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-------Another Reduction.

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Another Reduction. The Miaimum reached. 8ir Michael Hicks-Seach's Ruling. On Friday afternoon Sir Michael Hicks- Bart., the independent chairman, .^tended a meeting of the Coal Concilia- 1011 Board for South Wales and M011- \outhshire f°r the purpose of hearing the 'guments to be advanced for and gainst the demand of the employers for reduction in the general wage rate of 4 Per cent, as and from September 1st thus bringing into operation the lnnlum of 30 per cent, fixed by Sir avid Dale in his award under the agree- of 1903. After just over one hour's scussion, the lion, gentleman came to Ceft,Co*iclusion that the owners had suc- th-^ 111 makinS out a case, and he o'e gave his casting vote in favour the decrease above stated. The result s not, entirely unexpected by the work- j lj1 s leaders, and in the coalfield gene- cJl|y the news cannot be said to have .^eated any serious disappointment, for on TfS rec0iSnised that the owners had, of /if0 ^l0UU(l the downward tendency tjj e market, the strongest case that tioif ever Put forward for a reduc- p the time the present agreement was st jed —in March, 1903—the wages 48;; per cent, above the standard th It will thu.s be seen that in just lee years there has been a total reduc- of I8f per cent. a/ 'actically 110 fresh arguments were sir] ailCed at Friday's meeting by either th.6' bey°nd those which were urged at g e meeting on Monday week, when the toard discussed th claim of the owners a.Jrienclly manner with a view of see- Mtk an agreement could be arrived at <lei^°at calling in the aid of the indepen- to K °!lairman. This, however, was found for o- ^mP°ssible, and hence the necessity T"k ^ticluK^'H presence. the n ^(>ar<' met at about 2.30 p.m. at Sir -v^?al°wnersJ Offices at Cardiff, and |)Q' picliael was already armed with the Part ^at would be advanced by both HSll \es- He had, in accordance with the Sty-i custom, been supplied with a tran- che- the shorthand notes of the di's- ^jion on the previous Monday. thp1' L- Davis, the chairman of overs' side of the Conciliation Board, (,<| the case, and practically the only t?«ct brought out by him was the of f.. the audit of the average price At \| f-o.b. for the past three months, ill onday's meeting Mr. Davis was only hOloi Position to give the audit of the S, °t the affiliated collieries for May he i Ujif\ and this was then stated to lls -Id. per ton, or 4-J-d. below the ha(j .per ton which Sir David Dale decided must be regarded as Mr IVto a wage rate of 30 per cent. Selij ^avis 110w stated that the average inch,f Vri(>° the three months, which $e July, was found to be lis. 5.61d. ^i^ceeded to argue that when the Vlrn Was reacl1ed, no other factor ^iiio-6 ^a^en i"t° consideration in deter- ^Vej.g the wage rate, and that once the se^ing price reached lis. lOd. became automatically fixed at the á. t 11111111. early stage of the proceedings ai he}];-wl intimated that he was this contention, and therefore *5^ Vace, who in the absence of Mabon ti?-e>frS t^e chairman of the workmen's %h relieved of the duty of labouring nt. °Pit}j right hon- gentleman was of tra^ that such factors as the volume r, e ,:nu' the enhanced value of small •ufas, couij v. —j MnV BCllmg Pllces were down to the in i)i and he further intimated that 11'" I ){ed 4:> o iiiion, even when wages were 80 Per cent- above the standard, CaHeci -°rs ho hacl named could still be !?^ht k' aiK\ *n any application that ,wc Jna(t° f°'r an advance in the ^0. 5 an?ra?? then argued from Browne's /l tW other returns that the decrease r»v>° i me trade had been effec- iV^ths ( ,et^ and that during the three aCl6ase <VUChuS July there had been an ii Pr^pi?- 10 coal exports over those of J'ged twng three months. He further ih acco at the owners had not taken 1I thCOunt the very substantial increase Ij1 e-eiit a, e email coal. When the l;6cfiHiho 8 ailclard rates were fixed in Jally 0i- 1879, small coal was prac- k nO' value, but now it was quoted ijj11- j,. Market at from 6s. to 8s. per likewise dealt with the imme- j}. ;(t t ii(i ;sPects of the trade, contending I'l'ovav'e Were undoubted evidences of v{}Port,. laLc^y vigorous speech was ably ,\j Alfp^^ y Mi'- Thomas Kichards, M.P., L- I). Onions, Mr. Ben Davies, and ^Utm a^s Morgan, and no point was i{^ fc c(l by them which helped in 11 ° resist the demand for reduc- Put forward. ltt. The Decision. \Jit §iv Ilis casting vote, Sir Michael ^ll;0chleti^ Is ruling in regard to the rip of factors other than the \j ?(rs' when prices were down to e that Sir David Dale had fixed Talent selling price to the l5J f"asing his decision upon W Hn°A. -^e agreement, which states (. ing in the clauses of this rules of procedure be:f e either party bringing any wf|e the board or independent Ut)0 they consider as factors On the general wage question."

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-------Another Reduction.