CORRESPONDENCE. HOW NEWSPAPERS TREAT ANTI- CONSCRIPTIONISTS. (To the Editor of the PIONICFR.) Dear Comrade.,—With reference to the corres- pondence published under the above heading in your issue of January 29 the 'South Wales Argus" on January 17 published, in reply to my mutilated letter, one purporting to be from a Belgian-" A Victim of German Barbarity." This was specially "billed, but the "Argus" has not yet seen fit to publish my reply a copy of which I enclose. You will see from the "Belgian's" letter that "Men. Bebel" suf- fered under every atrocity that could have happened to him, and I am wondering if he had any more relations and had told the Edi- tor of the Argus that the Germans had cooked and eaten them, he would still have published the letter? It is said that public opinion is in favour of the war, and seeing that t-hi&#is typical of the way public opinion is being manufactured, is it any wonder? How can the ordinary man in the street be expected to form sane judgment when from every periodical, from every plat- form, from evry pulpit practically without exception the cry of "Hate. Revenge, Kill" is heard, and so-called respectable newspapers stoop to such mean and despicable tactics as these. I wonder if—when the war is over—and the effect of the "bacillus patrioticococcus" has worn off, these people will be as ashamed of themselves as we are ashamed of them now?— Yours fraternally, W. J. POPE. I, ). 7 Albion Street, Newport, February 29, 1916. THE "CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR." LETTER FROM A VICTIM OF GERMAN BARBARITY. (To the Editor of the "South Wales Argus.") form, from every pulpit practically without would ever read such a letter as W..J.P,g! in your issue of yesterday. I wonder if this man (I expect he would feel hurt at being call- ed anything else but a man) had had my ex- perience he would still be a conscientious ob- j ector P I am a Belgium, and had a good and profit- able business in Brussels. I was happy and prosperous; the Germans came, my son was shot dead defending his country and home, my wife is practically insane through fright, my two daughters were taken away by the Ger- mans (I almost hope they are dead now—better death than dishonour), and I am broken in both mind and body, nearly 60 years of age, and practically penniless, after being all my life in fairly prosperous circumstances. I do not see that 2,000 years of Christian teaching has done much for me or my family. I wonder if W.J.P. would be cur enough to love the dear Germans if he were in my place. A friend is writing this for me, as I am not sufficiently conversant with the English langu- age.—Yours faithfully, JACQUES LEBEL. Royal Hotel, Cardiff, Jan. 13, 1916. -rroni S.W. Argus," Jan. 17th, 1916. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS. (To the Editor of the "South Wales Argus.") Dear Sir,—I was very much interested in Mr. Lebel's reply to my letter on this matter, but cannot help regretting that the Editor of the Argus" did not see his way clear to publish the whole of my reply to Mr. Robjent. Every- one sympathises with the Belgian people in the terrible ordeal through which they have passed; and all abhor the brutal methods of the Ger- Inan military caste, the object of which was to terrify the whole population in order that they might the more quickly carry out their plan of campaign. The difference between your corre- spondent and the members of the No-Conscrip- tion Fellowship and other pacifist organisations is not in their hatred of militarism and its methods, but in their views as to the best means of settling this war, and preventing such a hor- rible catastrophe happening again. In our opinion the war is the result of the failure of diplomacy, the governing classes be- ing animated by ideas and ideate which are not shared by the common peoples. We believe that there is nothing, even now, between the belli- gerent nations which could not oe settled oy negotiation and arbitration, and that there is nothing in this war, or even in life itself, that oouid possibly justify one of God's children taking the lite of another. Now, however, the Government say you MUST fight whatever your principles, and Mr. Lebel says you utiovh* light because the Germans have committed atro- Cltles. We reply that we cannot, and will not light against the dictates of our consciences, and will refuse to undertake military service or to plaf-v. ourselves at the disposal of the