Trade Union Notes By Trade (Unionist.1 I THE RAILWAYMEN'S DEMANDS. Interost at present centres in the negotiations proceeding between the N.U.R. and the railway companies. The Union is demanding an in- crease of 10/- a week, bringing the sum total of advances since war broke out up to 25/- per week. Many of the large districts, such as Liverpool and South Wales, have passed reso- lutions demanding an increase of sEl a week. The railway companies have offered a 5/- ad- vance, which was rejected by the railwaymen's conference. With a view to bringing pressure to bear upon the employers, the Liverpool district has decided to adopt" oa canny tactics, or, in other words, the go slow policy. The South Wales men, with the same objective, have threatened to stop work unless the 10 demand is conceded. Mr. J. H. Thomas, M.P., is as- suring the men that be is still hopeful of a satisfactory settlement. We trust that his hopes are well founded, but undoubtedly there is grave danger of a strike. The railwaymen are a long- suffering people; they have, for a well organised and highly intelligent body of people, submitted to more humiliating conditions tham almost any other class of workmen in the country. No ujilon recognition, low wages, long hours, and many other jfrievious conditions have obtained almost up to the present day. But these is an evident note of determination in their present agitation, which can only mean that a change for the better is imminent. MERTHYR BAKERS' ADVANCE. Last week the representatives of the Merthyr and District Operative Bakers met the Master Bakers in conference, and an agreement was arrived at granting the operatives an advance of 7 J a week, bringing their total advances since the commencement of the war up to 18/- a week above pre-war rates. That is not so bad, all things considered, although some classes of workmen have been able to secure much more than that. I often wonder how the unorganised workers, who, being at the mercy of the employers, are unable to secure an advance at all, are able to exist under present conditions. ,UNREST AMONG SPINNERS. I The Amalgamated Society of Operative Cot- ton Spinners have rejected a 10 per cent. ad- vance as from December lith next, and a fur- ther advance of 10 per cent. on March 18th next, which was offered by the employers as; against an immediate advance of 32| per cent. demanded by them. Should the employers not amend their offer, they have decided to tender notices to cease work in the week beginning December 17th. ICARDReOM ADVANCES. The Oardroom workers, who had applied, through their organisation, the Amalgamated Society of Oardroom and BI owi ng-iroom Oper- atives, for a 25 per cent. advance, were made the same offer as the Spinners. In this case the men were not so emphatic in declaring their -intentions in face of the refusal, their resolu- tion being to leave further consideration of what action shall be, taken te their Executive Council. HEED OF THE MOMENT. I Many other bodies of workmen are demanding increases of wages, thereby trying to keep pace with the increased cost of living. It seems likely enough that the tendency towards amal- gamation and fusion between unions, which would result in fewer unions and more unity is thwarted just now by the very fact of the unions being so much occupied with the task of securing better wages. Verily there is need to evolve some system which will render impossible all the strife now so rampant.. With these eternal differences cropping up continually, how is it possible for production of wealth to reach the highest point in quantity and quality ? and how is it possible for those who produce it to enjoy the fruits of their l,a,boiir P The evil will be always with us, as long as Capital is held in private handr,, an d industry carried on for private profits. The Trade Unions must consciously work for a trans- formation, which will effect the transfer of in- dustry in its ownership to the State, and in its control and management to those engaged in it.
A COGENT QUERY WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE I ABSOLUTIST? We have received an interesting and long letter from Mr. J. M. Williams, of Bedlinog, in tho course of which he deals with the con- ooieDitious objector, and in particular with the Absolutists, over a thousand of whom to-day languish in the prisons of the land. He points out the rights of these men under the Military Service Actc, and contraists it with the penal nature of the degrading punishment that has been meted out to them, and proceeding says: "It behoves all democrats to show in no un- decided manner that this barbarism must eeaae. Trade Unionists, in particular should lelave no stone unturned until P, juster treatment is ob- tained. Let no one labour under the delusion that ours is an attempt to exploit the Unions. Indeed, it is a matter of vital importance, to Trade Unionism, when the dismal dungeons of I ,r.), d e our land are thronged with. political prisoners, who are refused even the scanty privileges granted to such. This kind of tyranny, if al- lowed to continue, will ultimately cripple trade- union activity. "Many may not agree with the Pacifist view- Ploint of the war many also may not agree with the attitude of the out-and-outer, and think that that attitude cannot be maintained to its logical conclusion others may regard all C.O.'s as faddists and fanatics-as founders of great movements generally have been. But all, I think, will agree that these men have sufferod unspeakable, hardship, and proved to the hilt the honesty of their convictions. They have stepped out of the beaten track of public opinion, and their feet are bruised and bleeding. To-day they are useless to the com- munity if released some of them might be use- ful to their fellow-men. Moreover, they have the rights of Personality which even in our en- thusiasm to free small nations, we cannot afford to over-ride. And they have a right to a better treatment under the very law by which they are .punished."
