I Public Opinion and Strikes IT is about time that someone isaid what so badly needs isaying about that "bogey" of public opinion. We have heard nothing but a perfect fanfaronade of m-onsenw about public opinion during the past week, and, unfortunate- ly, even organs -of the Democracy have contri- buted strident notes to the unruly cihorus. The Shavian logic may someday prove to a puzzled but smiling world the truth that the public opinion is nothing more than a social myth. The public opinion of the hotel smoke-room is some- thing entirely different from the publio opinion of the breakfast interlude of the workshop the public opinion of tlie stock-exchange as often as not is antagonistic to the public opinion of the small business world, and so one might continue indefinitely all the time ignoring the patent fact that this great public opinion does not exist; that whilst a thousand minorities claim the sane- j tion of public opinion, the public in reality smothers a yawn and turns to the football columns of its papers. And the papers, all of which claim to be the voice of public opinion, are as discordant as the circles we have men- tioned. But our purpose is not to thread meta- physical labrynths, but to look squarely at the problem. That there is a certain public pre- judice that can be aroused when the turmoil is sufficiently personal to touch the individual is certain. But that that is opinion is ridiculous: that it is ever unanimous i5! absurd. It reflects always the class lines; the partisan divisions- it is neither reasonable, oior can it be reasoned with-and it acts only under the provocation of a personal threat. That it should ever be re- spected is absurd. Before it can claim considera- tion or respect dt must show it. The hapless body of the mass of the people" over which poli- ticians and capitalists arid labourers fire their bullets in time of war, has no right to gnash its teeth and howl dismally over its hapless position, until it has recognised that it can expect con- sideration when it displays consideration. But who ever knew it to? Let us take aocjptint of our own local position. Last week the stoppage of the railway services, involving no more than six hundred local workers, directly effected every member of the community and that great public opinion immediately started bo utter its various prejudices at the top of its voice. Its own petty affairs having been touched it articulated itself. But we have also, liad for fourteen weeks and more another strike involving nearly eight times the number of men-and families—as was locally involved in the railroad strike. But here the individual unit of the great public opinion has not been generally involved, and so the strikers are at leave to starve into more abject slavery, to watch their wives contract disease and con- sumption, and to follow their children into un- necessary graves, without the public: conscience wakening itself to vocal expression of any opinion. And yet the case of the Dowlais la- bourers is as serious, and revolves around the same principles as that of the railwaymen. Be- fore public opinion has any right to considera- tion it must learn the lesson that it must con- cern itself as much -with the case that does not immediately toudh it, as with the one that does. If there is to be a moral obligation upon Labour (or Capital for that. matter either) to withhold its hand until put lie opinion has received due and careful attention, then public opinion must learn that it too has a moral obligation to con- sider the occasion for the strife and remove it before it has reached the actual pass of conflict. If public opinion exists, which we question, then let it start in on its work now. We shall be able to judge the consideration it merits by the con- sideration it shows in striving for the institu- j tion and the r.etentlon of an. industrial peace of justice.
