Labour in Parliament i GOVERNMENT A FREEDOM OF THE PRESS I The Government seem bent on extinguishing the Nationalist Movement and perpetuating the present conditions of extreme disaffection in Ireland. The policy of repression and coercion which is ttie most notaible feature of the Irish Administration has (resulted in a considerable -strengthening of the extremist elements at the expense of the old constitutional Nationalist Party which has struggled for Irish Freedom long recognised and orderly political lines. The Freeman's Journal which had long been re- garded as the principal Press organ of the Na- tionalists, is the latest victim of the blundering stupidity of the Irish Administration, who have -suppressed it because of its criticisms of the policy of Dublin Castle in turning the Civil Service into a recruiting ground for the Special Police. The Nationalist members of Parliament, though they may be few in number, are not lacking in courage and resolution, and in the House of Commons they roundly denounced the latest Government outrage on the freedom of the Press perpetrated by the suppression of the Freeman's Journal." Mr. Adamson identified the Labour Party with the Nationalists' protest, but the bulk of the present House of Commons appears to have little sympathy with the deep feeling fo resentment aroused throughout Ire- land by this provocative act, and in the division Mr. T. P. O'Connor's motion was rejected by 161 votes to 52. I UNEMPLOYMENT DONATION, I In the recent discussion on the Consolidated F-tind Bill the Labour Party again raised the question of the withdrawal of the unemployment -dona.tion. They contended that during the winter months there would be seasonal unem- ployment, and that the present it-as the worst time to discontinue the pay which the Govern- ment had been providing. Mr. Clynes made an -ap|>eal to the Government that the balance of about lllJtÚllion remaining in the National Re- llief Fund should tbe supplemented :by a corres- (ponding amount from the Exchequer and used to relieve distress arising from unemployment 4cliirift the winter months. Emphasis was laid -on the -Aoontention that the policy of merely making State grants without any attempt being made to organise our industries to turn the la- "bour of the unemployed to useful effect was a wasteful policy. The Government, however, vould only hope that a great deal of the existing 'distress would be relieved by grants from the National Relief Fund. •PROFITEERING ACT. Mr. Arthur Mender-son elicited from the Presi- dent of the Board of Trade that the Government hope to introduce a. bill to amend the Profiteer- ing Act early next session. In the meantime the period of operation of the present Act is to be extended from February 19th to May 19th. One Iimprovement of existing procedure is to be effected at once, the Board of Trade having de- eded that the provision that complaints must be lodged with 1 vocal Profiteering Committees within four days shadl be 'withdrawn, and the •question of the time limit left to the discretion of the Local Committees. ELECTRICITY BILL. The House of Lords have played havoc with 'the Government's Electricity Bill, which might have been the greatest legislative achievement of the session. The real substance of the Bill was the scheme of District Boards invested with wompul.sw-y powers to, acquire the generating -station.s and main transmission lines in the various areas into whith the country was to be -divided. The Lords have retained the provision :for five Electricity Commissioners to control the "electricity supply, but they have scrapped the proposals relating to the setting up of District Boards and the powers of compulsory purchase with which they were to be invested. It is diffi- cult to comprehend the 'reason for this astonish- ing change, and the sincerity of the Government in their original scheme will be tested when the Lords' amendments come before the Lower House. 3RISH EDUCATION BILL. I Among the several important Bills which are being carried over to next session is the Irish Education Bill. One of the great scandals of Iri.h administration to-day is the shockingly low 'scale of salaries paid to teachers in Ireland and the Labour Party have taken steps with a view to securing an immediate increase without wait- ing till the Education Bill is passed. The in- crease of the Police wages before legislative sanc- tion had been secured is a precedent which justi- fies the granting of this demand forthwith. iA LABOUR DEPUTATION TO IRELAND. I The Parliamentary Labour Party have been I .