M.F,Q,B. ANNUAL CONFERENCE. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. Labour Polities Reviewed. 's this week visited by miners' re- tf 7,ea trom all the coalfields of Eng- fu Ireland, the occasion annual conference ot the Miners' Which ;l0Q G^at Britain—an organisation !Mhe s now the largest single Trade Union "VBda, d' The conference was opened on morning at the Hotel Metropole, h re- ort of the Credentials Committee *t the attendance was larger than ""ItteH L0n ence yet held. The figures sub- ^r. Watts Morgan showed that a million miners were represented :— W. Abraham, M.P., of the South Wales Miners' Federa- ^^tion and Treasurer of the M.F.G.B. y„ Miners. Delegates. 101,000 6 Rn„*J0d Federation 50,000 11 r.Qth Wales 160,000 24 ?*0en8i,iIe 55,000 10 j^-tUnd 70,000 27 v*shire 34,COO 4 27,000 4 k^etseti 4,000 3 v'u>ol 2,600 1 garth Wales 11,000 1 1,400 1 Derby 4,500 1 ^beriand 5,000 1 tK„ Totals 528,500 S4 Ml r P°sition of the Federation showed progress Jj and an increase on last year. bI a°cLi Edwards, M.P. (Bursiem), who ^e^if'ected president of the Federation on the j1 °f Mr Pickard, M.P., occupied the chair. Ab»,iUPPorfcing him were the treasurer (Mr W. M.P., president of the South W ales Federation), the secretary (Mr Thomas Manchester), Mr Robert Smillie (presi- the Scottish Miners' Federation), Mr \Vt|Ss Richards, M.P. (secretary. South (\V Mr John Wiiiiams,M.P. Miners' District). Mr Dd. liandell, for Gower, was in attendance, and a seat at the cross table next to
PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS. President, in his opening address, which ih0 ^led nearly an hour in delivery, recalled 0om a^8 when they met in Newport, on the t of that land of Wales, to form what was e Miners' Federation of Great Britain. it were many Unions and amalgama- te of Unions that served very useful ^ith°Ses their day, and connected thoso Unions were some of the its that ever lived. (Hear, hear.) In 4l^ Qe hurry of these modern days they would a warm corner in their hearts lor Who worked for union when friends few and the cause they worked for un- c^ai £ iia immediate predecessor in the >6o^the late Mr Ben Pickard, M.P.—did *8 T^n service for the miners—(cheers)—and lQle passed the more did they realise the 'tits Y brilliant fighting qualities with which he aide endowed. In these days there was con- Uh/ e alarm and much unrest about Trade being said that they were in a <Jq: y to claim their inheritance, and that in so they might spoil somewhat the beauty W13 world- (Laughter.) Personally, he tbr<no,fearforttie working men of this country Lr .^ev would get very far wrong. (Hear, W.T JWas lar £ e|y 8 question;of course, of in- (\J-TNation of what was meant by wrong. «, *ghtcr:J If there be vrcong in what they were then before that conference ter- *V^ted they would have to plead guilty. If for shorter hours and more leisure Wh6 Wo'kmea °f this country, if fighting for p War'10 and greater comforts, if seeking saf7<ruards for the lives and the limbs men who toiled, if fighting for better 0Unflir,<,a in the homes of the people, for 5Ner care of the children and the helpless ojj the aged workmen—if a'1 &>n?Ce» then the British workman m.glit be (Cheers ) The President reminded JW^eiegate* that since their last annual at Blackpool they had gone through «Wtur«v°il of a General Eleption, and what Wl ^t be said outside that conference vFs had ever been amongst the band o er3 who had taken V A Lead in Labour Representation. old friend, Mr W- Abraham, M.P•. had an historical figure in Parliament. For 21 years Normanton (represen- ll'L-y the late Mr Pickard, MP.) and the the had sent Labour representatives to ]fy, blouse. When the conference met at if 'hf-Pooi a year ago they had but three j' '—the late Mr Parrott, Mr W. Abraham, ^lecf- Thsmas Richards. At the General ^cK °a they put forward 16 miners candidates tivj whom they returned three un e^' *nd eight won at contested elections, (Ql ttiem a majority of over 20,000 voters. ^6erC) Five of their candidates failed to feree ected. and the sincerest ivish of the con- nee was that these five friends would soon tb.ei:ble to retrieve their positions and take p place in the House of Commons fof Use') Thev had as a Federation cause R8reat thankfulness that they had emerged ^ccesstully out ot that trial. They would better by and by—(cheers)—but they 6cf> up their courage and their strength, d0 take care to act with judgment and wis- stj? if they would secure for themselves a position amongst the workers of the Deaiing with wa^es, the hon. member Would agree that their present method tio^»ng with the question through Concilia- Coaxds was the right one, for though the 'lid t¡on moved bub slowly it moved surely nd solidly—<cheers)—much more so than it in the old days of fighting and war and Jfc waa a better policy, lor their best Rte rests were better served by a system of Unions nettling the wages question let.^re a fight rather than have a Ihoi made after they had exhausted be» resources. (Hear, hear.) There Imd bo gt«at strike ducing the year, and this m&iter for great congratulation, for had been no wasted resources. Of course, b-do as spaaking in South Wales—they had several little strikes, and always would 0 them, he supposed, while human nature li cd as it was but everybody now rea- that Unions would always be able to 14 Ite hetter terms when they were strong and « w Mr W. Brace, M.P., C°-President of the South Wales Miners' Federation. (Photo by Winston, Cardiff.) to Stable than when they were weak. The DRer the Union the greater the security for ^iistpiai peace—(cheers)—and strikes at best VoJfi* menace to the truest interests of the (Cheers.) He might be asked," Why then support the principle of e Compulsory Arbitration a ett,ey were not ripe for it yet. He rather rely upon the strength of their in numbers, in intelligence, and in resources, than that arbitration he forced upou Ihem by any Govern- i»lg .(liear, hear.) It was sumewhat gratify- p0Htin„ know that ilurin'g the past few weeks Pojj.V^ental opinion waJ veering round to the the Federation had taken up in that p'.and tho leaders of thought t here were of st?