phe Spirit of The Press. SEE PAGE 3 t.
POLITICAL NOTES. By F. W, JOWETT. PAGE 2,
Hardie Memorial Meeting. B GREAT AUDIENCE AT THE RINK r CHEER MRS. SNOWDEN AND R. C, WALLHEAD. If there is one Socialist meeting in South Wales held in greater reverence than another, halted above another in the minds alike of our own people and of the outside public it is the Merthyr Hardie Memorial Meeting. From all Parts Socialists on that day make their pil- grimage to the town of the "Master," to that Ibeeting-coriie residents in Merthyr who on other occasions would not go out of their houses to hear the same speakers in the same Hall. And the Merthyr I.L.P. itself differentiates between this and all its other meetings of the year, by rtlrrecting the Male Voice Party for the occa- sion, and introducing hymn-sheets into the agfcnda. The spirit is one of reverence; and the wo years that have passed -since he was taken from us has deepened the reverence of the meet- ittgs that gather to do honour to our mighty dead. This year we were unfortunate in not having Me. Snowden, but we found the very best sub- stitute in Mr. R. C. Wallhead, and the attend- ee did not suffer, though personally, I believe that the speakers play but a subsidiary part in gathering together the people on just this one Particular occasion in the year. It is the spirit of Keir Hardie that is the magnet. The attend- ance on Sunday at the Rink was quite 3,500; and the atmosphere was one of the utmost en- thusiasm for the precepts that guided the whole of Hardie's life, tinged with the sadness of the jjeniory of his great broken heart. Mr. John Ba.rr, than whom none enjoyed the friendship Hardie to a higher degree, occupied the chair, »nd the Male Voice Choir, under the baton )f ?. W. Harris, did splendid worK. There was just a single inte-rt-uption during Railhead's speech, but it only sauced his re- marks. It was by no means to be regretted. Before the speakers addressed the meeting a Vote of sympathy with Mr. Snowden in his ill- ness and a wish for his speedy recovery was rriQV(>d from the chair, seconded from the audi- ence, and carried unanimously. cl Mrs. Snowden in a. fine emotional address de- lved that Hardie was one of the greatest men that this or any other country had ever pro- ceed. (Cheers.) We in that meeting knew t Something of his work, the great outside masses re just beginning dimly to comprehend some- k thing of the eternal meaning of his manly and It" agnificent life, but the time would come when understanding of Kier Hardie would not be dIl11 but would be gloriously radiant and won- J, erfully deep as men, hereafter, would testify t0 the greatness of his character. There had I een many victims of the hideous crime of the 4st few years. The list was far too long to be dO l d there. On the blood-stained fields of Flan- ks, in the Far East, and on. the high seas, men led with the noble spirit of self-sacrifice had 1Ied for the ideal in which they believed; merci- fllllv spared the sorry knowledge that the evil Machinations of evil men men were responsible this thing. (Cheers.) Noble spirits hero at hcnle, filled with the vision of a better world, 4 resisted the madness of war and had suffered, g ere suffering, the torments like those of death; teat spirits like Karl Leibknecht in a German ^°1; like Jaures, the victim .of Governmental Imagination; like E. D. Morel in prison, and e Keir Hardie, who had passed over. These b ere amongst the hundreds of thousands of fine, rave spirits sacrificed to the worship of Moloch. 11 Small wonder that some of u» were able to ^derstand as we never understood the sorrow bd suffering of the man of Nazareth, and of t18 angllih when he said: ."Oh, Jerusalem, thOll that killest the prophets, and stonest them ?t are sent unto thee, how often would I have ?thered you under my wings, as doth a hen j?' chickens, and ye would not." She knew Keir "?'die's heart broke, for it was heart-break n.? the disease of the body that killed that )?L His faith was not warranted at that point, H faith that if the war drums were beaten the ^j 'ternational movement was so strong, the Passion for humanity so firmly implanted in the 41c'n and women of the great Democracies