I State Ownership of Industry STRONG LEAD BY MERTHYR LABOURITES I TRADES UNION CONCRESS AND LABOUR PARTY EXECUTIVES ASKED TO ACT. The possibility, now that the was is over, of a reversal to the system of private ownership in respect to State controlled concerns—upon some of which £ 62,000,000 of public money has beon spent—is fully appreciated by the Merthyr Trades Council and Labour Party, who, at Thursday night's meeting, in a comprehensive resolution, indicated an effective way of dealing with the situation. Brought forward by the Chairman (Mr. Hugh Williams), moved by Mr. Bert Brobvn, and se- conded by Mrs. J. Davies, the resolution, which was passed with unanimity, reads:— "Having regard to the unmistakable signs that the Government contemplates the imme- diate rehabilitation of private ownership by handing back to their original owners tho mines, railways, shipping and the industrial fac- tories of the country, we, the Merthyr Trades Council and Labour Party request all local trades councils and Labour Parties to ask their central bodies to call at once special national confer- ences so as to authorise the Parliamentary Com- mittee of the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party Executive to sit in continuous ses- sion. We are of the opinion that the National Executives should take immediate steps to pre- vent the proposals being put into force. Fur- ther, we call on all the Labour Forces to imme- diately protest against the use of Allied Forces in Russia for capitalistic purposes and demand the recall of the forces at once." The secretary (Mr. W. Harris) was instructed to circularise copies of the resolution to the or- ganisations concerned. MACLEAN'S TERRIBLE PLICHT. What John Maclean, the Labour candidate for the Gorbals division of Glasgow, is under- going at Petershead, where he is serving a term of five years' penal servitude for a polit-ical offence, may be gauged from a letter from Mrs. Maclean to Mr. Fairchild, secretary of the B.S.P. Mrs. Maclean wrote: "T was up seeing John at Petershead yesterday. T have repeatedly asked for a visit but always refused. So in desperation I asked for the visit due to me in November, and it was granted. John has been on hunger- strike since July. He resisted forible feeding for a good while, but submitted to the inevitable. Now lie is being fed by n stomach tube twice daily. Hp has aged very much and has the look of a man who is going through torture. The doctor all along told me he was in good health and also the prison commissioners, and I know nothing of the forcible feeding until John him- self told me in the presence of the doctor and the two warders. Ex-Inspector Syme told me at the beginning of John's imprisonment that I need not worry about the fear of him going on hunger strike as they daren't start forcible feed- ing without letting the relations know. em- ingly anything is the law in regard to John and T hope you will make this atrocity public. We must get hina ont of their clutches. Tt is nothing else but slow murder. T feel very bitter at the way I have been treated." Ttio letter having been read, a resolution de- manding the immediate release of Maclean and other political prisoners was adopted. I RENTS AND RATES. The decision of the housing committee of the Merthyr Town Council to increase the rentals of the Corporation houses to the extent of the ad- vance in the rates came in for adverse criticism by Mr. L. M. Francis, who regarded the move as one on the part of the landlords, and their agents on the council to get the Corporation to take the initiative in rent raising. No cam pnign. aid Mr. Francis, could be made between the council houses and those privately owned, because the tenants of the former were providing the municipality with property worth £ 17,000. And so it was that the Labour Group did not think it fair to add the burden of increased rates upon the occupiers. In Penydarren the Corpor- ation houses paid to capital every year £43.1, thirty having tbii- already been paid for, leaving only seventy to be acquired in the same way. The La bour councillors were instructed to op- pose the housing committee's recommendation on coming up for adoption by the Town Council. INEWPORT WATER SUPPLY. Reports on the conference between representa- tives, of the Merthyr Trades Council and the Newport Trades Council( who were stated to be in favour of a scheme for fl joint water-board for Merthyr and Newport) having been given by jN f eq-,rs. T Toni, Messrs. Harris, J. Jones and .T. Adkins (the Merthyr delegates) a resolution to be sent to the Merthyr Corporation was passed to the effect that t-lie trades council thoil c-rht the time had now arri^ ved when the water-supply question should be considered by the Corporation with a view to bringing into existence a co-partnership scheme between authorities in need of water- supplies.
