Workmen s Examiners. (Continued). BY "SCRANTON." I SOME OBJECTIONS MET. It has been demonstrated conclusively, I think, that the old-fashioned method of selecting colliery workmen's examiners spasmodically, from amongst the workmen at a colliery is effete, and obsolete. That it is wasteful, unfair, inefficient, and crude. It has also been established equally con- clusively, that where you have part-time examiners chosen from amongst the men, to operate for a given period, say for 12 months, you have a better method, and one which will in all probability give better re- sults. But notwithstanding this, the latter system does not fulfil the requirements of the case, insofar as it does not attract the best men. As has been already demon- strated there is one method that eliminates all these disadvantages, and has advantages peculiar to itself; this is the permanent full- time examiners. Sufficient has already been 1 said in reference to the comparisons of the various kinds of examiners, and the pre- ponderance of the evidence has been en- tirely in favour of the last discussed. I have heard of no objection to this, the only objection that I have encountered hitherto is that it is hardly worth while, on account of the imminence of Nationalisa- tion of Mines, or alternatively of the dual- control of the industry. I shall now set out myself to deal with this objection, and as a preliminary will quote a few extracts from various papers bearing upon the subject. RooF-F.%LL VICTIM .—Five men Buried in Pit at Treherbert. The Bute Colliery, Treherbert was on Wednesday the scene of a huge fall of roof which resulted in the death of William Llew Davies, of Mount Lebanon, Treherbert. Four other men were seriously injured."—Western Mail," (Oct. 16th, 1919). FATAL PIT ROOF FALL.—Coroner's cri- ticism of Timbering. Wlliiam Henry, the manager, admitted that the place was not timbered all along at this place as there appeared to he such a strong rock top. The parting was used daily. The Coroner The place was evidently not timbered throughout as it should have been. We arc quite satisfied in saving this man lost his life through an accidental fall of roof,' yet it is a pity the timbering rule was not fully carried out. I don't say this would have prevented the fatality, as I can quite imagine this place being timbered from end to end, and then a sudden crush knocking it all out, but you would have had the satisfaction of knowing you had done all you could."—Western Mail (Octo- ber isth, 1919). Y- & d FIVE MINERS SLAIN EVERY DAY.- Scathing Comments -Little Else-on Ne- glect. 12,473 less men employed in 1018 than 1917, but 31 more deaths from acci- dents. III June, 1918, a mine manager, who pleaded guilty to some 40 to So contra- ventions of the act (contraventions which included failure to support a roof properly and failure to fence exposed machinery) was fined— £ 8 "—Daily Herald (October 18th, 1919). :¡: V In all parts of a roadway in which sets or trains consisting of three or more tubs are coupled or uncoupled, the roof and sides shall be systematically and adequate- ly supported, and in such parts and in all other parts of the roadway the roof and sides of which require to be supported, if props or bars are used as supports, such supports shall be set at such regular inter- vals and in-such manner as may be specified in the notice hereinafter mentioned. -Coa; Mines Act, 1911, Section 49, Sub-Section 3. :1. "SUPPORT OF ROOF AND SIDES.-illr. Walker has been much impressed by the system of support which is in force at Vic- toria Pit, Newbattle colliery. The roof and sides of all the roads from the pit bottoms to within a short distance of the working- faces are supported by arched steel girders set at regular distances apart. Between the webs of the girders 011 the main roads be- tween the pit bottom and the face, brick- work is built in, the side-roads being sup- ported by arched girders without brick- work. At the working face the roof is sup- ported by steel props set in a systematic manner and recovered as the face advanced. During the fi vc years ended December 31st, 1918, there has been no fatal accident due to fnlls of roof or side in this pit, whilst over one million an 1 a half tons of coal has been gotten. The depth of cover at the
Labour Notes. Although there are rumours that a dis- cussion will take place early after the re- sumption of Parliament with regard to the industrial situation, so far as Parliamentary Labour is concerned no step has been taken to secure facilities from the Government. A meeting of the Policy Committee, which is composed of the officers of the Party and Labour Privy Councillors, will, however, be held on Wednesday, when the whole poli- tical and industrial situation will be re- viewed. ALIENS' RESTRICTION BILL.. An Aliens' .Restriction Bill is to be con- sidered when the House resumes. It con- tains very drastic amendments of the law, and the Labour Party is particularly inter- ested in Sub-section 2 of Clause 3, which is as follows: H If any alien promotes or at- tempts to promote industrial unrest in any industry in which he is not bona-fide en- gaged in the United Kingdom he shall be liable on summary conviction to imprison- ment for a term not exceeding three months." By way of