atcte aocialisra which the Fabian Society 

had caice so ardently advocated, the exponents of the lisw doctrine had 

the same objecti«i, reinforced by their belief too tJint the function 

(44; Ibid. . p. 168, 

(45; Cole, Self-G ovenvn^t In^.I nduatry , p. 85. 

(46; Ibid ., pp. 97-100. 


of the Stat© vae not properly ecoaoalc at all, but purely political. 

The protOBta of the ^jlld ::.ocieli8t8 were directed ei^ainat so^e- 
thing Rhich thoy regarded ao folly - the entruatiiie; of i-abour'a 
de^aend for a ne« aooial order into the handa of a group of toen aitting 
In the i'.oiase of Coaaons aa a Labour Party, aitting in a House doainated 
by the crtpltalist claesea, following routines arid traditions datereiined 
by those classes, and representing a Labour or<sanization at best 
inoodq>leta end aoe^tlaea ^aotie* The Ouildasen were but atressing 
»hBt eoote trade union leaders less akilled in analysis had bean aaylng 
for years, l^gardleas of the aerits of the new gpal which Uiey 
proposed for Labour, the published works of Oole and Hobson strength- 
ened to no Sisall extoit thr.t roovetatsit of disestisfaction and dis- 
illusicauaant which became eo pronounced a part of the Labour scene 
after 1910. 

The now movastent of revolutionary trade unionisxa was uterked by 
its denial of the efficacy of i-erlioraentary action and of the value 
of sociwl rofora throu^ Legislative action, and by its enphasia 
upon the industrial union and direct action to achieve union 
objectives. It was etrmgthened by the critical enalysea of the 
Qulld Socialists, but it by no mesne owed its origin to Uiesi, for 
the tide of revolutionary, direct-action eyndicelisa waa running 
strong even before the Guildmien appeared* The Syndiccilist a»ve<Dent 
in Irence, and the apparent sucoesp. of the Confederation G^n^rale du 
Travail In that country, had made a deep iapression on Too Mann, ikjj 

(47; lilann, Toa, Froaa S in f^le Ta x to Syndic olisa, p. 64, 


for exaople* who soon beeaae sne of the moat influential advocetee 
of direct action in England. Others wore perhaps :flore strcxigly 
Influenced by the exploits of Daniel De Loon and toe I. vs. Si, ca the 
/iserican labour scene; it was this influence jare than any other 
which led dissatisfied students at liuskin College to secede from that 
body in 1909 and to establish the Central Labour College as a section 
of the I. «. ?f. (48j In Scotland the Socialist Labotir ixrty, alter 
seceding froa the S. D. F. in 190^, aoaa established close relations 
with the party of the seane nese in the United States, and becase a 
rigorous and effective proponent of syndiealim* Edited by Tos .iann 
and Qkij Bowaan, syndicalist panj^lets began to find a oarlcet in trade 
union oirclos, and by 1912 a sionthly paper, the Syndicalist, (49j was 
spreading the doctrine of the oleiss struggle and advocating the method 
of direct action and the gfKieral strike. 

The propaganda of the Guild Socialiets and syndicalists alike 
implied a very definite attack on the principle of the labour alliance 
between soci alien end trade unionisoi, since t^e burden of boiii messages 
was that ParlisEientar:/ action through the existing Labour Party was 
not the proper channel of woritlng class action. And the case i^ich 
the newer theories could present had sany strong features. 

In spite of the success of the Labour Party In winning trade 
■jtniiya security in I906, and in spite of its assistance in piining 
iisprovessent in tiie Workzaen's C^xtpensation Act, and in establishing 
In principle at least a systaa of Old Age Pensions - in spite of 

(46; Beer, Br itish SoeiBliea, II, p. ^7; Labour Year B ook. 1916 . 
p. 556. 

(49 J Beer, British SjcieXtao , II, p. 559. 


tlieae apparent aohieveoients, tlie @jlldaffiaa or Uie ayndlcallat oouid 
find Strang backing for his claLa that the vorker was worse off in 
191'^ than he had beesn in 1S^^« vhoa the Labour i'arty aas founded. 
The yearly /ibatrcc t of Labour jjat ie tice iaauod by the tioard of 
Trade ahowed that while isoney wages in that period had increased but 
•7 per cent, (50> retail food prices had increased by 9*^ per cent. 
The price index g«ierelly« according to the saae figures for the same 
period, had increased by 8.Q per cent. (^1> i^or did the statistics 
for the years from 191C to 191^ shov any iaproTemetit. JiO ooaq^ared 
again Kith 1900, the index year, wage levels in 191^ had reached a 
level of 106.5, (52/ but the price level in the same year had reached 
the indicated level of 117*2« As ocoparod to his situation before 
the Labour Party case into being* the worker of England found that by 
191^ his real wages actually had fallen considerably over that period* 
t^orkers in tlie sweated industries had seen their conditioriS« bot!) ao 
to wages end working surr^uiidings, i^iaprove c-onsidcrably, but credit 
for the eatablishtoent of the Trade cioarde wnich broug^it abcxit this 
iaproveaont could not go alone to the Labour i'prty in Parliament. 
Individuals like Sir Qwrlils Dilke and Qeorge Cad bury, periodicals 

(50) The table of tiiese statistics appeared in Vtie Labour leer aook « 
1916 . p. 209. 

(51 > Ibid ., p. 210. 

(52> Sidney Vebb in the Fabian Tract i;o. 5 (12th ed. 1913;, i-acts 
for ; ^ ociali8te . estiianted that in 1912 tl:»e average wagp for 
adult :xa in i^ngland was 258. 9d. per week, that 12 per cent 
of adult male workers rjere earning less tiian 20b,, ctnd that 
20 per cent were earning less than jJOs. In view of the Latour 
Party's insistence upon yOa, per week as a national gwioral 
rainiuuffi, Webb's estimate is significant. 


like the Daily Heme , tmd phllantliropic bodies of all Icinde had helped 
to eroase the necesaary feeling. 

The disaatisfaction of the loft-wiiig section of the i. L. t',, 
tho alternative proposals of the ^ild BocialistSf and the outspoken 
eonte-upt of the syndicalist trcde uniouistB* would in thttaseives have 
coeistituted a very sericxis threat to the claim that tlie Labour i'arty 
still continued to he the voice of organized Labour in Britain, or 
still ccmtinued to express Labour's trishos. The oost serious threat 
of all to tho Lpfaour iarty position csine* not frora labour dis- 
satisfaction, but froa the lac eourte. In Deeeaber of 1909* the Lav 
Lords finally ruled on an action brou^it in 1S^6 by a neabor of ttie 
Aaalgasaatad ^ciety of r^ailway :-'Orvanta, one >. . V. JsLonia, to 
restrain his society frora expending its funds on the maintenance of 
a political party. He based hia suit for the necessary injunction 
on the ground that oiaiAt&ining a party Cthe Labour i^arty; , paying 
its msoibers in . arliaxont, and requiring froia thee a vritten pledge 
of party unity, were all ootitxis not etmctioned by tlie Trade Union 
Act of 1876 and hence il legal . Jsbome's suit was rejected by 
itr. Justice i^eville, on the ground that the definition of trade 
union objectives in the act of I876 was not intended to be sn 
exhaustive list of per^oissible objectives, but siaply an enuaieratioa 
of sotae of thea. Osborne took his case to the Oourt of ^peel, where 
the judgement of the lower court was reversed and the injunction which 
Osborne had sou^t was then graated. The toalgaoated Society of 
Hallway Servants carried the case to the House of Lords, where on 
December 21, 1909, the Law Loards handed do»m a judgement oonfiraing 


the decision of the Cotirt of Appeals. The decielons of both courts 
were quite obviously baaed "raUier on aoral and social considerations 
thsn on any legal principle*, (SJ; and the atateuteata of the judges 
concerned indicated that the question at iasue waa the desirability 
of trade union participation in politics rather then the legality of 
such action. (54 y In any event, the decision struck a tre^^endcnas 
blow at the existing Labour Prrty, "At ->ne stroke the financial 
resources of the Labour <.-Qrty, or of the political action of the trade 
unions, appeared to have been out off. (55; 

One roaalt of the i^abome deeiaion w<?8 to provide for Uie Labour 
Party in r'criiaaent once again a single objective; ror Uie next U^ree 
years the reversal of that decision becase the first oonsidoration of 
its RCtivltT. Oat whet LTust be noted here is tliat the judgosnent 
aeriously weakened the p<,)aition of the t^crtyj in lS»'lo exactly half of 
Its 4o aerabers lost tiie assurance of their £SX> per year grant, (56> 
since according to the constitution, this grant could not be aiede 
unless the linlcais reap-^aaible for their ccndidature naa paid the ro- 
quired fees to the Parliaawntary fUnd. By the end of 1911, 27 unions, 
including virtually all of the larger alners' unitms, the Engineers, 
the Hallway Servants and the Carpenters and Joiners, had been prevented 
by injunction frosB skidcing such payiaents. 

(55/ Slessor, H. H», The Releting; to Trude /Jnions, p. 86. 
(54; See following pa^e for »*aEB«ry of decisions on the three important 
issues involved. 

(55 > aeer, Dritish : > ociali B;a. II, p. ^42. 

(56 y According to Arthur Menderson In his speech to the Trade Onion 

Congress at Sheffield in 1910. 1 Report of the Trade Un ion Oonarese , 
1910. P. 16.; The Ijteojtive of the Labour i'arty decided, however, 
to continue payaeats to the stes^rs Involved "for the ti:3e being 
at least". Cl toport of the An pual^ O ooforenpe of the L ebouf; j'prty . 
1211, p. 2k. 





















^ . 



1 ' 



. 1 



. : i 

■ ' 1 


1 .-^ 

1 ^_ 








^ 1 i >' - 

1^ it 

4 ^ u ^ 


The effect of the judgeoient wae not only to prevent trade union 
polltioal activity in the form of financial support of the Labour 
Party, but to etrongthea the hand of thoae in the trade union moveetent 
riio already were voicing not laerely dissatisf action with the present 
policies of the Labour Party in i'ariiaa«it, but a complete disbelief 
in such a party as an effective instruojent to obtain Labour's 
objectives , Since political action was riow barred, direct action 
aeeaed the only alternative, the weapon of the strike oaae laore and 
aore into prominence, and the moveaaent towards consolidation of unions 
to give sucit strikes ^^reetar strength was yreatly accelerated. 

The years fro3 1910 to 1915 saw a treaendous growth in strength 
of trade union organizations, with aeisbership Incroasing in 1911 by 
25.4 per cnat, in 1912 by 8,9 per cant and in 191? by 21.5 per cent. (57; 
The sane period saw a remarkable epidemic of strikes and industrial 
disputos. Hot the least si^if leant fent^ire of this outburst of 
revolutionary union-tsu was the fact tjiet on a groat nuoiber of 
occasions the strike aotl^m was taken in defiance of the advice of 
union leaders of long standing. C3S; Unautiiorized strikes broke out 
in South ti-alea, on the Clyde, in liewcastle aid in Binning^aai; there 
was everyrrtiere in labour circles a manifest spirit not only of unrest 
but of irresponsibility. (59; Tom l^ann, Jsises Larkin, James Connelly 

(57J See fl^Jires in table in App«ruiix, p. 331 ■ 

(58; la Pebrvjary of 1910, 50,000 Iiortiiuaberlend ziiiners walked out 

in protest against an a^eetaant which had been accepted by the 
executive of the M, F, a, B, (Tracy^ T he lk>o k of the L abour 
Party . I, p. 195.; 'Oc figuroo on industrial diaputea In 
table in Ap|ieadiji, p i 

(59; According to ifiilip Snowden, as quoted in Lord /jjkwith. 
Industrial Probleos and DiajRitee, pp. l45-l46. Tlte oarae 
obsorvotion was aade in 1912, .R eport of the /'Oriual Coij t ^ e reof>e 
of t he LBboar P^rt y, 1915 . pp. 06-87. 


and Bob Smillie seeaed to replace Flprdio, ^acDonald oixd henderaon, as 
the accepted leaders of tiie labour aove^ent, ead their ed»ocacy «as 
lor direct action, general strike and industrial unionis-u. In the 
au.-3 3er of 1911 a general strike of transport Korkers and ssasten paralyzed 
the principal ports of the kingdom. In 1912 the -.inora' Federation 
struck for a nsticaial :sinl2Sio wage - an issue which the Labour i arty 
hsi shorn itself »ery reluctant to raise. The action of the miners was 
but iadicetlvo of the growing sense of separation iron tuc -euuur rerty 
in Parlia-nent; a flood of syndicalist literature tmd syndicalist supijort 
i.-aaediately appeared. (6o; The ainors finally won, not a national 
mlaiousi, but national minlaa, to be established by regional boards, 
but this was at least a partiol success, and was a considerable i.^pctua 
to the i^eneral spirit of open revolt aj,ein3t eiploycrB, against the 
goteraa»nt and cgainst their own leaders. Slgiificent too, of tlie new 
temper of labour was the fact that a siajority of the miners voted to 
continue txie strike rather than accept the proposed govemrsent bill, 
and there was considerable rcsentacat against the executive in cnlling 
off the stride, end sGeinot Ileoderson end jtocDonald who had worked 
long and hard as negotiators of the settlement. (61; hor were the 
ainers alone, apparently. In their tendency to place reliance rather 
upon strike action than an pari i amen tary eoti<Mi, aa the figures shown 
on the following page would indicate. It is fairly sigpificsnt, too. 

(60; A great deal of the initiative caae froa the Louth ftales ainors' 
Federation. (Edwards, History of the jouth ..ales ^.liners ' 
Kedera t ion . pp. 150-161,; 

(61 j Edwards, History of the South galea Miners' ?ederatic» . pp. 195- 

2 V 2. 




CD > 


c a. 
- % 









































































































































































































« 3 

i i i" 

1 2 











that in many eases tiila strike actlcHi wob for objectives quite other 
than the winning of vrago increases. 

One obvious reailt of the industrial unrest of th© years 
Immediately preceding ti\e ;.orld I'ler was the foraation of larger union 
bodlea. In 1910 and In 1911 # resolutione at the Trade Union Congress 
had called for "snelgesiBtion of unions fay Indus tries.... to prepare 
for united action in the event of a strike or look-out". (62; In 
1911 » four rellwayaon's unions took joint strike actioUf and ouch 
action led them by 1915 into the formation of the Zvational Union of 
Railwayaen. The deaand for industrial unionise and joint action vhich 
vae coaEBOQ to both ayndicelist and guild aocialist appeals, aas 
strengthened, too, by the decision of the i-'.inera* Federation, the 
fiailwaymen end the Transport Workers' federation, to orfinnxze for 
con3:»n action, "nio renuit was the Triple Industrial Alliance, a 
body with a total menxberahlp of well over a aillion, (65; and strongly 
coamitted to a policy of resiainlng aloof frosa Pprliemcntary ectl:>n. 
Said ^lobert SmHlie, whc more than fiay other man had brought U;e 
Alliance into being, *If revolutloa is going to be forced upon my 
people..., I say it ia our duty, legal or illegal, to train our people 
to defc»id themaelve« is the duty of the greater trade union 

(62) Report of the Trade Un ion Ckwigrees, 1910 . p. 75. 

(^5^ Tfee Trip le Industrial Alliance, an article by Sob Smillie in 
the Labour Year Book, 1916 , pp. 1Q>104. The Bsaberahlp 
figures were twiners, 800,000; Railway:nen, 270,OJO; and 
Transport norkere, 250, jOO. Of the six aembers on the 
eoniaittee tvliich set up the organization, four were outspoken 
critics of the Labour Party policy, and advocates of direct 
action and industrial unionism. (Smillie, Ihomas /^hton. 
Jack KilliamB, and Harry Gosling.} 


moven» diocueo seriously the Idea of a strike of all the 
HorJcors." (64} buch irords were clear indications of the truth of the 
claim that by the sasxai&r of 1914, "British trade uuionisa was working 
up for an alroost [elo) revolutionary outburst of gigantic industrial 
disputes", (65; liad this revoluticocry outburat occurred, it is hard 
to see just what would have beoi the x>ole of the Labour Party, and 
whether its support would have gone to the forces of revolutionary 
trade unionis-a or to the forces of low, order ana i r riisjiontary 
govem:aent» For even as late as 1914, t^ie Perty was still swinging 
between the two axtrecaeo of opiaion. 

(64) report of the Trade Union Oonaress, 1913 » P» 72. 

(65) sebbs. Trade Unionis m, p» 690. 




.ie have »««n how the polioiae end tactics of the uabour tarty 
wore attacloBd, in the period after 1910, in the ranks of those bodies 
whose ellianoe made the i'arty possible; how the left-wing section of 
the I. L. P. denounced tlie co-operation with the liberals and how 
they detaanded a new policy of "socialiso: in our tiioe*. fte ha»e seen 
too, how other alternatives to political action ea a aeons of 
rouoving the oatjses of Labour's discontent* were being proposed, end 
how those new alterjastives were being welooaed by an increasingly 
large section of the trade uaion aovement without the 8up].>ort of 
which the Labour i'arty could hardly exist, rhe dissident elaoaonts 
in the bodies which riede up the i-^arty had their epokesoea in the 
central organization as well, end as early rs 15^9 their voices were 
raised in protest. At the special conference on unetaployment held in 
Jaraiary of tiiBt yenr, one delegate charged that already the party 
had beeoae but "a reflex of the govemaent". (1) tthen the re^ilar 
e<«iferen(W assecabled the next day, even 2ore serious charges were 
made. The oecosioi was a discussion of the ecti«i of Ban Tillett in 
writing and publishing a pvnphlet entitled Is the Parlieaeat ary 
Labour Party a Fail ure? In his pamphlet Tlliett had labelled some 

( 1 J Report of the ^^nmjal CcMifeyenoe o f the Labour i-'arty. 1909 . , 
/^poidix I, p. 9^, 


of the proBMit Labour meabers of Parliment with such terms as 
'toadies*, "liars at five and tea guineas a tiae", and "press 
flunksja to Asquith". The failure of the party Tlllett adaltted, 
and charged that failure to "the betrayers of the class ttiet 
supports them". In defending his actions and atte-nptlng to sub- 
stantiate his charges, Tlllett on the floor of the conference 
pointed to the appearance of Labour zzten on platforse nith Liberal 
oollea^ies In Vtie interests of T«ttperance« or DlseBtabllohment, or 
Free Trade, or House of Lords Reform, and asserted that tiie energies 
of the Labour rarty vere being dissipated in purely Liberal esusas. 
*T.hen these or^anizatlcoe, [feanerance, Dlsestablishtaont, etc.] 
the one and Bund<7 political red herrings, vatit our support", said 
Tlllett, "let us see \iok far they will go on the feeding of the 
^ildren, let us see how far they will go on unftsployaent, the 
hosising of the people, the present legal case". He was supported 
in his accusations by sftverel delegates, one of whoa spoice of the 
"considerable feeling" In his conetituency. Finally, oan a vote of 
lack of confidence, the Executive was misteined by a vote of 
788,000 to IIJ.OO-O, (2) but the aize of the adverse vote on such a 
oletr-out expression of disapproval wea indicative of very sharp 

In 1911 Pa-ijoay .'UioOoaald assuioed tiie leadersliip of the party 
In the CoBtaons, and his place as secretary wee filled by Arthur 
Henderson. For the next Uirec years these a«a more than any others 

(2} Report _ of th e .' tonual Conference of the Labour Pa rty^ ki6*S» PP- 
81-84, for the debate. 


were assumed to be directing the party policy, and these t»o, a»re than 
any others, were laade the targets of attack by the dlsoidont eieoenta. 
In their persons they eeeaed to synibolise the alliance between 
•ocialisa and trade unionise. c&acDonald had for long been looked upon 
as *the brains of the 3. L. P.", and already had contributed an 
iapreasive quantity of literature to the socinllst cause* Henderson 
on the other hand was a trade union official, one-tiae Liberal election 
egont, and without socialist inclination or affiliaticm. {J^j Both 
were Parlismentariens of socae skill and nu^ respectability; togeUier, 
it was assuaed, they gave the lead to the party in t'arliaaent* 

The leadership of Henderson and i;^8eDanald, end the wiadoa of the 
tactics trtiieh they decided upon, were both challenijed <m ocoeslon in 
the perliaoentary party, (4) and very often in the annuel conferences. 
In 1911 B resolution was prof<osed which by laplieatlon at least called 
for a diange in the tactics of the r-prilaosntary group. C5/ M&oDonald 
in a long speech defended the parliaasntary policy of accepting •half- 
asaaures" from the Liborol ^ovemaBcnt, and even of co-oporating to win 
those half-nseasures. He deprecated the i^oranee of iaany of the 
delegates on the whole subject of iiirliaaentary rales, procedure end 

(5; Henderson joined the Fabian Society in 1912. The manner of his 
apperwit converaicm to socialisa is perhaps indicative of the 
depth of his socialist convictions. As secretary of the Labour 
Party he was also ex officio dele^te to the Socialist Inters 
national Congress; it wee, however, manifestly liaposslble for e 
aon-soeielist to act in that capacity - so nenderson joined the 
Fabian iiociety. 

ih) liotably on the occasion of the vote on the tolrd reeding of the 
national Insurance Act. iee p. ^"7 above. 

