Round the Home Office Camps. A REPLY TO PRESS LIBELS. I Sir C. Kinloch Cooke has recently been en- gaged in a raging, tearing propaganda against the men in the Home Office Camps. Sir C. Kinloch Cooke is an honourable gentle- man, but his honour and membership of the House of Commons is not deterring him from spreading broadcast quite unjustified calumnnies a-gainst the handful of men who are resisting militarism and suffering the penalty for possess- ing a conscience. A few facts and figures from Orte who has recently visited a number of these centres should help to expose the libellous na- ture of the attacks. During the last few weeks I have visited -camps at Llandeusant and Llannon in South Wales, and at Broxburn and Ballachulish in Scotland. In addition I have had access to re- ports which have just been received from Prince- town, and therefore, write with some special knowledge of the subject. "The Slacking Charge. I It is alleged that the conscientious objectors ouf the Home Office Camps habitdally slack at their work, and that while saving their miser- able skins they do not even attempt to per- form the task that is allotted to them. Not a tittle-tattle of evidence has been brought in support of this charge. It is perfect- ly true that a small number in some camps prac- tise ca'canny as a method of breaking down the scheme, but in all of the camps visited by me the majority of the men have emphatically de- nied that it is the practice, and have emphati- cally condemned such a policy. During my visit to Llandeusant, I accidentally Tame across the inspector of the work, and as he was quite ignorant of who I was, and why I was there, I asked him about the quality of the work done by the men working under him. He in- formed me that a large number of those who came were quite "soft" at the beginning, but that after a while their work was very satisfac- tory. He compared the work of ordinary nav- vies with that of the conscientious objectors, and thought the comparisonsnot at all unfavourable to the latter. Even if the accusation was true, the Home Office authorities would have no one to thank but themselves. In most of these set- tlements the work is of a distinctly penal char- acter, and is often futile in the extreme, and it is not to be wondered at that the men concerned do not show any enthusiasm. It is not to be looked for that men accustomed to perform use- ful social service should become willing slaves of the treadmill. Work for Work's Sake! I Dartmoor provides a good illustration of this. "The men are really keeping the place going until the convicts return, and they rightly regard this as an insult. They are willing and anxious to perform useful work, but to ask highly skilled men to toil simply for the sake of toiling is to invite disaster. Sir C. Kinloch Cooke, in attacking the men, puts his finger on the weakness of Dartmoor. He says: "And, would the House believe it, it takes four men to drag a hand barrow every day with the postal deliveries..Fancy, four men to drag a, hand-barrow so that they may read what is going on all over the world in their own and other people's families! We can add to this statement of Sir Kinloch Cooke's. We can inform him that sixteen men •are employed in rolling a field with two hand rollers, eight men harnessed to each roller. We can also present him with the information that the chaff cutter, an antideluvian implement scrapped by Noah many generations ago, takes eight men to turn and one to feed, that the machines for crushing oats employs sixteen men, -and that the total product of their joint labour works out at about 2/6 per day. We are also pleased to inform him that the coke party con- sists of ten men who trundle round a little cart that one, horse could easily pull, and that the boot-makers recently requested the purchase of a. machine that would have saved three men's work per day, which, of course, our efficient, x businesslike Government indignantly refused. He will, therefore, see that this system of four men dragging a hand barrow is an essential part of the Princetown experiment. It is not the fault of the men employed there, but the fault of the authorities who are simply punishing these men by putting them to such unfruitful work. Turnips at Ninepence Each! I At Dartmoor there are 200 acres attached to the Settlement, and 901 head of cattle. The "only crops produced are the turnips, etc., for the cattle, and those who know calculate that it costs 9d. to produce each turnip! The whole system is simply a waste of labour and money. If the community desires useful, productive :,and enthusiastic labour from these men in the camps they must put them to tasks that are not deliberately demoralising and insulting. Imagine the sensations of a man whose normal occupation is research work at the Royal College -of Science doing such work as that which I have described. Yet there is a man of that character and many other similar men at this and other -leamp,s performing equally foolish work. Doctors and Teachers. o I In my peregrinations I struck a, Chemical Manure Works at Broxburn where I actually found Dr. J.C. McCallum, previously the medi- cal officer of health for Argyllshire, making Manure out of carcases, bones and chemicals. Not, mind you, employed on the technical side °f the work, but doing what in normal times is <mly fit for tramps and casuals. Here is another Scottish illustration of the same kind of thing. Some time ago a school teacher was arrested as an absentee at Balla- chulish, handed over to the military, court- and sent back to Ballachulish to make roads. Of such is the wisdom of the tatuous Brace! Abandoned Acres. h_- I A, I --¿¿v¡,ner case is worth quoting at length, The folloWing letter is from the father of three lads at St at StoCkton. 