LABOUR and the VICTIMISATION OF C.O.'s. PAGE 2.
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Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. 11 ONE HUNDRED MILLION, IN PENSIONS. At tllt, be-ginning this year pensions were ibeing paid to 311..500 officers, men and nurses, to 123,500 widows, 5(58,000 fatherless children, and 132,000 dependents. Since these figures Tvt'it* published the heavy fighting on the Western Front has occurred, but the additional figures have not yet been stated, hut we do know that up to the end of April the number ol dis- abled men was 341,000. For this year the esti- mated cost of pensions i..s Iltllollgll m'any are denied, pensions who ought to- be en- titleil to them, and the pension.s that are pa id are so miserably small, having regard to the ^o>t of living, that alterations on a drastic scale must be made to the present rates on which pen- sions are paid. If the war had come to an end now, the annual cost of pensions after the neees- f>aryji.djuKtinents had been made could not tail short of £ 75,000,000 a year. It is not at all 1111- likelv, therefore, that a provision oi jBl(X),(KS!.(i(!0 a year will be neecssiuv tu meet the eos t of pensions when p-ace does come. A PRETENDED SOLUTION. it is a foiv^oni.1 conclusion tllit nio commun ity. cannot continue, indefinitely, to escape a large- part of its obligation to the rapidly il1- creasing minvber of its members who have been Lereaved maimed by the war. At prosent large numbers of dependents are denied pensions on grounds that cannot he justified either on gruttnds of justice or consistency. There are, for instance, the cases of youths who have en- listed during apprenticeship or when, they were in receipt of merely noirtinal wa,ii.es subject to progressive' increase up to the full wage rate later 011. After a great amount of pressure the Government pretended to meet those cases some time ago, but the "concession has. if anything agg:"a\ a-icd tin- utdigmuiou felt i'A a i1 concerned in tlie matter. PENALISING THE PROVIDENT. The extent of the Government s concession was to authorise consideration of a pension claim in such eases if the claimant can prove that he, or she, is in "pecuniary need," In effect, it is almost as difficult for a berea\ed pa-rent to prove that which, speaking in terms of the poor la.w, is a condition of destitution a» to prove there is pecuniary need in a home. In one case brought to my personal notice this week a widow was denied a pension for her son killed in France, although she is unable to work owing to ill-health, on the <j,round that she had four- daughters at home. Two of the foill- daughter-, |#id her 14 each for their board. Two younger ones gave up the wh ole of tlwi r wages, 17/6 and 15/6, respectively, out of which sinus she had to clothe them as well as provide food and everything else required for them. Moreover, one of the daughters was a widow who-e husband had been kitted in the war. If the mother, in this case, had thought of herself and allowed her son to earn compara- tively high wages regardless of his prospects afterwards, she would have been entitled to a pension. Or again, if her son had enlisted later on when his earnings had .automatically in- creased aud the mother -had begun to receive from hint,sonip part of his deferred" earnings .she \v?'dd in that event have been entitled to a ix'nsion. The? anon?dies cannot stand. Nor can <h" pn"1'1H pension rate stand, If th? Hou?.ot Common* were organised for doing bn?ine.s. and ?PL i-or t?'k'n? the jucsent con- ditions could not la!;f another week. IF FREEDOM OBTAINED. It is au undoubted iad that if a ornate i^ember of the House of Commons were per- mitted by the rules of procedure to move that money should be found for the purpose oi pro- viding pensions adequate to meet the present <-ast oi living not half-a-dofcon members would dare to go into the lo»»by^amt vote, against it. But the ru les of proceed lire are so formed that only on the motion of a member of the Govern- ment-can an increased expenditure be authorised by For?ianient. A POOR EXCUSE. Before the war it was possible on one of the davs m a.pm'ttu) motions by private members for a member who succeeded at the balbt'in obtaining one of ?ie ?