of the ?"'rld that they would refuse to follow the beat- 's of the drum, and the general strike against -'?arism would end the bad, mad thing for f3-Ve"- It broke his heart that that faith was not 4?hieved but Keir Hardie's spirit knew as we ? knew that we should ultimately triumph over great foul thing. i "I'oceeding, Mrs. Snowden appealed to us all w reconsecrate ourselves that day to the work t all early peace by negotiation. (Cheers.) th ideals of Russia, the only ideals that could With Democracy from ruin, should be achieved an e-arly peace by negotiation. (Cheers.) it lck Wallnead declared that all who came K; ? contact with Hardie were lifted onto a j.pier plane to struggle for the ideals that I 1, seen afar off, but which always seemed Wn +1 the striving when in the company of men !tk ? ? Hardie. When one remembered the char- aof Hardie and all he stood for it seemed iitmPossible that in a world of reasoning men and 01011 place could be occupied by the pot- ho, Patriot who now occupied it. (Oheers.) T'h ?t Was practically an insult on Hardie's I'A ernory, he knew, but it was what he felt; and t,tb??EL' ?oub time some of us started saying the fti* We thought about, some of the men who had been busy maligning men in whose shadow t h? p Were not worthy to stand. (Cheers.) k Mr. Ililead then pointed out that the I.L.P. ? "^ring the past three years been fighting ,o.il e O\the ereatest political nghta that any j>art ad ever fought, and arrayed against it VVi6'Lr e all the evil powers of the country and a ^gutter press. ib Y'i ??'?y the I.L.P. was stronger than ever; ? ?1? '? more branches than it had seven lt'lliths a'0. (Cheers.) The I.L.P. had warned ? f?? ?P?<? many points, and there were very fo\v ? W Ich anyone could put their finger and f*4y ￼ the charges which were called pro- Q-errJ had not proved true. The I.L.P. had tril,l ?he P"()Ple that militarism could not be by nubtarism, and to-day militarism I was stronger in Europe, and would be after the war than it was at the start. (Cheers.) Mr. Wallhead made a reference to Conscientious Ob- jectors, and this brought a unintelligible inter- ruption, and led to an examination of the posi- tion that carried the meeting off its feet. This country was covered with Tribunals, he said, set up for the purpose of listening to appeals against military service, and before those Tri- bunals hundreds of thousands of men had ap1- peared and asked for exemption. It was a mat- ter of logic that every man who appeared be- fore a tribunal and asked for exemption, no matter on what grounds, was an objector. (Cheers.) Yet if he said that 95 per cent. of the men who appeared before those tribunals and appealed for release from Conscription be- lieved in the war lie would be right. What ",hcse men said in effect when they appeared be- fore the tribunals was: "Gentlemen,—I believe in this war., I believe that this war is a holy war; that it is a sanctified war, I believe that it has got to go on to the bitter end—I do not believe in peace now. I believe somebody's got to go and do the fighting-but not me, please. (Cheers.) I object to going. I have got a little business somewhere or another (perhaps it is a little chip-shop round the comer, or, I am a dealer in rubbing stones, or, I have some other important function that prevents me going to do my bit." And when these objectors were successful, as thousand s had been, we did not shout Yah, slacker," no, it was "Good luck, old fellow!" (Cheers.) But what about the 5 per cent. P They went before the tribunal and said We could appeal on business grounds but we are not going to. We do not believe in your war we do not believe it is a holy war, we do not believe it is a sanctified war. We waht it to stop now. We do not want anybody else to go and we are not going ourselves." (Cheers.) And they said You may cast us into prison, you may pitch us into ponds, you may put us into pits, you may break our limbs, you may torture our bodies, but you cannot break our souls." (Oheers.) These men were "white men even from a jingo point of view. He was sick of the cant and humbug that char- acterised a lot of our writing and literature of to-day on these things. (Cheers.)
