I Books for the Workers. CHARLES DICKENS." I Dickens and the Evils He Attacked. To a man with such a keen observation as Dickens, Victorian England was not a minia- ture Paradise. In his youth, public hangings still afforded amusement for people with love for sensation and a half day holiday, and it is said that a description from his pen in a Lon- don newspaper of one of these gruesome fetes had the effect of putting an end to the scandal. Imprisonment for debt still contined. and Dic- kens knew the Marslialsea prison well enough after the frequent visits he had made to his impecunious father. The hatred of the prison never left him. In his first novel, and in one of his last. he pours scorn and wrath upon this relic of the good old times. The descrip- tions of the prison are one of the few pathetic chapters in "Pickwick Papers." The law. too, was an aversion. There is a reference- in nearly every book he wrote to the stupidity of English law, the stupidity of magistrates, and the trickery and roguery of the profession." Education also claimed his attention. It is doubtful whether he had come in contact with the best in education; lie had no opportuni- ties. The Rugby and Oxford of Matthew Ar- nold he never knew. But what passed for education amongst the lower middle classes he knew and understood, and the principle of oramming children with hard facts, so beloved oi Mr. Gradgrind in Hard Times," he loath- ed. It is noticeable that Macaulav described this book as Sullen Socialism." "because," Mr. Chesterton remarks. it was not compla- cent Whiggism." The brutalities of Dotheboy's Hall and Salem House may have been exagge- rated, but it is certain that some of these schools very nearly resembled torture cham- bers. and it is highly pirobable they would have been heartily recommended by the In- quisition. Dickens and the Workhouse. If a century is to be judged by its nourish- ing institutions, the 19tli Century will hardly be lookod upon with approval. What if Eng- land were to be judged by her workhotises- It is said the workhouse has improved since the time of Dickens; if it has. much of it is due to him. But to trace the history of that sublime in- stitution would take up too much space in a literary column. In passing. I might make the remark that if those artistic text cards which used to hang on the walls of Pontypridd Work- house, still remain, some representative of La- bour might suggest their removal. Home, Sweet Home," and God Bless our Home" are mottoes which may appeal to the senti- ments of a comfortable family: they are not calculated to ease the mental suffering of the inmates. Dickens troubled the rational conscience, if there is such a thing, when lie wrote about a workhouse. We will take one glimpse — The Board. Oliver had not been within the walls of the workhouse a quarter of an hour, and bad scarcely completed the demolition of a second slice of bread, when Mr. Bumble, who had handed him over to the care of an old woman, returned; and. celling him it v as a board night, informed him that the board had said he was to appear forthwith. Not having a very clearly defined notion of what a live board was, Oliver was rather astounded by this intelligence, and was not quite certain whether he ought to laugh or cry. He had no time to think about the natter, however; for Mr. Buble gave him a tap on the head, with his cane, to wake him up, and another on the back to make him lively; and, bidding him follow, con- ducted him into a large white-washed room where eight or ten fat gentlemen were sit- ting round a table. At the top of the ta- ble, seated in an arm chair rather higher than the rest, was a particularly fat gentle* iran with a very round red face. Bow to the Board." said Bumble. Oliver hushed away two or three tears that were lingering in his eyes; and seeing no board but the table, bowed to that. sill d the ,ent l eiiian What's your naDle. said the gentleman in the high chair. Oliver was frightened at the sight of so many gentlemen, which made him tremble; and the beadle gave him another tap behind which made him cry. These two causes made him answer in a very low and hesitat- ing voice; whereupon a gentleman in a white waistcoat said he was 0 fool, which was a capital way of raising his spirits and putting him quite at his ease. Boy a I 'd the gentleman in the high chair. "Listen to me! You know you're an orphan, I suppose?') "What's that, sir?" inquired poor Oliver. "The boy is a "fool; I thought he was." "aid the gentleman in the white waistcoat. "What are you crying for?" he inquired. And, to be sure, it was very extraordinary What could the boy be crying for? I hope you say your prayers every night," said another gentleman in a gruff voice, and pray for the people who feed you. and tke caare of you like a