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Aberdare Trades Council.

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Aberdare Trades Council. On Thursday. There were present Messrs. T. Hedge (in the chair), Idris Davies (vice-chairman), 35. Stonelake (secretery), R. W. Gray (minute secre- tary), J. Bruton (treasurer), and a good number of delegates. ABEBAMAN TENANT'S NOTICE TO QUIT.—TRADES COUNCIL TAKES ACTION. The Secretary eaid that he was going to introduce a. matter on which they should express themselves very strongly. A certain tenant had been given a month's notice by his landlord. Prev- iously the tenant, in order to protect himself, had reported at the proper quar- ters, viz., the District Council, the in- sanitary condition of his place, which was flooded with sewage, and the land- lord had to put it right. The tenant was a man whose character and rent-book were without reproach. Public attention should be called to this matter. It was of no use for the District Council to em- ploy officers to look after sanitary mat- ters if tenants dared not open their mouths. If house owners were going to vent their spleen in that manner, it was time that they as Trades Council should protest strongly. The Chairman concurred. Someone having asked who the tenant was, the Vice-Chairman remarked that that was not so material as who was the person who gave the notice. Perhaps he was posing as the leader of men in the district- Mr. Prowle said that perhaps he was one of those local men who howled down a public speaker and shouted, "Crucify him." He would advise the Trades Council to tread with caution in the mat- ter. What were the circumstances of the tenant? It was not so easy to get a house Bowadays, and they might injure the man's chances by being too hasty. He would suggest that the matter be de- ferred for a month. Also that they get from the District Council the particu- lars concerning the report which led to the notice to quit being given The Secretary stated that the agent for the property in question had told him that he (the agent) had nothing to do with the notice. The lames were demanded by the meet- ing, and the secretary ultimately stated that the landlord was Mr. J. Davies, Gil- fach Rhyd Farm, Abercynon. The *gent was Councillor John Howell, Aber- aman. The house was 19, Commerce- place, Aberaman, and the tenant Mr. Fred Smith. Mr. J. Palmer: So one of our Coun- cillors is playing this dirty trick. I hope that at the next election we shall have good labour candidate to fight him. Mr. Stonelake: The attention of the District Council ought to be drawn tc the matter. Mr. Palmer: Yee, give the matter a good threshing, and chuck him out. Mr. Palmer moved that the District Council's attention be dmwn to the mat- ter, and Mr. Idris Davies seconded. The latter remarked that some time ago, just -bfter tke district rate had been reduced by 2d., the rent of his father's house in Cwmbaeh, was advanced by 4s. per month. It was time that they organised another crusade against rackrenting. Mr. George Williams (Enginemen and Stokers) said that in Abernant a man Jrho had been unable to work for months tad been given a notice to quit his house ause it was wanted for the agent's daughter, who was getting married. Thin not on the Bute Estate. The motion was put to the meeting and carried. Mr. Stonelake thought it was rather farly for another campaign against high rents. The only real remedy would be Jin appeal to Parliament. A Bill had ?&en introduced by Mr. Keir Hardie, but It did mot survive the first reading. The eject of this Bill was to scotch the rape- city of landowners by establishing a kind of rent coiit which would have the Sower to regulate the renting of property. The onlv real remedy now was to get the Labour Mem bel's to pusih forward a simi- lar Bill. Mr. Prowle begged to differ from Mr. •tonelake regarding the wisdom of &tart- ng another rent crusade. The last one had done much good and another one lilight check the advancing of rente Witich was going on now. Guardian Meth Davies thought they Sught to get a meeting in every place. Cwmbaeh they had advanced the tent,s a shilling or more. The landlords sed to blame the Labour Members on the District Council for driving the rates up, but now the rates were going iown and the Tents going up. Referring to Councillor John Howell's action, he ^Ught to give up the agency rather titan <*<> what he did. This was the man who Same to them for votes at election time. lie represented the landlords find not the ward. Let them have a Labour Can- didate to contest the ^eat a^ain^t Mr. "owell next time. t After some fuither discussion it was (ided to orpranisp a rent crusade, the Executive to make the necessary arrange- ments. THE GUARDIANS AND TRADES UNIONISM. .Mr. H. Jones, member of the Merthyr &oard of Guardian^ now addressed the Meeting. He said that it was the duty Guardians not only to administrate the Poor Law but to do their utmost to Propagate Trades IJuÙm and Socialist principles. The Guardians had the fOwer to give contracts which involved he employment of a number of men out' Jide. The treatment of those people by contractors was the concern of the liardians. The views which are advo- 9ated in the lodge-room and I.L.P. meet- "hould be carried out on the local bodies. Last March the Labour men on he Merthyr Guardians submitted and ^ri-ied a sweeping resolution which they thought no contractor would be able 4to ^ule. It was to the effect that no con- tact be given by the Board except to Contractors who obs,erved Trade Union Conditions. The opposition was strenu- 118. When the printing contract came ? be signed it was given to a firm in- lying nfcn-unionists. They contended that the work done for the Board in that V'fic'p was done by Trades Unionists. The labour members on the Board of Gunrd- lalls had drafted another resolution ^hich would shortly be submitted to the i?