illustrating the wide scope of this clause it is pointed out that if a dele- gate from the American Federation of Trade Unions was visiting this country during an industrial crisis, say, during a campaign for ationalisation of mines, and took part in any of the meetings, presum- ably proceedings could be taken against him as an alien under this clause. The Labour members in committee endeavoured to de- lete the whole sub-section, but the Govern- ment resisted the attempt. Further efforts, however, will be made on the report stage. SEX DISQUALIFICATION BILL. It will be remembered that the Labour Party's Women's Emancipation Bill passed through the House of Commons and was thrown out of the House of Lords. Subse- quently the Government introduced in the House of Lords their Sex Disqualification Bill. The Women's Emancipation Bill con- tained, among other things, provisions to give women the vote on the same terms as men, thus abolishing the age qualification, and to entitle Peeresses to sit in the House of Lords. The Sex Disqualification Bill, which has passed through the House of Lords, and is now before the House of Commons, does not contain these two pro- visions, and a strong attempt will be made to have them incorporated. THE TIMES & JOINT CONTROL. I The Times would appear to be the latest recruit to the Labour policy of Joint Con- trol in National Services. It has recently been publishing a series of articles on the Way to Railway Peace," which seem on first reading to be an offer of joint control between the railwaymen and the State, but Labour men are naturally somewhat sus- picious of their propaganda as it appears in The Times, and there are one or two inter- esting suggestions in these articles which are worthy of attention. I'heiTitiies first says that the subjects 011 which the work- men are to have a voice in control are to be industrial matters," that is to say, pro- bably matters relating to wages, hours, and conditions. This is, of course, far short of what is meant by a demand for Joint Con- trol. Secondly, though The Times admits that the right to strike cannot at present be abolished, it suggests that a condition of granting its joint control should be that notice should be given of any intention to strike, and that no strike should be allowed until a full ballot of the men has taken place. This, it will be observed, would in- volve a change in the constitution of the N.U.R., which is hardly a matter on which The Times is competent to dictate. Lastly, the suggestion is that the railways should be jointly controlled by the railwaymen and representatives of the community." It will hardly be believed that The Times con- siders that the community is adequately re- presented by tthe old Railway Executive Committee, that is, by the General Man- agers of Railways sitting in consultation. It seems, then, that what The Times means by joint control and what the railway- men mean are two very different things, and Labour would do well to t)e on its guard in order to secure that sham proposals are not forced on it. A WIN FOR OTHER TRADES. I If proof were wanting that the railway- men in their strike were fighting the battle of the whole of organised Labodr, it would be amply provided by this week's i&,iue of The Syren and Shipping, the organ of the ship-building ecployers, which is charming- ly frank about the annoyance it feels at the recent settlement and the railwaymen's vic- tory on the wages qutstion. We cannot do better than quote its own words:—"One of the uncomfortable legacies which the railway dispute has left to shipbuilding and other industries is to be found in the stabili- sation principle on which work was re- sumed. Since wages in the railway service cannot be reduced for twelve months, it follows as the night the day that there can be- no reductions in other trades. This means that shipbuilders may now give up all hope of decreased costs of production for at least a year. We are sorry for the dis- appointed shipbuilders, but we think that all other trades would be inclined to say "Well done, t.R. Incidentally, there arc other ways of reducing costs besides lowering wages, though the shipbuilders do aot appear to have thought of them. I ECHOES OF THE STRIKE. It may now he stated," says the Glas- gow Herald with pleasure, that in view of the possibility of the London amnibus drivers and conductors joining in the recent railway strike, no fewer than 2,700 men were in the first few days licensed by the- police to drive motor omnibuses. These men were all sworn im by special constables, so that they might help to maintain order if necessary. They were ready to take duty as drivers, and a dormitory was provided for them in Regent's Park." We do not know what the Licensed Vehicle Workers have to say to these organised attempts at strike-breaking, but we do know that at all costs Labour must see to it that its pro- paganda is so effected that in the event of another big strike the Government will not be able to call up 2,000 or even 200 men willing to undertake blackleg work for it. I WHEN MERCHANTS WERE HAPPY I I The Merchants' Committee of the Lon- don Chamber of Commerce have passed the following resolution The Merchants' Committee desire to report their strong ob- jection to Government