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I "DIRECT ACTION." I

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I "DIRECT ACTION." I a TRIPLE INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE POSTPONE BALLOT I VOTE. TRAMWAY DEADLOCK: DEARER FARES. At a conference in London, the Triple I Industrial Alliance decided to postpone the I "direct action" ballot. This decision was arrived at by a very considerable majority. The following resolution was passed: "This conference accepts the decision of the three Executive Committees of the Triple industrial Alliance to postpone the ballot vote, and the ballot hereby stands post- poned and the whole question is adfourned until after the Trades Union Congress." The miners' delegates, who were the originators of the proposal to use the strike weapon on the political issues of eoncription and military intervention in Russia, sup- ported an immediate ballot. The influence of Mr. J. H. Thomas, Mr. J. Sexton, Mr. "Will Tfcorne, Mr. Harry Gosling, and Mr. Ben Tillett had a very great effect on the vote. TO THE LAST DITCH. One of the Labour M.P.s who was present at the conference and who has taken a firm stand against direct action, expressed the opinion that the decision in effect meant a vote against industrial action on political questions. Mr. Arthur Henderson, speaking at a meeting at Walworth, said that they must feel considerable satisfaction that the Triple Alliance had with striking unanimity de- cided against the policy of direct action for purely political purposes. "For purely political purposes," he said, for he did not admit that organised workers could entirely forego the weapon of direct action. "When labour has conquered political power and has taken over the machinery of government, as it may shortly be called upon to do, what will be our position? "Are we prepared to allow a minority to oppose a Labour programme of social and economic reform? Are we going to allow them to dictate that programme by uncon- stitutional methods? "A Labour Government would fight to the very last ditch against any policy of direct action bv any minority, whatever it may like to call itself." TRAMWAY TROUBLES. POSSIBILITY OF ALL SYSTEMS (' STOPPING. Apart from the chance of dearer fares there is grave danger of a national tram- way workers' strike. Negotiations to avert a stoppage were conducted in London, but reached a. deadlock. Lockilv, after further conferences the mat- ter was referred to arbitration, and the deadlock, at least temporarily, removed. The Transport Workers' Federation had demanded an advance of 12s. a week for all tramworkers, the merging of war bonuses in permanent wages and the reduction of the qualifying period for the maximum wage. Feeling among the workers in the pro- vinces is understood to be very strong, and the Manchester men have passed a resolu- tion to strike in the event of the demand not being conceded. The Municipal Tramways Association met in the afternoon, and after a very free ex- pression of opinion on the demands unani- mously decided:â In view of the financial position cf the tramways undertakings, no further in- crease of wages can be granted without either raising the fares or increasing local rates. Circumstances of different parts of the oountry vary greatly, and therefore it is impossible to deal with the vhole matter in one arbitration. We are prepared to accept arbitration by districts from the Minister of Labour. NO ARBITRATION BY DISTRICT. I The Tramway and Light Railway Com- panies decided to send a letter to Mr. Robert Williams, secretary of the National Transport Workers' Federation, pointing out that "the cost of operating tramways has increased enormously, and that the com- panies cannot increase their wage bill without disastrous consequences. The com- pany employers, therefore, are not in a position to entertain any proposal which in- volves increased expenditure." After meeting to consider the employers' reply, the Transport Workers' Federation decided unanimously to send a deputation I to the Ministry of Labour in order to indi- cate that, under no possible circumstances, will they accede to the principle of arbitra- tion bv district.

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