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News About the Dockyard.

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News About the Dockyard. Work for the Next Year. There was a large gathering at the Temper- ance Hall, Pembroke Dock, on Thursday even- ing, when Mr. Owen Philipps, M.P., appeared to address his constituents. The chair was taken by Ald. Angus McColl, who was support- •ed by the member, and also Col. Ivor Philipps, M.P., the Rev. T. Williams, Messrs. W. Grieve, J. Grieve, J. Lawrence, W. C. Ivemy, T. Davies, F. W. Menriman, J. Morgan, W. Phillips, H. W. Lewis, W. Smith, W. Evans, S. J. Allen, W. R. Robinson, G. M. Voyle (Neyland), J. Rowlands, C. Young, A. J. Adams, T. Barnikel, the Rev. R. Bond Thomas, etc. The chairman in his opening address said that it was twelve months since they sent :their worthy member to Parliament, and dur- ing that time he could assure them that he had done excellent work for the workmen and others of Pembroke Dock. As a member of tl e Discharges Committee he knew how they had worried their member, week after week, dur- ing the summer, and they knew the result. He had spared no time or expense in their in- terests, for in London he had been continually to and from the Admiralty. Being a busy man it must have been a great tie to him, to dJo all this, as well as his .duty in Parliament, and his business. They knew what had happened as a result. They had had some of the best rises of pay he had known in his time in the service. He had1 been, thecre in Pembroke Dock for over 43 years, and he had been in Chat- ham also, but he had never known of such a rise as this. He believed that every man in the dockyard had had something added to his pay. That had never happened before. This rise in pay had come not in parts, and it had come from a Liberal Admiralty, which had done the best they possibly could. He sup- posed that they would never be satisfied, but would always want something else by and by. However, they must admit that they had had some good done by the Liberal Government. (Applause) Mr. Owen Philipps, M.P., then rose, and met with a hearty reception.He said that twelve months ago they had a great Liberal victory in the Pembroke Boroughs. (Hear, hear). He promised when he came before- them as a can- didate that at the end of each session he would give the electors in the barough.9 an account of his stewardship, and give them an appor- tunity of criticising his work, and questioning him about any vote which he had given during the past session, so that they might know the why and wherefores, and express, if they felt inclined, disagreement with any vote he had given. It was because of that promise that he had come there that evening to give them an account of his stewardship. Pembroke Dock was essentially a dockyard town. Let them look at what their position was twelve or eight- een months ago. They had then had a number of discharges, and there were rumours that the Dockyard was about to be reduced cmpari tively to a small number of men. And as they knew there was seldom smoke without some fre. Since then they had had not only a great Liberal Victory in Pembroke Boroughs, but a great Liberal Victory throughout the country, and a Liberal Government was returned to power. He promised them when he was their candidate, that he would take the first oppor- tunity of laying the case of the Welsh National Dockyard before the members of the House of Commons at Westminster if they returned him. They did reurn him, and he had availed himself of laying their case before his brother members. He told them what those present knew that they in Pembroke Dockyard had built as fine ships for the British Government as had ever been built in any dockyard, public or private. He slso told them that not oc.S' had they built as fine or finer ..hips than any dockyard, but what they had done in the past they would do in the future, and on as good terms as any dockyard in the country (hear, hear). He believed that they as Welshmen only wanted a fair field and no favour, and they were prepared to be judged on their merits. That was the present position. It was true that they had not yet got a big ship to build in Pembroke Dockyard, but they had got a very considerable advance of pay, for over 1,300 men had received Is or upwards added to there week's wages (applause). Since twelve months ago, too, the Admiralty had renewed the old practice of going round the Dockyards to hear grievances, and although all grievances had not yet been remedied, a very large num- ber had been remedied in the last twelve mouth- The go\<rnment had gone a t'tep further than any previous government in its dealing with government employees, and had accepted the principle of TPade Union rates of wages paid for similar work in the dis- trict. He knew that in Pembroke Dockyard there would always be some difficulty in ap- plying the clause of Trade-Union wages for similar work in the district, because, as they were the only dockyard in that part of the country, it was more difficult to arrive at ex- actly what should be paid under the arrange- ment. But it was an enormous step in advance for the Dockyard men to have got the Govern- ment of the country to admit that, Trlie Union wages were to rule the Tatt-s of dockyard men- .'applause). Now during the past twelve months there had been no fresh dis- charge