chapter  Chapter XI
The Minority Report, Syndicalism and Research: 1909–15
WithEdward R. Pease
Pages 23

the Minority Report of the Poor Law Commission, shortly to be dealt with, purported to be the work of Mrs. Webb and her three co-signatories. The transformation of Mrs. Webb from a student and writer, a typical “socialist of the chair,” into an active leader and propagandist originated in December, 1905, when she was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law. The Fabian Society had nothing to do with the Commission during its four years of enquiry, though as usual not a few Fabians took part in the work, both officially and unofficially. The Minority Report of the Poor Law Commission—although never, from first to last, mentioning Socialism—was a notable and wholly original addition to Socialist theory, entirely of Fabian origin. The Fabian Society had since its earliest days been conscious of the problem of unemployment; but it had done little to solve it.