Ogmore Vale Notes. I I.L.P. Greatly disappointed as we were at the non- arrival of R. C. Walihead, the advertised speaker for May 12th, the local ecftnrades would not abandon the meetings. The local Discharged Sol(] 'ei- itnti Sailors' Federation had threat- ene d trouble (indeed, they sent a deputation to the police to "rop the meeting), and this had aroused a good deal of local interest. At Nantymoel in the afternoon a huge crowd had assem bled. Comrades Davey, Serrell. andW. assembled. Comrade^ Davev, Serrell. and W. Jones, of Bargoed and Garw, courageously took the platform, and despite numerous in- terruptions, "carried on." A local war mon- ger challenged the s|>eakers to a debate, and this lias been accepted by Serrell on behalf of the local I. L. P. Everyone- agrees we had a splendid meeting. At night the venue was at the Ogmore Vale Workmen's Hall, and at very short notice we secured Frank Hodges, the Garw miners' agent. For upwards of an hour he kept the audience (numbering nearly 1,000 deeply inter- ested while lie lectured on the problems of re- construction. Taking the problem of employ- ment, he showed, first, how the labour market must be considerably inflated on the demobili- zation of the army: second, how that this sur- plus laixjnr could be utilised in work of reform, housing, roads, afforestation, etc. third, how by compulsory education to the age of 16, con- tinuation schools to 18, andattractin- pensions at 60, the labour market could be eased. The lecture was highly appreciated by all. Com- rade lanto HoweII.s ably presided. Our branch is making splendid progress, and when Walihead next visits us (as he must soon) he will find a splendid band of workers.
Briton Ferry Notes I Mr. Hogge at the Ferry. I 11-til. 11. -11. visited this town on F, ri. day, May 10th, in connection with the local branch of the Sold iers' and Sailors' e(lell- ation. He opened out by stating that it need- I ed courage to address a Welsh audience after voting against a Welsh Premier the previous day or so. Speaking on the "Indispensables," he argued that no man was indispensable. When one passes away another takes hit-, place. In developing this truth from the present wteur, with its substitution of indispensable mtm, he was interrupted by one who asked, "Was not the present Premier indispensable ? "Cer- tainly not," was the immediate rejoinder. "Then," said the questioner, "what is the al- ternative, where can we find a substitute." The reply was, by applying at any Labour Ex- change." The local patr iots wore ruffled looks. Air. M. G. Roberts presided. J. M. Jones on Road.. I The Rev. J. M. Jones, M.A.. Merthyr, was the preacher for the anniversary services of Jerusalem Baptist Christian Endeavour Society on Sunday and Monday last. His discourses, richly enjoyed, were thoughtful and convincing, especially his sermon on "Roads," holding out "ho idea of the International as the only solu- tion to true and lasting peace, and quoting Trotsky's "Pe ace without a Treaty," though sneered at by the German imperialists—and our own—as being rational and sensible and workable, when the boundaries that cause ill- feeling and suspicion shall have been done away with. I.L.P. Summer Session. I Hie I.L.P. ojjened its summer propaganda work on Sunday, 1101ding a meeting in the Crown Park, with" Bob" Williams (the selected Parliamentary candidate for the Aber- avon Division) as speaker. A fine crowd gathered, and the speaker's arguments were greatly appreciated. Councillor Jos. Branch presided. fi
Mid-Rhondda Notes The Women's Spirit. The mo.it significant thing about the inhabi- tants of Mid-Rhondda during these days is the won,en's spirit; they seem to have taken the cue from the men, and one would be tempted to term the women's spirit, if it wasn't for D.O.R.A., revolutionary. Tiie old gossip about the woman next do»r has been put. aside, and the discussions which, are carried on a.t the bakehouse and the chip-shop are both subjects of importance and public character. The comb- out is haying great attention, and a great deal of adverse criticism is being made regarding the method of combine-out, and the Miners' Executive and lodge officials are very severely criticised by the mothers. It appears that the mothers' complaint is over the arrangement made by the Federation with the military auth- orities to exempt the only son of a widow, while the married men from 23 to 32 have to answer the call, and this when some of the mar- ried men have six or seven ohildien.