LABOUR CALLS ON ABERDARE TO VOTE FOR NICHOLAS
German Socialism and The War. I AN IMPORTANT HISTORY YOU CANNOT BE WITHOUT. THE PARTY "APPEAL" IN JULY, 1914. THE TROUBLE OVER WAR CREDITS. f p German Social Democracy During the War," by Edwyn Bevan. Messrs. George Allen and Unwin. 5/- nett.] The most important book of the war, when it comes to be written, will unquestionably be the authentic story of those last days in Germany, those days during which the most complete, self- conscious, and State-backed military autocracy in the world collapsed and was blown away on the four winds of heaven like the powdered ashes of a child's burnt paper house. But a. com pre- hension of those final days when Socialism came to Germany as the natural successor to its very opposite, will depend to a very large extent upon a knowledge of the doings of the German Social "Democracy from the days when the war clouds blackened the political heavens of Europe in the fall of 1914 to the beginning of the end. That hook has been given to us in English just re- cently by Edwyn Bevan—published by Messrs. Geo. Allen and Unwin in their well-known series of sociological libraries, probably the most in- formative we have to-day. Unhappily for a re- viewer whose desire it is to impress the import- ance of the possession of this book upon his readers, the subject matter has compelled the author to restrain himself for the major part of the work to a mere record of facts, and inter- estingly as the work is done-and it possesses a high degree of literary ability—such a work from its very nature does not allow of that com- plete condensation into an appreciative or cri- tical column that works on philosophy, or poli- tical theory lend themselves to, and which fic- tion best of all allows itself to be compressed into. THE BECINNINCS OF THINCS. L ? I-, ?- Still, there are hundreds who won in UKC to know what was the attitude of the great Social Democratic Party of Germany, with its 110 members in the Reichstag, during tiie critical days of late July and early Aug., 1914, and there are still others who would ask what stand was taken from the outset hy such men as Haase (President of the Party), hy Bernstein, by Kautsky—never a member of the Reichstag, ,-find hy Leibknecht, though men believe that they know all that the leader of the extreme Left has done from the start. To look at these things will but be a taster from the book, a glance at a few odd pages of the 280 that are as full of meat for the head, as a pre-war fresh egg was of nutriment. In glancing for a moment at the days imme- diately preceding, and those immediately suc- ceeding the declaration of hostilities I am aware that we witness an apparent complete change of face of the German Party, and I am no more going to attempt an explanation of this curious change than does our author, who leaves it at a statement of the. fear of the Russian rnpna, an incomplete and unsatisfactory passing reference, for I will not call it an explanation, of an epl- sode that will probably remain for all time an inexplicable phenomena of democratic history. Nothing could have started off more bravely than the condemnation of the Austrian ultima- tum sent out to the world by "Vorwaerts" on July 25th, from the long extract from which ap- pearing in the book T take these -,Pnteiieps They want war, the unscrupulous circles who exercise a determining influence on the Vienna TTaf-biirg This Ultimatum is so shameless in its manner as well as in its demands, that any Serbian Government which baoked down submissively before such a Note would have to reckon with the possibility of being flung out by a popular mass movement between dinner and dessert. It was a crime of the Chauvinist Press in Germany that it goaded on Germany's dear ally in its warlike passions to the utmost, and unquestionably Herr Von Bethman Hollweg has: himself promised Herr Berchtold to stan d behind him. But the game they are playing in Berlin is as dangerous as that played in Vienna. ■" THE OFFICIAL APPEAL. Whilst even more courageous was the official "Appeal of the Directorate of the Party issued on the sam" day—an appeal that exceed-, any- thing that T have seen as an official document of a nationa l Socialist Party issued during that critical time. Here are the words:- "No drop of a German soldier's blood must be sacrificed to the Austrian despots lilgt for power, to Imperialist commercial interests. Com- rades. we call upon you to express immediately in m-ir-q meetings the unshakable will for peace of the class-conscious proletariat. The ruling classes, who in peace-time oppress you. despise yon. exploit you. want to ufce you as cannon folder. Everywhere the cry must ring in the • despot=' cars: We want no war! Down with war! Long live International Brotherhood! And those are hut two of many pronounce-, ments of which Mr. Bevan tells us quoting chapter and verse. Mass meetings for peace were organised, and Carl Legion, the President of the Internationa l Federati on of Trades Unions, was wiring to the trades union move- ments abroad asking for declarations of attitude towards the crises—though Jouliaux declared that Legien