i iti th town. Work had boen fou-i I for all. Pembroke Dock had got-he new it was not a big ship-but they had this mother ship to build, and during the financial year beginning on ) pril 5th next, work would be found for everyone in the dockyard. (Ap- plause ) He was not going to give them an official message, but he did tell them that there was no feair of further dischargee, and that the rumours that may have been circu do- ed about further discharges were groundless, as work was.being provided for all. He was told that they in Pembroke Dock, and not only in Pembroke Dock, but the whole of South Wales were affected by the prosperity of Pembiok* Dockyard. He was also told thai when work was in hand to keep them employed they ought to be satisfied. Well, he was not -.ati.sfied-(hea-r, hear)-and he should uev-r be satisfied till they were able to get a big ship to be built again in Pembroke Dockyard-Ap- plause). They would accept mother-slhips, either one otr more of them, and be thankful for them, but they would not be satisfied with them. They felt that with a very small exten- sion the slips in that dockyard could at a trifling cost be made as suitable as any otheT slips in G:eat Britain for building Dread noughts or improved Dreadnoughts. They knew from the way they built the last big ■ship, and from the testimonial they received fron' the Admiralty, that Pembroke Dockyard would compete fairly with any Government Dockyard in building big ships. As long as he represented them in Parliament he would never rest satisfied until they had a big ship for Pembroke Dockyard. (Applause.) There was another question which he had not for- gotten. He had not forgotten the necessity of having a big graving dock en the west coast of the country, and of having it where it would be most useful to the British Navy, and that was at Pembroke Dock. He had urged the desirability of at once proceeding with the making of a big graving dock in Par- liament, and he had urged it privately with the officials. He should continue to do so, as he felt that it was very important for the future welfare not only of the men employed in Pembroke Dockyard but for the British navy that, this graving dock should be built there as soon as possible. Referring to Parlia- ment, the speaker said thai the last session had been essentially a labour session. He remembered when he was addressing meetings ■mmm ii'MiimiMHim'iH ? mi mm — ■ 1 throughout the constituency th'3 enormous in- terest that was taken at n* y every meeting In the Taff Vale decision being reversed. The Government had passed the Trades Disputes Bill into an account of Parliament, which re- versed once and for all in clear and unambigu- ous words the Taff Vale. decision, and more than that, secured freedom for Trades Union Funds even better than before, as well as al- lowing peaceful picketing. Whilst this bill was being dscussecL in Parliament he heard more weak argument, to put it midly, from the Conservative benches against the enormity of allowing peaceful picketing, than ever he heard before. But they passed the Bill through the House of Commons, and when it came up for the third reading the leader of the Opposi- tion practically gave it his blessing, and told his (friends in the House of Lords not to in- terfere with it. He thought he must have been having one eye on some future election, when doubtless, he and his friends would come be- fore them, and teljl them that the bill had gone through unopposed. But every step of the measure up to the third reading had been bitterly opposed by their Conservative friends. The other great bill to which they devoted much time in the past session was the- workmen's compensation act. (Applause,. This act was an enormous improvement on the previous acts. It for the first time re- ducod the time under which a man could re- ceive compensation for an injury from a fort- night to one week. It also added this. If a man was incapacitated for more than a fort- night in the future, he would receive com- pensation from the date of the accident. It had also provided for compensation for young men receiving less than z21 a week. In the old act a young man receiving less than el a week came badly off for compensation. This new act specially provided for the protection of these young fellows. It also included for the first time certain diseases as accidents. This was a very groat departure' in labour legislation. It was one of which he very warm- ly approved. If a man from the nature of his employment got some awful complaint which he would not get unless employed in that particular trade, then that illness became an accident just tihe same as if he had lost an .arm or a leg. (Applause). Now besides what he had mentioned tot them, the act for the first time included six million workers in its effects, who wete) not included under the other two acts. (Applause). The first act had included six millions of workers, the second had included another million, and the present act included thirteen millions of workers. Al- though it had not yet been made universal it was getting new to it, and might be extended on future occasions. These were the two great measures which directly affected the working men. There were other acts passed which in- directly affected them. A bill which was bit- terly opposed but which was successfully car- ried through the House of