Tom Mann’s Memoirs, 1923

Book two: Southern skies

XII. First years in Australia
1902 to 1905

First published: 1923
Publisher: The Labour Publishing Company Limited, 38 Great Ormond Street, London WC I
Transcription, mark-up: Steve Painter


Having had a good run through New Zealand, having covered practically the whole of both islands, and having taken nine months to do it in, I made for Australia, arriving in Melbourne at the end of September 1902. I had been in communication with the labour organisations there, and had learned that the Victorian state election campaign was in full swing. As usual in such cases, the labour forces were divided into moderates on the one hand, and persons of advanced views on the other. This was made plain when a deputation in a small boat came several miles out to meet the steamer in which I was traveling to Melbourne. Their mission was to put to me the claims of the particular candidates in whom they were interested, that I should agree to speak on their behalf. I made no promise. I considered their methods somewhat unfair, and said that, since I was a stranger to the country I should leave myself entirely in the hands of the Trades Hall Council. By noon the same day I was in consultation with the members of this body. I addressed six meetings that afternoon and evening, and six more the next day. On the following day the elections took place.

A few days after this, October 6, was fixed for the annual eight-hour demonstration in Sydney. I was invited to attend, and in this way secured an introduction to the organised workers of New South Wales. The eight-hour day celebrations had long been looked upon as the chief labour day of the year in the capital cities of the respective states; but they were held on different dates. Melbourne gave especial attention to the organising of a most picturesque procession and sports, the latter being supervised on lines commanding the approval of experts. The speeches on the occasion were usually delivered under cover, most often in the luncheon room. There is nothing notable to record in connection with these experiences. The names and records of the speakers gave an indication of the general outlook; and the character of the speeches might be taken as forecasting Labour’s program for the immediate future.

I visited the chief cities in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia on freelance lines. Then I was asked by the Victorian Labour Party to organise on its behalf. I was given a free hand with regard to procedure, and the emphasis I should lay upon the need for industrial organisation was left entirely at my discretion. I was sent to districts where little or no propaganda work had been done, and requested to put my whole time into the work. Help in the planning of the tours was furnished by those who knew the country well, and were familiar with the means of communication.

I enjoyed the undertaking, and often I met with kindly co-operation. This was generally so where a branch of the party already existed, or where a few friendly sympathisers were willing to help in forming a branch. Occasionally it was otherwise. In some electorates, no socialist, and not even a Labour man, had ever addressed a meeting. In such cases, more often than not, the bulk of the population consisted of small farmers who looked askance at the Labour Party, and were hostile to socialism, so that I had occasion to learn that all reactionaries are not domiciled in the northern hemisphere.

I vividly recall my visit to Kyabram. This was an irrigated agricultural district in which hostility towards town areas and urban workers prevailed. More especially did there exist an animus against organised labour, and above all against socialists. No Labour member could give me the address of even one sympathiser; but it was the more necessary that I should go and endeavour to sow the seed, and if possible establish the nucleus of an organisation. I had been able by letter to secure the use of a hall. This overcame one difficulty, but there was not anyone to give help. My name and views were well known. Although I was traveling under the auspices of the Labour Party, always and everywhere I advocated socialism. I reached the hall in good time, saw a number of persons hanging around who recognised me all right, although they had never seen me before. When the doors were opened many sauntered in, but they all kept aloof. No chairman, no committee man, no helper of any kind. On mounting the platform, I first sat in the chair that ordinarily would have been occupied by the chairman. I semi-jocularly referred to the absence of an associate on the platform likely to take up too much of my time, and launched into my subject.

No hostile behaviour was shown beyond scowls, and a cold and unfriendly attitude; but these did not daunt me. I had the necessary energy and I was in my element. I occupied nearly two hours straight off the reel, and the audience sat it out. When I had finished, there was some applause, and I invited questions. These were forthcoming, more or less pointedly hostile to the policy and declared objective of the Labour Party, but nothing of any note. The ice had been broken; a quiet and entirely successful meeting had been held; and I obtained a few names as the nucleus of a branch. In such districts as these the only pleasure was in achieving in spite of the absence of general goodwill. I had the privilege of tackling virgin soil in this regard in a number of districts.

