0 HOW NOT TO START :A GUILD: PAGE 3.
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Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. I CONCERNING MEDICAL BOARDS- j Men who are in ill-health or suffer from physi- cal defects and who are liable for military ser- vice iii),tild take noticp of a statement made in the House or Commons by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Service concerning medical examinatioiis. In the dear- est possible terms he has stated that it is the duty of National Service medila J board. not only to devote adequate time to examination of each man. but to take into consideration medi- cal certificates produced for* their information, and. Also, the Oman's own verbal .statements re- lative. to his healths and condition. I wish to draw "necial attention to this statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary because, accord- ing to my information the practice oi medical boards is far removed from that which the Miniver describes, and, as the men who come hefore dIem for examination are not aware of their rights in the matter, the .medical boards ar £ not pressed as they .should be to do then duty to the men they examine. tb AND PRIVATE DOCTORS. It j> necessary also U> point out that doctors in private practice, with few except-!ions, are not dealing fairly with men who are liable to military service who apply to them for ceiti- fieate* tor production before medical boards. Men are justified in expecting that their (amilv doctors will gin. them certificates, based on *pa«,* experience supplemented by a special ex- amination. for the purpose of consideration by medical boards, but doctors; as a rule, decline to give certificates for this purpose except to favoured and well-to-do clients. Rich men, of course. have no difficulty in obtaining certifi- cates either from their own family doctors or from specialists. This general unwillingness of doctors to give certificates to their other clients <■ for the information of medical boards is mean and conduct, which can only he ac- counted for by their prejudice in favour of the dt, in:i.t:tl .11 not to interfere [ with ttif- of human i-annmi-f^dncr. if RIGHT TO APPEAL. I In-order to make it perfectly clear that doc- tors in private prattil"P ought to give certificates and National Service medical boards ought to i giye full consideration to the case of each indi- vidual man examined as to his fitness for mili- tarv serv ice, I venture to quote passages from the statement made on this subject by Mr. Beck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Service, in the House of Commons on -June 1918. Mr. Beck said: — Great care is taken under instructions is- sued bv the Ministry ro take into considera- tion anv information given to IJoard, either in the form of medical certificates or verbally, by the men themselves. Moreover, any man who is dissatisifed Ims a right, to lodge an ap- plication with the Appeal Tribunal for exami- nation by medical assessors oi the Local Gov- e rnm en t Board. POWER OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATE. Again, in reply to the question as to whether i medical boards were bound to take into account the certificates of private practitioners, Mr. Beck replied: — *• Most explicit instructions to that effect are issued, and every medical board I have seen personally has a notice up asking men to produce any medical certificates that tlwy bring with them." WAR PENSIONS. I remember when the last Royal Warrant dealing generally with the scale of pensions for j military service was issued, nearly two years ago, I remarked in these notes on tUe futile policv of making enforced concessions in such matters in a piecemeal fashion. As an illustra- Lion qf this policy I mentioned that the Royal Warrant then issued ignored the existence of men disabled in previous wars and pointed out that this injustice could not be maintained j the Government might as well have included the men disabled in previous wars in the warrant. The position has, of course, proved untenable, and a now Pensions Warrant has recently been issued in response to public criticism to meet some of the grievances of old soldiers which could not lie defended. But the new Pensions Warrant continues the old futile poticy of making piecemeal concessions, for, whilst it brings men who were totally disabled in pre- vious wars into line with men totally disabled in the present war, it ignores the grievance of men who were partially disabled in previous wars. A man who lost an arm in the Boor War. there- fore. will still he entitled to a pension of only 7s. 6d. a week, whilst a man who loses an arm in tlil, war gets 18s. Gd. a week. This inequal- ity between partially disabled soldiers cannot be defended any more than the inequality that tot,,i.IIN- men could, and the remaining inequality might as well have been removed now as later. it: I MRS. PANKHURST'S AMERICAN TRIP. Mrs. Pankhourst has gone to America in the I interest of the Allies. This is the reason given I by the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Balfour, for ¡ granting her passports. If her success in America may be measured by her success in Russia, the Allied interest will stand much in need of improvement when she returns home. However, if the Allied Governments think Mrs. Pankhurst represents them they are entitled to L make it known that she has their approval. ? Wh.t ought not to be excused by organised labour is the refusal to give pa?ports to Miss Bond field the accredited