Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. I MAN-POWER. The New Man-Power Bill is having a. storm- passage. and no wonder. Mr. Lloyd George in- troduced it in a speech that in many of its parts was quite contradictory, and as he proceeded to tatP the proposa ls of the Bill it "became more and more clear that the whole of the Irish "Party and a considerable number of other mem- bers were bitterly hostile to them. It is difficult to understand how the Government expect to increase the fighting strength of the country by their proposals. Everybody knows that. the weakest link in the national chain so far as this country is concerned is shipping. The man- power reserves of the Allies are in America. Mr. Lloyd George himself admits that only 7 per cent, of all the men between 41 and 51 that he propose to conscript will be fit to go into the army. But in the United States there are many millions, if there were ships in which to carry them. Moreover, the men lie now proposes to conscript cannot become efficient soldiers until Jaw in the present year, whereas large numbers of the Americans are already partially trained. Some time ago Mr. Lloyd George stated that 20.000 shipwrights were to be brought out of the army, but only a thousand or two have actually been returned. BRITAIN'S HUGE BURDEN. The position of this country with regard to it:, share in the war is that it has the largest arniv in- Europe except that of Germany. It is responsible for most of the world's transport and for keeping- the seas open for traffic. The heavi e>r financial burden is upon this country. All this in addition to providing huge quantities of coal. ammunition, and equipment for the Euro- pean Allies. If the present bill is passed, the age limit for military service in this country be two years higher than in France and five years higher than in Italy. Not. content with this, the Government is asking for power to raise the age to 55 by Order in Council when- ever they think fit. However, the Government ha., mad e du. mistake of thinking thiiv Ijitjami wili oe -conscripted.' We sliuTl see. GERMANY'S OPPORTUNITY? General Smuts, who, when he took a leading part in deporting the South African laoour leaders shortly prior to the war. was referred to by Mr. A. M. Thompson as the unspeakable Smuts." is perhaps the most effective propagan- dist member of the War Cabinet. Speaking re- cently at a function given by one of the City Companies, the dothworkers" Company. lie said that Germany had an opportunity of responding to the Allies war offer to ma ke peace on moder- ate and fair terms when the Prime Minister, )fr. Lloyd George, made his statement concern- ing: war aims to the Labour Con fere nee last January. The statement in question, in the opinion of General Smuts, was made in the spirit of moral idealism and was afterwards approved by Piesident Wilson and M. Clemenceau, and was subsequently practically endorsed by the Labour and Socialist Congress of all the Allied Countries. LLOYD GEORGE'S MORAL IDEALISM. Of the moral idealism" of Mr. Lloyd stateiii#tit regarding the war aims of the Allies to the Labour Conference I have no wish to remark I)iit I do wish to point out in fit(-t, not, ) i i n, 1110,1'fl that the statement was, in fact, nothing more than a dexterous effort to make it appear that the Labour Party's own statement of war aims. then recently issued, was substantially identical with tii,- war aims of the Government. Vi it-h re- gard to Alsace Lorraine, with regard to the promises made to Italy and to Kumania. Mr Lloyd George on that occasion misted the La- bour Conference by his deliberately obscure lan- guage. He declared that Great Britain would stand to the death with .France for the toc,-con- sideratimI" of the position of Alsace-Lorraine, and that Great Britain regarded "as vital the satisfaction of the legitimate claims of Italy for union with those of their own race and tongue" and that we mean to press that justice be done to men of Rumanian blood in their legitimate aspirations." but this was to the Labour Con- ference, and, even so, the language in each case I was capable of meaning quite different things. HIS VERSAILLES STATEMENT. I I The Prime Minister's Labour Conference-state- m?nt was followed directly aft?nvards by the l sult4,?ill ent oil tlie. atithoi'ltv of the A?ied Governments. In this statement there was no rpferenep a t. all to the claims of France, of Italy, of Rumania, or of Great Britain for an- nexations of territory, obscure or otherwise. There was just a re-affirmation of the "knock- out blojv policy, and nothing more. Therefore, the set-ret treaties which have promised Italy territory