Merthyr's High Rates. ) Alderman William Lewis (Treharris) told the Merthyr Finance Commit tee on Tuesday that the ratepayers would be staggered when they became aware of the record- rate for the borough for the current year. Mr. T. Williams (chairman): So far as the council is concerned it only means two-pence advance—1] 4 in the £ against 1J 'i! for last year. Aid. Lewis rejoined that the total amount would be 11/10 in the £ —made up of 7'6 poor-rate and 4/4 district rate. How any bor- ough could conduct its business or flourish with such rates pu/A'vd him. Merthyr was undoubt- edly the worst rated borough in the eountrv. Mr. L. M..Francis raised a point of order as to whether Aid. TJewis ought not to give notice of motion of his intention to bring up the ques- tion of high rates. If he did this a full dis- cussion could be entered into, and both sides of the matter ventilated upon. He did not think Aid. Lewis was doing the town any good by always talking about high rates. There was certainly another aspect to the rate question.,
Merthyr Notes I A Church for Nixonville. I I A new church, to seat 600 people, is to be I erected in Nixonville, Merthyr Vale, after the war on a site presented by Colonel H. E. Lock- wood. To augment the building fund, initiated in connection with the movement, a bazaar was held at the Rechabite Hall, Merthyr Vale, on Wednesday and Thursday last week. Measles. Measles is still prevalent in Merthyr, 20*2 cases being reported last month. The disease is most virulent in Treharris and Merthyr Vale, the number notified from those districts being 111 and 61 respectively. Anonymous. Air. 1). S. Morgan, the secretary of the Y\ ar Savings Committee, has received from a local gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous the following offer: A prize of a lo/G war savings certificate for the best set of verses on the forthcoming visit of the "Tank," composi- tions to be from 100 to 150 words in English; a similar prize for ditto in Welsh. Compositions to be original and confined to scholars of Schools in the Borough, and Cetn Girls' Schools who are affiliated to the Merthyr War Savings fonimittee. Adjudicator to be Mi'. Rhys Elias, "Director of Education, who will be asked to di ■aw up conditions and whose decision shall be final. The winning pieces to bo printed in the "Merthyr Express" and Pioneer" for Saturday before the visit of the Tank if such papers will insert same free. Merthyr Miners' Notices. Notices to terminate contracts in a fortnight were on Wednesday given to between ;)00 and 400 workmen employed at the Hills-Plymouth Collieries. Merthyr. A month ago similar no- tices were tendered by the confpany, but were withdrawn after the position had been reported to the Coal Controller. Musical Society's Concert. I Merthyr Musical Society, under the condue- torship of Dr. D. C. Williams, on Thursday evening at the Olympia Rink, gave a miscel- laneous concert in aid of the Blinded Heroes' Fund. Policemen-Soldiers' Dependants. Merthyr Watch Committee on Monday do- ckled that the" weekly allowances paid wives and dependants of policemen with the colours in- cludes all war-bonuses granted the force, the increases to take effect from January 1.), 1917. Collier-Lads' Escapade. Whilst travelling from to Vale a young collier lad. Win. Albert Hughes, jumped from the moving train to the perma- nent way where he was found in a dazed con- dition by a police-con stable. At Merthyr on Tuesday he was fined for that offence and also travelling without a ticket 30 (or 14 days), whilst two other lads, Charles Warren and John Joseph H-an, who were with him, were each fined 20 i (or 7 days) for not paying their train- fare. Corporation Waterworks. The appeals entered against the assessments of the Merthyr Corporation's waterworks in the several parishes of the Brecon Union, which have been under negotiation for some months, have resulted in an agreement to an advance in the ratable values from C6,821, to £ 7,822. School Attendance Fines. The question of the collection by the police of fines inflicted by the magis tra tt's in sehool attendance cases was again raised at the Mer- thyr Watch Committee on Monday. Mr. J. A. Wilson (chief-constable) stated that the total number of "outstanding cases" was 39, of which seven had been withdrawn, five dismissed, sixteen had been paid off by instalments, two were being paid, one was a blank refusal to pay, in one the culprit had absconded, and the remaining seven cases concerned soldiers' wives. Mr. H. M. Lloyd What is the procedure when they refuse to pay ? Mr. Wilson: It is for the informant (the Director of Education) to apply for a justices' warrant, and if that has no effect for a commitment. "Municipal Employees' Wages. I