i THEATRE ROYAL & EMPIRE PALACE, Medhyi jI I Licensee—Mr. Will Smithson. Resident Manager—M r. Fred Dry. t | 6.30 WICE NIGHTLY. 8.30 jI I Week commenclnc MONDAY, MAY 13th, 1918. ￼ I H. ARMITAQE & ARTHUR LEIGH'S COMPANY FIRST WEEK. ) S Monday, Tu?Bday, & Wedneaday—WHson Barrett's Last and Grestest Play- 2 1- Monday, I:üac Ky.daõwljnR"H A ttat Play- 1- I Thursday, Friday & Saturday- The Great Modern Morality Play § | THE HYPOCRITES! i I NEXT WEEK Armitape & Leigh's Famous Dramatic Company. I ￼ ? Circle, 1? Stalls, 9d. Pit, 6d. Gallery, 3d. J &off $?o PLUS NEW TAX. It I Merthyr Electric Theatre j I Merthlrcom!!daY !.heatre I m S CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE FROM 2.30 TILL 10.30 P.M. DAILY. j I Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday- I | Prisons Without Walls I: | Featuring Myrtle Steadman and Wallace Reid. I 1- GLORIA'S ROMANCE-Part 17. THE MILLIONAIRE-Billy West. I I Comedies and Pathe's Gazette. I m m t Thursday, Friday, and Saturday— t I The Winning of Sally Temple I I Featuring Fanny Ward. I I THE RED ACE-Part 2. PIMPLE P.C. I Comedies, Pathe's Gazette, &c. § Id.; 6d.—Tax, 2d.; 1/—Tax, 3d. I I ADMISSION. 3d.- Tax, Id. 6d.- rax, 2d.; 1/ Tax, 3d. I Children's Performance at One o'clock on Saturdays. I Ordinary Saturday Performance starts at 3.30 o'clock. Other Days 2.30 as usual. Lt. It .t It .i BOOKS THREE ESSENTIALS IN THE SOCIALIST ARMOURY. SOCIALISM AFTER THE WAR ¡- By J. R. MAODONALD, M.P. THE STATE 1/3 By WILLIAM PAUL. INDUSTRIAL UNIONISM AND THE MINING INDUSTRY 1 By GEORGE HARVEY. & The Democrats Handbook to Merthyr 6d., reduced to Id., Postage 2d. (A Mine of looal Historical and Industrial Information). OURI SHOP, Pontmorlais, Merthyr MERTY-I-,LP. I I MEETINGS. OLYMPIA RINK, MERTHYR, Sunday Next, May 12th, 1918, At 2.45 p.m. prompt. Speaker: Miss Sylvia Pankhurst WOMEN SPECIALLY INVITED. Admission by Silver Collection. HOPE CHAPEL, MERTHYR, SUNDAY, MAY Iltb, 1918. Mr. HAROLD DAVIES University College, Cardiff. A CORDIAL WELCOME EXTENDED TO ALL ARE WE DOING YOUR PRINTING ? £ We have the most modern equipment, and ? good work is quickly turned out by Trade Unionists at reasonable rates. NOTE THE ADDRESS THE LABOUR PIONEER PRESS -w- Insurance Act Amendment. The Insurance Commissioners give notice that on July 1 the section of the Act of 1911 regard- ing the payment of contributions at a reduced rate where the vnpioycr pays wages during sick- ness will cease to have effecrt, and that; in con- sequence of the Act of 1918, contributions will fee payable by the employer in all cases at the following rates: Employed oontributor (man), 7d. a week; employed contributor (woman), 6d.; ex" person (man or woman), 3d. a week ( oyer's contribution amy). Bedwellty Union. APPOINTMENT OF PROBATIONER NURSES THE GUARDIANS of the above Union invite JL applications for the appointment of Pro- bationer Nurses at their Workhouse Infirmary, Tredegar. Applicants must not be under 21 years of age, must be single or widows without dependent children. Salary 210 for the first year; tl3 for the second year; and £16 for the third year, with Uniform, board, and residence, and an additional temporary allowance of 3/- per week. The Candidates appointed will be required to serve for a period of three months on trial in the first instance, and the appointments, for a period of three years, will only be made upon a satdsfacbory report from the Workhouse Medical Officer givm at the end of the period of trial. The appointments will be made subject to the provisions of the Poor Law Officers' Superannua- tion Acte, 1896-7. "Each candidate must forward with her appli- cation a certificate signed by a qualified medical practitioner testifying her physical fitness for the position. Applications for the appointments, in the can- didates own handwriting, with copies of three recent testimonials? on forms which may be ob-j mined by forwarding me a stamped addressed foolscap envelope must reach me not later than 10 a.m., on Wednesday, 22nd May, 1918. By Order, WILLIAM HALL, Acting Clerk to the Guardians. Union Offices, Tredegar, Mon., 8th May, 1918.
