Mid-Rhondda Notes The Rationing Scheme. I A reat deal or suspicion was prevalent amongst the Mid-Rhondda inhabitants before the rationing scheme was put into operation that. the shopkeepers were unfair in the sharing of the foodst-tiffs; and some seemed to have the idea that, once the scheme was put into opera- tion. all the evils, even that of shortage, would be done away with. Those who had sneh ideas must have been greatly disappointed. No ra- tioning scheme, however well conceived, can bv any means increase the supply. All it can be expected to do is to bring about an equitable distribution of the supply available. Whether the Mid-Rhondda food committee has succeeded in that object is a question that one has some hesitation in answering, particularly in view of the persistent rumours that certain shopkeepers are still able to carry on the old game of giving a larger quantity of the rationed articles than others. We trust these rumours are without foundation, but in any case it should be the duty of the food control committee to make investi- gation and remedy any irregularity that may exist; as well as to allay the mistrust that these rumours reveal. The Comb-Out. I A good many of the miners in the district are complaining of the inactivity of the local leaders in failing to give any lead to the men in respect to the position created by the comb- out ballot. There it is also a great deal of dis- content and bitter feeling over the failure of the Executive to call a conference, and at Mr. Tom Richards' so-called warning to the lodges. We are all aware of the serriousness of the situation and the difficulties that confronts the trade- union leader-, but one would have expected that if Mi. Richards apprehends any danger of dis- unity from the calling of Unofficial Conferences that he would have applied the remedy of call- ing an official conference to consider the result of the ballot and to lay before the conference the fruit of the. interview with the Premier.
Merthyr Notes A Notable Concert. I The Good Friday seventh annual concert of the Bethesda Chapel presented a great audience with an entertainment far above the mediocre level of congregational concerts as we generally know them. As a rule organisers of these con- certs are penny wise and pound foolish in their limit-atlon of their selection of artistes to the small circle of persons within their own fold; and generally that circle is more conspicuous for its self-adulation and ambition than for its ability. The organisers of this concert were more concerned with ability than cheapness, and so they went all over the vallies to seleot the very best, and the result was a concert of wonder- fully high merit, that in every item maintained a wonderfully high level of artistry. Madame Be ssie Morris, of Ammanford, must, on Friday's performance, be listed as one of the best soprano's in Wales; and she combined extremely well in duet work with Mr. W. D. Bowen, the well-known Bargoed baritone, who gave a splen- did rendition of Katie Moss' "Floral Dance" with its delightful lilting Cornish chorus. Mr. T. Llewellyn, one of the finest solo violinists in Cardiff-whi,ch just now contains many promising violinists—gave some excellent interpretations of fine writings by the masters, including Czardas," a piece of violin work all too little known, and De Beriot's Scene de Ballet. Miss M. J. Francis, the well-known Eisteddfod elocutionist, was at her best, as may be guaged from the fact that though the hour was late when she was asked to give "Jamie," a twenty- minute piece, not a soul desired to leave before the end. Mr. Gwilym Lewis, the organist and well-known Merthyr musician, was fine in his organ recital of Pergolese's Stabat Mater," and as an accompanist he undoubtedly greatly assisted the artistes. One of the outstanding successes of the evening was a splendid inter- pretation of Lemmen's difficult "storm" organ recital, Fantasia in E Minor." by Master Howell J. Davies, a lo-year-old pupil of Mr. Lewis', who promises to develop into a pheno- menal organist on his p-esent work. His stop control and pedal work was as perfect as his execution, and that is saying a lot. Good! I I ne are pleased that the dance organised oy Mrs. Lloyd on behalf of our blind soldiers proved a great success. The Drill Hall was crowded. The municipal band, under Mr. Laver- ock, contributed in no small measure to the success of the evening by their fine handling of a popular programme. N.U.R. Concerts. The >i.U.K. Widows and Orphans Mind should do well out of the Dowlais Branch whist drive and dance last Friday, for the company was large, it was also excellent, and the result was an evening of excellent entertainment. J. M. Jenkins provided the music, and good music it was, too; and Messrs. D. Price, Tom Thomas and J. Seeborne carried off the duties of M.C.'s with the grace of professionals at the Black- pool Empress ballroom. Twelve tables were oc- cupied in the Whist Drive, under the able con- trol of Mr. H. Cadle, and some keen play was witnessed before it was possible to announce the winners of the four prizes. It is a pity that the Merthyr Branch effort for the same good cause