Co-operative Printing Society.

Commemoration of the Society's 21st anniversary, May 10th, 1890 online

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to overtake the railway interest at that rate. Co-operative
propaganda had, therefore, a glorious field of work before it,
and he hoped some steps would be taken to increase our rate
of progress. The classes for teaching the principles and aims
of co-operation are capable of accomplishing much good.
We must endeavour to impart to young men and maidens
a clear view of the advantages that co-operation is capable
of producing for the benefit of the present and future
generations. The Rochdale Pioneers had faith that co-opera-
tion, properly and thoroughly carried out, would go far to
make this world a paradise ; and this faith was the ground of
their earnestness. We must cultivate the same spirit of faith
and earnestness if we would increase our rate of progress. He
would quote, in conclusion, the noble words of Mr. Neale at
Cambridge last Whit-week, when the co-operators were
hospitably entertained by the officials of the University. Mr,
Neale said: "Our instruments of action are necessarily material,
but our aims touch the highest sphere of human activity
by addressing themselves to the profound principle of moral
will. We seek to make men richer by making them better, to
banish fraud from commerce, and to transmute in the ordinary



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affairs of life the bitterness of competitive struggle into the
nobleness of a generous emulation. We seek to abate the
flood of misery by stopping its springs, to equalise possession
by gradually removing the causes of its great inequality,
and to convert the productive powers of mankind into the
source of general well-being." (Applause.)

Mr. Mitchell responded to the sentiment. He regarded
the co-operative movement as one of the most vital questions
of the time in which we live, and believed it was destined to
improve the social condition of humanity in every class of
society, doing no harm to the rich, benefiting the poorest, and
doing as much good as possible to the middle class. Every
day he became more and more impressed with the conviction
that co-operators must take an interest not merely in our
own movement, but bring the power of their influence to bear
upon every department of life which affects our material
interests and the advancement of society generally. Co-oper-
ators should feel that the power is within their grasp to
entirely change the social and industrial life of the present
day. Mr. Mitchell referred to the powerful influence exercised
by the railway companies, and to their great expenditure on
land and law, which must materially increase the cost of
carrying goods, and thus curtail the profit and progress of
co-operation by burdening the industries of the people. He
approved of a reform in our land laws, so that this class of
property might be transferred without its present enormous
cost of conveyance. Viewed in its broadest aspect, the
co-operative movement is part of a great social, political,
moral, and intellectual force for the elevation of the industrial .
classes. (Applause.)

Hearty thanks were accorded to Mr. Howell for his address,
and to the chairman for presiding.

During the evening Mr. Barnes (manager of the society)
gave an admirable recitation of Edwin Waugh's poem, " God
Bless Thi Silver Yure." Mr. J. Robinson (a member of the
board) formed one of a capital glee party, and also sang
Bishop's " Pilgrim of Love." The other members of the
musical party were Miss Swindelhurst, Miss Archer, and
Messrs. J. L. and A. Vickers, J. H. Greenwood, J. Peers, and
J. W. Maltby.



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Mxtraet from, ** Co-operative News,** May 17th, 1890,

In the well-appointed dining hall of the Co-operative
Wholesale Society, Waterloo Street, Newcastle, the ** coming
of age " of the Co-operative Printing Society was socially and
enthusiastically celebrated on Saturday, May loth, 1890. An
excellent dinner was served to the large company of guests,
who were representative of co-operative societies in many parts
of the north of England ; and each person as he entered the
hall was presented with the well bound and admirably printed
history of the Printing Society. Mr. John Shotton (chairman
of the Newcastle Branch) presided, and there was a large
audience, including several ladies. The chairman was supported
on the platform by Mr. John Nixon, Mr. Bailey, Councillor Rule
(Gateshead), Mr. Thirlaway (Gateshead), Mr. G. Boult, Mr.
T. W. W. Ritson, Mr. Howat, Mr. W. A. Lowery, Mr. George
Bell, and Mr. T. H. Ashforth (manager of the Newcastle
Branch).

