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j FARMERS AND LABOUR AND THE WAR. [BY AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT]. The great -question in Mid-Waks to-day is whether more men can be spared from the land for military service or Dot, aud there is a movement among the farming commurity to protest against any farther contributiQL. This feeling is not genera], however, and a number of farmers feel that iu daty to their country, and the brave men at the front, they mast abstain from showing their sympathy with any movpment which will hamper recruiting, or encourage one mau ofvmilitary age to remain at the plough, when it is possible that the future freedom and liberty of old England bangs on his shoulders. Any movement set on foot to prevent the manhood of this country from rallying to the colours can be placed in the same category as the action of the Clyde workers or the Scuth WaleB strikers, and it is wrong to surmise from the meeting of farmers held at Hay the other day that is represented the feeling of the fanners of the tbr-ge counties. There are many farmers' sons, as well as the sons of working meo, from-the counties of Brecon, Radnor and Hereford with the colours, serving iu the sodden trenches of France and Flanders, and in other parts of the thtatre of war, who are anxionsly locking to the old country for hi Ip. Tbt-se could not possibly join harids with those who protest ayainst men from the land joining the King's forces to become a part of the bage army, which we hcpe gome time in the near future, will blot out the great mistake of tbe shortsighted policy of the misleading peace party, who worked bard for the past thirty years for the downfall of the great British Empire. If there is a shortage of labour on the land in the Hay district this is not due to the fact that the men have j iiced the colours, hat (as the chairman of the PfinsoaBtle Rural District Conncil said, when discussing the labour question at a meeting of the Sub-district Agricultural War Committee), to the fact that the young men have gone to the mining districts, where they can obtain better wages than farmers are prepared to pay. It is hardly fair to say that women can be of no service on the laud, and perhaps one reason for objecting to employing them is a fear that they will prove so asefal as to influence the members of the Tribunals to feel irthiir duty to refase to grant exemption to two or three men of military age on farms of lesn than 100 acres. There are cases within my kuowledge where women are doing useful work on the land to-day and carrying on small sheep farms of 80 to 100 acres without any male assistance except for three or four weeks each year for. fencing purposes and for a few days in tbe harvest. Speeches on the shortage of labour on the land are all very well, but there m a call which goes to the heart of a true patriot, that is deeper and clearer than that of the prosperous farmer; it comes from the men who carry their lives in their banda to save old England from defeat. It is to be hoped that all these movements of protest will be nipped in the bod, and that the men who to day worry about the labour question will awake to a sense of their duty to their country, encourage those who Fre able and fit to rally to the colours; and give an opportunity to the women of Wales, to take their part in the field, the same as the women of France are doing to day. An old man of 66 years told me that be had two sons serving inthe Army, and before the war tbey were at home with him on the farm, but now he was managing 150 acres with the assistance of a boy of 16 years. He worked twelve boars a day, and was proud to tbmk that he was able to do that much for his country and glad that be was not among those men who appear before tribunals pleading ill- bealtb or financial obligations, keeping at bome many yoong men who are themselves suffi- ciently imbued with the spirit of patriotism and sense of duty that they blasb at the tbougbt of having uo stay at home to be branded as cowards and slackers.
Soldiers for Farm Work. The Board of Agrfoaltare announce that in order to assist farmers to overcome the situation entailed by the late stormy weather it has been decided by the Army Council that General Officers Comtmanding in Chief may, on application being made to them by farmers, permit men with previous training as plough- men or horsemen, and who may volunteer, to be placed at the farmers' disposal for the month of April. The conditions of pay will be that the men will draw tbdr ordinary army pay and separation allowances, but not rations or ration allowance. The farmer will pay the men the rate of wage current in the district, and where the farmer provides board and lodgings he wilt be entitled to deduct Is 3d a day for the same, except on Sundays, when soldiers will only receive their army pay, and, therefore, board and lodgings for Sundays will be provided free by the farmer. These arrangements will only remain in force for tbe month of April, all men Paiiag present with their units on let May. Application should be made to the General Officer Commanding-in- Chief of the Command in which the farm is situated. Wales is in the Western Command, headquarters Chester.