I recall an open-air meeting at Penshurst, the centre of another farming district; here again, no help of any kind. An intimation had been sent that I should be there on a certain date. Having arrived pretty early, finding no one anxious to assist, and being unable to secure a bellman to cry the meeting, I borrowed a good-sized dinner bell from the hotel, and walked around the town in bellman fashion crying the meeting for 7pm. I turned up promptly at meeting time, having borrowed a chair for a platform, and, as I was fixing things just prior to commencing, I heard one man say:

“Why, dong it, that’s the same fellow that cried the meeting.”

“Yes,” I responded, “I’m the one that cried the meeting, and now I’m going to do the speaking,” and so I plunged off at the deep end, and no floundering.

October is the month of sheep shearing in Victoria. The secretary of the Shearers Union arranged with the Labour Party and myself that I should put in three weeks at the shearing sheds. A horse and buggy were placed at my disposal; the route I was to take, and the shearing stations I was to call at were duly marked. The secretary undertook to notify each of the stations when to expect me, and I started off, through what was to me entirely unfamiliar country, and using, what was also to me, a novel method of locomotion. I managed the horse very well. I was driving alone all the day, generally reaching my rendezvous late in the afternoon or early in the evening. I had no difficulty in getting audiences. The men were usually glad to meet me, and I had ample opportunity of seeing a phase of life that naturally was as interesting as it was new.

On one occasion one of the men arranged to accompany me to the next station, for he knew some of the shearers there, and, like most of them, had a horse at his disposal. He cantered along by the side of the buggy which I was driving, talking all the while. He seemed to ride so easily, that I thought now would be a good opportunity for me to try horseback. I suggested it.

“Certainly,” he said, “any time you like.”

I asked for an assurance that the horse would be as quiet with me on his back as with him. “Oh, he’s as quiet as a lamb,” said my friend, jumping off.

I mounted, and he took the buggy in hand. I was trotting along in a bumpety sort of way, not too comfortable, when my gee-gee took it into his head to slow down. I tried to appear cool and self-possessed, but the gee-gee was boss. My companion said “Let him have the rein; don’t hold him in.”

Whether I let him have too much rein, or too little, I never knew; but the beast darted off with me at a terrific rate, and I had the greatest difficulty in keeping on his back, but I couldn’t pull him up. He shot under the branches of trees unexpectedly and several very near touches I had of getting my head broken against one. Ultimately he pulled up on his own account, and I was delighted to get on my feet. By this time my mate was a long way behind. When he caught up he was laughing most immoderately at my discomfiture, all the time assuring me that really his horse was the quietest of animals, etc, etc. But I returned to my quiet old mare and the buggy for safety — and comfort.

Later, in Queensland, I was with shearers at some of the large stations. A note I made at the time, which I am sure must have been written with care (though it now seems difficult to realise the fact), says: A record shearer at *** station in North Queensland shore 208 sheep in eight hours, and forty shearers shore 6000 sheep a day, or an average of 150 per man, all through the eight-hour day. The highest on record for one man was 340 sheep in one day of eight hours. It was not for me to doubt it: I saw some quick work, but nothing approaching such a rate as this.

It will be of service to make known the conditions that prevailed industrially, and the standard of life experienced by the workers in Australia, compared to that which obtained in England. At that time a nine-hour work day was almost universal for mechanics in Britain; in Australia the eight-hour day, though not universal, was general. Foodstuffs were quite as cheap as here; meat considerably cheaper, clothing and other things generally dearer. Making allowance for the higher prices, I came to the conclusion that a mechanic in Victoria was quite seven shillings and sixpence a week better off, for one hour’s work per day less, than a mechanic in England; and the unskilled labourer likewise had a higher standard. This was the direct outcome of insistence upon that higher standard quite apart from considerations of output. In this new country, where the capitalists were unable for the mere asking to secure an ample supply of men willing to accept almost any wage, it was much easier for the workers to resist the ever-repeated attempts of employers to reduce wages. The higher standard does not obtain in consequence of any greater goodwill on the part of capitalists towards workers, nor because there is work for all who want it; nor does there exist any institution or agency, governmental or other, to take general action to prevent starvation.

There was not and there is not either in Australia or in New Zealand any basic difference in the system of industry as compared with that which obtains here in Britain. Capitalism is dominant throughout Australasia; it is as ruthless there as here; but even in Britain we find districts where the standard of life of the workers varies by as much as ten or even twenty per cent from the normal. In my advocacy of labour interests, I traversed the whole of the state of Victoria, some portions of it many times.

