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Some pages from the Clarion Scout

The Clarion was launched in 1891. By 1894 a political and cultural movement had grown among its readership. The Scout was launched in 1895 to promote, and report on, the activities of the different Clarion groups, and to provide the activists with information which would assist them in "making Socialists".

Together with the political and social welfare work, the Scout covered the cultural activities including camera clubs, field studies and the drawing groups, and each issue had a song sheet insert.

What the Scouts are For Millionaires and their value How I became a socialist
The Cinderella Club Useful Works of reference for scouts  


Header from first issue of the Clarion Scout

Header from first issue of the Clarion Scout

What the Scouts are For

by Robert Blatchford.
From Vol. 1. No. 1 March 1895

The idea of forming corps of Scouts arose from the fact that so many young men wrote to me asking to be told what active work they might undertake for the cause of Socialism.

I knew that there was much useful work waiting to be done, and had often wished that I could find some way of doing it, or some one who would undertake it.

Now, first and foremost I may say that the most valuable work a Socialist can attempt, at the present time, is the teaching of Socialism. Give us large numbers of earnest Socialists, and we shall not have long to wait for Socialism. We Clarion men have been so fully convinced on this point that we have, for nearly four years, confined our energies almost entirely to the work of propaganda.

Furthermore, it has always been our wont, when applied to for advice by young men eager for work, to advise them to make more Socialists. So that the question I asked myself when the scouting idea first presented itself to me was the question of how these zealous volunteers might best employ their energies in the work of propaganda.

I was well aware, from sad experience, of the great waste of good material going on in the Socialist movement. I had often reflected that the bulk of the rank and file had nothing to do-or at least did nothing-more useful than listening to speeches and uttering applause.

Public meetings are most excellent things, but their usefulness is sadly limited for lack of organisation. It is all very well to send down a good speaker to rouse up some sleepy town but bow often is the harvest of enthusiasm wasted for lack of hands to gather it in. As a rule, when a meeting is over the audience disperse, and put their interest and energy on the shelf until the next meeting. This is not as it should be. After a meeting is over the real work should begin.

What do I mean by the real work? I mean the organised and steady use of the whole energies of the whole audience in the work of spreading Socialism and enlisting Socialists.

It was to use up the wasted energy of so many willing workers that I framed the Scouting instructions, and founded the first corps of Scouts.

The work I laid down in the Scouting scheme is arduous, and I cautioned the young volunteers at the outset that only men of zeal and perseverance would be equal to it, For it is work that lies in silent doing, without applause or recompense of any kind and it is work that must be done individually by every Scout, and not left with a light heart to a few officials.

The good old method-which is a bad old method-obtaining in most political movements, is a method by no means wise or fair, or democratic. It consists in forming a society, or a club, or a party, listening to a few optimist speeches, indulging in a large amount of cheap applause, electing a president, a secretary, and a committee, and then--? Then going home and leaving the said officials to do the work.

For this old method I proposed to substitute a new one, fair and wise and democratic, by virtue of which the work should be so organised and ordered as that every willing worker should have enough of useful work to do.

What this method is may be seen-in a rough outline-in the draft of the Scouting instructions which will be printed below.

And this, I think, is all that needs to be said about the scheme, except that it is in no sense intended as a means of distributing or advertising the Clarion, and I hope wi1l never be so regarded nor so employed by the members of any Scouting corps new formed or forming.

Instructions for Scouts

The work of the Scout will be of two kinds :-
1 : Educational.
2 : Active.

There are two kinds of education needed :-
a: The teaching of Socialistic principles.
b: The destruction of anti-Socialist prejudices.

The following hints may be useful to those Scouts whose duty is to teach Socialism :-

In each town and in each district of a large town, let Scouting parties be formed. These Scouts are to be provided with tracts and leaflets, which they are to leave at the houses of the workers. Let one street be taken at one time, a tract being left for a week, to be called for the week after and left in the next street. The Penny Edition of "Merrie England" is specially designed for this purpose. Scouts should also be enlisted in all large factories, mines, and other works, in the regiments of the army, and amongst the police, their duty being to permeate their companions with Socialism.