A Peace Offensive: Where? THE political talk of the week has centred almost exclusively around the ridiculous and irrational Peace OOensive" interview granted by Lord Robert Cecil, as under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to a Router Agency man; the substance of which was declared to be a mare's nest by Lord Roberts' political chief, Mr. Bal- four, on Monday. The whole thing is so absurd, and the process of reasoning so ludicruous that it. would be difficult to treat the matter with any seriousness at all; were it not that underneath its foolishness there is plainly opened an abyss of degraded moral cowardice, a stupendous dis-! honesty, and a transmutation of all standards of truth, that it may be taken as a whole to represent the sad depths to which the represen- tative Government of England has been brought. Lord Robert granted the interview in order to prejudice the people beforehand against what he himself is prejudiced, an attempt on the part of Germany to make overtures towards peace, over- tures which he very definitely states to be coming but which Mr. Balfour treats as a mare's nest." Mr. Balfour is unfortunately not all wise even in his own departmental affairs as Prince Sixths letter revealed; and for the purpose of examining the Cecil illogic, we will assume that there is a modicum of truth in Lord i rt's prognosis. Germany is going to make an attempt to subserve her own people to her militaristic aggression by a roogus offer of peace, is going to attempt to rehabilitate herself with her people and revitalise them to war enthu- siasm by returning to them, after the failure of her offensive, with the story of a rejected offer. And Lord Robert's answer to that is: Let us do exactly what the German's Reek to do by re- fusing beforehand to listen to her overtures." Even as diplomacy this does not sound like wis- dom, but it is at one with all he has said. Ordi- nary Democratic common-sense—a distinctive thing from the Oicilian super-sense, as is even more strongly emphasised in this than it was in the abhorrence and horror with which the Cecils regarded the possibility of Democracy playing any part in the peace when it conies—Democratic common-sense, we say, would have argued that the sincerity of the German Peace Offensive would have been best gauged from the internal evidence of the offer made; and its insincerity would have been best countered by a plain, un- biassed statement of the things that the Allies seek to achieve as the result of this war—the real things, the sane good things, and not the s hameless bargains that have been entered into in the Secret Treaties. Ultimately the Cecil, and everyone else, knows that interchange of opinion will have to take place; bont Lord Robert, unlike everyone else outside the vicious clique that rules us and the Allied destinies, appar- ently prefer that interchange to be indefinitely postponed. Why does he prefer it to be thus deferred? It can hardly be that he hopes for the complete military victory of the last man and the last shilling" variety, for that is a contingency so exceedingly remote, and one ac- companied by such an utter wreck of Western Civilisation, that it, has ceased to be entertained by other than the ignorantly thoughtless. The answer must be either that Lord Robert Cecil fears that overtures would mean that our people would on the very outbreak of such a peace offensive as he mentions so recklessly desert the Government that the war must cease on any terms; or that that government's hands are so securely tied by secret commitments for national aggrandisements, and economic post-war policies that the formulation of terms acceptable by any people is impossible. The first indicates a moral cowardice, a distrust of the British peoples that no event can warrant. The British people want peace, certainly, but it is not a peace on any terms. It is not a German peace that would be accepted. But a sane, sound, Democratic peace would. And there's the rub. A sane, sound, De- mocratic peace is impossible so long as the Allied Governments stand committed to the reparti- tioning of Europe; the disintegration of states not in accordance with the expressed wills of their peoples, but at the dictates of vaulting political ambition rending the peoples from alle- giances and imposing new sovereignties by the might of the sword. Until those things go; and the outrageous proposals of the Paris Conference are flung away with them peace is impossible. The interview of Lord Robert Cecil is an abusrd piece of folly taken at its face valuation, as the attempt of a man to save Secret Diplomacy from the wrath and condemnation of the people it is understandable. Whether a. German "peace offensive comes or not, there ought to be a La- bour peace offensive in this country that will sweep away the chicanerv that the Robert Cecil talk represents; that will break for ever the caucus that has committed us to the disintegra- tion of Europe, and that will enunciate clearly and unequivocally, the aims and objects of De- mocracy that will enable our new governom-for the present gang will have to go—to themselves open up a peace offensive throughout the wide domains of the Central Empires.
