I MACDONALD & THE I.L.P. important Peace Policy Pronouncement. SEE PAGE 6
MARTYRDOM OF SARA How the Military Service Act z, Works. SEE PAGE 2
Aberbargoed Branch Against Conscription. Before a crowded audience, including many ladies, at the Aberbargaed Workmen's Institute, last Thursday evening, an enthusiastic meeting was held under the auspices of the Aberbargoed Branch Against Conscription. The chairman was Mr. D. E. Howells and the speakers were Councillor W. J. Jenkins (Caerphilly) and Coun. Morgan J one,, (Bargoed). C'oun. Jenkins, a member of the No-Conscrip- tion Fellowship, is the gentleman who; having been exempted by the local Tribunal, was ap- pcaled against by the military authorities, and allotted to Non-Combatant Service by the Coun- ty Tribunal. Coun. Morgan Jones, the Executive Member of the No-Conscription Fellowship for South Walesa recently appeared before the Gellygaer Tribunal; and lie, too, was also ph ed for Non- Combatant Service, against which decision he is appealing. Coun. Jenkins, in his opening remarks, said that he spoke as a' private of the British Army—(laughter)—Conscript Jenkins and he was very proud of the name. (Applause.) He ardently opposed the Military Service Act, and pointed out that by the passing of the Bill we are forging the very instrument that would get. us into further messes. He did not ask them to consider him, as he had been before two Tri- bunals., and could not face anything more mean. He had to face the music. He also em-I phasised the fact that whereas the Act should have brought 650,000 single shirkers." only 50.000 of these "shirkers" had been brought in and in order to increase this figure, they were withdrawing the single men from their various trades at the munition works and replacing them by married men of inexperience. He, how- ever, did-not think the "country would be very long before realising its mistake, and appealed to them for their support in every measure for the abolition of the Act. (Loud applause.). Coun. Morgan Jones said that he, like his fellow-Councillor, must acknowledge that he was a "private in the Army," and supposed he must call himself "Conscript No. 13." (Laugh- ter and. applause.) But he was a. very unwilling Conscript, and he was afraid that he would be a very very difficult Conscript, annd would break rather than bend to the yoke of militarism. (Hear, hear and applause.) It had been a privi- lege for him to hold up the Socialist flag in that valley for some few years, and why should lie go back those years in the movement. If they wanted to improve the physique of the people, why not give them more breathing room? (Ap- plause.) He had been approached by persons who had sons 111 the army, telling him that he should -o. as he was no better than their sons. He inferred that perhaps by him joining, the war would terminate sooner. (Laughter.) How- ever, he asked what business was it of theirs to make him go, and challenged his audience to name any parent in Aberbargoed who had call- ed their son into the private room-that is if the- had one--(laughter)-and forced him ag- ainst his will, and made him go. No! not one could be found. On the contrary, the son, knowing there was a, war on in Europe, and with an inclination towards soldiering, would go to his parents and tell them of his desire, and even then they would not shout for joy at his departure. He refused to be compelled, and if a General Election took place on the question of Compulsion, he would still oppose it as a De- mocrat. (Cheers.) The speaker went on to show how the people had been tricked into the acceptance of the Act by the Conscriptionists, who had distributed tons of literature favouring the ideas and methods of the Continental Sys- tem for this cuntry. He reminded them of the agit.ation that was made a few years ago by the National Service League, and the debate which he had had with Mr. Martin Chairman of the N.S.L.. at the Parish Hall, Bargoed, at which he (Mr. Jones) pointed out the dangers of the foreign policy of this country with Germany, and told him (Mr. Martin) that unless such a policy was stopped. we should be soon at war with that country. Coun. Jones pointed out how very few .Acts had been repealed, for once put on the Statute Book, they were seldom re- moved. He thought that though our agitation might not result in the repeal of the Act, it would prevent its further extension. (Loud ap- plause.) Several members expressed their desire to form a branch of the I.L.P. at Aberbargoed, and we understand that about a dozen names have al- ready been given in for membership. A large quantity of literature was distributed by the stewards.
PLEASE MENTION THE PIONEER WHEN ANSWERING ADVERTS.
