SIXTH DAY. Wednesday, 3rd May 1882.
The Right Honourable the EARL OF DERBY, Chairman.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford, K.G.
The Right Hon. Viscount Sherbrooke.
The Right Hon. Sir Richard Assheton Cross,
Sir Nathaniel M. de Rothschild, Bart., M.P.
Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, Bart., M.P.
Mr. Walter H. James, M.P.
Mr. Pell, M.P.
Mr. Thomas Burt, M.P.
Mr. H. D. Warr, Secretary.
(fn. 1) Mr. Edward James Watherston was called in and examined as follows:
Mr. E. J. Watherston.; 3 May 1882.
997. (Chairman.) I need hardly ask you whether
you are a member of the firm which bears your name
at No. 12, Pall Mall East?—I am.
998. Your firm are goldsmiths and silversmiths, are
999. And I think you are a member of the Goldsmiths' Company and a liveryman?—Yes.
1000. If I am rightly informed, you took up your
freedom by patrimony at the age of 21?—I did.
1001. And you were elected to the livery 18 years
1002. As a liveryman, you take no part in the
government of the Company?—Not the slightest.
1003. We know that you have written on the subject of the duty on plate, and I understand that you
have been of opinion for a long time that the connexion between the Goldsmiths' Company and the
crafts is detrimental to the interests of the crafts?—I
am decidedly of that opinion, so far only as relates to
their compulsory powers over the crafts.
1004. I presume that you express that opinion upon
general grounds of policy founded on what you conceive to be the proper limitations of the functions of
1005. And I think you gave your opinion upon
that subject generally before the Select Committee
that sat on the question of hall-marking four years
1006. Your objection, I take is, is twofold. In the
first place, you object in principle to a compulsory interference with your craft, and in the next place you
object to that control being exercised by a self-elected
body of men, who have no personal knowledge for
the most part of the requirements of the business?—I
1007. One of those objections, I presume, would
apply even if the Goldsmiths' Company were composed entirely of members of the trade?—Undoubtedly.
The interests of manufacturers and workmen and of
dealers are altogether different. Such a body might
do much good as a trade council, but they should not
be permitted to assume compulsory powers.
1008. Can you tell us how many members of the
court or the governing body of the Goldsmiths' Company at present are craftsmen?—I regard only four of
the members of the court as craftsmen.
1009. I understand there are two other members of
the court who are claimed as being craftsmen, but you
do not admit that in strictness they are entitled to that
designation?—That is so.
1010. Therefore, according to your view, there are
only four members of the Goldsmiths' Company and
according to their view there are six members to
represent the interests of the craft?—Yes; I should
say to misrepresent.
1011. And I think we may take it from you that
there are something like 14,000 licensed members of
that craft?—That is about the number; there are
just under 14,000 members.
1012. And that does not include the workmen
whom they employ?—No; and supposing a firm to
have two or three partners, it would only include one
out of the firm.
1013. I understand that you, at a not very distant
date, endeavoured to obtain from the Company information regarding its affairs?—I did in February
1878, by a letter addressed to Mr. Prideaux, the clerk,
of which the following is a copy:—"Dear sir,—
Might I venture to ask you whether as a liveryman
I am entitled to the following information respecting the Company of which I am a member? I
desire to know (1) the names of all members elected to the court since January 1st, 1827; (2) the
dates of their admission to the freedom, of their
election to the livery, and of their election to the
court; (3) their professions or occupations as
described in the books of the Company; (4) the
mode in which they took up their freedom, whether
by redemption, patrimony, servitude, or special
grant; (5) the names of all members of the Company admitted to the freedom by redemption during
the 30 years ended December 31st 1877, their professions or occupations; and (6) the names of the
four wardens for the years 1827 to 1877, inclusive."
1014. May we ask you what was the object with
which that letter was written?— (fn. 2) Undoubtedly to disestablish the Company. I earnestly desire to terminate
the compulsory connexion between the Company and
the crafts. It will be no easy task. In the present
block of Parliamentary business it will be most difficult to introduce such a reform as I think desirable.
But if my contention be right that by the mode in
which they have elected the court, and more especially in
their appointments of wardens, they have forfeited their
charters, my task will be easier. Their charters
direct that the wardens shall be "elected by the trade,"
and that they shall be "true, honest, and sufficient
men, best skilled in the said trade." Of course
they are not "elected by the trade," and had I had the
information sought for, it would have proved beyond
dispute that, during the last half century, first, that
only on rare occasions was there a "skilled" warden;
secondly, that on many occasions all four wardens
were utterly unskilled; thirdly, that the practice of
admission to the Company by redemption had provided
that the greater number of the present court owed
their election to purchase; fourthly, that the status
and position of those gentlemen who have been admitted by redemption were the sole qualifications for
membership; and lastly, that but very few craftsmen
were among the number. I may add that I entertain
the conviction that their charters are legally forfeited
by the mode in which they have constructed the court
of wardens, and, directly the duty upon gold and
silver plate shall have been abolished, it is my intention to challenge their right to compel me to obey
their laws, or even the Acts of Parliament themselves
which were clearly passed upon the faith of those
charters. Even to raise such an issue, right or wrong,
would go far to break the back of such mischievous
laws as now beset my trade.
1015. Why do you consider it necessary to wait for
the repeal of the duty on gold and silver plate before
you can raise that legal question?—Because as long as
the duty prevails the Hall mark is a safeguard to the
revenue; and again, with regard to the duty, we are
liable to the excise department of the Government. But
with regard to the Hall marking laws the Government
have nothing to do; they are simply in the hands of the
Goldsmiths' Company. I wish, therefore, to wait until
the taxation has been abolished.
1016. But if your objection be directed to any compulsory interference to your trade by any company, no
matter how organized, is it material from that point
of view to show that the Goldsmiths' Company does
not, as a matter of fact, represent the trade?—I think
it is highly desirable to show that, because it will go
far to get the law altered so that that trade may be
perfectly free, like other trades.
1017. We only want to get at your opinion, but as
I understand it, if the Company were so altered that
it really were composed of men for the most part
skilled in the trade, still that would not remove your
objection to compulsory interference?—No; I should
object more strongly to the Company being composed
entirely of craftsmen.
1018. Then, in that case, I presume that the manner
in which the Company is composed can, from your
point of view, be a matter of no importance to you?—
When their compulsory powers are taken from them,
it is of no importance to me in the least.
