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subsequent years attests that the members generally are getting more careful, and the humblest, in adhering to the forms prescribed by law, obtain some idea of the spirit of our association, and an appreciation of its substantial advantages. But not to these causes alone is the steady position of the Unity attributable, nor will they account for the increase of numbers coming in-in spite of wars, rumours of wars, and commercial failures. Why there should be 10,613 initiated in 1852, and 21,319-more than double the number-in 1855, must be guessed, by reference to Table V. With regard to the first period embraced in the table, take the words of the Report of April, 1852, “Lodges were initiating members at a rapid pace, members were paying a less rate of contributions, and lodges were expending their funds in such a manner that, had it not been put an end to, must have brought them to such a state that redemption would have been impossible. From this period may be dated a commencement of a gradual decrease in numerical strength, and the reconstruction of the Manchester Unity on principles which have materially increased its funds, and not only increased them, but husbanded them in such a manner as to strengthen and consolidate the Unity." Still, the changes effected were far from satisfactory, and for that reason the fluctuations in numbers continued; but the Preston A.M.C. (1853) took the bold step of adopting a graduated scale of payments, and since then the initiations have enormously risen; "thus justifying those earnest members who introduced and carried into effect that important change, and confirming the well-grounded opinion which attributes the great increase of new members to that alteration." In truth, our late experience proves that the young man joins us because he is not taxed with an exorbitant initiation fee, and the middleaged man because a greater contribution is asked from him on account of increased age, both feeling satisfied that a society which makes such a proper difference has taken some pains to deal equitably with all its members.

PAYMENTS AND BENEFITS.

In considering the subject of payments and benefits in the Manchester Unity, the members may be divided into four classes, namely:-those who oppose any change, however necessary, because it is new, and refuse to reason upon it, for the selfish motive that it may cause a trifle more work in book-keeping; these are about one-sixth of the whole number-those who regard the matter as a curiosity, and so are nearly indifferent about it, about another sixth,-those who are wholly indifferent, or having had their grumble on something they do not understand, unwillingly submit to any thing; these form about one-third-and those who are intent upon the study of the proper principles of Friendly Society combination who are zealous for their true application in the Unity-who sacrifice their time and comfort for the benefit of the Order, and whose only reward is in their own conscience that they have aimed to do their duty: those form the remaining third. Yet it is a subject which, above all others, should receive close attention. For the early days of the Unity allowance may be made on account of the imperfection of statistical knowledge to those who were the workers; but now, to neglect scientific deductions, especially those from our own experience, is highly blameable, is in fact suicidal. A dashing opponent might drag forth the Quarterly Reports for 1845 and challenge us thus, "Here are your own published documents, showing, that in your lodges the contributions of members varied from 3d. to 74d. per week, and the benefits, so far as regarded sick allowance, were from 7s. up to and

including 15s. per week; the funeral donation to single members varied £5 to £25, and taking into account the married members, the funeral donations were from £11 to £48 including that paid on the death of a wife,' and expenses of conducting the lodges were also taken out of the contribution,' and their tables (Griffith, Davies, &c.) were put before you for adoption, whilst before and since you have been repeatedly bidden by various writers to alter your financial laws. What have you done?" We should answer, "the fact of being bidden has not hastened but rather retarded our movements. Our members are not always willing to submit to the biddings of those who set out by finding fault with them, and follow with some violent suggestion which must, without alteration, be adopted. Since 1844 we have been gradually pressing onward from a conviction that it was necessary to do so, and yet, although the Unity is the most advanced of Friendly Societies, it has unfortunately received the greatest share of abuse. What we have done is this, we have compelled every district and lodge to have a separate fund for expenses of management, to which members contribute apart from the funds for benefits. In 1844 it might be true that the man of 30 was only asked for a total payment of the value of £19 14s. 5d. to secure the benefits (Table V.) he required, and to cover management expenses, but it is also true that from 1847 to 1853 another would be asked for £20 18s. 8d. instead ; and equally true that now a man of that age entering our ranks must pay £23 Os. 11d., besides extra contribution for those management expenses. We have fixed the payments according to the age of those entering for benefits, as your large Assurance Offices would. We are now discussing (to please those who ask for it) a scale of payments for redeeming part of the annual contribution payable, and though it is not likely to be adopted, it will instruct members as to the value of their payments, if it has no other good effect. Beside making necessary a certain method of conducting business in every lodge, we have endeavoured to attain some uniformity in the amount of benefits, and the difference now in the scales of lodges is not the same as in 1844, though we are free to confess that variations still exist, and if we speak of contributions "generally paid” (Table V.); we mean general in the majority of lodges. It may, we consider, be safely said we are now so far on the high road of improvement, we shall not think of halting till we have reached the desired end. By such apologetic answers we may for a time avoid the criticisms of our friends, but there is yet much to be done before the Manchester Unity can be safely shielded from the attacks of opponents. Shall it be said of us that we are boasting of our intentions, whilst we are committing waste with valuable time wherein we should be doing? Surely not. Yet before we agree to do, let us be certain we understand cach other.

