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I The Labour Party Conference I ELECTORAL POLICY DISCUSSED I CRITICISM OF THE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP The annual Conference of the Labour Party opened at Glasgow on Tuesday, under the Presidency of Mr W. C. Robn- son, of Heywood, and as will be seen from the following report, the proceedings were of a highly interesting and important character. The subjects discussed have been elec- toral and Parliamentary policy, and some spirited criticism was affertd by several members. On Monday, however, the yearly con- ference of the Women's Labour League took place, and here again interesting business was considered. Mrs. Salter, of Bermondsey, in her presidential address, referred to the part that women had played in recent Lab our struggles. The wives of the strikers, she said, had participated in the rough-and tumble of the movement outside the home. In some. cases they had taken their turn when picketting was to bo done, and in the taxicab war the women proved themselves as good fighters as the men. The women's movement was alv ays connected with anti-militarism, tor womn I had a special interest in the prevention and ultimate, abolition of war. On the question of women's suffrage the present Government had shown itself sadly lack- ing in statesmanship. It had had a great opportunity, and bad missed it. "I think (continued the speaker) that any part of the women's movement that tends to foment sex war is shortsighted, and after the vote is won such a faction must surely fail. Our ideals of the good housewife, the ideal mother are changing fast. We are coming to see it is only possible for woman to fulfil sufficiently her mission by uniting with other women under the-same conditions, and with the samo aims. Offering fraterral greetings from the Women's Trade Union League, Miss Mary McArthur remarked that the lab- our unrest of the past was nothing as compared with what it would be in the future. (Cheers). A series of resolutions were passed, in- cluding the following Protesting against the acceptance by a Labour paper of advertisements giving a luring description of Army life. Asking the workers to resist the efforts of the great war trm, to increase ex- penditure on armaments. To withstand the ins.idious attempts of the National Service League to introduce a system of conscription. Protest against the use of police, sol- diers and sailors in recent Labour dis- putes. A long discussion took place OIl the question of women's suffrage, and the motion was carried with unanimity in favour of the vote being granted. TUESDAY'S PROCEEDINGS. No fewer than 400 delegates assembled on Tuesday, representing 2,000,000 mem- bers. Mr Ramsay Macdonald, M.P. (chair- man of the Parliamentary party), moved the acceptance of the Parliamentary re- port for 1913. He said that ever since the party had been in the House of Com- mons there had been people who had imagined that if they had been there they would have shown them the way to do things. In his opinion, taking things as a whole the 40 members representing Labour in the Commons had done as well as, if not bett.en than, any other 40 men who could have been drawn from the Trade Unionist and Socialist move- ment. (Hear, hear). When in the House they had failed to bet and gamble to get a place for their Bills. The Parliament Act meant the wasting of three years in futile effort, and if they could not change the operation of that Act it was because the working classes of the c ountTy sent 40 andi not 340 men to represent them in the House of Com- mon.?. There was another hampering condition that he wished to state fearless- ly and honestly. The very extreme left wing of their party laid down the pro- position that there was no difference be- tween Liberalism, and Toryism, that the difference between a Liberal and a Tory Government- was the difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. (Hear, hear). He was glad he interpreted their opinion correctly. (Laughter). The only Government they were really interested in having was a Labour Government- (hear, h--arr)-and those who held the two historical parties in the most aupreme contempt were just those who ought to support the Labour party most toyally in the view that it was not worth while undergoing the strain and expense and trouble of a general election to turn Tweedledum out in order that Tweedledee might reign in his stead. (Hear, hear). II A PRACTICAL POINT OF VIEW If either of the big political parties, he proceeded, were to offer the Labour pftrty more advantage—he did not care whether it was Liberal or Tory-in giving more liberty to Trade Unions, or if either one or the other were to rise up during times of trade dispute and attack the other for being too liberal in its supply of soldiers or the supply of foreign policemen, then, irrespective of its name, the Labour party would be bound to do its level best to give that party a chance of being re- sponsible for the apvernment of country. {Hear, hear). But there was not much to choose between the two parties; there fore, from the practical point of v1n- there was no reason whatever why wIth- in the natural term of a Parliament s life they should put the electors, the Labour movement, and the country to the trouble of a general election. That view guided a very substantial part of the action which the Labour party in the' House took from the opening to the closing of the session. Mr W. C. Anderson (London), open- ing the discussion, said the feeling among a. large section of Labour was that the policy of the party in the House of Com. mons was not sufficiently distinctive from the other parties. Many outside mem- bers thought that the only thing which could justify the existence of the Par- liamentary 'Labour party was the em- -phasising of industrial and social issues and showing unwearied championship of the workers. The