1019. In point of fact you have come here to argue
that particular point, that you think a compulsory
power of interference with your trade, whoever exercises it, is undesirable?—Exactly so.
1020. You would have no Hall marking and no tax?
—I desire to have no taxation of my trade, but I do
desire that Hall marking should be a voluntary institution, not, as now, compulsory. I also desire that it
shall be carried on in a manner very distinctly different from the present plan. It is very much better
done in France, where it is done by what is called
"the touch," and not by "the scrape and parting
assay" as it is in this country. The Hall marking is
admirably done in France, and very badly done in this
country by reason of the antiquated manner in which
it is conducted.
1021. (Sir R. Cross.) You object to it altogether
in either country, as I understand, as a compulsory
institution?—As a compulsory institution, most decidedly I do.
1022. What evil does the compulsory system work,
or how does the compulsory system work in regard to
your trade?—The compulsory system is a complete
protection to the trade in this country. It prevents
the importation of any foreign plate for the purpose of
sale, and it works very badly as shown by the very
small amount of trade done in the country. The
amount of silver Hall marked during the last 25 years
has decreased by about one third, namely, from about
994,000 ounces to 650,000 ounces; it is an absolutely decreasing trade year by year.
1023. (Chairman.) That, I presume, you ascribe
mainly to the tax, or do you ascribe it to the tax and
the system of Hall marking together?—To both, but
more especially to the duty.
1024. (Sir R. Cross.) The tax has more to do with
the decrease of trade than the Hall marking, has it
not?—The Hall marking, I should say, has a very
bad effect seeing that it would keep men out of the
trade. Men will not take their capital into a business
which has legal restraints upon it; it is against the
principle of freedom of trade that there should be any
compulsion whatever attached to it.
1025. (Chairman.) Do you mean that there is a
certain amount of annoyance and vexation caused by
the process that has to be gone through?—Yes, you
can hardly form an idea of the annoyance that is
caused by it. The goods have to be sent down under
certain regulations, they have to be there at a certain
time in the morning and to be fetched away again
at a certain time in the afternoon. Then I may tell
you a very extraordinary fact connected with it. Supposing I were to send down to the Hall, say half-adozen teapots, half-a-dozen sugar basins, half-a-dozen
cream ewers, candlesticks, or anything else, what is
called a parcel of goods; supposing that by malice
or by accident on the part of the workman a little bit
of the rim of one of the smallest pieces was found to
be defective the result would be, you would think,
that they would break up that small defective article
and mark all that which was not defective.
1026. (Sir R. Cross.) You mean defective in the
quality of silver?—Defective in the quality of silver,
You would think they would break up that one
article and mark all the other articles that were not
defective, and return the article that was defective to
you. The very contrary happens. They break up
the entire parcel; that is the habit with the Goldsmiths' Company, I believe by law. I have had cases
brought before me where a man has lost 24l. or 25l.
in workmen's wages alone, by having an entire parcel
broken up. That must operate as a great restraint
1027. (Mr. Pell.) They would only break up the
defective article itself, I suppose?—No, they would
break up the whole parcel. There was a man who a
little time ago had his work broken up in exactly the
way I am now describing to you. That certainly
operates as a great restraint upon trade.
1028. (Chairman.) Then, in point of fact, your
objection is threefold. You object to the manner in
which this privilege of compulsory Hall marking is
exercised; you object to its being exercised by a company which is not, to any large extent, composed of
craftsmen, and you object to its being exercised compulsorily under whatever circumstances or by whatever body?—Exactly so.
1029. Reverting to the facts which you stated, I
believed you were refused the information for which
you applied?—I was. On the 21st of March 1878,
Mr. Prideaux desired me to attend at Goldsmiths'
Hall. On Wednesday, the 3rd of April, I went and
presented myself before the Court of Wardens, and
was informed that I was not entitled to the information, and further that it could not be accorded to me
by grace for the reason that I had publicly spoken
offensively of the Company, referring to remarks made
by me as a member of a deputation to the Board of
Trade when I was endeavouring to get a select
committee of inquiry into the laws relating to the
Hall marking of gold and silver wares, the offence
consisting in that I had stated that there were but three
members of the craft on the then court, and that the
four wardens at that time were respectively a civil
engineer, a porcelain manufacturer, a stockbroker, and
a merchant. That was my offence.
1030. Do I understand it to be your view that the
Goldsmiths' Company (and possibly other trade companies) should be again more closely connected with
the trade which it professedly represented?—I think
that so far as their funds are concerned they should
be directed to a greater extent to the development of the
industries of the country.
1031. You are aware that membership in these
companies has been hereditary, and that therefore for
the last 300 years, at least, the great majority of the
members have not been practically persons pursuing
the trades which are mentioned in the names of the
companies?—I am quite aware of that. Many of the
companies never within living memory have had craftsmen on their governing bodies, or very rarely.
1032. Then in fact what you propose is not the
doing away with the modern basis and reverting to a
former condition of things, but establishing a condition of things which has never practically existed, at
least in modern times, in connexion with the companies?—Undoubtedly.
1033. I think you have expressed an opinion that a
larger proportion of the funds of the companies should
be devoted to technical education have you not?—I
1034. Will you tell us a little more in detail in what
manner you think they ought to be applied?—I
should like to see more of their funds devoted to the
technical education of goldsmiths and silversmiths. I
think that such funds should be applied to the formation of high schools after the manner prevailing
abroad, which I may shortly describe as the school in
the workshop or the workshop in the school. They
should be open to lads from the elementary schools at
13 years of age. General education should then be
proceeded with, together with the use and application
of tools and machinery; drawing, chemistry, modelling,
chasing, engraving, polishing, finishing, &c., should
be taught in addition to French and German, which
languages are invaluable to art workmen as enabling
them to visit with advantage the museums and ateliers
abroad. In other words, from 13 to 16, I would prepare youths for entrance into the workshop proper
by an education mainly directed to the craft for which
they were intended.
1035. Would there, in your view, be any difficulty
in establishing such schools?—Not the slightest. The
London and other School Boards might safely be
trusted to work such schools with immense advantage
to all trades, if funds were forthcoming for such a
purpose. I would refer Her Majesty's Commissioners
to the able writings of Professor Silvanus Thompson
upon this subject. I have brought some of his writings
1036. There is a movement in favour of technical
education now going on under the patronage of the
City Guilds. Have you considered that in reference
to your proposals?—I have. But it is my opinion
that we are beginning at the wrong end. First, we
have lost much valuable time, and we must lose more
valuable time before any result can be obtained from
their technical college now in course of erection.