I The Strike Settlement. Whilst cordially welcoming a -settlement of the railway strike, before it had developed to the catastrophic culmination iliat, a little prolonga- tion of the strike musf inevitably have led to; we must confess that the terms of settlement leave us a little cold. And whilst the South Wales railway workers have had the good sense and discipline to accept the orders of Unity House to return to work, we are not surprised to find an ominous head-shake of doubt when the terms are discussed with them. The retention of the 110 per cent. formula; in the first clause of the settlement, and its apparent cancellation by the very next clause presents a problem in speculation that meets with as many conclusions from railwaymen as there are types of mind, or brands of cynicism, optimism or pessimism to be found in their ranks. For ourselves we are pleased that the "get-back-work-and-then- we-will-talk order that was so iiuparously flung at the N.U.R. men has had to give place to a more reasonable spirit then that Geddesian one in the chambers of Downing Street, but in the terms themselves we confess to seeing noth- ing more than a clever subterfuge by which a discredited Government has managed to save its reputation from the fate it so richly deserved. To Mr. Thomas and his executive thinking only in terms of wages-and-hours leadership the finale may reasonably present the aspect of victory but from the first the Government aimed at giving the strike a significance far removed from that of ordinary industrial battle. They largely succeeded, but the consequences were the oppo- site to what they had hoped for. The bourgeoisie flocked to their standard whilst Labour girded up its loins to do battle against it. Daily as the strike progressed a mere intense consciousness was called into being, and the solid aspect pre- sented by the trades union and democratic forceii in the nation at the week-end spelled the defeat of the Government on the very field that that Government had carefully prepared and unscru- pulously lied to bring about. Then with an array that was all in their favour the railwaymen con- sented to receive the concession that their own solidarity and the unquestionable support of the whole might of organised Democracy had won in terms that to the ordinary untrained i-ndividual conveyed exactly the description given to the settlement by the Paris Matin "—a moral vic- tory for Uoyd George. We know, of course, that. there was no moral victory at all, but we must confess that the withdrawal from a position that was hourly becoming more untenable was effected with brilliant strategy, so that the IDflD who could say who had won would probably he open to an equally prompt negative argument no matter upon which side he happened to be. One thing alone we have occasion to be thankful for. The rail waymen were selected to bear the | brunt of the opening exchanges in what was in- tended as a grand campaign against trades unionism, and so well did they meet the attack that probably that campaign will have to bo put off until it is tiOO late W hen we think how easy I it would have been to have received the capitula- tion in terms that left r.o doubt as to the victor, and remember that such a document would have perforce performed the great public service of ridding us of this impossible government, we are inclined to despair that it is Labour's invariable custom to show such gracious leniency to a de- feated enemy. To s lvoot a couple of arrows when there is a quiverful to hand has, we seem to re- member, been regarded as false modesty even by the emissaries of heaven.
Our City Fathers To Be. I DAI DAVIES. I Two of us this week have found devices we in- vented to help us turning into devices for our destruction. My Comrade Jowett has had to drop his Political Notes heading that he might write on the strike and its meaning, and here am I writing about our City Fathers to be "-and find ing a city father pre.sent tense on my hands in the person of Councillor Dai Da vies of Pant. Of course, I know that he is going to continue to be," but in thinking even of Dai Davie* a*, anything else but a Oity father, in- deed as anything other than a sort of father of city fathers, the ludicrulty of the thought breaks down the seriousness, and I smile. Dai so accurately fits the place that it is the height of absurdity to imagine a seat in the Council Cham her without a. little white card in a little brass frame reading D. Da vies." Of course, Merthyr voters have done equally absurd things in the past, and in the not very far back past too, as last November witnessed, and they may lose their senses again, but it will hardly be in the comfortable, .sedate suburb of Pant that the rot wiM start. Mr. Dai Da-vies—somehow that Mr. seems