In all cases of personal discussion Scouts should be careful to be calm and polite. Good-humoured argument is the best weapon. It is unwise to be overeager. Give the seed time to grow. If an argument is brought forward which a Scout cannot answer, let him honestly acknowledge it, and refer to the head-quarters of his corps for help. Every effort should be made to enlist all converts as Scouts; also to persuade all converts to join, or form, a local I.L.P. or S.D.F. branch.

The active duties to be undertaken by Scouts are many, but of these three examples will suffice.

Each corps should have a certain number of members told off for the special duty of conducting correspondence to the Press.

Each corps should have a certain number of members told off for the special duty of attending political meetings to ask questions.

These questions should be carefully prepared and tabulated for use, and the answers, if needful, should be recorded.

Finally, whenever there is an election at which Socialist candidates are standing. the whole of the Scouts should, as far as possible, place their services at the command of the local election committees for any duty that may be required of them.

Scouts should invariably be careful not only to act in the friendliest manner towards all Labour organisations and Socialist bodies, but also to do their best to remove jealousies and build up unity and fraternity between such bodies. This applies to the I.L.P. to the SD.F., to the Fabians, trade unions. etc.

In all cases of strikes and lock-outs the whole Scouting force should be used to the best advantage in favour of the men.

All Scouts should thoroughly prepare themselves to answer the common objections to Socialism. Most of these objections are answered in "Merrie England." Scouts on duty would do well to carry a copy of "Merrie England" with them.

Method of organisation

Let the advanced Scout (the one to whom this letter is first sent) write to the Scout appointing a time and place of meeting for the Scouts of his town. This will be advertised in the Scout.

There are many other ways in which Scouts may do useful work; but as all these ways may be discussed by the Scouts themselves in the columns of the Scout, which has been published on purpose, it is not necessary for me to enlarge upon such matters any farther.


Millionaires and their value

From February 1896

Article header

Article header for the column in the Clarion Scout

CECIL RHODES. - EX-Premier of Cape Colony, still chairman of the Chartered Company. According to the African Critic of November 9, 1895, is worth five millions sterling.

Went out to Cape Colony with bad health and £1,000. Succeeded in amalgamating all the Kimberley diamond mines into one: the De Beers Company.

In the Weekly Sun of Feb. 3, 1895, there is an article from the Cape, signed "S' (probably Olive Schreiner, the authoress), in which it is stated that many colonists "deplore the predominance of this immensely wealthy corporation."

It goes on: " Special legislation has been passed to allow all the coloured employees of De Beers to be shut up in compounds' (i.e. prison-barracks) during their contract of service; a special police exists for the detection of diamond thieves; a large number of convicts are let out to De Beers as workers, and for all these and other benefits, Mr. Rhodes and the other shareholders of De Beers return the Colony nothing.'

The law authorising the 'compounds,' provided that the employees could be supplied with necessaries by the Company, but no profit must be made. This has been disregarded, and "S" says that the shareholders have placed these illegal profits of £22,000 a year in the hands of Mr. Rhodes as a secret service fund. " Of all Mr. Rhodes's entourage, only one has a spotless clean record, and that is Dr. Jameson."

Mr. Rhodes's next enterprise was the Chartered Company of South Africa, the history of which is told by Mr. Labouchere in Truth of January 16, 1896. A group of speculators, including Mr. Rudd and Mr. Maguire (who has married the daughter of the late Speaker), got from Lobangula, King of what is now Mashonaland, a concession giving them the right to mine for gold there-no land grants whatever. They got the Dukes of Fife and Abercorn to lend their names, were incorporated by Royal Charter in 1889, and with Mr. Rhodes at their head seized on Mashonaland.

Mr. Stead, in the Review of Reviews (April, 1891 and February, 1892). puffed it as "the Land of Ophir,' from which the Bible says Solomon got his treasures, and by this and stock exchange manipulations many shares were sold. But no gold could be found and that was what these "God's Englishmen," as Mr. Stead profanely called them, were after.

