TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1888
Yesterday morning the cabdrivers who had turned out of Mr. Edward Palmer's cab-yard, in consequence of his refusal to accept the reduced terms for the hire of his cabs proposed by them, assembled in considerable force in Newington-causeway. The following statement, addressed to "The Cabdrivers of London," has been issued by the Cabdrivers' Mutual Aid and Protection Society: "A complaint having been lodged on Monday last, the 8th inst., by the drivers of Mr. Edwin Palmer, of Horseshoe-yard, Newington-causeway (whose cabs are privileged in London Bridge and Victoria), with the secretary of the above society, that the price demanded for their cabs, namely 13s (which is marked up in the yard), and the yard fees amounting to 1s, was exorbitant, it was arranged that the secretary should call upon Mr. Palmer and endeavour to come to terms with him. Accordingly, on Tuesday, the 9th inst., the secretary waited upon Mr. Palmer, and ascertained from him that the men were paying on an average nearly 12s 6d each per day, inclusive of yard fees. The men's terms were fully laid before Mr. Palmer, and the offer of 10s and the yard was stated by the secretary to be the utmost they were able to pay, and it was arranged that Mr. Palmer should have until Thursday, the 11th inst., to consider the matter. On Thursday, at twelve o'clock, the secretary again saw Mr. Palmer, and he declined to accept anything less for his cabs than 11s, and the yard fees 1s, amounting to 12s, and Mr. Palmer was given to understand that the drivers would not take the cabs out unless their terms were acceded to. These facts having been laid before a special meeting of the committee, at which a resolution was passed on the 11th inst., 'that the price offered by Mr. Palmer's drivers was a very fair and reasonable one, having regard to the time of the year, and the class of property they were supplied with,' it was suggested that another visit should be paid to Mr. Palmer, to ask him to reconsider his decision, as the men had no desire to take any hostile steps, but to continue at work if their offer was accepted. The proprietor was again interviewed at 8.30 a.m. on Friday, the 12th inst., and he still refused to concede the men's terms, thus leaving his drivers no alternative but to suspend work. Every effort having been made by the society to settle the dispute on reasonable terms, and these efforts having proved unsuccessful, they now ask the drivers of London to support these men in their struggle to obtain their cabs at a reasonable price, thus enabling the driver to live, and allowing the proprietor a good profit on his outlay."
In answer to this Mr. Palmer has made a counter-statement, in which he declares it to be incorrect that he asks the cabdrivers to pay 12s a day. He is asking 11s 6d "all told," which means 10s 6d only for himself, 6d going to the railway companies, and 6d for yard money. There is now only 6d difference between his offer and the cabmen who still remain on strike. With regard to "the class of property" supplied to the cabdrivers, there can be no reason whatever for complaint. The cabs are in good condition and look well, and the horses average a cost to him of about £38 each. Mr. Palmer points out that from his profit have to be deducted rent, wages for the yardmen (which average 26s per week), the cost of the cabs, their wear and tear, cost of the horses and the food they eat, harness, and incidental expenses, and before he will reduce the tariff another 6d he would prefer to sell up his property. It should not be lost sight of, he remarked, that the cabdrivers have two, and sometimes three, changes of horses during the day, the average to each man being two and a half.
A singular report was circulated yesterday, which at one time seemed to indicate a possible clue to the perpetrator of the last two murders in Whitechapel. It was stated that the police had information of a woman who had let lodgings to a man of peculiar and irregular habits. This man was said to have returned to his lodging at an early hour on the Sunday morning on which the Berner-street and Mitre-square murders were committed. His landlady was disturbed by his movements, and she noticed next morning that he had changed his clothes. She also received a request from him to wash a shirt, which on examination she found to be stained with wet blood upon the wristbands. Suspicion flashed across her mind, and the police were informed. Inquiry was instituted, with the result that the incidents mentioned are said to have been "satisfactorily accounted for."
Immediately following on from the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "The City police have succeeded…" to "…kept out of her way." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page 185. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:
Yesterday, at Chorley, a stranger, giving the name of John Williams, was brought before the magistrates under the following circumstances: On Saturday night he went into a public-house, drew a long sharp knife from a sheath, boasting that he was "Jack the Ripper," and had polished off four victims, and that he meant to "do" another. A paper was found on him showing that he had recently travelled in the neighbourhood of London.