I The Peace Overtures of Austria. I THERE has recently been sitting a Sub-Commit- tee of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French Chamber to enquire into the documents relative to the 1917 Peace negotiations, en- gineered by Austria, and to examine ministers who could throw light upon those documents. The finding has not yet been made public, but surmises which are probably well inspired would indicate that Austria and Bulgaria were pre- pared last year to definitely break with Ger- many, had they been at all sympathetically treat.ed by the Allied diplomats. It would ap- pear that the Austrians would have enforced a peace which would have meant not only the com- plete restoration of Belgium, but also the cessa- tion of Alsace-Lorraine to France. These terms were not sufficient for M. Poincare who, it is said, desired the wresting of Silesia from Ger- many, and compensations for Italy, though it seems probable that Mr. Lloyd George was pre- pared to carry the negotiations further, but was overruled by Sonnino and Poincare, who broke them off. It is curious that the states- men of France, Italy and Britain to whom the overtures were made carefully concealed them from the knowledge of America, and of Russia though the latter through M. Kerensky Wad pressing upon the Allies the urgency of attempts ing to find a path towards immediate peace. Attempts will unquestionably be made to repre- sent these overtures by Austria as a peace trap," but it must be borne in mind through- out that there is no internal evidence as to the insincerity of the overtures; whilst the reliable speculation that is being made as to the evidence for the overtures, would point to the reason for their discontinuance lying rather in M. Poin- cdre's dislike of a negotiated peace, and his ex- tortionate demands as the price of such a peace, than to any doubt as to Austria's bona-fides in the matter. At all events we may safely con- clude that substantial terms for peace negotia- tions were offered at that time. Terms, indeed, so generously favourable to France that it is scarcely credible that the head of that sorely harassed Republic should have apparently been the prime opponent to their acceptance. It is inconceivable that faced with the horrors that prolongation of this terrible war has meant and still means, that any body of statesmen could throw away the chance to a peace such as was offered. Underneath the maxlness of the war there must be some great motive of aggrandise- ment. That is the conclusion that we are in- evitably driven towards the more the facts filter through. As those facte come forth and en- lighten the facts that have preceded them it be- comes increasingly clear that there is something still hidden in the background; aims and objects that cannot be negotiated, that demand the complete debasement of the Central Powers be- fore they can be enforced: demands that are so alluring that they are strenuously clung to though the hope of that utter collapse of the Central Powers recedes further and further into the region of the impossible and unlikely. Those secret and hidden desires are not the desires of Democracy. Democracy desires only that sanity shall prtvaill Diplomacy, bred in the atmos- phere of intrigue, and trained in a- psychology that is devious and dark, cares nothing for other than the triumph of its own schemes. The one seeks the true way that shall make peace lasting amongst the peoples of the world, the other will inevitably -sow at the very conference that .gives us peace now, the seeds that will blos- som into an even richer and redder harvest of blood than that wo are now experiencing. And it is obvious that the clique that now rules over us, is deep in the plots that are not Democratic; are shackled to the car that will pull the world atop of us. They must go. Our first task is the task of unseating the present mal-adminis- trators, and replacing them by a government of purer thought, a government untrammelled by the commitments of the past, a government that will sincerely and openly seek the peace that Democracy looks for.
