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One item of the San Francisco mail news, published on Saturday, contained some wildly improbable figures. Reports have been London, we were informed, which showed " almost incredible transactions of the co-operative societies m Great Britain." It was shown that " wage earners own nearly five hundred millions' %orfch of stock." It is not only almost incredible, but quite so, for the simple reason that it is not true. At the annual Co-operative Congress held at Ipswich last year, it was stated that, at the end of 1888, there were 16,464 co-operative societies m th« kingdom; with a total membership of 992,428.' The amount of share capital was L 10,393,394; of ■ loan capital, L 2,408,658- with a reserve fund of L 534,388. Goods were sold during the year which realised 1*36,735,045, resulting

m a net profit of L 3,414,407. These figures indicate enormous transactions, but the year 1889 has apparently witnessed an increase of L 2,000,000 to the share capital, and the trade operations were, of course, on a corresponding scale of magnitude Indeed, the development of co-operation has been one of the most striking facts of the century, as a historical retrospect will show. In 1844, the Rochdale Pioneers, twenty-eight poor weavers, commenced with a capital of twopence orthreepenceeach. 1n1856 they had a capital of L 12.900. In 1862, when the first Parliamentary return was made, and we have the first accurate figures at our disposal, there were 450 societies m existence, with 90,000 members ; a share and loan capital of L 450,000 ; annual sales amounting to L 2,350,000; and profits reaching L 166,000. A glance at this picture, and at that further up the column, inspires one with a belief m the vast potentialities inherent m the movement. The world seems to be delivered over to it.—" Rangitikei Advocate."

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Bibliographic details

CO-OPERATION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2476, 28 July 1890

Word Count

CO-OPERATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2476, 28 July 1890

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