I_m_ No- Conscription Fellowship. SUNDAY'S SITTING OF THE CONVENTION The National Convention of the No-Conscrip- tion Fellowship, attended by 800 delegates re- presenting 20,000 mem bet's, approximately 10,000 of whom come under ,he provisions of the Military Service Act, resumed its deliberations in London on Sunday. The Convention considered various proposals which have been made to pro- vide alternative service to combatant service for Conscientious Objectors, such as the Non- OojuDii nnt Corps, and the Pelham Committee. Whilst recognising and emphasising the right of every member todeoicle according to the lead- ing of his own. conscience whether he can or can- not accept such service, the Convention adopted the following resolution — This Convention re-affirms its deeply held belief in the sanctity of human life, and de- clares its loyalty to the principles of Peace and human fellowship. It therefore refuses to take any part in war. and further de- clares that it cannot accept an- form of al- ternative service, the result of which would be the more efficient organisation of the coun- tr for war, or the advancing of militarism as exemplified in the Military Service Act. A demand was made that, in view of the admitted, moons latencies and injustices which have characterised the administration of the Military Service Act by the Tribunals, an en- quiry should be instituted into the grave situa- tion which has arisen from the refusal of ex- emption to many thousands of Conscientious Objectors, and that the men who have already been handed over to the military, despite their Conscientious»O bjection, should be immediately released. Whilst, loaving the decision open to the con- scientious judgment of each member, the Con- vention endorsed the recommendation of the National Committee that all final certificates of exemption other than absolute exemption should be returned. Detailed schemes submitted by the National Committee for the housing and provision of men who have been refused exemption were approv- öd, and it was announced that many prominent people, although not necesisarily agreeing with the attitude of the Fellowship, had signified their willingness to provide accommodation for men who were liable to suffer for their Con- scientious Convictions. Plans were also laid before the Convention by sympathetic public persons for a great national agitation on be- half of arrested members of the Fellowship, and other Conscientious Objectors. Resolutions were adopted asking that instruc- tions should be given by the Government that badged men should be heard on their claims on conscientious grounds, and protesting against the procedure adopted by Local Tribunals in colliery districts in adjourning such cases until heard by the Colliery Tribunals. On the subject of a Peace Campaign, the following resolution was rnanimously adopted: This Convention of men who are opposed on conscientous grounds to all war believes that the highest service we can render to our fel- low-men is that which will aid in restoring Peace to Europe, and in removing internat- ional hatred and distrust. Believing that the further prolongation of the war can only re- sult in the strengthening of militarism in all the nations of Europe, in the postponement of social progress, and in needless suffering to the peoples involved, we urge the Govern- ments to end the war by immediate Peace ne- gotiations, and we pledge ourselves to take gotiati possibl step to assist in the campaign to further this end. A resolution was unanimousl, passed declar- ing the belief of the Convention in the Universal Brotherhood of Men, and the consequent imlno- rality and futility of militarism and war, and adopting as an object of the Fellowship the establishment of an International .Fellowship of Pf'a, and Goodwill.
