Labour Notes. "THE STRUGGLE BECINS. In pursuance of the instructions given by the Trade Union Congress at Glasgow, the Parlia- mentary Committee at its meeting last wieek de- -.eidt-d to request the Prime Minister to receive ■a deputation to discuss the question of mines nationalisation. It will be remembered that the Congress adopted a resolution calling upon the Government to accept the Sankey recommenda- tions; and in the event of the Government re- fusing to do this, the Parliamentary Commit- tee was instructed to call a special conference to decide what form of action should be taken to compel the Government to yield. It is expected that the deputation will be received immediately. PROFITS FROM BYE-PRODUCTS. It is fairly well known that the Coal Orders' profits increased from a shilling per ton to 3/6 per ton (excluding royalties) during the war. It is not so well known that they had various other little helps to enable them to keep their business going rather more than usual." Take coke -ovens. The profits from coke ovens and bye-pro- duct works which were not under the Coal Con- trol increased-very considerably during the war, the additional profit being estimated at 6d. per ton. The demands of war industries and par- ticularly the demand for high explosives meant -a. vast expansion of business for these bye-pro- duct works. The aggregate that resulted from this 6ck per ton. was not subject to any deduc- tion from the Coal Controller. THE COAL-OWNERS' NEST-ECC. I In addition to this little extra the coal owners had remitted during the war by an arrangement between tke Board of Inland Revenue and the 'Coal Controller on the one hand and the colliery -companies on the other a sum on which no il- come tax was charged. It was set aside as a reserve for the purpose of doing the necessary repair work which had to be postponed during ti-ic- stress of the war. It was estimated by Mr. Holmes, M.P., himself a colliery accountant of long experience, that this accumulated reserve ■on which no income tax had been charged was sufficient to pay the wages of sixty thousand men for twelve months while they were over- taking the arrears of repair work. In the Government's fabulous estimate of the deficit on the coal industry for the year 1919, -no allow- ance was made for this sum, and until Mr. Holmes exposed the matter in the House of Commons, it looked as if all this money was agoing as a tree gift to the colliery proprietors. 'THE MIDDLEMAN'S PROFITS. Mr. H. G. Wells once wrote a tract called "This Misery of Boots," in which there was a picture of a boot covered with a host of little parasites, all of whom extracted their toll of rent, interest and profit before the foot-gear -reached the consume. Similarly we may pic- ture every lump of coal as being covered with a host of little parasites, each of whose charges ."ends up the price. This, of course, is a com- monplace of every one of our industries under capitalism, but it is particularly bad in the case of coal. The evidence of the Coal Commission revealed the fact that between the coal pro- ducer and the coal consumer there were not one xaiik of middlemen, but tier after tier of middle- men. each extracting his little perquisite. It was estimated that in London alone the mere establishment charges of the firms engaged in 'distributing coal amounted in the aggregate to ovc-1 £803,000, and the total net profits to over half a million a year. It was shown that the -actual 'sum allowed to be charged by the dealers on each ton of coal after it had been brought to London with the railway rate, wagon hire and -all factors' charges paid, was no less than 12/6. This was allowed bv the Coal Controller who gave a singularly wide and generous margin of profit. It is clear, however, that under a sys- tem of free competition, the charges in many ■cases would be even higher. Facts like these -as to the enormous wastage of money on the 1,600 coal dealers in London serves to explafn why coal is dear. It is not the miners, it is the profiteer and the middleman that make the ■consumer pay through the nose. CO.OPERATORS GET COAL CHEAPER. I It was s hown at the Coal Commission that^the 'C/o-ooerative Societies who were not allowed to sell coal at the cheaper price than that fixed by the Controller were able, after allowing for all •expenses and a fair margin, to give a large divi- dend on coal to their customers. The evidence showed that a member of a Co-operative Society often gets his coal at from 2/6 to 5/- a ton ■cheaper than the non-co-operator. In some causes in Scotland the rebate was even higher. This was partly due to the fact that the Co-operative Societies were not out for profit, and partly be- ,cause their system of distribution was mora economical than the .competing and overlapping "distribution of private enterprise. 