The Steelwork's Settlement THE settlement of the steel-workers strike, on terms almost including all that the men originally demanded is a happy and fortu- nate, termination to a long class war that, :n Dowlais and Ebbw Vale, has spelled dis- astrous want and immeasurable misery for thousands during the months it has been carried on by the masters. From the first the indications pointed to a determined at- tack on the part of theated masters upon their skilled artisans in the works, and their annoyed demands for the resigna- tion of their chairman of their Association on account of his capitulation to the men, still further advertises the intention of the steel-masters to shame the men into abject subjection. On a previous occasion the masters carried on the war for eighteen months, and before they would have won on this occasion they would have had to fight for an even longer period than that, for so strong were the men in the know- ledge of the justice of their claim, that never in the history of trades union dis- putes has a finer fighting spirit been mani- fested by a set of workers on strike. We are delighted that the almost four months that they have stood grimly united in their fight for a fuller measure of life has even- tuated so well for them, and we congratu- late leaders and men alike on their victory. At the same time we sincerely trust that out of the fight so well waged will come a clear perception of the urgent need for a re-mass- ing of the forces engaged in the industry. With fewer unions and those linked firmly into a more unified amalgamation- for pur- poses of trade defence and aggression, the masters would think twice before repeating the tactics which have made this fight so odious and cruel from its inception. So long as the steel trade continues to be split into something like twenty different crafts, each with its own little Society; and each Society acting independently of the rest in fighting for concessions, so long will the fights, when fights arise, he long and tedious. When the steelworkers have realised the absolute interdependence of the labour units in the whole process of steel- manufacture, and have organised in accord- ance with that consciousness, then they can sweep away anomalous sliding-scales, or. anything else, and can institute improved conditions all-round with cue tithe of the effort that to-day has to be expended on very minor struggles indeed. With twenty organisers and secretaries speaking in the name of the workers, to an unified manage- ment, the result cannot be other than a clamour. Fortunately, however much of a clamour it may -sound, it is a clamour that has resoluteness behind it, as has just been proved, as will be proved again under iden- tical conditions if the need arise and the present chaos of organisation continues to exist. For whatever may be the opinion of organised Labour outside of the steel- workers about the folly of a multitude of or- ganisations amongst steelworkers, still everyone has to doff the hat in sincere re- cognition of the steelworker as a fighter. He is neither easily turned, nor starved away from his object. It is a fine courage, but one that leaves a long, lasting penury in its wake. To prevent that unity is urgently needed; and we believe it is coming soon.
The Steelworkers' Quarrel Mr. Tom Phillips, secretary of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Iron and Steel- Makers' Association, on Wednesday made the following statement to the Press relative to the newspaper interview (publish in an- other column) with Mr. Fred Mills, the Ebbw Vale steel-iliaster:- I note that Mr. Mills mentions that be received no notice of the meeting held on Mpnday. I would like to explain the posi- Hon. Last Sunday I was directed by a ma- jority of the members of the association to convene a special meeting the following day to consider the situation that had arisen in connection with the skilled tradesmen. I telephoned on Sunday to Mr. Tudor Henry, one of the chief officials at the Ebbw Vale offices, and asked him if he would advise Mr. Mills of the meeting. He promised to do so. Just prior to the meeting on. Mon- day Mr. Henry rang me up to say that Mr Mills had been away over the week-end, and he had failed to convey my message to him, so that no representative would be pre- sent from Ebbw Vale. I notice also a. statement that no settle- ment with the skilled tradesmen was come to at Ebbw Vale until Tuesday- afternoon at 3.45. I think there must be some misun- derstanding here. On Thursday morning last a letter was received by me from the Ministry of Labour, London, inviting the association to send representatives to a joint Conference of the parties in dispute, which was to be held on Friday afternoon (the 24th) in London. Just before the opening of the conference I was handed a telegram from the Ebbw Vale Company, which reads as follows: Ebbw Vale Company has agreed to accept terms submitted by Trades and La- bour Council, and have advised Minister of Labour accordingly.—Company. That telegram naturally made the posi- tion of the other members of the association a difficult one, and it was largely due to it that the special meeting was convened for Monday last."
of the Kingdom of God. Among other un- usual objections cited are Objector says he cannot obey God and mammon, and could therefore not obey God and the army sergeant simultaneously.. Objector refuses to use carnal weapons, believing in the Sword of the Spirit. Objector believe war is punishment for the unjust, and that the just are therefore exempt. Objector fears that the temptations of army life wfould lead him astray.