himself refused to sav what the German trades unionists would do. At all events it is good to know that W. A. Appleton assured Leqien of full British support of any efforts made by the German comrades for the preservation of peace. Such was the state of affairs on July 31st when Germany was declared to be on a war-footing, and from that moment a strange change crept into the situation, and Vorwaerts." so courageous two davs before, is on August 1st editorially admonishing com- rades to lie low. THE FATEFUL FOURTH. I Then came the fateful 4th of August, and with it the problem should the members in the Reich- stag vote the war credits. Hermann Muller. "dntv of defejidino, thp Fatherland" was recog- carious journey thither hy motor, had declared on August 1st that the voting of the credits was "out of' the question.; hut it transpired after- wards that he did not speak for the party. Or, rather, thp party was hopelessly lost on the noint, and a special meeting was called of the Reichstag group for the 3rd to discuss the posi- tion. For two hours and over the pro and con was discussed, and at the close it was decided to vote the credits though in all fairness to the party it must be remembered that the German invasion of Belgium was not known until the Chancellor made the pronouncement the follow- ing day in the Reichstag. At that meeting the duty of defending the Fatherland was recog- nised by all of the group except four—Liebnecht, Ruble, Henke, and Herzfeld. Kautsky, who was not a member of the Reichstag and was not present, was, however, steadily against voting the credits, an attitude which all who know him in his works would expect, and one which makes myself prouder still of Marx literary executor. He influenced a strong minority of the Party. Curiously against expectations Haase, the Pre- sident of the group, was also against voting the credits, whilst Bernstein was then in favour of that course—though he quickly joined the minority in later days. However, the majority voted in favour of casting the vote with the Gov- ernment, and the full vote of the party includ- ing that of Liebkneeht was cast with the Gov- ernment the next day. THE PRESS KICKS. I It is a curious fact that whilst the majority in the Reichstag thus supported the Govern- ment, and virtually controlled the party Press, still that Press from the start was against the "apostacy of the 4tli of A ugulitt." and repre- sented editorially the minority pacifists. Kautsky himself was later turned out of the editorial I chair of Die Neue Zeit," Mehring, in collabor- ation with Rosa Luxemburg, started "Die In- ternationale," which was suppressed after the first number, and Vorwaerts" itself continued to criticise adversely the Party attitude. By November, 1914. the opposition had grown to five in the Reichstag, and its activities were being felt in Berlin, Gotha, Bremen, Leipzig and Hamburg. A vigorous condemnation was made in Stuttgart, and the editorial staff of the Wiirtera- burg party organ had to he ejected for the vigour of its criticism and policy. Tt was in Stuttgart that Liebkneeht first made it known that on August 3rd, fourteen of the members had been against voting the credits. Bv October Bern- stein, too, had found he had made a mistake and had joined the Minority, as did Kurt. Eisner and Rudolf Hilferding, whilst Cunow—the suc- cessor of Kautsky in the la tier's editorial chair —on the other hand went from Opposition to Majority, as did Lensch, an erstwhile powerful follower of Leibknecht. THE MINORITY REBELS. I Tn December, 1914, another credit had to be voted, and again consternation reigned in the group, but the way downwards was easy after August. 4tli. and again the vote was cast with the Government. Leibknecht, however, after having been refused the right to do so by the Majority, cast his vote against the credits, which so infuriated Frohine that on February 2nd. he proposed that that rebel should be deprived of his privileges, a motion which only found seven supporters, whilst our old friend Legien was so badly cut up over Leibknecht's action that it was only with difficulty that lie was persuaded to give up his demand for Leibknecht's expul- sion as a condition of his rema ining in the group. Tn Mareli. 191o, another credit was asked for, and now the Minority had grown to 30, but the Majority had still 69 votes to use for the sup- port of the Fatherland." On March 20th the Budget was brought in, and at this meeting of the Reichstag Georg Ledebour, speaking for the Minority of 30 who no longer conformed to the Majority decisions, placed before the House the Minority view. Schiedemann promptly repu- diated Ledebour on behalf of the Majority. From now on the Minority grows steadily, but of that growth T have not space to tell here, and besides, it has been far better told than T could possibly do it in this splendid book of the war- time history of the most powerful Socialist Party in the world. Xo Socialist can afford to be without this book. Tt is more enthralling than any fietion, iii(I it is a font of inspiration and hope to anyone who nmfesses the faith. The Socialist Movement in Britain owes its dee|#st thanks both to author and publisher for the timely issuance of such a volume. I A.P.Y. I
