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Nonconformists Muzzled at…

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Meeting of the Day Men.


Meeting of the Day Men. In the evening the hall was well-filled by the day men drawn from different collieries in the valley. The chair was occupied by Mr. Abra- ham Richards, the chairman of the district, who was supported by Mr. W R. Evans, the> vice-chairman; Councillor Illtyd Hopkins, dis- trict secretary; Mr. C. B. Stanton, miners' agent, etc. Mr. Ben Davies, Rhondda Valley, in the course of a very able address in Welsh and Eng- lish, said that he was there to appeal to the men of Aberdare to vote solid in favour of the establishment of an out of work fund in con- nection with their Federation. He thought that one of the strongest arguments in favour of the establishment of such a fund that he could place before an Aberdare audience was the fact that no les3 than 700 men were at present mo- ment out of work at Aberdare, and the Federa- tion had no method of paying them except by means of a levy. Welshmen never took kindly to levies—he did not know why, unless it was that in Biblical times the tribe of Levi used to take tithes from all the other tribes for their maintenance (laughter). Ever since then Welshmen had been much opposed to tithes, which, oven to-day, they were protesting against in the strongest terms (laughter and ap- plause), and they had taken an objection to tho "levies" altogether (roars of laughter). At any rate, he, for one, was glad that he did not belong to the tribe of Levi, but to that of Ben- jamin (renewed laughter). After dealing with tho out of work fund, he parsed on to deal with the present position of affairs in the coalfield, and said that if the coalowncrs in South Wales attempted to reduce the day men's wages they would have the most disastrous strike the world had ever known, and they would not get the reduction at the end of it (hear, hear). The fact, of the matter was that if the colliery offi- cials gave the men a proper clearance, and supplied them with sufficient trams, and a good supply of timber, rails, and all other necessi- ties, the men to-dny could turn out 15 per cent. more coal than they were doing, and if that was done when the Act came into operation no reduction of output need follow (loud ap- plause). Mr. James Winstone, Pontypool, referred to a statement that the workmen in the South Wales coalfield during the past nine years had been receiving an average of £17 16s. 3d. a year more than for the previous 20 years. What a tribute that was to the value of the Federation. The men in return for the 13s. a. year, which they were paying the Federation, got £17 odd as interest (loud applause). He then explained some of the objects of the new fund, but said that, in his opinion, the fund was not a real remedy for unemployment, nor was it intended to relieve the Government of its obligation to deal with that question. The latter portion of his speech was an advocacy of Socialism as the real remedy.—Votes of thanks brought the mfeeting to a close. WHAT THE SUB-COMMITTEE HAVE TO DO. As some doubt seems to exist as to what the sub-committee appointed by the owners and workmen's representatives on the Sliding Scale Committee are to do, one of our correspond- ents has made inquy-ies both from coal owners and workmen's representatives as to exactly what the committee's functions are, and he is in a position to say positively that the will have nothing to do with the question of wages. The men's representatives definitely informed the employers during the discussion on the employers' suggestion that they should agree to the question of whether the Act put an end to the agreement or not, that they would not consider any suggestion for the reduction of the day men's wages, nor indeed for the re- duction of the wages of any men engaged in the coalfield. This was definitely repeated more than once, and the employers accepted this, but pressed their proposal on the men, and when the men definitely refused to agree to that proposal, they put forth their counter proposal that a subcommittee bo appointed to make sxrajjircments for the working at the collieries when the Act comes into operation, and this ultimately agreed upon by the employers, in. this connection it must not be forgotten that this is the men's proposal, and that they have made it clear from the beginning that the sub-committee will have nothing to do with the question of wages. This was repeated more than once on Monday, and acquiesced in by the employers. The only reservation made by the employers was that if the sub-committee cannot make. such arrangements as will, in the opinion of the employers, minimise the loss they still reserve their rights to give notice on the 1st pmx.

The Glamorgan Water Bill.


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