Mark Starr before The Tribunal. I EXEMPTED BY NARROW MAJORITY AT ABERDARE. I "WHAT WOULD YOU DO" AGAIN I TROTTED OUT. By a narrow division in the Aberdare Tribu- nal our Comrade Mark Starr was granted ex. emption on conscientious grounds, subject to taking up work of national importance. on his appearance before that body. Mark stated in his application that he objected to both comc- bat.ant and non-combatant service on moral grounds, mentioned that lie had belonged to the N.C.F. since its foundation in 1915, and ex- pressed his willingness to undertake alterna- tive service on a farm, as a gardener or mason's labourer. In reply to Mr. Chas. Kenshole (the chair- man) Mark said he was labouring at Bwllfa, having previously worked at the Mountain Ash collieries. He had been underground since he left school, and had come to Wales five years ago. Mark had said that lie had been a. member of the United Methodist Churih in his application and the chairman wished to know the- reason for his severing his connection with that body. In reply Mark said that the reason did not lie in differences of opinion relative to the war, but more or less from differences of orthodox belief, such questions as the Atonement, the Virgin Birth, and other theological points. Mr. Kenshole was anxious to know what Mark thought should be done having-regard to the conditions at present obtaining, to which Mark replied that the-first step was a declara- tion by our Government of its willingness to negotiate on the basis of the Labour Party's War Aims Memorandum, and the repudiation of secret commitments. Mr. Kenshole: What conditions would you lay down as a basis of peace?—No annexations and no indemnities. THE MASSES AND THE JUNKERS. Mr. Kenshole, following this up, asked whether Mark was of opinion that a declaration in favour of these terms would be accepted by the Central Powers, to which Mark replied that he was afraid th^- :ndor present conditions the Junkers would not accept these terms—although they would have been glad to do so twelve months ago—still.such terms would be accept- able to the great mass of the German prole- tariat, and they would bring pressure to bear on the Junkesr. In reply to a further question he said he believed that the mass of the worker? in Germany would compel the acceptance of these terms in from six to twelve weeks, after they had been offered. What is to take place in the meantime during those six or twelve weeks?—If you accept my suggestion I say an armistice would take place. Do you wish us to believe that if this coun- try declared to-morrow that she was prepared to lay down arms and make your basis of peace, Germany would retire back to German terri- tory ?—I am not suggesting we should lay down arms. Mr. Kens-hole: Do you suggest that we should resist the Germans until what you speak of should be brought about?—You talk of we." I am not a member of the British Empire pri- marily, but a member of the working-classes. You take advantage of membership of the British Empire. You obtain food brought from over the sea to these shores.—I am given food in order to work. After this came the usual What would you do? questions, to which Mark replied that he would endeavour to restrain German soldiers who were seeking to violate the honour of his mother or sister, but not as part of the mili- tary machine; and he would be hung for mur- der. What do you mean by restrain r-I should endeavour to restrain them by other than armed military force. I would not staib them or kill them. In the discussion that followed the retire- ment of Mark, and prior to the decision a re- mark was made by a Tribunal member that the conscience way was an easy one; a remark that was resented by the Labour men who know the facte of the case.
I A Merthyr Vale Hero I STUCK TO HIS POST WHEN ALL OTHERS GASSED. I I MAJOR HOPES BOMB. DEVONALD WILL RECEIVE DECORATION. Our Comrade Mr. J. Devonald, of 5 Cottrell Street, Merthyr Vale, who, as reported in the Pioneer" recently, lost his only son in action in France during the big offensive, has received the following letter from the Major of the Bat- tery to which Bombardier Brinley Devonald was attached: "Àpril 4th, 1918. Dear Mr. Devonald,—It is with very great sorrow that I am writing to tell you some very sad news indeed. Brinley Devonald has died from the effects of gas. He is a very great loss to us indeed, always cheery and entertainingt, and as I write I remember how beautifully he sang to us last Christmas. He was my best signaller, of whom I thought a great deal, and he will be very greatly missed throughout the Battery. He sustained the poisoning by stick- ing to his post when all the other signallers had been gassed, and alone did his duty till over- come. I do so very much hope that lie will re- ceive a decoration, and I will write to let you know if his heroism is rewarded. Will you ac- cept the very deep sympathy of all officers and men of this battery. I trust G-od will grant you strength and endurance to bear your deep loss.—Yours very sincerely, u. I W. A. U. BTONE, Major.*
OPEN LETTER TO ARTHUR HENDERSON. PAGE 2.