Mr Rhodes then organised an expedition against Manicaland (" vamping up a claim," says Labby) and seizing it. But there was no gold there either, and something had to be done to satisfy the shareholders. In 1893 a quarrel was forced on Lobengula, and a force of adventurers, each man being promised a farm, invaded the remainder of his dominions, Matebeleland. One of the Company's pioneer force, Mr. Claire Orr, in the Cosmopolitan Magazine, May 1894, remarks very innocently that he never could understand what title the Company had to give away Lobengula's land, although he got a farm himself and sold it for £80.

The Matabele peace envoys were fired upon by these invaders, and as the Liberal Colonial Secretary, Lord Ripen, was " cowed by Mr Rhodes" they had things their own way. The Matabele were shot down with Maxims, and Mr Rhodes seized their country, and spread reports that this after all was the real Land of Ophir. Up went the shares, "the company has been" as Mr Labouchere puts it, "from the first a mere instrument for Stock Exchange gambling with cogged dice against the public."

It may be interesting to note that a register of shareholders was laid before Parliament at this time, and the Daily Chronicle of December 29, 1893, published some of the names. Among the original or then existing shareholders were such noble Liberals and Home Rulers as Mr Frank Schnadhorst, 300 shares; Mr W McArthur, M.P., 300; Lord Burton, 1000; Mr. G. Beith, M.P., 1036; Mr J. C. Stevenson, M.P., 275; Mr. Morrogh, M.P., 500; Mr. R. Maguire, M.P., 78,695; Sir C. Dilke, M.P., 1200; Sir J. Kitson, M.P., 500; and Mr. Conybeare, M.P., 54. The Duke of Fife had 8850 shares, the Duke of Abercora 9000. Mr. B. I. Barnato 30,000, the Bishop of Derry 300. Rhodes originally held in 1889 45,000 for himself and 210,000 with Mr. Beit for the De Beers Company. Mr. Beit holding also 32,500. In 1893 Mr. Rhodes's holding was only 30,000, Mr. Beit's 16,000, and De Beers doesn't appear at all. Probably these shares had been unloaded.

The London editor of the Johannesburg Standard, a mining authority, of Jan. 1st, 1896, gives the result: - "The mineral resources of Matabelelsod and Mashonaland have been assiduously puffed ever since the incorporation of the Chartered Company in 1889. The Company have gone so far as to turn the king out, so that they might have undisturbed possession of this vaunted El Dorado. For some six years have they prospected and pegged out claims and sold stands-at most satisfactory prices-and vowed to heaven that this is the richest field on the face of the earth. But they have not found the gold. The Rhodesian field is still a plum pudding without plums and the Chartered shareholders are still waiting for dividends."

The shares of the Chartered and all the subsidiary companies "went down with a run," and in their extremity these financiers turned to the rich and prosperous gold fields of the Transvaal. Dr. Jameson's force happened to be on the border, armed, and the raid is almost ancient history. Mr. Rhodes has "repudiated" Jameson, and President Kruger bluntly telegraphs to Mr. Chamberlain that he doesn't believe him (Rhodes). Johannesburg Standard refers to "the unscrupulous gang of adventurers" who were under the Rhodes banner, and warns Khama, the Bechuana, that his Christianity and teetotalism will not save him from being "gobbled up by Rhodes & Co." if he doesn't keep in close touch with the Colonial Office. Mr. Rhodes's general view of the native is shown by his statement (cited in Truth) that the Company did not intend to place the natives in "reserves" (as is done in the U.S.A.), "because if so they might acquire cattle and become so rich that they would not be obliged to work for Europeans."

Mr. Labouchere thus concludes, and so may we:- "A piratical company, exercising rule by our permission, and in the exercising of that rule violating every law human and divine, is the basest and vilest of Governments that the human mind can wall conceive. It is a Government that could only be permitted by a country where plutocrats reign supreme, and are able to make a needy aristocracy their subservient slaves by throwing to them money as a master throws a bone to an obedient dog. Such is the rule into which we have drifted at home, and the Chartered Company of South Africa, with its long record of crime, its cynical disregard of all except making money for its promoters and their friends by Stock Exchange operations, is the outcome." - Truth, Jan. 16, 1896.


How I became a socialist

From December 1895

Cartoon from the Clarion Scout

Cartoon from the Clarion Scout

The following answers to the above question, asked in the November Scout, may be left to speak for themselves. In fact it would not be fair to the writers to interfere with the free expression of their ideas, so that beyond cutting out in some cases details not bearing on the question asked, they are given as the writers sent them.

