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ANOTHER 1,000 BY EASTER I
ANOTHER 1,000 BY EASTER I Merthyr I.L.P. Launches Big Forward Effort. j. Tom Richardson's Fine Appeal The Crusade for. the enrolment of 1,000 new members of the I.L.P. in Merthyr was definitely launched at Sunday's Rink meeting, at which the speaker was our Comrade Tom Richardson, M.P. Before the-meeting started our volunteers watched the entrance, and every non-member at- tending was handed a membership blank. That was .the sowing of the seed, it was irrigated by the initiation of the new order of procedure of a local comrade being staged before the prin- cipal speaker to forward the membership cam- paign. The honour of giving the start to the movement fell to Comrade W. Harris; that is if we forget that the chairman, Councillor D. Perkins, got in his appeal in introducing Mr. Harris to the meeting. THE LOST OPPORTUNITY. I At all events Mr. Harris made excellent use of Lord Lansdowne's letter in his appeal to all sympathisers to get inside of the branch, by pointing out what a splendid use could have been made of the opportunity the publication of that letter presented if the' Democratic body of opinion in the country had been properly organ- ised. Instead of a solid mobile, organised opinion we had hundreds of pacifist and Socialist organisations, and this had led to the frittering away of this as of other, opportunities. Before advantage could be taken of opportunities the great body of Democratic opinion would have to be thoroughly organised, and it was in the reali- sation of this fundamental fact that the cam- paign for a thousand members b" v Easter, 1918, had been undertaken locally. If there were critics of the I. L.P. present he suggested that they would be able to criticise better from within than from without; and that criticism would be really welcome if it helped to make our organi- sation a better one. Mr. Harris told his audi- ence frankly that we had increased the monthly subscription from 6d. to 1/ but when he had explained that fid. of this was allocated to the fund being builded up for the erection of the Hardie Memorial Hall everybody seemed to think that the shilling was a better sum than the six- pence. THE LIBEL OF THE TRUCE. I Mr. Richardson decided after hearing the appeal that this new subject was more import- ant than his advertised one of Current Poli- tics," and straightway he decided to make his address an appeal in favour of our new move- ment. And a powerful one it proved. He re- minded us thaT the British public had been asked to believe that for the past 4 three years and four months we had had no party politics in this country. We were or so we were told by news- paper editors, faithless politicians and so-called statesmen, that we were living under a party truce. In reply to that libel he wanted to de- clare definitely that instead of- giere, being a party truce, and no party politics, that the forces of reaction, of privilege and of monopoly, not only in the world of politics, but in the realms of finance and industrial organisation, had been playing party politics as from the 4th of August, 1914, with a subtlety, a, cunning and a skill, and with a measure of success unparalleled in his- tory. Until British Democracy recognised that fundamental fact he was not hopeful that we were going to be equal to the emergencies of the very trying times that confronted us. Not- withstanding the alleged party truce; notwith- standing the fact that the Labour Party as a political entity—in a. moment of weakness and with an absence' of vision that was tragic in the extreme, not only committed political suicide, but robbed the nation and the State of possible services, which it might otherwise have rendered had it remained independent and untrammelled; notwithstanding these things lie asked his audi- tors to do the I.L.P. the elementary justice of remembering that the I.L.P. not only refused to be a party to that betrayal, but incessantly, in- season and out-of-season, we had been ever put- ting forth our best effort to educate and inform the mind of the British Democracy as to the evils which were being perpetuated in the name of the party truoe and non-party politics. THE REAL ENEMIES. I If the British., Democracy did not awake to the fact that so long as Capital and finance was to remain a private possession of men who knew no party politics, who knew no n-ationalitv,, who in peace-time and in war-time exacted the maxi- mum of toll, poverty and sacrifice from the com- mon people of this and of all other countries, then the outlook was black indeed: The last three years and four months had not only esta- blished the soundness of the economics of Social- ism but have also proved that in the realms of human relationships Socialism was the only hope of the world. (Cheers.) It was because Social- ism was the only hope of the world. (Cheers.) It was because Socialism satisfied man's body, mind and soul that he was warranted in appeal- ing to those s'till outside of the I.L.P. to get in- side and give to Socialism that dynamic which would enthrone those principles of justice which Socialism represented and which to-day com- manded not only the sympathy, but the adher- ence and 'obedience of the biggest minds, the best hearts and the stoutest souls in the commu- nity. (Cheers.) If we were given that dynamic he ventured to prophecy that within ten years Socialism would he the dominant influence in British politics. (Cheers.) At. the doors the forms given out on entry were collected, and a total of 32 names were then and there received as desiring entrance.
