Merthyr Notes I Bowling Match. A bowling-match will be played lvetwecn Cy- farthfa Castle and the Merthyr Bowling Clubs .at Tliomastown Park on Tuesday next. August 6th, I'?s. Adnnf?ioo (?i. Pr<M'f?is to be de- voted towards the Prisoners <>1 War Fund. First wood bowled at •} p.m. Scholastic. At a recent examination or the London Col- < le?t- 6i ?tu?ic.hfidat Cardiff. A!i<?- M:)nd ?Xifh'))n?. ??fd nine year,?. 31) Ctmrch?H't?t, Penydarren, passed in Section Premier, first- class, with high mark. in pi a noiorte playing. She is the daughter of the late Llewellyn Nicholas, who was a famous pianist, also well known by the local dancing circles. 44 Jones of Wales. Mr. \Y. T. •Jones, known through rhe sport- ing workl ;1" .JoDe: oi Wales." died at his re- sidence in (Queens-road. MHFCII\r. oIl Saturday aftei- 41 lon.ii illness. As a Sports promoter he Was one or the bent-known in th.. Principality, though his activities were chiefly confined to football. He was a member of the Football As- sociation ot Wales, a 'member <>f the Executive, of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Foot-1 ;ball Association, secretary or the Merthyr Athle- xic Club. ami a director or the Merthyr Asso- ciation Football CU110. Flimsy Theories." Judge Rowland Rowlands a.t Merthyr (ouniy- tvii l.t on Thursday was occupied for six hours with the bearing ot a eomj>en>ation claim by Alary Way. or Fochriw. against Messrs. Guest. Keen and Xettlefolds (Ltd.) in respect to the dea,tli ()f lict- 1\i from in-I juries rece ved at the Fochriw pit. where he ?as employed by th«> respondents. ?ir.?d?ard Ho- berts, Dowlais. on behalf of the applicant, con- tended that the deceased was knocked down and fatally injured by it journey of trams while leaving work in November of last year..Mr. I). W. Jones. Merthyr. for respondents, called Mr. Tudor Davies, agent to the Dowlais Com|>any. and Mr. John Bevan. manager or the Eochriw Pit. both of whom advanced the theory that the deceased was probably riding on the shackle of the trams when lie fell and was inj ured. The former asserted that it was not perrriissable for "workmen to travel the Tllaiu haulage road or subsidiary road* while haulage ropes were in motion, notices to which effect were posted in the mine. Judge Rowlands. commenting on the evidence of the respondent*, remarked that it was ridiculous. To produce a theory that, a man wa-s riding on a shackle on such flimsy evidence as was before him was really disgraceful. He did not bel ieve the man was riding on the shackle, but from the evidence he concluded that Way fell underneath the trams—the body vas found between the second and third trams, not one of which had passed over him-from the roadway, in which plafe he had a right to travel, believing (as he had come to the conclu- sionthe deceased was justified in heJiE'in' that the "journey" was in front of hilll. H WH" killed in the course of his employment, and he awarded the applicant the usual amount of com- pensation, with costs against the resjiondents on Scale C.
Merthyr Trades Council MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES SELECTED FOR FUTURE FIGHT. As a result of some very serious allegations arose on the Agenda, in which only one nominee sions Department locally made at the monthly meeting of the Merthyr Trades a'np Labour Council last Thursday, investigations are to J>e set on foot, and protests instituted. A deputation of the N.S.P.C.C., consisting of Councillor Marsh and the Organiser for South IVales (Mr. Groves) waited before the Council and put forward a strong plea for the forma- tion of a Working Peoples' Committee of the Society for Merthyr. After the deputation had retired it was agreed to become a party to such a scheme. It was announced that the two local Co-oper- a.tive Societies, the Painters' and the Boiler- makers' had all applied for affiliation to the Council. MUNICIPAL CANDIDATURES. The endorsement of Municipal candidates arose on the Agenda, in which the only nominee was put forward—Dowlais Ward. Dai Davies; Plymouth, K Morrell; Treharris. Andrew Wil- son; Cyfarthfa, Jolin Williams; double nomina- tion was re-ported in Penydarren Ward—Sam Jennings and Frank Bateson; Park, T. J. Evans and J. Adkins (withdrew); and Town, J. K. Jones and B. Williams (withdrew), in these cases a final agreement will be come to after joint meetings between the Ward Committees and the Labour Party. No nomination was re- ceived from Merthyr Yale, and after discussion it was decided to again write to the lodges in the district asking them to get into line.
