Eight Hours for Dowlais Steel =Workers PAGE 4.
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Political Notes By F. W. Jowett. COOKED NEWS. The press messages, dispatched daily from Paris to this country are most of them framed to fit j¡1. with official views concerning the aims of the Peace Conference and its proceedings. For instance, the principle of a mandatory system, which President Wilson is said to have agreed to for the former German colonies, lias been the subject of an explanatory message sent through the Press Association this week. The object of the message in question appears to be to lead the British public to believe that there is little or no difference, in effect, between annexation of a German Colony by Great Britain and taking charge of one under a mandate by the proposed League of Nations. IS IT CAMOUFLAGE? If this explanation of the position has no other object than that of reconciling annexation- ists and imperialists to the system oÎ8,aclmini¡;- tering terirtories, inhabited by AfricanR-natives, under the direction of a League of Nat ions, it may be allowed to pass. On the other hand, if, as an explanation of what is called the manda- tory system, it is seriously meant, then the man- datory system is just annexation under a new name, with the League of Nations introduced merely as camouflage. AN UNCTUOUS ASSUMPTION. The final paragraph of the Press message above referred to sums up the whole purpose of the communication in the following words: Tlius in practice the mandatory system means the application of the existing British colonial system to all territories coming within the charge of the League of Nations the duty of the League being merely to see that the system is actually applied in general pro- gramme and methods." But 4he existing British system." if it is permissible to speak of the different methods by which British Colonies in Africa are governed and administered, is not so impartial and disinterested as it is unctuously assumed to be in the passage I have quoted. BRITISH SYSTEM AT WORK. It so happens, for example, that the natives of the Gold Coast Colony and Protectorate are almost in revolt against the action of the Bri- tish Government which is trying to compel them to charge £2 per ton export duty on all oil pro- ducts sent elsewhere than to British destina- tions. The effect of such an export duty is ob- viously twofold. It reduces the price which the native producer can obtain for his product, be- cause there is only one free market for it, and all commodities derived from tropical products because it prevents the importation of margar- ine, soap and other similar things, or the raw materials with which to make them, except to such powerful British capitalist combinations as Messrs. Lever Bros. + FRAUDINC THE NATIVES. I I If this is the sort of British Colonial Sys- tem which as to become mandatory under the League of Nations in the former German colonies, then it is only reasonable to expect that nations who fail to obtain equivalent ad- vantages for their capitalists will have some- thing to say on the matter. As for the natives, if they are forced to sell their labour cheap to the mandatory nation by the indirect method of heavy duties placed on their products exported to all nations except one, then the League of Nations will be; for them, a fraud. < THE WAY IT WORKS. I There are also other important points involved j in the assumption that the League of Nations is to be used for the eOllce-alment of annexationist plans under the pretence that the British Colonial System meets all the conditions that the League of Nations ought to impose on the Mandatory Power. Presumably Rhodesia is a British colony, although the "British Colonial System operates through a chartered company formed for the purpose of Capitalist profiteering on a grand scale. Recently Mr. J. H. Harris, the secretary of the Aboriginees' Protection Society has published in pamphlet form some particulars relating to the record of the Char- tered Company's treatment of the^ native inhabi- tants of Rhodesia under tho British Colonial System. Amongst other things the natives 1 have been deprived by the Chartered Company of all land ownership rights. "Kraals, ances- traJ grounds, sacred graveyards, in fact every inch of land. including the reserves, was de- clared the personal property of individual aliens." It is true that the Privy Council re- fused to allow the Chartered Company to carry out this gigantic scheme of plunder, but the natives had already been dispossessed, so that the Crown lias acquired possession and not the natives. THE GENTLE HABIT. Mr. Harris, in referring to the rcs-ord of the Chartered Company's rule under the British Colonial Sy" stem, says that the story of the murder in cold blood of the Matabeli Govern- ment during the Victoria incident is told by Mr. Newton in a Blue Book. "At one time." Mr. Harris goes on to say, "the shooting of in- offensive natives had become such a scandal in Mashonaland that the South African Company had to issue an order