IRELAND AND THE LABOUR PARTY. I PAGE 2.
ft Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. AMERICAN PREPARATION. I The hope of America becoming a serious fac- tor in the war at an early date is rapidly dis- appearing. It is now recognised that for some time to come the Allies will have to fight with- out the help of America. In a recent letter to the "Times Sir Sydney Low gave an account of the proceedings in the United States Senate on March 27 and the following days when the Senate's Committee on Military Affairs took evi- dence on the state of America 's preparations. From the evidence submitted to the committee it appears that of 12,000 combatant aeroplanes Which were to be delivered to General Pershing in France by July 1st, not more than 37 will be de-livei-ed by that time. It was also stated that only two cargo ships had been completed in the yards under the control of the United States Shipping Board, and that although the Ameri- can War Department had spent six months in endeavouring to make an improved model of the French 7.5 gun it had failed to produce an adequate weapon, and therefore General PershinCT had been obliged to draw entirely on British and French factories for grtns. THE FUTURE. Having vo™ard to the lcix^tli of time that must, elapse before the United States can possi- bly take its share of the military operations in Europe the speeches of the delegates of the American Federation of Labour during their stay in this country are, to say the least, not helpful. "Whatever may lie said as to the con- dition of the Central Powers, the Allies are being reduced, one after another, to a condition of sheer exhaustion. Russia, for the time being, is helpless. What the state of France is at present the American delegates will sec and hear if they have ever, and ears and care to make use of them during their visit to France. In the interval between now and when the United States actually takes part in the war t11Pr,¡.>. is -N--rv sicn that ibis country v ill 11:, ■ e followed in the train of Russia and France and become America's dependent as Russia was and France i" now dependent, and, when the war ends. as after all, it must end someday, Great Britain along with the rest of the European na- tions will be related to America and to Japan, the two great military powers of the future, oven as the Balkan States prior to 1914 were related to the two rival groups of European Powers. THE OLD ROUND. If it should be argued that the possibility of such international developments as I have men- tioned is precluded by the peaceful nature of the United States I would suggest in reply that the United States in this matter cannot safely I be judged by the standard laid down in Presi- dent Wilson's speeches. Notwithstanding Presi- dent Wilson's speeches, when, as a result of the war. America becomes a military and naval power it will probably remain such. Only a negotiated peace can save the world from this calamity for if the war is to be fought to a finish America will have to finish it. Afterwards America will hold the Allies in pawn as com- pletely as Turkey or Egypt has been in the past, and American financiers will see to there being American force at the back of American invest- ments. AMERICAN DEMOCRACY'S TASK. There will a lso be the growing power of Japan on which to found a case in the United States for maintaining the military and naval power of America when once that power has been estab- lished. Not a pleasant prospect this, for a belli- cose America armed and confident on the one Tmnd. with' Japan grown mighty and arrogant on the other, each dominating weaker nations and exploiting them, will give new life to mili- tarism and bring more international strife into the world. The way to escape this danger, if the American Labour delegates could but see it is for America to rescue the Allies from the mess they have got into with their secret treaties, by denouncing those treaties openly as America has already denounced the annexioniste schemes of the Central Powers. Then and then only, will an agreed peace be possible, America spared the risk of becoming a great military power, and the European nations, with which America is allied, protected from their impending ruin. ITOTTERING TO A FALL. In deciding to force conscription on Ireland the Government has produced a situation they will find it difficult to survive. Excepting the people of some parts of Ulster all Ireland is prac- tically united on the question. This in itself would seem sufficient to bring the Government down, for either the Irish people must be coerced, in which case there will probably be resistance and bloodshed, or the Act must be allowed to become a dead letter. In either case the Gov- ernment must be seriously weakened. But there is also the promise of Home Rule to be made good. A Home Rule Bill is now being prepared and will be brought before Parliament in due course. In the absence of the Irish