Read WAR NOTES on Page 3. Interesting and Informative.
Read WAR NOTES on Page 3. Interesting and Informative.
My Weekly Budget. By J. Keir Hardie, M.P. For a quarter of a century, the Press has been booming football. The great crowds of from 20,000 to 100,000 which turned out week af- ter week to the cup ties were de- scribed and eulogised as proofs of the public spirit of the young Bri- ton. But now, alas, the scene has changed. Big special efforts were made by the recruiting sergeants and agencies at the big games on Saturday last at Cardiff and Lon- don, but with small results. The Pall Mall Gazette" on Monday last had this to say on the sub- ject It is time to eradicate the fooball cancer at London's principal match, attended by 15,000, not a single man responded to the appeal for recruits. A gathering of 7,000 spectators at Nottingham were unanimous in their contempt of patriotism, If the football sot is to be rescued from his obsession, the organisa- tion which ministers to it must be suppressed." The "S. W. D. News" tells a similar tale about Cardiff. A band paraded through the City brought only "six enlist- ments," whilst "7,000 people as-' sembled to witness an air-bladder I contest," produced "hearty cheers," but "not a single re- cruit." Whence this change in the attitude of the war press towards football? For over -c y.aia, I repeat, it has been the darling of the press gods. It was to them a proof that the working class had not yet begun to think about their own affairs. That was fine. But now ? Ah that is different! We are out to put down Kaiserism in Germany, and the Liberal member for Merthyr wants the Government to muzzle- a free Labour press, and the Tory "Pall Mall Gazette" wants to suppress the Football As- sociation. They are birds of a feather, the only difference being that the P.M.G. acts with in- telligence. < The Prime Minister, Lord Rose- bery, A. J. Balfour, and four oth- ers, Including William Astor, the American millionaire, who has pro- bably a fat slice of the war loan in his locker, evidently don't agree with the Liberal speakers at the recruiting meeting. Here is what one of them said "The whole civilised world recognised that no country had pursued the cause of peace so devotedly as Great Britain had done." This bunkum, however, is not shared by Mr. Asquith and his illustrious colleagues. And so they have issued a somewhat pa- thetic appeal, through the press, for money for a new press cam- paign. They say in their letter that they want the money in order to convince the people of England that our cause is doubly a jright- eous and a just one, because we fight not alone in defence of our existence and freedom, but for the right of small nations to enjoy like freedom, etc." I hope Mr. Asquith and his work-fellows will not for- get Russia's imitation of the Ger- man violation of the "scrap of paper," by which Russia and Eng- land bound themselves to main- tain the independence and neu- trality" of Persia. They also want to educate "neutral countries," in the" righteousness of the cause for which we are fighting. That seems a bit late in the day. War was declared on August 5th; it is now Nov. 28, and something yery seri- ous must be happening in England, and in the neutral countries to make this fresh justification of the war necessary. But if the com- mittee will undertake to send out H. N. Brailsford's "War of Steel and Gold" and the Diplomatic History of the War," by M. P. Price, M.A., to the neutral coun- tries, I shall promise them a sub- scription to their funds. These are the only two volumes yet issued which tell the truth, righteous or other, about the reasons for our be- ing in the war. It is a poor cause which needs explaining after four months' murderous fighting. To the Liberal party hacks who spout at meetings in Merthyr and else- where, the last word has been spo- ken. If so, perhaps they will tell us why this appeal for funds where- with to educate the people ? < The Liberal Press in Merthyr and Aberdare have taken to distorting the Hansard Parliamentary reports in the interests, apparently, of the Liberal member. That is playing it very low down. The man who wrote that Mr. J. A. Pease, the Minister for Education,said in re- ply to Mr. Edgar Jones, that "so far as the Government are con- cerned, they believe all the sug- gestions made by Mr. Keir Hardie to be entirely without foundation, etc. was misquoting Hansard. The official report con- veys quite a different meaning to that conveyed by the Liberal press. Elsewhere there appears a para- graph headed A Brutal Offence," which I commend to the prayerful consideration of my Liberal c~ v. league. Has he or his agent been able to prove a worse case against any German Every war, and every army, produces that form of brutality. Only the hopelessly ig- norant and the stupidly blind fail to see it, and mourn over it. ♦ In response to a petition from a number of Lancashire members, the War Office has consented to the formation of an East Lanca- shire Battalion, the height to range between Sft, and 5ft. 3m." There is nothing more contemptible than the pretended wrath of Liberal M.P.'s and candidates at the young men who will not go to the front to save their country. Hitherto lack of size has served some of them as a sufficient excuse. Now, how- ever, that a Bantam's Brigade" has been formed, lie must be a poor weakling who cannot get him- self enlisted. I have never said, or written, anything to dissuade our young' men from enlisting; I know too well all there is at stake. But, frankly, were I once more young, and anxious to enlist, I I would resent more than anything the spectacle of young, strong flip- pant upstarts, whether M.P. 