f s Is Democracy | Possible ?" i'< 0961 Ie. I SEE PAGE 4
s Court-Martialling the Aber- I cynon Boys. f'\ CASE OPENED AT CARDIFF. I I "!OBEYAH!GHERAUTHORtTY I ? THAN YOU, SIR." f. The court-martial of the five Abercynon Con- scientious Objectors, which has been awaited with considerable interest throughout the South Wrales Valleys, was opened at the Cardiff Depot on Saturday last, when charges of wilfully dis- obeying the orders of their officers while on active service were preferred against— GWILYM IDRIS SMITH, PEROY JAMES KENDALL, IDWAL WILLIAMS, BETHUNE WILLIAM MORGAN, and EMRYS HUGHES. The President of the Court was Major A. B. M-oslev (Wesbeum Cavalry Depot), and sitting with him wore Captain L..8, B. Tristram (Welsh fee pot) and Captain M. P. R. Oakes (Western Cavalry Depot). The prosecutor was Captain J. W. J. Cremlyn (21st Welsh), Mr Edward Roberts (Dowlais) appeared for the defence. The five prisoners, who were in excellent spi- rits and physical condition, had been during the past 23 days in charge of Provost-Sergt. Tucker. At the outset.all the prisoners were charged, and wlwn this was done Idwal Williams, an- swesing to his name, said: That is my name, but I don't recognise that number.' The President: Weil, that doesn't matter; you have got it. Subsequently, in reply to questions, Emrys Hughes and Idwal Williams said thy did not admit they should be tried by military law at [ ?H, but apar? from that they had no objection ? to raise to the personnel of the court, f The President said he would make a note of the objection of prisoners to be tried by mili- tary law. I During the hearing of the first case two ladies stated to be relatives of the prisoners wwo present. The first case taken was that of Gwilym Idris SmIth, The charges concerned the disobeying of orders given by superior officers on April 2Q and 25. On the former occasion the alle- to strip for medi- cal examination, and on the latter that he refused to sign his attestation form. The President: Do you plead guilty or not guilty on. the first charge? Prisoner: Guilty, as far as refusing to strip, but with reasonsl I Tlid President: And on the second charge? Prisoner: Yes, in a. like manner. The President: Then you had better plead not guilty. Major A. R. Reade, recruiting officer, Cardiff, said on April 20 prisoner was brought under ««cort as an absentee. Witness ordered him to strip for medical inspection. He refused to do so, and did not do so. Efforts were made by Major Lucas and Colonel Cox, president of the Medical Board, to persuade him, but un- I successfully. By Mr Roberts Prisoner Smith was perfectly •eurteous. Witness did not know that Smith had a certificate exempting him from com b- atan t service. That," added witness, "would not exempt him from medical examination." Sergeant-Major Ashton, headquarters, Glam. and Mon. Recruiting Staff. Cardiff, gave corro- borative evidence. Witness said that prisoner was brought from Abercynon. When Major Reade gave the order to strip, prisoner replied, "I refuse to do so." Prisoner was then taken downstairs and left for half an hour to think the matter over. At the emd of that time Major Reade again saw him. Again he refused to strip and was then sent under escort to the barracks. On April 25 witness again saw prisoner at the recruiting office, whither he was taken under escort. 1:> He was ordered bv Major Reade to go before the Medical Board, but he re- fused he also refused to sign his attestation papers. By Mr Roberts: Witness did not use bad 1anguage to accused on his refusal to strip. He did not tell Smith he'd like to cut his throat. Re-examined: There was no attempt in any way to intimidate the prisoner. Sergeant T. Hughes (Headquarters Recruit- ing Staff, Cardiff) gave corroborative evidence of prisoner's refusal to sign the attestation pa- papers. By Mr Roberts: Witness did not hear any bad language on that occasion. He had occasionally heard bad language used at other times. Re-examined: Witness meant only ordinary barrack room language. Mr Roberts: I don't know what that is. A Member of the Court: Call it colliery language. By the Prosecutor: There was no attempt at bullying. This closed the case for the prosecution. Prisoner then gave evidence, after being sworn. He said that in civil life he was a sohoolm aster. He' was a conscientious objector, and ap- plied to the Local Tribunal for total exemption from the provisions of the Military Service Act. The Local Tribunal granted him no- thing, and he then appealed to the County Appeal Tribunal at Pontypridd. They granted him exemption from combatant service. At the recruiting office Major Lucas ordered him to strip for medical inspection. Mr Roberts: Any bad language used? Witness: Most decidedly. Was any threat made to you?