Several questions have arisen as to the mrwunts parable to the employees of the Mer- thyr Corporation under the recent award of the Committee on Production, amongst them being the position of three masons employed at the Dowlais Yard. The Finance Committee on Tuesday received a claim from tli<tee men—who are paid the full trades union rate and bonus granted all other tradesmen in the employ of the Town Oouneil-that as members,, of the Municipal Employees' Association they should be paid the bonus (£1 a week) awarded to the unskilled workmen on their (the masons') rate of pay in July, 1914, which was then the trades union rate. The Committee regarded the daim as unreasonable, ,and Mr. L. M. Francis stated that the men concerned had not the support of the Labour Party, and added the opinion that they should 1*, like the remainder of the 40 masons of the Corporation, members ■oF the skilled crafts organisation. No action was accordingly taken. Requests were received from two other employees, the museum attend- ant and water inspector, that the £ 1 bonus should he added to the wages they recei ved on entering the employ of the corporation after the outbreak of war. Their claim was turned down, the Committee deciding that, the basis should be the pre-war rawi, paid for the re- spective positions. Finance. Merthyr Corporation's balances with the trea- surer at the end of April amounted to £ 89,;U0 18s. 6d A Question of Justice. The principle of making up the difference be- tween the army pay and allowances and the .civilian wages of en1 isted Corporation employees is likely to prove an expensive item. "At Mon- day's meeting of the Watch Committee Mr. D. W. Jones (chairman) also drew attention to the fact that thousands of miners called to the colours had to join up without any provision being made for their dependants other than the I mi 0 army allowance. Yet it was these men who would largely be compelled as rate- payers, direct or indirect, to pay the grants made by the Town Council to their employees. He suggested that the matter should be inves- tigated carefully and a com prehensile report prepared. A course, in accordance with Mr. Jones' suggestion, was agreed to. Watch Committee Amenities. I It was veported at Monday's meeting of the Merthyr Watch Committee that the case of Jones v. Wilson, which came before the King's .Bench Division in the nature of an appeal by Mr. D. W. Jones (chairman) against a convic- tion by the Merthyr Stipendiary on a sifhimons for keeping a man-servant without a license, would cost the Corporation £ 20 13s. 6d. Mr. J. A. Wilson (chief-constable) remarked that the judges had upheld tht contention of the appel- lant that the initial proceedings should have been first sanctioned by the Corporation but disallowed costs for the appellant as there were grounds upon which the police contention, that iii,. -Jones" gardener was a man-servant who should have been licensed, could be upheld. Aid. Lewis thought, the result of the appeal with the cost involved was an unfortunate thing for the ratepayers. Chairman: The police ex- ceededi'their duty, and now the thing lias been pm riht. The Chief-Constable was about to make a. further remark when the Chairman said I don't think we will discuss it any further. Mr. Wilson, thank you. Mr. Enoch Morrell What is the position in future? Mr. T. Rees (Town Clerk): The authority of the council has to be obtained. Septuagenarian's Death. I Robert IVk, aged 70, of Danyparc, Merthyr, dropped dead in the street on Tuesday. Merthyr's Unbusinesslike Methods." Newport Town ( otmcit complained on Tues- day of the unbusinesslike ahi,tude of the Mer-1 thyr Corporation with regard to the proposal to supply Newport with water. It was stated that the Mer thy i' Town Council had been writ- ten to twice for information on the question but no reply had been received. A proposal not to treat further "ith Merthyr was ruled out of order, and the disenssion closed after t,l it, expression of a hope that the Newport Committee concerned with the water-supplv i wmdtl again take up the matter. j Chief-Constable versus Chairman. Merthyr Watch Committee discussed the po- lice promotion" on Monday behind closed doors. The Pioneer understands that the discussion was marked by breezy' passages between the Chief Constable (Mr. Wilson) and the Chart-man (Jh. 1). W. Jones), who wished the promotions to be shelved until after the war.- Eventually, however, the Chief Constable's promotion re- commendations were adopted. Accordingly the following changes are to take place: Inspector D. M. Da vies pron:oted to a chief-inspectorship; Inspector J. G. Lamb removed to Merthyr from Dowlais Detective-Sergt. Dove created inspec- tor at Dowlais • Police-Sergt. Lewis, Troedyrhiw, appointed detective-sergeant at Merthyr: Sent Gwilym Davies, Merthyr, to go to Troedyrhiw Detective-Constable David Davies promoted ser- geant at Merthvr. and Police-Constable Galliers made detective-constable. Birth-Rate Increasing. Merthyr's birth-rate for the. past four weeks was 24 per 1.000, an increase of "6.0 per 1) on the figures fur the corresponding month of last year. Spread of Consumption. A marked increase in tuberculosis returns was apparent in Merthvr last month. The notifica- tions numbered 3o, compared with 1:) for the corresponding period of 1917.
