Karl Marx

Capital Volume One

Part III: The Production of Absolute Surplus-Value



[1] "A day's labour is vague, it may be long or short." ("An Essay on Trade and Commerce, Containing Observations on Taxes, &c." London. 1770, p. 73.)

[2] This question is far more important than the celebrated question of Sir Robert Peel to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce: What is a pound? A question that could only have been proposed, because Peel was as much in the dark as to the nature of money as the "little shilling men" of Birmingham.

[3] "It is the aim of the capitalist to obtain with his expended capital the greatest possible quantity of labour (d'obtenir du capital dépense la plus forte somme de travail possible). J. G. Courcelle-Seneuil. "Traité théorique et pratique des entreprises industrielles." 2nd ed. Paris, 1857, p. 63.

[4] "An hour's labour lost in a day is a prodigious injury to a commercial State.... There is a very great consumption of luxuries among the labouring poor of this kingdom: particularly among the manufacturing populace, by which they also consume their time, the most fatal of consumptions." "An Essay on Trade and Commerce, &c.," p. 47, and 15 3.

[5] "Si le manouvrier libre prend un instant de repos, I'économie sordide qui le suit des yeux avec inquiétude, prétend qu'il la vole." N. Linguet, "Théorie des Lois Civiles. &c." London, 1767, t. II., p. 466.

[6] During the great strike of the London builders, 1860-61, for the reduction of the working-day to 9 hours, their Committee published a manifesto that contained, to some extent, the plea of our worker. The manifesto alludes, not without irony, to the fact, that the greatest profit-monger amongst the building masters, a certain Sir M. Peto, was in the odour of sanctity (This same Peto, after 1867, came to an end a la Strousberg.)

[7] "Those who labour ... in reality feed both the pensioners ... [called the rich] and themselves." (Edmund Burke, l. c., p. 2.)

[8] Niebuhr in his "Roman History" says very naively: "It is evident that works like the Etruscan, which in their ruins astound us, pre-suppose in little (!) states lords and vassals." Sismondi says far more to the purpose that "Brussels lace" pre-supposes wage-lords and wage-slaves.

[9] "One cannot see these unfortunates (in the gold mines between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Arabia) who cannot even have their bodies clean, or their nakedness clothed, without pitying their miserable lot. There is no indulgence, no forbearance for the sick, the feeble, the aged, for woman's weakness. All must, forced by blows, work on until death puts an end to their sufferings and their distress." ("Diod. Sic. Bibl. Hist.," lib. 2, c. 13.)

[10] That which follows refers to the situation in the Rumanian provinces before the change effected since the Crimean war.

[11] This holds likewise for Germany, and especially for Prussia east of the Elbe. In the 15th century the German peasant was nearly everywhere a man, who, whilst subject to certain rents paid in produce and labour was otherwise at least practically free. The German colonists in Brandenburg, Pomerania, Silesia, and Eastern Prussia, were even legally acknowledged as free men. The victory of the nobility in the peasants' war put an end to that. Not only were the conquered South German peasants again enslaved. From the middle of the 16th century the peasants of Eastern Prussia, Brandenburg, Pomerania, and Silesia, and soon after the free peasants of Schleswig-Holstein were degraded to the condition of serfs. (Maurer, Fronhöfe iv. vol., — Meitzen, "Der Boden des preussischen Staats" — Hanssen, "Leibeigenschaft in Schleswig-Holstein." — F. E.)

[12] Further details are to be found in E. Regnault's "Histoire politique et sociale des Principautés Danubiennes," Paris, 1855.

[13] "In general and within certain limits, exceeding the medium size of their kind, is evidence of the prosperity of organic beings. As to man, his bodily height lessens if his due growth is interfered with, either by physical or local conditions. In all European countries in which the conscription holds, since its introduction, the medium height of adult men, and generally their fitness for military service, has diminished. Before the revolution (1789), the minimum for the infantry in France was 165 centimetres; in 1818 (law of March 10th), 157; by the law of March 21, 1832, 156 cm.; on the average in France more than half are rejected on account of deficient height or bodily weakness. The military standard in Saxony was in 1780, 178 cm. It is now 155. In Prussia it is 157. According to the statement of Dr. Meyer in the Bavarian Gazette, May 9th, 1862, the result of an average of 9 years is, that in Prussia out of 1,000 conscripts 716 were unfit for military service, 317 because of deficiency in height, and 399 because of bodily defects.... Berlin in 1858 could not provide its contingent of recruits, it was 156 men short." J. von Liebig: "Die Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agrikultur und Physiologie. 1862," 7th Ed., vol. 1, pp. 117, 118.

[14] The history of the Factory Act of 1850 will be found in the course of this chapter.

[15] I only touch here and there on the period from the beginning of modern industry in England to 1845. For this period I refer the reader to "Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England," von Friedrich Engels, Leipzig, 1845. How completely Engels understood the nature of the capitalist mode of production is shown by the Factory Reports, Reports on Mines, &c., that have appeared since 1845, and how wonderfully he painted the circumstances in detail is seen on the most superficial comparison of his work with the official reports of the Children's Employment Commission, published 18 to 20 years later (1863-1867). These deal especially with the branches of industry in which the Factory Acts had not, up to 1862, been introduced, in fact are not yet introduced. Here, then, little or no alteration had been enforced, by authority, in the conditions painted by Engels. I borrow my examples chiefly from the Free-trade period after 1848, that age of paradise, of which the commercial travellers for the great firm of Free-trade, blatant as ignorant, tell such fabulous tales. For the rest England figures here in the foreground because she is the classic representative of capitalist production, and she alone has a continuous set of official ctatistics of the things we are considering.

[16] "Suggestions, &c. by Mr. L. Homer, Inspector of Factories," in Factories Regulation Acts. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 9th August, 1859, pp. 4, 5.

[17] Reports of the Inspector of Factories for the half year. October, 1856, p. 35.

[18] Reports, &c., 30th April, 1858, p. 9.

[19] Reports, &c., l. c., p. 10.

[20] Reports &c., l. c., p. 25.

[21] Reports &c., for the half year ending 30th April, 1861. See Appendix No. 2; Reports, &c., 31st October, 1862, pp. 7, 52, 53. The violations of the Acts became more numerous during the last half year 1863. Cf Reports, &c., ending 31st October, 1863, p. 7.

[22] Reports, &c., October 31st, 1860, p. 23. With what fanaticism, according to the evidence of manufacturers given in courts of law, their hands set themselves against every interruption in factory labour, the following curious circumstance shows. In the beginning of June, 1836, information reached the magistrates of Dewsbury (Yorkshire) that the owners of 8 large mills in the neighbourhood of Batley had violated the Factory Acts. Some of these gentlemen were accused of having kept at work 5 boys between 12 and 15 years of age, from 6 a.m. on Friday to 4 p.m. on the following Saturday, not allowing them any respite except for meals and one hour for sleep at midnight. And these children had to do this ceaseless labour of 30 hours in the "shoddyhole," as the hole is called, in which the woollen rags are pulled in pieces, and where a dense atmosphere of dust, shreds, &c., forces even the adult workman to cover his mouth continually with handkerchiefs for the protection of his lungs! The accused gentlemen affirm in lieu of taking an oath — as quakers they were too scrupulously religious to take an oath — that they had, in their great compassion for the unhappy children, allowed them four hours for sleep, but the obstinate children absolutely would not go to bed. The quaker gentlemen were mulcted in £20. Dryden anticipated these gentry:

Fox full fraught in seeming sanctity,
That feared an oath, but like the devil would lie,
That look'd like Lent, and had the holy leer,
And durst not sin! before he said his prayer!"