Labour and Reconstruction IMPORTANT DRAFT RESOLUTIONS FOR I PARTY CONFERENCE. EXECUTIVE DEMAND PROGRAMME SHALL I BE ANTI-CAPITALISTIC. Thejie has just come to hand the Resolutions on Reconstruction that are ts be submitted to the Labour Party Conference on June 26th and the two following days, by the Executive Committee of the Party. The ground covered in the resolutions is extremely wide, and there are principles of constructive statecraft so plainly stamped upon the whole scheme that the basis of the resolutions will probably be found at the bottom of most of our discussions for some years to come. THE TASK. The scope and task which the Executive have faced in framing: the resolutions is a-diniraoly expressed in the preamble resolution which reads, denuded of its stereotyped opening:- The tak of social reconstruction to be or- ganised and undertaken by the Government, in conjunction with the local authorities, ought to be regarded as involving, not any patchwork jerrymandering of the anarchic individualism and profiteering of the competitive capitalism of pre-war time—the breakdown of which, even from the standpoint of productive efficiency, the war has so glaringly revealed—but the gradual building up of a new social order, based, not on internecine conflict, inequality of riches, and dominion over subject dasses.. subject races, or a subject sex, but on the deliberately planned co-operation in production and distribution, the systematic approach to a healthy equality, the widest possible participation in power, both economic and political, and the general con- I sciousness of consent which characterises a true democracy." Burt, experience has shown that it is much easier to frame such a resolution as this than to lay down the principles that must be builded on to give it sentience in the whole life of the nation, economic as well as political; indeed economic as necessarily fundamental to the political. The Executive of the Labour Party insist as a primary task in the realisation of true social reconstruction on the need for in- crea.sed production, and so Resolution 2 deals wii/h this; and Conference is therein asked to say that it cannot help noticing how very far from efficient the Capitalist System has been proved to be with its stimulus of private profit. and its evil shadow of wages driven down by competition often be low subsistence level," as a preface to the expression of opinion that what is wanted is enhanced social production. Pro- duction not for profit; and production enhanced not by "sweating, and "driving," but in "(a) the elimination of every kind of inefficiency and waste; (b) the application both of more honest determination to produce the very best, and of more science and intelligence to every branch of the nation's work; together with (c) an im- provement in social, political, and industrial organisation and (d) the indispensable marshal- ling of the nation's resources so that each need is met in the order of, and in proportion to, its real national importance. STANDARD-OF LIFC- I Apparently, :t is recognised that the danger of "Sw"f.tm" an.1 "driving" is considerable unless the Government steps in to hold the ring, and so Resolution :3 dealing with the Main- tenance and proteotion of the standard of life, addresses itself to this problem of State inter- ference." First of all the Government is to see to it that the standard rates of wages are main- tained in all trades relative to the cost of living. This is strengthened by a clause making it clear to employers that any attempt to re- duce customary rates of wages, or advantage by demobilisation to worsen working conditions will lead to embittered industrial strife detrimental to national interests—hence the need for Gov- ernmental preparedness to avoid this. Clause 3 of this resolution calls upon the Government as the greatest employer of labour, to set the pa-ce by deela ring beforehand that it will not red uce the standard of wages or worsen conditions and strengthens this by a declaration of its intention to insist upon a most rigorous observation of the Fair Wages Clause in public- contracts, and by recommending every local authority to adopt the same policy. Clause 3 of this resolution expresses the opinion that one of the most urgent needs of social reconstruction is the universal application of the principle of the protection of the standard of life," embodied in the various industrial acts, and the corresponding provisions in the Public Health, Housing. Education and Workmen's Compensation Acts-—though these "imperfectly drafted and piecemeal