< Conscience & the Church. SEE PAGE 2
Councillor Morgan Jones I and his Critics. I A STRAIGHT REPLY TO BARGOEO CRITICS. (To the Editor of the PIONBBR.) Sir,—It has been both a pleasure and a. privilege to me to have been associated in the SOUrse of recent months with the movement against Conscription. During that time I have met and argued with many types of men- some opposing my views on one ground, and ethers on different grounds, and I candidly ad- mit that the courteous treatment I have re- ceived from some of them has by no means tended to lessen my respect for them. A de- cently fair-minded opponent I can respect, provided he makes me feel he is striving to wildetstand my point of view just as he de- sires that I should appreciate his. But there is another kind of critic-the snapping, snarling, sneaking, skulking type of person who WTIJ, not face the issue squarely with you, but will out of s heer cowardice, I believe, pour out the most spiteful and venomous stuff against you—when your back is turned, or when he thinks there is no chance of VOUrkllQwing who it is that isattaoking you. He sends you anonymous letters and cuttings from the press which HE loves to read wherein the words shirker and coward"' appear a thousand and one times. These he carefully underlines as if thern depend the complete discomfiture of the Germans. Then he sends an anonymous sornmunicatiori to the Press and signs himself "PriTate So and So from Somewhere in France," and if there is a. particularly dirty in- sinuation he can safely make (for he is not one for taking risks) he promptly makes it, and puts the blame on Tommy Atkins! He's "doing his bit" in that way. Well I'm not anxious to pose as a martyr. I'm in no hurry for martyr- Join. Bat all the same, Barkis is willin." It would appear from evidence that multiplies aa the weeks roll by that some of us are in for a hot time." My own appears to have com- menced. Already I am almost overcome by tihe feme these critics will insist upon forcing upon me. For instance, a person—I had almost said a gentleman—calling himself a patriotic parent writes an epistle to our local paper an d desires tc know if I am desiring to bluff the Bargoed pub lic respecting my denial of a statement attri- buted to me as having been made at the Cory H%H-Cardiff. I have only this to say in reply to that charge. There are very few people, indeed, who are likely to say that it is my habit to blutt people. If I blui,recl more it would pay ate better so far as making myself acceptable m certain quarters is concerned. When I say cert,,ainly"-m like !Ili,. Bona-r Law—I am not wader the necessity of saying next da.y that I -Nafxattt certainly not." I have made my state- ment respecting that report. This anonymous eritic may take it or leave it--just as ha pleases. I don't in the least, mind. But this "Patriotic Parent" goofa further and refers to the fact that I am a public man and a public servant kept by the ratepayers, aad that, therefore, pressure ought to be Wought to bear upon me regarding my conduct. Hi.* gjraat grievance is that the authorities have tot imitated Germany and interned me, but nather "allowed me" to teach in the public pollools at the expense of the ratepayers. Now, kera I put a straightforward question to this fiantleman who skulks in his coward's castle of anonymity—What is his charge ? Is it that I abuse my position as a teacher and infuse "Pro- German" ideas into the children? If that is so let him formulate his charge with due speed. Let him forward it to the proper quarters, with kis name and address appended, and I shall promptly meet him. Any inquiry that may •»aue cam do me nothing but infinite credit. I 80urt such an inquiry. On the other hand, if there be no charge to formulate, what is the fround of his appeal to patriotic Bargoed? This, apparently That I dare to disagree with kis opinions! Because I choose to think for Myself. I must be turned adrift to starve. How delightfully British! Why. he says that the Shermans would at least intern me! I should presumably get food. But this creature would •sign punish me by slow starvation! And we fight for liborty t He talks of my not getting his votes in future. Without hesitation, I tell him to keep his vote, for if he cannot give it with better sense of proportion than that with