[23] Rep., 31st Oct., 1856, p. 34.

[24] l. c., p. 35.

[25] l. c., p. 48.

[26] l. c., p. 48.

[27] l. c., p. 48.

[28] l. c., p. 48.

[29] Report of the Insp. &c., 30th April 1860, p. 56.

[30] This is the official expression both in the factories and in the reports.

[31] "The cupidity of mill-owners whose cruelties in the pursuit of gain have hardly been exceeded by those perpetrated by the Spaniards on the conquest of America in the pursuit of gold." John Wade, "History of the Middle and Working Classes," 3rd Ed. London, 1835, p. 114. The theoretical part of this book, a kind of hand-book of Political Economy, is, considering the time of its publication, original in some parts, e.g., on commercial crises. The historical part is, to a great extent, a shameless plagiarism of Sir F. M. Eden's "The State of the Poor," London, 1797.

[32] Daily Telegraph, 17th January, 1860.

[33] Cf. F. Engels "Lage, etc." pp. 249-51.

[34] Children's Employment Commission. First report., etc., 1863. Evidence. pp. 16, 19, 18.

[35] Public Health, 3rd report, etc., pp. 102, 104, 105.

[36] Child. Empl. Comm. I. Report, p. 24.

[37] Children's Employment Commission, p. 22, and xi.

[38] l. c., p. xlviii.

[39] l. c., p. liv.

[40] This is not to be taken in the same sense as our surplus-labour time. These gentlemen consider 10 1/2 hours of labour as the normal working-day, which includes of course the normal surplus-labour. After this begins "overtime" which is paid a little better. It will be seen later that the labour expended during the so-called normal day is paid below its value, so that the overtime is simply a capitalist trick in order to extort more surplus-labour, which it would still be, even if the labour-power expended during the normal working-day were properly paid.

[41] l. c., Evidence, pp. 123, 124, 125, 140, and 54.

[42] Alum finely powdered, or mixed with salt, is a normal article of commerce bearing the significant name of "bakers' stuff."

[43] Soot is a well-known and very energetic form of carbon, and forms a manure that capitalistic chimney-sweeps sell to English farmers. Now in 1862 the British juryman had in a law-suit to decide whether soot, with which, unknown to the buyer, 90% of dust and sand are mixed, is genuine soot in the commercial sense or adulterated soot in the legal sense. The "amis du commerce" decided it to be genuine commercial soot, and non-suited the plaintiff farmer, who had in addition to pay the costs of the suit.

[44] The French chemist, Chevallier, in his treatise on the "sophistications" of commodities, enumerates for many of the 600 or more articles which he passes in review, 10, 20, 30 different methods of adulteration. He adds that he does not know all the methods and does not mention all that he knows. He gives 6 kinds of adulteration of sugar, 9 of olive oil, 10 of butter, 12 of salt, 19 of milk, 20 of bread, 23 of brandy, 24 of meal, 28 of chocolate, 30 of wine, 32 of coffee, etc. Even God Almighty does not escape this fate. See Rouard de Card, "On the Falsifications of the hlaterials of the Sacrament." ("De la falsification des substances sacramentelles," Paris, 1856.)

[45] "Report, &c., relative to the grievances complained of by the journeymen bakers, &c., London, 1862," and "Second Report, &c., London, 1863."

[46] l. c., First Report, &c., p. vi.

[47] l. c., p. Ixxi.

[48] George Read, "The History of Baking," London, 1848, p. 16.

[49] Report (First) &c. Evidence of the "full-priced" baker Cheeseman, p. 108.

[50] George Read, l. c. At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries the factors (agents) that crowded into every possible trade were still denounced as "public nuisances." Thus the Grand Jury at the quarter session of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Somerset, addressed a presentment to the Lower House which, among other things, states, "that these factors of Blackwell Hall are a Public Nuisance and Prejudice to the Clothing Trade, and ought to be put down as a Nuisance." "The Case of our English Wool., &c.," London, 1685, pp. 6, 7.

[51] First Report, &c.

[52] Report of Committee on the Baking Trade in Ireland for 1861.

[53] l. c.

[54] Public meeting of agricultural labourers at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, January 5th, 1866. (See Workman's Advocate, January 13th, 1866.) The formation since the close of 1865 of a Trades' Union among the agricultural labourers at first in Scotland is a historic event. In one of the most oppressed agricultural districts of England, Buckinghamshire, the labourers, in March, 1867, made a ueat strike for the raising of their weekly wage from 9-10 shillings to 12 shillings. (It will be seen from the preceding passage that the movement of the English agricultural proletariat, entirely crushed since the suppression of its violent manifestations after 1830, and especially since the introduction of the new Poor Laws, begins again in the sixties, until it becomes finally epoch-making in 1872. I return to this in the 2nd volume, as well as to the Blue books that have appeared since 1867 on the position of the English land labourers. Addendum to the 3rd ea.)

[55] Reynolds' Newspaper, January, 1866. — Every week this same paper has, under the sensational headings, "Fearful and fatal accidents," "Appalling tragedies," &c., a whole list of fresh railway catastrophes. On these an employee on the North Staffordshire line comments: "Everyone knows the consequences that may occur if the driver and fireman of a locomotive engine are not continually on the look-out. How can that be expected from a man who has been at such work for 29 or 30 hours, exposed to the weather, and without rest. The following is an example which is of very frequent occurrence: — One fireman commenced work on the Monday morning at a very early hour. When he had finished what is called a day's work, he had been on duty 14 hours 50 minutes. Before he had time to get his tea, he was again called on for duty.... The next time he finished he had been on duty 14 hours 25 minutes, making a total of 29 hours 15 minutes without intermission. The rest of the week's work was made up as follows: — Wednesday. 15 hours: Thursday, 15 hours 35 minutes; Friday, 14 1/2 hours; Saturday, 14 hours 10 minutes, making a total for the week of 88 hours 40 minutes. Now, sir, fancy his astonishment on being paid 6 1/4 days for the whole. Thinking it was a mistake, he applied to the time-keeper,... and inquired what they considered a day's work, and was told 13 hours for a goods man (i.e., 78 hours).... He then asked for what he had made over and above the 78 hours per week, but was refused. However, he was at last told they would give him another quarter, i.e., 10 d.," l. c., 4th February. 1866.

[56] Cf F. Engels, l. c., pp. 253, 254.

