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The Cnemplojed. -I

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The Cnemplojed. I It is .evident from the statements sub- f -mitted to the Central Committee which met last week at the Guildhall, and from the reports which reach us from all parts of the country, that the existence of a very serious and even terrible amount of distress among the working classes is at length recognised by those optimists who had cherished A 1 hope that the nnmber of unemployed had been exaggerated. It may be that in some cases there have been fewer applications to the Guardians than there were at the cor- responding period last year but too much importance should not be attached to these statistics. The unemployed are evidently there, and are suffering none the less, per- liaps rather the more, because they are STRUGGLING ON -without recourse to the rates. The Central Committee which met in London had before them a letter from Mr Long, President of the Local Government Board, suggesting that they should render assistance in one of two -ways, firstly that they should make a grant towards the cost of special works which might be commenced by the local authori- ties, works which in ordinary circumstances would not be undertaken, and secondly by arranging for the employment of persons on experimental work, such as labour colonies. Mr Long expressed the hope that the funds of the Central Committee might be largely furnished by private sub- scriptions, but, he added it is also hoped that the Borough Councils will contribute." Notwithstanding this clear pronouncement on the part of the President of the Local Government Board, the question was raised whether the Borough Councils could legally contribute to the central body, and the matter was referred to the executive com- mittee. The objection appears to be a purely academic one, because when Mr Long has EXPRESSLY SANCTIONED THE EXPENDITURE there is not the least reason to apprehend a surcharge with respect to any contributions which the Borough Councils might make. Meanwhile it is satisfactory to know that, so far as the Metropolis is concerned, the matter is not being altogether neglected, n 15 several of the Borough Councils having ap- pointed committees, or made grants of money, to deal with the distress. There are two ways of dealing with a disease, one by treating the symptoms and the other by removing the cause. In this matter the best we have succeeded in doing so far has been to relieve the symptoms, and very little has been done to get at the cause. Some people suggest that the country is over-populated, largely owing to the influx of undesirable aliens, and Mr Balfour's recent letter intimating that Parliament will take up this subject on its re-assembling, has evoked the hearty approbation of the country generally, No one can spend even A short time in London without realizing the dire distress amongst our own country- men arising from this cause, and it is reflected throughout the provinces. It is not surprising that people who think the trouble is due to the immigration of un- desirables, should object to the BEST OF OUR WORKMEN I going abroad, and their places being taken by those who are inferior to them both physically and morally. At the same time we have to deal with the position as we find it, and there can be no doubt that the large numbers of oar workers who find themselves periodically out of employment would be better off in Canada, or some other British Colony, than they are at home. There is plenty of room in the great wheat growing areas of the Dominion but one knows what a wreuoh it is for a family to seek a uew country, and the State ought to do all that is possible to alleviate the pain of parting from friends in the old country. In reply to a letter from Mr Crooks, M P., Mr Balfour discourages the suggestion to summon a special session of c Parliament to consider the problem of the unemployed on the ground that the new machinery should first be tried, and that pending the decision of the Legislature all 0 organised effort would be paralysed.

The Society of Women Journalists.

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