Secondly, I maintain that technical education should
be commenced at the earliest possible time, namely, at
13 years of age. The City Guilds scheme is far too
ambitious, and in advance of the times, and will be
comparatively useless if unaccompanied by schools
such as I have described. Many years must elapse
before professors have been provided; during all this
time an enormous work could be accomplished if
common sense alone were allowed to direct our
operations, and if theory were, for once, to be allowed
to give way to practice. It would be perfectly easy
in London, Birmingham, or Sheffield, and other places
to provide teachers of the several branches of trades
in the precious metals, and all other handicrafts, provided only that funds were forthcoming.
1037. Do you consider that the trade represented
by the Goldsmiths' Company is entitled to the benefit
of the entire property of the Company?—I have no
means of knowing under what conditions they hold
their property, but I entertain a conviction that the
greater part of it should be devoted to matters
appertaining to the crafts. I can imagine no better
application of their funds than that of improving the
technical education of workmen, not only by schools
such as I have described, but also by museums and
libraries specially devoted to their instruction.
1038. Do you think that their work ought to be
confined to London?—Certainly not.
1039. You think it should be extended to the
country generally, do you?—Certainly.
1040. There is at present, I believe, a contribution
by the Company to the Trade Charities; do you
know the amount of that?—There are four charities
to which they give 200 guineas a year each, making
840l. I do not consider that this is in the least degree
adequate. They give many thousands of pounds
annually to hospitals and other charitable institutions;
I do not approve of that. They give 3,800l., I believe,
to Oxford and Cambridge for exhibitions, and I fail
altogether to see under what charter they devote such
funds to the technical education of lawyers and
clergymen. I do not think that, in the least degree,
part of their functions. I may add that some little
time ago, I believe, they built a church and endowed
it; I do not think that that is a branch of their
1041. In short, to put it briefly, you consider that
the trade craft is morally entitled to the benefit of
their property?—The greater portion of it.
1042. (Sir R. Cross.) Where do you draw the distinction? I can understand your saying they are
entitled to the whole of it, but I do not understand
your saying the greater part of it?—I should hardly
know what to do with their large income without further consideration. I think that a great portion of it
might be devoted to the craft, and really, if you press
me, I think that we might say the whole of it might
be devoted to the crafts if we were to include Birmingham and Sheffield, and other places where there are
goldsmiths and silversmiths.
1043. (Chairman.) We shall be glad to hear any
further suggestions you wish to make?—I should like
to state, in order to show you how little we, as liverymen, are entitled to, even in the way of information,
that to-day I wished to bring your Lordship a copy of
the oath of the Goldsmiths; I therefore wrote to the
Goldsmiths' Hall this morning for a copy of that oath,
and I find that they decline even to give that to a
liveryman. In reply to my request, I have this letter
from them:—"Goldsmiths' Hall, London, E.C., 3rd
May 1882.—Dear Sir, I am unable to comply with
your request without first asking the wardens,
whom I shall see to-morrow. I am, dear Sir, yours
truly, C. R. Williams."
1044. (Mr Pell.) It is an oath that you have taken
yourself, is it not?—It is an oath I have taken myself,
but I have no copy of it, and I, as a liveryman, thinking myself entitled to a copy, sent down to the Hall
for it, and on doing so I find that I am not entitled to
the smallest possible information, or anything at all.
1045. (Chairman.) Have you heard and considered
a proposal which has been frequently made that either
the whole, or a part of the property of these companies should be applied to the lightening of the rates?
—I have heard that, but I have not given much attention to it.
1046. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) Do I understand you
that you object to the influence of the Goldsmiths'
Company over the craft, only so far as they exercise
that influence under existing statutes?—Exactly so.
1047. Could you briefly tell us whether there is any
compulsory power exercised by the Company under
statute beyond the Hall marking of gold and silver?—
None that I am aware of.
1048. So long as the duty is continued I presume
you would agree that it is necessary to mark gold and
silver in some way or other?—Most decidedly, such
goods as are liable to duty, as a protection to the
1049. Then your objection would narrow itself
surely to this point, would it not, that you think the
Goldsmiths' Company by their officers do not do it so
efficiently and so carefully and fairly as might be done
possibly by a Government officer, is that so?—Not
exactly. I think that they carry on the regulations
relating to Hall marking upon the old fashioned principle of years and years ago. I think if they were to
exercise their functions more in accordance with the
times in which we live that that would be very advantageous to the trade so long as it was a voluntary
and not a compulsory institution.
1050. But as their work in that respect is under the
statute, can you give any illustration of their having
exceeded their statutory powers in the way in which
they have performed their work?—No, I cannot.
1051. Then your objection is to the Hall marking
1052. Is not that a question for Parliament instead
of a question for the company? So long as the
statute remains on the book which requires them to
Hall mark gold and silver, are they not performing an
obligatory duty?—They are performing a duty under
ancient Acts of Parliament which ought to be abolished.
1053. Is not that a question for Parliament rather
than for the discretion of the Goldsmiths' Company?
—Undoubtedly, but then I think they might within
the lines of their Acts of Parliament improve the
modes of carrying on the work of Hall marking.
1054. Then as regards the Goldsmiths' Company
your complaint narrows itself to an expression of
opinion that in the exercise of the statutory powers,
they do not perhaps sufficiently consider the necessities
or wants of the trade, and that they might do so a
little more than they do?—Quite so.
1055. Then it is a very narrow complaint against
the company, is it not?—I am not here to make any
grave complaint against the company at all. That is
not my object. I desire to get the law altered.
1056. You said there were 14,000 licensed members
who pay a license; that is not paid to the company, is
it?—No, to the Government.
1057. Then is that any question for the company at
1058. Then that is not their fault, is it?—No.
1059. I think you told the Commission that the
company's funds should be expended in the education
generally of craftsmen all over the country in connexion with the trade?—I did.
1060. Are you aware of the large sums which the
Goldsmiths' Company have given towards the promotion of technical education?—I have already, I think,
in my evidence, stated that I consider that what they
are doing is all wrong.
1061. Are you aware of the amounts that they have
1062. Are you aware that they have contributed
10,000l. down, and that they contribute 3,000l. a year,
and that they have promised another 10,000l. ?—I am
aware of it.
1063. Then I think you said that the money should
go to promote schools for teaching persons connected
with the craft a knowledge of mineralogy, especially in
connexion with the precious metals, or words to that
1064. Are you aware that a good deal of their
money has gone towards the establishment of a school
which is now at work in Finsbury for boys of 13
years of age in connexion with the middle class
schools?—I am aware of it.
