Front Page Titles (by Subject) Book I.: Political Arrangements. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs)
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Book I.: Political Arrangements. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 8 (Chrestomathia, Essays on Logic and Grammar, Tracts on Poor Laws, Tracts on Spanish Affairs) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). In 11 vols. Volume 8.
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1. The management of the concerns of the poor, throughout South Britain to be vested in one† authority, and the expense charged upon one fund. 2. This authority, that of a Joint-stock Company,‡ under some such name as that of the National Charity Company.§
General Scheme of Provision.
The whole body of the burdensome poor to be maintained and employed, in a system of Industry-houses,∥ upon a large scale,¶ distributed over the face of the country as equally as may be, with each a portion of land** (waste in preference) at least sufficient for the maintenance of its own population. Utmost number of paupers that would remain to be provided for in the proposed order of things, say five hundred thousand:†† —number to a house two thousand:—number of houses two hundred and fifty.‡‡
Ways and Means.
1. The whole annual produce of the poor rates, taken at a period to be settled, (say the average of the last three years,) or such part of that produce as shall be agreed upon, but subject to such contingent reductions as herein-after mentioned, resulting from a division of the profits. (See Section 9.) 2. The growing produce of the labour of all non-adult paupers, now existing, or hereafter applying for relief, or on whose behalf relief is applied for, beneath a certain age, such non-adults to continue bound to the company in quality of apprentices—males, till twenty-one or twenty-three; females, till twenty-one or nineteen: without prejudice to marriage. (See Book ii. Ch. ii. Separation and Aggregation—Ch. iii. Buildings and Land—Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) For the value of this fund, and for the means of enlarging or narrowing the influx of this class of hands according to the ability of the company, see Book ii. Ch. i. Classes mustered: and Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates. 3. Ditto of all others—none, however, to be received, but on condition of continuing to work till the value of their labour has balanced the expense of relief—upon an account taken according to certain rules. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principlesof Management; and Ch. x. Book-keeping.) Such as are unable to balance the account to work in as far as they are able;—but without prejudice to the suitable relief of temporary indigence. (See Book iii. Ch. iv. Temporary Indigence relieved: and Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 4. Contingent resources vested at present, in the hands employed in the management of the poor: such as compositions for bastards, forfeitures, &c. 5. Voluntary donations, in as far as concerns the expense of Extra Comforts. (See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 6. A capital to be raised by subscription, on the credit of the above annual and permanent funds. Say from four to six millions. (See Book v. Financial Grounds. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates.) 7. Produce of lands purchased or rented with a part of the above capital. See infra Section 6.
1. Board of General Direction stationed in the metropolis—directors, say twelve or twenty-four; a governor and sub-governor included. 2. Qualification for a Director as in the East India Company—3. Qualification for voting at election of directors as in ditto.—4. Qualification for voting in assemblies of stock holders, as in ditto. 5. Shares very small,* and determinate;† say £10 or £5.
Powers for apprehending all persons, able-bodied or otherwise, having neither visible or assignable property, nor honest and sufficient means of livelihood, and detaining and employing them till some responsible person will engage for a certain time to find them in employment, and, upon their quitting it, either to resurrender them, or give timely notice; and so toties quoties. (See Book ii. Ch. i. Employment secured. Ch. ii. Mendicity extirpated. Ch. iii. Habitual depredation extirpated.) 3. Powers for apprehending non-adults of divers descriptions, being without prospect of honest education, and causing them to be bound to the company in quality of apprentices. (See as above Ch. iii.) 4. Powers for apprehending insolvent fathers of chargeable bastards and detaining them until they have worked out their composition money, as per Section 3, supra,—also mothers of ditto for a certain time. (See Book ii. Ch. ix. Child Nursing.)
