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Co-operative Farming and Banking Proves AS ENGLAND is a trading nation, co-operation among workers natur ally followed along trade lines there and proved a success, as shown in last week's issue of this magazine. In other Euro pean countries, largely agricultural, co operation among farmers dwehped in as marked a degree as did co-operation in trading in England. This article tells about it in Russia, and elsewhere; also about co-operative banking in Germany. IN LAST week's issue of TBI DlAUMN Inde penpknt I told of the success of co-operative stores in England, how 24 flannel weavers darted with $140 and an idea, which spread to thousands of stores and doing business into hundreds ot millions of dollars The idea spread to Continental Europe, not only in handling store merchandise, but also HI handling credits and farm products. In fact, co-operation in agriculture developed almost everywhere except in England France alo has agricultural co-operation which here is the backbone of a movement identified with co operative production on a large scale. The agricultural movement is based on the "Syndicats Agricoles" ; these are a sort of trade or labor union, consisting both of wage-earners and cultivators. These particular or ganizations cannot legally trade in their product, be ing organized primarily for the dissemination of in formation, but they can and do combine for the pur chasing of requisites. Other societies were formed for marketing purposes, and the membership long ago ran into the hundreds of thousands. Belgium and Italy both have co-operative societies; in the latter the most notable is the "Soeieta di lavora" co-operative labor gangs; they contract almost solely for labor, and have tilled some large orders in many lands ; among other things they drained the Campagna and built a railroad in Greece. Of chief interest just now are the co-operative ventures of Ireland and Russia, both lands in which the economic problem is acute. Sir Horace Plunkett, for one. has always believed that agricultural co-operation would go far toward the salvation of Ireland, and the progress of the movement there as recorded by statistics goes a long way toward proving his contention. From one solitary CO-operative dairy, founded in 1889. the movement went well over 100,000 members in the first 20 years of its existence. The dairy so cieties usually pay nine tenths of their profits to . 1 1 4 tneir memDers. ana one tenth to their employes. Other societies in Ireland took up the other brancln -of agricultural business until the movement be came, and remains today, the most important single effort at the rehabilitation of the fortunes of the Irish farmer. Ranks of the RairTeisen type also ex ist there. The Slavonic races have a natural instinct for co-operation, and in Rus sia, for example, the idea runs all the way from a transitory group of work men undertaking to build a house to a permanent association of bank porters combined together to guarantee one another's honesty. An Extensive Program in Russia THE Co-operatives of Russia, however, as un derstood today the or ganizations with which the Allies expect to do busi ness are a far-flung and closely-knit body, non political in nature, but with a program far ex ceeding the mere buying and selling of product. The Western European branches of the Russian Co-operatives embrace people of the rrfost di vergent political views. They will distribute to Bolshevik or non-Bolshevik. They claim ab solute liberty in their ac tions, and assert that they have only one aim : sup plying the needs of the whole population indis criminately. The declared aims of the Russian Co-operative THE farmers of America are organizing more but alfO to better their market conditions both Umi ; o;,..,oi o. ti i interest in national and state affairs Farm Organizations who met in Wj Farm Organizations who met in Washington. They r: v u l r . fl i r Director . B. F. O. ; Farmers' National Congress; E. P. Cohill, Md. Agrl. Assn.; ( . O. Drayton Union. Hack row, left to right: J. W. Batchcller. President South I)aLvJ V; ' ton. Secretary Farmers' Ex.-Secretary N B. movement from its birth have been to further free education; to foster justice; to encourage fruitful la bor; to restore Zemstvo self-government, which alone (they believe) can restore order in the provinces; to attract foreign capital to Russia for free and mutually advantageous co-operation in the development of Rus sia's vast natural resources; to protect Russia, at the same time, from exploitation by speculators and from economic subjection to rapacious capitalist syndicates, Russian or foreign ; and to encourage every member of the community to take an equal share in the responsi bility of upholding and promoting the prosperity of his country. Today this powerful organization, numbering in its ranks practically every real producer in Russia, stands as the medium of exchange with outside commerce. Its arm of distribution is preparing to function, much as the (non-political) co-operative societies of Brit ain function; that is, it