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PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE. J
PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE. J TO THE EDITOR. Dear Sir,—Will you permit me to put before jour readers a few facts and reflections ill con- nection with the death of Arthur Wilson, of Blackburn, Lancashire, who died on December 11th last in Strangeways Gaol, Manchester. Pneumonia, following influenza, is recorded as the cause of death, and according to a report of the inquest everybody, as usual, was satisfied, -etc.. etc. I wasn't there, or they would have found one, at least, tremendously dissatisfied, -and even now J should like an enquiry started ..as to whether, during this winter, the cells in the Gaol at Strangeways are ever up to the regu- lation 56 degrees, and whether they are dry or damp. I should also like to know whether the two trained male nurses—which regulations re- quire in critical cases—were present during the last hours of Arthur Wilson, or whether he was left merely to the care of an untrained disciplin- ary warder. These questions were not raised at the inquest. They ought to have been, as they have a powerful bearing on the matter of this young man's death. As an old freind of the family, I was asked to -go up North and officiate at the funeral, and when I arrived in Blackburn a couple of hours before the funeral service was due, I was dis- gusted to find that not one of the three other brothers of A. Wilson, also in prison for con- science sake, had as yet arrived. However, r -it t l iev ii-oii l d consoled myself with the thought that they would surely be there in due season. Half-an-hour before the time one of them turned up. He also is at Strangeways, and he had been given from ten o'clock in the morning until six o'clock in the evening of the same day to do the double journey from Manchester to Blackburn and back, to attend his brother's funeral, and be back in prison aga.in. Could eold-blooded official ca llousness go flirt her Yf's! very much further! The I other two bro- thers were not permitted to come at all! One )f them is at Walton Gaol, Liverpool, and the -other at Northallerton, both within comparative- ly easy distance, but they were not allowed to come. There is absolutely no excuse to be made for the authorities. Or rather, nothing but the flim- siest- of excuses can possibly be made on their behalf. The Home Office was informed in good time of all the circumstances, and requested to allow the three brothers to attend the funeral. They replied asking what prisons the brothers were in, and, as far as two of them were eon- ••■■erned, that ended the matter. Remember! this has all taken place since the armistice was signed, in the land of liberty." Two questions naturally arise out of the above simple statement of facts. I have deliberately ;ivoided^dwelling upon the anxiety of the parents and relatives and friends, and the intensifica- tion of their anguish by means of this special sample of official brutality. The first question élS: What can possibly lie at the back of this con- duct on the part of the "powers that be," but a fixed determination to attempt to fasten per- manent Conscription upon the manhood of this nation? And my second question is: How long jre we going to suffer a system that mnrders the living for holding a good conscience, and then manifests a brutal and callous disrespect for the dead ? The answer to the lq¥ question must come from the public in general and from organised Labour in particular. nunc appears to be noth- ing else our present rulers fear. The fear of God is manifestly not before their eyes, or they would never dare no desire to do as they are doing. May I appeal to all your readers to use all their influence to bring such a brutal, murderous, debasing system to an end. Thanking you in ,.llti ei p,tion. -you I-s. etc.. T. E. EXTWISTLE (Evangelist). I 1 Lincoln Terrace, Merthyr. January, ]919.
BOLSHEVISM! TO THB BDITOR. Sir,—I am sorry to hear leaders of the Labour Movement still talking of Bolshevism" as if at were cancer or a plague. "Bolshevism" means merely the Majority," and who is to govern a country but the majority ? I was vxtremelv delighted to see a resolution passed at the Rink meeting, threatening industrial action by the workers unless our Government ceased interfering with the peoples of Russia and Ger- many. We are almost late--this industrial ac- tion should be taken immediately. Remember that there are above twenty gold mines in Russia., together with many other con- cerns engaged in the extraction of iron, copper, ore, platinum, silver, lead, zinc, etc. Our Eng- lish capitalists have heavy shares in all theso concerns. To protect this capital is the object -of our armies in Russia. They will not even risk their capital when thousands of the people liave risked and lost everything.—\ours, etc. D. D. WALTERS (Congregational Minister). Newcastle-Emlyn, Cam.