Powers for purchasing or renting lands for the erection of the industry-houses, and the maintenance of the population of the several houses, in spots distributed as equally as may be over the surface of South Britain. 1. Lands in separate ownership in each industry-house-district (250, or thereabouts) in quantities sufficient for raising food for the population of the house (say 2000: chiefly aged persons and children.) 2. Purchase or lease at the option of the proprietor; if purchase, the bare value to be ascertained by a jury, and (10) per cent. to be added to that value, in compensation for the compulsion. 3. If lease, term (say twenty-one years) renewable perpetually at the option of either party, at a fresh rent, assessed by a jury; but not to be less than the preceding rent.—4. Indemnification for existing tenants.—5. Compulsion not to extend to land in occupation of the proprietor; 6. nor to land in the occupation of a tenant who has occupied it (say twenty-one years.) 7. Disabilities removed for the purpose of purchasing with consent at any time. 8. In lieu of land in separate ownership, waste land to equal saleable value, consequently in greater quantity—first lease, say thirty-one years, or longer. 9. Timber, in both cases the property of the company:—the only party interested and able to rear and preserve it. (See Book iii. Ch. x. National Force Strengthened.)
1. Obligation of receiving and maintaining every able-bodied pauper above the apprenticing age, &c., applying for relief, on condition of his working out the expense of such relief, as per Section 3, supra: continuing to him such maintenance, as long as he chooses to accept of it upon these terms. (Highest necessary expense, not so much as 4d. a day: average value of the lowest paid species of labour per day, not so little as 1s.) (See Book v. Ch. ii. Pecuniary Estimates; Ch. v. Prospect of Success; and Book iii. Ch. v. Frugality assisted.) 2. Obligation of receiving every sick pauper, as above, applying for relief, and maintaining him till cured; on condition of his working out the expense of relief and cure, as above. 3. Obligation of receiving on the footing of an apprentice, (as per Section 3,) every non-adult pauper beneath a certain age, if presented by the father or other natural guardian for that purpose. 4, 5, 6, and 7. Obligation of exercising the several coercive powers, as per Section 5, supra. 8. Obligation of indemnifying the rateable inhabitants against all further increase of the poor rates, during the existence of the company. 9. Obligation of sharing with the rateable inhabitants the half-yearly profits of the company, in a proportion to be fixed upon, by an abatement in the quantum of the poor rates for the succeeding half-year. See Section 9, infra. 10. Obligation of publishing, at weekly or other frequently recurring periods, complete statements and accounts, exhibiting the whole of the company’s transactions, including a complete state of the pauper-population throughout South Britain, for the satisfaction of all parties concerned. (See Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping.) 11. Power with, or in some instances, without obligation, in regard to the applying the system of industry-houses, on the company’s account in respect of profit and loss, to the several collateral purposes following; mostly for the benefit of the poor, and among them chiefly of the self-maintaining classes:* viz. 1. Employment register-offices and gazette—See Book iii. Ch. i. Employment secured. 2. Charitable loan offices—See Book iii. Ch. iv. Temporary Indigence relieved. 3. Frugality banks—See Book iii. Ch. v. Frugality assisted. 4. Superannuation-annuity banks—See ibid. 5. Widow-annuity banks—See ibid. 6. Post-obit-benefit banks—See ibid. 7. Charitable remittance office—See Book iii. Ch. vi. Pecuniary Intercourse facilitated, &c. 8. Frugality inns—See Book iii. Ch. vii. Conveyance facilitated, &c. 9. Frugality conveyance-houses—See ibid. 10. Delinquents’ pass-houses, See ibid. 11. Poor debtors’ pass-houses—See ibid. 12. Charitable dispensaries—See ibid. 13. Lying-in hospitals—See Book iii. Ch. xi. Rate of Infant mortality reduced. 14. Midwifery lecture-schools (for females)—See Book iii. Ch. xii. Useful Knowledge augmented and disseminated. 15. Veterinary or cattle-disease lecture schools—See ibid. 16. Militia exercise schools (for the male apprentices—See Book iii. Ch. x. National force strengthened. 17. Marine schools (for the apprentices in the maritime industry houses)—See ibid.—12. Obligation of providing indemnity for such interests, if any, of third persons, as may be affected by the change.—The weight of all this business, very inconsiderable, in respect to its pressure upon the intellectual faculties of the Board of Directors, in comparison with that which is sustained by the East India Direction. (See Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success.)