1?? it, and then cease to wonder that "l'- Pringle asked his friend Brace in the House Of Commons if this kind of thing is an ex'mple ￼ 8c^en^^c Organisation" cc. My farm is only 31 acres, but we cut R a?Q; ￼ ?creation land three times a year: that m.e.a__ ns T1? 8 a?es to mow with the scythe, and we have a market garden in which we can grow 60,000 cabbages cauliflowers, sprouts, etc., when our sons are h?e. Mv wife and I picked 640 pounds of sprouts last week. We, have 37 head or cattle, including 13 milk cows; 47 sheep, most of them in lamb; 30 pigs. But I intend to reduce my stock as we have more to do than we can manage from 4.30 a.m. to bed time. I am in my sixty-third year this month, and I have 52 years. When cat- sons were at home, we had 3, tail milk round of 40 gallons a day, which took me 34 years to work up, and that was lost the day after they took the boys ss I could not milk for rheumatism, but I can iiiii,, a little now. I am selling 13 gallons a day wholesale. I cut thousands of cabbages with uhe scythe last year that got lost with weeds. We grow potatoes, onions, beans, rhubarb, lettuce, celery, etc. I have rented this land since 188 i; and I have put the best part of my life into it; it is in very good heart now, and very fat, I mostly grow two crops a year. I should think 1 produce more food than any place in the North for its size, as we are all workers, total ab- stainers, non-smokers; the boys have known nothing but work aJl their lives ;they never had a week's holiday in their lives. I have a son on a 96 acre farm three miles from ours and his brothers help him all they can when they are at home. He has four horses, and we have four, and he has over 30 head of cattle, and about 30 ewes to lamb this spring. God only knows how we manage. zC200 would not cover my loss last year." The Employers Answer to the Charge. I Perhaps the best reply to the lioels is to put the onus of reply on to the employer of the conscientious objectors. What is the result? Twenty-four men are employed at Broxburn under most disgusting conditions. Here is an extract from the letter of the parents of one of the men concerned: Just the last few days a batch of 25 have been sent to Broxburn from -Wakefield. They are hired out to a chemical manure manufac- turer. They have to work ten hours a day, and he continually stands over them like a nigger- driver, hurrying them on continually. The, busi- ness is unhealthy. One of them, who is a doc- tor, says no one can stand it long without fre- quent breaks for fresh air. But worst of all, they are lodged in the common lodging house, which is exceedingly dirty and is frequented by tramps, thieves and men of the lowest class. They have to buy their own food and cook it themselves, and they need to watch it all the time or it would be stolen and they are in con- stant danger of losing clothing and other be- longings. They are making a protest to the Home. Office." Messrs. Rough and Sons have to pay to the Home Office the full standard wage for these men and of the 24 only one has been discharged and sent home. Surely that is sufficient in itself. A business firm would not employ con- scientious objectors unless it was getting its full pound of flesh. The same argument also concerns the men employed directly by the Home Office. The Home Office has the power and uses it to send men back to prison or their units if they do not perform the work with diligence and fidelity. Why is it then that so few of them have been sent back by the Home Office? The Pampered Pets of Princetown. .I I Another of the charges is that they are extra- vagantly fed. coddled, pampered and generally given a. fine time. The plain, simple fact is that the food is poorer and the hours of labour longer than under the old regime when the convicts filled the prison. The following is the diet at Dartmoor: Breakfast—1 pint porridge (containing 3 ozs. oatmeal); 3 ozs. bread; oz. margarine; and 1 pint cocoa. Dinner—3 ozs. bread 3 ozs. vegetables 3 £ ozs. cooked meat; 8 ozs. suet pudding. Tea—3 ozs. bread; 1. oz. margarine; 2 ozs. jam 1 pint tea. The man who develops gout on this diet should surely be hailed as the eighth wonder of the world! Why is it that these charges have been so widely spread, with such a unanimity in the London and provincial papers ? It is rumoured that there is a deep-laid scheme on foot to dis- franchise conscientious objectors and that there is to be an attempt to make the punishment of such men much more severe. How much truth these rumours contain the writer does not know, but that something is at the back of these at- tacks there can be no doubt. Anyhow, the best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley," and the authorities may still under- stand that they will not undermine the courage and determination of those who in prison, guard- room, and Home Office Camps are standing for peace and righteousness and that regardless of falsehood and calumny the conscientious objector will carry on until the battle is won, and the rights of conscience placed upon an enduring and unassailable foundation. ERNEST E. HUNTER.