I Launch of Women's Peace Crusade at Briton Ferry. I "NO ANNEXATIONS AND NO INDEM- I NITIES," SAYS MRS. SNOWDEN. The Women's Peace Crusade at Briton Ferry has been launched-i.H] iv is going, we hope, to keep afloat. Although the amount of time, at the disposal of the women was limited, they or- ganised matters with such splendid enthusiasm that last Saturday's meeting at the Jerusalem Baptist Chapel (kindly lent, the Public Hall Committee having refused the use of the Hall) was a complete success. Mrs. Powell proved an ideal" chairman." Miss Gwen Jeffreys—whose popularity is indis- putable—recited "Mothers of England! in a manner which brought tears to the eyes of many men and women. As you weep for your sons and loved ones, They weep for theirs—those others." Mrs. Snowden (who was accorded a splendid reception, said that her message was mainly for the women. The question of pe,ace'- peace by negotiation—was a woman's question iss well as a man's question. The sufferings of the women of this country during, the last three years of war have been terrible. After briefly outlining the history of the for- mation of the Women's Peace Crusade and its progress during the last six or eight weeks, Mrs. Snowden said that everybody wanted peace. But where she differed with other men and women on the question of peace was—How shall we get it? That alone as the real difference of opinion. Some people believed that a military victory ov ei- the enemy was the sole and only. effective way of attaining this object. In her view such a peace could not be lasting. A dictated peace with victory—would only sow the seeds of revenge in the heart of the defeated power, and within a generation or so there, would be another war. She was convinced that a peace by negotia- tion could be concluded now. Why don't the warring powers sit round a table and try to un- derstand each other ? British representatives have met German representatives at the Hague to discuss the question of prisoners. If they can confer to alleviate the sufferings of their respective prisoners of war, why cannot they confer to alleviate the sufferings of the millions ? The collection amounted to £ 3 18s. 6d.; literature sales £ 1 5s. 6d., while all the badges were disposed of.
I Officer C. O. An ex-army officer, Joseph W. Sault, who en- listed soon after the outbreak of war, and 'ob- tained a commission in the King's Royal Rifles, appealed as a conscientious objector at North- ampton on Friday. He said he was in church just before Christmas, 1914, and when he heard the 30th chapter of Isaiah read it suddenly came to him that war was incompatible with Christian principles. From then he felt that the only course open to him was to get out of the! army. He resigned his commission and returned to his old employers at a salary of L175 a year. The case was adjourned for a month to enable the apellant to consider the suggestion that he should do work of national importance but at a pecuniary sacrifice.
NOT TAKING IT QUIETLY. At a general meeting of the Maesteg Branch N.U.R., which was held on Sunday, the following resolution was carried unanimously: That we condemn the action of the police at Port Talbot in taking an acting branch secretary to the police-station to examine the books he carried, which were the property of the N.U.R."
Merthyr Trades Council. UNANIMOUS DECISION TO GIVE £ 3,000 TOWARDS TECHNICAL EDUCATION. A TREHARRIS RENTS CASE. I A number of interesting points engaged the attention of the Merthyr Trades and Labour Council on Thursday last, but easily the most important was the Council's decision to 'back the Executive Committee's decision that Labour, through the Trades Council, guarantee a mini- mum contribution of £ 3,0<)0 towards the estab- lishment of scholarships in connection with the projected J. M. Berry Technical School and Institute." The Executive recommended that this sum be raised by a levy of Id. per week on all, the workers in the Borough for twelve months. In furtherance of this is was recom- mended that the branch and lodge secretaries should be asked to convene meetings of their members to propagate this, and the officials of the Trades Council were appointed a sub-Com- mittee to make all the necessary arrangements. In reply to Mr. J. R. Jones, Mr. W. Harris (Secretary) pointed out that at 5 per cent. £ 1,000 would provide an annual income of £ 50, and zC59 would maintain a student for twelve months, so that for £ 3,000 they would have at least three scholarships which would be open. If this money was raised at the earliest moment it would be immediately banked and would go on accumulating at 5 per cent. until the scheme was completed, and in this way it might be possible to establish more than the three .scholarships. It was for this reason that it had been decided to appeal to the workers be- fore the local Education Committee had pre- pared a scheme for the school, and also because the Executive felt that the possession of that £ 8,000 for this special purpose would give La- bour a voice in the scheme. Mr. Idris Davies asked if it was correct to say that in the event of the employers refusing to co-operate, the J. M. Berry scheme was as good as dead, a query to which Mr. Harris re- turned a decided negative, and expressed the opinion that the employers would