trading in any form. In the opinion of the Committee, Govern- ment trading is always inefficient and cost- ly in comparison with private enterprise, which in the past has bten completely satis- factory to those interested; whether in mer- chandise or shipping." It may be useful to append to this one or two figures of shipping profits :— Khedivial Steamship and Graving Docks, 20 per cent. (1917). Orient Steam Navigation Company, 15 per cent. (tax free). France, Fenwick and Co., 25 per cent. Globe Shipping Company, 32A per cent. Smith Docks Company, 25 per cent. Moor Line, 20 per cent. (tax free). Tate Steam Navigation, 20 per cent. (tax free). British Steamship Investment Trust, 50 per cent. This is, of course, in addition to large amounts of distributed capital -and money carried over to reserve.. Also, steamers wercuchanging hands during the war at colossal prices, and so the shipowners and merchants scored again. No wonder the London Chamber of Commerce found the situation completely satisfactory." CATCH THE PROFITEER! I The Profiteering tribunals are now well under way, and from all indications it seems, as was anticipated, that the big sin- ners in the business world are to escape scot free. For instance, a woman in Bal- ham was charged by a draper at the rate of 2is. for a pound of knitting wool. This catK: was dismissed by the Tribunal, as the firm in question proved that it had been forced to charge this price as the charge made by the wholesaler was so high. The next step is thus to find the wholesaler, bring him before the Central Committee (which alone has power to deal with him), and find out what his profits were. Pre- sumably the wholesaler will put it on the merchant, and the merchant on the supplier of raw wool: Meanwhile the poor woman pays the price, nobody has to pay a fine, and the great game of hide-and seek goes on. The only remedy for profiteering is control all the way along, and the Profiteer- ing Act is proved the sham it was meant to be. TYRANNY. I It has been stated that" the C.O. 's are now all out of prison, and the public were left to conclude that a general amnesty had been arrived at. This, however does not appear to be the view either of the Government or of some education authorities. The Trea- sury has publishey its decision upon C.O.'s in the Post Office. These men are to be employed on Post Office work again, but they are only to have the status of tempor- ary employees, that is to say, they are to be mulcted in respect of the pensions they would otherwise have been entitled to at the end of their service. Presumably, the Treasury thinks it is enough to provide a C.O. with employment, and that it is a very suitable punishment for him to have nothing to look forward to in his old age. The Liverpool Education Committee have gone even further, and declined to reap- poitn C.O. creatures in spite of a strong protest from certain members of the com- mittee. A patriot called Alderman Bur- gesse remarked that Patriotism and its obligations was a subject in the schools, and children must be instructed to act in times of stress as the leaders of the Government thought fit MEANNESS. I It is not a happy thing to be an employee of the Board of Education. True, there is in existence a Teachers' Superannuation Act passed last year under which teachers will obtain hetter pensions than they have had in the past, but this is not retrospec- tive. Elementary school teachers who re- tired under the old system have still to exist on the miserable sums the were then en- titled to—never more than (96 per annum, which is equal to one day's salary for Sir (Continued at foot of next oolumn)
Labour Interrogates the Foreign Secretary. In the name of the Executive Committee of the Labour Party which discussed at its meeting last week the present Russian situation, the following searching questions have been addressed to the Government in a letter sent to Mr. Arthur Balfour, the Foreign SecretirN (T) Is the withdrawal of British troops from Archangel accurately described as an evacuation by the British forces? or (2) Arc there still a number of British troops, including volunteer detachments and technical instructors, still remaining in the territories formerly included in the Russian Empire, with the exception of Trans-Caucasia ? (3) To what extent is assistance being ren- dered to Koltchak and Denikin, by way of money, supplies, and military equip- ment ? (4) Upon what date is it proposed that mili- tary action in Russia, in this or any other form, shall cease? (5) Whether the Government is placing any obstacles in the way of the Peace negotia- tions in progress between the Baltic State Governments and the Soviet Govern- ment ? (6) What restrictions, if any, are still being placed by British naval forces upon mari- time trade between Russia and neutral countries via the Baltic ? This last query is suggested by the re- ported statement by the Swedish Govern- ment, in reply to an inquiry from the Swedish Metal Workers' Union, that it cannot afford protection to Swedish vessels carrying medical supplies to Petrograd, owing to the possibility that this might lead to war betw een Sweden and the Allied Gov- ernments. The letter asks the Foreign Secretary to give these questions his early consideration.