Commons was the Plural Voting Bill. They would remember that at a good many elections Liberal candi- dates had always s-poken strongly in favour of one man one vote. He himself thought it was the man himself who should have the vote, not the house he lived in. That was the basis of the Plural Voting Bill. A man could only live in one) place, and therefore he should only have one vote. That seemed a self-evi- dent proposition. It was bitterly opposed, but he could understand that. He believed it was Mr. F. E. Smith, who calculated that at the last election some 400,000 plural votes were givon. Of the plural voters about three out of four were Conservatives taking the figures given as correct. For the last two or three- elections the Conservatives had the support of ;ome 200,000 plural voters. The Conservative party throughout Great Britain had in 1895 a majority in votes of 104,000, and in 1900 they had a majority of 123,000. Now did they begin to understand why their Tory friends did not much like the Plural Voting Bill. Well it went to the House of Lcrds and they knew what happened. They also spent a good many days and a good many nights over the Education Bill (Applause). This bill that was passed through the House of Commons by an over- whelming majority, was said by some not to be a perfect bill. It may not have been; very few bills were. But it carried out two prin- ciples which he understood they wanted him to supports These were that where public money was spent there should be popular con- trol, and that there should be no religious test", for teachers. (Applause). That bill also went to the House of Lords. The Bishops did not like it and the House of Lords altered it. When it came back to the Commons, there was very little of the original left. The result was that the bill fell through. Proceeding, the hon. member said that as a Churchman he was very much afraid the Church of England had made a mistake on this matter. They had a chance to make a bargain with- the Govern- ment last session which he honestly believed they would never have again. (Applause). In conclusion the member spoke of the conduct of the House of Lords and asked were they to continue to block the way to reform. (No, no). Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman had said The resources of the House of Commons are not exhausted, and I say with conviction that a way must be found, and a way will be found by which the will of the people expressed through their elected representatives in the House of Commons will be made to prevail." He believed that he should have the people of. the Pembroke Boroughs behind him, when he voted for the carrying out of the will of the country, and that this will as expressed by their representatives should prevail. (Ap- plause). The audience were then invited to ask any questions of the member, but none were forth- coming and the chairman called upon Col. Ivor Philipps, the member for Southampton. Col. Philipps then moved: "This meeting de- clares with pleasure its greatest satisfaction at the conduct of H.M. Government in the last Session of Parliament and its warm approval of the legislation promoted by it, and hereby expresses the hope that H.M. Ministers will continue to frame and carry into effect' mea- sures fitted to enhance the progress and hap- piness of the entire community and to Te- moire all disabilities and irregularities; and especially the Government is urged to take steps to prevent the House of Lords from thwarting the enactment of measures demand- ed by the clearly expressed will of the nation through its representatives in the House of Commons." Referring to the question of Tariff Reform, the gallant Col. said that the question had been settled once and for all and was practically dead, though now and again they saw just a flicker. Unemployment was less than it had been and they hoped it would grow still less. It depended chiefly upon good Government and peace. He was a soldier, but he did not want war, and he did not think they would hear many soldiers advocating war who knew what war was. It was the last war that had affected their prosperity and made so much unemployment Dealing with South Africa, the sepaker said that the Government had done their best to settle the question of Chinese labour, and they had also given the Transvaal a Government, which they hoped would work well for both Britons and Boers. He next referred to the extension of the work- men's compensation act to domestic servants and said that some even and on their own side were opposed to this. He asked why should not the Act be extended to them? Were they not workers? They had no trades unions and no representatives in Parliament, and yet perhaps they were the largest body of workers in the country. He said that he also hoped that the time would soon come when they had State Insurance. Dealing with the ques- tion of the House of Lords he s-aid that some people said that to abolish it would be to de- stroy he British constitution. The House of Lords must bow to the British constitution. The King in his wisdom bowed to the will of the people, the House of Lords and their follow- ing trampled upon it. There must be a limit Already their powers had been curtailed in

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News About the Dockyard.

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