D.O.R.A. CHARGE AGAINST SOCIALISTS. PAGE 3.
TRIBUNALS AND ^BUSINESS MEN. I PAGE 2.
Renaissance." THE ACTUATING SPIRIT OF THE UNOFFICIAL REFORM COMMITTEE. AN ARTICLE INSPIRED BY THE HART- SHORN ATTACK. The events of the past three-and-a-half years, in so far as they effeet organised Labour, seem, to a large extent, to have the effect of making advocates of work ing-class emancipation view the prospects of Laoour in a, gloomy spirit. The restrictions of free speech, the imprisonment of outspoken labour champions, the treatment of 0.0. 's, the curtailment of trade-union activity, and, what is, perhaps, worse than the foregoing, the apparent apathy with which the bulk of the working-class seem to view the loss of the civil liberties (such as they were) which they possessed —these developments, at times, make one in- cline to the opinion that the near future pre- sents an aspect, as far as Labour is concerned, which ardent advocates of working-class eman- cipation' can only vieAV with despair in their hearts. INSPIRING INDICATIONS. But, gloomy as the future may appear in face of the foregoing developments, there are other developments also tukrng place which bid the workers be of good cheer i" although the pre- sent seems gloomy, the future is yours! The growing spirit of rebellion against the treatment meted out to the working-class (aB expressed by the attitude the A.S.E. and the miners have taken up from time to time), and which is directed against class rule in its entirety, and not, mer-ely for bettet not. merely for "better" treatment, is enough to gladden the heart of any working-class ad- vocate in these dark and gloomy days. But far more inspiring than even the growing spirit of rebellion is the growing tendency to break down the barriers of a constitutional- ism," which is fitted only for the maintenance of present-day conditions. The spirit of rebellion is welcome and inspiring as the expression of a real objection to present conditions. It indi- cates that, despite, all coercion, the spirit ani- mating the Labour movement will not be downed." But the growing movement towards the breaking down of present day constitu- tionalism," within our own ranks, does more than spasmodicalliv object to the present. It breaks open the gi'ound In arck-r to lay the foundation of the organisation of the near fu- ture. And here I refer, in particular, to the activities of the "Urofficial Reform Committee" of the S.W.M.F. The miners will do well, in my opinion, to place their confidence in thati gallant little body of men, not ov allowing them to usurp the place of the Federation E.C. mem-1 bers (a? Hartshorn seems to think they desire), but by assisting them to establish tlwir claim: that organised Labour requires but one "leader" j —the rank and file, expressing itself as a single unit. LEADERSHIP FROM BELOW. The day has gone when workers should wait for rusty "leaders to give a "lead." The day has come when the rank a.nd file should take the lead by developing its own initia- tive. This does not mean, however, that we do not require "advisors" and representatives." It means that, if we are to progress at all, we have to "choke off" the spirit which is com- mon in most leaders and which develops the dicta/tor and the autocrat. Too long has the E.C. council proceeded from an assumption which suggests that they regaaxl the Miners' Federation as an offspring of the E.C. (and one which needs keeping in its place). The business of the Miners' .Federation ought now to be to teach the E.C. that it is an offspring of the Miners' Federation—seeing to it that they are kept within reasonable bounds. The work advocated by the Unofficial Reform Committee is to break down tha,t form of con- stitutionalism which checks any progressive movement on the part of the rank and file and develops bossism on the part of the Labour leaders." Already