SENGHENYDD PIT DISASTER. Mr Wm. Brace's Demands BETTER LEGISLATION WANTED The final stage of the Senghenydd in- I quiry was reached on Friday, in London, when the addresses for the various parties were delivered at the Home Office. The Commissioner, Mr R. Redmayne (chief inspector of mines) presided, and was ac- c,ompanied by Messis. Evan Williams and Robert Smillie, acting as assessors. MR W. BRACE, M.P. Mr W. Brace, M.P., first addressed the I court, which, he said ha.d the serious and solemn responsibility of giving guidance to the Government and Parliament to in- troduce such legislation as was necessary to prevent such calamitous explosions as that at Senghenydd. He hoped the Court would make a report as soon as possible so that the Home Secretary might insert in his promised Bill a series of drastic conditions which would give miners a better chance of life than they had had in the nast. I jC A LONG LIST Mr Brace advocated the prohibition of naked lamps in gassy mines; that elec- tricity for heating, signalling, and light- ing should be prohibited unless surround- ed by the most rigid safeguards no over- head "sheaves" in gassy, fiery, dry or dusty mines; the general use of electric lamps in all such mines as above; a gas testing lamp in every working place avail- able for use to prevent men being over- whelmed by accumulations cf gas that: the firemen, instead of being employed by the employer, should be elected by the, workmen and paid by the State. The Commissioner suggested that was outside the province of the Court. Mr Brace said he thought not, as it collected a certain kind of insecurity, Firemen at present had not that security of employment which gave assurance of j their always giving a true record. Continuing, Mr Brace asked that all empty spaces that could act as centres for gas accumulations should be stopped up that all main roads, roofs, and sides should be well watered that dust-tight trams should be used in all fiery mines; that emplovers should bring all coal to the bank that no inflammable or combustible i material &hould be used in airways OT allowed to lie about in the roadways; that there should be water zones ini the mines; with the object of checking and prevent- j .ing explosions, also localising them, so that those workihg in other parts might; have a chance of saving their lives in- stead of every man- and boy being swept into eternity. I A DAILY "REST." Mr Brace also said every mine should have a "rest" of eight hours in every 24, which would give it time to cool. He asked, too, that workmen should have a right to take proceedings against the nune manager for breach of regulations with- out first consulting the inspector-the same right that the owners had in regard; to the workmen. The Commissioner said they were not permitted by the law to go into that master. < THE INSPECTORATE. Mr Brace asked that emergency doors. should be of such material as should stand any force of explosion, and that there should be an increase in the num- ber of inspectors of miiie-aii inspector to each 5,000 workmen, to act under the control of a superintendent inspector; whose area should not be too large to en- able him to give personal attention to all matters brought before him. The Commissioner asked if Mr Brace meant that the Senghenydd pit was not adequtely inspected. Mr Brace I say not only Senghenydd, but the whole of the mines in the United Kingdom. j STRICTURES FROM MR NICHOLAS I Mr W. P. Nicholas, solicitor for the South Wales Miners' Federation, said that some reports made by the colliery's servants were "loosely drawn." "A rubber stamp might have performed the functions," he exclaimed. There had been frequent contraventions of the Act, said Mr Nicholas, by men other than firemen performing duties of firemeiu Reserve ifremen were necessary. Mr Robert Smillie, M.P. (an assessor) If the;v were four firemen necessary to examine the pit you would have a hfth ? Yes. Mr R. A. S. Redmayne (commissioner) It would be only a matter of organisa- tion. Mr Nicholas We think the Act re- quires strengthening. We are not satis- lied that a longer time than five ho.ir-s did not sometimes elapse between the examinations made by the proper fire- men, although they might have been made by men who were partly gangers and partly firemen. Dealing with the work of rescue, Mr Nicholas complained that delay ensuord before the services of the rescue brigade were used. "They performed herculean tasks when they got to work," he said, "but there was delay in getting to the men in York pit. Attempts ought to have been made to penetrate the smoke at this point, and the same remark ap. plied to the Britannic pit. "It is interesting to see with what Mr Shaw, the manager-who displayed great personal heroism-was satisfied. ORGANISATION LACKING. "There should have been some system or some organisation, some telling-off of men to different places. When. we