[57] Dr. Letheby, Consulting Physician of the Board of Health, declared: "The minimum of air for each adult ought to be in a sleeping room 300, and in a dwelling room 500 cubic feet." Dr. Richardson, Senior Physician to one of the London Hospitals: "With needlewomen of all kinds, including milliners, dressmakers, and ordinary sempstresses, there are three miseries — over-work, deficient air, and either deficient food or deficient digestion.... Needlework, in the main, ... is infinitely better adapted to women than to men. But the mischiefs of the trade, in the metropolis especially, are that it is monopolised by some twenty-six capitalists, who, under the advantages that spring from capital, can bring in capital to force economy out of labour. This power tells throughout the whole class. If a dressmaker can get a little circle of customers, such is the competition that, in her home, she must work to the death to hold together, and this same over-work she must of necessity inflict on any who may assist her. If she fail, or do not try independently, she must join an establishment, where her labour is not less, but where her money is safe. Placed thus, she becomes a mere slave, tossed about with the variations of society. Now at home, in one room, starving, or near to it, then engaged 15, 16, aye, even 18 hours out of the 24, in an air that is scarcely tolerable, and on food which, even if it be good, cannot be digested in the absence of pure air. On these victims, consumption, which is purely a disease of bad air, feeds." Dr. Richardson: "Work and Over-work," in "Social Science Review," 18th July, 1863.

[58] Morning Star, 23rd June, 1863. — The Times made use of the circumstance to defend the American slave-owners against Bright, &c. "Very many of us think," says a leader of July 2nd, 1863, "that, while we work our own young women to death, using the scourge of starvation, instead of the crack of the whip, as the instrument of compulsion, we have scarcely a right to hound on fire and slaughter against families who were born slave-owners, and who, at least, feed their slaves well, and work them lightly." In the same manner, the Standard, a Tory organ, fell foul of the Rev. Newman Hall: "He excommunicated the slave-owners, but prays with the fine folk who, without remorse, make the omnibus drivers and conductors of London, &c., work 16 hours a-day for the wages of a dog." Finally, spake the oracle, Thomas Carlyle, of whom I wrote, in 1850, "Zum Teufel ist der Genius, der Kultus ist geblieben." In a short parable, he reduces the one great event of contemporary history, the American Civil War, to this level, that the Peter of the North wants to break the head of the Paul of the South with all his might, because the Peter of the North hires his labour by the day, and the Paul of the South hires his by the life. ("Macmillan's Magazine." Ilias Americana in nuce. August, 1863.) Thus, the bubble of Tory sympathy for the urban workers — by no means for the rural — has burst at last. The sum of all is — slavery!

[59] Dr. Richardson, l. c.

[60] Children's Employment Commission. Third Report. London, 1864, pp. iv., v., vi.

[61] "Both in Staffordshire and in South Wales young girls and women are employed on the pit banks and on the coke heaps, not only by day but also by night. This practice has been often noticed in Reports presented to Parliament, as being attended with great and notorious evils. These females employed with the men, hardly distinguished from them in their dress, and begrimed with dirt and smoke, are exposed to the deterioration of character, arising from the loss of self-respect, which can hardly fail to follow from their unfeminine occupation." (l. c., 194, p. xxvi. Cf. Fourth Report (1865), 61, p. xiii.) It is the same in glass-works.

[62] A steel manufacturer who employs children in night-labour remarked: "It seems but natural that boys who work at night cannot sleep and get proper rest by day, but will be running about." (l. c., Fourth Report, 63, p. xiii.) On the importance of sunlight for the maintenance and growth of the body, a physician writes: "Light also acts upon the tissues of the body directly in hardening them and supporting their elasticity. Tne muscles of animals, when they are deprived of a proper amount of light, become soft and inelastic, the nervous power loses its tone from defective stimulation, and the elaboration of all growth seems to be perverted.... In the case of children, constant access to plenty of light during the day, and to the direct rays of the sun for a part of it, is most essential to health. Light assists in the elaboration of good plastic blood, and hardens the fibre after it has been laid down. It also acts as a stimulus upon the organs of sight, and by this means brings about more activity in the various cerebral functions." Dr. W. Strange, Senior Physician of the Worcester General Hospital, from whose work on "Health" (1864) this passage is taken, writes in a letter to Mr. White, one of the commissioners: "I have had opportunities formerly, when in Lancashire, of observing the effects of nightwork upon children, and I have no hesitation in saying, contrary to what some employers were fond of asserting, those children who were subjected to it soon suffered in their health." (l. c., 284., p. 55.) That such a question should furnish the material of serious controversy, shows plainly how capitalist production acts on the brain-functions of capitalists and their retainers.

[63] l. c., 57, p. xii.

[64] l. c.. Fourth Report (1865). 58. p. xii.

[65] l. c.

[66] l. c., p. xiii. The degree of culture of these "labour-powers" must naturally be such as appears in the following dialogues with one of the commissioners: Jeremiah Haynes, age 12 — "Four times four is 8; 4 fours are 16. A king is him that has all the money and gold. We have a king (told it is a Queen), they call her the Princess Alexandra. Told that she married the Queen's son. The Queen's son is the Princess Alexandra. A Princess is a man." William Turner, age 12 — "Don't live in England. Think it is a country, but didn't know before." John Morris, age 14 — "Have heard say that God made the world, and that all the people was drownded but one, heard say that one was a little bird." William Smith age 15 — "God made man, man made woman." Edward Taylor, age 15 — "Do not know of London." Henry Matthewman, age 17 — "Had been to chapel, but missed a good many times lately. One name that they preached about was Jesus Christ, but I cannot say any others, and I cannot tell anything about him. He was not killed, but died like other people. He was not the same as other people in some ways, because he was religious in some ways and others isn't." (l. c., p. xv.) "The devil is a good person. I don't know where he lives." "Christ was a wicked man." "This girl spelt God as dog, and did not know the name of the queen." ("Ch. Employment Comm. V. Report, 1866 " p. 55, n. 278.) The same system obtains in the glass and paper works as in the metallurgical, already cited. In the paper factories, where the paper is made by machinery, night-work is the rule for all processes, except rag-sorting. In some cases night-work, by relays, is carried on incessantly through the whole week, usually from Sunday night until midnight of the following Saturday. Those who are on day-work work 5 days of 12, and 1 day of 18 hours; those on night-work 5 nights of 12, and I of 6 hours in each week. In other cases each set works 24 hours consecutively on alternate days, one set working 6 hours on Monday, and 18 on Saturday to make up the 24 hours. In other cases an intermediate system prevails, by which all employed on the paper-making machinery work 15 or 16 hours every day in the week. This system, says Commissioner Lord, "seems to combine all the evils of both the 12 hours' and the 24 hours' relays." Children under 13, young persons under 18, and women, work under this night system. Sometimes under the 12 hours' system they are obliged, on account of the non-appearance of those that ought to relieve them, to work a double turn of 24 hours. The evidence proves that boys and girls very often work overtime, which, not unfrequently, extends to 24 or even 36 hours of uninterrupted toil. In the continuous and unvarying process of glazing are found girls of 12 who work the whole month 14 hours a day, "without any regular relief or cessation beyond 2 or, at most, 3 breaks of half an hour each for meals." In some mills, where regular night-work has been entirely given up, over-work goes on to a terrible extent, "and that often in the dirtiest, and in the hottest, and in the most monotonous of the various processes." ("Ch. Employment Comm. Report IV., 1865," p. xxxviii, and xxxix.)