There were several more, which either came too late or were beyond the specified length, and were consequently omitted. One very jolly Socialist amongst the too lates says he held out against Socialism until a story of the Insect, about a man who played a cornet with a wooden leg, finally brought him down! So it seems even Insects are not created in vain.

"Enforced retirement brought meditation,
Thoughts brought grief, to grief was borne light."

The Review of Reviews' review of our Merrie England led me to the Clarion which was the first Socialistic paper I had seen. Since when I have used no other. I found, to my surprise, that my "own" thoughts were actually being printed, and I had not known. Dear old Clarion. - E.H.S., London, N.

Being largely what our environments make us, I was when a youth led to adopt the stereotyped Methodist doctrine and principles, and in politics to become a Liberal. But being of an observant and thoughtful turn of mind, I after a few years discarded the former for, as I think, a broader and nobler view of the teaching of the Master. And as for the latter, I continued to work hard and to strenuously advocate Liberal principles, until finding so much insincerity amongst its leading advocates, so much fighting for self, and no real wish to benefit the worker, I ultimately gave that party the go by.

I often found myself wondering how it was that Society was in such a state of chaos, often finding myself exclaiming God help the poor, in seeing the extreme poverty of some of the people in some of the towns of Lancashire. I unconsciously found myself with Socialist ideas, and was not aware of the fact until I accidentally came in contact with the Clarion in its first few issues. The first few times I saw it I only gave glimpses at the front page, but ultimately became fascinated (thanks to good old Mont Blong), and now I am a strong SDF'r and would sooner miss my Sunday dinner than miss my Clarion, although it isn't respectable yet to be a Socialist. - G.S., Leeds.

I see in this months Scout that you ask for short accounts of how some of us became Socialists and as I am interested in the Scout, I send you a few lines on my evolution. About twelve months ago a friend sent me a copy of The Clarion, and I was delighted to find so many comrades, for living as I do in a small country town, I have not yet met any real live Socialists, and but few sympathisers. I think Socialism first interested me much as does a game of chess, or a good stiff problem in algebra or Euclid used to do. I have usual some puzzle to think over. When I began to sell goods I came across a poser - what is a fair price? My attention was specially called to it by finding myself in situations where two prices for the same article were the rule. Analyse as I would there was always an unknown quantity. It was not till I read Bellamy's "Looking Backward" that I began to see a solution, or rather the impossibility of a fair price. That was some three years ago. Since then I have read all on the matter that I could lay hands on, with the result that my bias towards Collectivism increases, and I hope some day to help put its principles into practise. - A.V.L., Salop.

I work at one of the building trades. While an apprentice I saw the efforts of the employers to get the greatest possible amount of work from the men. Men were induced by every possible means to take an interest in the employers business. The foremen continually told us the firm made little or no profit. According to the orders of our managing partner, each work-man was dismissed the moment they could dispense with him. Still, to my surprise, I saw that the members of the firm managed to live very comfortably, in spite of their professed losses, one even travelled four months on the continent. While thinking of these things I read Carlyle's "Past and Present"; the chapter on "Captains of Industry" left me ripe for Socialism; "Merrie England" convinced me. Rustin, Thorold Rogers, Henry George. and the Fabian Essays deepened my convictions. I plucked up courage, attacked my political shopmates, and for a time had a tough struggle (being singlehanded). Eventually they began to waver, and now we have many sympathisers. Best of all we have captured five young man, all vigorous, intelligent, and hopeful, in fact, the flower of the last generation. - G.V.W., Liverpool.

Merrie England was given to me a few months ago, which told me the disease which is eating up the lives of the people, viz., "Work,' and the cure, Socialism." So I took a diagnosis, and prescribed as follows:- Everyone who suffered from work must have plenty of fresh air to breathe, good water or milk to drink (beer barred until strong again) nourishing food to eat, warm woollen clothing to wear; well ventilated, healthy dwellings to live in, free from draughts; must not do any work until they are cured; must not worry or fret; and for medicine, must have 1000 doses a day of human love and affection, which is the only specific for broken hearts and bodies". They're my orders, and the Spirit of God (love) helping me, the devil and all his angels will not prevent me from doing all I can to fulfil them. - A.S.H.

