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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. I

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IAMERICAN HUMOUR. I

IGIANT LOBSTER.I

! MARKETS.,

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AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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RIEVIEW OF THE CORN TRADE.

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WORK AXT) WORKERS.I

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WORK AXT) WORKERS. I POST OFFICE WAGES—THE LEEDS STRIKE— FURTHER MUNICIPAL WORKERS' STRIKES LIKELY SOCIALISTS AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM—INCREASED PAY FOR SHIPS' OFFICERS—PROPOSED LONDON LABOUR HALL In response to their request to the Post- master-General to recti ve a, deputation to discuss points in. the Holt Report, relative to their class, the Women Sorters' Association has received a reply from the secretary of the General Post Office in which he remarks that the Postmaster-General has consented to receive the deputation. It is stated on good authority that the Postmaster-General is not prepared to reopen the question of the adequacy of the scales of pay recommended by the Select Committee. The Postal workers of Sheffield at a joint meeting on Saturday protested against the Holt Report and demanded better pay and conditions. Mr. H. Monks, of the Post Clerks' Association, said the tension had reached breaking point. They all hoped, how- ever, that justice would be done so as to pre- vent those extreme measures which the Postal workers, no less than the rest of the country, would regret to see resorted to. Mr. N. A. Larsen, of the National Joint Com- mittee, said the policy of the Department would have to be fought, and how to fight it they had learnt from the Report. Reason was of no avail, and they had to rely on force. Their only weapon in the Vnfrare was the Strike. The Leeds municipal strikers are making vvigorous efforts to widen the area of the dis- pute and to bring about -a sympathetic strike ,of other trade unionists. On Saturday the -strikers7 officials were in communication with the officials of the carters, and during the day the following letter was sent out from the offices of the Gasworkers' and General Labourers' Union to the various trade unions who have members employed by the Corpora- tion: "Dear sir and brother,—At a mass meeting of the men on strike, held at the Albert 'Hall, we were especially requested to appeal to you to assist us in this great fight for trade unionism by at once withdrawing all members of your society who are in the em- ploy of the Leeds Corporation. This is a fight in which we should have the support of all trade unionists, and as the battle is not being waged simply for our men, but for the whole of trade unionists, we sincerely hope that our request will be acceded to, and await the favour of an immediate reply. Prompt action is what is required at this moment." In accordance with the recent decision of the Gaaworkers' and General Labourers' Union, writes a Labour correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, movements similar to those responsible for the strike of municipal workers at Leeds and Blackburn a.re to be ■undertaken in all towns where the wages of municipal employees fall below the standard aimed at by the Union. Wolverhampton and Nottingham a,re two of the towns marked down for immediate action, and other centres are expected to be affected later. The de- mand made is for an all-round increase of one halfpenny per hour in wages. It is also pro- posed to lau-nch in the near future a national movement in favour of an eight-hour day for gasworkers, but each district will be allowed to select the time and circumstances under which this campaign will be pressed. Practi- cally every important town in the United Kingdom is affected by this decision. Mr. J. Keir 'Hardie, M.P., speaking on Sunday night in Glasgow, said they were told that if they agreed upon a programme all t.he sections of the working-class move- ment would come inside. Political pro- grammes were the invention of the party politicians, and were a delusion and a snare. So far as fhe Socialist movement was con- cerned there could not in the very nature of things be anything like a political pro- gramme. Only Socialism would solve the social problem, and onlv an organised work- ing class could bring about Socialism. The Official result of the ball-ol; of the Weavers' Amalgamation on the subject of poli,tical action under the Trades Union Act of last year was announced on Saturday evening at Heywood, Lanes. Eighty-nine per cent. of the members have voted, and there is a majority in favour of political action of 22,265. The official figures were: For political action, 98.158; against, 75,893; neutral, 18,490; spoilt votes, 367. Increases in the pay of ships' captains and officers are announced by the Imperial Mer- chant Service Guild. The Guild also learns that increases will be made by other large steamship lines in the near future, which, when the details have been settled, will be made retrospective from New Year's Day. Among the new increases is a very substan- tial one in the pay of officers of the Cana- dian Pacific Railway Company's fleet sailing from London, Liverpool, Avonmouth, and Antwerp. For the class of vessel these officers will now be amongst the highest paid in the Atlantic service. A similar increase has also been granted officers serving on the steamers plying between Mediterranean ports and Canada. Subsistence allowance whilst the ships are in home ports has been granted. as well as an annual bonus, three weeks' holiday on full pay each year, and special allowance to Royal Naval Reserve officers whikt tierving in 'H.M. ships. The Elder Dempster Company has inaugu- rated a new pension scheme applying to all members of the staff at home and abroad, including captains, officers, and engineers. -Sir Alfred Jones's estate contributes £ 20,000, the annuity fund under his willi another £ 20,000, and the company E16,500. The Seamen and Firemen's Union has stopped the strike pay of it-s members still engaged in the Dublin strike. On Saturday, however, the Liberty Hall strike committee paid the men 5s., hali of their previous allowance from ,their union. Mr. J. Bancroft, secretary of the London. District Committee of the National Amalga- mated House and Ship Painters and Deco- rators, lues received a letter from the Office of Works stating that with reference to the deputation which attended that Office on November 19th last the Board have given instructions that all men employed in Lon- don on work which is commonly regarded as skilled painters' work shall be paid at 9!d. per hour. The strike of farriere or .horee-shoeina smiths in Manchester which had continued ,t,t, l ed. The for the past iwonth has been settled. The men have obtained an advance of 2s. a week in wages, and also a reduction of working hours. Considerable progress has been made with the proposal to build a London trades and labour hall as a centre for the workers of London, and at a meeting at the Co-opera- tive Hall, Little Newport-street, attended by delegates from trade P unions, the prospectus waa finally approved. The approximate cost £!O.{)}J, whi.]e the pmpo-s-ed site is at the corner of High Holborn and Drury-lane, or some alternative site in the neighbourhood. The president is Mr. Robert Applegarth and the chairman of committee Mr. John Stokes. Mr. Percy A. Young is the organising secre- tary. The scheme has the official support of the London Trades Council. The Insurance Commissioners announce that they desire to bring to the notice of em- ployers that contribution cards will in future be current for a period of twenty-six weeks except for the period commencing on Mon day, January 12th, 1914, for which the carda will have a currency of twenty-five weeks.

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