(5) The resolution called for the Labour mcabers "to declare their 
intentions to force their own Issues and to vote steadfastly on 
the aerlts of the questions brought before thee". ( Ret>ort of 
the Mnual O o nfer enee of the LabQur_ rarty« 1911 ■ p« 76 •> 


lialtatlono, and defended th« achievamenta won by the party in i^erlla- 
aent. (6; Jaet a few caoaths before, David ^heckleton In the Trade 
Union Congress had aiade a very slailar defence, and had appealed there 
for a policy of "winning the governjsent over to our side", since, as 
he put it, "you cannot hit a oan on the face and then aslc hia for a 
concession". (7) In both cases the appeal was successful, and large 
aajorltles gave approval to the policy of concllletion and a^eeoient* 

A» ooo exa:aple of their sll Unless "to aeet Uie ^vemsent half 
way", the Eotecutive reooisaendod to this eonfertticc that the 
constlt>ution be CEsended to eliniinate the written pledge by candidates 
to accept the constitution or real^ tiieir seats. This had been un- 
doubtedly one of the bases aa. which the Law L>ords had based their 
decision in the Osborne case, end Its re^ioval from the party emetlV* 
utlon would certainly facilitate any action by the govemaent in 
reversing that decision. There was a good deal of opposition to the 
aove, end ouch talk of "hauling down the flag**, but an ouiendaient 
calling for restoration of the written pledge was finally defeated 
by l,Of54,CCu to 506,aoo. (8) 

At the annual conference In 1912, there was egedn voiced 
considerable criticism of the tactics end policies of the iiacDonald- 
Handerson-led party* The record of the party on divisions 

i6j Ibid. , p. 78. 

(7/ ?eport of the Tya de Unl wi Cangree a , ^ 1910 , p. 157. 

(8> Report of the An nu al Conference of the La bo ur Party, 1911 . Th0 
debate en the executive rec^:Hsaendatl(aa appears pp. 78-84. 


«•• examined, and it was pointed out that while <mly Jl of the 42 
aeobers had voted on the Labour resolution on un«aplojuent« (9) one 
aenxber had eetuslly voted »saln«t it. The action of aill Croolce in 
proposing a Labour Hlsputea Bill without the sanction of either Party 
Conference, Trade Union Oongreaa, or Parliamentary group, was cited 
88 an exaniple of lock of unity »id discipline, while Oie actions of 
ShackletcHi and Snowden in declaring tnrou^ib newspaper artlcioa in the 
'.Week l y f ^ eoord their lack of synpathy nlth the recent wave of strikes 
aroused the ir** of many delesatee. (10; iiarah words, too, were used 
about the Liberal gaverosaont with irtiich the j^arllsnentary ?«u*ty now 
eeoaed so closely ansooiated, and resolutions etrc«i£ly eonde:3ned the 
actions of ^Vinston Cliurolilll in ordering out the military in the dock 
strike at Liverpool, eai his circular order from the Heme Office 
rocoarsending enrolment by local euthorities of an unpaid auxiliary 
police force. (11) 

Another re8:>lution at the eaoie conference deplored the lack of 
action r^gerding the Osborne judseaent, and charged that the Party 
"in its desire to support other meetsuree of a q^jeBtionable char«.cter, 
in its desire and eagerness to accept the battle-cries of the Liberal 
party", hari neglected this strictly Labour question. (J2; Tlie 
reeolution was finally defeated, but not before one amendment had been 

(9} Hansard . 5th Series, Vol, 26, p. 658. williaa Abrehan voted 
with tlie Govemaent. 

(lOj Report of the Annual Co&f erenee of the La bour P ftrty, 1912, pp. 


(11) Ibid. , pp. 75-77. 
il2j Ibid. , p. 90. 


proposad advising all tredo unions "to defy the la»", (15; and anotfaer 
had been offered requiring the party to set up an orj^^aaization for a 
general strike. (14 , 

At the co.ifereace in 1915 the critics of the Party la I arliBiaent 
reUimed to tho attack once caore* Again the autions of raefflbers on 
division wore cited. On tho issue of Home Rile, at the second reading 
of the Liberal bill on Juno 10, 1915, 58 i»ebour aeabera were present 
to vote with the govern.2cnt. (15; !et on the Labour i^arty asiendaMat 
to the Speech froa the Throne «i -iarch I5, calling for a natiomal 
alaijua wage bill, only 25 Labour men were present to cast their 
ballots. (16; Other divisions were cited, and oUier groiands for 
criticise elred, U7; Finally it was agreed to hold a special con- 
feronea on policy during the following yeor, and both sides to the 
controversy proceeded to ::iorsiT;al their forces. 

^hen the special conference asot in Glasgow on January 27» 1914, 
Bmaaajf MaeDonald waa ontruotad with the task of defending tho party's 
policy and tactics in i arliasioiit. (18; He spoke 01 U\e difficulty 
of Introducing legislntion because of the ballot procedure lor 
private aotabere* bills, cited the ooatplications and difficulties 
inherent in the prea<»t (oode of I-erliaeacaitary procedure, and justified 
the practice of agreeaont and co-operatlcm with the uovernaent on the 

(15) Ibid. , p. 91. 

(lA, Ibid . . p. 99. 

(15) Hansard . 5tb Series, /ol. 55, p. 1584. 

(16) Hansard, 5Ui Series, Vol. 50, p. 572. 

(17) Seport of the /nnual Conf eren ce of the Labou r f a rty, 1915 . pp - 8^94 . 

(18) Tho report of this special conference was printed along with the 
Report of the Annual Ooafcrwice of the Labour x^arty, l9 ^■i*^ 
MocDonedd's 8poc<di is on pp. 7>'75. 


ground that it was "not worthtrhlle turning out Tweadladua in order 
that T«eedl«d©e might reigp in bie stead". (19; 

The attack on the party leadership was led by n. 0. ytoderson o£ 
the I. L. r. and tiie Shop Aaaistarits' Union. Ke criticized "the lack 
of fitting spirit" and the 'lack oi diatinctivoness I'roa Liberal or 
Tory". "In the last two or three yeara", he clal-aed, "the workers' battle 
has been aoro strongly fou^t by industrial iaethoda outside tiian by 
political methods inside the House oS Coauions", and he laid the bias* 
for this statft of affairs on the fact that the *l.W*s give in too 
aich to r'erlieoeatary exigmiciee and i^arliaa^itary expediency". (,20 j 
7. S* Sanders of the Fabian Society supported Anderaon, pointing out 
to iaoDonald that in iST^ labouring men "had put out Tweodledum* and 
put in Tweedledee". uther speakers cited dissatiax action over the 
party tactics in supplying a meraber to the Aarooni Co^snission which 
finally acouittod Liberal Cabinet ainiatera of any wrongdoing in 
connection with their transactione in Asrcoai aheres, while others 
cited the acceptance of the Iietic»ial Insurance Act as a betrayal of 
Labour's interests. 

fCill Thome zaade aore specific diargea when he alleged that there 
was bargaining going on by which Labour Party support was being sold 
by -taeDonald end Penderaon. Ke contreoted the situoticvi that had 
existed under Keir H^rdie's leadership with the situation as it 
existed now under Rasasay UacDonald* and charged that the latter'a 

(19} Ibid. , p. 75. 
(20; Ibid., p. 76. 


»illlngrie«« to aak« •bargains behind the Speaker's chair", **»«« sapping 
the Independence and effectiveness of the Labour Tarty. " (21 j 

Kelr Hardie by implication at least threw hla support behind the 
oaloontente. lie pointed out that in I506 no negotiations were ever 
held with the Liberal goverooent until alter a bill was introduced. 
The oalj negotiationa which then ensued were on the wording of such a 
bill, Bid were carried on by the Chief Whip {.Arthur Henderson;, and not 
by the party chairawn. horn, he said, negotiations went on even before 
legislation was Introd^jced, dealt wiUi sattero of party policy, and 
•ere eondueted by the chairman of the Party hiaself, (22; 

Both .'4(iCi>onald end Hetidersun denied the truth of the charges made 
by Wiome end Kardle, and both insisted that srhet seeaed to be a change 
In the party policy of independence wee in reality but eta obvious and 
inevitable acco-atBodetion to the peculiar political situation. Eventu- 
ally the aiotion celling upon the r'arty "to adopt a more milltent and 
Independent attitude* vaa shelved - tut thare was likewise no expression 
of approval voted by the delegates. Jbvioualy Thome and the other 
dissatisfied aesabers felt that they had achieved their cdm in 
registering en e:jphatlc protest against what they thou^t was a vicious 
tendency. '.Vhat t^ie left wing eocisllst and syndicalist attack did do 
was fairly oleor. It enqphaslzed once more the fact that two grave 
dangers faced the Lcbour t'arty In I9l4j the danger of losing completely 
the support of sillitant socialist and lallltant trade-uilonlet alike. 

(21; Ibid. , p. 82. 
(22) Ibid., p. 82. 


and iiio danger of drifting, for want of other ais». Into an open 
alllenco with and final essiailetlon into the Liberal i-arty. 

The outbreak of war, of coursa, tatsporarily at least, roaoved 
the ground for criticlssa and attnclc. the electoral truco ended all 
qaeation of any aub roea errangeaent between Labour and Liberal 
organlzeticns; tlie entrance of Labour into en official coalition 
ministry ended all talk of co-operation with the Liberale, And when 
the var was wcm^ and the Khaici Kleetioa fou^^t, Lloyd George himself 
reaiowed the poesibillty of further eo»operation betwewi Labour end 
Liberal t'ertlos by Wio drastic aesna of ending the Liberal rarty. 
Tho policy of independence waa reatored to Labour, for there waa no 
other policy to puraue. 

Se have ae^i, i^sea, in SocialiBt, trade utiion and Labour i arty 
ranke lAiat lool» lite a growing aeiae of fniotration, of diasatiafact- 
ion and of auapicion, occaaicoied by a growing conviction that the 
tactics of the Labour Party in rarliaiaent were not such as to offer 
any hope of evontual oueceaQ for Labaur*8 aoclal and econoiaic daaanda* 
It wffijld be eaay, of course, to ovaremj^iaaize the ctasciitude of thia 
disaatiafaction. CJertainly it was never atrong enou^ to uneeat the 
ineu-abcsnt leaders of the x-arty in PHriiasacJit, nor to change the 
direction of its tactics* Certainly it was growing in atreagtii - the 
support of critical reeolutiooa waa steadily raounting - but until 
1914 the sectictfi of ttxe Party led by H<sideraon, -ircDonald, Uamea and 
Clynee could always count on aajority support. The reaaon for thia 
■« rauat now try to find in the record of achieveiaent t^ich the i^arty 
had nade in the House of Oonnuma under the leaderahip of that section. 



LAKXiR IH THE HOUSE OP CX ....ii.i, 15iO6-15'10. 

An exaainatioa of th© work of the membera of the new Uebour 
Ferty iii the rnrliemoot «Ailob aeee^abled In iyuc will eorve to support 
two rery obvious contentions. The firat is thr,t the new party was 
able, for a vertety of reasons, to exercise an influence on legislation 
quite out of proportion to the size ot' its following in the House, rhe 
aeoond is that th»t influenee was strongest of all during the enrly 
•easions end th&t« e^ln for & variety of reasons, it was gradually 
diainishing in effectiveneae as aeasion succ9eded session and issues 
other than tiiose of social refora begtsi to ttserge. During the years 
fron 1906 to 1910, Party aesabera were able to sponsor atid secure the 
passage of at least one bill which laid down a new and radical principle 
thpl of atate responsibility for the well-being of childraai - which 
Bade the acceptance of the Flduoation (Provision of ^eala; Act a rather 
aig?iificent poLat in Parlieajentsry history. Having accepted once the 
obligation of providing seals for achool *lldr«n of indigent parents. 
In order thnt they might take advanta£,e of the educationol facilities 
provided for them, the i^arlieaent of Eogleod was to be led then to the 
obvious corollary necessity of providing not only food but other 
•esmtials of rpod health (medical care and inspectiwi, for axanple;, 
and to the neeeasity of providing food not only on school days but in 
vacation periods as well. By the logic of its own aotioa, ?arllaa«at 

•SB led ftt least to the conaidoration of the naceoslty of assuring 
eoaplete respanaibllity for child welfare. 

This in Steelf would have be«i a considerable nohievoseat for a 
party of ^ oeabera in a House in vhi<^ the uovem;:ient could count 
for aipport upon the votes of eoiae 577 *«olidly Liberal" ^iieoabere. 
But the aost r«markable schievecMnt of the ae» Pprty was in the 
influeooe which it exerted in the initiating of so-called uovenuoent 
:3c-a8ureSt In securing revision aid asendioent of thosn measures, and 
in seouriiig Goveroaent assurance of further suppleamtary or comple- 
isantary leglalation. 

Soae of ttie reasons for the degree of euooese which attended the 
Parliaaeatpry efforts of the ucbour rerty in these yoaro are fairly 
obvious. Slth but four exeeptic«J9 the Labour Perty aeobers wero new 
oea* inexperienced in Uie pArlisiaeatary gsste and caapletely uiiCDiiscioue 

House vt 

of the difficultiee imich confront a slnority party under^Cooaona 
procedure. »that they ladccd in experionce, however, they aoro than 
oado up in their roforaing zeal» in tiioir application to the duties 
which lay before tiiea, end possibly in their belief that in their 
hando lay an instruaent which could be wielded in such manner as to 
produce the results desired, rerhaps part of their euecesa lay in 
the fact that they faced e House in which aambers of all parties were 
in meny cases likewise new to Parliament* (1> and who* ooalng from 
eleotioa platforoa where the need for social reform had been stressed 
by all, were apt to weigh rather seriously the words of repreaentativea 
of the Class of society whoa© needs wero now to be considered. 

(1; fi. comparison of the meabers' lists for the sessions of ISiOS and 
1906 BhowB that a total of 5I8 preewit in iyu6 were not mmbore 
of the lest Perliaasent. 


ait the strongest faaturo of the labour tarty position was the 
fact that the >jovemuient no« la office had also appealed to ttie 
coimtry on iiie basis of Its avowed Intmtloo to bring about social 
refonaj tii« Liberals were now in the position of having either to 
oppose openly the dcBoands of the Labour i^arty and thus expose them- 
selves to the charge of opposing the dsjaarids of Labour generally, 
or to entertain those dezoandB, perhaps siodify some of them, certainly 
accept 80s» of them, and in «iy case to foraulate an advanced 
prograo of their owku 

The situaticn then was peculiarly advantageous for the Labour 
Party In Parliassont in 1906, and its aenbers were not slow to press 
the advantages. The Party hed introduced in 19^^ a privnte saeobere* 
bill for the purpose of e:apowering local euthorlties to provide food 
for sdiool ^ildren whose hoae oonditions were such that they''were 
unable by reason of lack of food to talce fUll advantage of the 
education provided for thes*. (2; The bill had died in eocuiittee, 
but in the meaatiiM the Party had proposed, on April I6 of the aaa« 
yaar* e resolution supporting the reooa'n^idetlons of the Intor- 
departnentel Comaitte© on r)iysical iJeteriorction re the empowering 
of local authorities to provide food for needy children. The Labour 
resolution was not t<re8ted as a party laoesure, received support 
from spokeaaen of all pertiee, and eventually passed by a vote of 
9y-^» (5> The public agitation which had been erousod by the 

(2) Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. l45, p. 856. 
(5> IMd., p. 57U. 


the Cbaaittae's .Report was encouraged no little by Labour candidetee 
during the election ctsspmlg^, and the Party held e special conf erenee 
in Jenuary, 1906 on the questltxi. 

ihen the new I^erllacient aet in 1^06, the Labour Party bill was 
brou^it forward once aore by >-., T. Viilson, oa the bdiicotion vProviaion 
of ieals/ Act. (4; In the debate on second roeding* both Labour and 
Liberal voicea were raised in support. Harold Cox and Q. o. iiowleSf 
both ne» aombers, nere the leaders of the Oonaervntive attack. They 
chargsd that the uieesijre was e. Jocialist sieesure* to which one 
Liberal meaber replied that lie# for one» "would not be deterred by 
any such bogey froa supporting a meeaure wnich was in itself good 
and esloulated to do good. If Soci&listie coeasurea are good, then in 
God's neae lot Parliei&ent pass theol" (5; flUi the strcaig support 
thus voiced by lilberal ajernbero it was not surprising that govemcaent 
aasistance was given to the Labour swssure. /^gistlae Birrell* the 
President of the Board of Lklucation, proposed a Select Oaamittoe of 
Inquiry, and J<An flurriS as ^Tesident of the Locel Uovcrnaent Board 
added the assurance thot govemraent time would be guaranteed to ensure 
paaaage of the bill. (6ji 

When the iiducatlon (Provision of tLogle) Act was reported back 
froa the Oosiaittce (7) several chcngas were reoocanended , chief of 
which W88 the aatendaent making the provision of :aeal8 by local 
authorities a peraltted action, but not required. In addition, a 

(4) On February 22. Hansard, 4th series, Vol. 152, p. 525. 

(5; Ibid. , p. 1455. The aocond reading debate appears pp. l4o8-l445, 

(6; Ibid., p. 1441. 

(7j On July 17. Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. I6l, p. 4o. 


aaxinum of ^, cm the rates «aa to be aet sa a limit to expeaditares 
In this new field of aotivity and provision was raade for the recovery 
of the cost of such meals frota parents if tliey «ei-e shown able to 
pay. Labour oambers protested auoh limitations* but by the very 
logic of their ar^imente were prevented from voting against the pro- 
visions of the new taeasure. Conservative apokeemen litce £.velyn Cecil 
and Sir Frederick Banbury claLaed that the bill would "put a pretaiuo 
on idleness, (8y end pleaded with i3«:ibers not to "bo led astray into 
these paths of Socialism which would surely load to the ruin of this 
country". (9j Conservative saendoKsita ^ore proposed, one of which 
would have oade disfrano^iisesient the penalty for failure of the parent 
to pay for meals provided under the act* (10) but iione of them was 
approved. In its new ^ise as a govamaent iBe«aure( the act received 
third reading on Decaraber Ih, and was sent to the Lorda. wUett trie 
aeesure returned to the Qotannxxat two OBtendaents appeared in it* the 
force of whidi was to atake the aeasure not applicable to botlend. (11 > 
On the advice of Caiapbell-Betuieroan, this liaitatiou was accepted (12; 
and the SBeesure beceiiae law on December 21* 

(8) Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 166, p. 1584. 
(S>; ly^., p. 1594. 

(10) Ibid. , p. I4l5. jutsido Parlia-awit, Professor Dicey put the Con- 
aenretive cose when he declared, "v.hy o man who firat neglects 
his duty as a father, and then defrauds the state, should retain 
his full political ri^ts is a question easier to ask than 
answer. * ((iioted In Pipkin, Social Politics, I, p. 71.) 

(11) Hanaard . 4th Series, Vol. 167, p. 780. Orieinally the Labour 
Party had introduced a separate oeesure ^plying to ^icotland. in 
the Lelect Cooaittee this was iaoorporatod into the larger measure 
for England and Kales. 

(12> Ibid ., p. 1881. 


Periiape only the Oonserratlve opponents of the weamire had 
appreclfttad the Blgjii'lconce of the legislation thus passed. In his 
speech on the second reading, Harold Cox had pointed out that the 
bill would have consequences, if the responsibility of the state in 
the matter of providing a noon seal for a needy school child wore 
once ad.'oitted, wiiat was the responsibility on Sunday* or during 
Vacations? ^at, he dec^anded, was the respoaaiblllty in the case of 
a child who was not yet old enough to attend sci^ool, or of one who was 
too 111 to attend? His notion that because of ito ir^plications "it 
was undesirable to prcoeed with this bill*, did not even get a 
seconder, but the questions whioti he hec* posod, and which the majority 
h&d iiyiored, soon began to deaend en answer, ^ince the act was pei^ 
aissive, some local authorities neglected to take advantage of its 
provisioae; even in Uiose areos in which action wrb taken, there 
arose iaaediately the proble'S of securing the nec^sory aedicel 
inforaetion upon which to act. 

In 1?D8 the Labour Party introd;jced an e^aiding act (IJ; requir- 
ing local cuthorities to provide aeels If a aedical report showed 
necessity, and requiring aedical Inspectors to sake periodical ex«ft- 
inations and to publish or sake available their reports. Aithuu^ 
the act went only to second reading, it served to draw attention to 
the inadequacy of existing legislation and brou^t action froca the 

(15; Hyisard. 4th Series, Vol. 1^8, p. 258, The year before, 

Raotsay 'iaoDonald had sponsored a private bill to extend the 
provisicaiB of the IS^ Act to Gcotlend ( liens ard , 4Ui -eries. 
Vol. 16S», p. 4l6;, but aftor second reading ( Hansard . 4th 
Series, Vol. 171, p. 56£;, it want to Cosaaittee and died 


Medioal Board in o oLroular permitting not only medical inspection of 
school diiidrea» but the eetablisboent of treatoMnt centres as well. (l4> 
ether ooneeesions Hero aaUe by similar saeanB to perait the provision of 
seals on days «^en school »os not in session. Finally in 19l4 another 
Labour bill was introduced. vl5; Its purposes were to make the nro- 
viaioo of aaeals obligatory on the local authority where need nos ahowi 
to exiatf to remove the halfpenny liuit on the rates to be levied, and 
to legalize the feeding of children on all days of the year* Concerted 
opposition on the part of Liberal end Coneervative biock^ed tiie passers 
of the first claasea V,l6> but the rest of the bill was finally 
approved tmt*. bceonic lew. (17> 

tbe sy^pat^iotic treatment accorded tills Labour bill was but one 
example of Liberal villin^ess not only to listim to the Labour 
Party proposals but to accept aiany of thesa as well, and evan oi 
occasion to arnond goveniiaeat Aaaaures to confona to Labour deaands. 
Another exansnl© of oudi deferential treetoent of what was In theory 
at least an opposition party, appe«a^ in the govemaient htfidling 
of the ^'•orkiaen'a Coupensatioa Act of IS^. 

Protests ctxicemlng the inadequacy of the .-orfaaan's Coapenaat- 
lati i»«t of 1697 had often been made by Labour organizations, ilQj 

(l4) Cf. the report of Kiss «cWillan of the I. L. P, at tbe SboubX 
Ccaifermce of tbe Labour i'arty, 1909, Report , p. 7^. A coia- 
mlttee of the Londwx F.ducation Authority, with ^^ir Victor 
tlorsby aa chairaan, found in em investigation in iiast London 
In 1908 thot out of 1,006 children exaalned, aome 200 wore not 
oily in need of aedical treytaeot but actually in danger of 
early death without it. 