1065. Is not that precisely what you are recommending to the Commission?—It should be done on a
much more extended scale, and I may add that the
school has only been opened a very short time.
1066. Then I think you stated that it would take a
long time to engage professors; are you aware that
under that scheme Professor Laydon and Professor
Armstrong have been engaged, and that they are paid
a large salary in order to retain their whole services
for the purpose really of teaching that which you
have described to the Commission?—I am acquainted
with the technical schools abroad, and they are very
far superior to anything we have in this country, and
therefore very far superior to the school in Finsbury.
I do not know whether you are yourself acquainted
with the technical schools at Besancon, or Lyons, or
of Paris, or many other places on the Continent, but
they are carried on with very much more practical
common sense than prevails in our own country.
1067. As those schools have been at work for years,
and are supported largely by the State, surely it is
only fair to give the companies credit for what they
are doing, having regard to the limited extent of their
funds, compared with the funds at the disposal of the
countries to which you have referred for similar
purposes?—Of course; but the schools abroad are
not only well, but very economically managed.
1068. Are you aware that the contribution of the
Clothworkers' and Goldsmiths' Companies are not
confined to this object in London, but that they take
in Bradford and Leeds?—Not the Goldsmiths'.
1069. Their contributions go to the general funds,
out of which the schools are supported, do they not?
—The Bradford school and the Leeds school are supported mainly by the Clothworkers' Company, and
they are admirable schools.
1070. I think you will find, if you refer to the accounts in the institute, that they contribute also to
other provincial schools. You object to the application of the funds of the Goldsmiths' Company in
building a church. Have they not very large estates,
and do you not think they were justified in providing
churches for the large population that occupy the
houses which have been built upon their own property?—The only excuse I can make for their building
a church is that it was done to improve their property,
and for no other reason.
1071. Do you not think that landlords have a certain moral obligation to provide religious education,
especially a church in a large district which is created
at their instigation and under their control?—I strongly
object to any such trust funds being advanced for
1072. You told the Commission you thought the
funds of the Goldsmiths' Company should be devoted
almost entirely to some objects connected with the
members of the craft. Is it not a fact that the larger
proportion of their property has been given to them or
subscribed for by members who did not belong to the
craft?—I have no means of knowing how they obtained their property, but from the little I do know I
should say that a greater portion of it belonged absolutely to the crafts.
1073. Does it not arise out of the gifts of members
of the company during the last two centuries, and the
operation of the system of purchase into the companies
by which the funds have been largely augmented?—
That may be, but then I object altogether to their
allowing people to purchase their way into the
1074. Having obtained the money from such sources,
surely those sources are entitled to some consideration
in the distribution of the fund, are they not?—I think
the companies have forfeited their charters by the
mode in which they have done that. I doubt whether,
if pressed, it would be found to be legal for any person
to purchase a position by which he becomes a trustee.
I think there is very grave doubt whether the money
so invested is legally invested.
1075. Probably that is a question more for lawyers
than for laymen, is it not?—Undoubtedly.
1076. (Mr. Pell.) I think you said that the Goldsmiths' Company devoted 3,800l. a year to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge for exhibitions, did
1077. Is it your view that that money would be
better withdrawn from the universities and devoted
to the purposes of technical education through the
provinces and in London?—Undoubtedly.
1078. There are four charities receiving 200 guineas
a year also from them, are there not?—There are the
Goldsmiths' Benevolent Institution, the Goldsmiths'
Annuity, and Pension Institution, the Clock Makers'
and Watch Makers' Institution, and the Silver Trade
1079. They are all connected with the craft?—
1080. Would you also devote that money to technical education, or think that a better application of
it?—Certainly not; but I claim that we have a right
to fully 2,000 instead of 200 guineas a year for each of
1081. I think you said that thousands of pounds
were contributed to the hospitals?—I have no means
of knowing precisely, but I should not be surprised
to find that they give away 20,000l. a year to charities
that were not connected with the crafts in the slightest
1082. Then your objection is not so much to the
contribution to hospitals as to hospitals who received
people who are not goldsmiths, is that so?—My objection is that that is not a proper mode of spending
money belonging to the crafts.
1083. Supposing these very large sums of money
were to be devoted to the technical education of
children, commencing at 13 and extending up to a
period of 16 years of age, as I think you said, do you
not think it likely that that might divert people to a
business or to a calling for which they would not be
naturally fitted, and that you will disturb the natural
selection, if I may say so, of the professions of young
people?—My hope is to see all the companies eventually providing these technical schools in different
parts of London. In such a case a technical school in
Clerkenwell would naturally attract to itself the boys
of Clerkenwell. The sons of working goldsmiths and
working silversmiths would, in all probability, find
their way there. In Besancon, for instance (with
which most likely some of Her Majesty's Commissioners are familiar), you find that children are being
brought up to watch-making to a very great extent,
because they live in Besançon, and the schools of
Besançon are mainly directed to the instruction of
children with the view to their becoming watchmakers; the result is simply this that children go
into that line of life as a groove already prepared for
them. I should like to see that carried on in London.
The result would be that the Clothworkers would
have their school in London, the Goldsmiths would
have their school, the Haberdashers would have their
school, in fact, there would be all kinds of schools and
the boys would gradually get drafted into the school
for which they were best fitted. Again, I believe
what I may call technical elementary schools should
be established, the great object of which would be to
get children to love labour-saving appliances, to understand tools and machinery, and in fact to handle tools
and machinery. The result would be that they would
be able to be drafted into any trade towards which
they showed the greatest tendency.
1084. That would be naturally a master's view of
the case, but would it not be possible that you might
overstock the market with employés of these particular businesses? However, I will not press you
upon that?—The answer to that is "not if the schools
"were properly managed." The Continental schools
find no such result. Workmen emigrate. It would
be better to glut the world with handicraftsmen than
1085. Can you tell the Commission at what period
of the history of those companies they began to devote
money to what are termed charities in the vulgar
sense of the word, hospitals and so on?—No, I am not
able to do that.
1086. You cannot say when that practice began?—
No, I cannot.
1087. You do not think it was connected with the
difficulty of getting rid of their enormous funds in a
way that would satisfy public opinion?—I should
undoubtedly say that that was so.
1088. Without reference to the original foundation
of the companies and the uses they should attempt to
apply the money to?—I should say undoubtedly so.