—I was "bul- lied by a man whose name I did not know;' he said If there was no one in this room, before God I'd terar you limb from limb." Witness said it was a private soldier in uniform who said this. Sergeant-Major Ashton said that we were not men, and should be I wearing petticoat-S. ■ The President: Well, I think he was quite right; it, is not bad language. Witness: No, sir, but It is insulting. Witness added that since he bad been at the barracks he had been treated with all civility. Witness said when ordered by Major Lucas to sign he said, I cannot obey you sir." The Major said. Why not?" and witness replied, Because in this matter I obey a higher au- thority than you, sir." In cross-examination witness admitted that he was ordered by an officer to strip, and he refused to obey the order. Did you recognise that the order was given by one in authority P Not to me. Witness added that the doctor tried to per- suade them that what they were asked to do was not a mi'litary command. He regarded it as a tempting bait. Witness was emphatic that Major Reade gave him no order at all person- ally on any occasion. Witness could identify the person who made use of the expression to him about tearing him limb from limb. Hife (witness's) action in refusng to obey the orders was because of his conscience. Addressing the Court for the prosecution, Captain Cremlyn urged that religious grounds were no reason for disobeying orders given by a competent military authority. For the defence Mr Edward Roberts con- tended it was illegal to have placed the defen- dant in the Welsh Regiment when he had a certificate for non-combatant service only. There had been no evidence that his regiment was on active service. In reply, Captain Cremlyn quoted the Army Act with the object of showing what" active service" constituted, and submitted that in the present the description was correct. Evidence as to prisoner's record was given, and the case closed. The finding of the. Court wi]) be promul- gated in due course.
Ynysyblland District Notes. At Long Last. I For a considerable time past the Lady Wind- sor Colliery workmen have evinced a very na- tural desire to know when the Workmen's Hall and Institute would become their actual pro- perty. They are aware, of course, that the present building has been erected bv a private company formed for that purpose, who had, as a oasis of their operations, an accumulated poundage of well over m,000 belonging to the workmen, who also agreed to levy, thøtnSelves to pay off the capital charge and the yearly interest thereon. We are glad to be able to tell them that at long last their desire is about to be realised. Last Wednesday evening, a special meeting of the Hall Company was held, Mr E. Jones, M.E.. being in the cliair.,Aft,or a resolution of a previous meeting to voluntarily wind up the company had been. confirmed, it was resolved that Mr Parry-Thomas, Accountant, Ponty- pridd, be asked to act as liquidator. Also, it was agreed that a,n agreement be drawn up with the workmen, in order to ensure that the building should not in any circumstances be sold aiTldthus lost to them, and also in order that it should not be used for purposes, other than those for which it was built. This last clause is one that the workmen should scruti- nise Carefully before agreeing to. In reply to a question the Chairman informed those pre- sent that they anticipated being able to trans- fer the building over towards the end of June. The workmen may thus confidently look for- ward upon their entering into possession in the near future, and it is to be hoped that in choosing a committee to manage the hall they will exercise a wise and careful discriminatian.