THE CASE OF JIMMY EDMUNDS. I INFLUENTIAL LABOUR DEPUTATION I STUMP REACTIONARIES. SPECIAL MEETING OF COUNCIL TO RE-I CONSIDER POSITION. Thanks to the solidity with which Labour in South Wales has combined to demand that at least a semblance of justice shall be meted out to Jimmy Edmunds, the Cardiff teacher whose re- signation has been demanded on the grounds that he is a conscientious objector; the detest- able campaign has been halted, and the reaction- aries of the Cardiff City Council pulled up for the time being. Our readers are fully acquainted with the, main facts of the case from our articles of last week, and the issues of April 21 and 28 last. As a. result of the publicity given to the facts, particularly in Labour circles, an influential and representative Trades Union deputation waited upon the Cardiff City Council at its meeting on May 14th, and the Standing Orders were sus- pended in order to allow the deputation to wait upon the Council and state its case regarding the four teachers who had been requested to re- sign. The deputation was headed by Mr. W. Wil- liams (vice-president of the Cardiff Trades Coun- cil), Mr. Samuel Fisher, Mr. James Winstone (president South Wales Miners' Federation), and Mr. Tom Richards, M.P. Mr. Williams said those whom the deputation represented took strong objection to the policy of the council with regard to conscientious ob- jectors. They failed to understand why Mr. Ed- munds had been placed under the leash. T'here had been misunderstanding in the matter, and it was well to know that Mr. Edmunds had offered for service 011 a mine-sweeper, one of the most dangerous of all war occupations. They asked for the creation of a court where Mr. Ed- munds could be re-heard, and at which he could be represented by counsel and could call wit- nesses. Mr. Samuel Fisher, J.P., secretary of the Coaltrimmers' Union, said lie appealed to the council as Britishers and lovers of fair-play to re-consider the matter for fear they might have made a mistake, perhaps, through not having all the facts fully stated before them. If they did not re-consider it the deputation demanded a public inquiry. There was a little expression of approval during Mr. Fisher's speech on the part of a num- ber of people in the public gallery, in consequence of which the Lord Mayor (Mr. J. Stanfield) said, I must ask you not to give expression to your feelings from the gallery. This is the Cardiff Council Cham ber." Mr. Thomas Richards, M.P., thanked the council for the courtesy of allowing Mr. Winstone and himself to join the deputation. He said that at one time it was thought, in the coalfield, that the best way to get rid of troublesome em- ployees was to dismiss them. They soon found out, however, that that kind of procedure only made greater difficulties and developed men into something still more troublesome than they were as workmen—in fact, into something like what Mr. Wiiistorw, and himself were to-day. (Laugh- ter.) He strongly advised the council, on his own experience, to have a quiet talk with Mr. Edmunds to see if the matter could not be mutually settled. Failing that he was sure that they were in for troublous times in the city if the request for a public enquiry was not acceded to. Cardiff Corporation must respect the law, which said that conscientious objectors were to have consideration. "I do not know that I would give in myself," said Mr. Richards. "I do not understand them personally, but if the law says they are to have consideration they must have it." The Lord Mayor having thanked the deputa- tion.fol' the reasonable and fair way in which they had placed their case, a short discussion took place, on the initiation of Mr. G. F. Fors- dike, as to what form the inquiry should take and who should be the judges. The reply of Mr. Williams and Mr. Richards was that the council should decide that matter with the executive of the National Union of Teachers. It was decided to discuss the question later in the, day. When the minutes of the education committee were reached, about one o'clock, the question of continuing the meeting into the afternoon or of holding a special meeting was discussed, and, in view of the controversial questions