delegate from t, Pnr- liamentary Com in it tee of the Trades Union Con- gress to America. This refusal cha llenges the right of organised labour to select its own (IC le gation to America. The distinction between the two women has attached an insult to the chal- lenge. THAT O.B.E. BRIGADE! The list of persons appointed to the various classes of hc Order of the British Empire grows and grows. Within the very short time it has existed o.OoO appointments to the Order have been made. A l'st of the persons who have re- fused the Order would contain a far larger pro- portion of names of persons of meri t than the membership roll of the Order contains. Tlie i-e- cord of services for which the. I;IIL shower of ap- pointments were made includes services of the 'most ordinary and trivial kind. In some in- stances it appears to have been sufficient reason for appointment- that the person selected has been clerk to some other person who happened to shine in third or fourth removed reflection from the glory shed by a minor bureaucrat in an obscure Government- office. Even more re- markable is the delicate manner of marking the soda) distinction between person's appointed which the compilers of the lit foi- publication have displayed tor public edification. The prefix .Miss, Mr." and the affix are judiciously applied according os to whether the person refeired to is munition worker fore- man" or "forewoman," "clerk." ot, to the professional, employing, or leisured class. Happily, it may be said with confidence that up to the present the British public are not so much enamoured of the Prussian system as to take kindly to this latest importation of Germany's undesirable institutions. O.B.E., in some large industrial centres is described by many of the workers as signifying various things, amongst which "Old Bli ghter's End" is one of the milder ones. P.O. WORKERS AND WHTLEY COUNCIL. Post Office workers of all grades appear to be united in demanding that the scheme of joint committees recommended in the now quite fashionable Whitley Report should be applied by the Postmaster General to his department. Thf) Postmaster General, however, is shy and in no hurry to oblige. 1 think far too much import- ance is attached to the Whitley plan of joint committees myself, but, in the case of the Post Office, the plan might well be used for the pur- pose of making a. breach in the dead wall of bureaucracy which stands between Parliament and ,.post. office workers. In any case the workers want it, and now that the Minister for Labour, Atr. Roberts, and the Minister for Reconstruc- tion. Dr. Addison, have been going all over the country these man^v months back pressing em- ployers to adopt the Whitley plan, the Gov- ernment cannot very well refuse to apply it for the 250,000 men and women employed in the var ous post office services. AIR-CRAFT SITES. After Loch D0011, the swamp which had to be a.bandoned after pots of money had been thrown away in the at,tempt, to lIlake it a fit si for air-craft purposes, the public is now asked to believe that, the most suitable site in all England for the erection of "a large central workshop and store for the spare parts of our mechanical vehicles, by the War Office is in an area of about 600 acres where wheat grows better than anywhere else in the Home Counties. At least 3,000 quarters of fine wheat are ripening there for the harvest, but the War Office has deter- mined that it must have the site and lilve it at once, so the wheat has to be destroyed. Within a few miles, of the chosen site there are large open parks—presumably not public parks, for they are never considered—golf courses and a racecourse. The defence of the War Office is that the site is level and it has a gravel soil, also, tha.t it is within 2.) miles of London. To the extent that these advantages may be re- quired for a central workshop and store for spare parts of mechanical vehicles, they could have been found elsewhere than on the best wheat-growing land in the Home Counties. 11: ISUPREME WAR COUNCIL. The Allied Premiers, speaking to the world as the Supreme War Council of the Allies, must be particularly anxious to prove to the people of Germany and Austria that the Allies are fight- ing- for the dismemberment of Germany and Austria. The laetst declaration of the Allied Premiers affirms the necessity of an united and greater Poland. This means, if it means any- thing. that the new Poland shall comprise Prus- sian, Austrian, and Russian Poland, and, consequently, it also implies the dismember- ment of both Germany and Austria. The Allied Premiers have also brouglit the Czecho-Slovaks into the ■picture again: which means more dis memborment of Austria. The time chosen for this re-state me lit of the unrealizable war aim- of 1916 coincides with the re-appearance of the German Army 011 the Maine. Only one ex- planation of this folly of the Allied Premiers is possible, and this is that they are gambling on the growing unrest among the people of Ger- many. and Austria. Such declarations, however, as the one in question, instead of taking ad- vantage of the unrest among the people of enemy nations, are the very thing wanted by enemy militarists, for the reason that they pre- vent the unrest growing and expressing itself in the form of an insistent and irresistible demand for peace. How many British men are to be sent to the human flesh market to purchase separation for Gzecho-Slovaks from Austria, and a United Kingdom of Poland carved out of Ger- many, Austria and Russia?
