R. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) Ensor.

Modern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; online

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Online LibraryR. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) EnsorModern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; → online text (page 33 of 35)
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(/>) Providing for a limitation of the hours of labour of the
employees ?

(c) Giving (as in Edinburgh) the council power to make
bye-laws on that and other matters concerning the manage-
ment of the traffic, in so far as it affects the public interest ?

4. Will you endeavour to secure the transfer to the council,
where not already municipalized, of —

(a) Any existing private markets, and the grant to it of
power to provide new ones where required ?

(d) The water supply ?

(c) The gas supply, and to take over the existing works if
required ?

5. Will you support the establishment of municipal abat-
toirs in place of private slaughter-houses ?

6. Will you oppose privileges for electric lighting being
given to any company, and press for the institution of such
lighting by the council ?

II. — Housing of the People,

Will you press for —

7. The appointment of a committee to consider the con-
dition of the working-class housing in your town ?

8. The construction and maintenance, by tJie council itself
of an adequate number of cottages and of common lodging-
houses under the Housing of the Working Classes Act, i8go,
Part III. ?

9. The condemnation of insanitary dwellings under the
Housing of the Working Classes Act, Parts I. and II. ?

10. The effective registration of tenement houses, and
regular inspection of every house in the borough, so as to
secure thorough sanitation ?

11. The employment by the council of an adequate staff
to compel the enforcement of the sanitary laws relating to
house, property ?

12. The establishment of a complete system of drainage
throughout the borough, and the frequent removal of dust by


the council's own staff, with special attention to the scaveng-
ing and lighting of the poorer districts ?

III. — Proper Treat ?nent of Labour.

13. Will you insist, as regards all persons employed by the
council, upon —

{a) A normal eight-hours' day ?

(b) Not less than trade-union rate of wages for each occu-
pation ?

(c) Full liberty of combination ?

{d) One day's rest in seven and sufficient annual holidays ?
{e) The prohibition of overtime except in unexpected emer-
gencies ?

(/) The provision of waterproof coats for outdoor labourers ?
{g) The direct employment of labour, wherever possible ?

14. Where contracting is necessary, will you try to put
down all sweating, and rigidly enforce the rule of employing
only firms which —

(a) Pay the trade-union rate of wages for the particular
occupation ?

{b) Observe the standard hours of labour, where such standard
exists ?

IV. — Financial Reform.

Are you in favour of —

15. Levying a special rate upon the owners of ground-rents
and other land values, and of collecting half-rates from the
owners of empty houses and vacant land ?

16. Securing special contributions, by way of "better-
ment," from the owners of property benefited by public im-
provements ?

17. A "Municipal Death Duty" on local real estate, as a
way of absorbing the " unearned increment " ?

18. Retaining the freehold of any land owned by the
council ?


19. The alteration of any law making necessary the sale of

"surplus land "?

V. — A Democratic Council.

Will you support —

20. Granting the use of a room in the municipal buildings
for the meetings of the trades council, as is done at Nottingham ?

21. Evening meetings of the council and its committees, so
that men at work in the day can become effective members ?

22. Free use, for candidates' meetings, of all suitable
schoolrooms receiving education grants, and other suitable
public buildings ?

23. Making women eligible for election ?

24. The publication of an annual report of the council's
work, with full financial statistics, at a cheap rate ?

25. The provision, in all districts of the borough, of —

(a) Public baths, including swimming baths for each sex
and wash-houses ?

(b) Free public libraries and reading-rooms ?

(c) Public drinking-fountains ?
{d) Parks and open spaces ?
{e) Gymnasiums and seats ?

(/) Free urinals and water-closets for each sex ?

26. The opening on Sundays of the public libraries,
reading-rooms, museums, art galleries, baths, gymnasiums and
parks ?

27. The provision of music in the parks at the expense of
the rates ?

28. Permission for public meetings in the parks and open
spaces, where the traffic is not thereby unduly interfered with ?

29. The rigid enforcement, without respect of persons, of
laws relating to —

{a) The smoke nuisance ?
(b) The pollution of rivers ?
{c) Noxious trades ?