Glais Socialist Secretary Before Appeal Tribunal. EDITOR'S QUESTION ON SOCIALIST DIVISIONS. At the Glamorgan Appeal Tribunal on April 4, the Secretary of the Glais Socialist Party ap- peared to appeal from the decision of the Local Tribunal with the usual result—appeal disal- lowed. We are becoming quite used to this refu- sal of the Tribunals to accept as evidence of conscientious objection active, official association with the Socialist movement, whose international programme has always contained the most rigid rejection of war; and acceptance and disseminar- tion of which has not been an easy task during the years of peace for those of us who are engaged upon it. Tribune D. Daviea, Editor of the Swansea "Daily Post," found what he considered a puzzler for the applicant in his question, Are you aware that the Socialists of each country are divided, and are. fighting each other?" Applicant retorted that he had no control over them. If they wished to fight, then let them do so. A Tribune desired to know why applicant had altered his appeal, and was told that applicant had been told originally that there was such a thing as British justice distributed in this part of the world, but had reluctantly been compelled to the conclusion that there was not. Another Tribune requested applicant to sup- pose that everyone held -his views, and was told that in thai case there would be no war. A Tribune- Will you take non-combatant ser- vice P Applicant; Certainly not; I will have noth- ing to do with the war, either bv direct or indirect assistance. Tribune; Will you assist the wounded? — Not under* military service. Applicant made out a strong case on family grounds. He told the Tribunal that his father was paralysed, and he was the only child. The appeal was refused, but we understand that ap- plicant will endeavour to carry his case to the Central Appeal Tribunal. —
Tonyrefail Notes. Presentation Meeting. Last Saturday, April 8, a most pleasant and interesting presentation meeting was held at the Ainon Baptist Vestry, when Mr. L. Rich- ards, mathematical teacher, was presented with a roll-top desk by the past and present stud- ents of the Tonyrefa-il Mathematical Class. Mr. T. Din-hie under-manager, Cilely Colliery, pre- sided. The Chairman, in his remarks, paid an excellent tribute to Mi1. Richards' many good qualities. Solos were rendered bv Messrs. Glyn Hopkins, William Davies, Eli Jenkins and W. T. Williams. The rendering of selections by the Gwalia Glee Party were indeed creditable, and were much appreoiaitedoy the audience. Mi-. Emrys Jones, in a very aniusin-- speech, pre- sented MT, Richards, on behalf of the stud- ents, with the desk, and was heartily sup- ported by Messrs. A. Griffiths, R. Lloyd, Walter Davies and D. P. George. Mr. Richards approp- riately responded. A vote of thanks was given to the Ainon Church and all who participated in contributing to the success of the meeting, which was brought to a close with the singing of the Welsh National Anthem. I un Behalf of the Soldiers, The people of the village during this last week have, indeed, been, well looked after. In the interest of the soldiers there has been a social and a sacred concert held. Food for the hun- gry and amusement for the dismal. The good feeling towards the maimed and wounded is laudable and genuine, but would, we feel, be better if accompanied with good reason. If onl the energy and interest could be devoted to the peace movement, so as to put an end to the present unfortunate catastrophe. How much more misery and suffering could be prevented, and greater happiness attained? The sad news of another young man, only recently married, being killed in the spring of life at the Front brings home to us a sense of horror at man's in- humanity to man. The bereft with aching heart and weeping eyes, who moan in, vain regrets, has all our sympathy. Rent Rackers. I It is surprising what a number of attempts are being made, in spite of the Raising of Rents Act, to eject or raise the rents of ten- ants. Houses to let are extremely difficult to find. It is high time e. at this old-fashioned Council of ours began to prepa e an adequate supply cf modern municipal cottages. The obsta- cle to this much-needed reform is to be found in the composition of the Council, who are mostly property owners, to whose advantage, it seems only logical to suppose, an insufficient sup- ply of houses means high rents and quick re- turns. It is to be hoped that the people will remember this at tthe next local election. Gush I "When we talk of loving our enemies, do let us avoid gush"! The originator of the above must have experienced rather i difficult task in extricating it from the entanglements of his distorted metaphysical bra.n. For such a pro- pagandist of peaceful persuasisn" to assume such a Robespierreian attitude seems rather annus in g and one would not be tempted to ac- cuse him either of foolishness or wickedness, but by the way of a suggestion perhaps ignorance; therefore unable either to flush or blush. Read- ers will find elsewhere in other columns more about Gush" Gilfach Goch. Gilfach, with its modern Garden Village, will surely welcome the circula-tion of the PIOXEER- the Workers' Champion and most interest- incr paper in their midst. It is to be hoped that all sympathisers of the Labour movement will assist in making it known as widely as pos- sible. Anyone desirous of participating in the noble work in the interest of the workers will he welcomed at 81 High Street. GiJfach Goch,
Dowlais Father and Son at Law. I' GRANDFATHER'S LEGACY ENDS IN KING'S BENCH DIVISION ACTION. Mr. Justice Lush and Mr. Justice Sankey gave judgment in the King's Bench Division last Thursday, in a case in which Thomas Tho- mas, Penydarren. apppealed from a decision of Judge Bryn Roberts in the Meithyr County Court, in favour of his son, David Thomas Tho- mas Dowlais, for £ 55 15s. Appellant's case was that he was left about L50 by his grandfather m 1888, and the money was left on deposit, but was transferred to an account opened for the boy. The sum was withdrawn, and invested by the father in one of the late Jabez Balfour's companies which came to grief. The son, having grown up, brought the action against the father who contended that he constituted himself a trustee, and any claim against him was barred by the Trustee Act. Mr. Justice Lush. in giving judgment, said he was of opinion that the decision of the County Court Judge was wrong. The first ques- tion was whether the appellant ever did ab- stract the money from the estate of t testa, tor. The burden of proof was upon the res- pondent, but there was no evidence that he did so. If one regarded the father as having re- ceived the money for the infant, the action was statute barred. More than six years elapsed be- fore the son came of age. He held that the ac- tion could not be brought by the son as admini- strator, and his personal action was also barred by statute. Mr. Justice Sankey concurred, and the ap- peal was accordingly allowed, with costs.