only proved a moderate success. Merthyr Officer Wounded. I Captain J. P. Jones, Welsh Regiment, a son of Mtr. R. T. Jones, Primrose Hill, Merthyr, is in hospital in London suffering from wounds received during the first few days of the Ger- man offensive. Easter Singing Festival. I The Merthyr and District Calvimstic Metho- dists cymanfa-ganu was held at Pontmorlais Chapel on Monday. The president was Mr. T. J. Peters (Moriah) and the vice-president Mr. T. Thomas (Pontmorlais), the conductors, Messrs. T. W. Jones (Pontmorlais) and J. M. Sylvanus (Moriah. Cefn Coed), and the ex- aminers. Messrs. P. Peters (Panttywyll) and D. Evans (Penuel). Mr. J. 6. Thomas (Pont- morlais) was organist. Military Funeral. I Gunner Con Sullivan, R.F.A., who died at Portsmouth Hospital from wounds and whose home was at Taff-street, Aberfan, was buried with military honours at Aberfan Cemetery on Sunday. Easter Vestries. n .1 31 r. r. Mankey flavor) was re-eiectea vicar's warden at Troedyrhiw Church vestry meeting on Easter Monday, and Mr. T. Brown, people's warden. At St. John's Church, Cefn Goed. Messrs. Rees Griffiths, A. J. Howfield and Thomas Harries were chosen people's war- dens, and the the rector's wardens appointed were Messrs. W. R. Hughes. W. B. Edwards and Richard Fencott. Labour Day. I Merthyr School Management Committee are recommending the Education Authority to grant school-children a holiday on May-Day on occasion of the Labour Demonstration at Mer- thyr. Canal Discovery. I The body of a woman recovered from the Glamorgan Canal at Cardiff wa,s identified as that of Mrs. Shannon, Troedyrhiw, who has been missing from home for some months. Congratulations. I Congratulations to the local Fnited Choir (conductor Mr. Evan Morris) in capturing the I first prize at Mountain Ash on Easter Monday. To score 97 points is a fine achievement. Wesleyan Anniversary. I The Merthyr Central We-slevan Mission's an- niversary this year is something of a red-letter event in local theological affairs, by reason of the eminence of its preachers and speakers. For Sunday the Rev. A. J. Southouse, of Cardiff, is taking the preaching service, whilst the big public meeting on Monday is to be presided over by fhe Lord Mayor of Cardiff, supported by his Mayoress and the Mayor and Mayoress of Mer- thyr, and the speakers include such eminent Wesleyan divines as the Rev. Thos. Kirkup (London) and the Rev. Chas. Kickard (chairman of the Swansea and Cardiff district).
The only alternative to the Government's "Whitley" Report Proposals yet published. THE ORGANISATION OF THE FUTURE. The WORKERS' COMMITTEE An Outline of Its Principles and Structure. BY J. T. MURPHY. A Pamphlet Explanatory of the Shop Steward's Movement. Published by the Sheffield Workers Committee. Single Copies 2d. Post Free 2id. 1'4 per 10. 1314 per TOO. Carriage Paid. 26,000 already sold. Monthly Account. Order at once from E. LISMER, 56 Rushdale Rd., MEERSBROOK. SHEFFIELD
Kenfig Hill Notes I I.L.P. Chairman's Loss. I Our deepest sympathy is extended to Comrade Thos. and Mrs. Mitchell upon the loss of their youngest son, who died on Tuesday. The in- terment took place on Saturday at Pontycym- mer, of which town our Chairman is a native. Visit to the Front. It was decided at the last district meeting of the Garw miners, that the invitation of the Government to send representatives of the Federation to the Front be accepted. The number allocated to the Garw was four. Among those selected was Mr. J. Woolley, the chair- man of the district and secretary of the Kenfig Hill I.L.P. At a subsequent mass meeting of Kenfig miners, Comrade Woolley was criticised for accepting the invitation on the grounds that he claimed to be opposed to war.' Per- sonally, I disagreed with Mr. Woolley on the same grounds, also that to see actual warfare would be of no material use to a man who op- posed the source of wars. Curiously, the dis- cussion showed that the workmen were not op- posed to a representative going out, but it should be someone in favour of the war, and from what I further gathered, there is a lot of professional jealousy among the delegates them- selves. Why they want to go out as "visitors" is beyond my comprehension, yet they are a very necessary acquisition to the reactionaries in keeping opinion divided at home. "Tel inaitre. tel valet." I I.L.P.'Meeting. I We are expecting S. O. Davies, of Tumble, here in a week or so. We hape he will be able to "tumble" some of the theories of "our most respecta ole" "ill urn m ens" in this locality. Anyway, there will be. quite a lot of us who will I be glad to welcome the B.A. to Kenfiir Hill. j C.G.F. I
Aberdare Notes I I.L.P. I -Mr. H..V Brailstord having been reluctantly compelled to cancel his engagement with the Aberdare I.L.P. on Sunday.a a musical even- ing" was substituted for the advertised lec- ture. The following comrades rende.red solos, duets, recitations and selections on the violin Misses M. Evans and T. Stephens, Messrs. W. Davies, G. Walton, L. Williams, J. Edwards, Lloyd Morgan, W. J. Harries and W. R. Evans and Master C. Lewis. Miss Ifildi-ed Stephens was accompanist. The proceeds are being de- voted to the Aberdare Hospital.