Merthyr Electric Theatre j I MertermmeI!Y!om!3.eatre i £ CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE FROM 2.30 P.M. DAILY, | I Monday Tuesday and Wedn..day- I I THEDA BARA in I WHETFoxmc!notionINS I j • The Fox Film Company'? Super Pro d uction?. I 1 We do not consider this picture will interest children. 5 I Thursday, Friday, and aturday- I The Fox Film Company present VIRGINIA PEARSON in I THE QUEEN OF HEARTS! j I A Tale of Love and Mystery. I I THE CIRCUS KING. Episode 14 ￼ I Eddie Polo in further Startling Adventures ? I I THE VILLAGE CHESTNUT. I • A Mack Sennett Comedy Full of Laughter. • I Tickets issued in the Afternoon cannot be used in the Evening. I I Prices of Admission &d., 9d., 1/3 including Tax. ) La I '1 It .t "_I' .i P__ L. A— I— tI B — nr%iri Are unrivalled for all Irregularities, etc., th,!?:v —j??- ?Aj?????j?? ? speedily afford relief and never fail to &Uevi&te BLANCHARD"S all suffering. They supersede Pennyroyal, Pill ■HHMM PILLS Cochia, Bitter, Apple, &c. Blanchard's are the ■ ■ best of all Pills for Women. Sold lu boxes, Mi/2, by BOOTS' Branches and all Chemists, or post free, same price, fromi LESLIE MARTIN, Ltd., Chemists, 34 Dalston Lane, London. Samples and valuable booklet sent free. Id. stamp. TEMPLE, TRAMROADSIDE. SPIRITUALISM. In response to a general desire Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will RE-VISIT MERTHYR on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2nd, 1919. Particulars later. HOPE CHAPEL, MERTHYR. SUNDAY NEXT, NOVEMBER 2nd, 1919 Anniversary Services. PREACHER: Rev. J. Morgan Jones, M.A. Morning at IT. Evening at 6. Collections at both Services for CJ¿ltrch Funds. 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 I.L.P. MERTHYR TYDFIL I.L.P. WINTER COURSES OF LECTURES ON INDUSTRIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY. Lecturer Mr. A. P. YATES. Lecture V. Trades-Unions in Rome." The Classes are held every Sunday Evening at 7.30 p.m. in Bentley's Hall. Copies of the first two lectures now available. C,erreopmd,eum.-Ckwnm difficulties answered through post. THE RAILWAY WAR, 1919. Owing to the above the South Wales N.C.F. RALLY AND RE-UNION had to be postponed, and it will now be held in HOPE SCHOOLROOM, MERTHYR, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15th, 1919. Conference (for Members) 3 p.m. Social and Re-Union (for Members and (Friends) 5.30 p.m. SPEAKERS— PENNER BROCKWAY, Coun. MORGAN JONES (Chairman Div. Council), Rev. J. M. JONES, M.A., R. H. LEY (Secretary). 4 Refreshments Provided. OUR SHOP PONTMORLAIS, MERTHYR TYDFIL. A big stock of Ablett's "Euy Outlines of Economics," ItS per copy. I.L.P. Branches, C.L.C. Class" *and Trade Union Lodges sup- plied, 13/- per doz., post-free.
