The Labour Question

The Labour Question

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Excerpt from The Labour Question: Being an Abridgement of Henry George's Condition of Labour

Then once the old faith was gone something else had to take its place and he set himself to study the ideas of Henry George. Gradually he became convinced of the rightness and truth of these ideas and he made them his own and they became a religion to him. Later on he made a pilgrimage to America to visit Henry George whom he regarded as an inspired prophet, and this religion entered into all his work and all his dealings with men.

In 1901 he became managing director of an engineering works in the south of Scotland, a post which he held up to the time of his death in 1923. He came to his work with no knowledge of business or business management; but he always kept clearly before him the idea that the works were to be carried on so as to be a benefit to all concerned and to that end he strove with all his might. He realised that sympathetic understanding and friendly co-operation between employers and employed were the first considerations; it was in that spirit that he met all the difficulties that are inevitable in such undertakings.

Inspectors and visitors to the works frequently remark on the general atmosphere of good fellowship and keenness over work which is apparent during a walk through the shops, and they sometimes ask how such a state of things is brought about. Had they known the personality of Harry Davies, the spirit which animated him and his power of communicating that spirit to others, they would have understood.

He truly loved his fellow men and his deep human sympathy and love of liberty and truth and justice inspired him with the belief that these could be reached if only people would faithfully follow the light of reason. He believed that a better understanding among men was possible, and longed for it passionately, and strove for it in all his activities.

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