i pressed by the extremists on both sides. The bitterness provoked by the starvation policy of the Allies was strengthening hoth the militarists on one hand, and the extreme re- volutionaries on the other hand. Miss Eg- lantyne Jebb (lion, secretary of the Save the Children Fund) appealed to Sir John Brad- bury that every effort should be made to save the children whose lives are in danger Those who had it in their power to save them had an unparalleled opportunity of rendering a service which would earn the lasting gratitude of mankind. The deputa- tion were courteously received by Sir John Bradbury, and an interview was granted to some of its members by Mons. Loucheur. the French Representative on the Repara- tion Commission (and Chairman), Colonel Theunis, the Belgian representative, and Mr. Dresel, the American representative.
Eric Geddes. Moreover, while the old teachers arc under no such obligation. Re- presentations have been made again and again to the Treasury to alleviate the lot of these poor annuitants, but the Treasury merely replies that it dare not raise their pensions lest other Civil servants might ask for a rise also. It is pleasing to learn that the National Union of Teachers has raised the voluntary fund to help the old teachers, but it is a scandal that a Government pour- ing out millions of money like water should not lie able to afford a few hundred thou- sands to keep the teachers from the work- house.
deepest point is 4ro, and at the shaft 270 fathoms.. The colliery has been visited by a great many colliery managers during the time the system has been in vogue, so it is well known. "Science and Art of Mining (October 18th, 1919. The above extract is a portion of a sum- mary dealing with extracts from the Mines Inspectors reports for 1918, and should be read in conjunction with the concluding re- marks of my last article on this subject. Well, to return to the objection advanced against the appointment of permanent ex- aminers, on the score that it is not worth while oil accoilt of the imminence of the Nationalisation of the industry, or the dual- control thereof. What would we say of a colliery owner who treated the matter in this way. What if a colliery owner said to his managers thus We shall probably have the mines nationalised in a few months, or in a year or two at the outside It is not worth while for us to spend any more money in buying better safety lamps, timbering the roadways, making refuge holes, or opening out the airways. Get all the coal you can, keep everybody off the repairs, leave the airways as they are, and don't engage any more repairers. It is not worth while for us to trouble about the safety of the mines. The mines will not be ours for long. Let us get all the coal we can, as cheap as we can, while there is yet time, and so be in a more favourable position to bargain when the time comes for thew to be taken over." We should probably call him a callous money-grabbing murderer. Again, suppose there is a man and boy working together as they often do, and they have a tram partly filled. The roof is band and a support is required. But the man, knowing the danger exists is anxious to fill the tram before dealing with it, and says to the boy Never mind the post now, we will put one up as soon as we fill this tram. Pull a bit of coal to fill this tram, I don't expect it will come down for a bit, I want to have the tram ready for the haulier." What would you think of a man who would risl. his own life for n tram of coal ? You wfcmld think him a fool. What would you think of a man who would risk a boy's life, whether his own or somebody else's, for a tram of coal ? You would think him a cold-blooded murderer. Now apply this test of the colliery-owner and the collier to the agent, or check- weigher or collier who opposes the appoint- ment of permanent examiners, on the illu- sory grounds above-mentioned. Can they staud the the test?