argument about getting Tweedledum out and putting Tweedle- dee in was an exposure of Labour policy. There was a danger of the party think- ing too much of Parliamentary exigencies. (Hear, hear.) A REPREHENSIBLE CASE Mr Macdonald said it was a case ot corruption. The House of Commons had, however, declared it to be reprehensible, and it would not be repeated. The House had decided that it ought not to have been done at all. "LACKING IN HOLY ZEAL." Mr McCarthy (Leicester) remarked that there was great disaffection among the rank and file. The Labour party in Par- liament paid far too much regard to etiquette and Parliamentary rules, and were lacking in holy zeal. The Labour Exchanges ought to- have been tackled by them, for they were helping the "scab" employer rather than Trade Unionists. (Hoar, hear). KNEW MR LLOYD GEORGE Alderman Saunders (London) said that, in order to convince the country that a third party was necessary, they would have to justify themselves by action, even at the risk of putting Tweedledum out and Tweedledee in. (Cheers). "We have had Mr Lloyd George" land campaign," he remarked. "Well, we all know Mr Lloyd George (A Voice 'Qu,,stioii,' and laughter)- who has. a wonderful faculty of reading Socialist literature, turning that literature into Liberal speeches and making you believe that he will bring in a Bill to fit with his speeches. It is nob .the business of the Labour party to assumo that Lloyd George is going to do what he gays. The Labour party must have its IOWIl Bills. We have been sold so many times by Liberal inferior Bills." (Cheers). Alluding to the Marconi Committee, the speaker said it was their duty to put the Labour point of view in a. separate docu- ment on that matter as distinct from the Liberal party. (Cheers). They as a party did not consider Marconi ethics worthy of the British Parliament or British Government. (Hear, hear). AN UNSAVOURY I BUSINESS I 1 IT _1- _J,o-T Mr J. Brownhe (London), said, I can tell you the rank and file of the Labour party were not satisfied with the atti- tude of the party in the Marconi busi- ness. (Hear, hear). Parker, who was on that Committee, had the. chance" of a life- time, and ought to have taken up an in- dependent position in that unsavoury business. When they were playing the Marconi cards there ought to have been at least one honest man who should have had the courage to say what ought to have been done. A Post Office official was punished in connection with Mar- coni s hares, and then they rewarded the chief actor, who induced the un- sophis,ticat.ed Cha nee 1 loir— (1 aughter)— and the Master of Elibank to dabble, by making him Lord Chief Justice of Eng- land. ("Shame.") They then talked about "deeply regretting." I can just imagine Mr Lloyd George saying that when some infuriated squire had got him by the scruff of the neck for robbing hen- 1-oos ts. (La ughter). Mr Quin (Manehe&ter) dwelt on the mat hod a of the Parliamentary Labour pa.rty by exclaiming. "1 hey left the orange boxes at the street corners -to set on tho soft cushions of the House of Commons instead of doing the work of the party outside.. (Laughter). There's too much of the garden party and the lardy-dardy a.nd doing the grand about tthem. I am afraid some members of the party sometimes neglect their work in order to ape the dukes. (More laugh- ter and cheers). FALSE FRIENDS. Mr Clynes, M.P., said the Labour pa.rt.y in the House had been insidiously pursued by enemies who pretended to be friends, who had no fault with every at- tempt and suppressed every act of good work, and had mischievously spread abroad the worst and the vilest lies that could be invented against the party. It was hard to work as they did at drudg- ery in Parliament and then to be- told they were "doing the grand. (Laugh- ter.) "I am not prepared to throw Home Rule and other measures into the melting- pot. We did not and ought not to have indifferently and recklessly walked into the .Lobby to bring about the downfall of the Government on a point of irrita- tion." I "NOT A PERFECT PARTY" Mr Shaw (Oldha.m) expressed the opin- ion that it needed more courage to agree to a verdict given by another party as Mr Parker did than to stand alone. (Cries of "Nonsense.") After all, the Labour party waa not perfect. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman then suggested that the debate should be closed. There was con- -m was con- isid-erablo protest, one delegate shouting, "I desire to criticise Macdonald rela-tive to his connection with Asquith and Lloyd George." Another exclaimed, "Y ou want to silence criticism." A vote was taken, with the result that. it was resolved to close the general de- bate. Mr Macdonald 6hallenged Nifr Stnders 1 to produce a edse where a Labour mem- ber had not drafted a minority report where he oould do it. MR WILL THORNE'S CHALLENGE. Mr will Ihorne. AI.P., charged Mr I Macdonald with entering into secret bnr- pains of any kind. I believe if we take the proper course we can extract some- thing from the Government, because they cannot, do without "ur votes; in fact, we fhonld t,.k(> tb- risk of throwing out. the Government. We ought not to sacrifice nrincinle every fitr- in order to keep the Government in." (Clieerq). Mr Arthur Henderson. M.P. If what Mr Thorn n sav« is correct. Mr Mac- donald ought not to occupv the nosition he does. The charge is absolutely void [ of foundation. MR MACDONALD'S REPLY Mr Macdonald, Never since I been in the chair has any ne.gottiation been taken with the Government with regard to the policy of our party. Mr J. Parker, M.P.. said he had been the subject of a good deal of criticism on this matter. What he did on that Com- he did in good faith, and with all the inside knowledge he had of the transaction he should do the same In the light of the knowledge he had' to-day there was no party which had made :1nv charge of corruption, not even Lord Robert Cecil. Mr