[67] Fourth Report, &c.. 1865, 79, p. xvi.

[68] l. c., 80. p. xvi.

[69] l. c., 82. p. xvii.

[70] In our reflecting and reasoning age a man is not worth much who cannot give a good reason for everything, no matter how bad or how crazy. Everything in the world that has been done wrong has been done wrong for the very best of reasons. (Hegel, l. c., p. 249 )

[71] l. c., 85, p. xvii. To similar tender scruples of the glass manufacturers that regular meal-times for the children are impossible because as a consequence a certain quantity of heat, radiated by the furnaces, would be "a pure loss" or "wasted," Commissioner White makes answer. His answer is unlike that of Ure, Senior, &c., and their puny German plagiarists a la Roscher who are touched by the "abstinence," "self-denial," "saving," of the capitalists in the expenditure of their gold, and by their Timur-Tamerlanish prodigality of human life! "A certain amount of heat beyond what is usual at present might also be going to waste, if meal-times were secured in these cases, but it seems likely not equal in money-value to the waste of animal power now going on in glass-houses throughout the kingdom from growing boys not having enough quiet time to eat their meals at ease, with a little rest afterwards for digestion." (l. c., p. xiv.) And this in the year of progress 1865! Without considering the expenditure of strength in lifting and carrying, such a child, in the sheds where bottle and flint glass are made, walks during the performance of his work 15-20 miles in every 6 hours! And the work often lasts 14 or 15 hours! In many of these glass works, as in the Moscow spinning mills, the system of 6 hours' relays is in force. "During the working part of the week six hours is the utmost unbroken period ever attained at any one time for rest, and out of this has to come the time spent in coming and going to and from work, washing, dressing, and meals, leaving a very short period indeed for rest, and none for fresh air and play, unless at the expense of the sleep necessary for young boys, especially at such hot and fatiguing work.... Even the short sleep is obviously liable to be broken by a boy having to wake himself if it is night, or by the noise, if it is day." Mr. White gives cases where a boy worked 36 consecutive hours; others where boys of 12 drudged on until 2 in the morning, and then slept in the works till 5 a.m. (3 hours!) only to resume their work. "The amount of work," say Tremenheere and Tufnell, who drafted the general report, "done by boys, youths, girls, and women, in the course of their daily or nightly spell of labour, is certainly extraordinary." (l. c., xliii. and xliv.) Meanwhile, late by night, self-denying Mr. Glass-Capital, primed with port-wine, reels out of his club homeward droning out idiotically. "Britons never, never shall be slaves!"

[72] In England even now occasionally in rural districts a labourer is condemned to imprisonment for desecrating the Sabbath, by working in his front garden. The same labourer is punished for breach of contract if he remains away from his metal, paper, or glass works on the Sunday, even if it be from a religious whim. The orthodox Parliament will hear nothing of Sabbath-breaking if it occurs in the process of expanding capital. A memorial (August 1863), in which the London day-labourers in fish and poultry shops asked for the abolition of Sunday labour, states that their work lasts for the first 6 days of the week on an average 15 hours a-day, and on Sunday 8-10 hours. From this same memorial we learn also that the delicate gourmands among the aristocratic hypocrite of Exeter Hall, especially encourage this "Sunday labour." These "holy ones," so zealous in cute curanda, show their Christianity by the humility with which they bear the overwork, the privations, and the hunger of others. Obsequium ventris istis (the labourers) perniciosius est.

[73] "We have given in our previous reports the statements of several experienced manufacturers to the effect that over-hours ... certainly tend prematurely to exhaust the working power of the men." (l. c., 64. p. xiii.)

[74] Cairnes, "The Slave Power," pp. 110. 111.

[75] John Ward: "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent," London, 1843, p. 42.

[76] Ferrand's Speech in the House of Commons, 27th April, 1863.

[77] Those were the very words used by the cotton manufacturers." l. c.

[78] l. c. Mr. Villiers, despite the best of intentions on his part, was "legally" obliged to refuse the requests of the manufacturers. These gentlemen, however, attairied their end through the obliging nature of the local poor law boards. Mr. A. Redgrave, Inspector of Factories, asserts that this time the system under which orphans and pauper children were treated "legally" as apprentices "was not accompanied with the old abuses" (on these "abuses" see Engels, l. c.), although in one case there certainly was "abuse of this system in respect to a number of girls and young women brought from the agricultural districts of Scotland into Lancashire and Cheshire." Under this system the manufacturer entered into a contract with the workhouse authorities for a certain period. He fed, clothed and lodged the children, and gave them a small allowance of money. A remark of Mr. Redgrave to be quoted directly seems strange, especially if we consider that even among the years of prosperity of the English cotton trade, the year 1860 stands unparalleled, and that, besides, wages were exceptionally high. For this extraordinary demand for work had to contend with the depopulation of Ireland, with unexampled emigration from the English and Scotch agricultural districts to Australia and America, with an actual diminution of the population in some of the English agricultural districts, in consequence partly of an actual breakdown of the vital force of the labourers, partly of the already effected dispersion of the disposable population through the dealers in human flesh. Despite all this Mr. Redgrave says: "This kind of labour, however, would only be sought after when none other could be procured, for it is a high-priced labour. The ordinary wages of a boy of 13 would be about 4s. per week, but to lodge, to clothe, to feed, and to provide medical attendance and proper superintendence for 50 or 100 of these boys, and to set aside some remuneration for them, could not be accomplished for 4s. a-head per week." (Report of the Inspector of Factories for 30th April, 1860, p. 27.) Mr. Redgrave forgets to tell us how the labourer himself can do all this for his children out of their 4s. a-week wages, when the manufacturer cannot do it for the 50 or 100 children lodged, boarded, superintended all together. To guard against false conclusions from the text, I ought here to remark that the English cotton industry, since it was placed under the Factory Act of 1850 with its regulations of labour-time, &c., must be regarded as the model industry of England. The English cotton operative is in every respect better off than his Continental companion in misery. "The Prussian factory operative labours at least ten hours per week more than his English competitor, and if employed at his own loom in his own house, his labour is not restricted to even those additional hours. ("Rep. of Insp. of Fact.," 31st October, 1855, p. 103.) Redgrave, the Factory Inspector mentioned above, after the Industrial Exhibition in 1851, travelled on the Continent, especially in France and Germany, for the purpose of inquiring into the conditions of the factories. Of the Prussian operative he says: "He receives a remuneration sufficient to procure the simple fare, and to supply the slender comforts to which he has been accustomed ... he lives upon his coarse fare, and works hard, wherein his position is subordinate to that of the English operative." ("Rep. of Insp. of Fact." 31st Oct., 1855, p. 85.)

[79] The over-worked "die off with strange rapidity; but the places of those who perish are instantly filled, and a frequent change of persons makes no alteration in the scene." ("England and America." London, 1833, vol. I, p. 55. By E. G. Wakefield.)