THE CAMPAICN ACAINST THE RUSSIANI…
THE CAMPAICN ACAINST THE RUSSIAN I WORKERS. TO THE EDITOR. I • Sir,—Mr. Vernon Hartshorn, M.P., in a very timely article, which appeared in the "South Wales Daily News of Saturday, December 28, -called the attention of the public to a restJution of protest that was passed at a conferencew the S.W.M.F. against military interference in Rus- sia. Mr. Hartshorn says that a growing sus- picion is spreading amongst the masses as to the •object of the interference, and suggests that "the workers must know the facts, and not merely through old-fashioned diplomats and the capital- ist press." This is necessary not because the information that reaches the workers is confined to the capitalists' diplomats, but the contradic- tory reports is a sufficient evidence that someone is responsible for misrepresentation of facts. This was clearly demonstrated by the London "Daily News," in its criticism of Milner's series of half-truths" as the writer rightly describes tliem. All the evidence shows that it is high time for the working class to make a move and demand facilities to send its own representatives to Rus- sia to ascertain what is really happening. It is obvious that Milner and his colleagues are" sur- prisingly ignorant of the real. state of affairs" ro guilty of something worse. The Labour Movement should be definite as ;to the object that we are fighting for before any -more of our young manhood should be sacrificed. If the Labour leaders fail in their duty in this respect, there are clear signs that the rank and tile will take matters in their own hands. It is encouraging to see the report in the columns ot the Pioneer that the Merthyr workers, as well as other districts are wakening up. HARD PRESSED FOR EXCUSE. It appears that the authorities are hard pressed for an excuse. The war having come to an end the allegation that we are in Russia to fight the Germans will not do. The reports t-eli us that to-day both German and British soldiers combine to fight the Red Guards. This made it necessary for the capitalist press to resort to the old tactics, and repeat the old excuse that we are in Russia to preserve order. The meaning of the excuse is well-known to the industrial workers, as it has been used on every occasion the capitalists had to use force to suppress the workers. It is amusing to see how The humanitarian qualities develop in the capitalists along with their interests. This is seen in their attitude toward Russia since the Russian workers have taken over the reins of government. The inno- cent Armenians were slaughtered unceasingly for many years by the cruel Turks while the British capitalists went on in their usual way investing money and doing business with the Turks, and their conscience was never troubled. The same thing was true regarding the Tsar and his gang. But once the Russian workers as- sume power, and are forced to defend them- selves against their oppressors, the humane Bri- tish capitalists are so shocked at the crimes and atrocities of the Bolsheviks, that after four years of shedding blood their consciences compel them to carry on war with Russia. MASSACRE OF 500,QOO NOMADS. Of course their tender hearts would not let them worry us by telling us of the massacre of .")00,000 innocent Nomads by the Tsar in 1916. They kept it a secret to themselves and grieved over it in silence. And it was not through any fault of theirs that more than a year's time after it happened we were told of it. This information was given to us hy Mr. Phillips Price in the se- cond of a series of articles in the "Manchester Guanlian," appearin g on November 28th, 1917, and in which we are informed that 000,000 of these unfortuna.te people were slaughtered by the Tsar's agents, and that while Western Europe has heard about Armenian massacres, the massacre of Central Asian Moslems by the Tsar's agents has been studiously hidden." These facts and others should be of sufficient im- portance to rouse the trade uftion iiiovemont, not merely to ask for more information," but to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities until it knows why and for what the workers aro forced to lay down their lives. ARWEL."
