LABOUR NOTES. PAGE 3.
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YOU AND DR. DUNSTAN. The Importance of Winning Rusholme II I And Your Share in the Result. I Had it not been for the sudden overclouding of -everything else this week by the serious issue raised by the railway strike, the centre of inter- est in this country would have been Rusholme, \Jwre the bYe-f>lp!,tioll i.¡sme has nlÏsed the ques- tion of the political faith of the people as in no other bye-election issue since last December. Jn the first place the Coalition has not definitely adopted a candidate, and all the old Party divi- sions are preserved. Dr. R. Dunstan, the I.L.P. eandidatehas the backing of the whole Labour force, and a strong pull of progressive professional workers Capt. J. H. Thorpe will defend the Conservative-Unionist position Capt. R. B. Crewdson represents the National Party, and Mr. W. M. R. Pringle will fight on the lW" Wee Free Liberal programme. The lines of division arc strong enough to make the light a clean-cut one and the railway j strike will but intensify the fight. Because of the unexpected and serious crisis that has arisen. indeed, the light takes on a new and terrible significance. The electors oi Rusholme will be closely watched as the reflex on the Parliamen- tary side of the Parliament's campaign against the worker*, and it at once elevates the fight from the hum-drum level of everv-day politics into an event historic and full of-importance. WE HAVE COT TO WIN RUSHOLME FOR DR. DUNSTAN. The health of the community depends upon an early end being put to the corrupt, irrespon- sible, and unresponsible Government that a hysterical moment of patriotic madness has sad- dled tl;e nation with to the perpetual hurt of the commonwealth. To t-ftm n Dr. Duustan is to pronounce the death sentence of Coalition Government, and to pave the way tor the coming of a glorious Demo- cracy. TCvery Socialist w ill realise the urgency of such a consummation. Every S<x-ialist should and will sacriifce to bring to fruition an end to be so devoutly desired. And every Capitalist. every reactionary politi- cian. every crawling, tra itorous, self-seeking worshipper of Mammon sees that end and its meaning in this elt-ctioii and will rally to the defeat of Labour's champion—Dr.. Dunstan. intellectually they will he outclassed, moi-ally they will be the very contrast. But intellect- and moral worth which on a fair field would strive and win by superiority, will not have a fair field. Money, the corruptor, will he poured from the bloated pouches of the haves in defence of their possessions the whole power that money con- trols so facilelv will 1>e employed unscrupulously and relentlessly by the enemies of Democracy and Democracy's c!)a)n])ion—Dr. Dunstan. If Dr. Dunstan and YOrR principles are to have a fair chan<o; what are you prepared to GIVE to provide that chance? That is a personal question to you, not to an abstract somebody like Henry Dubb but to the concrete you who are reading these lines. Level the chances by a generous sacrifice of money for the Rusholme Fight Fund. In the past ] have found you generous on he- half nf the Pioneer." Happily the days of the Pioneer's" need are over; but the cause that tlve Pioneer stands for is the cause for which Dr. Dunstan fights. Will you extend the same generous support that was so freely forthcoming from you in the days that are passed? I am sure you will. Maybe the mite that yon can spare seems not worth while sending along. That is false modesty, and to recall to your at- tention the blessing of the widow's mite in the Testament story is neither irrelevent nor with- out reason. The cause of 'the widow, the.social justice of the Sermon on tll(' Mount, may turn upon the smallest of sums. Do not let disaster be the result of a mock modesty of yours. Best of all if the sum you can individually subscribe seems small, why hot put some effort into enlarging it by collecting subscriptions from friends interested in Democracy's triumph ? Will you help win Rusholme and the nation for the British people? Say Yes!" Get busy, and forward the result of your efforts to Mr. Benson, at 8 York- sti-eet. triat-king your contribution Rusholme Division Subscription."