this committee has evolved beyond the stage when it can be ignored. It has given the divine gang palpitations of the heart. Boss Harthorn warns us that the activities of the "unoBicials," if not checked, will cause a split in the organisation. So they will! But not in the sense that he implies. Dictatorship, autocracy, and "divine leader- ship "—which have become the ruling forces of the orga,migation-will be split in a thousand fragments. It will be "war to the death "— as Boss Hartshorn is reported to have said, at Maesteg—not, however, the death of the Un- official Reform Committee, but of the "labour leader." The "unomcials" can well afford to leave the leaders to blow alternately hot and cold because of their wtivi.ties--tliev represent the outward expression of the birth of a new spirit which is taking possession of the working- class. The revival has begun. A new phase of working-class organisation is soon to lieeotne ma,nife-st-t,he tendency cannot be checked de- finitely. History has a knack of unfolding itself despite all the efforts of reactionaries. When the productive forces have developed, giving place to a newer and higher form of organisa- tion, none but divine leaders and ninnies would lx* mad enough to think of attempting to prevent the organisation finding expression. It would make no difference if you called the pioneers of the new movement a set of nin- compoops, without the intelligence of torn-tits until you became black in the face, the move- ment would still assert itself. As well is it to stand on the shore screaming at the oncoming time and advocating policies to nip its movement in the bud "—but it stall continues to sound its mighty roars, to swell, and to come onward
I Merthyr Trades Council and C.O. IARRANGEMENTS FOR MAY-DAY IN HAND. At its meeting on Thursday night the Merthyr Trad es Council joined with the Pontardulais Trad es Council in a protest against the treat- ment meted out to Christopher Morgan, a 0.0. of Hendy, Pontardulais, who was first arrested in May, 1916.. and who started a prison life that lias been continuous except for breaks awaiting re-court-martial and commitment, in Cardiff. Gaol on June 22iid that year. The protest was contained in a resolution which read: "That in the opinion of this council Christopher Morgan, Hendy, Pontardulais. now serving his fourth sentence of imprisonment at Cardiff Gaol, and having spent nearly two years in prison for liis, loyal adherence to his completions as a C.O. should not be forced to suffer further imprison- ment. We petition the Home Secretary to grant his immediate release on the ground that lie has already suffered the full penalty of the law, and that it is extremely unjust and con- trary to the spirit of English law to ('ompd him. to serve three or fom- times for the same offence." The rest of the evening was spent in discus- sing the details of organisation for the May-Day Demonstration in Merthyr, and in arranging the time-tables for the processions, the events at Cyfarthfa Park, and the Eisteddfod at the v iii d i(-.ki.tl4)n ,o far Itink in the evening. Every indication so far points to the event being a. Red letter one —even in the calendar of Merthyr. Tickets covering the whole proceedings may 1)(, obtained from most of the trade union officials in the town and district, and from a.ny trades union branch or lodge in the Council's area.
Labour Ministers and Ireland I INTERVIEW WITH THE PREMIER. The Labour Membej-s of the Ministry, includ- ing Mr. G. Barm*, Mr. J. R. Clynes, Mr. J. Parker, and Mr. S. Walsh, had a conference on Monday evening with the Premier on the sub- ject of the Home Rule Bill and the attitude of the Laixnir Party thereon. The Party attitude is that a Bill on the lines laid down in the re- cent Convention Report, with safeguards for Ulster, should precede any attempt to apply Conscription to Ireland.
