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Political Notes l, i By F. W. Jowett. R THE LABOUR VICTORIES. THE LABOUR VICTORIES. I Labour has scored so heavily at the Municipal Elections that the Liberal and Tory Parties are at last contemplating the possibility of the working classes being in power on all representa- tive public bodies. Iq a large number of cases Labour is now the strongest of the three parties on Municipal councils, and frequently it is in a clear majority. The spurt forward is due to a number of different causes, but general disap- pointment at the failure of the two older poli- tical parties to grapple with tlie great problems which the war has aggravated is no doubt chiefly responsible. It is no small thing which has led London boroughs, which previously elected only the smallest of Labour groups, to give their councils a. Labour majority. Of twenty-eight London borough councils, thirteen have now a Labour majority. In the provinces the change is not :so sweeping, but in nearly every town there are gains recorded for Labour. LABOUR AND THE HOUSINC FRAUD. I The responsibility which the Labour forces have been called upon to bear at this junctm-e is great. The- old parties resisted housing and other reforms in pre-war days when. there was no financial difficulty involved in carrying them into effect. If, for example, the Liberals and Tories had adopted the policy with regard to the housing question which Socialist and Labour re- presentatives have pressed upon their attention for the last twenty years, tlie houses now talked of would have been erected and fti use. The position at present is that although there are wliemes and plans in abundance, municipal authorities cannot float loans u> pay for their execution. Yet the Government—well knowing that Vie schemes will be bunkered by insuperable financial difficulties which only Parliament can solve—are pretending that municipal authorities can proceed and get houses built. COMMANDEER THE MANSIONS! I Wh at in these circumstances should he" the j policy of the Labour councillors? The position mtTst be faced. A plan-*? < «^Wukl be* arranged without delay. 4f representatives of the municipat authority's which Labour now dominates were to meet in c^ffd'once, they could agree on some policy that would force the hand -of the. Government. The case for imme- diate action is overwhelming. During the pro- gress of the election contests additional evidence of the terrible conditions at'present prevailing has been disclosed. Soldiers' wives, either moved by Government appeals to economise, or compelled to it by the nieagreness of the separa- tion allowances, went to live with their parents, or shared houses or took room s with other people. On the return of the breadwinner to civil life, the family has been unable to get antyd)et- house. In some eases thov have been allowed to take their wives and families into a bedroom or attic of a friendly neighbour, and there they are being .compelh'd to exist on suf- ferance under conditions which are strange and intolerable to them. For these cases local authorities might well demand power to com- mandeer portions of large houses, which are only partially occupied by rich people. With regard to the new houses required, the Government must be compelled to find means to enable build- iuog operations to commence at once. The Gov- ernment knows very well where the money is and v lfo liits possession of it, and on wo wovffn- Inen t m'tSt he thrown the responsibility of siz-I ing it. In the meanwhile, Councils on which there is a Labour majority should llfso all the money they can lay hold of to forward the actual work of building. Stand up to the Government. It is the only way. The people will respond to a clear had. A HUMBLE MINISTER. I Big %a. on the House of Commons Order pill),el. on October 2Stili. Three members of the House had given notice to ask the Mini>ter whether it is his intention to use t'he National Factories for flil" manufacture or railwav wagons in competition with private traders. The Minister reminded by the questioners that he had promised on March otli last not. to use the National Factories an compe- tition with private traders. He replied in hum- ble and deferential terms assuring Big Business that he had not offended. It was not his inten- tion to manufacture waggons, as private traders do unless it happened to be necessary to supple- ment the number that private traders could sup- ply. It had, however, been found that railway companies were not being Mipplica with railway waggons and locomotives urgently required, and the Government had therefore been obliged to ,it(, bv ,u p come to the assistance of private trade by sup- plying 2.000 railway waggons and .')00 locomotive engines from