As Amended at Newcastle, February, 1903

The Labour Representation Committee arose out of a conference
held in February, 1900. It held its first annual conference in
February, 1901.


The Labour Representation Committee is a federation of
Trade Unions, Trades Councils, the Independent Labour
Party, and the Fabian Society. Co-operative Societies are also
eligible for membership.

II. — Object,

To secure, by united action, the election to Parliament of
candidates promoted, in the first instance, by an affiliated
society or societies in the constituency, who undertake to
form or join a distinct group in Parliament, with its own whips
and its own policy on labour questions, to abstain strictly
from identifying themselves with or promoting the interests of
any section of the Liberal or Conservative parties, and not to
oppose any other candidate recognized by this committee.
All such candidates shall pledge themselves to accept this
constitution, to abide by the decisions of the group in carry-
ing out the aims of this constitution, or resign, and to appear



before their constituencies under the title of Labour candidates

IIL — The Executive.

The Executive shall consist of thirteen members, nine
representing the Trade Unions, one the Trades Councils, one
the Fabian Society, and two the Independent Labour Party.
The members shall be elected by their respective organizations
at the annual conference.

IV. — Duties of the Executive.

The Executive Committee shall appoint a chairman, vice-
chairman, and treasurer ; shall transact the affairs of the
committee, and make proper arrangements for the payment of
permanent officers when necessary.

It shall keep in touch with trade-unions and other
organizations, local and national, which are running Labour
candidates, and on the approach of a General Election, it
shall prepare a list of candidates run in accordance with the
constitution, shall pubHsh this list, and shall recommend these
candidates for the support of the working-class electors. Its
members shall strictly abstain from identifying themselves with
or promoting the interests of any section of the Liberal or
Conservative parties.

It shall report to affiliated organizations if the chief
officials of any affiUated body publicly oppose the approved
candidates of the committee, or if any member of this executive,
Member of Parliament or candidate, who has been endorsed
by the committee, acts contrary to the spirit of this constitu-

V. — The Secretary.

The secretary shall be elected by the annual conference.
He shall be under the direction of the executive committee,
who shall have power to suspend or dismiss him for good
cause shown, and to appoint a temporary successor to act until
the next conference.


VI. — Affiliation Fees and Delegates.

Every trades council shall be entitled to afifiliate, and to
send one delegate to the conference on paying jQx per year,
and may send one additional delegate for each loj. paid.
Other organizations shall pay lOi-. per annum for every i,ooo
members or fraction thereof, and may send one delegate for
each 1,000 members paid for.

VII. — Annual Conference.

The committee shall convene a conference of its affiliated
societies in the month of February each year. Notice of all
resolutions for the conference and all amendments to the
rules, shall be sent to the secretary by December i, and shall
be forthwith forwarded to the affiliated organizations. Notice
of amendment shall be sent to the secretary by January 15,
and shall be printed on the agenda.

The above needs to be supplemented by certain financial
resolutions also passed at Newcastle. These are : —

I. — That a Parliamentary Fund be formed with the object
of assisting in paying the election expenses and maintenance
of direct Labour representatives.

II. — That the contributions from the affiliated societies, with
the exception of trades councils, be at the rate of one penny
per member per annum.

III. — That the annually elected committee shall, from its
number, select three to act as trustees, any two of whom, with
the secretary, shall sign cheques.

IV. — {a) Maintenance. — That all members elected under
the auspices !of the labour representation committee be paid
from the fund an equal sum not to exceed, for the present,
;^20o per annum.

{b) Returning Officer's Expenses. — That 25 per cent, of the
net returning officer's expenses be paid to the candidates
approved by the committee, and belonging to an affiliated


society contributing to this fund, so long as the total sum so
expended does not exceed 25 per cent, of the parliamentary

(c) That 5 per cent, of the annual income of the fund be
transferred to the general funds of the committee, so as to pay
for the working expenses of the fund and enable the committee
to do more effective political work.