think of poor Archie Dean and other men wandering about for days we ask whether some system could not have been estab- lished to meet difficulties such as these. Mr Nicholas went on to say that there should be better provision for flooding mines in case of fire. Timbering should be fireproof and the hours of enginemen should be curtailed. Severe strictures upon the colliery oom- pany was passed by Mr Clem Edwards, M.P., when he addressed the court on be? half of bereaved families. He commented upon the fact that there had been no evi- dence from a director. SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS. ..I "With a- grave sense, of responsibility, said Mr Edwards, "I must say that no more oulpable and flagrant ignoring of the Mines Regulation Act has ever been brought To the notice of such a court as this. There has never been a single im- portant provision which goes to the pre- vention of disa.ster which this company has not violated. There have been 12 or 14 breaches of the Act and, most of them have relation to the prevention of ex- pln,sions. PMr Edwards definitely alleged: Inade- quate ventilation; inadequate testing of the air 100 ya.rds from the first working place; lack cf means for reversing ventil- ation no written appointment of the man in cha.rge of the locking static-n be- low ground; no systematic clearing of the sides and roofs of the roads; absence of a full and accurate report as to pre- sence of gas; districts had been larger than would allow the firemen to do their work thoroughly; examination of gas in cavities had, been carried out by a lamp on the end of a stick and there had be-en failure to report gas to the extent of an explosive mixture. ions at the in- One of the great questions at the in- quiry has been the place oi origin ot the explosion. On this head counsel said that if the theory of the management (that the trouble began at the Lanca.ster level) were correct, the owners would get rid of a grave responsibility, personal an 1 civil. It was significant that they ha,d treated as quite unimportant the variety of theories put forward by the Miners' Federation, and the moment anybody suggested the Mafeking pit, evidence had come fiom the owners' witnesses with the greatest rel uctance. "The gas was of an explosive charac- ter," said Mr Edwards, "and that was only dragged out by the adroitness of Mr Smillie's Scottish mind. The proceedings were adjourned until Saturday. SATURDAY'S PROCEEDINGS THE INQUIRY NOW OVER. The inquiry closed on Saturday, when the Hon. Trevor Lewis, in his final ad- dress on behalf of the manager (Mr E. Shaw), dealt with the accusations which ha.d been made against the management. With regard to the means of ignition, there was no doubt, he said, that such means existed in the lamp-locking station, thus far supporting the manager's theory, but it was difficult to draw a hard-and- fast line, having regard to contradictory appearances. He pointed to the New Tredegar tests as evidence that the sig- nalling apparatus could not have given off a spark of sufficient intensity to fire gas. He denied that there was any evidence to show that any of the firemen had failed to make a fuller report of what they found because of the fear of dismissal. With regard to the stopping of the fan for an hour and a half, he also submitted that there had been no breach of regula- tions. It did not follow that, because the fall was stopped, there would be no ven- tilation. The mere stopping of the fan did not constitute an offence. SEARCHING FOR GAS. As to the method of .searching for gas in cavities with the lamp and rod, it was, he said, entirely a question of angle and there was ample evidence to prove the safety of open cogging for roofs. He strongly objected to the statements made against a dead man that he had been in the habit of merely "brushing away" accumulations of gas. Mr R. Smillie Assuming that it took place, it never was suggested that the manager was aware of it. Mr Kenshole, on behalf of the Univers- al Colliery Company, the owners of the mine, denied that there was anything wrong or defective in the present method of searching for gas, and contended that there had been no statutory breach in the operations of the firemen. Whenever a "cap'' of gas was found the place was orossed off, and he contended that this was a compliance with regulations. »«t»
