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Carmel, Aberdare.

L. Pe

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ILabour Jottings. !-

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The Railway Crisis.

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The Railway Crisis. MR. BIBBINGS ON THE SITUATION. In his address on Victoria Square, Aberdare, on Saturday evening, Mr. G. H. Bibbings, B.A., dealt with the rail- waymen's grievance and also the question of the Nationalisation of Railways. He said that in the present crisis the rail- waymen were deserving of the miners' support. The former were simply agi- tating for the right of being represented by agents, and for the right of these agents to confer with the railway mag- nates regarding the men's grievances. The railwaymen at present were not seeking an advance, they were not even seeking a reduction of hours, but they were asking for the privilege enjoyed by the miners to have their case stated to the employers by experienced men. He hoped that the miners would see that the cause of the railwaymen was a just cause. (Hear, hear.) Passing on to deal with the Nationalisation of Railways, Mr. Bibbings said that in every civilised country except the United States, Domin- icn of Canada, and Great Britain, rail- ways were the property of the nation. There was one municipal railway at present in Great Britain. That was owned by the City of Bradford. But outside of that there were 51 railways claimed by private ownership, and th- money invested in them reached the huge total of £ 1,200,000,000. But the State would not have to pay this enormous amount, should the Government decide to make the railways national property. The various companies had U watered their stock from time to time. The coat of railways was very high in this country The Prussian railways only cost R3,800 per mile to construct; the Indian railways only £ 6,000; but in Great Britain they cost an average of 130,000 per mile. The Great Central Railway, In order to get from Sheffield to London, had to come right through the towns of Nottingham and Leicester. In the work of construction they had first to pull down clums and also a work- house, and erected a modern one five miles outside the town. The cost in lay- ing that line was £ 130,000 per mile. Was it any wonder they paid their men bad- ly? There were 5,000 railway directors, and 566,116 money breeders (share- holders). The number of railway ser- vants of all grades was 581,000. So there were nearly as many money breeders as money earners. (Laughter.) If they nationalised the railways they would do away with 5,000 directors, and simply get one or two Railway Manager Gener- als just as they had a Postmaster General. They could do away with hundreds of clerks employed at the clear- ing houses. The motto of the railway owners regarding their employees was, Six days shalt thou labour and on the seventh thou shalt do a little more." (Laughter.) Mr. J. Prowle, who occupied the chair, remarked that he would be glad if some railway company pulled down the Mer- thyr Workhouse, especially one portion of it. Questions were invited, but none were asked. There were, however, frequent interruptions during Mr. Bibbings' ad- dress. Mr. James L. Thomas fired the familiar question, "Where did you pay your trades union subscription last?" and followed this up by several other remarks. Mr. Bibbings at last asked him to close his mouth. Mr. J. L. Thomas: No, I shan't. Mr. Bibbings: Well, it's big enough, anyway. (Laughter.)

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