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THE T R U C K S Y S T EM. TO THH liDITOll OP THE PRINCIPALITY. gtu,-T consider it the duty of every Christian, both as a Christian and as a man, to stand firm and immoveable on the foundation of the truth, love, and justice, and to come forward boldly and fearlessly in the spirit of truth against any violations of these noble and grand principles—to come forward in his own defence, and as well in defence of his-fellow men; when- ever he sees their rights and liberties encroached upon, and their privileges abused by the ftyrants of the age. When he sees wrong principles maintained, and systems established that are very injurious to the temporal-and'spiritual comforts of the working classes of the land, and-of others in, immediate con- nexion with them. This, my dear1 sir, I consider the truck system does to a very great and injurious extent (according to my own humble contemplations) in the mining and manufac- turing districts of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire, and wherever else it is-exercised and imposed upon the working classes. These, and these alone, I can assure you, are the reasons why myself and others have taken so prominent a part in bring this system' before the public and in exposing the evils thereof, and we feel iin justice bound to continue our efforts till we arrive at the desired end of annihilating the system, and of overthrowing the many evils of which we candidly believe the truck system to be the source, till we save ourselves and fellow-workmen from the captivating snares, the restraining fetters, and the unjust influence of the truck system, and until we shall have prevailed in delivering our liative land from the poverty, the ignorance, impiety, and ruin, which the truck system-'threatens to bring it into, by enriching the tyranical truck masters at the expense of reducing the working class to a state of poverty and misery this they do by overcharging them at- their truck shops, by lowering the value of their labour, and by a general and successive reduction of wages, and by destroying the fair and honourable competition of trade in the most staple and the most important articles of commerce in these parts of the country, which at last effect, not only the .working-men, but the honourable money-pay- ing masters to an incredible extent^- and; perhaps, more than they themselves ever thought of. I view the truck- system as a thing dishonourable and disgraceful; to the character of truck masters, and they must be a most singular sort of gentlemen to own such a shameful system as this most undoubtedly is. which deprives them of the honour which otherwise they would be worthy of, which destroys their public character as gentlemen and as merchants iir the sight of all classes of society, and more particularly in the sight of the morchantile world with whom they ought to maintain the highest and most honourable connections, and debases their public and moral character in the sight of every thoughtful mnn to the same rank-as thieves; robbers, swindlers', or wicked extortioners ji for my own part: I would rather suffer an open rubbery to be committed from any person on the highway than to be deprived of a part of the produce of the labour of my Hands, by the subtile instrumentality of the truck masters and their tommy-trucking establishments. This disgraceful system is not only an infringement of the law of our land, but it is the grossest violation of every humane law in general. The voice of conscience (if not seared with the red hot iron of-practisirfg; must have accused even the most tyrannical of the truck- paying masters of ten* tirnes. We find by perusing the Mosaic law that it demands most punctual and just payments of the gettings of the workingirnen ;<fot in Lev.^the 19th chap. and the 13th verse, we read, 11 Thou. shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him, the wages of him that is hired' thall not abide with thee all night until the morning." This iU what the law of Moses demands, but were not the working people by poverty compelled to submit to be defrauded by the truck system their wages should abide with the abominable truck masters for four, five, or even thirteen weeks, and stand the risk of being discharged from the Works for exacting, the wages in coin even then. Again, when. the same law was re- peated to the children of Israel, we find that great emphasis have been set on this particular section of the l&w, and-through care divine it has been included in- the repitition, see Dent., 24th chap.14th and 15th verse; where we read, "Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren or of thy strangers that are"iii'thy land within thy gates. At his day- thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sum go down upon it, for lie it;- poor and setteth his heart upon it, lest he cry against thee unto the Lord and it be sin unto thee." How many scores, nay-hun- dreds, of the working class have been' reduced to a state of poverty, and have been-inmates of the union Workhouses in our land crying unto him who rules above for vengence upon those that have been guilty of imposing upon/hem such a defrauding system as this Does the Omniscient hear this!- Yea, and will visit these imposters with a just ret.,otypence- of their iniquity. In three or fonr centuries after Moses, we find that the children of Israel grew naughty, and that they violated the rights of the working claswin a similar manner in its effects as the present method of trucking by. the imposing masters of the nineteenth century for we find the prophet coming-out by an especial Divine command to pronounce the verdict of justice on such people, see Jèr., 22nd chap.) 3th verse,-says he Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighticuwness; and his chambers by wrong, that useth his neighbour's servieesv with- out wages andgiveth him not for his work and St. Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, see 4th chap. and 1st verse, says Masters give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a master in heaven Yea, and he sees the mansions that have- been erected, the large estates that have been bought, the carriages, the racers-, the crowds of hounds, the pic-nic parties, fee., &e., that have been pur- chased and maintained by truck masters from the honest and industrious earhillgs of the working class,, and they (the truck masters) have been guilty of not rendering, this to them according to Divine instructions, but this has been withheld from them by the illegal instrumentality of the truck system, and he (the Lord) says through the mouth of his holy prophet Malachi, see 3rd chap. 5th verse, And Twill-come near you in judgment, and I will be a swift witness against (them) that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right;" We learn also from the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, that after their days work was over, see Mat., 20th chap. 7th and 9th verses, ■" And whatever is right that shall ye receive." This )Vas the engagement agreed upon, and They received every taan a penny." This penny was not paid them in truck, neither was it withheld from them for four, five, or thirteen weeks, as at the trucking establishments of Monmouthshire and other places, but it was paid them as soon as their day's work was finished. St; James in his general Epistle, see 5th chap., 1st and 6th verses, says" Go to now, Ye rich men weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you, your rich'es are rruptedand your garments are motheaten, your gold and •ilTVr is cankered anct, the rust of them shall be a witness against you and shall eat your flesh as it were fie, Ye have heaped treasures together for the last days, Behold the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields which is of you kept back by fraud crieth, and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath, Ye have lived in pleasures on the earth" and been wanton, Ye have nourished your heart as in a day of slaughter, Ye have u condemned and killed the just and he doth not resist you." Time is approaching fast that, as Job said, see 3rd chap. 17, 18, and 19 verses, there the; wicked shall cease from troubling you (my dear fellow labourers); and there the Weary be at rest. There thb hiyhr ribt t^e t^e of the oppressor, the small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master but it would be far better for us to allow onr employer one silliu and sixpence in the pound for the sake of getting-the rest" oPohr wages "irieoin weekly, than to suffer the truck rystem"toi defraud us of much more. would be a more honourable affair but it would be the grossest in-' justice to the employers and the employed. Some of the truck masters in my own immediate neighbourhood; thouglv they pfofess great things, andamongst otherthings, one article of their belief is M"ThMman is a free agfent;" yet they exercise so iiiuoh of their tyrannical power that tie soofc aw they wil* come to Rhaw that any of the wfilfenen iri theiif eiftploy attend 'any other places of divine vlarship,thàll'thêirown'chapel, and haye ca^t* theit* lot as members among other denominations of religionists than their own favourite dtmotnlnatians., these workmen are discharged by the agents from the works, often at a great sacrifice to the workmen, and that on account of reli- gion;- An instance of this kind took place lately at the Vartegy where a man after being at work in a level for a considerable 'time getting very little, as soon as he had his place of work in order he was discharged; and a man of the right stamp was put in his place to work and to reap the benefit, and several other like instances could be mentioned.- This is another encroachment in connexion with the truck system on the rights and liberties of the working class. This I would most seriously impress upon the minds of the working class. That the in- jurious tommy system cannot be annihilated without our most hearty and determined co-operation, and, in order to effect this, societies ought to be established; in every truck district, and lectures on the system-awl its evil tendency should be delivered {throughout the districts by some sterling friends of the work- ing class like Mr. Daniell's, the agent of the miner's associa- tion, George Dawson, Esq., M.A., of Birmingham; or Mr. Duignan, of Walsall, who would come forward to help us, if they were only invited, and to deliver public lectures in open meetings, which, perhaps, would answer a better purpose than if my friends and myself would write on it for half a century. Now, at the conclusion of this letter, I think that T cannot do better than to relate a case of truck that was brought lately 'before the magistrates at Wolverhampton, whereas a butty collier named Samuel Fereday was charge! of paying one Thomas Stedman his wages in goods, for which infringement of the law he was sentenced to six months' imprisonmtnt. Two other cases of truck was proved on* the same day, and the itie iir each case was five pounds and expenses, and two pound f of the penalty in each- case was given to the informer.- Thus the working people of Staffordshire carry on the law as a helmet against the darts-of truck. There is no bad feeling between me and any of the iron and coal masters, as men I love them, I respect them, and I honour them, but as trucksters I hate them, I abhor them, and dishonour them, and I would be glad to see them voluntarily yielding down this system of them- selves. This would be far more honourable for them than after been drawn before benches of magistrates; like any "other wicked people to be obligated to act/in conformity with the law of the land, which they ought to be wise enough to do with- out any such undesirable proceedings. Yours, &c., AN OLD MINER, AbersycMn, August 19, 1850.■



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