I Housing the Working Classes. CO-OPERATORS & FACILITIES GRANTED TO MUNICIPALITIES. At the Co-operative Congress at Liverpool on Wednesday, the subject of housing was dis- cussed, and is was reported" that certain sugges- tions had been made to the Government, one of which was that facilities granted to munici- palities should bo extended to co-operative societies. s It wa. resolved that the Central Board should establish a committee of inquiry on the income- tax further, that- tlie Parliamentarvjfinterests of the co-operative mevement as regarding ad- ministration and legislation should he delegated to a coiiHint-tee responsible to the Co-operative- Union. Printed and Published by the National Labour. Press. Ltd.. at the Labour Pioneer Press., Williams Square, Merthyr Tydfil, SATTB DA V. MAY L'oth.
Merthyr Notes I Retiring Postmaster. I Tho retiring postmaster of Merthyr (Mr. A. C t tomans) left Merthyr last week for his new re- sidence in Bouriienotith. He has been in the postal service 46 years, having commenced his career ac Gloucester in 1872. He was for 29 years at Llanelly and afterwards became Post- master respectively of Ludlow, Bridport, Shaftesbury, and then of Merthyr (1911). During his stay here ho has given every satisfaction to the public by his efficient and courteous atten- tion. H(, leaves with the best wishes of a host of friends. Last week one of the largest meetings of the post office officials and employees from all branches of the service was held at the "Post Office to do honour to the departing chief. Mr. Stockwefl on behalf of the numerous sub- scribers presented to Mr. Romans a handsome gold watch, and Mr. Altriddle handed a gold brooch to Mrs. Romans. Speeches were made by sub-postmasters and other representative postal workers, in which they one and all ex- pressed their greatest appreciation of the har- monious relationship which had existed be- tween Mr. Romans and themselves. Guardians' Grants to Hospitals. Merthyr Guardians on Saturday decided to renew their annual subscription of £ 25 towards the maintenance of the Merthyr General Hos- pital and to make a .similar grant yearl\ to the fund" of the recently opened hospital at Aber- dare. Thomastown Park Fire. Merthyr Fire Brigade were called out on Saturday afternoon to a fire in some shrubbery at. Thomastown Park. The outbreak was quickly got under and the damage was slight. Stables Ablaze at Dowlais. A wood and corrugated building used as a stables was partially burnt out at Pant-road, Dowlais. on Saturdav night. On the arrival of the Merthvr Fire Brigade, under Chief-Inspec- tor. 1). M. Da vies and Police-Inspector J. G. Lamb, the flames, visible about two miles away, were leaping fully sixty feet into the sky, and it was only after two and a half hours' work the outbreak was got under. A number of siheds at each flank of the building were saved. The horses were, fortunately, brought out un- hurt and the vehicles were removed from the coach-houses eomparitively undamaged. Bathing Fatality. Isaac Pritchard, aged 2-3, of Farm-terrace, Heolgerrig, was drowned whilst bathing at Moody's Pond on Tuesday. He got into diffi- culties 011 a seizure by cramp. Presentation at Abercanaid. A very enjoyable evening was spent in the Pentrebach Mixed School on Monday, when the past ami present staff of the school met to cele- brate the 25th anniversary of Mr. T. T. Jen- kins' headmastership at the above school. During the evening Mr. Jenkins was the reci- I ) Ur I D', r t l l(- A t [ pient of a beautiful divan chair, which was pre- sented to him by Miss Sims. Speeches were de- livered by members of the staff, all of whom spoke of the excellent work which Mr. Jenkins had achieved both in and out of school during his 2 years' service. The Band Concerts. We are pleased to be able to report that the two concerts for the Municipal Band given on Cyfarthfa Park on Tuesday proved splendidly successful. At the same time, they were no more successful than the programmes merited, even if the attendance may be said to have been equal to the performances, which is doubtful. The band itself, under Mr. Laverock,* splendidly balanced, colouring with skill, bringing "out all the delicacies of the programmes presented, and embellishing with the faithful chairoscura that enhances the motif. The soloists, too, reached > a very high standard of interpretation, both in- strumental and vocal. The label on the hack of Mr. Lucy which read "Rotten" was the very antithesis of his euphonium solo work. Of the vocalists Mi^s M. A. Jones, the sweet voiced soprano from Abercanaid, was perhaps the most popular artiste, but each and all could have had as many encores as they had chosen to take. We want more of these concerts for they are for the good of the town.. Fred Richards, Concert..I The balance-sheet in connection with the Fred Richards Complimentary Concert has now been prepared and audited. The receipts totalled R10ti ;s. ;1(1., and the charges consumed £47 6s. -3d., leaving t.-)7 6s. 10d.. which had the organisers kept strictly to their announced in- tention when the concei t was mooted. would to-day be in the hank tor the purpose of giving the comedian a good start when he adopts the profession as a means of livelihood. As it is an advance payment of 1:20 was for some reason made to Richards, leaving only t37 fis^ lOd. lying in the hank for the purpose named. This sum would be increased if those ticket sellers who were reputed to be friends of Fred Richards would pay in the money for the tickets which they held and, presumably, sold. The committee have nominated Messrs, Dan Rees and LewiR Mills as trustees.