which he met-es out his punishments, it is no oompliliient to any one to receive it. Not for all the votes in Bargoed will I barter away my oonTictions. Then there is Mr. Bates, who opens a particu- larly pompous missive with this paraphase of tha letters I.L.P. as Iconoclastic Licentious Plati- tudinarians Now, I was particularly pained to see the second word used, for I feel sure that it must have been used without knowledge of its Meaning. My dictionary gives the meaning of licentious as induging freedom, or rather lust, to excess; not restrained by law or morality; dissolute, wanton." Now, I put it to Mr. Bates or to any fair minded person-Is this re- spectable criticism? I don't ask if it is fair. Gan he. moreover, find in the whole town of Bargoed any body of young men, be they in ohurcli or chapel, or anywhere else, a more steady-going, earnest, right living set of young men than those in the I.L.P.? Let him put tside prejudice for the moment against their opinions. Those may be right or wrong. Surely, surely, one may expect a man of Mr. Bates' age. experience, and standing in social and in church life to have more regard for the mean- ing of the words he uses. I confess I have never known so filthy an acusation laid at the door of one's opponents in the columns of the public Press. The rest of the arguments, of course, have lost the right to consideration' until the fionI abuse implied in that word is withdrawn. Then there is a Mr. Barker, who honours me with an equally untrue accusation. Apparently his case is that the opposition at Mr. Williams' meeting was justified. It was confined to about five, I understand, on the ground that Mr. AmeTY, M.P.. was interrupted when he was at Bargoed before the war broke out. Mr. Barker eays Mr. Dan Jones and I were the ringleaders. That is a wickecll- I That is a wickedly untrue statement. I was present at the meeting; hence the responsibility for the row, I suppose. For a time I stood near those who interrupted, but it occurred to me that possibly responsibility for the oppo- sition wouid be fixed upon me, and so I moved away and stood behind the lorry from which Mr. Amery spoke. Not one interruption came from me, but I asked two questions at the proper time. No person ascended the plat- form at all. The crowd was captured by me when the meeting was over, and I spoke for an hour in reply to the speech. That was what I did. Interruption at a public meet- ing I always try to avoid, for I love free speech too well to seek to destroy it. But let me remind Mr. Barber—for he seems to havo overlooked it—that Mr. Amery devoted himself most of his time to defending C.U,Son,s con.%cientious scruples" agaiast Home Rule. Let him also remember that that same Carson even threatened rebellion in Ire- land to maintain those scruples, and that thou- sands 'of men were actually drilled for that purpose. Further, that officers of the army threatened resignation rather than obey War Office Orders which might be issued, command- ing them to put down the rebellion. And, ag- ain. that a conference between Oarson and Redmond was actually held in Buckingham Pa- lace fpr the purpose, so it was said, of com- ing to an arran Igement. And lastly, let him not forget that it has been held by many leading papers that the Kaiser and his clique may have counted upon this revolutionary move- ment of Carson's in Ireland helping his plans. Surely, therefore, if Carson's conscience had the right to sympathetic considedatioii when he, in prosecution of it, might have destroyed life, our conscientious objection too. deserves sym- pathy—particularly when we seek to save Life. I have no more time nor space to devote to these people. Let them not flatter themselves that we consider their opposition at all serious. We who are opposed to Conscription are in earnest on this matter. Critics may not agree with us. They mav differ fundamentally from us. Let them state their case. I am sure the Editor of the 11 Pioneer" will give them an ample opportunity tp do so But mean cow- ardly abuse such as I have cited can do their case no good; can do them personally no cre- dit, and certainly will do our cause no harm. None of us will lose anything by being tolerant towards each other personally, while retaining full freedom to controvert our arguments. MORGAN JONES.
