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or St. Lucia claims to be, has nevertheless a fruit production worth speaking of. Cotton kind of fairness of its own, which one who is being planted as an experiment; but if loves Nature in all her moods and phases the best seed is not used, disappointment very soon discovers. It is by no means a must follow. Sugar, at its present price of dead flat, but is composed of ridges and £13 per ton, except when the crop is large, valleys of coralline limestone, with a chain allows no margin beyond the cost of producof mountains which in the northern part of tion. Where there is interest to pay on the island rises to the respectable elevation borrowed money (as is so often the case), an of 1,200 feet, and in the district called Scot- estate, in a bad time, cannot pay its way. It land (for, like Auckland Castle, it too has is the subsidised German and French beetits own Scotland) is almost beautiful. The sugar which is competing so ruinously with coast-line, moreover, on the eastern side of our colonial production, and some of our the island is well worth a visit, and the West Indian kinsfolk would like to be promelancholy little railway, if it cannot do tected against it. But it is a serious thing much else, will at any rate take you there, to ask the Home Government to raise, in an though at a very depressing rate of speed. appreciable degree, the price of an article of Just as Cornwall is marked by its mines, so consumption which, to the mass of the Engis Barbados by its sugar estates, each with lish people, has now become not so much a its group of buildings, tall chimney or luxury as an actual staple of life. England windmill, and cluster of cabbage palms. is far in advance of all the countries of the I was there during the cane season, and world in her use of sugar, consuming, for the island was quite lively with the carts every head of her population, 68 lb. a year, of cane going home to the mills, the brisk while France comes next with an average of manufacture of the sugar for exportation, only 17 lb. and the forest of masts

in the busy roadstead It is an immense advantage for Barbados waiting to carry it to Europe. Sugar is the that labour is abundant, living extremely staple product of Barbados. The estates cheap, and that the construction of the here are not so large as those of Demerara, Panama Canal makes an outlet for the unseldom exceeding three hundred acres, and employed. It is be wished, however, that the produce, of course, varies in relation to she did not carry all her eggs in one basket. the soil, cultivation, and rainfall. We visited Bridgetown, prettily nestled among trees, an estate at Hampton, where all the latest has neither sordidness nor dirt to be ashamed machinery, at a cost of £10,000, is at work, of. The population is 19,000; the public and where the entire process, from crushing buildings, not yet quite finished, are of an the cane to packing the sugar for the ship, ornamental as well as useful character; the can be seen. It was all very interesting; Barracks are prettily situated in an open but to me the most attractive feature of all park, where polo goes on under all varieties was that of the negroes themselves, working of climate; the sea drive to Hastings is a cheerily and, as it seemed, diligently, for charming and favourite resort about sunset; their adequate wages, and the one thought and the briskness of the building trade, în which again and again came into my mind houses both of a public and private nature, as I went through the great building, with indicates that some one is thriving, even if all its ingenious and elaborate arrangement, sugar is cheap. Government House, the was, “Thank God, they are free ! As a centre of a graceful and abundant hospiman-servant's board-wages in Barbados are tality, is well situated on an eminence which only ls. 6d. a week, and nothing is required commands both the town and the sea. What for fuel, very little for clothes, and, during the interior lacks is trees, what the seaboard the cane-harvest, still less for food (for the wants is harbours. There are no snakes (not negroes almost live upon the cane), a negro, that any one misses them), and almost the when he is in constant work, is well off. only venomous thing is the centipede. MusHow much better off than our own artisans quitoes, to be sure, are plentiful; but they in Shadwell or Lambeth they must cross the are not so intrusive in trumpeting their ocean to discover. It is unfortunate that sugar presence as ours in Europe are, and a weak should be so cheap, for at present it is im- solution of carbolic acid rubbed on the face possible to cultivate with a profit, and Bar- and neck usually keeps them at bay. bados has not much else to fall back upon. One thing more I must mention before The climate is neither moist nor hot enough proceeding to other matters. Barbados, for cocoa, which is such a good second exemplary, as I hope soon to show, in other string to the bow in other islands. There is no I things, has been particularly so in the erec