is for the moment an agency for selling or buying supplies on behalf of all Russians co-operatively. In its distribution it knows no party, and if Bolshevik or anti-Bolshevik diverts any consignment from its destination as indicated by the Co-operatives, then the Co-operatives will stop any further shipment to the offending party. Nowhere in the world was the co-operative move ment such an instinct as in Russia, and nowhere has it proved a greater fundamental success. The proof is that when everything else has failed it remains a stable agency ready to do business with the world and its members on fair terms. Germany had a co-operative venture as early as 1848, when Friedrich Wlttielm RairTeisen was burgo master in Westerwald. The people were hopelessly ground down by debt to money-lenders, for small doles advanced to purchase stock, or meet times of difficulty. RairTeisen got the idea that by combining to bor row a moderate sum of money on their joint responsi bility, afterward lending it out among themselves in small sums at a slightly greater rate of interest, the peasants might obtain some relief, and at the same time get the capital necessary to make their labor productive. So he set up a "Loan Bank." which was a great suc cess. About 1880 the idea suddenlv took wide hold Farmers Organizing in America . bsfr i i "t: auuve is C S. Barrett President National Krmifv Cninn- I )r T fa F. O. Profitable By HUGH and more each rear not Mlljv , for buying and ine T& fej'tt . ' . TVl,n- nc are also taking a deen a picture oi ( artcv are: Lower row left r. . 7 1111 l) r armers n.,... i vmlc A c . . K 1 in Europe WOODSTOCK and BlOU sands of such banks since that time havi come into existence in many countries. These are essentially neighborhood ass lations Usually the) receive savings deposits, as we: as bor row. Sometimes a few of the members are s . Il-to-do people, comparatively speaking, who join to help their neighbors by increasing the society's credit. 1 h bank confines its operations to a small area, where eryone knows everyone. Only members can borrow. .m member, however poor, can borrow for a profitable ap proved purpose; and no member, however rich, f0r any other. No bills, mortgages, or other securities are taken, except a note of hand, either alone or with one or two sureties. The Haiti Clsen banks of a district are fed I atcd in a union, and these, in turn, into a general agency, Thev boast that neither member nor creditor ever lost a penny through them and, until the war disturbed the economic system of all the European Countries, the credit of the RairTeisen banks was so high that thev could borrow at very low rates, and with trifling ex penses could re-lend to members often at live per cent. They have fulfilled their purpose, which was to meet the needs of the peasant, particularly the poorest i nes. There is another type of credit bank, the Schulze Delitiachi which, however, is more of a joint-stock proposition. There are more than 30,000 co-operative credit so cieties, including building societies, in the world. They arc in Italy, Hungary and Austria, as well as in Amer ica and Asia. Millions Now Interested in It. SUMMING up, it is believed that membership in co operative societies totals 8.000,000, representing easily with their families, J2.U00.(XX) persons. And even these figures are admittedly conservative. Probably the co-operating population is much higher today. In C anada, the co-operative societies among the farmers have been very successful, not only in a busi ness way. but politically. The head of the CO-opertUfC society is now running the government in one prOVSBft, as premier. The United States ha (C) Keystone 1 r!lT ,?rcYof ngnt . (iirtorrl Pinhvt it ... . : ,' ...J '? , arnV'rs 47 II. NUll?) e. SciTi-tarw . . . . Dillon; I.eroy Mel- .eroy College i. Altman. had some cxpei i DCC ot the movement. Agricul tural CO-operation is well known, although not so comprehensively as Europe. En fruit g w i a fc Pacific Coast grower have operated sti cessfufly on the co-operative plan. But some oth efforts have not met wit! the usu al success. As ar back as 1849, the Boston Tail ors' Associative ' ion was formed, but was short lived. One of !'ie most successful ventu - in this country was among the coopers of Mini ipOuS. In 1868 a few j.-ineymen coopers thought they could manage industr for them selves ; their sti i ess war ranted the formatica 1874 of a Strong organ ization known a the Co operative Barrel I oinpany with a membership ot -u coopers who bought a shop for $3,000, payi g Vm cash. The company pros pered exceeding! ) Wherever sensiMy Jf crated co-operati on -rj" elimination of the middle man has been hugely suc cess ful, and. in addition to improving UtC condition o the worker, has given nun something of an ideal to work for. When the bricklayers of Itaachestei tevv weeks ago astonished tne country by suggesting , tn7 form a Building ( 7 construct M a Chester's much - needed houses, they were onb effect, carrying forwar the co-operative mea logical step. It is not state Cfg tion; it is not competition. H is the middle road.