's or candidates, who had the audafcitv to ask me to do for my country what they had not the heart to do themselves. Of all causes this surely is the one in which actions speak louder than words. If I can get the recruiting figures for Mer- thyr week by week, which I find a very difficult job, I hope by an- other weoJv to be able to PROVE that whereas our Rink Meeting gan: a stimulus to recruiting, those meetings in the Drill Hall at which the Liberal member or the Libe- ral candidate spoke, had the ex- actly opposite effect. Judging by their speeches, they seem far more concerned about defeating me than about defeating the Kaiser. They shall have their reward. # 1 T may as well dispose of another bit of fiction whilst I am at it. The Liberal agent has, 011 several occa- sions, spread himself all over the press with a cock and bull story about the appointment of the War Office Paymaster for the Merthyr district. He has kept declaring that to Edgar alone belonged the glory. As he himself could know nothing about the facts, he could only be repeating what had been told him by his paymaster. The facts are these:—A deputation, at my suggestion, waited on the War Office from the Merthyr Relief Committee, and amongst the sug- gestions put forward was one by Mr. J. T. Vaughan, backed by Mr. William Harris, both of whom had earned the right to speak by their tireless work on behalf of the soldiers' wives. Nothing came of this at the time, and I therefore on the week following, wrote Mr. Baker, who had received the depu- tation, and emphasised the need for the appointment being made at once, and added that "If any one is appointed, it must be a local man of experience. Any one sent from the outside world would rouse resentment locally. There can be no doubt about the value of this idea since, if adopted, it would put the War Office into direct touch with a direct representative on the spot." To this Mr. Ba- ker wired a reply, which I sent on to the then Mayor, Mr. Henry M. Lloyd, and which I am, therefore, not able to quote textually. The gist of it was that he was sending down Col. Dorling, D.S.O., with full powers to set everything right. What then happened is known to everyone. For the local Liberal Agent, therefore, to keep writing to me press that Edgar alone did it reminds me bf the old Greek fable. A driver was one day driv- ing his bullocks and cart along a dry and dusty road. The dust was rising in clouds. A fly, which had settled on the wheel, got puff- ed up with vaiiii-v, and astounded the sweating driver by saying My see what a dust I am rais- ing." Search for the moral. In my time I have probably got more letters and postcards, meant to be insulting, than any other poli- tician alive. These I can smell when opening the envelope, and they go at once into the W.P.B" unread, dishonoured and un- sung." It is but fair to state that r get many of the other sort, and some of them touch me to the quick, and these I don't destroy. An ex-Liberal candidate called on me the other day to suggest that I should join him in a campaign in this country and in Germany to force both to stop the War. I soort discovered that his brain was slight- ly touched, and whilst patient and long suffering, I had, at the end of two hours, to turn him out from my room. He has since written me in his wrath to say that I am a "traitor," "in the pay of Lloyd George, to help the Government to popularise the war That, how- ever, only excites pity. But here is one of a different kind, which I give complete, because of its irre- sistible lack of htiliioiir- HIS LETTER. I KSOWLE. MAYFIELD, SUSSEX, November IStfi, 1914. Sin. Owineg to your despicable behavi- our, I am cancelling my coal orders in Wales, and placing them in York- shire. Even your oo-member is dis- gusted with you. (Signed), E. POTJLTF/R." I MY REPLY I 10 NEVICT/S CoritT. 1,ono. Ko., November 20. 