« EelmineJätka »
"Three-fourths of the human race perish before the age
"Of nine new-born infants one only attains the age of seventy. Only one in thirty-three (newly-born) attains the age of 80.
"One only in two hundred and ninety-one reaches 90, and lastly:
"One alone drags out his life to one hundred years of eleven thousand nine hundred and ninety-six children born." Among those aged 15 years and upwards the death-rate is 18 out of every 1,000. Taking the rate of mortality throughout the United Kingdom, I find that out of every 10,000 persons that have attained the age of
20 about 80 die each year.
and so on, the mortality increasing as the age gets greater. There may be a little difference found in these figures if one year alone is taken for example, but such is the regulating law of Nature that if the rate of mortality is above the average for one year it will be found to be under it in succeeding years, and so, if a few years are added together and divided by the number of years so added, it will amount to just what I have stated.
It is evident therefore that every man desirous of making a provision for himself, his wife, and his family in the future, must take into his serious consideration the great uncertainty of life and the possibility of his being afflicted with disease,
or departing from this life before attaining an independent position in a pecuniary point of view.
The importance of Friendly Societies is therefore selfevident, and additional importance is given to them from the fact that the Legislature have recently enacted new laws for the better regulation and registration of these excellent Societies; and the evidence we have from every part of the civilized world of the rapid increase in the number of members in the several branches of the various orders of these provident institutions is a signal proof of their growing importance and usefulness to mankind.
It is not an unusual thing for some men to come to the conclusion to put so much every week or every month into a Building Society or Savings Bank, and we may often hear them remark, with a seemingly degree of satisfaction, that in so many years they will have saved such a sum of money as will be available for themselves, their wife, and their children in the hour of need.
In coming to the above conclusion they never think whether they will live a sufficient number of years for an ample sum to accumulate, or whether they will have any sickness or other ailment which may devour their hardearned earnings or prevent their continuing their contributions. In saying this I do not wish it to be supposed that I desire to find fault with the indisputable usefulness of such establishments; far from it, for they admirably answer the special purposes for which they are constituted; but, as I believe, and the facts that I have given confirm my opinion that no man can be sure of living such a number of years as will enable his savings to reach to anything like a sufficient sum to ensure a provision in the event of sickness
or death, it will be seen at once that neither Building Societies nor Savings Banks can afford a certain and adequate protection to a wife and family. The payments into a Friendly Society are so small a sum per month that it would be a matter of extreme prudence (even where the man is saving money) to enter one, and not invest the whole of his savings in a Building Society.
Let us suppose, for instance, that 10,000 men aged 30 have formed themselves into a Building Society or Savings Bank, thinking, amongst other things, that they are making provision for their wives and families. The law of mortality I have spoken of will show that in the course of twelve months about 100 of those men will have died, and as each year goes along the survivors attain a greater age and consequently the proportion of deaths will increase. The total amount of savings of a large number of those who pay their 4s. or 8s. per month into a Building Society, or pay a weekly sum into a Savings Bank, cannot therefore amount to but very little, and perhaps not as much as would provide for their decent interment in case of death, without thinking of any provision for those left behind them. If those that have gone to their last resting-place could but raise up their heads and see how their good intentions had been frustrated, see their impoverished wives and children, how great would be their disappointment.
The uncertainty as to how long any particular person will live gave rise to the system of Life Assurance and the establishment of Friendly and other Benefit Societies, in order that those not possessed of sufficient capital may be enabled through the means of those Societies to secure relief in case of sickness, &c., and inasmuch as it is the working classes
who chiefly compose those Societies, and who therefore derive the greatest benefit therefrom, I shall just explain the elementary principles upon which Friendly Societies are founded.
When it was discovered that out of a multitude of persons it could be foretold almost to a certainty the number that would die in each year until the whole were extinct, it was a very easy matter for mathematicians to come to a conclusion what sum, say for example, 1,000 people should pay to a general fund to be placed in a bank at compound interest, so as to secure to the survivors of each one whenever death might occur £100 or a lesser or greater sum.
Tables with the rates of contribution necessary to pay certain allowances have been formed, and the fact that these tables have (when managed by competent and honest persons) proved the correctness of the calculations hereinbefore referred to, for over a century and a half, is therefore an undeniable proof of the infallible data upon which Friendly Societies are established.
The rates of contributions charged by the various Societies differ a little through their tables of payments being not quite the same, and consequently the amount of sick relief is greater in some Societies than in others, although they may be based upon the same records of mortality. The difference arises from the rate of contribution being made to cover the payments out, and in some instances it may arise from Societies that refuse to accept only those persons as members who, by reason of their employment, are supposed to be less liable to accidents; while another Society paying precisely the same benefits must charge a higher rate of contribution in order to meet the demand
which falls upon them consequent upon their members being employed in precarious situations. Such is the belief of a great many of our Society promoters of the probable uncertainty of health and life of the inhabitants of the mining districts; but as this question may involve a question of religion I refrain from proceeding further with it. I may, however, mention that I know of two branches of one of our Friendly Societies with precisely the same charge for contributions and paying similar sums in case of sickness or death, one refusing to take any person as a member that is employed in an underground mine, and the other taking persons without any reference to their avocation (provided of course that their health, &c., justifies their acceptance), and the latter Society is much better off as regards the number of members and the amount of funds than the Society which restricts the initiation of colliers, &c.
The advantages to be derived from becoming members of Friendly Societies are consequently numerous, and should be the aim of every man, and especially the working man, to participate in.
Great, however, as the advantages are of being a member of a Friendly Society that ensures the payment of relief in case of sickness and the payment of a sum on the death of a member, it is unfortunately too much neglected. Parents should think of their children's welfare by getting them initiated in their youthful days into such a Society, and young men who have parents not mindful enough of their interests, or who are unable through pecuniary difficulties to assist them in entering a Friendly Society, should deem it their imperative duty towards themselves, as well as towards their wife and children, should they have any, to