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over and above their former annual tribute, during the short space of 20 years. This is the princely gift of the London worker to the London landlord. It must not, however, be supposed that this growth in value has all been received by the freeholder, stili less by the "great landlords." A large portion of it has been temporarily intercepted by house farmers, leaseholders, copyholders, and other types of "landlord.":

Let us see what we might have done with it if we had listened to the political economists, who warned us that it would happen. If the existing land tax of four shillings in the pound had, in 1870, been levied on the landlord at the current valuation (instead of upon that of 1692) it would hardly have deprived him of any of his then income; his total payments would have been only slightly in excess of the unearned increase brought to him by London's growth. During the last 20 years just about £90,000,000 has been levied in London by rates If the landlord had been compelled to pay every farthing of these rates (in addition to anything he may now indirectly bear; he would be as well off now as he was 20 years ago.

The average rise of London rent (on unaltered buildings) is seen to have been £304,634 per annum, or 1•03 per cent. on the average valuation. This annual rise in rent represents an annual addition to the saleable value of the property of about £4,500,000. This is our annual “ New Year's Gift (in addition to the £37,000,000 annual tribute of rent) to those who do us the favor to own London. The total rates levied annually amount now to over £7,000,000, and must inevitably increase with the cessation of the coal dues, the growth of social compunction, and the extension of corporate activity. Would it be anything but bare justice to absorb, in order to meet this deficit (and in addition to any tax on the landlord's rent), the whole of the £4,500,000 annually added to the value of London ? A landlord's rate of half-a-crown in the pound on the “rateable value" would realize not quite this amount. It should be deductible from the rent in the manner in which the “property tax” (Income Tax, Schedule A) is now deducted, “any agreement to the contrary notwithstanding.'

One suggestion may be added. If the £15,000,000 total increase in London's rental value during: 20 years of enormous building operations is divided so that £9,000,000 is due to them and £6,000,000 to “unearned increment," we may hypothetically infer that a similar proportion holds good of the total rental value. In that case, out of the annual rental of £37,000,000, we may estimate that £22,000,000 is for buildings, and some

£15,000,000 FOR GROUND RENT ONLY. This state of things is not peculiar to London. It is the inevitable result of private ownership of land in advanced industrial communities. Every town in England shews similar results. Thus, in 1866, the annual value of the land and houses in the county of Lancaster was £10,029,967; at the next valuation, in 1872, it had risen to £12,552,000; in 1877 it had increased to £15,626,890; and accorů.

ing to the last valuation, made in 1884, and revised to March 31, 1889, it was £18,595,992; so that in little more than 20 years the annual value of the whole county has been nearly doubled. Tables recently compiled by the county auditor for the use of the County Council s'ow the present valuations of the principal boroughs to be as follows ;-Liverpool, £3,438,074; Manchester, £2,520,938 ; Sal. ford, £734,220; Ollham, £480,060 ; Bolton, £416,362; Blackburn, £413,514; Preston, £341,060; Rochdale, £274,406. ("Tables compiled by the Auditor of the Lancashire County Council, 1889.") Judging from the analogy of London, two-fifths of this annual value would be the rental of the bare site.

The “City” of London alone increased in rateable value sevenfold between 1801 and 1881, viz., from £507,372 to £3,535,494 ; or from £760 per acre per annum to £5,300 per acre per annum. (Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. xiv., pp. 820, 832). The proportion of the rental value of the bare site to that of the erections upon it, is here much more than two-fifths.


The capital of the empire has at last got its directly elected central municipal body of 118 elected members (with 19 co-opted aldermen !) under the name of County Council; but so much still remains to be done before London attains the freedom and social activity of the provincial cities, that municipal reform must still remain a prominent feature in the Social Democratic programme.

