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Aberdare District Council

Obituary.

Glamorgan County Council.

I |Aberdare District Council…

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The Coal Trouble. IS THERE PEACE? MR. STANTON'S VIEWS. A general ballot thoughout the South Wales Coalfield as to whether the new terms shall be accepted by the workmen, took place yesterday (Wednesday), and the figures will probably be made known to-morrow. In the instructions sent out by Mr. T. Richards, M.P., General Secretary, full members only had a right to vote, boys who pay half contributions not being allowed to ballot. The bulk of the workmen in the Aber- dare District were dissatisfied with the new arrangement, and on Thursday even- ing they resolved not to work on April 1st. On the latter date Mr. C. B. Stanton addressed a huge meeting at the Aberdare Market Hall. fr. Philip Davies, the chairman of the district, presided. Mr. Stanton referring to the men's de- cision not to work that day, said there was not much harm in what they had done. (Cheers.) So far as he was con- cerned, he was very much disappointed with the new agreement. (Cheers.) It was by no means satisfactory. They started out to get certain reforms long overdue, and something they were en- titled to. But, as per usual, through force of circumstances, they had not got them. Better wages for lower paid work- men, payment for small coal, and other serious questions had not been remedied. The employers had offered 5 per cent, advance on the minimum, but, as his friend Mr. Barker had said, there was not much in that. When they considered the selling price of coal they ought to get more. That '5 per cent. was merely a bait to catch a mackerel. But it might be a direct incentive to maintain the prices at a rate which had never been in existence before. There were other things which the em- ployers now suggested in order to main- tain the output—an overlapping shift for instance. He strongly objected to that. (Applause.) Messrs. Brace, Richards, and others had spoken well, but he did not think they had sufficient back-bone and sufficient fighting abilities. He then dealt with the abnormal places question, and said they were now offered a clause whish simply put them as we were." His friends at Cardiff said they had put up a strong fight, and the majority be- lieved that Lhe workmen should agree to the proposed terms. The conference of the Miners' Federation had opposed the 20th Rule being put iuto operation, and he maintained'that sectional strikes were no good. He contended, however, that if the views of the hundreds of thousands of workmen throughout the country were taken they would declare in favour of the South Wales men and stand by them. He was heartily sick of the old-fashioned sectional strike methods. He was not in sympathy with, and did-not want, a sec- tional struggle. Mr. Stanton proceeded to ask, "Am I to sign away your rights for five years?" ("No.") Mr. Stanton: Then I am not going to do so. (Applause.) Mr. Stanton said that if the terms were not acceptable to them they could vote against them in the ballot. There was a fighting element throughout South Wales. The miners' leaders of South Wales all believed that the colliers had a right to be paid for small coal, and something in respect of abnormal places. In the course of the discussion, one person referred to a motion passed at a local colliery meeting the previous even- ing calling upon the leaders to resign. A Voice: We do not blame Mr. Stanton. It is the other leaders we find fault with. Mr. Stanton, replying to the remarks of one speaker, said that there was no reason why they should remain idle until the ballot came off. On a division, it was decided by a large majority tc restart work on Monday.

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