inhabited by people who are not of their own race and Rumanian territory inha- bited by men who are not "of Rumanian blood" still hold the field, as, indeed, Lord Robert Cecil has since acknowledged, and these a.ims are part of the Allied war aims along with others equally indefensible. It is for General Smuts and othti- Government propagandists to explain how these war- aims can be justified, and where there is to be found in them the moral idealism of which he speaks. I PEACE POSSIBILITIES. I It is on account of the existence of the secret treaties and the refusal of the Allied Govern- ments to renounce them that one opportunity after another has been lost of entering safely upon peace negotiations. If the Allied Govern- ments could speak as fairly and as openly to the German people as President Wilson does the people of Gennany would absolutely decline to endure the losses and privations they are now enduring at the bidding of their rulers. Presi- dent Wilson in his latest declaration says. "We have ourselves proposed no injustice, no agres- sHin. We are ready whenever the final reckon- ing is made to be just to the German people, to deal fairly with the German Power as with all others.. FOH WE ASK NOTHING THAT WE ARE NOT WILLING TO ACCORD." This is the thmn above all others that the AWed GOV<jl'lHIIPnts ought to be able to say, but so long as the secret treaties remain unrenounced the Allied Governments cannot say it. and there is no hope of dividing the German people from the- military rulpr" of Germany so long as the fact remains. ITHE STUMBLING BLOCKS. I Tiie inability of the Allied Governments to bring themselves into line with President Wil- son by scrapping the secret treaties and declar- ing. as he has done, that they ask nothing they are not willing to accord to the nations they are fighting, not only deprives the Allied Gov- ernment of the moral force necessary to defeat German militarism, it also forces President Wil- son into a false position, which, to the people of enemy nations, appears nothing less than hypo- critical. Every German and every Austrian who reads President Wilson's professions of good faith and honesty of purpose in this war and his searching indictment of the mlers of Germany and their annexationist policy is fully aware of the annexionist plans of Allied Governments, which are prepared for execution if they have the power. Yet President Wilson, who knows all about the annexionist plans of the. Allies, says nothing in condemnation of them. This does not go without notice, and there is no doubt that, from the point of view of people of enemy nations, his utterances must appear to Ix* insincere. He cannot insist effectively on a non-annexionist policy for the Central Powei~s so long as the Allies of America adhere to the annexationist policy of th-e secret treaties.
Our Easter Conference. VOLUME OF BUSINESS TRANSACTED. MACDONALD AND SMILLIE MOVE CON- FERENCE. Tuesday found the delegates laced with a huge volume of business to get through in the few hours of the one day. M. Litvinoff, the Russian Ambassador, sent cordial greetings, as did the children of the Socialist Sunday School. The Jewish Socialist Party, meeting in Man- chester, telegraphed: We admire your stand for Internationalism and are with you in your strivings." Letters of apology for non-attend- ance were read from the Rev. W. E. Moll and M essis. Harry Dubery and Walter A vies, the latter of whom wrote from Dorchester Prison. The discussion was then resumed on the Bow and Bromley proposal to delete the paragraph Programme. Mr.. W. C. Anderson argued that if the dele- tion were carried an unexplained gap would be left in the statement of principles and policy, an explanation which Conference regarded as satisfactory, and the paragraph was retained. ORGANISERS AND THE N.A.C. In the discussion on the Constitution, the Kingston delegate moved that a new clause should be added to the section covering or- ganisation laying it down that no organiser or paid official, whose salary is paid by the N.A.C.. shall be eligible for election to the X.A.C. Mr. Ramsay Maedonald warned the Confer- ence to be careful of what they committed themselves to on questions of this kind. What was meant by "salary" for instanced Did it refer to anyone who was paid a salary by the N.A.C., or only to those whose whole income was paid by the N.A.C. While he agreed we ought to safeguard ourselves, he suggested the wording of this proposed clause was open to loose interpreta tion. Mrs. Snowden suppotted the Kingston amend- ment. The I.L.P., she said, was not a business organisation run for profit, and though she did not for a moment suspect