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Merthyr Education Authority.

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--_._--_-COAL CRISIS.

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---.------=----= I The Dark…

IN AGONY WITH ITCHING RASH

--_._--_-COAL CRISIS.

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"A vote of censure upon the Executive Coun- cil and a request that they resign was put to the conference. Very few hands wero put up in its favour, and the vote was overwhelmingly negatived. "A vote upon advising the workmen to work until April 9th in order that a ballot should be taken was carried almost unanimously "The resolution of Decomber 13th, referred to above, is: 'That it be an instruction to the Executive Council that, before any new agree- ment is signed, it must b9 reported to a gen- eral conference, and afterwards submitted to a ballot vote of the workmen for approval or otherwise.' "A vote of thanks to tho Chairman conclud- ed the proceedings. "There were present 315 delegates, represent- ing 156,491 workmen." MERTHYR AND RULE XX. A mass meeting of the miners of the Merthyr district was held on Sunday afternoon at the Theatre Royal, Mr. T J. Evans, chairman of the district,, presiding. The delegates who had attended the conference at Cardiff presented a report upon the proceedings. One of them ex- plained that the leaders of tho English and Scottish miners had not consulted their men with regard to putting into operation the twen- tieth rule. A resolution was thereupon passed condemn- ing those leaders for not having done so, it being felt by the meeting that had the voice of the English and Scottish miners been taken on the question the result would have been very different. A discussion took place with regard to the alleged victimisation of certain men who have taken an active part in che vork of the Fed- oration, and it was decidau that failing to so- cure the redress of the grievance, the men should decline to sign the new agreement in case the result of the ballot about to be taken should be favourable to its acceptance. MR. STANTON ON THE NEW AGREEMENT. OTHER LEADERS CiilTICISED. The Market Hall, Aberdare, was crowded last Fiiday with nearly 7,000 colliers, who had assembled to hear an explanation by Mr. C. B. Stanton (miners^ agent) of tho new agreement. Mr. Phillip Davies (the district chairman) pre- sided. Mr. C. B. Stanton said that, unfortunately, reports of the discussions at the Conciliation Board were not published, but when the min- utes were produced they would see what part he had played in the negotiations. He under- stood that the men in that district had on the previous evening decided not to work until they had heard his explanation of what had taken place. He was not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not. There was no need for them to break their necks about a question of that kind. It would have been better if they had well weighed the matter and thought it over before going very far (laughter and cheers). It was a day-to-day contract in any case, and he could have called them out in any case. Still, there was not much harm in what they had dono (cheers). So far as he was concerned, he was very much disappointed with the new agreement (cheers). It was by no means satis- factory. They started out to get certain re- forms long overdue, and something they were entitled; but, as per usual, through force of circumstanoes, they had not got them. Better wages for lower paid workmen, payment for small coal, and other serious questions had not been remedied. The employer 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 oeni- 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 employers now suggested in order to maintain the output—an overlapping shift, for instance. He strongly objected to that (ap- plause). Messrs. Brace, Richards, and others had spoken well, but he did not think they had sufficient backbone and sufficient fighting abili- ties. Mr. Stanton then dealt with the abnor- mal plaoes question, and said they were now offered a clause which simply put them-"as we were." His friends at Cardiff said thev had put up a strong fight, and the majority fceliev- ed that the workmen should agree to the pro- posed terms. The conference of the Miners' Federation opposed the 20th Rule being put into^jpeiration, and he maintained that sectional strike? wero no good. He contended, however, that if the views of thhundreds of thousands of-workmen throughout the country were taken they would declare in favour of tho South Wales men and stand by them. He was heartily sick of tha old-fashioned øectionn.1 strike methods. He was not in sympathy .it- anzi did not want a sectional struggle. Mr. Stanton proceeded to ask, "Am I to