Theatre Royal I The visit to the Theatre lloyal next week of Messrs. Balmain's successful comedy company, in that success of the Playhouse Theatre, London, The Misleading Lady." will come as a plea- santly welcome break in the dramatic pro- grammes w lil(-Ii have been pretty continuous of late. This comedy is American in its setting, and it has the delightful rollick of holiday hu- mour, and something of the intangible charm peculiar to properly constructed work. Every character is well done, but the bulk of the fun centres around Boney, and with Mr. Rollo Bal- main caste in that character the part should at. tain to something like the immortality of Sim- plicemus with our local playgoers. But great as is Balmain's work, he has far too much good, sense to believe that one swallow makes a sum- mer and as my eye glances down the caste it is arrested by quite a number of names I have seen starring in first-class provinciaf companies and not a few whom I seem to remember as wearing the laurel wreaths of London's favour. At all events, the visit i an important one in local history, and ] shall be greatly surprised if there is very much uno<<oupied sjmce in the Theatre after the company lias made its bow on Monday afternoon, when a matinee is to be run at 2.30. During the present week the ticket deliveries are clicking away merrily as the surest sign of the approval which Merthyr is displaying in the return visit of Miss Eva Elwes in her two latest plays. It is a mystery to me how Miss Klwes can keep up her wonderfully high st.andard of writing during a strenuous life of playing. Her work is decidedly individual, and T question whether in the tenderer scenes of domesticity— strongly marked in her- present productions—hhe has ever been rivalled; whilst her maturer work is instinct with dramatic pofver. As a player she is also high in the ranks of histrionic art. and her selection of supports speak in the -surest. praise of her stage managership.
The Source of Profits. I AN ECONOMIC ENQUIRY OF IMPORTANCE. I THE THEORIES OF ABSTINENCE AND I DIRECTIVE ABILITY EXPLAINED. BY MARK STARR. No person can deny the fact that profits are made. Continually in' conversation we are told of the hisses .sustained by individual companies who have lost theii all in abortive ventures., but eveu the users of these exceptiona l cases cannot maintain for one moment that the owning class lives upon its losses, t'he rejxirts of the work- ings and dividends pakl by respec tive companies can be read in the daily and financial press. Contrast the price totals of goods produced in Gin eminent returns with the total wage hill. The figures concerning the workings of private companies are not so easily available. but they can be assumed to show even higher returns than the public- ones. Tha.t the primary motive of modern production i- to ma !t. pl'ofit" and that dividends are the sole criterion of success are also well-known facts. The utility or use- value of the coal. transport, clothes. hoots, bread, pilb, and the other com modi ties produc ed is secondary to their exchange-value, which they realise when sold—a process prior to their u.sf or consumption. Fie who views modern produc- tion from the wishes, desires and tastes of the consumer is stood upon his head and has an in- verted perspective. Modern capital can be de- finitely seen to be wealth used to obtain profit by the production of commodities. However, just as soon as attempts are made to explain, to justify, or to condemn profits, the defender's all.1 attackers of the present state of things reach a state of violent disagreement with each other. Orthodox economists love to confuse matters by dividing the surplus of in- dustry into many parts—into the interest going to the persons lending the money, into the pro- fit; of the capitalist actually engaged in the 1111- dertaking, and into the rent of the landlord who reaps the benefit of tite return between land inside and outside the border of profitable culti- vation. (That is land which, according to Pro- fessor Marginal Utility Marshall, will repay "che marginal dose.") While no one.1 can deny that these sub-divisions among the receivers of the surplus do exist, yet they do not hreak down the more important division between the receivers of this surplus and the makers of the surplus, or the difference Wtween the working- class and the non-working-class—a difference implied in the continued use of the former term. And when these divisions are neglected, when even the workers' skill is said to be his capital, then, to sa y the leas: or it, economics becomes not a science but a fog. abandoning laws for '• statements of tendencies and entering in DO a realm of hazard and guesswork it becomes lost in futility. Because of this comes the need of independent working-class study, dear and defi- nite in its thinking and terms of speech, to later result in successful action. Instead of being guess-work and mild suggestions and investiga- tions into the complexity of bodily and mental wants, only thus can economics again become a science. DIRECTIVE ABILITY. Prom ts, .