The Chairman, who was received with loud applause, said
they had met that afternoon to celebrate the twenty-first
anniversary of a society which had been one of the most
^successful undertakings they had tried in the productive line
so far. (Applause.) It commenced in i86g, through the
influence of a few old co-operators in Manchester, and he was
glad to say that there was present at that gathering one who
was closely connected with the first board. He alluded to
their esteemed friend, Mr. H. R. Bailey. (Applause.) In
1873, like all large families, the Manchester Society began to
branch off, and it branched off to Newcastle to begin with.
They were not yet of age in Newcastle, but they were big
boys — (laughter) — and they thought that as north country
fellows were very strong — were pretty good men — at eighteen,
they would have their majority celebrated that day as well.






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>iZ>^' (Laughter and applause.) In Newcastle they had had good
support from Manchester, and they had been well supported
by the Newcastle Branch of the Wholesale Society. Man-
chester, he thought, however, was better situated for trade
union work than they were in the north of England. They
had some very staunch friends in the north, but they had not
so many as they ought to have. (Hear, hear.) If they could
get more trade unions to come to get their printing done with
them, he felt certain that the trade unions would never regret
it. They recognised trade unionism in their movement ; they
were nearly all trade unionists who were connected with it, and
surely they ought to have a little more work from trade unions.
(Hear, hear.) They wanted more co-operative societies, too.
They did not want capital ; they wanted a larger membership
and a larger trade, and then Newcastle would perhaps do as
well as Manchester. He was glad to state that during the
last half-year nearly the whole of the employes at the New-
castle works had taken up shares. (Applause.) He was
obliged to those who had done so, and he hoped that in the
future it would be a place that was worked by those who were
both shareholders and employes. (Loud applause.)

Mr. H. R. Bailey, in the course of an excellent speech,
said during the twenty-one years that had elapsed since the
Printing Society was commenced they had had their ups and
downs. They had begun with a small concern and had now
their large society. He believed, however, that they had
more fire and more enthusiasm twenty-one years ago than
they had now ; they seemed more inclined to go ahead than
they were now. He was glad to know that they had still in
connection with the Printing Society one old familiar face— it
was that of his friend, Mr. G. Owen. (Applause.) Mr. Owen
was his (Mr. Bailey's) foreman when he was at the bookbinding,
and they used to talk over together the desirability of having
a Co-operative Printing and Bookbinding Society. Well, the
society had come, and it had been a success. (Applause.) He
would not, however, like to see them get over greedy. They
now paid lo per cent to capital, but he would not care if they
paid only 5 per cent. They should not strive so much after
big profits as to improve trade and to improve the wages of
their employes. He believed that the female labour especially
was ill paid, and he would like if the directors could see their






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way to pay the females more wages, and so encourage them
in their work. He hoped the society would receive more
support from co-operators and trade unionists in the north
than it had hitherto received, and that in the future it would
do better even than it had done in the past for the interests of
the shareholders at large. (Cheers.)

Mr. John Nixon (secretary of the Newcastle Branch)
thanked Mr. Bailey for the kind words he had uttered. Mr.
Bailey had on all occasions done his best for them. Allusion
had been made to trade unionism, but he was glad to say that
nothing on that head could be said against Northumberland.
When the movement began, the Northumberland Miners'
Association had taken up 200 shares, and they had got all
their printing done at the works ; and from his knowledge of
other concerns he was persuaded that the work was done as
well and as cheaply as at any other place. (Applause.)
Durham trade unionism had a large amount of printing to do,
and he did think their co-operative friends in that county
might help the Printing Society. (Hear, hear.)

Councillor T. Rule (Gateshead) said at Gateshead they
were not shareholders in the Printing Society, but they had a
great interest in it, because they got their printing done by it,
and the Printing Society did exceedingly well for them. One
quarter they thought they could do better, and they had their
printing done elsewhere ; but they found out it would not do
— (laughter) — and they were glad to get back to the old
quarter. (Laughter.) He trusted the society would go on
increasing its success.