V. — No payments shall be made from the fund until it
amounts to ;^2,5oo, except in the event of a General Election.

2 B


I. — Election Address of the Social Democratic
Party in the German Reichstag

Published in the Vonvarts, May i, 1903. It forms the most
authentic statement of what the 3,008,000 Social Democratic electors
voted for on June 16, 1903. Observe that while the socialization of
the means of production is only mentioned briefly at the close, the
general struggle of the party against class-government, militarism,
Protectionist excesses, and unconstitutional procedure inside and
outside the Reichstag, is presented vividly and at length. Too
much stress, however, should not be laid on the shortening of
Socialistic formulae, because their assertion by the party may be
considered a matter of common knowledge, of which few German
electors need now to be reminded.


To-day the last session of the Reichstag elected in 1898 has
come to a close.

While we now give back our mandate into the hands of our
electors, we believe we can with a good conscience leave them to
pass pidginent on our acts.

When we published our election address in the spring of
1898, we promised to fight against injustice, oppression, and
exploitation in every form, and to further progress in every
way. This promise we have honourably kept.

We did what we could to atone for injustice, to pillory
violence, to hinder exploitation, to lighten oppression, and to
serve progress.




If we only too often failed to secure what we wished to
secure, our failure was due to our slight numbers, against
which our opponents had a large majority.

To progressive measures, which we thought we could
support, the last five years have unfortunately contributed but
little ; to fresh oppression and fresh burdens upon the people,
only too much.

The first Navy Bill of 1898 was followed by the second far
larger one of 1900, which also occasioned large excesses of expendi-
ture, and which an ever-subservient majority, led by the Centre
Party,^ voted amid the curtailment of the rights of the Reich-
stag. The year 1899 saw the voting of the five years' Army
Bill, with an increase to the Army by over 19,000 men, and a
corresponding increase of expenditure.

But in the long session, 1 901-1903, the battle grew hot
over the new Customs Tariff, which on the night of December
13-14, 1902, obtained a two-thirds majority, after this
majority^ led by their President, had trampled law and right
toiderfoot, and coerced the minority by employing the most
iniquitous means.

This new Customs Tariff is in our eyes a product of
illegality and barbarism. Illegal in virtue of the forms under
which it came into being, barbarous in virtue of the customs
duties which it contains, especially those upon the absolute
necessaries of life, which denote the robbing and plundering
of the great majority of the nation for the benefit of a favoured

On the basis of this new tariff, there remains no hope of
commercial treaties favourable for the industry of Germany or
for the enormous majority of the population who have to buy
farm products.

TJiough decided partisans of a policy of commercial treaties,

which facilitates the exchange of saleable articles and t/ie materials

of civilizatio7i, so far as possible, with every nation in the world,

we mttst most decidedly oppose commercial treaties which are

' The Roman Catholic clerical party of Germany.


concluded on the basis of the new Customs Tariffs and mjure both
our commercial relations with foreign countries and the livelihood
of the great jnass of the population.

Electors, it is for you to decide at the coming election
whether you will sanction further the policy of robbing and
plundering the masses in favour of privileged classes.

But this is not the only question ; a series of other questions
are to be decided in the next five years.

In spite of the enormous military and naval armaments put
forward in the last decades, in which Germany is ahead of every
State, and has capped their arinaments, and although at present
the charges for the army and navy, with the expenditures
connected with them, devour well over looo million marks ^ a
year, yet we are confronted with large ?iew armaments and corre-
sp07iding additional expenditure.

In 1904 the Army Bill's five years expire, and the?i another
great Army Bill will appear. A neiv Navy Bill has already
been an?iounced.

So Germany is among those chiefly responsible for the
endless increase of armaments and the race between the
States, under which the peoples must eventually break down.

France has for some years past already reached the limit of
her capacity in men, and the sum of her taxation and debt
increases beyond measure, like our own. Russia has overladen
her stomach in the East, and requires time for digestion.
Besides, there are her increasing financial embarrassments, the
penury of her peasants, and the ferment among her own people,
which make it impossible for her to think of a great war within
any visible period of time.

Moreover, the prospect of a fina?icial and social catastrophe,
which a European war infallibly brings in its train, forbids any of
the great States to apply the torch to the powder-barrel on peril of
provoking its ow?i ruin.