-ays our college professors, are the earnings of management "—the reward which rightly comes to the employer no reward him for exercising his directive ability. These employers are the Haigs, the Hindenburgs, the captains of industry, without whom the worker" would be a useless, shapeless mou. Only by their "w ise management can industry succeed. We can go so far as to say that once the early small capi- talist did exercise his directive faculty, and in some instances in the small business he continues to be present as a. supervisor in the workshop. If in the smaller business the father often lingers the next generation is absent. But this is now the exception, and the larger section of the master-class has relinquished the supervising function to others and is absent from the work- shop. Men work for mysterious initials. "P.O. •' Y.S. and so forth, and they only hear about their Jttaster- when the director reads a news- paper-reported sjreech about the prospects and dividends at the yearly or half-yearly company meetings. The speech run- often thus: So many of 0111" men are in the Army; 'we' propose to do this and that in the coming year; given increased productivity on the part, of the workers our I)J'ospt:et in the future are bright, etc we propose a 10 to "20 per cent, dividend, and all £ •> shares will now be written up as of the report. increase of directors' fees, and votes of thanks and tired directive ability, heav- ing sigh- or relief, returns to a -well-earned rest till the next half-yearly meeting. DIRECTIVE ABILITY AT WORK. If men in their daily experience see foremen, managers and agents exercising all real direc- tive ability in return for salaries, they can be forgiven if they brush aside as worthless this explanation of profits. Fancy a man born to inherit £W,(IOO. Even if he lacks sense how and where to invest it does not matter for his solicitor and stockbroker will manage every- thing for him. He may lw unaware of the na- ture and place of the undertaking: he may pos- sibly he unable to pronounce the very name of the place on the map where he is supposed to be exercising directive ability yet, if the com- pany is fairly successful and pays a modest 5 per cent., he can spmd £ 500 a year and hand on down to his son the original sum intact for him to exercise his directive ability it) the same manner. THE STAYERS. It may be urged tha t sortie of the captains of industry" are not absentees from business, are not mere decorative figure heads and do possess a certain amount of organising ability, initiative and foresight. But what is The nature ana manner of this direction when one late capital- ist, hungry for power, was the chairman of over forty coiiijranies varving from colliery combines to drugs!' Would àw oUtput of a colliery de- crease with the removal of such an individual? No one can deny the existence and power of these individuals. (South Africa is a glowing example of how a group of seven such financiers controlled the destinies of a country for their own purposes.) Knowing the fell consequences or the economic needs of modern capitalism as directed by the ability of such, we would rather be without such ability, or see it used in other directions. Not. in the manufacture of products and profits, but in their disposal does such di- rective -ability get; its chance. Skimming the cream of investments for themselves, exploiting nwial and national antagonisms. influencing evel- x- avenue of opinion ill order tit get the political and military support which arc needed in the 20th Century to dispose of surplus products, to find fields of investment, and to obtain raw materials—through these channel s modern directive ability finds its ex- pTeion. THE REWARD OF WAITING. [Interest is dw reward of a?tln?ncp. says the I defender of capitalism, in who?e eyes every per- I .-?'n ?itb ?i? ?