Much of the ordinary work of a municipality, including the paving, lighting, watering and cleansing of the streets, the abatement of nuisances, the enforcement of the sanitary laws, the removal of dust, the construction and maintenance of local sewers, still remains in the hands of a congeries of obscure local boards, the 3,000 members of which, though nominally elected, are practically unknown, unchecked, unsupervised and unaudited. The duties neglected by these vestries and district boards are more important than those they attempt to perform. For instance, under the Laboring Classes Dwelling Houses Acts (14 and 15 Vic. cap. 34, and subsequent Acts) they long had power (now transferred to the County Council) to acquire land and to build or hire tenement or lodging houses for the poor. They still have power (under the Sanitary Acts, especially 29 & 30 Vic. c. 90) to condemn and close insanitary dwellings, and (under the Torrens Act, 31 & 32 Vic. c. 130, and others) to acquire and pull down condemned houses. They have power to make and enforce stringent rules for all houses let in lodgings or tenements, providing for their systematic registration, inspection, and sanitation; enforcing proper accommodation; providing against overcrowding, and for the separation of the sexes. They have power (18 and 19 Vic. c. 120, sec. 118) to organize a regular corps of crossing-sweepers-if need be, from the unemployed-and so to put a stop to the present evil system of licensed mendicity. They

have power in every parish to do what has been done only in a few, to provide public libraries, baths, and wash-houses, mortuaries, water closets, open spaces, seats for the weary, and other conveniences for common use.

But these Acts are not compulsory. The vestry has power to do all these things; but it also has power not to do them'until the citizens wake up to their responsibilities and compel it to take action. Unfortunately, those who suffer most from parochial neglect are not influential. There has been no really democratic control : consequently the vestries have almost uniformly neglected their most important public functions, and largely mismanaged those which they have undertaken.

Notwithstanding their mismanagement and neglect of duty, the Vestries and District Boards are exceedingly costly. The total sums levied by the different local governing bodies in the metropolis in five recent years were as follows (C-5526) :

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In 1887-8 the total rates levied amounted to £7,562,310 (House of Commons Return 126 of 1889).

As the areas administered by the different Vestries, &c., vary considerably in size, population, wealth, and general character, their resources and their expenditures are very different. The poorer parishes have the heavier burdens. The "rate levied varies from about 2s. to 3s. 6d. in the £ (irrespective of the Poor Rate--see page 14). The following table gives the particulars for the year 1885-6 excluding the City :



in Acres.

Annual Poor

Value, Rate,
December, 1886.


Total Rate, 1886.

120 I 20 I 20


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£ s. d. s. d. s. d. s. d. Marylebone

1,506 154,910 16,033 1,424, 162 2 2 I910 814 8 St. Pancras 2,672 236,258 24,701 1,581,823 2

934 II Lambeth..

3,941 253,699 35,404 1,461,540 2 6 2 0 0 10 5 St. George, Hanover Sq. 108 1,119 89,573 11,577 1,740,168 i 10 7 o 61 Islington

3,107 282,86534,046 1,600,3661 9}1 1070 87 Shoreditch 648 126,591 15,156 638,657 2

IO 8 4 Paddington

72 1,251 107,21813,231 1,272,408 1 II I 100 71 Bethnal Green

60 755 126,961 16,606 397,5712 8 2 8 o 9 St. Mary, Newington 72 632 107,850 13,975 449,457 2 2

6 OIL 5 7 Camberwell 84 4,450 186,593 27,316 986,6642

o 15 St. James, Westminster

162 29,941 3,022 694,2011 9 I 51 813 II Clerkenwell


69,076 7,104 349,681 2 9 I II Chelsea


796 88,101 10,798 589,364 2 4 2 30 Kensington

I 20 2,190 163,151 20,1711,833,5991 10 2 oplo St. Luke, Middlesex


239 46,849 4,801 290,143 2 10 2 10jo 8 St. George, Southwark..


