The Client of COS:

In London, below the large independent artizan and tradesmen class, there may be said to be on a day count a population of about 600,000 or 700,000 people, or about fourteen or fifteen per cent. of the population, which is in receipt of Poor Law relief or lives on the verge of dependence, and lies in scattered groups and masses among the general population. The prosperity of the country, as indicated by large imports and exports, does not greatly affect this class, until it reaches so high a level that it brings into the current of demand the less capable and less industrious grades of the people. There are thus reaches of social existence over which the normal tides of prosperity do not sweep; and hence there arises the general problem how, if by any means, this class may be drawn into social conditions in which the natural forces of invigoration and self-support that lie within our national life may have further play; and it may fairly be pleaded that many measures that, directly or indirectly, add security to those who live according to a higher social scale may have little effect upon this class. With them, to a large extent, the question is their start and initiation in self-support.

[SW 101-102]