Merthyr Notes Quakers' Yard Tragedy. -1 "round drowned was the verdict reoorded by the Merthyr coroner (Mr. Griffith Llewellyn) on Friday a.t an inquest held at Treharris upon Thomas Henry Lucking (50) whose body was re- covered from the Taff River in Quakers' Yard. The evidence was that the body, which was in a decomposed state, appeared to have been in the water for several weeks. On deceased was found a pay docket showing he worked at the Merthyr Vfile collieries. He left his lodgings in Yew- street, Troedyrhiw, on September J apcj had not et ^n gigcf that date. I Work Jof I>rterii0toye<f< I In order to find work for the unemployed Of the borough Merthyr Town Council on Friday decided to proceed at once with the construction of the t48,000 sawer between Troedyrhiw and Aberfan and to eomnience immediately on the necessary preliminary work on the sites ac- quired by the Corporation for the erection of houses at Pentrebach, Heolgerrig and Pant. Penydarren Child Killed. ) Whilst playing at the foot of '.1 slag tip at Penvdarren, Richard Connors (7), child of Morris Connors, Company Row, Penydarren, was struck by a boulder which rolled from the top of the tip. He died from a fractured skull. Verdict at the inquest on Friday. Accidental death. The Library Rate. I- I Mefrthyr Public Libraries Committee on Mon- dav evening decided to seek Parliamentary powers to advance the library rate to 2d. in the I;. Pig Dealer Fined. I For failing to keep a register of has pig deal- ing transactions, Ernest Wilks, a dealer, Mer- thyr, was fined t5 by the Merthyr magistrates on Tuesday A Question of Principle. I At Tuesday's meeting of the Merthyr Public Works Committee a letter was read from Mr. Dan McCarthy, branch secretary for the muni- cipal employees association, drawing attention to the fact that many of the Corporation workmen were not being paid inaccotxlanee with the re- cent wages award. Mr. L. M. Francis raised an objection to considering the letter pointing out that it had been agreed to deal with men through their organiser. The Corpora-tion were only waiting to receive from Mr. Rees Llewellyn (the workmen's organiser) the graded list of em- ployees, and on Mr. Francis' suggestion it was decided to write Mr. Llewellyn for that informa- tion. Road Transit from Dowlais. I The development of the much needed passen- ger road transport service in these vallies, is not missing Merthyr and Dowlais. Amongst the schemes almost ready for launching is one for a comprehensive service to all parts from Dowlais, in connection with which it is stated, from weU informed sources, that a preliminary order for six up-to-date, large vehicles has already been placed by one well backed and enterprising syn- dicate. Morlais Clee Society at the Oddfellows' Hall. I On Sunday night, the 5th instant, a grand concert was held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Dow- lais (kindly lent by Mr. Will Stone for the oc- casion) in aid of the distress brought about as the result of the skilled steelworkers' dispute. The Morlais Glee Society, so ably conducted by Mr. Tom Collins; gave the audience present an excellent sample of what they could do, in their very fine renderings The Mayor, who pre- sideoL pointed out 'the need of doing all that was possible, from all directions, with a view to as- sisting those, who were in great distress owing to the present stoppage of work. So far as the Council was concerned, he could say without any hesitation, that they were doing all they could in every way that it was possible for them to do. He also announced hl' settlement of the rail way men's dispute, which was received with great applause. The soloists, Mr. G. H. Barnes, Madam Gill, Mr. E. Bateman, Messrs. Ben Jones, Arthur Jones, D. Davies, R. Lewis, and D. G. Evans were loudly applauded for their very fine efforts. The Distress Committee desire to take this opportunifty of publicly thanking all who so nobly responded at such short notice. 'Steelworkers Demonstration. I Last week-end the Dowlais Rail way men, Miners and Steelworkers agreed to turn Mon- day into a big strike demonstration. The pro- gramme included a procession beginning from the Miners' Office and closing with a joint mass meeting in the Oddfellows' Hall. Sunday's set- tlement between the railroaders and the Govern- ment, and the consequent re-opening of the pits in the Dow lais District on Monday put an end to this ambitious propaganda, but the steel- workers unanimously resolved to carry out the mass meeting, and the gathering in the Odd- fellows' Hall, every inch of which was crowded out, left one wondering what would have hap- pened had the railwaymen and miners joined in. The speakers were Messrs. Jas. Winsrtone (La- bour candidate), S. 0.. Davies (Dowlais miners' gent), Xoah Ablett (Merthyr miners' agent), id Dan Evans (chairman of the Ebbw Vale -ike Committee). Mr. J. Peters chaired. Mr. 1< '18 l'xplained the whole case for the steel- H'°! >rs, and related the 'history of the negotia- tion?proin September, 1918. It was a convincing piece p work arid although the audience included manj* on-steelworkers, there were no questions asked rtten they were aisked for at the close of his Xoali Ablett surpassed his \IosuaUy b¡iUiant self in his address on the ethics m),(1 W'nmics of Capitalism, as seen from the workers and Mr. S. 0. Davies, who oHxl a JTng "stand fast resolution, ear- Iled thtl\,eon('e off ;its feet. Mr. Wittstone, too, was in '*s element, though his speech had to be foreshoroBec| owing to a second engage- ment in the "ftlrn,oon It was the finest meet- ing the steylworlu..s imve so far held, and it is to be hoped that tUv will follow it up quickly with more of a like lutore.
