In time the vaiious societies
. wereaffiliated, and the south of
England was invaded
Today these affiliated societies
and new ones are constantly
coming into being conduct the
biggest general merchandise busi
ness on earth.
The success of the movement
proves 4iow superfluous is the
middleman. There are no middle
men 'in the British co-operative
Imagine 1,428 co-operative
stores scattered about England,
Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Imagine 11 factories turning out
everything from pine to threshing
machines. Imagine a fleet of ves
sels carrying to English ports,
from the cheapest and best mar
kets in two (hemispheres, food
that no middleman can ever
Imagine 2,542,532 men and wo
men, a very large majority of
them drawn from the working
clas,s at cost!
And even then the whole story
of co-operation is not told.
One-fifth of Great Britain's to--tal
population of 40,000,000 trade
at co-operative stores. These cus
tomers are in two classes mem
bers and non-members. The non
members trade with the societies
because they know they get good
" goods and fair weight. But not
being members, they lose the
quarterly rebates. The members
not only get rebates on their own
purchases, but they also get the
rebates on the purchases made by
It works out like this: The in
dividual joining th'e neighbor
hood society pays a membership
of a guinea in small instalments,
generally three pence a week. He
gets 5 per cent on the investment.
He holds one share, which enti
tles him to all the advantages of
the society. His share is not
transferable, and his money will
be returned to him on demand.
He may, if able, buy 20 shares,
but no more. The holder oi 20 .
shares, however, has no more vot
ing power than the holder of one.
Each has one vote. Universal suf
frage is admitted as a principle of
the movement. Women as well
as men may buy sharesj-vote and
Quarterly the society's books
are balanced. After running ex
penses are met and small -sums set
aside for depreciation and so
forth, the profits (which., in the
case of an ordinary store would
be called dividends) are divided
up among the members thus:
First, each member receives, the
rebate 'which represents the pro
fits made on his own purchases;
second, the profits from pur
chases made by non-members are
divided equally among the mem
bers. In this way the member
The middleman's profit.
The retailer's profit.
And, as a partner in the firm,
the profit on the non-member's
Also, in the ca"se of articles
manufactured in society factories,
he gets the manufacturer's profit.
And so the cost of living of the
average working class family An
,-i - r&t.
..-.'. u j,.jawsLt,T&.fc3tei
xml | txt