Swansea Valley Trade THE WEEK'S REPORT. The Sw.nsea Valley Trade report for this week states Trade conditions during the week were considerably brighter. The galvanised sheet industry showed improve- nieait all round on the position of a few months ago. The Beaufort, Duffryn, and Worcester Tinplate Works were fully operating, but there was a. stoppage of short duration at several mills at" the Upper Forest Works, some repairing of machinery being attended to. Collieries were doing well throughout the valley. Progress was shown at the blast furnaces at Landore, there being a large produc- tion of pig iron. There was a good de- mand for all classes of material at the local spelter works, and outputs were in- creased. There was an average produc- tion of steel ingots, but the dumping of foreign bars, which still goes on, was a drawback. The British Metal Extraction Works were doing exceedingly well. The reports from the Mannesman Tube Works, Landore, indicated little change as com- pared with the previous week. All the Mond nickel departments were amply supplied with orders. Copper refineries were doing well, previous outputs being maintained, and the sulphuric acid fac- tories were busy. J J
German Coal for London IMPORTS COMPENSATED FOR BY INCREASED EXPORTS Inquiries made in London show, says the Central News, that recent reports as to enormous purchases of German gas coal for London gas companies have been exaggerated. The total quantity pur- chased is 250,000 tons, through Messrs. Gardner, Locket, and Hinton, and the prico is much higher than the remarkably low figure quoted. With reference to the alarm felt bv the Durham gas-coal merchants, it is pointed out that coal from the Westphalian coal- fields can be sent into London at a cheaper rate than into Hamburg; and, further, that coal can be sent from the Tyne to Hamburg at less cost for freight- age than Ruhr in Westphalia. This fact is due to the comparaftive cheapness of sea. transit as against the charges on the Prussian State Railways. It is urged, therefore, that the Durham coalmasters should be able to ship in- creased quantities of coal to Germany to take the place of any German coal which may come to London. London is in fact—in oonsequerfe of the position of the Westphalian coalfield in regard to transit-the more natural port for German coal than Hamburg. The excellent system of canals from the coal- fields to the cost is a. great factor in the cheapness of transit for the German pro- duct. ————— — <—————
A resolution was passed at a meeting under the auspices of the Swansea, Social- ist Socielty on Sunday protesting against the action of the South African Govern- ment in their declaration of martial law. and the imDrisonmrnt and deportation of Labour leaders. Mr Ben Tillett was the principal speaker. — »«a»
W. A. WILLIAMS, Phrenologist, can j be consulted daily at "he Victoria Arcado (near the Market), Swange,
FROM LABOUR'S STANDPOINT. Events of the Week- I BARNET KENYON QUICK CHANGE I ARTIST Mr. Barnet Kenyon has excelled himself in the capacity of a quick change artist. After months of con- ferences, discussions and elaborate ne- gotiations, during the whole of which time the Member for Chesterfield had persisted in his determination to sit in Parliament as a Lib-Lab representa- tive, all differences were apparently settled a fortnight ago, when in his own words and the words of the secre- tarv of the Derbyshire Miners' Asso- ciation, he was prepared to accept un- I conditionally the constitution of the Labour party, and to assist in the for- I mation of a local Labour committee m his constituency. On the strength of this agreement, Mr. Kenyon was in- troduced to the annual meeting of the Parliamentary party and took his seat among the Labour members. This was only on Tuesday of last week. Then on Friday Mr. Kenyon announced that he had decided to secede from his pledge so recently given, and would in future sit on the Ministerial Benches as a "Labour and Liberal member." In the course of a long explanatory statement, we gather that the member for Chesterfield now objects to the pro- visions of the constitution, regarding speaking from Liberal platforms, a pri- vilege which he is desirous of retaining. and differences have arisen in regard to the establishment of a Labour party in the constituency, Mr. Kenyon not being prepared to carry out this stipu- lation. With these facts in mind we do not hesitate to say that we welcome Mr. Kenyon's departure. The Labour party will be stronger, more indepen- dent and more virile minus the support of one who would have been with them in name only, an alien in spirit. VLCTORIOUS WORKERS I Our hearty congratulations are due to the two sections of workers who, after a long and stubborn fight for justice, have had their egorts richly rewarded. At High Wycombe, where there has been a lock-out affecting 3,000 workers in the chair making in- dustry for the period of 12 weeks, ne- gotiations conducted by Sir George Askwith, the official peacemaker, has resulted in terms of settlement being agreed upon by each party, these in- cluding a general advance in wages, the establisment of minimum rates for every section and no victimization of the lock-out workers or strikers. The workers have agreed to accept the setting up of joint conferences for consideration of points of dispute which may arise, these to take the place of collective bargaining, which was for- merly recognised. The terms have