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I STARRED JlIJiISG MEN I WORKERS WHO ARE FOUND INDISPENSIBLE. The monthly meeting of delegates re- presenting the anthracite district of the South Wales Miners' Federation was held on Saturday at the Dockers' Hall, Swan- sea. There were present 62 delegates, re- presenting 14,000 workmen, together with the chief agent (Mr. J. D. Morgan), the sub-agent (Mr. John James), the district treasurer (Mr. J. D. Morgan), and the district secretary (Mr. David Morgan). Mr. W. Hughes, Cross Hands, was appointed chairman for the coming year and Mr. Thos. Davies (checkweigher), Ys- tradgynlais, was elected to succeed him in the vice-chair. THE 5 PER CENT. INQUIRY. I Mr. J. D. Morgan, in his monthly re- port, explained that the "five per cent. inquiry" had been unavoidably post- poned owing to the ill-health of the chair- man (Sir Lawrence Gomme) who was pre- pared to make another appointment as soon as the state of his health showed signs of improvement. The general oom- mittee were satisfied that the case would not be indefinitely or unnecessarily post- poned, and that if their case was strong- ly made out they did not think there would be a.ny difficulty in getting the award made retrospective, so that the in- terests of the workmen would not be prejudiced by the delay. The anthracite coal trade had never been in a better position than at present. The demand was far in excess of the supply. The prices ruling were such as had never before been touched, and so far there had not been any serious shortage of tonnage such as had been experienced in the Western district. The Coal Supplies Committee had recommended the Government to compel boats now trading between neu- tral countries to give preference to trad- ing between home and foreign ports, and to give the necessary attention to ship- building, and a favourable reply had been given by Mr. Runciman on behalf of the Board of Trade. MINERS STARRED MEN. i The extraordinary demand for Anthira- I cite made it imperative that all employers I should retain at the collieries all the men 1 who were indispensable in oirder to keep j up the total output of coal so that the national interest should not suffer. All underground workmen were starred, and all the men who were engaged on the surface as winding enginemen, pumpmen, fitters, and mechanics. Some of those terms would take a wider interpretation than was signifie-d by looking closely into the matter. While it was the duty /of every eligible man to join the Army of his own free will and save the country, and also to make the compulsion policy, if possible, a dead letter, still it was the duty of all men who were indispensable to the coal trade of the country to stay at home and do their share to keep up the full output of coal as long as the Govern- ment deemed it necessary. It was reported that the Is. levy to- wards the fund for the soldiers and sail- ors blinded and otherwise incapacitated in the war was coming in satisfactorily, and about JS600 was likely to be realised. A resolution was passed agreeing to support the Is. levy for the wounded sol- diers now lying in hospitals, but urging the Government to make provision to meet the necessities and comforts of those men who had been incapacited by serv- ing their country. PROTEST AGAINST TAXING THE I WAGES OF MINERS. A resolution was also passed protesting against taxing the wages of the workmen, and that this protest be sent to Mr. McKenna, Mr. Asquith, and the Labour Party. It is understood that the Income Tax, in its new phase, will effect fully two- thirds of the miners of the Anthracite district, as the minimum wage would bring their earnings up to, and over, the L 130 limit. Subsequently, in conversation wit-h one of the delegates, I elicited the jocular statement "Of course, we don't want to pay Income Tax, who does? We may, and probably will, have to pay, like other people, but we are well within our rights in protesting against it, just as all sorts of other people appeal on all sorts of pleas."