acts need amending so as to ensure to every adult worker of either sex, in any occupation, and in any part of the King- dom, as the very lowest statutory' base line of wages not less than enough to provide all the requirements of a full development of body, mind and character, from which the nation has no right to exclude any class or section what- ever." Taken as a whole the resolution is too long and inconsequential, though it contains germs that could be developed into a valuable indication of the path of legislative advance; though any hope of its realisation short of socialism seems remote. FOR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS. I Indeed, the very next resolution shows how lowly the Executive itself evaluates Parliament. It deals with the provisions for soldiers and sailors, and realises that their position when peace comes will be .)n<:> of great peril since though ho will be effusively praised and pro- mises made for a generous provision, r(xl tape will deprive many thousands of what is justly due to them "—unless strong and continuous effort is made in Parliament, a.nd in the locali- ties. Conference will therefore be asked to ex- press the opinion that the provision to he made on demobilisation shall he properly worked out and published for general information, so that it may bri corrected as to omissions and mis- takes before demobilisation takes place. Con fer- ence noticing the month's furlough, gratuity, free railway ticket and years unemployment benefit, if out of work, already promised, sug- gests that there should be no gap between the end of pay and separation allowance and the be- ginning* of unemployment. pay, which, itself, should be in addition to and exclusive of benefit under the Unemployment provisions of the In- surance Act. It condemns the miserable pre- sent pittance of 7/- per week, and suggests a benefit approaching the combined separation and rations allowances. The gratuity it is suggested should be JB20, payable through the Post Office Savings Bank. Provision for training in new trades, and the placing of men under trades- union standard rates are insisted on; and a ?sentence is added dea?Mg with the provision of allotments for those who want them. RESTORATION. Resolution 5 demands that similar care should be exercised in the discharge of civilian war workers as is suggested for the soldiers—with- out, of course, the special provisions peculiar to men discharged from the fcices. Resolution 6 demands/ample safeguards for the restoration of trade union conditions after the war; and the Executive declare the pro- visions of the Munitions Act dealing with restor- ation to be unsatisfactory and suggest more comprehensive oversight, and suggest "it is for the Government, as responsible for the fulfil- ment of the pledge, to submit, for discussion to the Trades Unions concerned alternative pro- posals for securing the standard wage and nor- mal day, protecting the workers from unem- ployment. and maintaining the position and I diity of the crafts." [UNEMPLOYMENT. Resolution 7 realises that whatever happens the post-war years are probably to see a tre- mendous lot of unemployment and so a call is made that it is the duty of the Ministry, be- fore demobilisation is actually begun, so to ar- range the next ton years' programme of na- tional and local government works and services —including housing, schools, roads, railways, canals, harlxnirs, afforestation, reclamation, etc, -as to lie able to put this programme in hand. at such a. rate and in such districts, as any tem- porary congestion of the laoour market may re- quire; that it is high time that the Goverament laid aside the pretence that it has no responsi- bility for preventing unemployment; that now that it is known that all that is required to pre- vent the occurrence of any widespread or last- ing unemployment is that. the aggregate total demand for labour should be maintained, year in and year out, at an approximately* even level, and that this can be secured by nothing more difficult or more revolutionary than a sensible distribution of the public orders for works and services so as to keep always up to the prescribed total the. aggregate public and capitalist demand for labour, together with the prohibition of overtime in excess of the prescribed normal working dav, there is no excuse for any Gov- ernment which allows such a grave social cala- mit\ as widespread or la-sting unemployment ever to occur." This is followed by (Resolution