I was always fond of literary pursuit, criticisms, and scientific and philosophical studies; in a small way, even when a child. I had four years constant and omnivorous reading. I am ambitious. I always loved chivalry and truth, and keenly resented wrongs of myself and others. I always regarded indifference to any human problem, as criminal. I became a Christian, being allured by the Tolstoian interpretation of Christian ethics. But I found my Christian Socialism was a homeless wanderer in England. Moreover, continued thinking revealed to me I was wrong. Anyway, I have been a Socialist since I was fifteen. It's not hereditary. I have worked out my own salvation, for it was not due to Socialistic propaganda. The perception of one sham leads to the perception of others. Perhaps this is why Socialists are abused for being anti-most things. I put my hand to the plough when I was fifteen, and have maintained my course over ever varying soils for eleven years: and I'm not going to turn back now. Truth brings Peace!.' - G.T., Canonbury, N.

First of all allow me to say how pleased I am with the Scout as it now appears. As you have invited Scouts to give short papers on the subject, "How they became Socialists,' I am taking the liberty of replying to the same. My childhood days were passed on the hills of Yorkshire. Like most good little boys I went to Sunday School, the teaching which I received there taught me to recognise everybody as my brothers and sisters, also that I should lift up the fallen. As years rolled on I studied as much as my intelligence would allow me, what was the cause of this deplorable state of affairs. For a time I thought it was the peoples' own fault, but when I had looked further into the matter, I saw how much mistaken I had been. Now that I had probed the matter to the bottom, I realised that nothing less than The Collective Ownership of the land and all other property by the people for the benefit of the whole of the community could remove our ills. - H.S., London.

My conversion to Socialism commenced when, at the age of 13, I saw the riots in Trafalgar Square on November 13, 1887 (having been to Charing Cross Hospital with my father). I could not understand men knocking one another about and my father telling me they were Socialists, I pitted them as wicked men, and, finding that they held meetings on Sundays, at East Hill, I determined to find out something about them. I listened attentively and attended regularly, bought Socialist literature, and borrowed what I could not get money to buy, from Socialism. I knew them by seeing them regularly, and finally, October 1890, I joined the Social Democratic Federation, of which I have since been a member. - J.P., Wandsworth

How I became a Socialist. Well, I hardly know. In my case a process of evolution, I think. At 14 years of age I commenced wading through the parliamentary reports, and at that time considered myself a Tory. An omnivorous appetite for books led me to devour all I came across; and amongst others I read Sartor Resartus, Wilhelm Meister, Don Quixote, Moderm Painters, and others of Ruskin's works before I was seventeen. Then I became a Liberal. Afterwards I took to reading Reynolds, which my father, himself a staunch Radical, characterised as a filthy rag," an opinion I am inclined to endorse. The struggle in Trafalgar Square, I think, first turned my attention to Socialism, and I began to try and find out what it meant. Business shortly afterwards necessitated my removing to one of the midland towns, where one of my shopmates (peace to his ashes!), expounded more fully "the only sound politics for a working man", and recommended me to read the Sunday Chronicle. There I found our chief's articles, read them, took the Clarion (good old Clarion) from the first number, and finally found salvation. - A.C., London, N.

When we, my brother and I, were very little children, I never could understood why there was a high fence at the end of our tiny little garden, keeping us out of a lovely green field with a splendid row of chestnut trees in it. Many years afterwards it happened that my brother and myself were transplanted, as to speak, from a village in a pretty part of Derbyshire, right into the heart of a large manufacturing town in Yorkshire. It was a terrible experience: here were thousands of little children with only the gutters to play in, we seemed launched in a troubled sea of double difficulties, and I nearly lost faith in everything. Fortunately for us, Ruskin's books came in our way; also Count Tolstoi's ; next came Nunquam's Merrie England,' and the Clarion. We now know that what was wanted was Socialism, and plenty of it. - E.N.