housing question. It will 0.. interesting to watch the course of events in respect of dIe above houses. Of one thing the Dial-jot Council ought to be. assured, the -working el|,s.sos of ithis dis- trict are in no mood to be hwribu^cged on the Housing Question. The Railway Strike. The Railway Strike went quite well here. The •ike Committee held a few" public meetings to lain the railwaymen's position. Opinion at e meetings was entirely in favour of the 1. ihead's Meeting. allhead having gone to Manchester to help Dunstan at the bye-election, his engagement Llamrisant was cancelled, Wmrvs Hughes .me to the rescue and filled the bill splendidly.
I Pontypridd Notes. I Trades Council and the Strike. The sympathies of Labour here were entirely with the railway men in their demand for a higher standard of life. Everyone admits, even railway managers and directors themselves, that t'he pre-w ar scale of pay for all grades of rail- way servants was entirely inadequate, but La- bour says further that it was a grave scandal. During the strike the officials of the Pontypridd Trades and Labour Council were conspicuous as either chairmen or speakers at every meeting held in support of the railwaymen's claims. We are sincerely pleased that matters haTe been I satisfactorily settled. I J I Labour's Voice Raised for Ireland. j A crowded 'meeting, under the auspices of the Pontypridd Trades and Labour Council was held in the Park Cinema on Sunday night. Its pur- pose was to consider the present condition of Ireland. Mr. Griff. Maddocks (president of the Trades Council) was in the chair. Mr. Dan Dris- col', of Mrthyr, had been advertised to speak, but owing to the strike was unable to get here. His place was admirably filled by County Coun- cillor W. H. May. Needless to say, his speech was a success. He proved to the audience that not only did he understand the Irisih question. but that Labour has a special interest in Ire- land, for the methods of the capitalists, whether in politics or economics, were peculiarly alike. He. carried his au-cliertee with him all the way and 'had a. tremendous ovation at the end. Just as he finished, news reached the audience that the railway strike had concluded. Many Irish- men present took this as a happy omen for their beloved country. On Thursday, October 9th. another great Labour meeting will be held in the Lesser Town Hall^ when Jack Jones, M.P., is expected to speak. Griff. Maddocks will preside at this meeting also. Ait the last meeting of the Pontypridd Trades and Labour CoyncH the pro- ceed s of the social held some short time ago were handed in. They amount to nearly t33. Great praise is due to the organiser. Mr. Pear- son, and we must associate Treforest and the band of Lady helpers from the Co-operative Women's Guild.
