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SWANSEA SCHOOLMISTRESSI LAID…

ISWANSEA HARBOUR BILL -

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I SWANSEA HARBOUR BILL OPPOSITION FROM LABOURERS' UNION. MR. HARRY WILLIAMS TO CON- TEST FOUR CLAUSES. Opposition has been entered to the Bili that the Swansea Harbour Trustees are promoting in the current Seesion of Parlia- ment. It has been ta<ken by Mr. J. E. Row- lands at the instance of Mr. Hairy Williams, secretary to the National Amalgamated Union of Labourers, and affects four clauses, viz., NOG. 10. 11, 16 and 18. The clauses in the Bill objected to read as follows: — Clause 10: "The Trustees may from time to time, as they think fit, set apart and appropriate any lands or any part or parts of the harbour or the whole or any part of any graving dock, quays, berths, landing stages, warehouses or ot'her buildings, works or convenience to, or for the uc-c and accom- modation of any particuka" trades, persons, companies, vessels or class of vessels or goods, and may in addition to the other rates authorised to be demanded and taken, d'emand and take such reasonable rente, rates and charges for such use and accommodation as they from time to time think fit. No other person, company or vessel shall make use of any lands, part or parts of the har- bour or any graving dock, quay, berth, land- ing stage, warehouse, building work or con- venience so set apart and appropriated witihout the consent in writing of the har- bour master, and any person, officer, agent or nepreserutative of any company know- ingly offending shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding £ID, acid to a further penalty not exceeding £10," etc., etc: Clause 11.: "The Trustees, upon request in that behalf made by the owner or captain of tie vessel or the consignee of the cargo, may load and discharge any vessel in the harbour or at any quay, and may perform all or any services in respect of shipping, unstopping, transhipping, stowing, unetow- ing, landing, relanding, housing, unhousing, handling, weighing, coopering, packing, cording, tying, marking, numbering, label- ling, lettering, sorting;, sewing, bagging, sampling, piling, unipRing, watching, load- ing, unloading, protecting, delivery a.nd re- pairing cargo, and. for preparing and finish- ing certificates of weights or contents for trimming coal, and for any oiiher service with respect to cargo shipped or unshipped or warehoused or deposited within the har- bour, and the Trustees may provide all such trucks,, planks, gear, machinery and appliances and labour as may be necessary to effect the purposes aforesaid, and make any such reasonable charges," etc. Clause 16: "The Trustees shall not undeT a-ny circumstances or in any case whatso- ever be answerable or accountable for or be liable to make good any loss or damage which may happen to any goods or to any ves&el or to any property of any description by fire, theÍL, floods or vermin, or from any civil commotion or by the act of the King's enemies or other inevitable accident, or from any other cause not arising directly from the default or neglect of the Trustees., tiheir officers or servants." Clause 18 "u) The Trustees may grant upon such terms and conditzoms as they may think fit licenses for boatmen, and may cfaarge a fee not exceeding 2s. 6d. for every such license, and may fix the remuneration of such boatmen; (2) any such license may be granted for such period as the Trustees may think fit, and may be suspended or re- voked or endorsed by the Trustees; (3) no person shall act as boatman who is not licensed by the Trustees aforesaid; (4) every person who shall act in contravention of the provisions of this section shall for each offence be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exoeedung £ 2." MR. HARRY WILLIAMS' OBJECTIONS. Mr. Harry Williams, »«een by a "Daily Post" reporter, went through, the' four clauses and stated his objections as follows Clause 10 "The worddag is so ambiguous that hardly anyone would understand it exoept some person actually 'in the know.' It really means that the Harbour Trust would have power to appropriate and take over any lands or parts of the harbour or graving docks and quays, and wou.d give iLem power after such" appropriation to pre- vent any person going on the dock to look for work or any officer, agent or representa- tive of any party going on the docks with- out consent in writing of the harbour mas- ter, at a penalty not exceeding £ 20, and would give powe*r to ha^rbcux master to remove any such officer, agent or represen- tative off the docks." Clause 11: "It asks foT powers, among other things, for trimming of coal, which would mean to the coal-trimmers' section that tihere would be no such tiling as the section, and that men would be employed by the Harbour Trust as they saw fit, and that the present agreement with other parties would be null and void. Further, that the trim- mers, having something like JB1,000 worth of lodges and tools around the docks, these would become utterly valueless to them/ Clause 16: "This simply wishes that they apply for powers to do all these things, but wish to take over no responsibility for loss in any way." Clause 18: "If carried out would simply makes slaves of the boatmen, who could be paid any price for their labour that the Trustees saw nt." OPPOSITION IN A NUT-SHELL. "In a nut-shell, Mr. Williams?" a&ked the reporter. "Well, we are opposing because it means the smashing of all the labour unions of this town." "In what way?" "Simply because they having the monopoly and power, no trades union could make a.ny private agreement with any outside party as is the case at present." "Do you think that the trimming clause is designed to undermine your Union?" "Yes, I have no doubt whatever about it. From what I know, I believe that to be the case." "Are any others opposing the Bill T' "I have good reason fhat it wilii be op- posed by three or four other people." Mr. Williams further said: "The petition was entered yesterday, which was the last day. I knew nothing of this until late last week. I instructed our solicitor (Mr. J. E. Rowlands), who went to London last Friday night to obtain the necessary information with reference to the status of a Trades Union and other matters. He returned on Saturday night, and had half-an-hour's talk with me at 11-30 over the telephone. I spent six hours with him on Sunday, draft- ihg up the petition. By Monday night it wjL all ready type-written and signed (ten larce pages), and he went to London on Monday night and the petition was entered on Tuesday." "You have run it close, oommecdied the reporter. "Well I didn't know anything about the effect until I had a copy of the Bill for my private information from a friend, and I had to return it the same day. Then I im- mediate! V procured half-a-dozen copies, for which I had to pa.y £1.t' "Eadi of the clauses wril have to be am- ended to suit you?" "I don't know about being amended. There will have to be a good deal cut out!"

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