The Military lOctopus. SEE PAGE 6
Rhymney Valley District Building Trades Federation. BOSSES. THE TROUBLE WITH THE" BOSSES." I A meeting of the above local federation was held in Ye Olde Blue Bell, Caerphilly. The business before the meeting was the attitude of the local Master Builders' Association in having given 6 niontlts' notice for a reduction of Jd. per hour to all employees. The Local Concilia- tion Board has not yet been called to discuss this or the counter notice given by the above federation for Id. per hour rise in wages to all employees. The master being applicants it was their call." It waa decided that as the M.B.A. had let more than three months go by (of the six months' notice given) without calling the L.O. B., that the Federation oirOlllaris-e Itll building trade workers in the Rhymney Valley to vote upon the following questions, thereby averting a local strike on May 1. 1916. which, in the present crisis, is not desirable nor per- missible (1) Are you in favour of -id. per hour re- duction ? (2) Do you press the counter-claim of Id. per hour rise P (3) Are you in favour of the "Board of Trade" being asked to settle the question of wages and grievance of victimisation of de- legates to past "Conciliation Boards"? (4) In the event of the M.B.A. calling a meeting of the L.C.B, nominate your dele- gates for next Federation meeting. It was decided to discuss the agenda. to be placed before the annual meeting of the South Wales and Mon. Building Trades Federation more fully at the next Federation meeting.
I The Palace. The special attractions at this popular house for the remainder of the week include RTffiY fine soul-stirring war drama, The Littlest Rebel," featuring the world's greatest ohild. actress, Mimi Yvonne, illustrating a child's power; a blending of sorrow a.nd joy rarely excelled. A fascinating story full of pathos. This picture had just played to record houses at Cardiff. This won- derful picture, based on Edward Peple's great drama, will prove a great treat to picture- goers. Charlie at the Show is another new Chaplin comedy which is i)-roviding endless amusement. And the latest War Map is also being shown. On Monday next Miss Eve Balfour will ap- pear in Grant Allen's poputar novel, "The Wo- man Who Did." It will be remembered that M iss Balfour was the popular artiste in the lead in "Five Nights, and heir re-appearance will be welcomed by all who saw that picture. The first of the Official War Films will also be included in the programme. A further episode of the great Lucille Love Serial will ap- pear. this being the 6th of the series. .On Thursday of next week another big at- traction will be screened in the famous melo- drama by Dion Boucicault. a reallyfine pic- ture entitled "After Dark,^ and is full of ex- citement. Manager Hall-J ones is to be commended on the really fine programmes he is submitting to his many patrons, which are both entertaining and instructiTe. Another of the,Oflicial War Pictures will be shown in this programme.
Bargoed Trades and Labour Council. I INTERESTING MEETING AND FULL AGENDA. Tho ordinary monthly meeting of the Bar- goed and District Trades and Labour Council was held on Thursday. February 17, Mr: W. T. Lloyd in the chair. Reports were received from the various delegates regarding the dis- missal of a violinist from a picture palace at Bargoed. showing tha- the majority of affili- ated bodies favoured .some action being taken with a view to stopping such an unjust occur- rence of this kind. Further action was left over pending a reply from the Direotors, the Secretary meanwhile to get into communica-1 tion with the Organiser of the Amalgamated Musicians' Union. Three members were selected to represent this Council on the joint committee of all the Trades Councils of the Valley. Coun. Morgan Jones and Messrs. W. T. Lloyd and F. Lloyd were appointed. Replies to hand and read out by the Secretary regarding the recent resolution sent to the va: rious lodges on the question of Conscription showed diverse opinions. The recommendation of the public meeting held recently to discuss the Rents Restriction Act was accepted, and a committee selected to go further into the matter the committee consisting of five members-Mrs. Frank Davies, W. T. Lloyd, F. Evans, T. Meredith and J. Godfrev Correspondence was read from the Union of Democratic Control, the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association and the Aberbar- goed and New Tredegar Trades and Labour Council. The latter asked for joint action with regard to the shortage of water ques- tion The Council decided to oo-operate with them; a second reply from the Mynyddislwyn Urban District Council on this matter showing that no steps would immediately be taken. Replies read from the Clerk of the Glamor- gan County Council on the question of training of women for industrial employment. The Council are pleased to see that one Labour re- presentative has been elected on this commit- tee, and the Secretary was instructed to get into communication with the member. East Glamorgan Labour Pa-rtv correspondence read, and the Secretary asked to attend the meeting on the 19th inst. A circular was read on the taxation of land values. The Council decided to hold a public meeting in the near furture with the view to having a speaker from this committee.