Merthyr and The Strike. ORCANISED LABOUR'S SUPPORT FOR I RAILWAYMEN. Return to work immediately. Terms satis- factory to everybody., Thomas ajid Bromley." This was the message received by the Merthyr and Dowlaiis railwaymen on Sunday evening an- nouncing the settlement of the- strike. The tele- graphed instructions were abided by and pre- parations for a resumption commenced at once. Monday, of course, it was hardly possible to re- store a complete service of trains, hut on Tues- day the usual number were running. Just prior to the delivery of the Thomas-Brom ley telegram a big mass meeting was held a.t the Thomastown Park, Merthyr, when the case for the railway- men was put by Messrs. J. E. Jones (N.U.R.), Bert Brobvn (A.S.L.E. and F.), S. 0, Davies 'the Dowlais miners' agent) and Mr. Noah Ab- lett (the Merthyr miners' agent). A CONTRAST. I ? .1 1 Mr. S. O. Davies asked what was behind the mind of the government in this apparent at- tempt to divide the railwaymen. It was per- fectly obvious that the matter at s-take was not merely the ways of the N.U. R. He was per- fectly satisfied that if the Government were consciously fighting the N. U .R. on the question of wages, they would never have been so unpru- dently stupid by giving publicity to the miser- able pittances earned by the railwaymen, and incidentally spending thousands of pounds of public money. And the Government boosted it- self on these figures. What would have been the attitude of a collier boy of 16, if a mine manager offered him £ 2 13s. per week. (Laugh- ter.) The Government were not concentrating on the wages question at all. (Hear, hear.) The Government were not- organising their forces thereby to fight against the principle asked for by the N. U.R. It was perfectly clear that this Government was out to smash Trades Unionism in this country if it could, because it could see very well if they did not attack organised La- bour to-day and break it, Capitalism, private ownership in the industries of this country and vested interests were absolutely damned. (Hear, hear.) They had called in the Brothers Geddes to act as the principal executioners in this mat- ter. (Applause.) But he was rather afraid that the Government in their determination to smash up the power of organised trades unionism had left it rather late—hopelessly late. They com- menced by attempting to create division among the railwaymen by gran ting* a principle to ono section of the railwaymen and refusing it to the other. The present Government and the class thev stood for, realised the sinister power behind Trades Unionism. They first of all smashed the Police Union. With the assistance of the Bros. Geddes they hoped to smash the N.U.R., and then, so on they could take each Federation in the field, probably the miners next and the transport workers afterwards. That was what was behind the Government mind? There was a clamant demand for nationalisation and the miners were concentrating upon what they called nationalisation with joint control. The Government knew that if the miners were gran-ted this the railwaymen would be clamour- ing for the nationalisation of the railways. Why arc the capitalists and the Government so keen to spread soldiers and sailors all over tht coun- try and to sendthem to South Wales ? Why are Naval Ratings being brought into South Wales? Not a single miner has been stopped—not as yet. But could they keep back the miners while they crushed the railwaymen ? He sincerely hoped that no discharged and demobilised soldier was under the impression that lie should be on the side of the Government and the capitalist class. They perhaps had discovered for themselves that it had been not so much democracy but Pluto- cracy they had been fighting for before. The Government had asked for violence—advertised for it, and anxious that there should be collisions between armed forces aNd the workers. To send troops into Dowlais and Merthyr, where thou- sands of steelworkers and miners were idle simply asking for trouble. He hoped the man in this district would make friends with the armed forces. (Hear, 'hear.) In London al- ready they had thousands of these armed fants, who should not be responsible for carrying a rifle. With the return of the rail way men work w normal in all the collieries in the area by Tues- day. Though there were over 17,000 people idle in the district for the week of the strike, the crowds that thronged the streets Mere markeyfar orderly, and the relations between the strikers and the police authorities were of the happiest. On Sunday instructions were received from the Home Office w ith regard to the recruitment of a citizen gUaicl, but the evenings tidings spared the mayor, the chairman of the Watch Cotnmit tec and the chief-constable applying themselves to the intricasies of the scheme as had been ar- ranged on Monday.
tySBSST——! "1 »——— 1 LLOYDS BANK I 0gDj LIMITED, willa which it amalgamated THE CAPITAL 4 COUNTIES BANK, LD. HEAD OFFICE: 71, LOMBARD ST., E.C. 3. CAPITAL SUBSCRIBED 49569 1509350 CAPITAL PAID UP 89984,056 RESERVE FUND a 9,071,250 DEPOSITS, See..mm 309,328,800 ADVANCES, Ac. 92,784,877 AmUitrr; LLOYDS AND NATIONAL PROVINCIAL FOREIGN BANK LIMITED. GREAT NEWS FOR MERTHYR. MR. DAVY, THE GREAT LONDON DENTAL OPERATOR OF 96 St. Mary Street, Cardiff, WIL" Shortly be Visiting Merthyr LOOK OUT FOR FURTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS.