Tonyrefail Notes. I Coed Ely Colliery. I it was pleasing to find, from the large at. tendanoo at the ??? meeting held at the New Cinema last Sunday, that the Coed Ely colliery worKmen are becoming more interested in their lodge affairs than has hitherto been the case. Mr A. Jones presided, and Mr J. Bowen, Secretaiy made a statement with reference to the- alleged inaccuracies contained in these notes m the recent past. The meeting is ad- journed to a, later date—when Mr T I Mardy Jones will address the workers on the benefits of affiliation with the Laoour Party, etc. School Children's Concerts. I The school children's concerts, which were held on May 11, 13 and 15 were a great suc- ce-ss. Each evening the schools were crowded. The proceeds will go towards the wounded sol- diers and the school piano fund. Our Condolences. I We extend to Mr Elliott Davies our deepest sympathy in respect of the loss he has sus- tained in the death of his son, John Elliott, who met with a fatal accident at the Glen- arvon Colliery recently. The deceased was a good boy, and had been regarded in the light of a companion by his father. O! Love Divine, that claspesfc our tired earth, And fulles,t it upon thy heart, Thou know est how much a gentle soul is worth, To teach men what T'hon art I" His was a spirit that to all Thy poor Was kind as slumber after pain; Why ope so soon Thy heaven-deep quiet's door, And call him home again?" Donners of the Ribbon, I ine dormers of the ribbon are making fine I progress here, and are looking forward to I spending a great holiday this summer with I their prospective "pa's and ma's" in law.
Has your name appeared in our 10,000 Sbit. lings' Fund tistf If not, let it be thefe nex. I week.
I Prominent Socialists Summoned.^ OBSTRUCTION CHARGED AGAINST FOUR COUNCILLORS. Four prominent Socialist leaders appeared at Aberavon on Monday on a summons causing an obstruction at Bethany Square, Port Tal- bot, on Sunday week. The summonses were the outcome of a No-Conscription Fellowship meeting. The defendants were Henry Davies, asSist- ant overseer, Owmavon, an ex-member of the Glamorgan County Council; Coun. Harry Da- vies, Taibach; and Ooun. Main waring, mem- bers of the Margam District Council; and Coun. James Price, miner, a member of the Aberavon Town Council. The three first-named were the speakers at the Anti-Conscription m,øting, and Price was the chairman. MT E. meeti ng, Gibson DavIes who defended, asked for an adjournment for two weeks. Superintendent Ben Evans objected. The sum- monses were served on the 10th inst. He tkoughfc it was time to put a ston to these ap- plications. The Chairman (Mr Byass) asked the Super- intendent of Police if he objected to the ad- journment providing an undertaking was given that defendant would not repeat the offence. Supt. Ben Evans said he would be satisfied if that were done. Mr Davies gave this undertaking, and the cases were then adjourned for two woeks, de- fendants to pay costs. i
Badly Drawn Contract. I MOUNTAIN ASH COUNCIL AND BURST WATER MAINS. An action arising out of arbitration proceed- ings concerning the laying of water pipes be- tw een Mountain Ash and tanks at Abercynon came before Mr Justice Scrutton in the King's Bench Division on Monday- The plaintiff was Mr Arthur Sea ton, contractor, of Pontypridd, and the respondents the Mountain Ash District Council. Mr Vaughan Williams, R.C. and Mr Sutton (instructed by Messrs Smith, Rtindell & Dads, agents for Messrs. Morgan, Bruce and' Nicho- las) appeared for plaintiff, and Mr G. A. Scott (instructed by Messrs. Bell, Brodrick and Gray, agents far Mr A. Pineoiube) for the respondents Ita,ppeared that Mr Seaton contracted to lay pipes between Mountain Ash and Aber- cynon. The pipes were suppled by the council. WhtJn they were tested 11 of the pipes burst, and the question was who was responsible for the cost of replacing them, about £ 157. The arbitrator found that no damage arising out of the burst pipes was due to any act of negligence on the part of Mr Seaton, and that ;£157 was payable to him bv the council in the event of the court finding the council liable After hearing arguments by counsel, Mr Jus- tice Scrutton gave judgment in favour of the council, holding that the contention of Mr Seaton was not correct. He said that some of the clauses in the contract between the parties were contradictory, and some obscure. The contractor had done the work, and his lordship did not find any clause entitling him to be paid for it. His lordship refused to give costs of the special case.