The Evolution of Exchange.
The Evolution of Exchange. The Economic Factors at Work How Money Came to Function [The publication of the first part of Mr. E. J. Williams'' "key-lecture" to Economics on the 44Evoltitiori of Exchange," which appeared in our last week's issue, has brought us several appreciative thanks. Here is the concluding and more important moiety. We trust that all economic students will make the fullest use of this value-able outline of economic deter- minism, since it is a branch of the subject touching which there is not at present on the English market a reliable cheap guide.] MONEY'S TWO PRINCIPAL FUNCTIONS. Two main reasons explain the rise of money exchange; first., there was the need for some means of comparing the values of different com- modities; and, secondly, the need for a medium of exchange. Let us deal with the first—the need for a common measure of value. Under barter each article sees itself in its bodily form of use-value; and this is true of every other com- modity which have their own different value forms. Every article thus expresses its own value, but every article expresses that value in a different way.. There is no common form of value, and therefore, no means of comparing all values simultaneously. Comparison is only pos- sible when all the articles compared are con- sidered in terms of the same thing. It is the ne- cessity for this comparison that results in the development of some value form that will be common to all value forms when they are ex- pressing their values. This is easily seen in a simple example. Suppose we have three rooms the temperature of which we desire to measure; room A we measure with a Centngrade ther- mometer room B with a Fahrenheit; and room C with a Reaumur. NVe shall be able to arrive at the temperature of each room in the terms of the particular thermometer employ'ed; but if we wish to compare the temperature of the three rooms we shall find it impossible to do so until we either take a new reading of the three rooms on one particular thermometer or translate the readings of two of the three- readings to the unitary system of the other. Exactly the same is true of commodity values. They also can be measured according to different standards of use-values, but if they are to be compared as well they must be all compared with the same standard. This is the practical reason that leads to the adoption of a standard through which all oommodities may express themselves in one and the same use-values. THE THEORETIC SIDE. But, in addition, there is also a theoretical view of the question. Commodities, as we have seen, are twofold things, possessing both use- value and exchange-value, due to the twofold character of the labour which produces them, which at one and the same time is both useful, or concrete labour, and abstract socially-neces- sary labour. As measured by use-values articles are incommensurable. The products of concrete labour are incommensurable because there is no standard by means of which they may be com- pared, since concrete labour is heterogeneous, but as products of abstract, socially necessary labour, articles are commensurate, because ab- stract labour is homogeneous, or unitary, that is, it may be brought down to an unit point- of unskilled labour. If values are to be expressed and compared they must all be reduced to one common denominator, but. different labour turns out different products; the miner produces metals or coal as the case may be; the weaver cotton cloth or woolen goods, therefore, one bodily form or use-value must be taken to repre- sent the whole, and this is possible because the one taken as the form of value by which others are comparable has the common character of possessing abstract human labour. By this means a general form of value arises. This may be ex- pressed in terms of any commodity, but gold is the general form by which all commodities in the world may be expressed in a bodily form. HOW IT WAS EXCLUDED. Practically, this exclusion of one commodity from all the rest was effected in this wav. In early exchange-relations one commodity is in greater request than any other (say skins) hence it is exchanged for more both in quantity and variety of other products than any other one, consequently it acts as a measure of value of more commodities than any other. This article which was most in demand becomes the measure of value, and by this means it gradually becomes excluded as the general measure of value, and, in time, this particular commodity becomes the recognised universal measure of value, or money. The resultl is that now the values of all commo-i dities can now be measured in terms of the same unit. This is money as the measure of value. MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE. Let us now see how, under the expanding nfeans of production in private property rela- tions, stimulated by the growth of exchange, the need arises for money to. aet as a medium for circulation, and why one commodity is specialised to