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MINERS' AGREEMENTS I

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MINERS' AGREEMENTS Prophecy of Industrial Upheaval. MR HARTSHORN AND NEXT YEAR'S CRISIS. —— Mr Vernon Hartshorn, addressing a meeting of miners at Pontycymmer on Friday night, said one of the tasks the working-class movement was setting itself to acoraplish was to force Parliament to adopt as its programme those measures of reform upon which the industrial masses had already set their hearts. He thought that next year would see the biggest in- dustrial upheaval or a bigger industrial upheaval that this county had ever wit- nessed. He wanted to say what he had never said before, but which he thought would be realised to the hilt. They ha,d made, he believed, the last agreement that would ever be made with the coaJowners in South Wales, except under pressure. He did not think there would ever be another agreement entered into in that coal- field, and he questioned whether there would be one in Great Britain as the result of mere negotiation between the miners' .representatives and the coal- owners. That was true not only in reference to mining as it related to every other industry as well. This year's business for the workers was to complete their organisations. Next year, for the first time in the history of mining, all the agreements through- out Great Britain terminated simultane- ously. In the past, when they hud had to make an agreement in Wales, and had gone to the Miners' Federation of Great Britain to ask them to join with them in making their demands successful, they had always been met with this position. The English representatives had said :— "We cannot take part in this movement with you because we have an agreement which does not termina,te for another two years." When England had been making ( arrangements they had been met witn ex- actly the same difficulty the Welsb; and Scotch agreements had overlapped. The position now was that they had all the agreements in the mining industry termin- ating in 1915. There was also the Mini- mum Wage Act to take into account. That measure was passed in 1912 for two years, and therefore, came to an end next year. The railwavmen's Concilia- tion Board agreement also terminated in 1915, and, fortunately, he thought, the lifetime of the present Parliament came to an end also. (Laughter and applause), "IN FOR STIRRING TIMES." ) So that they were in for stirring times. The Miners' Federation of Great Britain had expressed in resolutions at its annual conference its determination to have a higher wage agreement after this year than they had ever had in the past. They were prepared to proceed in two ways. They were willing to draft a Bill em- bodying their own proposals as to wages and hand that Bill to the Lab- our party to introduce into the House of Commons. If Parliament was pre- pared to give them their terms by legislative enactment well and good, but concurrently they would draft a aeparate list of proposals to submit (to the ooftlswners. If neither would agree, then they would bring their big battal- ion to bear on the situation, and pres- sure that would be obsoJutely ir- resistible. In 1912 they made mistakes, but they learned wisdom through mistakes. They had learnt that even a national strike of minors was a sectional strike, and the railwayman and seamen had been taught the same lesson. Now the three execu- tives were negotiating with a view to recing on common action in 1915. (Ap- p lause). No Government—Liberal or FL.z Dr resist the demands of united workers. LESSON OF 1912. I What did the miners by themselves do I the last time? A couple of weeks before they came out on strike the Labour party submitted a resolution to Parliament making the Government to introduce a Minimum age Bill, and the Liberal party did tnot even treat the matter i -seriou,sly. They only put up an under- ) secretary to reply, and dismissed the case from the House altogether. But when the strike took place the whole nation realised that the miners had raised a I question which must be dealt with to the exclusion. of everything elste. If the ), miners could d8 that of their own bat, surely, when the industrial workers united all their fofces, they could make I things hum. If the member for Mid- Glamorgan could get Mr Asquith to con- cede without a strike the demands they would be making, he, for one, would do I .all he could to get the miners) to Support I Mr Hugh Edwards, but h? knew perfectly well that a shipload of such membr81 could not bring presurb to bear on the ¡ Government unless there was an indus- trial upheaval behind it. (Cheers). NOTICES IN NON-UNIONIST I QUESTION. I Mr Frank Hodges, mwiors agent ior the Garw District, said ttie t called in particular in respect of the n Unionist question. They were not going j to talk to the non-U nionists as much as ¡ they had done in the past. One or two bludgeon methods had been iidopted, but the non-Unionists somehow or other jeeemed to have recovered from the bump. On this ocasion they hoped to Rive them a knock-eut blow from which they would never recorder. Notice forrm would' be given out on Mondy, and on Tueday h9 '-d the men would show a solid  by handing their notioœ in. Mr aodges ?ded that they were g<)in to 1^ hlh jinks in the Garw if Mr Hugh Edwards, took up Mr Hartshorn's challenge to de- bate whether the Liberal Government was directly responsible for the pass n^ of the Minimum Wage Act. Mr W. W. Craik, sub-warden of tile Central Labour College., addressed the meeting nt the educational side of the Labour movement.

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