members, however, who, it is vyiderstood, will boycott the whole proceedings, the Bill will have to be passed in their absence and with do assurance of their approval. SHAM HOME RULE. A Bill passed under such circumstances as I have mentioned will be a mere sham, and, even so, some of its provisions arevsure to meet with opposition in the House of Lords. There is, therefore, every likelihood that the Lords will reject the Home Rule Bill. In that case Mr. Lloyd George and the present Government will fall. Who will take their places it is impossible to foretell. It is to the last degree unlikely that Mr. Asquith will take the responsibility of form- ing another Ministry nor is it likely that he could secure the necessary Parliamentary major-! ity. On the other hand the country is not yet sufficiently alive to the real position in which it is placed to demand a Ministry that will boldly fctce the necessity of cutting the Allies loose from the secret treaties which at present pre- clude the possibility of making an open and honest statement of the peace terms of the Allies that would embarrass and confound the rulers of Germany. In these circumstances the only alternative I can see to Mr. Lloyd Goorgo, is Lord Grey, .but he would only be iu the na- ture of a stop-gap, for he also would be ham- pered by the secret treaties and sooner or later they will have to go. I do not find anywhere the opinion expressed that Mr. Lloyd George or any other of the political leaders will try to force a dissolution. A general election in the present circumstances would be a wild and pro- bably disastrous adventure which nobody dares to risk. REFORMING THE LORDS? The report of the Committee appointed to con- sider the question of a reformed Second Chamber has not attracted the attention which its danger- ous proposals ought to command. This is, of course, due to the fact that other questions are engaging the public mind of more immediate 1 importance. The scheme is thoroughly bad, and if any attempt should be made to give effect to it there must be uncompromising opposition of- i fered at once. Not only is it proposed to estab- lish Law Lords, the Lord Chancellor and ex- Lord Chancellors, in the reformed House, along with the sons and grandsons of the Sovereign, but it is actually proposed to give the Second Chamber the right to amend or reject money Bills sent from the House of Commons, which is a right not possessed by the House of Lords as at present constituted. Moreover, even the see-Ii tion of the proposed Second Chamber that would? be selected by membeT of the House of Com- mons voting in sections according to the geo- graphical situation of their constituencies* would be elected for periods covering twelve years. The members so elected would retire in sections one-third at a time at intervals of four years. Always, therefore, there would be a dead hand on the House of Commons which could only be removed after long years of weary waiting. The scheme will not do. Democrats can have no use for it. A CORRECTION. In my comment on the Budget in last week's notes the following sentence is included, viz., The income tax which they (people of tie wealthy class) "feared would be raised from 5/- to 7/6 in the £ is onlv raised to 5/- on incomes of over £ 2,500 a year." Of course the tax is raised to 61- on incomes of over £ 2,500, and this is what I intended to write.
Workmen's Compensation I IMPORTANT PHASE OF THE 25 PER CENT. ADVANCE. Whether the 25 per cent. advance under the Workmen's Compensation War Addition Act, 1917, is to be taken into account in assessing balances of compensation due to dependants of deceased workers was the issue in a case brought before Judge Roberts at Merthyr on Thursday. The widow of a Mcrthyr Vale miner, David Thomas Ffoulkes, claimed from the Nixon Navi- gation Company (Ltd.) compensation amounting to £ 220 12s. 4d. Mr. Lovar, .Eraser (instructed by Messrs. Mor- gan. Bruce, Nicholas and Porcher, Pontypridd) for plaintiff, submitted that in the determina- tion of compensation due to the woman respond- ents were not entitled to deduct the 2/5 per cent. allowed Ffoulkes from September 1st last to the dat-e of his death. From the time of the acci- dent, April, 1916, to September 1st, 1917, he was made weekly payments of IB/ which on the coming into operation of the Act on the latter date, were increased to 91 2s. 7d. The maximum compensation payable in respect to the man was £ 282 2s., and the amount paid into court by the colliery company, 2215 17s. Id. Mr. D. W. Jones, Merthyr, for respondents, contended the increase granted under the Act of 1917 was weekly compensation, and therefore should be deducted in making up the compensa- tion balance, and the Act could not be read to mean an increasing of the obligations of em- ployers with regard to the maximum sum pay- able. The sum to be paid dependents came en- tirely within the Act of 1906. His Honour reserved the judgment until the next Court.