IRISH SOLIDARITY. TO THE EDITOR. —-The Indian people see clearly now that the only way to free themselves from a tyran- nical rule is by organisation. India is the per- manent home of famine, yet her lands are rich with food-stuffs of all kinds. This is capitalist civdixatilon which Britons proudly guard with bayonets. The Irish always go solid against the oppressors of that loved Isle where men and women are literally snatched from their homes and carried away in captivity to English and Irish prisons, without even a charge being brought against them. This is the justice Ire- land gets after so many of her sons have fought and died for the rights of small nations. What I wish to bring before the local Irish is the fact tliat we are politically unorganised. In the re- cent election we sa.w the sad sight of one claim- ing to he Irish trying to pull us away from the path of duty by telling the electors what a beautiful thing is the Coalition's love for Ire- land." But the Irish with the lessons of their country's history before them remained faithful to Labour and Ireland. Had we a strong or- ganisation, how helpful it would be in the pre- sent struggle for Irish liberty. As Thomas Davies has pointed out: "A blow struck against oppression in one place is a. blow struck on be- half of the oppressed everywhere." It is ob- viously our duty to ourselves and to the sacred cause of Liberty to unite in the interest of that glorious ideal. Let us go forward to meet the dawn of the day that is coming, when not Ire- land alone, but the whole world, will be free.— Yours, etc., "ERIN." I
I THE SIX-HOUR DAY. I
I THE SIX-HOUR DAY. I I TO THE EDITOR. I Sir.—The six-hour day question for miners is one that has to be faced in all its pros and cons by those who are expected to bring it into working order. It must be clearly understood that the six hours a day will not remove the ban of unemployment and make room for tie re- turning soldiers, unless the miners get rid of some of the old customs now prevailing at the mines. It will be necessary to have a double shift, Or a shortening of the width of the work- ing-places in the coal faces, to find places for the returning soldiers. To me there is n2t much to be given away in any of the two customs mentioned. The shortening of the working face would, I consider, benefit the workmen, it would not be so laborious to carry the coal to the tram the roads would be closer to each other, the "goaf" would be packed better, and. a. greater amount of safety secured, the miner woutd have a greater amount of deadwork owing to the roadway travelling quicker. The reduc- tion of t-lie tion of the stalls, say, from 24 yards to 15 yards, would very soon make room to absorb the re- turning soldiers and give them places to work Ill. I notice that in some collieries the work- men have decided to withdraw the men who came into the mines since the war to make room for returning soldiers. This, in my opinion, is not a proper course to take. No doubt the Gov- ernment will encourage this kind of business be- cause to keep tho soldier unemployed will mean an expense upon the Government, but to keep the miners unemployed would cost the Govern- ment nothing, therefore, it is. the duty of the miners to do everything within reason to find places for the returning soldiers without doing any other workmen out of work. It must be con- sidered that quite a large number of the soldiers when they left the mines for the Army were mere boys who, after two, three and four years in the Army, have become men, and who will expect to get places accordingly. Then there is the question of piece work. We may as well face the issue straight. Unless an uniform rate of wages is first of all secured, it will mean a reduction in wages to the piece-workers, be- cause the present piece rate is cut so fine, that every hour counts in the economic contest, and it will be impossible for the pieceworker to earn as much in six hours as in eight hours. But even if a reduction in wages results, what is not in the pocket is on the back. The average life of a miner is 50 years, and the average life of a farmer is 70 years—why the difference P— Yoiil-s, C-te., I WM. WILLIAMS, Coed Ely Treasurer. I
I THE RINK MEETINGS._I
I THE RINK MEETINGS. I TO THE EDITOR. Sl"Beiiig that I am a regular reader of your valuable paper, and a member of the Dowlais branch of the I.L.P., T hope* you will excuse my using a little of your space. As you know, the I.L.P. meetings on Sundays are billed to start at 2.45 p.m., but as a rule a start is not- made until 3.10 or 3.15. To the follower of the Rink meetings that lives very far away, this is a great injustice. At least quite one-half of the Rink audiences are regular attendants of chapels and churches. If a, man from Aborean-I aid, Cefn, or Dowlais attends a Rink meeting which commences late, and afterwards wants to go to church or chapel, he his hardly any time for his Sunday tea. Among the Rink audiences are people from Pant, Caeracca, and Dowlais Top, all of which are very far from Merthyr. Many people who are. ardent believers in the l. L. P. keep away from our meetings for this rea- son. If some of the leading members of the Merthyr l.L.P. lived at Pant they would soon grumble, if they reached home at 5.15 or 5.30. gulped down a cup of tea (very likely too late for the family tea) and then rushed away for chapel. Is it not possible to bill the meetings for 2.30 p.m.? It would do away with one big objection to the Sunday meetings. Another thing I should like to say is this. The last election has taught us that the outskirts of the Borough need more meetings. If a prominent speaker comes to the Rink on Sundays, couldn't it be arranged for him to speak in other parts of the Borough for two nights of the same week, say Monday 'and Tuesday. It would greatly strengthen our position for the next election. Do not lot us be idle, but work together with a I will.—Yours, etc. ENTHUSIAST.
