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At least a third of the poorer population migrate within twelye months. A return prepared by one of the School Board visitors, who has a fairly representative district in Bethnal Green, shows that of 1204 families (with 2720 children), 530 (with 1450 children) removed in a single year." (C. Booth, "Life and Labor in East London," p. 27.)
It may be noted that female heads of families (widows, or deserted wives) living in houses of not more than £35 rental were found to number, with their children, 34,020, representing about 8000 households, or nearly 4 per cent. of the whole. Half of these supported themselves by washing or "charing," and one-third were in Class B: that is to say, "in chronic want." (ibid, p. 61.)
In his paper read before the Royal Statistical Society (see Journal, June 1888), Mr. Booth has extended his statistics hypothetically so as to include all London. He finds North Lambeth and St. Saviour's Southwark, only just behind Bethnal Green, St. George's-in-the-East, Whitechapel, Poplar, and Shoreditch in wretchedness, while St. Olave, Holborn, St. Giles and Soho are not better than Mile End and Stepney. These are the districts poorer than the London average. The following table gives his classification of London districts in sequence of poverty, with particulars upon which the classification
Taking the estimated percentages of poverty as given in the tables, and the population of 1881, we get a total of 963,943 poor in London; or, with the population of to-day as our basis, rather more than 1,000,000. This number does not include indoor paupers, or other inmates of institutions."
(p. 305 of R.S.S. Journal, June, 1888).
One out of four of the whole population is thus computed to be earning-and that irregularly-not more than a guinea a week per family; and over a third of these are receiving much less, and, says Mr. Booth, "live in a state of chronic want (p. 33 of "Life and Labor in East London "). This corresponds to the proportion indicated by the statistics of mortality.
In London one person in every five will die in the workhouse, hospital, or lunatic asylum. In 1887, out of 82,545 deaths in London, 43,507 being over twenty, 9,399 were in workhouses, 7,201 in hospitals, and 400 in lunatic asylums, or altogether 17,000 in public institutions (Registrar-General's Report, 1888, C.-5, 138, pp. 2 and 73). Considering that comparatively few of these are chiluren, it is probable that one in every three London adults will be driven into these refuges to die, and the proportion in the case of the manual labor class must, of course, be much greater.
One in eleven of the whole metropolitan population is driven to accept Poor Law relief during any one year (see p. 20), and that notwithstanding the existence of organised metropolitan charities estimated to disburse over £4,000,000 annually (Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. xiv., p. 833), and that in Middlesex and Surrey there were in 1888, 1,152,189 Post Office Savings Bank accounts open, with an aggregate balance of £15,410,541 (H.C. 177 of 1889). In spite of all, 29 deaths were referred, in 1888, to direct and obvious starvation (H.C. Return, No. 136, 1889).
LONDON'S ANNUAL RENTAL.
THERE are no means of ascertaining the exact amount of rent received annually by the landlords of London. The total rental value can, however, be arrived at approximately from the official assessment. All lands and houses throughout the metropolitan area are re-valued every fifth year for rating purposes; and in the meantime supplementary valuation lists include all new buildings and structural alterations as soon as occupied. Under the Valuation (Metropolis) Act, 32 & 33 Vic., the assessment must in all cases
be equal to the full annual value at which the property would let from year to year, the tenant paying taxes, but not executing repairs. Returns of rentals are quinquennially obtained by the Overseers of each parish; and, although the valuation and rental may not be exactly equal, there can be no doubt that the valuation does not, on the whole, exceed the gross rental. The total " gross valuation" for the year 1886 was £37,027,516. The so-called “rateable value," obtained by a fixed deduction from the gross valuation, was £30,446,336 (C-5526, p. clxxxi.).
There can accordingly be no doubt that the total rental of London land and houses is at least
THIRTY-SEVEN MILLION POUNDS
sterling annually. How much of this represents the rental value of the bare site cannot be ascertained. It has been estimated that the so-called "ground rents," or rents reserved in building leases, amount to some £6,000,000 a year; but as all London is not leasehold, these are not universal, and in most cases do not represent the full present value of the site. Calculations based on the increase during the past twenty years (p. 10) indicate that the total annual value of the bare site must exceed £15,000,000 per annum. This is the price we pay year by year to our ground landlords for the privilege of occupying the low hills and swampy marsh by the Thames, which labor has made so productive.