'THE BROTHERS CEDDES. It is extremely unfortunate that Labour's ne- gotiations with the Government on industrial issues have to be so largely conducted through the Brothers Geddes. Neither of them can be regarded as qualified to deal with the workers. for both have the defects of their qualities. Sir Auckland Geddes finds it difficult to forget that he is a professor, and indulges in lectures on -e lementary economic:* at the wrong moment; while his brother, Sir Eric, combines the manner -of a school-master with that of a foreman plate- layer. The result is that the workers who have to deal with them feel that they are being alter- nately lectured and bullied, and they dislike the -experience. HOW THE TRUTH COMES OUT. Our readers will remember that at the time of the National Registration Act there were cer- tain doubts in the minds of Labour men as to whether the Act might, not he used in further- ance of conscription, and that Mr. Asquith's Government denied over and over again that any thought of conscription had ever entered their nunds. But the War Cabinet's Report for 1918 states quite definitely and unblushingly not only that the Registration Act was the first stone in the structure of the conscript army, but even that the information colleeted under it was handed over to local authorities to use at their discretion. -AMERICAN MINERS' MOVE. By a very large vote the United Mine Workers of America, at their convention in Cleveland, Ohio. have declared in favour of nationalisation. They propose that the Government should pur- chase the mines at a valuation to he determined bv their own assessors and that the miners should be fully represented in the mining ad- > ministration. They also propose to help the Canadian miners to secure nationalisation but they have decided that priority shall be given to the railway brotherhoods in their demand for na- tionalisation of the railways. The report of the Wages Scale Committee pre- sented to the Convention propose d that a de- mand should be made for a uniform 60 per cent. l increase in wages of all day labour; a 6-hour working day and a 5-day working week; time and a half for overtime, and double time for Sundays and holidays. The officials of the Miners' Union were instructed to call a general strike on November 1st, unless a satisfactory agreement is reached before that time on the demands presented. STEEL WORKERS' STRIKE. It cannot be said too often or too emphatically that the strike of the American steel workers arises from the refusal of the President of the United States Steel Corporation, supported by other steel manufacturers and producers, to re- cognise the workers' union. The steel workers. jn fact, are on strike for an elementary trade union right, and the bloodshed which has been caused in the course of the struggle lies on the heads of the employers who oppose the efforts of the men to combine and who resist any at- tempt to introduce the principle of collective bargaining. It should be remembered also that the effort to organise the steel workers was initiated by the American Federation of Labour, who appointed some of its leaders for the pur- pose. The Canadian Trades and Labour Congress has endorsed the action of the American steel workers in striking for "recognition." of their union and the right of collective bargaining. SWISS SOCIALISTS AND INTERNATIONAL. I Out of a total of about 50,000.members in the Swiss Socialist Party 22,000, according to a message from Berne, have voted on the question of joining the Third International. The ballot resulted in 14,364 voting against the proposal, which was put forward by the Party Congress and the Executive, and 8,599 were in fvaour of it. TROUBLE IN NORWAY. I The lock-out in the bookbinding and lithogra- phic trades in Norway, to which reference was made in the service last week, has led to a grave industrial crisis, and the Labour organisations have declared a general strike in several trades and industries. It will involve 50,000 men, in- cluding the transport workers (but not the rail- waymen) as well as those employed in dairies and in the shipbuilding and building trades, in saw mills, an J. in cement and hoot factories. FRENCH LABOUR SOLID. I The Conference of the French Confederation of Labour has been the subject of many mislead- ing reports, attempting to present a picture of French Labour as either triumphantly reaction- ary and hostile to the British forward movement or else torn by violent internal dissensions. Even on the reports that have so far come through in the French Press it is clear this is not the case. There was a very violent debate between the left wing, who held that the Executive had not fol- lowed a suiffciently revolutionary policy, and had in particular failed to make use of the July situation (the attempted international one-day strike over Russia), and the Executive officials, who argued that the rank and file were them- selves not ready for stronger action. -But in the end a unity resolution wis carried by the im- mense majority of 1,633 to 324, by which the revolutionary aim of the Confederation was re- affirmed, and confidence expressed in M. Jou- haux and the other officials. 1 It is also worthy of note for those who attempt to suggest the opposition of the C.G.T. to the principles; cf In- ternational Socialism that. a resolution of the transport workers wars parsed against handling any goods for Denikin or Koltchak. and also calling for steps to be taken to organist." inter- national action in this matter.