I Marching to Zion Jewish Movement Catches On Enthusiastic Meeting in Merthyr The Zionist Movement for the restoration of Palestine to the Jews, has caught on well in Merthyr, and there was a very large attend- ance of Jews and non-Jews in the Forward Movement Hall last week to hear the Rev. Raffalovieh, late of Merthyr, and now of Liver- pool, deliver his illustrated address on the move- ment. The Mayor (Aid. Hankey) presided at the outset, and cordially allied himself with the project. Letters of sympathy were read from the two M.P.'s, Mr. C. B. Sum ton and Mr. Edgar Jones, both of whom were favourably disposed; from Mr. B. Benas (bo;rristex-at-I.a-vv), and from the leading South Wales Jewish con- gregations and ministers. CO-RELATIVITY OF THOUGHT. The Rev. Raffalovieh declared that it was im- possible to thimk of Palestine without at the same time thinking of the Jew, whilst the Jew himself thought of Palestine as his home for two reasons. On the one hand, all the Euro- pean nations had compelled him to keep ever in mind the memory of Palestine. In every land and clime by oppression the Jew had been constantly reminded that he was homeless; that he was a stranger, and that he was not wanted; he had been constantly reminded that he must have a national home if he was to be as other men. This was true of all history, for they were told in the Psalms that the Jews sat ;)y the rivers of Babylon and wept as they remem- bered Zion. In later historical periods when the Jews were prohibited from entering Jeru- salem it was recorded that they gathered on the surrounding heights and fondly gazed on the Holy City; and, then, with great wailing and moaning they bemoaned their sad, nomadic lot. THE BRITISH OFFER. Later, in the early 16th Century, when the Jew was allowed to repatriate himself upon his land, that was held by alien powers, he was to be found tilling the soil of Palestine; and, still later, when the National feeling spread through- out Europe in the 19th Century, the Jew also was swayed with the idea of Nationalism, and it was recorded that offers were made to the Jews of recolonising once more the Holy Land. It should not be forgotten, and would not be for- gotten by the Jews, that it was the Britsih Government—the land to which the Jew always looked for juatice—that offered the Sinai penin- sula for the settlement of the Jew. Perhaps it might be asked, and with justice, whether the Jew was able to live his own life; whether he was capable of self-government P Was it not a, fact that the Jew was everywhere dependent upon what he could make out of his' non-Jewish neighbour? Was the Jew capable of living successfully as a peasant and agricul- turist, or was he destined to be an entrepreneur —a traveller? The, answer of experience was that the Jew did make a successful agricultur- ist, and. was capable of successful self-govern- ment. It was because they knew that their na- tionhood was real that they came forward during this war, a war for small nationalities, and a» the greatest sufferers amongst small nationali- ties justified' their plea, for a national home in the cradle of their race. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE? Later the lecturer threw upon the screen some very interesting pictures of the Jewish colonists' agricultural farms in Palestine, and contrasted these with the archaic agricultural devices of the neighbouring Arab tribes. It va-, interest- ing to note the scientific nature of the Jewish efforts; and still more interesting to learn that the new scheme of co-operative agriculture in England had been anticipated and more fully developed in Palestine. Dealing with the his- tory of these coronisation schemes the Rev. Raffalovieh told us that in 1897 this movement took on a new hue; instead of being a, mere movement for colonisation, the movement be- came a great political movement, destined to win the support of the best brains in Jewry and later on to win the sympathy of the greatest statesmen of Europe. In that year Theo. Herzl came out with the political Zionist Movement,and the whole idea of the colonisation of the Holy Land and the re-settlement of the Jews in Palestine took on a new aspect. The aim of that movement was clearly and emphatically laid down in the movements programme as aim- ing at the establishment, "for t, lie Jewish peo- ple, a home in Palestine secured by public law." A RESOLUTION OF GRATITUDE. I At the close of the lecture the following reso- lution was unanimously adopted That this meeting of Merthyr and district Jews and non- Jews, held at Merthyr Tydfil, places on record its heartfelt gratitude- to His Majesty's Govarn- for their declaration in favour of the establish ment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." This was moved by the Rev. J. B. Jones and seconded by Ald. David Evans, who saw in the Zionist Movement the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies. Mr. Ben Hamilton (Secretary to the local Zionist. Movement) in proposing a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding saw in the co-operation in this work of Jew and non-Jew, and particularly of the Welshman, a living testimony that the Bible had not yet been forgotten by the nations of the world; this was seconded by the Rev. Cohen (Tredegar) and carried; and a similar vote was passed to the lecturer on the motion of the Rev. E. Bloom, seconded by Mr. J. E. Revelin (Car- diff).