-\v available days. ? put clic of tile t a matter mvolvmn ?x- (lo-vvn a i,k,.soltit 1() 11 on I itiitte-r iiii-oli-iiig in th0 natu)? of a'recommendation or a request to the Government. The resolution, if parsed, bad no binding effect on the Government. hven this mild form of placing on record the votes of mem bers on a matter so important ,as the one referred to has been prevented by the action of the Coalition Government in taking away pri- vate members' rights. The war is the excuse for this, but it 's a poor excuse, for there are special reasons, arising out of the war, for com- pelling members to face the division lobby on important questions. There shonrd be. some means of compelling members to register their votes on pensions, on separation allowances, and on the pay of soldiers and sailors. It is not enoiiLch to have ill ixii-tie,, save the Irish Party, included in the Government. What is required is that the voters in every constituency should be enabled to ascertain, by means of recorded votes on definite proposals affecting the public interest, how their members have stood. The coalition has deprived the constituencies of such limited opportunities as. they previously pos- sessed in this connexion. PUNISH THE GUILTY. The bombing of British hospitals by German airmen is another of those outrages which should be the subject of enquiry by, a judicial tribunal when the war ends. The ti-iitli slioi!ll be ascertained if possible and the guilty partite made re^rwnsible if guilt is proved. It is al- most inconceivable that such aii. act was deli- berately done, but if reprisals in kind were prac- tised they would be deliberate, and would lead to flfrther extensions .on heth sides, with addi- In,. ) f(is,?, of I'? tional suffering and toss of life. That the action may not have been deliberate is prac- tically conceded by one of the leHng military correspondents. Mr. Philip Gibbs, of the "Daily Chronicle." He states that one of the German aeroplanes was Brought down with the crew alive and tha.t the captain who had been wound- ed in the arm, when asked why he bombed our hospitals, disclaimed all knowledge of having done so. but observed that if you will insist on putting your hospitals near railways you will get them bombed." He had followed the railway, he said, flying low and machine gun- ning as he new, before dropping It's bombs. Commenting on this account of the tragedy, Mr* Philip Gibbs says This German officer's defence can hardly be disproved. In all-night raiding, ours as well as tite enemy's, there can be no certainty of hitting the right target. But at least, our flying men take some care to avoid hospitals, of which they know the whereabouts, and the*e Germans do not seem to have taken any care." A BISHOP AND THE TREATIES. At last a Bishop of the Church of England has been impelled to speak a few plain words ngainst the madness which prevails in, these days. The Bishop of Oxford in a sermon re- cently delivered at Cambridge said that when we asked whether the attitude of Christ to- wards the narrow and exclusive patriotism of his time would have escaped stieli action as is taken under the present Defence of the Realm Acts we were driven to recognise that he pro- bably jjould not. He then went on to speak of the secret treaties of the Allies as follows: "We are conscious that it is not only Ger- many that has to repent. Many of us have read the terms of the secret treaties among the Allies recently published by the Bolshe- vists in Russia with a deep feeling of humilia- tion that we were led to assent to proposed annexations whid] quite traverse the prin- ciples for which we not only profess to he fighting, but which truly di(loring us reluct tantly into the awful struggle." The Bishop of Oxforo is asking for trouble and the press will probably «ee that he gets it. OF INTEREST TO THE CECILS. .\1 I', Arthur Ransome. whose letters to the "Daily News from Russia have been similar; in va lue *to those of Mr. Dell from France to! the "Manchester Guardian," recently quoted .passages from the Russian paper "Investia," tvh)'h the Government of this country, and es- pcci?Hy the two Cecils at the .Foreign Office, might read with profit if they would take the trouble of doing so. The" Invests "points nUL, dwt the Allies, notwithstanding all that has happened in Russia, have not yet ceased to trust in the Cadets and that Nasokoff (formerly Russian Charge d'Affairs in London) is to this day receiving In" salary from the British Gov- ernment-. Refeiring to the Times" and other British papers that invite the Bolsheviks in the name of democracy to call the Constituent As- sembly and accept the help of the better classes of Russia to fight German Imperialism, In- vestia remark*: "We will not ask whether iN-,Il not ii-iletll(,I. t to ('ollll)lltn (Y i the Bolshevik terror became we receive our com- plaints simultaneously with the news of the de- struction of the invisibility of Sinn Fein mem- bers ol