During the eight years I spent in the southern hemisphere, though I made Melbourne my chief centre, I visited every industrial district and many of the agricultural districts of every state and dominion: New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, New Zealand and South Africa. I was not making a casual visit, but a definitely planned and deliberate survey of the whole of these countries, which are at one and the same time very new and very old.

While organising for the Victorian Labour Party, I frequently visited Ballarat and Bendigo, these being the two largest cities in the state outside of Melbourne, the capital. Both of them are gold-mining towns, and Ballarat has some claim to consideration as a city where attention has been given to street beautification, at least as regards the main thoroughfare. It was a city of some fifty-five thousand inhabitants, and had always been a gold-mining centre from its origin seventy years earlier. The general rate of pay for miners when I was there was from seven and sixpence to eight shillings per day of eight hours. That was for those who worked on a fixed daily wage. It was the custom, as soon as the mines ceased to yield well, for the owners to refuse to pay any fixed daily wage, but to let the mine workings to “tributing” parties, usually composed of about four men each. This threw all the expense of working on the men, who were paid only for the metal produced.

I visited Ballarat at intervals during a period of seven years, became most friendly with William Hursfield, a Britisher, who was secretary of the Ballarat Trades Council, and was also well-acquainted with the secretary of the Miners Association, with most of the committee, and with many of the rank and file. I have thus good warrant for the following statements. It frequently happened that a tributing party of four would start work and not get any metal for two or three months. All that time they had to live at the expense of their families, or run into debt — a very common practice with them. Often when they did get gold, and the owners’ half had been deducted plus all cost of explosives, picks and other tools, there would not be left as much as ten shillings per man per week for the time they had worked; and yet they would proceed again on similar lines. I have dealt with the subject at many public meetings in Ballarat and elsewhere in Australia. There was no alteration up to the time of my leaving in 1909. Fully thirty per cent of the miners in and around Ballarat were at work “tributing”, and their average income over the year did not exceed one pound per week.

I took down many statements from the men concerned. Here is a specimen:

Bob Patterson, Ballarat miner. From January, 1904 to December 1906, my weekly wages would not average fifteen shillings working full time at “tributing” in Ballarat East. There are hundreds doing no better and many doing worse than this at the present time, 1909 … I have worked in the famous Birthday Mine, Beringa, for four shillings a day tributing. I’ve worked as a miner from seventeen years of age and I’m now thirty-nine. I have not averaged more than a pound a week all that time, and I’ve only been laid up by illness for two months.

There was no machinery existent by which this could be altered, and there was no other work to which these men could turn to get a better livelihood. I knew a young miner in Ballarat who determined he would try and get out of it altogether. He desired to go to Queensland to the sugar-growing districts, and his friends collected sufficient to enable him to pay his fare to Queensland. He arrived there before the sugar season began, in June, when he stood no chance of getting work. There were more than enough who had some experience with sugar work or who had Queensland mates to help them in getting a job and so had a better prospect than a stranger from Victoria.

It is, or at any rate was when I was there, much the same in the copper mining district of Moonta, South Australia. I visited the district on several occasions, during the time when Mr Tom Price was coming to the front — the man who afterwards became the Labour premier of South Australia. At that time John Verran, a miner from Cornwall, was working at Moonta, and with his and other’s aid I studied the conditions. On the death of Mr Price, Mr Verran became premier. Many of the Moonta miners did not receive a wage higher than twenty-five shillings a week, and a number did not average more than a pound. My object in giving these details is to enable intending emigrants to form a clear picture of Australian conditions.

I do not discourage any one from going; on the contrary, I think it well that young people should at least have experience there, and stay there if the life suits them. Too often, however, they emigrate and they settle only from economic compulsion. Still, if a young man asks me whether I would advise him to go, I place the facts of the economic situation before him, and then wish him the best of luck in his endeavours to get a broader experience. But everyone should bear in mind that capitalism is established there, that capitalism rules there. The workers find the same need for working-class organisation there as here. Australasia, like Europe and America, is under the Iron Heel of Capitalism.

