" WHY ARE THERE STRIKES ? "
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—The letter in your issue of the 14th inst. from Mr. Reginald Campbell is more remarkable for what it omits than for what it says, but, even so, on behalf of this Union, I would congratulate him on its contents.
The omissions for which it is remarkable are that it makes no reference whatever to (a) The primary need of the individual wage-earner ; (b) The duty of the nation to make it possible for the need to be met.
As to (a) : " Economic Freedom " for the individual is the crying need of our times. To provide it requires that individual wage-earners should have a practicable alternative to working for wages, which for men without much capital is that they should be able to grow their own food if it suits them better to do so than to work for wages. Given this alternative, it would be to the self-interest of employers to make wages and conditions of employment satisfactory to wage-earners, while on the other hand the latter would also need to have consideration for the interests of employers, or the employers would tend to withdraw their capital from the trade. That would compel the wage-earners to fall back on the alternative, which many of them might be loth to do. How to place the alternative at the disposal of wage-earners is the crux of the problem, and yet its practical solution will become apparent as soon as the underlying principle is understood.
It is the object of this Union, among other things, to propagate the ideas contained in this letter, so that if any of your readers should desire information in these respects, a note to the General Secretary at this address will receive prompt attention.—I am, Sir, &c., J. GREATHEAD-HARPER, General Secretary, The Agricultural and Industrial Union. 7 Queen Street Place, E.C. 4.