- a capitalist. Oapitai itself :s tbere?uttorn?en and women going without .1 flnd interest receive'! by them is a rt?bt ;tnd ?'r?j?'r reward for their delayed enjoyment. No one who Jw, ,in'n ?v?n H cursory glance at t;ht'?)o?rh of c?pihtii'tn ?in?t?ptthj??t't'- sion ot it" ?m?i?. '1 he truth concerning primi- tive accumulation is far different. (ont'Z and -L(.Iv< i i i i i 1, .1, 1 tI(kiiI fi j- d Iffei-nT. ('oi,tcz in(i Socialist ease against Ttier(, i, n,) against those savings becoming the iiieafl, of gathering to themselves the unpaid labour of others. The mysterious increment accruing to successful capital divides it off from savings, and t.he savings of the present generation is but a fraction of existing capital. It would baffle Methuselah if lie -were a collier, however care- ful he might lie, to become a colliery owner. Think of any of the things needed in a modern workshop and upon reflection the workers t chance of setting up in business for himself dis- appears. SOME ABSTAINERS, Who practices abstinence in reality? Is it they who receive interest;' If so, then it must be the docker who glides about in his motor-ear to the club and suc h-like place-; i t. must be the bri?Ia?er's wife, who buys the costly clothing and food we see advertised: it must be the col- lier who has a town and country house with ser- Yaurs to help hint spend h? ampl e It-i?urf. Th?e are the people who regret they only have one mouth and stomach to fill, and one body co dress. Need more be -aid!' Alistinence indeed) According to last year's Income Tax returns 8*2 persons in Great Britain paid. Income Tax on Roughly, these people could practice abstinence by a week, and yet leave their savings intact. In the ■" Daily who has been concerned lately in several big n- nancial transactions, promised to invest itr Gov- ernment War Loan as much as the whole town or Willesden could raise. Brushing asjde all doubt- concerning the worth ot such displays of pa.t.riotirll and seeing that Willesden iN-a., out to gather tl.¡oJlno, it is evident that Mr. Mallaby- Deeley ha- a genius for saving, and is hardly likely to apply lor an old-age pension. He must have waited and saved a long time, almost as long as his fellows in a. similar plight.. If these explanations were not solemnly advanced in our universities and in their tutorial classes, their mention would demand an apology..For its ex- istence as a. whole oa.pitalism demands waste, the opposite of abstinence—thus can Ite seen that in a time of peace, the "Bisk" year and navies. Profits are a return to the capital- ist for the risk he undergoes of losing his money in a risky undertaking, says some other writer. This justification can l>e enlarged upon and made to sound exceedingly plausible if we be- lieve capital to result from individual abstin- ence and allow the small capitalist to usurp the place of the general type. But what has already been said about the exceptional nature of loss, and the use of savings applies here a.iso. We vouchsafe little sympathy to the burglar who falls from the window while and when his fel- j'lows still succeed in entering. REAL RISK BEARERS. I But look closer at the risks of industry and notice who really bears them. Will the risk of [money be put above th" risk of Iife/ Who bears the risk of flying stone, the mine xpl08ion, of high scaffolding, of low diving, of unhealthy atmosphere in chemical works, of white-lead poisoning, of continued exposure to dangers of every conceivable sort/1 Who stands beneath the gaping hole, the top of which cannot be f'wt:'n:- Who cuts the trees; mans the ship; stands on the foot-plate, and bears the real we.ar and tear of industry ? Such quest ions need no answer. Two illustrations taken from real life will throw significant light upon both the directive ability exercised and the risks undergone by the modern capitalist. We are told that the rail- way shareholders (who have been found during the war to be quite unnecessary to the running of the railways) have been receiving assured di- vidends to the amounts of millions of pounds. What risk are they running; what diree-tive ability do they (xert. When a short while ago there was an outcry concerning the enormous profits of the shipping companies, Mr. Bonar Law made known to the House of Commons the movements and divi- dends of his own particular shipping shares. Be- sides proving how well the owners of shipping company ,hares were benenttin?; by the kindly services of the British Navy in ?weepin? away ?oc)mp4,tit.ors, Mr. Bonar Law. too. revealed the amount of risk undergone by the average capi- talist. While on the Front Benches, he cer- tainly was in little danger of being torpedoed, and his supervising capabilities were Iteing exer- cised and paid for in other dirk-tionh. Further proof is hardly necessary. THE REAL EXPLANATION. I From criticism of others let us turn to the true explanation of profits, using this term to include interest and rent. What are the fac- tors-of modern production, and what is respon- sible for profits? First a site for the factory, or, if the industry is extractive like mining, the right of access to a. certain area. Then machin- ery necessarily of an up-to-date type is put in, and raw materials, e.g., leather, thread, nails, etc., in, bootmaking, arc procured in sufficient quantity1. The" original and indestructible powers of the soil are small apart from the