OUR PRINTING IS GOOD. OUR TERMS ARE MODERATE. OUR STAFF IS TRADES-UNIONIST, And we give a guaranteed undertaking to DELIVER IN TIME.
Aberdare Trades & Labour Council. DEMANDS A NATIONAL LABOUR CON- FERENCE AND DECIDES TO SUPPORT REPEAL ACT MVOEMENT. On Thursday last the monthly meeting of the Aberdare Trades Council was held at the I.L.P. Institute. The chair was occupied by Mr. Matti Lewis, supported by Mrs. E. Davies, Councillor I). E. Davies, John Evans and E. Stonelake. Request. A communication was read from the British Socialist Society appealing for the support of the Trades Council to holding a Natonal Labour Conference to discuss the welfare of the work- ers and make provision after the war.—A reso- lution as follows was passed: "Having regard to the dangerous position in which the working class movement finds itself as a result of the war. the Aberdare Trades and Labour Council calls for a National Labour Conference to be convened by the National Workers' Committee for the purpose of considering the situation." Mr. George Lansbury wrote appealng for the Council's support to a, petition to the Govern- ment asking for the appointment of a Commis- sion to inquire into the recent trouble at Cey- loii.it was decided to support the request. Support for the Blind. Mr. Duncan, a i-epresc-titative from the Na.- tional Institute for the Blind, appealed for the support of the Council t* k-arr,- on the work at the institutions of this society. Mr. Duncan said that the Council of the National Institute for the Blind had opened a new hostel at St. Dunstan's, Regents Park. London where the- soldiers and sailors blinded at the front would be trained to read and write and taught trades by which they could earn their livelihood, al- though deprived of their sight. The movement- said Mr. Duncan, was receiving the hearty sup- port of all classes of people. Several questions were put to Mr. Duncan, which he readily and satisfactorily answered. Mrs. Edward Davies moved as follows: "That this Trades and Labour Council heartily recom- mend the appeal from the National Institute for the Blind to the Lodges, and hopes that all societies will immediately send them financial assistance." 1 motion was duly seconded and carried. Representatives. Messrs. B. Brace (the chairman) and J. T. Norman were elected on the Labour Represen- tation Association Executive Council Motions. From Windber Colliery Lodge: "That this this Council is hereby authorised to organise a demonstration in favour of the repeal of the Compulsory Service Act."—Resolved that the motion be deferred owing to the lack of funds, but it was decided to support the efforts of the Societies promoting a meeting to be held at Aberaman Institute on Sunday next to ask the Government to repeal the Act. A motion from Bwllfa No. 1 Lodge: That this Council instructs the Labour Members on the Council and Board of Guardians to meet as a group for the purpose of discussing all im- portant appointments and other matters con- cerning the welfare of the community, and the Minute Secretary of this Council shall attend and keep a record of the group's decisions," was carried. Bereavement. A vote of condolence was moved by Mr. Matt Il" with Mr. Ben J. Brace and family on the death of his brother.