In spite of all, the Germati Empire continues to press them on
and push them forward in the ju alter of arjnatnetits.

' J.i, Fifty million sterling.


Electors, this must, once and for all, end ! It is for you
with your million voices to hurl an '■^ Enough !" full in the face
of our governing classes.

Along with military and naval expenditure grows the
expenditure for the colonies, whose development is most
unsatisfactory, and whose annual cost is not far off the whole
value of their commerce. Moreover, the other imperial
requirements are increasing from year to year, although, in
consequence of the great deficit in the imperial treasury, they,
like the military and naval expenses, are violently curtailed.
Thus, for example, the urgently needed increase in the
allowances to military pensioners miscarried for lack of means.
This deficit in the imperial treasury has arisen, although the
burden of imperial indebtedness has grown between 1888 — the
year in which the present Emperor assumed the government —
and the present, from 721 million marks to nearly 3000 million
marks,^ with an annual charge of about loo million marks for
interest ; and the receipts from customs and excise since the
year 1878 have risen from 235 million marks to over goo

To-day it is already certain that even the increased receipts
which are expected from the new Customs Tariff, and
which will amount to well over 200 million marks, will
not avail to cover the additional expenditure in the coming

A considerable raising of the taxes on beer and tobacco, and
a tax on weapons, for which members of the Centre Party are
especially eager, will be introduced if the new majority in the
Reichstag resembles the old of2e.

The very classes and parties who constantly parade their
patriotism and accuse us of disowning our fatherland, are
extremely loth to draw on the large incomes and properties
for the cost of the army and the fleet, but consider it patriotic
and just to lay the most shameful burdens on the poorer

' I.e. from ;^36,o5o,ooo to ;f 150,000,000, with about ;^5, 000,000 for
annual interest.


classes, by immoderate customs duties, excise, and imposts
of every sort on the absolute necessaries of life.

Electors^ the very day that the propertied classes in the Empire
are compelled to make Jip the expenses for new military and naval
armaments by taxes upon income and property, those armaments
will cease to be voted. The patriotism of those classes will
break in pieces, and the superfluity of the armame?its will be

In the separate States, too, as in the Empire, financial
mishap is permanent; they no longer know how it came or
how it can be induced to go. The most urgent objects of
civilized life are starved rigorously ; but for new armaments
the wherewithal is still always to hand, or is procured as if
millions were so much dirt.

Electors, if i?i the face of such circumstatices the thread of
your patience does not snap, do not wotider if you are chastised
not with whips but with scorpions.

What is the condition of home politics ? The most urgent
reforms in the administration of justice, the most necessary
social reforms, the development of factory and workshop
legislation, drastic regulations to secure public health, etc., are
dismissed with the reply —

" That costs too nmch, and we have 7io mojiey ! "

The laws of the press, of association, and of public meeting,
the rights of workmen to form trade-unions and co-operative
societies, the personal freedom of citizens and their wives and
daughters, are treated Just as if Germany stood, not on one of
the highest levels, but on a low level of civilization.

There is but one help against it all : Eight, and go on fight-
ing, agaifist all zvho are responsible for this incurable administra-
tion, until they are defeated.

In particular it is the business of the working-class, which
suffers worst under all these ills, to support with its fill strength
the Social Democratic party, in its battles against the monstrous
injustice which the State and society commit daily.

Women also, especially working-women, who are still


excluded from asserting politically their human rights, have
in the great questions which the election result will go to
decide, every motive for i?iterposi7ig on behalf of the Social
Democratic ca?ididates .

If they cafinot vote, they should agitate. To every sort of
agitation, even that which misuses pulpit and priedieu, they must
oppose a public intetposition on behalf of their most sacred

The Social Democratic party fights in order that the State
and society may cease to be class-institutions through which
the ruling minority keep the majority dependent on themselves,
subject them, oppress them, and rob them.

Electors, up and vote!

The day of electio7i shall be a day of judgment, a day of reckon-
ing for your bitngling gaolers ; it shall be, too, a day of victory
from which a 7iew and fairer future shall date.