The Witchery of Casey THE MAGIC MUSIC OF THE PEOPLE. BIG CROWD AT MERTHYR GATHERING. There is no name more highly esteemed in the Socialist movement than that of Casey. He and his charming and accomplished accompanist, Dolly, have a little niche all to themselves, in front of which many of us who have lost the habit of theological genuflection in comprehend- ing the true spirit of religion as embraced in Socialism, have become as habitually prone to do homage as we did before the old idea of the Mater Dolorosa, or the equally pagan, but lofty ideas that occupy the same" position in the various creeds of our land. I personally find it hard to escape becoming a blind worshipper at the feet of the master interpreters of the great music masters, I am so constituted that while I may regard Mahomet and Buddha and Christ as mere focussing points of religious experience, I as easily fall under the sway of a sweet and true interpretation of music as Carlyle did of his great men in his Heroes and Hero Wor- ship." In each of us I believe there is a little trait in the light of which the irrational of the past is rationalised. The savage who worshipped the monolith would be inexplicable to me were it not that the chords of my soul respond so easily to music. It is in the light of that response that I know that the savage in his barbaric way but sought to express in the monolith his veneration for the whole mighty mechanism of the universe of which it was a rugged part. It is the na- tural in music that I revere, and it is because Oasey so feelingly interprets the natural in music that I at times come near to worshipping him. Fortunately Oasey is much too human, too much one of us. to allow us to erect a new God in his image. One cannot worship with the depths of adoration that worship implies a god that has the vein of humour conspicuously developed, or kneel too long before a Deity that will rate you in blunt English for your sins of omission and commission as Casey will and does. MYSTICISM OF MUSIC. Of course, there is a lot of mysticism i. n I music, and much of the mystic in every musician, and Casey has that mystical side of him that opens his inner eye to the beauty and message oi music and that in turn eilables him to re- translate the crochets and quavers of a score into the burning notes so full of enlightenment to us. But he is not all mystic, and he does not suffer from the illusion that the world will be perfect only and when the whole of the peo- ple can perform the Kreutzher Sonata, he knows that the economic understrata of life is the physi-1 cal oasis upon which the whole of the superstruc-1 ture rests; and that that superstructure was finer and nobler, though perhaps less ornate, when the economic grind was less severe thn it is to-day. Consequently he allies to his music a keen criticism of the modern economic slavery I of the workers, and an equally stirring appeal j for Socialism. And his music takes on an im- portant role in this propaganda, for he shows us how music has grown with the people and has sprung from them. His folksongs and dances are the natural expressions of peoples with lei-I sure and opportunity to express themselves sweetly and naturally. His dances, lullabys, la-ments and marches are more truly the his- tory of the common people than are the monk- ish manuscripts or the pipe rolls, and as his bow slowly but grandly sweeps along the ages one traces the evolution of the art, until it is seized upon by the geniuses of music—mostly rebels and Socialists-and lifted into a very heaven of harmony. Music as Casey expounds it is the outpouring of the people, it is the natural vehicle to which human nature instinc- tively turns whether to express the joy of life, or the sorrows that death brings in its train, when that human nature is not harassed and crowded like sheep on a town mainstreet, in the grinding ignomy of a "get-neh-quick sys- tem of society. IWHEN CASEY PLAYS. I When Casey plays one knows that human na- ture beneath its cruel economic ossifications, is at heart a warm, noble thing, and one realises afresh that the shackles have but to be struck off, for the old time nobility to find itself ex- pressed in grander strains than ever before. As t said last week in treating of Soermus, when these master musicians play we know that Utopia is po dream. It is this sordid horror that we call life and civilisation that is the nightmare, the Utopia that looks so fragrant through the poisoned mist of the present is really the natural development of those days that gave us the music that Casey unearths from the past, and revivifies under the precious touch of his magic music. "Dolly," too, is a great musician, and I am glad that their last visit the great audience gave her such a heartv vote of thanks. A.P.Y.
Labour War Aims I CONFERENCE WITH AMERICAN I LEADERS. The members of the American Labour Delega- tion attended a private conference with the La- bour party Executive, under the chairmanship of Mr. W. S. Purdy, at the Central Hall, Lon- don, on Monday, to discuss the memorandum on war aims. Mr. Arthur Henderson, Mr. Will Thorne, and Mr. Bowerman were among those present. According to newspaper stories the American delegates refused to consider anything but the military defeat of Germany, and nothing would induce them to be a party to the calling of an International Labour (Ion ferenc-o so long as Ger- many militarily occupied aUied territory. Our readers will gather from this the character of the American Labour Movement represented here. An antidote to this kind of talk will be found in an American Socialist's book—Boudin's Socialism and War.