The Awakening. By A. J. COOK. Daily I see signs amongst the working class with whom I move and work of a mighty awakening The chloroforming pill of patriotism is failing in its power to drug the mind and consciousness of the worker. He is beginning to shudder at his stupidity in allowing himself to become a party to such a catastrophe as we see to-day. The chains of slavery are being wielded tighter upon us than ever. The ruling elasses arp over-reaching themselves in their hurry to enslave us. The men at the colliery in which I work voted seven to one against the ambu- lance scheme, and gave instructions to their representative on the Colliery Court to oppose any man being taken. Not a man was taken from our collieries (Lewis Merthyr Co,). The joint committee of these collieries sent a pro- test to the Government against their action on the Clyde, which, we claim, is a greater menace to our class than any foreign foe. On Tuesday we met the E.C., asking permisson to give not- ice to demand our surface workers' rates. On Monday No. 2 District sent a protest to the Government against their action on the Clyde We also decided to take May Dav for a huge demonstration. Bob Smillie and Philip Snowden being selectd as speakers. Economic conditions are forcing the workers to think; the scales are falling from their eyes. Men are wanted to give a lead. Comrades I appeal to you to rouse your Union to protect the liberties of its members. An industrial truce was entered into by our leaders behind our backs which has opened the way for any encroachment upon our rights and liberties. Away with the industrial truce We must not stand by and allow the workers to be exploited and our liberties taken away
BEDLINOG. GOLDEN WIMDDI-N-G.-N,fr. and Mrs. E. Meredith (5 Craig Terrace. Bedlinog) celebrated their Golden Wedding last Thursday. The worthy couple, both of whom have turned their 70th year came to Merthyr soon after their marriage at Disserth and from Merthyr moved to Troed- yrhiw. and finally to Bedlinog. where they have resided for the past 42 years. Mr. Meredith was engaged in the sinking of No. 1 Colliery, Bed- linog, and was employed by the Company for 38 years.
Trade Union Notes. I By TRADE UNIONIST. t Some weeks ago. in these Notes, I referred to I the agitation of the Operative Bakers in the Merthyr Municipal Borough for an advance of iic),,k in their wages. Several attempts 118.ve in the meantime been made to meet the Master Bakers, in order to discuss the demand with them, but up to the present time it has I Wn found impossible to get them together. I do not know whether this means that the Master Bakers have agreed to treat the demand with contempt, or whether their Association has been disbanded. At anv rate, the operatives, I i<nu no hope of arriving at a settlement by SUitxiai arrangement, tendered a week's notice to their klinployers on Monday last (Aptril 10). This will have the effect of bringing thorn to- get her, at least. The present rates for first, sond and third hands are 42s, 38s, and 31s Per week respectively. I am informed that these fates are the lowest of any of the large towns in South Wales. In addition to seeking an all- grade advance of 6/- per week, the bakers are a,!so making an effort to abolish. night work; Or as an alternative, the payment of 7 y shifts for 6 shifts worked. All Trade Unionists in the borough will rejoice to hear of the success of 'thr. bakers' agitation. The delegate meeting of tho has re- | jected tho new scheme of Conciliation Boards I Submitted to it by the Executive. The 1911 scheme. has never iv en considered bv the railway ftien as a satisfactory one. That agreement was to expire "the autumn of 191.4, a.nd on the ;.n. 1913 which con- solidated the rnilwaymen's organisations, there- by ^nctvasii' +he>r strength a-irl efficiency, it Was freely anticipated thai the new or should concentrate its efforts upon securing a Wtfer scheme of Conciliation when the proper ■ -Va6e. ojime. But the war came and upset all ^oi r pans. For several months now negotiati- ons ha" ve been proceeding between the com- tonies and the men, the outcome of which was *e-scheme iust submitted to the conference. It 0iav be well to give the principal points of the Ejected scheme + (1) Omy those workmen engaged in the ac- ?ai nnriou?ation 3f traffic are included; ?erks suoerv'sors, hotel employee* seamen, dock, mp;,I, shopmen a?d artists are all ex- ceed. ?kmp.i, The l'su¡t of such a provision could Only be to keep the workers apart; it would Prevent, them from showing a solid front. It Would mean separate negotiations. separate pro- grammes and separate action. all of which things the employers welcome, because they render the men more helpless. (9) Questions of discipline and management are excluded from the scheme. That