that anyone would act on the N.A.C. for his own advantage, yet it might have a bad effect if it were known that those who had the spending of the money were actually receiving some of that money contri- buted to put into their own pockets. She knew something of the practical effect of a rule of this sort from her experience as a treasurer. The (Joventry delegate expressed himself against the amendment, because the movement wanted Its best brains on the N.A.C., and sure ly the National body could be relied upon to judge whether an applicant was after financial gain or hot. The proposal, in his view, was a slur upon everyoody who by dire necessity might have to accept some financial acknowledgment of his services to the Party. The profKised new clause, however, was car- ried by 204 votes to 159. JTHE N.A.C. I Hie paragraph headed "Organisation" stated that the X.A.C. shall be composed of twelve re- I presentatives, in addition to the two officers. Burton-on-Trent moved an amendment to make the clause read, the N.A.C. shall be composed of four National members and one member from each divisional area." By carrying this resolu- tion the Conference left it open for any pos- sible new division to have its representative on the N.A.C. < Mr. Egerton P. Wake moved a, resolution which gave expression to a large body of opinion in the movement concerning the dura- tion of our annual Conference. On behalf of the Barrow branch he iroved: That the busi- ness of the National Conference commence at 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday, the N.A.C. Report to be considered on the Sunday, that resolutions be taken first business on Monday, and that the Conference end at 4 p.m. on Tuesday." The re- solution, he said, was really an agreed resolu- tion representing the opinions of the Lancashire blanches. Mr. Larrad (Mancht ster Centra!) seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously, and future Conferences will begin on the Sunday. _I RESOLUTION ON DEMOBILISATION. Having finished with the construction, the delegates turned to the consideration of the first resolution "That this Conference demands that when the armies are demobilised at the conclu- sion of the war the pay and separation allow- ance of all soldiers and sailors be continued until such time as they have been provided with per- manent work at which they can earn an ade- quate living. Further, that tJie Government should immediately prepare vast schemes of work, such as Housing, Land Reclamation. Af- forestation, into which the surplus labour in the market can be drafted and thus avoid a serious unemployment crisis." In the discussion Mrs. Kawcett raised the question of Laoour Exchanges and persons urging women who are employed to enrol for military service. Probably, she said, Trade Union fathers were to a great extent responsible for the ignorance of their daughters who filled up forms of enrolment without knowing how they were tying themselves up. The resolution, with an addition suggested by Bow and Brom- ley "that this surplus labour should -be em- ployed under Trade Union conditions," was unanimously carried. J. R. MACDONALD ON THE SOLDtERS CHARTER. Mr. Ramsay Maedonald then rose from the body of the Hall to move the Soldiers' Charter. "The resolution," said Jla(do"nald. "it; long, but it is not quite comprehensive enough. It must be taken rather as an indication of inten- tion. It means fundamentally to say that the soldier is a man. When he is called up by the State he retains his human rights and his civil rights." Speaking of the distinction between officers and men in the exercise of tivil rights, Mr. Maedonald declared that wliat was good for the goose was good for the gander, and this citizen army must retain its citizen rights. The ("barter was seconiled and carried unani- mously. SMILLIE AND PEACE. I Mr. Snowden then asked Mr. Smillie to move the peace resolution which was brought forward in the place of many resolutions on the agenda. The resolution reads This Conference of the I.L.P. strongly re- affirms that a democratic and unaggressive peace secured by negotiation at t.he earliest possible mement, alone can save the nations from mutual destruction, ruin, and bankruptcy, and urges in the interests of civilisation, that no opportunity be lost of examining honestly the possibilities of a world settlement; the Conference sends greetings to the men and women in all coun- tries who are working for a peoples' peace with- out annexations or indemnities, and with the rights of peoples, large or small, to determine their own life, and assures such men and women that the forces of reason are rapidly gathering strength