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The Coryville Enterprise.



MINERS' DEMONSTRATION. OGMORE, GILFACH AND GARW MINERS AT, PORTHCAWL. ADDRESSES BY MR, BRACE M.P., AND MR. JOHN" WARD, M.P. The annual demonstration of the Ogmore and Gilfach and Garw Districts of the South Wales Miners' Federation was held at Porthcawl on Monday, and. the weather being delightfully fine, large contingents tra- velled from all parts of the area to the ren- dezvous. The Federationists assembled on the Esplanade about 11 o'clock, and formed themselves into a procession. The Ponty- cymmer Brass Band (conducted ly Mr. Michael Miles) headed the procession, and following came the lodges of the Garw dis- trict, marshalled by the lodge secretaries. The Ogmore Vale Temperance Band (under the conductorship of Mr. T. Exley) preceded the Ogmore and Gilfach lodges. The prooes- sionists ma-rched through John-street to the New-road, and a mass meeting was held in a field at the rear of the Congregational Chapel, where a covered platform had been erected. The president was Alderman John Thomas, miners' agent of the Garw District, who was supported on the platform by Mr. W. Brace, M.P. (vice-president of the Feder- ation). Mr. John Ward. M.P.. Stoke; Mr. W. McGlenning, Durham Mr. Evan David, sec- retary of the Garw District; Mr. Tom Lucas, secretary of the Ogmore District; Revs. W. Saunders, C.C.. Pontycymmer, and W. A. Williams, D.C., Blaengarw Messrs. J. H. Gardner, Gilfach Goch David Thomas, Pen- coed Thos. Williams, Pontycymmer, trea- surer of the Garw District; W. John, Kenfig Hill; Samuel Thomas, Gilfach Goch; J. W. Jenkins, Blaengarw; J. Williams, Pontycym- mer; H. Butler. Blaengarw; T. Prescott, Tondu; John Rees. Nantymoel; Lewis Lewis, Gilfach Goch. chairman of the Demon- stration Committee; T. C. Jones, Pontyrhil; T. Matthews, Blaengarw, etc. The Chair-- man at the outset read a telegram from Mr. W. Abraham, M.P. (Mabon), who had prom- ised to address the meeting, expressing re- gret that he was unable to be present through indisposition. VOTE OF SYMPATHY. The Chairman said the first duty to be dis- charged at the demonstration was to pass a sincere vote of sympathy with the relatives of the late Mr. Tom Davies, the miners' agent for the Ogmore and Gilfach District. He proposed that an expression of sympathy be sent to the relatives. The motion having been carried in silence, ;he well known hymn Beth sydd imi yn y byd" was feelingly sung, to the tune Aber- ystwyth." Mr. R. Butler conducting. OMNIBUS RESOLUTION. Mr. Tom Lucas then moved the following ;esolution — This meeting expresses its unabated con- fidence in the Miners' Federation as the only possible means whereby the miners of South Wales, in conjunction with the miners of other parts of Great Britain, can secure a fair and equitable arrange- ment for the regulation of vrages and the continuance of a minimum wage rate. We therefore pledge ourselves to do all in our power to maintain the Federation i'i a state of efficiency, to deal with all questions that may arise in connection with our employment. We express our satisfaction that the Trades Disputes Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, and urge upon the Government to pass it through the remaining stages this year; together with the Workmen's Compensa- tion Bill as amended in Committee. We also pledge ourselves to continue the agitation for an Improved Coal Mines' Re- gulation Act; an Eight Hours Day for all miners; an Old Age Pensions Act; an Act for dealing with the question of unemploy- ment. and other industrial measure pro- moted by the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, the Trades Union Congress, and the Labour Representation Committee. We renew our determination to assist in the endeavours of Trades Unionists gener- ally, to increase the number of direct Labour Representatives returned to the House of Commons. The chief object of that day's demonstration, Mr. Lucas said, was to strengthen the Feder- ation. and they must get the men united be- fore they could hope to secure what they de- sired and were entitled to. He hoped that the efficiency of the Union would not only be maintained," but increased. The individual members, he was afraid, relied too much on the officials. If the power of the Union was to he retained or increased, the members must take more interest in the work. (Hear. hear.) Mr. Evan David, seconding, said it was very encouraging to the leaders to see such a great gathering of Federationists. If the men were true to the organisation, the ad- vantages enumerated in ttie resolution would follow, as surely as the night follows the day. (Hear, hear.) LABOUR REPRESENTATION. Mr. W. McGlenning appealed to the non- Unionists to join the organisation. They who disconnected themselves from the Union and refused to pay their quota towards se- curing privileges for themselves and their ieilowmen, were nothing but traitors. Let the miners cling tenaciously to the organisa- tion which had accomplished great things in the past, and would achieve greater things in the future. They were asking for shorter hours, for still better conditions of labour, and for old age pensions. Could they get these advantages? Yes, on two conditions; they must be faithful to the Trades Unions and be prepared to send to Parliament at their own cost, for the time being, men from their own ranks, who would voice their feel- ings. (Hear, hear.) They had had enough, nay