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THE MINERS' POLICY.

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THE MINERS' POLICY. PRESIDENTS PROPOSAL. Position of Labour Ministers. BREEZY DEBATE; CRUCIAL POINT UNSETTLED. A special con ference of the delegates from the Miners' Federation of Great Britain who are attending the Labour party conference was held on Tuesday in the Grand Hotel, Bristol. Mr. Robert Smillie (Scotland), president, was in the chair, and there were about 100 delegates present. The primary purpose of the meeting was to deter- mine the policy of the miners on the on the different. resolutions which ap- pear on the agenda of the Labour party conference for decision. CENSURE OF LABOUR EXECUTIVE. The most important discussion of the day arose upon the resolution in the agenda to the following effect. This conference strongly protests against members of the Labour pa.rty accepting office in the Coalition Government without first consulting the rank and file. It will be seen that this resolution, if carried by the conference, amounts to a censure on the Labour party exe- cutive for having given official sanc- tion to the accepting of office by Mr Arthur Henderson, Mr William Brace, and Mr George Roberts in the Coali- tion Government. The President proposed that the Federation delegates should support the resolution by their votes. He spoke strongly against the Labour party executive having surrendered to the Labour members in Parliament by giving consent to members of the party taking office in a capitalist Government without having referred Mr Asquith's offer to the rank and file of the party for their decision. The issue was too large and its conse- quences too momentous, he said, for such a decision to be made without first consulting the members who formed the party throughout the coun- try. ¥ PROPOSAL REJECTED. The proposition of the president to support the resolution of protest against members of the party accepting office in the Government was the cause of a breezy debate. It was pointed out by various speakers that the executive of the Labour party were called upon to act in a national emergency when there was no time to call together a general conference, and in the national conditions which pre- vailed, the executive were fully justi- fied in agreeing to the party, through its three representatives, taking its share of responsibility for the Govern- ment of the country. It was also urged that the inclusion of Mr Arthur Henderson in the Cabinet, with Mr W. Brace and Mr George Roberts in the Ministry, had been of the greatest advantage to Labour in the many in- dustrial question which had since arisen. j It was obvious from the tone of the discussion that the majority of the oonferenco were opposed to the propos- 0.1 of the president, and, instead of con- demniing the acceptance of office by the three Labour Ministers, were prepared to approve the action of the party executive. This was confirmed on a vote of the conference, 75 votes being given against the proposed vote of protest against members of the Lab- our party accepting office in the Coali- tion Government without first con- sulting the rank and file, while only 25 voted for the president's proposition to support it. CRUCIAL POINT UNSETTLED. ) The delegates restricted their dis- cussions and decisions to questions actually appearing on the agenda, so that the crucial question of how the miners will vote as to whether the three Labour Ministers shall retain their seats in the Ministry or not re- mained unsettled, except in so far as it is affected by the three to one vote approving of Labour accepting Mr Asquith's offer to take its share of responsibility in a Coalition Ministry. Later in the session Mr T. Richards, MP., secretary of the South Wales Miners' Federation, the executive of which organisation has taken up a strong attitude in opposition to Lab- our continuing with the Ministry, pointed ":1" that i-ho decision of the conferetje only appix>ve<J of the accept ing of office under he then existing conditions, and: the position had been cntit- ly Æ--han ¡z;(l by the introduction and passjr.g a Cor ipulsory Military Service Bill. No further action, how- ever, on the questio of the Federa- lieiw uVciAudfc ?ward?. th? throe Lab- our Ministers' position in the Govern- I ment was taken by the conference. EXECUTIVE DIVIDED. I The executive of the Labour Party had a protracted meeting to consider their recommendation to the confer- ence as to the position of the three Labour Ministers. I understand (says our correspondent) that the executive will not make any direct recommen- dation, but leave it to the conference to decide what action shall be taken. "We are too much divided in opinion" said a member of the committee on Tuesday night, "to be in a position to give any definite lead to the confor- -enoe.

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