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" Merthyr Express " Diary.…

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Notice to Subscribers.




Merthyr Electric Traction…


Sudden Death in a Colliery.



"RICHES AND POVERTY." A SUNDERLAND MINISTER AT MERTHYR. HOW THE NATIONAL INCOME IS DIVIDED. For more than an hou. on Tuesday night, the Rev. David Pughe, of Sunderland, kept a large Mcrthyr audience deeply interested as he spoke on some of the social problems of the present day. He was lecturing at Shiloh Wes- ley Chapei, and his subject was, ".J.{iehes and Poverty." The Mayor tAld. A. Wilson) had been announced to presiae, but. he was unabie to be present. Do wrote stating that a very important engagement prevented him from ful- filling' his promise to take the chair. He re- gretted tliio, but expressed the hope that the lecture would Lc very successful. In the ab- sence of the Mayor, Mr. J. E. F&aTiiiey7-pre- sided, and there were also on the platform in addition to the lecturer, the Rev. J. W. Da- vies, the Key. 11. O. Hughes, the Hev. Fisiicr Gritut-iis, and the Hev. J. Lloyd Jones. After singing, and prayer by the Hcy. J. L. Jones, the Chairman briefly introduced the lecturer, to whom lie exteriued a hearty wel- come on this, his first visit to Merthyr. -Though sorry at the absence of the Mayor, he express- ed his pleasure at boinij- present. and being able to render any little assistance to Shiloh. He had pleasunt recollections of pro, ious visits to Shiloh, and said he would ever remember the kindness shown to him by some members Oi that church when he came to Merthyr. For that reason he could not tay no when asked to take the chair, lie was all tho more pleased to be present as Mr. Pughe had come from the North of England. Coming from York- shire himself he (Mr. Fearnley) was always delighted to meet a North countryman. Mr. Pughe had been very successful in the North of England. In some of the towns in which he had laboured he had been described as the "Minors' Parson." As some of them were aware, Mr. Pughe had been invited to accept the pastorate" of Shiloh Church, and should he do so he (the Chairman) could assure him of a very cordi41 welcome from Merthyr peoplo (hear, hear). The subject of the locture, "Riches and Poverty," was one in which they would all be deeply interested, a.nd probably most of them would like to possess some of the riches Mr. Pughe was going to speak about. But wealth was not everything. Though poor. a man might bo happy, and alter all happiness was one of the greatest things in life, and that could only be enjoyed in service for God and their fellow men. TRIBUTE TO MR. HARDIE, M.P. Mr. Pugho, who was accorded a very hearty recepiion, said lie was pleased to have a York- shireinan as chairman. He was also pleaded to como to Merthyr bccausc tho Borough had the honour of returning his dear friend, Mr. Hardie, to Parliament. The constituency had this credit, at least: it knew how to value a good man (hear, hear). "Criticise him how you may; Mr. Hardie is one of the bravest and honestest inen in British politics to-day. Metho- dist parsons are not supposed to be political partisans, and I suppose 1 have put my foot in it at the outset, but I know him and honour him." Proceeding, Mr Pugho said it was a matter for great encouragement to find almost everyone nowadays taking some interest in so- cial questions. Twenty years ago he dared to call, himself a Socialist, and some. people regarded him,as a maniac. The difficulty was to got people to invesetigate and master the ia-cts relating to the social life and conditions of the people of t.his land. What had- the 44 million people of this land to live upon? They must distinguish between income and capital. There was plenty of money in the country. It would bo worth while for the Kaieer-to come • across and capture 'this country and all its capital, evert if it cost twenty Dreadnoughts. The es- timated income the jear before last of the people of this country was 1.750 millions ster- ling. That was Itutficient to keep everyone of the 41 millions in comfort. It that sum werp divided, it would mean about £215 for the head of every'family in the country. No social reformer of any standing wanted an equal di- vision of tho income of the country, but what they did ask for was a more equitably, distribu- tion. of. the country's wealth. Of total in- come six hundred million pounds went into the pockets of one and-a-half million people prac- tically a third went into the pockeis of one- thirtieth of the population. Every penny of the 1,750 millions was produced by labour, and la-bour was entitled to a larger share than it got to-day. Then 250 million pounds went into .the pockets of 33 millions of the people, so that 850 million pounds of the total income went into the pockets of five millions of the people—practically half of the income of the country. Was that right? He went on to re- fer to a statement made by Sir Henr*. Camp- bel Bannerman in tho Albert Hail in 1906, on the eve of the last General Election, to the effect that 12 million people of this country were on the verge of 'starvation, which practi- cally meant one out-of every .three. Since then the condition of things had been intensi- fied, and