a.s difficult to bring in before the name as swallow- ing a pill whilst in bed, and so I am restarting— Dai is part of the town—his recollections go back vividly to those days when policemen wore top hats to the eternal temptation of good little boys, and lamp lighters trotted around with short ladders and long tapers, to the eterna l glee of bad little boys. And right through from that day to this he has been intimate and ac- tive in its affairs. I am not going to say that it is because of Mr. Davies that automatic clock- work attachments light our lamps to-day. or policemen wear neat clothes and headgear that does not allow of one mistaking them from our old nobility, but I am going to say this with conviction and emphasis—if Dai Davies didn't invent the sartorial and mechanical improve- ments that local governments to-day possess, he did at least, and does, too, see that those im- provements are not bought at the price of de- pressed conditions of the labourers of the muni- cipality. There are hundreds to-day who may well thank the sanity of the franchise holders who had sense enough to send to the Council Chamber a man of such enthusiasm, such out- spoken frankness and such unmistakable cham- pionship of the workers and their cause as Dai Davies. OUR YOUNGEST MEMBER. I Dai Davies is a live-wire of virulent enthu- siasm. That is why, despite his advantage in age over his colleagues and comrades of the La- bour benches, he is the youngest member of our group. He is too virile, too much a part of the scheme of things to ever grow to middle age, even though his years come to surpass the biblically alloted span of man's life. It was that wonderful energy of youth that led him, with his Council colleague, Llewellyn Francis, and a mere handful of others, to defy the whole Con- servative spirit of the Merthyr Labour Move- ment in those exciting days when Hardie was first brought to fight the seat; it was the same tremendous enthusiasm that won the seat. And to-day undiminished it is the same enthusiasm that bursts forth in explosive resentment of in- justice, of anything mean or tricky burst forth in a torrent that is absolutely startling and un- conventional, but which is a mighty force for the health and well being of the borough. THE RED FLACCER. I Dai Davies has grown grey, but never sour in the service of the municipality and the movement. Dai Davies has been, is, and is still to be a councillor of Labour and a Labour councillor—one of the City Fathers to whom is entrusted the task of making the town, if not fit for heroes to live in, at least a little fitter for workers to dwell within. The Red Banner is his flag, and next November as so often before, he will carry it to victory—a vic- tory earned by personal serried by mutual good- wi,]T. by unimpeachable devotion to the cause of the people, and by the great awakening of De- mocracy that to-day is seeing that in Labour alone lies the hope of the future. A.P.Y. I
A Socialist Dolly' s Dialogues (WITH APOLOCIES TO ANTHONY HOPE.) I By KATHARINE BRUCE CLASIER. I III.—ON AUTUMN LEAVES AND MARY [ ANN ARCHITECTURE. Wbv, Dol]N -mv dear child—I Mrs. Lane was sitting up in bed, with cobwebby mass of white Shetland shawl about her shoulders. A chilly October had reinforced her niece Dolly's cheery suggestion that break- fast in bed was the best preventive against neuritis to be found in the Pharmacopeia. Dolly set. down her breakfast tray carefully. "Aren't these Virginia creeper leaves just glorious?" she said. "They blew into the porch when I was taking in the milk, and now they've turned an egg-on-toast breakfast into red and brown and golden rhapsody! I—I hope they are quite clean," said Mrs- Lane, eying the four glowing leaves which lay beside her china toast rack with a fastidious ap" prehension that had no room, for colour bar- monies. Clean- There was a flash in Dolly's bh?6: eyes, and a rush of red, down neck and up brow, that reached poor Mrs. Lane's cushion—-dulleo imagination far more effectively than the words which pelted about her ears. "Clean! after a whole summer-time of stinshiiie-washed by the autumn rains, blown by the autumn gales, fall- ing into a garden with dear brown earth anJ wonderful green turf and then straight from a gravel path into an open porch! Auntie, you deserve to have to live in a. slum! With swift, deft fingers Dolly had lifted the fonr offending lakes of colour off the coarse un- bleached linen square, one of her own easily washed store, with which she had covered her Aunt's japanned tea tray and disappeared front the room. Mrs. Lane looked piteously at the closing door and then down at her unadorned breakfast. Everything about her seemed suddenly to have gone grey. Her delicate hands trembled sO that s he could hardly pour out a