(fn. 3) With regard to my own company, I should like to
place on record this fact, that only six years ago they
were strongly opposed to technical education. I may
say that my father is one of the senior members of the
Court of the Goldsmiths' Company, and as one of
those members he thought proper in the year 1876 to
address a letter to his own company, and to the other
companies, recommending that they should devote
large sums of money to the technical education of the
children of the metropolis.
1089. In that particular trade?—Of their particular
trade; and with the permission of the Commission, I
should like to read that letter:—
12, Pall Mall East, July 1876.
To the Masters, Wardens, and Court of Assistants
of the [ ] Company.
"Menaced, as the City Companies have lately
been, with a parliamentary inquiry into the amount of
their property and their mode of appropriating it, with
all the attendant annoyances of such an inquisitorial
proceeding, no one will say that it is surprising that
one at least of their members should have looked
around him to see whether, to the whole body whose
interests are involved, some suggestion may not be
made, by which, if acted upon simultaneously, and
with hearty good will, the dreaded evil (now only
postponed) should be averted, and, possibly, for ever
removed. Prompted by these motives, and in the full
conviction that the stability of the City Companies
will be considerably affected by the manner in which
they shall decide upon dealing with the great subject
of 'technical education' which has now for so long
a time been pressed upon their attention, I have felt it
a duty incumbent on me to address my brethren of
the court of the Goldsmiths' Company on the subject,
urging them to take the matter into their thoughtful
consideration, with the view of letting it assume with
them larger proportions than it has yet done. And,
as this is a question which is likely to affect all the
companies so deeply, I hope I may be excused if I
venture to lay before your worshipful court the claims
which, in my humble judgment, the cause of 'technical
education' has at our joint hands, and the way in
which, in my opinion, considerations of wisdom and
prudence which suggest that they ought to be dealing
with. My own company is expending 4,000l. a year
upon exhibitions to Oxford and Cambridge, open to
all comers; but in the face of all this liberality I have
ventured to remind my brethren of the court (and I
desire most respectfully to remind the courts of those
other companies who are equally liberal in the same
direction) that it is not simply 'literary and scholastic
education' that is demanded of the companies, but
'technical education' (which means instruction in
the art and mystery of the respective crafts), that
public opinion has set its heart upon, and will not be
satisfied until it obtains it on a scale commensurate
with the resources of the respective companies. Now,
if we seek to inquire (as I think we should do) why
it is that this outcry is made for 'technical education,' we shall, I think, see that it is not such an unreasonable thing as many suppose, but rather an
undertaking which the enlightened corporations of the
City of London should not wait to be forced to, but,
patriotically and honestly of their own accord, set to
work to perform. The objects which the promoters of
'technical education' have in view may be briefly
said to be these:—To improve our manufactures in
every branch of industry, so as to enable them to at
least compete successfully in point of taste, quality,
and price, with kindred articles in the markets of the
world, and thereby to maintain in many respects our
national supremacy. This, it is affirmed, can only be
accomplished by better educated artisans than we at
present possess, such in short as are to be found in the
workshops and ateliers of the manufacturing firms of
the Continent, and to whose superiority over ours
their great success of late years is very properly
attributed. If these be the objects sought to be
attained by 'technical education,' and these the
only means of attaining them, who is to do the lion's
share of the work? Does the duty not seem to belong
pre-eminently, by right and title, to the City Companies, whose charters were given them for the express purpose of fostering trade and commerce?
Assuming that each and everyone of them had continued carrying on the affairs of their respective trades
would they have held back at the present time ? Would
they have resisted the popular demand now made upon
them? And if they would not, why should their
successors, on whom has devolved the administration
of such princely revenues? Certainly not because by
the change of circumstances many of them are
laymen and do not understand the respective crafts!
That is no valid excuse; it is rather an argument why,
in support of their own personal interests in societies,
in which they are regarded by many of the public as
intruders, they should urge, in the strongest possible
manner, upon the members of the trades with whom
they are associated in the courts, the wisdom, the
justice, the prudence, the absolute necessity of their
taking a prominent part in the great national work
now before them. The companies individually and
collectively may congratulate themselves upon the
failure of the late attempt in Parliament to give them
trouble and annoyance; but if they desire to prevent
the repetition of such annoyance, they must not think
that it can be done by attempting to stifle 'public opinion'; that 'opinion' has been plainly and strongly
expressed that it will have 'technical education' at the
cost of the companies; and any one who reads the
signs of the times with the eye of ordinary intelligence
cannot fail to see the desirability of giving it. Additional
wings to hospitals are good things in their way; exhibitions and scholarships to the universities are
equally good in their way; but for societies such as
the trading guilds of the City of London, these are
not the first duties they are called on to perform.
Primarily they were founded for the fostering of industry and invention, and only collaterally for charitable purposes. In the courts of those companies
where the members are exclusively laymen, they are
manifestly unequal to the task of organising any
system for supplying 'technical education;' and
even in courts where craftsmen are a minority it would
be presumption on the part of that minority to attempt, and bad policy for the laymen to allow them
to try, to organise a system which would satisfy the
trades. It is too intricate a subject for a mere handful
of men to deal with without the assistance of the trades.
