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EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE. THE ABERDARE COLLIERS. To the Editor. SIK,âIn reply to a letter addressed to me in the Giuron" newspaper, by the colliers of the Vale of Aberdare, I beg to say, that the price of steam coal has fallen during the past few months the price of coal was for a short time lls. Ver ton on board vessel at Cardiff, Britton Ferry, and Swattsea it was afterwards reduced to 10s and for the last 6 or 7 months, it was only from 9s. to 9s. 6d., clear of all expenses on board the vessel, and of all deductions to the purchaser. The reason the workmen were not reduced the price before was, in consequence of the high price of provisions, and our entertaining the hope of getting a return to the advanced rate in the coal on board but, instead of that, the genera! crisis has come upon us, and has produced such a com- bination of evils that we are compelled to go with the times, and bury all hope for the present of advanced priee3. The workmen are labouring under a mistake when they allude to the subject and say that it is but few proprietors who are the cause of the reduction in prices at present. Rely on it, the cause is beyond the will of the masters it is the large supply of coal and the high price of money that are the causes which have operated in reducing its price; and hence rendered it a necessity to reduce wages As the abundant bar vest of this year has brought down the price of corn, so also has the large supply of coal reduced its market value. The men ask, why-do -.the masters reduce the price of coal when the demand is good ? To this I reply that it is the result of a severe competition in the coal trade, and, secondly, in order to get a regular trade. If, indeed, another Is. per ton could be obtained, this would not suit either the employed or em- ployer, in preference to a constant demand, for we have learnt that the order of the day is a large and regular trade with a small profit, rather than small orders, arriving inconstantly, and bearing higher rates. The high price of discount is only making bad worse. The low price of coal tends to a reduction, whilst the high rate of dis- count makes it inevitable indeed, if the men but consider that we are generally paid in bills for our coal, whilst I have always paid my men in cash. it is not a pleasant thing if you have j67,000, £ 10,000, or £ 12,00() in bills, to go and search the Gazette every morning to ascertain if any of your debtors are made bankrupts. No, no! these troubles, cares, and perplexities haunt one to the lost hour of the night, and are the first visitors in the meaning. Again, why should we expect to get clear of the present general pros- tration of trade more than others, when the crisis is general all over the world? If we enjoy what is good, let us quietly submit also to what may be considered the frown of fortune, when such appears unavoidable. I do not know hoy to avoid it, and if youldo, let me know, & I will join you at once in the matter. I have been working myself, and was always wishful to get the best wages for my work, but never went against what appeared to be an inevitable decree. I do not blame the men for trying to get the highest wages, I only blame them for the plan they have adopted to enforco their desire. What good can come of threats ? What would they be better if they could drown all my works to-morrow? Would they benefit if they could make me a bankrupt P But, sir, I humbly beg to tell them that they cannot do me any great harm if my pits were to be stopped for ever.. I always desire to meet the men in their demands, and never more so than during the present dispute. The last three advances I mide unsolicited, and I promise to do my best f,)r them in the future. I defy them to say that I ever told them an untruth, or that I took any undue advantage of them. I am much pleased at the respectful way they write this time, and am most happy to reply to them in the same good spirit. In such spirit I will meet them any and at all times; ana any. ,,¡¡ thing I can do for them fair and reasonably, I i shall, sir, always be their most humble servant; but to keep the price of cutting coal where it was, I cannot now possibly do. Now I have only to hope that they will come" willingly with me this time when the price of coal shall advance in the market, I shall be most happy to advance them also. Trusting this letter may induce them to reflect on the course they are pursuing, and will convince them that it is not a reasonable one, I remain, sir, yours, &c., Ynyscynon, Dec. 8, 1857. D. WILLIAMS. ¡ ABERDARR ACCIDENT.â Caution I-On Monday night Bar- tholomew Mathew, aged 35, fell down a stone quarry, a distance of 30 yards, while in a state of drunkenness, and was killed on the spot. THE COLLIERS' STRIKE AT ABERDARE WE last week briefly announced that the whole of the colliers in the Aberdare valley had struck work in consequence of a notice given by the colliery proprietors to reduce the rate of wages something like 13. per cent. Some of our con- temporaries, however, gave so highly a coloured version of the affair, that when we read the accounts they gave we were fully prepared to learn that the way had been paved for the circu- lation of the most exaggerated reports. This we find has been the result, and at Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, and indeed in almost every place a few miles distant from Aberdare valley the general talk is of the vast amount of bloodshed and plun- der which has resulted from the strike of the Aberdare colliers. The fact is it is too much the fashion for gentlemen of the press to try and make an impression." The special corres- pondents sent from the various home offices to report the proceedings in Aberdare valley, seemed to fancy that they were now in a some- what similar position to the Times correspondent sent out to the Crimea, and they must endeavour at all events to eclipse him. Who can tell but they might be specially employed to report progress on Indian matters should the proprietors of the Times but get a glance at their