Unemployment at Merthyr. I With the complications resulting from the railway strike the unemployed in Merthyr and Dowlais reached this week something over 17,000. In Dowlais where 4,000 steelworkers were thrown out of employment- fifteen weeks ago by the strike of 300 steel tradesmen there is acute economic stress and families are com- pelled to sell household furniture in order to exist. A case is reported of one fnmily offering a lw(li-ot)iii suitt. for sale for £ 0, and appeals to the poor law authorities arc on the increase. The damping down of the Dowlais furnaces came about on Monday and the remaining 2,000 work- men who had been able to carry on during the ^killed trades strike were rendered idle. With the declaration of the railwaymen's strike the colliers trains running from Merthyr to the Gethin and Castle Pits and from Dowlais to the Bedlinog and Focliriw pits were discon- tinued and a shortage of trucks arising from the strike caused work at some of the collieries to come to a standstill with 1,000 miners out of work in Merthyr. roughly 2,-300 in Merthyr Vale and about 4,000 in Dowlais. The Dowlais men held a meeting on Tuesday which was attended hy a deputation from the raifwaymen. After an address by Mr. S. 0. Davies (agut) the following resolution was adopted:— That this mass meeting of the miners of the Dowlais District congratulates the N.U.R. upon the magnificent fight it is now engaged iil. Realising as we do that the objects now fought for are of momentous importance to the whole Trades Union Movement, we resolve tha.t in no wav wiH we countenance any inter- ference of h!aekk? labour, military or other- wise, in any aspect of our employment. Fur- ther. we-are fully prepared to act upon any instruction# of our National Executive that may assist our comrades of the X.U .R. in this historic fight between a Capitalist Govern- ment with its armed forces and organised Labour. When the strike telegram came on Friday the Merthyr and Dowlais men, who number 500, were prepared and mid-night saw them give "effect to a previous resolution to support what action was i-ecotn mended by the National Exe- cutive. On Saturday they were joined by the locomotive men, and that day so far as the borough area was concerned there was not a wheel turning." An interesting phase of the fight locally is that it is not the men popularly dubbed as ex- tremists who are showing the greatest activity I'l the various meetings, hut" solid working- men," who, hitherto, have taken little, if any, interest in lodge affairs. Demonstrations have been organised through- out the week for the purpose of placing before the public s point of view and enlisting the ympathyof other classes of workers in the dispute. The meetings all met with success. Hie food problem presented no immediate difficulty to the town which, on the whole, was well provisioned. Most of the milk, however, was imported and the source of these supplies being cut off a material shortage was ex- perieiu^d over the week-end. Several retailers, who ordinarily received milk from the Brecon- shire dairy farms, wert. able to carry on, bring- ing supplies into the town by motor-cars, and on Tuesday Mr. J. A. Wilsoll (chief-constable), as food executive officer., distributed consign- ments which were brought by road from Carnar- von, but unfortunately a load of fish from Car- diff had t# be withheld and destroyed. )
Pontypridd Trades & Labour Council The municipal workers have at last affiliated themselves to the Trades and Labour Councli, and at the last meeting of this body, tlwir delp- gates received a very hearty welcome. The tri- bunal to work under the Prohteering Act is in formation and the Trades and Labour Council have managed to get two representatives on it, viz., County Councillors May a Tristram. Two lady representatives from the Co-operative Women's Guild are also 011 it. Labour will also be represented there by Councillors D. L. Davies, Howells, and W. Jones. A Labour conference re a minefs' candidate for the Ponty- pridd Division will be held on Saturday next at the Y.M.C.A. here, at 6 }),n1., and when this conference finishes a brief meeting of the Incor- poration Committee to consider certain business in connection Avith the proposed County Borough will be held. T. r. Mardy Jones is interesting himself greatly in this matter and intends to lose no time over this business of incorporation. Councillors D. L. Davies and J. Howells are stranded at Manchester. They had been visit- ing Newcastle-on-Tyne—not for pleasure—oh dear,no! but on municipal business, something in connection with the housing scheme, T be- lieve. They w ere on their way back when they Averc held up at Manchester by the Raihvav Strike. However, if unable to rush home as I feel sure they long to do, they may be able to pnt in a few days' good work at Rusholme. A self-determination league for Ireland has been/formed in Pontypridd, Mr. J. O'Donnell j has fteen elected chairman. Mr. O'Shea, a veteran in Ireland's cause, is president, and Mr. O'Reilly vice-president. The branch intend to affiliate with the Trades and Labour Council and Mr. Alf. Blanche and Mr. Pat CLeary have been selected to act as delegates. The meetings of this bodv are at present being held in the I.L.P. Hall, kindly lent by. the I.L.P. Mr. Terry, of the Cardiff Branch, Avill deliver an ad- dress there on October 12th. The membership is at present about 50. The famous Labour M.P., Jack Jones, is ex- pected here on October 9th. He will speak in the Lesser TOAMI Hall, and I am certain there will be scarcely standing room.