The captious, the curious, the indifferent, the complaining, and the earnest workers, must all agree that every member entering a Friendly Society should pay an exact equivalent for the benefits to be assured to him; or, in other words, a sufficient amount to meet the liability he adds to the common risks; and that every society should be properly based to secure the intended benefits to its members. Starting with this understanding, we then meet these questions: What is the exact equivalent ? What is the sufficient amount? How shall we know that a society is properly based? Now, we will suppose we are dealing with the general population, without reference to place of residence or peculiarity of employment, or any other special circumstance affecting strict calculations. Two men, one aged 20, the other 30, step forward, desirous to become Odd-Fellows, for the same benefits. He aged 20 we know may be expected to live longer than the other aged 30, the difference in age being ten years,

but the strict difference of the value of life is about seven years and three months (Table VIII) in favour of the younger man; that is, on the average of deaths in the experience of the Unity, he is expected to live that much longer than the elder. Let both pay 4d. per week each during life, and the effect will be this: the young man living for 41 years contributes £35 10s. 8d., and the elder living 34 years, about £29 9s. 4d., for the same benefits! This would evidently be unfair. The obvious remedy is to adjust the contributions, so that both shall pay nearly an equal amount in value, and the member aged 30 should be called upon to pay 6d. per week instead of 4d. It is of course presumed that 4d. per week is the proper amount to be required from the member aged 20, for his exact equivalent, to be improved at interest; so that the other, aged 30, in consequence of there being less time to accumulate compound interest on his contributions, and his expectation of life being less, and his greater liability to sickness on account of increased age, does, in fact, in contributing 6d. weekly, only pay his exact equivalent. It is an admitted truth, proved by all scientific inquiries, that as a member's age increases, a greater amount of contribution must be required from him to entitle him to participate in an equal benefit from a common fund. This is now so far worked upon in practice, that some societies, following the Unity in adopting a scale of payments graduated according to age, have offered similar benefits on payment of a smaller amount of contribution; for instance, 3d. at age 20, and 4d. at age 30. Here the difficulty presents itself. If the Unity considers it necessary that 4d. and 6d. contribution should be paid at those ages for certain benefits, how can other societies accomplish the same object for a lower payment? The answer is in a few words, the society is not obtaining a "sufficient amount;" and though for a time, perhaps for years, it may wear a false appearance of stability, there must be a failure, and, as in most other cases, the result is, those who die first are the luckiest, and those who live longest and pay the most money are the greatest sufferers. We see, then, the necessity for well considering the subject, and that in such a supposed case a society would be losing by both memberstheir contribution might be called a "proportionate equivalent" to the liabilities, but not the "exact equivalent" or "sufficient amount." It may be urged in the extremity of argument that the society asking the lowest subscription may be as well based as any other; it would then be necessary to start again from the beginning, and enter into a full exposition of the principles of Friendly Societies. For the present we will only say that no society can be considered properly based which has not for its guidance some past experience in sickness and mortality; nor can it be properly based unless its tables of payments and benefits are calculated upon that experience, and, whether for sickness allowance, funeral money, or annuities, have a close correspondence with each other. The experiences may have been imperfectly recorded or insufficient, and on a future examination different results might be obtained; but at one period or other, the past must be referred to, as pointing to what may possibly happen in the future Let us now consider, as an instance, a new lodge about to be opened, expected to consist of mixed members of the ordinary occupations (not such as miners, &c., liable to extreme sicknesss and mortality), and within the prescribed by general law. The first thing to be considered is the want" felt by those likely to join, or, as it is said, "the benefits to be given." Presuming those stated at the head of Table V. to be adopted, and that all those who join are married, and that the wives' ages are equal with those of the members, we find on turning to Table VI. the value of the benefits, as ascertained by C.S. Ratcliffe, from the past experience of the Unity. The next thing to be done is to determine how