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if not ahead of the other islands, assuredly is not behind them. I mean in her admirable system of education, and in her public

recognition of the Christian faith. With one Public Buildings, Bridgetown.

gap, of which I will speak presently, and

which can be bridged over at any moment tion of a commodious, first-class hotel. To (the sooner the better), the Education scheme be sure it is neither furnished nor opened, for is complete. It is the outcome of the Eduthe spirited promoter of it is just dead, and cation Act of 1878, resulting from a commissome delay was inevitable. But it is built, sion appointed, in 1875, to report upon the and on an admirable site, and this citizen subject, and out of an annual revenue of of our small but wide-awake island has started £140,000, it expends the creditable sum of an enterprise which a neighbouring island £15,000 a year. An Education Board, of took in hand some years ago, wretchedly which the experienced and energetic Bishop bungled, and has not had courage to attempt of Barbados is chairman, carries out the proagain.

visions of the Act, submits an annual EducaFlorida, except to the sportsman, soon be- tional Budget, superintends all the schools comes monotonous. Bermuda and the Baha- under its authority, and every year reports mas are not said to be violently attractive, and to the Governor. There are three sets of perhaps one winter there might be enough schools—primary, second grade, and first for most people. There are travelling folk grade. The primary schools, which are carenough in the United States alone to fill to ried on by the various religious bodies, with overflowing all the hotels in Barbados, Trini- full religious instruction and a conscience dad, Jamaica, and St. Lucia that are likely to clause, do a useful but probably not complete be built for some time to come. Barbados has work. In Barbados, as in England, many built the first. If money is soon found for little fish escape the net, and at present any furnishing and starting it, it will take a man compulsory methods deserving the name very clever in blundering to fail to make it would be premature and hurtful. a success. The plain truth is, that tourists, There are at present 68 infant schools, who do not happen to have private intro- and 78 primary schools—either boys, girls, ductions in the West Indies, are at present or mixed-under the care of the Anglican debarred from visiting them by lack of suffi- Church. They all receive grants in aid. A cient or suitable hotel accommodation. Let Moravian school I visited with the Bishop this be supplied, promptly and suitably, was a cheerful and encouraging sight. and if properly and liberally managed, and Nearly all the children were coloured. Here thoroughly advertised, hotels must answer. I enjoyed the unique experience of proposing

In two very important matters Barbados, to ask for a half-holiday, and finding my proposal so coldly received that I with an Assistant Inspector, and power is given drew it. Perhaps it would have only been under the Act to establish industrial schools

. appropriated for domestic use; and they There is, however, one serious gap in this knew it.

otherwise admirable scheme. At present The second grade schools are four in num- there are no training institutions for masters ber. There is an admirable (day) first grade or mistresses. This appears to me absolutely school for girls, called Queen's College. The indispensable, if much of the money so libetwo primary schools are Harrison College, in rally dispensed is not to be thrown away. Bridgetown; and Lodge School, which is Jamaica, as I have reason for knowing, has just above the sea at a little distance in the just established them. country. Boarders here are charged about Codrington College is an important insti£51 a year including fees. The curriculum tution, founded on a bequest of Colonel Codincludes English, French,' classics, mathe- rington at the beginning of the last century, matics, elements of one of the sciences, and, and endowed with two valuable sugar estates. where practicable, German. The Government It is at present conducted for students in subsidises these schools wisely and liberally arts and theology, and is affiliated to the by a comprehensive scheme of exhibitions University of Durham. The Government culminating in a Barbados scholarship last- have established in connection with the coling four years, and to be competed for an. lege four island scholarships of the annual nually, of the value of £175 a year, to be value of £30; and it is the alma mater of the tenable either at Oxford or Cambridge, the island. The buildings are handsome and examination being conducted by examina- commodious, the situation healthy, and the tion papers sent out from England. There principal thoroughly competent. The college is a Government Inspector of Schools and l is doing well.