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Political Notes By F. W. Jowett, M.P. MISLEADING SPEECH. I The personal statement issued by general Maurice in reply to Mr. Lloyd George's defence of Ministerial assurances regarding the strength of the British Army on the Western Front and the lengthening of the British line there shows that Mr. Lloyd George has once more escaped from a tight corner by means of a dexterous speech. According to the strict letter, what Mr. Lloyd George said in reply to General. Maurice was correct. W hat he said, however, was none the less misleading. With regard to the presence of General Maurice at the Ver- sailles conference, for instance, which Mr. Lloyd George denied, it now appears that General Maurice was actually present at the first of the meetings of the Versailles Council at which the question of taking over the line was discussed. Dujring the meetings held a fter the first ,he was outside the Council Chamber, but engaged at intervals on work in connection with the questions under examination. LLOYD GEORGE'S SCORE. I Mr. Lloyd George also scored heavily against General Maurice in the House of Commons de- bate when he stated that not only had General Maurica failed to mention to him that the state- ments made in Parliament were not in Accord- ance with the facts, but General Maurice had also refrained from saying anything whilst he was in office, on the matter to the Chief of Staff. Mr. Lloyd George omitted to mention, however, that General Maurice wrote to the Chief of the Imperial Staff challenging the Ministerial state- ments on April 30th, the day after lie (General Maurice) left office. It was not until May 6th— and because lie had received no reply to his letter—that General Maurice sent his letter to the Press. Mr. Lloyd George made the state- ments which General Maurice challenged on April 9th. and Mr. Bonar Laws statement, also challenged by General Maurice, was made on April 23rd, but General Maurice explains that during this period he was fully occupied with his duties on account of the enemy attack in Flanders being then in progress, and it was not until April 29th that lie read Mr. Lloyd George's speech and Mr. Bonar Law's answers to ques- tions which he had felt it his duty to. challenge. He wrote his letter to the Chief of the Imperial Staff on the following day, April 30th. CLOUDING THE ISSUE. By skilfully turning the discussion on to side issues, viz. (1) that General Maurice was not present in the Council Chamber when the ex- tension of the British line was decided upon (he was in the Council Cham ber when the extension was fiist discussed), and (2), that General Maurice did n Jt dispute the Ministerial state- ments whilst he was in office (General Maurice wrote a letter to his Chief disputing the state- ments the day after he had read them) Mr. Lloyd George clouded the real issue, which was, that the British line had been extended against the advice of the Government's military ad- visors, and that the British defence had been weakened by the forces employed in the eastern campaigns. The British line was, in facit, ex- tended and the British forces were too weak to hold the extended line, and the result was a heavy defeat and a tremendous casualty list. General Maurice's letter raised the question as to who was responsible for the disaster, the Government or the military authorities. He sought an enquiry to fix the responsibility. Mr. Lloyd George lias dodged, the enquiry by means of a tricky speech in Parliament. He escaped, as he i^ in the habit of doing, in a cloud of yerbal camou fl a ge. AUSTRIA'S PEACE EFFORTS. J The French Foreign Affairs Committee has pursued its enquiries concerning the unsuccess- ful attempt of the Emperor of Austria, to get the Allied Governments to enter into peace ne- gotiations in the early part of last year. There can no longer be any doubt that the French President put forward the demand tha.t German territory, in addition to Alsace-Lorraine, in- cluding the valley the Saar should be ceded by Germany to France. The Prime Minister of Gret Britain, Mr. Lloyd George, was fully in- formed concerning the circumstances relating to the rejection of the Austrian TCmpevor's s\ig- gested peace terms, and he must have known, therefore, that the President of the French Re- public insisted upon the sutrender by Germany of German territory in addition to Alsace-Lor- raine. a.nd. of the further demand that" re- stitutions, reparations, and indemnities, and guarantees on the left bank of the Rhine should bo conceded by Germany. Yet he allowed the Foreign Secretary. Mt. Balfour, to declare in the House of Commons on December 19th. 1917, that nei-ei- did we desire that a hit of Germany should be cut off from the parent Sta re and erected into some kind of independent republic or independentgovemment of some sort on the left bank of the Rhine." n SINISTER." I It is quite evident that the President of the I French Republic, in