the Theatre Royal Next week Hayden Coffin-the great Hayden Coffin-who draws crowded houses to the London theatres comes to the Theatre Royal in the great Matheson Lang success, The Purple Mask." When Mr. Val Stevcns quietly told me at the opening of his autumn season that he was going to provide Merthyr with real London fare, I am afraid that I smiled, to-day I know that he was not as others of the laddie school who boast on nothing. For weeks now we have had a succession of shows equal to if not superior to the Cardiff houses, and next week we have to attain a still higher line by the coming of Hayden Coffin in "The Purple Mask." It is a fascinating costume play of the France ioif 1804—the France.just awakening after its Reign of Terror, to its vigorous life under the Napo- leon-a play of sparkling comedy, of deli- cate light and shade and of romantic mo- ments. It is significant, too, that its pro- ducers in Merthyr are Messrs. Murray King and Chas. Clark, whose Romance," itself a historical romance of much the same period as The Purple Mask," and\ the most successful play ever staged in the town. With those excellent producers working on a play that will stand as strongly in public favour as Romance," and with Hayden Coffin in the leading part, it is a certainty that next week at the Theatre will re-set the artistic lines of our town—enhance the aesthete level by giving us a new and better standard of compari- son. That is a valuable public service, for which Mr. Stevens deserves public thanks. For, after all, there is something bigger than mere business grubbiness in managing a theatre. This week Victoria Cross' "Five Nights" is drawing good houses to the cosy little house. It is a romance of love that has all the charm of the popular book, and with Philip Anthony in the part of Trevor," and Helen Hardy playing Viola," the caste is strong enough to do justice to the play. The company as a whole handles the work well. PLAYGOER. I
The Teachers' Queries. The Merthyr Tydfil N.U.T. Association have sent to each of the candidates for Municipal honours the following series of | questions: I Are you in favour of (1) The application to Elementary Schools (so far as powers have been conferred), of regulations respecting equipment, air space, playing fields and other means of physical education ? (2) Reduction in the size of classes for Elementary School ? (3) The full application of medical in- spection and treatment to Secondary Schools ? (4) Scales of Salaries for teachers of ade- quate professional standard, and an assured avenue of promotion to the higher branches of the Education Service ? (5) The total prohibition of child labour ? (6) Adopting scheme or schemes to im- prove school attendance locally? The following candidates have replied in the affinnative to all the questions Messrs. David Jones, David Davies, A. H. Minchin- ton, T. J. Evans, H. M. Lloyd, Lewis Jones, Nelson M. Price, D. Cope Harris. Ben Jones, J. W. Watkins, Thomas Wil- lianis, and J. E. Jones. The other candi- dates have not yet replied.
You an d Your Vote. REPORTS from the six wards in which La- bour is fighting for municipal representa- tion in the Merthyr borough are uniformly alike in their tone of cheery optimism; an optimism which close association with three of the six wards during the past few days has bred into ourselves also. The times are revolutionary in the very best sense of the word. People in all walks of life are re- valuing life and its meaning; and as always when life is looked stark-eyed straight into the face the reaction is towards democracy and freedom and away from the narrow sel- fishness of group interests. To-day the hopelessness of the traditional groupings in the face of the disastrous position left to us by the war; their bankruptcy of a policy as distinct from empty and meaningless phrases, has resulted in a steady augmen- tation of the forces making for the triumph of Labour. In this fight the lack of a clear- cut policy of progressive reconstruction on the part of the anti-Labour Coalition of petty shop-keepers, professional men, and company officials, has been so obvious even to themselves that they have shirked the obligation of personally facing the elector- ates, and have schemed to accomplish their, purpose of withstanding Labour by sheer appeals to prejudice. They have schemed to use the ex-soldier against the community of which he is an indivisable part by en- couraging the idea of his separateness and the separateness of his interests and prob- lems from the webbing of the whole mass of the people. They have duped ex-workers to believe that they had interests apart from that of their class as a whole, and have constrained them to stand as "worker" candidates. The appeal has not been made to sanity, but to prejudices. The pity of it all is that working men could be found to allow their absolute honesty to be duped by these schemers, and submit themselves to the arbitration of the franchise. It was this lack of policy; this appeal to prejudice that was practiced in the Parliamentary election of less than a year ago. The con- sequences of the tragic. mistake of refusing reason a hearing at that time are too pain- fully evident in our every-day life to offer any hope of success to this latest attempt to reduce the franchise to its lowest possible limits, and in adopting such back-stair methods Labour's opponents must have been aware that it was a forlorn chance. What they have probably banked upon is by inattention to the use of the vote defeat the chances of the contest too lightly, and that Labour in the aggregate would regard itself. There is that danger—the only one that can prevent the triumphant return oi a working Labour majority to the Merthyr Council Chamber on Saturday. No amount of work on the part of candidates or sup- porters can eliminate that danger entirely. It can only be eliminated by every member of the working-class who sees the issue clearly, determining to use his, or her, vote directly for Labour representation on Satur- day, and seeing to it that neighbours who are of good intention but cannot be bother.. ed going to the booth, slough off their apathy and mark their ballot papers aright. The indifference of over certainty is the only enemy we have in these contests, and each one of us should see to it that we do our part at the proper place—the polling- booth before eight in the evening, and the earlier the better. In particular is this necessary with ambitious programmes im- mediately ahead of the workers as workers, and the probability of the need for the ap- plication of drastic industrial action to cleanse the social atmosphere of its corrup- tion and evil. To assist in those fights it is imperative that our political and adminis- trative arm should be strong enough to ren- der vigorous assistance. A man striking for a better life, and leaving the administration of the legal betterments he wins to the very men, or their hirelings, who he has been fighting industrially, is a man only half- awakened and educated to his powers and needs. Life cannot be divided off into water-tight compartments. It must be treated as an indivisable whole. The same needs that make a trades union and a trades-council imperatively necessary to the working-class, make local government and Parliament of equally imperative import- ance to that class. So far we have advanced slowly to a perception of the essentially soundness of this reasoning. To-day the realisation is more general than it has ever been in the past; but to be certain that it is general enough to make our own individual vote of no consequence is to be foolishly venturesome. Vote we must. Our majori- ties must be big enough to warn the anti- Labourites for all time from the course.
