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this Sunday labour? There cannot be the shadow of a pretence for saying that the opening on the rest-day of the National Exhibitions is necessary; no kind of work on Sundays can be less necessary than Sunday work at sights and shows. A man may plead hard times, a large family, and pressing needs to excuse the opening of bis shop or warehouse on Sunday, but no such argument can be urged for the opening of museums and galleries on Sundays. If men may be rightly employed at museums, &c., on Sundays there is not a trade in the country which may not with a greater show of reason be kept in operation on the rest-day.
It is this question of the increase of Sunday labour which excites so deeply the opposition of the great masses of the people to the proposed inroads on the day of rest.
The immediate and direct increase of Sunday labour would be very considerable if Lord Dupraven's proposals were carried out, but the reflex influence of the success of his scheme would be far more serious.
If the supreme Government of the country opens its exhibitions and galleries, its public libraries and reading-rooms, its halls and palaces on Sundays, and pronounces such a proceeding to be good and beneficial to the people, on what possible grounds can objections be raised to the Sunday opening of similar exhibitions by private companies and speculators all over the country? If it be right to open a museum on Sundays, it cannot be wrong to open a Crystal Palace on the same day. If Sunday labour may be employed at the National Gallery, it cannot be improper to employ such labour at Madame Tussaud's. If the South Kensington Museum may be opened on Sundays, why not the Royal Academy and the Alexandra Palace? Is it beneficial to visit picture galleries and museums on Sundays, but injurious to visit Maskelyne and Cooke's entertainment or the Moore and Burgess Minstrels on Sundays? Is it right to study works of art at the national institutions, but wrong to enjoy music at the opera on Sundays? If persons who take a pleasure in, and find both recreation and amusement at museums and art-galleries are to be allowed to indulge their tastes on Sundays, why should the classes who have no taste for museums or galleries, but who enjoy theatres and circuses and concerts and music-halls, not be allowed to have these places open on the Sundays ?
It would be grossly unjust to permit persons with artistic tastes to have the National Collections for resort on Sundays, and not to allow those who have no artistic tastes to enjoy the recreations they take pleasure in on Sundays.
You cannot, with any regard to reason and logic, permit one class of recreation and amusement to be in operation on Sundays, and keep closed another class of recreation and amusement.
was thus clearly put by the editor of the Times in an article on June 9, 1877:
The streets of London on a Sunday are a strong contrast to those of a great Continental town, and bespeak a population who are tasting a day's respite from business of all kinds. The closing of our National Museums and Galleries we believe to be eminently conducive to the health, the good order, and the mental and moral balance of our population. To open these institutions on a Sunday by a formal Parliamentary vote, must of necessity have an extensive reflex effect. Where is the line to be drawn between public and private exhibitions, between galleries and theatres, for instance ? In point of fact, in the parallel cases abroad, to which Mr. Peter Taylor points, the line is not drawn, and we may be quite sure that if drawn in this country it would not be maintained. We should make a complete breach in the defences which now protect the Sunday as a day of rest, and should have definitely abandoned our general rule. Once throw open by resolution of the House of Commons all national museums and picture galleries on Sundays, and it is hard to see what institutions, public or private, we could insist on closing
The proposal to open national institutions on Sundays is (says Sir Thomas Chambers, M.P.) very much like probing a bank that keeps out the sea in Holland. You may probe that bank only to get a bucketful of watez, but you may thereby flood a nation or drown a province. You cannot keep the hole the size that you first made it. You cannot govern the flood.. The 'letting out of water' is proverbial.
It is not a mere question of opening several museums and galleries on Sundays, it is a question of what lies beyond.
It is a question of opening up a great industry on Sundays, which at present rests on that day,
The National Museums and Galleries are the national places of recreation and amusement; on bank-holidays people flock to them by thousands, the newspapers report them, and class them with other popular places of amusement, and if these national places of recreation are opened on Sundays, all other places of recreation and amusement must inevitably follow the Government's example. In this way the amusement industries, employing in many trades vast numbers of the people, would be opened, and brought into operation on Sundays, as they are on the Continent.
The proposal for a Government monopoly of Sunday opening is utterly absurd. The surest way to make Sunday a day of labour for all classes is for the Government to set the example and lead the way by compelling its servants to work on Sundays. If Government servants are to work on Sundays to amuse the people, why not the servants of all the speculators and caterers for public amusement in every town and village in the country? And this is what the Sunday opening societies mean and aim at.
They ask for what they call a “Free Sunday,' that is, a Sunday on which every restriction and law which preserves the Sunday as a day of rest free from labour shall be swept away. They would open not only national museums and galleries, but exhibitions and concerts and entertainments and public-houses also.
Full well they know that if the Government leads the way, the host of speculative caterers for the public amusement will quickly follow. In this way the English Sunday as a day of peaceful quiet rest may be broken down and placed below the level of a bank-holiday. It is this well-founded fear and dread of losing the Sunday as a national day of holy rest, which stirs not only the religious classes but the labouring classes to oppose the schemes of Sunday opening and Sunday labour proposed by the Sunday opening societies.