How, Much Imprisonment Can A Man Stand ? THE CASE OF MR. SCOTT ￼ THE CASE OF MR. SC0JT DUCKERS. All who have any experience of our penal j .system will a?ree that 'm English pr'son is not exactly a' Convalescent Home. It is recognised in both civil and military law that the longest sentence of hard labour that even a strong man can stand is two years, and this is the maximum hard Labour sentence which can lie imposed. When a longer sentence is imposed it is one of penal servitude, the conditiors of which are not nearly so rigorous. Quite recently the Recorder of Cardiff suited that he had never given two hard labour to even the most hardened criminal. THREE AND A HALF YEARS. I Viewed in the light of these facts j:he re- peated sentences of hard labour imposed upon conscientious objectors are seen to be entirely contrary to justice and humanity. Let us take ft, concrete example. Mr. Scott Duckers is a Chancery Lane solicitor, and a well-known and respected public man.. In 1 f)10 he acted as Pri- vate Secretary to Mr. Herbert Samuel. Prior to the war he was elected as Deputy Chairman of the North Padclington Liberal and Radical Association; he was on the Executive of the London Land and Housing Council and the London Reform [nian, and was a well-known membw of the National Liberal Club. In Bap- tist circles lie is well known for his work done during a number of years in London. Mr. Duckers' sincerity is unquestioned, and no doubt can exist that lie is typical of the men it was intended should be exempted under the Military Service Act. But what has happened to him? He has already been court-martialled four times and has served more than two years in prison with hard labour. If he completes his present sentence he will have been continuously impri: soned with hard labour for 3A years. ILL, BUT DETERMINED. I When arrested in April, 1916, he was a vigor- ous, robust man, in enjoyment: of excellent health. His keen sense of humour and his even temperament combined to make even the rigours of prison less intolerable to him than to the lUa.j.o.&:it.V men*. But the two years have had their inevitable effect. We take the follow- ing extract from a letter written on the 31st May by a conscientious objector just released from the prison in which Mr. Scott Duckers is: I regret to have to report that the health of Comrade Scott Duckers is very unsatisfactory. For some time past his condition has been gra- dually ebbing aw ay, until now he is approaching a condition of complete exhaustion. He has seen the prison doctor repeatedly but cannot get adequate medical attention. He does not desire to be released from prison on health grounds; what he wants is such conditions as will permit him to serve his sentence. He in- sists that his case shall not be considered apart from a general enquiry into the whole situa- tion. ONLY TYPICAL OF MANY. I Mt. Scott Duckers' case is by no means an isolated one, there are now 1179 conscientious objectors in prison, and from every prison comes the same story of physical exhaustion. The men's spirit is tinbroken, but the long months of stagnation in prison, with its semi-starvation, lack of air, exercise, and all things that make life beautiful, have wrought havoo with their physique. It is true, as the "Manchester Guardian writes, that the better part of pub- lic opinion is rapidly becoming more ashamed of this senseless persecution. All who desire that our country shall remain true to her traditions should demand that this state of affairs shall immediately be brought to an end, and the ab- solute exemption provided in the Act granted to these men who have so amply proved their sincerity.
I Guardians and Stipendiary I I DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AT MERTHYR. Merthyr Guardians on Saturday expressed their strong resentment respecting the comment of the Merthyr Stipendiary (Mr. R. A. Griffith) in the case "of Bernard Colman, a Penydarren draper, who was summoned by the Board of Guardians for the maintenance of his wife and child, now in receipt of outdoor relief. Mr. E, T. James (Clerk), drawing attention to the case, stated that Mr. Griffith had dis- missed the application of the Guardians for a maintenance order against Colman, remarking that if the Board were inclined to be fantas- tically generous" with public money it was their own affair, but that lie (the Stipendiary) did not feel called upon to endorse their action unless it was right. The man, Colman, had stated in court that he was prepared to provide his wife with a home, but it, appeared that apartments he had offered her from time to time had not proved suitable from her point of view. The woman was destitute when relieved oy the Guardians. It was for the Board to decide tlip question of necessity for relief; the Stipendiary should only be concerned as to whether the man was in a position to pay part or whole of the relief granted. Colman admitted earning £2 a week. Mr. John Prowle, Aberdare, remarked that the Board had been at variance with the Sti- pendiary ever since his coming to Merthyr. and moved that the case should be taken to appeal at the High Court. Mr. Harry Evans, Penydarren. seconded. The Rev. Llew. M. Williams (Rector of Dow- lais) said that if one man in the district was to be allowed to vilify every body the sooner the Board of Guardians and everything else was closed down the better. Eventually the motion was carried and the clerk was instructed to apply to the Stipendiary for a stated case.
