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TRADE UNIONISM AND COMPULSION.

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TRADE UNIONISM AND COMPULSION. A Garw Valley delegate at the Miners' Conference in London said that his lodge had come to the con- c lusion that since the Federation -coerced, non-unionists they could not consistent 1 v oppose the compulsion of men, to serve in the army. It was argued that this view rests on a fallacv, as the miners do not oompel anv man to join their trade union, but simply refuse to work with a non- -unionist. This is ingenious logic-chopping, but it is at variance with known facts, such as public processions of strikers, with demonstrations before the houses of the recalcitrants, and personal in- terviews between Federation officials -and the non-unionists in which the latter are told forcibly and plainly that they must pay up. Another contention of those who op- posed the view of the Garw delegate was that while the Federation allows the non-unionist to clear out of the industrv if he likes, the State will not permit the objector to conscription to emigrate. In fact, this distinction is valid, but in principle it is not, for if trade unionism were as powerful as the State there would be no such area of choice for the non-unionist. Trade "unionism aims at organising every in- dustry, and if its aim could be realised no non-unionist could earn a living, as there would be no trade at which he could work without paying his union dues. The State, in the. Military Service No. 2 Bill, lays down the principle that it is the duty of every man to con- tribute towards the defence of the nation, and to pay for the liberty he enjoys. The trade union has long en- forced the principle that it. is the duty of every man to contribute towards the defence of the whole body of workers in his industry, and to pay for the rights and privileges which trade un- ionism obtains and maintains. Surely the parallel is as exact as anything human can be. The non-unionist and the opponent of conscription are in the same boat. Both are extreme in- dividualists, both t.ake a course that is anti-social. The non-unionist says, "I .am a law unto myself," the member of the Won't Fight Gang says, "My conscience is the supreme law." Nor do trade unionists restrict the use of compulsion to industry. Com- pulsion is a necessary postulate of social reform. Mr Ramsay Macdonald was one of the warmest supporters of the Insurance Act. which many people who had a conscientious objection to ticking stamps for the State, disliked. Mr Philip Snowden belongs to the Liquor Traffic Control Board which compels publicans in many parts of the country not to open their public houses for more than 5i hours a dav. The Labour Party would gladly sup- port Bills to compel all landlords to sell their lands to the nation at a fair price, to compel the coalowners to sell mines, raiiwav shareholders to sell the railways. We advocate the nationalisa- tion of the means of production, dis- tribution. and exchange. How are they to be nationalised without the compulsion of dissident minorities ? Shall we compel other people to do things they dislike, and reject com- pulsion when the dislike is on our side ? Let Labour men everywhere beware of the individualists and the pseudo- religious sectarians who would lure them on a false trail. If they listen to any foolish .down tools" talk now, or lend their aid to the individualists who refuse to bow to the collective will, they will stultify themselves in a mfLnne-r from which the movement will take long to recover. If we help people to flout the law now, what shall we have to say to Carson and the Ulster men if they refuse to ac- cept Home Rule after the war P What shall we have to say to any minority who in the future set themselves to smash dulv enacted laws? The "con- scientious" objector, the extreme in- dividualist, the myself-first-and-devil- everybody-eke man is the enemy of democracy. He tries to throw sand into tho bearings of the democratic machine. It is suicidal folly for Lab- our men to allow themselves to be even suspected of helping him.

,.I iSIR ALFRED YEA AND NAY.

SAFEGUARDS AND STRIKES I

I Ynisraeudw Pastor Leaves.

IYSTRADGYNLAIS COUNCIL AUDIT.I

FOUR MONTI? . BROKEN I BACK.

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CONSCRIPTION OF WEALTH. I

[No title]

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YSTALYFERA NOTES.

YSTRADGYNLAIS NOTES. I

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YSTALYFERA NOTES.