The Levy On Capital. 1 MR. SHAW'S UNIVERSAL STATEMENT I EXAMINED. BY JOHN BARR. I The question of a levy on capital as a means of clea,ring away the difference between the nominal and the real wealth of the country has been so thoroughly debated to an afifrmative conclusion that it has been generally felt entire agreement on this matter was not only the rule in the Labour and Socialist movement, but was firmly adhered to by a growing number of prominent publicists outside our ranks. A few weeks ago I quoted in the columns of the Pioneer" the declaration of Mr. J. T. Garvin, the brilliant contributor to the Conser- vative Observer that If with our present knowledge we were starting again where we were five years ago it is certain that nobody whatever would be allowed to become one farth- ing richer by the war, and difficult as a retro- spective tax may be there will probably have to be even now an attempt at a special levy on the larger war profits." It now appears from one of the latest George Bernard Shaw interviews that there is an odd man out in this controversy. but of course if the exception proves the rule then the position of the levyists has been strengthened. In the interview published in the "Sunday Chronicle" lately Mr. Shaw is re- ported as giving the following answer to the question: Have you any views as to the finan- cial situation? :— Yes; but nobody will listen to them. We are eight thousand millions in debt, mostly to ourselves. We have two proposals to deal with that situation. One is to pay off the debt by a levy on the wealth that has been eaten up and worn out and literally hI own to blazes by the army during the war. The other is not to pay at all, but to go on borrowing. This last has at least some human nature in it: the other—the levy on capital—is sheer lunacy. Neither is practicable, though the levy, like the assignats in the French Revolution, may do mad mischief if it is tried on the assump- tion that it really has twenty thousand mil- lions of available money to play with. It is not necessary to dwell on thestartl i ng inference that the Socialist movement in genera l is composed of lunatics only to point out that somewhere in Shavian literature 1 dimly remem- ber having dropped across the idea that the per- fectly sane are to be found amongst the insane. To one who naturally considers that it debt owing to lourseln:, lis the easiest of all debts to pay, it is difficult to understand Mr. Shaw's position in this matter, almost as difficult to understand as the subtlety with which in his economic article in the Fabian Essays" he accepts Marx's theory or surplus value whilst totally reject! ng his thc/ory of value. I have long wished to see his explanation on how it is clone. LEVY FOR CANCELLATION. If the increase in the National Debt is due to ourselves, and this is very evident from the sum- mary of war-time finance taken from The F>eonomist that the loans to the Allies and Dominions, amounting to 1,7:5!) million pounds on March 31st last, more .tli,iii cover the American 'loam-and other debts of 111 111on pounds, the total to September tilth. then it becomes perfectly clear that any Government levying' »- tax on this capital which exists in name only, for the purpose of using it (in the fond delusion that it is real) and erecting a further superstructure of credit upon its base, would repeat the uiiscbievious example; of the 100 franc French Revolutionary Assignats which' depreciated in our monetary language from fc 1 to about- threepence. The truth of this does not in any way affect.'the validity.of the plea for a N, I t merely goes to show that unless Mr. Shaw is poking tun at us lie has failed to see that the wealth which was M>lown to hlazes in the war still exists nominally in our Bradbury*- and the credit instruments erected from the. base of those Bradburys, and to get back to. the real wealth base monetarily it is necessary to levy on the fictitious for the purpose of can- cellation, just in the -same manner as a man owing a. debt to himself can become free by striking the debt out of his ledger. It is easy to understand how this debt to our- selves was piled up if we consider the methods of war-time finance. When a country goes to. war it enters into a period of wasteful produc- tion, and if the monetary surface is to reflect the true condition of wealth in that country then the war has to be paid for by taxation. That means to say that production for profit is. ruled out, as no wealth can be produced from waste no more than a bull let loose in a china ShOJf can be by any sense of reasoning considered a creator of wealth. Instead of conscripting the- resources of production to carry on the w ar our Government adopted the insane financial method of borrowing from oursel ves, thereby allowing profits to be piled up by the manufacturers on the one ha<nd in the vain delusion they repre- sented real wealth, and paying those manufac- turers on the other hand by the creation of Bradburys and