America's Conscientious Objectors. 1 THE MILITARY INQUIRIES. During the war the United States army authorities, in common with our own, en- countered difficulties with conscientious ob- jectors, and Lieutenant Mark M. Mey, of the United States Army, has dealt with a number of reports on conscientious objec- tors in the New York Evening Post. The problem set for the military authorities was to find out if the cases were genuine. Ninety • per cent. of the 1,000 objectors dealt with by Lieutenant May based their objections 011 religious grounds, the others pleading ethical, political, and social reasons. Most of the religious objectors were Mennonites, who are bound to literal observance of Biblical precepts and to the avoidance of worldly matters." The Iennonites form- ed what Lieutenant May has described as the "religious literalists." Another type was the religious idealist," whose vision, unlike that of the Mennonites, was unlimit- ed, who considered all war opposed to the golden rule, and who overlooked all prac- tical or expedient measures. A. third type was baldly labelled Socialist." The indi- vidual so classified was either a disciple or a promulgator of the doctrine that even- tually there would be a social revolution in Germany and that one should await the in- evitable without rudely and personally forcing matters. His grounds for objection were tested in a special section of the exam- ination. Objectors of all three types were, on the whole, sincere. The examinations conducted by the mili- tary authorities were not unsympathetic, as the following questions, taken at random from the examinations1 show: I What books and magazines do you read most now ? How many different jobs have you had in your life ? Have you ever held an office in your com- munity or church ? I In what ways have you wanted to make your community better ? Following the forty general questions come thirty-three concerning the specific objections (if on religious grounds). A few typical questions in this section follow — Do you object to war because your church forbids it? Why does it forbid it ? How long has it forbidden it ? Have any members of your church eyer taken part in war? Do you know any of your fellow-mem- bers who have been drafted ? What did they do ? Do yoir obj ect to war because the Com- mandment says Thou shalt not kill ? Do you literally obey the other Com- mandments ? How do you account for divine sanction of wars in the Old Testament ? Further questions test the objector's knowledge of the religion upon which his claim was based,, ,asking him the approxi- mate number of members in his church, its founder, its tenets, its attitude toward civil war, education, and marriage, and thus proving his membership and standing in his church. OTHER QUESTIONS. In examining the objector on social, economic, or political grounds the questions were directed toward possible weak points in his reasoning. This subsection included among thirty questions:— Do you object to being drafted for a de- fensive war, or is your objection to being drafted and sent to Europe ? Of what social organisation are you a- member ? How long have you been a mem- ber ? What is its peace programme ? Do you believe that by staying out of the war you encourage your social brethren in Germany to a social revolution ? Why has there not been such a revolution already ? Do you claim protection under the law, the right to vote, freedom of speech ? Do you think such liberties were won by war ? Why do not all Socialists oppose the war ? The degree of objection was subjected to a uniform set of questions Do you object to all wars or only to this war ? Would you take the military oath ? Wear the uniform ? Work in reconstruction ? Do non-military work, such as farming ? Enter a non-combatant military organisation ? Many objectors evidenced their sincerity by their readiness to do any wtork, no mat- ter how difficult or dangerous, that did not involve taking human life. Thus one Rus- sellite wrote I am not opposed to the laws of my country, but do not want to kill any human being. I am willing to do any good I can for my country, if necessary give my life, and my efforts shall be to my country, but will kill no man. I am opposed to that, but am willing to do what I can, and obey the laws and commands of my superiors." Another, who frankly admitted that his views against fighting had weakened since he had been drafted, preferred hospital work. Still others asked for hospital work in the war zone," though one was willing to undertake such work only when the wounded men were to be invalided home and were not to return to the firing-line. A unique Case was that of a man who, while admitting that it was the duty of a citizen to fight for his country, claimed to be not a citizen of the United States but a citizen vContinued at foot ef praeedkig eelmeta).