The Ex-Service Man and His Organisation. IT used to be said of Czarist Russia that where three men met together four political parties were represented. And it seems to us that much the same remark could be ap- plied to our own ex-service men and their organisations these days. Just whether it is desirable that the ex-service men, whose legitimate interests as such are essentially similar, should so partition themselves is a question for themselves. It is not to be set- tled by priority in the field, but by a con- sideration of the end to be striven for, and the machinery that will best accomplish the attainment of that end. That a hundred and one misconceptions of the purpose for which organisation is primarily desirable should have been imported into the confused dis- cussion is what is to be looked for in the early stages. Fawned on by a sycophant press, and petted by politicians who have nothing to learn in the art of flattery during the years that the press and politician need- ed the soldiers' service; uniformed off, se- gregated from, and disciplined off the main stream of the national life of a period of strenuous, unusual years, it is not to be wondered at that the immediate aftermath has been a conception of aloofness from the general life of the nation, and the conse- quent belief that apart from but inside of that general life, the ex-service man has some special interest to serve. He is taught that in some inexplicable way he has se- parate interests from the rest of his fdlow townspeople in the administration of his municipality; that in some way his political problems are capable of disassociation from those of the nation, and so he is taught to partition himself into a separate entity on the one hand, and on the other to adopt the old Irish Nationalist devise of political bar- gaining. And unfortunately he believes these things, and consciously or uncon- sciously he enters the arena of local and na- tional politics with a new but false concep- tion of his mission. Consequently every differing view about politics within his own ranks resolves itself into an organisation quarrel-and from every diverse opinion a new combination springs. It may be that by a clever coup a temporary association of a group of these organisations may succeed in bargaining a concession, but when we re- member that the Irish Party with a finer, more unified, and much more conscious or- ganisation and object than he has has wan- dered in the wilderness chasing this very will-o' -the-wisp since its inception we arc #comj>elled to regard such a happening as about as likely as a repetition of the miracle of Balaam's ass. Moreover, a compulsory bargain wrung under such conditions is not a safe foundation upon which to found a cause. Justice alone will serve as the basis. What then does justice demand ? It de- mands that the pensions that are paid to in- capacitated soldiers and sailors and to their widows and children shall be adequate to ensure to them a full measure gf human life; that if from any cause they came to to be adequate then they shall be revised and made adequate; justice demands that the handicaps engendered in the nation's service" shall be minimised so far as is hu- manly possible by the nation; justice de- mands that the land and aims for which those sacrifices were made shall be conceded as the price of those sacrifices. Justice de- mands these things for the ex-service man, but justice unfortunately is not an abstract something that is recognised and respected at sight. Justice is meted out according to the strength with which the opponents of that justice can be opposed. Self-interest will overcome the claims of Justice, unless justice can command power. But what power? The power of the vote expressed once every five years or so is not sufficient. The power must be continuous and readily mobilisable. It is, candidly, the power of self-interest. In the first place the ex-ser- vice men must command the Pensions Com- mittees that deal with their' cases by full direct representation. That problem is es- sentially theirs to deal with and solve. But to ensure their solution they must command something. What is that something ? It is the same thing that the ex-service com- mands as a trades unionist-his economic- political power welded into a proper weapon. If he attempts to separate him- self into two conflicting interests he will completely defeat himself. His organisa- tion must not attempt that impossible task. Success lies in welding his whole power into one homogeneous whole. If his ex-service organisation clashes with his trades union- ism then the one will be used by self-inter- est opposed to his other organisation to en- compass his defeat in either or both. His ex-service organisation should complement, not combat his other organisations, and they should be available for ensuring to him a straight deal as an ex-service man, in the problems that his associated ex-service or- ganisation has collated and stated. Whether he belongs to the Labour Party or not, the ex-service man is assured of the Labour Party support, because it is contrary to the whole working-class interests that an un- derpaid, poverty-stricken element should be in the working-class ranks as a constant menace to advancing life. But if he is sensible to his own interests he will not allow his touch with Labour to depend upon mere sentiment or unrelated policy, but will link himself definitely with the Labour Forces in which he is engaged as a trades unionist. He will take an. active. part in it. No matter whether his organi- sation be called Federation, Association or Union—there lies his power, and sane self- interest would dictate affiliation. So far in Merthyr the Federation has rigidly observed a non-partisan, non-political, non-sectarian attitude. The question that the men have to debate and solve for themselves is that of abstention or participation; and so far as we are concerned our columns arc freely open to them to discuss this knotty point. The best interests of the man himself is what matters.
