Letter from William King to Robert Owen

Scope and Content

Manuscript letter, in which King comprehensively puts forwards his feelings regarding the failure of Labour Exchanges. He explains how, if things had been done differently, a more positive outcome may have been produced and states that such views are founded on experience having been involved with the proceedings for the previous 4 or 5 years.

He remarks that the Exchange was viewed by many as a "bridge" [?to a co-operative society] and, had it been blessed with "good regulations", it would have been a "very substantial bridge". Had the Exchange been successful they could have "defied the world".

Further detailed discussion of the failure of various Exchanges and the closure of Owen's Charlotte Street premises follows.

In further discussion King makes clear his view on Owen's failure to react at the correct moment, some 4 or 5 years previous, when numerous societies were in an "energised state". Had Owen intervened it would "have done much to direct their efforts to a common centre".

Two printed items are enclosed:, a circular from the Reciprocal Trading Chamber and Mutual Assistance Society which sets out the objectives, regulations and mode of exchange of the Society, while the second, is an article written by King entitled 'Is Money Beneficial or Injurious to People'. In the article King writes of his belief that Exchanges set-up by Owen were done so to the detriment of his own.

Note

Stamped number: 764