brilliant effusions. As we condemn exaggerated accounts in others, it will be our endeavour not to fall info a similar error ourselves, It is, no doubt, the fact that we are sometimes deceived in the information we receive from various quarters, but our desire and object is to steer our course by the motto we adopted at the heading of our paper. We sym- pathise with the sons of toil in all their wrongs and gijevances, but while we do so we would fain maintain the legitimate rights of property. But to return to our subject. And we regret to say it is, a gloomy one indeed. It is estimated by some that 8,000 or 9,000 colliers have been em- ployed in this valley, but we believe that 7,000 would, if their rumbers were ascertained, be found to be about the correct number. These all turned out on Monday week. Many meetings have been held, monster meetings" as they have been called, some of them, but their proceedings have been characterised by nothing approacuing- to rioting or a breach of the peace, or in any way calculated to create the alarm which some have really or affectedly felt. It is said that a thief is sometimes afraid of his own 1 shadow, and a murderer of his own voice, and it is probable that some of the colliery proprietory have been frightened with phantoms of a like description, knowing that they have committed wrongs towards their men. W e do not say that the reduction of the wages 13 or 15 per cent, is wrong. We believe that they are in many instances pressed for money, owing to the pre- sent state of the coal trade, the high rate of dis- count, and ft he want of confidence in trade in general. But the men have much cause for just complaint with respect to the conduct of the mas- general. But the men have much cause for just complaint with respect to the conduct of the mas- ters towards them. Not only with respect to some of1 the machines, and the excess demanded when coal is properly cut; but at the tim# the masters were rjgjtiving a high price for the eoal J they did not, according to their original agreement, raise the wages of the collier. And now, wii& out offeping a word of explanation) to the men as to the state of trade, they suddenly tell the men they must come down from Is. 9d. to Is. 6d. per ton. These things are freely discussed at their meetiags, and they feel their masters have not kept faith with tnem. But all liis quiet, and among the resolutions passed by the men at almost every gathering is "to preserve order." It is true that former!" the "strikes" were attended with breaches of th.) peace, but thanks to the pressâand the cheap press particu- larlyâthe men have become so far enlightened as to" know that a resort to brute force cannot pos- sibly do them any good, and would be produc- tive of immense evil. But if the men have re- mained quiet, no thanks to the alarmists. Their number is small, but their conduct we consicler most reprehensible, and we cannot but think that some of the accounts furnished to the Merlin, the Guardian, and the Cambrian, have been furnished for a purpose to favour the pretence for the introduction of large numbers of police from all parts of the county, and the military into the town, to awe the colliers into submission, or to provoke a riot. The statements about the running of races in a state of nudity in front of the masters houses; that shops have been threa- tened that lives were endangered; that the inhabitants were in a state of feverish alarm, are base fabrications which never existed, save in the brains of the writers, or those who supplied them with the information. It is true the inhabitants were fearful that the men might continue to stand out, and that if such were the case the con- sequence would be most disastrous to the district -many tradesmen ruined, and many families have to endure the greatest privitations. Such must evidently be the case, as every one must know, that the consequence ot withdrawing be. tween-â¬30,000 and £30.000 per monthâthe earn- ings of the colliers-would lead to much desti- tution. But. further than this there has been no alarm-none with regard to the safety of life and property. We have stated that meetings have been held by the men and also by the mas- ters, almost daily since the strike, but they get no nearer, but rather more distant from each otherâthe men threatening to still hold out, and the masters threatening that unless they return to work within a given time, they will reduce the wages still further. The only party who has ac- tively employed himself to bring about a better state of things, so far as we have been able to learn, is II; A. Bruce, Esq. the member for this borough. This gentleman has been untiring in his efforts in reference to the matter. On Mon- day evening he met a largg number of the colliers in the new School-room, at M ountain Ash, when he entered fully into the present depressed state of the money market, and the sftate of trade in generalâshewing that confidence least lost be- tween traders â explaining the nature of bill transactions -shewing that the majority of bills of exchange were either worthless, cr could only be converted into money at the rate of from 12 to 15 per cent. He pointed out the fearful state of trade in America, and explained how that in. directly affected the Aberdare coal trade. When there was a large business between this country and America, the owners of steam vessels found it was to their interest to have the Aberdare steam coals, which, ia the port of Liverpool, were worth 19s. or 20s. a ton, because they were not only the best for steam purposes, but occupied less space than other coal, so that there was more room in the vessel for 'stowins^ftway cargo. But now, owing to the falling W of'trade, there was no necessity to economize space, and Lancashire coals were consequently used on account of their cheapness, being delivered free on board at Li- verpool for 7s. 6d. per ton. He then proceeded to discuss the relation in which master and man stood to each other, pointing out their several rights and duties, and urged upon them to accept, for the present, the terms offered by their masters. He said