The Fetish of Industrial History A MARXIAN'S CASE FOR INDUSTRIAL HISTORY. Rmrys Hughes in his rejoinder to Mark Starr on the question of Industrial History winds up his extraordinary plea for keeping the rorking- class in ignorance of the industrial past which only can explain the industrial present with the following passage: "We want to get to Social- ism that means organising the workers, cap- turing the political machinery, and that will rake all our time." As a mem ber of the Socialist Labour Party and the Plebs League, I echo this statement, but my conception of Socialism and the means of getting to it differ fundamentally from Mr. Hughes' conception and means. In the first place 1 can't see how any worker can under- stand Capitalism, and Capitalism cannot be un- derstood unless the worker studies the industrial past. Seiondly. I should like to know how the work-eis can be organised to get to Socialism bv means of Trades Unionism and the political La- bour Party. The solidarity of the working- class must precede such a revolutionary change in social relations implied by Socialism, and see- ing that Tnulf's rnionism diyides the workers on the economic- field, how is unity to be oL- I tainc-d by such an obsolete and ineffective method of organisation? If Mr. Hughes ad- mits this way, I ask him, how can the working- class be made to understand that trades union- ism is obsolete and ineffective without a know- ledge of its evolution—of its past history? Further, seeing that t he Labour Party is the political reflex of craft unionism, it: follows that it divides the workers on the political field as the latter divides them on the economic. The political ideals of the Labour Party represent a mish-mash of opinions which comprise Pacifism, Imperialism, Social Reformism, Industrial Con- scription, State Capitalism, State Socialism, support of and opposition to D.O.R.A., etc. Does Emrys Hughes think such a medley of ideals will get him to the Social Revolution very quickly ? Will such ideals end in the capture of the political machinery of the Capitalist State? I think not. NO INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY. Boh" Smillie in his address at the Merthyr May-Day demonstration put the point of view of that section of the Labour Party which agrees to differ with the section- which is sup- porting the present reactionary despotic Gov- ernment in its Imperialistic war. That fact alone explains that it is not, as he alleged, the secret treaties which is preventing the nations from' ending the war, but the divisions in the international labour movement itself Just as our national Labour movement is a house divided agajnt itself on the question of the war, so is the International. How absurd it was for Bon" Smillie to assume that the Merthyr May-Day gathering was proving the international solidarity of Labour! There is no international solidarity of Labour at the present time. The war has revealed the acute divisions as regards tactics, which unfortunately exist in the International Lalnwr Movement. This is mainly due to the fact that the majority has departed from the spirit of Marxism, if not. from its letter. That being so, I contend that until the movement is inspired witii the it and letter of Marxism, uni- is impossible. Educa- tion in the science of .Socialism is the first es- sential. The working-class must understand the system it slaves under before it can take the necessary steps to break the wage-labour bond that fetters it to Capitalism. That is the ar- mour in which the Bob Smillies should be clad. Talking against Capitalism and profiteer- ing is merely hot air. It doesn't hurt the enemy. What we want is action against Capi- talism aiming at the overthrow of the cursed system. To demand land nationalisation, hous- ing: reform and reconstruction under Capital- ism is like trying to sup with the devil with a long spoon. Until we get rid of the devil he will always secure the biggest and most whole- some share of the banquet, the workers who provide it having to put up with his leavings. THE ONLY METHOD. I That being so, I can't feel impartial and non-I partisan in my attitudes a worker tow ?