I Mr. Sydney Webb. I INTERESTINC LETTER TO LONDON I CRADUATES. BRITAIN'S BAD LESSON IN ECONOMICS. I Mr. Sidney Webh, who, on a. requisition signed by about 1,000 members of Convocation, agreed in Mav last to be nominated for London Univer- ,.it h sity, has issued an open letter to the men and women graduates of the university. Mr. Webb believes that the university constituencies may not unreasonably be looked to by the nation to send to the House of Commons men who can bring to the problems of reconstruction ideas and. training. knowledge and independence, scientific method and intellectual honesty. Tn a long and careful survey of questions of the time the following is a salient passage:— BRITAIN'S BAD EXAMPLE. I On this grea t issue of social reconstruction after the war there is to he discerned a cleavage among candidates for the House of Commons somewhat analogous to the cleavage in the in- ternational sphere over which the world is fight- ing. Tf the German nation has achieved the bad I of basing international rela- tions on might being right, it is tfie British na- tion which, in the capitalist system of machine production for a world market, first taught the peoples of the earth the equivocal lesson that might was right in the economic relations among citizens. Shall we, when peace comes, aim at a ne" serial order, working steadily towards is. Irrespective of economic, as of physical strength, the utmost possible freedom of inifiative for all. and the souring to every individual, however lowly, of such con- ditions of mind. body, and estate as will per- mit not onlv of the rfiaximum social efficiency but also of the utmost aggregate development of individual character? The latter policy is what T stand for." Mr. Webb wants to see a great development both of the teaching and the research sides of London University. In regard to women, he stands for the completion of political emancipa- tion. the open door to professions and occupa- tions, and equal pay for equaT work.
14 To Crucify The Workers. M R. WINSTONE'S INTERPRETATION OF I THE COALITION PACT. SCANDAL OF THE SOLDIER'S VOTE. I In the outlying villages and hamlets Mr. James Winstone, the Labour candidate for Mer- tliyr, has, throughout the past week, been put- ting in effective electioneering work. To his mining audiences he bluntly asserted he was absolutely and irrevocably anti-Coalition- ist and, presenting his credentials," reminded them that he—one of their own class—was not only the Miners' candidate, but also the duly accredited and properly selected candidate of the Labour Party. NO DOUBT WHATEVER. I Tracing industrial successes by practical trades unionism in respect to the South Wales Miners' Federation. and pointing to what was attained by "a unity of purpose with peaceful persua- sion hacked up by determination," Mr. Winstone asked them if their desires in such a direction were gratified by industrial organisation what was there to divide the workers into opposed camps when it came to political action? If the working-class (he said) only acted in this Par- liamentary Election with the same unity of pur- pose as in industrial organisation there would I be no doubt as to the candidate returned—the Labour man. (Applause.) There was not the least necessity for a General Election to-dav; and its enforcement at this crisis would eventually redound to the discredit of Mr. Lloyd George. The reason for the appeal to the country was that the Prime Minister be- lieved himself on the crest wave of his popular- ity, and that the public would be foolish enough to carry him back into power with the new lease of Parliamentary life. WHAT OF THE SOLDIERS? I What about the soldiers? Some time ago, when they were believed to be all in favour of the war, they were said to be more than citizens. Citizens must be over 21 years of age to come within the franchise; soldiers were qualified to vote at nineteen. Since, there had been a change in the views of the soldiers, and he was informed on good authority that a very large percentage of these men would not he able to record their votes in anything like an intelligent manner It was not just. Every voter at this election should have a clear conception of what they were voting for. The Government, so he was told, had prevented any papers other than those in support of the Government and the war from reaching the soldiers. So far as lie could learn. there were no possible means of transmitting Labour's views to the men on active service, and whatever votes they might record would be cast more or less in the dark. The Coalitionists had sunk their party differ- ences because they wished to deprive the workers —and the middle-class as well—of their just dues. Were the people misguided enough to return the Coalitionists to power they would not be long before beginning to squeal and quarrel. Tn fact, they had started already. ITHE CRUCIFIERS. I Herod and Pilate "made friends" when they decided to crucify Christ. So Mr. Bonar Law and Mr. Lloyd George on the day when they determined to crucify—if they cou ld—the