The Rusholme Result. THE congratulations of the whole working- class movement in this country are due to Dr. Dunstan and his hand of workers, who on a straight out-and-out democratic fight in the Rusholme Division of Manchester have pulled down the Coalition majority by over three thousand votes; and who in a less complicated struggle than a four-cor- nered contest that included so militant a Radical as Mr. Pringle, would have secured the seat that is held to-day by a Coalition- ist on a minority vote of the constituency. Couple together the facts that Labour's showing in this Manchester division at the general election was not one to get enthu- siastic about, and the campaign of prejudice that has since characterised the capitalist organs respecting the Bolshevists," and the acrimonious class prejudices stirred to their depths in the midst of the election campaign by the occurrence of the Railway Strike, and a real meaning of Dr. Dunstan's candidature on the I.L.P. ticket becomes plain. Here, more potently even that in the other bye-elections, the wonderful strides made by Labour in face of the most virulent opposition is attested. Here more than in any other previous contest it is made abundantly clear that at long last the common people of the nation arc awaken- ing to a consciousness that they can only emancipate themselves and their children from the thraldom of economic .slavery, by consciously directing their political efforts in their direction of their own party. They are coming to see the folly of being work- ing-class in trades-unions and in their every-day life, and aristocratic in their poli- tical representation. At last the dawn of that knowledge gives them a perception that life is not two part, but is one—an uni- fied whole, and that to act otherwise is worse than folly. They see that without politics their means to progress are sorely curtailed, and necessarily over-used; and they have sought to correct their previous errors by at last aligning their whole or- ganisation and purpose. That is the mean- ing of Rusholme. Dr. Dunstan has failed to secure the seat, but, even so, his poll is a remarkable tribute to the working-class solidarity of the constituency, and its mes- sage is obvious to all who pause and think. There can be no rejoicing in the Coalition fold at such a result, for its import is full of vigorous healthy threat against that fold. Much has been said by both the victor and Mr. Pringle about the adverse effect of the railway strike upon the result. Mr. Pringle may have grounds for such a complaint; but the victor has not. During that strike with its worse than lying propaganda against the men, and, consequently, against trades unionism in general every class from the smallest of small traders to the biggest of Corporation Capitalists were stirred to their depths in hatred and opposition to Demos; and the canker of a poisonous pro- paganda did not omit its results from the workers themselves. Hundreds who were beginning to listen with hesitating ear to the message of Labour, found their stomachs too weak to withstand the dose that the strike compelled them to face, and in terror they fled to their old defences. And yet, despite that 6,412 voters declared for the I.L.P. candidate. Without that Rusholme might be represented by a ma- jority representative in Westminster, in- stead of as to-day by an M.P. whose vote is nearly 2,000 short of a majority of the con- stituency.
Building Trade Demands. I STRIKE OF 250,000 OPERATIVES I THREATENED. Trouble has arisen in the building trade over a demand of the workers for an ad- vance of 4d. per hour, making a total of 2S. an hour in the best remunerated areas, which on a full 48 hours week would only give a maximum wage of (4 16s. in these days. But that figure is misleading unless consideration is given to the seasonal value of the ork1 which means a very consider- able number of lost days during a fair por- tion of the year, and frequent holds-up by bad days during the major part of the re- maining time. More than 250,000 men are affected all over the country, and a general strike in the industry is threatened unless an early set- tlement is reached. The question was considered by rhe Na- tional Conciliation Board for the Building Trades in London on Tuesday.