mili- tary machine, whatever the consequences. I think nothing that has taken place in this war has shewn how militarism bruta1ise and degrades more than the callous murder of Miss Cavell, and yet this incident has been used to encourage militarism in this country, and the young manhood of the nation are asked to Avenge Nurse Cavell." Hundreds of men will kill and maim hundreds of others, and in turn will he killed and maimed, so tie whole pitiable thing goes on. How can I, as an in- dividual, help Mr. Lebel or the memory of Miss Cave.ll by killing Germans, who possibly hate the whole thing as much as we, and who, it is acknowledged, love their homes and wives and children as we do, and who think they are defending their "Fathorlnel" just as our peo- ple think they are defending ours. I cannot understand Mr. Lebel's reference to 2,000 years of Christian teaching. He surely doesn't blame Christianity for his misfortunes or the misfor- tunes of his countrymen. Is it not that the nations have forsaken Christ and have wor- shipped Mammon that has brought this terrible thing upon our heads? And is it not signifi- cant that the few people who have stood true to their beliefs, and who still think that Thou shalt not kill" and "Blessed are the peace- makers" mean just what they say, are the ob- ject of hatred, ridicule and persecution. Can we by repeating to ourselves. "Other nations are black but ours and our Allies are white," per- suade ourselves that Christ, in this one case, would sacrifice his principle's, don khaki, and go out into the trenches to kill and slay? Surely there issofindhing nobler and better in life than this savagery of Revenge! Revenge! Revenge! Surely there is a more sane way to end this awful carnage than by a war of attri- tion with its sacrifice of millions more lives and treasure, to say nothing of the great mountain of hatred which is being built up. and which will be a barrier to the progress of civilisation for generations to come. In conclusion, I should like to say I have tried to get into touch with "Mr. Jaques Lebel" of the Royal Hotel, Cardiff, but find they KNOW NOTHING OF HIM OR ANY OTHBR BELGIAN Is this tale to be placed in the same category as those of the children with hands cut off at like wrists, the mutilation of women, etc., which have already proved to have been false, amd of which we shall be so ashamed when the war is over ?—Y ours faithfully I Janiiary 19. 191. W. j? V. ￼ Jamiary 19, 1918.
￼ THE PALAC Manager, HALL-JONES. Comfort. Refinement and Amusement. Thursday to Saturday this week, a great Jewel Robbery Drama GAR-EL-HAMA IV. In; parts Monday to Wednesday next week, three days only, the great "Ideal" Prize Story, in Animation (A Tale for Saints and Sinners)- WHOSO IS WITHOUT SIN. Featuring Miss Hilda Moore. TIDES THAT MEET—a Romantic Drama, featuring Bryant Washburn, Ann Kirk & John Cossar The Great Serial-THE BROKEN COIN, Episode 7. Thursday next, the charming Drama in three parts-WHEN LOVE IS MOCKED. And a Love Romance in three ac;s -THE SEA'S ATONEMENT (The Call of the Sea). Children's Special Entertainment every Saturday morning at 10.15. Id.,2d. and 3d. The Most Fascinating Entertainment To-day Merthyr Electric Theatre Manager J BOWEN. Monday to Wednesday,, March 6th to 8th—Walter Melville's Great Drama- THE GIRL WHO TOOK THE WRONG TURNING K'. PSf" In Addition Grand All=Star Programme. Thursday to Saturday, March 9th to Ilth-First and Only Appearance on the Screen of the Late Lewis Waller, supported by Full London Star Caste in BRIGADIER GERARD By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. PW In Addition Grand All-Star Programme. All the Biggest and Best Productions are booked. Keep your Eye on the Electric. J. B., the Picture Man of Merthyr. r" .t u_It Ie It THEATRE ROYAtJ AND EMPIRE PALACE? MERTHYR. !j I TWICE NIGHTLY. 8.45. I Monday, March 6th, 1916, and durig the Week. 1 VERA WOOTTON ADA ) 2 The Irresistible Comedienne, in New and Up- Our British Sharpshooter, who has taught S 1 to-date Successes, including Vary was a over 3,000 of our Boys her method of I 8 Farmer's Daughter," Fancy the Little Lady Shooting. ADA was the Srst English I = didn't know," G-worgie and the Farm," &c. girl to escape from Germany after war. I ANDERTON & WALKER (late George E d wardes' Co. 