This brings us to the consideration of some of the statements made by Lord Dunraven in the March number of this Review. We regret that his lordship should have been made the medium of conveying to the public a misrepresentation which has been widely circulated by the Sunday Opening Society of which his lordship is a vice-president.
In the March number of this Review, page 422, Lord Dunraven refers to the appeal made to the working-class organisations by the Working Men's Lord's Day Rest Association to support Mr. Broadhurst's motion in Parliament against opening museums on Sundays.
His lordship gives a form which he says is the circular issued by the Lord's Day Rest Association and sent to all these societies.
The mutilated form given by Lord Dunraven is exactly the same as the mutilated form published by the honorary secretary of the Sunday Society on the 8th of May, 1883, in the Globe' newspaper, and which was circulated in the House of Lords on the evening of the debate on Lord Dupraven's motion.
In order that the readers of the Nineteenth Century may see clearly how Lord Dunraven has been misled, we put the form as given by his lordship and the real form side by side.
It will be observed that the form as given by Lord Dunraven leaves out the vital part of the real form, namely, the actual words of the resolution proposed by Mr. Henry Broadhurst, M.P. That Lord Dunraven bas been misled by those on whom his lordship depends for information is clear, because he says of the societies to whom the Working Men's Lord's Day Rest Association sent Mr. Broadhurst's amendment that they knew nothing about Mr. Broadhurst or his amendment,' and on page 424 that the societies 'pronounced not against Sunday opening, but in favour of an unknown
| The late Secretary of the Sunday League gave evidence before a Parliamentary Committee against closing public-houses on Sunday, on the ground that when he and others went to the Sunday bands in the parks they required the public houses to be opened for refreshments; and Lord Rosebery, a late president of the Sunday Society, said, “I am not one of those who would have public-houses closed on Sundays.'
amendment. The exact amendment proposed by Mr. Broadhurst, M P., was not only printed in bold type on the top of every printed form sent out to the societies, but it was also embodied in the circular letter which accompanied each form; and it was also printed in the speech against Sunday opening which Mr. Broadhurst made in Parliament, and which was sent out with every copy of the form. There is, therefore, not the slightest foundation for Lord Dunraven's stateinent that the societies appealed to by the Working Men's Lord's Day Rest Association knew nothing about Mr. Broadhurst or his amendment.
The following is a copy of the form, as
given in the March number of this Review by Lord Durraven.
The following is a copy of the real forn
which was sent out by the Working Men's Lord's Day Rest Association, and which occupied the whole of one side of a large sheet of letter paper.
Mr. BROADHURST'S Amendment, proposed in the House of Commons, on the 19th of May, 1882, was follows:
That in the opinion of this House it is undesirable that Parliament should further promote the employment of Sunday Labour', by authorising the opening of the National Museums and Galleries, which are now closed on that day, but that such Museums and Galleries should be open between the hours of six and ten p.m., on at least
three evenings in each week. The Committee or Managers of the The Committee or Managers of the under-mentioned Society approve of the
under-mentioned Society approve of amendment proposed by Mr. Henry the amendment proposed by Mr. Broadhurst, M.P. in Parliament, for Broadhurst, N.P., in Parliament, for opposing the increase of Sunday opposing the increase
of Sunday Labour.
Labour. Name of Secretary or Officer
Name of Secretary or Officer Name of Society..
Name of Society. State No. of Members or Subscribers if State No. of Members or Subscribers if possible
Address Do you sign this officially on behalf of Do you sign this officially on behalf of your Society, or in your individual
your Society, or in your individual capacity ?
capacity ? Answer
They had in every case three copies of the amendment, and Mr. Broadhurst's speech as well. The circular letter accompanying the printed forms was most carefully examined, corrected, and signed, as follows:
SHAFTESBURY, President Working Men's Lord's Day Rest
mated Society of Operative Bakers and Confectioners. CHARLES HILL, Secretary Working Men's Lord's Day Rest
The appeal thus made to the working class organisations by a nobleman whose name is a household word, and whose whole life has been consecrated to efforts to improve the condition of the people, and by Mr. Samuel Morley, M.P., whose sympathies with working men lead him to help them in every righteous struggle, accompanied as the appeal was by the telling speech made against Sunday opening by Mr. Henry Broadhurst, M.P. (the most influential trades unionist in the country), had the desired effect. The arguments used in the appeal, made by men in whom the working classes have the fullest confidence, produced such an expression of opinion against Sunday opening, and in favour of opening on week-day evenings, as has never before been elicited; and no less than 2,412 working class organisations, having 501,705 members, to whom Mr. Broadhurst's amendment was sent, have, through their committees and officers, officially supported the action of Mr. Broadhurst.
The following is a summary of the organisations which responded :
Societies in the London District, 217
provement Societies, &c.
Provincial Organisations, 2,195.
provement Societies, &c.