-.r Pontypridd Notes. I I.L.P. Meeting. I Cbinradt-Noah IVomans (Mountain Ash), was advertised to give a lecture on The Dawn of Den^ocriWNl, but through circumstances over which he had no control, was unable to he pre- sent. Comrade Major filled the breach and took as his subject the Sinn Fein movement. Ivor Morgan was in the chair. I.L.P. Outing. On Whit-Monday members of the local branch went for a picnic, and a jolly time they had. In all there were about 70 present, ftwluding: the women and children. Tf the women can only pull together as well-as they pulled at the tug- of-wa-r contest, there will be a few more Labour members oi in a very s hort time. Pontypridd and Rhondda S.W.M.F. I The last^district meeting passed a resolution protesting against the clause in the Man-Power Bill compelling men to join the V.T.C. and be subjected to vigorous military drill, after per- forming very arduous labour throughout the day. Also a grant of tll) was made towards the Will Craik Fund." Food Control Committee. Now that rh? Laoour Member- h<l\'l' \\ith-I drawn from the L(M?l Kood Control Coitiiiiitteel it is up to the Trades and f?hout- Council to! s how tlv.tr- they really iievtu business.
MR. W. JENKINS (Afan Valley Miners' Agent) I AND THE DIVISIONAL LABOUR PARTY EXECUTIVE. TO THE KUITOK OP THE" PIOSEElt." I Sir,—The controversy between Air. Wm. Jen- kins, the Afan Valley Miners' A?ent. and the Aberavon Divisional Labour Party Executive has created more than local interest, and ;n order that leaders of the Pioneer may be furnished with detailed information with refer- ence to the "rift in the lute we are forward- ing you herewith a copy of Mr. Jenkins' reply to our letter, and a oopy of our further reply which has been addressed to the South Wales Dailv News.Yotit-s fraternally, GEO. T. OWEX, I Hi. S. BATEY, Members of the Aberavon Divisional Labour Party Executive.