-considering the present position of the Irish -que-stion and the existing situation in Ireland, ;and realising the desirability of securing accur- a-te first-hand information, they have decided to send a deputation to Ireland during the coming recess. This deputation will really be in a na- ture lof a committee of enquiry to investigate the conditions in Ireland, and to ascertain the effects -of the present system of government, and to what extent this system is interfering with legiti- -mate individual libertv. The deputation will consist of Mr. Adamson (chairman). Mr. Clynes (vice..ohairman), Mr. Henderson (secretary of the National Labour Party), Mr. Tyson Wilson (chief whip), and Messrs. J. Allen Parkinson, and W. R. Smith. OLD ACE PENSIONS INCREASED. I Before introducing the Financial Resolution to enable the' old age pensions allowance to be in- -oreased to 10s. per week, and to limit of income -from other sources to be raised to a similar figure, the Government consulted the Labour Party as to the possibility of securi ng an agreed measure during the present Session. The Officers of the Labour Party informed the Government that in view of the .short time befor-e the proro- gation, a;nd the present position of old-age pen- sions, the Party was willing to regard isuch a Bill as an agreed measure, and to assist in its speedy passage. At the same time, however, they reserved the Party's right to press in the coming session for a more comprehensive mea- sure of reform. SHALE MINERS OF SCOTLAND. I In the discussion on the Anglo-Persian Oil Company Bill, Mr. Adamson ventilated a very natural grievance which is the cause of ranch dissatisfaction among the Shale miners of Scot- land. For many years past these workers have been entitled to wiages and working 'conditions similar to those operating in the coal mining in- dustry of Scotland. During the period of the war large profits were made by this industry, but the men did not benefit on the ground that their wages were regulated by the wages paid in the coal mining industry. Under the Sankey Award the coal miners received a 2s. per week increase and a reduction of working hours by one hour per day. But when the Shale miners claimed the same benefits they were told that the Sankey Award only applied to the coal industry and not to the Shale industry, and that as the profits of the latter industry had fallen off since the conclusion of the war, the employers were un- able to increase the wages. This was simply a case of the employers calling Heads I win, and tails you lose." It so happens that the Government are the controlling influence in this Anglo Persian Company, which also controls a number of Shale mining companies in Mid and West Lothian and Lanarkshire. The Shale miners are still, waiting for the increase of wages, and presumably they will have to wait until a 'by-election comes along in one of the Shale mining districts of Scotland before the justice of their demand is recognised an a prac- tical manner. COMINC BUSINESS. I Mr. Arthur Henderson will be the Labour Party spokesman in the discussion next week on the Prime Minister's statement on the Irish question, and Mr. Clynes hopes to .secure an op- portunity on the adjournment motion to raase the question of the future of the Food Ministry and espeically the prioe of milk.
In Defence of Bolshevism. PRPOFESSOR W. T. COODE AT CARDIFF. Professor W. T. Goode, who served for a pro- longed period in the capacity of war correspond- ent on the Russian front, and travelled exten- sively throughout Russia, made a powerful de- fence of the present order of things under the Bolshevik rule at Cardiff on Sunday evening. He characterised as a fabrication the state- ments that chaos ruled in Bolshevik Russia, and described many instances of the form of govern- ment existing which, he declared, could with advantage be adopted by Western Powers..Jus- tice, said the lecturer, was the prevailing char- acteristic of Bolshevik rule, and it was admin- istered by an eminently simple method. There were three courts in existence—the People's Court (which takes cognisance of all cases), the Revolutionary Tribunal and the Extraordinary Commission. Concerning the two latter much had been made of the fact- that through them something like 5,000 people had been put to death. It was quite a small percentage, claimed the speaker, when the size of Russia was con- sidered, and it wap not to be assumed that the same sort of thing wa.s going on constantly. It was not, for qp a matter of fact the courts were under strict control. Moreover, these courts were not solely preventive and deterrent, but they were also ieformative. On the whole he (the lecturer) felt there was not much to complain about in such a position since it had to he remembered tha.t Russia was in tfhe throes of civil war, and had to fight for its existence against the insider as well ap, the outsider. Speaking of the atrocities alleged to have been committed, he observed that they were not all on one side, and stated that during the revolu- tion in Finland the Whites" were responsible for the murder in cold "blood of 30,000 men and women. In the taking of Kharkov adone, Mr. Goode proceeded, Deniken's men shot over 23,000 men. The lecturer described the alleged nation- a.]isatio!i of women as absolutely false. The lecturer was accorded a vote of thanks on t'he call of Mr. E. Lovat Fraser, barrister, who was in the chair, seconded by Mr. P. Ridgeway.