cup of tea. As she lifted it to her Lips two big tears of sheer self-pity rolled down her fragrantly powdered old cheeks. Then the door opened and a trans- formed Dolly came back, carrying the four leaves in a little transparent glass vase. See," is he cried, I ought to have knowfl that you would have liked them this way best. tt Then she saw the tears on her Aunt's face, and kneeling beside her in a rush of contrition she tenderly dried and kissed them away. Ah, forgive me! she pleaded. I've beeft up .since before six, redding up the mess the new stove-man had left in Uncles' study,—and singing inside to think of how bright and cosy it would be for him when he go,t back. The red tile* in their oak mantelframe and the brown paper on the wall behind the book-shelves and the books all shining from the cleaning Nurstf and I gave them yesterday, with that new wash- leather,—wrung clean for every shelf, Auntie!- it all sort of made me top-heavy, like a ship with too much sail on. And—let me tell you the whole of it. You can't -suspect a pepperpot like me of wanting to pi-each! I have been reading » wonderful new book that has lit up all the reli- gions that ever were, even for a heathen like me: It is one of Mrs. Besant's theosophical books. It pictured the whole world as the result of the j descent of the Spirit of Love into matter. Jt. made me seem to see a glorious, radiant Sun God, leaping with widespread arms out of the heart of the Universe into a sort of prison-house. | And wherever the Sun-God wins, wherever tl,o Love Spirit hr.s its way perfectly as in the flowers, and the trees, the mountains and tile streams, the birds and the happy children, tliei-c beauty is bound to be. But wherever it is ob- structed, there is, there must be ugliness, poverty and pain. And Auntie dear, forgive me, but 1 must tell you. The difference between that cold drab bedroom upstairs, where your servants have had to sleep all these years—not ft touch of beautiful colour—not a suggestion that anyone loved them, and the dark kitchen down- stairs where they have had to spend their days, —and Uncle's don—his study—when Love had had even a little bit of a chance! I tell you, it had got into my head somehow, like David's visi.on did, after he had been playing to Saul. You remember Browning's poem. Uncle read It to us one night last week. And then the milk- '» man came, and he was nearly crazy with joy he- 1 cause he had heard his son was safe after he had heard nothing for weeks—and then those Vir- ginia creeper leaves I)lt,iv ill! They just seemed to put the finishing touch. They were so lovely and—hut you didn't—of course—you eouldn't- understand all tlier 11 No,-I. only asked you if they were clean! The tears failing now in earnest as Mrs. Lane,, yielded herself wholly to the kind warmth of Dolly's strong young arms and leant her grey head on her breast. "And after you had been up working for your Uncle and me since six o'clock—ah, my dear, my dear. have you had your own breakfast yet ? You bet," said Dolly, but I'll have another cup of tea in your saucer if you just wouldn't mind." f
Electric Theatre. The irrepressible Douglas Jftf.irbanks will fill the screen at the Merthyr Electric Theatre for each of the first three days of next week in five joyous reels of vigorous entertainment. He will figure in his most recent production, "A Modern Musknteer," a play that give- him unlimited scope for his athletic accomplishments. The "Brass Bullet serial now rapidly reaching a close, brings, in the current episode, a. partial clearing of the mystery around which it has been so cunningly woven and of no less gripping in- terest is a Mutual .drama, "The Heart of a Flirt," if less thrilling, in which June Elvidge and Beverley Bayne, accomplished actresses both, portray the opposite types of feminity that point the moral of the story. Money Mad," which tops the bill from Thursday on- wards, comes from the Goldwyn studios, and is a sumptuous production, as are all the big- reelers that emanate from this source, and in it is featured Mae Marsh in the lead. Eddie Polo will be found in more hair-raising stunts in a thrilling episode of his breakneck serial, A Circus King," and, like the earlier programme, the bill is completed with a splendid string ot comedies and the usual news and travel pic- tures. For many a day no greater attraction has been seen in the town than the Sessue Hayakawa. mystery film A Temple of Dusk." The long and patient queues that hovered at all times out- side the Electric Theatre. tTie three days of its showing were irrefutable testimony to its splen- dour and greatness. And so the announcement of the management that Hayakawa will shortly again be presentooart their picture-house in another of his great Eastern productions wil! bring a joy of iaiiticipation to Merthyr's big public of film-goers. "His Birthright," the coming production, loses nothing in comparison eyen with The Temple of Dusk."