[80] See "Public Health. Sixth Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council, 1863." Published in London 1864. This report deals especially with the agricultural labourers. "Sutherland ... is commonly represented as a highly improved county ... but ... recent inquiry has discovered that even there, in districts once famous for fine men and gallant soldiers, the inhabitants have degenerated into a meagre and stunted race. In the healthiest situations, on hill sides fronting the sea, the faces of their famished children are as pale as they could be in the foul atmosphere of a London alley." (W. Th. Thornton. "Overpopulation and its Remedy." l. c., pp. 74, 75.) They resemble in fact the 30,000 "gallant Highlanders" whom Glasgow pigs together in its wynds and closes, with prostitutes and thieves.

[81] "But though the health of a population is so important a fact of the national capital, we are afraid it must be said that the class of employers of labour have not been the most forward to guard and cherish this treasure.... The consideration of the health of the operatives was forced upon the mill-owners." (Times, November 5th, 1861.) "The men of the West Riding became the clothiers of mankind ... the health of the workpeople was sacrificed, and the lace in a few generations must have degenerated. But a reaction set in. Lord Shaftesbury's Bill limited the hours of children's labour," &c. ("Report of the Registrar-General," for October 1861.)

[82] We, therefore, find, e.g., that in the beginning of 1863, 26 firms owning extensive potteries in Staffordshire, amongst others, Josiah Wedgwood, & Sons, petition in a memorial for "some legislative enactment." Competition with other capitalists permits them no voluntary limitation of working-time for children, &c. "Much as we deplore the evils before mentioned, it would not be possible to prevent them by any scheme of agreement between the manufacturers. ... Taking all these points into consideration, we have come to the conviction that some legislative enactment is wanted." ("Children's Employment Comm." Rep. I, 1863, p. 322.) Most recently a much more striking example offers. The rise in the price of cotton during a period of feverish activity, had induced the manufacturers in Blackburn to shorten, by mutual consent, the working-time in their mills during a certain fixed period. This period terminated about the end of November, 1871. Meanwhile, the wealthier manufacturers, who combined spinning with weaving, used the diminution of production resulting from this agreement, to extend their own business and thus to make great profits at the expense of the small employers. The latter thereupon turned in their extremity to the operatives, urged them earnestly to agitate for the 9 hours' system, and promised contributions in money to this end.

[83] The labour Statutes, the like of which were enacted at the same time in France, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, were first formally repealed in England in 1813, long after the changes in methods of production had rendered them obsolete.

[84] "No child under 12 years of age shall be employed in any manufacturing establishment more than 10 hours in one day." General Statutes of Massachusetts, 63, ch. 12. (The various Statutes were passed between 1836 and 1858.) "Labour performed during a period of 10 hours on any day in all cotton, woollen, silk, paper, glass, and flax factories, or in manufactories of iron and brass, shall be considered a legal day's labour. And be it enacted, that hereafter no minor engaged in any factory shall be holden or required to work more than 10 hours in any day,or 60 hours in any week; and that hereafter no minor shall be admitted as a worker under the age of 10 years in any factory within this State." State of New Jersey. An Act to limit the hours of labour, &c., § 1 and 2. (Law of 18th March, 1851.) "No minor who has attained the age of 12 years, and is under the age of 15 years, shall be employed in any manufacturing establishment more than 11 hours in any one day, nor before 5 o'clock in the morning, nor after 7.30 in the evening." ("Revised Statutes of the State of Rhode Island," &c., ch. 139, § 23, 1st July, 1857.)

[85] "Sophisms of Free Trade." 7th Ed. London, 1850, p. 205, 9th Ed., p. 253. This same Tory, moreover, admits that "Acts of Parliament regulating wages, but against the labourer and in favour of the master, lasted for the long period of 464 years. Population grew. These laws were then found, and really became, unnecessary and burdensome." (l. c., p. 206.)

[86] In reference to this statute, J. Wade with truth remarks: "From the statement above (i.e., with regard to the statute) it appears that in 1496 the diet was considered equivalent to one-third of the income of an artificer and one-half the income of a labourer, which indicates a greater degree of independence among the working-classes than prevails at present; for the board, both of labourers and artificers, would now be reckoned at a much higher proportion of their wages." (J. Wade, "History of the Middle and Working Classes", pp. 24, 25, and 577.) The opinion that this difference is due to the difference in the price-relations between food and clothing then and now is refuted by the most cursory glance at "Chronicon Preciosum, &c." By Bishop Fleetwood. 1st Ed., London, 1707; 2nd Ed., London, 1745.

[87] W. Petty. "Political Anatomy of Ireland, Verbum Sapienti," 1672, Ed. 1691, p. 10.

[88] "A Discourse on the necessity of encouraging Mechanick Industry," London, 1690, p. 13. Macaulay, who has falsified English history in the interests of the Whigs and the bourgeoisie, declares as follows: "The practice of setting children prematurely to work ... prevailed in the 17th century to an extent which, when compared with the extent of the manufacturing system, seems almost incredible. At Norwich, the chief seat of the clothing trade, a little creature of six years old was thought fit for labour. Several writers of that time, and among them some who were considered as eminently benevolent, mention with exultation the fact that in that single city, boys and girls of very tender age create wealth exceeding what was necessary for their own subsistence by twelve thousand pounds a year. The more carefully we examine the history of the past, the more reason shall we find to dissent from those who imagine that our age has been fruitful of new social evils.... That which is new is the intelligence and the humanity which remedies them." ("History of England," vol. 1., p. 417.) Macaulay might have reported further that "extremely well-disposed" amis du commerce in the 17th century, narrate with "exultation" how in a poorhouse in Holland a child of four was employed, and that this example of "vertu mise en pratique" passes muster in all the humanitarian works, à la Macaulay, to the time of Adam Smith. It is true that with the substitution of manufacture for handicrafts, traces of the exploitation of children begin to appear. This exploitation existed always to a certain extent among peasants, and was the more developed, the heavier the yoke pressing on the husbandman. The tendency of capital is there unmistakably; but the facts themselves are still as isolated as the phenomena of two-headed children. Hence they were noted "with exultation" as especially worthy of remark and as wonders by the far-seeing "amis du commerce," and recommended as models for their own time and for posterity. This same Scotch sycophant and fine talker, Macaulay, says: "We hear to-day only of retrogression and see only progress." What eyes, and especially what ears!

[89] Among the accusers of the workpeople, the most angry is the anonymous author quoted in the text of "An Essay on Trade and Commerce, containing Observations on Taxes, &c.," London, 1770. He had already dealt with this subject in his earlier work: "Considerations on Taxes." London, 1765. Gn the same side follows Polonius Arthur Young, the unutterable statistical prattler. Among the defenders of the working-classes the foremost are: Jacob Vanderlint, in: "Money Answers all Things." London, 1734 the Rev. Nathaniel Forster, D. D., in "An Enquiry into the Causes of the Present High Price of Provisions", London, 1767; Dr. Price, and especially Postlethwayt, as well in the supplement to his "Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce," as in his "Great Bntain's Commercial Interest explained and improved." 2nd Edition, 1755. The facts themselves are confirmed by many other writers of the time, among others by Josiah Tucker.