credit erected on, those Bradbur"s. HOW IT WAS DONE. During the war period, for instance, any man with a good name in the eyes of his banker- could obtain £1,000 to invest in war stock by the receipt of « cheque book from his banker,, and the entry of credit to the extent (If £1,0()(t. to his name in the bank ledgers. The banker was in a position to accommodate his client by the creation of a credit instrument based on Bradbury's and not on gold. The result of this war-time financial method has led us to the- paradoxical position of having a. debit of 7,112" million National Debt on the one side, and credit of seeming profit amongst the manufac- turers and employers generally, probably not far short of the same amount. As you can-not have the cake and eat it, neither can you blow your wealth to blazes and keep it. The-trick of appearing to keep it can only be done 'by depre- ciating the value of your money, hence the rea- ?s'on your Bradbury £ 1 notes are hardly worth ten shillings for purchasing commodities. Incidentally, this method of finance adopted in our midst once more proves clearly the Marx- ist theory of money, that in a privately-owned system of production it is necessary the medium of social relations should be a commodity, or in other words monoy should be concretely based, and any replacement of this concrete medium by paper through the intervention of the state is. limited to the amount of the concrete medium (gold) it would require to take its place. The levy then is only a question of a measure- to be taken for the automatic withdrawal of our surplus currency and bank-originated credit in- struments, to enable us to get out of what Mr. Austin Chamberlain describes as « world of ficti- tious values, and can be termed a levy on nominal capital for the purpose of destroying the said nominal capital, and this action is truly described in G. H. Mail's answer to (J. 13. Shaw, a quotation from which J will eotTclude with :— Does he really believe that the capital levy means a levy on the wealth that has been eaten up and worn out and literally blown to blazes by the Army during the war? But,. of course, lie doesn't. Xoboclv knows better than himself that the capital levy in the form (which no doubt he means) of cancelling war stock is not a levy on wealth that has bee in blow n to blazes, but merely a recognition that it has been blown to blazes, that we should v regard what has been spent as having disap- peared, and that we should ask the paitriot" who lent the money which vanished in smoke and steel splinters over a hundred miles of front to rocognise frankly the fact that it has vani shed. Printed and Published by the National Labour Press, Ltd., at the Labour Pioneer Preae-, Williams' Square, Merthyr Tydfil.
I Llantrisant and District Notes. Tramway's Bill-Labour Defeated. The fundamental which divides Labour from all the other parties is the demand for the public ownership and democratic control of mines, railways, tramways, and all the other means of production, distribution and exchange. In no other way can the exploitation of man by man; the war of the classes, be brought to an end. Take away this principle from Labour and there is nothing fundamental left to divide it from ether parties. Yet it is on this very fundamental and first principle that the Labour Group on our District Council has failed the movement. For months pa,¡f. ngolations have been proceeding between the District Council anca the Bboiidda. Tramways Convpanj% The negotiations had for their object the exploitation—on terms, of course,—of this district by the Company. First the negotiations concerned the Gilfach Goch to Penrhiwfer Road, 'afterwards the negotiations were extended so that the Company might ex- ploit this district generally. During the progress of these negotiations for the setting up of this capitalist tramway concern the Labour Group made no public protest or announcement, and the minutes of the District Council available to the public give no record of even the feeblest opposition. The old council was bad enough, but it did oppose the coming of the Rhondda Tram- ways' Company into the District in 1913, al- though illogicaily it only asked for one third, in- stead of the whole of the increased burden which the e-oming of the rail-less cars on the Gilfach road then meant to the ratepayers, but for sheer, cool, capitalistic impudence this council, with its invitation to the company—" Coriie in and ex- ploit our people, and we'll make terms with you," —cannot be beaten. It was on these ne- gotiations for setting up this capitalist concern that the Labour Movement had -its best chance to fight and defeat this capitalist move and so make room for the accepta-nce of its own prin- ciple of public ownership. With the co-ordinated efforts of Trades Council, parish councillors and district counc illors, the negotiations could have been defeated. Through the Labour members keeping information secret they have failed. The Rhondda Tramways