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I Clynes on the Government.


Clynes on the Government. I AN INDICTMENT OF NEGLECT. VOTE MUST BE KEPT FOR DEALINC WITH POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC QUESTIONS. A Labour demonstration, organised by the Colwyn Bay Trades and Labour Council, was held on Wednesday a fternoon at Colwyn Hay. Fourteen trade union branches were represented in the demonstration, with a total membership of l,ol4. Practically all the workers in Colwyn Bay and district were given a holiday in order that they might attend the meeting, and the Oban District Council on Tuesday passed a re- solution also to grant the half-holidav to all tileit- stiff. Mr. J. R. Clynes, M.P., who was the prin- cipal speaker, reviewed the history of the Labour cause, reminding the audience that a few weeks ago Manchester celebrated the first centenary of Peterloo. In that year the first Factory Act was passed, to prevent the employment of chil- dren of nine years of age in factories for longer than twelve hours a day. After hard battles three things had been secured for the workers— the vote, the right to unite, and the right to be educated. The latter he regarded as the great- est right of all. THE CULPRIT. The working man of to-day who had some- thing to hide from his comrades was not tlw trade unionist trying to conceal the fact that he I hnt tlH' unorganised man belongeti lo ii union, J" "Ph" .trying to conceal his non-membersnip. political part of the great struggle in which La- hour was engaged was now being commenced, and Labour would do well in its own interests to use its new-found power in such a way as to convince not only its own class but every class in the country, in a mainner to convert and not to coerce, to attract and not to repel. The time was coming, lie believed, when Labour would be responsible for the government of the country, and the lines oil which their policy would be shaped would be to secure to every willing worker the certainty of finding proper work to give him wages equal to his daily need. The present Government had neglected to take in hand urgent tliings-lie spoke of the Govern- ment as a. whole. No sense of gratitude for any past services "could blind the country to the grave neglect of urgent public matters which stood to the account, if not of the Prime Minis- ter certainly of his following. The winter was at hand, and nothing had been done in, regard to housing—not a house had been built, and the condition in the large centres of population was deplorable. At the moment when the housing question was most acute 60,000 builders' la- bourers and other men in the trade were re- ceiving unemployment pay. Food was still as costly as ever, though the Prime Minister and his colleagues at the end of last session had rushed through the Profiteering Act in a state of panic. rnemployment, costing the nation a million n w eek, was another question, which the Government had .neglected, and in spite of threatened bankruptcy they had found money enough for the wicked a.nd wasteful expedition in connection with Russia, which was bringing no good either to the people of Russia or of this country. A CHALLENGE. I Labour suggested a levy on capital, of a dras- tic taxation of war profits to reduce- this coun- try's grave financial liabilities. If anyone ob- jeeted to that. proposa l let him bring forward a better. It would certainly not do to increase the already intolerable burden of taxation borne by the people. Alluding to the question of "direct action," Mr. Clynes said that no permanent good could come of the use of force, and lie advised the people too-rely upon the enormous political power which they could exercise by Parliamentary ac- tion. The trade union weapon should be kept for industrial and trade union questions, and the vote and the Parliamentary machine should be relied upon for dealing with all political and economic questions.

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