Christian." "Yes, sir," stammered the boy. The gen- tleman who spoke last was unconsciously right. It would have been very like a Christian and a marvellously good Christ- ian, too, if Oliver had prayed for the people who fed and took care of him. But he hadn't, because nobody had taught him. Well! \ou have come here to be educa- ted and taught a useful trade." said the red- faced gentleman in the high chair. So you'll begin to pick oakum at six o'clock to-morrow morning," said the gentle- man in the white waistcoat. ,For the combination of both these bless- ings in the simple process of picking oakum, Oliver bowed low by direction of the beadle. and was then hurried away to a large ward where, on a rough, hard bed, foe sobbed him- self to sleep. What a noble illustration of the tender laws of England. They let the paupers go to sleep! A Company Meeting. Dickens very often satirised the masters of industry" of his time. Some of his bitterest attacks are centred upon the hard, self-made capitalist, the type that grows powerful with the advance of the Industriai Revolution. Companies were formed for objects which were nothing but bare-faced swindles. In "Nicholas Nickleby," the author sket- ches the formation of one of these companies: Mr. Bonney then presented himself to move the first resolution, and having run his right hand through lis air and planted his left in any easy manner "n his ribs, he eonsignect his hat to tha care of the gentleman with the double chin (who aoted as a species of bottle- holfler to the orators generally), a.nd said he would read to them the resolution—' That this meeting views with alarm and apprehension the existing state of the muffin trade in the [Metropolis and its neighbourhood; that it con- siders the muffin boys, as at present constitut- ed wholly undeserving the confidence of the- public; and that it deems the whole muffin system alike prejudicial to the health and mo- rals of the people, and subversive of the best interests of a great commercial and .mercantile community.' The honourable gentleman made a speech which drew tears from the eyes of the ladies, and awakened the liveliest, emotion in every individual present. He had visited the houses of the poor in the various districts of London, and had found them destitute of the slightest vestige of a muffin, which, there ap- peared too much reason to believe, some of the indigent persons did not taste from year's end. to year's end. He had found that among muf- firi sellers there existed drunkenness, debau- chery, and profligacy, which he attributed to the debasing nature of their employment as at I present constituted; lie had found the same vices among the poorer class of people who ought to be muffiu consumers, and this he at- tributed to the despair engendered by their being placed beyond the reach of that nutri- tious article '4 which drove them to seek a false- stimulant in intoxicating liquor. He would undertake to prove before a Committee of the House of Commons that there existed a com- bination to keep up the price of muffins. and to give the bellmen a monopoly. It was this melancholy state of things that the company proposed to correct: firstly, by prohibiting, under heavy penalties all private muffin trad- ing of every description and. secondly. by themselves supplying the public generally and the poor at their own homes with muffins of first quality at reduced prices. It was with this object that a Bill had been "ntroduced into Parliament by their patriotic chairman. Sir Matthew Pupken; it was this Bill they had met to support; it was the supporters of this Bill who would confer undying brightness and splendour upon England, under the name of the United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company he would rdd. with a capital of five millions in five hundred thousand shares of ten pounds each." I The Tragedy of Dickens. There is an element of tragedy in the lives of all great men. Dickens' life was not an ex- ception. In spite oi the great popularity of his books, he could not make enough money by writing, but gave readings from uis works in all the great English towns, and ultimately went to America to read and lecture. This, out-pouring of energy sapped his strength, and in the end killed him. While the public were eagerly awaiting the publication of Edwin Drood," the great master died at the age of 58. Well might Francis Thompson say. A poet is a man who makes the worst of both worlds. Our men of letters die in poverty, like Gold- smith, or work themselves to death, like Diok- ens; our men of business prosper. Mine—owners like Arthur Keen become millionaires; poets like Francis Thompson are glad to hold horses' heads in the streets in order to get crusts. It is a bitter comment upon the greatness of modern England. Emrys Hughes.