The Members for Merthyr l SPEECHES FROM THE BACK OF THE FRONT. Both Merthyr M.P /s were present at a Pat- riotic Concert held in the Drill Hall on Tuesday night, and contributed to the evening's amuse- ment with ItIpeoohe8 on their experiences at the back of the front. Mr. Stanton worked off his usual corner-man joko about the Merthyr Pro-Germans, in the imaginary defeat of whom he struck an heroic poise. "Talking about advertising our commerce and goods," said Mr. Edgar Jones. M.P., "the Tommies we have sent out have been the great- est advertisement you could possibly have to advertise the goods and the qualities of the na- tion." The organisation of our medical service was the greatest thing that Britain had ever accomplished. At Stirla Bay one of the tough- est of the medical men of whom he had heard was Dr. W. W. Jones, of Merthyr. (Applause.) I A general in Gallipoli had told him that 6n one day a Welsh regiment had stood up to three furious attacks and held the Turks-- it was one of the finest things he had ever seen. Mr. C. B. Stanton, M.P., said it was very shocking to discover, as a new M.P., our un- prepa-redness to deal with those awful air raids. He did not know whether we were ail expect- ed to be sports and to play the gentleman's game, to fight with gloves on. while the Ger- mans were fighting with knuckle-dusters. We must not allow the Germans to come and smash up our homesteads and kill our wives and chil- dren. He thought the time had come for re- taliation, He intended to raise questions as to these Zeppelin visits, but he was not so soft as to raise them on the floor of the House of Commons and let the whole world know. It was a shame people were so foolish as to do such a thing as that, but with the assistance of Mr. Jones he intended taking up the mat- ter a little. Mr. Stanton said unfortunately Merthyr was still tainted. There were, it seems, pro-Germans in Merthyr Boroughs still, and wherever he met them he should go for tilem.
I No Return to Pre-War Basis, I MOUNTAIN ASH AND THE COTTAGE OWNER. I The Mountain Ash Council on Tuesday re- ceived a communication from the Pontypridd Union Assessment Committee regretting that they could not accede to the Council's request to put the valuation of cottage property in the district back -on the pre-war basis. Mr. Noah Bowles said that a working man who owned his own cottage had to pay more 'II than his fair share on the valuation. Mr. G. Hall: Public feeling in the district has been aroused, and unless the committee do something in the matter something else will have to be done. Mr. Hall pointed out that collieries and railways had been put on a pre- war basis, whereas cottage owners would have to l pay ?2?000 more than before on the new valuation. Mr. David Rogers pointed out that in the case of collieries, railways and breweries, the advice of the valuers had been adopted, but not so in the case of the cottage owners. Mr. Bowles expressed the hope that the As- sessment Committee would re-consider the mat- ter and rescind their docisiom.
South Wales and Monmouthshire Building Trades Federation. I MARCH ANNUAL MEETING. I By W. T. LLOYD. The election of ofifcers, perhaps, will seem to some delegates very important. From a report at our local Federation of the agenda to be placed before the annual meeting, we hear there are two nominations for president; one for Vice-President; two for Secretary; two for Treasurer and the Executive Council will be elected for the year. The form of the working card for the whole of South Wales and Mon.; consideration of attitude towards local Federa- tions etc., who have given six months' notice for a rise in wages, and a code of working rules; and of counter notices to employers, who have given notice for reduction of wages, etc., will demand the fullest attention of the annual meeting. The future of the building industry must claim all the energies of the Federation. We must prepare for the time when peace is declared, for the war will end some day-a treaty of peace is certain. The National Federation of Building Trades Employers is preparing for peace time in an- ticipation of building projects, which have been held up during the was- providing an accumula- tion of work, in the demand for new houses to an extent never known before. Apprentice- ship is again to oome into the limelight, and the wages of the apprentices raised to be more in accord with other occupations. I under- stand it was suggested to the Employers Na- tional Federation that the education of the apprentice be taken in hand, and that the Gov. ernment be asked to establish trade continua- tion schools. Agreed, but not after working hours. It should be as part of the apprentice- ship. and attendance should be in working hours. Instruction should extend over four years, after which the Trade Unions should give the final certificate after a test by them, and the Trade Unions should then see to it that the apprentice, after having passed tha test, received his proper wages, but in the event of his failing to pass the test, he should be put back for six months. Whether the now fully- fledged workman may continue in the employ- ment of those to whom he was apprenticed, or go to another employer for two years, the unions should decide. Anyway, the parrot erv of the employer about bad workman" should be cast back at them. Why should the unions bear the brunt of the employers' past negligence and slipshod methods in dealing with apprentices, .