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OUR GR3-:AT:T NATIONAL KEED. THE DUTY OF THE WORKERS. By CAPTAIN D. D. S.heekan, Labour Candidate for Liinehouse. --e me of v.t. u t of sympathy with the wor-lccrs. For over a quarter of a century I have stoutly ad- vocated thoir claims for better treatment and an improved standard of living, I fought their battle, in the House of Com- mons and out of it. 1 am in sympathy with their desire for greater a happier home life, o.nd larger opportuni- tics for wholesome eiijf\vment. I have been giving thought to many of the grave problems that beset us at the moment, and I am convinced that un- less we all bend ourselves to the task of increasing, productiveness, in all branches if trade and industry, the grand pre- eminence of Britain in the markets of the world will be seriously endangered. We are told on high authority that it is the desire of the government to make this a land fit for heroes to live in. But with the best will in the world it is not in the. power of the present, or any other government, to achieve this glorious ideal unless it has behind it the earnest ,and whole-hearted co-operation of the produc- ing classes. WHAT WE OWE TO THE STATE. We must produce more, and must do it promptly, unless we are to fall in the world race for priority of position. All that we fought for in the war will be lost anless this truth is grasped by the workers of every rank and grade. In these grave times, when the future of the nation is in process of fashioning, we all of us owe this supreme duty to the State—to give of our best. We beat the Germans, but we have not yet won the victory for peace and pro- gress, nor shall we win it until we put our backs into the vital labour of nation- building once again. It is not sufficiently realised that we have pnsed through five years of purely destructive effort; that we were pulling down the pilla rs of our prosperity during all this period that many of our industries were suspended, and that most of them received severe checks. The question the industrial classes have got to ponder seriously is th s Are they going to allow the forces of destruction to remain operative? And thev must never forget that they are directly associating themselves with the elements of destruction when, for one reason or another, they refuse to bend their backs to their labour. High prices are due to restricted trade. And if we have restricted trade, it is because we are not producing as we ought to-becatise we are not us ng our national energies to their utmost capacity. This is not a question of hours or of wages. The demands of labour in this Fespect, in so far as they are legitimate, are bound to settle themselves. What I want, however, to impress upon the individual worker is that he is not helping, but hin- dering, hjs cause when he slacks at his labour. He is not creating more, but less employment for his fellows. He is, moreover, acting dishonourably to the nation, and above all, he is dishonouring his own manhood. THE EFFECT OF SLACKENED EFFORTS. The man who undertakes to do certain work, and whiLt at it is careless and inditterent and halt-hearted, is wrongjing himself as well as others. He is conscious of his own back-sliding, and this feeling is not going to make him a better uian or a happier citizen. This is the personal and moral aspect of the matter. There is also the national aspect. When his. country was in danger from external enemies he patriotically rushed to defend her. There was no sacrifice he was not ready to make to render her shores inviolate. I served with the British worker in France and Flanders, and I had a great pride in his selflessness and his devotion to duty. He stood for Britain and her honour there. He has as surely got to stand for her honour, her prestige, and her position internationally and imperially now. The burden of making Britain great and pros- perous falls upon him. He must produce more and yet more of those world's goods upon which not alone his own comfort and happiness but that of his friends and neighbours depend. For every minute of his labour that is not well employed there is a wrong done to his country, to his neighbour, and to himself, which no amount of special pleading will excuse and no fallacies palliate. To increase production is our greatest national need, and the man who honestly stril-eis for this end will have deserved well of his country and his fellows.

Workman's Hall, Ton.I



The Political Front. !

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