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Co-operative Congress at Swansea. MR. MACDONALD ON PEACE SOUGHT BY RUSSIA, CO-OPERATORS AND EXCESS PROFITS TAX. The Whitsun week-end saw the opening of the fortv-ninth Co-operative Congress at Swan- sea. On Saturday afternoon the reception com- mittee's luncheon at the Cameron Hotel was at- tended by about 200 guests out of the 1,200 ex- pected for the congress. In educational conference was held in the Al- bert-hall, Mr. W. R. Rae presiding, the sub- ject of An Educational Programme being introduced by Professor I • Hall, ALA. (adviser of studies), and producing an interesting discus- sion. In the evening there was a public meeting and concert in the Albert-hall, Councillor D. I Wil- liams (Swansea) presiding, and the chief speakers being Mr. W. Gregory, J.P. (Preston), and Mr. T. W. Allen (Newport). On Sundav a "Pleasant Sunday Afternoon was held in'the Elysium, Mr. J. Rhys Davies pesiding, and Mr. A. Mansbndge (Loadon) speaking. Mr. J. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., addressed a crowded meeting at the Elysium on Sunday on the subject of peace, strongly insisting that it must be a democratic peace. The peace sought by Russia was one which could never be broken, for it would be established on the foundation of den-ioeracy. Referring to the coming Continental Labour Conference, lie said the British delegates were called, and they had accepted the call, and they had their passports. (Loud applause.) They were not going to take part in any pro-German plot. but they were going to get such an agree- ment as would redeem the democracy of Europe, to establish the Russian Revolution, to help their German comrades to emancipation, and to bring secret agreements into the light. Mr. Macdona-ld was present at the Indepen- dent Labour Party reunion, held to give a wel- come to members of the party who are attending the congress. The proceedings were orivate. Mr. Macdonald left Merthyr on foot on Saturday morning, and walked the greater part of the way to Swansea, which is about t' irty miles dis- tant. but he took train the last few miles of the journey. On Monday the delega tes were extended a civic welcome bv the Deputy Mayor (Aid. Ben. Jones). The president, Mr. E. R. Ward, in his inaugural address said that in charging excess profits on the savings of co-operators the British House of Commons perpetrated an act of gross injustice and redress must be obtained. They wanted neither State aid nor State favours. At a moment when 3 A millions of the cream of the working men willingly gave their sons to war this Government had unjustly taxed them at the instigation of profiteers. :\1. Barn off, one of the Russian delegates, re- ceived an ovation on rising to extend the greet- ings of co-operators of Free Russia. He ap- pealed to them to believe in Russian liberty in the future. M. Yarkoff, Serbian delegate, also extended greetings. Mr. R. Fleming (Belfast) proposed a resolution of congratulation 10 the Russian nation on achieving political liberty, and expressed the hope that in the new democracy the co-operative movement might take part. The downfall of Czardom, he added, was the death-knell of Kaiser ism. The resolution was carried. Both the Parliamentary committee and Cen- tral Board had resolutions recognising the pre- sent necessity for a special tax on excess profits, but, whilst the former suggested rearrangement of its incidence, the latter recommended that the intolerable burden be removed from co-operative societies. The first was put as a proposition and the second as an amendment. Supporters of the amendment urged that the tax enabled profiteers to put up prices and crip- pled co-operative societies. The amendment was carried by a large majority. A resolution against levying income-tax upon co-operative societies was also passed. Mrs. E. M. Penny and Mr. D. Lleufer Thomas (Pontypridd stipendiary magistrate) were the chief speakers at a meeting and concert held in the evening. The principal resolution of the Conference, submitted by the Parliamentary committee, was moved by Mr. W. T. Charter (Cambridge) at Tuesday's sitting That, in the opinion of the congress, the time has now arrived for the co- operative movement to take the necessary steps to secure direct representation in Parliament as the only way of effectively voicing its demands cand safeguarding its interests." Mi-. Charter assured the congress that therp was no alliance intended with any political party. What they solely desired was the voicing of co- operative opinion. Labour representation had admittedly done good work, but at present they had to go begging and praying for things to 00 done, and he thought they ought to be ready and willing to pay for their own representation in Parliament. He did not at all believe the asser- tion that such a thing was going to split up the co-operative movement. Mr. James Allan (Scottish Wholesale) second- ed, and said they had three-and-a-half million members, representing fifteen millions of the population of the British Isles, and having in- terest in trade at home and abroad representing about the repre- sentation of the Trade Unions? (Several Voices: Taff Vale decision.") Yes, and it is a ques- tion such as that that will face co-operators. Mr. E. Greening (London) moved, as an amend- ment, that the congress instruct the central board to invite the assistance impartially of all friends of co-operation in Parliament, members of all political parties, to resist the attempts to levy taxation on their societies. He argued that they could not dissociate themselves (if they had direct representation) from the votes of the four, political parties. Mr. Fred Maddison (ex-M.P.), seconding the amendment, referred to Protection versus Free Trade, and said that direct representation would bring into the co-operative movement that which could not be of anv real value. A card vote resulted in 199 roting ior the amendment and 1,883 against. c- The Parliamentary committee accepted a sug- gestion sent in by 104 societies calling upon the central board to take such steps as might be necessary to put the resolution into effect. Two amendments to refer thema her to the societies were negatived, and the original reso- lution was then put and carried on a card vote by 1.979 votes against 201. The joint committee of Trade Unionists and Co-operators submitted a resolution accepting a suggestion of the Trad e Union Congress at Bir- mingham last year that six members of the Co- operative Union meet six representatives of the! Trades Congress for the purpose of developing the productive distributive, and working .acti- vities of the co-operative movement, always pro- viding that the Trade Union rates of wages and conditions are recognised. Mr. J. Davison (Bedlington) moved the adop- tion of the resolution, which the congress accepted

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