So far I had not visited Western Australia. I arranged to take a rest from my organising work in Victoria, and in the middle of 1904 I took boat from Melbourne to Fremantle. A lecturing tour from Perth, the capital of Western Australia, to the two distant railway terminuses at Leonora and Laverton was soon arranged. At Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie and Boulder City, I had many meetings. I visited the mines as well as the miners, going down the mines and into the engine shops, and into most places where work was being carried on. Kalgoorlie I found a go-ahead mining city with the characteristics of youth and vigour; but as my destination was ever somewhere beyond, I had to go farther along the main line, sometimes up branch lines, and occasionally journeying by coach to reach the outlying townships and mining camps. While on this run I saw many more aboriginals than I had hitherto seen, and naturally I was interested. Often enough I had gazed at representations of Australian natives at the Crystal Palace; and the West Australian group, whenever I stayed to look at it, always made me feel indignant. I considered it to be a gross exaggeration, a travesty on what I conceived to be the real thing; and I often said those responsible were playing upon our ignorance. I could not believe that the native women would appear as the artist presented them, but I was to get a lesson. I had a meeting in one of the western towns, Menzies I think it was, and the next day I had to move on to another camp, but there was no train till the afternoon. The hotel proprietor kindly asked whether I would care for a drive. The district was terribly barren and desolate looking. I said I certainly would if there were anywhere worth driving to. “There is the reservoir, and we can take a sweep round and return by a different road."

So to the reservoir we went; it was almost empty, and there was little else worth seeing. On the way back to the township by the other road, we suddenly came upon clusters of natives, chiefly women, and in a flash I saw what appeared to me to be the original of the Crystal Palace group. My friend was driving at a foot pace, so that I could see them well. One of the women was leaning on a long stick, pipe in mouth, the exact replica of the Palace group, and her features were startlingly like those I had thought exaggerated. I was all eyes and ears as long as we were amongst them, and on arriving at the hotel I felt bound to tell my host how much I had wronged those who had tried to educate us by means of the groups at the Crystal Palace, and how glad I was to have seen the real thing at first-hand. On many occasions since I have endeavoured to make amends to the artist whose work I had, prior to this visit, been unable to appreciate. Visitors to the Palace, if the groups are still there, may look and learn with more patience and satisfaction than I did.

Returning to Victoria, with Melbourne as my centre, I continued working for the Labour Party. I felt it necessary to make certain proposals with a view to the better organisation of the party, and wanted certain pronouncements to be made with regard to the socialist objective. These suggestions were taken in good part, but nothing was done; so early in 1905 I resolved upon an extended tour in Queensland.

Commencing the campaign at Brisbane, I had meetings at Ipswich, where the locomotives are built; at Gympie, a gold-mining town; at Maryborough, where there are large engineering works; at Childers and Bundaberg among the sugar growers; at Mount Perry with the copper miners and smelters; at Rockhampton, Mount Morgan, Mackay, Bowen, Townsville, Charters Towers, Cairns, Wolfram Camp, Chilago, Nymbool, Ravensworth, and other places on the outward journey; revisiting most of these and calling at others on my way back.

It was of much interest to be brought into direct contact with the actual workers building up this new country. I was eager to understand and to experience for myself their standard of life. It is so easy for even a well-balanced investigator to draw wrong conclusions, if only on the spot for a short time, and particularly so when climatic conditions are markedly unfamiliar. Still more difficult is it to get a real grip of the situation when the traveler can command good hotel accommodation, or entertainment by friends in comfortable circumstances.

I had resolved, on reaching New Zealand, and later, when visiting Australia and South Africa, to make a long stay and to live under conditions which would approximate (allowing for the changed environment) to those of folk of my own standing at home. In each state I therefore gave close attention to the conditions of work and of home life, to the way men and women dressed, to the pleasures they indulged in, and to their social habits generally. This included a careful observation of the uses they made of industrial and political organisation. In the more sparsely populated regions, conditions were, of course, very different from those of the homeland — and all these places were thinly peopled in comparison with Britain.

Sydney, with a population of 700,000, and Melbourne, with a population of over 600,000, necessarily have characteristics not unlike those of great cities elsewhere; but when one tries to size up a population like that of Western Australia — 280,000 all told, including the urban, farming, and mining inhabitants, distributed over a total area of 975,000 square miles (the area of Great Britain, Ireland excluded, is only 88,000 square miles) — one must expect to find marked differences in habits and in methods of development. This population of less than 300,000, including the 6000 natives, has its own state parliament and takes its share in the federal government. Queensland has a population of 604,000 and a territory of 670,000 square miles.