[90] Postlethwayt, l. c., "First Preliminary Discourse," p. 14.

[91] "An Essay," &c. He himself relates on p. 96 wherein the "happiness" of the English agricultural labourer already in 1770 consisted. "Their powers are always upon the stretch, they cannot live cheaper than they do, nor work harder."

[92] Protestantism, by changing almost all the traditional holidays into workdays, plays an important part in the genesis of capital.

[93] "An Essay," 4c., pp. 15, 41, 96, 97, 55, 57, 69. — Jacob Vanderlint, as early as 1734, declared that the secret of the out-cry of the capitalists as to the laziness of the working people was simply that they claimed for the same wages 6 days' labour instead of 4.

[94] l. c., p. 242.

[95] l. c. "The French," he says, "laugh at our enthusiastic ideas of liberty." l. c., p. 78.

[96] "They especially objected to work beyond the 12 hours per day, because the law which fixed those hours, is the only good which remains to them of the legislation of the Republic." ("Rep. of Insp. of Fact.", 31 st October, 1856, p. 80.) The French Twelve Hours' Bill of September 5th, 1850, a bourgeois edition of the decree of the Provisional Government of March 2nd, 1848, holds in all workshops without exceptions. Before this law the working-day in France was without definite limit. It lasted in the factories 14, 15, or more hours. See "Des classes ouvrières en France, pendant l'année 1848. Par M. Blanqui." M. Blanqui the economist, not the Revolutionist, had been entrusted by the Government with an inquiry into the condition of the working-class.

[97] Belgium is the model bourgeois state in regard to the regulation of the working-day. Lord Howard of Welden, English Plenipotentiary at Brussels, reports to the Foreign Office May 12th, 1862: "M. Rogier, the minister, informed me that children's labour is limited neither by a general law nor by any local regulations; that the Government, during the last three years, intended in every session to propose a bill on the subject, but always found an insuperable obstacle in the jealous opposition to any legislation in contradiction with the principle of perfect freedom of labour."

[98] It is certainly much to be regretted that any class of persons should toil 12 hours a day, which, including the time for their meals and for going to and returning from their work, amounts, in fact, to 14 of the 24 hours.... Without entering into the question of health, no one will hesitate, I think, to admit that, in a moral point of view, so entire an absorption of the time of the working-classes, without intermission, from the early age of 13, and in trades not subject to restriction, much younger, must be extremely prejudicial, and is an evil greatly to be deplored.... For the sake, therefore, of public morals. of bringing up an orderly population, and of giving the great body of the people a reasonable enjoyment of life, it is much to be desired that in all trades some portion of every working-day should be reserved for rest and leisure." (Leonard Homer in "Reports of Insp. of Fact. for 31st Dec., 1841.")

[99] See "Judgment of Mr. J. H. Otway, Belfast. Hilary Sessions, County Antrim, 1860."

[100] It is very characteristic of the regime of Louis Philippe, the bourgeois king, that the one Factory Act passed during his reign, that of March 22nd, 1841, was never put in force. And this law only dealt with child-labour. It fixed 8 hours a day for children between 8 and 12, 12 hours for children between 12 and 16, &c., with many exceptions which allow night-work even for children 8 years old. The supervision and enforcement of this law are, in a country where every mouse is under police administration, left to the good-will of the amis du commerce. Only since 1853, in one single department — the Departement du Nord — has a paid government inspector been appointed. Not less characteristic of the development of French society, generally, is the fact, that Louis Philippe's law stood solitary among the all-embracing mass of French laws, till the Revolution of 1848.

[101] Report of Insn. of Fact." 30th April, 1860, p. 50.

[102] "Rept. of Insp. of Fact.," 31st October, 1849, p. 6.

[103] "Rept. of Insp. of Fact.," 31st October, 1848, p. 98.

[104] Leonard Homer uses the expression "nefarious practices" in his official reports. ("Report of Insp. of Fact.," 31st October, 1859, p. 7.)

[105] "Rept.," &c., 30th Sept., 1844, p. 15.

[106] The Act allows children to be employed for 10 hours if they do not work day after day, but only on alternate days. In the main, this clause remained inoperative.

[107] "As a reduction in their hours of work would cause a larger number (of children) to be employed, it was thought that the additional supply of children from 8 to 9 years of age would meet the increased demand" (l. c., p. 13 ).

[108] "Rep. of Insp. of Fact.," 31st Oct., 1848, p. 16.

[109] "I found that men who had been getting lOs. a week, had had 1s. taken off for a reduction in the rate of 10 per cent, and 1s. 6d. off the remaining 9s. for the reduction in time, together 2s. 6d.. and notwithstanding this, many of them said they would rather work 10 hours." l. c.

[110] "'Though I signed it [the petition], I said at the time I was putting my hand to a wrong thing.' 'Then why did you put your hand to it?' 'Because I should have been turned off if I had refused.' Whence it would appear that this petitioner felt himself 'oppressed,' but not exactly by the Factory Act." l. c., p. 102.

[111] p. 17, l. c. In Mr. Homer's district 10,270 adult male labourers were thus examined in 181 factories. Their evidence is to be found in the appendix to the Factory Reports for the half-year ending October 1848. These examinations furnish valuable material in other connexions also.

[112] l. c. See the evidence collected by Leonard Homer himself, Nos. 69, 70, 71, 72, 92, 93, and that collected by Sub-lnspector A., Nos. 51, 52, 58, 59, 62, 70, of the Appendix. One manufacturer, too, tells the plain truth. See No. 14, and No. 265, l. c.

[113] Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1848, pp. 133, 134.

[114] Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1848, p. 47.

[115] Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1848, p. 130.

[116] Reports, &c., l. c., p. 142.

[117] Reports &c., for 31st October, 1850, pp. 5, 6.

[118] The nature of capital remains the same in its developed as in its undeveloped form. In the code which the influence of the slave-owners, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, imposed on the territory of New Mexico, it is said that the labourer, in as much as the capitalist has bought his labour-power, "is his (the capitalist's) money." The same view was current among the Roman patricians. The money they had advanced to the plebeian debtor had been transformed via the means of subsistence into the flesh and blood of the debtor. This "flesh and blood" were, therefore, "their money." Hence, the Shylock-law of the Ten Tables. Linguet's hypothesis that the patrician creditors from time to time prepared, beyond the Tiber, bunquets of debtors' flesh, may remain as undecided as that of Daumer on the Christian Eucharist.

[119] Reports, &c.. for 30th April, 1848, p. 28.

[120] Thus, among others, Philanthropist Ashworth to Leonard Homer, in a disgusting Quaker letter. (Reports, &c., April, 1849, p. 4.)

[121] l. c., p. 140.

[122] Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1849, pp. 21, 22. Cf like examples ibid., pp. 4. 5.

[123] By I. and II. Will. IV., ch. 24, s. 10, known as Sir John Wobhouse's Factory Act, it was forbidden to any owner of a cotton-spinning or weaving mill, or the father, son, or brother of such owner, to act as Justice of the Peace in any inquiries that concerned the Factory Act.