1914. I"otlltei-, Eslq.. Knowle. Mayfield, Sussex. DEAI: SIU. I am desired by Ir, Hardie to ac- knowledge receipt of your letter of the 18th inst. As he is Hot in auy way. financially or otherwise, inte- rested in Welsh coat mining, and as the recruiting has been very free in Welsh mining districts. he does not quite follow the point of your protest. Mr. Hardie wouM be glad to learn the extent of your coal orders, and the saving which you are effecting by transferring the same from Wa les to Yorkshire. Further, Mr. Hardie agrees that, in addition to his colleague, there are a good many people of limited intelligence and a low sense of hon- our, who do not agree with his atti- tude towards those wno deceived the nation into the war. Yours truly, FKAMC SMITH." To that there has been no answer. But my poor collier friends will learn from Mr. Poulter's determi- nation the sacrifice imposed upon them by their immovable determi- nation to have a man with con- science and brains as their Mem- ber. I fear I shall tire readers of the PIONEER with constant recommen- dations of books. But the Aberdare Branch of the I.L.P. has now tackled the "Diplomatic His- tory of the War," by M. P. Price, M.A., the Liberal candidate for Gloucester, and a full-blooded Welshman on both sides, and en- tirely free from Scotch mist." With that added, he would have soared over the highest peaks of intellect. He makes a decent good show even as it is. But, for the moment, I want to announce that I shall review in the PIONEER next week one of the sweetest, cleanest, and most convincing bits of literature which the war has yet produced, or is likely to produce. It is The Siege of Liege," by Dr. Paul Hamelins, Professor of Eng- lish Literature at Leige University. It only costs i I shall, I repeat, review it next week. For the mo- ment I only want to warn Jack Ban- to flood the shelves of Our Shop everything the I.L.P. touches in Merthyr goes with a swing—with supplies of this book, to be ready for the demand which will set in after the PIONEER comes out next week. And Matt Lewis will warn our good, but, to me as yet nameless, friend in Aberdare, to make similar preparations. The book set my heart a-singing, for here we have the truth about Ger- man atrocities" at last. I would not advise Mr. Edgar Jones to read it, It might prove too much for his nerves. # • Let me revert once more to Mr. Price's book. It explains why Mr. Asquith and his committee have got themselves together to tell the English people, and the neutral na- tions, the real truth about the war. Mr. Price indulges in no theories. He takes the White Papers," of all countries, and systematises them under their respective headings. He gives all the treaties which in any way affect the causes which led to the war. He gives the speeches of leading statesmen. He gives sec- ret documents never before reveal- cd. He does not confine himself in all this to the ten days or so before the war started. He gets right down among the roots. He does not side with any country; he tells tnc. official truth about them all. Could the contents of this volume be made known to the people of the Allied nations, there would be a universal revolution. Never before, so far, at least, as my knowledge goes, has all the truth about all the causes which led to war been made known during the progress of the war itself. That has always been left to the historian ten or twenty years after, when it has often been an ex parte statement, in which no one was interested. Now we have it at first hand. May the honest ef- fort of the author's hand be much blessed in the reading. Once I am on the literature of the War, let me say a word about the splendid series of penny pam- phlets, issued by the Union of De- mocratic Control Committee, of which Mr. Ramsay Macdonald is chairman. They are being sold in tens of thousands all over the coun- try. The Labour Press, despite its great equipment, is unable to keep pace with the orders. I hope each I. L.B. Branch and Our iSiop have a good supply of each pam- phlet in hand, and a.re pushing the sales. Each pamphlet is written by a well-known authority on the sub- ject with which the pamphlet deals. The National Council of the IX.P., at its meeting some weeks ago, decided to also issue a series of pamphlets dealing with other phases of the question from our own Socialiset point of view. These will also be written by the highest authorities, and I shall revert to them next week. Meanwhile, the list of those issued by the U.D.C. up to date is — No. i The Morrow of the War." No. 2 Shall This War End German -Nlilitarism ?" by Norman Angell. No. 3 War—the Offspring of Fear," by Hon. Bertrand Russell. No. 4 The Origins of the Great War," by H. N. Brailsford. Other useful pamphlets Bri- tain and the War," by C. H. Nor- man. Published by Clifford Allen, B.A., Is Germany Right and Britain Wrong?" All of these may be ordered wholesale from the Labour Press, 30 Blackfriars St., Manchester. May I once again revert for a moment to the I.L.P. pamphlets ? None of them clamour for immedi- ately stopping the war. That would be foolish in the extreme, until, at least, the Germans have been driven back across their own frontier, a consummation which, I fear, carries us forward through a long and dismal vista. When, how- ever, that stage has been reached, great peace loving forces, headed, I expect, by the President of the United States of America, will set themselves in motion to secure a lasting peoce. But this our Go- vernment, and their military advi- sers, will bitterly resist. They have declared quite openly that they are out not only to defeat Germany, but, hopeless task, to crush the German people. Our object, then, is to educate the in- telligence of the nation in the real causes of the present war, and which in the future must lead to other great wars as they always have in the past, and thereby en- sure that by uprooting the causes, such bloody