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BRECONSHIRE'S LADY DOCTOR. Has High Praise for our Wounded. How she Met a Brecon Borderer at Malta. A representative of the Brecon County 0 Times had the privilege of a few miontes' conversation the other morning with Dr. Mary Phillips, who has bi-en staying at Brecon for a few days. Dr. Phillips was making hurried preparations for a journey to Scotland, findinu herself in a Huddt-ia difficulty owing to the breakdown of the telegraphic service. Delivered by post she had jost received an argent invi tation -tartt,ti from Scotland as a tdpgrarn- three dflY" b, fore, to join a hospital unit ab at to proofed to the Mediterranean to work amongst Serbian refugees. Finding it ÎmpoA- wihle to selId any quicker answer than an "express/' letter,Dr. Phillips, with characteristic energy, sent tbis and backed it op by b"" own departure, her one anxiety being that she might he too lete for tbo new opportunity of usefulness offered to her. Whet; the war broke out, Dr. Phillips was amongst the firs to take up miliiary hospital work, and was engaged for some time in this country. Then she was given a doctor's post in a hospital at RouPt;, where Rho had a good d >al of experience of typhoid oases, and there she remained till the work of that particolar uait was practically finished. Next hh joined h hospital unit for S-ri)i., and went 'here in April last yaar. She had I some exciting and tiring experiences in that country, when the G-rmans and Anstrianr, were ovsr-rnnnine it She esciped the f-t of j capture which befell a number of British, doctors and nurses, through a break-down in health, which necessitated her being invalided I home, after six months' service. Her uuit, in oharge of another lidy doctor (Dr. flutobinson) was tift-erwarde taken prisoner. I Her journey dOl) to the port of Salonika was very slow, and wag made in a. train con- sisting of cattle trucks, in which beds brsrll been placed. Since regaining her health Dr. Phillips has been lecccring for a Serbian hospital fnod, and is gi ateful for the splendid support sha has everywhere recpived. Unlike some of nor doleful "stay-at tomes," whilst j she has seen a!l the horrors and sufferings of I war in two oouniries, she is cheerful an<i COIl- fident and a talk with her is as good as a I tonio. Before reaching Serbia with her hospital unit Dr. Phillips had a fortnight's ^unexpected work at Malta. Just at the time her ship called there a large number of wounded men, inclndi»g many Australians, were sent down froia Gallipoli; and tbe Serbian hospital and from Gallipoli; and the Serbian hospital and its Btaff were pressed into the sprvio for a short time. Amongst the soldiers Dr. PhillipH dressed, was a South Wales Borderer who had broken several ribs in a fall over a cliff. He ,was two weary for conversation that day, but when Dr. Phillips spoke to him tbe next morn- ing his voice at once told her that be carno from South Wales. "Where do yoa come from?" she asked. "Brecon," replied the woonded man. "So do I," was the prompt rejoindtd, which must have surprised bim not a litlld. In the pleasant little chat which followed it transpired that tbis worthy bad been at Brecon Barracks. Dr. Phillips speaks in the highest possible ttrms of the courage and consideration of our wounded, and has a special word of praise for the Australians. Their chivalry she refers to as a thing to be wondered at their patient endurance is almost as wonderful.
FARM WORK FOR WOMEN. Conference at Brecon. On Wednesday last week a fairly well attended meeting was held at the Shire Hall, Brecon, of members of the Breconshire Women's Farm Labour Committee, in order to meet Miss Straohauo, of the Board of Trade, and to consider the Government scheme* for organising women laboar on farms. Mr W. S. Miller presided and others present were Mrs J. J. Watkins, Greenhill, Crickbowell, Mrs M. Richards, Brynhyfryd, Talybont, Mrs A. Beckwitb, Moor Park, Llaobedr, Miss A. E. Da vies, Aberyikir, Mrs Williams, Gowan Lea, Miss Jessie Miller, Forest Lodge, Miss Magdalene Price, Nantyrbarn, Mrs E. A. Orichton, Llyswen, Mrs Alice Prifcohard, Ystradgynlai8, Mrs M. A. Miller, Tstradgynlais, Miss Annie Morgan, Gwyn Arms, Abercrave, Miss Hilda Vaugban, the Castle, Builth Wells, with Messrs H. F. W. Harries (clerk to the County Council), Tom Morgan, Pontwillicn, Walter Williams and D Thomas, Builtb Wells, (County Agricultural Organiser). Miss Stracbam explained the scheme in detail and stated tbat they bad in view tho organising of the counties through local committees and village registrars. Dealing with the opposition with the idea of women farm workers, the speaker said the members would have to ventilate the whole question as fully as possible and probably a house to bouse canvass would have to be organised. The reason why they would bave to do tbis was that many women bad a dislike for farm work, and it'was necessary to point out tbafc Jfarni work was very valuable work and esppcially so in the present crises. It was as patriotic for them tostay at home to work on the farm as it was for them to leave their homes for monition works. Not only bad they to appeal to the working class but to the middle class as well the people who bad no need to work for a living. In some parts of the country women had already started on farm work and in Mon- mouthshire they were spreading manure. They had to persuade women that it was not "infra dig" to work on land and they should oome and do a little even if it were only for a short ,time. War time was jast the very time when women's work was valued. The village registrar would have to arrange a register of casual as well as full time workers. There was another question that was very disheartening at the commencement of the War and that was the reluotanoe of farmers to accept female labour. In Norfolk this was very prominent, but now there were over four thousand in that county. They bad to get in touch with the farmers from various sources, and once they oould get compiled a register they ooald then go to tbe farmers and tell them what women were available. Another question to be con eid ered was the accomodation and fransit of the women. Another was, the wage question which meant a great amount of negotiation. The general role was to give the women two- thirds of