(15; Kanaard. 5th Sarlee, Vol. 58, p. ^70. 

(16; Uenaerd. 5th Series, Vol, 60, pp. 715-777: Vol.65, pp.ll45-ll92, 

(17) Hansard, 5th Series, Vol. 65, p. 19*K). 

(18/ See p. 'i| above. 


end en eusarkting aeesure sponsored by the l-orllaosntery C<xaiilttae of 
the Trade Union Congress had been Introduced by a Liberal oiaaber in 
the session of 1909. (19/ The bill proposed had included the taro 
features aost deoir^i by Labour; eotspensetion for ell norlcars end 
oa;3peaeatlon from the date of the accident. The aeasura did not even 
get second rending; instead, a govemi^ient bill vrhi^ did not provide 
either of these fefltur«e was Introduced. 'Alien this vcs attaOkiNl by 
bot^h Liberal end Labour critics* Uie goveraTusit decided to withdraw 
it entirely. (20> 

It was not surprising* thon, that the ntsm adninistrotion should 
introduce legislation to loplaaent their argLUsent of the year before. 
On Marc^ 26, the Koae Secretary, Herbert Qladatono, introduced a nos 
9oiic?an's CbaspensBtioa Act. It was not eiaply an stJiending act, since 
*ft new principle is adopted whidi dlfferwitieteo it froia the Act of 
1897* l^at Act excluded all elaseee of woricsen who were not directly 
end expressly included; and it is now propose to reverse this, and 
subject to the definition of a workaen in the Bill, all be included 
who are not expressly excluded.* (21 j Labour spokeaiMn weleoaed on 
act which, according to Q« ii. Barnes, "would to a very large extent 
It the wishes of the Labour Party", (22; althou^^ criticise was 

(19) Hansard. 4th Series, Vol. 142. p. J^. 

(20) Cf, p,"-!- above. Hansard . 4th ^^erles. Vol. 14?, pp. 797-814, 
and Vol. 150, pp. 955-10a«^. 

(21) Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 154, pp. 886-887. Gladstone estloated 
after the Bill passed tiiet coapensaticm boiefits now were ex- 
tended to soioe 6,000,000 workers not before under the Act, rais- 
ing tlie nu:aber of workers eligible for benefits to lj5»000,000. 
( Hanaord. 4th Series, Vol. l67, pp. 695-695.; 

(22; Ibid ., pp. 900-901. 


expresaed that the measure still did not provide for compensation frc»n 
the date of injury and still did allow the practise of "contracting 
oat". (25; 

Vhen the bill was presoited for second reading on April 4, Labour 
members again voiced Uieir appreciation and their eriticisoi. J. R. 
Clynes gave the Labour case when he objected to the low scale of 
coTipensetion provided (50 per cent of the weekly «age>, to the exclusion 
of clerks and domestic servants in the words of the bill* and to the 
initial seven-day period of non-payment of benefits. (24 j Botii 
viladstone and Herbert Saiouel, the Under Secretaryi gave assurence that 
every consideraticsi would be givmi to such criticisms and asked the 
aeiiibers '*to assist to fr&ne e aier^sure idiich would be thoroughly satio- 
factory". (25; Once again the adjainistration had openly expressed its 
willingness to entertain Labour suggestions* and once again had by 
inipliestion at leasts given tacit consent to its supporters to vote on 
the merits of t^iosc suggestions. 

An interesting indication of things to come followed the moving 
of an amendment by wir Charles Dilke, who was, during the debates on 
this meaBure as in those on the Trade Disputes Act, virtually one ;aor© 
Labour member. His B»a«idment echoed sentiments which he had expressed 
in the debate on first reading, (26; by calling for a recogiition and 

i23) Ibid ., p. 901, (Barnes), p. 911, (S. Edwards;, p. 955. ( J.^. Wilson; 

(2A} Hansard, Ath Series, Vol. 155, pp. 1205-1205, 

(25; Ibid ., pp. 1216-1217 (Samuel). Gladstone had earlier oiiered a 
committee stage "to consider upon their merits, suggestions as 
they arise". ( Ibid ., p. 57^.; 

(26; Hansard, Ath Series, Vol, 154, pp. 906-907. A scheme of national 
insurance, he claimed, was the only way "to attack the root of 
the whole question". 


^arsntee of Insurance. (27; Oledetone agreed that the principle of 
cn^pulaory insurance vas "« principle which we beliove io the rl^^t 
ona, and ttuet as soon ae practieoble be adopted." (28; Since such 
a proaiae waa all that Dllke could hope for in a diaouaslcn of a 
ooapeneBtlon act* he withdrew hla ttaendnent. 

The bill was referred to the Standing Ooramittee on Lem on April 
10; (29) when it van reported buck to the Houao, the CSoTemmant woa 
ready to make aoo» ^sngoa. The troublosome quention of the time at 
rtildi caapiMiaation benefits a.^iould coaaencc. Has settled by Ciledotone'a 
otm Kaendoent fixing the period of ncwt-payaont aa seven daya froia the 
date of the accident* but adding the furtiier provi8ic« that after a 
period of fourtewt days of dieabillty, t^je oouponaation would then 
revert to the dpte of the injury, (J)} 

Another aaaandaent proposed by the Home Secretary would have legal- 
ized the situaticm In irtiic* a worker who was partially disabled by 
reason of infiralty or old age mi^t ooatrcct with hie eaployor to 
accept, in the event of injury, • eeale of oompflnaatltxi lower than that 
set out in the Act. (?l; Both 3ames and Hardie opposed such a niove. 

(27) Hmsard . 4th Series, Vol. 155, p. 555. 

(28) Ibid. , p. 541. 

(29) Ibid., p. 1217. 

(JO) Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. I66, p. 557. In the Standing Comaittoe 
the period had been lowered to t^trce days. F. L. Jmitti, the 
leaider of the Conservative opposition, clai-aed that Gledetone'a 
proposal was *an arrengaaent between the Govemaent and tiie 
Labour Party* - which It fairly obvl^xialy was. ( Ibid ., p. 3^1.) 

(51) Ibid. , pp. 1242-12*5. 



and on divisioa were able to win the support ot enough L.iberal8 to 
defeat the proposal by a vote of 21 1-1 55. (52j Da the other hand, 
an &'&endraent to include doaiestic servants in the .^ct received stronjj^ 
support froa Labour apokeeaen and froa the rrima ilinioter hi.aself , 
and the aaeadrnont was embodied in the act. (JJy 

An aaendiiient was proposed by John i'.ard ahich would have 
eliailaated the practice of "contracting out" (i.e... workers agreeing 
to accept an insurance sohouie instead of co2ip«isotiun>, but on 
division was defeated 244-199. (54^ f-n earlier astendaent from ::.tephen 
V^alsh that «4iere a workssn did "contract out" to on insurance Bc^ienie, 
he would still be guerantead the ainiaua scale provided lor tne 
ooaponsation scheae, was accepted by Gladstone who promised to in- 
corporate euoi) a provisi(OT. Another Labour aaondrnent was proposed by 
Kelr Hardie; he aoved to brin^ lllegitiaiate children under the Act 
either as depandonts of tiie woricnan involved, or as workaen clairaLri^ 
for parents or grand perajits. Aitboua^ Conaervctive opposition on 
grounds ox aorality was strongly voiced, on division Bardie's a:«nd- 
aient wan accepted. 25i«-77« C55/ 

A mu^ 3ore importeat change was proposed by Qharles uasteraan 
and supported strcxigly by Barnes, Clynes and Shackleton. His pro- 
posal was to include for purposes of Uie act, all diseases resulting 

(52; Ibid . . p. 1250. Cajpbell-Banneraen, Lloyd George, Thoaas Shaw 
and Augustine Birrell were cabinet alnistors who voted s^jainst 
the a-aendracnt, witli Asquith, fioldane, air '-dward Grey and the 
Attorney C3«ieral all supporting Gladstone. Tone of the pro- 
posed aaondiaents were treated as party or ^ovenxBant proposals. 

(55/ Ibid ., p. 1059. Casnpbell-Banneraan's speeds is on pp. 1057-1058. 
(54) Ibid., pp. 818-819. iiir Leo GJiiozza i.ioney, Sidney i3uxton and 

ajarloe -iasteraan were among ttte Liberelo who voted for the 

Labour proposal. 

(55/ Ibid., p. 1216. 


troa the worker's participation In a perticul«r trade or procoBS. Six 
•o-called industrial diaeeaea were already Included in the .^ct, but 
itesteraan and hla Labour eztd Liberal aupportera aaked for a much nore 
eweeping provision. (56} The Under Secretftry explained that the 
aehadule of industrial diseesea aa It appeared in the bill wne aioply 
a provisional schedule aad could be altered by rrovisional Order, but 
Shackleton and other Labour aen considered such a aethod both alow and 
cluraay. Finally the Hooms Secretary agreed to amend th^blll to empower 
his office with the ri^t to add to the adiedule as proof was adduced 
that ea^ addition could properly be claeeed aa en occtipational 
hazard. (57> 

Ahen the bill eooie up for third reading on Oeceaiber 15, then. It 
was greatly i:s>dified , tead aany of the oodifientima had been oade 
eltJier or the initiative of Labour saeabere or aa a result of Labour 
agitation. The Government had shom on this matter, as it mae to ehom 
on others during I906 and 1907, e desire to treat questions of social 
rofora as non-party que^tioiiB* to invite co-operation in the setter of 
deviaing the best caethod to reach an agreed result, and to refrain 
froa Insisting upon unqualified aupport ev«i froa Ita own eououa 
flwmbero. the result of all thla was to eschasize a situation already 
pecsiUarly adventageoua to the winning of concesolons by the aembers 
of the Labour Party. 

^56 > Ibid., pp. 985-lOOe. 

(57; Ibid., pp. IGI7-IO2O. The as»nded eectlon went to a division 

where c»ly XJae Conaervctives voted againat it on the ground that 
it was an unwarranted aooreti<m of the powers of the nocae 
Secretary, v lbid . , p . 10?^ . , 


Tbe Lib«ral Dttltude fttie perhaps best declared by Llo/d Cieorge 
In bis epeech oa the Introduction of tlie ;£erohflat Shipping /ct on 
^areh 20, 19u6. fie spoke of the n^^eseity or ooae eueh legislation 
to aake the Board of Trede rules re losding and aalety devices 
operative oo foreign shipping in British harbours, to rooedy apparent 
deficiwicies in those regaletione and to ot&lce i'urther provision for 
the health sxid aellobeing of British aeemen. £one of these Liatters, 
he said, oould be regarded aa controversial; ttie uovortKneat was only 
anxious to find the best possible ioeans of achieving the purposes of 
the Act» and would be villing to entertain any suggostiona of Laprove> 
aent< C58, (ieorsc ifyndhaca voiced tiie scorn of tiie Conservative 
opposition at such ctethodsi he wondered why the bill did not exclude 
foreign sssraen frcn sarviee on ^itish eblp8« and suggested that 
probebly such legislation would eoau in another year or two» "when 
the education of the rl^t hcmajrable G^itlecian has proceeded at the 
hands of the Labour Party." C!S9) 

Labour apokesoen welcoaed tiio appearance oH the bill end proceeded 
to take bloyd Georjie at his word by :aovlng a scries of esMidaents on 
•eoond reading. Ravaloek iTilson of the Liberal Labour £ra*p sponsored 
one aucii chcsnge to call for sliallur regjilations for Lascars and whites 
on British ships, but his aaendtaent was defeated. (40y An aasndaent 
frOQ i^illiaa Brace to make certain technical ehangea in the matter of 

(3^3, I-'anaard. 4th Series, Vol. 154, p. 257. 

(59> Ibid. , p. 254. 

(40) Hansard. 4th Series, Vol. l65, p. 175. 


«MqMtin£ ship tonnage for purpoaee of doek dues drew a procsdse of 
a aoparate bill the next year to caeet his ease. (4l ; Another 
Labour Party meaber proposed a clause to require every ahlp of over 
2.00Q ions to carry a eertifieeted ship's carpenter end dr«>r a 
pr«alse of Investigation, end of Board of Trade action if audi 
investigation ahowfx! this provision to be necessary to prevent 
accident or loss of life. (4?y 

"nie bill irtiich CRiBe up for third read)jig had not been so radically 
altered by Leboiar efforts as had the OoBpenaatian Act; bat the whole 
conduct of the laesaure gave point to the Gonservative claims that the 
Government eea going (Kit of ita eey to meet the iriahes of the i<8bour 
aesbers and w&s encoura^^g even Its l>iberal sjpportors to vote on 
non-p&rty siatters irith Uie Labour section* The mcaoare which provoksd 
the loudest chorus of such charges iras of course the Trade Disputes 
Aot of 1906. 

Ftoversal of the Taff ¥ele decision taad the provision of legal 
security for trade union activities had beon set as the most iaportant 
and aost ivaediate objective of the Labour Tarty in i^'erliaaent in 
1906. Labcur Party bills had already been introduced into the house 
to adiieve that purpose, (4^^ but the late vjoveroiaent had refused to 
•ot until the Report of the Royal Consaiasion on Trede Disputes could 
be eosapleted end studied. Thot report had no« been coapleted; its 

(4l, Ibid. , pp. 27S-262. 
(42. Ibid ., p. 291- 
(45y Seep, i"" obove. 


reeoBEiendationB wore for lemediate steps to clarify the existing legal 
eltuatl<»i; and there was no longor any reascm to delay action. 

One of the Labour acoberB, Vtalter iaideon, ves fortunate enou^ to 
secure a favourable positicxi in the ballot for private oeabers' bills, 
so that it was possible for the Party to gets its proposed bill intro- 
duced for first reading on February 22. (V» ; i>econd reading of the 
Labour tnrty bill, entitled the Trades Jaions and Ircde Disputes Bill, 
was put down for Uar^ %i, Ae presented to the liouse it wss aloost a 
faosiaile of the bill whid) David Shaokleton had introduced Uie year 
before, providing for ttte aaendsient of the law of oonapiraoy to legal- 
ise peateeful picketing, of the lav of conspiracy to rceke no action of 
a trade union in a trade dispute actionable at law unless it was 1 lice- 
wise actionable if done by one person, md providing also for protection 
for trade union i'unde by asking such funds Litoune froa euit. The 
Leibour 3111 bore the naaes ol' scsae oeEabers outside the Party itself, 
notably those of Sir Charles r>ilto and Oharlea l*enKiok, and had been 
proEflised, during the election oa^apal^, the support of many laore 
Liberal aesbers. 

Two days before the Labour Sill caoe up for second reading, a 
Oovem.'swit aoasure, the Trade Disputes /ect, was introduced by the 
Attorney-General. In his speech on proposal, »altan emphasized the 
fact that his aetasure hod the stsgae purpose as that of the Labour 
Party - to reveroo the Teff Vale decision - and expressed the opinion 

(M; Hansard . 4th Serite, Vol. 152, p. ^2k. 


that the Goremaent oeeaure vaa alscply onother» sad In hla apinion, 
a better vmy of achieving that end. WA3; His aeaaure propoaed to 
legalize peacelful picketing* to re-^ovo the liability at law for trade 
union i/iterlor<wice throu^ 8tri>ce action with the busineaa or trade 
of an eaployer, and to prohibit actiona of tort againat trade union 
Avida except when the tortious act wea cosLoitted by (si authorized 
agent of the union, FundacuKitel ly the difforcace between tiie two 
awaaurea ley in their trsataent of the question of union aoourity 
againat suit for damagea • the Labour Bill celling for complete 
icsaunity, the Government ateasure for iriiunity except in eases where 
the law of agtxit could be hold to apply. 

^ib&'A the Uebour 3ill ea::ae up for seeond reading* U^en, an alter- 
nat-ire Govenxaont proposal was already befoi>e ttie fLouae. In spite of 
this fect» Liberal 3}e3bei*a on the back benchec ro&o to support the 
bill. The Liberal ^P. for Plyt&out^ ex;>lained this ratl~>er remarkable 
fact. "l<ine-teaths of the h<xiaurable ^^essbere of his .Liberal] side 
of the Kouae"* he oeid* "were steeped to tlie eyee in pledges to vote 
for the Bill." (46 > riven tlie Attomey-Jenoral hiseelf* according 
to ielr Hardle, had publicly announced his intention to support the 
Labour Bill. {^7/ Finally the Prlae -Ainlater rose to give a lead 
througli a rather delicate situation, "^y advice to Uie House," he 
said, "is to pass the Second Reeding of this Bill." Aa for the 

(45) Hanaerd. 4th taeries. Vol. 154, pp. 1295-1511. 
(46/ Hansard. 4th Series, Vol. 155, p. 45. 
(47; Ibid ., p. 48. 


easential differoice between It and the Oovemaent aeasure, he "con- 
fidently expected that It aay have been found poseible before further 
progrese ia asade in the flatter, to adjust the differenoea that exist.* (48^ 

The Coneervetive opposition of coiree made autit pla/ with the 
alleged Goverrvaent CRpitule*,ion. George <^^dhan called its action 
•cowardly surrender", and coapared the Attom^-Oeneral'e epaech two 
days before with that which Ceabell- Bennernian had just oede. The 
babour Party» he said, *i» not only in damrsB of this Bill, but of the 
flovommant ea well," {k9) f, S. Saito ecc'J3«d the edaiinistration of 
wipportlng the taeasure against their better judae^ent, end oongratiiietad 
the meiaber for Merthyr Tydvll on his "capture of the Front Benches." (50 y 
Sudi charges, of course, did not niter the facta of the situation; on 
eecaod reeding the Labour Bill passed by a vote of 4l6 to 66, with oil 
the Liberals and all the Irisii BMRabers voting for it. (51 > 

On April 25 the Uovemsent aeaaure otuae up for its second reading. 
The Solicitor-General, Sir Silliaa ftobsOTi, took char^p of the bill 
because of the illness of t^alton, and explained the \3ovemnjont * a pur- 
pose, the four matters to be oonsidered under the bill were the 
aaend:a«it8 to the law of conspiracy, to the law relating to pioicetiag, 
to the law relating to trade interforene« (not touched in XJne Labour 
Bill) and finally the c^estion of ianuolty froa suit. On all these 

(48; Ibid . . p. 54. 

(49; Ibid ., p. 61. 

(50; Ibid., pp. 27-5^. 

(51; Ibid ., p. 79. 


sattere* he said* "The (k>vemnicnt. .. .do not desire to ignore the 
ei^es of those «ho ere ooat concerned in this setter, end they will 
not i^tore thea.<* CS2; '^uite eleerly the solicitor General was 
indioating his ailling^esa to accept e:.sendaeiits desired to bring 
thd eovemoent bill into line with thot proposed by the Laboar i^arty. 
Indeed, a Cousenratdvo oecsber charged that what Hobson mis eaying «aa. 
In efieet* "that the opinions of his majesty's uovenviont on the 
aatter «ere set forth in the Bill, but that they eere ready to alter 
or very theo at the bidding of the honourable laesbers sitting beloe 
the Gangway on tlie opposition side." (SJy Arthur Balfour, nwly 
returned to the Conserve tive benches, called trio whole incident 
"unoxaapled in Parliamentary procedure *. (54; 

In the eo:3aittee stage Uie invitation to suboit srnsndments was 
tteoepted an all sides. Conaervetive soendzaaite were quiolcly nogetlvcd, 
aa was one moved by Sir Charles Dilka whidi w«ild have struoi: out from 
the clause legalizing pidcoting the qualification thct such pioketing 
oust be carried on "peaceably snd in a reasonable manner^* (36; 
Another aoendmeat aoved by the stsae seaber served to eosphaaize the 
rather peculiar situaticHi in which the Govemiomt was placed* dike's 
VMKxdaeQt to reader a pioiceting woi^asan ioaune froa action under %iie 
lam of ouiaffitiee received the unanijBous support of the Labour iseinbers 
end of Q nuiaber of Liberal back ben^ters as well, in spite of the fact 

(52/ Ibid., p. 1495. 

(55, Ibid., p. 1496. 

(^/ Ibid., p. 1528. 

(55; Heneard. 4th Series, Vol. l62, p. I65I. 


that aooordlng to £eir Hardie, the Liberal Aliip urged tbea not to vote 
for the mwandsaeat, and threatened that if it passed the ilovemuent 
aould not proceed with the aweaure. <56 j In eplte o£ this indicction 
of the CioTemnient ' 8 attitude, Uto aiaaadaaat naa ouly narrowly defo&ted 
on division, the vote being 12? opposed to 122 in favour, Obviouely 
the party discipline had not yet ba«i properly inculcetsd in tho new 
Liberal caaabere* 

Other a^sendaenta to the ixovomsMiot aeeeure were store aeoeptablQ« 
including the all-Laportsat raotion by tho Attomey-Ooneral hiokself to 
substitute for the olcuec re protoctloii ox uaion lunae froa suit, an 
entirely new secticn prohibiting actions of tort against trade unions 
except in the special cases providad in tlie Tredo Union Act of l671-> 
/tocording to the ntover of the new cicuee, this was Aibstantially w^mt 
the Labour Bill had provided for* (57) Ihe afosoge vas approved by a 
vote of 257 to 29» with only CwiBervativoe opposing. v58y 

When the Trade Uleputes Act wa<* finally drafted, it had under £;one 
faodifioeticns thst umde It easisatielly the ssae oeesure as the Labour 
Party had errlier proposed. Further aoandasnts to eliainate the clause 
relating to iaaunity froa suit were defeated in toe import sta^ie, and 
the sieasure went to its third reading on iioveaber 9. Tl'O Conservative 
attack shifted in Uie final stages froia eritieisa of the laoasure itself 
to oriticisa of the Goverrvaent policy in hswdling it. V. ^-, Salth 
mde play with the speeches of both .Asquith end haldene, who had in 

(56; Ibid. , p. 1661. 
(57; Ibid., p. 1750. 
(58; Ibid ., p. 17*7. -^oat of the Cooservntivee walked out soon after, 

following aalfoar's declaration thet the proceeding of the 

eo-7aittee were "farcical". ( Ibid ., p. IJ^*) 


1905 expreafled tbeir op^ositi^ to the sult-l nurilty feature of the Labour 
Bill, end both mea had to reply, rather weekly, that while they etlll 
felt that the original Govem-sent method «sa the better, tiiey llkeeiae 
believed the end-result was the important thing. ^59/ "Sreryono knew • 
aeid Saiith, "that the clause [aaking unions imrxine fros suit] had been 
saeaded at the suggestion of, and under pressure fro?a, the honourable 
.'enbera below the Qangway". (60; Jne Tory laember expreeaed the 
opinion that the Labour saobers could go back to their eonstituencioa 
and say, "i^e are tlie taen who have coerced His Uejesty'a Oovem'-ient and 
have pulled the strlnga end aade the puppata dance to the tune we 
Celled* , (61/ while another eaid that "the Qoveratsent in the bands of 
the honourable Meaber for lAerthyr Tydvil was es eley in the handa of a 
potter". (6?, The Conservative criticises, and the continued atteapte 
to elL-ainate by amendrasnt the cbjeetionable olause, or failing tiiat 
to lialt the life of the bill to «i experimental period of fiwe years, ^^Jy 
••ented to foreshador a grla reception for the bill in the Lords. In 
the debet© on the ttiird reading, however, a speech by Balfour was of 
a ouoh fflore conciliatory tone - npparently the decision had already 
b«sn sade to accept the Trede Disputes Act. Undoubtedly this act had 

(59) Rensard, 4th Series, Vol. I65, pp. l567-1569,(A8quith; and pp. 