Remember that by the resolutions of a reactionary majority
in the Reichstag you are only summoned to the ballot-box once
in five years. How rarely have you such a day in your life !
Use it then : use it so that every one of you can say with a good
conscience, " / have done my duty."

Electors, our opponents run about like mad people, and
implore an election-cry. We have one.

Let your election-cry be —

Down with the present cults of the army and navy, which
suck the blood of the peoples ! Let the peoples understand each
other and be at peace!

Dotvn with the ruinous fiscal and commercial policy, which
injures many milliojis in their daily life !

Down with an excise and customs policy which oppresses the
poor and favours the rich I Down with domestic reaction, with
arbitrary administration, with tutelage, with police coercion, with
u?icertainty of law I

Up and fight for progress in every sphere, for science and
enlightenment, for freedom and emancipation frojn every oppressio7t,
which a class-state, class-domination, and class-legislation have


heaped on the shoulders of the hard-working majority of the

Our aim is the introduction of the Socialistic order in
the State and society, based on the ownership of the meajis of
production by society, and the obligation of every member of society
to work. We wotdd create civil and social conditions^ in which
truth, justice, impartiality, and the welfare of all are the steady
guiding-star of every transaction.

Electors, let whoever of you shares these our views vote on the
1 6th of June for the ca?ididafes of the Social Democratic party


April zo, 1903.

Signed by the Social Democratic group in the Reichstag : —
Albrecht, Antrick, Auer, Baudert, Bebel, Bernstein, Bios,
Bock, Calwer, Cramer, Dietz, Dreesbach, Ehrhart, Von
Elm, Fischer (Berlin), Fischer (Saxony), Forster, Frohme,
Geek, Geyer, Dr. Gradnauer, Griinberg, Haase, Heine, Dr.
Herzfeld, Hoch, Hofmann, Horn, Kaden, Klees, Kloss,
Kunert, Ledebour, Meister, Metzger, Molkenbuhr,
Peus, Pfannkuch, Reisshaus, Rosenow, Sachse, Schippel,
Schlegel, Schmidt, Schwartz, Segitz, Seifert, Singer,
Stadthagen, Stolle, Dr. Siidekum, Thiele, Tutzauer,
Ullrich, Von VoUmar, Wurm, Zubeil.

II. — Election Address of Mr. Will Crooks, M.P., L.C.C.

Mr. Crooks was elected member for Woolwich on March 11,
1903. He stood as a Labour Representation Committee candidate.
He had previously been for many years a member of the London
County Council, of the Poplar Board of Guardians, and of the Fabian
Society. He was by trade a working cooper.

At the unanimous request of the organized Trade and
Labour Unions, Liberal and Radical Clubs, and Temperance


Societies of Woolwich, I offer myself as a Labour candidate
for your suffrages at the impending election.

I am in favour of the National Workshop being used to
its fullest capacity, before the Government admits the claim
of the contractor to a share of the nation's orders, and I
strongly deprecate men being thrown out of employment, and
your own valuable machinery compelled to lie idle in the
interest of private firms or limited companies.

The whole of my public life has been spent in strenuous
advocacy of trade-union principles, and you may rely on me
seizing every opportunity to obtain trade-union rates of wages
and hours of labour as a minimum. I fear the recognized
rates, even now, are much too low to ensure a decent liveli-
hood for men and their families, and I am desirous of securing
thirty shillings as the lowest weekly wage. It is not necessary
to promise an inquiry as to whether the Government pay these
rates — you know it does not in many cases.

The recent legal decision in the Taff Vale case makes it
imperative that the law shall be promptly amended in order
that the funds of a trade-union may not be endangered by the
irresponsible action of an individual member.

I believe a sound policy towards the solution of the Hous-
ing question is that we should build houses at such rents as
the poor can afford to pay. This can only be done by
increased legislative facilities to the local authorities, and the
whole position can be marvellously improved if our borough
councils and others would use to greater advantage the
powers they now possess.

My varied and intimate connection with the Poor Law and

Online LibraryR. C. K. (Robert Charles Kirkwood) EnsorModern socialism, as set forth by socialists in their speeches, writings, and programmes; → online text (page 33 of 35)