they could add a couple of millions- > to Sir Henry's figures. There were to-dav at least one million peiple unemployed—that was the lowest estimate.. Was it, nothing to them ? PHILOSOPHY OF UNEMPLOYMENT. It was often said that people who were out of work could get work if they tried, but that was not correct. In this connection Mr. Pughe mentioned that he had a men's class at Sunderland of 700 members, and he recently took a censils, and found that 22.2 per cent* of the members had been out of work for the greater part of twelvo months. Some of the men were excellent craftsmen, and the best workmen in the town, but they could not get work for the reason "that no employer of labour ould make a; profit out of them—that was the philosophy of unemploymeqt. He referred to homes having to be broken up to procure food, which was a very sad state ot affairs. It was said money could not be found to solve the social problems, but if some of the members of .the iloiiEe of Commons could be transported to some of the industrial centres, and made to live under such conditions as some working men had to live under, they would quickly find money. When men and women were dying of starvation, it was well that, a voice should be heard asserting that the most valuable thing in the world was human life. According to Sir Charles Booth and Mr. Rowntree, 43 per cent, of. people of this country earned less than £1 Is. 8d. per week. Some years ago Mr. Keir Hardie was asked to write an article upon the question of whether a man could be a Christian upon £1 a week. He (the speaker) doubted it very much. Of course, a great deal would depend upon the man's wife, but a man could not be a Christian and do his duty to his fellow man on that sum. The speaker then touched on drink and stated that thdugh trade in Sunderland had been very de- pressed of late,, he regretted to say that a large amount of money was spent in drink. The drink bill of Sunderland was enormous. He had often assisted a man with 5s. a week out of his scanty income, and- later discovered that the money had been spent on football matches. He was an enthusiastic footballer, but money which he gave to men for their wives and children should not be spent in that way. Some- times ho (the lecturer) had to fight for the workers, and he had been the means of getting men's wages advanced by approaching their employers. He did not blame the employers; some of them were good men. It was the system that waa wrong, there was plenty of moral and religious sentiment in England to- day to effect a revolution if they could only crystalise it. CLAIMS OF HUMANITY. What was wanted was to assert the claims of humanity before profits and divi- dends. It was a reflection he thought that so many men were rejected not being Mg enough or strong enough- to be shot at—to join the Army. lie pointed out that on the average, 700,000 people died every, year, and left 286 million pounds becausc they could not take the money with-them; 27,000 people left 257 million pounds; 686,500 people left 29 mil- lions about 4,000 left £50,000 each; CO cr 90 people left an average of each; about 50 people left on the average £250,000 each; about 20 left half a million each, and ten left on the, average three millions each. Thank God* that millionaires died. The speaker here quoted the brilli-ant saving of Spencer Leigh Hughes, who remarked when commenting upon the death of millionaires that "of these it may be said that their means justified their end." The system that made a man a millionaire was a wrong system, said tho lecturer. No man had yet been born who could save a million pounds. It was beyond the capacity of the hu- man mind to comprehend a million. If Adam had been living to-day and had saved £1 a week, he would only be half a millionaire. There were men who claimed to be able to make a million in a life time; some people tried to make it in a few days. He referred to Patten, who, through a. wheat corner, made a mil- lion in ten days, and said that such a thing ought to be impossible. No man, he said, could make a million pounds without breaking one or other of the ten commandments. And ho would certainly break tffe eleventh command- ment, the new one given by Christ, "That ye love one "another." He was a Socialist. He believed that society was tending towards col- lectivism in some form, and the only dynamic that was going to bring in the golden age was the golden rule of love and eelf-sacrifice. What he desired to see was the universal brother- hood of man. He had never yet met a. man "ho would not be satisfied with the world if it were conducted on the plan of brotherhood. But first of all there must, be individual re- generation and then social regeneration. What » happy land it would then be. The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer, and this was seconded by Mr. T. Kemp, and heartily accorded. In responding, Mr. Pughe brieby referred to the housing pro- blem, and remarked that he had only toucned the fringe of the social question during his lec- ture. He proposed a vote of thanks to the, Chairman, and this was seconded by the Rev. [I. 0. Hughes, and cordially approved.

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Cyfarthfa Castle Park-keeper.…