May 30. 1868.

The Economist, 30. Mai 1868. S. 617–619.
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Are Trades Unions really insolvent?

In der Evidence vor der London Commission on Trades Unions’, Mr. Finlaison, of the national debt office, beweist daß „Engineers“ und „Amalgamated Carpenters“ Unions must die out within certain time from ineradicable insolvency. Gesezt er habe Recht. So beweist das nach ihm selbst, daß die Contribution zu niedrig, 50% höher anzusetzen ist. Dieß geht das Wesen der Sache nicht an. Der Theil, den die Unions als benefit societies,  Textverlust durch Wasserfleck. Ergänzt nach der Quelle.
annuation societies, etc auszugeben haben – also der nicht Strike Theil – ist leicht zu berechnen, wie bei jeder andern Insurance Society. Und Inquiry beweist nur, daß die Unions bei Fixirung ihrer Beiträge sich von professional accountants diese Sache berechnen lassen müssen.|


The Economist, 30. Mai 1868. S. 622/623.
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The Bill for abolishing Houses unfit for Human Habitation.

The „Artisans’ and Labourers’ Dwellings Bill“ is the first of a series which is likely to be a long one. … The price of houseroom in the great cities, and more especially in London, has increased with the increase of their population, until the poorer sort of labourers, the men who earn from 12s. to 18s. a week, are wholly unable to pay the sum demanded for lodgings of any decent kind. That sum is usually 1/3 of their incomes, and if the family is large even more, and the labourer is tempted to reduce it by every possible device. Either he retreats to a room so unsafe, illprovided, or unhealthy, that it is let cheap, or he takes in lodgers who pay a portion of his landlord’s demand … The consequence in great cities is that small, rotten, or otherwise cheap houses, near the centres of work, are found crammed to the roofs with families who set all sanitary rules, etc and live, as Lord Chelmsford said, like animals, or, as the Bishop of London still more forcibly put it, like vermin. The landlords or lessees of such houses, very often poor men, spend as little as possible on repairs, dig no cesspools, open no drains, supply no water, and leave as few openings for light and air as they possibly can, windows being conveniences which will break. Such houses become of course centres of disease, depôts where certain forms of fever are storedup to await the first hot day, when they spread far beyond the „rookery“ where they were originally generated.

It is essential that the State, as guardian of the lives of its subjects, should abolish these pest houses, and expedient that it should so far as possible compel a more civilised mode of life. No landlord can have a moral right to let a house in a state unfit for human habitation any more than he can have to sell poison at his own discretion, because it is profitable. He is bound to see that the article he sells either is innoxious to the community, or to abstain from selling it, and can no more plead his right of property against the Legislature than a chemist could plead his right of property in arsenic or prussic acid. He is bound to obey the laws regulating the public health, and is bound also to take heed that his conduct does not lower the general level of morality.

Under this Bill, whenever a house is condemned by competent medical authority as unfit for human habitation, the „local authority“ – that is the Board of Health, or Commission, or Town Council, or Vestry – may direct the owner to make the necessary improvements. If he declines, the local authority may order the House to be closed, or may purchase it on a valuation and rebuild, or may delegate its right of so doing to a speculator in houses. This is the main provision, that a landlord may be compelled to choose between allowing his tenantry habitable accommodation and selling his property to some one who will. Difficulties of the detail. Unless they are removed the Act may prove almost a dead letter. In the first place, the Bill gives no security that the „local authority“ will not be entirely in the hands of petty landlords – the class, which of all others, seeks most for municipal office. In that case the Act either inoperative, or will be used to secure high prices for worthless property. In the second place, the Act provides no fund for the work beyond a 2d. rate, which will be insufficient and unpopular, and compel the local authorities either to delegate their right to a builder, or to exert their alternative power of closing the houses altogether. In the former case the builder is pretty certain to look to profit, and put up rooms a little too good for the poor, thus increasing the overcrowding elsewhere; and in the second, the population must be expelled very often by sheer force. Again, the Bill does not in any way prevent overcrowding, for a house may be in a perfectly habitable state for 4 people, and quite uninhabitable for 14. We fear the Act will lead to very little except a few considerable clearances, which will intensify the surrounding misery and disease. The suffering produced by such clearances for the benefit of railways has been already considerable, and threatened once or twice to breed formidable riots.

The evil to be met is a huge one, namely, the inability of London to hold its population until it is raised higher into the air. Way out of the difficulty is an extension of 2 measures already sanctioned by Parliament – the Lodging House Act, and the Act offering loans of money to the builders of houses for the poor. If a properly constituted Authority were allowed to condemn small districts one at a time as unfit for human habitation, and such districts were then cleared by the Dwelling-House Associations, and covered with their lofty dwellings out of capital lent by the State, the gradual relief would no doubt be very great – as great, that we might in a few years carry the Lodging House Act to its logical conclusion, and absolutely prohibit overcrowding beyond the limit of health, viz., 500 cubic feet of air to each sleeper. Problem: to house decently in a space already overcrowded the 80,000 immigrants who add themselves every year to the population of London. The present Bill may work well for Liverpool, Manchester, or Norwich, where local authority strong, and possible to extend the area to be built on.

II) Italy:

Deficits (24)


  • Inhaltsverzeichnis von Friedrich Engels
  • 1869 I Heft
  • Money Market. 1868.
  • Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1868.
  • The Economist. Jahrgang 1868. Nachträge
    • The Economist. Jahrgang 1868.
    • Inhaltsregister für 1868 Jahrgang. („Money Market Review“ und „Economist“.)
    • Kommentar zu George Joachim Goschen
      • George J. Goschen: The Theory of the Foreign Exchange. 7th edit. London 1866.
      • Friedrich Ernst Feller, Carl Gustav Odermann: Das Ganze der kaufmännischen Arithmetik
      • Inhalt.