[(.Opy. ABERAVON DIVISION. I [COi'V.| f REPLY OF MR. W. JENKINS, J.P. I fO THE EDITOH, SOUTH WALKS DAILY NEWS." I Sir,-Will you allow me space in your columns to reply to the lotter which appeared in your issue of Wednesday signed by two members of the Executive Committee of the Aberavon Divi- sional Labour Party? Personally I do not know and have never heard anything of Mr. Harry S. Batey in connection with the building up of the Trade Union movement, either locally or nation- ally. Aa far as Mr. George T. Owen is con- cerned. I prefer not saying anything about him. It is. indeed, very interesting to note in their letter how they evade the truth. They state in their letter that I left the conference followed by a small band of representatives of a sec- tion of the miners' lodges." Out of the 11,000 Trade Unionists represented at the conference the "small band that followed me out of the conference- represented approximately 6,500 Trade Unionists. The total numerical strength of the miners in the division is 9,000, comprising 3-5 lodges, 20 of which supported my candidature. As far as the miners are concerned in South Wales and Monmouthshire, it has always been the practice at the Selection Conference that their selected nominee should receive the unani- mous support of every miners' lodge, but in this instance, owing to the dominating influence of members of the I.L.P. upon some of the miners' lodges, they deviated from the resolution of the Miners' Conference held in January last, and carried out th* decision of the I.L.P., who had previously decided to contest this seat. One lodges of the Maesteg District, representing 450 members, in addition to the Tin and Sheet Mill- men's branches, left the meeting. On the lltli March last the Afan Valley miners' meeting unanimously decided to ask the Executive of the Labour Party of this division to have a ballot vote for the selection of a can- didate, which could have been carried out by now, if they were desirous of consul ting the wishes of the workers of the constituency. Some branches of the Dockers' Union, presided over by Councillor William Lewis, Port Talbot, passed a similar resolution for a ballot vote. These applications had no effect upon the Execu- tive. I am informed by three members of the Executive tliat Mr. J. Wignall, J.P., a man of considerable experience izptlie Ti-ade Union and political movements of this country, put it to the Executive that the conference should discuss the question of a ballot vote at the conference. He said. Whatever power you have as an exe- cutive, you must bear in mind that the confer- ence is the supreme authority in all matters." After this, why refuse discussion? Speakers were gagged upon a democratic principle. One other remarkable statement in the letter referred DO of the 15th inst. was that 38 dele- gates from the miners' lodges voted against the miners' nominee. If the nine lodges were fully represented they could only have 2H votes at full strength. They also allege that I made a veiled attempt to belittle Mr. J. Branch. I did nothing of the kind. I only referred to him as chairman of the meoting. I have great regard for the work that has been doyitg- by Mr.- Branch in the in- dustrial world, and also his invaluable work on local authorities. Why don't the Independent Labour Party come out in their true colours and ?,?'t,ite openly what, is done in privite that they will not support anyone if they can help it un- less lie is a mem ber of the I.L. P. I adhere to every word I stated to yoyr representative in my interview of Monday last. Select the candi- date by a democratic vote. and I will loyally abide by the decision.—I am, etc., WIR.IIIAM JENKINS, I 16tli -Ntfty, 191S. Cvmmer. I
I I j ABERAVON DIVISION. I Mr. Wm. Jenkins, J.P., and the Divisional "1 Labour Executive Controversy. TO, THE EDITOR, SOUTH WALES DAILY NEWS." I Sir.—Save for one or two preliminary irrele- vant lapses Mr. Will. Jeniiins' reply to our let- ter is a far more moderate and certainly less scurrillous statement than the garbled report and injudicious interview which appeared in the South Wales Daily Xews" on the 13th inst. with reference to the Labour conference held at the Dockers' Hall, Port Talbot, on Saturday, May 11th, for the purpose of selecting a Labour candidate for the above division. We hope that this can now be regarded as an indication of Mr. •Jenkins' resolve to bury the hatchet and his desire to approach the wilae question in a more conciliatory spirit, magnanimously recognising the wisdom of Biblical text: ("Ollie, let us rea- son together." The recently revised rules of the .National Labour Party which were accepted by the Divisional Executive, and endorsed by a re- presentative conference of La bour delegates pro- vides for a thoroughly democratic expression of opinion of organised Labour upon the choice of a candidate. Whatever are the reasons which encourages Mr. Jenkins to believe that in a bal- lot of the workers in the constituency ho would possibly be the chosen Labour candidate it is important to remember that the Minors' Federa- tion participated in the framing of the rules and constitution which will hitherto givern the poli- tical activities of Labour. Durng their consul- tation with the Divisional Executive