What the companies should do is this, to take the
trades into their counsels, and, with their aid, seek to
discover the best means for attaining the desired end,
themselves undertaking to furnish the necessary funds
during their good pleasure, with the understanding
that they, and they alone, in those cases where schools
and colleges are established, have the right of presenting the scholars. Thus would a bounden duty be
discharged, fault-finding be set at rest, and honour and
applause redound to the doers of the work. One
thing is certain, that most of the companies, were
they only to look around them, would find that much
of the work required of them could be done most satisfactorily by other hands than their own, without any
trouble whatever to themselves; money, and only
money, is wanted to set those agencies in motion. The
Clothworkers' have made this discovery, and set a good
example by assisting in founding and munificently
contributing to the support of a College of Science at
Leeds, designed to provide 'technical instruction' in
connexion with the textile trades. The Institution of
Mechanical Engineers could do good service for the
mercers, the weavers, the drapers, the haberdashers, the
ironmongers, the builders, and all those manufacturing
trades which depend upon ingenious machinery for
their successful development. All the resources of
chemistry, at the cost of the companies, might be
brought to the aid of the Dyers, the Weavers, and all
other kindred trades which depend for success upon
the beauty of their colours, while the Department of
Science and Art at Kensington (which is a truly
national institution with great capacities for usefulness)
might be utilized in a most beneficial manner by the
painters and the paper stainers, the braziers, and
brass founders, the goldsmiths, silversmiths, and
jewellers, and all the kindred trades which flourish or
decay, in proportion to the amount of taste and skill
displayed in their several manufacturers; the barber
surgeons might possibly contribute some support to
medical science; the fishmongers, if they could do
nothing to improve our fisheries and oyster beds round the
coast, might do good service in erecting and furnishing
aquariums, those interesting and instructive exhibitions
of the Divine power and wisdom; the grocers and vintners could probably diminish, if not entirely prevent,
'adulteration' by furnishing the means for its cheap and
easy detection by the hands of skilful analysts. In short,
there is scarcely a company which could not contribute
its quota to the general improvement sought to be
obtained by the means of technical education, and
through its instrumentality to the well being of the
community. And, although it may cost many thousands of pounds, who will say that it will not be
money judiciously expended, if it prevented, as it most
probably would prevent, the annoyance of the 'Royal
Commission of Inquiry' with which the companies
are threatened? No sensible people, we may be sure,
wish to pull down such venerable institutions as the
City companies, which have existed so long, and done
so much good service; nor have they any desire to
deprive them of their legitimate patronage, so long
as it is exercised beneficially to the public. But
radical reformers who desire to level all alike, have in
the neglect of 'technical education,' a great grievance;
of this they would be immediately and effectually
deprived if these my suggestions were adopted: and
no one, I think, can doubt that great good and glory
to England would result from such an exhibition of
praise-worthy patriotism. Believe me, gentlemen,
"J. H. Watherston,
"Craft-member of the Court of
Assistants of the Goldsmiths'
That letter was sent to all the companies, and my
father received letters from very eminent persons
highly approving of his suggestions; notably from
Mr. Barnard, the banker; from Mr. Newmarch, also
a banker; from Mr. Hesketh; from the Right Honourable William E. Gladstone; from Mr. Watney,
the clerk of the Mercers' Company; from Mr. Jackson, the clerk of the Cordwainers' Company; from the
Clothworkers' Company, the Coopers' Company, the
Drapers' Company; from the Right Honourable W.
H. Smith; from Messrs. Elkington and Company;
Mr. Hunt, of the firm of Hunt and Roskell; Lord
Hatherley, Mr. Dalton, the Prime Warden of the
Drapers' Company, among others; but his own company on the 26th of July 1876 passed the following
resolution: "It having been brought to the notice
of the court that Mr. Watherston, one of its members, had recently caused to be printed and circulated amongst the members of the court of
assistants of the City companies generally, a letter
signed 'J. H. Watherston, a member of the Court
'of Assistants of the Goldsmiths' Company,' it
was resolved that in the opinion of this court, a
member of it is not justified in publishing his
opinions in his character as a member of the court
of assistants of the company, without having first
obtained the authority of the court so to do; and
that therefore the action of Mr. Watherston in this
"matter is disapproved of." That resolution was, I
may tell you, placed on the minutes, and then some
few years afterwards they entirely altered their minds,
and went in very strongly for technical education,
and give, and they now boast of giving, enormous
sums in favour of it; but they have never taken this
resolution off the minutes of the court to this day.
I put that forward to show that my company have
woke up to the advantages of technical education very
late in the day indeed.
1090. (Mr. James.) Is your father still a member
of the court?—He is.
1091. All the fees which are paid to the Assay
office go to the Revenue, do they not?—No, not the
Hall marking fees. The Hall marking fees go to the
company. The company have 1 per cent. for collecting
the revenue; in Scotland it is 2½ per cent., and in
Ireland 5 per cent., and the expenses of the Hall, I have
always understood, are greater than the amount of the
fees they get for Hall marking, and the allowance of the Government for collecting the duty. The
amount of the loss is not very great, say from 50l. to
100l. a year.
1092. There is no revenue from it?—It is no
source of revenue to the company, none whatever.
There is another answer to that, there would be a considerable revenue to the company if the trade there is
so limited as it is; being a very limited trade there is
of course but little business to do in the way of Hall
marking. Under a voluntary system of Hall marking the business would increase, and therefore the fees.
1093. In connexion with the position of your father
as a member of the Court of Assistants, I hope it will
not be considered improper for me to ask you a question, more particularly as the company have made
some reference to it in their proposals under the head
of "Reform." They say, "It is possible that the commissioners may hear of one or two freemen who may
express themslves dissatisfied, but if such there be,
we feel sure that their dissatisfaction may be traced
to some personal ground, such as non-election to an
office, or some alleged grievance connected with the
Assay Office, in the management of which with impartiality it is often difficult not to make enemies."
Has there been any dispute between your father and
the members of the company?—Constantly, for the
last 30 years, the reason being that my father is a
consistent reformer, and when he became a member of
the Goldsmiths' Company he thought it would be his
duty to set to work for the internal reform of the company, and he did so; the result was that he was
literally boycotted, he was sent to Coventry for five
years, and never elected to the warden's chair, and he
has never been prime warden of his own company;
within my recollection he used to go down and dine
at the Hall, and not a soul would speak to him, and
that continued for four or five years, because of his
being a reformer.
1094. In what sense did his desire for reform arise?
—From my own personal recollection I can state that
at the time of the 1851 Exhibition, my father desired
to give considerable prizes from the Goldsmiths'
Company to the trade for works exhibited at that
Exhibition, and that gave grievous offence. I do not
think I am abusing confidence when I say that one of
the members of the court came up to him and said,
"Mr. Watherston, you are a very young member of
the court, I strongly advise you not to make such a
proposal as that."
1095. The proposal to offer prizes you mean?—To
offer prizes. It was considered quite wrong for him
to even suggest such a thing. My father fought this
question out in the court, and ultimately succeeded
in getting a very considerable amount of prizes
for the trade, so that they should go to work in
order to try to beat the foreigners in that particular Exhibition—that was his idea. There were
large sums (I think I am right in saying amounting to
1,000l.) given in prizes.
1096. Did he stand quite alone?—He stood quite
alone for some time.
1097. Can you account for the reason why in so
very laudable a desire he found no sympathisers?—
No, he had no one to sympathise with him in many
other useful reforms which he advocated. The
result was that when his turn came to be warden
he was passed over and never succeeded to the chair.
That explains the remarks made in that report, from
which you have quoted. I presume that I am the
other individual referred to.