Trades Union Congress. UNANIMOUS CONDEMNATION OF CONSCRIPTION. "DUTY OF ORGANISED LABOUR TO PREVENT COMPULSION." At noon on Monday the most important and momentous Trades Union Congress in the his- tory of the movement opened at Bristol under the presidency of Mr. J. A. Seddon, M.P. It is not too much to sav that the whole of the 610 delegates present at Congress realised to the full that they were present not merely as the representatives of the 3 million Unionists their constituents, but also as t!ie custodians of the rights and liberties of the workers of the world, and the guardians of the future of the race. A short IS years ago, when Congress last met in Bristol, the news of the Tsar's message which led to the first Hague Convention was received with enthusiasm, and a resolution was adopted calling on the Government to use every legitimate means to give effect to it; militarism being the greatest foe to liberty, and a crushing burden upon the toiling mil- lions." lliis week Congress was to declare its voice on the question again, but this time under war-worn conditions, and in a world atmos- phere that reeked of the smell of burnt pow- der. Thi new affirmation of faith was to be no mere pious resolution based on idealistic principles, but the deciaration of an attitude to be fought for, but never surrendered. Thank God. 18 years have but served to strengthen the truth s of that old resolution. Militarism is to-day, as ever the enemy and burden of the workers, and Trades Congress has declared in unfailing and unfaltering tones its solid op- position to any form of compulsory military service. But that was on Tuesday. We go too fast. The Agenda Resolution. The agenda paper conta ined over 100 resolu- tions. but the majority were old fri-ends, and the ones that mattered could be whittled down to a mere handful. and the most important of these was the Conscription resolution referred to above, the full text of which was:- That the delegates in this Congress, repre. senting 3 million organised workers, record their hearty appreciation of the magnificent response made to the call for volunteers to tight against the tyranny of militarism. We emphatically protest against the sinister ef- forts of a section of the reactionary Press in formulating newspaper policies for party purposes and attempting to foist on their country conscription, which always proves a lurden to the workers, and will divide the nation at a time when absolute unanimity is essential. No reliable evidence has been produced showing that the voluntary system of en- listment is not adequate to meet the Em- pire's requirements. We believe that all the men necessary will be obtained through the voluntary system, properly organised, and we heartily support and will give every aid tc the Government in their present effort to secure the men necessary to prosecute the war to a successful issue. The whole matter has been thoroughly dis- cusoed in lodge and Trades Councils during the past; few months., and any decision that Con- gress came to might therefore be regarded as the actual expression of the voice of Labour. THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS. I Monday was a quiet day, principally note- worthy on account of Mr. Seddon's address from the chair, of winch the ivost striking point was his declaration of the truth that "food protits and war profits are the chief caus- es of Labour unrest. The Government's res- ponsibility is to equalise the burden. We have been told that war profits will be regulated. The sliai-e of Labour ,in meeting the danger is seen in the increasing output of munitions. We invite the Minister of Munitions to be equal- ly keen in carrying out his promise dealing with war profits. Mr. Seddon does not pretend to be an orat- or, and his address was rather a restrained ex- position of what ought to be the general atti- tude of Trade Unionists towards the great times in which they live than a trumpet call to action. One of the first points he dealt with was the charge of the lack of imagination which has been brought by some critics against the Con gress after a persual of the agenda. "Our problems." said Mr. Seddon. "are of vital interest to the men and women we re- present. and the work for which the Congress primarily exists for ever lives. Even while newer and larger problems demand our at- tention. we cannot if we would, and we would not if we could, ignore the questions that re- ceive their driving force from the decisions of this Congress Next Mr. Seddon touched up- on the subject of Labour consolidation, and in particular the problem of co-ope "ative versus industrial unions, which is expected to provoke some of the most lively debates during the co- ming week. The question at is.