I Nationalise Key Industries. W. BRACE'S PLEA. DEAD ACAINST BLOODY REVOLUTION. Speaking at a demonstration of the North Wales miners at Wrexham, the Right Hon. Wil- liam Brace, M.P., said we were standing upon the hrink of a new era. Tinkering would not do now thev must get right down to the roots. He was not only in favour of the nationalisation of mines, but of all key industries. (Applause.) He was in favour of the nationalisation of land because it was essential for a free people to have control of what, after all, Avas the basis of their lives. Unless this nation controlled the key industries they would never he able to recon- struct and so place the country in a position to compete with other nations in the industrial world of the future. He believed in reform hy evolution, and was dead against revolutions of blood. The people who made the right nse Mf the balloi were far more majestic than those creatures who stood up in tl? streets and cried aloud for revolution.
A Socialist Dolly's Dialogues (WITH APOLOCIES TO ANTHONY HOPE.) By KATHARINE BRUCE CLASIER. I II.—ON CIVILISATION AND BLACKLEAD. I Dolly was on her knees in the Den. For now three Aveeks. to quote her chum lilinna's ii-ortls, she had tried her temper as well as her theories on the whole work of an im- possible house." On the previous evening she had summed up her impressions of that trial to herself and her looking glass: My hands are ruined hut my colour lias come back. I eat like a. schoolboy and sleep like a top. But the house is impossible. If the two old dears weren't so tragically grateful f couldn't hold on another day. Hullo, though 1 That means they have begun to hold on. And that means-Strikes 1 Dolly's eyes were like her hearth tiles—green in some lights—blue in otheors-grev Avhen the lights were out. The green lights had danced dangerously at their reflection in the mirror as she had pondered. They were dancing again now as she plied her blacking brush 011 the early Vic- torian expanse-of blacklead on her employer- uncle's fireplace. You (-all t[ii,, i-ooni :a d(-ii. I call this stove a beast," she said suddenly. Professor Lane visibly started and leaned his lean length over from his desk chair toAvards her. Dolly had pulled off two hard-worked house- maid's gloves and stretched out two grimy little hands. Look at those!" she cried, "and re- member Rudyard Kipling's soldier Beefy face and grubby hands— Lor'—-what can she understand? It is an outrage to make any Avoman's hands look lik that: and—it's a matter of principle— as a Socialist woman I simply can't stand it any longer. You will have to choose between-me and blacklead, Uncle ?" My dear," cried the Professor, in dismay. "I positively forbid you ever to touch a black- lead brush again- at any rate in my den. r agree with you-such work is—er'er monstrous for a woman with hands like yours. Only yes- terday I was saying to your Aunt what a pretty touch you have on the piano." .If the Professor's flattery were designed to lift the frown from Dolly's brows, it failed. What do you propose? she asked sternly. "Couldn't, wouldn't that nice old nurse of yours do it for you. Dolly? Your Aunt says she would be a sensible woman if you didn't spoil her—an extra sixpence you kllOW-" The. coaxing syllables d^.tl away oil the Pro- fessor's lips. There was something terrifying in the cold directness of Dolly's gaze right into his eyes. We shall have to begin to understand each other," she said, and this stove is as good a starting place as any other. I called it a beast just now. I should have said it was bestial—an j outward and visible sign of an inward and in- visible disgrace. Cteanliness is next to Godlike- ness, and a civilisation that first creates utterly unnecessary, hideously dirty work to do and then keeps dear loving women so poor that comfort- able people think they can pa.y them with an 1 extra sixpence to keep on doing it for them— such a civilisation is bestial and the people who defend it tire-" Dolly—don't." A touch of true dominie's dignity had come to the