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WESTERN MINERS' AFFAIRS. The monthly meting of the. Western Miner.* was held at Siddall Buildings, Swansea, on Saturday, February 14, Mr Caradog Jones, Pontardulais, presiding over 24 delegates representing a bout 5,000 members. There were also present Messrs. W. E. Morgan (agent), and D. J. Williams (treasurer). Mr John Mcrrjs, No. 15, was doorkeeper, and the tellers were Messrs. Wm. Humphries and Fred Cash. The Chairman said it was a matter for regret that the meetings were not com- menced more punctually, but the same spirit which characterised their meetings vas also shown in other directions. It was absolutely necessary if Trade Union organizations were to accomplish good work that the members should be more ali ve than they had been in the past. Owners were becoming less in number, and undertakings were becoming under the guidance of a few with the result that having laid down a policy they carried it through. He believed that workers were w orse off now than they had been because they were more harassed by officials, and there were so many more laws and regulations which had to be ob- served. Dealing with the resolution passed by the recent special conference held at Cardiff, he said it was necessary that the members of the Federation should increase their contributions from Is. to ls.6d. per month. The question they had to ask themselves was, were the men prepared to sacrifice another lid. per week towards building up an organisa- tion which would be a pillar of strength in fightiyg for their just demands? He was convinced that if the men knew the f)Osition, they would heartily vote in favour of the reform. The increase wcujd prove to be an excellent investment, and he hoped that at the respective collieries something would be done to explain the situation before the ballot was taken. There were weaknesses in their district. The West-ern District was not what it should be and, to a great extent, the nature of the district was responsible for those weaknesses. It was so scattered, but despite that there was a possibility of making it a greater force if the mem- bers were more enthusiastic than they were at present. LABOUR REPRESENTATION Mr Morgan stated that the comiyiittee had spent a great deal of time in discuss- ing the claim sent in by Mr David Davies, of Killan Colliery. It was ex- plained that Mr Davies had not been brought out under Labour auspices, but after a full discussion it was decided to pay the claim in the same way as they paid other representatives. Mr David Davies moved the adoption of the report. The workmen at Killan were quite pre s a-red to pay the levy, as they could find nothing wrong with the candidature. The Chairman said there was every reason why Labour Party candidates should remain apart entirely from the other two parties. That had been proved by the manner in which the Liberals and Tories had gone into the same lobby against the amendment to the Address moved by Mr Ramsay Macdonald. By 11 votes to 7 the recommendation of the Executive was adopted, also that a letter should be sent to the Lodge Secre- tary informing him that at all future elec- tions he should be run in accordance with custom. Mr W. H. Davies said that in future all candidates would be .governed by the rules laid down by the scheme adopted by the M.F.G.B. CAEDUKE COLLIERY A deputation from Caeduke Colliery waited upon the Executive, and after ex- plaining their case the committee de- cided to recommefnd thatf the men should receive six days' strike pay. Tho Chairman said they had satisfied the deputation. Recommendation agreed to. YNISARWED COLLIERY After discuss-iom, and on, the rcoornmc-n- dation of the Committee it was resolved that the books of the Lower Ynisarwed Colliery Lodge should give transfers to the men at the Lower Ynisarwed Colliery to enable them to rejoin the original lodge known as Craignedd. I BRYNLLIW FIVE FEET SEAM. Mr P. D. Rees gave a long report on the situation at the Brynlliw Colliery. THE FORTHCOMING BALLOT. I The Chairman stated that the Central Executive were making arrangements to [ deal with the forthcoming ballot re the in- creasing of contributions. The question had been dealt with at the special con- ference held a fortnight ago. He did not believe that they could get a fighting or- ganization for Is. per month. He be- lieved that the worker, generally speak- ing, waG a poor speculator. When they realized that for Is. per month, they had I- t i ?rit organisat i <)n, to been able, through their organisation, to obtain 60 per cent, on the standard prices, were they not satisfied that this was an excellent investment ? He believed that if the true position was placed before their members ,that they would un- hesitatingly agree to raise their contribu- tions from la. to ls.6d. per month. Mr W. E. Morgan said the ballot would take place before the annual conference which would, be held next month. The feeling at Cardiff was that the Fc-dera- tion could not poesibly be the fighting force it ought to be when they were handi- capped for want of funds. The expenses of the organisation had increased, and it was essential that the Federation should be a force on the sidie of the workers. The question of safety in mines was one which they should fight for as safety ought to be in the forefront of wages. If the Federation was going to fight for this question of safety they would require money to support those who were affected by dangerous conditions. The. Minimum Wage Act and the Compensation Act had increased their expenditure, and if these | Acta were