the rate prevailing for men in the district. There were various other details that would have to be considered and they would have to develop their debating instincts more than ever to persuade the farmers to accept their sobeme. The Chairman said they were very pleased with Miss Straobam's interesting address; she bad given them a thorough and practical out- line of the sobeme. The thing for them to do was to carry the instructions out so that they might be of some use to the farmers. Of course, there were some peculiarities in the district which they must try to meet. There were no big farms, for example. They bad a large number of women in the ooonty and if they were going to utilise them they would have to get the scheme in hand at once because work was very much behind and the busy season was coming on rapidly. On some of the farms women already worked. though not to the extent to which they did 26 or 30 years ago, but he was sure they would be willing ,to work more if an emergency arose. They had much prejudice to overcome, but speaking generally the scheme was not im. practicable. Discussion continued with regard to the general working of the scheme in the districts, and tbe Conference concluded with the tranal vote of thanks. V i
A CONFERENCE OF VICTORY. UNITY OF ACTION ASSURED. The War C"nfereDee of ti,j Allies beW at Paris on the 27tb 28ib of March muss be regarded as a historical «.vent of the first im- portance. It was remarkable for the complete uDauimity wbidl pr.cv¿II' ¡ and the swiftness with which its decisions w-ro arrived at. We are told that hardly tuort thn two hours were r-quirf-d in order to o-m and ratify the plans which bad beeu a i-r,tul;y worked out by the military authorities All the representa- tives were of one mini they h-sd u,) separate or individual aim. Th- one object they b",d in view was the defeat of the oomLnon euemy,aod they arrived at a cotapie' j agreement as to the best way in which to ukDaia that object. No chance of doubt atone as to the fioil issue of tb« war. It must %u,i cao eud ouly in the victory of the Allies. Bit its duration will be shortened and the victory will be wore IJom- plete if the whole BGri-tikth and resources of the Allies art) orgitlim,.ii and a common policy adopted. Such will oa the t-ffc, we are con- fident, of the resolutions adopted at 'the cou- ferenee. "ENTIRE COMMUNITY OF VIEWS." These resolutions art- compreheDaive'and far- -reachidg, covering th" wtiolr ground of aeti.iu in the L-iiitary, t diplomatic fields. The first resolusioij states .bú the representa- tives of the Allied G .Vf rt.m. [.< 41 affirm ne entire community uf iud sbliUrity of the Allies," and gcirH on to a .y TUMY con- firm all the measure taijeu to realise uoity of action aud unity of f<out. By this tht-y mean at once military unity of aotiju, as assured by the agreement concluded bit-ween the G-neral Staffs; economic at--iry of action, the organisa- tiot) of which bai b-,n a^>d by uhfl present conference: aud <'i|j!ooai'c noity of acstioc, which is guaraute d by ihmr cnsbikeable de- termination to porSO'1 ttie. siru'ggit) to the vic- tory of tbeir common Tue conference has thus recognised 0"' raat bit ecouomic unity of actiou is of no less importance than military unity of ucir.ou 10 the winning of the war. The repres^cuti«es of the Allies have ignored the t3buti 4bttd 'Vi:ws of those who are continually t; iout» o- that it qvilt bt) time enough to talk aboat eoouomic and fiscal mat- ters after peace is conclude i, and they have formally announced tbii.t iitiey are agreed upou the queBtiou tf the organisation of joint economic action. This important step will give the greatest satisfaction to all true patriots in this country, and will spread corresponding consternation throughout the enemy oouatries. IMMEDIATE ACTION. That the resolution we have qaoted is not a mere academic one is further evident from the terma of the second resolution passed by the conference, which reads a9 follows The Allied Governments decide to put iuto practice, in the economic domain their solidarity of views and interests. They charge the Econo- mic Conference which will be shortly ht ld in Paris to propose to thequ measures adopted to realise this solidarity!" N Ithing could be clearer or more explicit. No: only are the Allies agreed upon th..il' future joint economic policy, but they have made up their miuds to pat it into operation. Io order to do eo effect- ively they call opon the Economic Conference of the allied countries to draft measures in accordance with the resolutions unanimously arrived tit. We do not doubt that the Econo- mio Conference will fulfil the task allotted to it in a manner worthy of its importance. NOW IS THE HOUR! The work with which the Allied economists are oharged is rendered comparatively easy by the fact, stated authoritatively, that tha War Conference has "lid 'he preliminary plans and sketched out clia broad outlines of an economic agreement aruoog all the Adies, both for practical measures so bo oarried out at onoe, and for ultimate permaueuc measures for economic union atnong s,!i the Allied against the common enemy, not only during the war but sftpr the war." We trust that he unanimity which prevailed at the War Con. ferenoe will be no less io evidence at tbe Eoouocnio Conferena: and that its members will b3 able to arrive at decisions which will commend themselves; to all the nations they represent. In doing no they will not only shorten the period of the war, bat will go far to solve the equally important problems which will arise imuoaliately on th9 conclusion of peace. This country and the British Dominions will awaiti with eagerness the out- come of the second Conference, for the future of the Empire largely depends 'upon its decisions. We trust that the British repre- sentatives will show themselves worthy guar- dians of the great in'ero.sts entru sted to them, and will voice with no uncertain sound what they know to.be the earnest desire of the Empire. Let them remember the stirring words of Mr Hughts, the Au-tralian Prime Minister N /v? is the hoar I We are at the parting of the w^ys. Either a future incom- parably great and glorious or a swift descent into the pit of national decadence I do not see a middle way. There is none."
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