's ) in Dances from their Repertoire I I ANDERTON ;ate ;;ard CO.heir Repertoire I w In their Unique Comedy Farce-" A Girl in Every Port." tj B THE ARMOURS, including Marie, the Champion Highland and International Dancer. fi I NANCIE VIVIEN, a Comedienne. B j Latest Films on the Bioscope. BERT MADDISON in "Burlesques." § PRICES AS USUAL. DOWLAIS I.L.P. BRANCH. A SPECIAL MEETING f Will be held at the Carnegie Library 011 SUNDAY NEXT, at 7.45 P.m., when Mr. HERBERT DAVIES, M.A. (Hons. Oxon.) Will deliver his inspiring Lecture on The Poetry of Democracy." TYPEWRITERS! Stocktaking Sale of Seoond-Kand Machines, Genuine Bargain Prioes, all makes from 30/ Write for Lists. Remington, No. 5, Foolscap Carriage, Clear Work, very reliable, perfect, 45/ Hammond Ideal, Visible Writing, Back- spacer, Interchangeable Type, perfect, 55/ Yost, Double Keyboard, oeautiful work, per- fect, 60/ Fox, Brief, Visible Writing, 2-colour, Tabula- tor, Modern Machine,, perfect, only £ 5 10s. worth double. Monarch, Visible Writing, Foolscap Car- riage, Tabulator, excellent condition, bargain all E6 10s. All sent on Approval. L W. WAKEFIELD AND CO., NEWHALL HILL, BIRMINGHAM. THERE 18 ONLY ONE OSSNTIVSENT THAT CURES And this is snppiied by Chemists and the MANNINA OINTMENT CO., FISHGUARD, And is sold in Three Strengths-I, 2 & 3. ￼ e GET YOUR ? TOBACCO j AT s Our Shop I 14a, Pentmorlais, ?4erthyr. ￼ PROGRESS! VEHTERATU?E Kept in Stock or got to order. j PC* MENTION THIS PAPER lw WHEN YOU BUY1
The Churches and the N.C.F. Some few weeks ago the local branch of the JSio-Conscription Fellowship instructed its Secre- tary to draw up and forward to the churches and chapels of all denominations in the Merthyr area a form of protest against the ethical van- dalism of Conscription, and calling upon the! (J overiiment to repeal the Military Service (No. 2) Act. Some seventy odd of these forms were duly forwarded to the various ministers of re- ligion and church officials, and the thirteen re- plies that the Secretary has received provide an interesting anthology of official Welsh religion on this most important question. In only three of the places of worship was the course taken of submitting the document to the wor- shippers, that is so far as is known, and the re- ¡ sult was that in all three the resolution was adopted. In the remaining ten cases the officials of the church decided against the submitting of the resolution. The grounds of refusal were va- rious, but the favourite one seems to have been )that it was not "wise" to lay this matter before the congregations. Just where the folly would have been displayed in allowing the mat- ter to be decided in a perfectly straightfor- ward and honest Democratic monner, we are not able to perceive, unless it be that the offi- cials were aware that the mass of the people would, as in the three cases referred to, have supported the resolution, and alienated the sym- pathy and support of the elderly and wealthy, whose views, alas, seem to clash with those of the people whenever they are brought into 11 timate touch, either in the realm of the basic '-realities of Christian ethics, or the more sordi(ii realm of social relationships. We presume that the officials had a perfect right to act as they themselves thought best, and while we have ver- little respect for the adoption of an at- titude which it seems to us gives weight to the criticism that has been ,so frequently levelled at Welsh Nonconformity, that in essence it hasi lost its ideal m its subjection to Liberalism, we. do not presume to discuss the attitude adopted. I 1 But when those officials pretend to advance rea- sons for their refusal, we are on debatable ground. These reasons we have been permitted to see, and so far as we can make out, they are two in number, though variously phrased— The majority of our young and married men have gone, and it would not be fair to them to repeal the Act. Tribunals have been set up to do justice to the Conscientious Objector. Those are the two general grounds, though some of them are made complex by the inter- weaving of the Christian plea that Those of us who are loyal to our country have not for- saken Christ. We oelieve that thousands of those who are in the r have gone with the firm conviction that they are doing the will of Christ in siacrificing themselves for others." This last writer has stated his case badly in his endeavour to get home his cheap covert pro- German sneer at the N.C.F., since he has faiie-d to realise that it is exactly from the same conviction, that They axe doing the will of Christ" that has animated the anti-Con- scriptioniste in their attitude, and that