THE CRAFTSMEN AND THE M.F.C.B.…
THE CRAFTSMEN AND THE M.F.C.B. I TO THE EDITOR. I Sir-I should esteem it a favour if you will be good enough to give publicity to the follow- ing, in order to expose a despicable falsehood which is being systematically circulated by re- presentatives of the Miner*' Federation regard- ing the Agreement which was published in your issue of January 4th, 1919, relating to the new agreements for the shorter hours which became operative on January 1st, 1919. The falsehood complained of is, that the Craftsmen's Asso- ciation in their Agreement referred to above, in- troduced what is termed iii overlapping shift for Craftsmen employed at the collieries. Obviously, the implication is that the Mirers' agreement on the same question precludes any possibility of an overlapping shift. The Miners Federation cunningly refrained from publishing the terms of their agreement, for had they done so. everyone interested would have been able to nail the lie directly it was manufactured. The following is Clause 3, contained in the M iners' Agreement signed on December 20th. 19Œ The arrangements for the division of hours for each day shall be those of the workmen handling coal under Clause 21 of the Concilia- tion Board Agreement, but the hours shall be varied in the case of workmen who may be required to work earlier or later than the men handling coal, etc." When the Enginemen's Wages Committee met In Cardiff on December 27th, 1918, the Owners' representatives submitted their pro- posals to the Craftsmen's Executive, who imme- diately retired in order to discuss same. We had already received information that- certain colliery managers intended to divide the Craftsmen into shifts, one shift to start at (5 a.m., another at 1*0 a.m., and another at 2 or 3 p.m. The Craftsmen's Executive unanimously rejected the clause as submitted in the owners' proposals and succeeded after some considerable discussion to have the following amendment in- serted:—"but the finishing time shall not be later than five o'clock." Therefore Clause 5 in the Craftsmen's Agree- ment reads as follows (the agreement was signed on December 27tli, 1918):— Clause .).-The arrangements for the divi- sion of hours for each day shall be thosie of the workmen handling coal under Clause 21 of the Conciliation Board Agreement, but the hours shall be varied in the case of workmen who may be required to work either earlier or later than the men handling coal. The details regarding the commencement and termination of such shifts to be settled between each Col- liery Company and their workmen with their Agent, but the finishing time shall not be later than five o'clock. I desire to draw particular attention to the dates upon which both agreements were signed, and the words which I have emphasised in order to enable my readers at a glance to see who pro- hift and w h o it NN-:is vided for the overlapping shift and who it was that endeavoured to rectify the blunder. I can therefore claim with full justice that the amendment which the Craftsmen's Executive succeeded in obtaining made it impossible for any employer, as far as we were concerned, to introduce a system which woi^ld prove infinitely worse than any we have yet experienced. Again, the following clause in the Craftsmen's agreenirtit is not found in the Miners' Fed era tion agreemont:— Clause 6.— Where three continuous shifts are worked in 24 hours, the length of the shift will be S hours, and not S hours and 30 minutes. Whatever are the imperfections in the Crafts- men's agreement, to quote a certain llliners agent: It is a better agreement than the one the Miners' Federation made." The last week's issue of the Pioneer con- tained a very able criticism, and at the same time a sad confession by someone who described himself as "A Vi(-t-iiii," wherein he states that he experienced a rude shock" when he saw the agreement signed by the representatives of the Miners' Federation, and now informs us that The whole of the South Wales Coalfield is seething with discontent since the full meaning of this iniquitous clause has been revealed." This goes to prove what I have often stated in the columns of the "Pioneer," that you cannot reasonably expect ex-colliers to represent crafts- men or vice-versa. Had the whole of the Crafts- men in the coalfield been members of the Craft Union a 48-hour week would have been estab- lished and this difficulty would not have arisen. The Craft Union will be meeting the Mining Association of Great Britain at the end of this month, wlwn another effort will be made to bring about a 48 hour week. 1n conclusion, let me appeal to the Craftsmen in the Federation, teeing that the Miners' Federation cannot safe- guard your interests, give those who can an op- portunity.—f am. Yours fraternally. D. B..TONES, Agent. Sunny Bank, Thomastown, Merthyr Tydfil.