Mr. W. J. HowAT (Newcastle-on-Tyne Co-operative Society),
in some eloquent remarks, said the co-operative movement
had been spoken of in high terms in many quarters recently.
There was to be a report issued from the House of Commons
on what had been done in productive distribution, and the
contribution of the Printing Society to that report would be
one of the most interesting things in it. He noticed in
that week's Co-operative News that a gentleman wrote and
expressed surprise and disgust at the statement made at the
society's majority London celebration that £3,199 had been
the share of profit divided amongst the workers during the
twenty-one years' existence of the society. The gentleman
thought that was a miserably small sum, but he (Mr. Howat)



yr.,^






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differed from him. It was about £i for every ;f6o paid in
wages, and that by a society that paid the best wages, for the
Printing Society did pay the best wages, namely, the union
wages. He could not consider is. in addition to every 60s.
paid as wages anything like a wet blanket, and it was, he
considered, a creditable thing for the Printing Society to do.
(Cheers.)

Mr. J. Thirlaway (Gateshead) said he attributed the want
of fire and enthusiasm, deplored by Mr. Bailey, to the fact
that all novelty had passed from the movement since the time
referred to. This was the cause, and the reason for the
notice taken of co-operation in public places, referred to
by Mr. Howat, was its success. At one time it was not very
respectable to have anything to do with it, but now it
was successful, and everything that succeeded was highly
respectable, and everybody had to do with it, even the public
men in the House of Commons and elsewhere. With respect
to co-operative printing, he testified that the society did
excellent work, was punctual in its execution, and gave them
the best of terms. With Mr. Howat, he joined in wishing
the society success. (Applause.)

An excellent programme was contributed duiing the
evening by Miss Sneath, and Messrs. Tuke, Macdonald,
/, '^{ Duncanson, and Winstone. Votes of thanks to the directors
of the Wholesale for the use of the hall, to the speakers, to
those who had provided the dinner, and to the chairman, were
passed at the close. The arrangements, which were in the
hands of the officials of the Printing Society and the Whole-
sale Society, were of a very excellent kind, and the proceedings
throughout were most successful.



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LlONDON.



Extract from " Co-operative News,*' May 10th, 1890,

A festive gathering of a somewhat unusual character
assembled on Saturday, May 3rd, 1890, at the familiar
rendezvous of London co-operators, the fine meeting-room ot
the Wholesale Society, to celebrate this interesting event in
the history of the Co-operative Printing Society. With one or
two exceptions where illness prevailed, as with Mr. F. Rogers,
the whole of the London Branch staff, from Mr. Bradley, the
genial manager, down to the very smallest of small boys, were
present, and many of their lady friends as well; while the
numerous invitations to shareholders, customers, and other
friends, liberally distributed, were well responded to.

The practical proceedings commenced about five p.m., with
a cold collation in the dining-room. This was pleasantly
@ accompanied by a variety of airs by the Anchor Band (members
of the Wholesale staff), who, it was remarked, acquitted
themselves most creditably in this duty. Their agreeable
service was also continued between the tea and the concert,
while the friends present indulged in conversation and cigars
to prepare themselves for the pleasures to follow.

For the evening's entertainment a first-rate programme of
vocal and instrumental music and recitations had been
arranged, and several high-class artistes engaged. Mr. B.
Jones (as chairman of the branch committee) presided, and
was supported on the platform by Mr. S. L. Chadwick (chair-
man of the Printing Society), the Rev. S. A. Barnett (warden
of Toynbee Hall), Mr. Hodgson Pratt (president of the
Working Men's Club and Institute Union), Mr. J. Dell, Mr. C.
Fielding, Mr. J. Teasdale, Mr. W. G. Tutt, Mr. T. E. Webb,
Mr. W. Strawn, and Mr. J. Bradley.

The Chairman, in welcoming the guests, entered at some
length into the objects the promoters had in starting the






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'^c-'-' institution, and congratulated the shareholders and all con-
cerned upon their full achievement. He was glad, also, to
announce that two of the originators of the society were still
with them, in the persons of Mr. Henry Slatter, who was as
good a trade unionist as he was a co-operator, and who had
been the first working man appointed to the bench of
magistrates; and Mr. J. Bradley, the respected manager of
the London Branch. Speaking of the business in London, the
chairman said they were under great obligations to Manchester,
who had borne the brunt of the battle by supplying the sinews
of war to carry on a successful trade. They had had, however,

> there ups and downs, and were not always in smooth waters.