[124] l. c.

[125] Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1849, p. S.

[126] Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1849, p. 6.

[127] Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1849, p. 21.

[128] Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1848, p. 95.

[129] See Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1849, p. 6, and the detailed explanation of the "shifting system," by Factory Inspectors Howell and Saunders, in "Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1848." See also the petition to the Queen from the clergy of Ashton and vicinity, in the spring of 1849, against the shift system."

[130] Cf. for example, "The Factory Question and the Ten Hours' Bill.", By R. H. Greg, 1837.

[131] F. Engels: 'The English Ten Hours' Bill." (In the "Neue Rheinische Zeitung. Politisch-oekonomische Revue." Edited by K. Marx. April number, 1850, p. 13.) The same "high" Court of Justice discovered, during the American Civil War, a verbal ambiguity which exactly reversed the meaning of the law against the arming of pirate ships.

[132] Rep., &c., for 30th April, 1850.

[133] In winter, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. may be substituted.

[134] "The present law (of 1850) was a compromise whereby the employed surrendered the benefit of the Ten Hours' Act for the advantage of one uniform period for the commencement and termination of the labour of those whose labour is restricted." (Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1852, p. 14.)

[135] Repons, &c., for Sept., 1844, p. 13.

[136] l. c.

[137] l. c.

[138] "Reports, &c., for 31st Oct., 1846," p. 20.

[139] Reports, &c., for 31st Oct., 1861, p. 26.

[140] l. c.,p. 27. On the whole the working population, subject to the Factory Act, has greatly improved physically. All medical testimony agrees on this point, and personal observation at different times has convinced me of it. Nevertheless, and exclusive of the terrible death-rate of children in the first years of their life, the official reports of Dr. Greenhow show the unfavourable health condition of the manufacturing districts as compared with "agricultural districts of normal health." As evidence, take the following table from his 1861 report: —

Percentage of Adult Males Engaged in Manufactures

Death-rate from Pulmonary Affections per 100,000 Males
Name of District
Maccles- field
Stoke- upon-Trent
Eight healthy agricultural districts
Death-rate from Pulmonary Affections per 100,000 Females
Pecentage of Adult Females Engaged in Manufactures

Kind of Female Occupation

[141] It is well known with what reluctance the English "Free-traders," gave up the protective duty on the silk manufacture. Instead of the protection against French importation, the absence of protection to English factory children now serves their turn.

[142] During 1859 and 1860, the zenith years of the English cotton industry, some manufacturers tried, by the decoy bait of higher wages for over-time, to reconcile the adult male operatives to an extension of the working-day. The hand-mule spinners and self-actor mincers put an end to the experiment by a petition to their employers in which they say, "Plainly speaking, our lives are to us a burthen; and, while we are confined to the mills nearly two days a week more than the other operatives of the country, we feel like helots in the land, and that we are perpetuating a system injurious to ourselves and future generations.... This, therefore, is to give you most respectful notice that when we commence work again after the Christmas and New Year's holidays, we shall work 60 hours per week, and no more, or from six to six, with one hour and a half out." (Reports, &rc., for 30th April, 1860, p. 30.)

[143] On the means that the wording of this Act afforded for its violation of the Parliamentary Return "Factories Regulation Act" (6th August, 1859), and in it Leonard Homer's "Suggestions for amending the Factory Acts to enable the Inspectors to prevent illegal working, now becoming very prevalent."

[144] "Children of the age of 8 years and upwards, have, indeed, been employed from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the last half year in my district." (Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1857, p. 39.)

[145] "The Printworks' Act is admitted to be a failure both with reference to its educational and protective provisions." (Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1862, p. 52.)

[146] Thus, e.g., E. Potter in a letter to the Times of March 24th, 1863. The Times reminded him of the maoufacturers' revolt against the Ten Hours' Bill.

[147] Thus, among others, Mr. W. Newmarch, collaborator and editor of Tooke's "History of Prices." Is it a scientific advance to make cowardly concessions to public opinion?

[148] The Act passed in 1860, determined that, in regard to dye and bleachworks, the working-day should be fixed on August 1st, 1861, provisionally at 12 hours, and definitely on August 1st, 1862, at 10 hours, i.e., at 10 1/2 hours for ordinary days, and 7 1/2 for Saturday. Now, when the fatal year, 1862, came, the old farce was repeated. Besides, the manufacturers petitioned Parliament to allow the employment of young persons and women for 12 hours during one year longer. "In the existing condition of the trade (the time of the cotton famine), it was greatly to the advantage of the operatives to work 12 hours per day, and make wages when they could." A bill to this effect had been brought in, "and it was mainly due to the action of the operative bleachers in Scotland that the bill was abandoned." (Reports, &:c., for 31st October, 1862, pp. 14-15.) Thus defeated by the very workpeople, in whose name it pretended to speak, Capital discovered, with the help of lawyer spectacles, that the Act of 1860, drawn up, like all the Acts of Parliament for the "protection of labour," in equivocal phrases, gave them a pretext to exclude from its working the calenderers and finishers. English jurisprudence, ever the faithful servant of capital, sanctioned in the Court of Common Pleas this piece of pettifogging. "The operatives have been greatly disappointed ... they have complained of over-work, and it is greatly to be regretted that the clear intention of the legislature should have failed by reason of a faulty definition." (l. c., p. 18.)

[149] The "open-air bleachers" had evaded the law of 1860, by means of the lie that no women worked at it in the night. The lie was exposed by the Factory Inspectors, and at the same time Parliament was, by petitions from the operatives, bereft of its notions as to the cool meadow-fragrance, in which bleaching in the open-air was reported to take place. In this aerial bleaching, drying-rooms were used at temperatures of from 90° to 100° Fahrenheit, in which the work was done for the most part by girls. "Cooling" is the technical expression for their occasional escape from the drying-rooms into the fresh air. "Fifteen girls in stoves. Heat from 80° to 90° for linens, and 100° and upwards for cambrics. Twelve girls ironing and doing-up in a small room about 10 feet square, in the centre of which is a close stove. The girls stand round the stove, which throws out a terrific heat, and dries the cambrics rapidly for the ironers. The hours of work for these hands are unlimited. If busy, they work till 9 or 12 at night for successive nights." (Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1862, p. 56.) A medical man states: "No special hours are allowed for cooling, but if the temperature gets too high, or the workers' hands get soiled from perspiration, they are allowed to go out for a few minutes.... My experience, which is considerable, in treating the diseases of stove workers, compels me to express the opinion that their sanitary condition is by no means so high as that of the operatives in a spinning factory (and Capital, in its memorials to Parliament, had painted them as floridly healthy after the manner of Rubens.) The diseases most observable amongst them are phthisis, bronchitis, irregularity of uterine functions, hysteria in its most aggravated forms, and rheumatism. All of these, I believe, are either directly or indirectly induced by the impure, overheated air of the apartments in which the hands are employed and the want of sufficient comfortable clothing to protect them from the cold, damp atmosphere, in winter, when going to their homes." (l. c., pp. 56-57.) The Factory Inspectors remarked on the supplementary law of 1860, torn from these open-air bleachers: "The Act has not only failed to afford that protection to the workers which it appears to offer, but contains a clause ... apparently so worded that, unless persons are detected working after 8 o'clock at night they appear to come under no protective provisions at all, and if they do so work the mode of proof is so doubtful that a conviction can scarcely follow." (l. c., p. 52.) "To all intents and purposes, therefore, as an Act for any benevolent or educational purpose, it is a failure; since it can scarcely be called benevolent to permit, which is tantamount to compelling, women and children to work 14 hours a day with or without meals, as the case may be, and perhaps for longer hours than these, without limit as to age, without reference to sex, and without regard to the social habits of the families of the neighbourhood, in which such works (bleaching and dyeing) are situated." (Reports, &c., for 30th April, 1863, p. 40.)

