Marx-Engels Correspondence 1851
Source: Marx Engels On Britain, Progress Publishers 1953;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.
The Free Traders here are making use of prosperity, or semi-prosperity, to buy the proletariat, and John Watts is acting as broker. You know Cobden’s new plan: a National Free School Association to put through a bill empowering townships to impose local taxes on themselves for the erection of schools. The thing is being pushed splendidly. In Salford a Free Library and Museum have already been established as well — with lending library and reading-room gratis. In Manchester the Hall of Science — and here, as the Lord Mayor of Manchester most graciously acknowledged, Watts was really the broker — has been bought up by public subscription (about £7,000 was collected altogether) and will also be transformed into a Free Library. At the end of July the affair is to be opened — with 14,000 volumes to begin with. All the meetings and assemblies held for these objects resound with the praises of the workers, and especially of the worthy, modest, useful Watts, who is now on the best of terms with the Bishop of Manchester. I am already looking forward to the outburst of indignation at the ingratitude of the workers which will break loose from every side at the first shock.