The Commonwealth Land Party and Associated Branches

Collection Overview

Title: The Commonwealth Land Party and Associated Branches

Predominant dates: 1921, undated

Arrangement: Arranged in two series: 1) Documents pertaining to the Commonwealth Land Party of England; and, 2) Documents pertaining to the Commonwealth Land Party of USA

Biographical Note

The Commonwealth League was established in England in 1919. In 1923, the League changed its name to the Commonwealth Land Party and then to the Common Land Party in 1947. The Party disbanded in 1954.

Unlike other groups committed to the enactment of land value taxation in England, the Commonwealth Land Party (CLP) worked strictly as a political association devoted to the election of Members of Parliament who would lobby for the abolition of “the private ownership, collection, and use of rent.” The CLP’s objective was the “foundation of a Commonwealth based on the assertion of the common right to land.”

The CLP was established by R.L. Outhwaite who served as President and J.W. Graham Peace who was Secretary. Peace also edited the CLP organ, The Commonweal. Prior to the CLP, Outhwaite represented Hanely in Parliament as a member of the British Liberal Party from 1912 to 1918, during which time he vigorously campaigned for higher taxes on land values.

The Commonwealth land Party-USA

The CLP spread to other countries including the United States. In 1924, the Single Tax Party of the USA became the Commonwealth Land Party and adopted the following platform:

That the Earth is the Birthright of All Mankind and that All have and Equal and Unalienable Right to its Use.

That man’s need for land is expressed by the rent of land; that land rent results from the presence and productive activities of the people; that it arises as the result of natural law, and that it therefore should be taken to defray public expenses.

The Party logo included an image of the earth with the phrase, “The Birthright of All Mankind.” New York City served as the Party headquarters with state branches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

In 1924, the Commonwealth Land Party-USA nominated William J. Wallace of New Jersey for President and John C. Lincoln of Cleveland for Vice-President. In 1926 the CLP held an International Single Tax Conference in Denmark with delegates from Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, and France. James Bruce Lindsey of the CLP of Ohio, served as Conference Chairman.

Collection Content

Series One: Documents Pertaining to the Commonwealth Land Party of England

“The Single Tax and Its Opponents” [1918]
J.W. Graham Peace, “A Message to Georgists” (1928)
William Born to Mr. V.H. Blundell (1980)
William Born to Mr. Harris (December 3, 1980)
William Born to Mr. Pat Aller (March 1985)
William Born, “To Future Readers of Commonweal” (April 1985)

Undated Material

A. Rowland Entwistle with a forward by J.W. Graham Peace, The CLP Plan
F.T. Hodgkiss, “Land Values Taxation in Practice”
John E. Grant, “The Rule of the Land”
William C. Owen, Set My People Free
R.L. Outhwaite, “Labour and Rates”
R.L. Outhwaite, “The Crisis”
R.L. Outhwaite, “The Economic Basis of Cooperation”
R.L. Outhwaite, “The Vision and the Realization”
R.L. Outhwaite, “The Restoration of Hope”
Dr. S.V. Pearson, “The Industry of Agriculture”
X, “What is the Commonwealth Land Party?”
X, “The Chancellor’s Dream”

The Commonweal

May 1921
June 1921
August 1927
January 1933

Series Two: Documents Pertaining to the Commonwealth Land Party – USA

Platform of the Commonwealth Land Party Adopted February 9, 1924
International Single Tax Conference Brochure (1926)
Corrine Carpenter to “Faithful Follower” (May 8, 1926)
The Commonwealth Land Party to Fellow Single Taxers (May 26, 1926)
C. Le Baron Goeller, The Greatest Discovery of Modern Times (undated)

CLP – New York

Montgomery Hare, “Miss C.O. Schetter—Economist, Philosopher, Artist, Traveller—Loves the Human Race,” Northport Journal (July 22, 1938)

 “A Message to Landlords” (undated)
Benjamin C. Marsh, Taxation of Land Values in American Cities (New York: Commonwealth Land Party, undated)

Commonwealth Land Party Campaign Advertisement (undated)

M. Van Veen, “He Proposes Abolition of Taxes,” Long Island Star-Journal (undated)

“Maurice Van Veen Aided Henry George,” New York Times (undated)

CLP – Ohio

James Bruce Lindsay to Singletaxers, Copenhagen (1926)

CLP – New Jersey

Commonwealth Land Party of New Jersey Campaign Statement (undated)