Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

10 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Recollections and Inspirations___I


Recollections and Inspirations I FROM OUR EASTER CONFERENCE I BY THE PONTYPRIDD DELEGATE. I [The writer of the subjoined interesting im- pressions of our Leicester Conference is an old hand" in the I.L.P. He it was, who, with a small handful of friends, founded the Party in Merthyr. His professional duties have since re- moved him to a distance, but whoever remem- 9 bers the pioneering in Merthyr, the enthusiasm .and .self-sacrifice that were then demanded from bearers of the Red Flag, will not fail to discern in the style and language of the Pontypridd de- legate a personality which 20 years ago played a great part in the Democratic renaissance of the Merthyr Boroughs.—13d.} As one whose memory can go back to the origin of the I.L.P., and one who has attended the Annual Conferem-es from time to timp during the past fifteen years, I can safely say that the Leicester gathering touches high-water mark as regards attendance, and the strength of the movement represented, and especially so as re- gards the intelligence and grip of affairs dis- -Lt h er les, plaved by the delegates. There was rather loss of high-falutin and no approach to irresponsible imibilism-but just that, clear grasp of the inwardness of things and events in relation to the affairs of the time which has always made the I.L.P. the most reasonable and practical of British Socialist, organisations. But for the vile misrepresentation and vilification of the move- ment by the rept,ile, the I.L.P. would be three times its present strength and that w.ill soon come to pans when we have a real Labour- Socialist daily newspaper—which I never found the" Oitizen to be. owing to the fact that its staff was non-Socialist. But in the meantime, there is more solid strength in the I.L.P. as it now stands, and it. is better for the movement, than a more huge, but more flabby, mass1 of nondescript and unreliable members, with small gra.sp of fundamental principles— which is the kind of thing that I take to be the real weak- ness of the general Labour Party. THE CONFERENCE. The De Montfort Hall at Leicester has a. huge .as well as a, handsome interior, and yet the del e- gates, sitting at well-arranged and ^losely-placed tables, pretty well tilled the floor of the build- mg. As a body of men and women, almost wholly of the working-class, they were a credit to themselves and to the political life of the -country—alert, yet eommendably self-restrained, and both qualities come of practical knowledge and experience of public problems and an under- standing of the real tendency in current affairs. .Fittingly, I thought. aA one who had something to do with the early days of the im>vement in Wales, the Welsh delegates were allotted the front row of tables, and I was delighted, to mee quite a number of old stalwarts, witit AN-itolit 1 was associated in the pioneering days of twenty vears ago. There is something deeply affecting. .as well as effective for power, when a movement begins to collect memories, and k wa.s most '•harming and gratifying to find these worthy jI moneers just the same in spnit, rjuietl\ earnest and enthusiastic, as when we tramped the hills to the outlying villager in those more youthful days. OUR INFLUENCE. I Pontypridd has good reason to be satisfied that it was represented at such a. Conference, and that it took a parr, this yead- in the rising tide ,}Î progress in the movement which this gathei- ing of the elans so clearly marked. They can r< £ t assured tluit they are an integral part or a movement which forms the very mainspring oi British political life and thought, influencing iill other parties from year to year, unconsciously to the latter, perhaps,, and with small kudos to the I.L.P.; but. nevertheless, most assuredly giving a lead and impetus which can be discerned by those who have followed events from wit.hin the ranks for nearly a score of years. For III- stance, what. little support we had, especially from the Churches, when we began the housing -reform. The Churches which vilfiied us, and some of which drew revenues from slum pro- perty, now delicately support housing reform as .a general principle, but. still rarely, if ever, take to condemn 3.oy specific cases in then own locality. In that ivork. and many kindred matters of immediate concern, the I.L.P. is still the pioneer. ARRIVING." n But to tJhe, Conference. Tbtl lull (lotalls u-C .admirably reported