the National Factories. SIC BUSINESS DICTATES. I If the House of Commons paid attention to tlie needs of the public very different questions would he put to the Government than those ahove men- tioned. Explanations would have been demand- ed, for example, respecting the failure of the .Government to make lull use of the iSational Factories with the deliberate object of competing with private traders, not only to increase the vupply of all kinds of articles that could be manufactured therein, hut also to reduce prices. Kvervbodv who has considered the matter has known for the last three years that priees wou Id go lip and not down if private traders were de- pended upon when the war ended, and the world demand for useful things began to operate. Con- trol over raw materials and possession of tlie National Factories gave the Government tlie power to turn out immense quantities of manu- factured good s in competition with private traders, and so to limit their prices and supple- ment their output. This should have been the considered a.nd declared policy of the Govern- ment. It would bavo been so. if nig Business had not been master of the Gov ernment. BACK-STAIRS BICKERINGS. Was it mei-eiv for the purpose of debating the Government that the Labour group voted with the anti-alien stuntens last week? If so they were badly let dow n, for all that theu: action led to was a further concession to alien-hunters and Jew-baiters, who, as Colonel Wedgwood pointed out afterwards, |ave .dishonoured the Briltish name. The a I ii iitei'siind Jew-baiters were invited to a. private conference with the Prime Minister and Mr. Bonar Law in Downing-street wliere, behind the back of Parliament, they generously consented to waive their objection and allow a dozen or so of French pilots to pilot ships into certain British ports on condition that the Government agreed to other schemes of theirs for deportation of harmless aliens. Mr. Adam son entered a protes+- .because the Labour Party had not been invited to take part in this huckstering business with the Government on the backstairs. Why should be protest ? The La bour Party should have no desire to take part in .such proceedings. Tfflwv Party is powerful enough to state it sternre across tlie floor of the House of Commons, and it is in this manner that its supporters in the country would prefer that tlicv should be stated. THE BLOCKADE THAT ISN'T. The Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Harms worth) admitted in the House of Com- mons (Ootobe-i- 28th) -ehat the alliwl naval forces (i.e., British war-ships) have instructions to turn back shrips sailing to Russian and Baltic ports. It was suggested to Mr. Harmsworth that "these measures" which he explained did not constitute a blockade in the legal sense of the word" would probably lead to the deatlh by hunger of 500,000 women and children during this winter but lie replied that he did not think the statement was wen founded. Apparently the awful suggestion did not interest Mr. Harms- worth, because the precise number of deaths could not be stated beforehand. What he wants is facts, when the dead bodies can JK. counted. The number may then be found to be a few less or a few more than 500,0(10. t»J°tvsures IIJ. '». which do not constitute a bkK.jiud.-e in ilie legal sense of the word may then he considered along with the relevant facts. Tn the meantime it may be noted that these measures which "donot constitute n. blockade are illegal; that we are not a.t war with Russia and that if neu- tral nations assist in prosecuting the" mea- sures they will he guilty of acts of war. NO MONEY FOR HOUSES. It should also be noted that although Old Age Pensioners are in this country because the Government cannot afford to increase pension rates to correspond with the present cost of living; and houses cannot be built for the people who do the work of the nation because it is said there is no money, the .Government is maintain- ing a fleet of 65 ships, including four battleships and five battle cruisers in the Baltic to bombard Kronstadt and the Russian Soviet kind forces. Not satisfied w ith spending about £ 100,000,000 in assisting the Tzari-st vultures, Denekin and Koltehak, Mannerheim and Yudenitch, who for more than two years ha.ve been tearing at the heart of the people -of Russia, the Government is now said to be offering bribes to the amount of £ 20,000,000 to Finland to join an the attack on the Bolsheviks against whom t'he Government has circulated the foulest lies, and upon whom it has set the- meanest and cruellest cut-throats that, ever lived. CHEAPEFT TO KEEP 1RABBITS1 I The 'Russian Embassy in Clieshani Place, is now occupied by a representative of Admiral Kolt- ehak. For two years and a half the Government has recognised