Surrender of 140,600 Milcti Guvs Under Peace Treaty. MONEY ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTED A party of eight representative English women now in Paris have presented to Sir John Bradbury, the English Representative on the Reparation Commission two memor- ials relating to the cession of milch cows by Germany and Austria under the Peacé I Treaty, and urging that the reparation in question shall be carried out on such lines as may not entail a vastly increased mor- tality amongst children. Mrs. CreightoH (widow of the late Bishop of London and ex-president of the International Council of Women) presented a memorial signed by Lord Robert Cecil, Lords Crewe, Morley, Selborne, and Lansdowne, Adeline, Duchess of Bedford, the Arqhbishops of Canterbury and York, Cardinal Bourne, Dr. Clifford, the Cliief Rabbi, several eminent doctor? and business men, Right Hon. Arthur Hen- derson (secretary of the Labour Party), Sir Horace Plunkett, and other notable mefl and women. The memorial shows by quotations from the British White Paper (Cmd. 280) on Food Conditions in Germany, that the defi- ciency in the milk supply in that country is already causing terrible suffering among children and will become more serious stilt in the winter. One of the authors of this official report, Professor Starling, has since stated that, fof every litre of milk per day lost, a baby will die; while another, Mr. A. P. McDougall* Chief Live Stock Commissioner, for Scot- land, says It is difficult to see how Ger- many can avoid a milk famine which wiIl endanger the lives of children and mothers to an extent one hardly dare contemplate. In combating the white plague, the memorial proceeds, milk is a prime neceS- sit v. In the interests of Europe and of ths world we feel that the German people should not be further hampered in their at- tempt to limit its ravages." It must be the universal desire of the civilised world to prevent any unnecessary extension of the infant death-roll, whid* has already resulted from the war." The memorial presses upon the attention of the Reparation Commission the alterna' tive to the cession of cows which Mr. Mc Dougall suggests and Professor Starling supports, viz. that Germany should be al' lowed to pay for cows to be imported frottl ¡ abroad into France and Belgium; and pointS j out that some 60,000 milch cows are at prt" sent being imported into France frof" America. Mrs. Creighton called attention to tbe names of representative religious and polt- tical leaders who have signed it. The post- ponement of the cession of the cows might, she hoped, avert the increase of despair and revolutionary feelings which would be cotl- sequent on the death of German children- The well-known educationalist, Miss Mar- garet McMillan, L.C .C. urged the import' ance of an international movement for child conservation. As the custodians of powerv the Allies bore great responsibilities, airli- the saving of children, including those 9 -ij enemv countries, lav at the basis of all work I of real reconstruction, 3 The second memorial, presented by -N,fr5- C. R. Buxton, had originated with the Figk the Famine Council, and was signed by otlo hundred men and women well known Iff political, literary, and religious life. M? Buxton quoted the evidence of the Briti**1 White Paper (Cmd. 280), as to <he prob? bility in the winter of a milk famine in G man)'. and a terrible increase of the morta'* ity among children which the existi? shortage had already created. In the large towns of Austria there was the risk tlhvit practically the whole child popnlatiQ might perish. Miss Edith Pyc (Friend Emergency and War Victims' Relief CoIll- mittee) who has been awarded the Legioft [ of Honour in recognition of her work f°t mothers and children in the devastatea areas in France, spoke with feeling of the conditions which had prevailed in Lille at1 other parts, and said that we were faCc now with a wide extension of similar coildi- tions throughout Central Europe. Jtl, Vienna especially, the conditions stilpisse all others in horror. Dr. Ethel Beiltlillill (member of the Executive Committee of tile Labour Party) urged that in the interests 0 all countries the standard of child healt. should not be allowed anywhere to fall tOO low. She spoke of the likelihood of Eurol". as a whole being swept by diseases as tfrc result of the enfeebled condition of the peO" pie in Central Europe. She held a letter from Mr. Arthur Henderson expressing thc support of the Labour Party. The opiniD of English working women was voiced b Mrs. Hood, the delegate of the Women* Co-operative Guild and, other women's iJ1 dustrial organisations with a membership of half a million. It was their desire, shc said, that reparation should be exacted froo Germany without the punishment falling ott 'I the children. The working women of Eng" land did not want the children of any natio? to starve. Miss Catherin Marshall spoke of her c?' periences during a recent stay of tw? months in Germany, which went to sho? that a concession at this moment on thCl part of the Allies would strengthen the most hopeful and truly progressive elements i01 German political life, who were very hard kcontinned at foot of preceding column).