forbidding it." In proof of this statement Mr. Harris refers the reader to Sir Richard Martin's official report. AWAY WITH THEM. It is quite obvious that neither the British Colonial System nor the Colonial System of any other nation can be relied upon as an effective substitute for the proton-1ion of native rights and the equal treatment of all nations in regard to the Iwodu('b of the fonnnr .German and all other African colonies by the native African otlie.r Afrl(?.iii I)v tlj(? iiit i v(? Afiiean THE HOPE OF PROGRESS. The persistent movement on the part of the workers in the direction of shorter hours of la- bour is the most hopeful event in progress at the present time. It is a distinct counter-move to that of tlie capitalist class which seek;* to ob- tain a larger amount of surplus value- by means of increased output, so as to enable the capital- ist system to stand the financial drain of inter- est on war debt, ami hold its war profits intact, H the worker* insist on one reduction after an- other in hours of labour until the possibility of unemployment is removed and a living wage is secured for all workers, the capitalist plan of campaign will be completely frustrated, and some way will have to be found of placing the financial burdens of the war Oil the rich who have the means to stand it. In this connection it is well to note the policy which appeal's likely to be adopted by the new German Government for meeting the financial situation. It is pro- J>O"0d there to take the whole increase in every man's 'capital, over £ 10,000, which he has aocu- I mulated since August. 1914. The big landed es- tates iire to be broken, to destroy the power of the Junkers, and all mines and armament works are to be nationalised. This is a beginning, and if the shorter hours' movement is pressed far enough in this country, similar action must necessarily follow here. THE REPEATED TRICK. I I The disturbing feature in connection with the present- movement in favour of shorter hours is that there is no unity of policy. In Belfast the same class of workers are striking for 44 hours as are striking for 40 on the Clyde. This fact, and the decision of the Government to maintain a conscript army is a danger. France has shown once more what use can be made of conscription; for the strike of railwaymen, which ten days ago seemed to he effective and complete was brought to a close hy the men being called up for military service. ONE-SIDED ENQUIRY. I The Peace Conference of Allied and Associated Powers have appointed a commission to enquire and report on the question of the responsibility for the war. So it is announced. But it is quite | obvious that an enquiry conducted from the point of view of the Allies by a commission from which the Central Powers are excluded must be inc-oniplete, and that the report when it is made will be one-sided. It would not be considered right- for one party to a quarrel to select the evidence and decide where the blame should be laid even in a case where the point in dispute 7-elated only to small matters not difficult to de- cide upon. But the facts relating to the respon- sibility for the greatest- war in the whole history of the world cannot be ascertained unless full disclosure is made of all the secret reports and 'documents now lying in the Foreign Offices of France and Groat Britain. Revolutions in Rus- sia, Germany and Austria have made it possible to get access to most of the secret documents of the three countries mentioned. v I WEASEL'S TASK. I THE WEASEL'S TASK. I It is well that the world should know whatth? real aims of German and Austrian diplomats were, as stated by themselves in their own pri- vate records and communications. To complete the picture, however, it would be necessary to obtain disclosures of similar private communica tions regarding the real aims and objects of M. Deleasse and his successors at the French For- eign Office, and of Lords Lansdowne and Grey (two men who along with the late King Edward changed the foreign policy of Great Britain, and bound the nation in an obligation of honour to go to war if Czarist Russia did. Lord Bertie's private communications from Paris are abso- lutely essential to a full enquiry into all th-, facts relating to the war. We may take it for granted, however, that Sir Gordon Hewart— that weasel of the legal profession—has been ap- pointed to the Commission with the deliberate object of making the fullest possible use of all tluji. facts that can bo unearthed from the secret documents of Germany and Austria, and, at the same time, covering up the traces of all the secret records at the British Foreign Office. For these reasons the Commission appointed by the Allies is a fraud. Not until all the secret arch ives of every nation involved in the proceed- ings that led. through ten years of intrigue and of plot a.nd counter-plot, to the war, are emptied and laid unreservedly open before a neutral and joint tribunal, and in full view of the world, will it be possible to allocate responsibility in accord- ance with facts.