a representative of Russian coun- ter-revolutionary factions as if he were an accre- di,ted Ambassador of the Russian people. As the person so recognised 'had, in fact, no Govern- ment behind him, lie was not supported with money from Russia, the British Government has, therefore, generously met his expenses and paid his bills to the amount of £ 184,156. WHY THE MEN CAN'T COME HOME. There is a shortage of transport to bring hack time-expired soldiers f-rom Egypt, Mesopotamia and India. The relatives of men concerned will doubtless be interested to learn that two ships with a total gross tonnage of 10,362 are eg^u- ?Ivelv employed in carrying personnel and ?p- plies to a. Baltic, port; that four sihips with a total tonnage of 3,202 are employed in the Black Sea, and that about 500 tons of stores are at present being sent via. Jllpan to Yladivostock. Time-expired men must needs wait until the bloody itien Koltehak, Denekin and Co., have been enabled to make Russian oil, iiiiiiivi-,ti and timber .supplies safe for plutocracy before ship-room ean be spared to bring them home. WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE HOUSES. I Admiral Viscount Jellicoe is going t-o make a tour of the Empire. Ho is going in a. battleship. The cost over and above the ordinary cost of maintenance if the ship had remained in homo waters in full oommissioon is estimated at £!),). Mr. Walter Long, the First Lord of the Admiralty, contends that it -is absolutely of first rate importance "that the representative of His Majesty's Government should make his tour in this fashion. Colonel Wedgwood askfed the First Ijord whether it was not more import- ant to try to make both ends iiitttt hut he rts- eeived no reply to his question. The extra cost of sending Admiral Jellicoe on his tour in a hat- tleship would have provided 120 houses for home- less families. Lord Kitchener went on a similg^ tour in an ordinary passenger liner in days When it had not become necessary to ask American creditors to give the British Government an ex- tension of time for pavrrient of imprest due on borrowed money. Nowadays our rulers do not consider (such t small trifle of expense as £89,000. It is nothing compared with other sums that are being frequently wasted.
I Labour's Victories. SIX WINS AT MERTHYR. CARDIFF CAINS FOUR SEATS. Labour has cause to congratulate itself on the victories achieved in the Amtests for muni- cipal council seats on the Merthyr Corporation on Saturday. Of the ,gh>t seats in which re- tirements necessitated election or re-election four were those of Labour men, and the return of Councillor Enoch Morrell (Lab.), for Ply- mouth Ward, and of Councillor Andrew Wilson (Lab.), Troharris, without contest, left six wards in which fights were to be deeided. In tiil-et, of these an attempt was made to divide the workers by putting forward ex-Servicemen as j candidates; and in Cyfarthfa Ward, a similar, purpose was sought to be achieved by the nomi- nation of a popular ex-postman as an independ- ent working-man Candidate. In only one ward,, that of Penydarren, did t'his attempt succeed. There an ex-Serviceman succeeded in beating Labour in a three cornered contest by the bare majoi-it- ot, twelve votes—a result that would have been easily reversed had the canvass been as systematic and vigorous as the public meet- ing campaign. Still, the results were encour- aging, for of the six seats fought, four fell to Labour—giving k> the Party six of the eight that fell in, and improving* the position of the Party into one of a nominal minority, but a practical working majority if the olid practices of Labour diligence and Coalition indifference to their duties is to continue in the future as in the past. Success in all six wards contested would have given a bare majority, of 1—the failure to win Penydarren and Merthyr Valt" leaves a majority of one with the Coalition, with 17 members against Labour's 15. That this will be remedied at wie first available opportuni- ties the heavy polls for Labour in some of the wards, and the success in Park Ward, the most difficult in the town, seems to have convinced even the antr-Labour members, if Mr. Marsh's rpmarks at Tuesday's meeting aire any criterion. It is interesting to now that on, a total poll of 15,202--La.bourha.(1 a clear majority of 2,120 over all the votes cast for anti-Labour candi- dates the total votes being Labour 8,656; anti- Labour 6,536. DOW LAIS. -David Da vies (Lab.) 2,037 David Jones (Coal.) 597 Albert H. Minehinton (ex-Ser.) 277 Majority 1,441 PENYDARREN. Nelson M. Price (ex-Ser.) 1.669 Lewis Jones (Lab.) 1,657 John Davies (Ind.) 228 Majority 12 CYFARTHFA. 