work- ing-class of the country. The Coalition Government had broken word on the question of soldier's pensions; they pro- mised that never again should returned soldiers of necessity beg or sell shoe-laces in the street. Their dependents, too, were not to suffer. v cases had been brought to his notice of depen- dents having to appeal to the Poor Law authori- ties for monetary assistance to obtain boots for children. He declared that pensions and allow- ances to these people ought to be increased bv 70 to 100 per cent., whilst in the industrial sphere compensation to permanently disabled workmen should be advanced by 100 per cent. SOME NEEDED REFORMS. I Other reforms receiving his unqualified sup- port were:— Land reform with security of tenure, etc., in which the Liberal Party had failed lament- ably. Home Rule for Ireland, a natural sequence to autonomy for Wales and Scotland. An education grant from the State of four- fifths instead of the present three-fifths. Old-age pensions of fifteen shillings a week for all over 60 years of age. He further stated that he stood for the new scale of salaries proposed by the National TTnion of Teachers. Dealing with shipping, Mr. Winstone asked if the people--paying taxes for its upkeep—owned the British Navy, which, although protecting our shores, was not a profit-earning concern, to speak generally, why should not they own and control the mercantile serviee? What could he done with the one that brought in no revenue could of a surety be done with the other that would bring in a huge revenue. But the people were not permitted to own this profit earning service for the reason of its capacity of revenue creating, and this Coalition Government of ours, moreover—those who had joined hands to pre- vent the working-class of the country from re- ceiving what they were entitled to—were going to sell even the ships that had been built by them and their shipyards, too, in many in- stances. During the war the shipowners had been taking advantage of the nation's necessity—in- creasing the prices of food-stuffs and the neces- saries of life carried in their ships. Unless the workers were careful the Coalition would hand back to private owners not only the mines and railways, but other such concerns, and thus give a further opportunity for the exploitation of the people. (Applause.)
MINERS AND INCOME TAX. J Twenty-six workmen were summoned at Moun- tain Ash on Thursday for the non-payment of income tax. The main defence was the 'flu." In each case the choice was between payment in 14 days or imprisonment, and a few defaulters eboqe the tatter.
i Coalition Cabal. GOVERNMENT BY PROFITEERS FOR PROFITEERS. MR. CEORCE BARKER ON THE ISSUE. Capitalism if; the enemy—now and all the time. As workers we will see to it and not forget it. This Coalition Government is a brilliant idea of the capitalists to keep them in power. It is a Cabal, a secret plotting for political power-to perpetuate the Government by profiteers for profiteering. Why has your food been so dear this last four years? Because you have been governed by profiteers. We are told that the farming and landlord party have made over C200,000,000 by excess profits; probably the shipping magnates have made over a. thousand million, and every ship lost by submarine or mine has been more than made good by insur- ance paid for by extra freight. On every hand we have had exploitation and public robbery, and the House of Capitalists have connived and backed up the game. The same with mining: huge developments have taken place, shares have doubled in value, and pre-war profits have been guaranteed as the minimum. Labour has been shorn, fleeced and robbed wholesale, while making the larger sacrifice to win the war. And now these usurpers, after seven years of power, are asking their victims to re-elect them, so that Capitalism can be reconstructed after the war to go on with Its further profits for self-enrich- ment at the expense of the worker. What does this Coalition propose to do for the worker? Put to the "acid test" it offers him nothing. On the other hand, the worker is asked to speed up production. In other words, to work harder, as lie will have to do. and no mistake, to buy the dear food and clothing held up from him by the Coalition Capitalist. Just one word to the disabled soldier and sailor. What does the Coalition propose to do for you? Have you seen the poster: "Don't pity a disabled soldier, give him a job! "? Give him a job! Not a peli-ion-i job! Put the man who has served Civilisation on the over- crowded Labour-market—and from there to the scrap-heap is a very short throw. T am persuaded that the men who have been through this four years' agony will not be fooled by this callous outrageous poster. This poster should be put up in every Trade Union and Labour lodge-room of the country. Tt re- veals the inner working of the bare, sordid Capitalist mind as nothing else can do—and it was moved by a Coalition Government. "Don't pitv the disabled soldier, give him a job." Yes. T don't think. Let us end this fooling by re- turning the Labour candidates everywhere. Awav with tli(I Coalition. GF.OR(TF. BARKER.