>ue, Mr. Seddon point,ed out, was a fundamental one. and any decision taken upon it might have a profound effect upon the whole Trade rnjoll movement. It was too big a question to be settled by dia- lectics or a chance vote. Let them, therefore, remember that no matter how acute might be their differences, or strong their convictions, light on the subject was preferable to heat. Conscription Attitude. Coming to the war. Mr. Seddon declared (loin n,,? -Lo the xN-ai- that some of the many and complex problems raised demanded an immediate answer by the Congress. Among these were Conscription, un- der whatever name it might masquerade, the exploitation of the food supply, the regulation of labour under war conditions, and the em- ployment of female labour. Upon the aiiswer given by the Trade Unions depe ided the very existence of liberty in this country. As to food prices, lie observed that had the Government moved when representations were ma(ie. iot was safe to say that bread. coaL and other commodities would have risen little ab- ove pre-war charges. It was nothing less than a scandal that the robbery had been permit- ted He pointed out that the questions of war taxation, demobilisation of troops, and pen- sion- were vital to the working classes and de- manded vigilant attention. They were well worth v of special instructions to the committee to prevent charity and pauperism being sub- stituted for the nation's clear duty. Causes of Strikes. I Having briefly reviewed the history of the past 12 month-, he dealt thus with the ques- tion of strike- — Increased cost of living, swollen profits, and in many cases contemptible meanness on the pair of employers, created a spirit of re- sentment and justifiable complaint. The work- ers generally were prepared for sacrifice in the common cause, but were not pi-epared to be bled by financial vultures. Protests were made and suggestions offered to the Government jt-11 in vain—with the result of strikes and de- majid 4 for increased pay. T h ese demands had been justified by the unwillingness of employ- ers even now to disclose the profits that were being made. Whatever difficulties existed in conducting the war. the nation should look elsewhere than to Trade Unionists for blame. "Our protest." Mr. Seddon added. has been and is now against the locusts of trade who have been permitted, by inflated prices on coal, food. freight. and war requirements, gravely to menace national unity and create ir- ritation highly dangerous to the success in our gallant struggle." Food prices and war profits. he went on, were the chief cause of Labour unrest. The Government's responsibility was to equalise the burthen. What they had done by way of control for war purposes, let them do for na- tional confidence. If half the words spoken. chiefly without evidence, against the alleged underworkers (men who did not work to their full capacity) had been used against the profit- mongers. followed by a State demand for war profits. the workers would have had confidence. Regulated War Profits. I in the truce or a year ago they had been told the war profits would be regulated. The promise was accompanied by a. momentous statement on the country's position. Organised labour believed both the promise and the statement. Tlia share of Labour in meeting the danger was sc-eil in the increasing output of munition and the willingness of skilled trades to do all that was possible. They invit- ed the Minister of Munitions to be equally keen in carrying out his promise to deal with war profits. lliey also had the right to demand from the Government definite guarantees for the restoration of nre-war conditions of lab- our after the war. There lay the prospect of restored unity in the present conflict. '• We are unalterably opposed, Mr. Seddon concluded, "to what the .b oreign Secretary de- scribes 'as an iron peace and a freedom un- der a Prussian shield,' whether it comes from Potsdam or Printing House Square. The heart of Britain is still sound. The will to do and to sacrifice is not wanting for a just cause. We know that words canDot repay the epic deeds of heroism in every sphere of war, that mere sorrow is base currency for the shed blood that has protected our women and children and our homes from the horrors of invasion." The Great Day. But Tuesday was the great day—the day on Ni-ii leli Organised Labour was to assent to the foisting of compulsory military service on the people at the dictates of a Press never in accord with Labour's voice and feelings, or to take up the stand tha t Labour has always ta- ken up that compulsory military service is inimicably opposed to the ideals of Trades Un- ionism. There was. of course, no doubt about the matter from the start: the second was the only position tenable in view of the expressed feelings of the men in lodges and councils, and it was not, therefore. surprising that by