in the min- utes and on the agenda, it was decided by four- teen votes to nine to adjourn and ask the Lord Mayor to call a special meeting of the council. TRADES COUNCIL MANIFESTO. I The Cardiff Trades Council issued the follow- ing manifesto under date May 9th: — Mr. J. E. Edmunds, the secretary of the Trades Council, is being subjected, not for the first time, to an attack by a section of the City Council. The Cardiff public will remember the charges made at the time of his removal from the Libraries Committee. On that occasion, after an agitation, an inquiry was held, and he was exonerated, but he was not restored to that committee. The latest move will deprive him of his livelihood. He. is one of four teachers called upon to resign their posts on the ground that they are conscientious objectors to military ser- vice. This was decided upon after a Star Cha Ti- ber inquisition. Mr. Edmunds' Position. I The tribunal granted him non-combatant mili- tary service. He was called to the colours and he reported for service. Upon examination by the Medical Board he was placed in a low meli. cal category. He was transferred to Army Re- serve W., and remained at his post as a teacher, Had lie been physically fit, he would have been, since July 31st last, in khaki, with the forces, doing military service. Some teachers who have declared themselves to have a conscientious ob- jection to military service are being retained. Mr. Edmunds, despite the facts detailed above, has been asked to resign. His competence as a teacher is not challenged. His honour in carrying out his duties is not im- pugned. The Trades' Council is of opinion that this treatment of our colleague is due to his many activities in the cause of Labour, and re- gards the whole proceedings as an attack upon the Labour movement. The Trades Council also regrets that three other teachers are receiving similar treatment in the pursuit of this purioose. Public Inquiry. I The lraaes Uouncil demands a. public inquiry into the whole of the facts. Let the public know the truth. This is absolutely essential 111 the interests of justice. Signed on behalf of the Trades Council H. HILES, President. May 9th, 1917. It is pleasant also to be able to state that the Executive Committee of the N. U T. is officially backing Edmunds, and demanding a public en- quiry.
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PLEASE MENTION THE PIONEER I WHEN ANSWERING ADVERTS. Medical. O A -PAGE BOOK ABOUT HERBS AND U?t HOW TO USE THEM, Post Free. Send for One. TRIMNELL, TBa HERBALIST, 144, RICHMOND ROAD, OARDIN. Established 1879. Literary. UNITARIAN PAMPHLETS on The Bible," Heaven," and Hell," given post free.— MIss BARMBY, Mount Pleasant, Sidmouth. Miscellaneous. ASTROLOGY.—Life Events, Changes, For- Atunate Days, Business Success, Matrimony; Two Years' Future added.—Send Birth-date, 1/- P.O., PROF. GOULD, "The Nook," Heathfield Road, Cardiff. CARDIFF Central Labour College League (under the auspices of the Cardiff Trades Council). Permanent Teacher appointed.— 8 Queen Street, Cardiff. Note time of starting, 2.30 p.m. 11st ANNUAL MAY FESTIVAL AT MERTHYR OLYMPIA RINK, THURSDAY, MAY 31, 1917, At SIX p.m, Great COMPETITIVE CONCERT ALL OPEN SOLOS. Items. Prizes. Boy Soprano 10/6 and Medallion (Given by H. P. George, Esq.) Girl under 16 (Any Voice) 10/6 Soprano Solo One Guinea Contralto Solo One Guinea Tenor Solo One Guinea Bass Solo One Guinea Best Recitation One Guinea Challenge Solo (Any Voice) Open to all Comers Two Guineas and Challenge Cup (To be Won Three Times). (Given by John Lewis & Co., Motor Experts.) Adjudiœtors.-Music: Dr. D. 0. Williams, Mw- thyr, a.nd Tom Price, Esq., Merthyr. Elocution: Rev. J. M. Jones, M.A., Cam- bridge. Chairman and Conductor: E. Morrell, Esq., J.P. Accompanists: Prof. Richard Howells, Aber- dare, and David Williams, Esq., Merthyr. ADMISSION 1/- Tax Extra at Door. Preliminary Competitions at 4 p.m. at Beatley's Hall. All Entries to be in the possession of the Secre- tary Ily May 24th. This Festival is held under the Auspices of the Merthyr Trades Council, who hope in future to hold same on Labour Day. For further information apply to the Secretory— WM. HARRIS, 6 King Edward Villas, Merthyr.
