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National Industrial Council…

Tom Mann's New Job.

The 'New World' Speaks -Out.


The New World' Speaks Out. AN EX-SOLDIER STATES THE CASE. The article Back-Pay-How to get it," by A. E. Mander, General Secretary of the National Union of Ex-Service Men, which appears in the current issue of the New] World, the official organ of that Union, is so able a presentation of the case that the liberty is taken of reproduction. "In the last issue of the New World I gave, as clearly as I could, the chief argu- ments in support of the demand for back pay which the National Union of Ex-Ser- vice Men is now making. I pointed out that, although the troops were being shame- fully underpaid while the war was on, yet they could not then, without giving the country into the hands of the enemy, stop to enforce their demands for fair and propeT treatment. So the Service men tacitly agreed to carry on, to see the job through. and then to put forward their demands w hen the crisis was passed. I pointed out that, while the UniteQ Kingdom troops were working and fighting for the ridiculous rate of about a shilling a day, the Australian troops were receiving 6/- a day for doing exactly the same work. And I drew attention to the fact that, di- rectly the war was over, the rate of pay was raised; so that the peace-time soldiers of to-day (largely youngsters without ex- perience of war) are getting anything up to three or four times what the veteran troops were getting for working and fighting in hell. In view of these facts can anyone say that the demand of the Union is an unrea- sonable demand ? The demand is that r every man who served during the war shall receive as back pay the difference be- tween what he actually received and the rate of 6/- a day.' Can any one tell me that the ex-Service iiiem are asking for more than, by every canon of justice and moral- ity, they are fully entitled to? Dare any man get up and say that, for an average eighteen-hour-day, normally under fire, with death always at his elbow, living in ditches and holes in the ground, carrying on amid all the horror and hideousness of war, the rate of 6/- a day would be exces- sive for the war-time Service man ? Sometimes the objection is raised— But the country is already nearly bank- rupt, and it cannot afford to meet this de- mand.' That is sheer, unadulterated rub- bish. Look at it this way. The country has two demands to face-the demand of the people who invested their money and the demand of the men who invested their lives. Very well, which ranks first ? Is the nation going to pay the people who lent their money at a rate of 5 per cent. while ignoring the claims of those who in- vested their lives? Or is it going to recog- nise that, if cithci- of these debts is to be repudiated, then it must not be the latter > But, apart from this, there is another source from which the back pay funcl.can be obtained. All the land belongs to the State, nominally to the Crown. That is a funda- mental principle of English law, a survival, I suppose, of the old feudal system. Those who own the land to-day, own it mere- ly on sufferance. The land was originally given into the possession of individuals only upon one condition-that when it was necessary for them to go and fight for it, they should do so. Tiut gradually, as the feudal system died out, the terms of tenure I were altered, so that instead of having to fight for the land they held, the owners were allowed to pay rertt for it. And gradually they stopped paying even rent. (I am not, of course, speaking of the rent one pays to one's landlord, but of the rent that the landlord himself should pay to the State for allowing him to be a landlord.) Well, this Union has, by referendum, decided that the demand that the land shall be' restored to the people. By this we mean that the State shall at once proceed to collect the rent which every freeholder ought to pay (to the nation) for the privilege of being a landowner.' For the owners of small plots and holdings this would be very little. For the ow ners of large estates it would be a cor- respondingly large amount. The rate of interest suggested is 5 per cent. per annum on the capital value of the land, the same rate that the capitalists demand when they lend their money to the Government. By taking up this demand the ex-Ser- vice men are killing two birds with one stone. They are showing how their own demand for back pay can be met; and they are fighting to recapture Britain for the people. THE LAND FOR THE PEOPLE that is the cry to-day. We have worked and fought to prevent the Germans getting it: now we must fight to prevent a small clique of Britishers (some of them !) keep- ing it. Royalty owners—landowners under another natue-are the greatest curse of the mining industry, contemptible parasites upon the workers who get the coal. The people who own great estates which they use for pleasure, who keep the land idle so that they may butcher birds for sport, are preventing the thousands of men and women who desire to do so from settling on the land (as workers who will help to produce the nation's food). So everywhere we have high prices; coal is so dear that many homes will be fireless during the coming winter; eggs and milk and bread and bacon cost more than the average worker can afford to pay, while the people who could produce more food, and so tower the price, are unable to get the land they need, because the favoured few require it far sfcort. "So once again I say: THE LAND FOR THE PEOPLE. Let those who are putting the land they hold to proper use retain it, subject to the payment of a fair rent to the nation. But let all the land which is not being put to full and proper, use be taken from them, and let it be given into the charge of those who will use it in the best interests of the community. We demand our Back Pay; and we de- mand the restoration of the land. It is up to the ex-Service men of Britain to get both, the former for themselves and the latter for the nation as a whole."

Unwary Shopkeepers.I

Not Going.

[No title]

Labour Abroad.

Labour Abroad.