an unanimous vote the 610 delegates declared the unwavering opposition of about 3 million or- ganised workers to Conscription. The best in- dex to the solidity of the Congress on this question was the shortness of the debate. Just over an hour and a half and the matter had been introduced, expounded and decided. We have known a street improvement engage the attention of a municipal body for longer. An- other notable feature of the debate was the almost unanimous condemnation in scathing language of the Press gang that have organ- ised this Conscription boom a condemnation that began from the chsir, and ran like a thread through the whole uiscussion. Bob Smillie's Straight Hit. I Ben Tuiett made a strong appeal for more munitions instead of more men, but it was "Boli. Smillie who got the heartiest cheer when lie declared— It this Congress declares on behalf of or- ganised Labour, that it is against Conscrip- tion, then it would be the duty of organised Labour to prevent Conscription from taking place. The Gasworkers had introduced a resolution that in the event of the Government bringing forward proposals for Conscription, a special Congress should be called, but this was with- drawn when it was pointed out that the Par- liamentary Committee already possessed pow- ers to summons a special congress. Apart from that, it was felt that the acceptance of the resolution would have been taken as indicating an indeterminate attitude, which certainly did not exist. The resolution carried was that gi- ven above, which, as the President pointed out embodied four points—first, an apprecia- tion of the response already made to the call for service; secondly, a protest against the machinations of a reactionary Press for ulter- ior motives: thirdly, a complaint that the Government had withheld, and was withhold- ing, information from the people of the coun- try and, fourthly, an assurance that organ- ised labour, if taken into the confidence of the Government and assured that more men were still wanted, would rise to the heights of the great occasion. Democratic Responsibility. I These points brought them face to face with an issue of tremendous responsibility to the future of democracy, and the well-being of the country to which they belonged. On the first he observed that any great movement to be effective must have the driving force of con- viction behind it. and he maintained that the men who responded to their country's call from a conviction of duty, or because they were de- termined to defend their homes and dear ones, were the best men to win a war. (Applause.) "Now." Mr. Seddon proceeded, "so far as the Press is concerned we have had many policies promulgated by the coroneted creator of Carmelite Holism. We have had Standard Bread, and we have had Sweet Peas. We have had attempts to iiiilo and unmake Cabinets and attempts to create a new Commander-in- Chief of the British Army. When Lord North- cliffe confined himself to sweet peas and gave us a great variety of colouring in those now- ers. we thanked him for his idiosyncrasy. When he tried to educate us to the con- sumption of standard bread, we had legitimate differences of opinion as to whether brown or white bread was the best and most agreeable for each individual. But when it comes to this sinister and diabolical attempt to rush the country and to force the hand of the Govern- ment, it is time for the democracy to say that no one man, however powerful he may be in the Press, shall sJipplant the free will of the democracy. Junkers." I Mr. Tom Shaw. who spoke for the textile workers, seconded the resolution, and spoke of the campaign which was being engineered by a section of the Press. Those newspapers, he declared, had done more to injure the reputa- tion of thIS country than any other force for declare d this country than any other force for years. In order to force Conscription upon En- gland, they had talked about our inferiority in all things to Germany. It 'was a policy that the Germans themselves could not fathom, for no German from the Junker to the Social De- mocrat could understand a bird that fouled its own nest. What the ddknocracy had to grasp was that the class which dominated Germany existed also in this country, and that there was not much to choose between the German Junker and the Junker behind the present Oonscriptionist agitatiot. Both would apply the spur and jackboot to the people with equaJ readiness. Men like Bethmann-Hollweg and "Damn the Consequences'' Milner belonged to the same class. We have to judge this question very large- ly," said Mr. Walk den. of the Railway Clerks, "by what will happen when the war is over. These people are not so much concerned ab- out the winning of the war as they are about getting Conscription after the war. They are out to change our military