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THE STRIKE OF THE SEAMEN IN THE; POUT OF LONDON. Great Meeting of the Men. A crowded meeting of the sailors now on strike in the Port of London for an advance of wages took place on Friday night, in the large school-room attached to Ebenezer Chapel, High street, Shadwell. There were several hundreds of the men present, and the proceed- ings were conducted in an orderly manner. Mr. Shatferd was called upon to preside. He said that they had anticipated that his place would have been occupied by a member of Parliament who took great interest in every matter affecting the working- classes, and who had sent them the following letter "House of Commons, May 31, 1866. Gentlemen,—I am sorry to say that the state of public business in the House of Commons makes it quite impossible for me to attend the meeting to which you invite me for the formation of a society for the protection of the inte- rests of the sailors of the port of London, and makiag provision for them and their widows and children. The objects of the meeting have my warmest sympathy. You ara of course aware that sailors are supposed by the great majority of the English people to be exceedingly improvident. I trust you will be able to show that whatever may have been the case formerly this reproach no longer rests on your gallant 10 profession. Wishing you all success in your efforts, believe me very truly yours, THOS. HUGHES." Letters from the Marquis Townshend and the Liverpool Seamen's Protective Society were read, and the chair- man remarked upon the important services which the sailors had rendered in developing the commerce of the country, the perils they encountered, the fraud and vise they were exposed to when they came on shore, and the grounds they had for claiming an advance of wages. He believed that there was no class of men worse paid, considering the character of the services they performed, than the sailor (cheers). It was only common honesty on the part of those who employed them that they should give them a fair and proper remuneration for their labour. The present meeting was called for the purpose of improving their position, and to promote the establishment of a society which, it was believed, would tend to secure them many advantages (applause). Mr. Callichan, a naval reserve volunteer, proposed the first resolution-" That this meeting considers that the sailors' wages are inadequate for the dangers they encounter, and the provision they ought to make." He had read in the newspaper that Mr. Graves, the member for Liverpool, had given notice in the House of Commons that he intended to move that an address be presented to her Majesty, praying that an inquiry might be instituted into the condition of the seamen of the mercantile marine, and he hoped that if such inquiry should be held they would come amongst the sailors of the United Kingdom for information (cheers). The dangers of a seafaring man were great and many, and ha submitted that the English sailors were entitled to greater consideration than they had hitherto received. A large proportion were ignorant of the mercantile marine law. A man came home to-day, shipped the day after to-morrow, and was gone, and he had no one to give him a word of advice and consolation (hear, hear). Indeed, if he was not an intelligent man many whom he met with would desire to take advantage of him. If they could only succeed in establishing the society, which had been submitted to them for their support, he was sure it would be of much service to them. He believed that the sailing community who frequented the port of London in the course of the year amounted to 20,000, and he would ask what they could not do with that number if they were only united (applause). The men wanted a society that they could fly to for the benefit of their wives and families should they be cast away or meet with some other misfortune, and also to put them in a position to obtain redress for wrongs done them by arbitrary men on board ship (hear, hear). With regard to their claim for an advance of wages, the fact was notoriously true that many a man had to go to sea at X2 10a., or even X2 5s. a month, leaving a wife and family behind him (hear, hear). What was the poor sailor ta do ? Take the case of the man going to Melbourne. He shipped for 12 months at X2 10a. or X2 15s. a month, and he left his half-pay note, £ 1 7s. 6d., or something like 6s. lOd. a week, for the support of his wife and family while he was away (cheers, and cries of "It's too true"). He would ask any reasonable man whether that was a sufficient sum to keep up a home, however humble (cries of "No, no"). What were the feelings of a man when he left his family with only this small pit- tance to maintain them (hear, hear) ? What the men asked now (X3 10s. in ships going to the southward) was little enough. The shipowners realised a great deal from the labour of seamen. They could not do with- out the sailors, and neither could the sailors do with. out the capitalists; but he was certain that, if the men acted together and kept united and firm, they would last as long in holding out as the shipowners (cheers). This movement, on the part of the men, had been termed a strike, but it was not so; they were only asking for their just demands, and that they might be fairly remunerated for the work they performed (cheers.) He trusted that they would support the society, which, he believed, if fairly established, would tend to place them in a better, position. Let them only continue united and they must be successful II (cheers). Mr. Carter, a sailor, seconded the resolution. Mr. Creighton said he desired to say a few words in support of the resolution. It was true that he was not a sailor; but living in the locality and amongst them he knew a great deal of their wants. By a recent return he found that during the ps>st year 2,077 were lost by drowning, 1.458 died by disease, princi- pally scurvy, 207 by accident, and 541 by other causes —total, 4,283. Now he thought these figures showed forcibly the necessity of giving the sailor the means of securing some provision for himself and his wife and family, and that some such society as that which they were invited to join was required (hear, hear). Could any reasonable person Bay that the wages which the men claimed were too much for the peril and the toil they went through (cheers) ? A great deal of the disease which befell a sailor was brought about bv the accommodation he got on board ship, and from not having proper oomforts (hear). Let anyone go into some of the forecastles and see what sort of a place was provided for the seamen. They would find the men huddled together like so many pigs (hear, hear). A short time since the whole of the press were writing- upon the defective arrangements of the casual wards of the workhouse but he was sure that the accommodation which they afforded would be considered by the sailor quite a luxury (cheers and laughter). He had lately had some conversation with a shipowner, who re- marked that the advance of £1 was too much for the men to claim. He asked his reason for coming to that conclusion. The shipowner referred to the present rate of freights. He (Mr. Creighton) repliea that that had nothing to do with the question. If the ship. owners would only ae, as the sailors had, and agree among themselves only to carry freights that were remunerative, they would soon improve their position (applause). He then adverted to the treatment of seamen on board ship, and said the English shipowner would do well to take a lesson from what was done in American ships, which give many comforts to the men. In English ships the accommodation to sailors was limited, in order that the owners might have the greater space for cargo and to save freight. After they had succeeded in obtaining the advance of ^61 they might proceed for better accommodation and other improvements in their condition (cheers). After short addresses from Mr. King, the secretary of the society, Capt. Campbell and Lieut. Child, R.N., the resolution. was agreed to. The following resolution was then submitted and adopted;—"TakiBg into consideration theneoessity of improving the condition of the sailors of the port of London, both morally and financially, it has been con- sidered advisable to torm a society to be called tho London Sailors' Protection Society, embracing in its provisions assistance in time of need to the sailor, his widow and orphans." Other speeches having been made by sailors, and another resolution appointing a committee being car- ried, the proceedings were brought to a close at rather a late hour

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