1098. Did you take much interest in the movement
for the establishment of the Guilds' Institute and the
Technical College, which is to built at South Kensington?—I took an outsider's interest in the question
1099. Do you think that the college at South Kensington is likely to prove of service to the classes
whom you desire to benefit?—Ultimately, decidedly;
but I want a less ambitious work to begin with.
1100. Would not South Kensington be much out
of their reach?—It is quite absurd to imagine
that men from Clerkenwell, after their work at 8
o'clock in the evening, will go all the way out to
South Kensington to that college. It is quite unreasonable to suppose such a thing.
1101. I am not sufficiently conversant myself with
the object of the college at South Kensington; but do
you not think that the tendency of building a large
college in that part of London is to spend a great
deal of money in bricks and mortar, and to have
numbers of professers, while the advantages conferred
upon the classes whom you wish to benefit are comparatively small and limited?—I am quite of that
1102. You rather lend yourself to the view that the
college at South Kensington is a waste of money than
otherwise?—It will be of great use hereafter; but it
will be of no use unaccompanied by the small technical
schools which I have described.
1103. You think that these schools should be distributed all over London, as I understand?—Certainly.
A central college is a grand ambitious scheme, but in
my opinion it is utterly useless for the practical work
of technically instructing the youth of London.
1104. Do you not think that elementary education
is even more important than technical education, or
rather that no good technical education can be obtained
except upon the basis of a sound elementary education?—Undoubtedly.
1105. Do you not think the elementary education of
the middle classes in London at the present time is
very deficient in many parts of the metropolis?—I
believe it to be a fact that the London School Board
can scarcely keep pace with the requirements of the
growing masses of London.
1106. Do you mean the middle-class?—The London
School Board, I have always understood, can scarcely
keep pace with the demand for education on behalf of
the masses in London. But little is being done for
the middle-class in comparison with their requirements.
1107. If the London School Board cannot keep pace
with the demand for elementary education, do you not
think that the establishment of schools for technical
education may be somewhat premature?—No, I think
they should follow on. What I want to see is that the
London School Board shall have money placed at
their command for technical schools to which they
could send such promising children as might get what
may be called a scholarship at the elementary schools,
passing them on at the age of 13, when they are
bound to turn them out of the elementary schools;
eleemosynary schools, as I may call them, in which
there should be elementary education and technical
education combined. In Germany and in France the
curriculum of the school is this, the children in the
technical schools are getting general education during
a certain number of hours a day, and they are taught
technical education (which comprises the use of tools
and machinery, drawing, of course, chemistry, and all
such technical instruction as that) at other parts of
the day. The result is that, when a boy gets to
16 years of age he has had what I may call all the
rough edge of the workshop taken off, and is able to
be of use in the workshop; whereas, as you know, if
a boy at 14 years of age enter a workshop he is of
comparatively no use for years, and his general
education is entirely neglected.
1108. I want to ask you one general question with
regard to your own particular craft. Do you think
the designs of modern plate superior to the designs of
old plate?—I think the designs of modern plate at the
present day are simply hideous.
1109. That is not a very satisfactory comment upon
the existing schools at South Kensington, is it?—It is
sad for a silversmith to say such a thing; it is humiliating, almost, to myself, to admit it. It is the result of
bad laws, discouraging to art-progress.
1110. Do you think that large contributions or subventions for particular crafts and particular industries
will tend to improve them and place them upon a
higher level of art, or do you think they will thrive
most if left to their own resources?—It will improve
the art of the silversmith immensely. You have
only to go along Regent Street, and half-way up
you will find the shop of Hart, Sons, and Peard, who
are in the brass trade. That is, as you know, a perfectly free trade, beating the silversmith out of the
field, owing to the restrictions by which the latter
trade is beset.
1111. (Sir Richard Cross.) Do you attribute
that to the taxation?—I attribute that to the taxation
of our trade, and to the hindrances by which we are
1112. (Mr. James.) Some of the designs on old
gold and silver plate of 200 years ago are splendid
designs you may say. They had no particular schools
in those days, but a workman had to rely upon his
own resources, had he not?—Yes, but then they had
the advantage of the old apprenticeship system. A
master was in the workshop working and teaching
1113. (Mr. Burt.) Did you state that there were
but four craftsmen connected with the governing body
of the goldsmiths?—There are only four that I hold
to be genuine craftsmen.
1114. Then of the 14,000 licensed members are you
able to state how many are members of the craft?—
No, there are 14,000 licensed dealers all over the
country, but they have nothing whatever to do
with the Goldsmiths' Company. The number of
craftsmen on the Goldsmiths' Company I really could
not tell you, that is to say on the Court, on the Livery
and Freemen. That would be impossible for me
to answer, but I do know that the Livery is composed
of 150, and that, as a rule, out of 10 liverymen elected
they put three so-called craftsmen on. I may explain
it in this way, when 10 liverymen are dead, the wardens
nominate 15 freemen, and then the Court elect 10
liverymen. They generally upon those occasions elect
three craftsmen, or what they call craftsmen, to seven
non-craftsmen, so that if you have 150 on the livery
you may say that you have about 35 craftsmen amongst
that number. But bankers would be included among
the number. Of genuine craftsmen, the number
would be far less.
1115. Do you know anything about the total
amount of salaries paid by the Goldsmiths' Company?
—No. I have heard the salary of the clerk.
1116. Upwards of 4,000l. is the total amount, I
believe. The question I was going to put was whether
you think that a fair amount, considering the total
income and the amount of work done that has to be
done in connexion with the company? — I know
nothing about the salaries.
1117. With regard to the broken up work of which
you spoke, is it broken up in consequence of its being
defective?—The plate is broken up if in the least
degree below the standard. That is a question as to
which I complain of the law, although I should think
the Goldsmiths' Company could, if they chose, very
easily get an alteration of that law, by which a large
parcel of plate is broken up simply because one small
article may be defective. It does not seem, in the
light of political economy, to be a wise proceeding to
break up 25l. worth of workmen's wages merely
because one article happens to be wrong. And
again, as a political economist, I should say that it
should not be broken up at all, but that it should be
sold on its merits for what it is worth. I see no good
result that can arise from breaking up a work. It
seems to me to be a destruction of the wealth of the
1118. Do I understand from you that it is compulsory upon them to break up the whole, if only a
portion is defective?—By the strict letter of the law
it may be so. I should think that an application to the
Board of Trade would get that altered in a very short
time; by means of a little bye-law or something of
that kind it could be altered at once. Besides, I
think the Government would leave it to the discretion
of the Goldsmiths' Company not to break up plate if
it were properly brought before them.
