Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

16 articles on this Page


Across the Begwyns. I

IRadnorshire Police.-1

War and Politics. I


War and Politics. I A very grave situation and a very painful im- pression were created by the strike declaration in the South Wales coal area. As the delegates' conference which decided on the strike refused to allow the decision to be put to the ballot, there were grounds for the belief that the strike was not approved by the majority of the miners, but that they had thought themselves obliged to fall in with the working of a machine manipulated by a group of extremists which did not repre- sent their views. A series of conferences be- tween Mr Lloyd George, Mr Runciman and Mr Henderson, acting for the Government, and re- presentatives of coal-owners and miners, result- ed in the production of a new agreement, which was submitted to the miners' delegates at Car- diff on Wednesday week. The new terms are to be binding until six months after the conclusion of peace, and terminable thereafter by three months' notice on either side. The terms negotiated by Mr Lloyd George and his colleagues concede the men's demand that the 1879 standard wage should be replaced by a new standard rate 50 per cent. higher. Surface-men are to receive a 10 per cent. minimum advance on new standard surface-men rates. Only members of the federation will obtain the benefit of the concessions, non-unionists being excluded from it. Questions of interpretation which may arise are to be referred to the President of the Board of Trade, whose decision will be final. -r -r "'T" -J"" Another aspect of the problems connected with our national coal supply was before the House of Commons last week. The principal order of the day was Mr Runciman's Prices Limitation Bill. After the President of the Board of Trade had delivered his speech explanatory of the mea- sure, he had to ask the House to excuse his fur- ther attendance, as in company with Mr Lloyd George and Mr Arthur Henderson (who combines a supervision of labour questions with the duties of President of the Board of Education) he was about to proceed to South Wales for negotiations towards the settlement of the strike. The Bill fixes a maximum price (4/- per ton above the current price for corresponding periods before the war) at the pit-head for all home-consumed (not merely household) coal. A voluntary agree- ment has been carried out with the London coal- merchants to limit prices charged to the house- holder. Mr Runciman proposes, with the con- currence of the coal-merchants, to publish for London a list of maximum prices, as was done with the prices of provisions last autumn and winter. Local authorities all over the kingdom are to be asked to take similar steps after consul- tation with the coal-merchants in their own areas. The Bill, Mr Runciman explained, will not exempt excess profits on coal from taxation, and he would be much surprised if the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not fod. t necessary to tax excess profits pretty heavily. In the first half-year of 1914. Mr Runciman pointed out, the production of coal in this coun- try amounted to 142,000,000 tons. For the cor- responding six months this year the production only amounted to 127,500,000 tone-a. falling-off of 140t million tons. War bonus to the miners represents an addition to working costs of 1/- per ton. The total increase of cost of production, since the war, is over 3/- per ton. One-fifth of all the persons employed in mines—one-fourth of those of military age—have enlisted in the Army. It is highly creditable to the men who remain in the pits that the average output per man has in- creased since the war. It was evident, Mr Run- ciman said, that if no check was placed on pit- head prices now, coal might be forced up to an enormous price in the winter. Sir Joseph Wal- ton, speaking for the coal-owners, moved the re- jection of the Bill, on the ground that it penal- ised one industry alone, and, also, that it did not deal with existing contracts. But the motion for rejection was not pressed to a division. On Tuesday of last week the Prime Minister asked for, and received, a further Vote of Credit amounting to 150 millions. This brings the to- tal amount of Votes of Credit up to 1,012 mil- lions, and the amount voted in the current financial year up to 650 mil- lions. It was estimated that the additional pro- vision will last until September 21st on an ex- penditure basis of three millions a day. (Parlia- ment will adjourn this week to the middle of September.) But, Mr Asquith said there were further contingencies to be provided for. On pre- moratorium bills the Bank of England may want "a great many more millions." But the House was most impressed by the Prime Minis- ter's reference to the possibility that one of the contingencies to be considered is the "adhesion to our cause of States which did not take part in the war at the earlier stages." Equally signifi- cant was Mr Asquith's announcement that the new Supplementary Vote would not be bound by the restriction previously laid upon advances by way of grant or loans, which must be confined to our Dominions and Protectorates and Allied Powers, or to local authorities and bodies un- dertaking relief work. The House was asked not to press for details, but the suggestion of "the adhesion to our cause of other States" was very clear. Economy in national administration bulked large in the debate on the Vote of Credit, as well as being the subject of a special discussion in the House of Lords. A strong Retrenchment Com- mittee has been appointed and the names of the members announced. The committee will not touch the War Office and Admiralty. Lord Lansdowne declared, in the House of Lords, that a general inquiry into the spending of these de- partments would paralyse their activity. But the principles of economy are being vigorously applied here too. Mr Asquith, who indignantly repelled the random suggestion that waste is proceeding in this war such as scandalised the public in the management of the South African war, stated that the Chancellor of the Exche- quer is himself overhauling the expenditure of the War Office and Admiralty. The War Office has sent out a special financial adviser, with staff, to help Sir John French, and Lord Kit- chener has issued a curcular to commanding of- ficers, calling attention to the extreme urgency of economy. At the Admiralty, Dr. Macnamara explained, the expenditure is scrutinised by the Accountant-General of the Navy and by the Con- troller and Auditor-General. A finance com- mittee meets weekly and receives full returns of the expenditure. Mr Lloyd George, in his reply to a deputation of women who asked that the services of women should be fully utilised in the national fiervic-e at the greatest crisis through which this country has ever passed, thanked the women for coming to show their readiness to do all in their power, and said that an effective organisation for such a war was not possible until the women were organis- ed as well as the men. In establishments en- gaged on war work Government control is im- perative, and Government control will make sweating impossible. Mr Lloyd George added :— "The women of this country can help, and help enormously. I believe they can help ua through to victory. Without them, victory will tarry, and victory which tarries means victory whose footprints are the footprints of blood.

Breconshire Delegates


I Teachers and Summer Schools.…

Rhayader Guardians.I

[No title]


I Waste at Camps.I

Brecknocks at Aden. I

I Comforts -for Welsh -Troops.


IDecrease In Vagrancy.