the reply to the Ernperor of Austria, above mentioned, adhered to the proposals contained in the secret treaty with Russia which not only involved the aca-uisition by •FraTvce of the valley of the Saar at the ex- pense of Germany, but also involved the separa- tion of the whole of the left bank of the Rhine from Germany and the constitution there of a neutral State to lie occupied by French troops until all the conditions and guarantees of the treaty of peace. Mr. Balfour's deliberate de- claration of sDecember 19th last in the light of this revelation wears a sinister look. THE CECILIAN TOUCH. It is, of course, distasteful to Mr. Balfour to discuss questions affecting peace negotions and foreign policy in Parliament. He regards all such matters as if they were the personal con- cern of persons of his superior class belonging to the different nations. When he was asked in the House of Commons why Parliament should not be informed that the British Prime Minister was not in favour of the rejection of the Emperor of Austria's efforts at mediation last year, having regard to the fact that a statement to tins effect had appeared in the French Press on the authority of M. Ribot, the late Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he replied with the true Cecilian aristocratic sneer at the expense of representative institutions: "The Hon. Member says it has appeared in the Press. If it appeared in the Press that was all that was required." STRICTLY PRIVATE? From which'we gather that if the Prime Minister of this country allowed himself to be persuaded more than twelve months ago by President Poineare and Barion Sonnino, each bent on imperialist annexations for their respec- tive countries, to reject peace overtures of which he iiiniself approved, a statement in the press, more than twelve months after the event, is ill tlia?t iF, reqii i i,e., d is all that is required. The Prime Minister's decision may have led to the neediess loss of hundreds of thousands of lives in the meantime, but no explanation is, in Mr. Balfour's opinion, due to Parliament or the country. Representa- tives elected by -the nation to protect the lives and iiberties of the people and the safety and welfare of the State must think themselves lucky. Mr. Balfour would have us believe, if oe- lated reports are allowed to appear in the press of vital decisions takeiKby Ministers concerning matters affecting the very existence of the State. According to the notions prevailing in the ranks of the Cetil elan the conduct of all such matters is in the nature of an exchange of family confidences to he kept strictly private except as between themselves. The prevalence of these notions and the capitalist and imperial- ist schemes they have screened from the public eye has brought us into the Hell through which we. are now passing. THE AWFUL EXAMPLE. 1 hose who regard every suggestion in favour of peace as a peace trap and speak of it as a peace offensive as if peace were a thing to be resisted at all costs are. never tired of citing the peace between Germany and Russia as an i awful example of a negotiated peace. In point of fact the peace between Germany and Russia j precisely illustrates the effect of a peace iiii- posed by force of arms. Russia, thanks to the corrupt and incompetent rulers that led her into war, was beaten and helpless before Brest Litovosk. If the Allies had responded to the appeal of the representatives of Russia and thrown the weight of their influence into the scale, an agreed peace based on considerations of justice and equity, rather than on the rela- tive fighting strength of the two parties may have been the result. Personally I feel con- vinced such a peace was within reach then, and the anxiety of Austria for peace which is now acknowledged in most quarters to have been at that time real and genuine gives good ground for confidence on the point. Tn any ease the peace Germany has made with Russia is an en- forced peace and not a peace by negotiation. LORD DENBIGH'S CRUSADE. Lord Denbigh, who did a great service to the country by provoking Lord Lansdown to make another speech in favour of peace by negotia- tion in opposition to Lord Denbigh's ideal of peace at the point of the bayonet is going about the country warning people of the danger that Germany will mobilise the Russians and use them against us." Well, it will be the fault of the Allied Governments if such a thing should happen. The people of Russia are in no friendly mood towards Germany as a. result of the peace which has been imposed by force and not by agreement. The natural resources of Russia. Lord Denbigh, says, are far greater than the whole of the resources of the United States and Canada, and the Germans, he assures his hearers, are sure to develop them. What a confession of failure this is for a war-mad seeker after a peace at the point of the bayonet to make. It is the war makers who have pro- duced this danger and not supporters of peace.