Professor's rescue, and his genuine affection for 'his neice gave him wisdom. Only yesterday you told me, no man can be virtuous on another man's deca- logue,' and your Aunt and I had never even heard of the Socialist Ten Commandments till you came so kindly and so helpfully into our lives. Be a little merciful, my lassie, and now will vou tell me what you propose? "Not a ga.s-.stove," sad Dolly, though I believe I ought to be thoroughly consistent. But a well fire with red tiles and a raised hearth corner for me to sit on when wo'it) both done our work for the day. I know the man who put mine in for me. It is your own house and you'll get it back if you ever want to sell it, and you'll save it in coaland-" And blacklead and my niece's good graces," laughed the Professor. "You had better see about it at once, my dear. For I warn you, you will never be allowed in here with a black- lead brush again! Dolly looked at him demurely and then slowly nodded her head. You are a good sort on your own decalogue," she said, but let me show you a bit further into the heart of .mine and you'll forgive me for being in such a rage just now. It was all so typical. That dear old nurse of mine. She really is a nurse. Her husband is,bedridden with an incurable wound that needs constant dressing— the tenderest handling. Then her daughter is married and has just had a little baby. She can't afford to have the district nurse more than once a daN- and my dear old Mrs. Jenkins is doing nearly everything for the baby. It just seemed sacrilege to risk roughening the dear woman's hands of-her on your silly stoves—or her üwn-for that matter. It had far better he mine. Her Uncle had captured one of Dolly's hands hy this and had brought it to his lips, grime and all. And you really think we could get rid of all dirty Avork," lie said wistfully. "For women, anyhow, if we put our will's ifito it," said Dolly decidedly. "I think the Greeks were right in the main when they taught strength for man and beiiuty for woman. ft hurts a woman's self-respect- to be dirty in a way it never does a. man's. Besides it seems to nie part of believing in God." But-lioN%-? lnrliy-jiist as John Ruskin said: God never made a world in which it was necessary to hurt so niuch as the finger of a little child in order to have the noblest types of men and women. So I am sure God never made a woddin which women had to have hands so hard and grimy they were no use to sick folk and babies. But gracious goodness, its half-past ten, and 1 haven't even started the dinner." (To be Continued).
Minnie Missionising. I THE GOSPEL TO EAST DENBICHSHIREF A NORTH WALIAN'S IMPRESSIONS OF I PROPAGANDA WEEK. Miss Pallister is coming up here, old chap, what do you think of it? This was the way in which 1 was greeted by an I.L.P. veteran a few weeks ago. "Are you quite certain that it is true," I enquired. If so, it will be absolutely great, but we might as well be sure about it we'll go as far ts the secretary's house and enquire." The secretary at once informed us that it was so, and that Miss Pallister would open her campaign at Rhos 011 September loth. Naturally we were quite elated, and impatiently awaited the evening when she would open her attack upon our reactionary neighbourhood. Monday evening came, and it was obvious as soon as Miss Pallister commenced, speaking, that she meant business. In a few minutes, through her unique command of wit, humour and pathos, she had completely captivated the audience. She unhesitatingly denounced the profiteer and his ill-gotten lucre; she ruthlessly exposed the notorious activities of Churchill and his gang; she vigorously attacked the capitalist- system under Avliich we live, and graphically described to us how these sinister forces had reduced our work! to a veritable hell. She told us that our puerile statesmen talked about a new worJd- what vapid nonsense, from where would it come? It would only come," sh-e explained, when the working classes determined to build up a new world of their own." Nationalism, Imperial- ism, and