°ard It was "That contractors or engaged by the Board shall e-nplov ^rades- Unionists only, and pay such r^Tkmen the trade union wage, and ob- ^rVe trade union hours. Also that no ^b-letting of contracts be made w thout Jhe consent of the Board." The pro- j°secl clause would apply to all—grocers, papers, and all who executed contracts the Board. The best friend the froeer had on the Guardians was not retired grocer but the Labour man, •°r he wanted to get fair terms for all, Respective of class. Of course they not extend their tentacle* to manu- J^ttirers of provisions in London, Liver- etc., but they could see that the dis- Q lbutive trade locally was carried on tllder fair conditions. He would ruggest j-^t all the lodges in Aberdare should J.^CUISS the resolution and finally hand j; to the Labour Group on the Oruar"- "s. This would involve the principle K compelling public bodies to recognise Me union principles. It would per- their organising and propaganda -j^hinery. They had no quarrel with J' firm so long as they treated their properly. Besides, he held that env- ti should be paid such prices for jJ^lr work which would enable them to Itt y thir men a fair wage. The miners th Merthyr were very cautious, although Federation was very strong there, He did not think that things were so in Aberdare. He thought that trades unionism in connection with Boards of Guardians should be placed on a proper basis. (Hear, hear.) Mr J. Prowle said that the opposition which would be introduced would be that they had no right to interfere with the liberty of employers. A Delegate: Are there any Guardians who employ non-unionists. Mr. Prowle: Yes, all of them. Chairman: Mr Hankey does. Mr. J. Palmer moved that the con- sideration of the Trades Union clause should go before the lodges. Mr. G. Williams seconded, and the motion was carried. Asked if any public body had a simi- lar regulation in vogue, Mr. Jones said in some towns the printing and the building for local bodies were done under trade union conditions. But they wanted the clause to apply to all trades. Mr. Meth Davies hoped that the lodges would give due consideration to the clause. He was asked where would they get trades union clothiers, and he men- tioned the Cwmbach Co-op. Society. Mr Palmer wanted to know how the pressmen present stood with regard to Trades Unionism. He understood that some time ago a local newspaper office employed non-unionists. The Vice-Chairman said that that dis- pute had now been amicably settled. All the men who were engaged prior to the dispute had been reinstated, and every- thing proceeded harmoniously m that office. ORGANISATION AT BIRW AIN. SHOULD THE TRADES COUNCIL TAKE THE INITIATIVE r With regard to the proposal of the Trades Council to try to re-organise the Hirwain miners, Mr. Stonelake said that lurwain was practically a non-unionist district. The intention of the Executive was not to usurp the functions of the Miners' Federation, but to address meet- ings on the broad principles of unionism. Air. Prowle held that it was the duty of the miners to organise the miners in Hirwain, and then they as Trades Coun- cil could help them. He knew for a fact that they were anxious to get a union there, but they wanted someone to organ- ise it. The lick-spittles had left the dis- trict. One of them had a good berth in an Aberaman Colliery now. Mr. Bruton held that Mr. Prowle was too pessimistic. Mr. G. Williams said that the Hir- wain Enginemen and Stokers were all in the Association. Mr. Palmer said that it was a shame that this one district should be outside the pale of the Federation. Councillor W. Rees said that until the men were organised there would be no progress. The Enginemen and Stokers had been organised, not by the Trades Council, but by the lodges. Inasmuch as they had a, miners' executive in the district, it would be better for them to take the matter in hand. He would sug- gest that they make an appeal to the Dis- trict Executive to take the matter in hand. Mr. Stonelake: I wish Mr. Rees had said that two months ago. It would have saved me a lot of trouble. Mr. Meth Davies agreed with Mr. Rees's suggestion. Mr. Palmer moved that this suggestion be adopted. The Vice-Chairman said that a bad feeling existed between the officials of the Federation and the Hirwain people. That was why the Trades Council took steps in the matter. He would propose that the Trades Council proceed with their movement. Mr. Prowle said that he was assured that the District proposed moving in the matter without the intervention of the Trades Council. He would suggest that the matter be deferred for a month in order to see what the District would do. Councillor Owen Powell seconded Yr. Idris Daries's proposition that the Trades Council proceed with their pro- paganda. After some further discussion it was eventually carried by 13 votee to 12 that the Council proceed with their Hirwain propaganda. ELECTION EXPENSES. Mr. John Prowle brought forward the question of the alleged violation of the rules of the council by paying more than £ v> towards the election expenses of Mr. Owen Powell, recently returned to the Aberdare District Council. The Chair- man explained that the Council had only paid J55, and that the Aberdare Miners* Federation had handed them £ 30 to- wards registration on condition that they should pay the balance of Mr. Owen Powell's expenses. Mr. Prowle and Mr. Meth Davies contended that this was a violation of the resolution passed by that Council that in no case should a sum above X5 be paid to any candidate for his election expenses. Mr. Idris Davies and Councillor W. Rees held that the money was not wasted. It was essential in order to fight a strong opponent. Councillor O. Powell held that the election had been fought with due regard for economy. The electorate in No. 5 Ward was a very big one. The excess paid came from the Parliamentary Fund, which money was to be devoted to tuch purposes. v Ultimately it was carried by two votes that the matter be brought up at the next Council and that in the meantime the opinion of lodges be obtained upon it.

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