to be administered to the best advantage of the men, there must be more money coming into the Federation. Mr Elias Davies said there was one phase of the question the members of the Western District should appreciate. During the lifetiine of the Federation, he believed the Western District had paid four times the amount of levies any other District had paid. He failed to see what the District was going to lose by increee- ing their contributions, because they would not be paying more than they had been doing in the past, whilst other Dis- tricts would be compelled to pay as much as they were paying. He believed that each member of an organisation should obtain the same benefits as other members for the same contributions. In the Rhondda District he did not suppose they ever paid a district levy because they always had ample funds at their disposal to do anything they felt disposed to do. Mr W. H. Davies said there was not a District in the M.F.G.B. which paid j Is. per month. Most of them paid Is. a I or Is. per fortnight, He did not believe in burdening the Federation with huge funds, because in that case they wouiu probably want- to protect their funds and not the wages. The new schedule-the Magna Charta-of the South Wales Coalfie!d would have to be dropped, unless they had funds to put up a fight against the coalowners. He sug- gested that every delegate should go back to his committee, and then ask that a meeting of the men should be called at which the position could be explained. He believed if the committee could be won over, the rank and file would follow. He hoped that their District would be strongly in favour of the increase because it would be to their disadvantage if it! went against the proposal. They had clamoured so much for the abolition of the 5 per cent. Rule that they ought to be strongly in favour. The 6d. increase was wanted, not for hoarding purposes, but for fighting purposes. (Applause). Mr P. D. Rees said if men who backed horses received back 10 per cent, of what I they speculated, they were usually satis- fied—(laughter)—but their organisation had succeeded in getting them 60 per cent. If the workers put their money into their organisations they would be far better off than in backing horses or com- peting in "Bullets" competitions—(re- newed laughter). It was their duty as delegates to emphasise to t-he workmen the necessity of increasing their contri- butions. It was all very well for their leaders to lay down new schedules of prices, but employers laughed at them, and Afrould continue to laugh until the workers were prepared to put a fundi in existence, which would enable them to fight—(applause). Mr E. Davies suggested that if lodges desired to hold public meetings the Dis- trict should supply the speakers. The Copper Pit delegate moved "That the District meeting was of the opinion that an increase in contributions was ab- solutely necessary." This was unani- mously agreed to. I SAFETY IN MINES. I It was agreed that the question of the proper examination and inspection of mines should be placed upon the agenda for the next meeting when it could be thoroughly discussed. Mr John Williams, M.P., said it was full time the question of inspection was raised. He had spoken for half an hour on the floor of the House of Commons the previous night, and he intended to place a copy of the speech in the hands of every delegate at the next District Meeting. He had arranged that "Llais Llafur" should publish the full report of Mr Brace's and his speech. Without egotism he believed he could say that he had been highly complimented for the speech by the leaders of the Labour Party. THE POSITION OF THE DISTRICT. I Mr John Williams, M.P., reported that since the last meeting a cheque had been sent by someone representing the newly formed Neath District—the proposed new District—to Cardiff. The cheque repre- sented payment for 2,146 members at 6d. per head. They had stated in their letter that the total membership they ex- pected in the new district was something over 4,000 members, in the aggregate. The opinion was expressed at the Central Committee meeting that day that the Executive should assert their power and insist upon their recommendation being I carried out. That course had oeen advo- cated by several who stated that that was the only dignified course that couiri be adopted under the circumstances. They suggested that the cheque should be sent on to the Western District with the instruction to the secretary to send letter to the person who sent the cheque on to ask him to send the 4d. due on each member to the Western Dis- trict. Another opinion, had been ex- pressed to the effect that as these men had shown their determination to form a new district they should be allowed to do so. He (Mr Williams) had been asked to express his opinion, but had stated that he could not do so until he had explained the matter to the committee of his District and having an opportunity of placing the whole of the facts before his Committee. The result was that the Com- mittee unanimously adopted the sugges- tion thrown out by the Chairman that Mr Tom Smith, Mr Wm. Vyce and Mr T. Richards should be asked to meet the parties concerned. } Mr W. H. Davies What do they mean by the parties concerned? Mr Williams Those representing the Anthracite, Western and Aberdare Dis- tricts. and also those representing the new District. SATURDAY WORK. The Copper Pit delegate asked that f the question of finishing earlier on Satur- days should be placed on the Agenda for the next meeting. Io o-



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