Disfranchised C.O.'s M. J. H. THOMAS AND A CONTEMPTIBLE ACT. Speaking on .Friday at the Railwaymen's Con- ference at Leicester, Mr. J. H. Thomas, M.P., the general secretary, said that he regretted that even after three years of war the Govern- ment appeared anxious to create more after-war problems. Two nights ago Parliament, by a very small majority, decided that so far as the Government of the country was concerned, for the first time in history, conscience must be penalised. (Cries of "Shame.") Whatever their views might be of the con- scientious objector, let them keep clearly in mind that a great page of history had been written by men who had been guided solely by the dictates of their conscience. Moral courage was the greatest of all courage, and moral law was higher than any legal enactment. He bw- lieved that citizenship must carry with it re- sponsibility, if need be, to defend that country of which they were citizens, yet he could con- ceive of nothing more mean, more contemptible, than that decision of two days ago.
Alleged German Gold in Wales Mr. J. Winstone's Further Effort to draw Clem Edwards TO THE EDITOR. I Dear Sir,—I was highly amused by, and deeply interested in the evasive reply of Mr. Clem Edwards, M.P., to my fair offer respecting the above allegation. It appeared as though he was in so much haste to lay someone by the heels, that he has actually fallen into error and committed (inadvertently, no doubt) a termino- logical inexactitude. Peradventure his anxiety to communicate with His Majesty the King would prevent him making the revelation to one who like himself had been defeated in a Parliamentary contest. That would be, a very easy way out for him if the Attorney General had not shown to the House- of Commons that he knew nothing of such graver revelations. Mr. Edwards stated: "I regard the informa- tion which has been placed before me and' sent to the right authorities, so grave that it must be dealt with by those authorities." So grave, remember, that it cannot be re- vealed to the British Public until the culprit is safe in His Majesty's prison. So grave, mark you, that UIp to Monday night last it had not reached the Attorney General—although infor- mation of a less important character had been conveyed to His Majesty the King. May I draw the Hon. Member's special atten- tion (and ask him for his comments thereon) to Vol. 99 of No. 148, page 849, of the Par- liamentary Debates in the House of Con-ii-nom on Monday, the 19th inst., as follows: — PACIFIST ACTIVITY (SOUTH WALES). 31. Mr. Snowden asked the Attorney General if he has received from the lion. Member for East Glamorgan (Mr. C. Edwards) allegations of pacifist activity in South Wales, that enormous sums of money are being spent on treasonable propaganda, and that certain persons are distri- buting from CI5 to £-#} a. week; if he has ex- amined these allegations; and whether he is prepared to prosecute the individuals and or- ganisations.. against whom these allegations are made, so that the truth may be tested in a Court, of Law ? Sir F. Smith: The answer to all the above questions is in the negative. Mr. Snowden: Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that these statements were made by the hon. and learned Member in the course of the Debate last week? Sir P. Smith: I have read these statements of my hon. and learned .Friend, and I cannot add anything to my answer. Mr. White-house: Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman propose to communicate with the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite? Mr. F. Smith: I shall be very pleased to re- ceive any communication from my hon. and learned Friend. I may say that he reflected in this House upon the method in which the, Law Officers carried on their business. If he will lay before me any material on which he, says that the Law Officers should have acted, it will re- ceive my most careful consideration. I may add that up, to the present he has not done so. What one would like to know is why in a matter which the hon. Member describes in the public press ag "so graye that it must be dealt with by those in authority," he has not con- veyed it to the proper quarter. If the grave revelations are not forthcoming I may ask for an audience with His Majesty the King and draw his attention to the serious dere- liction of duty on the part of the Hon. Member and those in authority. I am surely entitled to call, the attention of the law Officers of the Crown that information is being withheld which may lead to the prose- cution (not to say persecution) of those wicked Welsh men guilty of carrying on treasonable propaganda." I will now content myself with awaiting de- velopments.—Yours faithfully, J. WINSTOWE. Pontnewynydd, November 21st, 1917.