Cefn Conscientious Objectors' Case I in Parliament. MR. CHARLES TREVELYAN'S QUESTION I TO HOME SECRETARY. Mr Charles Trevelyan, M.P has the follow- ing question with reference to the recent Oefn Conscientious Objectors' Case in the Police Court, down in the written questions for Wed- nesday (yesterday). In the event of Mr Trevel- yan being absent from the House, Mr -F. Jow- ett, M.P., was to ask the question on his be- half. To ask the Secretary of State for the Heme Departmerft, whether his attention has been drawn to the sentences paased on David John Evans and Thomas M. Thomas at Oefn on 4th May, imposing a fine of £10 and a month s imprisonment in each case for the distribution of leaflets against the severe treatment of conscientious objectors; whe- ther it is to be understood that facts in re- gard to thötrelatment of oonscientious ob- jectors may not be m/ade public in speech anil print; and whether, seeing that it is not possible to urge the repeal of the Military Service Act without showing the evils of its operation, the conviction of these men will be quashed, in view of his answer to the honourable Member for Elland on Jan." 17.
Councillor D. Davies & Family's Thanks. Mrs. Albert Davies and Son and Coun. Dd. Davies. J.P.. and family wish to extend their deepest gratitude and thanks to the many kind friends who have expressed their sympathy with them in the death of Sergeant Davies in Egypt. It has been no little alleviation to know that they had so many friends; and dearly as they would have liked to reply to each writer individually, they regret that the Jlumolor is to too large to allow of this. Will .friends who have written or expressed their condolences verbally, please accept this expres- sion of their gratitude?
The Editor's Appeal. I s. d. "Pioneer" Typo. Staff 10 0 Lewis Watken'XYstr'sidggmlais) 2 0 m ê
Bargoed Notes. The P.D. Meeting. I Report hath it that there was a warm time at the P.D. Joint on Saturday last, over the vexed doctors' question. We congratulate the miners' agent on the stand he made ag- ainst the attack made against him: surely, it is not necessary, when seeking any reform whatever, to attack a man's personal honour. It is certainly too late in the day to try and besmirch the character of the Miners' Agent. If you do not agree with him or his policy, stand up to him like men and in the open. From what we know of him he will meet any- one thus, and still be in fraternal mind. Apollo Glee Concerts. I Since- our last notes the Apollo Glee Society has given another benefit concert at Deri, and there is to be another at Bargoed for Mr Fred Osborne, who has been ill for several months. The concert will be held on the even- ing we go to print (Thursday). I understand the,t this is Y3 or 74 concerts tiie party has given. We hope the members will not be af- fected by the new Military Service Bill; and if this is not so, we would like you Merthyr- ites to hear our Bargoed men before you go splitting hairs over your party. If you have the "Pioneer" headquarters there, "don't crow" It is about the best as- set you have; but come to Bargoed for com- fortable rooms and friendly chats, without be- ing pushed about by a man with a long stick, that reminds you so very uncomfortably of the man with another stick in the davs of your youth. Good News. I We were glad to hear such a good report from our delegate at to-night's meeting of the I "Pioneer" Committee. Excelsior! Excelsior! Officials and Representation. I Weare glad to note that Comrade Evan Thomas. Aberbargoed, has been so' unanimous- Iv nominated to