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I President Wilson's Speech.…

I P.R. in Glamorgan. I

Mr. Hartshorn and the Unofficial…


Mr. Hartshorn and the Un- official Reform Committee. I A SET OF NINCOMPOOPS, WITHOUT THE INTELLIGENCE OF TOM-TITS." At a mass meeting of the Maesteg miners held at the Town Hall on Friday last, convened for the purpose of receiving the report of the dele- gates to the M.F.G.B. conference on the recent ballot on the comb-out, Mr. E. Barnett, who was the delegate in company with Mr. Hart- shorn, gave a brief report of what had taken place at the conference, and stated that Mr. Hortshorn fought for the conference to relegate the matter of the Comb-out to the various dis- tricts of the M.F.G.B., to hold conferences in each of the various districts since it was the opinion of the Conference that the result of the ballot was not decisive enough to take the neces- sary action to oppose the Government. As we all then knew, Mr. Hartshorn had failed. Mr. Hartshorn then spoke and reviewed the position created by the previous ballot reMown- tools to resist the taking the 1914 men, and pointed out that the ballot showed a great ma- jority against down-tools. That ballot was called for by a section in the South Wales coal- field known as the Unofficial Reform Committee, who styled themselves The Ginger Group." The ballot showed what influence they had in South Wales, and put them in their proper place by letting them know what the rand and file of the .Federation thought of them. "They are a set of nincompoops without the intelligence of a tom-tit," said Mr. Hartshorn, and added that the Unofficial Reform Committee thought they were better equipped to represent the members of the Federation than the ap- pointed leaders of the Federation. They pos- sessed no intellectual honesty, they had their cronies on the E.C., and had come to know that a ccmfei-ence was to be called in the proper con- stitutional manner. So they met and decided to hold an unofficial conference and passed resolu- tions and appointed a deputation to meet the Executive Council that day (Friday) to bring the necessary pressure to bear upon the E.C. to force a conference, and then they would turn round and say, We made them (the E.C.) call the conference." But they were told by the E.C. to go home, and were not allowed an in- terview. (Cheers.) NOT IN MAESTEG. He had been informed whilst travelling in the train that day that a lodge in his district had thought it wise to send a delegate to the Unoffi- cial Con ference, although he had sent a letter to every lodge secretary in M.aesteDistrict in- forming them that an Official Conference would be held. If the men of Maesteg thought that he did not represent their views on the E.C., then it was up to them to nominate someone else and send that person's name round the lodges and get a ballot vote upon it. If the men decided that the other chap was the right one to represent them then they could change hun (Mir. Hartshorn) at the annual conference, which he thought would be held in June this year. But while he was their representative on the E.C. he was not going there and have them sending men down to Unofficial Conferences to stab him in the back in his absence. (Applause.) There was no room for such a body in the Fed- eration. It was only causing disunity, when what we wanted was unity. The unofficial body had to be fought to the death, and 4e was out to fight them. The S.W.M.F. had obtained more reforms and advances in wages within the last few years than any other coalfield in Britain and there was not a single member of the Ginger Group who for the last ten years had initiated a single agitation which had brought sixpenny- worth of reform to the advantage of the mem- bers of the S. W.M.F. The only coalfield in Great Britain whose E.C. had come back to consult its members on this comb-out question was South Wales, and it was only in South Wales that there was an Unoffi- cial Reform Committee. He then went on to deal with the military situation created by the deal with the nii l itar- big German offensive, to show the folly of a down-tool policy, and the impossibility of carry- ing through successfully, even if we embarked upon it;. He said that he had a son 17 years of age, and in 12 months he would be eligible for the Army. He had a father's feeling for the lad, and he dreaded the day that he would have to go into the army; he had a wife and knew that she loved her boy like all other mothers did, but he would not lift a finger against the boy going. A bill was being introduced into Par- liament next week to raise the age-limit to 50, and if that became law he would come under the Military Service Act. If he weM called up he was going, and would not ask for exemption, as he considered our cause was worth the sacri- tive, because, if the Huns were victorious, then it was good-bye to Democracy. He also dealt wit.h the Russian situation. At the close of his address he called for a vote of condolence with the relatives of the two brothers Stephens, of Owmavon, who had that day been instantaneously killed while working in the Brvn Colliery. The vote was carried in silence, ali standing.

Clydach Miners' Leader.

Our Easter Conference.