the "value" shall be obtained from each member, or "what shall be the payments," as we know it is next to impossible for the members to lay down the value in one sum. We must fix an initiation fee and a contribution that shall be equal in "present value" to the value of the benefits; and obtaining these payments from the members, we say they are paying the "exact equivalent," a "sufficient amount," and that the society is "properly based." Now, we may again illustrate from ages 20 and 30to make the matter plain-the effect of the two Tables V. and VI. At age 20, Table V. shows the present value of the initiation fee and contribution, there stated, to be 19 11s. Sd, and Table VI., the present value of the benefits, as £24 7s. 7d., so that there appears a loss or deficiency of £4 15s. 11d. At age 30 the payments are valued at £23 0s. 11d., and the benefits at £29 16s. 6d., here showing a loss or deficiency of £6 15s. 7d., and different amounts at other ages. It must not, however, be supposed that there will be those amounts of positive loss to the society, because various circumstances interfere with such an expectation. For instance, it is well known that many members join, who, after contributing some time, leave the Unity, thus relieving the society of all liability, and leaving behind them the money paid as profit. Again, all the members are not married men, and yet are generally required to pay the full subscription though they may never bring upon the common fund a wife's liability. Others, who are married, have wives younger than themselves, and, as it is therefore probable the wives will live longest, the common fund again escapes that liability. And it seldom or ever happens that district or lodge laws secure the benefit of full sick pay during the whole of life, but on the other hand they contain some qualification or condition which makes a considerable reduction in the value. If it should also happen that the sickness actually experienced among the members does not reach the average (Table VII.), a benefit is thus made to the society, at least to that extent, and during the period observed upon. Any member may satisfy himself as to the experience of his lodge in any year by obtaining the number and ages of the members in it, and making for himself a table of the expected amount-multiplying the quantity of average sickness (Table VII) by the number of members at each age (age, 18, members, 3 multiplied by 3 days 19 hours equal 11 days 9 hours), then adding up the whole see whether the total sickness of the lodge, in wecks and days, exceeds or falls short; to cause a loss or profit to the funds. The larger the number of members in a lodge the less, as a general rule, will be the observed difference.

The results arrived at by such familiar examples as these may be objected to by some as slightly incorrect because not sufficiently nice. Our object, however, is not to assist those who are already in command of a ship to learn navigation but to attempt to make figures popular with the buik of our members.

All should know something about the financial foundation of the Unity and, therefore, the extent to which the value of benefits may be reduced by certain conditions; and also the proper per centage which may be taken off the ful payments for certain benefits in consequence of the influence of eventssuch as secessions-upon a lodge; otherwise a sense of dissatisfaction may prevail with some members. When necessary, alterat ons are proposed to such an extent as to do the Unity greater injury than can the attacks of outside opponents.

J. H.

VOL. II.

TABLE V.

"Initiation Fee" and "Contribution" (fourpence per week) generally paid in the Lodges of the Manchester Unity to the Sick and Funeral Fund, for the following benefits, viz.:-£10 at Death of a Member, £5 at Death of a Member's Wife (if death occurs in Member's lifetime), and 10s. per week in Sickness.

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The Initiation Fee is supposed to be paid on admission, and the Contribution annually afterwards, both being improved at 3 per cent. interest. The "Immediate Equivalent," or value of the payments made at each age, is calculated upon the Tables XII. and LXXXIV. in C. S. Radcliffe's Book of "Observations."

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