cultivation, buildings and such-like resulting from labour. Afachi nery and ra.w materials, too, are products of labour in contact with its na- tural surroundings. But, passing by the inter- esting questions as to how and why these pro- ducts of labour do not belong to those who made them, we can notice that these tools—these em. bodiments of dead labour—can not by them- selves increase the wealth of their owners by one jot or tittle. Given its right. of way, its rails, its engines, trucks, carriages, warehouses, stations, etc., even then a railway company could not carry on its business and satisfy its desire for dividends before something else ap- pears upon the scene. If a strike at a colliery or a factory lasted a twelve-month, all the costly machinery, all the raw materials, all the direc- tive ability and the abstinence exercised, and the jisk undergone by the masters would not pro- duce one ton of coal, one commodity of any sort, and no dividend would be paid .in that year. Possibly the industrial solidarity of the masters may make good the deficit, but that does not here matter. 1 CHEAP LABOUR. Therefore, this last factor, which we will now examine, is of immense importance, and is in some way the creator of profits. The capitalist knows that labour is a factor in production, often in the glowing prospectus of a newly pro- moted company can be seen the phrase: "A large supply of cheap labour is available in the neighbourhood." (Incidentally this attraction explains why factories wherever possible will be inereasinglyouilt in countries where the workers' standard of life is low and trade nnions have not yet come.) Why does the worker not work for himself and what has lie to sell which the employer, as we have seen, must have:- If choice were possible all men and women would work for themselves, but individual pro- duction is hopelessly obsolete. Of what use is a railway signalman, a locomotive driver, a guard or a man of any either railway grade apart from tire railway itself/ Outside his par- ticular sexual production regiment and away from the tools in the workshop, the wage-worker is a useless burden to himself and others. His will to live forces him to work compulsion is nor. a recent feature in his life. THE REASON. I But it is not in order to satisfy the worker's will to live, but the capitalist's will to make lwonts dw t he is employed. The weak and maimed are not engaged, but only those who have power to labour by brawn and brain. 1.:1- bour-power is that which the worker sells. An agreement is marlp that for so many hours per week of labour-jtower the worker shall get so much in wages. Wages, then, is, the price of labour-power; that is, the exchahge-value of labour-power expressed in riionev or 1; s. d. Priffs may fluctuate above or below the value they express but there is always a tendency for the scales of the weighing machine to balance. Apart, then, from fluctuations arising from sup- ply and demand in sweating and monopoly wages, the worker must receive in return for his labour-power enough to keep himself and his family alive, and to live up to the standard of comfort and decency obtaining in the neighbour- hood. In. other words, the value of labour- power. like all other commodities, is the amount of socially necessary labour to reproduc e' it. AN ILLUSTRATION. I Let us follow the bargain. Let us assume that the average wage of the neighbourhood is Otis., and that in the workshop 1#0 men are working. In a week, by well-directed blows, by work of head and hand in numerous ways they have shifted and altered matter—brought coal to the surracM of the earth, turned flour and other things into bread, made ink and paper into newspapers, conveyed good s across land and sea to where they are needed, and so forth. We have already seen that the products of labour e-annot, of themselves increase their value, but when they come into contact with living labour, as exerted by the worker, then undoubtedly value is increased. In every kind ,of necessary work matter is consciously and intelli?nHv 1 transformed from a condition in which it i? less to a condition in which it is more serviceable to a human need. If proof is required of this in- crement suppose the 100 workmen in our illus- tration took their \Vages to their employing company and said .We will give you oaek our week's wages and make allowance for the wear and tear of machinery and the other raw iiiitt(-ri,-ils realiv made by our an- cestors and not yours—in return for the product of this week's laltour." How quickly such auda- cious workmen would be reminded of their com- modity status and that tlie.v had already re- ceived all they bargained for in their week's pay. We admit business is more complex in reality than in our illustration, yet that, does not deny that