they, too, are perfectly willing to sacrifice themselves for the good ot the whole, and that they are equally deserving on these grounds with those who are fighting for their ideal in th. trenches, to the support and consideration of their iei- i low-Christians. As to the two main objections, we cannot imagine how anyone who has thought a moment can advance them. Take the first: It is impossible to work for the repeal of the Conscription Act, because the majority of our young and married men are in the Army. This hoary old friend cannot be killed appa- rently by reason but it is our duty, w herevel" it arises, to rebut it. The majority of our men are in the Army because, believing in the cause which Britain had espoused, they volunteered to take their share. They voluntarily decided to fight in a war which had their approval. That is the essential point that is lost sight of. These men went of their own free will, and however human it may be -to desire to see Mrs. Jones' son taken be- cause our own child volunteered of his own free will to go, it is not logic. Why should a man who does not believe in this or any other war, be forced to go because a man or a hun- dred men who do believe in it have gone? If six men were together, and five decided to drink beer, our religious friends would be the first to object to the sixth being compelled to drink against his conviction that beer was bad for him—yet the two cases are perfectly ana- lagious. As to the objection that there is no need to agitate for the repeal of the Act be- cause technical provision is made for the Con- scientious Objector, the kindest thing that can be said is that the writers must not have been reading their daily papers. No one who reads the papers can for one single moment pre- serve the belief that the Conscientious Objec- tor is being treated with any degree of fair- ness. The courts are a mere blind, and so far their object appeal's to have been to ride roughshod over the scruples of all, and to force all of military age into the Army willy nilly. But apart) from the lessen of experience, it seems the essence of folly to us to pretend to the belief that any court, much less one of in- experienced jurists, ca.n determine whether any man has a, conscience. By this means the fluent CisT,tckei- presuming the existence of such an individual, always stand a better chance ef winning exemption than the Conscientious Ob- jector who lacks facility in presenting his views, and stutters and' and stammers under an unusual cross-examination.
Majority Put Back. COLLIERIES SAID TO BE A REFUGE AT MERTH) h. The majority of the appeals at the Merthyr T? nbunal un Thursday week were put back for periods extending from one to t111'(,'(JlnolÜlJ8 .11 while about a (iZen total exemptions were quoted. Mr. W. Griffiths (Peneaemafrr) pre- sided. Major F. T. James represented the military authority, and altogether there were I about 70 appeals. When the case of an assistant lumberman came up, Coun. W. Jones said men were run- ning away from other industries end going to the collieries for shelter.—Exemption in this case was refused, A tailor in business with his father ap- plied for exemption on the ground that he was indispensable. The father stated that if lie had 20 sons he would willingly epare 19 of them for the Army. As it was, he only had two sons, one of them being in France, and if the other one had to go the business would have to be closed.—The case was postponed for a month. A dentist appeared on behalf of his foreman, ami said, be had advertised in Welsh, English and Scottish papers, but. failed to get a proper substitute.—The application was refused. Student Teachers. Several appeals were made for students at teachers' training colleges, and a letter was received from the local education., coil-inlittee pointing out that it would be in the interests of the community to enable students to com- plete their course of trainfcg.—The cases were adjourned for future consideration. A solicitor appeared on behalf of a bread ba- ker at Aberfan, and stated that the employ- ers had advertised for someone to take the man's place, but did not get a single reply. The Chairman Can't you get women to do tins work ? The Solicitor: They cannot do the whole of the process. Total exemption was granted. An Abedun doctor, who appealed for his chauffeur, said he could not continue his prac- tice without one, and had failed to find a sub- stitute.—The appeal was refused.