^iSlDS themselves against using this power Dosgi^, es u'iless they found no oi lier solution th^j. and no other wav out of it. Kafcher theQ^cnfice their aignity and honour even ^°hll Deps Federation of Great Britcin fight. (Applause.) The outlook them was on the whole much er &ad more hopeful than it was when they met a year ago. The abolition of the coal tax should prove helpful in securing a higher wasee-(cheers )-Unless the employers foolishly bartered it away in their struggle to secure fresh markets. That Federation with the help of their allies in the North of England might soon be called upon to impress upon the coalowners of this country,that their struggles for markets must not be taken up too keenly at the risk of ignoring the wages of the workers and the happiness of the world. (Cheers.) All through the Continent there was a movement for higher wages. la Germany, France, and Belgium there was better trade, with a considerable increase in the selling price and this was securing for many thousands an Advance in wages. There could be no intelligent understanding or friendly reciprocity between them and their Continental friends unless they in this country showed some desire to keep up wages on the Continent rathsr than seek to destroy all their trade by producing in their market cheaper coal. They had assured their friends on the Continent that rather than oust them out of any markets they would rather set the advantage of enhanced prices finding their way to the pockets of the workers themselves. (Applause). Large and costly standing armie would not ba necessary when the mass of workers would more clearly understand these questions, and were brought more closely together. (Cheers.) To his mind, this phase of The International Movement, apart from either wages or hours, was a hopeful one. The Miners' Federation of Great Britain bad been pioneers in this labour inter- national movement, and now, after 17 years of effort, they bad succeeded with the help of their friends in linking up every nation in Europe, and now they were being joined by America. (Cheers.) The future, therefore, was full of hope. (Cheers.) The Northern miners were in full sympathy with this movement, and the next step would be to get their Northern brethren inside that conference. As presi- dent, he would take care that no words of his would widen the breach. It was quite evident that throughout Northumberland and Dttrham there was a movement among the workmen to find their way to their only nest, among their friends, the miners of the rest of Great Britain, so that Ihey might make common cause of all common questions, for the common good of the men that they represented. They had to deplore since the last meeting the occurrence of a series of colliery disasters. South Wales had been exceedingly unfortunate Mr Alfred Onions, Treasurer of the South Wales Miners' Federation. (Photo by Alfred Freke, Cardiff.) during the last two or three years in loss of life and the number of accidents that had occurred. The Federation secretary had, by the instrac- tioa of the executive, called the attention of the Home Office to this matter. The destruc- tion of human life was serious on the field of battle, it was much more so when it happened among men pursuing peaceful avocations par- ticularly so when the civilised world was con. vinced that many of those accidents never ought to have happened at alL The Govern- ment had appointed a Royal Commission to inquire into these accidents in mines, and for the first time in the history of the Labour movement the Home Secretary had invited the presidents of the three great mining Unions of England, Wales, and Scotland to become mem- bers of such a Commission, and the Federation could feel confident that all questions materi- ally affecting the workmen's side of tb matter would be carefully looked after by their three representatives on that Commission (Cheers.) Since the UcncraIElêdion The-Eight Hours Bill had been carried t hrough its second reading without a division. (Cheers,) Their friends from the North, as usual, opposed thera but it was gratifying to find that in Northumberland the feeling in favour of the Bill was making progress. A Departmental Committee had been appointed on this subject by the Government, but-ifter fighting for years and years for this Eight Hours Bill that great Federation could not afford to give its position away even before a Commission appointed by a Govern- ment that was favourable to the Bill. (Hear, hear ) Their view was that they must go for- ward with this Bill at the earliest possible moment, and get it placed on the Statute Book of this country. It would be easy in a Com- mission to find economic reasons against it. as it always has been easy to find economic reasons against paying more wages and work- ing shorter hours, but they had got beyond the economic sta.ge surely after all these years of agitation he shou.'d expect the conference to endorse that position, and neither a sympa- thetic Liberal nor a sympathetic Tory, nor any- other Government would divert their attention from that plain issue. ] t, was eight hours they were after, and eight hoars they meant to secure by hook or by crook. (Hear, hear.) Mr Thomas Richards, M.P., General Secretary of the South Wales Mmers Federation. (Photo by J. Long, Cardiff.) The Workmen's Compensation Bill introduced/bv the Government amended con- j siderable defects in tho former Act but as i« seamed not to go far enough, and was not ex- plicit enough for those of thern U.at repre- sented miners, it was submitted to the Com- mittee on Law, and c-n tbax Committee were fifteen or sixteen Labour representatives. The I representatives of Durham and Northumber- land on that Committee were as keenly as any of them to the importance of amending the Bill, aud too': their fair' share in the work of making that Bill a permanent Bill to en- sure for a workman his compensation when accident happened. Ile (the speaker) desired to acknowledge also very fully the valuaole heip received from othei' members outside the Labour ranks who were anxious to m?ike this Bill a complete sacces?. The men on that Committee were familiar with the defects of ihe Act, and he hoped the House of Lords, when it came to consider tbe measure, would bear that fact in