284 58.652 6,761 262,4262 4 2 5 O 10 5 7 Bermondsey 626 86,652 11,083 400,899 2 8 2

4 O 10 St. George-in-the-East..

243 47,157 5,781 182,715 2 61 2 915 6 St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

286 17,508 1,716 466,5581 5 o 8 3 7 Mile End Old Town 90 679 105.57314,574 361,6472 4 12 5 0 9 5 6 Woolwich

24 1,126 36,665 4,831 139,798 2 3 o 9 5 7 Rotherhithe

36,024 4,847 205,250 2 5 2

2 O 10 5 5 Hampstead 2,248 45,452 5,873 557,078

4 0 9 5 1 Hammersmith

| 71,939 10,536 480,4172 6 2 530 10g 5 10 Fulham

39 4,003
1 42,900 5,833 334,183 2 6 2

7 0 10 5 II District Boards. Whitechapel

378 70,435 7,435 374,067 2 412 70915 8} Westminster


815 59,926 6,205 682,278 1 10 i 730 8 4 2 Greenwich

84 3,426 131,233 19,781 722,708 2 72 01 045 71 Wandsworth

81 11,488 210,434 30,748 1,507,6592 632 630 1015 11 Hackney.

57 3,935 186,462 27,476 1,086,586 2 3 I 1040 834 99 St. Giles ..

48 245 45,382 3,962 382,220 2 22 7 O 10 5 7 Holborn

49 167 35,258 3,1541 330,9732 5JI II O II 5 Strand

49 167 32,587 2,808 472,0031 811 90 974 Limehouse 462 58,543 8,004 301,381 2 5 2

250 8415 Poplar

48 2,335 156,51020,474 675,819 2 10 2 73 1035 St. Saviour

39 203 28,662 3,465) 325,066 2 II 90 2314 78 Plumstead

37 10,394 63,663 9,989 366,404 2 7 12 5 O 105 10 Lewisham

27 6,544 53,065 8,704 612,9672 472 6 0915 St. Olave..

28 124 11,9571 1,524 193,07512 31I 7 0 9 14 71 The rate opposite the District Board is the average of the Rates in the parishes within it.

(From Firth's “ Rcform of London Government." -Sonnenschein). The 41 existing minor municipal authorities, viz.:The City Corporation (Common Council of 26 Aldermen and

206 Councillors elected annually by the wards of the City, and Commissioners of Sewers nominated by the Common Council).



25 larger Vestries, performing municipal functions, one-third

elected annually by the ratepayers of each parish; 14 District Boards of Works, nominated by the 53 smaller

Vestries; all need to be superseded by a uniform system of directly elected district councils administering the local affairs of areas fairly uniforin in population, and subject to the control, supervision, and audit of the County Council. The existing qualification for vestryman, of £40 rateable value (or £25 where five-sixths of the houses in the parish are rated at less than £40), should, of course, be abolished, and the election held upon the same register, and under the same conditions, as that for the County Council. One apparently minor reform, of far-reaching importance, cannot be too strongly insisted upon. A large part of the inefficiency, stupidity and jobbery of the smaller London vestries has been caused or permitted by the absurd custom of allowing the vestry clerkship to be an appanage of some old-fashioned and busy firm of solicitors. The clerk to the district council should in all cases be an independent officer, paid to give his whole time to his municipal duties.

The districts administered by the respective district councils should be approximately equalised, and should preferably be those of the existing Parliamentary constituencies, each divided for election purposes into about half-a-dozen wards of nearly equal popula. tion. In order to avoid the harsh inequality of rates now pressing heavily on the poorer parishes, nearly all the bare minimum cost of the ordinary necessary expenses of local administration, the amount being fixed in advance, should be borne from a common fund, raised by the County Council rate and allotted among the district councils (proportionately to population). In order to secure local economy, any excess over this sum might be left to be levied by a local rate; and in order to secure efficiency the County Council must have power to settle the general principles of administration, and, in case of local default, power itself to perform the action required at the expense of the local rate. PAYMENT OF MEMBERS should be established, on principle, for all representative bodies, the County Council and the district councils as well as others; but failing this, shorter hours of labor and evening meetings should adequately enable all classes to attend and freely perform their share of public administration.

Once provided with efficient local machinery, it will be for the electors themselves to see that it is effectively made use of; and it is to be hoped that they will insist on bye-laws being passed providing for:Evening meetings of the district councils, so as to allow busy

workers to take part in them.
Complete publicity for all council meetings.
Complete abolition of all refreshments or hidden perquisites to

Direct employment of labor wherever possible.
Eight hours a day for all public servants.

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