%Iipshod methods i--? i desling with At our and thereby producing 1vad workmen? A tour last Trades and Labour t JTU ■ r-il he-re the ques- tion of cottage building the oame up for discussion. It arose through Nir. Edgar L. Chappell's book, The Welsh Housing Year Book. 1916," being brought before the delegates of the Council. I would recommend every building trade worker to read Mr. Henry B. Aldridge's article in that book. Let me just quote "State Aid for Housing Happily a valuable precedent exists. At the opening of the war the Housing (No. 2) Act was passed, placing at the disposal of local authorites and public utility housing societies a sum of £ 4,000,000 on the following terms:—Local au- thorities Ten per cent. of the approved capi- tal cost by way of loan with interest at 4J per cent. per annum, to be repaid by equal annual instalments of interest and principal combined within the period usually authorised for works of the nature of those for which the loan is re- quired. On a 60 years' loan the authority would thus pay for each £ 100 of approved capi- tal cost an annuity of £ 4 3s. 4d. Authorised societies: Advances will be made up to a maxi- mum of nine-tenths of the locat approved capi- tal expenditure. Such advances will consist of (1) a frea grant of ten per cent, of such expendi- ture. the loan to be payable by annuity (interest and sinking fund combined); (2) if the loan is advanced for 60 years the annuity would be at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum, that is to say, for each £100 advanced by the Treasury the society will pay an annuity not exceeding J64 8s. lOd. The arguments which were used in favour of this assistance being given to local authorities and public utility societies at the opening of the war will be equally valid at the close of the war. The case for action will. in- deed bo unanswerable. It has been suggested that the slow demobilisation of men is all that is necessary to avoid a crisis, but those who take this view fail to realise the costly character of the proceeding. To keep 500,000 men undei arms costs at last a LI,000,000 a week for food shelter, and allowances to dependants, and the spending of £ 1,000,000 a week for 20 will pay the cost of building 100,000 houses, and produce a revenue of real value to the community. There is, indeed, only one policy possible, namely, that of using workmen in the building trade at work to which they are accustomed, and in which in return for every pound paid in wages a full pound's worth of value is received by the community." The South Wales and Monmouthshire Build- ing Trades Federation should have a voice in all housing schemes. Its representatives should bring the matter before Trades and Labour Councils, who will in turn keep the local au- thorities in touch with the matter. The build- ing industry should awake to the fact that it is very poorly represented on local authorities. How many men has the building industry got on those County Councils, Corporations, Urban District Councils, or Rural District Councils in South Wales that up to March, 1915, secured £ 118,682 under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act ? How many representatives from the local Building Trades Federations will be attending the National Congress at Caxton Hall, West- minster, from April 11 to 14. to be held under the auspices of the National Housing and Town Planning Council? The congress will be dealing with problems that affect every building trade worker. The following is a. list of subjects ar- range d for discu-sion: 1. (a) The preparation of housing schemes for the building of urban aitil rural cottages, those schemes te be put into operation at the alose of the war, so that the danger of serious unemployment in the building trades may be avoided. (b) The provision by the Government at the close of the war of the necessary capital to en- able such schemes to be carried into effect. (c) General housing finance at the close of the war. 2. (a) The need for financial aid and encour- agement being given by the Government to local authorities in preparation of schemes for the clearance of insanitary areas. (b) Consideration of the results in the better citizenship and greater productive capacity fol- lowing on the raising of the standard of life of the people as a result of the improvement of housing conditions. 