(To be continued.)



HEN I was first invited to become a while ; but in 1883 I again took it up. In the

candidate for a seat in the House of meanwhile the Shop Hours League had been Commons, I asked myself what I should do established, and under its energetic Presiif I got into Parliament, and there were dent, Mr. Suthers, did much to educate and four subjects especially to which it seemed stimulate public opinion. We should have to me that I might devcte myself with advan- wished to introduce a Bill affecting the hours tage.

One was to advocate the teaching of of labour of women as well as of young perscience in schools; the second to take some sons. We found, however, that the advosteps for the better protection of ancient cates of women's rights would feel themnational monuments; the third to obtain if selves bound to object. They feared it possible a few national holidays, especially would tend to throw women out of employone in the fine summer months; and the ment. We did not share this apprehension. last, not least, to shorten the intolerably long If the application of the limitation to women hours of labour in shops. It appeared very under 18 would not have this effect, why inconsistent that a girl in a factory or work- should it do so when extended to women over shop should be forbidden to work more than 18? However, in legislation one must con54 hours in the week, while the hours of her sider what is practical, and we thought that sister in a shop often ranged as high as 80 a great step would be gained if we could at to 85.

any rate protect growing boys and girls, to My first idea was to extend certain of the whom, of course, the long hours are espeprovisions of the Factory Acts to shops, cially injurious. and I introduced a Bill for that purpose into In this we were happily successful. The the House of Commons in the year 1873. Shop Hours Bill, which limits the labour of I was, however, opposed; my Bill was what young persons under 18 to 74 hours in the is technically known as blocked, and I found week, passed through Parliament last year I could hope for very little support.. After and is now the law of the land. trying in vain for two or three years I There is, however, a very strong feeling thought it better to let the subject rest for a | in the shop-keeping community that while

in full :

this is a step in the right direction, further from it in the poorer neighbourhoods, and that legislation is desirable.

nothing short of legislation would be effective. As regards the length of the hours it is that strong testimony has been given in support of

(7.) “Under these circumstances it is not surprising not necessary to rest our case on any private the Bill referred to your Committee. inquiries. The Factory Acts Commission (8.) “A widespread desire has been expressed by which sat in 1875 and 1876 under Sir James gown-up, persons employed in shops, that in some Fergusson, reported that “the hours of labour way their labours also may be limited by law; and

your Committee believe that employers are not indisof shop assistants throughout the country in posed as a rule to such limitation, provided that it a great many cases range as high as 84 or 85 takes the form of general early closing of shops. in the week. The Committee of the House (9.) “Your Committee have evidence that, in many of Commons which sat on our Bill last sum- keepers to close early has been frustrated by the

localities, the desire of the great majority of shopmer, and which took a great deal of evi- dissent of some few individuals, while in many cases dence, stated the facts even more broadly. the large establishments are induced to keep their Their report is not long, so I will give it doors open longer than they otherwise would do, for

fear of their customers being diverted to smaller shops in the same trade.

(10.) “Your Committee did not consider themselves (1.) “As the evidence submitted to your Committee empowered to consider any measure for the comhas extended to considerable length, they have pulsory closing of shops; but they did not decline to thought it desirable to draw attention to the leading receive such evidence, because it bears directly upon points of the statements made by the witnesses. Of the question of the practicability and usefulness of the witnesses examined, 12 were assistants called to the proposal to limit the hours of service of young prove the length of hours ; 21 have spoken on behalf persons in shops. of various associations in different parts of the coun- (11.) “The witnesses who were in favour of a comtry ; 21 were representative traders called by the pulsory closing generally expressed a willingness to supporters of the Bill; five were inspectors of fac- accept the Bill as a step in the right direction, and betories ; 14 were traders called by different members cause it might tend to shorten the hours of service of of the Committee; and two were medical men. the employed, and to promote the earlier closing of