DEATH OF A GREAT WELSH SOCIALIST. AN APPRECIATLON FBOM THE HEART. BY T. E. NICHOLAS. My dear friend and comrade William Rees, Llechryd, passed away on January 14th, 1919, at the ripe age of 80. He had been ailing for some time but he occupied his pulpit up to a few weeks of his death. For some time he had to preach from his arm-chair, as he was too weak to stand. He would not give up preaching until he was compelled to do so by his last ill- ness. He was one of the most remarkable men in Wales. He was born at Trelech, Carmarthen- sliire. For some years he worked on a farm, and commenced to preach at the age of twenty. He received his education tt the Carmarthen Presbyterian College and tli1 Western College, Plymouth. In 1864 he was ordained at Llechryd, where he laboured with great success for sixteen years. In 1880 some unpleasantness arose over the temperance question. He advocated the cause of temperance which some of the deacons resented very much., Ho was also very pro- gressive in his theological views, with the result that the trustees locked him and his church out of the chapel. THE OPENINC OF TABERNACLE. The Tabernacle was opened in 1882; and from the pulpit of the Tabernacle he thundered forth his human gospel for nearly forty years. During the whole of that period f think that I am the only minister invited to occupy the pulpit at Tabernacle. When my lirst volume of Labour poems wi re published lie wrote to me about titeni, and from 1909 on we have been in close touch. We corresponded for years before [ knew him personally. He was one of the most humble of men, and a I.eli gezitleniaii. Chil- dren and birds loved him. The first time f visited him I was surprised to see the little birds coming to be fed from his hand. He whistled, aixl they came to him. The birds en- tered the house, and followed him upstairs. They used to enter his bedroom in the morning, and alight on his bed. A few hours before he passed away a robin came to his bedroom through the open window, as if to thank him for his kindness to the little birds throughout the years. THE MAN. I He was a man of great ability and great men- tal power. His originality of thought and flight if imagination, combined with a rare gift of speech made him a great favourite as a preacher. His sermons attracted great congre- ga-tions up to the last. When the Military Service Act passed he wrote to me to say how sorry he was that he was not twenty years of age, so that he could take his place with the C.O.'s in prison as a protest against militarism. To the last he denounced the war-mongers of all lands. He hailed with delight the Russian Re- volution. He wrote several books—" Cloi Dir- west o dy Dduw (two vols.), "TIic Devil's Keys," Tayrnas y Dyn Anfeidrol," being ser- mons preached during the South African War He also translated books from the English and from the Latin into Welsh. At one time he edited The New Ago 1; (Welsh) and was at the time of his d<-ath co-editor of the duoglot periodical The Man." Years ago he wrote a series of scathing articles on "Darkest Wales," and was a frequent contributor to the Welsh and English press. He wrote fine poetry and read- able prose. He was the friend of all progressive move- ments. He advocated the cause of peace, tem- perance, progressive thought, and social revolu- tion. Being a mystic by nature and choice he was attracted to the writings of Emmanuel Swedenborg and William Blake. He had spent a great deal of the last ten years m the study of Blake. He was buried at Blaenannerch, Cardi- ganshire, on January 17tli. To my great regret 1 failed to get there for the funeral. HIS FRIENDSHIP. I He was the most faithful friend I ever met. I have in my possession scores of his letters, and they are remarkable letters. When war was declared in 1914 it was denounced from the com- mencement from the pulpit of Tabernacle, and I also did what I could in the cause of peace. And for some time we were the only two min- isters in the county that denounced the war. Up to the last he supported the C.O.'s and de- nounced the Jingoes. In one of his letters he gave expression to his creed. (The letter follows). In politics he was a Socialist of the Lenin type. He was very disappointed in 1914 that the workers of the world did not declare a strike to prevent war. His disappointment at the attitude of the reli- gious leaders towards war was very keen. The last time I saw him last October he was very weak; I occupied his pulpit but he failed to at- tend he told me then that he wanted to live until peace was del cared. Soon after he passed away rejoicing in the coming social and religious revolutions. May he rest in peace.
The Creed of My Heart. An old minister asked me years ago—" Where were you ordained' ? "In Hell," I said. As he started aghast., I told him that the Lord, from Infinite pity. had permitted the preachers and the churches of Hell to deal violently with me, and lock their doors against me, because I preach the Truth from my heart. He asked: Do you believe that we are devils, and to be damned?" I replied: "Your conduct towards Truth.' 