PRINTING SENT TO PRIVATE COMPANIES means Profit for Individual Owners. When WE do your work, the Profit comes in the PROPAGATION OF SOCIALISM AND TRADES UNIONISM.
TRADE UNION NOTES. SEE PAGE 3
An Interlude with Whitley. PAGE 2.
I Political Notes .3J- By F. W. Jowett, M.P. THE GREAT MISTAKE. The whole of the nations at war will pay a I terrible price for leaving the Bolshevik Govern- I ment to fight the people's battle s ingle-handed against militarism. The Allies have missed an opportunity of ending the war with a. peace such as that for which they professed to be fighting. It may be that millions more will be added to the list of dead before another opportunity of the kind is available. By answering the appeal of the Hussian Commissioners and going into the Con fere nee. pledged only to the policy of no an- nexations and the self-determination of peoples the Allies could have defeated German militar- ism whether the Central Powers were willing to make peace on those terms or not. This much is made clear by the effect of the Bolshevik policy which has caused great pressure of public opinion on the German Government. The effect is still more marked in Austria. If instead of peace being made possible to the German people with Russia alone, a general peace had been made possible on the basis of no annexations and the self determination of peoples, the militarists of Germany could not have carried on the war. oj: ITALIAN DISCONTENT. I Unfortunately, our own Government is not only held back from making peace by the false expectations it has allowed to be fostered in this country, but the secret treaties also hang like millstones round its neck. That this is the case is shown by the comments of the Italian Press on the Prime Minister's speech at the Trade ■ Union Conference. Mr. Lloyd George merely modified his tone as compared with his previous speeches and refrained from speaking of terri- torial expansions for Italy, Greece and Hou- irania, except in general terms. The result is a. daily crop of protests in the Italian Press and otiiinous gro"din.g by the djiir..mi countries that are dissatisfied with his pronouncement. Truly it may oe said that the Governments chickens are ooming home to roost. THE ONE COURSE. I In the present difficult situation there is but one course for the British Government to adopt if the country is not to be overwhelmed in dis- aster, and that is to state de,finitely and clearly that Great Britain will claim no new territory as a result of the war, and that it will make no claim for self-determination of peoples pre- viously ruled by enemy nations that the British nation will not freely grant to peoples under British rule. CASE OF THE REWA." I There are circumstances relating to the sink- ing of the hospital ship" Rewa" in the Bristol Channel that indicate the desirability of waiting for further information before accepting as a fact the allegation that the ship was deliberately torpedoed in defiance of an agreement arranged between Germany, France, and Britain through the mediation of Spain. To begin with, the fact that the British public has not previously been informed that the agreement referred to had been arranged for protection of British hospital ships, shows that the Government has not dealt fairly with the British public in the matter. Evidently the Government was quite willing to allow the public to remain under the impression that Germany adhered to her declaration re- garding the prohibition of certain routes for hospital ships in its entirety. It now appears, however, that in order to make it possible to bring patients from Salonika and Egypt the Governments concerned have agreed that hospi- tal ships returning to Britain and .France should be free from attack provided that they carry Spanish officers to ensure that the ships were not also used as transports. If. notwithstanding this agreement, the Rewa was, in fact, deli- berately torpedoed, then the German Govern- ment has broken a sacred covenant in addition to the cruel wrong it has done to the helpless victims of war and the hospital staff carried on the ship. A German semi-official announcement has already appeared stating, that until the sub- marines which were out at the time the "Rewa" was sunk return, particulars as to their opera- tions will not be available, but, in the mean- time, it is denied that the Rewa was tor- pedoed. A WAR AIMS CHARGE. I The War Aims Committee has begun its work of stoking the fires of hatred to keep the mind of the people on the war. In the course of a statement recently issued by the committee the charge is made against the German military authorities in Belgium that a large number of alleged Belgian spies have been executed and that amongst the rest who were executed there were young girls between 14 and 16 years of age. It is well that the War Aims Committee should take official responsibility for st-atements of this character, for, as in the case of some of the sensational charges for which Lord Bryce made himself