Capitalism have conelusiATely failed to ameliorate the lot of the working classes, and the sole hope of the salvation of the world lay— not in militarism, but in the great ideals of Keir Hardie. Her features glowed up when she spoke of the sacred ideals of her hero and the electri- fied she audience when she urged them to sliat- j ter the narrow bands of nationalism, and step forward courageously into the insuperably greater world of Internationalism. She (reminded them, that, as workers, their interests. were identical the whole world over. After the close of this meeting' Ave proceeded to the I.L.P. Rooms, where refreshments were served, after which Miss Pallister delivered a lecture upon The lipst Way of Organising the I.L.P., and the most efficient way of conducting propaganda work." Tuesday evening she assailed the stronghold of Toryism, Ruabon. Here again she preached the gospel which will render wars futile. It was very amusing here to watch the old Tories screw about uncomfortably in their seats when Miss Pallister administered an extra dose of Social- ism. THE CITADEL OF REACTION. With regard to Wednesday Ni-c- were very ner- vous. It had been arranged that Miss PaUister should speak at Wrexham—the strongest citadel of reaction in East Denbighshire. Some of the I.L.P.ers were quite gloomy at the prospect of it, but Miss Pallister, with her characteristic optimism, soon dispelled it. The chairman at this meeting was an old I.L.P. stalwart, who had expounded his views timeaftr time at street corners on the customary orange box. Miss Pal- lister opened her address with a striking- vindi- cation of Macdonald and Snowden. A slight wave of resentment was felt at the mention of these names, but it was soon allayed by the con- vincing facts which were put before us. The meeting was held under the shadow of the Parish Church, and just as the bells were tolling for the evening service. Miss Pallister Avarned her audience to Beware of the priest who preaches the gospel of John Bull' and the Dailv Mail. She said that the only true religion was the one which treated Mankind as one huge family, which treated life as sacred, and which uplifted the whole human race to a higher level. She unveiled the ramifi- cations of Capitalism and showed how they bore the seeds of future wars. As I turned round I saw a number of soldiers who were listening at- tentively, and one muttered to another, She's right, its them big 'uns who sends the likes of us to fight." She closed the mfeting with a beautiful appeal to the mother instinct. She told us that the mother's love for the little one which nestled on her breast was the same immu- table love as that of the mother on the Rhine and the mothers of Austria and Poland. The success of this meeting exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the most optimistic of us, and it was there and then arranged that another meeting should be held here on Satur- day. On Thursday, the organiser of the Labour Party. J. T. Edwards, who IS also a staunch l.L.P.cr, arranged a meeting at Tanyfron. Here again we had a very successful meetin- On Friday a iiiet?iiiio, was addressed at Cefn, and on Saturday we had our final I.L.P raHy at .inci oil S?i;tiircl ay we lia At 8.30 p.m. 011 Saturday the I.L.P.ers of Rhos and Wrexham came together to the Trades and Labour Hall to bid good-bye to Miss Pallister. She again impressed on us the import- ance of the message of Socialism to the down- trodden masses. She urged us to devote our w hole energies to the movement, the principles of which were too great to be carried out half- heartedly they were worth dying for, and more important still, worth living for After all the A-iccisitudes through which the] .L..p. had been through it had emerged triumphant to pursue its path until it has realised the Utopia of Keir Hardie. The Aveck's campaign has been a great success, it has rejuvinated the branches, and Ave earnest- ly hope that South Wales will do its utmost to Assist us to win North Wales for. the cause which so many of us cherish. ROGERS.