1119. You expressed an opinion that the larger
portion of the companies' funds should be used for the
development of the crafts?—Undoubtedly.
1120. And you mentioned technical education as
one of the objects. Sir Sydney Waterlow put a
question to you as to whether a large amount is not
now actually paid by the Goldsmiths' Company, and
I think you admitted that that was so. Do you
entirely approve of the present expenditure for technical education: do you think the money is wisely
expended?—No, I do not. I have already stated as
my opinion that the money is being wrongly directed.
1121. Do you consider that the property of the
Company is absolutely theirs, or that it is held in
trust for the use of the craft at large?—I regard
the Goldsmiths' Company as trustees of public money
which is mainly the property of the crafts.
1122. And I understand that you consider it is
necessary that there should be some legislative changes
in order to accomplish the reforms that you think are
very desirable?—Undoubtedly, and I have for a very
long time tried to get legislation, and I hope to succeed eventually. The Government have promised to
bring in at the earliest possible opportunity a measure
dealing with hall-marking, and they promise a complete reform in the laws relating to hall-marking, and
I shall press that question.
1123. (Sir R. Cross.) What was the Report of the
Committee on Hall-marking? — The Report of the
Committee upon Hall-marking was to the effect that
the duties on gold and silver plate should be abolished
as soon as the state of the revenue should admit.
They also reported that the laws relating to Hallmarking were in a very unsatisfactory condition, and
they recommend a large number of reforms as soon as
the Government could take the matter into consideration, the result being that Mr. Chamberlain has already
indicated his intention to bring in a Bill dealing with
the subject, and there is very little doubt that we
shall get a very considerable change, and in fact
exactly what I have been fighting for all along, that
is, a voluntary instead of a compulsory system.
1124. (Viscount Sherbrooke.) Suppose you carry
on this system of technical education on a large scale
how would you propose to avoid the possibility of a
glut, or the over-doing of the matter, so that there
would not be employment found for the people?—I
think that that will necessitate a considerable amount
of care and discretion on the part of those who are
entrusted with the working of the schools, but
I should further like to say that the elementary
technical education that I propose would fit the
children for all kinds of crafts, for this reason, that
a knowledge of labour saving appliances would apply
knowledge of labour saving appliances would apply
most distinctly to large numbers of crafts. Therefore
I do not apprehend that there would be any probability
of a glut.
1125. You propose to teach them their trade
thoroughly do you not; you do not propose to stop at
an elementary stage?—No, I do not propose to teach
them very highly. You might have a high school, a
higher school, and a highest school. You might really
teach the entire craft, but my great object would be to
work in England entirely upon the lines that they are
working upon abroad; that is to say, the workshop in
the school, the school in the workshop, preparing the
children for work proper wherever they might happen
to go according to their capabilities or inclination.
For instance, your Lordship knows perfectly well that
a great many men bring up their sons to their own
trade as a matter of course, I was going to say, whether
they are fitted for it or not. They get into their fathers'
own crafts and ultimately succeed very well.
1126. Then you do not contemplate making them
accomplished artisans or workmen, or whatever it is,
but only imparting to them the rudiments?—I want
the elementary part of technical education to be imparted, and then by means of scholarships to take a
boy up into the lines of the professor; for instance,
the great Technical College at South Kensington,
which I think is a great mistake at present, will be
undoubtedly of vast use hereafter, especially if we
have the other schools.
1127. You have no fear of overdoing the thing?—
No, I have not any fear myself, none whatever.
1128. (The Chairman.) I think I understood you
in the earlier part of your evidence to say that you
consider that the property of the companies, at least
that the great part of it, belonged to the trades ?—
1129. I want to get more accurately your view
upon that point. Do you mean that the property does
so belong to them in law if the law were properly
executed ?—I can scarcely reply to that question. I
have looked at it more in the light of equity and
judge of it from the history of the companies as
handed down to us in Herbert's City Companies. For
instance, in the Goldsmiths' Company, Sir Martin
Bowes, I believe left us a large property, he was a
goldsmith in Cheapside. I really do not know the
other benefactors, for I have no means of knowing,
but I have always understood that a great portion of
their property has been left for purposes absolutely
connected with the trade.
1130. When you say the property belongs to the
trades you mean that in your judgment what would
be morally wrong ought not to be legally right ?—
That is what I mean.
1131. (Sir Sydney Waterlow.) I think you made a
mistake involuntarily when you stated to the Commission that it was not till after your father's letter of
1876 that the Goldsmiths' Company woke up to
technical education; are you aware that in returns
which they have made to this Commission they set
out special grants to technical education commencing
in 1873, and that in answer to the question as to what
they contribute towards general and technical education, their return shows a contribution of nearly
60,000l. to those purposes during a period of 10 years ?
—That question suggests another "What is Technical
Education?" For the last 10 or 12 years the Goldsmiths'
Company have given 500l. per annum for what they call
technical education, which is in fact for drawings for
silver plate. First of all I have no hesitation in
saying that prizes for drawings are not technical
education. I go further and say that the money
spent for drawings has been a great mistake
throughout and ought not to be proceeded with in
the future at all. The same pot-hunters go after these
prizes for drawings every year. On one occasion I
went down to Tufton Street, behind the building in
which this Commission is now sitting, to see the prize
drawings of the Goldsmiths' Company. They had
been there for about three weeks, and I was the second
man in the trade who put in an appearance to see
them. I have no hesitation in saying that I would
not have taken them away en bloc as a lot if it had
involved the cost of a half-crown cab. And year after
year the same thing has gone on. Lately they have
been put into a little corner at South Kensington
Museum. They have never been carried out on any
single occasion, that I am aware of, and no person in
the trade attaches any importance to them. Therefore
I maintain that if they return that particular 500l. a
year as having been given for technical education, the
Goldsmiths' Company do not understand what technical
1132. In order to correct another point, let me ask
you whether you are aware that the technical school
in Finsbury is within a mile of Clerkenwell?—Yes, I
am aware of that.
1133. Are you also aware that in that school the
boys are now being taught the elementary technical
education which you recommended, a knowledge of
machinery, and a knowledge of the use of labour-saving
machines?—I am perfectly aware of that, but that
was only commenced about two years ago. The companies are being driven into doing their duty, and I
hope the result of this inquiry will make them do more
than they have yet done. It is much needed.
Adjourned to Wednesday next at 4 o' clock.