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The Varnish

NEWARK
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N. J.

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FRANKLIN MURPHY, President

ILLS.
Associated with Dougall Varnish Company, Limited, Montreal, Canada

Murphy Varnish Company

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BALTIMORE-310-12-14 West Pratt 8. NEW YORK-Hudson and Vandam Sts.

CLEVELAND-1430-1434 West Third St. BOSTON-91-103 Portland St.

OMAHA-1101-1107 Howard St. CHICAGO-801-611 South Wabash Ave.

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“L

ET me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of

despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that

comforted me in the desolation of other times. May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of the quiet river, when a light glowed within me, and I resolved to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years. Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit. Though the world know me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself. Lift my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others, lest I condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path. Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope. And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still."

N213479

A REPUBLIC OF CONSUMERS

How Cooperation is Revolutionizing British Industry.

By WALTER E. WEYL.

Reprinted by Courtesy of the Saturday Evening Post.

(Continued from December.)

HERE are two cooperative wholesale

societies in Great Britain-the Eng. lish wholesale and the Scottish whole

sale. These two wholesales bring together some fourteen hundred retail cooperative societies and cater to the wants of their two and a half million members. In all, eight million people-men, women and children-are united through these wholesale cooperative stores in one great republic of consumers.

These eight million people eat and drink and wear things that are bought at retail from the retail cooperative stores and at wholesale from the wholesale cooperative stores. All the profit, or gain, or saving from all this retail and wholesale selling returns to the eight million consumers who eat, drink and wear.

This great cooperative system is almost incomprehensible in its immensity. In the whole world of buying and selling it stands unique and incomparable. Wholesale and retail, the annual business aggregates over five hundred million dollars. Wholesale and retail, the sales of the last forty years have totaled over ten thousand million dollars.

Psychologically the system is even more wonderful. These organized consumers of Britain-and it is the poor, not the rich, who are cooperators-have had the intelligence, integrity and solidarity to carry on among themselves and for themselves, without the aid of merchant princes, a business of ten thousand million. Without the aid of financiers or promoters these millions of ordinary men and women have shrewdly invested in their own enterprise two hundred million dollars of their own savings. Without the aid of captains or of business engineers they have engaged and paid each week an industrial army of over one hundred thousand employees. Without strikes, without bankruptcies, without serious losses, these two and a half million co-operators have conducted their business.

In studying the cooperative stores of Great Britain and Ireland I began at the bottom-with the retail society. The retail is the base of the cooperative pyramid. The wholesale is the apex. The principle of the

retail store is important but simple. A number of consumers living in the same city or neighborhood unite to make their daily purch ses. They buy their sugar, tea, bread and other commodities wholesale. They retail these commodities to themselves individually at ordinary retail prices. They may buy ten thousand pounds of tea at thirty cents a pound and sell it to themselves in quarter-pound packages at the regular retail price of thirty-six cents a pound. The store being run economically, there arises a surplus. This surplus of the retail store is distributed among members in dividends in proportion to the purchases of each. It is a method that insures that all profits go to the consumer. It is the primary principle of the cooperative store. What an Army of Cooperators Can

Accomplish. The secondary principle is that the store's capital is furnished by the consumers. The capital of the store consists of fivedollar shares upon which a fixed rate of interest is paid. No member may buy more than two hundred shares, and no member has more than one vote or less than one vote, for each member must acquire one share. The store employees are usually members and customers, so that the man with the white apron who sells you a pound of potatoes—in England they sell potatoes by the pound-receives not only his wages but also a dividend on his share or shares, as well as a dividend upon the goods that he and his wife buy at the store. All mem. bers are customers and most all customers are members. The principle of the store is that the consumer rules.

Wherever I went in England I found these retails flourishing. Some are very small. A few have less than fifty members and one or two less than twenty members. Many societies have thousands of members. A retail in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich has twenty thousand and another at Leeds has almost fifty thousand. Almost all re. tails, moreover-the small as well as the large-are making progress. The majority of them declare dividends of from ten to fifteen per cent; a few declare eighteen per

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cent and even twenty per cent. And these dividends are declared not on capital but on purchases. All over England I found people making money by buying first-class goods at ordinary prices.

I understood the retail society, easily enough. I could see the people coming into the store and buying their goods. I could see them take a receipt for their purchases, and at the end of the quarter I could see

them again coming to the store, receipts in : hand, to obtain their quarterly dividend.

Once the principle was grasped the methods of the retail were obvious.

The wholesale, on the other hand, was at first puzzling. It was too big to be seen. I had spent a long afternoon in the vast

London warehouses of the English cooperaitive wholesale society. I had been im

pressed-even somewhat oppressed by the 1 hugeness of those smoke-stained buildings,

towering like a brick-and-mortar mountain over the low, sullen dwellings of the East End. I had been conducted through interminable board rooms, conference rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and general offices. I had wandered through a vast furnishing department and through the ironmongery, carpet, millinery, stationery, boot and shoe, and a score of other departments, each

bursting with a bewildering variety of goods th which I vainly sought to remember.

I had clambered up a monumental stone FE staircase to a weary sixth or seventh floor,

and had descended to earth through the courtesy of a deliberate and truly British "lift.”

Then I had been led into another giE gantic building in which thousands of cases

of tea from India and Ceylon, dumped into I huge hoppers, were mixed and sorted. I

had seen wonderful machines weigh this tea

and pack it into little cartons which were psimultaneously made and packed and labeled | by the same machine. I had followed the 5 tea, of which thousands of tons were re

ceived, from the room in which the tasters 1 delicately sampled it in miniature cups to & the basement, in which stalwart shipping clerks nailed up the boxes.

I had been told of the cooperative clothing factory in London and of the bacon department, in which thousands of sides of bacon were perpetually roasting. Even then, overweighed as I was with the sheer im

mensity of it all, I was informed that Loni don was but a fraction of a fraction of the

plant of the society; that there were other factories and other warehouses in Manchester, in Bristol, in Cardiff, in Newcastle. It was difficult to grasp the full magnitude of

[graphic]

608 CANAL ROAD, N. W.

CLEVELAND, OHIO

this Cooperative Wholesale Society, Limited.

If you wish fully to grasp the size of the English cooperative wholesale you must possess a statistical mind and have the time and the willingness to make many journeys. The bigness of the huge blocks of cooperative buildings in London is littleness compared to the vast, complex offices, warehouses, 'halls, factories and wharves in Manchester. When you have seen Manchester you have not seen all. You have not seen all when you have visited Newcastle and viewed its factories and its great warehouses on the quay. In a dozen cities there are other towering warehouses and salesrooms.

In other towns there are boot and shoe works, weaving sheds, flannel factories, woolen-cloth factories, preserve and marmalade works, pickle and sauce factories, soap-works, candle and glycerine works, oil and tallow factories, brush and mat works, clothing factories, bacon factories, flour mills, hosiery factories, hide and skin factories, corset factories, lard refineries, ironworks, tinplate works, tobacco factories, and 80 on.

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