system once and for all. Where are we workers going to be after the war? I say that if we win the war to find Conscription fastened on our shoulders. we shall have lost it indeed." Duberry's Dissent. The first note of dissent was struck by Mr. Duberry (Fawcett Association), who declared that to pass the resolution would be useless unless steps were at the same time taken to bring about a change in our methods of di- plomacy. Unless they could have an open fo- reign policy, their resolutions were so much waste paper, and Conscription or at least the maintenance of an enormous Army must come. Mr. John Stokes (Glassblowers' Union) hav- ing advocated the formation of a "citizen ar- my" as an alternative to conscription, Mr. F. Bramley (Furnishing Trades) rose to criticise the lesolution on the ground of its want of clefiniteness. and to attack certain newspaper adventurers" who were running the Conscription campaign. He also mentioned the fact that at two conferences between mem- bers of the Government and representatives of the Lnions. statements were made proving conclusively that the primary function of Eng- land in this war is a workshop function. "If," lie added. "we were privileged to repeat to this Congress the statements made by Mr. Lloyd George at one of those conferences, any possibility of Conscription would be absolutely destroyed. AA-astefiil, contrary to our traditions of hbeity, and inimical to our workshop indus- try were the terms applied to Conscription by Mr. J. R. C'lynes, M.P., speaking for the gas workers of Lancashire: Mr. Ben Tillett was given a very cordial greeting. He urged that before the Govern- ment took any steps of so serious a character as the introduction of Conscription, it should have a heart-to-heart talk with the Parlia- mentary Committee and the Labour Party Committee. He confessed that lie himself was opposed to Conscription for practical reasons only. If it would help to end the war any sooner he would vote for it straightaway, but he knew that this was a war of material, and he knew it as the result of a visit to the front. Tame and Unsatisfactory." "Tame and unsatisfactory," was the de- scription of the resolution given by Mr. H. Pilkington (Burnley Weavers), who also de- manded the conscription of capital if there was to be conscription of life. Mr. Havelock Wilson (Sailors and Firemen) recommended that six of the most prominent newspaper direc- tors should be hung co illillf)-posts-a drastic I measure, he admitted, put, the only way to deal with these gentlemen in wartime. The debate was wound up by Mr. R. Smillie (Miners' Federation), who said he should have preferred it if the comngjtteee had brought forward a pure and simple anti-conscription re- solution. As it was, if the Congress declared on behalf of organised Labour, that it was ag- ainst Conscription, it would be the duty of or- ganised Labour to prevent Conscription taking place. On a show of hands, the motion was an- nounced by the President to have been carried unanimously. There was great cheering over the result. Go and tell Northeliffe," shout- ed someone at the back of the hall. "He's gone for a holiday." retorted the Chairman. It was agreed to telegraph the resolution at once to the Prime Minister, Mr. Lloyd George and Lord Kitchener. When the President stated that it had been decided to drop the addendum proposed by the Gasworkers and General Labourers, Mr. W. Thorne. M.P., remarked, "I never withdrew it." The War Resolution. On Wednesday the following resolution was passed with only seven dissentients — That this Trade Union Congress, whilst expressing its opposition (in accordance with its previously-expressed opinions) to all sys- tems of militarism as a danger to human pi ogress, considers the present action of Grea Britain and her Allies as completely justified, and expresses its horror at the at- rocities which have been committed by the German and Austrian military authorities and the callous, brutal and unnecessary sac- rifice of the lives of non-combatants, includ- ing women and children, and hereby pledges itself to assist the Government as far as pos- sible in the successful prosecution of the war.