been accepted as eminently satisfac- tory by a great mass meeting of the workers concerned. The second victory to record is that of the Herefordshire school teachers. After a sitting of over five hours the special strike committee of the County Education Committeo drafted a report containing an amended list of salaries acceptable to both sides, and this mere- ly needs the confirmation of the com- mittee as a while. The members will no doubt be only too ready to accept the report. They have not relished the strike which has already continued for a period of over three weeks, and they have moreover to face the discomfort- ing threat of the Board of Education to step in and settle the dispute over their heads unless the dispute is speedi- ly terminated. THE I.L.P. CHAIRMANSHIP In a letter to the Press last week Mr. J. Keir Hardie, M.P., conveyed his do- cision to retire from the chairmanship of the Independent Labour Party at the annual conference at Easter. He states that he had been asked to accept the position for a second term, in order to a&sist in the consummation of the Socialist Unity proposals which have been set agoing during the past year, and for a time the invitation appealed to him, but now Mr. Hardie says that ho definitely that the reason for his decision is purely physioal, and it may be pointed out that for some consider- able time past, Mr. Hardie has been working at great pressure, ntder cir- cumstances none too favourable so far as his general health is concerned. Whilst many members of the rank and file will regret Mr. Hardie's deci- sion the explanation advanced will, doubtless, be sympathetically received, and his long and distinguished services to the Labour and Socialist cause will be realised all the more forcibly as a result of his retirement from official association with the party. It is stated that eight nominations have been re- ceived for the chairmanship, among them being Mr. Philip Snowden, M.P., and Mr. W. C. AnderSon, both of whom have previously held the position. I ANOTHERI RETIREMENT I A further retirement during the past few days has also occasioned con- siderable regi-et, .,viz., Mr. G. H. Roberts' vacation of the post of chief whip to the party In Parliament. Here again the cause of the resignation is purely a suggestion of health, Mr. Roberts, whose duties are multifarious, having felt the strain on his constitu- tion too severe. It must be exceedingly difficult for a man endowed with merely average human strength to discharge the duties of an official of an important trade union, a member of Parliament, a jour- nalist, lecturer, etc., without seriously taxing his health, and we confess that we cannot possibly understand how Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., who has ac- cepted Mr. Roberts' position until the end of the present session, will carry out the work required of him. Are we not prone to expect far too much from our leaders? Would not their work be more effective and more valuable to the party, were they not expected to do the work of two ordinary men? HARTSHORN V. EDWARDS So that promised debate to which many of us have been looking forward with great eagerness, is not to take place after all! The correspondence which has been proceeding in this and other journals during the past week or two between Mr. Vernon Hartshorn and the Rev. J. Hugh Edwards, M.P., has culminated in the inglorious re- tirement of the latter, who apart from the fact that he is "busy with Mr. Lloyd George's biography," appears to be secretly relieved at being spared from what would doubtless have proved a very embarrasing position. The original proposition was that the de- bate should be purely on the question as to whether the Liberal party was responsible for the passing of the Minimum Wage Act, but Mr. Harts- horn pointed out that this would be utterly futile. The question of who was responsible for the actual passing of the Act is of little or no account, therefore Mr. Hartshorn submitted four points surrounding the general attitude adopted by the Liberal party towards the miners' demands during the general strike. It would have been exceedingly difficult for Mr. Edwards to have formulated a reply to these very pointed questions, consequently he now accuses Mr. Hartshorn of "eva- sion," and says it is useless to discuss matters further. Our readers can form their own opinions as to the conclu- sions to be drawn from this latest phase in the controversy. WELCOME FOR THE DEPORTED The nine deported "Labour leaders from South Africa, reached the mother land on Tuesday morning, and were accorded a welcome befitting this un- precedented occasion. The boat upon which they sailed, the Umgeni, reached the Thames early in the morning, and the members of the British Labour Reception Committee, Messrs. W. A. I Appleton, C. W. Bowerman, M.P., A. I Henderson, M.P., W. C. Anderson, I and J. A. Seddon, met the vessel