j IHEMM Mm & EMPIRE PALACE, Merthyr I | Managing Director Mr. William Firth Licensee—Mr. WiH Smithson. | General Manager—Mr. Val Stevens. 17 ONCE NIGHTLY. W OQ 1 7830 MONDAY, OCTOBER 27th, for Six Nights. 7,30 | Z FRED W. WARDEN and K. F. HOOPER present z I Five Nights 1 A Love Problem for all Ages I Prepared for the Stage by the Authoress- I VIC aRIA C [ROSS I From her Famous Novel. I I PHILIP ANTHONY as "TREVOR," the Artist. I t HELEN HARDY as "VIOLA," Trevor's Cousin. | I Next Week—The Grut London Success-THE PURPLE MASK I j HAYDEN COFFIN as "Armand." j II .1 II "_II I.. r II It II .t I Merthyr Electric heatre J Week commencing Monday, October 27th. I (CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE FROM 2.30 P.M. DAILY. | Monday Tuesday and Wednesday- I The Fox Film Company present the Super-Production, entitled- I i THE BLINDNESS OF DIVORCOE ? Showing the terrible consequences of the Reckless Breaking of the I ? most Sacred Bond. I ? A picture which grips the thoughts of every man and woman. 0 !? A Mack Sennett Comedy t TOO TOUGH TENDERFOOT I I '? t?w — This is just a half-an-hour's good laugb. | a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday- I THE R?ANGER ZONE 1 (Another excellent Fox Drama, featuring MADELINE TRAVERSE, the £I Brilliant New Fox Star. N THE CIRCUS KING. Episode 12 I Eddie Polo in further Startling Adventures ?j 1 The Management desire to impress upon patrons the importance of coming early- I afternoons, if possible-as a tremendous winter programme has been arranged. ■ I Prices of Admission 5d., 9d., 1/3 including Tax. I m .t II II It m — nr%ir. Are unrivalled for all Irregul&ritieN, etc., they — ?tC??B Ha ARD S speedily afford relief and never fail to alleviate B -——?. *L*'A"M "—— all suffering. They supersede Pennyroyal, Pill mmtmmmmm EMI IS* Cochia, Bitter, Apple, &c. Blanchard's are the best If all Pills for Women. Sold In boxes, 1/1, by BOOTS' Branches and all Chemists, or post free, same price, fromi LESLIE MARTIN, Ltd., Qhemlsts, 34 Dalston Lane, London. Samples and valuable booklet cent free, Id. stamp. I PENTREBACH HALL. EISTEDDFOD, JANUARY 1st, 1920 (NEW YEAR'S DAY). Under the auspices of the Merthyr and Troedyrhiw Co-operative Society. Male Voice*— Crusaders (Dan Protheroe, Mus. Bac.) Prize £ 15 and a trophy. Juvenile Choir—Champion Duet, Solos, Recitations, etc. Adjudicators: I Music: Professor T. J. MORGAN, F.T.S.C. L.R.A.M., Cwmbaoh, and Mr. L. POWELL EVANS, Splott, Cardiff. Recitations: Mr. GWILYM D. PHILLIPS, Abraman. Programmes 2d., Post Free. Joint Secretaries: Miss Edith Davies, Pantglas, Troedyrhiw, and Mr. Dd. Thos. Evans, Co- operative Society) Troedyrhiw. HOPE CHAPEL, MERTHYR, Sunday, October 26th, 1910. Rev. J. Morgan Jones, M.A. Services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ARE WE DOING YOUR PRINTING ? We have the most modern equipment, and good work is quickly turned out by Trade Unionists at reasonable rates. NOTE THE ADDRESS THE LABOUR PIONEER PRESS 14. P. MERTHYR TYDFIL I.L.P. WINTER COURSES OF LECTURES ON INDUSTRIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY. Lecturer Mr. A. P. YATES. LECTURE IV.: "ROME.' The Classes are held every Sunday Evening at 7.30 p.m. in Bentley's Hall. Copies of the first two lectures now availably. Correspondence.—Classes difficulties answered through post. I.L.P. MERTHYR f.L..P HOME RULE FOR INDIA. BENTLEY'S HALL, Merthyr Sunday Next, October 26th. SPEAKER: Mr. Satyamurti, Representative of Indian National Conference. Silver Collection. Chair at 2.45 p.m. PRIZE DRAWINGS. THE Stop Watch Competition in aid of John Adams is postponed for one month. POSTPONEMENT of the Art Union Drawing on behalf of Mrs. Richards, -No. i Hill Street, Troedyrhiw, for one month from October 6th, 1919.—John Samuel (Secretary).
I John Williams' Opponent. I As we go to press we learn that Mr. Ben Jones, an ex-postal worker, will almost cer- tainly be Councillor John Williams oppo- nent in the Cyfarthfa Ward. We regret that the workers' candidate should be opposed by one who has himself known the tyranny of low wages and industrial conditions, and that at a time when the working-class move- ment as a whole is seeking a way out of its thraldom. There will be only one official Labour Party candidate in the fight—the sitting member, Councillor John Williams- one of the best men on the Corporation.
Victimisation of a few ship's engineers at Marseilles brought about a strike of en- gine-room staffs, wireless operators, stew- ards, and cooks, which stopped the sailing of every vessel in the port. The strike ended when the men were reinstated. A strike of municipal clerks has been de- clared in Berlin.