Amongst other things they had dabbled with a gold mine, but it
had been proved no gold mine for the society, though they had
captured a fairly good nugget. Such will-o*-the-wisps would
be shunned in the future, and a better class of trade sought.
They were now in a capital position, and prepared to do any
amount of work, as Manchester, the parent society, would help
them to any amount of cash, he believed to the extent of
;f 100,000. He advised societies to leave off having poor paper
and poor printing, and to go in for the good workmanship which
the Printing Society was noted for. The chairman also
suggested that Mr. Acland should ask the Government for a
portion of the national printing, as they were in as good a
position to do it as any printing establishment in the country.
(^ They would thus be able to employ a much larger staff, and

the profits would go to the consumer first and the workers
next. In conclusion he prophesied a very successful future
for the Printing Society.

Mr. Hodgson Pratt, in the course of an eloquent address,
said he felt it to be a great honour to have been invited to take
part in that important meeting. At no more important time
than the present could such a celebration have taken place,
when the great and difficult question of the relations between
capital and labour was dwarfing all others in the public mind,
and great dissatisfaction existed among the class that formed
the majority of the population in this and all other countries.
Discontent was everywhere rife, and we must consider how it
can be satisfied. Formerly discontent was blind, and every-
body thought it was in the nature of things that one class
should suffer distress and want. It was now no longer blind;









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' but asked why it should suffer — ^why be slaves ot injustice and
wrong ? The remedy for this was the question of our time.
Not force or war could remove the injustice. The results of
force and war fall most heavily on the present sufferers.
Co-operators were the most fitting body to solve these
difficulties. They have studied this great question, and learned
by experience that it can only be solved by justice and reason.
The success of one society like this was worth more than a
hundred House of Commons speeches and dozens of newspaper
articles. One paper actually suggested that, in order to enable
the people to get the full benefit of the reduction of the tea ■
duty, special shops should be opened throughout the country
for the purpose, quite in ignorance of the existence of
co-operative stores, where the benefit will be undoubtedly
obtainable. Employers and employed may be at variance
about fair pay, because each views the subject differently, and
thus there can never be a full solution of it until the worker
and the employer are one. It is high time this question was
settled. Strikes and lockouts cannot settle it. Neither can
be always right, but when both are united as one it will be
settled. Their solution was the only one, and the best of all
unions was that of capital and labour ; both were necessary,
5 and both must work for a common interest. Let each one
^ among them feel that they are working for the success of and
to prove a great principle, not of revolution, but of evolution —
(S/ for the transformation of society. Slow and steady change
was a law of nature that was equally true of men and society
as of nature itself. If true to their principles, they would show
that co-operation is better than strife, that peace is better than
war, and by patience, justice, and example, they would feel
they were rendering a lasting service to humanity. (Loud
cheers.)

The Rev. S. A. Barnett, after noticing the prevalent labour
troubles, and picturing a humorous view of affairs supposing a
general strike of printers to take place, referred to the custom
of coming-of-age celebrations amongst the upper classes, and
how he would like to be present at such, and say to the young
heir that he must not consider the vast properties he inherited
as his own, but that he held them in trust for the welfare of the
community, that he must look into the condition of the people
on his estate, improve their condition and their homes, rectify



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>5^^^ all abuses, perfect the sanitation, and do all in his power to

I make them happy. This society he<looked upon as a young

heir, and urged them to remember that, having got this

I excellent position, it was not their own, but must be used for

the welfare of the community, by example to other traders, and
by improving the practices of trade. No man or society could
do well if working entirely for itself, but only if working for

I the commonwealth. He desired to see labour stronger, and

able to meet capital as an equal, for peace could exist only
between equals* For this reason he approved of trade

I unions, which made labour strong, and prepared the way fot

^ co-operative production, which will secure us against strikes
and evils of that character. (Cheers.)