1 lie Infinite and Eternal Humanity is t,lmtl-of the Devils and the damned. a proof that your gospel or creed, is not that of the saved." "What is your creed lie asked. I answered and said that my creed is what I love and preach from my lieii,t-fi-oi-n my New Heart. I shall endeavour now to write a short summary of what I love and of what I believe from Love, the creed of my core, the conjugal union of both, and the conjugal union between my Creed and Conduct, uncreated and endless, being the Creative Love of the Creator in me and my wife, and in both in each other. So I am most grate- fully emboldened to state that:— (1) I Love the Infinite and Eternal Humanity of the One and only Personal God, who dwells hidden in the Soul of every man, supremely and fully revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Soul is the Infinite Love, and body the Infinite Truth, the perfect shape or image of His In- visible Soul. (2) I love the Infinite and Eternal Word of God, which is the living and deathless Sun, in which He dwells and from which streams forth his primal fire and light—creating and manifest- ing Him in all His wondrous works, the hundred million Suns are but a. few small syllables from the inaccessible and unquenchable bv.rnings of the Word. How I love the Word, that warms and shines also in the culm of my hearth, in the lamp on my table, and in the match with which I light it; the Word which shines brighter in the words of the wise of the ag?s than even in all the eostellations of the canopy, and shines pre- eminently in our Bible original composed and adapted to the mental need of all intelligences, a Book in which all the Emotions and Ideas of Eternity thrill. (3) T love the Universe, seen and unseen, be- cause I love the Creator ho has created and still creates all things fr<»iss- the Essences and substances of His own in fathomable and ever- flowing Humanity. I love all the elements of Fire, Air, Water, Earth: their products. and transformations into gr;: »h s, trees, flowers, fruits; I love all living creatures of every genus and species, of every grade and state, especially I love all men in all the innumerable Worlds as the children of one and the same Father; I love all the family—the fond and the furious—those that are far from home, and even those tint have wandered farthest. I love assurance that the doors of the many mansions are wide open to them all, even the filthiest and farthest pro- digal whom the Divine Mercy will all at last come Home. (4) I love also most in ten ««Jy the married Life of the Heavens, because T !ove beyond expres- sion My Angel-Wife in the 'V-ffable embraces of the Infinite Bridegroom and His Bride the Wife of the Lamb. My love ) my wife being the crown, and gem, the Koh-i-noor of the Kingdom of Heaven in me, and the Source and the crystal fountain of all my other Loves and affections, which lead me into the Holy of Holies, enwrapt in the Light of the Shekiuali. brooding on the two Cherubims of Gll". -• rectorial eflVv of the union of my Soul with the Soul ot my Princes in the Elysaniaii Mysteries, where every sin is forever forgiven, the Shrine of Sanctity and Home of Songs, the origin also of the genuine poetic genius proved by the rhythmic settings of the sweetest sounds of the golden bells and the pomegranates of the Chief Priest. (5) I love to know that my love flows every moment from the Heart of our Father—the re- sources can never be exhausted. I am only a receiver of the love that oomes directly from Him, and indirectly through the illimitable gra- dations and mediums of all His faithful children who love me from Him. (6) I love the assurance that I cannot believe anything but what I love, and that my love will take care of my creed as a mother takes care of her sucking cliild. My love receives and absorbs all things that agree with it, reckless of reward or glory on Earth or in Heaven. I love this ex- perience—love growing in tribulations, and the growth of love brings the growth of faith and faithfulness to the standard of life, when the dreadful folly and insanity of base living is seen and shunned as the lake of Hell, as the dun- geon of Tartarus. (7)' Finally, my love demands a boundless croed, with nothing possible beyond its bounds but pity and love, Infinite Oreed, and infinitely dogmatic, defiant and dauntless to plead that the Divine Love, the Divine Mercy, the Divine Pity and Forgiveness are higher than the Hea- vens and deeper than the Hells. In this Love I love the Hells as hospitals which the Infallible Paternal Physician never leases nor neglects. All His skill and sympathy and all the skill and sympathy of the Medici of the Celestial Universe are at the service of the invalids of the Inferno. How I love this faith! and how I pray: "Our Father Who art in Hell, I can never forget Thy Love and Mercy watcliing me when I had made my bed in the deepest hell, delirious, raving, cursing Thee, blaspheming in the plagues and pangs of the Second Death. Thou gayest me the Patent Medicine of Forgiveness, I got well, and went home with Thee. All in the Hells now are Thy Children, and my brothers and sisters. Thou art able to save and heal to the uttermost, with Thy Pardon." ? HEm. Llechryd. ￼ I
INDUSTRIAL UNITY. I The present membership of the Iron, Steel, and Kindred Trades' Association is over 76,000, organised in 592 branches, of which 17 are women's branches. Our readers will remember that the Association was originally formed to absorb the membership of the various unions which joined to form the Iron and Steel Trades' Confederation, and judging from the published figures this end is rapidly being secured. The increase is the more interesting as the Associa- tion is pursuing a strict policy of excluding members who do not pay their dues, and over 10.000 have already been excluded under this rule. The Association is also trying to speed up the process (-)f absorption by amalgamating with the other societies it has already aggreed upon amalgamation with the British Steel Smelters, and negotiations are taking place with the Associated Iron and Steel Workers. If the Association can manage to settle the few out- standing difficulties with other societies, an in- dustrial union for the Iron and Steel industry should be merely a matter of months.
Many branches of printing trade unions, par- ticularly in Scotland, are protesting against the Whitley Industrial Council for the printing trades, which was to be hot up uuder the new Betterment Scheme.