mind. (Cheers ) As to the Trades Disputes Bi!l, the Government had elements of democracy in it that no other Gov, ernment )f modern times ever had, and the Government must cleariy understand that Trade Unionists would expect, alter all the pledges that had been given, that those pledges were not to be mere froth and senti- ment, but would be loyally carried out, other- wise they would incur the displeasure ot the great hosts of workmen throughout the coun- try. who meant that, once and for all. Trade Unions should be placed at least in as favour- able a position as they were supposed to be in prior to the Talf Vale decision. (Applause.) Many Other Important Questions had been brought before Parliament. Old age pensions would come if the nations could be kept from war and war en! anglements, for these lay at the root of the financial difficulties in con- nection with this question. Then there was the question of feeding the children andothe continued charr«cter of Chinese slavery in j South Africa. The Miners' Federation did not share the vj\V that they could get round this question of slavery by mere verbiage. What < was slavery before the General Election was slavery at the election, was slavery since the election, and was slavery to-day. (L'jud cheers.) in conclusion the hon. member dpclared that so far as his observation and experience went, there had been no difficulty in acting with Labour rerue«entativc-s of all clashes inside the House of Commons. There could be but one Lub;.ur parry in this country they might not get it to-day or to-morrow, but when they re- moved the mist from their eyes they would see that this question, like all others, would ripen I and solve itself if they only took care not to destroy the hopefulness that was around it. (Cheers.) They w$se at the beginning of more hopeful and better times. The past had been dark and dreary, but the horizon to-day waa full of hope, if they only took care not to quarrel amongst themselves and not to fritter away the spirit of unanimity by mere captious criticism. (Loud cheers.) Mr Alfred Onions (Monmouthshire) moved the heartiest thanks of conference to the Presi- dent. They were highly delighted with his excel- lent speech, which was fúJL of inspiration and instruction, and one of the best ever delivered at the opening of any of their conferences. (Hear, hear). Mr Albert Stanley (Cannock Chase) seconded. Mabon, M.P., in putting the resolution, said the president had reviewed the year in a broa<l and statesmanlike address. The resolution was carried with accalamation. Subsequently on the motion of Mr Greenall, a vote of sympathy was passed with the vice- president, Mr Sam Woods, in his illness, and with the widow of the late Mr Parrott, M.P. Mr Ben Davies, Pontypridd District. —————————————————————————
LUNCHEON TO THE DELEGATES At the adjournment the delegates were entertained at the Hotel Metropole as guests of Mr Edward Daniel. J,P., M.E., a gentleman who has throughout his life taken a great interest in mining, and who. with his late partner, prepared the statistics for the first Royal Commission anpointed to inquire into the coal resources of South Wales. Mr Edward Daniel presided, and he was supported by the president of the Federation (Mr E. Edwards. M.P.), Mabon. M.P. 'the treasurer), Mr David Randell (solicitor, Llanelly), Colonel Llewellyn W. Jones (Birmingham, Alabama), and the leading members ot the Federation. Alter full justice had been done to an cxcellentlv served repast, the President, in felicitous terms, pro- posed a vote of thanks to the host. Mabon, in seconding, expressed the pleasure he had in being present as the guest of Mr Daniel, whom he described, amid cheers, as his last employeroflabour underground at Caegynydd. They were bosom friends then.,and he was proud to say that ever since then they had continued bosom friends: He ought to say that it was not his fault he (the speaker) had to choose between being a miners' agent and a repairer. Nor was it his fault that he had subsequently to meet Mr Daniel several times to settle lists of prices, and it was certainly not Mr Daniel's fault that nine times out of every ten he (Mabon) got the better of their host. (Roars of laughter.) They were living in a part of the world where it was possible,with two men start- ing in the ranks, for one to go in one direction and another in the other, and meet again in such a happy company—one after serving the employers fairly OD. the one side, and the other serving the workers to the best of his ability. The vote was carried with enthusiasm. Mr Edward Daniel, who was received with enthusiasm, said it was a great pleasure to him to see the delegates assembling in a district where all the different classes of coal were worked. West of Neath they had three different classes of coal- bituminous, steam, and anthracite, the last-named being a clas? of coal which was coming very hugely to the front. West of Neath there were 4,684,800,000 tons of bitumin- ous coal, 5,806,080,000 tons of steam coal, and 2,165,760,000 tons of anthracite coal-total, 12.656,640,000 tons. The thicknesses of coal in the same district were—bituminous coal. 60 feet; steam, 54 feet; and anthracite, 36 feet- total, 150 feet of coal veins. Thus there were 12,626,000.000 tons of coal, and if they worked 8,000,000 tons a year in this district it would last 1.500 years. Might they rise up and see it exhausted. (Cheers and laughter.) They had 30 collieries working bituminous coal, 74 collieries working steam coal, and 49 working anthracite—total, 153 collieries in this district, which is still only in its infancy. Cardiff, he added, had the palm now, but he thought in the course of ypars they would find the district around Cardiff: exhausted, while that of which Swansea was the centre would be very much alire. In 1892 the output of anthracite was 2,506,000 tons, and in 1905 it had gone up to 2,78-,000 tons. Swansea was undoubtedly the principal centre of the anthracite trade, its produce being no less than 89-6 per cent. In conclusion he expressed the delijrht he felt at having the privilege of entertaining such a company. In the evening Lord Glantawe entertains the delegates and their wives at the Mumbles Pier.