1571-157^, (i^oldanej. 

(60; Ibid., p. 1456, 

(61) Hans^d. 4th Series, Vol. 164, p. I60. 

(62) Lfeld., p. 219. 

(65) Han sard. 4th ^ries. Vol, I65, p. 1359. 


populer support; that. Indeed, is the only explanation of the tactic* 
of both Govemaent and privete Liberal maabers, end it waa obviously 
neeessery for the QonoorTative opposition to find another and more 
defensible ground for its grand battle wlUi the Liberal House of 
Coataone. On Deomber 21, then, the new Trade Idoputea Bill beoaae law. 

Undoubtedly the Tory esticsate of the Influwioo of the Labixir Party 
in securing this goal was greatly exaggerated. /Xter ell, the uoveru- 
aent was ooniBiittad to a reversal of the Taff Vale decieicm, and the 
difference of opinion between Government and Labour spoke&aen was 
really a difiorence only as to the aethod to be employed. Bat the 
feet resained that It was essentially the Labour proposal i^ich wais 
finally adopted. The paesage of the Trade Diaputea /'^t eeeoied to be 
not only a Parlistaentary victory for the Labour i^urty, but a sweeping 
justification for the cleia of that fierty that all Labour deuiwids 
ai^t be won by the sosie ocothod of political oction and by the saue 
agency - that of the Labour Party in ?arli«3^xt. 

At the end of the first year of its life as an effective 
ParllssBentary force, the Labour ?erty could point to a considerable 
aohioveneat* In addition to those oeesures already disctaaed, the 
Party had introduced a bill to aaend the Aliens fjot in such manner 
as to forbid the iinportation of foreig^i woricaen under contract to 
take the place of British workers during a trade dispute. (64> The 

(64; tlardie had jaovad a siiailer emsndiaent the year before, when the 
Aliens Aet was being discussed, and had seen his axendoent 
defeated 215-144 on Second Reading CHaqsard, 4th Series, Vol. 
l49, p. 151 > and by a vote of PJO-ldJ in Comnlttee. ( Ibid ., 
p. 921 y. In both cases. Liberals supported his proposal. 


Labour bill ana Introduced by Jmbob O^Orady on March 21, (65; end got 
Its third reeding on '^^ 6 wiUiout debate, division or aaiandaent {66 j 
afhen the bill went to the Lords for second reading on JSay 17, it wea 
atlll virtually a "ahlte bill". Liberal peore appealed for a fair 
hearing for the bill, and the Lord Privy Seel protested agelnst what 
looked to hia like a Tory plan of action - *ho opposition to the Bill 
in the Ooa-rons, and trust to the Lordo to throw it out." {67, Jn the 
ground that ttie Oovemaeait had never Indicated its policy regarding 
the bill, and influenced by « very atrcwig attack by the .iurquees of 
LansdoTKie, tlie Lorile rofaeed to proceed with the aeoaure. In the 
House of Oixx'one on the motion to adjourn on ^^ay 17» (68; Keir nardle 
aaked for en HBeureieo by the Govemaont, but wee refused. (69 J 
Cas^jbell-Banrieraan later oxpreefled to toe House his indication at 
the Lords action - to hia it was *aXl of a piece" miiii their action 
in vetoing the Plural Votlti.T Act - but made it clear that the Labour 
ikoaKire was no* involved in t^e whole gfneral question of dealing 
with the power of the House of Lords. {fD ) 

"H^e eeseions of IS>06 were fruitful I ones as viewed through Labour 
iqrea - in fact this was by far the beet year of party oxiatesiee during 
the period under ccaiaideratiai. The trecoendoua publicity attendant 

(65y Kenea rd, 4th Series, Vol. 154, p. 596. 

{66, Hnnaerd , 4th Series, Vol. 156, p. 1288. 

(67; K^aard. 4th Series, Vol. 157, ?• 605. 

(68) Hardie and Crooks had listened to tJie Lords debate that aTtemoon. 

{69 J Ibid., pp. 73?- 744. 

{JO J Ibid ., p. 943. 


upon the eppeerence of the Labour x^arty in tbe iStxaaone, the pre- 
election pledgee of botli Liberal and Laiwur oandiuatee, tiue apparent 
idoitJty of Ixsediate aims, the inexperience of the majority of the 
•eobere* and their tendency to bolt the party lines on oocaeion - 
all theae factors combined to laake the whole picture of acooaplish- 
aent a eatleiying one for Labour politlciana. 

In 19C»7 and 1^06 the eituaticsa begm to change, however. The 
issues on which pledges end aiaa mere virtually identical es between 
Liberal and Labour more now dealt with; with the first fine flush of 
IhiQWiitarian indi@:ietion fading* s greet number of Liberal a&abers 
once laore recalled their fear of the "social ietic elea«jt" in the 
Labour i-arty* and wltri the assursptlon in 190d of the leadership by 
Asquith and the office of Chief Trnip by the .iaeter of EllbonJc, it 
beceso much leas easy to woo private members from their party 
affllletion. <%ith the constitutional issue now clearly before the 
House of Casbaone* and with a upeooii fron the Hirone suggesting that 
so-ae action would be taken in 19^^? cm tkie "serious dii'iorenoea" 
which had Bris«i betve«a the two Uouaea, (T^y there was at least 
apparent grounds for lialfour'e rejoinder ttiot "social refom waa 
now goljag to be shelved" in order to "oHJdify the conatitution'', (72j 
A Conaervetive afflendflieat to the address in reply* regretting that 
"social legislation... .should be postponed for the purpose of 
effecting revolutionary ehsngea in t^he powers exercised by 

(71; H ansard. 4th Series, Vol. I69.?p. >-4. 
(72. Ibid. , p. 67. 


Parliaawnt over too affairs of the United Kingdoo", saw Lebour mmbere 

joining with aovsminant supporters In opposition. Out the i^arty left 

no doubt as to tiie reason for its aotlon when Hardie in his speech In 

the clobG^e d«aar«ied to knov what had beoooe of the proraise oi national 

ineursnoe laplled during the Conpensation Act debates, what of the 

prooiae to extend the Provision of iieala Act to Scotland, and what of 

the obviois necessity of dealing with the questions of old ugo pensions 

and of uneoploynent. Be ayapathieed with the (iovem'^ent in its "tussle 

with another place"*, but appealed for "a truce of God in regard to all 

social reform touching the cocvaon people*. (74 y (ieorge Barnes th«i 

taoTod tiie Labour eaendaent expreesing regret that no mention had been 

■ade of ''adequate pensions for the agsd poor"*. (7?; 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer hastened "in the nsse oi° the 

Qovemaieat to say that we are in entire syapatiiy with the objects 

which the honourable Gintleoon has so well described"* but went on to 

strees the tsagnitude and the intricacy of the problem. He praaised, 

however, on the budget caneidereti^xi to exanine the possibility of 

using 8o.-3e part of the expected surplus for the purpose called for 

in the amendment. (7^; In this proalse he was backed up by John 

Bums, the Presidwit of the Local Government lioard. (77/ *^ith this 

assurance aooe at least of tiie Labour aen were c«itent; although the 

(7? J Ibid., p. 571. Hie aoendaent, proposed by Earl Percy, was 
defeated 57^111. 

(7A; Ibid., pp. 104-111. 

(75; Ibid ., p. 216. 

(76; Ibid., p. 226. 

(77; Ibid., p. 258. 


Torles forced a divieion* Semes, Heoderson, ^aoISonald arul oioat of the 
others refrained froa voting. The aore iBlUtaat of the I. L, P, 
asabers - Snowden, 'Grady, Joeett aod Suaaaerboli - with 4111 Thome 
followed the Conservatives in voting for the proposed agaeaAaent. C78; 

Shan the budget e«ae down, there »g6 en estiatated surplus of 
ec»e 2'; aiUiooSy and this Asquith suggested :alg^t be used as a 
mioleus for a sdieae of old age pensions Li 1908. (79/ Such action 
oi^t be interpreted as one more Liberal oonoession to Uabour demands; 
certainly in the lig^t of Barnes' esoadiaent* and of the tootioa by 
Jaoas r)*Orady in the previous session re the necessity of pensions, (80) 
the part which Labour had played seeaed e large one. In fact* of 
course the long csApaiga In favour of a attiesae of old age pensiooa 
•hioh now aeeBied about to bear fruit, owed as mich to Joseph ChsEsberlain, 
Charlee Oooth* George Cadtury^ «. T, Stead tsai to pubiio-spirited 
individuals of all political parties, as it did to organized uabour 

Other Labour efforts during the I9u7 seas ion were directed to 
•eouring the passage of a measure Buying coispulsory the provision of 
Miala to needy oet.OQl children, but without success* A Wagea Board 
Bill providing for minimura wage standards in certain sweated 
industries, introduced by a group of private aetabero including 
Dilke, aUtBtetaafR snd Oiiosza isiaMy, received Labour support but failed 

(76; Ibid ., p. 267. The vote was 213-65. 

(??; kaneard. Ath Series, Vol. l69» p. 225. 

(80 j haoaard . 4tli leries. Vol. 155, P- l^^- '• l«wiS suceession of 
Liberals spolce in favour of O'arady's aotion, and then Asquith 
rose to approve the principle but to recall the aeeessity of 
■finding the asoney". The resolution passed without division. 
It is ay sJMae Xiiat CSiarles Siasterae/i was describing this 
debate in the passar^e quoted above, p. 


to s^t second reading. (8l) a Coal Mines (8 Hours; Bill was intro- 
duced by Ste^jen Walsh and reoeived the support of prectically all of 
the Trade Unlai Group. The arasure had second rcftding (82; and was 
referred to the Standing sioariittee on Trade. the Soastittee 

reported, it was with the finding that there was ineafficlent evidence 
on «hicfa to consider the aeaeure, and bj' thia novel procedure, debute 
on the bill was brou^it to an end. (85> ^nly a little .^or-, oiioure^:- 
ing was the reception given to a Seeated Industries Bill introduced 
by Arthur P.enderson on Februcry 15. This measure went to second 
reading and vae then referred to a sslect cocjtnittee appointed to secure 
evidence. Ko action, however, was promised by the Ooveiuaent. (84; 

The Porllaaentary Labour Party, thexi, had a much less iapreoaive 
record of achievement in 1907, In feet, except for the debatable 
clais that it was Labour effort whiclj had finally brought action on 
the^old age poiaions mafcter , there was practically nothing of which to 
boaet. The sins of the Govemrasnt in regard to Labour proposals were, 
of course, largely sins of oaiiasion, of neglect to provide time end 
fecilitiee for consideration of those proix>sel8, end toy resulting 
divergence between the Qovemnent and its Labour supporters was 
partielly offset by the desire of both to tedcle the constitutional 

(81 j Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 169, p. 4l9. 

(82 j nanaar d. 4th Series, Vol. 169, p. 420. 

(85; Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. 172, p. 14^6. 

(84, Ibid., p. 559. 


questlaa. The i'aot roeiaine* however, that for sane Labour oesibers, 
•oae at least of the splendid confidence of 1906 ««• now lost, and 
that sense of dloillusionaent was reflected at pnrty gatlierings. 

The eessiona of 1908 saw the Old Age Pensions Act introduced. 
Tiudn legislation had by now become the first objective of the i<abo>ar 
Party, but the achane taiiich was introduced by the uoverttaent on iiay 28, 
1908, (85; had grave deficiencies In the eyes of that Party. -' 
special ocHiferenoe in Jwiuary had declared for pensions on a jxoa- 
contributory basis to all over 65 years of a^^e, end to all the physic- 
ally unfit, (66/ - the Govemajant Bill proposed a pension of 5 shillings 
per week to ell over 7^ whose incomee were below the specified level 
of ^26 per year. The Labour Party's views were expressed during the 
debate on the second reading by John iiodge. Labour aeabers, he said, 
were ipiag to vote for the measure, but in caaaittoe were going to 
try to lower the age licilt to 65, to olifainate tlie incoae ILalt, and to 
rejiove the clause disqualifying a recipient of poor relief froa bene- 
fits under the x>oi8icai act. (87; Other spokeacaen echoed the sentifflents 
of Hodge, Khi<* impelled Balfour to refer to thea es "the blessers of 
tlie 3111 who have spent all their ticM criticizing it*. (86; 

Oonservative opposition to the nieseure followed the now foailiar 
pattern of denouncing it ae a socialistic measure and es a cowardly 

(85; H ensord. 4th Series, Vol. 189, p. 1595. 

(86; Hie report of Uils Conferaice appears in the Report of t he 
Mrau&l CcKiference o f the Labour Party. 1^6 , pp. 87-95. 
Cf . Heport of the Mnua l Oan ference of the If I. i-\ . 1»>9 . 
pp. 22-25. 

(87) Hanaer d. Ath Series, Vol. 190, pp. 756-761. 

(88; Ibid., p. 812. 


Burrender to a mlstakeD public outory. Heurold Cox bitterly attacked 
e bill which, without Inquiry into the character of the reclpietit, 
siaply "says that all dnrnkcrds, sifo-deaertors, piopa, procurers and 
originals in the country iwre to get pensions at the expense of 
honest men". (89; His attacks, end those of Lord Robert Cecil, 
brought from Lloyd George the reply that these two men were the new 
"anarchist leaders", and that the Spectator , to which bot^; had 
contributed, was "the official organ of the new snarohiet party which 
has appeared in this House". (90; 

In Uie cooolttae ategs one Tory Baendaent v/as successfully 
pressed - to substitute a sliding scale of benefits for the fixed 
pension of 5 killings per week for ell eligible. (91; Lobour assend- 
nientB on toe iSiole were unsiccessfUl. One, proposed by George Barnes, 
ai-aed to strike out a provision in the Act nhereby a couple living 
together would be eligible to dran, not the full 5 shillings each, 
but 5 Btiillings end 9 pence instead. Althou^^ Reginald ^oSenna at 
first refused to entertain the idea of any audi extension, opinion on 
ell sides of the House was favourable, (9S; sod Lloyd iieorge agreed 
to occept the change. On the more serious zoatter of the age limit, of 
the incosae ILiiitation, end of the disqoalificetion for hnving received 

(69; Ibid ., p. 602. 

(90; Ibid., p. 984. 

(91; Ibid, , p. 1594. The Labour membors opposed and voted against 
this chKige. 

(92; Ibid. , p. 178?, (Kildaay; and p. 1789, (J. v*. stilson;. 


Poor Las relief » Labour eaendnienta were put donn. but the cloaura of 
the debctte fou»d thom still ua^ssved. Will Crooks aecueed Coneervativee 
in general and ^ir : raderiok Baabury in partiajlor of nasting tiae on. 
''frivolcxia ffisendaaente above the Labour Party oaee" in order to have 
the letter ellrsinated by the oloeure rule. (95/ Another of the 
iaportant Labour Party objections - that to the diafranchlaemettt of 
pension recipients - was oet by a Oovcmraent aiaandaient reaoving the 
poasibility of 8u<^ diafronchiaeaent. {9^j 

Aa it passed, then« the Old Age Feoeion ^ct xtoa still largely the 
original Oovorruaeat oeasure; the sost i3^>ortant change in it ves the 
adoption of a sliding aeele of baiefits* and that change ease ae a 
reault of Tory pressure and against the wiehes of Labour aambers. The 
official Labour attitude area that thte Act still required eerioua skaeiid- 
SMato* (99) 

The subject vhieh was noe to take first place on the Labour Party's 
list of eoeial probleaM «aa tliet of uaecsployjent. iXiring the debates 
on the Unsaployed Vortoiea Act of 1905* Uardie* Henderson and Crooks bad 
all expressed tiielr conviction tliat the problea waa one for state 
•gsncies to handle* and during the sessions of 19^6 end 1^7 they had 

(95; Hansard . Ath Series, Vol. 191, p. 899. 

{.9^) Ibid., p. 461. 

(95; The Annual Coaforenee in 1909 carried uiuBiiiaoualy a roaolution 
calling for the members to continue their efforts to reduce the 
age llait to 60, to include tJtose physically disabled, and to 
raax>Te the disqualification froa pension for those receiving 
Poor La* benefits, ( Report of the /snn ual Ckanfere nce of tiie 
l.abour Pegty. 1909 . p. 81. j 


continued to doaand that ?arll«ent should uudertelce that task. (S6j 
airing the aeasion of 1907, Raauay AacDonald Introduced for the first 
time what was to beoone an annual Lalxaar daasu} for a new Uaamployod 
5forka«n Bill - the aoaeure rtiich eowi boeane kaoan aa the Bi^t to 
fiork Bill. (97) i^lntlng out that the 1S05 Act vaa due to lapse in 
any event in 19^8 , MacDoaald called for e govemiawtit plan to ensure 
work for every able-bodied aan who desired it. liis bill, however, 
did not even get second reading. 

Qjrlng the debate on the jreply to the 5Vpeeeh from the Tbrcaie, 
Labour taerabera once nore raised the question of the uneaplayaent 
problem, when iaoI^<j<iald and Gurraii moved an acendtaent to thn reply 
axpreeslng regret "that in view of the distress arising frou lack of 
•aploynent. Your Majesty's advisers have nol seen fit to recoucend any 
legisleticafi dealing with the subject". (98> Liberals like Piokeregill 
and fAasterman opoke with aynpethy of the situatican which proopted the 
■nnndntait, (99 j end Doctor UaeNastara, Psrlifl!r.efitary Secretary to the 
Local Government Board, agreed that eaa e.-aersffiiey did exist, although 
he dissented from the Labour claim that nothing had been done. (lUU; 
Oox and ^iUi £^ave the Tory stand of opposition to the ioandaent 

(96; Hansard. 4th Series, Vol, 169, p. 9^9, ; Crooks >, Vol. 171 » 

p. ie55,(HardleJ, p. 1875, (J. R. Clyneaj, and Vol. 172, p. 9'»9, 
(0' Grady; , 

(97; Hansard. 4th Series, Vol. I77f P- 1446. 

(98; Hansard . 4th Series, Vol. lQ% p. 259. 

(99) Ibid ., pp. 260-265. 

(100) Ibid., pp. 264-367. Pe cited the grants o£ -^200,000 to local 
author! ties in 1907. 


beeeuse "It called upon the Govemaent to do sooethlng which »•• 
certainly ndsohlevous'*, (i.e., to ^larantee the rlf^t to work>. (101> 
The stroogeet opposition was that of Jolm Bums who announced the 
Oovernraent's intention to continue the present Unemployed Korkaao 
Act* wiUi Ita ota^lnery of Local Distress Cootalttees adolnistering 
privately subscribed fonde, at least until the Keport of the ?oor 
Lav Ootamisslon should be sYailable, and in the <3eantiaie to continue 
the practice of grants to local mithoritioa throu£^ his dopartaeat. 
•hen dirisloa was taken, the Labour asiendment was defeated by a vote 
of 195»l46. (102; The el^lficant thing about the vote, of coarse, 
was the fact that the Goremnieat aejority on ttiis divlelon - orie tiiat 
by its nature was on the question of confidence in the ailniatry - 
fell to A9, tiie lowest .'aajorlty It had yet seen, .'nd voting with the 
Labour oeabers <m the issue were the Irish oieaberB, ttio Trade Union 
group, most of the 8>>oaIled Liberal-Labour aeabers, end a scattering 
of strai^t Liberals like Gtilozea 'Aoney end rickersgill. Jbviotjisly 
there was once again to be observed a disturbing tendency on the part 
of soos Liberals to bolt Ute party ranks tm issues an which they 
iai^t have to justify their stand before a working class constituency. 

This disturbing t«idency was eaiphasiz^ when Labour's "Right to 
Sork" Bill was introduced again an February ^, 1906. Lo LoJ^our 
flfeaber haj secured a favourable place in the ballot for privete 
aaabers' bills* so this tiae the measure was introduced by F.W.Wilaon, 

(101; Ibid ., pp. 281-262. 
(102, Ibid ., p. 556. 


the Liberal manber for St. Pancrae. The bill bore the •latiatures of 
Henderson, l^acDonald ani others of the Labour i'arty, of Trade Union 
naaliMV lilce l:aoch Edwards and ■>, C. Steadman, and of severel **atrai£^t* 
Liberals like Percy Alden and iiir Leo Qtiiozsa ioney as well. (lOJ^ 

^hea the second reading was aioved by v.iiaon on .iaroh IJ, he told 
ttie Houee tliat he "had been a good deal criticised In public and in 
private for talcing up this Bill". His justification waa tliat the 
natter wee urgent* that he had to answer to his constituents, and that 
the figures on the divlsioa list on the Lebour ssmnimeat to the reply 
to the Speech froa the fiirone ''cletiriy Indicated a concern end 
anxiety which is not etmfined to eny aeotion of the Hoaao,''Ci04; lie 
Oited Lloyd Jearge's remark on tha Unew5>loyed Worioaen Act of 1905 
lihiciti has already beoa quoted above, and referred to LiKapbell- 
Banner:a«n's speeches, aa juatificetion for hie olaioi thet he brought 
forward thie Bill "aa a oonxlrwd LiberaU". (105> uhoi division was 
taken on his motion for second reading, a nuobor of Liberels, including 
not only those whose naeies appectred on the bill, but Charles lAaateroan, 
Jaaiea Bran(^ aiid lUiaeroua others brcu^t the total in favour to 116. (106y 
The ooobination of Oovenunont forcea plus the Conservative opposition, 
of eourse, eesily defeated the taotion ceid iite House resolved not to 
eatertein the ateasure. 