fruit may never more grow. That is the task to which we are setting our hand. It is no light one. but it must be underta- ken. I ask those of my readers, therefore, even those who are sup- porters of the war, to see in our ef- forts something worthy of their consideration. Only thus, by an educated democracy making its power felt, can the false philoso- phies and the sordid interests of privileged classes be finally laid 'n the dust. The Socialist movement in every country will work along similar lines, and thus increase our power tenfold. Is it not worth while for those who love the race, irrespective of politics or creed, to join in this God-honouring and man-elevating task? I fear I am this week outrunning all the bounds of decency in the matter of space. But just one para- graph more. The press has careful- ly concealed the reason why De Wet has been able to organise an armed rebellion. Here is the tale. One of the terms of settlement ar- rived at Vereeniging was that the Boers should not carry any arms more deadly than a fowling piece. This continued till the Labour troubles set in on the Rand, when Lord Gladstone and General Bo- tha called up the Boer Commandos, and fully armed them 11-itli rifles and plenty of ball cartridge. When they had done their duty and "re- stored peace" in Johannesburg and elsewhere, a grateful Government allowed them to take home their ri- fles and ammunition as a token of gratitude for their great services to the State." And thus was it made possible for De Wet to orga- nise an armed rebellion. Nemesis On Saturday evening, and Mon- day morning, the dirty placards of the papers, and their still worse headlines—they always make me blaspheme—(Davie of the Central Mission will forgive me)—howled with frantic joy over De Wet only having six-the Star said four; the Radical press is always the dirtiest -followers left. But by Wednes- day the same profligate liars had a different tale to tell. "A very large force" of De Wet's rebels had by that time met, and defeated a com- pany of Botha's Army.
I- Municipal Bye-Elections. I SUPERIOR AGGREGATE LABOUR VOTE. I TWO RETIRING MEMBERS DEFEATED. Polling in the Merthyr Municipal Bye-elections took place on Tuesday. Mi. Ivor Abraham was the only one of the three retiring members who re- tained his seat. The loss to the Lab- our Party by the narrow defeat of Aid. T. J. Evans in the Park Ward is coun- terbalanced by Md. John Wnhama" victory in the Town Ward by nearly a hundred votes, which gives the Town Ward a Labour representative after many years. The results were announced as fol- lows: I TOWN WARD. John Williams (Lab.) 704 *J. M. Berry (Lib.) 619 Labour majorIty. 92 Labour gain. PARK WARD. Henry Owen (Con.) 489 *T. J. Evans (Lab.) 478 Oon. majority. IS Conservative gain. PENYDARREN WARD. "Ivor Abraham (Lib.) 763 Samuel Jennings (Lab.) 719 Liberal majority 44 No change. Denotes old member. MERTHYR VALE WARD, Ald. David Jones (Lab.). unopposed. It will be noticed that the aggregate Labour vote is 1899, being 35 votes more than the 1864 aggregate of the opponents of Labour.
ANOTHER SCRAP OF PAPER. "May I draw your attention to what is happening in Persia f" The writel, then describes the invasion of Persia by the Russian Army on the way to fight Turkey. "The parallel to Belgium is painfully close. Persia has not ac- quiesced. There is in this case also a 'scrap of paper.' the Anglo- Russian Convention of 1907. which as- sured the integrit.v and independence' of Persia. This uncomfort- able fact that Russia is doinr; exactly (in Persia) what Germany did (in Bel- gium) has got to be faced and assimi- lated."— H. N. Brailsfora. in the "Na- tion." Is this another libel on our great j wise statesman, the Foreign Secretary?
Mrs. Despard at the Drill Hall "MILITARISM OF ALL NATIONS MUST CEASE." TRIBUTE TO MR. KEIR HAAÐIE. M.P. Coun. B. M. Lloyd presided at the Drill Hall on Thursday evening at a meeting organised by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Social Welfare Committee, in- augurated by himself. The hall was well filled. The principal speaker was Mrs. Des- pard, sister of Field Marshal Sir John Frencn, Commander of the British Ex- peditionary Force on the Continent. Being the sister of a soldier, and also having many relatives at the front, she said, they oould realise how deeply s he felt, and how deep her sympathy for the women whose wives and sweet- hearts were at the front was. Two weeks ago, explained Mrs. Des- pard, I received a letter from a very dear old friend of mine. a man for whom I would do anything I could. You J. 1 A deep am Beh suffr thin, s thei. Sligui trom uun, countries women and children were suf- fering in a manner which it would be difficult for women in this country to reahse. It would break her heart it she thought the British soldiers were doing what other soldiers were said to be doing. She was, however, firmly con- vinced that the British soldiers would fight squarely and fairly. War was q crime against humanity, added Mrs. Despard, but this war must not, cease until militarism had ceased By that she did not mean the milita- rism of one nation, but the militarism of all nations. (Applause.)