Shop Assistants' New Organiser. A CHAT WITH MYRDDYN DAVIES. CAMPAICN TO BE CARRIED TO TRADES UNIONISTS. We congratulate the Merthyr and Aberdare branches of the Shop Assistants' Union in the happiness of their choice in appointing Mr. Myrddyn Davies, of Merthyr, as their permanent whqle-time secretary-organiser for the two values. ￼ iii d no bol4der Xo keener trades unionist, and no bolder n?h?r for the rights of combination could have been found in the whole area, and Mr.- Davies has already started an active campaign for the establishment of the National Minimum Wage '■Scale of the Union to the trade locally, and further is moving determinedly in the direction of ensuring that the employers in the clothing trades locally shall not escape from their lia- bilities under the Trades Board Act which now I applies to the various branches of this industry, but which there is reason to suspect is being evaded in some instances. Mr. Davies holds, with respect to this side of his work, that not only does his duty lie in protecting the worker from the exploiting sweater, but that a moral duty to prevent, so far as lies in the power of a union, the unfair competition that such exploita- tion means for the employer who is willing to pay a decent Avage, is laid upon the union. In a conversation Mr. Davies re-emphasised the fundamental difficulty of organising the giri shop-workers in particular. These girls," he said, do not regard their position as work at all. They are merely occupying their time until Prince Charming appears, and they live happy- ever-after in the fairy palace that they are going to inhabit. In the flapper stage they cannot be made to realise that their dependance upon their parents and their consequent acceptance of miserably inadequate wages—in some cases locally sums not exceeding 4/6 per week are paid to girls with years of experience—menace the very life of girls who are economically de- pendent upon their own earning poAver and who take their trade seriously. Nor can they be made to see that their flirting with the work for sums that would be ill-descrilied as re- muneration for doing nothing at all for so many hours a.s they spend in the shops, reacts detri- mentally upon the male assistant, whose wife and family are entirely dependent upon his earning power." This great problem of unfair, underpaid com. petition has got to ibe faced and fought out, and because the girls themselves are too flighty to take the question seriously, and because these girls are, in the majority of cases, themselves the daughters of trades unionists Mr. Davies is going to start a. strong campaign to enlist the support of the parents. He feels confident that once the workers have been brought to a reali- sation that they are virtually subsidising grossly unfair competitors in the general market, and seriously loading the labour market against legi- timate workers they will insist that their girls shall become members of the union, and insist that the Union's minimum scale shall be ob- served in establishments where their daughters are employed. The Scale is:— Managers: jE4 per week. Assistants and Warehousemen: Age 16, men 2-ti., women 20/ age 17, 29/- and 24/ age 18, 35 and 28,1-; age 19, 37/6 and 30/ age 20, 40/- and 32/ age 21, 45/- and 36/ age 22, 48/- and 38/6; age 23, 51/- and 41/ age 24, 54/- and 43/ age 25. 571- a-iicl 45/6, age 26, 60/- and 48/ age 27, 63/- and 50/6; age 28, 66/. and 53/ Packers: Age 21, men 45/ women 36/ Porters: age 21, 40/- and 32/ With annual grading as for assistants. Clerks: Age 21, Book-keepers, Men, 58/- women, 46/6. General and Departmental Clerks, 48/- and 38/6. Manager's Rates: This minimum is intended to apply to those in position of Management with least responsibility and experience, wages above this figure to be graded according to in- crease of same. The minimum rates suggested for all grades are Avithout prejudice to payment of higher rates for special ability or extra responsibility.
Dressmakers Organising. MESSRS. R. T. JONES ACCEPT NEW WAGE SCALE. The Shop Assistants Union placed before Messrs. R. T. Jones, Merthyr, a demand of higher rates of pay baaed upon a 48 hour week on behalf of their dressmaking staff. Mr. R. T. Jones received the deputation on Tuesday even- ing and agreed to pay the new rates. New rates to be retrospective as from April 7th, 1919. Other dressmakers please note, the same rates can be secured for you if you will get into touch with tbe secretary of the Union, Mr. W. T. Wil- liams, 10 Ross-street, Twynyrodyn, Merthyr. Parents about to put their daughters into this trade should note that all dressmakers are now compelled to pay the following rates to < learners: First six months 8/- per week, second six months 10/- per week, at 14 years of age. At 15 years of age 4d. per hour of 48 hour week, 16/ 16 years of age 4d, 19/ 17 years of ag e, 6d., 24! 18 years of age, 7d., 28/ Junior hands, senior hands. tailoresses and charge hands are graded upon experience and ability.
Strictly Neutral. MERTHYR DISCHARGED SOLDIERS AND THE PRESENT CRISIS.- After hearing deputations of the local railway- men's strike committee at the general meeting of the Merthvr Branch of the Welsh National Federation D.S. and S., the following resolution was unanimously carried: That we, as a branch of ex-service men remain perfectly neu- tral during the present crisis."