(105; liansard . Ath Series, Vol. I65, p. 541. 

(IC4} Haneard . 4th Series, Vol. 166, p. 11. 

C1Q5; Ibid ., p. 18. 

(106; Ibid ., p. 94. 


Tho issue wao by no aeena allowed to drop, however. In reply to 
a queation by Hardie on October 21, Asqulth agreed that an eaersoiioy 
situation wcisted and proslsed a day for debate on the question of 
aneaploy.»at. (107> five deya later the proaiaed debate wae held. 
Keir Perdie raored a reaolutlcHi oalllng for lei:;ialatl<Mi at the next 
aeaaion to deal nith the queation on "a permanent basie", (108; and 
vaa mpported by trade union apotceaaMo like 'illllKii Abrab&n. (109 > 
On division t}i@ Koendsent vas defeated, but oooe again Liberal aeabers 
voted against the wovQm:»sat. (110) 

la Jgaueiy of that year, (1908; the Labour Party had held a 
apecial conference and hod drafted a party plan. X^e resolution vhleh 
W88 fizxally athjpted to atate the party attitude called for shortening 
of houra, restriction on ovortlrae> a scdiame of public norsa, end tue 
passage of the 5?i^t to fiork Mil. th(!»rc were protests frcxa the aore 
adlitant aociclist wing that this policy ained to provide a solution 
of the problem 'binder capita lia^, ahereaa In reality under that type of 
econo^c organization thore wea no solution, fiut expediency once 
again won ihe day orer doctrinaire sooialla;:!; an afiend>:)«nit that 
"pending the tranaition to collective ownerahlp the sufferings end 
degeneration of the working class can oaly be palliated", wafl over- 
sfcolalngly defeated, (111; «xd the Rl^t to ivork Bill becerae ttte 
official party policy on unaaplcyaent* 

(107; Hansord. 4th Series, Vol. 191, pp. 1159-1172. 

(108 y Ibid ., p. 1662. 

(109 J Ibid., p. 1751. Abrahaa spoke aa •a aupporter of the Uovemsient 

for tw«ity years . He aald that he hac "never voted o&iXtMt it 

except on soae extreme labour questlonB". 

(110; Ibid ., p. 1774. The vote waa 256-68. Earl 'fiinterton waa the 
best-known of the new supporters of the aotlon. 

(Ill; The vote waa 2IO-I5. i^'^p port of the /n nual Coofere nce of the 
Labour I o r^ y, 1908. Appwidlx 1, p. 9^.) 


Untll 1909 the Labour Party polioiea had had no reaulto as fer as 
leglslatdvo aetioa oa im^sployjioat was eoneemed. It waB fairly obvious 
of course that ecue auob aetioa waa going to be take<u Tl%e bpaeoh froa 
the rhrone In I909 promised "a aeesure for tl-je better orgaaization of 
the labour ioarkat through a ayatea of eo«ordin8ted labour exebangaa* 
witti which other ecl^^eaes for dealing with uneaploy^eat amy subaaqaently 
be eaaooiated''. (IIS) In the debate cm. tho reply, /Arthur Henderson 
voiced tho disappoinboent of Uie I>abour Jtembera with the Inadequacy of 
labour exchaosas aa a aolutloQ for Uie problem end recalled to Aaquith 
his prosise of the preceding October to brtn^ down legislation dealing 
with the "persienftnt causes end canditiona of unsjiployafflit''. (llj; In 
a mxtii soore vehoaont &ttad:» Keir herdle reminded the preaent govern- 
aant that 1^5 had se«a the Liberals go out of ofilce because of their 
failure to toskle socIeI quoations* and that the nee election ai^tt 
provide a sLidlar experi&ice for the /isquith ad^ainietratian. ^likj 
Q. I.. Barnes aoved tho expected tamaiasat, regretting that "the 
proposals for le^jisiatlan tshich lour ilajesty'a advisers have thou^»t fit 
to reeorseaend are altogether Inadequate for dealing effectively either 
■ith the root eauees or the evila arising out of uoeaployajent*. (115; 
&ipport for tho aaMBuiaeat e^te froa Liberal back b^ichera as veil, 
with Sir Leo Chiozza >ioney warning the uoventcoat ttiat "It doee not 

(112) H wsord^ 5th Series, Vol. I, p. l4, 

(115; Ibid ., p. 54. 

(114 j Ibld .,1^. IS3-I86. 

(115; ibid.., p. 96. 


■a«B to a« that thia ie whnt »e were led to expect froo the debates 
whldi took piece in the E^ouee last year". {116 ■ 

Slnstoa Churchill, as President of the Board of Trede and the 
responsible aiinister for the proposed labour exchanges establishment, 
3«de a cancilletory address in whicA he appeded to bot/i Labcxir and 
Liberal dissidents not to prejudge the nw» legislation, nnd stressed 
the fact tiiet t>)0 ne« aat^inery was but one of scverai steps to be 
undertaken by the govemraent. Hie appeal failed to win over all the 
Liberal suprxjrtere, hoTOTor; when the Labrar anendaent went to divisicHi, 
101 votea were cast in its favour, ritii the Cooservetives voting 
eolldly for the uovemcieat. (117/ Intcrent now was centred on two pro- 
posals - the I«boar Sxoi.aagee Bill of the Ooverncont, end the Rigjrit to 
Kork Bill which the iiabour i'arty offered as a taaeh better solution to 
the problecs. 

Ihe Labour Ixchangea Bill wbi^ Winston Churchill introduced into 
the Coiasaons on ''ay 20 C118; woa e aeesure empowering the Boan) of 
to set up loenl exehan£es to reftister unemployed, to receive eaployers' 
requeots for workswi - in £«ierel "to find jobs for oien, and oen for 
jobs". (119y wince bot?i 'ajority end iiinority Reports of the i^oor Law 
Coaniasion had recoajaended euch a^iencies, (12^; there could be little 

(116, I bid . . p. 66, 

(117/ Ibid., p. 196. r^rcy Alden, ». a, Ashley and Arthur Ponsonby 
were «aong those Liberals who troted with the Labour aaabers. The 
vote was 2QS-101 . 

(118; Hansard. 5th Series* Vol. 2, p. 1787. 

(119/ Hansard . 5Ui Series, Vol, 6, p. IO56, ,Gbur<Alll;. 

(120; The Reports were eubiaitted in February of 1909. < Hyiaord . 5th 
Series, Vol. 1, p. Ik.) 


objeetion taken by Labour Perty •pokesaaa* and the oieaeure had thair 
cordial aupport. Vhey •ero careful to point out, however, tiiet they 
were eupportlag the oieasure "not cs a remedy for unftnployaent, but 
on tiia ground tfj&t It would iju^-jxy tue neoessory aiecxiiaery tor 
collecting reliable data upon which the iarty could urge iine needs 
of the problem upon the country with greater effect". (121/ 

Two daya before the uabour Kxchaiigea Act wra introduced, two 
Liberal oerabera, Kdward rickersgill and .^ercy Alden, iaorod a reaolution 
calling for legislative action on the una^iqiloytaent problem. Their 
resolution called for steps to "decasualize" caaual labour, to absorb 
earpluB labour, to regjlari za the de<a«id for labour, to develop trade 
union inauranco againat riaka of unesapidyraent, end to eetabliah 
training eolcniea and detention colonies. (122; In the debate on the 
reaolution »inston Churchill did store \i\an outline the Uabour 
&x^anges Act which be planned to introduce - he appealed oa well 
for the aerabers to consider that oieaaure as but part of a ganoral 
aoheae, and promised that the next at«ge in the echeoe would be a 
ayatea of uneaploysent inaurvice, to be considered during the next 
session* In the li^t of aut^ promiaes, Labo'jr r3e.7ibers could do little 
other than "offer a heairty welootae" to the i^ebour j-xchangea laeasure.USJ/ 
Only ainor changes were aade in the bill, which had its third reading 
end passed on July 29« (12^^ 

(I2ly Arthur Henderson, in his address as chairoan at the annual 
conference. (. Report of the Mnual C oaCer eno of the La bour 
x'fl rtv^ 1910 , p. 19. 

(122; Hansard , 5th Series, Vol. 5, p. 48^, 

(125.. Banaard . 5th Seriea, Vol. 6, p. 1004, (J. Pointer;, p, 1049, 

J, ^. Clynes} and p. 106l, C«, Crooks). 

(12*; Uaneard . 5th Series, Vol. 8, p. lAjJ. 


H«d the general election been postponed until the operation of the 
Labour F.xchnngea could have been exaained and Tolued, it la poaaible 
that LabcMT oendidatea aight have had to express thielr dlaeatlai'actioa 
with the aaesuro, for apparesitly the new ^jtchan^es proved tj bo a 
oixed blessing. At the Trade ;.'nion Caasr*S8 of 1910, several 
reaolutiona were offered condccnlng the new offices as "prejudicial 
to trade union inter^ta*. It was charged that tr.ey were becoming 
Krec Labour /^aociationa, and evidence at>8 offered that in sooe oasea 
oireulars were being sent o»at fr^xa the Ljt^angea offering both employ- 
ment and eaployees at leas than union (125; in epite of the 
fact that F/evid i^aekleton defended the new Qia<^ittery. a resolution 
calling for ehengee in its adisinietration was cexried by a vote of 
1,147,003 to 272jOOO. (136 y Similar criticieae were aade at the 
Labour Party oonforonce In 1911, and resolutions were carried 
protesting aijoinst the practice of oany exchangos of sending several 
applioaats to respond to on« call, of supplying labour to an industry 
whoeo regilar workers were on strilca or lockod-out, or of acting 
•laply as "tabulaticai agoncleB". (127; 

To support Uieir oontantion that the Labour Lxohanges Bill would 
not tc^ch "the root cause or evil ccwiditicwtis arising out of uneraploy- 
sient", the tarty once nore offered its F:i^t to aorle Bill. Introduced 

(12!5/3ne case cited was thet of the Torkshire xchange which had 

appealed for workers for the ^kill aid Drsdford woollen (allla 
at the "standard rates" of l?-lA shillings per week. 

(1^) Repo rt o f Trade Union Coogreea . 19W, p, l65. 

(127; Heport 3f th e A mual Conference of thjej L^bgyg r erty^ 1911 » p. 55 
and p. ^. •' suaaory of the work of tlie Labour Lxchorii^eo is 
given in Appendix p uv . Cf. Hill* and Lubin, <i-^<^i^ "'^-^ '- 


on Pebrjsry 19, 1909, by John Kodge, U28y the bill went to second 
reoding on April JO. (129; The debate on the meoaure wea aora 
aorl3onloue than that of the I908 session, nnd Uie bill was dc 
as "absolutely the denial of the rlg^t or private propertj" by one 
Liberal trsde unionist secaber. (150> ^hen the division was taken oa 
the second reeding, once awre aooie Liberal aeabers voted wlUi ^^abour, 
illnere' ond Irish uunbora, but once tnre the bill was rejected. U^ly 

The Labour irerty had already beg^x, too, its caiapaign for 
olalaua wago loglr)latlon, although in t^ie beslnning at least, the 
ea-^pai^ was directed to obtain not a national ainimioi for all labour- 
ing awn, but rathar a oooj^ulsory raising In certain specified trcKiee 
lon^; known to be of the "sweated*' variety. The party had for years 
supported the agitation whirti bad been nroueed in I890 by Mm Report 
of the House of Lords Select Gooaltteo oa Cweeting in Industry, and 
had consistently voted in favour of the oaaaure to guarantee a 
aini3u:a in the sweated trades which Sir C9»ftrles Dilke introduced each 
year aTter it;93 into the House. The Sweated Industrioo Exhibition in 
1906, or^-ani:^ and publicized by %. T. Stead, DUka hitaself , and UiC 
SsAly Sews , served to eaptMaiese the oooditioas which exiatod in 
trades in whic^i ueior^anlzed hosae labourers could be ervi^yed. The 
Trade Boards Act of 1909 was the reaction to this long agitation; 

(128; Hpnsard . 5th Series, Vol. 1, p. 554. 

(129; Ransard . 5th Series, ?oi. 4, p. 6^. 

(150-/ Ibid . . p. 652, (Frederick Baddi8<aij. 

(151) Ibid . . p. TCffl, The vote was 228-115 Hilaire oelloc, Edward 
nokeragill and ^rtfeir Ponaonby were aaoos those who supported 
the sieasure. 


ffllniatis wa4i©a in four inckiatries (the tailoring, laoe makinjj, card- 
board box maklag end bloueo awking trades) aero to be iixod by boards 
sot up by the outtiority of the Board of Trade. (152/ Other induatrias 
tal^t be added to VAb list by action ot the board throa^ a 
Provisional Order, the Labour Forty protested through Ooorge Baxnaa 
t^at su^ addition would be slow and the procedure co^n^lioated if each 
Bddltic»» had to bo ratified by Act of Parilaaent, but hio eaendaent - 
to oapower the Board of Trade to add to the list when proof of saeating 
•as adduced - was defeated by a vote of 77 to 5^. (15?> 

The Trade Boards /.ct, while very liaited in scope, vfas hailed 
with aueh setisfrction by its proponents. J. R. Clynes said that it 
was 'proof of tiie iacroesing sanity of the Hcuee of Ck)aj:3on8", il^ j 
and even the 3orc ullitant I. L, P. called it "in principle es 
acceptable as any seoeare ovor passed into law". (1^; Its passa,^ 
was not, of course, a victor/ for the Labour Party alone, for a gre^t 
nunber of forces had combined to create tiie necessary public pressuroi 
but the i'arty froa 1906 until 1509 had takea charge of Dilke'a 
billj and shared at least in the credit for securing suc^i a aieaaure. 

(1^, Hsnsard . 5th Series, Vol. 2, p. 1787. 

(155/ Kanaar d, 5ih Series, Vol. 7» P» 2^35. TIic Parlleaiontnry ->eo- 
ratery of the Board of Trade edalttod that tlie .-roviaional 
Order procedure was adopted In the CoEmlttee stage because of 
Ctmaervative dejiends, eaad in a govemaant desire to get an 
•agreed" bill, (ibid., p. 245^./ Cf. tlie ©jvomaent reception 
of 681 al.tiost identical rosclution on the iiorkaiCTi's Coapensatloa 
Act of 1906, p.i'*'*' above. 

(13*; Kegise rd, 5th Series, Vol. 4, p. 409. 

(IJ?') Report of the AniBia l Confere n ea of the X. L. ?. . 1910* Report 
of thie K. A. C, p. i9. 


Uemt of the Intercet of the sesaion of 1909 turned on the budget 
proposals of that year. The Labour spokesman In the Coataona aa« In 
Lloyd aeorge'a new soheroes. "featAirea long edvocated" by the Party, 
and gave the Finance Bill tholr ■waroa though qualified support". (136^ 
They approved the grants aade for the purposes of ai'foreotation, for 
roed iniproveaent and for the pro-K>tlarx of dairy farcalng, as partial 
recognltioji of their uneaployaont demands, and approved al^iost 
unroaervedly the new aicthods of taxation vhidti the Chaioellor of the 
Exchequer proposed. (1^7) ^ea the Budget oet its historic defeat in 
the Lords* the conati&atiuoal iasue onco jaore took first place, ^n 
this issue* it is hcrdly aurpriain^ that the Labour i'orty, which had 
its own score to settle with the Lords over the i-lians Bill of 19«^ 
and the Provision of Uoale Act of the a&oe year* ahould take its stand 
beside that of the Libercl jiejorlty. 

In the elcctlofis of 1910 the zeibers of the Labour Party who stood 
again as candidates could point to a fairly Impressive record of 
aohieveaent. They had secured the paaaage of a satisfactory Trade 
Disputes Act* iiiey had proposed and Csrried the bill for the feeding 
of neoeasitous 8(^ool children* they had secired aa e n d a eata to the 
5orksjan*B Cbfapensstlon Act and to the Old Age Pensions Act, and they 
had acted as the chief Parliamentary voice for public agitationa which 
had secured eotic» on unenployaent throu^ the Labour Lxchangea Act 

(1?6; Report o f the Awua l Cor ^ e of the Labour i arty. 191:;> P- 21. 
Cf. Report of t he /toaual r «p» of toe I. L. ixx ikifiL« P* 25- 

(157; Hencard. 5th Seriea, Vol. 6, p. 257. (Sumaorbellj, p. 2^, 


and on the siteated Industrie by the Trade Boards Act. The record 
was Indeed fairly iapreeeive. It «aa osede nuoh sore so* of course, by 
the repeated aaphaale which Conservative spoJceaioen alveye placed upon 
the part whidi the Labour i'erty had played in aecurin^ all these 
neasuroa. The charge which Smith, or Bowlca, or Baabury or Cox usually 
made on all theae iseesurera iraa that they wore "SoclallBtic" , and the 
iafe»-enoo would have been plalii even if they had not drawn it, that 
in its tendency towards these seeaures the uovemateat was being unduly 
influenced by the aocleliata of the Labour Party. Certainly tlie 
repeated Tory barges of "cowardly surrender* on the part of the 
Govsmoent to the socialist influence of Keir Hardie or Hcaeay 
MftcDonald aere exa^gereted, and to eay aa AiSten Chamberlain did in 
debate that the "true euthora" of the 1909 Budget were the aeobers of 
the Labour Party, (I58,' was to do justice neither to thoa nor to 
Lloyd George. The real truth irets probably that the Labour aembera 
were voicing ideas sod aspirations which would in any event have 
influenced the legislators of this period, whether a Labour i-arty 
sat in the House or not; indeed on occasion the tnost effective spokes^ 
aen of those new ideas were froni the Liberal beck benches and not the 
Labour banchea at all* But t^e sessicois of ly06 to iyl^ bb« a great 
deal of legisletion ostensibly in the Interests of the working 
population of Hnglnnd; in the House of Coaimons sat for the first tiJM 
a Party which clalood to represent the working populatlcm of En^and, 
and the go nnectlon between the two facts was an obvious one. 
(158; I bid . , p. 25. 




Th« Labour Party «rtiich aat In Ferlleraant after Docaabar of 1910 
«as e quite different or^^nizatlott frwa that which had clalinod to 
reprment Labour prior to January of that year. The n»at obvioua 
change, hovevor, - its Increase in nuaarical strength - wae probably 
the lecnt si^ificent. The acquisition of the majority of the ainers' 
ai8?3b©r3 , (1; which largely accounted for that increaee, broj^^t into 
the Parlla'ientary Party no individual capable of arxecting very 
seriously the policies and attitudes which It aig^t adopt; with the 
exception of ^"lllisn: Abraham, the ilhandda mectber, idio continued on 
nusterous occasiima to vote rlth his old Liberei as^ociotea, the 
miners* repreaantatlTes in aioet cases provided votee but little elee 
for the Labour ocuse in Parli«3ent. ihieh sore significant, of 
course, was the fact that althoi^ the personnel of the party, with 
additions, ves still virtually the soae, the situation in which that 
party had to operate for the next four years was radically altered. 
A Liberal adniiniatration was still in office - en wliainistratioa 
which had already given evidence of its willin^ess at least to 
eooprociise on Labour deatsnde for social reforcn, end in its pledge to 
tadcle the unmiployoent problem by aesna of national insurance had 

(1) 17 out of the k2 seats won in December, 1910, were moa by 
candidates sponsored by the tf. P. 0. B« 


giwea still greater eeuee for Labour setiefactlon. iiit the length of 
its tenure of office «ea now to be«on occasion at least ,deteruilned by 
the sup]K>rt «hi^ Labour votes gave to its policies* and failure of 
the Labour Pprty to agree sith that adoinlstratlon, or deeision to 
reject in entirety the solutions which it proposed, aigjit ujeon the 
alternative of sfiother Balfour govemaent. The attitude of the 
Conservatlvoa, particularly of the never leaders like F. a, Saith, 
Rarold Cox or Lord Robert Cecil had been consistontiy opposed not 
siraply to the details of the Liberal soheoies for social rofona but to 
the whole principle of State responsibility involvedt and the prospect 
of tliese aea tascing office was suff ieieatly frightening to the leaders 
of the Labour ir'arty to instil in thes en ever-present csution in the 
otttter of insisting upon their independence of attitude in voting 

To a leader of the type of ^ir Hardio* with no personal fcubition 
and a burning i<:H^tienoe at iho lijdtations of operation in the 
Forliaaientary sphere, this r-<>liticei oxxslderation was probably of 
au(^ lees i^portence than it vaa to the nee leadership vrhicii tlie 
Labour Party now followed, during the debates in the Coaaana in the 
earlier years, one notices, it was the "honourable r<eaber from 
Sterthyr Tydvil" 1*0 was usually accused of being the directing hand 
b«*iiad tho party's raaaoouvres. During the debates after 1910, how- 
ever, the referffiicee are taore and aom often to the "honouredjle 
Aember froQ Leicester" - after 1911 :^aeDonald sas tlie titular heed 
of the party as well. (2> 3y 1910 Kardie ehowad the effects of his 

(2) The ParlifCiearitary Party natafSd Rerdie as its firot ohairaan in 
HKjC, iaiackleton as his auecossor in li^T, i^enderoon la. 1<^8 
and 1909, G. .;. Barnes in 1910, ead Raosay UacDonald in I9II. 
Ontil his resigjiation in 191^. the latter was re-elected to 
the post oBJBh year. 


long struggle, his health vae breaking down end he seeoed to reaigp 
hiraaelf to the role of supporter rather than leader. Aa we have 
seen, he gwe hie sanctloa to the new polloiea in the now altuation, 
but it was obviously a aruioticm hesitatingly given «xd unoomfortably 
held - by 1914 he was ready to lend his voice to the olwrus ot 
disaatisfacticn with the state of affairs into which the now leader 
had telcen the Lei>our Party, and was even rsfidy to cut loose fron the 
party tie to follow his own personal path, qb he had done in the 
suffrage issue. Hardie was at his best in denunciation, l&«cDonald in 
aeooaiXKlation. Hardio saw the socialist state as a goal to be fou^t 
for at all tiisea, :<lacrk)nald saw it ao the end of aa evolutionary 
process in which ovon a Liberal goverruaent ai^Jht be mx unconacious 
factor, Hardie 's was probably such the si-jpler and jore direct aind, 
UaelKxtald's the ouch acre co:i3plex and the ouch aore prone to 
raticaialisatioa. Of iilecDsaald's ahare of personal ambition there can 
now be but little doubt, and undrxtbtedly this waa at leasfc one of the 
factors i*ilch led him to favour a policy of collatioration witii the 
Liberal Party, of carefully eonsidaring at all tises the advisability 
of placating the ooor-socialiat trade unionists who aade up so large a 
part of his parliaaeotary following, and of electoral arraogisaMnt 
idion nec^sary to guarantee tliat following. 

