Extract from 1871 Truck Report
These works, near Hamilton, belong to Mr. Austin. Poundage at the usual rate was charged here, but there .was no store. A deputation waited on the employer in July 1869 to see if he would take on the charge for poundage, and he agreed to do so if they took advances only once a fortnight. Those who were satisfied with this arrangement got their money without any charge. But the generality of the men do not take advantage of this arrangement, but "just have it as they did formerly and pay the shilling."
I am a miner at Allanton. There is no store, but a poundage at 1s. We had a deputation last July to see if the master would take the poundage off, and he said he would, if we did not lift any money, except once in a fortnight, but if we lifted it oftener then we should have to pay poundage on the whole. The generality of the men have it just as they formerly did. We can only get it free of poundage by taking advances only once in the fortnight.
I am a miner at Allanton. They have lately made a rule that if you take your advances only once there is no poundage. In all my experience I have found the men would like to have the appointment of their own doctor, and of their own schoolmaster, quite independently of any fancy for this or that doctor. The Roman Catholics have to pay for the schools connected with the works, though they do not send their children to them. I am a Roman Catholic. There is no school off-take at my present works. In some cases, Roman Catholics send their children to protestant schools in Scotland.
I have been at Ferniegair for 13 years past. There is no store. They charged poundage till 12 months ago. The pays are fortnightly, and advances weekly. There is no school.
I am a miner at Ferniegair. There will be about 110 men. I prefer Ferniegair to any other place I have been in, but they have a lie week, which is too long. I think two days' lie would be plenty. I would like to have the choosing of my own doctor. I like a man who is a homely body to be my doctor. I do not think the doctor we have is fit to be a working man's medical practitioner. Our doctor thought a complaint I made was frivolous about a needle in my head. I think the general opinion is that we should have Dr. Lowden. He is a nice, quiet, kind, affable man; and I think he has as much skill as Dr. Lennox.