Against Militarism. I DOWLAIS N.U.R. DENOUNCE CON- SCRIPTION AND DEMAND 'NATIONAL PROGRAMME.' The Dowlais Branch of the N.U.R., at a well attended meeting on Sunday. considered the question of Conscription, against which it una- nimously expressed itself: and also called for the abolition of the truce with the railway companies. Here are the resolutions: That this meeting declares its strongest opposition to compulsory military service, be- lieving cp?'scriptIon in any form to be a tion of civic freedom hitherto prized as one of the chief heritages of British liberty, and that its adoption would constitute a waN-e menace to the progress of the nation, it further be- lieves that resource to a compulsory system is uncalled for, in view of the enormous roll of enlistments since, the war began. It. there- fore urges Parliament to offer their utmost opposition to any proposal to impose upon the British people a yoke which is one of the chief curses of Prussian militarism." Conditions of Life Lowered. That this meeting instructs our E.C. to give the necessary notices to the railway com- panies to terminate the agreement arrived at on the outbreak of war. seeing that the truce was arrived at on the undertanding that the standard conditions of railwaymen in general should not be lowered; this, in effect, has taken place owing to the Government failing to control the maximum prices of commodi- ties which have entailed intense suffering to the railwaymen in general through the lower- ing of the standard of living at the time when the majority of other workers' standard is in- creasing. We. therefore, instruct our E.C. to immediately take steps to enter into nego- tiations with the railway companies to put in- to effect our National Programme; failing na- tional action, we ask our E.C. to give permis- sion for a South Wales movement, as we con- sider that the cost of living in South Wales is greatly in excess of other parts (jf the country.
Miss Minnie Pallister. Miss Minnie Pallister. who is to deliver two lectures to the Merthyr I.L.P. on Sunday, September 19 is probably the first lady to occupy the position of chairman of an I.L.P. Federation, in which capacitv she serves the Mon. Federation. She is the daughter of the Rev. Win. Pallister. a minister in the Weslev- an denomination, and was educated at Tasker's High School for Girls at Haverfordwest, and in the Secondary Schools at Grimsby. and at Cardiff. While here she took her London Ma- triculation (1st class) and entered Cardiff Uni- versity, where she remained for two years in order to take a Normal Course. At the end of this period she left with a Double First. Since that time she has been teaching at Brynmawr, where she is a prominent figure in the social an 1 industrial life of the "City of the Hills.'r In addition, Miss Pallister is an accomplished pianist, and has frequently served as such for the inimitable "Casey" in his wanderings in the valleys of Monmouthshire. The one and and only afterwards wrote and suggested a national tour together, Miss Pallister to be his pianist and elocutionist: this was at least a tribute to her merit. In his letter "Casey" addressed her as "My dear Oasis in a Desert of Unsympathetic Piano Smashers." She was invited to speak at the Norwich Conference 'this year, but had less than two minutes in which to t-,llrlk out anv- thing worthy of such an assembly. In spite of this she was an immediate success, and in the columns of the Pionkeu she was described by Mr. Keir Hardie as making the speech of the Conference, upon w hom she burst like a new meteor on the horizon." Miss Pallister wiil be remembered by the rea- ders of the Pio-NFFit as the writer of a charm- ing little sketch of a. iicene in a police court, which appeared in these columns some weeks ago. She will probably develop this theme in the afternoon when she will spea k on The Criminal, a Study In Waste." In. the evening s h e will take as liei- ,Ill) she will take as her subject "W.lliam Morris, the Beauty Lover." This will probably be of the nature of a recital of some of his works and the lessons to be drawn from the life of this great artist, poet and craftsman. Mer- thy Comrades will perhaps be interested to know that this will be the first occasion on which our Comrade has addressed two meet- ings in one day.
8, S, P. Condemns Conscription, CITIZEN ARMY ADVOCATED FOR HOME DEFENCE. The Executive Committee of the British So- cialist Party has issued a manifesto urging the people of Great Britain, to declare their determined opposition to the introduction of conscription, stating that the present Press agitation contains a serious element of dan- ger to national and democratic interests. Nevertheless, the party recognises clearly the "evils of the so-called voluntary system." which, the manifesto declares is largely fraudulent for the workers, for if they fail to secure a living under the wages system, then enlistment is no longer a matter of choice, but of compulsion. To combat these evils the British Socialist Party advocates that the so-called voluntary army should be replaced by a citizen force. in which every able-bodied male citizen, free from military law in times of peace, would be trained for home defence alone. Conscription, the committee states, is no remedy for the evils of voluntaryism. Printed and Published by the Labour Pioneer Press, Limited, Wilkanas' Square, Glebeland Street, Merthyr Tvdfil, September 11, 1915.