Parliament- and their imprisonment." "ACTUALLY LAUGHS MALICIOUSLY," j • We only ask, continues the Investia — .Vre responsi ble ci rcles among the Allies so badly informed as not to understand that everything in Russia which is waiting for counter-revolution and order is now on the side of Germany? Not to understand after the entry of Cade, representatives into Skoro- padsky's Cabinet that the Russian bourgeoise has changed its orientation in its foreign re- lations is to have reached such a point of stupidity that at the sight of it there is no- thing to be done but wring one's hands. There- fore we can quickly put on one side all the considerations of the English Press about how uiee it would be if the Bolsheviks in the struggle with the German danger should call other social circles to help them. These are but echoes of old hopes Hot which actuality laughs maliciously." There are people here", as well as-in Russia, who have long felt the same hopeless feeling regard- ing the policy of til Government and the Allies with regard.. to the Russian situation. This country is paying dearly for that policy. A MISERABLE STATEMENT. lite miserable statement which the Govern- menb has made in support of the alleged Ger- man-Irish plot is an insult to the intelligence of the nation. What to bo ^bought of a Gov- ernment that a month ago pledged itself-to carry a Home Rule Bill fo I' Ireland which would give vastly extended opporlunities for treason- 'able purposes to the very men who are noIN, al- leged to he guilty of plotting with Germany against this country ? The statement iliat etio Government has issued is based only on evidence alleged to have been in their possession wh^n the Home Rule pledge was given. Moreover, it was the present Government that released the Sinn I'Yin leaders in June, 1917. If the Go, ernment believed the evidence they allege was Sinn Fein leaders released ?
Winstone for Merthyr, B UNANIMOUS ADOPTION AS LABOUR CANDIDATE. HIS ADDRESS BEFORE THE TRADES COUNCIL. WE MUST WIN THE SEAT FOR SOCIALISM AND LABOUR. The important business at last Thursday's meeting of the Merthyr Labour PS rty and Trades Council, was the selection of a candidate to fight the Party's interests at the next elec- tion. All the trades union and other organisa- tions affiliated or eligible for affiliation to the' Labour Party locally or nationally had been cir- cularised as is required by the constitution, but-, as was expected, the only name before the meet- ing was that of Mr. fis. Winstone, our bye- election candidate, who was nominated bv No. 1 Soiltli Pit, Bedlinog Xo. 2, Fochriw No. 2, Castle Pit and the Merthyr Branch of the N.C.R. The official backing of the S. W. M.F. Executive was contained in the neeessar\\letter from Mr. Tom Richards, M. P. On the* motion of Mr. D. Davies (Treharris) seconde,(i by Mr. H. Lewis (Graig Pit) Mr. Winstone was unani- mously adopted as the Labour candidate for the new division. Mr. Winstone, who was present, in returning thanks for the honour conferred upon him re- marked that he had long desired a heart to heart talk with the men and ladies he now saw befoie him. "You have conferred a very great honour oil me, and one which I do not fail to appreciate. Yüu have, deemed me worthy, for the second time, of carrying the Banner 6f Peace by Reason, internationalism, Socialism andsLabour, in this import-ant industrial, demo- cratic constituency. An honour that any man might well feel proud of. To follow in .the steps of the apostle of jieace, Henry Richards, and later, but no less, revered Comrade James Keir Hardie, the indomitable champion of universal peace, of Internationalism, and of economic and political freedom, is no small re- sponsibility. (Hear, lwar.), I do n^.thijjk any- one could feel that responsibility more than II do, and I venture to express the hope that. you who :lre the local leaders of Labour will endea- vour to rally round the standard in every way- possible. (Hear, hear.) I hope I may not be misunderstood when I say that there is not- a candidate whom the not ?t (-,IT -I t 1) c, other people can place in tire field who would be entitled either by experience or by training to represent this important constituency more so than mysel f. There is not an industry in which I am not acquainted, and in the staple indus- tries of coal-mining, railway work, and steel I have had practical experience. I am not afraid to fight; I am not afraid to work. I am asking tonight that we may bend our minds to unity of purpose and unity of hearts in the determina- tion to win this constituency for Socialism, for Labour, and