The following was in shorthand: - Having noticed in the November Scout that you would like a few short accounts of how people have been converted to Socialism, I thought I would take this excellent opportunity of telling you how I found salvation. Well, up to the time of the Trafalgar Square Riots, I was what you may call a Conservative to the backbone, but when I saw the way in which our Government treated these poor Socialists and others who were, as it appeared to me at that time, only exercising the birthright of Britons by holding public meetings for the purpose of calling attention to their grievances, it made me take an interest in them which has never abated I am glad to say, but on the contrary had steadily increased. until Nunquam's book of conversion-' Merrie England' got into my hands, and that killed all the conservatism I had left in me, indeed I am quite unable to describe in words the indignation that this book roused within me, and I quickly walked over to the Socialist's camp, and now I am a regular subscriber both to the Clarion and to the Scout, also I am a member of the Holmfirth Branch I.L.P. - T.P.


The Cinderella Club

From February 1896

Article header for Cinderella Club

Article header for Cinderella Club

The first Cinderella organised by members of the Clarion Glee Club was given on Friday evening, the 10th inst, at Carver Street.

It was not on a large scale; our means are but small, and we thought it would perhaps be better to give several of lesser pretensions at short intervals than exhaust the whole of our resources to one big "flare-up,' and then subside into nothingness for an indefinite period.

A matter of 60 tickets were issued, the bulk of them being put into the hands of the Rev. Mr Ommanney, vicar of St. Matthews, who loans us one of his meeting rooms at a moderate fee for our Glee Club rehearsals, with instructions to distribute them to the worst cases he could find in his poor parish.

There was a clamour at the door long before the time fixed for tea (6.30), and many uninvited guests beseeched us for admittance to the feast. We fed the ticket-holders first, and as the catering was on a somewhat liberal scale, were enabled to admit the outsiders (about another 20) to clear off all the provisions, so that nothing should be left.

After tea a capital lantern entertainment was provided by Comrade Clowes of the S. D. F., interspersed with a few well-known comic songs, whose choruses were lustily joined in by the youngsters and didn't they invest 'em with some lung power! We admitted all and sundry to the entertainment, and completely filled the room.

At the conclusion, sweets and oranges were distributed, with specimen copies of the Clarion, etc., to take home to their parents, Altogether, a jolly night for the "guests" and those who acted the role of "host". Subscriptions required to carry on further. - F. Sykes, sec. pro tem.

Nottingham. - The Clarion Cycling Club have utilised the energy gained by the summer runs by forming a Cinderella Club, which I am pleased to tell you is doing good work. Favoured by liberal subscriptions, we are enabled to give a good meat tea and entertainment fortnightly to about 200 children. The average cost is about £2 2s. each treat. We have already given four, at two of which a comrade kindly gave a magic lantern entertainment and the Nottingham Guild Minstrels amused the children at another. By the kindness of the Nottingham School Board, we have the free use of a room in the Board Schools in different parts of the town, so that we get a variety of children. The ladies of the I.LP. and Cycle Club have given efficient help at each Cinderella. We intend to give four or five more, according as the funds hold out. Yours truly, G. TETLEY, sec., 28, Middleton-street.

West Islington I.L.P - Our Cinderella Club has started. On Saturday, Jan. 18th, 125 children were given a good tea, one boy, whose face it was a treat to look upon, eating 13 slices of bread and butter and 5 slices of cake. Crikey! ain't the bread and butter fine thin slices?" Thanks to friends not Socialists yet we were able to give them a good entertainment. Magic lantern, songs (humorous, with popular chorus), and a quadrille baud, which played while they danced with the grace and abandon of the child of the street, and played musical chairs as a relief to the floor. Provisions 22qrs. bread, 5lbs. butter, 35lbs. cake, 250 oranges, 130 buns, 1¼lbs. tea, and 4 quarts of milk. Every child was given a bun and orange on leaving. An appeal has appeared in the local press for funds to feed 1,000 children; estimated cost, 4p per head. The Board Schools were lent free. Next evening, Feb. 8th. Anyone willing and able to assist should write Secretary Triggs, 3, Bride-street, Liverpool-road, N. - SHILL.