co-operate. Mr. John Williams also thought that time spent in discussing the failure of the Berry Scheme was time wasted, since he could not an- ticipate a failure, and therefore regarded such an assumption as a bogey that was not worth thinking over a second time. Mr. H. Seymour Berry, to whose generous offer of £ 10,000 the scheme owes its inception, in a letter to Mr. Harris said: "I am exceed- ingly pleased to hear that the Trades Council are going to help so magmfioently in this matter. As previously stated the Council adopted the whole of the Executive recommendations. It was further stated that the appeal would be made to non-affiliated societies, as well as to affiliated societies. Mr. W. J. Edwards, secretary of the Dowlais Miners, wrote saying that his mass meeting had instructed him to inform the Council that the Dowlais miners were in favour of taking a day's stoppage, inr common with all the workers of the Borough, to discuss the Food Question with a view to coming to an understanding to force the Government to take immediate steps to deal drastically with this matter. Merthyr Vale, and the Engineers, as well as several other organisations represented had passed similar resolutions and submitted them to their Executives, and it was decided that all the workers' organisations should follow a simi- lar course with a view to securing a stop-day throughout South Wales, if the Food Controller did not take the hint, and deal with the pro- fiteers far more drastically than he had so far done. There was a division of opinion on a circular i resolution from the Blackburn Trades Council pressing for a legislative universal 48 hours' week, and advocating a general strike of all trades on the day of peace if this was not in force, together with the retention of present wage scales. One part of the Council felt that the latter part was too drastic to be adopted without having first been before the lodges and branches, although strongly favouring the 48- hour week; whilst the other section was in fa- vour of dealing with the matter out of hand. This latter section, the minority, felt that the resolution was rather too conservative than too drastic, and expressed the opinion that Labour should not be afraid to demand a six-hour day when Lord Levenshuline advocated it. It was, however, decided to send it to the lodges for further consideration when mandates had been given. A letter was read from the Town Clerk pro- visionally placing Cvfarthfa Park at the dis- posal of the Trades Council for the May Day Demonstration next year. Arising out of a report presented by the Secre- tary, Mr. J. E. Jones said that so far as the railways, mines and engineers were concerned there was only Industrial Unionism for the workers, and he anticipated that during the next twelve months a great change would have come over the industrial world in this connec- tion. The Secretary (Mr. Harris) was also of opinion that Capitalism was becoming so combined that Industrial Unionism was the only course open to us, and v. Mr. E. Davies (Engineers) thought that it was already time that a better understanding was brought about. It should be brought about by the rank and file, for officials would never bring it about because they saw their jobs going.. A long letter was read from the Y.M.C.A. Hut Week Campaign organisers, who are anxious to secure all the assistance possible to further their Merthyr £5,000 Week Scheme, and after fine tributes had hoonpaid to the work of the Y.M.C.A. on behalf of the soldiers by Mr. T. J. Devenald, a resolution was passed giving the appeal to the workers the blessing of the Trades Council. The Guardians Report was presented by Mr. S. Thomas, who dwelt at length upon the letter received by the Maintenance Committee from Mr. D. W. Jones (Solicitor) in whcih a number of signatories challenged the legality of charging on the rates arrears recoverable under magis- trate,il orders, and demanding that charges in respect of ten scheduled casese should cease to be made; failing which the necessary legal steps were threatened. The ten cases included the celebrated Barry Case. Mr. Thomas said that when the first Maintenance Committee sat after the receipt of this letter opinion- wag divided upon it, some favoured ignoring it- (hear, hear)—but others favoured a special meet- ing to consider the letter, and, by the casting vote of the Chairman, the latter carried the day. The special meeting had now been held, and in practically all the cases the Committee upheld their former decisions. It further in- structed Mr. F. T. James to prepare a Memoran- dum on the whole ten cases for submission to Mr. D. W. Jones for the information of the signatories. On the motion of Mr. John Adkins, the Coun- cil fully endorsed the protest of the local I.L.P. against the unconstitutional action of the La- bour Party in supporting the election of Mr. J. H. Roberts for Norwich, contrary to the repu- diation of the local L.R.A.—the real nominating body. Mr. Hugh Williams called attention to a I rents case in Treharris in which a landlord had booked as arrears for eight months, ari, in- creased rent charge, and the Secretary was in- structed to write the landlord asking him to wipe this cut within three days. Failing com- pliance the Council solicitor was to bfe instructed.