is to say, that should another case arise similar to that of Driver ICnox or Driver Richardson, the men's Organisation would not be any more competent to deal with it than it was with the cases mentioned It is a cardinal principle of Trades tin ion fern that all questions, whatever their na- t1(•(> inasmuch as they affect the worKman** Conditions of employment, should be subject to ¡ discussion between employers and employed. (3) Any proposal submitted to the raHway Company must have an aggregate majority of 25 per cent. of the workmen concerned in its favour before it can be considered at all. In other words, amother vital principle which Trade Unionists have always contended for, Wz., "full recognition of Trade Unionism," is denic-d. Under this scheme the Union does liot count; it has no right to speak; it is only the individual unit that counts. This clause in itself is enough to justify the rejection of the whole scheme. (4) There are to be four separate Boards of Conciliation for each railway. The railwaymen have all along deprecated this splitting up. and have demanded a, single Conciliation Board for each railway; and. indeed, many have advocat- ed a single Conciliation Board for -ill railways. At bottom, the interests of all grades of work- men are. in essence, the same. That applies, Hot only on the railways, but in the mines also and all other industries. If that were not Iso. there ought to be a separate Union for sig- aim en, porters, guards, brakesmen, etc. on the railways, and a separate Union for colliers, haul- iers. repairers, labourers, etc. in the mines. The idea is absurd, and one is surprised that the proposal should be submitted to the men at all. (5) There is to be no independent chairman. Instead there are to be, under the proposed Scheme, two assessors, with power to agree upon an umpire. For my own part, fail to see much difference between them. (6) The Agreement is to remain in operation for three years from the date of its adoption, and thereafter shall be subject to 12 months' Notice. That, of course, means 4 years. The 4 years is an unreasona bly long time for an ag- • demerit such as this one is. and that is the view the delegates took of it. On consideration, one is compelled to the conclusion that the delegates could do no other than reject such a scheme as this. To adopt it would be to admit their helplessness to obtain anything better. The Executive have their in- structions to go back to the employers again 4nd make another trial. Like the South Wales coalowners, the railway magnates are a stiff- necked hreed, and during the war I doubt whe-I ther much improvement can be secured, but when the war is over, it seems certain that seri- ous trouble will arise. I trust that the men themselves realise the importance of being stronglv entrenched in their organisation when that time comes. According to the Board of Trade Gazette, Trade Unions with a net membership of 947,104 reported 4,972 of their members as unemployed at the end of February, 1916; or 0.5 pea- cent., compared with 1.6 per cent. at the end of February, 1915. The trades showing the highest percentage of unemployed are: Building 1.5, burnishing 2.6, and Tobacco 1.1. I notice that "Pro Bono Publico" takes me to Usk for stating some weeks ago in one of these Notes that the C.W.S. Bank had not provided proper facilities for tlie Trade Unions to invest their funds therein. I sala that the facilities were altogether lacking. I admit that the- statement was not absolutely correct. Trade Unions may, if they choose, take their surplus funds to the local Co-operative Shop, the mana- ger of which will make the transmission to the C.W.S. Bank. Cheque drawn on the C.W .S. Bank may also be cashed at the local stores in short, the local stores take the form of a branch bank office, and fulfils the ordinary functions of a. branch office. I also admit that it is the duty of Trade Unions to take advani- tage of the facilities provided to the fullest extent. But I still submit that enough has not been done bv the C.W.S. May I ask how many Trade Unions .are aware that these faci- lities are provided? I take an active interest in the affairs of my Trade Union, and I do not recollect that any communication from the C. W.S. has been received, inviting my sooiefy to transact its banking business with them. It is not generally known that these facilities are provided. Besides, it is not altogether a satisfactory system. Trade Union officials will not be as ready to open their accounts with the C.W.S. Bank, through the local .stores, as thev would were a proper branch office opened. And why should not the C.W.S. open branch offices in all the large industrial eentres ? Thev ar-e surely strong enough just now. and would greatly increase their strength by so doing.