Page:The farm labourer in 1872.djvu/34

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and zeal, could easily earn twenty-five per cent more wages by doing twenty-five per cent more work, and be cheap at the money to the farmer.

But it appears to me equally plain, that this agitation may have a very different result, if wrong principles be adopted or advised.

1. Now, the best practical way towards improvement (besides emigration, payment in coin, and a certain rise in wages, where they are evidently too low) is by giving the labourer, as far as possible, an interest in his work, as by task work, or payment by results, as is sometimes done with shepherds for lambs, or with stockmen for calves, and so improving the quality of the labour by increased carefulness and zeal, and increasing his wages by his own exertion.

2. By a system of greater classification, such as is in use among contractors and others, where men will be working side by side at three shillings, two and sixpence, and two and threepence per day respectively. One man is cheap at sixteen shillings per week, another is dear at eleven. I myself know agricultural labourers who would be cheaper at £1 per week than two of their neighbours at ten shillings.

3. A still more simple and ready way to improve the condition of the farm-labourer, and that at no appreciable loss to the farmer, is by allowing him an allotment of ground and good gardens, and to those who can save a little money (say fifteen or