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r The Technical Education…

I Mid-Rhondda Notes.

Qorseinon Notes.

f, Maesteg Notes.I

(t Merthyr Vale Notes.I


I Cefn-y-Bryn Colliery.

Aberavon Railwaymen's Secretary.

Tonyrefail Notes.

Pontypridd Notes.

i Technical Science and the…


i Technical Science and the Worker. I TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—Mark Starr in his letter to-day makes contradictory statements. He writes: No op- position to improvements in technical science or undervaluation of their merits is advocated." Again: Here we can see distinctly the task of the miners' union is not to increase the supply or mining chomises." When the miners want to appoint for themselves an inspector it would seem from Mark's letter that if he had "Social Science" he would be a complete and competent inspector. It would not matter about the know- ledge of gases, or strains, or strata, that is to be the right of another class. Who is it in the miners' union who calls attention to the waste of small coal, and who is it that can make the best fight for this? The miner with the techni- cal knowledge of the small coal, the washer, and the uses of the small coal .and the market. The fact that our system permits remuneration on the basis of supply and demand need not put the workers against technical education. His illus- tration about the chemists knowledge producing increased profits is an unhappy one. The know- ledge of the chemist puts to use that which for- merly went to waste, that means less production, i.e., the miner will have to dig less since the small coal is used. Shorter hours and no decrease in wages will follow when the producers are suffi- ciently technically educated to understand its re- lation, which includes social science. It is the greatest mistake to assume, that scientific tech- nical training produces a "narrowing effect." What about darker Russia with its overwhelm- ing illiteracy Was it the illiterate that helped Russia Was Prince Kropotkin narrowed in his outlook because he was a technically trained mind? What about Stepniak, Pogosky and thou- sands of others, all technically trained men? Yet the illiterates in the various workshops who could neither read nor write performed their skilled tasks in use of tools by instruction only. fhere were no reasons in their labour. It was a case of do this and the result will be so and so." Never the "why would it give the result." You can have biassed instruction but not so edu- cation, despite all our rotten school history, if it is to be all social science for the miners, then who is to be their champions in technical matters in relation to explosions and the safety of the mines. (Here let me remark in passing that this is where our miner members of Parliament failed every time a mine explosion was discussed. [ make no exception here.) Mark asks who reaps the benefit of the chemist at the Colliery ? I ask who reaps the benefit of better miners' houses, better sanitary conditions, better physical health, men more fit for work? Now, Mark, would you have better material to work with if we had had no improvements in this direction? or do you wish to keep to the logic of your argument and say we should not have better living conditions because it will in- crease profit by increased production ? Because sanitary science has been responsible for the huge sanitary appliance firms making huge profits are you going back to the pig stye style to give a fillip to social science? Mark is very unfortunate about that chemist. He seems to think that chemists could not be got into a union to fight for higher wages be- cause of the "narrowing effect" of his special- ized work. We need social science, but it is no use without the other. It leads to ownership and control, and .you cannot do this with one branch of •science. I want education for itself. I know of no "working-class" mathematics, gravitation, chemistry, geology, etc. This accu- mulated knowledge named education should not be put into, class sections. In his summing up he says Capitalist production in its mining, engineering, and other sections or as a whole through the State will with, or without Trade Union support, rapidly accelerate advances in technical science." He evidently agrees that this should be left in the hands of that class in- stead of the workers having a control and a say in all these matters. How blind! The curse of Trade Unionism has ever been their indiffer- ence to this subject, and here m Glasgow despite two years warning, the workers have now to stand by and see training schools established within public works where the worker has no voice. Is this what you want.? You do not make an individual less intelligent by technical educa- tion, though it may be possible to do so by in- struction," as in Russia. Such educational institutions ought to be financed by the nation, not by donations, but the most important thing at the moment is to get a say in all such work. The "fat men will be quite pleased to be left with the control of the technical curriculum and to leave the workers with social science. The workers have no danger in technical education. Their only danger is their unorganised will. It is by their own will that they become profiteering potentials. They have too long assumed thatx education was not their business, and those who even hint that better education is to make it better for the fat men" are consciously, or unconsciously, playing into the "fat men's" hands. Thus a tiades council must needs attend to technical and social science. I do not think Mark would say that social science was not technical. GBO. D. HABDIB. 1 93, Hope-strt, Glasgow. GEO. D. HARDIB. I

1Pontycymmer Notes.I

I_Briton Ferry Notes. -: I