Wrexham: - Hon secs, Miss Fraser, 18 Queen Street Arthur Francis, Town Hill. Thanks to Chester friends who equipped us with useful hints, a Wrexham Cinderella Club became "a fact' last winter. Four Cinderellas were given, at which were entertained 250, 3on, 650, and 9on children respectively. With the assistance of some friends a soup kitchen was kept open for a fortnight during the severe weather of last winter, and for three Sunday rnornings during that time, 2on children were entertained to a substantial free breakfast. The necessary funds have been raised by means of concerts and subscription lists, headed as above Last month (December) 7on were entertained to a tea, consisting of buns, bread and butter, tea, etc.. and the little ones were further delighted with a series of amusing and instructive magic-lantern pictures. Our experience proves that nothing is so much enjoyed by the nippers after the tables have been cleared as half-an-hour's singing of popular choruses in which all can join (led by a good piano), followed by a magic-lantern entertainment.

THE BEST WAY TO MAKE SOCIALISTS. - In my opinion the best way to make Socialists is house-to-house visitation, with free literature first, then perhaps, when you have some experience with the people you are dealing with, and have had a talk with them, to recommend them to buy and read Socialist literature, of which there is great variety at low prices. This kind of work is not the easiest way, perhaps, but if we wait until the people come to us we will have to wait long enough, that is quite apparent. For instance, the Glasgow Albion Halls Sunday evening lectures are very popular and well attended. But who attend them? From a year or twos experience I am bound to say the listeners are for the most part the same crowd week after week. I do not say there are no converts made at the lectures, but they are comparatively few. Now this is not as it should be. The letterwriting to newspapers is a useful way also, but to get at the people in their homes is, I am fully convinced, the only real practical way. It is systematic, and has the advantage of being anything but haphazard, and I am certain it is one of the ways in which a great deal of hard knocks and ruffled tempers may be avoided. I believe this will recommend itself to all Scouting Corps, and specimen copies of the Clarion are, I understand, available for distribution purposes, and can be had from the Clarion people on application. Of course it means hard, tedious work, but you don't need to kill yourself. Try and get the workers, and I am convinced the results will be surprising - ANG-ELI-KUS.

A SCOUTING ACHIEVEMENT. - I am a most successful person. During this Christmastime, I was for a fortnight at a place called Dolgelly, in North Wales. On the New Year's Eve, soon after midnight, the Primrose League Fife and Drum Band marched round the town. Yours faithfully joined in the procession close behind the band and succeeded in sticking three stickers on the big drum, one on each of the kettle-drums. and one on the back of the big drummer, where the straps cross each other. They allowed me to stick them on, thinking they were New Year Greetings. Oh what a brandishing of fifes and drumsticks next morning, or rather, when daylight revealed the reality, Dolgelhy was labelled red on New Year's Eve - Yours, A. Ernest Jones.

Article header for Clarion Field Notes

Article header for Clarion Field Notes

THE CAUSE OF THE DEPOPULATION OF COUNTRY DISTRICTS. - Two Socialists sit in the kitchen of a country pub in Derbyshire. Enter unto them an old greyhaired man. Socialists discuss with old man on the condition of labour in locality. Old man declares with tears in his eyes that labourers have actually refused to work for 2s. 6d. per diem. "Three bob or nought was their motto." Socialists sympathise and deplore with him the cruel state of society which allows lazy labourers to wallow in riotous luxury and dictate terms to their lawful masters. Elder Socialist expresses preference for country life, and innocently wonders why, if labour is so magnificently remunerated in country, country labourers flock to the large towns. Old man regards him pityingly and speaks thus: " Eh, but young man you have great advantages in large towns like Manchester" Socialists press old man to explain what advantages town dwellers have over country folk. Says he, "Why, you can get all kinds of luxuries which we can't get here. I remember when I was in Manchester I could get cockles and mussels, and [mournfully] you can't get ought of that sort here." Exeunt Socialists, astonished, leaving old greyhaired man ruminating on the manifold advantages of large towns. - BAROKO.


From February 1896: Inside back cover


Bax, E. Belfort:- Outlooks from the New Standpoint. 2s. 6d., post free. Story of the French Revolution. 2s. 6d. The Ethics of Socialism. 2s. 6d. The Problem of Reality. 2s. 6d. The Religion of Socialism. 2s. 6d.
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