in a specially chartered tug off Gravesend. By now the British public will have learned the true story of the South African imbroglio, and we venture to, predict that the story told by the de- ported nine will differ very materially from, and will sound far more feasible than, the hypocritical cant of Botha- Smuts and Co. Our own leaders have not been slow to realise the necessitv of impressing the British people of the entire sympathy existing between trade unionists here and in South Africa at this grave international crisis, and the manner in which the nine visitors are being entertained will no doubt serve as an adequate demonstration of the fact that the workers of the United Kingdom are determined to maintain their liberty at all costs. W G. A. G. II ————— 1 < ￼ < —————
Short Factory Hours. II SUCCESS OF REMARKABLE LABOUR I EXPERIMENT. Students of labour conditions are watch- ing with particular interest the experi- ment at present being carried out by Sir Richard Cooper, M.P., for Walsall, and principal of the firm of William Cooper and Nephews, the well-known chemical manufacturers, at his Berkhamstead works. Impressed by the quality of the work done in the firm's Chicago factory, where the hours are materially shorter than in England, Sir Richard told some. two hundred men at the Berkhamsted factory that for a trial period of three months work would begin at eight in the morning instead of six. The men's weekly wage remains unaltered. "The start at six on a practically empty stomach is altogether bad," de- clared Sir Richard to a press representa- tive. "As it is, the men come after a good breakfast and get right on to their work at once. When I made the change I appealed to the men to show their ap- preciation by reducing the waste of time to a minimum, and so far they have genuinely responded. It is, of course, too early to pronounce definitely on the scheme, but I have little doubt that its permanent adoption will be justified." One interesting result of the change has been a complaint from a, local publican that since the hours have been reduced his takings have so fallen off as to threaten his prosperity. This is largely due to the fact that the men now break- fast at home instead of carrying their food to work and going out for a glass "to wash it down." After six weeks' working Sir Richard's general verdict is that waste has been re- duced, the standard of efficiency raised, and that the firm will have no cause to repent of the change it has made. In the case of piece-workers the wage is kept at its former level during the experimental period by a system of bonuses. Should the new hours become permanent wages will be raised so that no one will suffer by the reduction of working time. —————— I
It is related of Mendelssohn, the great compcser, that "when he lived in Wales- near Mold—he went among the miners, drank with them, and borrowed a one- stringed fiddle from the gardener, and played in the open air." Owing to a.n epidemic of typhus at Torre Nueva, in the province of Ciudad Real, the population has been decimated, and the cemeteries, have become so full that bodies have been exhumed and re- placed by recent victims. When the Board of Trade inquiry into the abandonment of the Templemore, owing to fire, was resumed, it was stated that the Cunard Company were trying a system of automatic register when the temperatire rose in any compartment. Trade Unionist and Socialist leaders in Walthametow met on Tuesday to con- sider the advisability of running a candid- ate at the next general election. It has long been felt that a Liberal member does not adequately represent the industrial part of the constituency.
I W. A. WILLIAMS, Phrenologist, can be consulted daily at the Victoria Arcade (near the Market), Swansea- ￼ t???B. l)? ?f??? aoNL!??? ???T ?"?<S)L???<??iEM, a?ij? ■ FOR SOLO OR SIDECAR WORK ■ j ? /1 ? i? MOTOR BtCYCLES ? ?[? ? Th< B.SJL Motor Bicyctt it m?e m five mo?eb, ?j ??.jjtNHMK ?? t!t Mt<)i))?tl!B.S.A. productions M oftlMt<NM<tt M tt material aDd workmanship. possible material and workmanship. J?B %IVOR L! ROBERTS
I LAND REFORMER'S DEATH. r News has been received in London of the death in Philadelphia of Mr. Joseph Fels, the well-known land re- former and the head of the firm of the Sales Company, Ltd., makers of Fels- Naptha soap. Mr. Fels, who was reported to have made a big fortune out -of soap, was a general subscriber to the funds which had as their object the advancement of the movement for the taxation of land values. He was a keen sympathiser with the woman suffrage movement and in August last he invited Mr. George Lansbury to his residence in Cornwall- terrace to recuperate after his release from prison. Mr. Lansbury stayed at the house some days, and Mr. Fels gave him permission to receive a depu- tation of East-End workers, who marched from Bow and Bromley, to hold a demonstration outside the resi- dence.