in the "Pionepr" and the Labour I/eader. Of Sunday's meetings, my impressions are of pride and exultant thrills that we are arriving, despite the Jingo Lies, and we shall be all the more proud and strong after- wards for what we are now going through. On Sundav morning, as I went forth to meet the •procession, I was soinehat fearsome, owing to T.he dir?t appeal of Io<al Press for interfer- ence by t? Jingo roughs and I do wonder w h> the "I.eiœsÍRT rail" has not. ?en prosecuted for its direct a.nd wanton incitement t? Yl01encf', so clear and vicious was it in its m?an and on appeal. But all was peaceful and unanimous. The sight of the I.L.P. Sunday School m the procession was especially gratifying, singing so sweetly our inspiring "Red F\a,g," and in this work amongst the young, the I.L. P. has a. grea t responsibility, which I fear is much neglected. There is a.n inunon?. possi?Hity for power anci ?oo<L for pure ethical teaching and clear econo- t4ea(-Iiiligan(i (.,Ieat- (,(,C)IlO- MACDONALD. -1 ?. n The "Teat meeting at the hill hall on Nunuay mornin" was a refreshing surprise. Nothing r-oufd have been finer, more inspiring khan that immense, orderlv, oajfBr who listened intently, applauded readily, and cheered vigor- <mslv. With what deep significance did I now t.he wav in which the vast audience rose to their t'eet in honour of Ramsay Maxdonald, and the prolonged that -iiind(,d who-ii hp oo speak-a sufficient answer to the miserable •urs who vilify his imble name. And how nobly did the brave- man rise to the occasion m his speech, with that deep, rich voice, which speaks vrf intense feeling a.nd earnestness. His opening -simile of the war with the Titanic contests of the gods ot old was most, finely put. The quipt natu7» of the morning meeting, so far as absence of opposition was concerned, was more reassuring for the evening demonstration, when an even creator audience assembled, and amongst, them were hundreds of I.L.P.ere who had travelled many miles to attend. I met three young fol- lows in a coffee-house at tea-time who had come from near Nottingham purposely for this meet- ing, and doubtless they were typical of many others—as they were also typical of the splendid spirit which always characterises the I.L.P. THE ENVIRONMENT. I would like to put in here a word aliout the situation of the hall, and reflections it brought to my mind. It, is in the best part of Leicester, that is the residential part, and adjoins the Victoria Park. Why is it that we take for granted that the capitalists, with their hangers- on, always manage to get their houses placed in the beet part-s-,open and healthy, with ample breathing space for pretty gardens, trees, and the singing of birds-all of which I noticed in the surroundings of the IX4 Montfort Hall on this bright spring morning. The previous after- noon, in my tour of the town in search of anti- quarian spots and buildings-which were indeed most interesting as illustrations of our island story and struggles in the past—I had to tra- verse miles of trim but narrow and monotonous streets, with painfully dull and small houses set amidst depressing environment, with nothing brighter than the pub and the pettvfogging little shops that do so stupidly typify our individual- ism, and I could not fail to marvel at the pa- tient herds that simply made these slated pill- boxes their nightly kennels, while throughout the day. wook in and week out,, they were in economic chains in the no less dull and degrading factories, making the money for the select few residing on that pleasant upland topped by the De Montfort Hall. No wonder the very name seemed a mockery to me. But I see these fea- tures in every industrial town-the v are the essence and basis of our commercial system, the system our country actually prides itself on, and the outcome of which is the very root cause of the present insane war. It is what the vic- tims of the system are asked to fight for, work for, pay for, and die for! And all in the cant- ing name of 44 Liberty and Justice. Ye gods, how they must hold their ancient sides with laughter at the grim absurdity of the jeRt. that mankind makes of this fair, and bounteous earth When, when, when! will the people awake? ''And they have only their chains to lose," but all the earth to gain by daring unity and earnestness. CIVIC PRIDE. Our Leicester comrades displayed a praise- worthy civic pride in their town and its muni- cipal activities, and a true historic sense in the les*tons of its past, which appealed to me as a long-time