The Electric Theatre. I The photography in Mr. Meeson's Will," the big-liner at the Electric during the earlAdays of this week, was very little behind the thraling in- terest of Rider Haggard's most dramatic story, and it was certainly in advance of anything else I have ever sat through for beauty and complete>- ness of setting. The tatooing scene was one of the most gripping that cinematography has given us, and the liner scenes were most restfully pleasing. Altogether the play was destined to enhance the unapproachable reputation for ex- cellence which the Electric has won throughout these vallies. Nor was the rest of the programme anything behind the big feature. The Triangle Ambrose's Cup of Woe was a really laugh- able burlesque introducing a clever little per- former, and a trained pig which drew a baby-car to the delight of old and young. Liberty" had a fine instalment, and Fatty" was an unex- pected feature in a fine Keystone comedy. From Thursday the star picture is "A Tor- tured Heart," a most unusual and romantic story of life in the Southern States, which num- bers amongst the best big drawers of the day. It is a story with grip and charm, and Virginia Pearson is playing the principal part in a man- ner unexcelled by any of the screen favourites. The Triangle "Poor Papa" is another-of the pictures that one would wiflingly pay more than the modest charge for admission to see without any strong support. Mary Page continues to be the most mystifying and diverting serial of the year and there is a big bunch of pick-of-the- baskets programme. Next week's star picture for the first pro- gramme is another of those superb William Fox productions from' the pen of Daniel Roosexelt, who has this time turned his powers of graphic narrative to the Turf. Sporting Blood is a romance full of the breath of the open air; with the bignesses and meannesses of the world of oiftdoors, and there is a splendid love inter- est for which Dorothy Bernard is responsible. Comedy will be represented by a farcical topical introducing the goose-step The Revenge of Mr. Thomas Atkins." "'Liberty" will continue to absorb. From Thursday Virginia Pearson will again figure-big in the William Fox masterpiece "Blaz- ing Love," an unique story of absorbing interest, whilst the two-reels of utter foolishness will be For the Love of Mike," concerned with the n- doing of Hyman A Faker. There are the two bis lines. There are many more. PLAYGOER.
"Manchester Guardian" and Trades- Union Unrest. "ARTIFEX," TALKS WITH MEN. I THE FEAR OF DILUTION. I ￼ of the "Manchester Guardian, "Artifex," The Engineers' Strike has some writing on (( The Enginee.s' Strike" has some interesting things to say respecting the men's viewpoint. Artifex has received a letter from a correspondent telling him that none but a trades unionist can understand and expound the trade union viewpoint, and further informing him that nothing that emanated from the Church would command any respect or attention from trades unionists," but despite this 11 Arti- fex has been gathering opinions and setting them down for the benefit of -Alanclieste,,r Guar- dian" readers. Amongst the interesting tilings he says are: At the beginning of the dispute f went for a talk to a veteran trade unionist whose views I have often quoted in this column. But this time he was much too heated to be helpful. He was very indignant at the suggestion that there was a, danger of the men losing public sympathy. He declared that the union was utterly indifferent to what the public thought in the matter and that the public sympathy or public disap- proval was of no moment to the men. He declared that the members of the Exe- cutive, not only the big men and the members of Parliament, but practically all the members of the Executive, were utterly out of touch with the present feeling of the men. Their unionism, he declared, was that of ten or fifteen years ago, not that of the bulk of the members of the unions to-day. I asked him why, in that case, they were elected, and how they managed to maintain their positions. I got no satisfactory answer. Yet I suspect that he is not altogether wrong. There must be some deep-lying cause for the present unrest, not only among the en- gineers but in so many other unions as well. If the case is as my friend says, it is certainly pro- foundly important. Another friend of mine, not on engineer but a strong trade unionist, discussed the mat- ter with me after having talked it out with a number of his own friends and relations among engineers. He said that no doubt there was a certain amount of restlessness among some of the men at the idea of being sent into the army. But he did not think this a main cause, or even an important cause, of the trouble. The real cause was The fear that dilution of labour would be extended beyond the period of the war —perhaps for seven years, perhaps for even a longer period. Many men, he said, had worked all the long years of their apprenticeship for less than a boy's wages so as to secure a good trade to their hands. Could they be expected to see this hard-earned advantage taken from them, not temporarily for the good of the coun- try, but perhaps permaneriUy for the good of the employers ? Let the anxiety on this head be fairly set at rest and the trouble, he felt sure, would cease." This sounds reasonable, and is therefore prob- ably true. Let any lawyer who at great trouble has served his articles, or any doctor who has struggled to get qualified, ask himself what he would feel like if the profession were, going to be flooded by unqualified men. 4 ■