Mr. Jas. Wignall, J.P., and Mr. Arthur Peters carefully examined all documentary evidence relating to the Executive's mode of procedure and subse- quently unhesitatingly expressed the view that the Divisional Executive had strictlv conformed vvitli the wishes of the National Labour Party. So when Mi-. Jenkins singles out one solitary sentence fmin a general statement made by Mr. Wignall definitely favouring a ballot he wilfully misrepresents tlie position taken up by the Na- tional Labour Party representative. Possibly influenced by misleading figures furnished him by his supporters. Mr. Jenkins sincerely believed j that therf* was a sufficient volume or support be- hind his candidature to warrant him being enamoured with his chances. Out of 11,000 Trade Unionists represented at the conference," says Mr. Jenkins, "9,000 were miners, and the delegates who followed me out represented approximately 6,500 Trade Union- ists." It is hardly necessary to give a detailed statement of the actual numerical strength of the-jmrious Trade Unions in the constituency, but the mention of the fact that the member- ship of three large unions, viz. The National Union of Railwaymen, the Steel Smelters' Union and the Dockers' Union is over 5,000—all of whom were supporting the nomination of Mr. Robert Williams—reveals how ridiculously ab- surd are Mr. Jenkins' figures. Mr. Jenkins complains of the division of opinion prevailing inside the Miners' Federation with regard to his nomination. This is a domes- tic question which is of no concern to the Divi- sional Executive, and whatever were the influ- ences which induced Mr. Robert Williams, the fact remains that they were the accredited re- presentatives of their lodges chosen precisely by the same methods as were the lodge delegates who supported Mr. Jenkins. But when Mr. Jenkins declares that one lodge in the M.aesteg District, representing 450 mem- bers, left the meeting, we are justified in ques- tioning the authenticity of this statement and invito Mr. Jenkins to state the name of the lodge referred to. Mr. Jenkins' use of Mr. Wignall's statement Whatever power von have as an Executive you must bear in mind that the conference is the supreme authority in all matters," does not strengthen his case. It is because of Mr. Jen- kins' refusal to bear in mind that the confer- ence is the supreme authority, in all matters'" that has created this controversy. Mr. Jenkins lays much stress upon the influence and power of the I.L.P. in the constituency, and again in- fers that Mr. Robert Williams is an I.L.P. nominee. Mr. Williams is not a member of the I.L.P., he is the nominee of the Transport Workers and is receiving the financial backing of his own Trade Union. It is not so much the power and influence of the I.L.P. in the divi- sion which has created for Mr. Williams such an overwhelming volume of Trade Union support as the Trade Unionists' recognition of his unique capabilities as a Labour leader, the immeasur- able services lie has rendered to the building up of the Labour Movement politically and indus- trially, and above all, the confidence and respect lie commands in the national and international councils of Labour.—Yours, etc., GEO. T. OWE", Hy. S. BATEY, Mem bers of the Aberavon Divisional Labour Party Executive. Port Talbot, May 21st, 1918.
The Electric Theatre I For the first programme of next week the Eleet,rie management has been extremely fortu- nate in obtaining Freckles," one of the sweet- est dramas ever penned, with a delightful, pathetic love interest, occasional touches of ex- citement and a. strong dash of the great out of doors. The big parts in this splendid story have been allocated to charming Louise Huff, and I Huff, an d Jack Pick ford, who as the orphan and cripple hero has introduced a new conception in patlie- tice dramatisation a- conception that is never sugary or cheap, but which reaches deep down into tho soul of his auditors. There will also be a Triangle comedy of delightful burlesque hu- a Ti- i anL, I_ mour, Her Betters Below," a splendid instal- ment of Glorias Romance," and a basketful of strong fill-ups including Pat-he's Gazette. For the second half the top line is occupied by The Victory of Conscience," one of those deeply interesting plays of life as it is lived that have made the cinema so popular, and so power- ful for good. Its excellence is guaranteed by the names of Lou Tellegcn and beautiful Oleo. Ridgley, who are to play the leading lines. "The Itidgley, who to p l q,N Fly Cop" is the new Billy West that is in the programmc;, and amongst the remainder of the programme is an exciting chapter of The Red Ace," the superb new serial that is occasioning such favourable comment. "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," the head- liner during the first half of the current week, proved as popular as I anticipated. It certainly was Mary Pickford's masterpiece. And every other picture in the programme was a gem. -n oiitstan d in,, on(- The present programme is an outstanding one. At the top is a fine Pauline Frederick, "The Love that Lives," one of the most powerful films ever screened. "The Hed Ace" is increasingly interesting as it unfolds, and the comedy is a good Pimple entitled Pimple's Paralysing Per- formance," altogether an unique bill.