S) a demand for unemployment insurance to be restored, and raised to a sum corresponding to the increased cost of living for such as have not Thade Union Ivenetit. THE LOST FREEDOMS." I he complete emancipa tion of women is called for in Resolution n, which does not require re- production here since it follows the lines insisted upon by Social Democrats for years. But, Reso- lution 10 is worth publication in full: "II)at this (Vmterence regards as fundamental the im- mediate repeal and abrogation, as soon as the war ends, of the whole system of the Militarv Service Acts, aiid of all the provisions of the Defence of the Realm Acts restricting freedom of speech, freedom of publication, freedom of the Press, freedom of travel, and freedom of choice of ivsidenc-e or of occupation." The political reforms suggested in Resolution 11 under that head include: "(a) complete adult suit rage, with not more than three months' re- sidential qualification (b) absolutely equal rights tor Ixyth sexes; (c) effective provision for absent ejectors ro vote and the best practicable arrange- ments ior e-JLsiiring ru-ft<rit.y has Us proportionate and no more than its proportionate representation; (d) the same civic rights for the soldiers and sailors, as for the oiffcers; te) shorter Parliaments and (f) the complete aban- donment. of any attempt lo control the people's representatives hy a House of Lords. In the latter connection the I«vbour Party's inflexible opposition is .stated to any Second Cham Iter reformism that includes any Element of heredity or privilege any ex-officio members—. bishops, royal dukes, law lords ;—-anv House of Commons control by class or party, any consti- tution that win lrnv Lahour proportionately less strong than it is m the Commons, any power to veto the decisions of the Commons. IRELAND. Ireland is dealt with in Resolution 12 as here, That the Corife renee unhesitatingly recognises the claim of the people of Ireland to Home Rule, and to self-determination in all exclusively Irish affairs; it protests against the stubborn resist- ance to a democratic reorganisation of Irish Government maintained by those who, alike in Ireland and Great Britain, are striving to keep minorities dominant; and it demands that, a wide and generous measure of Home Rule, on the lines indicated by the pi-oet'edings of the Ir'sh Convention, should be immPdiateJy passed into law and put in operation." This brings us. naturally to the demand for Home R ule for Scotland, Wa les and --vc-n England." with autonomous administration in matters of looal concern, and with Parliament at Westminster retained in the for1)1 of a Federal Assembly for the United King,Tom, tog'ether with Ministers representing the dominions and India, wherever possible making it a Cabinet, for Commonwealth affairs for the Brittonnic Com- monwealth as a whole." -1 0 1,(,. MISCELLANIES. Local Government, Education. Housing. The Abolition of the Poor Law. the development of the Municipal Health Service, and Temperance. Reform are all dealt. with as we should have ex- pc cted them to be; after which come demands for the nationalisation of canals and railroads, and of coal and iron mines and the provision of a State ehv.tr icity supply th'-ough giant, super- power stations. Life assurance', it is also 11t- manded. should be brought under State control, with the agents in the jwisition of civil servants administering the State insurance business. But the land is not treated as ripe for nationalisation and a seri es of steps leading towards nationali- sation are suggested. Resolution 24 demands that the present sys- tem of "organising, controlling and auditing the processes, profits and prices of capitalist industry shall be retained and developed, to- gether' with the central buying of raw materials, foodstuffs aud other imports, and their "'ration- ing to the producers, whose "costing and accounts will be audit ed to pi event proifteering.
Pendern C.O.'s. APPLICATION FOR EXTRA RATIONS. When the Vavnor and Penderyn .Food Control Committee on Tuesday received a request on lie- half of the sixty-one conscientious objectors em- pJoyed at the Pendervn Reservoir Work s for ad ditional rations as.manual workers the Executive Officer told the committee it would be most objectionable for him to have to carry out the extra work involved if the requests of the C.O.'s Were granted, particularly because he got no supplementary rations himself. Eventually it was decided to refer the matter to the Homo Office.