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Industrial Co-operation:





NOTE. — The Charts on pages 240 and 241 are from blocks kindly lent by the Labour Department of the Board of Trade. The Chart on page 248 has been specially prepared for this book.

All the Statistical Tables, except numbers (4), (7), (15), (16), (17), (18), and (19), are from the Abstract of Labour Statistics, the Labour Gazette, or the Report on Workmen’s Co-operative Societies, published by the Labour Department of the Board of Trade.




Distributive and Productive Societies (General Summary)

Industrial Co-operative Societies for Distribution and Production in 1902

Associations for Retail Distribution in the United Kingdom

Other Distributive Societies in Ireland

Rates of Wages of Employees of Retail Distributive Societies in Great Britain

English Co-operative Wholesale Society

Scottish and Irish Co-operative Wholesale Societies

Co-operative Production, 1893-1902

Co-operative Production in the United Kingdom in 1902:



List of Books Used as References

List of Societies and Organisations from which Literature may be obtained

List of Books and Publications — chiefly out of print — Useful for Students of Co-operation


Co-operative Distribution and production in 1902.

Growth of co-operation, 1862-1902.

General Summary of Distributive and productive Societies 1883 - 1902.

Industrial and Co-operative Societies for Distribution and Production in 1902.

Associations for Ratil Distribution in the United Kingdom.

Rates of Wages of Employees of Retail Distributive Societies in Great Britain.

Membership, capital, sales, etc of Distributive Departments, 1893-1902.

Membership, Capital, Sales, etc of Distributive Societies (Scotland and Ireland) 1883-1902

Chart Showing Growth of Production.

Co-operative Production 1893-1902.

Production in 1902 by Various Classes of Societies.

Production in 1902, Classified by Industries.

Production in 1902 by Retail Distributive Societies.

English Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Share of Employees and others in the Membership, Capital, and Management of Societies formed expressly for Production.

Profit Allotted to Productive Employees in 1902 in Societies of all Classes.

Co-operative Credit Associations.

The Co-operative Insurance Society Limited.

National Union of Co-operative Employees.
Summary of previous Legislation relating to Friendly Societies and Industrial and Provident Societies (con't).




The Friendly Societies Act, 1834, allowed of the formation of societies for any “purpose which is not illegal.” The Friendly Societies Act, 1846, allowed of the establishment of societies “for the frugal investment of the savings of the members, for better enabling them to purchase food, clothes, or other necessaries, or the tools or implements of their trade, or calling, or to provide for the education of their children or kindred.” The Friendly Societies Act, 1850, contained a like provision. The Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1852, commonly called Mr. Slaney’s Act, and founded on the report of the Committee on the savings of the middle and working classes, 1850 (of which he was chairman), made further provision for such societies. It was amended by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1856. These Acts were consolidated and amended by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1862. This Act was amended by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1867, and by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1871. These Acts were consolidated and amended by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1876, which statute is practically re-enacted, with some important amendments, by the present Act, which was passed in 1893, and is that under which co-operative societies work to-day.




1st.—Procure the authority and protection of the law by enrolment.

2nd.—Let integrity, intelligence, and ability be indispensable qualifications in the choice of oflicers and managers,
and not wealth or distinction.

3rd.— Let each member have only one vote, and make no distinction as regards the amount of wealth any member may contribute.

4th. — Let majorities rule in all matters of government.

5th. — Look well after the money matters. Punish fraud when duly established by the immediate expulsion of the

6th. — Buy your goods as much as possible in the first markets; or, if you have the produce of your industry to sell, contrive, if possible, to sell it in the last.

7th. — Never depart from the principle of buying and selling for READY MONEY.

8th. — For the sake of security always have the accounted value of the “fixed stock” at least one-fourth less than its
marketable value.

9th. — Let members take care that the accounts are properly audited by men of their own choosing.

10th. — Let committees of management always have the authority of the members before taking any important or
expensive step.

11th. — Do not court opposition or publicity, nor fear it when it comes.

12th. — Choose those only for your leaders whom you can trust, and then give them your confidence.




1. Object, name, and registered office of the society.

2. Terms of admission of the members, including any society or company, investing funds in the society under the provisions of this Act.

3. Mode of holding meetings, scale and right of voting, and of making, altering, or rescinding rules.

4. The appointment and removal of a committee of management, by whatever name, of managers or other officers, and their respective powers and remuneration.

5. Determination of the amount of interest, not exceeding two hundred pounds sterling, in the shares of the society which any member other than a registered society may hold.

6. Determination whether the society may contract loans or receive money on deposit, [1] subject to the provisions of this Act, from members or others; and, if so, under what conditions, on what security, and to what limits of amount.

7. Determination whether the shares or any of them shall be transferable, and provision for the form of transfer and registration of the shares, and for the consent of the committee thereto; determination whether the shares, or any of them, shall be withdrawable, and provision for the mode of withdrawal and for payment of the balance due thereon on withdrawing from the society.

8. Provision for the audit of accounts and for the appointment of auditors or a public auditor.

9. Determination whether and how members may withdraw from the society, and provision for the claims of the representatives of deceased members, or the trustees of the property of bankrupt members, and for the payment of

10. Mode of application of profits. [2]

11. Provisions for the custody and use of the seal of the society.

12. Determination whether, and by what authority, and in what manner, any part of the capital may be invested.

A society must before the 31st March in each year send to the Chief Registrar an annual return of its receipts and expenditure, and funds and efiects.

A society may be dissolved —

(1) By an order to wind up, made by the County Court in England, or by the Sheriff’s Court in Scotland.

(2) By a resolution for voluntary winding up, made as directed by the Companies Acts.

(3) By an instrument of dissolution signed by three-fourths of the members.

In the event of the society winding up, no individual who, or society which, has ceased to be a member for one year or upwards prior to the commencement of the winding up, shall be liable to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the society. Members (individuals or societies) shall not be liable to contribute any amount exceeding the amount of fully or part paid-up shares held by him or it. Loan holders shall not be liable to contribute unless it appears to the court that the contributions of the existing members are insufficicnt to meet the just demands of the society. [3]


Map - the Co-operative Union.
List of Conference Districts of the Co-operative Union.


Bibliography 1
Bibliography 2
Bibliography 3
Bibliography 4
Bibliography 5
Bibliography 6



1. A society receiving small deposits of not more than 10s. in any one payment, or of more than 20 from any one depositor, or repayable at less than two clear days’ notice, is not considered as carrying on the business of banking or subject to the special obligations attaching to such societies.

2. Except that it must be a “lawful purpose” there is no restriction on the disposal of the profits so long as such disposal is authorised by the rules. Consequent on a decision that in the absence of a specific authority the application must have some relation topthe purpose of the society, it is now customary in societies’ rules to add the words, “whether within the purposes of the society or not.”

3.See The Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893,” with explanations and forms, and MODEL RULES. Published by the Co-operative Union.