I Craftsmen's Fight for Freedom. AN ACCOUNT OF THE PENTRE STOPPAGE. Sir,-T-he complications which has arisen in the dispute which resulted in a stoppage of the Pentre Collieries, Landore, on the 23rd and 24th ult., as the result of the action of the Miners' Federation is likely to develop into a prolonged and bitter struggle between tnembers of the Miners and the Enginemen's, etc., Association. The original dispute arose out of the action of the Col tier y Company officials in dismissing a member of the Enginemen's Association, which in our opinion violated an important principle universally adhered to in the mining industry. The said principle is embodied in a custom, that where it is found necessary to reduce the staff in any department, the last man in should be the first man out. THE COMPANY ACTION. I The Company in this instance departed fretn the above custom and instead of dismissing the junior employee a senior ha-nd was chosen. I endeavoured to get the employer to suspend glp notice for a few days in ordf i- that further nego- tiations may take place v. itli, 1 view to arriviug at a settlement, and sever-1! suggestions were put forward both immediato 'y before and after the termination of the not if The attitude of the- employer on this as we*" as on other occa- sions brought about a climax in the whole situa- tion on January 22nd, by the men immediately wising work. In order that my reader- may appreciate our posi1.,ion more fully I should like to state that when 1 negotiated with this ime company for a reduction of hours and inc reased wages for the Enginemen, Stokers and 0-<vwmen comparable with similar classes of met: at the neighbouring collieries I was compelled t.) place the matter in the hands of the Chief Industrial Commissioner, who appointed an arbitrator "hoe award was in our favour. Again, in the matter of the pay- ment of the war-wage, I was compelled to place this before the Coal Controller, who agreed with my contention and mstrucled the company at the beginning of last Dec-ember that the men were entitled to the claims made on their behalf. Up to the time of writing this claim has not been paid. Can anyone wonder that. the patience of the men became exhausted ? ON ADVICE. On the receipt of a -ir frrwn the Goal i 1 yf y i oliii/si i *ll t. the men were advised to resume work, which they did on January 25th. The strike had then lasted two days, and in spite of the fact that the Enginemen's Association was fighting for the retention of an important principle, the Miners' Federation allowed three of their mem- bers to continue at their work together with the officials of the company. On Tuesday, January 28th, Mr. W. L. Oook, acting for the Controller of Mines, held an in- quiry regarding the dispute at the Hotel Metro- pole, Swansea, when the evidence on behalf of the workmen and the employer was taken. It was mutually agreed between the Control- ler's representative and the Enginemen's repre- sentatives that a deputation from the Miner's Federation, who were present ,should be allowed to remain on the grounds that the decision of the Controller's representative may affect a memb er of the Miner's Federation. They were allowed to li--o-I(T a watching brief, but not to speak. A MINER'S DECISION. The inqury then stood adjourned till the fol- lowing day in order to give an opportunity to the Miners to place themselves in line with the Enginemen, who had complied'with the stipula- tion laid down by the Controller, viz.: No in- quiry before resumption of work." When the inquiry opened on Wednesday the Miners' Agent was asked by the Controller's representative whether the Miners had agreed to return to work. The answer was in the negative. The Miners' Agent further added, that the miners had passed a resolution that no resumption of work would take place until all the members of the Enginemen's Association at the Pentre Col- liery had been compelled to join the Miner's Lodge. The Controller's representative then informed the Miner's Agent that in accordance with the rules of procedure governing the inquiry it was impossible for him to hear any evidence from their side and asked them to withdraw. The above is a brief history of the whole case and it is now apparent that the fight is not between the workmen and the employer, but between the members of two unions, for both the employers and the workmen agree to aocept the decision of the Controller's representatives. These men have been members of the Enginemen, Stokers' and Craftsmen's Association ever since they have been employed at this colliery, and some of them have been members for a period of 22 years, and come what may they are determined to fight to retain their liberty of opinion. The liberty to choose what union they themselves de- sire. It is a fight against Prussianism of an unexpected kind in an equally unexpected sphere. The tragedy of the whole things is) that after four and a half years of war, the most terrible in the history of mankind, we have still to fight for Right as against Might.— I am, etc.. D. B. JONES, Agent, Enginemen, Stokers' and Craftsmen's Association. Sunny Bank, Thomastown,. Merthvr, Feb. 2nd, 1919.
The Association of Engineering r and Shipbuild- ing Draughtsmen have now 25 branches and 73 sub-branoh?s. ranging in sixo from 1.500 to 100 f, ill ￼ i z(? fl-,om ￼ O o to 100 members. The annual report of the Association states that. although its efforts during the past year have resulted in the securing of about a quarter of a million pounds' increase in sa lary to the profession, yet the Association is not only, nor even principally, out for immediate increases in wages, but for the placing of its members in the position which they should pro- perly occupy in any industrial movement direct- ed to the benefit of all workews.