'John Williams (Lab.) 1,321 Ben Jones 696 Majority 625 TOWN WARD. John Kdward Jones nJab.) 1.807 D. Cope Harris (Coni.) 966 Majority 841 PARK WARD. Tom John Evans (Lab.) 915 *Henry M. Lloyd (Ooal.) 834 Samuel Davieis (Jnd.) 137 .lla jori tv. 81 Labour gain. MERTHYR VALE. '^Thomas Williams (Coal.) 1,132 John W. Wat-kins (Lab.) 91!) Majority 213 '^Signifies old members. In the rest of slolltll Wales the Party did re- markably well. In Cardiff four gains were re- gistered—Adamsdown, Cathay s, Grange, Splott being won for the Party, and Roath only being 14wit on a four-cornered contest. In Swansea, Landore was won from the Coali- tion—Cockett, Cattle, and Hryninclin Ward being retained hy sitting Labour members. New I port gave us four new seats on the Council for Central, Crindau, Tredegar ami Victoria. III Aberavon three iseats made the balance of the Corporation about even bet ween Coalition and Labour. At Abergavenny, Grofield Ward Ml to Labour wliilt III Cowhridgo the three Labour members were badly <lefeated. Propa- ganda, is needed there. In Llanellv Labour se- "ciired I'ouMrf the six sea t*, and in Neath a will for the Party was registered in the South Ward. Tn Brecon Labour gained t)iio of the four seats, and in Carmarthen two wins were recorded. In Kedwellt.v two seats were won, and .in Cardigan tjiere were two candidates who claimed to he Labour and Ratepayers' Association" re* turned.
D.O.R.A.'S Extension. SIR EDCAR JONES, VOTE. Last week the House of Commons passed the second reading of a Bill which prolongs certain powers given under the gotenee of the Retton Aots for twelve months after the ratiAoation of peace. These include powers to Covernment De- partments: (1) To prohibit public meetings and professions; (t) To intern persons without warrant and keep them in gaol without trial; (3) To remove undesirable persons from the place in which they reside; (4) To search any house, etc., without warrant; and (5) To restrict imports. The liberty loving Liberals that voted for these Iniquities Include SIR EDCAR JONES, Major Jack Edwards, Mr. John Hinds, and Mr. Sidney Robinson.
I Workmen' s Examiners. I CAN ACCIDENTS BE REDUCED? I I BY "SCRANTON." I The following extract shows ono wav of tackling thiS question, it shew s how tlie Ameri- cans apply themselves to the task of reducing the number of accidents in mines. 5,000 LIVES SAVED. I In connection with the dedication of the new laboratories, U.S. Bureau* of Mines, at Pittsburg, Dr. Van H. Manning, director of the, Bureau, says: 'I am often asked what has the Bureau of Mines accomplished in saving of hu- man life in mines? It is difficult to say that so in Any miners would not have been killed if it were not fpr the Bureau of Mines, there are so malily varying factors involved. I may say. however, that if you consider the prevailing average death-rate in Uio mines for a period of a year .before the Federal Government took up this Iwork, and compare it with tlie avtfhge fa- tality rate since the Bureau was created, you will find 5,000 less miners Ivave been killed. In other words, had the old fa-tality ra;te been main- tained throughout the last few vears, 5,00') more men would have lost their lives. I am of the opinion that the statement of 5,000 lives saved is a conservative one, for it must be, re- membered that the situation was' gradually be- coming worse in the mines, and who knows that but what there might not have been 7,000 or 8,000 lives lost. We have atso to take- into con- sideration, thanks to the improvements in life- saving methods, and the greater understandings of the causes of accidents that the tide has de- finitely turned and that this saving of 5,000 human beings within a few years will be accen- tuated and increased as the years roll bv until we can sfliow several times -),Ooo lives saved. Whatever statisticians attempt to make out of these figures, however they may endeavour to twist them, it is indeed a glorious iecoVd of human progress. Five thousand Ilie" saved Perhaps 2,000 less widows; at least 3,000 chil- dren who still have their fathers."—(" Science and Art of Mining"). COLLIERIES WITHOUT ACCIDENTS. I l Mines in which no accidents oeeut,red.