Eight Hours Question. LIVELY DISCUSSION. The Miners' Federation of Great Britain resumed their annual conference at Swansea on Wednesday, Mr Enoch Edwards, M P., presiding being supported by Mr W. Abraham, M P., treasurer; Mr Thomas Ashton, secre. tary; Mr W. Brace, M.P.. vice-president South Wales Miners' Federation Mr R. Smillie, J.P., president of the Scottish Miners' Federa- tion Mr Thomas Richards, M.P., secretary, and Mr Alf. Onions treasurer of the South Wales Miners' Federation Mr John Williams, M.P., Mr Fred Hall, M.P., Mr J. Wadsworth, M.P. (Yorkshire), Mr T. Glover, M. P., Mr S. Walsh, M.P. (Lancashire), Mr J. Haslam, M.P. (Derbyshire), and Mr W. Johnson, M.P. (Warwickshire). Protest Against Sub-contracting. The first business was the consideration of the following motion, submitted by the Scottish Federation, with reference to the evils of the contractors' system :— That we express our emphatic protest agamst the present system of contracting in collierie3, and in view of the fact that con- tractors frequently fail to pay wages earned by the men whom they employ, it be an in. struction to the Executive Committee to promote a Bill holding employers, as owners, liable for the payment of wages earned by workmen who may be employed by contrac- tors. Mr James Tonner said the evil was keenly felt in Scotland, where the system of con- tracting in collieries was very much in vogue, and at the last annual meeting of the Federa- tion in Scotland this resolution was carried unanimously. Many portions of work in Scot- tish and other collieries were let on contract, and competition was so keen that contracts were often taken at a price which would not permit the wages agreed upon to be paid to tne workmen and the contractors being often men of no substance, the workmen had no remedy. There was nothing more pathetic, he thought, than to see workmen after a hard fortnight's work have to go without their earnings. (Hear, hear.) A Bill should be introduced making it compulsory on employers to pay wages where contractors failed to do so. This would minimise the evil considerably, and em- ployers in their own interests would see that contracts if let at all were let only to men of sub- stance, and that extreme undercutting of prices would not be permitted. They had olten to do with unscrupulous contractors and unscrupu- lous colliery managers thus the need for legis- Mr Enoch Edwards, M.P., Burslem, .L President of the M.F.G.B. Special photograph by Chapman, Swansea.) lative action. It the members of Parliament on the Federation Executive would put their heads together and introduce a Bill he thought they could convert the House of Commons to the view that such a Bill was absolutely neces. sary- Mr James Murdoch (Scotland) seconded. illi- C. jj, Stanton (Aberdare) said that in his district: they were afflicted with sub-contracting OIl the coal. and t he resolution did not. go far enough .It was not, enough tu ask for legisla- tive action the Federation itself hollld o a long way to stamp out. the evil. in his district in plaices where new seaLUS were being- opened, the employers, knowing that they were likely to have a difficulty with the local iiirieis wages, in fixing a list of jmrhes, got some fancy man of their own tW go there as contractor. The wages paid these men might be fairly reasonable, but too often the contractor, acting as ganger, forced the pace and got more than a reasonable day's work from the men employed by him. In the result the men turned out so many trwoa » day, and this was produced by the employers as a factor when prices bad to be fixed. Oftentimes the contractor appointed was an unscrupulous fellow. The Federation should take a bold stand and declare that it would no longer tolerate this, and it should go forth from con- ference as an instruction to the districts to stamp out sub-contracting on the coal. A Necessary Precaution. Mr John Williams. M.p., supporting, said the Government and municipalities always took care to let no contracts except to men of substance, and the conference had a perfect right to expect coalowners to take the same precaution. As a conference they should as far as possible discountenance sub-contracting in every form-(hear, head-and contracts should be between the workmen themselves and those responsible for the working of the colliery. As a body of workmen strongly welded together in a great Federation, they should give instructions that no workman should give his labour to any contractor who could not give a sufficient guarantee that wages would be duly paid. (Ilear, hear.) Mr Whitefield (Bristol) spoke in favour of the total abolition of sub-contracting and of eliminating the latter part of the resolution. The President said they would have to learn much more about the matter before they could proceed to promote a Bill. He worked under sub-contractors for the first ten years of his life and the method of working collieries in all the districts of the Federation was a method of contracting more or less. All coal was got out by contracting, and. not by day wage sys- tem men were paid by the ton or yard. What they did object to was the system of one man making a lot of money out of their fellow- workmen, (Hear, hear.) jn his district he must say he did not know any employers who would permit a workman to go home without his wages if a contractor failed to pay. Under such circumstances the owners recognised their obligations, (Cheers) He thought the Unions ought to be strong enough to deal with this question at home but if the resolution meant o that no man was to work underground by contract they should want & whole month to consider it, and some days afterwards. Mr D. Watts-Morgan, Rhondda District, I Mr Tonner said the resolution was no attacjc on the butty system, which had gone on from time immemorial,but was directed against con- tractors who employed 20 or 24 men. There was no idea of revolutionising things* Mr R, Smillie said what WitS aimed at was to get the enlpioyers held responsible for wages earned by men working for sub contractors. Mr W. Abraham, M.P., thought there would be no difficulty in carrying this out. Many of the things mentioned were quite within the powers of their organisation to stop. (Hear, hear.) The Workmen's Compensation Act held the undertakers or proPrietors responsible for compensation for injiJrje3 to workmen working under contractors, and the same principle could be well applied to wages. He would not like it to be thought that the state of South Wales workmen was such that. not- withstanding their powerful organisation, employers could do