1. Precautions against the sudden acquisition of votes, to serve electioneering, stock-jobbing, or other sinister or temporary purposes, to the prejudice of the permanent duties or interests of the company—restraints grounded on the regulations made in this same view in the instance of the East India Company. (See infra, section 11. Director’s Oath.) 2. Precautions against applying the capital to purposes of speculation: buying articles for the purpose of selling them at high profit, in the same shape, instead of consuming them, or working them up. (See ibid.) 3. Precautions against applying the capital to purposes of monopoly:—pouring into any particular channel of production so large a proportion of capital and stock of hands as to overstock the market, and by a temporary underselling ruin individual competitors. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principles of Management—Principle of Self-supply.) 1. Power expressly reserved to Parliament for limiting the quantum of stock infusible by the company into any such channel, either in the whole kingdom, or in this or that part. 2. Power to the King and Council to make temporary regulations in that view, with the consent of the Directors, and subject to the pleasure of Parliament—3. Or without consent, time being given them to be heard by counsel. 4. Precautions against bubbles. (viz. contrivances for giving the stock an apparent value, over and above the real, in the view of enabling those who are in the secret to sell out at a high price, to the defrauding of the purchaser.) 1. Dividend to be declared (say three months) before payable: 2. Power meantime to the King in Council to reduce it, stopping payment of the excess. 3. The company to be heard by counsel, without prejudice to the exercise of the power of stoppage in the meantime. 5. Declaration of dividend void, unless accompanied or preceded by a publication of accounts, according to a pre-established form: i. e. digested under pre-adjusted heads. These forms might be inserted in the act of parliament, or the charter of incorporation. (See Book ii. Ch. x. Book-keeping.) 6. Power to a committee of council to examine directors and all other persons, upon oath, touching the truth of the matters set forth in the accounts. 7. Directors, or their paymasters, paying dividends after notice to the contrary from the council-board, responsible as for embezzlement. 8. Mandamus, at the instance of the Attorney-General, or any individual, for compelling, on the part of the directors, the performance of any of the obligations with which they are charged: costs, by the party moving—by the directors out of the company’s fund—or out of their own pockets—at discretion of the court.
Order of the Dividends, or Disposal of the growing Receipts.
1. Rent-dividend—payment of the rents of lands taken on lease, as per Section 6. 2. Bond-dividend—payment of the interest of monies, if any, borrowed on bond. 3. Maintenance of the pauper-community 4. Interest-dividend—payment of common interest (five per cent.) to the stock-holders, upon the capital subscribed. 5. Profit-dividend—distribution of the profit, if any, made by the undertaking:—Branches of this dividend. 1. Company’s profit-dividend (say forty per cent.) Parishes’ profit-dividend (the remaining sixty per cent.)—Branches of the parishes’ profit-dividend. 1. Proportional easement (thirty out of the sixty per cent.) accruing to the several parishes in proportion to their respective charges: 2. Overburden-easement, (the remaining thirty) applied exclusively to the benefit of the overburdened parishes, beginning with the heaviest burden* of all, and striking off the difference between that and the next heaviest, and so downwards; striking off, for example, the 6d. per pound from those who pay 18s. 6d. before anything is struck off from those who pay but 18s.—Standard rate, the assessed rate, not the rack-rent—to avoid disputes and murmurings. None can have much reason to complain, where all are gainers.
Provision forexisting Interests.—
1. Arrangement with the parishes and incorporated districts, who have already loaded themselves with the expense of buildings and stock. 2. Arrangement with the county and other hospitals. 3. Indemnification for persons enjoying lucrative situations in the management of the existing local establishments. Their experience a security for their being taken into the new establishment upon terms of increased advantage, the undeserving only excepted. The number of existing poor-houses upon a large scale much inferior to the number of the proposed industry-houses.
List of them, in form of a table, to be given in the work at large.