Merthyr Trades-People FINED FOR ALLECED OVERCHARGES. STIPENDIARY'S CAUSTIC COMMENT. Several cases of overcharges in the sale of con- trolled commodities came before the Merthyr Stipendiary (Mr. R. A. GrifhtTi) on Tuesday. William Toomey, fishmonger, of High-street, Merthyr, was summoned for selling smoked had- dock at a price exceeding the maximum allowed under the Fish Prices Order for exposing it for sale and for not exhibiting a copy of the official price-list. Evidence called for the prosecution was that Mr. John Berry, a divisional inspector in South Wales for the Ministry of Food, was charged Is. 1-Jd. for 12} oz. of haddock, and when he asked at what per lb. it was sold he was in- formed by defendant Is. 9d. Thereupon Toomey was reminded that the schedule price for the fish was Is. 7d. per lb., and his reply was: "I have been very busy over the holidays and I can't tell you the controlled price." Defendant offered to re-weigh the haddock, and when the parcel of fish was handed to him he took out the haddock and throwing it down on the slab said: "You won't get that again." Toomey, in the witness-box, stated that the haddock weighed "a. shade under 14 oz. and when he offered to re-weigh it he invited the in- spector inside,,the counter to see what the scale registered, but this the inspector declined to do. The charge of Is. 4 £ d. for the 14 oz. of fish was the correct controlled price, as it worked out at Is. 7d. per lb. Imposing a fine of £ 15 (or two months' impri- sonment) in respect to the summons for over- charging, and a penalty of £2 (or 21 days) for failing to exhibit a price-list, the Stipendiary said: Defendant is making a had record for him- selt. A. man who goes on profiteering after being -fiiied -LIO for overcharging on the sale of a rabbit, and who treats a customer in the out- rageous manner that Toomev treated the inspec- tor is not really fit to be in any trade at all, and ought to be a ditcher or a liedger, if that is not too good for him." Turning to defendant, he acid pel: I advise you not to come here again-" The other summons was withdrawn. A CHRISTMAS COOSE. J lie sal e of a Christmas goose resulted in Alary Ann Preece, a poulterer, carrying on busi- ness in the Merthyr market, being summoned for selling the bird above the price stipulated in ;ro' the Poultry and Game Prices Order, and her grandson and assistant, Thomas Edwin Rees. being summoned as an aider and abettor. Tt was stated that a customer wa.s informed by Rees that in addition to the controlled price of Is. 8d. per lb. for a 81 lb. goose he purchased he must pay 2s. to cover the expense of bring- ing it to the market." When seen later by Police-Inspector Lamb, Rees stated that he had paid Is. sd. per Ih. wholesale for geese, and on being told that notwithstanding that, he could not impose the extra charge of 2s.. added, "Then I have no more poultry for sale. The defence put forward was that the 2s. was a gratuity given by the customer to Rees, and that Mrs. Preeee knew nothing of the transac- tion. RRes, in evidence, said that after selling the goose- at the regulation rate he said to the cus- tomer: How is it looking for a Christmas- box? and the florin was then handed him. The Stipendiary remarked that he was satis- fied that an overcharge had been made, and im- posed a fine of £ 10 (or 31 days) on Mrs. Preece and a penalty of £ 2 (or 21 davs) on the other defendant. OVERCHARCES ON FISH. Edward Ft-ands Evans, fishmonger. High- street, Merthyr, who pleaded guilty to making overcharges of one penny on the sale of kippers and two-pence on haddock, was fined L2. The defence was that Evans received a consignment of fish from Scotland upon which he had to pay carriage, and he put a small additional charge in retailing to cover the# ost.
IHANDS OFF RUSSIA.