perform that function. The essential condi- tion upon which barter rests is destroyed if the parties do not want each other's goods for use. Suppose that A possesses surplus arrow heads which are desired by B, who offers skins in ex- change. If A does not desire skins as a use- value then there would be a deadlock; but A does take the skins because he knows that they are universally in demand as clothing and bed- covering. The skins thus become valuable to A not as use-values, but as exchange-values. This would happen not only in the case of A. but in the case of all others from time to time and all would be prepared to accept as a medium of ex- change some commodity universally desired as a use-value, and which could therefore serve- universally as a medium of c-xcliaiige P In this way one commodity would become, by custom and practice, looked upon as a medium of ex- change as well as a measure of value, and would be set apart by the common action of all parties as money. All this would develop unconsciously, but later on the excluded commodity would be- come universally desired because it 'had become money—the measure of value, and the medium of circulation. Bii. RIDGING THE CONTRADICTION. Thus the primitive function of universal de- sirability as a use-value is reversed, and the commodity becomes universally desired as a me- dium of exchange. As a use-value an article can only satisfy one want, is only individually alien- able but as exchange-valule a commodity must oe universally alienable. But in itself the use- value nature of a commodity excludes the ex- change-value nature and not until these things are separate can the difficulty be overcome. This can only be done by money and the separation of the two values. If use-value is exchanged for money its value receives a form separate and distinct from its use-value. The.commodity func- tioning as money represents only exchange- value, and as such is universally desired. It re- presents value because it is the form of value for all other commodities, as well as directly ex- changeable for them. SOCIAL WORK. A third reason why money becomes necessary, is the need which arises at a certain stage in individual production—and consequently of ex- change—for some means by which private and independent labour may be proven to be social. Primitive Communism had no individual produc- tion because technique was so crude that social co-operation had to be resorted to to compensate the labourer for the lack of tools. Capitalist production, on the other hand, is anarchical, or individual in character. Labour in commodity production is individual and not directly social. How then is individual labour to be proven to be social? Only by being exchanged for some- thing which is recognised as the social equiva- lent. The capitalist is compelled to market his product, and by exchanging it for the universal equivalent, gold, prove that his labour expendi- ture was socially-necessary labour. There are the theoretic and practical reasons which neces- sitated the separation of commodities into com- modities and money; and this exclusion of one commodity from all +1,1" rest to serve aq mcney was quite unconscious in its development. Men solved the problems presented to society as in- dividuals and not as a social body. It was be- cause they followed the same general needs that they all acted in the same general way. As an individual in society man consciously acts to satisfy his individual wants, what he does not do is to realise the consequences of his individual actions in social results.
"lhe Minstrelsey of Peace.".
"lhe Minstrelsey of Peace." The National Lab-our Press, Limited (Man- chester and London) is publishing this week an Anthology of peace poetry, under the title of "The Minstrelsey of Peace," edited with notes and Introduction by J. Bruce Glasier. The volume consists of selections of notable verse in the English tongue, relating to peace, ranging from the Fifteenth Century to the present day, and include sabout 200 songs, shorter poems and extract's with some satirical verse. All the lead- ing poets, with but a few exceptions, are repre- sented, including Gower, Chaucer, Lindsay, Spencer, Shakespeare, Campion, Milton, Pope, Cowper, Blake, Burns, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Longfellow, Lowell, Whitman, Tennyson, Wil- liam Morris, and living writers. In his Intro- duction on Poetry and War and Paace ia English Poetry," the editor challenges the com- monly accepted idea that poetry is a "war-jade," and brings to witness the testimony of ancient and modern poetry. The volume is of great .literary and political interest, full of delight for lovers of poetry as well as of peace. We cannot imagine a more wel- come present for the Tourth Christmas of the war. The price is 5/- net, gilt edge, cloth (post „ free 5s. 3d.), may be ordered through the I.L.P. branch literature secretaries or local booksellers, or direct from the National Labour Press, Ltd., 30, Blackfriars-street, Manchester.