among the British Workers, and this Conference denounces and repudiates the secret treaties to which governments and rulers have committed themselves behind the backs, ef their peoples, and insists that such treaties, involving imperialist conquest and territorial aggression, are the real stumbling blocks to an early and lasting peace, and must be swept away with all governments that aue bound by them." Mr. Smillie said several of his old comrad es in the movement had told him lie was looking amazingly well. He was not nearly so well look- ing when they met him at the Labour Party Conference or at the Trade Union Congress. How can anyone look well at the Labour Party Conference or the Trade Union Congross:" he asked, and the delegates laughed and applauded. Attending the I.L.P. Conference was like get- ting a breath of the sea, he continued. It got into your lungs, into your blood, into your mind. I think if I could attend every year I would live for ever." The soul of the Confer- ence, he thought, was in two or three of the resolutions, the resolution moved by Comrade Maedonald and the two on Peace and Liberty that were before them. Peace without liberty was not good enough. They must endeavour to secure peace, but while securing it they ought to protect the little liberty they had.. DISAFFECTION. I Simmons has been sentenced to prison, and one of the clauses under which he was charged wa^s Any pei-son who attempts to cause dis- affection among the civilian population," and so on. Why, good heavens, what is tin's Confer- ence trying to do this morning? (Loud il)- plause.) What are you here far r I have been causing disaffection for nearly 40 years, and I have never found any tiling—or hardly anything —in life to be satisfied with. This is Easter time. Some two centuries ago there was a cross elected, and evidently the Defence of the Realm Act was enforced in that country. Evidently Jesus of Nazareth was going about causing dis- affection among the civilian population. The Churches keep his Cricifixion a.s a holiday, but they have forgotten his teaching. Dealing with the suggestion of cowardice levelled at us, Mr. Smillie said, "Some of those who make that charge must be deliberately lying. They know it is not the cowards who go out to the street coiners and talk as we have done." There is not one here to-day who would not go out of that door, stand up against the wall, and suffer death if it would finish the war. STAND ASIDE. I Speaking of the "amazing progress" the I.L.P. has made, Mr. Smillie remarked: "Some people are wondering whether they will have the I (Continued on Page 2).
THAT SORDID SECRET DIPLOMACY. I Macdonald Critically Examines Lichnowsky Revelations. I The Only Way to Peace is Via The International. I Great Gathering at Aberaman. Whilst the transference of Macdonald's meet- ing last Sunday from Mountain Ash to the Aberaman Grand Theatre—owing to the action of the proprietors of the Pavilion refusing the hall at the last moment—meant that hundreds were unable to get in the smaller buildinig to hear our Leader, we have no reason to complain, for the overflow was a splendid advertisement of our popularity in. the Aberdare Valley. In- i side the Theatre, and it is no small one, there was scarcely room for a fly—stalls, circle. pit, boxes, gangway, orchestra and passages were densely packed, whilst the platform looked as uncomfortable as a Black Hole of Calcutta so tightly packed were the folks; even the line platforms were utilised by ad m irers of the senior member for Leicester. James Winstone occupied the chair, and his speech therefrom was one of the finest he has ever delivered. He declared that as a nation we were bankrupt of statesmanship when the only policy we could advocate was a policy which would eventually lead the people of the nation down to the very depths of perdition. He would be very loth to misrepresent anything or convey the impression that we had anything in our hearts except a desire to help Britain, but our statesmen did not seem to offer any policy ex- cept more men, more guns, more money, more graves and more broken hearts, and he was as- tounded at their short-sightedness. It seemed to him that they did not look at the war-map; they oould—or would not—reason. We had been told shortly after Cardiff, 18 months ago, that the enemy were squealing for peace. He sub- mitted that YTLCVL an enemy "squealed for peace was an excellent time for statesmanship to take advantage of the opportunity to bring peace about. (Cheers.) We knew that our cause as an I.L.P. was just, and because it was just then any Government that sought to secure peace must move in our direction. J. R. Maedonald, whose