The chief gold-mining centre of Queensland is Charters Towers. When I was there, trade unionism was at a low ebb, and the working conditions were nothing to be proud of. At Mount Morgan, producing gold and copper in about equal proportions, and admittedly one of the richest mines in Australia, not one miner belonged to a union.

On my arrival at Mount Morgan, the mayor (who was also the editor and, I think, the proprietor, of the local paper, The Mount Morgan Argus,) met me, and was good enough to show me round.

“Are the men here well-organised industrially?” I asked.

“No,” said he, “I don’t think they are in any union. I have never heard of it if they are; and I think, as mayor of the town and editor of the paper, I should know of it if they were.”

Later we were with a group of the active men in the town, and the mayor raised the question in this wise: “Mr Mann was asking me if the men are organised in a union. I said I’d never heard of it. There are no trade unionists here, are there?”

One of the group, Mr Aitken by name, replied: “Well, I know of one, Mr Mayor, not a miner, but a carpenter; that’s myself. I belong to the Rockhampton branch, as there is no branch here; but I don’t know of any other member of any union in Mount Morgan.”

Further enquiry confirmed this. I had already been to Gympie, then (and I suppose still) the second largest gold-mining town in the state. It is represented in the state parliament by two Labour members, and it was part of the constituency which had returned the Honourable Andrew Fisher as its federal member. A group of friends had met me at the station, including the two state members. After a talk I found myself walking with a friend who seemed to accept responsibility for the meeting arrangements.

“Have you many organised in the unions here?” I enquired.

“We haven’t any.”

Thinking he meant only a few, I added: “I don’t suppose there are many, but there is sure to be a group; if I could see the committee or the secretary, I’d like a talk.”

“I mean just what I said; there are none. I should know. I was secretary of the last committee that existed here and that’s been dead about two years.”

Such was the condition of trade unionism amongst the Queensland miners. I may add that I arranged with that same friend to take me the following morning to the pit-head of the principal mine and introduce me to a representative mechanic, on the off chance of finding an engineer who might belong to the ASE. The effort, however, was quite fruitless. Not one member could be found of any union. This will indicate the small importance attached at that time to industrial organisation. It was one of those spells when practically all attention had been given to organisation for the parliamentary campaign, leaving no energy — because no disposition — to deal with industrial affairs.

Sugar-cutting and sugar-crushing are dependent, to some extent, on the season, like the wheat harvest. Usually the cutting begins in June, and work at the crushing mills continues from then on till November or December. At the time I am writing of, 1905, the Kanakas were being deported. Four years were allowed for repatriation. No more were to be brought in. The Kanakas did not cut the sugar; but they did much of the plantation work and were regularly employed. White men worked in the crushing mills; it was heavy work.

I was in the company of the Labour member for the district, Mr Barber (an Englishman) at Bundaberg, and he arranged for me to go over a large sugar estate and to be present when the Kanakas had their food given them. Outside the estate, on the road side, several six-by-four tents were rigged up and the men belonging to them were sitting around. On enquiring what it meant, I learned that these white men were wanting work, and had made their way to the neighbourhood of the sugar estate, not knowing to a week or so when cane-cutting would commence. They were waiting to get work either at cane-cutting or in the crushing mills. The men in the mills worked twelve-hour shifts, six shifts a week, the mills running night and day; and they did this for twenty-two shillings and sixpence a week and “tucker”, the latter being valued at that time at eight shillings a week. I conversed with the men waiting to get a start on these rates and conditions, expressing my astonishment that they worked so long and received so little. I was told that, during the previous season, meetings had been held to ventilate the need for an eight-hour day and higher pay; but the agitation had led to nothing so far.

I also learned on enquiry that most of the men, when discharged at the end of the season after five or six months’ work in the sugar mills, “hump the bluey”, “carry the swag” over the country, or in our phraseology “go on tramp”, getting casual work where they can. They usually average one week’s work in four during the tramp, making their way back to be ready for a start at the mills when the next season begins. It does not require much imagination to picture the domestic life of such men. While at the mills they are housed in rough barracks; when on tramp, any old shed serves them as often as a room.

When I went to Australia in 1902, it was at the close of the terrible drought, which in some parts of Queensland had lasted for seven consecutive years. Millions of sheep and cattle had perished and many people had lost everything they had. Australia in that period lost 30,000,000 sheep and 1,000,000 cattle.