The Theatre Royal I am told that if the railway strike lasts five weeks it is computed that 50 per eent. of the resident managers of theatres and halls will he dead 25 per cent. will he safely tucked inside padded walls, and the remaining quarter will have only escaped hy coming out in sympathy with the railroaders. And yet despite its diffi- culties, T fancy that Mr. Stevens is rather en- joying himself, at least there was exhaltation in his voice when I met him on Wednesday hot and dusty from a rush to Cardiff, when lie announced his securing of 11 Daddalums," the Louis Calvert success that is at the New Theatre, Cardiff, this week. You see, although Mr. Stevens had lost two certain winners in A Sinner in Paradise and the opera week, he had been in the scramble for substitutes, and by sheer grit and smartness had filled this week with a fine little show, and next with the biggest thing that Mer- thyi had ever had. The reaction of this success puts him in the last 25 per cent., sure. Candidly, I looked at Toodle-oo! as a necessary evil to be borne with a. grin. That was before I saw it. To-day I would welcome its early return exultantly. It is a merry little s how full of frolic and fun, with musical trim- mings and brimming belles who smile away even the thought of the strike. Tom Neil is carrying the biggest burden of the s how on his back as j' Blister"—(I hope we don't print as a blis- ter" there)—and his spontaneous rollickiing red-nosed comedy, his wonderful agility and un- flagging high spirits are like briny breezes at Uncle Tom's Cabir. on a cool autumn night. I should put him well amongst the first three comedians we have had for two years. Leon Martin is his foil and an uncommon, good one. Their burlesque boxing interlude is simply a scream. Eva Linacre and Nancy Meron are the principal girls, and rattling good ones too. There is a solo turn that is worthy of tlJe best concert platform in the land. A brief interval of melt- ing melody from a silvern throat that has been perfectly cultured by a. master musician. But unquestionably tho big week is next week, and it is a lucky accident that brings the famous Louis Calvert back to Merthyr, where he was once a prime favourite with such splendid old- timers as "Proof," "Othello," "Robbery of the Mail," "Black-eved Susan," "The Corsi- can Brothers," and the like. But great as he then was, and famous though he has s ince be- come, it is in Daddalums that he has at last found his greatest and best part. It is a play, of a tender father, and a spoiled son, and the! great climax in the second act when "Dadda- lums makes the great sacrifice to save the boy from the terrible consequence of his rashness is one of the most tremendous scenes of the modern stage. The study of father love that the author has told and which Mr. Calvert is telling as no one else could is unique, as is the delineation of that faithful hut irrascible old Scotch retainer, to whose good services the happy ending is so largely due. In this part Ernest Hendrick is makin as fine a study in its way as Mr. Calvert does of the greater etiaoir aeter of the play. The entire company is selec- tion to match, and w hen I give you my word of honour that this company that comes to Merthyr is to open Daddalums for the first time to a London audience a month hence-heaven, the railwaymen permitting—you will rejoice with Mr. Stevens in the success he has scored, and regard the railway strike as a lesser calamity than it had seemed. PLAYGOER.