'"I Cwmamaii Funeral Case. JUDGMENT AGAINST THE MEN. The Stipendiary (Mr. R. A. Griffith) gave his; reserved judgment on Wednesday in the case, of the Cwmaman Coal Company against their workmen for committing a breach of contract in absenting themselves from work, claiming 10 ¡- from each defendant. In giving judgment for the company, His Worship said, while heappreeiatedthe natural desire of the men to pay their last tribute of respect to a deceased comrade, he considered that for over 800 men to be allowed to stop work and bring two pits to a standstill for such a long time was extravagant and wholly unjusti- fiable. He (the Stipendiary) was strengthened in this view by the admission of Mr. Wm. Rees, checkweigher, that the men were principally influenced in their action by the attitude of the company on the day of the accident. He thought, however, that Mr. Heppeli's offer to allow 48 men to attend the funeral in the circumstances was a niggardly one. On the other hand. the workmen made no reply to Mr. Heppeli's offer, nor did they suggest an alter- native nubmer. It was a demonstration rather than a funeral. For those reasons he (the Stipendiary) was unable to see that the consent was unreasonab- ly withheld, and he found on the facts that the men had committed a breach of contract. Judg- ment was, therefore, given against each of the defendants for 10/- and costs. Mr. David Bowen, head cashier for the Owm- aman Coal Company, produced a statement showing the wages of the defendants up to last Saturday, and it was agreed that the damages be deducted from the men's wages in two in- stalments.
I Guardian Prowle Discusses the Poor Law. | tNTERESHNGW.E.A. MEETING AT V | ABERDARE. 1 Last Tuesday night there was a meeting of the local members of the W.E.A. at A berdare, Mr. Williams in the chair. Guardian Prowle wati the speaker, and gave a highly interesting lec- ture on the Poor Law." In the course of his remarks he stated that one effect of the war was to lessen pauperism. But owing to so many young men going mto the Army many old men and women were left chargeable to the Union. The Merthyr Union had under its control a larger number of de- serted families than any other Union in the United Kingdom. On a body like that of the Merthyr Board, consisting of 55 members, there were differing ideas as to the ultimate effects of the war. After the Boer War vagrancy in- creased 90 per cent., 50 per cent. having come from tie Army. Therefore most people antici- pated a large influx of vagrants after this war. For some considerable time steps had been taken by the counties of Glamorgan, Bre- con and Monmouth to lessen vagrancy. He condemned the practice of giving freely to beg- gars. There would be fewer of them if peo- ple were heroic enough to refuse them. He did not like the idea of handing over the care of vagrants to the police. When the war ended thousands of men would be discharged from the Army, and industry would not be able to ac- commodate them. Besides, many would have lost all taste for the kind of occupation they left to join the Army. After the war very likely there would be more cases of desertion of families, and of disagreement between men and their wives. Intemperance among women was more rampant now than ever. The. ques- tion of eugenics was receiving consideration from Boards of Guardians. The war was going to leave terrible effects on the nervous system or those participating in it. Hundreds of old Crimean veterans died in the workhouse, so would many of those who fight in the present European War. There was no way to avoid it. A discussion followed, which revealed how greatly impressed the members had been by the able spewch of Guardian Prowle. Mr. J. Davies led the way, and was followed by Mr. B. Mills Thomas. Miss M. A. Edwards, B.A., Messrs. P. Williams, E. Evans and Ro- gers. At the conclusion a hearty vote of thanks to the speaker was proposed by Mr J Da vies, amd seconded by Miss NI, A. Eawards.