[150] Note to the 2nd Ed. Since 1866, when I wrote the above passages, a reaction has again set in.

[151] "The conduct of each of these classes (capitalists and workmen) has been the result of the relative situation in which they have been placed." (Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1848, p. 113.)

[152] "The employments, placed under restriction, were connected with the manufacture of textile fabrics by the aid of steam or water-power There were two conditions to which an employment must be subject to cause it to be inspected, viz., the use of steam or waterpower, and the manufacture of certain specified fibre." (Reports, &c., for 31st October, 1864, p. 8.)

[153] On the condition of so-called domestic industries, specially valuable materials are to be found in the latest reports of the Children's Employment Commission.

[154] "The Acts of last Session (1864) ... embrace a diversity of occupations, the customs in which differ greatly, and the use of mechanical power to give motion to machinery is no longer one of the elements necessary. as formerly, to constitute, in legal phrase, a 'Factory.'" (Reports, &c., for 31st Octaber, 1864, p. 8.)

[155] Belgium, the paradise of Continental Liberalism, shows no trace of this movement. Even in the coal and metal mines labourers of both sexes, and all ages, are consumed, in perfect "freedom" at any period and through any length of time. Of every 1,000 persons employed there, 733 are men, 88 women. 135 boys, and 44 girls under 16; in the blast furnaces, &c., of every 1,000, 668 are men, 149 women, 98 boys, and 85 girls under 16. Add to this the low wages for the enormous exploitation of mature and immature labour-power. The average daily pay for a man is 2s. 8d.. for a woman, 1s. 8d.. for a boy. 1s. 2 1/2 d. As a result, Belgium had in 1863, as compared with 1850, nearly doubled both the amount and the value of its exports of coal, iron, &c.

[156] Robert Owen, soon after 1810, not only maintained the necessity of a limitation of the working-day in theory, but actually introduced the 10 hours' day into his factory at New Lanark. This was laughed at as a communistic Utopia; so were his "Combination of children's education with productive labour and the Co-operative Societies of workingmen, first called into being by him. To-day, the first Utopia is a Factory Act, the second figures as an official phrase in all Factory Acts, the third is already being used as a cloak for reactionary humbug.

[157] Ure: "French translation, Philosophie des Manufactures." Paris, 1836, Vol. II, pp. 39, 40, 67, 77, &c.

[158] In the Compte Rendu of the International Statistical Congress at Paris, 1855, it is stated: "The French law, which limits the length of daily labour in factories and workshops to 12 hours, does not confine this work to definite fixed hours. For children's labour only the work-time is prescribed as between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Therefore, some of the masters use the right which this fatal silence gives them to keep their works going, without intermission, day in, day out, possibly with the exception of Sunday. For this purpose they use two different sets of workers, of whom neither is in the workshop more than 12 hours at a time, but the work of the establishment lasts day and night. The law is satisfied, but is humanity?" Besides "the destructive influence or night-labour on the human organism," stress is also laid upon "the fatal influence of the association of the two sexes by night in the same badly-lighted workshops."

[159] "For instance, there is within my district one occupier who, within the same curtilage, is at the same time a bleacher and dyer under the Bleaching and Dyeing Works Act, a printer under the Print Works Act, and a finisher under the Factory Act." (Report of Mr. Baker, in Reports, lic., for October 31st, 1861, p. 20.) After enumerating the different provisions of these Acts, and the complications arising from them, Mr. Baker says: "It will hence appear that it must be very difficult to secure the execution of these three Acts of Parliament where the occupier chooses to evade the law." But what is assured to the lawyers by this is law-suits.

[160] Thus the Factory Inspectors at last venture to say: "These objections (of capital to the legal limitation of the working-day) must succumb before the broad principle of the rights of labour.... There is a time when the master's right in his workman's labour ceases, and his time becomes his own, even if there were no exhaustion in the question." (Reports, 8cc., for 31 st Oct., 1862, p. 54.)

[161] "We, the workers of Dunkirk, declare that the length of time of labour required under the present system is too great, and that, far from leaving the worker time for rest and education, it plunges him into a condition of servitude but little better than slavery. That is why we decide that 8 hours are enough for a working-day, and ought to be legally recognised as enough; why we call to our help that powerful lever, the press; ... and why we shall consider all those that refuse us this help as enemies of the reform of labour and of the rights of the labourer." (Resolution of the Working Men of Dunkirk, New York State, 1866.)

[162] Reports, &c., for Oct., 1848, p. 112.

[163] "The proceedings (the manoeuvres of capital, e.g., from 1848-50) have afforded, moreover, incontrovertible proof of the fallacy of the assertion so often advanced, that operatives need no protection, but may be considered as free agents in the disposal of the only property which they possess — the labour of their hands and the sweat of their brows." (Reports, &c., for April 30th, 1850, p. 45.) "Free labour (if so it may be termed) even in a free country, requires the strong arm of the law to protect it." (Reports, &c., for October 31st, 1864, p. 34.) "To permit, which is tantamount to compelling ... to work 14 hours a day with or without meals," &c. (Repts., &c., for April 30th, 1863, p. 40.)

[164] Friedrich Engels, l. c., p. 5.

[165] The 10 Hours' Act has, in the branches of industry that come under it, "put an end to the premature decrepitude of the former long-hour workers." (Reports, &c., for 31st Oct., 1859, p. 47.) "Capital (in factories) can never be employed in keeping the machinery in motion beyond a limited time, without certain injury to the health and morals of the labourers employed; and they are not in a position to protect themselves." l. c., p. 8)

[166] "A still greater boon is the distinction at last made clear between the worker's own time and his master's. The worker knows now when that which he sells is ended, and when his own begins; and by possessing a sure foreknowledge of this, is enabled to prearrange his own minutes for his own purposes." (l. c., p. 52.) "By making them masters of their own time (the Factory Acts) have given them a moral energy which is directing them to the eventual possession of political power" (l. c., p. 47). With suppressed irony, and in very well weighed words, the Factory Inspectors hint that the actual law also frees the capitalist from some of the brutality natural to a man who is a mere embodiment of capital, and that it has given him time for a little "culture." "Formerly the master had no time for anything but money; the servant had no time for anything but labour" (l. c., p. 48).

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