Pontypridd Notes. I I.L.P. Meetings. I On March 24th Comrade Andrew Yates (editor of the Pioneer ") delighted the members with an eloquent address, in the course of which he declared there must be more education amongst the workers on things that matter before there can be a conscious organised agitation against the present capitalist system. On March 31,st Comrade Jim Colton (Glasgow) being on a visit to the neighbourhood, arrange- ments were made for him to give an address, Jim always was a straight-hitter, and a lively discussion followed in which the following took part: Griff Maddocks, Ivor Morgan, Rees Wil- liams, Owen Hughes (chairman). Rees Williams, who is home on holidays, has kindly consented to give a lecture on Common Errors in Speak- ing." The date will be given later. C.L.C. Classes. Pontypridd Class is still going strong, not- withstanding the fact that they meet so early on Sunday mornings (10 a.m.), and when I looked in a few Sundays ago quiti" twenty-five students were present. Ted Williams has the knack of keeping the students interested. I
Strike Threat I MERTHYR MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES I STAND BY THE WEAK. A meeting of the Merthyr municipal em- ployees on Wednesday decided that if the Cor- poration refuse to make the Committee on Pro- duction's wages award of £1 a week to able- bodied workmen a flat-rate advance to all male employees and increase the wages of women workers 16, per week above pro-war ratA. per- mission would be asked of their Society (the Municipal Employees Association) to tender no- tices. The workmen also demand that increases they propose shall 1* retrospective from Decem- ber 29th. »
Railwaymen & Man Power BY T. C. MORRIS (E.C. Member). Railwaymen in common with the other sec- tions of the working-class are now being faced with the Man Powor question as one of the con- tingencies arising out of the continuance of the war. Personally I have always looked upon this question as inseparably bound up with the acceptance of the war. It would be as criminally selfish as it would be fatal, that whilst support- ing the war, we were at the same time unwilling to contribute the wherewithal to carry it on. Individually we have our objections to all war and to this war, and are prepared to act in ac- cordance with those convictions. This attitude one must appreciate and admire. What about the side which is keen upon beating the Hun, but when it coujps their turn is anxious that the other chap should do the beating. Not that for one moment do I think that such a, spirit is largely prevalent behind much of the opposition against the Man Power proposals of the Govern- ment, but I cannot be blind to the fact, never- theless, that some of those that clamoured for war are now prominent amongst those that are opposed to such proposals. PEACE BY NEGOTIATIONS. This brings us to the alternative proposal, namely Peace by Negotiation. It is true to say that the international horizon at the mo- ment does not lend itself favourably „to such a course, although during the last eighteen months a number of opportunities has arisen which were not taken advantage of, much to the discredit of the Government, and, indeed, even the La- bour Movement in this country, which cannot wholly he exonerated. What the future has in store we cannot tell, but it is well that we should mobilise public opinion, that section of it, at least, which is willing to.,avail itself of the open door whereby an honourable, aye, and a durable peace can be obtained ere a greater dis- aster befall us. Cpon no section does this duty devolve more than the organised working-class. The ray of hope is in the direction of the meet- ting of the International, which, had it met at Stockholm, would have saved thousands of hu- man lives, wealth, property, and humanity from a welter of blood and hate. ,Sooner or later, more prooably the former, we shall be forced to raise the issue of a Negotiated Peace." which must he submitted to the whole of the organised workers, because the Man Power problem must become more aggravated the longer the war con- tinues. It must not be overlooked that its pro- longation adds to the difficulties of the workers, increases suffering and sorrow, and continues to filch away our liberties. The testing time will come when we have to make a stand one way or the other, unless we are to head straight to dis- aster and ruin. RAILWAY COMB-OUT. In connection with the releasing or railway- men for the army, railway companies are in the privileged position of being protected. This came about owing to the fact. that at the early stages of the war, railwaymen were joining up at so rapid a rate, that it became serious to transport, consequently the companies found it necessary to approach the War Office,, pointing out to them that if the efficiency of transport was to be maintained they should be permitted to have a voice in the releasing of men. This resulted in an arrangement being arrived at with the War Office which gave absolute authority to the companies in the releasing of men under