Turned Down. I COMMERCIAL TRAVELLERS REPUDIATE I ECONOMIC WAR. At the Commercial Travellers' Conference at Nottingham on Wednesday a London delegate moved: "That, for a period of ten years after the end of the war, no German or Austrian com- mercial traveller be allowed to enter this coun- try for the purpose of trading, and that copies of this resolution be sent to the Board of Trade and the Foreign Office." Mr. Oliver (Stoc-kp-ort) opposed on the ground that the sentiment wa.s unworthy of British men They were asked at a time of extreme bit- terness to commit themselves to an action which would make us loil: foolish at the Peace Con- ference. E. E vans, an ex-president, moved the previous question, and this was carried. Mr. Derr (North Staffs branch) moved that they .pledge themselves that for five years after the war they will not patronise any hotel in the United Kingdom that is known. to be financed by German or Austrian capital, or that employs German or Austrian labour in any capacity whatever." It was pointed out by dele- gates how difficult it would be to enforce such a resolution, and the previon question wa? moved and carried.
HILLS-PLYMOUTH MINERS-. I The deputation from the Merthyr District- of the South Wales Miners' .Federation met the Coal Control Authorities in London on Tuesday with reference to the notices to cease work ten- dered by the HJH'sPlvmoutli Colliery Company (Ltd.) to aholltOO of their workmen. Mr. Tom Richards, M.P. (genera 1 secretary of the S.W.M.F.) accompanied the (.Iel)titai'on,- wl-t'cli consisted of Messrs. Noah Abletit (agent), Tom Williams (district chairman), L. M. Jones, and Idris Davies. As a result of the interview ar- rangements are to he made with the manage- ment to. meet the workmen's representatives at Merthyr to arrange, if po",ihle, for the reorgani- sation of the collieries and so obviate the neces-, sity Tor withdrawing any of the workmen. In j all probability the meeting wili be held hefore I the expiration of the notices, but failing this1 the notices will probably be extended.
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I Labour and the Next Election. A CALL TO ALERT PREPAREDNESS. BY LEONARD WOOLF. In war and in politics the greatest disasters usually come from underestimating the forces and cunning of your enemy. Politically Labour's enemy is, if one may say so without putting one's head into Dora's noose, the Conservative Party and Mr. Lloyd George. Personally, I have perhaps an exaggerated notion of Mr. George's forces and political cunning, but at any rate I am quite certain that they are under- estimated by political Labour. I see no sign that adequate steps are being taken to prepare for Mr. George's autumn offensive in the Gen- eral Election. And the fear that when he and his Tory friends have broken our line and achieved a considerable victory, we shall be con- soled by the "official communique" that whilst it is true for the moment tho forces of Labour have been pushed back, our political armies are still (officially) united, and Mr. Barnes is still in the War Cabinet—so that everything is as well as can be expected in this best of all pos- sible worlds. BUT IS IT? But is it? Let us just try to realise what is politically going to happen in the- near future. Somewhere between to-day and the ond of the year there will be a General Election. Whatever wo may think of Mr. George as a military strate- gist, we must agree that he is a master of poli- tical strategy and tactics. He has the reputa- tion of being one of the best leaders, in an elec- tion new living. This election is not only going to determine the immediate future of Mr. George's Government; it will incidentally decide the future of this country, probaibly of Europe, possibly of the world. Whether we have war or peace, whether peace when it comes is a good one or merely the prelude to another war, will very largely depend upon the men and the gov- ernment which the electors send to Westminster this autumn. But I do i of believe that Mr. George will ask the country to decide these questions at the next election. No; the Prime Minister is a master of political strategy, and of election tactics. He will choose his own ground and tkne for that election. He will raise some single cry like: "Stick it out," or Get on with the war" or "Win the ivir." He will have behind him the placemen and pros- pective placemen, a powerful and brazen press, the Tory Party Machine. The country will be told that thanks to the present Government we only have to "hang on" until next spring to break—with the help of the American armies— tho German line in several places. Everyone who opposes Mr. George will be howled at as a pro-German, a defeatist, a pacifist, a traitor. It will be a khaki election of the most violent and dishonest kind which this country has ever seen. DRIFTING. How arc Labour and