Brotherhood The Real Bond. I THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT IN REAL LIFE. A goodly number foregathered at the Treve- thick Hall at the last meeting of the Merthyr Theosophieal Centre, when Mr. Loftus Hare, Director in studies in Religion and Philosophy to the Theosophieal Society, delivered an in- forming and interesting lecture on The Ethics of the Sermon on the Mount." Mr. T. F. Harvey, who presided, stated that they met to listen to a lecture on what many might think an old and time-worn subject, as the Sermon on the Mount undoubtedly was, but its call rang true for us to-day, and he knew that if the sub- ject appeared threadbare from the standpoint of further thought and discussion, their lecturer was qualified to make clear its meanings and to vitalise and re-present its message. A MANIFESTO. Mr. Loftus Hare stated that he would ask them at the outset, if they could, to forget for the moment the place of their meeting, the age and nationality they belonged to, the religion they professed, the individual outlook upon many questions that separated them. He would have them come to the consideration of his subject with clear vision and calm, unbiassed judgments. Ethics, as they well knew, was the science that sought to guide the conduct of men in their relations to each other and in the or- dinary affairs of life. It was right to point out that the Sermon on the Mount contained much more than ethics. It had in it much thought that was mystical, the adumbrations of many a system of philosophy, many passages of high il- luminating spiritual values. Looked at from the purely ethical aspect it was a manifesto, a clarion cry, a perpetual challenge to the soul and spirit in man. It was given out at a time when, after age-long struggles along the evolu- tionary path, the Christ thought that humanity had need of it. The world had grown in much, but it had never yet grown to the full height of the glorious ideal presented by this most won- derful sermon, which, though described by Mat- thew as the Sermon on the Mount, appeared from Luke's account to be a Sermon on the Plain. Behind the ethical there was always the metaphysical idea, the glowing concept, vision or thought from whose height proceeded the illu- mination that lit up for man the desert wastes of thought and feeling. Socrates had likened himself in his day to a gadfly goading to duty a noble horse that typified the citizenship of Athens. So, too, the noble call of the Sermon on the Mount, which regarded man as man purely and in no other relation, was a reminder, a challenge, and oftentimes a reproach to the lives of men when lived on the lower levels. It raised the level of humanity's ideal conceptions. THE OLD LAW AND THE NEW. I The old Mosaic law had formulated Thou shalt commit no murder." At the ethical stage to which our humanity had then grown this direct prohibition seemed all that was required. Nor was it then enacted for the first time. In the British Museum was to be found a pillar of basalt, having engraved upon it the old retalia- tory prohibitions which formed such a feature of the old Mosaic laws. This rock with its hard as flint regulations, enforcing the iron rule, showed that the inscriptions bore the date 2200 B.C., and was reared when Khammurabi ruled over Babylon. The Christian ethic went much further than the Mosaic. Instead of saying "Thou shall do no murder," it said "Thou shalt not be angry," thereby attacking all that made murder possible in the very roots of the mind. Instead of stating Thou shalt not commit adultery," it attacked and forbade all lust in the heart and mind of which the out- ward adult cry was the open and visible sign. The old law said Thou shall swear, thou shalt take an oath." But the command of Christ went higher and made the larger demand, Let your speech be yea, yea, or nay, nay." The use that was still made of oaths in courts of justice and in formal matters of procedure in ceremonies and in business, showed that two standards of Truth were current in modern as in ancient society, the less true to be used on ordinary occasions, and the more true on other and more studied and formal occasions. All this was wrong, and it showed the little advance that had been made. THE GOLDEN RULE. I The three illustrations he had given summed up in large measure the ideal advance which Jesus sought to make by the introduction of his Golden Rule in contradistinction to the Iron Rule of the Mosaic and earlier dispensations of laws. When Jesus blessed the poor, he rrfeant the propertyless," not primarily be it noted those who were indigent, those who were in rags, not even those who were homeless, but those who, whatever they had or had not, re- flected that spirit of selflessness which was summed up in Paul's wonderful sermon on true charity. Some advance had undoubtedly been made by the world along the line of the Christian ethics of the Sermon on the Mount, but until all Christians, and the Churches represented by Christians, made the re-valuations of life, of true duty and pure conduct that the Sermon called for in the life of each individual, they must find themselves for ever in the grip of war and strife, of social dislocation, and of all those evils which threatened our common humanity, not to speak of Brotherhood. The age of iron was on its last trial and would pass, and by long struggle, through much groaning of spirit, through much toil and self-sacrifice the Golden Age would dawn when man should at last be free and the only bond be that of Brotherhood. Many interesting questions were asked of the Lecturer and were answered, and Mr. Loftus was warmly thanked for his able address.
I WAR SOCIALISM AND r AFTER. PAGE 3.
Ex-Merthyr Worker I FtJVITED TO FIGHT 0RMSKIRK SEAT. I At a meeting of the Ormskirk Divisional La- I bour Party on Saturday evening it was unani- mously resolved that Mr. R. B. Walker, of Fakenham, Norfolk, general secretary of the National Agricultural Labourers' and Rural Workers' Union and for some time a worker in the drapery trade in Merthyr, should be invited to contest the division at the next general elec- tion. The sitting member, Sir Arthur Stanley, does not intend to seek reflection. Mr. S. T. R-osbotham, tenant farmer, has already been adopted as an independent agricultural candi- date.