what they liked with them. Mr John Wilson (Sunderland) and Mr Ben Derme supported. Mr Evan Thomas (Rhymney Valley) spoke of a case in his district where two men worked in a place, and where one received the money and divided with the other. In the case re- ferred to the one dscamped wjth the money and the other failed in an action brought against the company to recover his part of the wages. Mr James Haslam, M.P., said that in his district no man was allowed to set another man to work he must be setotPby the com- pany's officials and this was the link binding him with the colliery owners. Mr Thomas Richards. M.P.. said it was the contracting system that was responsible for sending him out of the colliery and driving him into the tumultuous life of a miners' leader. A man with a butty or a man with a bov was not sub-contracting; the definition thev had arrived at in the South Wales coalfield was that a man became a sub contractor when he became responsible for more than one working place. This was a question not merely of wages, but also of safety and general disci- pline, and should be brought before the Royal Commission. Eventually the resolution was carried with unanimity. THE EIGHT HOURS BILL. Mr H. Smith, on behalf of Yorkshire, thei opened a long and animated discission on the eight hours question, submitting, on behalf of his county, the following proP°-,ition That we revert to the original Eight Hours Bill from bank to bank. ° The Bill, which passed its second reading in last Session, provided that in the first year the hours of labour in mines should not be more than nine hours per day that in the second year they be reduced to eight and a half hours and in the third year to eight hours. Mr Smith urged that owing to the rapid introduction of coal-cutting machinery, the need of an eight hours enactment was greater than ever and with a new Government in POWer pledged to the eight hours principle there should be no difficulty in passing the origin al Bill bringing that principle into operation ut once. Surely they had a right to expect from their friends the minimum that they previously demanded from their enemies. In Yorkshire 39 out of 43 Parliamentary members were pledged to sup- port eight hours from bank to bank and the Mr Evan Thomas, Rhymney District. (Photo, by Alfred Freke, Cardiff.) miners in that county did not take a t all kindly to the new method of procedure to secure eight hours by instilments. By taking up that policy the Federation had somewhat receded from the stand it j2a4 taken for the last 20 years. The President said this was. more a question of procedure than of principle, and the change was agreed to as much in the interests of the men as in the iuteresta of the employers. Mr Greenall, on behalf of, Lancashire find Cheshire, moved the following as an amend- ment :— That we strongly approve of the Eight Hours Bill as introduced and passed a second leading in the House of Commons this year, and this conference agrees to continue to press this Bill before Parliament on the same Laes until it becomes law. While agreeing with Yorkshire that eight hours was desirable, the speaker argyed that the object could best and soonest be attained by the system inculcated in the Bill now before Parliament. The country, and the large majority of the members of the House of Com. mons, were with them on this question the, people whom they had to fear, and the people whom the Federation would have to fight, were the members of the present Government. (Cheers.) At the last election most of the can- didates of all parties were pledged to eight hours, and it was hinted to them that this new procedure would beiollowed in the new Bill, and the result was that the new Bill was carried through its second reading without a division. The opponents uf the measure did not want to proceed to a division, because they did not want to disclose the large majority there was for it. TBey found, however,, that, unknown to the leaders of that Federation ind the promoters of the Bill, a member of the Government had a private conversation with the opponents of the Bill, and concluded with them an arrangement which thwurted the ohjects; of that Federation. This would hi: the effect of the appointment of the Departmental Committee. If anybody had the right to feel that they had been unfairly dealt with by the present Government it was the miners con- nected with that Federation. Their Scotch friends had been given to understand by the Prime Minister before the Bill waa introduced that he would make arrange- ments for passing it into law, and the colliery proprietors throughout the country expected, after the last General Electon. that the Bill would pass into law in time to be put into operation next year. Who. then, was respon- sible for the fact that they would not com- mence working eight hours next year ? He unhesitatingly declared that the responsibility was with the Government. There could be no arguments for the appointment of the De- partmental Committee it was devised as a means of furnishing a way for some people out of the pledges they had given. That Federation, however, must show that it was determined they should not get away from their pledges, even by the appointment of a Royal Commission and that they, as miners, were prepared to fight anv power that chose to put itself in the way. (Cheers.) Mr David Gilmour (Scotland) said that the: Government had stolen a march on the Miners' Mr W. Vyce, Ebbw Vale. I Federation, He was convinced that not even members of the Cabinet, nor scarcely a Liberal member, at least in the mining districts, would have been returned if they bad said that they were onlv prepared to appoint a Commission to inquire into the economic aspects of the question. He therefore agreed with Yorkshire. and said that now the Government had failed them. they ought not now to show any con- cession, but go straight for the original Eight Hours Bill. There was nothing to be got with- out fighting. Mr W. Brace, M.P. (South WalesV thought that Mr Gilmour was scarcely correct in bis facts when be said that the Government or the Prime Minister had betrayed them. He (the speaker) was not there to apologise for the Prime Minister, but he would not be loyal to the Federation if he did not point out where he thought some speakers were wrong in taking the line they did. It was on record that the Eight Hours Bill had been unanimously accepted by the present House of Commons, and that being so his friends were not justified in declaring that the Cabinet or members of Parliament who had pledged their support to the measure had