I Pontypridd Notes.
I Pontypridd Notes. I I. L.P. Activities. On Sunday evening, December 2nd, at the I.L.P. Hall, Comrade Owen Hughes lectured on Socialism and Imperialism." Comrades Hum- phreys, J. Baker, Workman, and E. J. Williams took part in the ensuing discussion. Ivor Mor- gan presided. One new member was made and Pioneers" sold out. On the 9th the branch was favoured with a visit from Noah Tromans (Mountain Ash), whose subject was The Mis- sion of the I.L.P." David Lewis presided. Ques- tions were satisfactorily answered and Ivor Mor- gan, Andrews, Baker, Pryce Vaughan and W. Jones also spoke. Congratulations. Congratulations to Comrade Griff Maddocks on having come out on top with a substantial majority over T. Brixey, Abercynon, in the final ballot for a mines examiner for the Pontypridd District of Miners, a vacancy having occurred through Councillor D. L. Davies having ??e?n made sub-agent for the same district. Industrial History. An Industrial History class has been formed and is held at the I.L.P. Hall every Sunday morning at 10.30 a.m., under the auspices of the local N.U.R. (open to all). The teacher is Com- rade E. J. Williams, who has now four or five classes weekly to attend to. The chairman and secretary of same are Comrades Gardner and Owen Morgan respectively.
￼ IW H?LP THOSE ?MOM?LF *?a I i YOUR PAPER:
TRADE UNION NOTES. SEE PAGE 3
I FREEDOM or VICTOR Which Shall We Choose ? I 2. r PAGE 2.
I Pol iticI- Notes ■ '''-AL…
I Pol iticI- Notes ■ AL I By F. W. Jowett, M.P. t JJL I WINSTON CHURCHILL AGAIN. Mr. Winston Churchill is getting into the limelight again. He is as self-confident and as- sertive as ever he was. In his speech at Bed- ford this week he exhorted and perorated as if he had been Sir Oracle, whose word no one could doubt. But lie has made speeches before, equally oratorical, one, for instance, in which he boasted of his intention of digging the ships of the German Navy like "rats out of their holes." The speech was followed by a British naval dis- aster, and the German Navy still unmolested. He predicted enormous winnings for his famous Dardanelles "gamble. The "gamble" proved, however, to be the biggest loss of the war. E'x- cept during the time he was ex-Minister, with uncertain prospects of being in office again, Win- ston Churchill has never lacked confidence in himself. Why should he? Did he not win the battle in Sidney Street? I NOT TRUE. The subject of Mr. Winston Churchill's ad- dress at Bedford was, or should have been, the "War Aims of the Allies, for the meeting was called by the War Aims Committee. But he said very little about War Aims and what he did say was not true. "Our War Aims," he said, U are the same as they were in 1914. We have not increased them, we have not diminished them, we shall not diminish them by one jot or tittle." This, he said, let it be remembered, after the RuslSian disclosures relating to the secret treaties which prove that the War Aims of the Allies have been revised at intervals-and with every revision extended—from the begin- ning of the war to the day of the Russian re-vo- t lution. WHICH WAS RIGHT? On the same day as Mr. Winston Churchill de- clared that the real meaning of the demand for a re-statement of War Aims is that those who put it forward wish "to make friends with the victorious Hun," Sir George Buchanan, the British .Ainca^badur ia Petaograd, tVua promising Russia that, as soon as a stable Government was L- established in Russia, Great Britain would be | ready to discuss peace terms." The value of this! > promise, made by Sir George Buchanan to Rus- sia, will be measured in the terms of the Winston Churchill speech. Moreover, the promise has come too late. If the promise had been honestly made and faithfully kept, when the Russian re- volution made a revision of war aims absolutely vital to Russia, the Allies might then have re-j mained united and concluded a better and an earlier peace. President Wilson knows this, and ? has ,ai?d as much, if Winston Churchill is not so ? well informed. CLEVELAND HUTS. The story of the Cleveland huts is worth a note all to itself. It appears that the Ministry of Munitions formed a plan to increase the sup- ply of iron ore by importing men in large num- bers for the mines in Cleveland. Without