-d s the capitalist class. That is why I can't support the W.E.A., which endeavours to incnic?t? a non partisan impartial state of mind in the workers. I can't support the Labour Partv be- cause it is not definitely anti-capitalist. I can't support craft-unionism because it. does not aim at the abolition of the wages system. I do, however, support the O.L.C., because, in teaching the working-class education from the working-class standpoint,—i.e., Industrial His- tory, Marxian Economics, and the Materialist Conception of History,—it aims at revolution- izing the minds of the workers, which is the l only method whereov the working-class can be made to understand why it should unite inter- nationally on the industrial and political field in order not onlv to "get to Socialism," but to create the industrial organisation requisite to carry on the administration of the future Socialist republics of the world. Fkkdkiuok Bnort.HTON I
More Teachers Required I Mr. Herbert Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, at Chelmsford on Saturday said the diminution in the supply of teachers had caused the greatest anxiety, and the war had made matters worse. The raising of the school age and the abolition of the half-time system in Lancashire and Yorkshire would mean that they would need 5,000 more teachers, and the establishment of new day continuation schools for young persons of 14 to 18 would re- quire in a few years 32,000 additional whole-time teachers. A resolution supporting the Education Bill was passed.
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I CORRESPONDENCE. Correspondents are requested to condense I I their letters as much as possible. I I FEDERAL HOME RULE. I I TO THE EDITOR. I Sir,—The question of Federal Home Rule for Scotland. "Wales, England, as well as Ireland, is receiving so much attention at the present moment, that I am pleased to draw your readers attention to the fact that the Labour Party have included it among the important questions that will come up for discussion at their annual conference next month. A series of resolutions, based on the now famous pamphlet, Labour and the New Social Order," have been drawn up, setting forth the Party's policy on re-construction after I the war, and Resolution XIII., which deals with Constitutional Devolution, suggests that along with the grant of Home Rule to Ireland, there should constituted separate statutory legis- lative assemblies for Scotland. Wales and even England, with autonomous administration in matters of local concern and that, the Parlia- ment at "Westminster should be retained in the form of a Federal Assembly for the United Kingdom, controlling the Ministers responsible for the Departments of the Federal Govern- ment, who would form also, together with Ministers representing the Dominions and India whenever these can be brought in. the Cabinet for Commonwealth affairs' for the Britannic Commonwealth as a whole." The Right Hon. Arthur Henderson, M.P., speaking at Wrexham last Saturday strongly .supported the idea of Federalism, though he was an Internationalist, he contending that In- ternationalism does not blind us to .the needs of home affairs. He supported the idea of Home Rule all round on the ground that the House) of Commons wiafc alrea-dy overcrowded with other work. and that after the war is over, the Imperial Parliament should be set free to act on behalf of the whole British Com- monwealth. Taking the resolution and the expression of Mr. Henderson. it is evident that Labour is ready to deal with the question of Home Rule All Round, there only remains the question of how far can the Federal Parliaments go in the way of legislation y. are they to be empowered as the Australian Colonies are to deal with the relationship between Capital and Labour? deal with the Land Laws, control Education. Housing, Health, and in fact the control of all the organisations of government necessary for the full development of the life of the nation, setting the nation before the individual. These are the problems that Labour need now to consider, otherwise the obtaining of a .Federal Parliament will not in any way assist the workers to a realisation of the goal they have in view. Wc are informed that a Welsh Nationalist Party is to appeal to the electorate at the next election, seeking the support of the people as Welsh Home Rulers. Let the workers ascertain the views of such candidates on the problems I have here mentioned, and let them ma.ke an inquiry as to how much in th past. have these "Nationalists" assisted the workers in obtain- ing the freedom to live that fuller life we all so much desire.—Yours faithfully. WlLMAM HAKKIS, I Secretary, South Wales Labour Federation. Pontllan fra i r 11. Mon.