Mr. S. L. Chadwick (president of the society) was received

I with musical honours, the audience rising and singing heartily

" He's a Jolly Good Fellow." He said he was not vain enough

I to accept that compliment for himself alone, but for the society

he represented. That society, he said, was started not to gain
praise for its promoters, but to show to the world the possi-
bility of a real union between capital and labour. They had
experienced some times of difficulty, but had endeavoured to
struggle manfully with them, and had succeeded. In only two
half-years had they failed to make profits. The board had
always kept before them the principle of associated labour,
and done all in their power for the benefit of their employes,

i believing in the principle that working men could .best be

benefitted by working men. They had agreed that labour
should have its right and fair remuneration, and that the
difference should be equitably divided between capital and
labour and trade. They had now a share capital of ;f 15,940,
and loan capital ;f 10,615. The amount of wages paid for the
first half-year was ;fi23, and for the last half-year ;f8,455.
Profits in the first period amounted to £6 ; for the last, ;f2,i6o;
and the total profits made reached ^34,486, which had been
faithfully divided according to the principles of the founders.
Shares had received in dividend /iS.iSi, and trade had
received ;f 2,837, while ^3,199 had been distributed as bonus
among the employes. The society had a character at stake,
and it depended on the societies whether it should be sus-
tained. Let their practice square with their theory, and there
could be no doubt about it.



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Towards the close of the entertainment, which was carried
through in an excellent manner, and also greatly appreciated,
Mr, W. G. TuTT moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Hodgson
Pratt and Rev. S. A. Barnett for their speeches and expressions
of sympathy, and to the Wholesale Society and its staff for
accommodation and attendance. He asked for the best efforts
of officers, shareholders, and employes to make the branch a
still further success.

Mr. Bradley (manager), in seconding the motion, said he
would like to take them a little further back than the book
which had been placed in their hands did, and make them
acquainted with one of the reasons that prompted them to
start the society. In 1868 an important amendment was made
in the Limited Liability Act, which gave advantages to the
less wealthy which they had not previously had. In Oldham
advantage was taken of the amended Act, and the cotton mills
that were then floated turned out to be great successes. The
capital of these mills came to a great extent from cotton
operatives, who could also work the mills. This success
caused co-operators to discuss the matter, and see whether it
was not possible to float a concern other than a cotton mill.
Very few meetings of a few members of the Manchester and
Salford Equitable Co-operative Society sufficed before the
idea of a Printing Society was arrived at. From the first the
question of placing capital and labour on a sound footing was
understood, and it is to be hoped that the Printing Society has
done something in that respect.

The motion was adopted.

Mr. Chadwick moved a hearty vote of thanks to the chair-
man, which was seconded by Mr, T. E. Webb, and carried
The meeting closed with singing ** Auld Lang Syne."







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^ CO-OPERATIVE PIIINTING SOCIETT LIMITEO,



MANCHESTER.



L+gj @P 0pp+eEF(^ pei^ 1890.







Mr.


S. L. CHADWICK.




Mr.


W. BATES.


gotnt


nittee:

Mr. O. LEES.




Mr.


W. BOOTH.




Mr. G. OWEN.




Mr.


J. CROMPTON.




Mr. J. ROBINSON.




Mr.


T. HAYES.




Mr. H. R. SLATTER, J.P.




Mr.


W. JOHNSON. 1 Mr. J. THOMASSON.
Mr. I. TWEEDALE.



\r Mr. W. APPLEBY and Mr. J. WILLIAMS.

Mr. W. JOHNSON.
Mr. HAWORTH BARNES.
Mr. JAMES BOOTH.

Mr. R. HYDE.

'^anRer^ :

CO-OPERATIVE WHOLESALE SOCIETY LIMITED,

MANCHESTER.






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W. BOOTH. J.THOMASSON.



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— OF THE —



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LIMITED,



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^* HISTORY *^

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^JHE year 1869 was a year of great co-
^P^ operative activity. The Co-operative
(J^MS^ Wholesale Society had been in existence
about five years, its annual sales were
approaching half-a-million, and on March
ist of that year the Warehouse at No. i,


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Online LibraryCo-operative Printing SocietyCommemoration of the Society's 21st anniversary, May 10th, 1890 → online text (page 2 of 5)