As soon as a good season came along, a cheerful optimism characterised the community, and they set vigorously to work. The soil yielded wonderfully, and the animals were extraordinarily prolific, Mother Nature joining heartily with the efforts of men to make up for the bad times. In consequence of the prolonged drought more attention had been given to the well-sinking. The various states had already done something substantial in this direction and had demonstrated the practicability of getting great supplies of water. Thus the government of New South Wales reported while I was there that they had completed eighty-two borings. Fifty-six of these had been successful, the aggregate flow being thirty-three million gallons a day. There were also one hundred and twenty-eight private borings, two of which discharged four million gallons a day each. In Queensland, in 1910 there were some 1350 artesian wells in action, yielding 480 million gallons per day. The depth of these borings varies greatly; some of them are 4000 feet deep. The average cost of a boring is twenty-six shillings per foot.

The river waters in the interior of the country run underground to a considerable extent; but the inhabitants are coping with adverse conditions, and are making the wilderness blossom like the rose.

Shortly after this period, there came a great revival in industrial organisation. Sometimes by direct action, often through and by means of the arbitration courts, hours of labour have been reduced, and wages substantially raised.

I am still amazed when I reflect that so few men in so short a time have cleared so much land, made so many roads, built so many cities, and changed so largely the character of the country, as has been done in barely two generations in Australia.

I am Britisher enough to experience in reasonable measure the pride of race, and am not wholly unmoved when I think of the truly wonderful achievements that have been wrought on the small area called the British Isles. From the standpoint of physical and mental energy, exercising an influence upon the world (the nature of this influence not being for the moment under consideration), it must be clear that, despite a hundred drawbacks, the climatic conditions of Britain have not been altogether unfavourable to the growth and perpetuation of a sturdy race. But who would pretend that our climate is a nice one, except for half the year? When the bloom and warmth of spring and summer are really with us, no place is more delightful; and some autumn days and autumn tints are exquisite. But what a price to pay in the long cold wet days of a greater part of our long winter — November to March. Australia has a great variety of climate, as there needs must be in a country covering three million square miles of the earth’s surface; but all over the great island continent there is more sun everywhere than we have at home — too much, perhaps, in some places at certain periods! But there are few in Great Britain who would not be glad to give a good three months of our British cold and foggy dampness for the genial, warm atmosphere our kinsmen in Australia are favoured with.

It may be that the natural scenery of Australia is for the most part dull and sombre. The gum trees do not shed their leaves and put on new, young, enlivening greens that catch and reflect the sunlight with dazzling brilliancy; but the character of a large part of the country has already undergone a change. European trees are flourishing there, the varied tints are seen there, and the gums give a grand steady balance and a healthful pleasing aroma. Yet, the whole of this enormous area is peopled by no more than five million men, women, and children — barely two-thirds of the population of greater London. Their achievements are positively marvellous. No man who has had the chance to see even as I have seen these new countries, can ever be despondent of the future of the race. Many difficulties are yet to be overcome. The best proof that these will be mastered is the definite knowledge that a thousand similar ones already have been overcome.

Returning to Melbourne, I began a series of lectures on social problems, in the Bijou Theatre on Sunday evenings. Out of these grew a committee called the Social Questions Committee, which accepted the responsibility of undertaking many social tasks, and especially of helping in connection with the unemployed problem, which at that time was acute. The general attitude of the government was to treat the matter lightly, ignoring requests, on the ground that there was no special urgency. As the result of the refusal of the authorities to help or to investigate, our committee decided to make a house-to-house visitation in the industrial districts of Melbourne. Seventy persons undertook this considerable task, helped by capable organisers. They were able to prove that over five thousand adults, and a similar number of young people, were unemployed, and that much real poverty existed. The chairman of the committee, Mr J.P. Jones, now the Honourable J.P. Jones, member of the Legislative Council, spent much time in the endeavour to get responsible statesmen to accompany him to the homes of the destitute. At length, after months of effort on our part, several statesmen paid a few visits and admitted that the evidence of their own eyes could alone have convinced them of the reality of what they saw. Various schemes of relief work were resorted to; but no cure of unemployment was achieved, for the outlook of those in authority was as completely bourgeois as that of the coalition government in Britain today.