reception vividly re- called that great oration given to him at Lei- cester last week, opened with a sympathetic al- lusion to the military situation at the moment, and said that the contribution which we had been endeavouring to make for 3t years would have made all this unnecessary. Push succeeded push, battle succeeded battle easi-ialty list suc- ceeded casualty list, and in every town and every street men in blue appealed to our hearts and our eyes telling us they had been at the very brink of the precipice which overlooked Hell, that they had been blasted, and scarred and maimed by it. and they awoke in our ima- gination the horrible picture of hundreds of thousands of men on the battle-fields that day. He had no magic wand to wave that would stop it; he could not there, or in the House of Com- mons, or anywhere else lift up a hand and say It is ended! All he claimed to have was a policy which would have stopped it a,]], had that policy been given effect to. (Cheers.) And what he said now, and said as a grave warning to those who during the last three years had re- jected all opportunities of negotiation, who had barred the way to Stockholm, those who said: The Statesmen can do nothing but sit tight at home," to these he said that, when the end came they would have to justify their policy, and we would ask a justification for ours. (Cheers.) He was told that the newspapers were a.gain on the hunt trying to discover him. They had been doing that for three years and had not succeeded. He was told that they demanded on the strength of the Lichnowsky Memorandum— which all should i-t-atl--that he should apologise to Sir Edward Grey. They said that the Lich- nowsky Memorandum attacked the I.L.P. posi- tion. It did no such thing: it proved it up to the hilt. (Cheers.) The Lichnowsky Memoran- dum said that after the Sarjevo murder Sir Ed- ward Grey Strove night and day to maintain the European peace. Did lie ever say anything different: He wrote those very words on August orb. 1914. Then why did we not have- peace ? Because the whole policy of European diplomacy was such as to make war inevitable. The Lichnowsky Memorandum made it clear that up to the time of the Morroccan crisis the authorities in Berlin were in favour of an Anglo- French-German understanding, but that after that dispute they made up their minds that it was useless, and the Kaiser was reputed to have said "If there is another crisis they will not find that I am wanting. What the I.L.P. said was that the policy followed since lf)04 was such that it had created a situa-tion in 1914 that had made it impossibile for a pacifist Foreign Minis- ter. such as Sir Edward Grey undoubtedly was —that would have made it impassible even for a Labour Foreign Minister—to have averted war, unless he had thrown from his shoulders all the commitments made since 1904. That was our position, but that was not what was found in the newspapers. Keir Hardie long before the Morroccan crisis, long before the Austrian Arch- duke was assassinated,, long before diplomacy had reached a critical evolution, had spoken again and again in the House of Commons about these things: he (Mr. Maedonald) had spoken again and again, too. Turn up the old Hansards before and since 1914; turn up the old speeches and writings and he defied anyone to find one single utterance or article which contended that Lord Grey strove to bring about an European, War. What was said was that Lord Grey, having become Foreign Minister, embroiled in all that diplomacy, he could not avoid the Euro- pean War in 1914. That was proved up to the hilt by the Lichnowsky Memorandum. There was, no question there of Belgium. (Cheers.) Xo, that was for the people who required some great moral issue; and German- had provided that mtfral issue by her invasion of Belgium— though the Government was committed to war whether Belgium was invaded or not. And they asked that he should apologise to Sir Edward Gn-y The I.L.P., and certainly himself, would ahmys apologise to any man, or any body of men whom we had maligned unknowingly and unwillingly. But when these newspapers com- ment upon our position in view of this memoran- dum he asked them to find out first of all what we had said before they began to imagine what we had never said, and to attribute it to us. (Cheers.) The Lichnowsky Memorandum was the most magnificent vindication of the I.L.P. and Its insight into the situation that had been published since the war caane. (Cheers.) He was told that the War Anns Committee were going to publish that Memorandum, and he appealed to that Committee to publish it all and not extracts from it—for the War Aims