1 Problems of the Teaching Profession (ii.) THE PROBLEM OF THE UNCERTIFICATED. I THE NEED FOR ABSORPTION IN THE N.U.T. I BY. W. G. COVE. In order to achieve a greater measure of control over the work 'done in the schools teachers will not only have to abolish the po&i- tion of headship, they will also have to eliminate the various- sectional orgfanisa tions and unite in one union. They will also have to secure much more effective control over the machinery of t-he N. U .T. At present the Executive is practically the governing body of the N. U T., and the annual conference is little more than an endorsing body of delegates. The power of the conference is weakened, too, because of the great differences that exist in salaries and con- ditions of service throughout the country. At Cambridge this year scales of salaries were adopted, scales which wore purposed to be national, but were in reality mere expressions of pious aspirations. The national scale has a minimum of £ 100 per annum, yet the Execu- tive announced that. the passing of such a mini- mum did not prevent local associations, from asking for a different minimum. This means that the scales are paper ones and that teachers will have to rely on local effort. NO MANDATES. It is obviously impossible for the rank and file of the N.U.T. to get a grip of their own union by simply holding an annual conference. The Executive members are elected for a year, and during then term of office, they use their own discretion upon masters that crop up. I am not aware that any executive member re- ceives a mandate from the associations which elects him, neither do I know of any instance of a report being given. It is true that Execu- tive members visit local associations, but they come as honoured guests, and must be treated- as such. They come to enlighten the rank and file and must therefore be treated with every respect. This respect is more easily secured be- cause the Welsh Associations are usually visited by Executive members elected by English con- stituencies. When they come the order of the day is courtesy. All this must be changed. Teacher-* must get delegate vonferc-necs of local associations. Each delegate must be mandated, and the Executive members for the particular area covered by these associations, must attend to receive instructions and to give reports. These conferences must be held much more fre- quently than once a year, and the rank and file will have to learn how to, mandates to their representatives. UNITY DIFFICULT. The achievement of unity within the N.U.T. itself will be extremely difficult to attain. An- tagonisms are inherent in the differences be- tween secondary and elementary teachers, be. tween heads and certificated assistants, in scales of salaries as scales, and in the fact that woiixon and men engage in the work of teaching. In every salary campaign those teachers on their maximum want" to push the maximum up," while those teachers on the minimum want to shove the minimum higher." It is true that a "paper" unity is achieved, but it must be re- membered that the employers of teachers are councillors who can be canvassed. Every teacher, in conversation with a councillor, puts the case for his own grade and his own parti- cular year of service. If real unity is to be at- tained then scales must be abolished. The first step towards this will probably be to shorten them very considerably. In the Rhondds. we should d. well if we reduced the twenty years which it now takes to reach the maximum to ten years. Scales of salaries not only prevent real unity amongst teachers, but they also pro- vide a convenient means whereby the Council can punish a teacher without appearing to be cruel. Many teachers in the past have had their annual increment stopped as a punishment, and this form of punishment has seemed so reason- able that teachers have not fought it as they should. It has been regarded as a disciplinary measure. If local atthorities were compelled to take more drastic action, then it would make teachers show more ght. THE UNCERTIFICATED TEACHER. One of the great problems that faces all teachers engaged in Elementary Schools is the problem of the uncertificated teacher. Within the last. few months the assistant teachers in the Rhondda have felt the full force of the divi- sion that exists between the two grades. The Rhondda Class Teachers Association, which had been comprised of uncertificated teachers and certificated teachers, has been split into iwo separate organisations. I need not describe tho intense bitterness this has caused. A few of the certificated teachers still remain members of the R.C.T.A., and have refused to join the Certificated Association. This has complicated the situation and, in my opinion, weakened tte- i ix)-,Ition of the uncertificated teachers. But as the problem is a national one we shall refer to its local aspects for the purpose of elucidation. It must be borne in mind that the Class Teachers' Federation is a federation of Class Teacher Associations, and although the word National is used it does not by any means cover the whole of the country. Further, its avowed objects are to strengthen the N.U.T.. and act as a recruiting agent for it; to obtain "fair remuneration" and proper conditions "mainly through the instrumentality of the N.U .T." The subscription is only 6d. per member per annum, and the membership return for 1915 (the latest published) was 2,3,Wlf (not one-quarter of the membership of the N.U.T.). It is obvious that the Federation is not an independent, fighting the Fedei-zi,tion i.?; not an iii d e l -rs l i i p, and -,ti b organisation. Its objects, membership, and sub- scription prevent it being such and there is a growing suspicion that its main function is merely "to secure adequat-e representation of class