Petition of Bertrand Russell INFLUENTIAL MEMORIAL PRESENTED TO PREMIER AND HOME SECRETARY. URGES ADVISABILITY OF RELEASE. Mr. J. H. Thomas, M.P., P.O., sends us the following copy of a memorial which he has pre- sented on behalf of the signatories to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. We know that every reader of the Pioneer will watch with interest the result of the petition, and will sincerely hope for its successful issue. Had such a petition been sent to South Wales for public petition we are certain from the respect in which the Hon. Bertrand Russell is held by all sections of the community; the admiration for the courage lie has displayed in fighting & cause that lias not always been so popular as it is now: and-a deep disgust over the shame- less use that is made of the special powers em- bodied in the D.O.R .A. to stifle the expression of honest opinion, that the columns of the "Pioneer" would not have sufficed to give publicity to the signatures. Here is the Memorial: We, the under- signed, desire to draw your attention to the heavy sentence of six months' imprisonment passed on the Hon. Bertrand Hussel. F.R.S. for having suggested in an article on the Ger- man Peace Offer that, should the war continue indefinitely, an American Garrison might be used to intimidate strikers in this country. A MAN TO BE PROUD OF. Although we do not share all Mr. Russell's views, we regard him as an Englishman of whose high attainments and nobility of char- acter the nation should be truly proud. We oelieve that to imprison such a man for a state- ment which, even if judged to be indiscreet, was uttered with genuine conviction, will give rise to feelings of shame and indignation amongst all those who value liberty of opinion as one of our most precious national possessions. Mr. Russell's belief in the vital necessity of international friendship and solidarity and his uprightness in thought and deed are welt known to us. We have no hesitation in accept- ing his statement that in penning the words complained of he had no intention of pre- judicing our relations with America, but that he was warning Labour in this country of what might be, in his opinion, a real danger should the war be indefinitely prolonged. -We may add that in Labour circles it is a matter of common knowledge that troops have been used to quell strikes in America. WON OUR ADMIRATION. YVe would remind you that Mr. Russell is not only a scholar of European eminence. world-famed for his work in philosophy and mat hematics, but that by his fearless stand for freedom of conscience and opinion in his own country, be has won our admiration and our gratitude. FREE EXPRESSION. We beuevc that liberty of the press and of free political discussions are essentia l if we ar<? to remain a sane, level-headed race, capable of leaching sound jlldments on national and in- ternational Affairs. We also believe that onlv by s howing our resolve to maintain freedom ait home can we prove our right to claim that we aIV fighting for the freedom of the world. The right freely to discuss the far-reaching problems that now confront mankind must be allowed" if there is to be any real unity and concord amongst us. To imprison a iiianwlioso honesty of. miud and integrity of character cannot be questioned will not ease the tension that is already felt in many quarters. "We therefore urge upon you the advisabil- ity of ordering Mr. Ru>,sell's release.
THE CASE OF MR. A. J. COOK. Rhondda miners on Monday received a re- port by Mr. W illiam John (agent) upon the efforts of the Executive Council to obtain the release of Mr. A. J. Cook. The Executive, he said, were still negotiating with the Home Office on the matter. Printed and Published by the National Labour Press, Ltd., at the Labour Pioneer Press,. Williams' Square, Merthyr Tydfil, SATURDAY, MAY 18th, 1918.