the Military Service Act. Thus it will be seen that as employers they were privileged to that of other employers of labour, who are governed by Tribunals and Recruiting Courts. This power came to be abused by a number of companies in the direction of victimisation, which made it necessary, as the result of the N.U .R., to set up a Tribunal presided over by Mr. Cuthroe Monroe, K.C., consisting of a representative of Capital and Labour to safeguard the interests of railwaymen. dose upon 200,000 railwaymen have gone into the army, and they are still being released at the rate of 500 a month, U5 per cent, of which are lads of 18 years, who are auto- matically released on reaching the recruitable age. The National Union of Railwaymen have not submitted to any policy of becoming responsive for releasing railwaymen. It has never per- mi.tted the use of its Union in this direction. We have insisted on our right to become acquainted with any proposal that is likely to effect the in- terests of our members such as I have already mentioned. It is only to that extent have wo deemed it our duty to interfere and lodged pro- tests against releasing men upon the grounds of increasing strain. PORT AND TRANSIT COMMITTEES. The questions as it afreets railwaymen is the increasing strain physically and mentally on the men that remain owing to the long hours. Al- though with a depleted staff, the railway traffic has enormously increased. Besides the abnormal conditions prevailing, the fact 'that seaborne traffic is now being diverted to railways owing to the submarine menace, intensifies the whole position. A Port and Transit Committee has been set up to meet the congestion at the Docks whereby Labour Mobite Battalions are being called in to assist to relieve the congested state of the docks. The Committee consists of repre- sentatives of employers, labour connected with the docks, and also a military representative. Upon representation being made by the em- ployers to the Committee for the assistance of the battalion, the matter is gone into and, if necessary, the battalion is called in. A similar committee is being set up in connection with the railways at various points such as Cardiff, Swan- sea, Newport, Bristol and other places in the country, which will consist of representatives of the interests concerned. I can readily conceive of a great deal of work in store for such a body if a continued depletion of the railways goes on. Railways are to all intents and purposes a part of the war machinery for the prosecution of the war. In fact. I would not be guilty of exaggera- tion when I say tha.t it is the main factor, be- eause it has undoubtedly been proved how valuable quickness and dispatch matters in such a gigantic war. If this is so, why does it still become necessary to release railwaymen, which must tend to affect the maintenance of efficiency in connection with the railway system? It is true to say that the coming in of women has somewhat adjusted the position, but at the same time it cannot be maintained that the same efficiency exists in those sections of the operative grades, because sufficient evidence is forthcoming to prove the contrary. Nevertheless, the prob- lem is sufficiently important and vital to us so far as the Man Power question is concerned that it warrants our serious consideration Printed and published by the National Labour Press, Ltd., at the Labour Pioneer Prese, Williams Square, Merthyr Tydfil, SATURDAY, APitlL 6th, 1918.
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦i +++++++++++++++++++++ 4 GREAT —————— + I LLP. DEMONSTRATION. J GRAND THEATRE, ABERAMAN t + Sunday, April 7th, 1918. t Speaker: MR. a I J. R. Macdonald, M.P. f ? Chairman: JAMES WINSTONE, S.W.M.F. t ￼ X ADMISSION BY SILVER COLLECTION £ I ? DOORS OPEN AT 1.30 P.M.; CCMMENOE AT 2.15. j ++ ++++ + A A A A A A A A ALA -vl SPECIAL SHOW OF NEW GOODS For the Season of the Latest and Newest Materials for DRESSES, BLOUSES & COSTUMES UP-TO-DATE MILLINERY-SMART BLOUSES I Novelties in Neck Wear, Gloves, Scarves and Hosiery Ladies' Tailor-Made Costumes a Speciality < SECURE YOUR DOWLAIS SUPPLIES FROM Lf^'VO/ W▼ T IIO CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY DOWLAIS. No. i Branch-STATION TERRACE, BEDLINOG. I No. a Branch-HIGH STREET, PENYDARREN. No. 3 Branch—PANTSCALLOG, DOWLAIS. [ H No. 4 Branch-HIOH STREET, CAEHARRIS. 1 —