I Home Rule for India. I MRS. ANNIE BESANT AND INDIAN DELE- GATES AT CARDIFF. I THE INDICTMENT OF BRITISH RULE. II On Thursday last, a large audience fore- gathered at the Cory Hall, Cardiff, to listen to an address by Mrs. Annie Besant, under the auspices of the Labour Party and the Britain and India Movement, upon the subject Why India Wants Home Rule." Mrs. Besant was accompanied by Messrs. B. P. Wadia, P. K. Telang and Jamnadas Dwarakas, who form a delegation to this country from their Indian comrades. In the enforced absence of Mr. J. Lovat Fraser, who wrote that he was detained in Scot- land, Mt. A. J. Williams, Parliamentary Labour candidate for Cardiff at the last election, occu- pied the chair, and stated in his opening ad- dress that they had come to listen to a plea for a great cause from probably the world's greatest living woman. Mrs. Besant, who was well received, stated that she and her Indian friends were there to claim for the Indian nation what was to-day ad- mitted to be the right of every individual—the right, within its limitations and possibilities, to determine for itself its own specific and indi- vidual problems. That was a right that was sacred and inherent in every nation as in every human being, and there could be no natural or healthy progress without it. She wished that evening to bring before them the aspirations of the Indian people, and she would take care that in submitting the facts of the situation in India. to-day, those facts would be supported not by loose opinions or doubtful sources of observation but by the actual returns of the British Govern- ment upon the specific subjects dealt with. What then were the facts. A SHOCKINC PICTURE. I The picture she had to draw for them was as revolting as it was shameful. Whether we looked at India from the standpoint of trade or education, British rule in India had been marked by an exploitation of that country's re- sources that had not failed to bring in its train poverty, distress and incompetence. The econo- mic situation in India to-day was more than alarming, it called for instant redress. The high taxes levied by the Government, and especially under the iniquitous impost of the land tax, amounting in some districts to 50 per cent, of the products, left the people in a state of abso- lute impoverishment, destitution and almost of despair. The peasant after working hard to make two ends meet found hintoelf continually in debt. It was Lord Salisbury who had said that if the country had to be bled it were better to bleed it where the congestion wa,s most, where it could less be appreciated, rather than where, for want of blood, it would show the iA-hei,e, The economic policy thus followed was a policy of "ultimate poverty and exhaustion, and a high English Government official had had the courage to admit that the taxes, as now exacted by the home Government, trenched on the bare subsistence of the labourer. There were mil- lions in India to-day who from one year's end to the other hardly knew what- it meant to have a full stomach. Sickness, famine and plague carried multitudes away. Children and adults .dike sickened and died jud<?' the- heel of the cc?in?ou? economic drain that was made bv ?taxes and otherwise upon the very vitality of I the nation. So much had British rule done for India, thus far had she degenerated under that rule from her old 'strongly entrenched economic position. EDUCATION? I When they came to consider the education of India, matters were no better, but rather worse. The material, not less than the moral prosperity of a country, was largely bound up with the question of education. Both educativelv and economically the forces from without which had I destroyed the old village system upon which the polity of ancient India was built, had told their tale of degeneracy, and so far was this true to- day that the masses of India, as proved from the figures which were given in the Government statistics, were among the least educated peo- ples of the world. The responsibility for this lay upon the British Government, and the problem that confronted them, both in the economic as well as in the educative re-construction of India. could never be solved as long as we had the country controlled by a Parliament who were willing to give. the short period of three days out of every year to considering the wants of this great and important part of our Empire. Let them understand that the patience of India was nearly exhausted. I TH E RICHT OF INDIA. I India claimed self-government, under reason- able Imperial limitations, as a right. She did not ask that thjs great boon should be granted as a favour, but conscious of her own loyalty, which she had proved in many ways, and in none more than in her economic self-sacrifices, she claimed an equal right to take her place, equally with the other self-governing portions of the Empire, knowing that thus only would be cemented the great tie of brotherhood between the two nations that gave a value to the name of freedom. Mr. B. P. Wadia (editor of "New India.") speaking as a representative of the Labour Party in India, emphasised in a rousing speech the economic aspects of the Indian demand for Home Rule. Fresh from the Labour meetings at Edinburgh lie had noted the demand there made for shorter working hours and had marked the immense disadvantage under which India stood as compared even with existing conditions in this country. The average working day in India covered 12 hours. Women, as a special favour, were allowed to work only 11 hours and young persons, under which official description children from 9 to 14 years were included, could be compelled, arid were often compelled, to work six hours at a stretch. Add to this the fact- that the average wage for the artizan was not more than £ 1 per month and that in the coal districts the miners' pay did not exceed 7d. a day, and it was not difficult to see that this con- dition of things needed instant remedying and could not long continue. THE FALLACY OF CASTE. A' T' F. I .? ? I I Mr. P. K. Lelang (founder of the Hindu Cen- tral College, now the Hindu University) stated that there was one question upon which he de- sired to clear the air in its bearing on Indian Home Rule. It had been objected that the system of caste in India made it impossible for that country to avail itself of the advantages which Home Rule might offer. That objection, however, was based upon a misconception not only of the origin of the caste system, but also of it,s influence upon the social and political life of the India of to-day. It had worked for thou- sands of years as the basis of a wise and far- sighted social system which had served the special needs of India in the past, and which, with modifications, continued to serve it to the present day, although the ideal that gave it birth had not perhaps preserved its ancient in- tegrity. That ideal was based upon the division of the community. The thinkers, philosophers j and idealists formed the first class, and next to them in order came the organisers and adminis- trators, the traders and the labourers. Such a division, under the ancient ideal, implied no social difference, and was based primarily upon capacity and selection and fittingness for ser- vice. Members of all castes were to be found to-day working together in social and political movements in India with the greatest co-opera- tion and cordiality, and w here any outstanding differences had to be adjusted, he would leave them to judge whether an outside Government or a Government in which the people themselves had a representa-tive and effective share would be most qualified to deal with such differences. The demand for Home Rule for India was by no means excluded by considerations of caste, and nothing would tend to obliterate the sharp religious differences which caste in exceptional cases engendered than a. wise, liberal, and uni- formly progressive system of representative Government. Mr. Jamnadas Dwarakas,. director of tha Bombay Chronicle," who was introduced as having given greatly of his wealth and devoted his whole time to the Home Rule movement, also spoke.