for Humanity. (Cheers.) That can only be done if we are united, and I do sin- cerely hope that we may be united, not for my sake. but for the sake of the cause*which we all have at heart. (Hear, hear.) I am "not here, and this ought to be clearly understood, for any honour you may confer on me personally. I am here for the service I can give to you. and through you. to every person in this constitu- ency I am not here as candidate I have been adopted by you, and you represent the whole of the trades in this industrial con- stituency. Therefore 1 am here representing the whole of the organised forces of* Labour. I Let us see if it is not possible for us to go into the great fight before us having nothing in mind but the thonght of winning the seat for the cause of Labour. (Hear, hear.) It will be a fight. There can be no doubt about that. If there was any man in Wales whom the other people will fight -oil, 'a i- I v it is myself. Others might get- through fairly easily, but they did .'lot intend that I shall go to Parliament if they can possibly help it. I am going to stand for all that is highest, noblest and best in life. I have got ideas of my own, I have views of my own. I believe there are no pmple under heaven who ought to do no 1)?-ot l itil( l et. 11 1 better, who ought to have better—and when I say better I mean in a safer and better economic position—than the men who are represented by the men I see before me. to-night. I stand for an educated and intelligent Democracy. Whilst I am at all times an Internationalist. I want the people of :iiy country to ,fand in the high- est possible sphere and in the van-guard of true progress. I want the young people to, aspire after everything that is noble and beautiful and clean in life: I want them to stand, when they grow up. in the highest scali, of true womanhood and true manhood, and here I hope I may ap- peal to the new citizens, the citizens for whom I have been fighting for many years, the citi- zens who have just been given their rights of citizenship—I mean the women of this country. Let us organise our forces, for I stand without hesitation and irrevocably for the socialisation of the land as the source of all wealth, for the coal mines, the railways, and the steel and other industries of t,lr(R; country. '(Hear, hear-.) When peace is proclaimed we sha? he confronted w;fh a debt probably amounting m something !H<e £ 10,000,(MX),0<K). and that win make it impera- tive that th<? industries, the staph' indusbies especiany, must become not under the control of the Gtycrumen,t, but- into the absolute posses- sion-of the people themselves. (Hear, hear.) If yon go into the matter even now. you will find that to pffy the interest on the money we have already bgrrowed for this war we shall have to work three months in every year. Hut that, and other matters. I shall have to go into more fully in tile ,]],-it are to come, and I will only mention them h^e. We shall also have to insist—for these ihings will not fall like the manna from Heaven-ipon the passage of laws which will transfer these things from their- pre- sent owners to the ownership of the whole people. (H ear, hear. ) They have wthont hesitation conscribed the young life of this country, under the plea of defence of the State, and I submit that there ought to be no hesitation upon any Government [ that has any sense of fair play and of justice to consc-ribe the wealth of this country and let it be used in the interests of the whole people. If it is important that we should set aside a large army for the production of munitions of war: it -is more important that we should have the land and set aside a larger army for the pro- duction of Food-stuffs for the whole people. Un- less we in this way insist upon the nationalisa- tion and the cultivation of the land we shall, I fear, before we are many years older, be con- fronted with a world-wide famine. Then we must have a steeper graduation of the income tax. I liave gQne into the figures very carefully, and there is no reason why we should not have an annual yield of £ 5,500,000,000. Having regard to the enormous amounts which we shall have to pay in inter- est in the near future, I think this is one of the most" important matters to which we can devote ourselves if we are returned to t-lio House of Commons. Then I want the industrial system so order as to cause to every citizen a life free from the worries and the dread of poverty. (Hear, heir.) I am perhaps an old-fashioned believer, but I have never yet been able to see anything in the economy of the Great Master Builder that would justify