-At five collieries no accidents oocurred at all; these were the Natal Steam Colliery, Fairleigh Col- liery, Avon Colliery, Dewar't> Anthracite, and the South African (Vryheid) Coke Company, al- though these aTe all small concerns, their record is very satisfactory. Although the following collieries had acci- dents, not a fatality was recorded amongst them :-r-Hlobane, Eloandslaogte, Glencoe, Natal. Ammonium, St. George's Sout-li African, and Wailsend Collie-ries. Hlobane is the largest col- liery in Natal, producing 40,000 tons per month, and employing over 1,600 persons, ,so that their record is highly <>rL>d, Mr. Vaughan has p,'ious'ly mentioned St. George's Co!!iery as having a low accident rate; in the past year only three accidents occurred, and this mine, which employs over 650 persons, has had only seven accidents and one death in the past four years. The record of Glencoe, Soutli African, and WaMsend Collieries, is wottliy of praise; they are all fiery mines, -tnd in addition Glencoe has fires to contend with, also high roads and a bad roof, as a. result of the explosion in 1908." (Mines Inspector's Report, South Africa). A PLEA FOR A SAFETY CAMPAICN. I "In conclusion, I earnestly appeal to all pre- sent to put forward their whole energies in try- ing to prevent amidentn, wlietlier they are due to explosions or any other cause. We in this country ought to organise a safety campaign, safety in the mine; safety in the workshop; safety in ail trades and occupations. Humanity demands and will have safety. Accidents are an economic loss to the country, and the prevention of accidents is of vast importance to employers and employees, both from the humane and the I tin a lIcial point -of view. Take an example from -e an exainp l*? from our present, occupation. Over 1,000 persons are killed down the mine every year, in the majority of cases the dependents receive compensation, whidli is poor oonsolation. Say t250 is paid out for each person killed, we will thus have £ 250,000 paid out per year for deaths due to accidents in and about the mines. But compared with life money passes away in insignificance; it is tllie loss of valuable lives that must be deplored, henee it becomes a national loss.—(From a paper by W. T. Molvneaux). WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY. The foregoing extracts sliows what (-an be done in the wav of reducing the number of acci- dents taking place in the ooal-miuing industry. They are reducing the number of accidents in other countries, why not in this one? The miners of this country liave the remedy in their own hands. Accidents can be reduced at least 50 per cent., the Acting "i-i,ef Inspector himself has said so, and I fully concur with him. The mar- vel is that there are not more accidents than what there are, considering the risks that are run, and the way in which accidents are invited. The cost to the miners of appointing perma- nent ex; iifi iners Is quite negligible, and would not come to Jd. per week in eases where their districts were co-termi-noiis with that of the agents. Why. you pay ten time* this and more as n rule in the form of collections to those that have been .injured by falls of roo £ jor sides, and thus rendered destitute, and consequently de- pendent upon the charity of their fellows. Then aggi-in. are those who have no hope of standing erect again in the world. Soiue are maimed for life, others are paralysed, others again are only waiting for the end—to be released. The miners -owe it as a duty to themselves, to their wives and children, to vheir fellows, and to the ooininunity, to take w hat steps lay in their power to arrest and reduce the constantly ill- creasing numbers of accidents in coal mines. ] have dealt alone with falls of roof and sides, but the remarks apply to other sources of accidents with almost equal force. I dealt, with two beams last week, a fir beam holding ii'i tons, and larch beam holding 103 tons. 1 wish to say that ten of each of these beams place da yard apart would hold 620 tons, and 1,030 tons N<1\'dy.
Peace-Loving Nations. BY LORD HEADLEY. I have before me four letters written by work- ing men whose attention- 1ms been drawn to my letter' in the Daily Herald" of the 25th inst. All these letters bear the impress of sincerity, a-nd I write the following in the hope of making my meaning still more clear and, if possible, ar- riving at a platform which we can discuss the situation. It is fairly obvious that the average man cares more for the welfare of his own wife and family than he does of the wives and familifs of other met) and that, as a rule, lie wil'l wish to put by some of his savings for his own kith and kin or to invest some of it for their benefit. This is preliminary \*nd, if it is not taken as axioma- tic t?en f fear there <is wr chance of my'being understood by my correspondentA in whose r- marks J recognise a healthy desire improve- ment. To begin with, J would like to discourage the idea that an idle or ineffic-ient workman should expect the same wage as a. diligent or first-class workman. T would also like to discourage tho notion, which seems rather prevalent just. now,, that the only man who works is that man Who works with a pick or shovel. There a.re plenty of brain workers who work far harder than manual workers—amongst such, may be classed professional men, scientists, clerks, shopkeepers, and business.men in all walks of life. If, as I have seen it suggested, the brain workers are to come under