responsible in the early days of the war, they will be challenged when the war is over, and not all of them will survive the ordeal of close and impartial investigation. Under normal conditions in time of peace a person ac- cused of the most trivial of crimes is not con- demned without being given the opportunity of refuting the charge made against him, but in wax-time—just when passion and prejudice leads most easily to miscarriage of judgment—not only is there no opportunity afforded for defence against the most grevious charges of crime on the part of the enemy, but publicity is denied to any repudiation that appeal's in the enemy press. THE REMEDY. For the above-mentioned reason it is neces- sary that the suggestion contained in the La- bour Party's memorandum on war aime relating to accusations of cruelty during the war should be adopted at the peace conference which even the Prime Minister assumes must be called some day) should be adopted. The Labour Party's suggestion is that there should be "a full and free judicial investigation into the accusations made on all sides that particular governments have ordered, and particular officers have exer- cised acts of cruelty, oppression, violence, and theft against individual victims, for which no tli,e.ft Ir l ndI N-I*(Iual foi- Ni,iii(-Ii no of war." be fotin d 1. tlit? ordinary iisa"es IF? If ever such a court of accusations as is sug- gested oy the I>abour Party is instituted we may take it for granted that there will be some accusations brought forward against the Allies, althoaigh, with the exception of the Russian Army during the reign of the Tzar, the armies, of the Allies have not been in occupation of ter- ritory inhabited by their enemes. This is an important point to be borne in mind, because it is when an army is on enemy soil it is most severlv tested in these matters. Under such a test, what, we may ask, could the country ex- pect of the. General, for instance, who was re- sponsible for the neglect of the wounded and sick British soldiers of the first Mesopotamian expedition? He it was who threatened to put a subordinate officer under arrest and "get his hospital ship taken away from him for a meddle- some. interfering faddist," because he dared to report concerning the wounded and sick men under his personal charge that there was little chance of recovery for men with severe gun-shot fractures, who lie on the bare decks of boats and barges tor thirteen days ,aniid septic discharges, diarrhtea, and dysentry, swept at night by a wind that dropped nearly to zero, without aay protection against the cold save their clothes and country blankets, which, in the case of cripples were sodden with their own discharges and dejecta." If there are officers of high rank in the British Army who are callous and indiffer- ent to the sufferings of their own countrymen, as was proved to be the case by finding- of the Royal Commission on the first Mesopotamian expedition, how can we expect that they would be less callous or less-cruel in their treatment of hostile inhabitants or an enemy country if they were in command of an army of occupation. Wh.t the War Aims Committee describes as patriotic crimes would meet with short shrift if officers such as were responsible for the Mesopotamian scandals had to decide what the punishment should be. 811 811 FEROCITY OF COLOURED MEN- A court of accusations, if there should be one instituted when the war ends, will probably be called upon to express itself regarding the con- duct of the coloured troops employed by the Allies in the early part of the war. Evidently there was no censorship of soldiers' letters in those days, and the newspapers of this country freely reproduced letters such as the following, sent by a soldier to his sister: — I saw three soldiers," the writer savs, with the heads of Germaas in their haversacks. I dont know what they were going to do with them. I pity the Germans they got close to." And this passage from the published letter of a lance-corporal: — The Algerian soldiers are a peculiarly funny lot of fighters. They are very supersti- tious and will chase a German far enough if only to got his eye or, perhaps, OIe of his fingers. Of course, the Algerian doesn't half like to take life. They do go at 'em. On one occasion we found an Algerian with scores of fingers in his haversack." II: AND THE IMPRESSION. The. "Times" military correspondent was so favourably impressed with the Turco and Alger- ian troops raised by the French that he pro- nounced them "good" and recommended the British, Belgian, Italian, and Portuguese Gov- ernments to recruit their African native subjects and thereby add enormously to the number of I these" peculiarly funny lot of filters" on the battlefields of Europe. III FIXED" ALRIGHT. Let me further forecast that if the destruction of towns and public buildings is made the sub- ject of accusation against the enemy before an independent tribunal after the war, passages such as the following taken from the West- minster