taking the trouble to find out what the miners of Oleve- land thought of their plan the Ministry pro- ceeded, in great haste, to provide huts for the accommodation of 2,760 men under the wasteful and pernicious method of a "time and line contract. Under this method, the Government provides the plans and the contractor charges the full cost of materials and labour to the Government, and adds a percentage on the total cost of materials and labour for his own profit. The more the contractor spends, therefore, the greater the total profit for him. The huts, -erected and furnished under this method, cost £ 85,550, or £31 per man expected to be housed in them. I MR. KELLAWAY'S SLIP. As an example of profiteering plunder, encour- aged by the Ministry of Munitions, the Cleve- land hutment scandal might have escaped atten- tion if the huts had not remained empty. But not a, single miner is housed in the new huts be- cause the miners of Cleveland, as soon as they learned that the Government intended to bring inexperienced men into the very mines from which men had been taken into the army, ob- jected-to the whole proceedings. The local miners claimed that their own men should be. released from the army to take up their own work again, and for these no huts are required for they have homes to go to. When questioned as to the ex- penditure of tS5,000 on the huts Mr. Kellaway replied that by providing them the Ministry of Munitions had been enabled to secure an in- ¡ creased output of iron ore. He has since had to confess that the huts are empty and the in- I creased output is therefore due to the return of miners to their own work, who should never have been taken away from it. I NON-FERROUS METAL. The Non-ferrous Metal Industry Bill is the first instalment of legislation for carrying out the proposals of the Paris resolutions and instituting a boycott of Germany after the war. Under the Bill the trade in copper, tin, lead, spelter, nickel and aluminium, can only be car- ried on bv firms holding a Board of Trade license. It is intended that no firm will be granted a license to trade in these metals, if anyone who, is a. partner or manager of the firm has been at any time a German subject. In truth, the Bill is designed to assist certain British syndicates and the committee which recommended the pass- f ing of a Bill on these- lines was composed largely of men who are interested i.n obtaining special ￼ privileges for exploiting the metals .and getting ?ntrol of the markets for them. I THE REAL WAY. ￼ It is a remarkable fact that the only power It ig ,i, t l ￼ j Germany has over these metals is due to the [ science, skill and enterprise of Germany in mani-i r p,Li l ,att'iig it i.eiii. The are to bc, found, not I pulating them. The metals are to be found, not in Germany, but in British and .French colonies and in America and Japan. If, therefore, it is considered necessary to control the metals the proper course for the Governments of the coun- tries in which the minerals are mined is to na- tionalise the minerals and not to grant exclusive trading and profiteering rights to syndicates, who will not control the metals in the national interest, but in their own interest. REPRESENTATION BILL. II The Representation of the People Bill has new passed the House of Commons and gone to the Lords. A way was found by which it was made possible to re-insert the provision of the conduct of elections in single member constituencies on the alternative voting system. Under this sys- tem, in the case of three, candida/tes going to the poll and no one candidate receiving a clear ma- jority, the candidate receiving the least number of votes will drop out and a scrutiny of the voting papers on which he is marked for first preference will be made to ascertain which of the other'two candidates the voters, who placed him first prefer next to him. This is the svstem under which the next election is hkelv to be con- ducted, for it is not expected that the House of Lords will interfere in regard to it. ITHE C.O. DISQUALIFICATION. As the Parliamentary vote is based, in the new Bill, on residence as well as on the occupancy of business premises the complication of the lodger vote will no longer exist if the Bill becomes law. The position with regard to conscientious ob- jectors, as the Bill reads at present, is that all C.O.s who have been exempted from military service on the ground of conscientious objection or who, having joined the forces have been sen- tenced by court-martial for refusal to obey or- ders, and who allege conscientious objection to military service as a reason for their refusal, will be disqualified from being registered or voting either as a Parliamentary oir a Local Government elector dimag t¡. 