the Lrflionr Parties pre- paring to meet this situationThey seem to me to be drifting into a most dangerous position. The election will turn upon the war and upon peace. Now the Labour Party has a most ex- cellent and elaborate programme of Peace aims and Social Reconstruction. But that programme is no answer to Mr. George's cry of "stick it out." He will take very good care that we are not allowed to tight the election on those pro- grammes. Unless Labour and the Labour Party have an immediate policy and an election cry to set- against the LlQyd George-Northcliffe Stick it out," there is more than a probability of a political disaster for Labour. DECIDE NOW. If this disaster is not to become a certainty, Labour and the Labour Parties must decide at once the ground upon which they are going to fight the election. They must have an immediate and a clear policy, and they must; prepare the country for tha £ policy. The difficulties are, of course, great, and to ignorp them is to increase them. To find a platform and policy which will finite both the Majority and Minority may be almost- impossible, but the compromise of adopt- ing no platform and no policy is the one which must inevifen bly "lead to the defeat of both the Majority and Minority. Then again there is the dangerous posi-tion created by the rejection of the Alternative Vote from the Franchise Bill. This rejection will most certainly mean that if Liberal and Labour candidates against one another in a large number of constituencies, in m?ny of (hem the moderate vote will be split and the reactionary candidate wiH be "leered. This is a position which ought not to be met in a narrow or a sectional spirit. The only thing which really matters is that the next House of Commons shall contain a majority of men pledged to a People's Peace," and to ex- ploit every avenue to Peace. That an over- whelming majority of Labour is in favour of that policy is eertain what we require is to unite Labour forces upon the policy and 10 place it in a crystallised form before the country at the election. ITHE- WEAKNESS OF VAGUENESS. I have no solution to offer for this difficult, problem. It is for the political leaders of La- bour to find Cliat solution. But they will have to find it pretty quickly if they do not wish to bo outstripped by events and by Mr. Lloyd George. The election will bo fought upon the immediate question of war and peace, and un- less the Labour Party or any other party can put before the country a clear and a simple policy with regard to the- war and the peace- war and peace in 1918. not in 19-95--tlie Never- endians with Mr. George and the Conservative Party will sweep the country by their cry of Stick it out," simply becauso the country will have no immediate alternative policy before it. There is, of course, the policy of Peace by negotiation," a policy with which personally I am in complete agreement. But I very much doubt whether Peace by negotiation" is an adequate answer to the cry of Win the war." A vague cry is not altogether as we know a bad election cry, but there is a. vagueness about "Peace by negotiation" which is a weakness. When Mr. George cries Win the war," if any- one replies, Yes, but li<)w." he has the ex- cellent election reply: "V ote for George." But if Snowden or Mr. Henderson are going to cry Peace by negotiation," and someone says. "Yes. but how negotiate?"—What is the an- swei- I There is, of course, an answer, but it is a, pretty long and complicated one, and lacks, the trenchant simplicity of "Vote for George. The only real way to negotiate is to have an armistice a.nd then negotiate.* An armistice and immediate negotiation is an intelligible policy, but are Labour and the country prepared to adopt it. A PEOPLE'S PEACE. Wha t really divides the majority of the coun- try and Labour from Mr. George and his fol- lowers is the kind of peace which this country is to offer to its enemies. There is an immense majority in the country in favour of what we may cail "IfPeople's Peace.' N'ow Sir. George and his Conservative and other supporters have shown over and over again that they are not in favour of a People's Peace. The cry of Stick it out and Win the war" will be raised simply in order to conceal this ftet, and obscure the issue. That •■°ems to me to indicate the right policy for Labour at flte next election. They must dmg into the forefront this supreme- 1y "important question of a People's Peace. If they can succeed in placing it clearly before thi, electors, if they can fight the election on the question of a People's Pence and the immediate offer of a People's Peace to Germany and Aus- tria, then there is at least a chance that the next House of Commons will consist of men and contain a Government capable of ending thc, war. But they will never succeed in doing this unless they start at once to give the country a lead.