No Cinemas This Christmas. I BLACKWOOD MANAGERS BEATEN BY I COUNTY COUNCIL. The cinema managers in the Blackwood area have taken exception to the resolution of the County Council prohibiting the opening of the places of amusement within its area on Christ- mas Day except under special circumstances, and they carried their objection before the ma- gistrates at the court last Friday, when several applications for permission to open on Christ- mas Day were heard. Mr. Lyndon Cooper, the Clerk to the County Council, opposed the granting of the application because of the resolution, and added that if any hall holding a cinema licence was opened on Christmas Day there would be no alternative but to oppose the applications. The applications were refused, v
Enormous Profits in Wag-in Building I "ENORMOUS PROFITS" IN WACCON I BUILDINC. Sir Eric Geddes, Minister of Transport, in a statement made recently at a conference of M.P.'s, held ait the House of Commons, made disclosures which constitute a damaging indict- ment of profiteering in waggon-building, and the illustrations which lie used were apt and con- vincing. He cited the case of railway fish vans which can be built in railway shops for £ 353, and for which outside firms quoted the figure of £ 1,090. For covered goods vans lanother firm quoted 9325, and the cost of production in rail- way shops is L166. For a 20-ton goods brake van the outside price is JE965, and the cost when constructed in the railway shop is t68O. Even the Minister was compelled to declare that the prices that are being asked are enormous." NATIONAL ENTERPRISE. I According to Sir Eric Geddes, Woolwich Ar- senal can turn out a. 12-ton waggon for t297 as against the outside price of from JE360 to 1:39,3 quoted. The Minister of Transport preceded to warn outside firms that they might ha.ve to com- pete against national enterprise. The Waggon Builders," he said, "know their own business perfecftly well. If they prefer to make these high profits now—and I think they must be high profits-and export their output, the country must take su(,h steps as seem fit to provide for further accretions of waggons. I believe we can erect waggons by turning into shops Gov- ernment factories which are suitable." That is at once a condemnation of the policy of profiteer- ing indulged under private enterprise, and an admission of the inability of the State to pro- duce more economically an essential item of transport under national enterprise—" at a price which can compare1 favourably with any- thing quoted to us" by outside firms. That is exactly what the Labour Party has been saying for many years. PRIVATE INTERESTS ALARMED. I This warning by Sir Eric Geddes has caused considorable annoyance to many of tihe repre- sentatins of capital in the House. Nearly 60 of them met to consider t-lie position in the light of the Minister's speech, and they unanimously adopda resolution protesting against the Gov- ernment starting railway waggon building in na- tional factories, and eharaeterisiffg this policy as a. repudi-ation of a Government .pledge to the effect that it was not the policy of the Govern- ment to use national factories for the manufac- ture of railway waggons in competition with private trade." It will be interesting to see whether the Government will resist -this pressure or sacrifice ,the national interest to the advan- tage of private enterprise. I
Bribery and Corruption. I The latest attempt of the employers in the cotton industry is almost too barefaced to need exposure. During the past weeks we have had occasion to call attention to the huge prices at which cotton mills were changing hands, this resulting in an immense oyer-capitalisation and the necessity of easing huge profits in the future in order rto pay even a nominal dividend on the new shares. At the same time, the cotton workers have been long de-tuamding an increase in wages. Now oomes along an offer from the master cotton-spinners 'to pay to all workpeople in their employment during the next three months a graduated bonus, which, in case of men on full adult wages, will (reach the height of 1:3 per month, or f;9 in all. Apart from the ob- jections to paying a flat rate of this kind (which are fully felt by the cotton Unions), we imagine that hardly anybody is likely to be deceived by this offer. The master spinners represent it as a free gift made to their workers out of the generosity of their hearts. We. do not think that anyone will be overcome with gratitude at the generosity of a gift. of £ 9 at the most; but that is hardly the point. The point is, that this offer is made in the hope of keeping the workers quiet until the end of March, when most of this specu- lation will be over, and the chance of ifaising wages will be partly over. (The one and a half million pounds which the masters affirm that their little Christmas box will cost, can, of course, easily be met by a. little extra watering, so there is no great generosity about it). We are glad to see that the Unions are protesting steadily.
The Blessings of War. I 12,000 NEW AMERICAN MILLIONAIRES. I The war was not a bad thing for everybody. Many of our own financiers found it a Tom Tid- dlers ground, and we imagine that the 12,000 American millionaires created during the period of horror and slaughter look upon war with a different eye to the :widows and orphans whose husbands and fathers went out never to return, or to the aged parents who from the cold hearth, and the doubtful comfort of Union hospitality sigh for the fine sons whose face will never be seen again on earth. Before the war, according to a Yankee writer who has been analysing the tax returns, America had 8,000 millionaires, now she has 20,000, and is increasing the out- put at the rate of 2,000 a year under the pre- sent conditions, and those prevailing in the im- mediate past. The millionaire class, :as computed, includes many persons whose incomes are well above one million yearly. Sixty-seven persons paid taxes on incomes ranging from one and a half million dollars yearly, and four paid taxes on incomes of five millions yearly.