1,;j'.o<:1 of the war and for five years afterwards. OFFICIAL FOOD FIGURES. Replying to a question the other day Mr. Clynes gave the cost of the food included in the voluntary ration for a man and his wife and one child. The food included in the voluntary ration covers only four articles, viz., breakl, meat, flour and sugar, so a large part of the cost of living is left out of the calculation, but for the four articles mentioned the cost, as stated by Mr. Clynes on behalf of the Food Controller, is 25/- per week. As was pointed out when this infor- mation was given in the House the wife of a sol- dier with one child to maintain receives onlv 9/6 a week for separation ajlowance. On the Food Controller's own estimate, bread, meat, flour and sugar, on the voluntary ration scale will cost, for the two of them, 15/34 a week; which leaves 4/2^ only for ren clothing, fire, light and all other necessary expenditure. I POOR CLEM. Mr. Clement Edwards is still making ineffec- tual attempts to obscure the fact that he is un- able to substantiate his statement that he sent names and particulars concerning the individuals who have been spending L15 to £ 40 on pro- moting strikes and pacifism among South Walas miners. His latest effort to accomplish this ob- ject was designed to get the Attorney General to admit that if the particulars were supplied to the competent military authority it was not necessary to supply them to the Law Offices of the Crown..But the Attorney General sharply reminded Mr. Edwards that his original state- ment was that he had sent the information to the Law Offices of the Crown, and, that the Law Offices of the Crown had not, in fact, received it. The At.orney General further said that he had enquired of the Director of Public Prosecu- tions to ascertain if he had received the missing particulars and he had not. THE LANSDOWNE LETTER. Since Lord Lansdowne wrote the letter which Mr. Bonar Law afterwards descrioed as a na- tional misfortune there has been a distinct and noticeable growth of opinion in favour of a re- vision and re-statement of allied war-aims. This growth has also been favoured by the publica- tion of the secret documents, in Russia, relating to the secret engagements of the Allied Govern- ments for the cutting and carving and sharing out of enemy territories. Even Mr. Asquith in his speech at Birmingham, although he repeated his old rhetorical tag about not "sheathing the sword," etc., was more conciliatory than he has previously been. I MR. BALFOUR AND PEACE. ri Mr. Balfour, in reporting the receipt by the government of a communication from Germany in Septemher last through a neutral channel, to the effect that the German Government was pre- pared to make a communication relative to peace, has acknowledged that he made the an- nouncement owing to the publication of the secret papers by Russia. There is also another point to be noted in re- gard to Mr. Balfour's statement concerning Germany's peace communication. He (Mr. Bal- four) stated that in reply to the communication in question, the Government had informed Ger- many that they were perpared to receive any, communication, which the German Government might desire to make and to discuss with them (i.e., with the British Government) and their Allies. No answer had been returned by Ger- many to this reply from the Government to the communication referred to, "and," Mr. Balfour went on to slay, "no other official communica- tion has been reoeived." The reader will note (Continued at foot of next column).
I Pol iticI- Notes ■ '''-AL…
the word official in the last sentence and draw his own conclusions. C. Roden Buxton, Captain E. N. Bennett, and F. Pethwick Lawrence are among the latest ad- ditions to the membership roll of the I.L..P. They may rely on a hearty welcome and plenty of work.