The Philosophy of Self- Respect J. HOUSTON'SITERPRETATlON OF THE MESSAGE. 4 I I.L.P. M-ESSAGE TO SERVILE "HANDS." Outside of our national leaders no propagan- dists of I.L.P. policy and programme are so wel- come to us here in South Wales as those wlio come to us from the bunks of the Clyde. There is community of interest, of outlook, of evolu- tion towards polity and of spirit between the two areas, and the young men who have served their apprenticeship to our platform in the cri- tical forum of Socialist Glasgow are admirable exponents of that community, in addition to which Merthyr is so much a Mecca to Scottish Socialists, that the poetry and fire of pilgrimage seems to be added to natural and acquired apti- tude for preaching the gospel of humanity, and the memory and spirit of Hardie descends upon them and inspires their souls to more conscious revolt against the blighting curse of Capitalism. These things have been true of most, if not all. of our visitors from the Clyde, and in none have they been displayed more markedly than in J. Houston, the N.A.C. representative for Scot- land, who first visited South Wales and occupied our platform at the Rink on Sunday afternoon. It was appropriate that our Comrade John Ban- should chair for his fellow countryman. FORWARD, SCOTLAND. I J. Houston began by telling us that it was his first visit to South Wales, but already he had found here, as in Scotland, that spirit of com- radeship, of brotherhood, and of kindness which immediately put a man or woman at ease. He felt that we were at one with each other. The feeling as regard the I.L.P. in Scotland was growing very strong indeed, he told us. In common with the Socialist movement everywhere they had been suffering of late perhaps more persecution, more lie telling, Ynore malignity and dirty charges than we had ever suffered in our history. With practically the whole of the Press against them, with 90 per cent. of the pulpits against them, with the politicians against them, and with possibly a bigger section- of the working-class against them than they had ever bad in p.ni-iov l.'H tl.^ I.Ij.I". 11.1 Scotland standing for peace, Internationalism and the overthrow of Capitalism had more than quadrupled its membership during the last four years. That numerical increase had been added to the list during the past three months. (Cheers.) Despite the quality and quantity of the unscrupulous opposition, the comwionsense, the sanity, the humanity, the beauty and the decency of Socialism was forcing its way into the hearts and minds of the people as it had never forced its way before. (Cheers.) THIi DYNAMIC OF CONVERSION. I What was the outstanding factor that was converting people who had 6tood by in some cases with apathy, and in many cases in hostile opposition, to the side of Socialism ? Before the war there was perhaps some reason for them being half-and-half content; but nowadays it was very hard to find any reason why anybody should be content in the slightest degree. The logical development of Capitalism-which Social- ists had foreseen and foreshadowed before war brok e out—had taken place, and the people found themselves in a very hiuch more hopeless mess than they had even found themselves in their whole historf. They were turning in their helplessness and misery to the Socialists for guidance out of the mess they now found them- selves in. If they had but taken notice years ago mayhap the war had never broken out. (Cheers.) With liberty disappeared from the land, with humanity bleeding to death, and with corruption in public life more rampant than at any previous period of modern history, people. were beginning to see that they had been led astray, and they were turning to the I.L.P. and towards International Socialism in the hope that the people whose organisations they had despised even so recently as last year, would point them to a. road to salvation. The Social- ist movement to-day was; very much more power- ful as an instrument and influence making for peace and the overthrow of Capitalism than it had ever been in the past. We were proud of that fact, but our pride was coloured with a tinge of regret when we remembered that it hid taken an European war with its misery and its horrors to open the eyes of the people to what Socialism moans and what Socialism is capable of. THE MESSAGE OF SOCIALISM. J What, asked the- speaker, was this message of Socialism which was making so strong an appeal to the democracy of a nation in travail? To many people it meant the economics of public ownership of the means of production, distribu- tion and exchange, but to him it represented even more than those economics a condition of mind. He looked upon Socialism to a very large extent from the psychological point of view. He looked abroad and found tha t the great omission from life was the absence of a feeling of self- respect a.mong the working class of the nation; and ho looked upon Socialism as the greatest factor that would make for the development of a reliant self-respect in the hearts and minds of the people of this, or any other, nation. Mam- workers looked upon themselves and their class as mere animals born into the world specifically for the performance of the dirty work of the world and many of the ruling classes shared this view by believing that they were especially created to undertake the "bOi-Ring". of the world. Both faces of this phenomena were alike immoral and devolutionary. No man who fawn- ed upon his boss as a superior creation