more than enough, of the political dandy —(laughter)—whose chief qualification was to be able to escort a lady with much gallantry through the park. (More laughter.) He wanted in Parliament men who had been touched with the feeling of the workmen's in- firmities, who had drank from the bitter well of their experience. (Applause.) If they sent such men to St. Stephens to voice their feelings, they would not have to wait long for the legislation that they had been yearning for. He had long since abandoned all hope of securing protective legislation for the workers from a Parliament of land proprie- tors, coalowners, and ship proprietors. hat were these gentlemen doing in the House of Commons? It had now dawned on the workers—a great section of them at any rate -that the landed proprietor and his friends had only one object in view and that was to further their own interests. If the work- men s interests were to be safeguarded, it would only be done by direct representatives of the workmen, and therefore let them send to Parliament men of their own class aaid their own convictions on political and social matters. When the workers generally did this a brighter state of things would exist in this country, and the voice of the dernocracy would indeed be heard in the high places. Let those who were not able to lead be manly and sensible enough to follow. (Applause.) MR. BRACE'S ADDRESS. },1r. Brace, who was received with much applause, said he \8 ilaci the miners who helped to keep him in the House of Commons had decided to hold their demonstration at that beautiful resort. They might like to know that Porthcawl did well for the Labour cause in the last election. (Hear, hear.) Turning to the resolution which had been submitted, lie said he associated himself most heartily with the note of emphasis winch went forth from the mover and seconder with reference to the necessity for retaining the strength and efficiency of the Trades Union. Their Labour organisations were the basis upon which the whole fabric of Labour pro- tection must rest: they might have a hun- dred and one schemes, but they would have an equal number of failures unless the men were united through their Trades Unions. The Labour movement was of dual character it worked first of all for industrial reform, and secondly for political and economic re- form. Their industrial welfare must be looked after and protected nurely by the Trades Union if a man had trouble at the colliery his interest must be watched by the Union, and if the men at the colliery, as a whole, the Trade Union would see to their welfare just as it was the mighty factor in de- termining disputes affecting the whole coal- field. They could not do without sober, in- telligent leaders, but, after all, there came a time in the history of all disputes when it was not the collective intellectual capacity of the leaders that was the determining factor, even though they had the eloquence of a Demosthenes or the integrity and determin- ation of an angel. (Laughter.) The deter- mining factor then was the power which the men comprising the Trade Union put behind their leaders. (Hear. hear.) When men talked slightingly of the Trade Union, they showed that they had not given that con- sideration to tne movement which it de- served. The Trade Union had worked out the mighty emancipation of the workers of the country, not of the miners only but of the followers of all the trades. Some of fliose I present could remember what A SAD STATE OF THINGS existed when there was merely a semblance of a Trade Union in South Wales and Mon- mouthshire; and when there were but a few men in the Union to keep the flag flying. They could remember going into the office of their employers and being refused their ap- plication, no matter how just and reasonable the claims of Labour were. They hafcl been blessed to see the workers of the coalfield changed from a practically disorganised body into one of the mightiest Trade Federations that the world had ever seen, and they were experiencing the advantages of the Federa- tion, of the grand pioneer work done years ago, in their daily work and lives. (Ap- plause.) No matter what controversies might arise from time to time he hoped they would allow nothing to interfere with the welfare, the power and the steadiness of the great Trade Union which, in fact. had been established upon the blood and the sacrifice and the suffering of the miners of South Wales and Monmouthshire. (Applause.) The great strike of 1898 brought into being the Miners' Federation, and woe be to the man who, for whatever cause, would be a party in belittling that Union to the extent. that they should have it swept away, leaving the miners of the coalfield helpless. His message to them was Jealously guard your Federation." The leaders did not pretend that it was perfect they did not pretend that any man with a desire to criticise could not find plenty to criticise about. But the Trade Union in Wales, whatever its faults, was the best institution that they had had yet. and until someone came forward with an alternative that for a certainty promised a better result, the men should retain their present Union as long as possible for their own sakes and the sakes of their wives and families and their fellownien. The resolu- tion contained an expression of nleasrre that the Trades Disputes Bill had bee" int-oduc< into the House of Commons. iv<'vr. hea<\> The Bill was a great charter of