In his leadership SitaoDoaald was ably seconded by Arthur lienderson. 
After 1911 the latter succeeded the new leeder aa secretary of the 
Party; to that post he brought a wealth of organizing ^illty end 
orthodox trad© union soitioents which aade him aainently sueoesaful 
in his field, Henderson's inportanoe henceforth lay rather in the 
oaa8tituenoi<» and in the party conferences than in the House, but in 


both places ho «aa looked upon •» m — ibar oi the swderate viag. Of 
soaewhet the seme type vere J. R. Clynes, Oeor^ Baraee and Q. U. 
Hoborts. Like L^acIiDnald they were oieiBbers of the i, 1.. P., but like 
hla too thQjr were sodsliete of the evolatianary, "atep-by-etep" 

ho other loederehlp appeared in the rs&ka of the Labour Party to 
oballffiige that of aaoDonald, Dillip Sooivdeii oight have qualified on 
aony counts; he wea respected and feared for hie qualities of eotarage, 
logic end ineiei?aRess in debate, and he was a consistent advocote of 
forcing the socialist issuoa, of opposing all capitalist ^vemv^^nta 
and scorning all ooE^roolse an party objeotivee* fiut the section of 
the party outaide U>e House irhich ai^t have follosed Saonden in his 
oppositicn to the llacDanedd policy vas the section tr^iicb likeaise was 
incro<|slngly reedy to turn to ixuktstrial aoticxi and to the strike as 
the best aethods of e<»)ieving L«bour ends* and ^nowden was even oore 
scathing in bis denunciation of the "direct actionist" than he was of 
the "social refomer". Respected for his coura^ in facing his own 
physical handicaps, fesred for his acid candour aid prov«i abilities, 
Snowden was still a uuua rather set opart fro3 the factions which 
developed within the party, and still regarded, inside the organization 
as well as outside, as a "dengerous" asn* 

9ith nany voices raised in criticisa, then, but with none to 
•uggiBst en alternative or to lead in opposition, the Labour i^arty 
under the leadership of the moderate men by I9lu had already drifted 
far in the direction whldi was to beeooe so obvious after that date. 


Although the Fflrty still had no progrea other then the yearly statctoent 
of obJeotivoB, th« more logic of thoeo suceesoive stateoonta had 
olrsady braa^t it to the position where it apparently 3tood for certain 
prlxxclplea. 'Hie rl^t of the worker to a job, the rl^t of the a&ed artd 
disabled to security, the rl^t of children to oaintoiKioe and oedical 
care, and the ri^t of all to a minlaLsa living standard, all these 
ri^ta to be maintained by State action - these hod ooiae to be accepted 
as the ainlTwa oloise of the Labt^xr aoveaent. ?he Conscrvf>tive Party 
at least, wJiile far fro^a dffiiying the ri^ts themselves, was still un- 
swervingly opposed to the claia that the State should either proolaio 
or support ther:. Of the Libersle tjiere were sane who were quite ready 
to do both, reco^izing of ccurse at the ssoie ttate the om^ltude of 
the problem, and the time and taaney retjuired to solve it* There were 
others, of catree, in the fjibcral ranks, who were not yet ready to 
accept these allegedly socialist eissertions. Out the Liberal i^prty, 
under urging froo: Lloyd Qeorge, Churel::ili, Qixton and I-iasteriosn, had 
alreody taken steps to provide wor^toen's compensation, old age 
pwislons end a better 8Gsi«ae of relief for the destitute, and if there 
wore eleoerite In the party r^lch olsht balk at further steps - at 
least if token laiaedietely - there S7ere likewise elemonts which ndgjit 
just aa readily rebel If no further steps were tskcn. 

Paced then with the inoaoepeble fact that it would be sckso ti^a 
before the Labour Party could ever hope to secure a Parliaaontory 
aajority of its own, (in 1910 Uie operation of ttic Osborne Judgpaoxt 
•ad the resultant finonclal difficulty of the Party taade this goal 


secm ev«i rxtre reijote), and with tb© obvious neeesslty of utilizing 
the gpod will of one of the established parties in order to aehiere 
their ai:39, the now l(;ader8 of the Labour ::»v«nent seeaed to have oo 
aitemativo to ti.o course whidi they now i';;lloced. If ti:ey iioped for 
reforaia by PBrlieacxitary action, then they auot govern their actions 
by the rules of the Parlieiacffitqry game, \3^ the procedures of the Kouae 
of Coaaons and by ssaaas of the erransKa<»t8 and accoia:jodatiuo8 which 
usually are necessary in a three- or four^perty leaialature. If they 
wished to add to their rcnka at future elections, they xjst avoid 
issues which ai^t see^i obscure to the rank and file trade unionist 
supT)ort whl(^ they ali^ady posseeaed, end oust with equal deterjiination 
avoid iseuee whidi cai^^tt seem dangerous to the diddle class support 
which they dreanied sooiedey of possessing. In the awantiroe, if they 
were to ccmtinue to clairj that alleviation of the workers' lot had 
followed their efiorta, they met keep the I^iberais in and the 
Conscrvetlves out of office. 

A« »e have B9ef%, as early as 1908 Liberal spokesaea had talked of 
the neeeaalty of en insurance sehe^ic to strike at tiie root causes of 
the whole problea of the un«nployed, and Rlnston Churchill in 1909 
had pledged the GovemLient's inteiitioa to inaurrurato such e 9Ci\eiii6» 
The Budget debates, the eonatitutional crisis, the bargain for Irish 
support, the Parliament Act and tiie first step towards Koae Jlilo, had 
all to pass into history before that pledge could be iiorwured. in 
1911, however, tiie Speech froa the Throne prosieod not only meaeurea 
for "aettlins Uie relations between the two Houses", and for extending 


•olf-£ovem-i6nt to Ireland, but for "•eourlng the penaene^it provlaioji 
of Old Age Fonaiona to pereons previously discmllfled by reason of 
the receipt of Poor Relief" end for "providing, lor the iriauronce of 
the iaduatriol population against aieknese and invnlidlty, eiid for 
the iaauranoe against uneaployniQnt of those eogagied in trades 
epecielly liable to it". (Jy 

During Uie debate on the reply to the throne speech, •fames 
O'arady of the I. L, ?, -aoved e resolution e.Tpreesiag regret "that 
specific aafttion had not beaa ia«de of a Sill establishing the rl^t to 
•ork by placing upoa the jtete the responsibility oi directly providing 
umplaytaaat or iaointaacaoe for the gerMine unemployed ' . (A; Such an 
expression vae perhaps expected, in view of the Party's previous 
insistent upon its Rig^t to ^ork Bill, but the Liberal support which 
that zaeneure hod in foraer yoors been able to cleia was not in evidence 
on this occcsion, i£dvsj>d i^ieJcersgill, for exaaplo, said that this 
tin» he would not support the Leliour aove, although he semed that 
•if the (kjvemaent did not proceed to redeea the pledges expressed.... 
by the prescffit Secretary of State for Koae Affairs, then I for one 
shall be happy to revert to cay alllaoce eith the l>abour Pf^rty". C5y 

l^o rede:3ption of ca^urchill's pledge eaiae cm. ^ay 4, 1911» ohen 
the CJiancell or of the Sxoheqjier introduced his bill to provide for 

(5) Hansard . 5t2i ieriee. Vol. 21, pp. A5-^. 

(4) Ibid ., p. 566. 

(5) Ibid., p. 602. 


" insurance against loss of health, and for the prevention and cure of 
slckneae and for Insurance against uaoajployaeat". i6j According to 
Lloyd weorge the bill would apply to about one-sixth of the industrial 
poculetion; it offered to all euyloyed peraona between the ages of 16 
and 70 » wnoae annual WRgo did not exceed £160, a compulsory scheae of 
insurance. The scheae was to be financed by psyaenta which were 
finally fixed as Jd. per week from the employer, 4d. from sach aale 
Insured worker and Jd. fros each insured woaan. The jtate contribution 
was fixed at two-nintha of the total cast, ond voluntary contributors 
ware elao weleo^sed within ttie acheme. (7; Benefits of 7 shillings 
per week nerc g|u»«tranteed to those insured who qualified under the 
systeat of sei'cguards against bod risks which Vie bill contained. 

A nuziber of Labour i-f>rty a;3aadaaatB were proposed to aaice the 
whole plan aore acceptable to the supporters of that party* -i^j^ae of 
these a:i!end.:te'at8 were iiitroducod into the bill aa a result of cott- 
ferences between Labour ropreae.itetives, the Chariosllor and the 
President of the u-^srsi of Trade. (8^ Other changes were proposed 
during cc»siderati<m of tJ'^e bill in cozsuittee and on second reading, 
but with no success. Keir liardie raoved one aoieid^eut to include 
wives of insured workers as also insured, but his proposal found only 
46 supporters, (9/ George Sames utoved to peroit new insurers up to 
the age of fO, but found little aore support, U^> uoorge i^onsbury 

(6j Hensard , 5th Zeries, ?ol. 25, p. 609. 

(7/ 5everidg!», Sir Slllleia, The I'aet md Present of Jne-jployacnt 
Ineuranoe , for a discuss !<»» of the ocheae, 

(8) According to tho Peri iaaentery Repor t to tt»e /<a;mal C onfergnoe 
of^ the Lfibour irrty. li>'lg , p. 29. 

(.9; Henaard, 5th oeries. Vol, 27. p. 1256. The vote was 244-46. 
(10; Ibid. , p. 1275. 


•aw defootod his proposal to aake aedical care £or dopandenta ooe of 
the benefits under the bill, (11; and F.ardle failed to carry his aaend- 
oent to have un^iarrled mothers made eligible for materaity benefits 
if insured. (12; 

All these propoeala were eiaed alaply at extending the benefits 
of Uie act, but changes aore vital to the principles of the bill were 
also suggested* i^ilip Snowden proposed an aaandtaerit covering a cese 
■here a worker othemiee eligible for insurance wos prevsnted froTi 
paying his contribution because of a strike or loci&-out, but his scheae 
■as rejected. (IJ; Eiren aore vital fraa the Labour point of vle« vae 
the aoiaadaent proposed by Jaaes rho:aaS miict. would have elloiineted 
that clause preventing full iasuranoe benefits beintj paid to a worker 
who wee drawing benefits under the Ooapansation Act as well, uabour 
spokesami took their stand on the ground that Mie insuraiee benefit 
wfts being bou^t by the worker, was thus his of rlg^it« and In any ov^it 
even when added to full coapensatlcxi pay sent, still would not equal 
full wa^es to a worker esmlng 2"J shillings or more per week. 
UftcDonald took part In a protracted debnte* warning the oovern-sent 
tJiet "this clause has very nearly brought us to the point where we 
■111 have to c<Ki8idor whether we should continue to support the 3111 
or not". (lAy All the Labour rsetaboro presflnt In the House when the 
division was finally tak«i (at 5,17 a«ai. on July 2u; voted o^^lnst 

(11; Hansar d. Sth ierles. Vol. 28, p. 5^8. 
(12; Ibid ., p. ICA7. 

^ xi; ; xoxc . I p* x<-^ I . 
(15; Ibid ., p. 1179. 

(l4; Ibid ., p. 1255. 


retalning the objectionable olause but other support naa not forth- 
coming. U5> 


The itetlonal Ineurenoe Bill was not Intended, according to Lloyd 
Q«or^» to bo a eoaplete remedy for the whole problem of destitution 
brwig^t about by eickneoo or by un«nployraent. "Before you get e Coi»- 
ploto rezaedy for theae social evils", he said, "you will have to cut 
deeper", Ait, he continued, "It laye bare a good many of theae aocial 
evlla, and forces the state ae a state to pay attention to thacs,* (16; 
31dney ^xton, the trosident of the Board of Trade, in moving the 
second reeding for the bill, wea even rrore explicit. "The idea on 
whidi it Is based", he said. Is that under existing conditions the 
whole burden of sletcnesa, invalidity and uneaployroent over whldrt Uie 
workmen has no eantrol , fails directly with crushing force Ofi the 
individual.... and I think thla iiouso is generalJly agreed that it is 
ti'oe that the eaployer and the StotA eiiould enter into partnership 
with the workingsMsi in order to ailtigate the severity of the burden 
which falls upon hiia". (17) Sir ftifUs Isaacs, ..instfm Churchill end 
.Reginald icKenna were other Cabinet fl^ares who pressed the Bill in 
GosKsone while Lloyd Seorge carried on a eanspaign outalde the house to 
auster eupport in its fevotor araong the general public. (18; 

In the House, ;^eten Chaaberlain gave the principle of the bill 

(15) Ibid ., p. 1242. 

d^-' '^-etiaard , 5th Series, Vol. 25, p. 610. 

(17, Hansard , 5th Series, Vol, 26, p. 270. 

(16) Lloyd George, D., The People ' s Inauronce (2nd ed.j. 


hie blessing es "the foundotioa stooe of a work vhloh e'very perty 
desires to see caJrrled ta a successful conclusion **, and felt that "It 
ou^t not to be aade the subject of party strife". (19) FJanaay 
liacDonald of ierod the thaaica of his group for the stand takea by the 
Govemnaont end offered to ooacur In the Opposition reply, "se support 
jrou In your efforts and agree wlU» your general position. "(2^, 

Tbere was opposition to the Bill* of course, uord Robert jecxi. 
acc^ised Lloyd ij»orsfi of arousing olass hatred by his popular ce^iipal^* 
end other Tory spokesoen voiced the long standing objection to the 
soeialiatie principle of state reaponeibility. The :30st serious 
opposition Res probably, howover, in the country itself, end &-aon£; 
the very people to irtiom Lloyd jeorge was oi'ferinfc "ninepeace for 
fourpence'* ond a "streca of berxeflts**. (21; The weekly contribution, 
aa jPhillp Saowden pointed out, was a serious charge upon the lower- 
paid workerB* elrsady etreijied budget - and the whole machinery of 
insiarance stamps, eligibility tests end conditional benefits perhaps 
^^rvi^ to arouse apprehension in the ainde of people lon^ farAiliar 
with the old-fashioned aethod of f*oor !<ellef. 

One saall group in the House of Ccmaons not only opposed the 
»*ole tiftoeras on principle but carried on a spirited oaapai^^ outside 
the House as well. On the eec(»id reeding, uaorge Lensbury announced 

(19J Hgisard, 5th Series, Vol. 25, pp. 6M-651 . 

(20) H«iaard. 5th ii^eries. Vol. 26, p, 720- 

(21) Lloyd George, T)He Pe o ple's Insurarico , p. 222. The workers * 
reception of the new bill is described In Mien, B. i*.. Sir 
Robert iiorent * PP» ■Z'''^' ^^°- 


hls considered opposition to the whole contributory principle i22j 
vhieh underlay the bill, while in the debate on the financial 
resolution tu provide the funds for the assure, i^illp Bnowden 
delivered an even acre bitter atteoic. His position he xarfe quite 
clear; as a socialist be sew no virtue in a bill which siaply 
"Kiforced thrift^ without recognizing the necessity of the new social 
orsanization in wiilch the solution of the probiei only lay. (2^/ 
His position was directly contradicted by the leader of his Farty. 
Affirming that he spoke "for the wabour Party" # he easerted that, he 
was "la lav'jur of a contribJtory scheme", and tiiat "those of us who 
are confir:2ed socialists are boujid to support" the proposed legis- 
lation. ^2^.' ^'hen the financial resolution went to a division, 
Snowderij Pointer* Rardie, Kalsh, Lansbury and Jowett were among the 
nine aeabers who voted a^ainet it. C25; 

The Labour Party vote was split on a nuaber of occasions during 
the eosKoittee stage on a:aei^daeats dealing wltl^ the scale of benefits 
and of contrlbutlcna, <26} but the major rift was over this vital 
question of the contributory nature of the schooe* finally, when 
U»e National Tnsursnce Act was brought down for its third reading, 
and after iiiacDonald had Indicated his party's problesr, of "choosing 
betwem no legislation at all an the one hand, and legialetian which 

(22; Hansar d. 5th Series, Vol. 27, p. 1252. 

(25; Ibid ., p. 1591- 

(2^> Ibid., p. 1442. 

(25, Ibid ., p. '^>'7 

{26 J E.g. Hansard, 9th aeriea. Vol. 26, p. 118 and p. 557. 


Is only partially setisfactDry on the other hand*, (27; 'Grady 
and Lansbury aovad e six iionths' hoiat for the bill. They got 
support froB the Coneervatiwe benches but little I'roa their oan, and 
tJieir aasendaotit aae negatived ;20-2J>5. ^28; On the final aotion for 
third, B-nong the twenty-one saecabere who voted against tha 
aotion were j'Grady, Laisbury, Jowett, and Snowden of the I. L. P., 
along with Sill Thome of the S. D, F. i29; 

The division in the ranks of the Party in the iiouae, aa wo hpve' 
nlrcady seen, but reflected the aerious division which was now ahow- 
ing in the T. L. P«, in trade union circles end in the L'^bour Party 
Itsoll. The Febinn Society sociuliste wore atron,- In their oppoaitloo 
to the Lloyd Cieorcp Bcherao, mainly because of tl.c ccntrtbutory feature 
In a eoapuleory scheme which was a direct denial of the reeoakaendatione 
of the -.inority Report of the Poor Law Coamission* At t^ie annual 
conference of the i-"erty in 1912, S. Stej^en Sanders, the Fabian 
delegate, cleiraed that 'the introduction of the contributory principle 
into socle 1 i^fora waa a set-back". (JO) ^e •»» supported by other 
socinlists and by trade union taeabera alike, and by q resolution of 
protest ajrainst the Bill and aj^ainst the iarty in the iiouae for not 
offering stlffer opposition to it» MacDooald in s rather flippant 
addr<W8, called V:ie resolution "ploua and non-e<»aaittal", but 

(27 j Hanaard, 5tti Series, Vol. JS, p. Ik*^. 

(28; Ibid ., p. 1521. 

(29/ Ibid ., p. 1550. 

(JO) jgBprt^fJthg^Aigiual Con ference of the Jia bo'-iJr-^ftjrtyA. Iglgj P« 97 « 


following speakers pointed out ti»at it implied a very serious 
criticlBa of the policy of the party in Parliament, particularly 
since it passed the conreronce by a vote of Skl to ^9, (Jl; 

It is hardly surprising thst eixdi a rebuke should have eome 
froa the anoual conTerence, for the Lsbour rarty, the 1, L. P. end 
the Trnde Union Congress had all beoone closely Identified with the 
B^eme of floor l<nw Reforra whidci had bean enaneieted by the ilnorlty 
Report, t^e early as 1905, at a ispeeiol Oonfcrenoe on Uaeaployaent, 
the Labcxir forty had put itself on record as favouring reform of 
the existing Poor La* Syate^^i* At that eonfereaco a resolution pro- 
posed by '.till Creoles (52^ received unaniaous approval for ito claim 
thst relief of able-bodied diotrosa should be a setter for & 
national organization, end that relief for children, for the eiclc 
end the iafira, and for the eged poor, could oost properly be 
hmdled by the appropriate local authorities if grsnted wider powers. 
■hat Crook:s' resolution celled for was in essence "that break-up of 
the Poor um" which aoa-i becanae the objective of that group of Poor 
Um Coiasissioners who were later to produce the fsaious jilnority 

Sith that group of Ftoyal Cocsaissioners - ttiose who si^ed the 
i^inority Heport sero Beatrice f.ebb, ueorge Lansbury, i-rancis H. 
CSieeidlcr and i^lrebendary fUsseii .■.akei'ield, later ijean of :«orwich - 
a nuaiber of other prominent public figures had become Identified, 

(51 y Ibid ., p. 96. 