Not vague and general, but pointed and particular:—serving as a check upon personal interest and affection, in regard to such points of duty, the infraction of which is least susceptible of being ascertained for the purposes of penal or coercive law—a guide to discretion, and a buckler against external solicitation. Examples: 1. Abjuration of personal interest, favour, and ill-will in the choice of lands for the subject-matter of the powers of purchase, compulsive, or uncompulsive. (See above, Section 6.) 5. Abjuration of Electioneering, Speculation, Monopoly, and Bubbles. (See above, Section 8.) 6. Promise to consult the local attachments of the pauper, as far as shall be compatible with the discipline of the establishment, in respect of the place at which he shall be maintained. (See Book iv. Pauper Comforts.) 7. Promise to execute, with unremitting vigilance, the coercive powers given for the suppression of mendicity and habitual depredation. (See above, Section 5, Coercive Powers.) 8. Promise to adhere, with unremitting strictness, to such of the principles of economy as constitute the main pillars of the system: unless in as far as any departure from them shall have received the sanction of Parliament. (See Book ii. Ch. iv. Principles of Management.)
[† ] Why in one undivided authority, embracing the whole country, rather than in a mixed multitude of independent authorities, in districts composed of parishes, parts of parishes, and sets of united parishes, as at present, see Book vi. Ch. i. and iii.
[‡ ] Why in a joint-stock subscription company, such as the Bank of England, East India Company, &c., rather than in a branch of Administration, such as the Treasury Board, the Admiralty Board, &c.—Reasons. 1. Burden of raising the capital annihilated, the contribution being transferred from the unwilling to the willing. 2. Security to the rateable inhabitants against augmentation of the rates greater, by the amount of the capital subscribed. 3. Probability of thrifty management in every respect greater. [See Adam Smith.] 4. Jealousy of influence, &c., avoided. 5. Benefit of a distinct check from the superintending power of government, &c. &c. [See Book vi. Ch. ii.]
[§ ] For the course to be taken, in the event of an inadequate subscription, see Book vi. Ch. vi.
[∥ ] Community-maintenance, why preferable to private? See a subsequent work, entitled “Pauper Systems compared.”
[¶ ] Community-maintenance, on this large scale, why preferable to a small scale? See ibid.—and see Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Land: Ch. iv. Principles of Management; Book v. Ch. v. Prospect of Success; and Book vi. Ch. i. Management, why in one Authority, not several.
[** ] The disadvantages incident to community-maintenance removed, and unexampled advantages produced, by a new plan of construction. See Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Land.
[†† ] Grounds for estimating the numbers that would be to be provided for at less than five hundred thousand. See Book v. Ch. i. Population expected.
[‡‡ ] Reasons why the houses should not be fewer, nor in the first instance more, than two hundred and fifty, and why, the number being given, the distance between house and house should be as small as may be. See Book ii. Ch. iii. Buildings and Lands.
[* ]Shares why small?—Reasons. 1. Satisfaction of concurring in a work of beneficence, the more extensively diffused. 2. The necessary quantum of capital, the more easy to obtain. 3. Pecuniary benefit the more extensively diffused, by bringing to light small hoards, hitherto barren, and enabling them to bear an interest. 4. Frugality promoted, by giving additional security as well as value to small savings. (See Book iii. Section 5, Frugality assisted.) 5. Content promoted, by giving, to the frugal among the self-maintaining poor, an interest in the economical maintenance and due employment of the burthensome poor. 6. National quiet promoted, by giving to some of the classes most disposed to turbulence, an interest in the prosperity of the proposed company, and of the government under which it acts—as the national debt gave to the public creditors an interest in supporting the title of King William.
[† ]Shares why determinate?—Reasons. To avoid the perplexity that would attend the paying dividends of interest upon fractional sums. 2. To hold out to frugality a determinate mark to aim at. 3. To facilitate the allowance of interest, as between seller and buyer, according to the number of days elapsed since the payment of the last dividend, as in the case of India bonds.
[* ] All these services might be rendered in each spot, in one and the same industry-house, and, (with very inconsiderable additions) by the same hands that compose the official establishment of the house.
[* ] Instances have been produced, of rates as high as 19s. in the pound; but this (we may suppose) was not upon the rack-rents.