John Burns (Glasgow) said if the same thing had been done by the Con- F-ervative party tfvpi Labour party would have denounced it as bribery and cor- ruption throughout the length and breadth of the country. Mr Parker: There v.s rover any I charge of corruption. The. adoption of the whole report was then ag<r--d to. AFTERNOON SESSION. A CALL FOR INDEPENDENCE. At the afternoon session Mr. Ben Turner (Bat-ley) presided, and Mr. Jas. Larkin, the Dublin labour leader, was in the balcony. Mr. Elvin, of the National Union of Clerks, moevd :—"That this conference calls upon the Parliamentary Labour party to adopt a more militant and in- dependent attitude in the House of Commons, to devote all their energies to pressing forward a distinctive Labour policy, and to preserve stricter discipline in the attainment of this object." The mover urged that this was not intended to be a censure on the party, but an instruction to it. After a brief discussion a motion to proceed to the next business was carried. THE CHESTERFIELD ELECTION. The conference then proceeded to discuss electoral policy, with special re- ference to the position at the recent Chesterfield election, when Mr. Kenyon was elected without the sanction of the Labour party executive, and to what happened at the Leicester election, in which Alderman Banton was to have been the Labour candidate, but ulti- mately withdrew. Mr. Arthur Henders-on explained that the case of Mr. Kenyon was still under the consideration of the Miners' Feder- ation of Great Britain, and it had been thought advisable that any action should be postponed until they had further discussed the matter. After- wards a special conference on the point might be necessary, but the Labour party wiuld insist on the constitution of the party being maintained. THE LEICESTER TROUBLE. I Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., then moved the clause relating to the bye- election in Leicester, in which reference was made to the manifesto issued from the Lilieral Central Committee that the action of the Leicester Labour men in selecting a second Labour candidate would lead to the disruption of the Labour party forces, and cause Mr. Macdonald to sever his connection with Leicester. Mr. McCarthy, Leicester, said a num- ber of Labour men in Leicester felt strongly about this matter. As there was no possible chance of their making headway other than by fighting, the executive had treated them like a lot of children. Mr. Richards, Leicester, also protest- eel against the action of the executive. They had a popular candidate in Alder- man Banton, and they begged the exe- cutive to give them a chance of fighting the seat. Whether they liked it or not, there was a belief in the country that the Jjf^bour party would not fight in double-barrelled tonstituencies where they held one seat. The manifesto is- sued by Sir Maurice Levy unfortunate- ly embodied the opinion of the Emer- gency Committee of the Labour party. Mr. Roberts took the responsibilities of having made that statement to Sir Maurice Levy, but they knew he was the last man that any information should be given to. Mr. Connolly. Leeds, said that the statement issued at Leicester as to the position of Mr. Macdonald was nothing more or less than a threat. The Chairman: This is a copy of a lie. Mr. Connolly said the Labour mem- bers for double-barrelled constituencies were not going to decide whether the party should have a second candidate or not. Sir Maurice Levy was able to obtain information which the great majority of the party in the constituen- cy did not get. Alderman Banton, Leicester, said he was authorised to come there as a mes- senger of goodwill. He did not believe there was any official statement made by the Labour party in the House of Commons. He knew Sir Maurice Levy better than Mr. Roberts, and if that gentleman had known him he would not have spoken to him. Mr. Oily, Manchester, protested against the action of the executive in refusing to contest Leicester. Were they to consider the welfare of Mr. Macdonald ? Were they to consider the welfare of Mr. Walter Hudson at New- castle? Why was it that the Labour party was afraid to fight the second seat in these double-barrelled consti- tuencies? He took it to be the duty of organised Labour to try and knock out all other candidates of the capitalistic classes. He regretted the payment of members, because the paid members were no longer delegates. He preferred them to the delegates, because if they were not satisfied with them they could then give them the order of the sack. 'DIRTY EPITHETS." I Mr. G. H. Roberts, M.P., rose to speak, and was received with cheers, booing, and a voice, "Dirty Roberts." The Chairman demanded the with- I drawal of the personal remark. Mr. Kinniburgh withdrew it and ex- pressed his regret. Mr. Roberts, M.P., said he did not stand in sackcloth and ashes, neither was he going to wriggle out of any responsibility he ought to shoulder. He wanted to say in justice to his ool- leagues that he was entirely respon- sible for what happened. "I have never shirked the responsibility. I have ad- mitted to my colleagues that I commit- ted an indiscretion, and I say to Kin- niburgh, 'Let him search his own past, and if he is satisfied that he has never slipped, then let him hurl his dirty epithets at me. (Cheers.) He did have a conversation with the gentleman mentioned, and he did not confess any shame for conversing with a member of the Houe of Commons even though he might be outside the Labour party. If they felt his indiscretion was one they could not overlook he was pre- pared to bow to their decision. Mr. Arthur Henderson, in reply to the discussion, said there was a rule as to not contesting the second in double-barrelled constituencies. The report was adopted with some dissentients. (Continued on Page 4.)

1 I From Labour's Stand- point.

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