No Cause for Panic. JOHN SCURR'S FINE ADDRESS AT THE RINK. A mass meeting of the Dowlais miners on Sunday afternoon did something to lower the attendant- at the Rink on the occasion of the A-isit of Mr. John Scurr to Merthyr, but even with the heavy Dowlais contingents missing, tlie attendance was large, and the spirit of the meeting vpry fine indeed. Mr. John Williams occupied the chair, and in a brief opening state- ment fit, pointed out that at the present time everyone seemed to be panic-stricken, and ap- pealed to all members of the. I.L.P. to stand firm and steadfast, and not to be carried away by the Avave of irresponsibility tha t was sweep- ing the country at the moment. NO POLITICAL TRICKERY. Mr. Scurr declared that none of us could in any way feel elated at the position in which we. as a nation, found ourselves to-day. The I.L.P. not. disposed to take adAantage of the na- tional crises for the purpose of a political game, out if we were so disposed we might perhaps have looked on events as they were at the pre- sent moment with something of satisfaction, but inasmuch as the I.L.P. Avas not concerned with a mere political triumph for itself, was not merely concerned with playing the game of ins-and-outs," was not- concerned with playing at poli-tical strategy. we could not but feel, at tlie present moment, exceedingly sad at the position in which the nation was in. And the more so when in contemplating the doings on the Western Front one recognised quite clearly that if only those in authority in this nation had accepted the advice which we of the I.L.P. had tendered since the first day of the w-ar, the thou- sands of men who were being butchered to-day Avould have had their live> saved. Since six months after its outbreak the war had been con- ducted by those in authority over us not for the purpose of Freedom, but for the. purposes of Capitalist aggression, and the result was that to-day. instead of having accepted the oppor- tunities that were presented for making a peam that would have been honourable and, lasting, the nation was actually fighting a war of de- fence. THE MILITARY SITUATION, At the moment the military situation domi- nated everything, but there was absolutely no reason to rush into panic legislation and lose our heads. So far as the.Government in power was concerned, it had lost its head, and he oould say that those at the heia-t of politics in London, those who could see below the surface of things and interpret the true meanings of men's words when those words seemed to express something else, were absolutely unable to estimate the ob- ice, of the Government of the day in introdu- cing the present Man-Power Bill. There could be no doubt that from the military point of view the Man-Power Bill would not relieve the situation. The offensive going on on the Western Front would be over, so far as its effects were concerned, within the next month. It would be impossible to train the men whom m was pixnx)Fed to call up under the new mea- sure Avithin seven months. If it wns a military measure it could only mean tha.t the Govern- ment Avas determined on a prolongation of the war. We of the I. L. P. AArere therefore more than ever justified in putting the question which we had put in season and out of season, and which we should put until we received a satis- factory answer to What are we fight.ing for? (Cheers). THE MOMENT OPPORTUNE. The need for the adoption of the I.L.P. policy, and tlie acceptance of the I.L.P. criticism and method was more urgent than at any moment. since the outbreak of the war. (Cheers.) It wa.s reported that the Labour Party did not now desire to press forward the acceptance by the German working-class of the proposals con- tajned in the Labour Party lVar Aims Memo- randum. There seemed to be an idea obsessing the minds of the people that we should fold our arms and not endeavour to find if there was any way to negotiation. That was absolutely wrong and fatal. (Cheers.) When the German mili- tary caste appeare d to be triumphant was the best time to appeal to the German Democracy to see what German militarism meant to them. It was usel ess to appeal to a nation in time of defeat, for then we had a ebullition of that. na- tional 4"onsciousness which produced a deter- mination to stand together in what was thought to be the national interest and national weal. (Cheei-s.) He appealed to all trades unionists to use every endeavour to compel tlie Labour Party t £ > go forwaid with the policy which was agmxl to at the Inter-Allied Socialist Confer- ence in order that we might now get some de- claration from the German working-class as to the position which they were going to take up. (Cheers.) The alternative was a continuation of the present Government, a continuation of the regime of Lloyd George, and such a con- tinuation meant the extension of the mess and muddle in which we were at the present moment. Our ministry could neither make war nor peace. What then should be our position a* Socialists towards itP (Cheerfi.) Mr. Asquith had uttered weighty criticisms of the Man-Power Bill during the past week, but Mr. Asquith did not appear to ha-ve the courage to take over the responsibi- lities of office, therefore we had no time to waste over Mr. Auith. He Avas afraid that Mr. Henderson, with all due deference to him, was somewhat tarred with the same brush as Mr. Asquith. He knew that the Lalxvur Partv had only 38 members in the House, tha.t the Party Avas dii-i(led on some issues of the war. and that some of its members, to their eternal disgrace, thought a great deal more of office than they did of Laoour—(" Shame! "),-but despite all these things, he said that- if Mr. Henderson came forward and said I will accept th ese responsi- bilities, there would be a rally to him from all ports of the country, and from inside the House of Commons.
Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. STILL A MYSTERY. I Nobody ran say yet for what reason the Gov- ernment has passed the Man-Power Bill. The officiaJ ca.se for the Bill is. of course, that a.n ad- ditional supply of men is required to make up the losses of the last. few weeks. But the ex- cuse is not a good one. It is extremely douibt- ful whether conscription, will increase the avail- able supply of men from Ireland more than will compensate for the forces necessary to keep order in Ireland during the agitation which is sure to take place. In an eusp the act cannot be put into operation until an attempt lias been made to pa.ss the Home Rule Bill, and time must be allowed for training the conscripts. It, therefore, follows, that if the critical period of the war will lie, as the Prime Minister says, during the next few months. Irish conscripts will not be ready in time to take part in it. THE OVER-FORTY-ONE'S. AH for the men between the ages of forty-two and fifty-one, the Prime Minister himself esti- mates that not more that 7 per cent, of the nt« between the ages mentioned will be avail- able for the army this year. For the rest of the year this means thatlf-(H) men are ex- pected. But only the men called up during the next two months can be used on active service this year, when the training period us also taken into account. This reduces the Prime Minister's estimate to 20,000 for service this year from this particular souree. Of the men at present ex- empted by tribunals whose exemptions will be oaneelled under the Bill, Mr. Pringle, who went carefully into the figures durinir the deoate in the HQuse of Commons, estimate'! that consider- ing the number of Grade 3 men who are not to be called up, there will oiilv i-t-iiitiln some 30,000 available. This latter figure added to the first figure of 20,000 between t.he ages of forty-two .ancl fifty-one gives a total of 50.000. Having regard to the fad. that there are 9,000,000 yoMP« £ .aftdLiit men ir tJl::t t H Alli(, can araw h'om, in so far as ffhipB aire available to carry them, it is obvious that it is infinitely mare important to obtain man-power for ship- building than to conscript middle-a^ed men and medical rejects who cannot be expected to stand the ordeal of severe drilling, not to mention fighting. THE ONLY CONCESSION. The concession (?i a right of appeal from Lhf lo<?at tribunal to applicants for ex't'lllpwon I (which is the only concession worth mentioning allowed during the passage of the Man-Power Bill) will be of little value in actual practice. The Government has taken power to constitute all the tribunals of nominated j>er.sons and the }>ersonx likely to In:' nominated are not likely to oppose the wis lies of the military representa- tive.s. All special tribunals for dealing with classes of men slIeh as munition workers, miners, and tin minors, etc., are to he abolished and the nominated tribunals will deal with their appli- cations in future. The efleet of the Bill gener- ally will be that it will riiin many thousands of families without appreciably adding to the niili- | tary strength of the nation. To such frantic and reckless expedients has the repeated refusal to talk and think of peace brought the Govern- ment of this country. LABOUR AND INDUSTRIAL CONSCRIPTION An amendment to the Man-Power Bill which would have had the effect of preventing the measure being used to com^ie l men deemed to have been enlisted being compelled to work for an employer at-litq-wise, tilili under ordinary (--on- ditions was actually rejected by a vote of 2(1 against lift. The effect of the coalition in re- gard to the division referred to was that five labour members of the Government voted with the majority. Six Labour members voted in the minority. The rest abstained or were ab- sent at the time. AIR RAIDS AND OPEN TOWNS. For some time past there lias been a growing demand in Germany for an arrangement between the belligerent nations to exclude open towns from attacks by aircraft. The London press, regardless of the opinion of the London public, has from the first denounced the suggestion with great fury. The German people were at la?t. -so it is said, ?ettinn a ta?te of their own medicine and we refuse, now when we ajf g(,t-? ting the best of it. in the matter of air-raids, to come to any arrangement which would de- prive. us of our advantage. ? conrse, the writers of th?se inofndiary ?rtxJes in the yellow press know very well that G('nnn towns have been bombed by the air-craft of the Allies over since the early days of the Avar. Mr. Winston Churchill, over a year ago. mentioned a 1111111- ber of German towns which were ooinbed ;n Nov ember. 