Page:The future of democracy.djvu/23

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THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY

were in that Report. If they were merely my own conclusions I would not speak about them, but they were the conclusions that were come to by my colleagues as well as myself, and my colleagues included some of the greatest authorities on electrical engineering, and on the problem to which I have referred, in this country or perhaps in any country. We had all the knowledge of the century available to us, and we found that to-day we use eighty million tons of coal in the year to supply power for our industries in this country. Most of this coal is put into engines which generate steam power, and, as you know, the steam-engine is a very wasteful way of producing energy. It is a very bad way indeed, if you are using a great number of small engines as is done to-day. If you could take the coal at the pit-head and turn it on a great scale into steam at once, which you must do in order to generate the power, the waste could be reduced to a minimum, and then, with great super-power stations generating electric power on a large scale, you would get the result that instead of eighty million tons of coal per year being used to produce the existing quantity of industrial power in factories, in workshops, and on railways, we should do it with only twenty-five million tons; and as there is plenty of coal for two or three centuries, and by that time we shall very likely have discovered other sources of light and heat that will supersede coal, we can very well use the eighty million tons at one-third of the cost, and put at the disposition of the workman tools and machinery that will enable him to accomplish three times the output with the same supervision. The workman with a combination of electrical tools might therefore put out three times as much and be paid three times the wage.

You would be able to bring within the range of practical politics that which Lord Leverhulme has been advocating—a six-hour day. It would be a concentrated day, requiring

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