Gazette will be quoted to prove that by no means all of the destruction of towns has been the result of enemy gunfire. The passage in question reads as follows: — As M. Tudesq (M. Tuckesq is a leading French military correspondent) called the General's attention to the Bosche telegrams of the morning announcing the re-capture of Langemark by a counter attack, he burst out laughing, and said, Why there isn't a house or a brick wall left standing. We've fixed the frontier right enough." ? THE MUZZLED PRESS. Attracted by big staring headlines to a num- ber of paragraphs in a column of the Daily News recently—headlines that informed the reader that the paragraphs referred to Ger- many's muzzled press and to certain "Ameri- can Disclosures of War Lords methods "—I read the paragraphs for myself to see to what extent Germany had surpassed the record of our own D.O.R.A. in the matter of press censorship. What I found was that a series of instructions issued by the Censorship to the German Press had fallen into the hands of the United States Government. According to instructions, Labour disturbances, difficulties affecting food supplies and the production and distribution of coal are banned in Germany, and newspapers are urged to give prominence to enemy losses. Genera l directions are also given to the German press as to suitable comment on the political and mili- tary proceedings in enemy countries. Reports of meetings of strikers are declared not per- iliis,,i,al)le n Germany. These and other similar restrictions constituted the Disclosures of War Lords methods, which, as applied to Germany's Muzzled Press," the "Daily News" felt it necessary to be indignant and scornful. The editor of the "Daily News," however, did not feel it to be his duty to point out, as a matter not less important to the British public, that, for the last twenty months or more, pre- cisely sliiiilai- instructions have been showered upon himself and other editors of British news- papers by the British Press Censor. )! ? ? ) FINANCE. :it I The Government's policy of financing the war by means of loans and fabricated credits is bring- ing, as might be expected, tremendous profit to the Banks. In one issue of the Times last week there was a list of eight of the leading banks given along with their dividends for 1917. One paid 19 per cent. two, 18 per cent. two, 17t per cent. one, 14 per cent; and two had paid 10 per cent. The dividends declared, how- ever, do not disclose the total profit bankers' are making at present. It is admitted by the writer of the Times City Notes that "most of the banks, if not all, could have increased their dividends," but they "preferred to utilize the whole of their increased profits this year "to strengthening their financial position."
Caerphilly Parltamentary Division. I MORGAN JONES ADOPTED AS I.L.P. I NOMINEE. At a conference of the branches of the. Inde- pendent Labour Party in the new Caerphilly Parliamentary Division, held on Saturday, Jan- uary 19th, Comrade Councillor Morgan Jones was unanimously adopted as I.L.P. nominee for the position of Labour candidate for the Caer- philly Division.
I The Electric Theatre. I Getting into the Merthyr Electric Theatre of a night nowadays seems almost as difficult as getting one's grocery supplies: there is always a queue. "House full is the hall-mark of success in the entertainment world, and well de- served is the continued prosperity of this popu- lar picture-house, for perhaps in no cinema in the Principality has there been such an unvaried run of big-feature films screened. "The Price of Silence," by the Fox people, which headed the bill during the first three days of the week, gave of the best of the great Ameri- can film favourite, William Farnum, and in Gloria's Romance," the new serial, Miss Billie Burke, the erstwhile idol of the British stage, quickly established herself in the hearts of pic- ture-goers. The latter end of the week one of the most recent and ambitious of the Selig re- leases, "The Princess of Patches," was featured, and supporting it was amongst a galaxy of star- films, One A.M. two hilarious reels of Chaplin on his own. Eddie Polo has always, by his athleticism and ability in literally hitting his way out of tight corners, oeen a great favourite with Electric Theatre audiences, and his return in "The Grey Ghost is being accorded an un- qualified welcome. Next Monday's show includes Theda Bara, in- comparable as an emotional actress, in the "Darling of Paris"; a Triangle scream-farce, HiR Uncle Dudley," and more of Bairnsfather's cartoons. On Thursday will be presented a drama of the stock markets and English Society, The House of Fortesque," with Stewart Rome and Violet Hopson in the leads. A Ohaplin feature, "The Vagabond," will also be featured, a film with just a little suspicion of pathos intermingled with the little oomedian"s customary mirthful quaintness. In addition is the usually carefully selected collection of entertaining drama, comedy, news and picture-magazine items.