the working-class do not, receive in wages as much as they have created of in- creased value. For each hour, day week or year, as the case may be. less value is returned to the worker than he makes by the expenditure of his labour iti that time. While he gets on the whole rhe value of his labour-power, the surplus which that unique commodity creates in its expenditure or consumption goes into the hands of that class which owns the tools, and for whom by economic necessity he is forced to work. The realisation and enjoyment of this surplus-value later divided into rent, profit and interest, is the motive of capitalist production and the true and only source of profits. This was the object of our search, the solving of the problem of the disposal of that surplus product containing surplus-value, which every successful individual company and every capitalist society lIaS is another story outside our present topic. Is economics, after all, so difficult and aismal if it answers questions such as these, and en- ables us to refute the plausible defence of capi- talist apologists!' Some men have directive ability which will Itenefit and be recognised 11" their fellows as a whole. That kind of genius. like others, is now damned in thousands. The ;————————— setting aside of funds for improved and costlier- ) machinery as well as the riak of industry will be matters tor the consideration and the provision- and control of the organised workers when dead laoour no longer claims its pound of flesh from the exertions of living labour. Are economic students "narrow" if they I point out- what is the real cause of the social problem'? If a man's finger was in a thumb- screw, he cotil(I bu-dlv be expected to admire. J t-he scenery around him or think oi the other- beauties of life. This article will not have been in vain if in searching for the true source of profits the economic thumbscrew gripping the- majority of the world'is inhabitants has been clearly shown, because with that knowledge will" come conviction concerning the possibilities of its removal.
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Swansea Valley Notes r Gwauncaegurwen's Welcome. The Public Hall, Gwauncaegurwen, was pack- ed on Sunday evening last, when a mose magni- ficent reception was given to Comrade Tom Ed- munds, who has served about 15 months impri- sonment as a C.O. He went on work-strike in Walton Gaol, Liverpool, a few weeks ago, and after a stern fight was released last week unoon- ditionally. To itiairk clit- appreciation which is held in Gwauncaegxirwen for such a brave stand a concert was organised by the local comrades and an excellent programme was arranged. The 0.(-.(i. Silver Band opened with a stirring se- lection. The Garnant Children's Ohoir ren- dered "Comrades in Arms," etc., in fine style,. after which several well-known artists, indud- ] ing M r. Tom Harry, lasr year's National Eis- teddfod winner, who recited Comrade Jim most touchingly -Miss Ceinwen I)ai-ies( contral- to), Mr. Idris Smith (tenor), etc. Stirring speeches were delivers! by Comrades Josephi Dicks, Tom Evans, and Bartlett. The chairman 1 was Counry Counoinor !). j). Davies, "who made- a rousing speech in his usual inimitable fashion,, in which he paid a warm tribute to Tom Ed- nJunds and the in general. The large- number of C,O. m the locality who are expect- ing to he arrested during the next few weeks.. were greatly em-ouraged by this most enthu- siastic welcome home. I understand that the- collection amounted to (Inrti
Pontypridd Notes. I I.L.P. Meeting. The attendance A-as not quite up to the aver- age at last Sunday evening's nieetin-, when Owen Hughes lectured on "Socialism and Com- petition." criticising from various aspects our present commercial regime. An interesting dis- cussion ensued, in which the following took part -Comrades Rhys Williams, Jack Baker, Jos- Humphreys. Cook, Ivor Morgan, Harry Mor- gan, and Alf. Major. Comrade David LewiS,; ably presided. A Suggestion. The C.L.C. Class i.s still holding its meetings, at tbe I.L.P. Hall on Sunday mornings at 10.3CK Why not give a look in ?
I Abercynon Notes I Mr. Jewett's Mr. Jowett's Question. I Mr. Jonett recently asked a question in tho- House of Commons arising out of the death of Pte. Tkl. Lewis Daniels, of Herbert-street, Aber- cynon, who. as was reported in these notes, died shortly after being called up. Sir Auckland Geddes promi..d riiit -,i full investigation would be made. I Emrys Hughes. ivnrys riughes is still 111 the Guard-room at Kedcar, where he is awaiting his fifth court- martial. He has not escaped the Spanisit, from which he is now recovering. Printed and Published by the National Labour- Press, Ltd., at the Labour Pioneer Presav Williams' Square, Merthyr Tydfil, SATURDAY, AUGUST Srd, 1918. r