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Mark Starr before The Tribunal.

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Mark Starr before The Tribunal. I EXEMPTED BY NARROW MAJORITY AT ABERDARE. I "WHAT WOULD YOU DO" AGAIN I TROTTED OUT. By a narrow division in the Aberdare Tribu- nal our Comrade Mark Starr was granted ex. emption on conscientious grounds, subject to taking up work of national importance. on his appearance before that body. Mark stated in his application that he objected to both comc- bat.ant and non-combatant service on moral grounds, mentioned that lie had belonged to the N.C.F. since its foundation in 1915, and ex- pressed his willingness to undertake alterna- tive service on a farm, as a gardener or mason's labourer. In reply to Mr. Chas. Kenshole (the chair- man) Mark said he was labouring at Bwllfa, having previously worked at the Mountain Ash collieries. He had been underground since he left school, and had come to Wales five years ago. Mark had said that lie had been a. member of the United Methodist Churih in his application and the chairman wished to know the- reason for his severing his connection with that body. In reply Mark said that the reason did not lie in differences of opinion relative to the war, but more or less from differences of orthodox belief, such questions as the Atonement, the Virgin Birth, and other theological points. Mr. Kenshole was anxious to know what Mark thought should be done having-regard to the conditions at present obtaining, to which Mark replied that the-first step was a declara- tion by our Government of its willingness to negotiate on the basis of the Labour Party's War Aims Memorandum, and the repudiation of secret commitments. Mr. Kenshole: What conditions would you lay down as a basis of peace?—No annexations and no indemnities. THE MASSES AND THE JUNKERS. Mr. Kenshole, following this up, asked whether Mark was of opinion that a declaration in favour of these terms would be accepted by the Central Powers, to which Mark replied that he was afraid th^- :ndor present conditions the Junkers would not accept these terms—although they would have been glad to do so twelve months ago—still.such terms would be accept- able to the great mass of the German prole- tariat, and they would bring pressure to bear on the Junkesr. In reply to a further question he said he believed that the mass of the worker? in Germany would compel the acceptance of these terms in from six to twelve weeks, after they had been offered. What is to take place in the meantime during those six or twelve weeks?—If you accept my suggestion I say an armistice would take place. Do you wish us to believe that if this coun- try declared to-morrow that she was prepared to lay down arms and make your basis of peace, Germany would retire back to German terri- tory ?—I am not suggesting we should lay down arms. Mr. Kens-hole: Do you suggest that we should resist the Germans until what you speak of should be brought about?—You talk of we." I am not a member of the British Empire pri- marily, but a member of the working-classes. You take advantage of membership of the British Empire. You obtain food brought from over the sea to these shores.—I am given food in order to work. After this came the usual What would you do? questions, to which Mark replied that he would endeavour to restrain German soldiers who were seeking to violate the honour of his mother or sister, but not as part of the mili- tary machine; and he would be hung for mur- der. What do you mean by restrain r-I should endeavour to restrain them by other than armed military force. I would not staib them or kill them. In the discussion that followed the retire- ment of Mark, and prior to the decision a re- mark was made by a Tribunal member that the conscience way was an easy one; a remark that was resented by the Labour men who know the facte of the case.

I . A Merthyr Vale Hero

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