Ex=Inspector Syme Summoned. FOR D.O.R.A. BREACHES AT ABERTILLERY INTERESTING AND PECULIAR CASE AT BLACKWOOD. SUB-POENA ASKED FOR PREMIER, HOME SECRETARY AND OTHERS. The peculiar course of demanding that more charges than those already formulated against him under Regulation 27 and 27b of the Defence of the Realm Act was adopted by Ex-Inspector John Syme, on his appearance on remand before the Blackwood County Magistrates last Friday. The alleged offence of uttering statements likely to cause disaffection amongst His Majesty's forces, and between His Majesty's Allies, to wit, the United States of America, were contained in a speech entitled Some Truths about the War not reported in the Press/' delivered by the ex- Metropolitan officer in the Gymnasium Hall, Abertillery, on Sunday afternoop, December 9th. DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS. I At the outset Synies pleaded Not Guilty" and asked permission to raise some preliminary objections; which, being accorded, he began by objecting to the process of apprehending him in- stead of proceeding by summons, which his ex- perience as a poli'-e-officer taught him was the recognised practice in cases in which the person was known. The fact that he was apprehended in London on Saturday, brought to Pentonville, Newport, where he appeared and was remanded on Monday, had involved him in considerable personal expense. He put it to the Magistrates that this was "a most cowardly, contemptible advantage to take on the part of the Govern- ment against a poor man." In the second place he objected that the al- leged shorthand note of his speech with which he had been supplied could not be said to be a shorthand or proper report of his speech. It was simply a summary and not at all a complete summary. But he did not ask that the sum- monses should be dismissed on this ground, for he wanted his third objection to stand, and this affected the se/^>ud < iiarge respecting the utter- ance of statements likely to cause disaffection between the United States of America. He ob- jected that in formulating this charge the auth- orities had limited their selection of his remarks to the opening passages in his speech, and had ignored the much more serious charges that were likely to cause disaffection amongst our United States' allies, contained in references that offi- cials of the Home Office and War Office had blackmailed and persecuted American citizens. The Chairman, interrupting, asked Mr. Syme whether his objection was to procedure, since it seemed he was going into extenuation. I EXTENSION, NOT EXTENUATION. Syme: No, it is not an extenuation. J am asking for a further charge in the interqpfcs of the country, so that we may know the truth. It is in the interest of the country because there are a gang of blackmailers at the Home Office, New Scotland Yard and the War Office, persecuting interned persons in this country. If the prosecution limit this charge as they propose to do I wish to state I shall not defend myself in any shape or form. I shall simply go to prison, go on hunger-strike—as I have done be- fore, and the Home Office know they cannot feed me, and they dare not let me die-I shall be released and I shall immediately hold meet- ings in South Wales and repeat the offence. I raise objection to certain paragraphs which are only quibble, and which refuse to deal with the real groundwork of my charges made at Aber- tillery, charges which ought to be heard in the interests of the country." THE ANSWER. Mr. Lyne, for the Public Prosecutor, dealing with the objections, said that the fact that de- fendant was brought before the Magistrates on a warrant instead of a summons was not a mat- ter for that Court to deal with. It was a matter in which the authorities had done what they frequently did, and what they were author- ised to do, and when the Bench considered the gravity of the offence perhaps it was not sur- prising that they should have gone by warrant and not by summons. Secondly, defendant said that the note did not record all he said. The prosecution would have been perfectly justified in bringing Syme before the Magistrates on a general information that at a certain time and place he said something, but in order that he might not have to imagine what it was that he was charged with uttering they had supplied de- fendant with a transcript of a shorthand note taken by a newspaper reporter, who would tell the Bench that everything defendant said of any importance was taken down. Thirdly, it was objected tha,t the prosecution had excluded from the charge certain passages of the speech out of which a charge might have arisen which defend- ant would have liked to have a chance to answer. That was not correct. Three distinct speeches were delivered by defendant on this particular day, but the Director of Public Prose- cutions had taken proceedings only in the one brought before them, and which camQ directly under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. They were not dealing with the police speeches, though he knew there were certain reasons why defendant should want it to come forward-it was a bee in his bonnet." Syme: I wish to correct Counsel. The refer- ences I desire to have considered were made in this speech, and are contained in the transcript here. Mr. Lyne, continuing, said that not only had the prosecution supplied Syme with a transcript, but had also marked thereon what they con- sidered