Merthyr General Hospital. THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE GOVER- NORS OF THE MERTHYR GENERAL HOSPITAL will be held in the COUNCIL' CHAMBER, in the TOWN HALL, on THURS- DAY, MAY 9th, 1918, at SEVEN O'CLOCK IN THE EVENING, to receive the ANNUAL RE- PORT, the ANNUAL STATEMENT OF AC- COUNTS, the ANNUAL MEDICAL REPORT, and transact any other business. (Signed) WILLIAM GRIFFITHS, Chairman. EDWARD EDWARDS, Secretary. Api-il 23rd, 1918. A SPECIAL MEETING of the COURT OF GOVERNORS of the MERTHYR GEN- ERAL HOSPITAL will be held in the OOUN- CIL CHAMBER of the TOWN HALL, MER- THYR TYDFIL, immediately after the ANNUAL MEETING, on THURSDAY EVENING. MAY 9th, 1918, to alter, add, and amend the following Laws of the Hospital in accordance with the decisions passed at the Meeting of the Executive Board on the 7th day of March last, viz.: — 1.—That Law 5, a.s amended at the Annual Meeting of the Court of Governors held on March 11th, 1915, relating to the appointment of Governors, be repealed and the following Rule substituted therefor, viz. That the body of Workmen employed at the following works, viz., Dowlais Collieries. Dowlais Iron andSteel Worlds, Cyfarthfa. Collieries, Oy- farthfa Iron and SteelWorks,Hill's Plymouth (bl- lieries, Nixon's Merthyr Vale Collieries. SHALL, so long as they subscribe annually a sum of 2m, be entitled to nominate FIVE GOVERNORS; and one Governor for every additional R15 sub- scribed up to a maximum subscription of 2200 (such JE200 to include the total amount sub- scribed by each individual body of Workmen). That small Societies other than the before- mentioned bodies of Workmen contributing RIO per annum, shall be entitled to nominate a Governor. 2.—That Law 46, relating to the appointment of the Executive Board, be repealed, and that the following Law be substituted the; land that v i z.: That there shaH be a select body called the Executive Board consisting of the following per- sons, viz. (1) The President. (2) The Vice-Presidents. (3) The Treasurer. (4) The present members of the Honorary Medical Staff, namely: Messrs. J. L. W. Ward, Cornelius Biddle, Stuart C. Cresswell, W. W. Jones, W. Ll. Jones, Ernest Lewis Ward, Rich- a.rd S. Ryoe, Vivian T. P. Webster, C. Francis Wilba,ms,.M. Pearson -Gabe, R. McClelland, Frank P. S. Cresswell, but such representation on the part of the Honorary Medical Staff shall be reduced to a maximum number of four re- presentatives as and when the present members of the Honorary Medical staff either leave the district, die, retire, or become disqualified, and that in future no new appointment of a member of the Honorary Medical Staff shall entitle such member to a seat on the Executive Board unless and until a vacancy on the Board occurs. (5) Nine Governors who shall be elected at a General or Special General Court of Governors, but at that Meeting no Governor representing the Workmen shall be entitled to vote at the election of the nine Governors. (6) .Four persons, one to be nominated by eiaoh of the following Companies, namely: — Messrs. Guest, Keen and Nefctlefolds, Ltd. Messrs. Crawshay Bros., Cyfarthfa, Ltd. Messrs. Hill's Plymouth Company. Messrs. Nixon's -Navigation Company. Provided that ese Companies subscribe a sum of not less than 950 per annum. (7) Fifteen representatives of the Workmen to be nominated and apportioned by the following bodies, viz.: Dowlai-, Collieries. Dowlais Iron and Steel Works. Oyfarthfa Iron and Steel Works. Cyfarthfa Collieries. Hill's Plymouth Collieries. Nixon's Merthyr Vale Collieries. These representatives shall be disqualified as members of the Executive Board if and when the particular body of Workmen whom they re- present fail to subscribe annually towards the Funds of the Hospital (4s.) four shillings PER MAN and (2s.) two shillings PER BOY (up to the age of 18). 3.-That Rule 49 relating to the annual re- tirement of elected members of the Executive Board be amended by the insertion of the word Three instead of the word Five." Signed, WILLIAM GRIFFITHS, C. M. DA VIES, ROBERT GUNSON, D. W. JONES, H. C. DAVIES, F. N. JONES, Governors of the Merthyr General Hospital. April 15th, 1918. WILLIAM GRIFFITHS (Chairman),. EDWARD EDWARDS (Secretary),