teachers on the Executive of the N.U.T." I should like at. this point to ask those persons t (teachers, miners, and Marxians) who have BlJaW that we who were in favour of the split were bad unin stB, how we should remain sound ones by persisting in supporting the policy of such a federation? Its national objects are purely certificated teacher objects, and we should receive the subscriptions of the uncertificated teachers under false pretences. The framework of the Industrial Union of the teachers is NOT the Class Teachers' Federation. Will these keen "Industrial Unionists" tell us also how they propose to make head teachers, sooondary school teachers, and special school teachers join the Glass Teachers' .Federation? All these teachers will not join, how then can you get your Industrial Union with such machinery? I A DIFFICULTY. There is another aspect of the problem which appears to mo to have escaped the observation of the people who pride themselves on their "Industrial Unionism." It is this: that in working for the transformation of the Class Teachers' Association into a partial Industrial Union by the inclusion of uncertincated ?t-ea(.Iiej.s they are placing themselves in opposi- tion to the progressive development of the technique of reaching These people imagine that they can forte "Industrial Unionism" upon teachers just as vou force a pill down a child's throat. These doctrinaires forget the fundamental difference between the teaching industry and that of other industries. Every progressive development in the technique of teaching intensifies the skill needed to teach; every progressive development in the technique of the production of commodities tends to re- duce skilled workers to"the position of unskilled. No machine can wipe out, the "art of teach- ing." Herein lies the qualitative difference be- tween teaching and many other trades, and it is this qualitative difference that makes" ALL the difference." The only hope for permanent unity is. on the basis of the certificate, and the means for obtaining the certificate is the probt lem that these Doctors of "Industrial Union- ism must solve. AN IMMEDIATE MEASURE. I As an immediate measure for securing the rights of uncertificated teachers they must be admitted to full membership of the N.U.T. It is the N. U T. alone of all the sectional organi- sations that provides the framework of an "In- dustrial Union:" Already the Executive has discussed the matter and the Cambridge Confer- ence Agenda commuted a mol-iou which demand- ed their inclusion. But the movement towards their inclusion is weakened because the uncerti- ficated teachers have no national organisation, and they have made no demand to be included. A national uncertificated union has been formed, but the certificated teachers who still remain in the R.C.T.A. prevent this union becoming a real national organisation. The business of the certificated teachers is to clear out of the Class Teachers' Association (at least, in the Rhondda) and allow the movement for solidar- ity- amongst the uncertificated teachers to take the form of a national organisation. The N.U.T. would then know the power of the un- certificated teachers, and thus help those teachers who wish to make the N.U.T. the "In- dustrial Union."
The Importance of the Vote. I MR. HENDERSON EXPOUNDS HIS VIEWS.I NO INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY WITHOUTI POLITICAL ACTION. When he addressed the National Conference of Postal and Telegraph Clerks on Friday Mr. Arthur Henderson devoted himself in the main to a discourse on the importance of political action; and the potency that he believes the new constitution of the Labour Party will give to that action, consolidated and focussed as it is proposed to consolidate and focus it. No economic organisation, said Mr. Henderson, would ever reach its proper standard of efficiency until it recognised that industrial effort must be reinforced by political action. One of the greatest failures in connection with the history of trade unionism had been the slowness to appreciate the potency of the vote. This applied to men, and he hoped it would not be long before they were convinced that it did not apply to women. Political action was more than ever of im- portance, and the war had produced an entirely new situation so far as workers were concerned. The problems of demobilisation and reconstruc- tion were being approached by a new and mu- tual conception of common interest and mutual responsibility. It was recognised that new ideas and new ideals must be translated into fact if this world was to be made fit and worthy of Democracy. Under the Representation of the People Act more than eight millions of new voters were added to the register, six millions of whom were women. This was a great reform, but if Labour had been more adequately repre- sented it would have been made more complete. They would not rest content until the objection- able limitation of age was removed, until citi- zen representation was granted in its logical and complete form The Labour Party, under it new constitution, would bring into being a sound, Democratic people's party. The Labour Party WAS the only oarty that was independent of secret subsidies from the wealthy, and they would treat those sulwidies as they would treat secret diplomacy. They would substitute real inter- nationalism for the present international sye-, tern with .its methods of secret diplomacy.
J Cost of Living Increased 20 Times. In the course of his Budget speech in the Turk- ish Chamber, Javid Bey said in Berlin the cost of living has increased 100-120 per cent., in Vienna to 178 per cent., and in Constantinople 1,970 per cent. What one could buy before the war for Pst.235 and Paras 10, he said, to-day costs Paras 4,090.—" Manchester Guardian."