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Editors Daily Crimson:
Is not your criticism of the service in the gentlemen's furnishing room at the Co-operative somewhat severe? That is the one part of the establishment about which I, personally, have heard no complaints.
The rest of your editorial seems to me fully justified, as regards both details and the general management. The stock of books and stationery is poorer now than for several years; and in the former department I can certainly add my voice to the general complaint of poor service. There was no attempt to make extra provision for the holiday season just past. The Society will no longer take orders for wood of good enough quality to be worth burning. The old discount on coal, and on the laundry also, is gone. The work done by the latter is disgraceful. For each one of these back slidings there is probably an excuse but there can be none for all of them taken together, coupled with the lack of improvement anywhere. Your correspondent of yesterday objected to one man management." Has the Society even that? The superintendent is in his office two hours during the whole week.
What advantage do we gain from the Co-operative, run as it is? In its early years the prices of all goods were put well below retail prices outside, and members made a considerable saving at the time of purchase. Two years ago we were asked to take this saving under another form. The old system, it was complained, kept the supply of ready money short, and unnecessarily irritated the Cambridge tradesmen. It was therefore proposed to raise prices almost to the outside level, in order that the society might carry a larger and better stock; and the net surplus for the year was to be distributed in dividends. There is no reason why this should not be a better plan than the old one. As the result of its actual working under the present management, we have this year a poor stock, high prices, and no dividends after all. Why?
Each member has it in his own hands to compel an answer to this question: first, by coming to the meeting tonight; secondly, even if it is necessary to adjourn to another time, by refusing to break up until the affairs of the society have been thoroughly and publicly overhauled. '90.
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