(52, jjeport of the Annual Oon jCerencc of the L. R. C, 1 &05, 
Appendix 1, p* 68. 


all united by the desire for roor Lew roforai arid all subscribing to 
the «obb plan for the broalc-up of the existing adaiinistratlon. Vihen 
the '.'.Inority ^^ort was finally prosmted In ifebmery of 1909, it 
contained little that had not already been widely and eicilfally 
publicized by the Noticxial Cooa-alttee for the oreek-up of the Poor 
Law, and its successor the riatianal CSoBcalttee for the Prevention of 
Destitution. Its chief reco-xsendation waa for the separation into 
two spheres oi' the worSt of relieving distress which was now in the 
hands of the Boards of Guardians. ')ne phase of the proljle; had to 
do wltli the relief of diatreae amoig tiie able^bodiedj due to uneaploy- 
oent; this problera, the Report concluded, should be in the hsnds of 
a oew ^iinistrv of Labour, witi* separate depart£&«nts of Exehan^ea, 
Insurance, Training, Industrial Re^ilatlons, Stetistica and l&igratlon. 
The proposed Labour Fjtchonges would have the duty of providing aian 
for available jobs, and certain clacsoe of industry would be required 
to recruit their help froi this source. The Insurance anvisafied by 
the yinority Report was a eehoae of voluntary Insurance, with the 
administration In the hands of the appropriate trade union, and sub- 
sidized by state funds. »«o caupulsory Insurance was 8ugi;eeted, under 
the circuzatancea, because such a plsn would encuabor the trade union 
insurance scheaes witlt too aany "bad risks ". As to the second phase 
of the problQ.:: oi' relief, i.e., of the aged, Uie Infira, the sick and 
the children, the Report claiaed that it should be in tiie handa of the 
appropriate loosl authorltiea in health* education, housing, etc. (35/ 

(35, Cf . the wjaaiary In the -^ebba' Snalieh Poo r Law hietory, pp. 690- 


It Is not aurprlains that the ullnorlty ."^aport should have found 
favour In Labour eyeo. It celled for roforj of en ad-ainlDtratlon 
which practically overyono but John Bums agreed waa la need of eoae 
such refora. ^t laid down toe principle of state rosponflifclUty for 
the problea of the uneaployed, and this principle the Labour Party 
wae engaged now in aupporting. Last but not leaet. It wbb, in n&asay 
MacDonnld's trorde, "a Socialist docuoient - our old proposals pare- 
pbraeed". (j'l; In 1910 the I, L, P, at a special conl'eronoe an the 
Abolition of CestiVitiTn and Uneniployiaent, passed unanL-aoualy a 
resolution calling for the iaipleajeating of the -.inority Report, witn 
iacI<onc,ld end Barnes as well as George Lansbury speaking strongly in 
fevour of such support. <J5^ /.t the Labour x'^erty coafsraioe of Ute 
following Jariuory, a aiiallar resolutiosij pro; oned by ..rthur Henderson 
and seconded by Lansbury, was lilcewlse unaninouely approvod. ^^) 

'.'nd<?r the circ'jrastanc^s, Uten, the official policy of the i'erty 
in t.e -ojic tOTards the "atic^tal Insuraitce .Act wcs rr-ther bewilder- 
ing to the socielist or trade unionist rank and file. In t>ie debates 
on the jseesure Philip Snowdotx, spoaicing "frankly fro:a the point of 
view Oi a Socialist", had opposed the compulsory, contributory nature 
of the Act» on grounds which were by now faailier to Lebour audiaaoea. 

(54; In his presidential address at the 1. L. P. confereice in 1509. 
( Repo rt of the tonual goti f ersttce of the_I,_ La_P^_1^10, p. ^5« / 

(55^ Ibid., ^pandlx I, p. 95- 

(56y Report of i,he .^aauBl C onfe r ence of the L p bour ,*a rty. 1911 , p. 40. 


The Sill, he sold, "takes a direct eontrltution fros certain selected 
olaeoee who have no more obli^etion to deal vith the prcbleai then 
those who ere not called upon to pay the contribution©"; ite nature, 
he affirated, "wcs against the tendency of all recent legieiation". 
"Eorking people camiot alTord to pay the contribution which is to be 
exacted froa them", he claimed, for "there are a multitude of the 
working classes irtio cannot spare" the sua of Ad. per week, which, be 
estimated, was tiie equivalent of three daye' food. "Their poverty 
and privations.. ..will be exaggerated." (57; i^eorge Lcnsbury, too, 
was voicing the expected socialist protest when he contended "that 
the Ctato has no rij^t to iTpose upon the vlctias of o-ar society the 
respoasliility of paying for ti>e cure ol tl»oae evils whicli they are 
not responsible for". (58) 

Re^ay McDonald was ^n epolcesinan for the uiajority section 
which had altered its policy, for he epoJce eloquently for the csm- 
trlbutory principle of the Insurence soheae, end announced thet 
althougjh there wt^e a diseentient oinority in his party, nevertheless 
"he wea talking for the l^abcsir I-arty*. The justlilcp.ticn for his 
policy was that ''when a man is sick and receiving his benefit, then 
undr-sibtedly he is better off under this Bill tha:i he would be if 
tl-iCre were no Sill at ell", -'-s xor the itn&zploys^nX, b^xef'its, if a 
soiall contribution fro.-3 the wortcaan la going to lubricate the 
aattsr, so thet the state will do its duty and give us the opportunity 
of starting a very iaportent experiment, I blj not going to quarrel 

(57; ^nowdwi'a speech on the financial resolution* jHanaard . 5tb 
Seriee, Vol. 27t PP. 1391^1^0^' J 

(58 > Ibid., p. 1420. 


with the Chancellor of the nxohequer for asking for a efflull contrib- 
ution." (59; Apparently this ettitude won the support of the 
fflajorlty of the Labour ajeabors, who voted along witii .^ncDoaald - 
once Sj^ain, expedi^iey and the "half-loaf" policy had carried the 
day* Out this tliae en lisportohit aoction of the r'arty had officially 
prrjclalaod Its refjaal to follow hla, aiid there Is little dtxibt that 
that sectlcKi ccxafianded e lar;;;e nuniber of aupportera among the aore 
.allitant socialist wlnga of both the !• L, P, and the Labair iarty, 
end had oonaiderable trade tinion support as well. 

Little happier »aa the Labour Tsrty experience in winning etiother 
of the Irnaedlate objectives of this period - the reversal of the 
Osborne Judgecaent. That ruling had already had aeriojs csrisequenoes 
for the Labour ^oveaent, at least in its political eapect, both duriiig 
the electl<«8 of 1910 and in subsequent aontha. It was certain that 
volufztary contributions frora convinced supporters would never be 
sufficient to Jiaintain, such less expend, the electoral machinery 
•hic^ Pondersan and the party orsanlzers ««r<^ striving to baild. The 
decision of the Govemiaent in 1911 to introduce legislation for the 
payaent of aembera of farliaaent proalaod to reaiove one of the ito^ia 
In the list of coats whirfi c successful political party had to fece, 
but <aily one - election and party expenses still had to be provided 

(59/' Ib id. , pp. l4Al-lM9. He closed hie speech with the aaiounce- 
aent of his intention to support the financial resolution in 
"a general and pletonic way". 


Qn Movesber l8, 1910, O. :.. Bames askod the rrlme .<.lnister for 
specific aasoranoe of legislation to reverse the Osborne rjling. (40 > 
/squiti'i's reply was to armounce the Oovenuaent's intention to intro- 
duce a oeasure for the payraoit of aeabers. In addition, he said, ^i« 
»8» preparing to aeet deputations froa both sidns, and would issue 
another etsteaent after such aeetings. Four days later he enno-onoed 
t^e inteatljn "to bring in legislation e^'ipowering the trade Ltiiais 
to include in t^ieir objects end orgievizaticm the provlsicxi of a fund 
for Parlia:3entery end ::unieipal mction... .provided tiiat the opinion 
of the union ia effectively ascertained and that there shall be no 
compulsion upon any aeaber to caitribute to the fund". (4lj / uabour 
P»rty bill to enwid the preeant trade union law had already been 
denied facilities for second reading, (42; and Asqaith hat' already 
announoad the Govemnsent's intention to deal with no "contentious'* 
legislation daring the 1910 session, (45; so that his later ennounce- 
mnt eeeaed a o(»isidorablc concession to Labour denends. Soaaaiiat 
in the nature of a quid pr o quo was the decision of the annual con- 
ference in 1911 to facilitate the reversal of the Osborne judgecaent 
by the eli-aination of one of the le.^^al ressotis for that decision, 
the pledge of the Labour aeabers "to abide by" the decisions of the 

(4o; H<msard , 5th Series, Vol. 22, p. 05. 

(41, Ibid ., p. 275. 

(42, Hansard, 5tii Series, Vol, l6, p. 171^. 

(45; Hansard . 5th Series, Vol. 18, p. 486. 


Party or reoigi. (44 > There were, of course, soae doubto aa to the 
exact !3eo/ilng of the reservations w^iich apparently sere to be part of 
the Govemisont Bili, and these dojbte wore eonfirjied wheri Alnstoii 
GlMirchill Litroduced an. .4ay ?4, 1911, the bill "to anend the law with 
respect to the objects end posers of Trade Uniaae". (45; Itoo aeaoare 
proposed to extend legal senctioa to e trade union which provided for 
political action in its stateaent of objectives, providiag always that 
a ballot siiould show a aajority of its .-ae^^bers ia favour of aucti action, 
tiiat dissenting aeabers could by written request be absolved Vrom need 
to cwJtributG to tirie expeasr of eaot. action, and thot no sjch roeabere 
would be penalized for withholdiag tiieir contribution by being denied 
any of the other bensfito of aeabership. labour Party spokesmen on tlM» 
second reedin^^ debate voiced ttieir atrong objection to tiie reservations 
on the granting of their deaazid, and t^ioir votes went in favour of the 
i3B»mxre only on the distbict luidere tending that they proposed to offer 
aoiKidaents during U^e oojuittee stage. (46; Tlmt ate^e was never 
readied, however. Cn Deceaber 4 the uovem-iiQat announced Vne witii- 
drawal of the aeasure. (47; Conservetive opposition to the a»vo to 
maice trade unions a "favoured class" was strong, and a private bill 
was introduced by Jir Frederick jieribi^ry and bir hoary Craik which 
would not only have eonfirraed the Osboxrie decision* but re'soved Ute 

(44; Report of the to nu al Conf e£e nce of the Lab o ur Party , ly ll. pp. 
74-84. There oewas little reason to doubt the assertions of 
Herdie and '4ill Thome that there was a good deal of bcrgaining 
"behind the Speaker's chair" going on at tl^.ls tijae. 

(45; j.aaaard, 5th iieriea. Vol. 26, p. 27^. 

(46; Ibid., pp. 916-1057. 

(47j Hanoard , 5th i:^rie8. Vol. 52, p. 1159. 


resalning benofita of the 1906 Trnde Union Act as «oll. (48; Like the 
Labour bill, however« it felled to get sceond reading. 

la Ae.y ot the following year, .Attorney ueneral laaaos re-intrr>duced 
the Ooiremaeat bill. (,U9, Its fora was aluost identical witii tiiat of 
the preceding year, the oaly change being the rooioval of the now uo- 
naa«asary clause onceming payjMnt of salaries to trnde union 
sponsored ae:::d>ers oX i^erllsaent. Jnce a^ain Coneervctiva spokesaen 
vigorously attacked the bill on second reading; this tiae the brunt of 
its defense was largely^ borne by Labour Party <a«:d>ers. (50 j Iha 
chief criticise levelled by its Tory opponents was thet it failed 
odequately to ^arantee the freedoa of oecibera of & dissident niinority 
in any union in the exercise of their csmn political judgecaent, and to 
protect them froa unfair disoriainatioa. F.veRtu&lly the ajiendiseat 
which aearaed to xeet this charge caae frooi Labour laeabers cb well, la 
the debate cmi the report stage of the bill, i^ardle and Brace offered 
9a BTMSidcent (51 > empowering the ne^strar of ti»e Frieitdly ^ocietiaa 
to deal with ocKaplainte froa trade union isesbers who felt that they 
had been discrialnatsd against because of their decision to "contract 
out" of the liability for duos to the Farliaaentary fund. In spito 
of opposition from Stephen t^.alsh, Henderson a^uiounced that "the ^^arty 
was behind it", and the a^endoent was accepted. <52j On January ^l 
of 1915 the bill passed third reading, and next jionth becaae law. 

(48 y Hansa rd. 4th Series, Vol. JO, p. 678. 

(49j Hansard , 5th Series, Vol. 58, p. 595. 

(50 y Hansard . 5th Series, Vol. 4l, pp. 1550-l4l6 especially. 

(51/ Keeisard . 5th Series, Vol. 4?, p. 1425. 

(52 > Ibid ., p. 1465. 


A special eonferonce of the Party and trade union delegates a>et 
in J&nu&ry to consider their reaction to the tneasure. On the recon- 
aendation of tiie Parliamentary Bpokesiaen it was decided ofter rather 
aeriiaonioua discussion to accept the Bill as insuring "the inuiediate 
future", but "only as an instalaoit, end not the final settleaent of 
Labour's deiiande''. (55^ Certainly there were obvious reasons for 
considering the ^nessure as by no laeans the answer to the deoiend nhioh 
had been voiced for four years by both Party and trade unicm leaders, 
ihe financial stringeaicy which follaw^d the vjsbome decision was only 
partially relieved, and a great many arabitious schemes for constitu- 
ent organization had to be shelvod. iftoct serious of all* of course, 
wp.s the fact thct the new procedure mafle it possible for all those 
tr«uiio union aoabera who either disapproved of the Farty or of 
political action by any means, or who were aiaply lethar^^ic about the 
w*jole matter, to emphasize their Conservatism or their Liberalism, 
or their Syndicellem or siaply their poverty, by voting against their 
union aeintaining a Parliamentary fund or by cwitrocting out of the 
obligation to contribute to sudi a fund. RTien, under tlie Trade Union 
Act of 191?, bcllots were taken on the question in the unions, 
565,225 votes were cast against aaintenance of a i^arliamentary 
objective, and 605,^57 in favour. In 8oa» unions the vote was even 
closer thsj^ Uie g^eral picture showed. The . liners' Federation 
showed a vote of 261,645 to 19'i,800 in favour, (wltiri almost 50 per 
cent of the membership neglecting tu vote;, and the Carpenters and 

<55, Itepprt of the Annual Conference o f the Labour ^er ty. 1915, 
&xe«;itive Repoj>t, p. 20. 


Joinere approved of their Labour Party affiliation only by the narro* 
uiajority of 15,556 to 11,758. ^54 j In spite of Uie aciuevetaeiite to 
vhioh Labo'ar pari iataentari ens had bs«n pointing for years, the Party 
itsell had failed to win an overwheLning vote of confideaoe fro.ii the 
trade union ^aovement of drltaia. 

In matters wider in scope than those aXiectlng trade linlou atatus 
and powers, the efforts of the ^arty in Ferlieffleat after 15^1 were 
increesingly devoted to the task of winning acceptance for their new 
doctrine of a nstionel oiiiiimui wa^e. That principle was one which the 
baboar rorty itself l^ad only gradually adopted; it evolved logically 
froa the arguments which had been out forth in support of Sweated 
Industries Bills, iiages iioards Bills, and Hooie isork Re@ilatian Bills 
which the rarty had sponsored in I9ti7 sad 1908. The principle of 
state {fiaintcnence ol a ainimusa wage was accepted by the liberal Ciovera- 
isent in the Trade Boards Act of l^9» setting up boards to fix 
aiiniauns wages for scheduled industries end to protect the interests of 
the wor'icors involved. (55/ .Attacked by Ck>aeervative spokesmen like 
Sir Frederick Banbury as *a coaplete surrender to the iiocialist 
party" (56/ the new principle was hailed by Labour spokeenuai with 
real entiiusiaoa, Iliey were soasewhet more heaitaat about ttie obvious 
corollary to their argjLiiBent > thet if state fixixig of siniaun wages 

(54 > The results of the ballots appear as Appendix V to the .'^eport 
of the /jrtaual Soafereace of the Lebour i'arty. 191^ . 

(55; /^cording to CSiurciiill; Hansard . 5th Series, Vol, 2, pp. 17^7- 

(56/ Ibid ., pp. 1792-1795. 


was desirable in ecaae industries it ai^t be held to be deeireble in 
all industries end for all workers. /. resolution et the annual 
conference of the party In 1S/J7 calling for le^jislative action to 
secure such a osiniaua wase, was defeated by the delegates. (57; Their 
fear was that such legislation aig^t oean an aecompanying sei-i^ae of 
ocopulsory arbitration in «age dieputes and already the opinion nee 
widespread that in industrial action lay a better aeons of fig;hting 
the battle for wage increases. Then too the fear vaa openly expresoed 
that a national r&inisua mig^t turn out to be a national aexliaua as 
veil; that the practical effect of such a aeaeure ai^t be eventjally 
to lower the wages of those workers forturiate enough to be already 
above the figjro ohloh might be set. The annual conferaace in li»09 
once :TJ3re considered a resolution calling for a naticsiel cjlniujsa, and 
once sore rejected it for very ouch the same reesons. ^56; The tide 
of labour opinion was chaugiug, however, on this as on so aany other 
(oattors chiring the years iarnediately preceding tine war. 

;. xKisber of frctors contributed to q new attitude; ftnong thees 
were the I>abour Party e{':itetion oa the unftaployaent problem frooi 1W7 
to 1911, the wide publicity given to the Reports of the Poor Law 
Goaaission and the focusing of public attention on the causes of 
poverty and destitution by investlgaliona like tiiose of b. S. Rowntree 
et Tork, (59;, of the ^anetiester Gitizena' Msociation in that city,(6o; 

(57; Report of the Armu al Con feraioe of the Labour l^a^ ^y* 1^7 » P» 60. 

(58 > Repo rt of the Annual Cortference o f the Lo b<xi r, Party. 19tj9 . p. 8S. 

(59 ; Poverty; A Stud y of Toim Life , v^ th ed . ; . 

(60) :iarr, T. n,. Housing Sand itions in lAg ncfaester eaid S^lford . 


of Lady Bell in biiddlesboroug^, (5l) of Professors Bowley and 
Bumett-Hurst in the towns of btenley, Harrington, liortheapton and 
Reading, (62; and of Sir L.eo Chiosza .ioney for the country at large, (65 > 
Rowtitree'e coioluBiona were that in York over 15 per cent of the 
working class populaticn were in receipt of inooooes lower then tiiat 
whidi was estimated as euffiolMit to provide the SE&ie sustetiance as 
was provided in the worldic^ises, {6^ J while the Janehcater survey showed 
that of that city's 76^,000 inhabitants, no fewer then 212,000 were liv- 
ing in poverty, with sooie 75,000 of these in the state nhioh Rowntroe 
had defined ae "priaary" poverty; i.e., their Inco.aea were insufficient 
to laeintain physical health oven if every peimy were spent cm purely 
physical necessities. (65/ Lady Bell's invest! {Rations convinced her 
that *the life of a third of the workers whom we are considering is an 
unoriding struggle to keep abreast of. ...ti'je essential needs". (,66) 
Bowley and i3umett-Fruret, in the four widely different towns where 
they Carried on their investigetion, fotind tiist in two of thea 
(Bortharapton and .»arringtoa; over 25 per cwit of the woricera earned 
less than 2^ BhilllnFS per weak, while in Reading no fewer than 50.5 
per cent oi' tiio nagea eere below that i'iQirc. "It can hardly be too 
«aphetically stated", said tlieir report, ''that of all trio caasos of 
pri.oary poverty which have been brou^^it to our notice, low wages are 

(61 y At the .ioras . (1911 ed.;. 

(62; Livelih ood a nd t^overty. (1915 ed.). 

(65/ .Riches e nd Poverty, (1910 ed,). 

i&ij Poverty; ^ :^tudy o f Town Life , p. I55. 

{65} -Aejrr, Housing in .lenchceter , pp. l4-2^. 

(66y Bell, -At the ..orka . p. 86. 


by far tho aost Important". (67 j 

%lth facts Buch ao theae to aupport their coaclusioaa end «ith 
the evidence of tiie Board of Trade reports presented to thea: each 
year, (68; Ijabour forty conferencea by 1912 had come to a docisi<» 
that legialatioQ. aas aeoeasary to ensure a natioaal ainirnua wage high 
ooou^ to provide a standard of deeanoy for ^itish noricera. In 1912 
the party a^neridaent to tho reply to the throne speech regretted tirie 
fact that while the existence of industrial unrest was noted and 
deplored, there wes '*no specific aention oi legislation securing a 
■1 nlaua living wage**. (69> The following year the aaiae aaa n daeat was 
fltoved; once again the Labour i'mrty aifimed its demand for legislative 
BOtion on the wap;e8 questiem. (7^) 4n opportunity was found later in 
the session to propose by notion a miniixjoi wage of ^ shillings in 
the industrial areae and an equal standard in rural areas, (71; but 
the Labour sotion was talked out without the ijoveRusont having 
ooiKaitted itself to any specific action. 

(67j Liveliho od and . " ovarty . pp. 5^55, p. JS. 

(68) These reports for the period 1901-1906 were auafosrized in a 
.lemorcnduni to the Special Conference on Une:3ploy;aent in 19C9« 
They showed that for that period, while the natioaal inooaia 
had risen from ^^y^ million to -^980 laillion, the total wage 
bill of British industry had shrunk froa £"29'» million to 
;^257 failllon* ( Report of the /nnuel Oon fegenpe of. t he Labo ur 
Party . 1909. "ppendix 1.) 

(69 y Hqnserd. 5th v^erios. Vol. J*** p. ^« 

(70) R»nserd » 5th Gerles* Vol. 50, p. 572. 

(71) Hansard . 5th Series, Vol. 51, p. 489. For the atoUon in 1911, 
see HsnsBrd, 5th Series, Vol. 2^, p. 1914. 


