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VOLUNTARY SLAVES.

33 MEN SOLD BY AUCTION. The advertised sale by auction of unemployed men at Brooklyn on .Friday night, February 12th, to which special attention has already been called In these columns, was conducted most successfully (according to tbe New York correspondent of the London " Daily Telegraph," because most of the human " lots" found a job when publicity was given to their qualifications, and only thirty-five remained " to be sold." Pnrkside Presbyterian Church, the scene of the novel auction, was crowded with people long before the auctioneer's arrival, and outfiide the throng of curious people was so great that police reserves were summoned to preserve order. " In that portion of the church where I stood," says the correspondent, " there was not an Individual who regarded tha auction seriously, except iv tlie sense of advertising Mr. Loug'hlln, the auctioneer. The latter is an energetic young Democrat in search of votes- H mis openly stated, also, that tthis 'auction ' of white men, conducted on the day observed in honour of Abraham Lincoln, the emancipator of black slaves, was being engineered 'by former officers of Mr. Hearst's political organisation. Nevertheless, thlrtyflve men, chiefly young, paraded on the platform, each wearing a mask to conceal his identity. " These men," said the Rev. John Long, pastor of the church, "want work; they do not waut charity." The " lots" drew up in line, and the organist played " John Brown's body lies a-moulderlng In the grave" as lots were marshalled by Mr. LoughUn. Many women in the front pews sobbed, but from the body of the hall came riba'd remarks such as, " They do not want work, they would not work if they could." One man offered to take the whole thirty-five on a co-operative stone-breaking job at £.'i a week, but no attention was paid to him. Mr. Loughlin made a good auctioneer. "Lot 11," he would say, " is a young man, 'M years old, broken to machinery, been out of a job for eight months, driver by occupation, teetotaller." All were knocked down for sums ranging from £2 per week, which, In view of the high price of living In New York, Is considered the minimum living "wage. One bidder offered £2 per week, and three lonves a day for lot 12, who tiad seven children. After the sale " man and rjurehaspr " went Into the vestry and entered Into the usual 'arrangements for hiring sale in tlie legal sense being a myth. One old man, evidently unlit for work, was taken charge of by philanthropists. At the conclusion of the auction Mr. Loug'hlln said that his purpose in calling attention to the unemployed had been served, and that he would conduct no more auctions. Somebody in the church asked for statistics of the unemployed, but none were forthcoming. The machinery in America for collecting such statistics Is very Imperfect, but so far as one's personal inquiry goes, the number is not large, and. with the resumption of industrial enterprises which were suspended during the financial panic, It dally grows less. It is unquestionably true tUat the unemployed problem here, when com- , pared with that of countrlen of older, drill-

satlqn, hardly exists it all, and there Is ti spirit ot cheerfulness, even of optimism, regarding the immediate future on Che part of these unemployed-watch-one rarely finds outside America.

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VOLUNTARY SLAVES. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 80, 3 April 1909

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