Doctors at Variance. MEDICAL OFFICER'S COMPLAINTS AGAINST LADY ASSISTANT. CORPORATION'S DIFFICULTY. Dr. Alexander Duncan (Medical officer of health) informed the Merthyr School Man- agement Committee on Wednesday that differences between him and Dr. Harcourt, the recently appointed lady assistant medi- cal ofifcer, were such that his resignation would be tendered if the services of the lady were not dispensed with. The meeting was specially convened to deal with the question of Dr. Harcourt. When Aid. R. P. Rees (the Mayor) was explaining that complaints relative to Dr. Harcourt were the talk of the town and that school-teachers, parents and both the Director of Education and the medical offi- ver were complaining she was not acting as she should," Mr. L. M. Francis objected that any charges should be made in the ab- sence of the lady doctor. Mr. Rhys Elias (Director of Education) t Dr. Harcourt has been informed. Mr. D. Parry interposed that he had met her that day and that she had gone home to rest. She told him that she had not been invited to the meeting. Mr. Elias added that the differences be- tween Dr. Harcourt and Dr. Duncan had reached that stage in which it was impos- sible to continue carrying on school medical inspection. The Mayor said he was under the impres- sion the lady would be present to refute, if possible, any charges against her, and h« thought there was reason fr-- her absence. Mr. Win. Jones suggested hearing the complaints and calling Dr. Harcourt again to make her defence, but to this Mr. John Williams objected on the ground that the whole matter would have to be traversed once more in her presence. Aid. Charles Griffiths considejed that Dr. Harcourt should have been told the specific business of the meeting. Dr. Duncan Dr. Harcourt ought to have been here in the ordinary course. Mr. Parry wished to hear what Dr. Dun- can had to say adding that the point at which the lady was implicated having been reached the meeting could be adjourned to give her an opportunity to defend herself. Mr. H. M. Lloyd opined that the circular was sufficiently clear in indicating that she should be there for business concerning a special medical committee and he resentel an inj unction from Mr. Francis "to play the game." Mr. Francis I strenuously object to any- one being hauled over the coals unless pre- sent. When charges are made the officials implicated ought to be present to defend themselves. I am astounded that Dr. Dun- can should be party to it. Dr. Alexander Duncan I simply put the matter before the mayor (Alderman R. P. Rees), and he immediately called this meet- ing. If the matter is not going to be taken up at once I am going to resign. I refuse absolutely to have any further communica- tion with Dr. Harcourt. Mr. Rhys Elias (director of education) explained that he had sent out the notice of the meeting, and it had not occurred to him or to Dr. Duncan that the lady would not attend in the ordinary course on the receipt of it. On the question being put to the meeting, it was decided by thirteen votes to ten to hear Dr. Duncan's report on the situation. Dr. Duncan stated that the work of medi- cal inspection had never gone sniootblv from the commencement of Dr. Harcourt'i appointment. She made several complaints and charges against the clinic clerk, and after inquiry it appeared to him that Dr. Harcourt had no cause for complaints. Dr. Harcourt was incensed that the girl was not reprimanded, and she went to see the direc- tor of education about the matter-at his office. There was a headmistress who made a complaint about Dr. Harcourt's method of inspection, and declared she would not have the lady doctor inside the school again. A Penydarren resident also came the same morning and complained respecting the manner of inspecting his child. Dr. Harcourt became emotional, hys- terical, and used strong language," went on Dr. Duncan, and coming out said to me, Dr. Duncan What's the matter with you ? Are you an opium smoker, or what ? I was so startled at* the suggestion that I was an opium cater that there was no more to be said." On Monday she came again to his office and complained of the clerk. He (Dr. Duncan) asked her to leave the room. She refused, and he left. Coming after him to Mr. Elias's office she had another hys- terical outbreak, and followed him after- wards down the street. Fortunately, added Dr. Duncan, he met a councillor, who en- gaged the lady in conversation and advised her to bring her complaint before the com- mittee. Her answer was to ask what justice could she expect from a committee of ignor- ant and uneducated men. I can't expect justice from men who are not Oxford or Cambridge graduates," she. was alleged to have added. Dr. Duncan, requesting the protection of the corfimittee. concluded his report by say- ing, I refuse to work with Dr. Harcourt. If you keep her on I am going. I have no more to say." The meeting was then adjourned for the attendance of the lady doctor.