3. (a) The provision of homesteads witb small holdings and the intensive cultivation of land. (b) The re-organisation and extension of the methods by which capital can be provided to aid all classes of cultivators of the land, so that the rural resources of the Kingdom can be adequately developed. (e) The possibility of carrying into effect schemes for settling disabled soldiers and sailors on the land. (d) The preparation of schemes for afforesta- tion and for the reclamation of waste lands. 4. The preparation of town planning schemes in anticipation of future developments, and more especially schemes for the construction of new arterial roads, playgrounds, and other open spaces, so that if employment is needed for unskilled workmen at the close of the war, these workmen can be emnloved at tasks of real service to the communitv. 5. The possibility of adopting new and cheap lnúlding material. and securing economies m the design of cottages, provided that the essen- tial standards of good building construction and of the wholesome environment of dwellings are not impaired. An ambitious programme, but the congress will be a representative one, including local gov- erning bodies, professional and other associa- tions interested in housing and kindred topics. and will include representatives from employers' and workmen's associations. If the congress can agree on a policy, it should be able to speak to the Government with some weight, and a strong organisation like the South Wales and Monmouthshire Building Tradm Federation should !*» well represented. Another matter that should engage the at- tention of the Federation is the Building Trades Demarcation Committees, the establishing of these committees throughout South Wales and Monmouthshire. And last but not least, w. should discuss what the attitude of the Federa- tion should be towards those builders who con- tinue to victimise our members ajnd delegatm who may have acted for their unions in the settling of any «-?nt or any dispute that may have ariaex- We understand there will be a full sttondaace of delegates from the whole of South Wales and Monmouthshire, and the local Federationa should prepare well before-hand so. that the business may proceed in good order. Mr. •> Edgar L. Chappell haa asked to be given the chanra of a few minutes' talk with the dele- gates.
The Poetry of Democracy. I TWO INTERESTING I.L.P. MEETINGS. The last two Sunday metings at the I.LP. Hall Merthyr, have been noteworthy in these days in which War and Conscription and th-a premonitarv rumbles of coming events are so common-place in conversation as was the wea- ther in the dog days of the pre-war London life, or as were football prospects and perform- ances in the dim, dark past of 1913 in the North Oountrie. Last Sunday week Mr. Herb- ert Davies, M.A. (Honours Oxon). one of our own members, whose talents are appreciated fully, as was shown by the large attendance, dealt with the Poets of Democracy. Comrade Davies has a thorough grip on this subject, and approaches poetry with the appreciation of a cditic with ear attuned to the best in melodi- ously language; and the wonderously ex- pressed truths of the Gods of Poetry. "As a De- mocratic he has seen how near Byron, Shelley and the post-Revolution poets of eminence have come "o our ideal of a just social system. He traversed two Continents in the course of his paper; and interspersed his own beauti- ful essay with long excerpts from the writer* he dealt with and everyone present came away with a real feeling of appreciation of the evening, though tempered with the lec- turer's own regret that whilst some of the greatest poets have come near to expressing our ideas, Socialism has not had its real poet yet. Poet that is of the first water, for great as w;;S Morris, and beautiful as was his muse. he was still not a pre-eminent poet a* was By.-on, Shelley, Lowell or say Longfellow. On Sunday last Mr. and Mrs. Jock Beilby, of Burnley. Lancashire, translated some ot the poets into living matter by their ability as elocutionists. The programmes that they pre- sented afternoon and evening in Bentley 8 Hall were varied in structure, scope and mean- ing, yet the two clever Lancashire worker re- citers showed a wonderful aptness in dealing with their material, and were best when the matter callod for a dramatic portrayal. Person- ally. I regarded their excerpt from the "School for Scandal," with which they opened the afternoon session, and the closing scene from Sidney Carton's career in A Tale of Two Cities" as the best work they did though T was not unappreciative of the cunning way in which they sought to make converts to our movement by their clever reading of Com- rades" and other gems from the poetry and prose of our movement.
J PRINTING SENT TO PRIVATE COMPANIES means Profit for Individual Owners. When WE do your work, the Profit comes in the PROPAGATION OF SOCIALISM AND TRADES UNIONISM. Think it eVlr r