fill the position on the Bed- weillty Council vacated by Comrade Syd Grif- fiths. If we ma,y say so. Evan is just the man for the position, and well respected by his fellows, as evidenced by the number of lodges that nominated him. But- there! ,He is an I.L.Peer, and however go, i a man's character may be. the fact that he is a member of this despised and rejected body is sufficiently black enough for the broad-minded officials of the collieries to call a meeting of their own to select a candidate, and they say a Labour .y say a Labour one! Since when have the managers of col- lieries had the selection of Labour candidates? Now, Albert, Member of the the Executive Council of the South Wales Miners' Federation and this same Bedwelity Council, will you these miners' lodges flouted by these colliery officials and one or two others that form a union during election times? Quite Right. Too! I I am told that the Labourites are determin- ed that none shall be selected on the Board of Guardians in place of Miss Hettie Jones, but Labour men. Of course, it is a Labour seat, and Tdrphil; the miners are strong on the matter. "Twelfth Mass at Bargoed. I On Wednesdaj evening week the Calf an a Choral Society "gave a very pleasing perform- ance of T\velfth Mass" at the above men- tioned chapel. The choir, numbering some 70 voices, was under the leadership of Mr David Roberts, and were assisted by an orchestra, that in ifc sphere of activity deserves much praise for its efforts to extend the study of good music and to collect together local in- strumentalists. They, like the Apollo Glee Society, are, ever ready to lend a willing hand and draw a briendly bow. The choir and artistes —Madame J Davies, soprano, Bargoed; Miss Myfanwy Wa l ters, New Tredegar; Mr Gwilym Price Cardift. tenor; and Mr Terry Williams, Bargoed—did tnemselves great credit, and the whole performance augurs well for the future of the clion. The chair was taken by Councillor Gus Jon&s. J,P" who expressed his delight wi•t1 h the fare provided. He was no musician, he said, but he was aule to appreciate the ex- cellence of this performance. Recruiting for Tunnellers. I A meeting of workmen at the P.D. Collieries was held at the Parish Hall Bargoed, on Tuesday. The chair was taken bv Mr Walter Lewis, J.P., miners' agent, and' addresses were delivered bv Lieutenant Edward Gill, Captain Atherley Jones and Captain German, who ex- plained the conditions of service. Quite a num- ber of recruits were secured. Pageant at the New Hall, Bargoed. I This pageant (compiled by the Rev. C. V. Scott, M.A.) entitled "Children Through th6 Centuries," was performed at the New Hall, Bargoed, on Friday last, in aid of the War Em- ergency Fund. The portrayals of the various incidents were excellently presented, and reflect great credit upon the organisers and per- formers. The Bargoed Bijou Orchestra, under the conductorship of Mr Raymond Berrow, supplied the music. On Saturday afternoon a children's matinee was given. The perform- ances were both artistic and instructive pre- sentations. Morgan Jones' Send-Off. On Tuesday our Comrade Morgan Jones left for London, to appear at the Mansion House for his trial. It was indeed interesting to see the way the Bargoed public treated him. They were thare, though of different opinions. Ev- eryone seemed anxious to shake hands with our gallant Comrade. They were heard to say: Though we do not agrea with him we cannot but admire his pluck." We feel thankful to the public of Bargoed for the respect and good fellowship shown ow Comrade when he entrain- ed for his trial.