Committee went in largely for extracts. He ad- mired the nimble-witted young men who took sentences out of statements that did not convey the sense of those statements, but he asked them to give us the whole of the Lichnowsky Memoran- dum. The Lichnowsky Memorandum raised in one's mind a moral loathing of Secret Diplo- macy, beside which militarism, bad as it was, was a dean, honest thing. (Cheers.) Yet our opponents would try and use that Memorandum. No one could use that Memorandum except one party, one set of politicians, and that party was ourselves. (Cheers.) The Governing classes were waging a civil war "vhicb m,-tin( u "nlv nar between themselves, but also tha complete collapse of secret diplo- macy—of the Liohnowsky's, the Sukomlinoff's, and the others who tried to govern us behind our backs. We had had resignations from our own Cabinet. Lord Haldane had been to Ber- lin before the war, and there was a Haldane Memorandum to be published. Lord Haldane had written a Memorandum, and, judging from the little bits that had been allowed to be pub-x lished, it did not square with all that we bad oeen led to believe. He did not know whether Lord Morley and Mr. Burns were going to pub- lish memoranda, but he hoped they would all publish memoranda—Germany. France, Russia., Austria and Britain. As a matter of fact he wanted every man who was inside an European Cabinet in 1914 to tell us the whole story. Then the people must judge. But. I ask you, if you 0 have to judge, in God's name be merciful." (Cheers. ) Proceeding. Mr. Maedonald said that his feel- ing was that none of the nations would give credence to hostile governments, or government sections. Confidence was gone. We would never get the German nation to accept the word of a British Government so long as the war was on. and we would never get the British nation to accept the word of a German Government so long as the war lasted. That was the horrible situation in which we found ourselves. But he believed we would get the leaders of Democracy —men who had given proof of their steadfast- ness—to meet, to exchange opinions, to express views, to make proposals, and they would agree. Let the leaders of German Democracy go back to Berlin and tell the workers there, let, our leadens return, and tell us here, what was going on, what was behind it all, and then our lads at the front would begin to think of packing up' and getting back to their own firesides. (Loud cheers.) The case for an International was al- ways strong. He had hammered at it for 2% years, and was almost getting tired of it. But that case, always strong, had been made over- whelming after the publication of the Memoran- dum showing the meanness, the deceit of Secret Diplomacy. But a second tiling was required— the repudiation of the Secret Treaties. There could be no peace whilst those treaties were there. (Cheers.) We must declare that those secret treaties, of which we knew nothing, until they were published by the Russians, were not binding upon the peoples, not binding upon the Armies, and then let us adopt the Russian for- mulae, and insofar as those secret treaties eman- cipate peoples from foreign and unwilling yokes they would be emancipated, but insofar as those tieaties compelled people to accept yokes they did not warn they would not. be compelled at all. Self determination and no annexations must be our watchwords. (Cheers.) There must be ne- gotiations with our Allies to undo the evil of those Secret Treaties, a clear statement of our aims published to all the world, and issued as a challenge to the German people. He wanted a hard definite declaration OR which we could say to the German people Are you going to fight against that P And he wanted them to reply, and we would get a reply. If it was "Yes! then we could not help it, but he knew they would reply No! And the moment they said "No!" then that was the beginning of peace, for there was a very much stronger feel- ing in Germany than we wew allowed to know of. As a matter of fact, things had got to such ia pitch there, that if we could just convince the common man of Germany that we would play fair by him he would start at once to end the war. But he did not trust us, and he did not trust us because the speeches of our great ones were sent to Berlin and published there. The knock-out blow speech was worth a whole regiment to Hindenburg; the speech in the House of Commons in reply to Count Czernin was worth many regiments, and the publication of the Secret Treaties was worth still more to the Junkers of Germany.
SOVIET GOVERNMENT. A By W. G. Cove. v, PAGE 3.
LABOUR'S CASE AGAINST P.R. By T. I. Mardy Jones, F.R.E.S. PAGE 3.