the dominion of the hand workers—if the highly trained analytical chemist or skilled mechanic i,s to be under the direction of the labourer we shall be putting the cart before the horse every time, and the com- munity gen-era-Ily will suffer. It is the mental effort of the scientist 'and inventor which de- vises the methods for carrying out the very work whidh enables so many thousands of our fellow-countrymen to earn their living. En- gineers and architects provide, out of their brains, the designs and plans for structures which builders and others help to erect, and f contend that one class of work is ft,S important as another when all are directed for the common good. We are not all born in the same cradle, thougft all equally valuable in Clod's sight; there must-, always be some to do physical work and some to do the directioti-the mental work. What T fear is that if you try to establish in this coun- try a democratic control to take the place of constitutional Government you may well be making for a state of tyranny worse than any we know about fron. the political jugglers, bad though they be. There is .L very good ballot in this country, and it is in your power to return to Parliament men who willl do what you want and make laws to meet your views. You will never make a stupid man into a clever one in any walk of life, nor can you ex- pect is good a days' work from a. slacker or H. shirker as -oil can get from an industrious and capable worker. Blame the Creator if you will for not gifting us all equally, but do try to take the world as it really it and not as you and I wish it might be. I feel sure that we wish to do our duty in that state of life to which it has pleased God to caM us—all men on parade cannot be Generals, and the great- mass: of us must be content to obey orders. Well, here's the rnb. Someone must control your Democratic Control—who is it to be? Depend upon it the brainiest man wall lead, and if he happens to the th wrong sort Of man, he may prove quite as great a tyrant as the most tricky politician. What reason is there for believing that a gentleman of the Democratic Control party will be more ^straightforward than an adherent of any other party? In whom can you place implicit trust ? Are we not all human and do you think vou can change human nature or bettor the condition of the community by substituting a government of miners, rail- waymen, and transport workers for a Govern- mentt. chosen by the whole nation ? The altruistic idea is delightful to contem- plate, but f have lived long enough to know that ,iiii men in their inmose hearts and at the ba-ck of their brains really waurt to get on for the sake of their own advancement and the welfare of their families. Their wives and children come first and the welfare of the other 45,000,000 good souls in the Ciiit-ed Kingdom is a secondary consideration. A, yet I have had no answer or explanation respecting tlie word Nationalisa- tion," and I have still to rely upon my own in- terpretation. According to my present lights it meaiiis handing over all the mines, railways, land, businesses, trades, etc., to the State, i.e., to the Government. It seems fairly clear that to ran the gigantic show a vastly increased army of permanent officials would be required and. there would be a corresponding increase in the shortcomings we so bitterly complain of now. We know the danger of establishing monopolies and yet it is proposed to establish one which may place us completely at the mercy of a band of officials whose chief aim would be securing and sticking to big salaries to be paid out of our pockets. If you can give me any guarantee that the new leaders—whether taken fixmi the ranks of the railw aymen, the transport workers, or the miners—are more (honest, more capable or more intelligent than those who now endeavour to. run the country for us. 1 shall feel that argument is possible: at present my feeling is that a general upsetting of all existing institutions and dis- couraging of -every solid business undertaking cannot be for our benefit as a nation. Tin; idea of making big alterations on the chance of human nature taking a turn fer the better is -too wild for serious contemplation at the present time. I have made a tough calcula- tion as to'how we should value the different com- ponent parts of our community, and have taken the efficient workman who works with a pick and shovel and have marked him as tlw unit. of usefulness," other workers are then marked ac- cording to their merits in the scale, and the re- sults are so startling that I feel they should be given an article all to themselves, so I shall close these few remarks with the hope that, I may Ikave indicated some of the reasons which should give us pause at the present juncture.