1914. » Tite Bavarian Second Chamber has recently backed the proposal for excluding open towns from attacks by air-craft. Still the miserable creatures who are driving the nations of iMirope to their mutual destruction by this devilish competition see no hope in this proposal. They forget that there is always the possibility of tho tabu's l>eing turned and some new development say, for instance, a new and deadly gas capable of diffsuing itself over a wid", nren-muy unexpectedly give the advantage to the other side. If it is true as was stated some time ago -kho-t an arrangement' to put an end to this mad business has been suggested and met with no encouragement from our silio bbe-n whoever is responsible for the failure to take advantage of the opportunity is lacking in imalgina tion and -sense if not in human sympathy. BRITISH PRESTIGE. I In a i-ecent issue of the Times" special at- tention is called to a letter in its oolumne pro- testing against the restoration of the German African colonies to Germany for reasons which are most interesting, although they cannot be said to support the writer's conclusions. The writer of the article is specially recommended by the Times as one who has personal know- ledge of war conditions in West and East Africa. He argues that if the colonies are given back British prestige will suffer among the natives, and, as beaTing upon thp importance of pres- tige in dealing with natives he comments as follows: Our consis-teiit and unh erxa.1 teaching has been that it was sinful to fight. Any trans- gression of this law by the native has been al- most invariably followed by punitive measures on our part. Casting this teaching to the winds, and without any reason apparent to him, we have suddenly called upon the native not. only to kill his fellow native, but to kill the white man. It wa^, indeed, with consider- able difficulty at the feginni&g of the war in African that the Askari (nat ve soldier) could be induced to fire ipon the vhite." KILLING BY COLOUR. I .Fortunately for the smalt -noritv of white settlers among large native papulations the teaching of the white man ha-, been accepted literally. This is quite clearly shown by an in- cident given by the Times correspondent from his personal c-xl)i,i-ien(v. He relates that in Cameron— A native patrol, meeting a hots-tile patrol under a German officer, sent back for white man to come shoot white man while black man shoott black man.' This sudden, and, to the native, reasonable reversion from our teach- ing has without question weakened the white man's prestige, while at the same time the native has gilizied-anfl justifiably so—the knowledge of his own indispensibility to us and of Irs prowess ge.'v;y n soldier. On the latter point I could mention eases where black men standing steadfast have seen white men turn and run. THE MORAL. I The writer draws the conclusion from all this that it must be made clear to the natives that the British have conquered; then the loss of prestige we have suffered through the. contradic- tion between wliat we have preached and what we have practised, he argues, will be recoA'ered. What is more, aw shall be able to recruit the natixvs for lighting puri>ose« more freely than before and gather the natives to our side. Such a blending of practice and precept is truly a Avonderful thing! LLOYD GEORGE'S COMIC TALK. I Incidentally, the "Times" correspondent has something to say respecting Mir. Lloyd George's fraudulent pretence that native opinion will be consulted a-s to whether they will be ruled by Germany or by Great Britain. This is what he says on that Poiut The native, if he were capable of voting or of realising the meaning of a vote, would, of course, plump for the neai-est. white man, or the tep-dog,' wliichever way you like to put it. Were Briton or German to appear on apparently equal tet-nis before a village or triTrnl Chief, the Chief's vote would quite naturally be given to the better-dressed or better armed of the two. And how, one is tempted to ask, would the vote of the wan- dering Somali tribe in British East Africa or the BuSlhme-n in the Cameron be obtained ? The idea, were it to be taken seriouslv Avould be connc. LIBERIAN BOMBARDMENT. I It is not only the case tliat the black races are being employed as soldiers in this war bv white men who have previously taught them that it is wicked and wrong to kill, but in every possible way the black and yellow races are being involved in the white man's war in so far as one side or the other may gain advantage thereby. There is the ease, for instance, of the "Negro Republic of Liberia. The capital of this republic, Monrovia, was recently shelled by a U-bcat. and in the British press a few days after- Avard s there appeared an account of the occur- icnce htvvded Ri-iit:tl attack on a defenceless Negro Republic." The pi-ess account referred to. however, failed to report certain facts which relate t.o the pojtion of the Liberian Republic which should not be overlooked by anyone who desires to form an unprejudievd opinion on the affair of the bombardment. CAMOUFLAGE. I The Lilx'rian Republic, situated on the West Ooast, of Africa, had no. conceivable cause of quarrel with Germany. It had a bigger trade with GllTIntnY than it had with either Britain or France. The Libeiians had not only borroAved money freely from Germany, but they also de- rived much revenue from customs dues levied on German goods. After the war had been in pro- gress soine time Liberia- was induced by the Al- lies to break off i-elotions witli Germany and de- clare Avar. This act was contrary to Lifyerian interests and purely in the interests of Britain and France. The rupture wa., followed by the seizure of all the German trading factories and of the merchandise they contained, and, it has been alleged in the German press that German meiyhants resident in the country, were A-erv harshly treated. The German bombardment of Monrovia is but the natural outcome of the Laberian declaration of war. To describe it as a u brutal act is mere camouflage. H The real (Continued at foot of nert column).