freedom f(- the Trades Unions of the country. lie pro- tested strr,i°lv "gainst the chavr»e whvh was be in <7 m j> cT« in come quarters, that they v ere seeking PKEFF.RF.NTIAT. TBF.ATMF.NT for the workers. They were doing nothing of the kind; they merely asked that the workers should be allowed to enjoy the same position before the law as that enjoyed by the employers. (Hear, hear.) That was an equitable demand a demand that no cham- ber could rightly refuse to grant. They were entitled to it. and Parliament could not expect the workers to accept anything less than the provisions of the Trades Disputes Bill. A number of people who were not friendlv disposed towards Labour were hop- ing that the House of Lords would mangle the Bill. WitJi respect, but with a strong determination, he declared that no House established upon hereditary right would be allowed to set aside the needs and the justice of the people of the country. If the House of Lords were wise in their generation—and they generally were—they would not attempt to interfere with the Bill. He was hopeful that before the end of this year the Trades Unions could congratulate themselves upon being established upon a basis which was fair and equitable between their employers and themselves, and which would secure immun- ity to the funds of the Unions so that they might continue to do the beneficent work they were established to accomplish. They were living in historic days. so far as Labour was concerned. Not only ,ras a Trades Dis- putes Bill almost certain to become law, but a new Compensation Bill had been modelled which would meet the demands of Labour far better than the Compensation Act under which they were now working. (Hear, hear.) Among the committee which modelled the Bill there was a general concensus of opinion that the men who produced the national wealth should have provision made to keep them in comparative comfort when they were injured, and to keep their families in comfort when the breadwinner lost his life. (Applause.) There was a feeling in the countrv that the demands of Labour in this respect were fair and equitable. THE COMPENSATION BILL would go to the House of Lords, and lie hoped it would come back exactly as it was. If the Labour members had secured nothing more than the new Compensation Bill they would have justified themselves, because the Bill in its present form, provided that com- pensation in respect of an accident should be paid from the date of the accident and not after the expiration of two weeks as under the present Act. (Applause.) As to the proposed eight hours day from bank to bank, lie wished Mr. McGlenning would use his elo- quence to persuade the men of Durham to accept the proposal. Northumberland miners had at last accepted it, and he be- lieved that when the matter came to be fully understood, the miners of country would be unanimous in the demand for an eight hours dav. He welcomed the departure of the Northumberland miners hum their opposi- tion to the Eight Hours Bill. not so much because of the principle immediately involved but because once this highly controversial matter had been wiped on one side, the Dur- ham and Northumberland miners might be- come affiliated with the Miners Federation of Great Britain, so that the miners of the whole country would speak with one voice and act with one purpose. (Applause.) The Ministers had declared that while they sym- pathised with the principle, they could not find any money for the establishment of old age pensions. Last week there was a great historic gathering in the Houses of Parlia- ment. at which legislators from all parts of the world met to discuss the question of settling international disputes by arbitra- tion in place of war. (Hear, hear.) They ens- cussed the great question of armaments, and a resolution was carried that the time had more than come when the countries of the world should, from the standpoint of civili- sation if not-Christianity, reduce the huge burdens of armaments which were crushing out fhe lifeblood of the people. He wel- comed this departure in international poli- tics, apart from its moral aspect, because if money could be saved from armaments they should have the nucleus for solving not only + 1 if* OLD AGE PENSIONS PROBLEM. but many of the other social difficulties which had to be faced. (Applause.) The Minister in charge of the Naval Department remo- delled his estimates because of the change of opinion and thought among the nations or the world, and a saving of two and a half millions of money would be effected. ihe Labour party in the Jiouse of Commons—the whole 01 the Labour members, no matter what group they belonged to—stood as a pro- test against war, and against the schemes of armaments which compelled nations to spend so much money in unproductive undertak- ings leaving the great social problems un- solved. He was not going to allow himself to be drawn into the great controversy which had arisen with reference to the amalgama- tion of the miners with the Labour Represen- tation Committee. The Executive Council had decided that it was a matter entirely lor the men. and he agreed witn that decision as a supporter of the principle of democratic Government. He held strong views upon the question, but he felt that sufficient had been said. (Hear, hear.) If he could judge his colleagues all over the coalfield. they would prove sufficiently democratic and loyal to abide by the decision of the majority of