MINERS' WAGE DEMAND Important proposals were submitted to the English Coal Conciliation Board on Friday for the adoption of a new wage standard) in plaoe of the present stand- ard of 1888, which the men urge is in. adequate and inapplicable to the con- ditions of to-day. The standard on which wages are now calculated represents a wage varving from 4s. to 5s. per day, according to the different districts. Ciid-er the proposed new standard wages would range from 6s. to 7s.6d. per day. The -ooalowners, intimated that they looked upon the proposal as one to be considered as part of any new agreement for the continuation of the Conciliation Boord with a fixed minimum and maxi- mum wage. L urthcr consi delation of the matter was adjourned.
IDEA TH OF LORD WIMBORNE Lord Wimborne who died on Sunday at his residence in Dorset, at the age of 78, was previously known as Sir Ivor Bertie Guest, was born at Dowlai s on August 29th, 1835. His father was Sir Josiah John Guest (created baronet in 1838), and his mother Lady Charlotte Guest, a daughter of the ninth Earl of Lindsay. She became' famous for her admirable translations into English of the delightful romances known as the "Mabinogion." Lord Ashby St. Led- gers (formerly the Hon. Ivor Churchill Guest, at one time M.P. for Cardiff), the eldest son, succeedes to the title and estates covering an area of 83,000 acres. —————— If." ——————
The Rev. J. M. Williams, pa.stor of Carmel Congregational Church, Clydach, Swansea Valley, has accepted the pastor- ate of the Congregational churches at Ponygro:s and' Llanllvfn, Carnarvonshire. Maximum salaries for certificated teachers were advanced £10 by Menhyr Education Committee on Tuesday. Re-establishment of the Works De- p;;rtment has been rejected by the Ivoa- don County Council. This means that the Council will have no direct labour. Five good." trains have been wrecked, it is stated in an Exchange Lisbon tele-gram, railwaN-i-neli on strike Mr William Wilson Barnes. general secretary of the Northumberland a-n?t Durham Miners' Permanent Relief Fund, died suddenly on Tuesday, in a Newcastle nur6pg holne, aged 62.
￼ why Qoob pine Wafteto I orab foe £ &eavt of wctn." 38uf "pou must caCr at e orbe ine £>oppe Uto. 10 wansea Ifo prove if THE OLD WIVES AT TEA. Mrs. JONES: liddeed you must excuse me for being 80 long with the tea. The fire bad gone low, you see, and I I couldn't get the kettle to boil. Mrs. EVANS: Why don't you. get the gas in, Mrs. Jones; it would save you heaps of work, and be a big comfort too, with your weak eyes. Mrs. JONES: Merch fach i, I have lived to go without it, and bring up a family of tea, and I am too old now to bother about things like that. Mrs. EVANS: Yes, my dear, but you don't know how much easier it is to do your cooking, without making a mess of the fireplace. Mrs. THOMAS And so clean it is. Before the Tawe Gas Co. put in a stove for us, I had to clean my fireirons and fende: every day, and blacklead the fireplace twice a week. Now I have only to wipe them over. It is so much nicer. Mrs. EVANS And it is so cheap. We can oook a dinner for seven, and it only costs a penny. Mrs. THOMAS: They put in a penny-in-the-slot meter for 118, a stove and three lights, for nothing. The gas is much better than the messy old lamps and candles. Mrs. JONES Will they put it in for nothing ? Mrs. EVANS: Yes, merch i; just Bead a post-card to the Gas Works, Pontardawe, or to the Office at Ystalyfera, and they will send a man up at once, and the store and lights will be fixed up in no time. Mrs. JONES Then indeed I think I will de it as soon as we have finished tea. Because I do believe my eyes would be better if we had gas instead of tit. old-fashion lam ps. For particulars, drop a Post Card te the MANAGER, GAS WORKS, PONTARDAWE. AUCKLAND'S L The Largest Boot & Shoe Merchants In Wales. 5J I /?y Stocked is B?c lf\ J??H?&?????/? C?lfandChrMM 86 t leather. Small, Medium, and Square Toe stock- The Beat Valoe in Wales ￼ M ￼ ?MN ^ua^rua ""t,,¡w, Smd for a pair now. Mention which leather, shape and size. On ￼ of P.O.O. for 8;1 we wi1I send DY return of pOlt carriage paid. Auckland's Ltd., HIGH STREET, C W A ST. HELEN'S RD., SWANSEA