(2.) “ Your Committee are agreed that the practice shops. of keeping open shops until a late hour of the evening (12.) “There was a concurrence of opinion that if prevails extensively; that while shops used by the any limitation were placed upon the hours of emwealthier classes generally close at a comparatively ployment of young persons, or upon those during early hour, in neighbourhoods where the shops are which shops may be kept open, there must be some frequented by the working classes they are kept open relaxation upon certain days, as on Saturday, and until very late, especially on Saturday. It follows the eves of holidays. Suggestions were made by that in such cases all the persons employed, including many witnesses that the limitation in the former young persons, must be kept on their feet for a great case should be rather upon the total number of hours many hours, and that where shops are crowded and of employment in the week, than on those in each ill-ventilated such prolonged hours must be exhaust- day, and your committee have modified the Bill in ing and often injurious to health, especially in the this sense. case of girls.

(13.) “ It appears, moreover, from the evidence (3.) "Your Committee have had evidence that in taken before your Committee, as well as by that wholesale warehouses the packing and entering taken before the Factory and Workshops Act Comclerks are often detained till very late at night, espe- mission of 1876, that a large majority of the incially at the busy seasons. The apartments in which spectors of factories are in favour of some legislative the work is carried on, in the departments mentioned, regulation of the hours of labour in shops; Mr. are often underground, and even in the daytimé Taylor, inspector in the North-West Lancashire lighted by gas. In those departments, too, appren. Division, expressed his belief that they are now altices and other young men are commonly employed, most unanimously of this opinion. and work of this description, if so prolonged, your


“The Bill contains no provision for Govern. Committee can readily believe to be exhausting and ment inspection, and though no doubt, under the injurious.

circumstances, there may be some evasion, still your ** (4.). " Again your Committee find, that in shops Committee believe that it would have a considerable to which work-rooms are attached, young persons, effect. who could not be employed in the latter beyond the (15.) " The Bill exempts from its operation statutory hours of the Factory and Workshop Act, licensed public-houses and refreshment-houses of all are called upon to serve after their

tasks in the work- kinds. It appears to the Committee that the employ. rooms have been finished. Your Committee have in ment of young persons in such places must be at troduced into the Bill a provision designed to put an least as fatiguing, and, in many respects, as injurious end to this practice.

as in shops ; but the Bill, as referred to your Com(5.). “It appears to be very common for the em- mittee, did not extend to them, and your Committee ployed, and perhaps especially the apprentices and have not therefore taken evidence on the subject. young persons, to be detained for some time after the

(16.).“In conclusion, your Committee being shops have been closed to customers, to clear up, put satisfied that the hours of shop assistants range in away the goods, and to pack up articles purchased; many places as high as from eighty-four to eighty-five and in many cases these young persons have to come per week, being convinced that such long hours must earlier in the morning than the others to prepare be generally injurious, and often ruinous to health, the shops for the day's work.

and that the same amount of business might be (6.) “The great majority of witnesses expressed compressed into a shorter space of time, recomtheir opinion that though voluntary action had mend this Bill to the favourable consideration of the effected much improvement, little could be expected | House."

more severe.

I may add that, although one member of Another girl, in a shop at Deptford, saidthe Committee, Sir James Fergusson, felt