he did not condemn nor even disagree with all strikes. They were a clumsy mode, but sometimes the only mode of settling differences between master and workmen. Mr. Bruce's ad- dress and generous conduct in answering the va- rious questions put to him, did credit both to his head and heart, and the clear and business-like manner in which he placed the whole question before the men, shewed that he was a shrewd ob- server of business transactions. The men passed a vote of thanks to him at the conclusion of the meeting, for the interest he had manifested in their behalf, and the information he had given them. On Tuesday Mr. Bruce met the coal owners, and induced them to suspend, for a few days, their threat to further reduce the wages, aud on Wednesday 113 addressed some 2000 or upwards of colliers in the Market place, going over much of the same ground he had done at Mountain Ash. His remarks were generally well received, but while pome believedâothers doubted. The Rev. D. Price, for the benefit of those who did not understand English, interpreted the substance of Mr. Bruce's remarks into Welsh, and the Rev. Thomas Price interpreted some few. points his predecessor had atiti added a few remarks of his own. to induce tb;.t.- -inafi to resume their work and reso!htion*#&p;Si.^ to the effect that the men b^i'iiig to tlie several collieries should meet that evening to discuss to- gether the remarks thrown out by Mr. Bruce, and to decide by ballot whether or not they would return to their work. But besides this, our member perceiving how objectionable it was to have the military stationed in the town, commu- nicated with the Secretary of State to have them withdrawn, and on Tuesday evening, to the de- light of the inhabitants generally, tli^y were marched down to the railway station with their accoutrements, and were soon borne away on the "nvings of steam" towards Cardiff. They were a disgrace to the place during their short stay here by their drunken and disordejrfy conduct, and so far from inspiring the colliers with terror, their pigmy stature only excited their ridicule to think that anyone should suppose they would be frightened by such "shrimps," whom, soine of them declared, they could almost gulp down at a swallow." The colliers at the Aberaman iron works stood out only about half n-clay. and then resumed work at reduced wages. And those employed in cutting coal for the Aoernant and the Gadlya iron works resumed work on JSMkday. All the furnaces however, except one arlhe Gadlys, and one be- longing to the Aberdare company have been blown out. This however, was not from tho in- ability to obtain coal to keep them in blast, but from the-depression in the iron-trade. The strike therefore is now confined to the sea coal colliers On Wednesday the following notice was posted throughout the district :â Notice to the Colliers. "A reduction of 15 per cent. has been anour.ced in the wages of the sea. coal colliers of Aberdare. I This is 5 per cent, less than that w.hich has K ea made in the iron works throughout the entire mineral districts around. The colliers refused to submit to this reduction and struck. At a meeting held on Saturday, the 5th instant, it was resolved by the coal owners, that unless the men agreed to return to work by the following Monday evening, a further reduction should be made. In consequence, however, of Mr. Bruce's repre- sentation of what took place on Monday evening at -a meeting between him and a considerable number of colliers, the masters are willing, pro- vided the men return to their work by Friday, the 11th December, to receive them on the above reduction. Should the strike be continued beyond the 11th December, thê masters will no longer be bound by this offer, but will make such further change in the rate of wages as may be justified by circumstances." Signed, "Joha Nixon, Thomas Wayne, T. Powell and SOD, D. Davies, Aberdare Cofl Company, D. Williams, Shepherd and Evans, S. Thomas, Lletty Shenk'a Coal Company, Ebenezer Lewis." But a Nord with respect to the men. Hitherto they have conducted themselves in the most peaceable and praiseworthy manner. They have undoubtedly reasons to show io ^indication of their conduct in striking; but they have selected the very worst time imaginable. A long winter is before them, and the masters, owing to ths disarrangement of the monetary system in this country, & their disputes with one of the railway companies respecting the freightage of coal, care but little whether the men return to work or not for the present. Besides, the masters can always stand out in the case of strikes better than the men. But they should consider that it is not themselves alone who must suffer it the strike continues. Many of the men have large families -hunger is staring them in the face, and if tney continue to hold out, ere long much want and misery will be produced. For the sake then cf suffering humanity, it would be much better to return to their work at the wages offered tor the present, and then when a better time approaches they will be in a much better position to have their affairs adjusted on such a basis as all fur. ther strikes shall be avoided. Such a thing is highly practicable if proper steps be taken. We know that many of the menâall the most intel. ligent portionâare willing to return to work, and our only hope is that they will yield to their bet- ter understanding. Since writing the above, we have heard that the 'Skuborwen colliers have agreed to return to their work. They got ready their tools for the purposa on Thursday afternoon to enter tile pit- the following morning, and the Railway Com- pany, by the direction of the colliery proprietors, brought up 30 large trucks to receive the coal aa it was brought from the pit. The other colliers, we trust, will follow the same .example, and peace, harmony, and prosperity, be extended throughout the valley. At all events,-whether the colliers return to their work or not, all must accord to Mr. Bruce their hearty thanks for the praiseworthy efforts he has made in bringing about an arrangement between the-masters and the men during the present crisis.