failed them. True, arising out of the debate in the House, the Cabinet did take up an attitude in the appointment of & Departmental Committee, with which mem- bers of the Federation who were in the House did not agree, and they said in the House of Commons that they could be no parties to referring to any Departmental Committee a Bill which had cost them 20 vears of labour and sacrifice. (Hear. bear.) The Home Secre. toltry on behalf of the Government replied that the Departmental Committee would have nothing at all. to do in determining whether or not they were to have an Eight Hours Bill. Mr Herbert Gladstone pledged himself to the Eight Hours Bill,and said that the Government was pledged to it, and all that the Committee could do was to assist the Home Office in com piling statistics and preparing a case so as to strengthen the Home Secretary when he came to introduce a Bill on the question. These were the facts. and it was important that they should not in that conference do anything to create a preju- dice against them in this matter. Personally, he was prepared to accept that it, was the in- tention of the Cabinet to give them a Bill in accordance with their desires, and if they did not then, after the declaration which had been made by the Home Secretary, he (Mr Brace) would be prepared to use language even stronger than anything heard there that morn- ing. Meanwhile let them give the same credit to the members of the Government as they would wish to have themselves. The Govern- ment had not yet had the opportunity to carry out their pledge. At the conference they would have to decide their attitude towards the Departmental Committee. The Executive had decided that until that conference met they would have nothing to do in any shape or form with that Departmental Committee. He thought they had gone as far as they possibly could to meet the economic difficulties by agreeing to the reduction of the hours on a gradual system covering three years. The conference, on being appealed to, de- cided to discuss on a separate resolution, at a later stage, the question of the future attitude of the Federation towards the Departmental Committee. Mr S. Walsh, M.P., denied that in the new Bill there was the slightest departure from the principle of an eight hours day, but the old procedure had been a failure, and his idea was that the object in view could be more quickly attained by the procedure that was now being followed. France had shown them an excel- lent way. They, must. remember, too, that they were dealing with a Government that alter all liked practical suggestions and practi- cal efforts. To say, as Mr Gilmour had, that the conference had nothing to do with the economic difficulties, that that was a matter solely for the owners, was to take a very high moral attitude. (Laughter.) In following the French method he considered they were taking the line which would bring upon the country the minimum of economic disturbance. In the next Session, no matter what the arguments adduced against such a course might be, they should force the Bill to a division in order to show the other side the barrenness of the land they were in. Personally, he had no hopes at all from the Departmental Committee, for the terms of reference included many other things besides economic reasons. Mr Whitefield, Bristol, said they had com- mitted a great blunder in not forcing the Bill to a division. If the Bill went before a Depart- mental Committee the Government would find an excuse for not dealing with it until the Committee had concluded its reports. Let the Federation then stick to the -Bill and force it through, and let economic-, look after them- selves. Mr Wadsworth. M.P. (Yorkshire), supported the view taken by Mr Brace, M.P. Instead of talking about betrayal, they should remember that the real differences were between them- selves, and not between themselves and the Government. Durham and Northumberland bad been against them all through on this question, and were against them to-day. It was no use blaming John Wilson, M.P. Rather let them blame the Durham and Northumber- land miners, who had sent such representatives to the House of Commons to vote in the way they had voted. The speaker artrued that the real cause of the opposition of the Northern miners eould not be shortage of lads, as alleged, fcr the Government returns showed that the proportion of lads under 16 to adults in the mines was Durham, 7 per cent. Yorkshire, 7! per cent. Derbyshire, 7i per cent. South Wales. 8t. per cent. Nottingham. 74 per cent. while in Mr C. B. Stanton, Aberdare. (Photo, by J. Harris, Aberdare.) all the other counties the proportion of lads was lower than it was in the two Northern counties. Though they had been fighting for an Eight Hours Bill for 20 years they had not had this Government, or their pledges. for that period of time and it would be time enough to talk uf broken promises when the Govern- ment ran away from its pledges. (Hear, bear.) They had nothing to le. ttota a consideration ot the eight hours question from an economic I point of view, for since 1873 their output of coal had increased 83 per cent. their export of coal had increased 293 per cent. their export of coke had increased 195 per cent. and of patent fuel, 298 per cent. A.s to the Depart- m.ntal Committee, let them, have nothing .'whatever to do with it—tr-heersV—out they should tie as favourably incline I to the Govern- ment as possib!e and held their toques until they found out that the Government wai not carrying out its pledges. The Government would have plenty of opposition in this matter from different parties, and would need the whole of the support of the Labour members, and of Liberal and Radical members, to keep it up to the mark. Mr R. Smillie (Scotland) said that notwith- standing what had been said he did blame Mr John Wilson, M.P., for the opposition of the Northern miners in this matter. If Mr Wilson had fought as they in that Federation had fought for eight hours, he could have educated his men up to his views, and they blamed Mr Wilson because he had not led. (Applaase.) He (Mr Smillie) was not goins to support the Government. Capitalistic Governments, of whatever party in politics, were all the same to him, and be was surprised to hear the apologies for the Government that had been uttered in that conference room after what they had suf- lerred last Session. They had thought the new Bill would oave bad a larger measure of sup- port because they bad put in clauses to safe- guard the interests of the coaiowners. Scot- land had no friends in the Cabinet, only blood relations. They belonged to Scotland, but were no friends of theirs. Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman expressed himself to some of them as warmly in favour of ei^nt hours, and further said that nearly the whole of his Csbmet were pledged to eight hours. When a Prime Minis- ter told them that 90 per cent, of his Cabinet were in favour of a measure, surely they took that as a guarantee that they would bring n that measure. Had it been a measure in the interests of the employing classes, or of iand or railways, it would he at once introduced, and there would be no telk of referring it to a Departmental Committee to inouire as to its economic aspects. (flear, bear..) The Homo Secretary was more responsible than anyone else for what had happened. Personally, he had expecteo. more from the present Home Secretary than they had received. Some of them thought it was a hard saying that they had been "dished." His own belief was that they nad been sold. No Federation Executive approached the Home Secretary before the Bill was introduced at all, and he promised them that if the present Bill was carried by the House of Commons by a large majority the Prime Minister and himself would meet them again to fuiiy discuss the question with the view of introducing it as a Government measure. But they had carried the Bill with. out any division at aU. They found, too, that the Home Secretary bad been having consulta- tions with the representatives of the Northern coaifieid, with the result that when the Bill was being discussed by the House of Commons on the last occasion the North of England men were able to tell them in the Lobby that this Mr Vernon Hartshorn, Maesteg. (Photo, by J. Williams, Newport.) Bill was not to go through, but was to be shelved by the appointment of a Departmen- tal Committee. They knew, but the eleven members of the Federation in the House did not know that there was going to be this refer- ence to a Departmental Committee. Their people had been kept in ignorance all through of the bomb that was to be sprung upon them. The Government bad not acted fairly. The coalowners and the North of Engandmen wouid not have divided the House had they not known that the miners were going to be dished. The Bill had been put back fifteen years- No, no)—and if a Tory Government had acted in that way Mr Wadsworth would have been condemning their iniquity from the tops of all the hills in Yorkshire. It was only when a Liberal Gov- ernment dished them that they heard these apologies, They would never have anything by lying down. and if the Federation only made up its mind to fight for the Bill as strongly as the North of England were fight- ing against it. they would succeed, be heartily supported the Yorkshire resolution. (Cheers ) Mr C. S. >F,ton ton (Aberdare) said that as Federationists they were cowardly. They had been fighting for this Bill for 20 years, but why di4 that Federation not serve a notice upon the employers stating that six months hence they meant to inaugurate an eight hours' day ? He thought they could do this, and ought to do this, and so stop being hum- bugged any longer. The President said it was time to vote. (Hear, hear.) It had been asked why they had not lorced the measure to a division in the House of Commons. It was easy to talk in that conference room, but when they had opposition to a measure in Parliament, and that opposition was withdrawn, it was not so easy to have a vote. Personally, he did not despair. He was satisfied that the Govern- ment was bound to take up this question, not in another fifteen years, or ten, or five, but immediately (cheers) —or they could no longer exist as a Government. (Cheers.) That was quite clear so far as he was concerned. This Government must give effect to their promises and meet the wishes of the Federa- tion and next year would be a very awkward one indeed for the Government if it did not shape to put in force an Eight Hours Bill for M nes, (Applause ) As to the Departmental Committee, he should keep aloof from it. Voting was by show of hands :—For the Lancashire resolution, 58 for the Yorkshire resolution, 34. The Lancashire resolution was then put as a substantive motion and carried unani- mously. Mr Whitfield urged that a deputation be ap- pDinted from that conference to wait upon the Home Secretary asking for an assurance that the Eigh f, Hours Bill be introduced as a Govern- ment measure next year and that if the reply be Dot favourable a special conference be called to deal with the matter. The President ruled that Mr Whitfield must communicate with the Business Committee with the view of getting that matter placed on the agenda. The same answer was given to Mr Brace with reference to a resolution de- fining the attitude of the E, ederp-tion towards the Departmental Committee.
IN THE COUNTY COURT. Joe White," well known in boxing circles, was called upon to answer a judgment sum- mons at Cardiff County Court on Wednesday. But he did not answer. "I see." declared Judge OwEn. he is de. scribed as carrying on a boxing-booth at Aberavon. Where does he live when be's at home ? (Laup liter.) Mr George David (for plaintiff): He wanders about, your Honour. My friend Mr Forsdike says he knows something about him. Mr Forsdike I had the pleasure of examin- ing him here—that's all. (Laughter.) Mr David He's a difficult man to get hold of, but I think he pays when he is fined. His Honour: I fine him ft. to be paid in seven days, or seven days' imprisonment. Mr David Only £1. your Honour ? His Honour I think you are more likely to get that than a larger sum. Mr David thought he would get more. His Honour: Oh, very -well-g" to be paid in seven days. Plenty of Judgments to Pay. Mr Morgan, dentist, Queen-street, Cardiff, asked why he bad not paid a judgment, ex- cused himself by saying I have plenty of others to pay," Questioned, Mr Morgan ad- mitted that he had two businesses—one in Queen-street. Cardiff, and the other in New. port, and that he had 15 people in his employ. On hearing this admission his Honour ordered him to pay, remarking, "A man who has15 assistants can afford to pay this." Mr Morgan's protest that they were not assist- ants was unavailing. Later Mr Morgan had to answer another judgment of 1:2 due for telephone service. His Honour, in ordering him to pay said, A man whose business requires a telephone can afford to pay.' Mr Morgan T kept it on as long as I could. He also pointed out in regard to the 15 people be employed, that if his business was large his expenses were c -rrespondiogly heavy and there was not much money about at present.