the most salient points. He had a right to rise any question on the transcript. Syme: Counsel now says I can deal with any part of the speech. I, therefore, wish to ask for a remand in order to bring witnesses here to prove my case. The Bench intimated that they would give the application for a remand favourable considera- tion if the need arose in the course of the hear- ing. GLAD OF THE CHANCE. Superintendent Henry Lewis put in the authority of the Compentent Miltiary Authority to the proceedings, and stated that he had re- ceived prisoner into custody from the Brixton police. In answer to the charge Syme had said "I am very pleased to have a chance to meet it. SAMPLES OF THE STATEMENTS. Bertie Wilson, newspaper reporter, Abertil- lery, who attended on eub-poeaa, told how he attended the meeting and took a note for prac- tice," which he subsequently transcribed. The document in his hand was a correct transcript. The transcription was contained in several typewritten sheets, and a considerable portion of it formed the basis of the changes against de- fendant. Mr. Syme read these sections, included in which were Mr. Lloyd George and others have repeatedly told us that America was enthu- siastic for the war and America was going to save the Allies. It was going to happen this year, next year and so on, but they were never told when. He believed in telling the truth. He had brought a copy of the 'San JYancisco Chronicle," which published an order of General Orowder quoting instructions issued to Draft Board Tribunals. If (said Mr. Syme) the Americans were enthusiastic for the war why should they have conscription two months after the war? In softie districts 80 per cent. of the Registrants clairfced discharge on account of in- dependent families. If that was so, it was very strange enthusiasm, and (heatedly) Mr. Lloyd George should know. The whole of America was in a state of inside revolution since the war. A great deal had been caused by profiteer- ing. It was no use telling us America was enthusiastic for the war. The Utah Indians had been told by their chiefs to resist Conscrip- tion, who told them that the only reason they were wanted in France was that they would pro- vide food for the United States soldiers. Na- turally, they did not want to be eaten." Another passage marked as "salient" and read by Mr. Lyne said, A lady had told him that the one thing she admired about William Brace was his moustache, but wondered how long it took hint t'V ik. jyx, Brace was in a posi- tion to know what was going on. He will not dare tell the truth." APPLICATION FOR REMAND. At the close of the reading—which closed the case for the prosecution—Syme asked for a re- mand in order to bring witnesses, for whom he would have to take out sub-poenas. In pressing for his remand defendant said, I submit it is your duty to the country to see that men who have accepted money from interned people should be dealt with, and should not be screened by Lloyd George and Sir Geo. Cave." The Chairman: How long do you want the case remanded?—A fortnight. DID NOT AFFECT THE CASE. Mr. Lyne Assuming that everything that de- fendant savs is correct it does not affect the case you have to deal with at all. He want* to bring another case which does not arise here at all. After a short retirement the Bench granted a remand for a fortnight, conditional upon Syme giving an undertaking not to deliver any state- men1:s of a political or disputed nature in the interim, and his entering into his own recogni- sances to appear at the adjourned hearing. Syme gave the undertaking. SUB-POENAS APPLIED FOR. Ex-Inspector Syme applied to the Magistrates' Clerk at Tredegar for the sub-poenas for wit- nesses he proposes to call at Blackwood on Feo- ruary 1st. Amongst these are the Prime Min- ister, the Home Secretary, Mr. Balfour, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Wm. Brace, M.P., and Sir Emley Blackwell (under Secretaries, of State for Home Affairs), and Mr. Winearls (of the Board of Trade). The United States Consul has been notified and requested to send a representa- tive to watch the proceedings on behalf of the American citizens referred to by Mr. Syme. A COLLECTION FOR SYME. At the conclusion of an address by Mr. George Allen at the New Era Union on Sunday last, the Chairman, at the request of members, mentioned the prosecution of Ex-Inspector Syme and an- nounced a retiring collection would be taken to testify to their appreciation and willingness to help Mr. Syme.
Twenty Per Cent. SOUTH WALES IRONWORKERS' DEMAND WAGES ADVANCE. A special meeting of the Executive Council of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Iron and Steelworkers' Association was held at Cardiff on Saturday, when it was decided to request the Committee on Production to immediately arbi- trate upon the Association's demand for a general wages advance of 20 per cent. for those works at which niategrials of war are manufac- tured. A protest was entered against the pay- ment of income tax on overtime earnings, and they decided to request the Chancellor of the Exchequer to receive a deputation to consider the matter. The Executive claimed that taxa- tion on any earnings above the six days per week wage was unfair, inasmuch as the overtime was worker under compulsion.
MOSTLY FROM WALES. Of the 31 applications received for the position of miners' agent for the Forest of Dean the ma- jority are from South Wales.