A Policeman's Mind. COUNSEL AND PENTREBACH PUBLIC HOUSE PROBLEM. « Was it a'glass of liquor or an electric bulbr This was the problem presented to the Merthyr magistrates on Tuesday when Arthur Tal-iosio Da.vies, landlord of the Plymouth Hotel, Pentre- bach, was summoned for supplying spirits for consumption during prohibited hours, and his wife, Jessie Davies, as his aider and abettor. Police-Constable Martin gave evidence that at 9.0 a.m. on Sunday, September 7th, whilst in hiding behind a hedge on the opposite side of the road he saw Mrs. Davies come out of the public-house and ask of the day-girl, Maggie Williams, "Where is he? Then a man, Al- Then a. nian, Al- fred Williams, walked up) and Mrs. Davies after going into the premises handed to the man Wil- liams a glass of what appeared to be spirits which she had kept covered by her i-éd shawl. The glass was three- parts full. Williams put it to his lips and passing it back he offered a coin in payment, but it w as declined. Cross-examined by Mr. A. T. James (in- structed by Mr. Griffith Llewellyn, Merthyr) witness remarked that Davies was an ex-ser- geAnt of police with 19 years service. Witness added that lie was posted in his hiding place on his knees and being only fifteen yards away he could not have made a mistake about the glass. Certainly it was not an electric bulb. He-did not cross the road to examine the contents of the glass as he wished to continue his vigil for a further event." Mr. James, addressing the court, stated that on the Saturday evening previous some of the electric light bulbs went out of order. On the Sunday the son-ant girl had gone to the man who was to see to the defective globe and she had come back when Mrs. Davies spoke to Wil- liams. To him she mentioned the bulbs, and he held one up to the light to see if the wires were broken. Such an incident could have been easily misconstrued in the suspicious mind of a police officer out for a. catch, added Mr. James. Davies, in evidence, said that the bar was locked until 10 o'clock, the key being under his pillow. No-one oould liave accogf, to any intoxi- cants. His wife also bore out the statement that no liquor was given Williams. She denied the police interpretation of the incidents After a five minutes' adjournment, the magis- trates dismissed the case. A summons against Williams for aiding and abetting was w ithdrawn.
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To the Land of The Maple Leaf. ABERTILLERY LABOUR COMRADES HONOUR WORTHY WORKER. It is rarely that Labour people recognise the worthiness of the officers of their various organi- sations, but such a rare event took place at Abertjllery last Saturday, when a number of Labour friends met to do honour to Mr. and Mrs. Bow en (the late secretary of the Abertil- lery Trades and Labour Council and his wife) on the eve of their departure for Canada. Mr. George Barker, the miners' agent, presided over the very interesting function, and a presenta- tion of a wallet of Treasury notes and a wrist watch was made to Mr. Bowen, a case of cutlery to Mrs. Bowen, and a book and handbag to the two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bowen. The presentation was made by Councillor T. Mytton. Mr. and Mrs. Bowen leave for Canada with the heartiest good wishes of all the Labour friends in Abertillery. with an expression of a desire that Mr. Bowen's services will be utilised in the interests of the Labour movement in the land of his adoption.