could have self-respect nor could the man whose own ease and luxury was the produce of the misery and suffering of those whose exploirtation were necessary to secure those, things for him. He recognised that under Capitalism it was impos- sible for either employer or employee to have that measure of self-respeot and dignity that real men and women should have. (Cheers.) To have self-respeot and honour in the fullest sense of the words was only possible under Socialism. I,, HANDS." He had once heard a working-class woman de- clare that her husbands work was killing hard, but, thank God, it is constant." And that hu- mourously pathetic description applied to the great majority of our people from the time they left school until the time they were laid in their graves. And they were despised and contemned by the ruling clasps in the bargain. They re- ferred to the workers as "hands"-—a term which itself exhibited the scorn with which we were spurned—and the Henry Dubbs went to the factories, the mines and the fields because they were content to be considered and to consider themselves, not as men, but as hands. Person- ally he felt that the men who were content to consider themselves as inferior to their bosses deserved all they got. but unfortunately they dragged us all down with them, and we still had !o go on endeavouring to inspire these people with the knowledge that they were just as neces- sary, and in many cases a great deal more "neces- sary to the nation than the ruling classes, and more competent to run the nation than that class. THE CALL OF THE TIMES. If the ruling-class had produced any proof of their competence to run the country they might be excused; but no one could say that they had put up any case. Politically, industrially, and socially, the country had been absolutely in the hands of these people before the war, and what sort of a job had they made of it;- With the mechanical development we had reached, allied to the facilities of transport reached tire re was absolutely no necessity why any iiiim w fan an or child should be badly housed, fed, or clothed to- day. Our powers of production had been multi- plied by hundreds during the past few genera- tions, yet from no point of view of education or of supplying the. needs of food, clothing or shel- ter had any reason been adduced to show that the ruling class had any competence to run the country decently. And in foreign affairs they had betrayed the hope and aspirations of the common people of earth by leading us into an international strife that was bleeding the world to death. Any person with real patriotism in his, or her veins, any genuine love for clean and wholesome government nor. suTvnort uiiv- Cjrovernmeii c, out must actively use his (or her) whole strength to have it thrown out. (Cheers.) Socialism could be accelerated if, believing in it. we threw ourselves into it heart and soul. We were passing through the most critical and dangerous times in the history of Western Civilisation, and no man or woman worthy of the name should be idle in this busi- ness. He could understand an active opponent, the man who believed in the war and militarism and donned the khaki; but he could not under- stand the person who in the unprecedented toH and misery and horror of to-day stood aside as a mere spectator.
THREE LABOUR MEN APPOINTED. "PIONEER'S" PROPHECY FULFILLED. The official list of additional appointments to the Commission of the Peace for the borough of 14 Merthyr Tydfil made by the Loixl Chancellor is a confirmation of the announcement of probable new justices of the peace published exclusively in the Pione?r last week. The appointments have, of course, been made on the recommendations of the local Advisory Committee, the members of which were Messre. D. W, Jones, H. Seymour Berry, N. F. Hankey (Mayor) and Enoch Morrell, each of whom, it is understood, nominated four candidates for the justiciary. Partitioning the list, given be-low, into the respective groups for the selection of which the individual members of the Advisory Committee have been responsible, should present little difficulty. The sixteen justices chosen are Mr. DAN DAVXES, Oak-la-nds, Merthyr. cattle- dealer. Dr. D. W. JONES, The Hollies, Merthvr, a major in the R.A.M.C. Mr. JOHN LLOYD, Penydarren, Merthyr, ex- schoolmaster and a member of the Merthyr Board of Guardians. Mr. THOMAS THOMAS, Penvwem, Dowlais, ex- miner. Mr. H. SEYMOUR BERRY, Gwaelodygarth House, Merthyr, company director. Mr. JOHN EVANS, of Messrs. John Evans (Ltd.), grocers and provision merchants, Merthyr. Mr. T. NIBLOE, Tydfil House, Merthyr. draper. Major D. C. HARRIS, Welsh Regt., of Messrs. William Harris and Sons, grocers, etc., Mer- thyr. Mr. W. T. G. MARSH; Fern Bank, Merthyr Vale, mechanical engineer to Messrs. Nixons'- Navigation Co. (Ltd.) and chairman of* the Merthyr Public Works Committee. Alderman WILLIAM LEWIS, Treharris, draper. Mr. V. A. WILLS, Victoria-street, Merthyr, chemist. Alderman R. P. HEES, High-street, Dowlais, chemist. Dr. J. C. EDWARDS, Merthyr Vale, medical practitioner. Mr. T. J. EVANS, Merthyr, miner and treasurer to the Merthyr Trades Council. Mr. DAVID JONES, Merthyr Vale, colliery oheok- weigher, and a Labour mem ber of the Mer- thyr Corporation. Mr. ANDREW WILSON, Treharris. miner and La- bour representative on the Merthyr Town Council.
I MR. HOWEL R. JONES. 11.i Mr. Howel H. Jones, Penvwem, Dowlais. Mineral manager at the local works, is in the Hst of new magistrates for the county of Brecon.