any man, woman or child in this country wanting for anything that goes to make up life. There is wealth in abundance, and 'the on4y difficulty we are summoned to face, is the difficulty of being permitted to produce in order-that- the people may have wealth for use, instead of producing for profit. I am in favour of a living wage, but I do not end there. I be- lieve that every man, woman and child is en- titled to something more than to draw their wages at the end of the. week—they are en- titled to such an amount as will ensure to them the amenities of life. They ought to have an opportunity to have a fright and beautiful home, and not to he cramped as at present into houses hardly fit for animals to live in. They ought to have all those things which go to make life worth living. I am out, too. for the preservation and pro- motion of human life. Since the war has been on the value ttiat has been placed on human life, not oulvin g-,iir but in industry as well, has licen uummised. Man has ceased to be locked upon as a human being, and has come to be regarded as a machine. I want to take such steps as will prevent the avoidable accidents in mines, mills and on the railroads. Further I want the Compensation Act amended. When we l em ember that a man has only a value of t200 then it is a marvel that the people of this coun- try have not risen in revolt. Then there are the Old-Age Pensions. It is one of the greatest scandals in the British Empire that. men and women after 50 years of steady service to the community should be given a paltrv 7/6, which means that they have 'to beg from door to door for a little food. I am one of those who would believe 'that no one can rear a child like its mother, and if the husband or father dies I want to see tha-t an income is assured absolutely free from the taint of pauperism. Then I want to preserve the child life of the country. Then there is the proposition t.ha.t the children should be trained in order to become militarists—al- though the scheme has been denied by the Minister of Education. When they tell me that this is a war to end war, and at the same time tell me that they are going to train the children in the art of warfare, then I say their profes- sions are nothing more than a sham and a. fraud. Then I want to take care of the woiyided sol- diers and their dependents. We may differ as much as we have a mind on the war, but I hold very strongly that it is our bounden duty, if I we are true to otnselves, to see that the soldiers who return maimed and their dependents; and it-lie dependents of those who will never return, shall be fairly and justly treated. (Hear, hear.) Better than thev were at present. Then there were the problems of reconstruction. With much of the Labour Party programme I am in agree- ment with some I disagree. We must avoid a patch-work reconstruction. We must put in a solid foundation we must build the new civili- sation on the principles of freedom and justice. The President. Mr. E. Roberts, and others, spoke highly of Mr. Winstone.
Russian Appeal for Aid. DISCUSSION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. In the House "f Commons on Tuesday Major David Davies (L—Montgomeryshire) asked whether attention had been drawn to an appeal to the AHIes by M. VIndimir Burtscn'. the Rus- I sian revolutionary, strongly urging that military assistance should he given to Russia and whether the Hou>e con)d be ?ivon an ?su)ance that the A Hies are (-o-operatin? together for thispurposf. Lord R. Cecil (Under Foreign Secretary) said his attention had been called to the matter, j The Government had given repeated assurances of their desire trra-.sist Russia in her present diffieult. situation, and were in constant consul- tation with the Allied Governments as to the most effective way of rendering such assistance. Mr. P. Snowden (Lab.—Blackburn): In view of the importance .of co-operating with Russia, do not the Government think it most important that they should take the step of recognising the present Government in Russia ? Lord R. Cecil: That raises a much lAiger question. Colonel -T. C. Wedgwood (L- N e;w(;fIstle- under-Lyme): Is it possible adequately or effec- tively to help Russia without being in contact with the de facto Government in Russia5 Lord H. Cecil: There is a great distinction between being in contact with the' present de facto Government and recognising it. Colonel Wedgwood: Is the right hon. gen- tleman in oontacj TV: fh the de facto Govern- ment r Lord R." Cecil: I thoughL it was generally known we had taken means months ago to put ourselves in comnumication.