Trades Union Notes. I I BY TRADE UNIONIST. I The National Transport Workers' .Federa- tion have issued a memorandum on the national policy to be' pursued, and in favour of which it has been decided to organise, a National Cam- paign. The six cardinal points of the Federa- tion nolicv are —- (1) Conversion of war bonuses into wages; (2) Abolition of systematic overtime; (3) Systematic reduction in hours of labour; (4) Clear week-end rest for transport workers; (5) Travelling expenses to be paid; and (6) Abolition of underpaid Asiatic Labour in mercantile marine. This decision of the Federation is of great im- portance inasmuch as it indicates a determina- tion on its part to remove several obstacles to the welfare of its members, and to establish new conditions that cannot fail to have a salutary effect upon the wages, status, and personal com- fort of the workmen. The decision is also im- portant in view of the fact that the Federation is one of the partners in the Triple Industrial Alliance. The tremendous possibilities of such an alliance are such as to justify the most san- guine expectations of its efficiency to secure for the transport workers the most complete success. With regard to object No. 1, viz., the con- version of war bonuses into wages, it. is only what every Trade Union in the country should be doing. Let it be remembered that the cost of living, which is substantially above the in- creases in wages given by way of war bonuses, will not be appreciably reduced after the war, and there can be no doubt that shortage of houses—a shortage admitted on all hands-will have the effect of raising house rents, imme- diately the landlords are free from the Rent Restrictions Act. On the second point in the national policy, viz., Abolition of systematic overtime, the memorandum says: "Overtime is one of the greatest curses to Labour that exists. It shows its malign influence in a three-fold fashion. Long hours alternated with stretches of idleness sap the health and energy of the worker. Regular overtime for a few means un- der-employment for others, and leaves outside the dock-gate and elsewhere, an army of men who, by sheer circumstances are potential strike- breakers. The increased money gained by over- time blinds men to the lowness of their normal rate of wages, and makes them disinclined to seek advances on their regular pay." & What the memorandum has to say on their demand for the abolition of underpaid Asiatic Labour is deserving of the closest attention. I will quote word for word what it says: "There can be no minimising the gravity of the menace of cheap Chinese and other Asiatic Labour, not only to the seafarers who are directly affected, but also to all engaged in transport work. Be- fore the war there were nearly 60,000 Asiatics employed in the British mercantile marine in va-rious parts of the world. To-day the number is considerably higher. The Asiatio is em- ployed because he is cheap, and the. white workers' objection to his is solely on that score. Being cheap he is a standing menace to the standard o life which has been built 'up by years of trade-union effort. He will work for half the white man's wages, and his food costs the shipowner much less than the white man's. Only by the determined stand made by the Triple Alliance of Miners, Railwaymen, and Transport Workers was the threat to introduce coloured indentured labour into Great Britain nullified. All transport workers must re- member that it is a short step from employing sweated Asiatic Labour to man ships to employ- ing it at loading and discharging ships. It is a shorter step still to employing it at other dock and waterside labour. Coloured labour is a menace to Western Civilisation, Western stan- dards of life and conditions of employment, and the general status of the white worker." :1: The propaganda, as will be seen, does not in- clude any revolutionary proposals; all the points laid down have been secured by many otter classes of workmen; and with reasonable energy and determination on the part of the members and leaders, and with the potential power of the Triple Alliance, I should say that failure is impossible. One thing, however, strikes me as being most remarkable, viz., the extraordinary number of unions, catering for transport workers, which go to make up the Federation. I count 28 such unions, and there are, I dare say, another 28 unions catering for transport workers, whic hare not affiliated. It seems to me that there is much room and much need for the process of amalgamation to operate here. With such a multiplicity of Unions, unity is im- possible. y. The resolution of the Trade Union Congress agreeing to appoint a Committee representing the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress and the Co-operative Union, to prepare- plans for mutual assistance, is indicative of a realisation on the part of both Trade Union- ists and Co-operators of the urgent need for a clearer understanding of