Mrs. Snowden's Meetings Abandoned. "BIT" BADGERS INTOLERANCE IN LANCASHIRE. "GUARDS AT EACH DOOR." Mrs. Philip Snowden was to have addressed a meeting at Todmorden on Saturday and another at Hebcten Bridge on Sunday, but in neither case was the programme carried through. The meetings were arranged by the I.L.P., and members of the Discharged Soldiers' and Sailors' Association were mainly responsible for the failure of the promoters. At Todmorden the Town Hall had been en- gaged, a.nd admission was to have been by ticket. The Soldiers' Association had asked the Mayor to veto the meeting on the' ground that Mrs. Snowden should not be allowed to preach her pacifist views from the same platform on which some of our local heroes had been pre- sented with honours gained on the blood-stained battlefields," but lie replied that he saw no reason for interfering. About the time arranged for the meeting members of the Association, a number of wounded soldiers, and members of the ordinary prublic, gathered round the entrance and passed a resolution not to allow the meet- ing. Discharged and wounded soldiers then formed guards at each door, and no one was al- lowed admission. The members of the I.L.P. re- turned to their headquarters, but there a hos- tile crowd soon gathered. The result was an announcement that the meeting was abandoned. At Hebden Bridge the directors of the Co- operative Hall took no action following a pro- test against the letting of their hall for the meeting, but on Sunday, afternoon it was soon evident that the hall was nearly full of local discharged or wounded men, helped by a con- tingent from Todmorden, who soon took posse- sion of the platform, and passe d a resolution in I favour of preventing the meeting. An official of the Co-operative Society announced that there would be no meeting, but as it was rumoured that speeches were to be made at the Trades Club the protesting party formed a procession to that building. Policemen appeared on the scene, and when an assurance was given that a meeting would not be held the crowd dispersed quietly.
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Avan Valley Notes. I (BY DEMOCRITUS). 1 The Incongruous. I The incongruities of patriotism were never more manifested than in an eiaeoiintet, tl-ie other day, of a big, burly individual with a weak, un- dersized young fellow. The bxfrly one who hap- pened to be a little over military age accosting the younger one said: "I say, young fellow, 'ow is it you are not in the army? Be- cause I don't believe in fighting for imperialis- tic ambition." Oh you're one, of those b- pacifists, are you who loves every country 'oept your own. Dirty swine." Yes, I am glad- to say that I am a pacifist, if you mean by that a person who refuses to fight for what he believes to be wrong. Get out, you cowardly snipe, I've a good mind to smash your b- nose for you." "Yes, you are big enough to do it, and look brutal enough, but since you believe yourself so able to smash my nose, don't you tihink you would be more competent to fight the Germaas than I who am half your size? Still More Incongruities. I There are many able-bodied men in the Avon Valley who allow weaklings to join the army but who themselves take precious care not to join themselves. These men are to be seen in the front benches of a War Aims meeting ap- plauding the idea of a war for military victory, but whose only contribution to the struggle is a lot of loud talk, as if mere shouting and sneering at pacifists are sufSpaent to ensure vic- tory. A Serioiw Problem. I A most serious problem which 16 "troubling the minds of some of our civilian wai -to-the-Iasi- man and shilling patriOU is, how to evade the income-tax ? The Old Fiat. The fiat has gone forth from one of our pul- pits that Socialists must not quote scripture if they do not want to be dubbed immoral char- acters. Ivor Thomas on Tour. I Mr. Ivor Thomas, our N.A.C. member visited the New Dockers' Hall last Sunday to give a report of the work of the Party. He gave an exceedingly interesting and encouraging account of the work done, and imbued the members pre- sent with renewed zest for more worlds to con- quer. I am authorized to refute the rumour that Ivor intends going over to the Church of Eng- land. They won't have him. A Word To Tal. The latest bulletin from ihe home of Tal Mainwaring is, that he has been ordered to eat solid food, and has already consumed—no, that would be carrying tales. If he reads the "Pioneer," and I'm positive he does, then 1 am asked to tender him this ultimatum: That unless he improves sufficient to get out of doors within a fortnight ten millions of his friends intend raiding his house. One way of Showing It. Bill: I say, JAcl,- conlin' to the War Aims meatiij' ? Jack: "No, what you want there? Bill: Come on, man, and be patriotic." The Lion and the Lamb. 1. The publications of the secret telegrams and dooumen-te; of Allied war-aims by the Russian Bolsheviks afford ample justification for the war attitude of the I.L.P. The fight for preserving the rights of small nationalities, and crushing Prussian militarism is too big an item to swal- low in face of the- treaties made by the Allied Governments. It is more like a question of the lion preserving the lamb. '"There was a young lady of Niger. Who went for a ride on a Tiger They came back betide With the lady inside Anr a smile on the face of the Tiger."
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Would Be Rightly Resented HOME SECRETARY AND GERMAN GOLD IN SOUTH WALES STORY. The Government opinion of Air. Clem Edwards' futilities was plainly shown in the House of Commons on Monday night when Sir G. Cave (Home Secretary), answering Mr. W. C. Anderson (Lab.-Sheffield), said he knew nothing of any suggestion to the effefct that German gold had been circulated among, the miners in South Wales. He believed that such a suggestion would be rightly resented by the i miners. He had no evidence whatever to sup- port it.