I HANDS OFF RUSSIA. TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—In your report of Mr. R. C. Wallhead's stirring speech in the Rink on Sunday the 5th inst., there appears to be several erroneous in- terpretations of fact as regard the Russian re- solution. < When the March revolution occurred the great mass of the people desired peace, bread and liberty. The Soviets of Workers and Sol- diers' deputies, which were formed to safeguard the revolution articulated that desire all through the political changes which took place between the March and November revolution. It was far otherwise with the bourgeois Provisional Government, created by capitalists and land- lords after the overthrow of the Czar. While it made promises to the people to carry out their will some day, it strove to gain enough power to enable it to overthrow the Soviets and continue the war. The renegade Kcrensky was used by the Government as a tool in this coun- ter-revolutionary plot,. Mr. Wallhead said:— Kerensky and Miliukoff could not bring peace. Kerensky was bullied and kicked by the Entente into a hopeless offensive." Miliukofl was not likely to bring peace because he did not want to. He was driven from the office of For- eign Secretary because when transmitting the peace mandate of the Soviets to the belligerent countries he covered it with a. note setting forth the imperialist war aims of his party, the Cadets, the budding capitalist party in Russia. After the break-up of the Provisional Govern- ment a. Coalition Ministry was formed, in which renegade Socialist leaders from the camp of the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries helped to whitewash their capitalist colleagues and be- fog the people as to the real intentions of the Government. Under cover of this protection the Government with the aid of Kerensky pre- pared to renew the war and overthrow the Soviets. Had it not been for the Bolshevik's vigorous opposition to this plan of campaign the government would doubtless have succeeded in both attempts. As it was the offensive was re- newed on July 1st, culminating three weeks' later in a crushing ilefeat. The masses rose in protest, but their rising was unsuccessful partly because of the lies regarding the Bolsheviks which were spread among the troops, and partly because it was badly organised. A reactionary period ensued, during which Bolshevik papers were suppressed and Bolshevik leaders and fol- lowers were hunted down like wild beasts. TJ1- timately the Government went too far, and the Bolsheviks obtained such an ascendency in the Soviets that they carried through the Novem- ber revolution practically without bloodshed. A Soviet administration was set up which excluded the representation of the bourgeoisie, who im- mediately attempted to overthrow the Socialist Government by counter revolutionary measures. Kerensky was the head of one of these attempts and was utterly defeated by the Red Guards. I have written at some length because I think it important that any white-washing of such a notorious traitor to the Russian working-class or Kerensky ought not to go unchallenged. It is clear that he acted all the time in the inter- ests of the Russian Capitalist class, and required no bullying or kicking from the Entente Powers to force him to do his dirty work. Another misconception is Mr. Wallhead's as- sertion that Lenin and Trotsky were prepared to go on fighting if the Allies would render them aid. On the c-oiitrary, their aim was a general peace, which they proposed to all the belligerent powers on the basis of no annexations and no indemnities. They hoped if the Govern- ments concerned rejected an honourable peace the workers, convinced of its possibility, would rise and overthrow them. This did not happen, so in the end they were forced to accept the in- famous German treaty practically at the point of the sword. True, some of the Bolsheviks felt they ought to die fighting rather than accept such a treaty, but. the wiser counsel of Lenin prevailed. According to Mr. A. Ransome: "He hold that for the future of the World Revolution the best that could be done would be the preserva- tion, even in seriously limited territory, of the Soviet Government, as a nucleus of revolution, as an illustration of the possibility of revolution, until that moment when the workers of Russia should be joined by the workers of the world." Lenin's wisdom is being justified by events. In several countries on the continent Bolshevism or Socialism, is spreading. In Germany the struggle has reached a critical stage. When are we English Socialists going to fol- low suit. The only practical way to stop the Entente s criminal intervention In Russia is by starting a revolution here.—Yours, etc., FRED SYLVESTER. [Editorial Note..—Mr. Wallhead's statement re- specting the offer of Lenin and Trotsky was a quotation from an American paper which definitely set down that the offer was made to the American Red Cross Representative in Russia, who cabled it to Washington, .where it was kept from the Executive by Lansing. 'This statement has been widely quoted in America, and Upton Sinclair refers to it in his December magazine as a well-established f,i et.. -Fxl. I