the relationship be- tween the two movements and of the necessity for closer unity between them. In the Trade Unions the workmen have combined to protect their industrial interests, to secure good condi- tions of Jabour and adequate remuneration for their labour, while in the Co-operative Societies the same workmen have combined for the protec- tion of their interests as members of the general community. That being so it is clear to all that the mutual assistance the one could render the other must be considerable, and the aloof- ness which has existed and still exists is difficult to account for. There are signs, however, of which the action I have referred to is one, of a change in this respect, and one can reasonably look forward to a time when there will be com- plete co-operation between the two movements. On the Continent such co-operation has always obtained. Talking about closer unity between trade unions and co-operative societies reminds me of certain resolutions passed at a conference held under the auspices of the National Joint Com- mittee of Trade Unions catering for Co-opera- tive Employees. One was to the effect that Co- operative Societies could secure increased sup- port from the Trade Union movement if they would take steps to ensure that none but Trade Union labour is employed. Further, that all their employees should be mem bers, not of an organisation whose policy and methods have been condemned by the Trade Union Congress, and which therefore cannot be considered to be a Trade Union at all, but of a Trade Union re- cognised -by the Trade Union Congress and catering for the whole of their calling or trade. I am in thorough agreement with the terms of that resolution..There are troublesome times ahead for both the Trade Union and Co-opera- tive Movements, and their chances of coming through successfully will be considerably in- creased if each helps to strengthen the other. Another resolution which will commend itself to all good Trade Unionists and Co-operators is one calling upon all Co-operative Societies to pay Trade Union rates of wages-and apply Trade Union conditions of employment. It is rather humiliating that there should be need to pass such a resolution. Co-operative Societies on the whole pay the Trade Union rate and apply Trade Union conditions, and in this way have rendered a great service to shop assistants and other classes of workmen, by compelling other em- ployers to follow suit. But there are societies who still refuse, and thereby continue to prove themselves as regardless of the interests of their employees as any private trader, and to hinder that thorough sympathy and understanding which should exist between the Trade Union and Co-operative Movements. It may be well to call the attention of all Trade Unionists to the provisions of the "Work- men's Compensation Act, War Additions Act." Under this Act a person in receipt of compen- sation under the Workmen's Compensation Aot, 1906, is entitled to an increase of 25 per cent. of the weekly amount paid. This increase of one-fourth is to date as from the first day of September. It should also be noted that it ap- plies to accidents that took place prior to Sep- tember 1st.
I Give it a Trial." I MRS. SNOWDEN'S APPEAL FOR NEGOTIA- TION. Mrs. Snowden at the Tabernacle Hall, Troedy- rhiw, on Saturday declared the country was now governed by the mob and "gutter press" and the Government by inactivity and neglect posi- tively encouraged hooliganism, doing nothing to prevent defenceless women being struck and fierce blows showered upon unarmed, unresist- ing and inoffensive youths. 'She was an "out- and-out Pacifist, and nearly everyone was a Pacifist only they shrank from having the label attached to themselves. A just, honourable and permanent peace was what they wanted, and in her opinion there was sufficient evidence to ob- tain such a peaoe by negotiation if statesmen, diplomats, politicians and the press wished it. (Applause.) In the event of the failure of peace by negotiation the position should be recon- sidered but the loss of human life and money was too great not to try negotiation. Peace by negotiation was worthy of a trial (if the chances were one in ten thousand) if the high objects for which the British nation undoubtedly entered the war could be achieved. (Applause.) Passing on to the Russian Revolution she &aid it the revolution was lost it would be due to the fact that the Allies did not declare clearly the terms upon which they would be prepared to accept peace, a democratic peace. She had no language strong enough to condemn the out- rageous atrocities and brutality of the Germans, but the onlv remedy to the outrages was to stop the war. The militarists both in the Allied countries and Germany wanted to dictate peace terms. If the British Government wished for a people's peace why did they decline to issue pass- ports to Stockholm P (Applause,)
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