A Religion of Expediency. SEE PAGE 3
Bargoed House |& Steam's Serious Meeting. 'DOCTORS' QUESTION AND ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AGENT THRASHED OUT. MR. LEWIS AND TRAITORS IN THE CAMP. The Bargoed House and Steam Coal Work- men had two very important matters before them in mass meeting, held at the Bargoed Institute on Saturday last. The first dealt with the question of the doctors, which has been gravely concerning the men for some time; and the second a very serious allegation against Mr Lewis, the agent. We are pleased that the meeting expressed its entire reliance in its highest official, and set forth that reli- ance in language as forceful as it is unambig- uous. There is one statement, however, that gives us great concern, and that, Mr Lewis' own statement that there are traitors in the camp. There is nothing more despicable on this earth than a traitor Trades Unionist, and whilst we are, of course, not fully aware of the ex- tent of the reactionary activities of these in Bargoed, we do trust that thev will cast off the false visions that mean weakness t-o our class, and realise that solidarity is the only v weapon we wield in our fight, and that solida- rity is only attained through loyalty to our- selves as workers. At all events the traItors treacheries should be carefully guarded ag- ainst steps taken to mark down the man or clique involved, and care taken to isolate them from the possiblity of doing harm. Maybe, the Agent spoke a little too strongly—we fervently hope.so-but in any case the matter is serious enough to warrant the utmost vigilance of the loyal members. The antithesis of treachery ij does not necessarily mean the slavish accept- ance of everything our officials do; but do let us credit the officials with doing their best, and •; whilst we may have occasion to criticise them, do not let our dissatisfaction lead to the use of the knife in the dark, and back staira diplom- acy. Take your views to the lodges, air them, and if they are sound they will -Liltixiatooly triumph. If defeat •antes let us recognise 1% | fairly and squarely, but, above all, keep the ranks solid. Remember to-morrow looks dark ahead, and the one thing that stands betweea us and disaster is of our Gwu ranks. But this is g-etting away from the met- ing; to the report. After the minutes of the previous meeting had been read and confirmed, and the busi- ness arising thereout of discussed and settldS, Mr Walter Lewis (miners' agent) read the cor- respondence which had been passed between him and the doctors; from which, he said, it was evident that the doctors were not pre- pared to receive him as a deputation. The Agent's report was accepted. Mr John Reynolds gave the report of a de- putation that had waited upon the doctors, and alleged that the Agent had not asked tlae doctors to receive a deputation. The doctors, he affirmed were willing to comply with ties requests of the workmen. Messrs. Harry Major and T. Yates, wife also acted as members of the deputation, re- ported briefly, and the reports were accepted. Several important questions were then asked, and Mr. Ed. Jones (CheAkweigheLr, Biargoed Steam Coal) read the letters he had addressed to the doctors, and the replies he had received, from which it appeared that the medidfcl m. were very reluctant to give him a dsrfca en « which they would receive a deputation. i The Joint Secretary (Mr W. M. English) stated that he also had written to the doctor* j for a date and time on which they wet-o H prepared to receive a deputation, and his re- ply had simply been: We are in receipt of 1 your letter, and will bring it before the doc- tors when they meet." Mr Lewis (agent) said it was after Mr Ed. Joner,, and Mr W. M. English had written the doctors, and had failed to get a satisfactory answer, that he was requested to write them. He knew that once he began to have anything to do with the doctors, they would not be too ready to receive him because of certaia events that had transpired in the past. Following a full report, in which he referred to some things that had transpired, the Ag- ent declared that there were traitors in their own camp. Some members of the depu- tation had made false statements against him personally, and stated that he was guilty of J telling lies. That was false. He had always <] learned to speak the truth, and although he might not be so clever as some, he was honest, and Ins character would bear the closest scru- tiny. In conclusion, he reported on an interview H that he and a deputation had had with Mr Phillips. at which they had pointed out, in connection with the registration for doctors, that the men were dissatisfied. Mr Phillips had -1 stated that if the men desired it they couM j. have a canvass for doctors in June. f Ultimately a resolution wag passed that the Secretary be instructed to write to the doctors informing them that when the men's agent wrote, to them asking them to receive a depu- tation, it was always expected that the Ag- ent would accompany the deputatien. The Secretary was further instructed t. 1 write to Mr N. Phillips in reference to a letter it was alleged he had received from a Bargoed overman, and which was stated to contain false statements, and the following resolution was adopted:- That this mass meeting, by this vote tes- tifies to the fast that the Miners' Agent -*i (Mr W. Lewis) has never advised the men to try and trick the P.D. Company or H any other body of employers-intü paying compensation for injuries received whilst away from their ordinary occupation; and it i refutes and discredits, as far as possible, the serious and utterly unfounded allegations 1 contained in the letter; and is convinced that the allegation is a deliberate lie. There was only one dissentient wbea tit* vote was takes.