Soviets and Jews. I ZIONIST BUREAU'S INTERESTINC I INFORMATION. GOVERNMENT RECARDS ANTI-SEMETISM I AS COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY. A series of articles on the Jews in Soviet Rus- sia has appeared in the Vienna" Morgenzei- tung" (says the "Manchester Guardian.") They are based on information carefully col- lected and sifted by the Zionist Bureau at Co- penhagen. The impression they make is not a pleasing one. They leave no doubt that, al- though there are- hardly more than three-quar- ters of a million Jews in Bolshevik territory, anti-Semitism is widespread. Nevertheless, thanks to the energetic measures taken by the Soviet Government, there have been no mas- sacres so terrible as those that took place in the Ukraine. The Jews are hated most of all by the officials and ex-officials of the old regime. The Soviet Government regards anti-Semitism as a danger- ous counter-revolutionary movement, and there- fore suppresses it with Idle greatest rigour. RED ARMY SUPRESSES POGROM. I Unfortunately, the movement appears to be strong in rtht ranks of the Red Army. In the districts of Mobile v and Vitebsk, where tlie Jews are numerous, a pogrom was begun by armed peasants. Red soldiers were isen,t to restore or- der, but a nurnbtr objected, and some even helped the peasants. The military authorities sentence! to death all those iwho were found guilty of murdering Jews. In March, 1919, there was an outbreak at Borissov, in the Minsk re- gion. Disorderly bands plundered the market and the neighbouring streets. Several Jews were fatally injured, and on the 18th March a number of the murderers and instigators were sentenotd to death by court martial. At Homel there was a mixed anti-Bolshevik anti-Jewish riot in which soldiers and railway workers took part. A number of commissaries and several Jew s amongst them were killed, while a large part of the Jewish community was robbed. The outbreak was suppressed by a detachment of the Red Army. At Vassilevichi .a big band of ruffians plundered the 85 Jewish families who live there. Ten Jews were killed. At Golinki 14 Jews were killed in disorders that lasted several days. SOVIET HARDSHIPS. I Economically the Jews have suffered much under the- Soviets. The numerous decrees forbid- ding private trade and, above all, the travelling and transport difficulties and the shortage of machinery and raw material fall heavily on a people who live by industry and commerce rather than by agriculture and manual labour. But, says the Morgenzeitung," All the more admirable is the intellectual activity of the Jews in Russia. The struggle for the preservation of Jewish national life, religious worship, schools, languages, and social-philanthropic institutions will remain a glorious page in the history of Russian Juda- ism. Much harm seems to have been done by so- called Jewish Commissaries," who, in their eagerness to fight the alleged counter-revolu- tion," which they regard as a Semetic move- ment, burden the Jew with decrees, restrictions, arrests, confiscations, and searches. Fortunate- ly these "Jewish Commissaries" have no in- fluence with the central authorities at Petro- grad and Moscow, but in the provinces they are sometimes all-powerful, and many of the ex- cesses that took place in the Ukraine before the Bolsheviks were driven out are due to their zeal.
4" The Tribunal." I APPEAL COURT QUASHES LOWER COURT I DECISION. An appeal of no less interest to the printing and publishing trades than to members of the No-Conkwription Folloii-sliip came .before Jus- tices Coleridge, Rowlatt and McCardie, sitting a.s a King's Bench Divisional Court, on Friday, when the Crown successfully appealed from the decision of the London Quarter Sessions, who had quashed the decision given by Mr. Garrett at Bow Street in respect of an 'alleged infringe- ment by Miss Joan Beauchamp of a section of the Newspapers, Printers, and Reading-rooms Repeal Act, 1869, which keeps alive certain pro- visions of earlier statutes which aimed at pre- venting the existence of secret printing presses. Sir Archibald Bodkin, for the Crown, said the matter came before the Court in the form lof a special case arising out of the publication of a newspaper called "The Tribunal," which bore- the words, Printed by J. Beauchamp. of Chalk Pit Farm, Norbury Park, near Dorking, and published at o, York Buildings, Adelphi, W.C." It was proved at the trial that Miss Beauchamp, the defendant, did not print, although she did publish, the paper. Although 'Mr. Garrett had convicted the Quarter Sessions iheld that this was a penal statute and must be read and con- strued strictly. Although publication was an offence, it could not be punished because pun- ishment was confined to cases where the words so printed by him or her" were applicable. From that decision the Crown appealed. The appeal was allowed. Mr. Justice Rowlatt said that the manifest intention of the section was to impose a for- feiture upon two categories which 'had been al- ready described, printers and publishers. If the forfeiture were only imposed on one, the second category would be left in the air, which would be a manifest absurdity.
