Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 10th, 1906
Mining Royalty Owners and Miners Hospitals.
Mr Buckingham Pope’s view
We have received the following letter for publication.
Sir, my attention has been drawn to a leading article in your paper, founded on some remarks of Mr Chambers, at a recent meeting at the Denaby Hotel.
I am informed that if the whole of his remarks had been published, the effect would have been very different. Be this as it may, I have now to state that the deductions you have drawn from them are absolutely repudiated by the board of this company, and also by the officials, and Mr Chambers himself.
The properties of landowners have been purchased for money, precisely in the same way as your printing machinery has been purchased, and the proceeds from investment of that money are as much the property of the landowners as the proceeds of the sale of your newspapers are yours.
To propose that the former should be especially taxed, or that their property should be taken over by the state, because some of them may not, in your opinion, have given the same money in charity, is precisely the same thing in principle as to suggest that your printing machinery should be taxed or taken over because, in the opinion of someone, you do not place a sufficient amount into the plate on Sunday.
The right of a man to do as he likes with his own is the foundation of the whole fabric on which society rests, but your suggestion is that the house should be pulled down because the owner objects to a few spots on the carpet.
The idea is bounded on Socialism, but you must recollect that the aim of the socialist is to take away your property equally with the property of the landowner and have everything worked by the government.
From my experience, I can say that, broadly speaking, the conduct of this land owner in this district, and in all matters connected with charity, has been most generous.
When I had the pleasure of opening the Fullerton hospital, I referred to some remarks of Mr Montagu, with reference to workmen doing something for themselves, and not expecting everything to be done for them, and I congratulated the Denaby men on their efforts and success in this respect.
Surely no one can deny that Mr Montague’s conduct as landowner, in respect to the Mexborough hospital, has been truly magnificent, but at the same time, he objects, as I do, to this continued attempt to pauperise people, and I believe that every self-respecting workingman is in sympathy with this view.
Under our present fiscall system, it is becoming daily more difficult for capital, invested in this country, to make both ends meet, and for years past it has been finding investment on foreign shores. One great reason which has expedited its departure has been the constant attacks on capital invested in this country, and these two causes account almost entirely for our present position with regard to the “unemployed.”
How can English workmen obtain adequate employment in this country unless capitalists can obtain security from the money invested?
J. Buckingham Pope, Chairman
Our only comment upon the above communication is that Mr Chamber’s remarks, wherein he referred particularly to mining Royaly owners, were fully reported, verbatim et literatum, and moreover, in the first person, and that until the english language ceases to have any meaning whatever, his words will bear the construction placed upon them in our leading article