I The Masses. I A FEW QUERIES ADDRESSED TO MR. HARTSHORN; "The masses know what they are fighting for and will ho the best judges as to when their objects have been achieved." The above is one of the statements made by Mr. Vernon Hartshorn in his weekly contribu- tion to the" South Wales Daily News," and as one of the masses I could liardly' help flatter- ing myself on having such a credit. Although I thought it, strange that Mr. Hartshorn was so ready to adopt- such a generous attitude regard- ing the intellectual capaeity of the masses on the highly complicated subject of war aims. Whenever an issue arises in the trade-union movement which has to be decided by the rank and file. Mr. Hartshorn lias no such faith in our # knowledge and wisdom, he spares no pains to warn us of this and that danger, and thinks that if we fail to observe the advice of our leaders it. would immediately bring disaster on our heads. That was so when a. section of the miners thougfit an Unofficial C-ommittee would be all to the good of the S.W.M.F. The idea. was not in agreement with, the loaders' con- ception of executive, so we were told that such an enterprise, would have headed straight for dissolution and anarchy." Fancy such a catas- trophy happening to a class o't people in the management of their own affairs, and that when they are so well informed in such intricate mat- ters as the war aims, which includes the dividing r up of territories and the drawing of a new map for Europe I am afraid that Mr. Hartshorn flatters us far too much, when he says that we know what we are fighting for, and it would be nearer the mark to say that we are willing to trust our Government who is in possession of certain knowledge which is entirely beyond our reach. The documents which have been drawn out be- tween the Allied Government are as a sea led hook to the masses, and the little we know about the so-called secret treaties ?f the ??'?? is that ?m-Iiiell appeared in one or two of our newspapers translated from what was published by the Rus- sian Foreign Office. And those of us who have read the treaties are somewhat perplexed re- garding their uieauing, as there are so many territories mentioned which the average man knows nothing about, and many of us would be very glad if Mr. Hartshorn would undertake to explain them, chat is if he can do so without creating disaffection amongst the civil popula- tion. IS THIS THE READING. The treaties cover a period from 1915-17, and deal with many territories. The official press continually tells us that we arc in this war to make the world safe for Democracy. Are we to understand that. democracy will only be safe when we gain possession of all the territories re- ferred to in the treaties? The Lahour Party issued a manifesto which is supposed to be an authentic document of the Labour M<ft*ement.'s war Aims, but no reference is made to the Allied documents. Is the mani- festo in agreement with the treaties V In a word, is the Labour Party fighting for the same obj-ect as that of the Allied Governments? If not-, when and at what stage does Mr. Hart- shorn intend informing our Government that the Labour movement is not prepared to fight for any war aims except that of it-s own? On the other side, if the Government's war aims are identical with our own. and that we are (as told) n iiit-iod.of fi-(,(, democracy" with a re- presentative Government, there can bo no need of a La bour Party. A free democracy with a representative government is the ideal after which the people have been striving for many centuries—if our ideal has been attained we should be satisfied. And Mr. Hartshorn should not sav that secret diplomacy stands con- demned secret diplomacy is one of the legal forms of our democratic administration, and a free democracy" should not quarrel with its own institutions. Neither can it be right for a free democrat" to say that the "Labour Movement is to act as a mouthpiece to the masses." Mr. Lloyd George says that the Government is the only power who has the right to speak for the people, and that should be so in a community of free demo- crats. And another momoer of the Government told us that the Labour Movement- is not oap- abjo of handling diplomacy, and that he would as soon trust a child with an airship as trust' the workers to deal with diijjj on-acy And General Smuts told us the other day, that he deeply regrets the disclosures of the peace over- tures it was the Government's business to talk peace. And I darpsaw had t-he Jwnœoffer been up to the diplomats' reouiren ents, the peace terms would have been signed without even consulting tr, Hartshorn And whv should a representative Government of "free democracy" consult any Labour leader We need no Labour lpaoers wlen we have men in aiitliority like Lloyd George, who is destined, apart from the great work that he has done in this war. to aoh'evo great things for democracy in the sp here of social reconstruction." An-wrct.
Building Trades. 0 GENERAL WAGES INCREASES IN SOUTH. WALES. The South Western Centre Building Trades Conciliation Board at Bristol on, Monday decided that from May 25th. 1918. the flat-rates of wages for the South Wales and Monmouthshire Building Trades workers should !>e Is. 3d. per hour for carpenters, masons, bricklayers, plas- terers. and plum Iters: Is* 2d. per hour for pgin+ers and 1 "per hour for la bourers, navvies and haulier^. Alterations in working conditions are to be dealt with by the South Wales and Monmouthshire Buildirjg Trades Joint Council t on ",<1. ,1., t..