: ANOTHER COMPLAINT.I
ANOTHER COMPLAINT. TO THE EDITOR. De,ir S'r,-In your issue of last week there appeared an article criticising the new agree- ment entered* into between the South Wales iMners' Federation and the Coalowners with re- gard to the working hours of craftsmen and surface workers. T am very pleased to know. that the men employed in the above classes and who are members of the Miners' Federation are be?innit)? to reahze that after all the ?rca? pro-! mises that the miners' leaders made with regard to the ei?ht-hour question, they have landed themselves in a great hole. But what can A Victim and others expect from an agreement drawn up by men who have no conception of a draftsman's work Take, for instance, Clause 3 of the Miners' Federation agreement which your correspondent quoted last week, viz: The ar- rangement for the division of hours for each day shall be those of the workmen handling coal under Cluase 21 of the Conciliation Board Agree- ment, but the hours shall be varied in the case of workmen who may be required to work either earlier or later than the men handling coal." The Enginemen, Stokers' and Craftsmen's Association could see the danger in the latter part of that clause of putting in force the over- Japping shift, so to safeguard our men we made the following addition to the clause: But the finishing time shall be no later than 5 o'clock." Well, Mr. Editor, to emphasise the value of that addition to the clause we have a case in point of two craftsmen—one a. member of our society, the other a member of the Miners' Federation. The management of the particular colliery where these men worked put the man belonging to the Miners' Federation to work from 6 a.m. until 2.30 p.m., and the member of the Enginemen's Society from 11 a.m. until 7.30 p.m., when the attention of the manage- ment was drawn to the matter by the Executive Council member for that district, who pointed out that the management were breaking the agreement of the Enginemen's Society by mak- ing the man work after ? o'clock, it was pl'ompt-I ly rectified by putting the member of the Mine?' Federation on the overlapping shaft. XaturaHy the man objected to this change, and asked for an explanation. The colliery manager pointed out to him that under the agreement of the En- ginemen, Stokers' and Craftsmen, a member of that organisation could demand the termination of his shife at 5 o'clock and that under the Miners' agreement he could put him to begin his shift of 8.} hours at any time suitable to the colliery company. I should like also. Mr. Editor, to draw atten- tion to another clause in the Enginemen's agree- ment, which is not in the Miners' agreement, viz.: "Where three continuous shifts are worked in 24 hours the length of the shift will be eight hours, and not eight hours and 10 minutes." This clause directly affects lampmen, the em- ployers are trying to enforce the Miners' agree- ment of 8J hours on these men, and what is more the Miners cannot ask for eight hours un- til Clause 21 of the Conciliation Board Agree- ment be altered. Our organisation has the power under Clause 0 in our agreement- to icle- 1111 and eight hours wherever three- continuous shifts are worked. Before drawing my letter to a close I want to appeal to Enginemen, Stokers and Craftsmen not to be led away by fa lse pro- mises made by certain leaders of the Miners' Federation, that they only need to join the Ftxleration to have their grievances rectified. This last agreement drawn up by them proves that they are completely lost when they try to settle the hours of labour and wages in connec- tion with the Mechanical department. Remem- ber we are an organisation affiliated to the National Council of Mine-Workers other than Miners, with a membership of 80.000 members, and are recognised on the same footing as the Miners' Federation of Great Britain by the Mining Association of Great Britain, which has been a. great step forward in thtf status of the Society.—I am, yours fraternally. M. MORGAN, Merthyr District- Executive Member, E.S. 1% C. Association. 3 .Tones-street. Penywern, Dowlais.
Electric Theatre .
Electric Theatre Old Bill is at the Merthyr EWtric Theatre for the whole ( next week in a film adaptation of the Bairnsfather-Elliot play, The Better Old Bill is too old a friend and too well-know 11 for his amusing idiosyncrasies to need description, and in the capable person of Charles Rock I I Bill I I on the pictures is Bill to the. life. There is no dull moment in the run of the six reels. The same week will see the debut of the new serial, The Romance of Olive," in which Mabelle Trunelle and Edward Earle plav the leads. The latter end of the week a British produc- tion. 'The Refugee," tops the bill with such prominent players as Alma. Taylor, Chi-isaie White and Henry Edwards in an exceptionally fine cast. The programmes for the week fol- lowing will contain some of the biggest at the recent releases in the picture world, including Count Bernstaff's Secrets and Lest we Forget.
Mr HELP THOSE WHO HELP "JM YOUR PAPER.