DEATH FROM TIGHT LACING. Tight-lacing caused the death of a young domestic servant, named Ethel Stuart,employed. at SkeyDess Park, Eden bridge. She was found dead on the road near the house after visiting the town to maks a purchase. At the inquest yesterday Dr. Newington attributed death to the girl's habit of tight-lacing. Although only 18, her stomach and I i ver were forced upwards, and the heart was,displaced. This, combined with the fact that she had been walking quickly, brought on syncope and death. Tiglit-lacing is a curse to vouug women," remarked the foreman of the jury. They do it to go about with waists like wasps." He added that the jury's verdict was in accordance with the medical evidence.
| WESTON GRAND PIER. General Manager's Resignation. It transpires that Mr Wanshrough, secretary and general manager of the Weston Grand Pier Co., sent in his resignation two months a2,o for reasons which will be explained at the annual meeting of the shareholders to be held shortly. Mr Wansbrough has no knowledge of his successor.
Swansea Recorder. HIS FIRST QUARTER SESSIONS. | Congratulations. On Wednesday Mr S. T. Evans, K.,c., tookhia seat or the first time as Recorder at the Swan. sea Quarter Sessions. Great interest was mani- jested in the proceedings, and there were pre. sent in court about a dozen county justices, a large number of barristers, and solicitors. Mr Stanley Owen, president. Mr Lawrence Richards. vice-president, and Mr D. Seline, sec- retarv, represented the Incorporated Lour Society of "Swansea and Neath. The Mayor. MrGwilym Morgan, in full roèes. escorted. Mr S. T. Evans to the bench. His Worship extended to the new Recorder a most cordial welcome, and said that his appointment had been a very popular one, and was greeted with universal approval. Mr Denman Benson, senior member of the Bar, congratulated the Recorder on behalf of the Bar. remarking that while they deeptv regretted the loss of Mr Bowen Rowlands. they had great pleasure in welcoming such a successor as Mr S. T. Evans. Mr Stanley Owen also offered congratulations. The Recorder, in reply, said he was delighted to occupy his new position,.firstly as a Welsh- man, and secondly because of his connection with Swansea. He paid a graced;: tribute to the late Recorder. Mr Bowen Rowlands, who, be said, was one of the most charming per- sonalities be had ever met; a humane judge,' and a cultured gentleman. Alleged Atrocious Cruelty. Mary Ann Spring, now residing at Clifton- place, Clifton-hill, Swansea, surrendered to bail under indictments charging her with neglecting her five children. Mr L. M. Richards prosecuted, and Mr Ivor Bowen defendeil Inspector Arnold spoke to visiting the defen- dint's house on August 29th and finding it in a, fiithv condition. The children had bruises upon them and were swarming with vermin. Cross-examined by Mr Ivor Bowen The chil- dren were well nourished,-Dr. Hansen des. cribed the children's condition as showing gross neglect. There were wounds on the bodies that were only consistent with violence. The husband, Albert Edward Spring, said he had often had to complain to his wife because the house was dirty, and the children likewise. Cross-examined by Mr Bowen, he denied that he had kept his w:fepenniless. Asked whether he had;not left his family destitute in South Africa, he exclaimed, Infamous infantoua t Cruel cruel Mr Bowen: Didn't the workhouse authorities have to take her case up on account of yojir treatment of her ?-Witness (indignantly): No. she had to go away because the peopie in the street were going to mob her for ill-treat- ing her children. A sword was at this stage produced, and Mr Bowen suggested that witness used this weapon about his wile. Witness exclaimed," Absurd. R,diculous." One of the children, Adelaide, eight years of said, her mother had beaten her with "a. walk- ing-stick because she had lost a penny. Tattered and dirty clothing was produced, which witness declared she wore when taken away her her lather's aunt. She did.not see her mother strike Lilian, agnd nine, with a red-hot poker, but her sister showed her hands to witness, upon which there was a scab -where SDe had bad a burn. Lilian Spring, nine years of age, said that her mother behaved very cruelly to her. She had beaten her with a biL, stick and put a hot tongs on her hands. Witness also said her mother bad thrown boiling watsr over her head. In cross-examination, witness said her mother once got Blanche's head on a block of wood, and wa,3 going to strike her with a hatchet when Mrs Davies, a neighbour, came in. And Blanche didn t lose her head then t" remarked Mr Bowen. "No.- answered wit- ness innocently. Other evidence was given, after which the case was adjourned until to-day.
ALLEGED THEFT OF A LAMP FRAME, At Penarth Police Court on Wednesday (before Dr. Howell Rees and Mr Ivor J. Pur- nell) a charge of stealing the frame of a lamp from a lamp post at the top of Cogan Hill was preferred against Harry Newburv, a labourer, of no fixed abode. P.C. Charles Morgan said that on the 2nd inst. he received defendant from the Cardiff Police, where he had given himself up. Defendant now said that he and another man took the lamp to get the copper from it. and they sold it to a man who was pasing in a cart. The case was adjourned until Friday at Barry.
A labourer named Walker was at 'the last Swansea Assizes charged with stealing a bicycle, and was ordered by Mr Justice Jelf to be de- tained at Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum during his Majesty's pleasure. A petition is now beinz- prepared for presentation to the Home Secre. tar,. praying for a reduced sentence or his re- lease, on the ground that the man is not insane. and that at the time he was suffering from the > effects of drink.
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