Company,-so we learn from the Western Mail" for September 26th, 1919, are to have the fight of extending their tram- ways along the Ely Valley road to Pontyclun. What the company was afraid to ask for in 1913 without one Labour member on the District Council, it gets quite easily in 19,19, with four Labour members out of nine members composing the District Council. Why have the Labour members been silent while these negotiations to set up this profit-making capitalist corn-era have been going on? Why have they not made some effort to mobilise opinion 4for a publicly owned tramway system ? If there's an answer then let us have it. The Parish Council. Having regard to the history of the 1913 Rhondda. Tramway's Company Rill it would have been an easy task with the aid of the Parish Councillors to have defeated the negotiations just concluded. All classes could have been mobilised behind, the Labour councillors. From now on the fight, if there's to be one, will be much more difficult since it will necessarily be on the terms of the agreement come to by the District Council and the Company. In spite of the increased difficulty of the fight, the move- ment outside is looking to the Parish Council to take it up. Leli the Parish Council insist upon information from the District Council respect- ing this agreement, let them employ their own experts, independently of the District Council, and carry the fight all the way to Whitehall. Behind them will stand, without doubt, the whole of the working-class movement of the district. ♦ A Sham Tribunal. I The District Council has decided to set up a Profiteering Tribunal. During the appointment of the tribunal a motion to include Labour re- presentatives in addition to those on the coun- cil was defeated by the casting vote of the chair- man. The Labour members asa protest threaten to resign from the tribunal. Just as the tribunals under the Military Service Acts failed to pro- tect the people aga-inst Militarism, so will these tribunals under t'lie Profiteering Act fail to pro- tect the people against profiteering. Profiteer- ing is too deep-seated a. trouble to be eradicated by any such mean.s as are a,t the disposal of the Profiteering Tribunals. Theso tribunals are merely intended to keep us chasing the small trader while the Big Business gets awav with the swag. Let each one ask himself or herself the question seriously: Would we refuse a. shil- ling for a sixpenny article if placed behind a counter to sell it? The candid answer to that question is that the bulk of us would not. That once fact gives us Ithe clue to effective action to prevent profiteering. It is, take the means of life out of private hands and let them be publicly owned. Inflicting fines, or sending small trades- men to prison (the bigger profiteer will not be sent to prison) will not solve the question of pro- fiteering. Had the Labour councillors been so keen to secure public ownership of the tramways in the Ely Valley as they appear to be to secure more Labour representatives to join in the hunt of these 'small business people, they would have been getting nearer the heart of the profiteering problem. We hope the Labour movement will not lose its head over shams. A Resolution. We take the following from District Council minutes: "It was resolved: That the following Closing Orders be made under Section 17 of the Housing and Town Planning Act, 1909, namely —O wner, Gomer S. Morgan: No. 1 Llanelay Cottages, Llantrisant, occupied by A. Smith; No. 2, ditto, Mrs. James; No. 3, ditto, W. Pick- ford No. 4, ditto, Mrs. Bond. Closing Orders Useless. Closing orders are made under Section 17 of the Act referred to above so as to secure either the repai r of houses unfit for habitation, or that such houses he closed and demolished. If the owner chooses to refuse to repair, then all the Council can do under this section is to order the closing and demolition of the houses. To close houses during the present house famine, with people living in vans, in corrugated iron sheds, in tents and as many as twenty persons in a cottage as is oecuring in this district, would be <i crime which the District Council dare not commit. Under the New Housing Act, 1919, as the Ministry of Health points out in its recently issued booklet, "Housing: Powers and Duties of Local Authorities," the District Council can If a house is not kept in all respects reason- ably fit for occupation, but is capable of being made fit iv ttiioitt, Ion, and the owner fails, after notice, to carry out the necessary re- pairs, the local authority may do the work, and -i ( t o -t, l ie ,xvol- k I ll,(l charge the cost to the owner (page par. 2). Closing order's are: ineffective and a sham. When the District Council proceeds to put the large number of houses in its district in a reasonably tit condition for Occupation by doing tlie repiii-i themselves and leaving closing orders alone, wv shall begin to bel ieve they,are in 'earnest on the (Continued at foot of preceding column).