Controversy on Combinations

  • Barry Gordon


In the session of 1823, William Huskisson had set out to destroy the industrial relations system of the silk industry at Spitalfields in London. During debate on the issue, he agreed that if the Commons supported him in his campaign, a committee would be appointed in the following year to reconsider the statutes which prohibited workers in general from undertaking collective bargaining and from emigrating.1 Huskisson achieved the majority he sought, and accordingly, on 12 February 1824, the promised committee was established.


Wage Rate Trade Union Collective Bargaining Wage Earner Wage Determination 


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  1. 2.
    E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class ( London: Gollancz, 1965 ) 503.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    See P. Hollis, Class and Conflict in Nineteenth Century England, 1815–1850 ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973 ) 115.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    See A. V. Dicey, Law and Public Opinion in England During the Nineteenth Century ( London: Macmillan, 1963 ) 196–7.Google Scholar
  4. 22.
    W. Thompson, An Inquiry Into the Principles of the Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Human Happiness ( London: Longmans, 1824 ).Google Scholar
  5. 37.
    J. R. McCulloch, Essay on the Circumstances which Determine the Rate of Wages and the Condition of the Labouring Classes (Edinburgh, 1826), quoted in L. Robbins, op. cit., 108.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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