advocate of such ideas, and as one who had just been to see the Abbey where Wolsey, died, and had entered the dungeon-cell at the old Town Hall, whore the bra-ve (Quaker Fox was imprisoned. But I would have liked to hear our friends make a comparison between aJl t.his a.nd the miles of mean streets in which the peo- ple speTid mean and narrow live*. No wonder there are many pubs in Leicester—-the natural centre of reaction for tired nerves, and I have Fenr ""en s*> much unabashed drinking amongst young girls, who sit in the big saloons quite un- accompanied and unconcerred. Yet the Churches, while bemoaning this kind at tiling, have no remedy, because they do not discern the THE DEBATES. At. the Conference on Monday, the debates were well taken, but rather prolonged on some points, and on occasions should provide lessons as to the need for the I.L.P. to keep to the straight oath, as, indeed, it does splendidly in the main. For insta-nee when a motion of sym- pathy with the Bolsheviks was submitted, Bruce' Glasier pleaded for a withdrawal on tactical grounds, so that a more general motion of ap- proval 4rf the R ussian Revolution as a whole was passed. And yet my personal view was that the Bol- sheviks do need a little sympathy and encour- agement at this time, especially as England has been iso (villous and obstructive to them. It was rather un fortunate for Bruce Glacier, too. that immediately afterwards lie had to apologise for a tactical blunder at the Labour Conference on War Aims, which resulted in the I.L.P. And Socialist point, of view being ignored. Hence while I am for tactics on oc- casion, the broad lesson is that a straight path according to principle is best in the long run. Tactics were more justified in the case of the I.L.P. representation on the Labour Party exe- cutive, which you can read about, in the report. I supported the motion that we should make a nomination, as T consider that now the constitu- tion is so ordered, we should see how our nomina- tion fares, and if we do not get fair play, then will be the time for strong measures and a big attempt made to amend the constitution. ft was doubtless this view which gave the N.A.C. their curious attitude of hesitancy. PARUAENTARY CANDIDATES. In regard to the 1. L.P. Parliamentary can- didates, I felt much sympathy for the grumblers who objected to placing new-comers in the front rank, when our Party has so many tried and true own whose long service and experience en- titles them to the best recognition. Besides, the hack-sliding of sundry Labour members— v, hich is inherent in the loose composition of the. La hour Party-iiialies it imperative that we should do our utmost to secure as candidates only men of the soundest type, with firm econo- mic basis a.ud outlook in their very souls. For the chairmanship of the I.L.P. I haJ voted for Wall head ere it was made known that he withdrew. I believe in change in these mat- ters. as responsibility strengthens character, and the valuable experience should be widely distributed amongst our leaders. And Wall- head's record is of the best. In the discussions on I.L.P. Principles, I fol- lowed your instructions in supporting the 4f iu- dustrial attitude, and you will he glad to know that the same views was quite strongly mani- fested in the Conference. At the same time, I counsel patience in these matters, and my atti- tude is admirably expressed in the leading article of the 44 Pioneer last Saturday. Opinions are in a state of flux just now, so that we must keep the I. L. P. strong and united by being tolerant with different phases of thought until by study, hard thinking, and especially by experience, we can formulate or arrive at more general agree- ments regarding these va.rying lines of policy. For the time being, then, I advise the use of both political and industrial action, and not to disunite our forces by undnly despising one or the other method. x [n the ballot for tiie N.A.C. I voted for those I deemed to be (a) tried and true leaders, and (b) those who had shown courage and daring in these trying times. Hence. Jowett and Bruce Glacier came in the first category, and Maxton and Kirkwood in the second. There is such a great, work before the I.L.P. that I again plead for unity, toleration, and steady, persistent propaganda, of clear Socialist principles. As T hope to be down in South principles.

The Future Peace of the World…

Rhundda D.O. R.A. ProsecutionI

Socialists Charged at Pontypi…



4 cScraps of Paper." I

Arnold Lupton's Appeal Dismissed.

Theatre Royal