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Double Bereavement at Ystalyfera.I



Constitution of Labour


Constitution of Labour New Scheme Adopted by the Party. I.L.P. Proposals Swamped by Miners. The National Conference of the Lab- our Party, which liad been adjourned from Nottingham, was held at the Central Hall, Westminster, on Tues- day, to consider the various amend- ments to the proposed new constitu- tion. Mr W. F. Purdy presided, and there were same 800 delegates present from all parts of the country. Mr. Purdy announced that the motions standing in the name of the I.L.P., opposing the new constitution, had been withdrawn. Describing the conference, the cor- respondent of the "Dailv News" says: There was much less "effervescence than characterised the sittings at Nottingham. Ma.ny of the more mercurial spirits who were bubbling over at the January Conference were missing, and the orators of the party found no peg for their eloquence. Mr Philip Snowden and Mr W. C. Anderson did mot speak at all, Mr Henderson was as restrained as the chairman, of a railway company de- claring a divdend, and Mr Ramsay Macdonald only spoke for three minutes. The Conference perhaps felt its en- viron moat to be &> shade more chilly than in the hosiery metropolis. There were no crowded galleries, filled with enthusiasts ready to sing "The Red "Flag" on the smallest provocation, and to cheer the most revolutionary orators. The galleries were empty, and the Conference was able to de- vote itself to the business of discuss- i'ng its new constitution. A "CENTRE PARTY." I The constitution was adopted iii spite of all comers. The Conference has developed a "centre party"—if we may use, without being misunderstood, the terminology of the group system abroad. There in a solid bloc of which the Miners' Fedel-atitcyn form the heart, which is determined to trans- form the party from a trade union federation into an organised political party. It had to meet the extremist's on bath wing,-—Mr Walkden, of the Railway Clerks, who wanted to stand by the old constitution, and warned the Conference of the suspicions of the trade uirioniists, and the I.L.P., who want to go on wagging the dog. as they have done p,-> often in the past. Both these tendencies were decieivelv routed. The I.L.P. suffered a tre- mendous rebuff. It had put down a string of amendments, the first of which availed the new constitution, horse, foot, and artillery. It de- nounced the constitution as "compli- cated and inconsistent," and charged it with perpetuating the anomalies of plural voting. I.L.P. AMENDMENT WITHDRAWN I On Monday afternoon the Miners Federation delegates met ins,&eret cau- cus and decided to support the new constitution. The result was that on Tuesdlay the great I.L.P. amendment was withdrawn without a word of ex- planation of excuse. It simply col- lapsed. Twice the I.L.P. delegates chal- lenged the vote of the Conference, and tivice they were heavily defeated. The first occasion related to a, proposal for allowing min-ori-ties in the affiliated organisations to send representatives, or t' oast votes, in proportion to their numbers. The Miners' Federation "block vote," which swamps all minorities, was denounced bv one of the I.L. P. speakers with a sure in- stinct, for yt soon -descended on the amendment, which was rejected by 1,600,000 votes to 757,000. t The I.L.P. made another attempt to assert itself by seeking to revert to the old system under which the Social ist societies were separately repre- sented on the Executive, voting direct, ly for two members. In spirte of the support of .Mr John Saurr and Mr Bruce Glasier, this was voted down by 1,839,000 against 345,000. ENLARGED EXECUTIVE. I The Conference promptly accepted the Executive's revised .proposal that the National Executive shall consist in future of 22 members instead of 21, the two additions being made to the 11 representing affiliated societies. In future, therefore, the Conference will have to elect 13 members representing the affiliated Societies, but jit will rest with the mass vote of the Conference whether any, and how many, shall be I.L.P. members and how many trade union representatives. The remainder of the Executive will consist of five elected to represent the local Labour Parties, four for the woanen, and fin- ally the treasurer. The Conference treated Mr Walk- den's amendment—which rather ap- pealed to the "high and dry" trade unionist vote suspicious of midd e- I flass "outsiders" and adventures— f with equal lack of ceremony. It was I d-efea;ted bv an overwhelming majority, j There were a ,number of amend- ments down to the rules for local- Labour Parties, but Mr Henderson got the Conference very adroitly out of that di-nal voyage wrth the "sea- lawvers" bv proposing a clause which gave the local Labour Parties free- dom of action subject to consultation with the Executive. It was agreed that the annual conference should not be held at Wbitsutide in order to avoid cku--h?ng with the Co-operative Congress, and after a few more draft- ing amendments the constitution was adopted aod the the delegates went home.

¡Ystradgynlais and War Savings.