In the aeentiiae, however, outside of ?erLiaai»ftt« strong forces 
were at work seoicing realization of the ainioum wage goal by methods 
other thai political. Toe i'.lnora' Federation in 1911 formulated a 
plan for a natloial legal mialauai w^ge for coal end Iron aines; its 
proposals were the subject of ne^otiatloos bettieon its officials end 
mine operators in 1912, and when those negotiations broke down, a 
general strike was called. In the ateentime, throu^ bloyd Cieor^e* the 
aovemment had offered a set of proposals alaed to ensure that ^the 
power to earn such a wage [a roas<:»able mlniiayua] ahould bo secured by 
arrang&tients aiiteble to the special cirouastances oi eeoii district'** 
and offered e series of district conferencee under uovem-sait supers 
vision ae the best seans of determining these arrcngaaenta. (72) This 
offer th« -tinors* Federation recused. On February 28, the jfriae 
^iinister expledned to the House his conviction that the ainers' case 
eould best be met* in the opinion of the uovernaent* by "the recog- 
nition and application.... of district niniaua wages'^. (7?> 

Ihe tttsper of the itinera* unicaxa - indeed that of the Labour 
sjovcsaont generally - was not such in 1912 as to admit of eiti^ier eoEft- 
prcxaiao or toaporlzing. When tiio Coal Mines (iiniiauo Sage^ /ct was 
presented to the House on ^arch 18, it was aeiergeney legislation; (7^; 
the coal strike had made "the crisis.... so acute end the situation so 
torrible that all ocxisiderations of ordinary i^arliaaentary procedure 

(72/ Ihe proposals were outlined on February 17. C Hansard t 5th 
Series, Vol. 54, pp. 1492-1515.; 

(75/ Ibid ., pp. 59-48. 

(74; Hansard . 5th Series, Vol, 54, p. 1544, U-squith;, 


Bust be of seocxidary laportance". (75) 

Ooaoervative oppoaitlcsri In the House declared that society •ao 
being "held up", {76^ tiaat the ae&sure was sjrrwidering control of 
Industry into the hands of "a bond of men with revolutiormry and 
anarchical principles*, (77) and that the leaders of tJ^ie trade -.jinions 
were now using their power just oe feudal barons nea in the past* (76/ 
Lloyd Georgr scoffed at the Coneervetlve fear of a Syndicalist triumph 
in England* and pointed to the bill ae a reasonable answer to a reason- 
able deraand. {79 j Second reading phased by a vote of *U& to 225 and 
third reeding by 21 Ji tc 48, The Labour Party throu£^out the etrike 
and throu^out the Farliaaentary proceedings, had acted in close co- 
operation with the ;;liner»' Federation leaders (6C) - in the CosEaittee 
stage they had taoved unsuccessfully to have the miners' list of 
alninua rates appended as a schedule to the bill, aoA on third reed- 
ing they voted a^^ainst the aneaeure. (61 j In apite of their opposition 
to Vie /^t, the principle that wages can rightly be fixed by law was 
now recognized by a bill which* one writer has affirsted, "was sy^re or 

^79) Hansard. 5th Series, Vol. JS, p. 1720, (U»rd ftis^ Cecil). 

(76; Ibid ., pp. 1755-17*2, (.aonar i*a»;. 

(77; Ibid ., pp.! 764-1775, (i>ord Hu#i Cecil). 

(78) Ibid .. pp,2077-2O89, (Balfour;. 

(79) Ibid ., pp.1775-1785. 

(80) I.abour Year Book. 1916 . p. 550. 

(81; H^ aaard . 5th Series, Vol. 56, p. 400. 


less eontrory to the opinlcsx of the oountry as a whole"* but which ires 
forosd on Parlisraent *ln the interests of industrial peace". {,'62 j If 
his opinion is sound, it is difficult to explain the obvious facts 
that the district :ninima as provided by the Act were lar froa satisfy^ 
ing the zainei^' demands » and that the .ainers themselves looked upon the 
Act as denying, not affirming, their claiins* (3^; uo raatter how its 
Liberal proponents or its Conservative opponents vicved tlie Act, it 
could not be cleioed as another voricing claa» victory won throu^ 
politiced action by e workers' political party. 

The election of 1906 end the lej^islation of that year had brou^t 
to British Labour hi^ hopes that a new era was dawning; rightly or 
wrTfigly tiioae hopes were pinned to the flog of the new Labour i'arty in 
Parliaaent. The Trades Disputes Act, Old Age i'ensione, and the new 
Woricaen'e Gowensation tseasures, had seesied a glowing justification of 
these hopes end of that Party. But constitutional processes and 
Parlieaentary procedures bed soon put en «ffective brake to the 
appar^it rush to oeet the worieers' decnonds, and wnat was worse* the 
Labour farty itseli seesied in a fair way to be ooc&pletely assiailated 
by the larger organleatioa with which it was forced to co-operate. 
Labour Exchangee and Trade Boards were iau<^ less sweeping concassicHis, 
and even they were apparently von at the cost of political independence 
for labour. M'ter 1910 the growing disillusicovneat, as we have seen, 
becai:^ even str<»ger, while the pressure of events forced the parlia- 
awntary policy of Ute L>ebour Party still store closely into line with 

(82; De dontgoaery, B. G., Bjritish and gygxtipffntyl L a bour Pplioy. p.Jfil. 

(85; Report of th e /.nnual Ccaxfer«iqs of the Labour iartv. 1£15, 
E':;xecutlvo Report. 


thot of the biberale. Lvoa in tiie Cvxistitutional orisis* it «aa 
obvioue tiiat tlie simlfest desiro of ^quith and urey and tho aore 
orthodox Liberal ohief tains vaa to find a •oluti(Xi for the problaa 
vhich did not go too far in tf>e direction of Radicalina; the working 
class opinion which snw the necessity of passing the iiloyd George 
Budget and of restricting the legialative power of the Lords was still 
further estranged by the Liberal ooitii^n* and even raore sharply 
crlticnl of the Labour Party's apparent subservience to tiie Liberal 

In the period following 1910, the eense of disillusionnsient and 
defeat continued to grow> 71m Csbome Judgoscnt was not reversed until 
191% <nd tHien that victory did oonie» it was at beat only partial and 
vae hedged about with oumy eoaditicna. The NatiiHial insurenoe /ct at 
beet received only grudging approval* and fros (»ily soae soctions of 
the Labour aoveaent; indeed it serred to esip^iaaiee the Rowing sense 
of divisicMi wiUiin the Party. Xhe Fabiaiia, one section of the I. L. P., 
and the Saowden group in the House bitterly opposed the whole insurance 
80he<3e* and tiie issue aeeaed to be developing into the rock on which 
the i'arty aigjit eventually split* 

The industrial unrest, the swing to direct action, the growing 
strength of syndicalism in trade union ranks, sad the growing resent- 
oient at the collaboration between Labour Party leaders and the Liberal 
Govera-a^it heads > all these factors were cocibining to produce a 
mo^oit of crisis. That cKxaent of crisis seeoad laoinent during the 
early sx»iths of 19lA, and only the outbreak of war postponed the 


neeessity of coding to a sharp « clear and definite decision on the 
altemativee nhioh aeeoied to face the ueboar f'arty at that ti:ae. Jn 
the one hand, Uie aovftnoat could beconie irtiolly "eoeial roforra" in 
its philosophy and intentions, airsing to win amelioration of the 
evila still present in the workers' conditions; in this case its 
future obviously lay with the Liberal Party sni its interests would 
best be served by amalgaiiation. On the other hand* the soveiaent 
could becooe socialist in its philosophy and intentions « ei:aing to 
secure a now orgsnizsation of industry as well as of society; in this 
ease its future lay in independent orgenizaticsi* r88ieta:ice to 
Liberal social reforias and a clear-cut objective of a socialist 
«>ananw««lth« The war postponed the necessity of luking the rather 
frightening decision - when Uie inevitable oouioit came again, all 
the circutastsnces of the dileransa had altered trecaeadously. 







































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i f 











^ 1 

-0 ^ 


c ( 


{, t 













^ . 




-J ^ 




1 ^ 


1^ c 




< ■» 

^ < 

i VL 

^ 3 


t . 

- i 





. ( • 




a ^ 


i T? 



t >. 



-i i 









O ^ 




, i 



■ 1 

i <£ 
2 1 






^ 3 



3 1- 







Barnard Castle 









OLaaeov (Blaokfriarsj 




Hanobastar SaS* 
Uanotaaatar 3«v;« 
Martbyr l^df 11 
Sewoastla-«z;- 1., n-3 
law ton 
St* Helens 

"est Earn S* 

'est Foo^hton 

A* Eaadarsan 
0« Donoaa 
Philip Snofadan 
A. E. Gill 
r* U» Joaatt 
J« E« Jenkins 
D* J» Sfaaoklaton 
C» W> BoveroEm 
A. '.viUde 
G« B« Baraas 
J* Bodea 
J. ?arkBr 
3* ;alsh 
J* o*(aradjr 
J. R. itaoDonald 
j« R. cljriiea 
G* D» Kellegr 
J. Kelr Hardie 
'.7* Eodr^on 
J* A* Seddon 
0* H* Roberts 
J* T« L'cLopherson 
T. Glover 
T* noBBerbell 
G* J» gardla 
9111 crooks 
W« Thome 
T* 7« Riohards 
Vm T> mison 

J«^« TQylor was elected at Chester-le-Street as a ;;:lners» 
oandidata* but after election signed the L«R«C* oonstitution. Victor 
GrajTson vas returned as an Independent Sooialist at Golne Valleiy in 1907» 
bat did not sign the L«R»C» oonatitutiona In the buiog year Pete Oorran 
was elected us L*H«C» aeaber for Jarrow* and in 1909 j. :'ointer aojoi a 
seat at \ttercliffe« 

In addition to Taylor* there were 13 other loboar laen in the 
Eooaet representing L^inara* unions* lf?ith the entrance of the Iliners* 
Federation into the Labour ^arty in 1909, ouat of this group aaa ab- 
sorbed* %Teral of them* notably Thooas Burt and Charles Fenaick refused 
to 8i£n the Labour ?arty pledge and henoeforth beooaa I>iberal aeaibers and 
at eleotiona* Liberal candidates • 


JAHUJil, 1910. 

Baxmrd Castle 




Ches tBT-1 e-S tree t 




Derlgrshlre (Mid) 

Dertgrahlre !T.r:« 



Glasgov (Blaokfl'iars ] 







Leedst Ea 


Haaohester. « 

Manobester* ' . . 




Stafford, N 
3t> Pelens 

It Has 












R. Gill 


W. Jovett 



IT. Ta^'lor 


J. 'baekloton 


'7* Bovenian 




G. Hanoock 


K. Harveur 






H. Barnes 










: dwarda 






R. tSaoDoaald 


E. Sattcm 


R. Olyaea 


Eieir Hardle 




HttiC. 3 on 


'.. L^eddon 




F> Roberts 








J. ifardle 


Gluver • 



'.f • 

?. Tilson 



X^Forinerl^ representatlTe of ^ners* unions. 


DECQOGB 1910. 


Barrow-in-Fume88 « 

X-Bow and Bromley - 

Bolton . 

Barnard Castle • 

Bradford . 

Blaokbarn . 

Clitheroe . 

Chesterfield _ 

Chester-le-Street • 

Dandee . 

Derbj _ 

Deptford _, 

Derbyshire Hid* . 

Derl)yshlre N.S* • 

Glaeaorgan 3* . 

Glasgow (Blaokfriars ) 

Gower _ 

Gorton . 
XFlfe W. 


Hallamahire . 

Eanley . 

Inoe . 

Leeds £• . 

Leicester . 

Manohester E* - 

Manchester N«E* - 

Herthyr Tydfil ~ 

Monnonth if* . 

Hevoastle - 

Herman ton - 


Btmeaton - 

Rhondda •> 

^ Sunderland - 

Stafford U.W. 

St«okport - 

West Ham S* 

We s thought on - 

^WhitehaTon - 

^t- Hew seats (as of* to January election) 
-f Returned unopposed* 

J* Pointer 

C* Duncan 

Gecrge Lans'bury 

A* H. Gill 

A* Henderson 

F* W. Jowett 

P* Snowden 

A* Smith 

J. Has lam 
-f J* W. Taylor 

A* Wilkie 

J. K« Thomas 

C* W* Bowerman 

J* 0« Hancock 

W* B* Harvey 

W* Brace 

G* N* Barnes 

J* WiUiaBB 

J* Fodge 

W* Adansen 

J* Parker 

J* ladsworth 

E* Edwards 

3* Walsh 

J* O'Grady 

J* R* KacDonald 

J* E* Sutton 

J* R* Clynes 

J* Ketr Bardie 
-r T* Richards 

W* Hudson 
+ F. Hall 

G* H* Roberts 

W* Johnson 

W* Abraham 

F* W* Golds tone 

A. Stanley 

G* J* Wardle 

W* Crooks 

W* Thorne 

W* T* Wilson 

T* Richardson 

Nerton, Wigan, St* Helens lost* 


ORJWTF :s tral: 


Bo* of Unions 


Percent Doe Inorease 
or leer ease* 











+ 0*3 




- 0.6 




- 1*2 




- 1.6 




1- 1.2 








■♦-IS. 9 




- 1.5 




- 0.8 




+ 3.3 




-^ 23.4 




^ 8.9 




+ 21.5 




- 0.7 

( Inbour Year Book 1916, p. 150. ) 


OF LABOUR BXOH »XGES 1911-1914. 

1911 1912 1913 1914 

■»• of exohaagM 281 413 422 400 

■»• of 

nsistratlons 2,040,447 2,465,304 2,965.893 3,442,452 

■•• of individuals 

r«8i8tered l,513,3e9 1,643,567 1,871,671 2,164,023 

■9* of Taoancies 

filled 621,410 626,250 921,853 1,116,909 

Vo* of indlTiduals 

giTeo work 469,210 573,709 652,306 814,071 

Peroootase of 

rasistered iriio were 

glTea vork. 81^ 34.9^ 34.9^ 37.6!;^ 

( Labour Tear Book 1916, p. 228) 

i 3 3 


I. ParliaMatary DttetM« Fourth S«riM« rols. 66.1^9, (189d.l;K)a). 

Fifth Series, Qouse of Coobobs, -vols. 1-66, 


II» Reports of r^yal Ccraaissiozts on 

1. The Aged ixxxr, 1895. 

2. Agricultural Depreseion, 18eo-18r2. {Tic^Bt of :>idence), 

5. Agricultural D^ireesion, 18SS-1697, (Final Heport), 

4* Tb© Depression of Trade and Industry, 1887. (Pour Retiorts;. 
*• The .AjploiTaant of Childrwi, Youdq arsons and Moam in 
Agriculture, 1867. (Report and Appendix, 6 vole,). 

6. The Houeing of the ?«rkii« CUeses, 18cb. (linutes of 
i^rUmnom and Ap eodix). 

I' ^:i^^^f^^' Uinuteaof £.iridenc%n vols, .ie.orts. 4 vols.;. 

tLJ^:' end a%xrt, xndudiji* u** Lincriti lie-ort by £ov. 
i»^«diw^du.eeli ».akefield, Ut. fi^ncie Oandler. 4-.^£. 
Lttebury and fcre. Sidney,- v*ebb). *-—««.«.-, «-. uevge 

121. OapvtMuttal fieporta. 

1. -^S-^^^^and Fi,heri^^ ^^^^ 

a. Agnoultural Returns of Ori.* -.»-.<* ■ 

b. Agricultural St^iSi.^J.SS^'^ ^®^^- 
«• Board «f ?r«de. 

"* i:SS."?8j?: *^^ ^f .t the i^t ^ Of 


».J^ '1 

• \« 


Labour De. ortacBit. (Board of rrad«), £*ports on 

a. Co-oi^erat.ive Sooioties in the Itolted Klxit;dam« 
industrial and agricultural, 1912« 

b, rofit-gliarin^ and oo-;-artneraMp, 18D4. 

o« Rates of vages and taimrs oC labour, cluuages in, 1913. 
d« Standard tixse rataa of vases, October 1, IDOC. 
©• Ctarikaa and lock-outs, and on conciliation and 

arbitration boarda in the United Kingdom, 1908. 
f« Tradee unions, I.uobere 10-17, 1902-1;;'10. 
o> Cnooiloyed, ageaoies and aetbod* for dealix^ vith, 1893. 
h. iiages of the nanual labour claases in the United 

idngdoB, 1908. 



Labour Annual and Refonaers* Yofir 3ook, 1896-1908* 

Labour and tb» lew Social Order 1918* (IroereB authorized t^ the Annual 
eonfer«nai, 1918.). 

Labour Tdar 3ook, lailS. 

Labour iur^'* Proceedings of the Aanual Confereooea* 1900-1916* 

IwlapWMlept Labour Party, Reports of the Annual keetings* 1893-1914. 

ITadea Ctalon CoQcrese, Reports of the Aanual iieetiass* 1866-1914. 

Fabian Research Deparbaaaxt Reports* 

FUblan Socioty. Annual Ro:<»'ts« 



Ald«n, F«rcy. Iha l aaa^plc yd^ A SatlonaL JP robl tBy Londou, 1005. 
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Amol^UForstor, H. 0« Kogliah Social iaa o f Joday^ Loodoa, 1908* 

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B>» 'fJaonowlc (^gaSi zat>ion of fcngland, London, 1928. 

AaksKitb* 0. R« Industrial rroblema and D iaputae* London, 1920* 

Barkmr* S« It>lltica l Ihought in Bngland fron Herbe rt Spenoar to the Praaant 

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:« J. ii^ Britiab &ooi aliaii_ A n Si aaAnatioa of its Doctr iaw, Poliqy 
"~ aid' P rB^otic al t%poaale* Lbn<ion, rSOS. 

Bear, iU A Iliatory cf Bri tiah SocAaliai% (& Tola, ), Londwa, 1329, 

Bagbia* E« Tha B<»t ryy;al of Laboiar, London, 1921 « 

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Boaanquet, H« The ^oor Law a ajxyt of 19Q9, London, 1909. 


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Ilqilicraton, P« A. A Coa&antary on tha >*orlaBen»8 CooraBaatioa Act, 19Q6, 

'5£Qaureti« i^7, 

TUllcra, 3, Tha Cpportanity of L iba rallai, Londea, 1904. 

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tSaivaa, Uurl of. tha Soelaliat Spaotraj London* 1907« 

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tiilkjgaon, '.« J* Tory SaBoorai^ * Colu^ia Univarait^. 1925« 

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BwBsteia* £<• iiy ^^^"^ ^ ^^^^*V Lonsfam, IB^X^ 

BeeaBt* Aanie, A nnie Ba rna ^t en Autobiog r e ply, Londoc« 1920. 

Bettaay* G* ?• S teeert Saedlaf A BJography, London* ld25« 

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UniTorsity, 1926« 

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l^iJ6, London, ls^2. 

Basil ton, lU A. Jfaa Lan ol foaonrgg «• J, Haasay liacDonald, London, 1924, 
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ATtttug' awadaraoa, icnScak^ 19^. 

Barrison, A, flradario Eanriaon, London, 1927, 

Barriacsi, ?• /.ntobioyajMoal Ilasoir a, London, 1911* 

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A, Gaorga Bernard Sbaw, Hia Life id 'Orka, London, 1911, 

Eiatflo^ &« J. iPtXiah iadieaJL Laadara, Kav York, 1375 • 

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HvBB?hroy» A, ». Robert A: ple^arthy i..§LXich««t«r, Idl^* 

^yad■an• B« 8. Tho Rooord cf «n AdroBturoua Lif a^ Lotxioa, 1911. 

Joukiiia, L, A. ^'fOF . oi:nr \ry to ycrsiaa Cffloo, Tho aoBajafcio Lif» S tory mt 
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Laasbury. £« peorf Liia»bury, By FathoT y LanifBi, lud* 

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IxcliJae a a ckw arda - And i^'onnifda, ulasfov, 19;i6« 

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Lao, Jexuiy, This Crreat Joumajf, liav York, 1942* 

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L» J. oi» tho Lif of r^illiaa Borrls, (2 rola,), Loztdon, 16a3, 
Uallot, Sir Charloa £• Harbort Qladatone, A MaBPir, Loadoa, 193£« 
liasa, rna. liaaoira, London, 192S« 
llaatenaaa, L« C. F. G, Miast e raaa , London, 1339, 
SeCaba, J* Gocrge 3oma rd Gfaar, London, 1914 • 
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, '^. P, and Buoklo, C, E, Tb» Llf» of Bwcyjagln Diar y 11 , Larl o f 
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J» H» John, Tiscouat !.orley, i'^^ Apj«r«cifttion anri ^ape RaalBi««ices» 

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Horlay* Jobiu rba Liie o f .illiag £»&rt '■Jlad«^one, (i) -toIs.), Loxidoti« 1903, 
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Sexton, J&aos. Sir Jaaea Seixtoa a ^ Agitator ^ Londosi« 1^56. 

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Staeblcr, (V, nte Liberal Kind of John Hor ley^^ frinoeum Uni/»r«ity, 1943, 

Stvaart, t<, J. Kair Ha jr die^ Ixmdon, 1925. 

Strmsb^, J, The A-iy ntura of LiTigg (18S0»1322), London, 192i., 

Tlllatt, Oflsu K apor loa and 3afloctioaay London, 1931. 

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Tumar, Basu Aboat l^ysalf ; ie6.^1&30, ^ondoa, 1930. 

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a»bb, B. 1^ Agi-rronticesi^i i?, J cwidon, 1920. 

tilaoa* J, ii, i4y i^torsy Yoy*^o Through Lif a^ Londozi, 192&« 


B. KiSlCUlC&LS. 

Biiabfarsh BmktIm.. 

Tortru^htly :;eria»» 
Labour Gftx«tte« 

KaoVillen's J'acatinc, 
Iia;..loiial S.&vi.etf» 

llo«t«ei&th C«ntury« 
Pall ).iali Gcs«tt«. 

Sciyaold*s Kagaislno. 
Saturday Review. 
ii»at>dnat«r R«vle», 


fkm BMhiTO, 1672.187*-:. 

Daily Chroniol9, 1 !• 

^lesgow H irt-id, Ic. - — ., 

Justice, 189y-.\90'U 

HaJWfaeator Siuo-dian, ] ' ■ ' ' 3o, 1900-1914. 

latloaal Refctncsr* 16 

The Tlaas* ISrT-i&U. 

arulA, 1877-1304, 

(a* dates aro ior th« p«riod« eorerad by the files of tho 
Library' of Ccncres8« altliougu in »08t oasM ths filaa ar« ineosipleta)* 




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