“I begin at 8 A.M. and leave at 10 P.M., Saturdays himself unable to approve the remedy sug- 8 A.M. to 12 P.M. We have from 15 to 20 minutes gested in our Bill, so far as the facts are allowed for each meal. We are very often called concerned the Committee were unanimous. forward from our meals to the shop to attend to In factories the hours of labour are limited then the food is either cold or we get no more. When

customers. We leave our meals half consumed, and to 54, and consequently it follows from the apprenticed to the drapery my health was good; but above statement that shopmen, and—what it is gradually failing, and the doctor says I am in is much worse—the shopwomen too, are consumption. I am, therefore, obliged to leave at actually in a great many cases at the pre- for a walk except on a Sunday, as no respectable girl

the end of the month. I have never been able to go sent moment working for no less than thirty cares to go out between 10 and 11 at night. After hours per week more than factory hands. the fatigues and worry of the week I am so worn out Moreover, in a vast number of cases, that my only thought is to rest on a Sunday; but it the short and irregular time allowed for goes too quickly, and the other days drag on slowly." meals, the closeness of the atmosphere, and These are but a few typical cases out of the absence of seats, render the labour even thousands.

The seats, in fact, are on the Just let us consider what 14 hours of work wrong side of the counter. It is obvious means ? We cannot reckon less than eight that, as the House of Commons Committee for sleep, which only leaves two for dressing justly state, “such prolonged labour must be and undressing, for supper, and for going to exhausting and ruinous to health, especially and from the shop. This absorbs the whole in the case of girls.” The medical testimony 24 hours, and not a moment is left for taken before the House of Commons Com- amusement or self-improvement, for fresh mittee showed, as indeed is almost self-air or family life, for any of those occupaevident, that girls so overworked could not tions which cheer, brighten, and ennoble life marry with any prospect of bearing healthy –in fact, we literally say that not only children. The question is therefore one of have shop assistants not a moment to themvital importance as affecting the physical selves, but they are so hard worked that at condition of the future race. It is scarcely, the end of the week they are fit to drop with if at all, less important from a moral and fatigue. The whole country would gain if intellectual point of view.

shop assistants had greater opportunities Let me give one or two cases out of many of intellectual, moral, and spiritual improvehundreds collected by the Shop Hours League, ment. Moreover, the cruel effect of the long and published by Mr. Sutherst in “Death hours is considerably increased by the fact and Disease behind the Counter."

that the unfortunate assistants have to stand Louisa B - aged 19, drapery, four and the whole time. This long standing is a a half years at Battersea, said

terrible evil. How injurious standing is we “My hours are from 8.30 A.m. to 9.30 P.., and on may clearly see from the fact that though Saturdays until 12 P.M. As to meals, we are sup- customers remain in a shop for so comparaposed to eat our food as quickly as possible, and then tively short a time they are invariably acreturn to the shop. entered the business, now I often feel ready to sink commodated with seats. Considering, howdown for want of fresh air and rest. Before the end ever, the relative need of rest as between of the day, and especially on a Saturday, I am ex- the assistants and their customers, it must be ceedingly weary and depressed, and have difficulty admitted that the seats are on the wrong in standing until the clock strikes 12. I am quite un; side of the counter. fit to attend a place of worship on Sunday morning."

Happily, I may say this is no question E. M.-in a shop in Camberwell-says

between shopkeepers and their assistants. “ Went into business between fifteen and sixteen There is no such difference. I believe the years of age. The average hours are from, 8 and shopkeepers are almost as anxious to close 8.30 A.M. to 9.30 and 10 P.m., and from 11.30 to 12 P.m, on Saturdays. In my present situation we

as the assistants themselves. Perhaps, then, have no stated time for meals. We eat as quickly as it may be said, why not leave the matter possible, and then hurry back to the shop. Never in their hands? Because in almost every before I went into business did I know what illness was; but since have scarcely known what it is to be have been rendered nugatory by the action

case the arrangements for early closing free from pain. I have overflowing of blood to the head, which causes me to swoon after standing a long of some very small minority among the time. I scarcely know what it is to stand with ease shopkeepers. Over and over again the for the violent

pain in my feet and legs. My feelings shopkeepers in a given district have been at the end of the day are so dreadfully low and weak anxious to close, and have all agreed to do that I scarcely have the strength to undress. I never feel thoroughly rested when I have to get up." so with, perhaps, a single exception. But

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