The Perfect liluistmas Gift. J. B. CLASIER'S BOOKLET ON WILLIAM MORRIS. [" Socialism in Song," by J. Bruce Glasier. National Labour Press. 6d. j The kindly remembrance of the absent that makes of Christmas the most human and humane of all our festivals, has devised many plans by which that remembrance can be expressed in a manner different from that of the ordinary let- ter. To the rich a little example of the gold or silversmiths' art probably appeals; to the workers' financially incapable of such little mes- sengers of fragrant remembrance, the Christmas card with its generally somewhat crude orna- mentation, and its little joyful jangle of poetry has for years been the medium of expression. But the medium is chatiging-not the spirit, which I hope will never die, but that habit of sending a piece of cardboard or celluloid adorned with robins, whose breasts are redder than ever the rusty waistcoat of nature wa.s, and sprigs of Christmas berries and pealing bells, is going, like many more of the crude instruments through which our grandirts expressed their admirable sentiment. The sentiment stands strong as ever, and one of the happiest developments of the Yule message has been the steady develop- ment of recent years of the sending of a waist- coat pocket-edition of a favourite poem, es- pecially printed for the purpose of Christmas and birthday greetings. My copy of Omar came to me as a link with an absent friend, and an- other little treasure that for years has served to recall an old colleague is a miniature booklet that contained his favourite saying from Marcus Aurelius. It is an excellent way of enshrining the memory that of sending a little 'booklet about a favourite poet or contajning a. few gems from the treasury of his work. Up to the pre- sent the only productions that I know of that would alio r of any use of the giants of Socialism in this way have been the extracts from Ruskin, who has always been a favourite with the com- pilers of these diminutive series. Up to the pre- sent 1 said, for open before me now is what I consider to be the best that a Socialist could send to a friend. This year its 32 pages are only clad in a chaste paper cover; but I hope that when Detximber next comes round, it will be available in richer editions of yapp, and velvet calf, and of the other good feeling coverings that many of us like to send at this time of the year. I hope so because it lovingly linVs to- gether two men who will ever shine in the hearts of Socialists so long as this old world rolls. It is a booklet by our Comrade J. Bruce Glasaer, on our older Comrade William Morris. And just as Mr. Glasier has dealt lovingly with the songs that Morris enriched the language wilth; so in reading the beautiful language of Glasier 'does the heart of the redaer melt towards the author, through whose eyes he sees the greatness of Morris as, probably, never before he saw it. Es- sentially it is a spiritual hook-for Mr. Glasier on poetry could not help but dwell upon the heights of the lofty mountains from which poets view the world and breathe in inspiration for their love tasks, but it is not the clogging spirituality that is but a hypocritical mark over the face of unreality. It is the spirituality that flashes the. eye, that sends the blood coursing quicker through the pulses, and that refreshes the warrior to new (Strife in the cause of right, whilst it blinds the eyes of the worldly with the glowing light of a vision beau- tiful, having seen the which the dross of this life is -it,is, is seen for what it is and not mis- taken for the worth it has not. It is a propa- ganda book and more, for it is a poet's love offer- ing of a loved poet to humanity. Nothing could quite so happily be the omb-odirtient of that glowing humanity that Christmas calls forth, in perpetual promise—rainbow like- Of the wonderful days a-coming when ah Shall be better than well," not for one short week of the year, but for every minute of every day, in every month of every year, for aye. A.P.Y. 1
Itie Price of Children's Shoes: WO CASES BEFORE CARDIFF PROFITEER- INC CCTMMITTEE. Two cases of alleged profiteering on little slippers and children's boots, occupied the at- tention of the Cardiff Profiteering Committee on Friday. In one case a woman complained of being charged 3;1'111, for a pair of slippers for a baby. The retailer produced a wholesale in- voice showing a charge to him of 3/- for the slippers, and contended that 22t per cent. was a fair profit, particularly since the Government had allowed over 30 per cent, to retailers in .war-time boots, a disclosure that did not greatly influence Mr. G. B. Smith, for he retorted that the Government was a rotten lot. The Committee decided that the retailer had not made on unfair margin on the transaction, but purchased the islippers from the complain- ant so that they might transmit them to the Central Committee for that body to investigate the Committee's suspicion that the wholesaler or factor was charging too high a price to the retailer for the goods. In the second case a Gabalfa resident com- plained of unfair charges in respect of three pairs of children's shoes, the chief complaint turning on a charge of 12/6 for one pair which complainant alleged could be purchased else- where at 8/6. The retailer denied profiteering but did not produce his invoices. The case was adjourned that he might do so.
A lock-out of the workers of the building in- dustry at Madrid is in progress.