Bertrand Russell's Appeal I HEARING POSTPONED. The appeal of Mr. Bertrand Russell against the sentence of six months' imprisonment in the second division passed upon him at Bpw Street, London, as the atifthor of an article in the ''Tri- bunal" which contravened D.O.R.A., was post- poned at the London Sessions on Thursday.
brutality has consisted in the action of in- ducing the unfortunate native African commu- nity into the world war, and it has oeen aggra- vated by the failure to take any steps to defend the Liberian Republic against the. inevitable re- sult. I A QUESTION OF INTERPRETATION. In Hartshorn's Maesteg speech W~e(w>rt) one sentence stood out beyond the rest. (The rest was nothing but the silly ravings of a J.ack-in- office.) It was this The only coal- field in Great Britain wh ose KCt. had come back to consult its members on this comb-out question was South Wales, and it was only in South Wales that there was an unofficial Reform Committee." I interpret this to mean, rightly or wrongly (from his point of view), "The South Wales E.C. acts more democratically than the E.C. of any other coalfield in Great Britain. And yet with all our kindness and regard for the rank-and-file, you are still the most unruly. But your disobedience must and shall be stopped. All your efforts a.t independent action must be done to death.' You have 'leaders,* and those leaders must be obeyed without ques- tion." But the sentence quoted--has a deeper significance than that .which Hartshorn seems to regard it with. I submit that the South Wales E.C. eaire back to the rank-and-file for the very reason that they have been forced to re- cognise the birth of a new spirit in the South Wales coalfield, which has found expression in the activities of the linoffieial Reform Com- mittee THE COMING STRUGGLE. There is every indication of a bitter struggle in the ranks of the South Wales Miners' Federa- tion in the very near future. But it is not a struggle for or ag-ainst down tools," or any other question of a similar character. It is a struggle between autocratic domination and de- mocratic administration within the ranks of or- ganised labour. The leader stands for out- grown methods—remnants of the past. The Unofficial stands for new methods w here dic- tatorship shall be abolished—the hope of the future. It is, in other words, back to the past" veivus "on to tlic, fujt.ui-e"-a,-nd the future—the to be "—is asserting itself. The new movement, at present headed by the unintelligent torn-tits." has much larger pros- pects liefore it than the mere manufacturing of "intelligent," practical," "Labour leaders." That phase is passing. The work of the present is to break down the harriers of present-day constitutionalism which" leaders have erected between themselves and the rank-and-ifle. The Avork of the near future-which is fast trans- forming itself into present "—is to break down the whole system under which wage-slaves groan and sweat. If any words of mine would encour- age the Unofficials" I vwidd say to them: Cro ahead I You will meet with a storm of abuse from a conservative gang of "leaders." But soon the rank and file will peq-ex-ive that efforts do not tend in the direction which Feder- ation bosses allege. You are achieving big things although you may not see immedia-te re- sults. You are about to write a page in the history of the S.W.M.F.. and through the La- bour Movement at large. Write it plain, in bright, red ink! The future life of the new movement is assured. The future, and life, are in the keeping of the rank-and-file. The past, and death, are in the keeping of the "Labour leaders.