The balance of £22,000,000 per annum represents the annual rental value of the buildings on that site. But, in addition to this payment, the total "rates now levied in London, as described in pages 13 and 14, amount to over £7,500,000, bringing the total annual cost of inhabiting London up to nearly £45,000,000, less than onesixth of this being at present devoted to public purposes.
This total amounts to, on an average, for each of London's 860,000 families :
London's landlords include all sorts and conditions of men, from the ducal ground landlord and the wealthy leaseholder, whom the Leasehold Enfranchisement Association fondly yearns to turn into a freeholder, down to the tenant in "beneficial occupation" at less than a rackrent, and the shareholder in a Building Society. But the great bulk of the rental goes into comparatively few hands. Among the largest owners are the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (especially in Paddington, Notting Hill and Lambeth), the City Companiessee p. 44-(especially in the City, St. Giles' and St. Martin's), the
* It must not, however, be forgotten that the rental value of urban centres ought, economically, to be "nationalized," not "municipalized."
National Government, through the Office of Woods and Forests (especially near Regent Street, the Regent's Park and on the Holborn Viaduct), and through the Exhibition Commissioners of 1851 (at South Kensington), various Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge (notably Magdalen), the three great endowed hospitals, St. Bartholomew's, St. Thomas's, and Guy's (especially at Southwark and in the City), and the great charitable foundations (such as Christ's Hospital and the Foundling Hospital).
To this extent the property is, in some sense, already "municipalized" or nationalized," though the proceeds are often woefully misapplied. Next in order come the great private ground landlords: the Duke of Westminster (Belgravia, Pimlico, the Grosvenor Square district), the Duke of Bedford (Bloomsbury, the Covent Garden district, and Ampthill Square), Lord Portman (West Marylebone), Lord Cadogan (Chelsea), Sir W. Carr Gomm (Rotherhithe), the Duke of Portland (East Marylebone), the Marquis of Northampton (Clerkenwell), the Duke of Norfolk (South of the Strand), the Marquis Camden (Camden Town), Lord Southampton (Tottenham Court Rd. and Kentish Town), Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson (Hampstead), Captain Penton, M.P. (Pentonville), the Marquis of Salisbury (St. Martin's Lane), the Tyssen-Amherst family (Hackney), the Eyre family (St. John's Wood), the Curzon family (Mayfair). It will be seen that practically the whole of these "great landlords" are "hereditary legislators." Nearly all their property is in strict settlement, but a life owner has now legally large powers of disposal: it is nevertheless practically impossible to obtain anything more than a terminable lease on the large proportion of London comprised in these and other estates.*
LONDON'S "UNEARNED INCREMENT."
BESIDES the annual rental, the owners of London receive a continual stream of wealth in the "unearned increment" of value constantly being added to their property.
The annual rental of the metropolitan area at the revaluation in 1886 was about £37,000,000, representing a saleable value, if only 15 years' purchase be taken, of £555,000,000. In 1870 the annual rental was only £22,000,000, equal to a saleable value of £330,000,000. The total increment during those sixteen years was, therefore, fifteen millions a year rent, representing a growth in saleable value of no less than £225,000,000. A large part of this increased value was, however, caused by expenditure on new buildings. The suburban districts have been filling up; and the central districts have been extensively rebuilding. Fortunately the annual revision of the valuation list enables us to distinguish between new buildings (together with any structural alterations to old ones) and the rise in rent of unaltered land and buildings. We are thus able to ascertain
* See "The Great Landlords of London," by Frank Banfield, M.A. (Spencer Blackett).
separately, from official figures, the annual growth from this cause in all years except those of the quinquennial revaluation. As those periods have no influence on the building trades, it is fair to assume that the average of the other years applies also to them; and thus we have the total growth in rental caused by building operations very accurately ascertained. Errors of valuation no doubt occur; but these may be assumed to balance each other; and no one can pretend that London is, on the whole, even now over-assessed. Any additional growth must have been due to intensified demand for existing buildings, caused by increasing population, by the advance of London as an industrial centre, and by the helpless condition of the London poor. All landlords do not benefit equally; but from the point of view of the community at large this annual net increase is a real "unearned increment." How much it amounts to, the table given below, compiled from the Local Government Board's report, will shew. (C-5526, p. clxxxi, and previous issues).
The total "unearned increment" during this period (up to the last general valuation) is thus seen to have been £6,092,680 in annual rental, representing a saleable value of over
NINETY MILLIONS STERLING.
It amounts to one-sixth of the total saleable value of London. It is what we have deliberately allowed the London landlords to receive,