Eisteddfod at Dowlais. A necossfnJ eisteddfod in Gonnectioll wi th the Welsh Church. Dowl-ais. was held on Sat- urday at Dowlais Schools, under the presidency of the Rector (the Rev. Lllewelyn M. Wîl- liams, R.D.). The condllctor was the Rev. W. D. Davies, and the adjudicators Mr. John Price, Rhyniriey, music, and Mr. D. George Dowlais (literature). Messrs. T. M. Walters and T. Collins eiffciently discharged the secretarial duties; Nfl.. R. Davies was the treasurer; and Mr. W. J. James, Dowlais, the accompanist. Chief Awards. Lhief Choral, "0 Ddinv, rho im' Dy Hedd" (J. Thomas. Dowlais): Cyfadlli-on, Bedlinog (conductor Mr. W7. Blaekweil). Open solo: Mr J. J. Lewis, Dowla-is. Soprano solo: Miss B. Hughes, Dowlais. Contralto solo: Miss M. Etchings, Caeharris. Tenor -f lo Mr. U. Lewis, Dowlais. Bass or baritone solo: Mr. D. J. Harries, Caeharris. Open recitstion: Mrs. Curtis, Penydarren.
The Electric Theatre. In writing of the Electric Theatre, one gets afraid of using the superlative since Mr. Bowen has a wonderful habit of eclipsing himself at such short intervals that one is left without adequate language to do justice to his talents. It is better to state simply what one thinks ab- out his pictures, and then trust that the right words will come next time. That is the princi- ple I am adopting this week in describing "In- felice," the picture version of Augusta J. Ev- ans-Wilson s. great novel which was screened during the first three days as the greatest pic- ture, to my mind, that we have ever had. I am not forgetting the recent visit of "Cabiria," whose distinguished author. I see, was wounded in an aeroplane accident on the Italian front this week. Infelice" is the greatest thing tha t its clever conceiver ever did, and the pic- ture version is worthy of the great artiste's chef d'oeuvre. No wonder there were crowded houses during the first three nights of the week, and that Merthyr audiences were charmed with the wonderful acting of Peggy Hyland and Fr?d Paul.. i ii,?-- 011?c, c?oui?-i li?lV(- After such a grand opening, one could have forgiven a falling-off during the second half of the week, yet admirer of Evans-Wilson's work that I am, and cynical as 1 am over the writ- ings of W. Le Quex, I must confess that I spent an extremely happy evening on Thursday, and waxed enthusiastic over 'No Greater Love." It is a work which has lent itself to trsifl. fcment on the film; an d the acting of MdIIe Retina. Badet is something to remember and treasure for a long time to come. There is, too, a sup- porting programme that clearly shows that "J.B," is still successfully emulating little Jack Horner, and dishing all the big plums out of the cinema pie for the delection of his audi- ences m Merthyr. i?beir Those admirers of Walter Melville—and their name is legion—who found delight in the work of the master melo-dramatist of his day will rejoice exceedingly to learn that his masterpiece "rrheGirl who took the Wrong Turning, is to be. the special attraction during the opening half of next week. I have seen and enjoyed this gem of melo-drama several times on what is always termed the "legitimate stage," but I am told that the reaJism of the film story makes the artifici_ ality of the restricted stage play seem frousy and tawdry. At all events I shall be an early visitant next week. There is another big supporting programme from all the best studios on the both sides of the At- lantic. From Thursday we are to have the animated version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Brigadier Gerard," featuring the late Lewis Waller in his only appearance on the screen. "The Briga- dier" is as familiar to modern readers as is Sher- lock Holmes, his blood-brother, and as a paper admirer of the stirring Gerard I am looking forward with some degree of impatience to next Thursday. PROJECTOR.
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