sign Away your rights for five yea.?s?" ("No.") "Then I am not going to do so" (applause). Ho added that. if the terms were not acceptable to them, they could vote against them in the ballot. There was a fighting element through- out 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. They would meet at Cardiff on the morrow, and an early mast- ing with the employers eeemed likely. In the course of the discussion, one person referred to a motion passed at a local colliery meeting the previous evening 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 to restart work on Monday. ATTITUDE OF MOUNTAIN ASH MEN QUITE ENOUGH OF SECTIONAL STRIFE. The workmen at the Deep Duffryn Colliery, owned by Messrs. Nixon, Mountain Ash, took advantage of the stop-day on Friday in order to consider the position. Mr. David Phillips pre- sided.—Mr. David Lewis (checkweigher) briefly spoke, and explained the new agreement. Councillor W. Lamburn followed, and said some people were inclined to blame. tho agents for what had been done. This was not right. They had to consider the position in which the men's leaders found themselves. They were face to face with a very gravo and serious diffi- culty, and the leaders had done the best they could under the circumstances. He strongly urged the men to carry out the agreement en- tered into by their leaders, and to work on till the 9th, taking the ballot in tho meantime. He strongly deprecated the view of a section that there should be a strike. In 1898 they had quite enough, he thought, of sectional strikes. The miners of Wales suffered bitterly, while the English and Scotch miners were working. Sectional strife, they all knew, was of no use in the present day, especially in view of the way in which the employers formed combines and amalgamations. It was proposed that work should continue on day-to-day contracts until April 9th. An amendment was put that work be not resumed, as a protest against the new agreement and against the action of the men's leaders. This was defeated by an overwhelming inaj ority, and it was decided to resume work on Saturday. MOUNTAIN ASH MEN FOR PEACE. A mass meeting of all the miners engaged at Messrs. Nixon's Collieries and the Miskin Col- liery, Mountain Ash, was held on the Pavilion Ground on Monday afternoon. About 2,000 colliers from the Deep Duffryp, Navigation, Cwmcynon, Glyngwyn, and Miskin Collieries attended. Mr. A. Whitcombe, Navigation Col- liery, was chairman, and an explanation of the position of affairs was given, by. the Agent (Mr. Enoch Morrell), who, in concluding his speech, remarked that the acceptance or refusal of the new agreement lay entirely with the men them- selves, but as the terms were the best they could get at present, he advised them to vote in favour. The general feeling among the ool- liei-s present was for accepting the terms offered in tÎ: c' now agreement. MEETING AT MERTHYR VALE. MEN ADVISED TO ACCEPT NEW AGREEMENT. A mass meeting of Messrs. Nixon's colliers at Merthyr Vale was held on Sunday afternoon, Mr Richard Davies presiding. There were at least 2,000 men present. Addresses were de- livered by Mr. Seth Rees and Mr. David Sulli- vnn. the delegates to the Cardiff Conference. Aid. Enoch Morrell followed, and dealt with the various clauses in the proposed new agree- ment. He paid a very high tribute to the man- ner in which Mr. William Brace, M.P., had acted as workmen's chairman and his conduct of the negotiations at the Conciliation Board Committee and also at the meeting of the con- ference of the M.F.G.B. He said he felt cer- tain they had obtained everything that could be obtained from the employers. It was now for the men to pronounce judgment on the new agreement in the ballot boxes, and he ventured to urge them in the strongest terms to accept the agreement. It might not be everything that some of them desired, but it was certainly the best possible agreement that they would ob- tain under the existing conditions. A number of questions were asked and an- swered, and the meeting terminated. MEETING OF TREHARRIS MINERS. A mass meeting of the Treharris workmen was held on Saturday evening to hear an ad- dress by Mr Enoch Morrell. the agent of the Taff and Cynon district. Aid. Morrell said he was not prepared to say that the proposed new agreement was everything that he would like, but having regard to the steps taken by the President of the Board of Trade and the atti- tude taken by the Miners' Federation of Great he felt that it s the best possible ajjresniofli that could La loured under tl, c:rc-t. r-.stanecs, and he i ¡ ci!:d,r u¡-d them un- der the circumstances to record their votes at the forthcoming feftllcf in favour of the Mttle- the forthcoming feftllcf in favour of tha Mttle- BMfc 'P'

--_._--_-COAL CRISIS.