The Cardiff Candidates. JIMMY EDMUNDS AND THE SHIPOWNERS' SHAMELESS CAME. SPEECHES BEFORE TRADES AND LABOUR COUNCIL. Th three Labour candidates for the new Oar-I diff Division Messrs. J. E. Edmunds, the T.L.P. I nomine: J. T. Clatworthy and A. J. Williams, all appeared before the Cardiff Trades and Ta-I hour Party last Thursday and addressed the delegates. Mr. Ridgway occupied the chair. Jimmy" Edmunds addressed himself to the real independence which Labour was evincing in politics—a. course which he cordially supported in its local and national bearings. Tn particular, lie emphasised the danger of profiteering now that the war was over, rightly touching the real reason for the election—the relief of Capitalism from irksome ro%trietioil-. niid declared him-I self as favouring the strictest possible surveil- lance to preserve the worker; from the perils of the profiteer. As an indication of the movement of Capitalism towards this greedy, grabbingj end, he instanced the statement made in the capitalist press of South Wales to the effect that the shipowners were anxious to secure release from the reouisitioning of their ships at the earliest possible moment: in which connection it had been stated thev had already secured a pro-I misc of release. That release was desired for the purpose of earning handsome profits—at the expense of the necessities of the people. So far as he was concerned Mr. Edmunds would reso- lntely set his face against, the shipowners en- gaging in any such orgy of shameless profiteer- ing as the earlv days of the war had witnessed, during the period of reconstruction, f Cheers.) Mr. Clatworthy spoke of the imperative need for the workers to control Parliament by return- ing a maioritv of their own Party there, for so long as the House of Commons was manned by the Capitalists and landowning classes and their tool s, so long must the present deplorable social anomalies continue. TTe strongly condemned the action of Lloyd George and the Coalition in precipitating the nation into an unnecessary election at the present time. Mr. A. J. Williams also spoke strongly against the present conduct of affairs and in favour of the Labour policy of reconstruction and reform. The delegates were delighted with the speeches and the personalities of the candidates, and great enthusiasm was evinced over the coming contest.
Bargoed House Coal Difficulties. P.D. MEETINC DISCUSSES DRASTIC ACTION. A fn? meeting of the members of the 'P.D.I .Toint Committee m?t at the miners' offiev, Bar- ?pd. ?Rt Wfdnp?nv night to receive a report? of a deputation which waited upon the agent of the company in reference to the shortage of supply of house coal for the workmen. The de- legates reported that the company was making every endeavour to remedy this grievance, but! it was pointed out that some of thp miners had to wait seven and eight week s for coal for do- mestic purposes: more especially was this so at Rhymney. Pontlottyn. Pengam, and Fleur-de- Ji. i The mc?ttne was anxious to stop work imme-l diately until t1w grievance was rompdi?d. nti- matelv, it was resolved to postpone drastic ac- tion for two weeks.
I "An Imitation Labour Party. I CANNOCK TO SUPPORT JAS. PARKER, COALITIONIST." After having heard Mr. James Parker, Tunior- Lord of the Treasury, reafifrm his intention to stand as Coalition candidate at the forthcoming election, thp wea k-kneed, soft-headed Cannock Labour Party on Saturday accepted his explana- tion. and derided to support him as Labour Coalition candidate for the Cannock division. His opponent is Sir W. Beddoe Rees (Liberal), whom we cordially hope will be returned to West- minster.
I Swansea Bye-Elections. I THIRTEEN WARDS TO BE FOUCHT. I There are to be contests in the whole of the thirteen municipal wards of Greater Swansea, in which vacancies have been created by thp eleva- tions to the Aldermanic Bench. Nominations were received last Thursday. It is to be hoped that iinlii(,I,-v thirteen" will prove so for the Coalition" Party, and that Labour will win all the constituencies it is contesting.
AIJERAVON FOR LABOUR AND NO CAMOUFLAGE POLITJCS