I, West Wales Workers LABOUR CONFERENCE AT SWANSEA. A Labour conference under the auspices of the West Wales Trades and Labour Councils held at Swansea was attended by 143 delegates, repre- senting over 40,000 workers. Mr. D. R. Gren- fell (miners' agent) presided, and after discus- sion of the Inter-A Hied war aims and the food question, the following: resolutions were adopted: — WAR AIMS. "That this Conference, in view of all that has transpired since the outbreak of war affect- ing the workpeople, particularly in the severe restriction of the necessaries of life, is of the opinion that, before the Government can expect to obtain from the operative workpeople in the variety of industries in the country tint maxi- mum of effort in output in all directions for bringing about a speedy end of the war and an enduring peace, it is imperative they should de- clare their war aims to be in such form that will approximate as near as possible to the declared war aims of the Inter-Allied Labour organisa- tions. Further, it declares that the Govern- ment should grant all the necessary facilities for enabling the representatives of Labour in this country getting in contact with accredited re- presentatives of similar organisations in Allied and enemy countries for the purpose of making known amongst them the aims mentioned, free from Press manipulations and vicious and un-i scrupulous distortions." It was decided to forward the resolution to the Prime Minister and the Labour Party. FOOD. "This Conference having reviewed the whole position relative to the food question from the corn menoement of the war; when the Govern- Client was requested to officially control: (a), purchase and storage of food; (b), the fixing of maximum prices of food and essential trade necessities; and (c), distribution of food on, an equitable basis, regrets that no reasonable mea- sure of support has been given during the paM 3.} years to Labour's request, and hereby resolves that immediate steps be taken by the workers to compel the Government to produce, control, and equitably distribute the essential foods from source to supply on a national scheme to all classes alike, without the elenfent of profit, to the elimination of vested interest. Further, we are of the opinion, in view of the prevailing discontent at the (omposition of local food con- trol committees, that the Food Controller should issue instructions to loca l authorities, (falling upon them to increase the number of Lahour, working women and co-operative repre- sentatives on food committees." The resoluiton is being sent to Lord Rhondda, the Prime Minister and local food committees.. C. O.'s. A further resolution (to be forwarded-to the Home Secretary) was carried condemning the action of the Home Office in respect to the treatment of 0.0.'8 and asking for their imme- diate release.
CORRESPONDENCE. I "THE FRENCH LABOUR MOVEMENT." Sir,—I hape been greatly interested in thp. (( Pioneer articles on the French Labour- Movement," and I think the ventilating of this-, and similar subjects is all to the good, if only as a means of counteracting the hide-bound dog- matism which seems to hold fast many of our most active Sociaiists. Syndicalism is not a movement, to be dismissed with an airv wave o< the hand; to be alluded to in terms of tolerant contempt or utterly disregarded as the rabid' ravings of ignorant fanatics. It is. on the other hand, worthy of intelligent investi- gation, and your contributor by his sympathetic- review of Levine's monograph has opened out a way which should prove profitable to follow. While the tone of the two articles is distinctly sympathetic, one is a trifle liewildered bv the. apparently Janus-like attitude evinced bv the- concluding sentence—"Can it be done?" Right along to those four words I thought the writer- was distinctlv favourable to the views so cleverly expounded, the query came as a surprise—some- thing in the nature of a wet blank-et--and I am left wondering whether those poignant words ex- press the writer's own attitude of wistful doubt or are merely the tag of the purely journalistic mind-a mind which views from a detached alti- tude all creeds, all movements, and all z-nee.- I Yours, etc., I Yours, etc., H. J. HORNE. Treherbert, April 1st, 1918.
THE ELECTRIC THEATRE The return of delightful Mary Pick ford to the Electric next week in a new production The- Pride of the Clan" will be welcome news to Merthyr picturegoers, in whose esteem none stand higher than this charming star of the screen. I am told that her new picture is, a wonderfully strong story, with a gripping theme- and a good love interest. The Rack Stage." a new Billy West comed y, is in the same bill, and there is a particularly fine episode from Gioria's Romance, as well as Bairnsfather's. Cartoon and a bag of big things. .From Thursday, Olga Petrova, another of the great ones of the cinema, is heading in a won- derful first appearance in the Lasky-Paramount- studies, "The Undying Flaine." The story Is wierd and mysterious, and deals with that fas- cinating subject—the transmigration of the soul. There" is another Charlie Chaplin scream The Knock-Out, one of the Ist. and "Grey Ghost'' will boo intensely exciting. The present weed's programmes have been unusually fine. Auld Lang Syne," which staiTcd from Monday to Wednesday will long be remembered by all who saw it as a distinctive piece of dramatic art. The version of "apho" that is heading the present programme is more true to Daudet's splendid theme than anything I have seen, it is as much a classic of the. cinema as the work was of literature, and its presenta- tion is marvellously complete, even for Famous Players. There is a fine L-Ko comedy and a superb "Grey Ghost'" instalment amongst a noteworthy number of minor attractions.