mEMRE mm & !PIRcel'8!yr I I Managing Director-*Mr. William Firth. Licensee—Mr. Will Smithson. Geneml Manager-Mr. VaLl Stevens. Z I 7 30ONCE N)GWTLY." 7 .30 II 7a 3 FAONDAY, OOTOSER 13th, for Six NiffhtS. 7,30 I Earty Door< 7. Ordtn&ry Doort T-?S. W I GRAHAM POCKETT and MARGUERITE CELLIER I ? PrMent, under the direction of Bernard Hishin, LONDON'S 816 THRILL I THE KNIFE I In a Prelude I. TWO QUESTIONS:- 1- o Should orkninais be placed in the han* of Doctors for experimental purpom? §I Should siris placo themselves in the hands of so-callod Fortune-Tellers? I I Dont Miss the Pf?tudt?—Pat?ona are requested to be seated Five Minutes before I c the CurUin rises, as the iiterest in the play starts at the Prelude. 2 I POPULAR PRICES: 6d to 2/6 (inclusive of Tax). | NEXT WEEK GAY BOHEMIA/ j II I"" II It II rn II II It '1 I' I Merthyr Electric Theatre I S » Week commencing Monday, October 13th. • I CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE FROM 2.30 P.M. DAILY.. I I Monday Tuesday and WedneadiLy- | j A MODERN MUSKETEER j I A A Famous Lasky Prod?Mtdon, featuring DOUCLAS FAIRBANKS. I- ￼ BRASS BULLET—EptMde 17: WHAT HAPPENED TO JACK JAMES." | I THE HEART OF A FLIRT.-A Mutual Drama, starring JUNE ELVIDCE and I j BEVERLEY 8A YNE.. 1- Thurwd.. Frld.Î;;ÕÑËY MAD! I MONEY MAD! I A BriUiant GeMwym PmductiorL rith MAE MARSH in the Lead. 2 THE CIRCUS KINC.-Episade 11: EDDIE POLO in sensat_1 Stunts. I COMING SHORTLY.—The Kaisfcern Actor who created a furore with The Temple of Dusk," SESSUE HAYAKAWA, œn His Birthright." I I Prices of Admission &d., 9d., 1/3 including Tax. I not so o II .t II II PRELIMINARV ANNOUNCEMENT. NO-CONSCRIPTION FELLOWSHIP. Nationàl Convention Will be held in London on November 29th and 30th. Chairman CLIFFORD ALLEN. First List of Speakers at different Sessions: Rev. Dr. John Clifford Lord Parmoor G. D. H. Cole Hon. Bertrand Russell George Lansbury Robert Smillie J. Ramsay Macdonald Philip Sqowden I Rev. Dr. F. B. Meyer Mrs. H. M. Swanwick All Conscientious objectors are invited to attend, and are requested to oommunicate either with their local Branches or with Ernest E. Hunter, at Head Offioe, 5 York Buildings, Adelphi, London, W.0.2. II II II '.1 i. II II ja nniO Are nrivalled for all Irregularities, etc., they ?'??m ???????.?tm? ? pe-Wy aSord relief and never fail to alleviate all suffering. They supersede Pennyroyal, Pill PILLS Cochia, Bitter, Apple, &c. Blanchard's are the '?—?? best of all Pills for Women. Sold In boxes, MWi, by BOOTS' Branches and all Chemists, or post free, same price, from; leM-IE MARTIN, Ltd., Chemists, 34 Dalston Lane, London. Samples and valuable booklet sent free, 1d. stamp. HOPE COAPEL, MERTHYR, SUNDAY, CQTOBER 12th, 1919. Rev. David Rees, MERTLtYit. PRIZE DRAWING VANNING NUMBERS of the Prize Draw- ing in aid of Edward Da vies, Eigh Street, Cefn Coed 1587, 1429, 2152, 77, 16, 1107 1110 DJ?C 2, 1390, 348, 338, 175, 1582 pjT HELP THOSE WHO HELP YOUR PAPER I I.L.P. MERTHYR TYDFIL I.L.P. WINTER COURSES OF LECTURES ON INDUSTRIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY. OCT. 12—"The Economics of Primitive Society and the Beginnings of Private Property (Barbarism). Lecturer Mr. A. P. YATES. TIw Classes are held every Sunday Evening at 7.30 p.m. in Bent ley's Hall. There is no Charge. Everybody Welcomed. PARLIAMENTARY BOROUGH OF MERTHYR TVDFIL. MERTHYR TYDFIL DIVISION. REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1918. AUTUMN RECISTER OF ELECTORS, 1919. OTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that copies of .4. the Register of Electors in the above Division will be published on the loth October instant and may be inspected at the Principal Post Office, Merthyr Tydfil and the Town Hall. Merthyr Tydfil. Copies of part of the Register relating to any particular Registration. Unit will 1)(> published on the same date and may be inspected at the Sub Post Offices and Public Libraries through- out the Division. out t!iie Division T. ANEURYN REES. Registration Officer. Town Hall, Merthyr Tydfil, 11th October, 1919. Municipal Elections, 1st November, igig. APPLICATIONS are invited from eompetent persons for appointments art the above Elections. Forms of application may be obtained from and must reach the undersigned not later than 25th October next. T. ANEURYN REES, Town Clerk. Merthyr Tydfil, 10th October, 1919. HORSES FOR SALE. OFFERS are invited for two Heavy Draught Horses, 161 hands high, which may be inspected at Winstone's Stables, Bethesda Street, Merthyr. Offers must reach the undersigned by Tuesday next. T. ANEURYN REES, Town Clerk. rJV>\vTi Hall, Merthvr, Sth October, 1919.