the men in the ballot. He hoped the men would not allow anything to transpire in this controversy to interfere with the welfare of the Federation. (Applause.) They might legitimately have differences of opinion, but let those differences be so presented and argued that, after the vote had been taken, there would be no personal bickering or feel- ing. Loyalty to the Federation was the matter which was of supreme importance. Keep the Federation intact and all these things will be added unto you." He agreed with the ,Jews of Mr. McClenning with re- ference to the .Labour movement. The cause of Labour could not be adequately repre- sented in the House of Commons except by those who had been through the mill. who had been in close daily contact with the workers, and appreciated their difficulties and drawbacks. (Applause.) There were many whose hearts pulsated with sympathy for down-trodden humanity, but they were not proper representatives of Labour because they lacked knowledge. The workers must send more men still to Parliament who would fight for fair and equitable treatment, and these men must be men of knowledge and experienoe. (Applause.) SPEECH BY MR. JOHN WARD. Mr. John W ard, w ho had a hearty recep- tion, spoke for nearly an hour on the great change which the Trades Unions had accom- plished in the industrial world, tracing in an interesting manner the growth of the Unions. Forty years ago the employers were able to cheat the workers out of their wages, and to cheat them at their business establish- ments afterwards; the conditions were ser- vile, and men dared not call their souls their own. But the Trades Unions stepped in, and, after a great expenditure of time and money, they had succeeded in placing the workers in a better condition than they had ever known before. Notwithstanding this, they had shoals of men here and there who declined to pay their contributions towards the Union. (-- Shame.") They were reap- ing advantages which they never attempted to get. and they were waiting for others to secure more advantages though they were not prepared to pay a penny towards the ex- penses which would be incurred. They were sponging oil their fellow men they were im- posing OiL others. There had been continual agitation since 1875, and from time to time various concessions had been made to the Trades Unions. The Workmen's Compensa- tion Act, though nut the measure they had hoped for, had eonierred a great boon on the workers, and the agitation in respect of this cost the Trades Unions at least £ ou,UUU. There could be i.o difference of opinion as to what the Tiadcs Unions had dune. and no one who had studitd their history could for a moment deny that it was to be a great power in guarding the workers' interests in the future. Yet the non-Unionists were sel- fish and sneakish enough to withhold their financial support. The Labour representa- tives who had secured such triumphant re- turns at the last election—(applause)— iiad set to work with a v.ill. and they had suc- ceeded in modelling a Trades Disputes Bill. which would put the Unions in a proper posi- tion. There were people who objected to I the protection of Trade Union funds, who called the called the TRADES DlSPt'TES BILL a a iot oi terrorisers and nitiniidators. and used all the vocabulary that a certain sec- tion oi the Tory capitalists could be guilty or. tie gave the lie direct to the allegation that they were terrorisers. (Applause.) The men were not going to be misled now that they had received enlightenment as to their power. They were going to demand their rights, and no chamber, composed of wise men. would persist in refusing those de- mands. The Trades Disputes Bill and the Compensation Bill had-been pressed forw ard by the Labour members. aad they had suc- ceeded after a hard struggle in securing great benefits for the workers. Speaking on the Labour Representation Committee, Mr. Ward said there was no great difference be- tween the members of the two Labour Groups in the House at present, and he hoped that. until the small differences wlncli existed were removed, the two groups would work in har- mony. Let them unite for the good of the cause on the points concerning which they were agreed, and sink. so far as possible their differences. (Applause.) Mr. Ward was questioned by several mem- bers of the I.L.P. at the close of his ad- dress. He said he was an independent Labour man, but could not at present sub- scribe to the constitution of the L.R.C. He refused to say what course he would have adopted had he been concerned in the three- cornered fight in Newport. The resolution was carried unanimously. AN I.L.P. CANDIDATE. Mr. John Rees >Ogmore Vale] proposed that the meeting send greetings to the miners of Cockermouth. and express a hope that they would place Mr Robert Smillie, the I.L.P. candidate, at the top of the poll. Mr. Rees said Mr. Smillie. who was the president of the Scottish miners, was an able exponent of Labour questions, and would make his voice heard in the House of Commons. Mr. J. H. Gardiner (Gilfach Goeli) seconded, remarking that he had worked with Mr. Smillie when a lad. The Chairman supported the motion, which was carried nem con. Mr. Hopkin Evans proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers, and Mr. Robert Butler having seconded, the motion was carried unanimously. The meeting concluded by the singing of "Hen wlad fy nhadau." Mr. Samuel Thomas rendering the solo in good style.