Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

11 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

-.-.-.. - -__-I.L.P. WELSH…


I.L.P. WELSH CONFERENCE. Speech by National Organiser. I Minnie Pallister Appointed Organiser. George Neighbour and the Task of the Future. The Annual Divisional Conference of the I.L.P. was held at the Ruskin Institute, Car- diff, on Saturday. Much of the business before .a long .session \'<lb routine work but one item was of very great importance to the movement. That was with reference to the appointment of female organiser, and Conference was happy in selecting such a capable, whole-hearted lady for this post. as Miss Minnie Pallister, whose work on behalf of C.O. and their dependents has proved her to lx. the possessor of admirable ■organising; qualities: to which she adds the virtue of a good platform style. Another fea- ture of the meeting was the presence of tlio new National Organiser—H. Brockhouse, who dwelt, upon the importance of organisation. CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS. The chair was occupied at the outset by Comrade Geo. Neighbour, who in opening Con- ference welcomed the presence of two delegates from the newly-formed branch in Colwyn Bay. In a review of his year of office as chairman of the Divisional Conference he pointed out thai wo could congratulate ourselves upon the influx -of a very large number of men and women into the party, so that to-day the movement in Wales, as all over the nation, could congratu- late itself upon a numerical membership such ..38 it had never known in its previous history. He had learned tho lesson that it. was not the organisation with the greatest numerical mem- bership that wielded the grwitest- influence, but .the quality of tho men and women composing 'its ranks, and it. was in this last that the I.L.P.'s strength lay. That we did possess the qualities was proved by the attacks which had })et>U made upon us from every side of the re- actionary camp, attacks which had never harm- ed us, but which had been to us the greatest possible compliment* though not intended m that light. Those attacks had helped us roO I realise ourselves and had done us good. The strength of the I.L.P. lay in its stead- fast adherence to principle. We might desire .and work for success, but we all felt that there was sofntnhing greater than mere success, and that was to be true to our principles inces- santly. in season and out of season. Sometimes we had worked strenuously and hard for some -object, but. we did not always appear to have -succeeded, but if we had been true to ourselves we could leave rhe future to justify us. It was this fidelity to the principles of Socialism that contributed so much to the strength of t.he I.J1.P. MORE THAN PACIFISM. Whilst wo had put up a splendid fight against] war and all the abominations of war, yet we con- cerned ourselves with some-thing more than mere pacifism, and lie was not belittling the function of paciiism of which he was a firm adherent. Aftei- war was over we should still have to light the military spirit. Wo had been anti-militar- ists t-)efore tli(i di,ii-itig the war, and wo should have to continue- to be anti- militarists after the war was over. We were a political organisation, yet he would not like to think that wo were going to flow our energies oxclusively into the political field. Whilst we hould rejoice in moulding and shaping political opinion from the advanced point of view, whilst we should work for the augmenting and build- ing up of a. strong and thoroughly deiiioc-ratic labour Party in the House of Commons, as well 38 in tho country, still our I.L. P.-dam was greater than that. The greatest battle yet -awaited us. The day of re-construction was still ahead, and we were going to have a deciding voice on that day of reconstruction. He was .jjvoud that the 1.L.P. could undertake that task with a clear head and unstained hands. He was prouder of being a. member of the I.L.P. to-dav than he had ever been. In conclusion, Comrade Neighbour trusted that in the year thai was to be graced by the Chairmanship of ■ un: Comrade Griff Jones 'Swansea) we should see an end put to the war .and should welt-onic, hac-k to our movement th ose who were of IlS, but who had been re- moved to go to prison, to undertake work un- der the :ilternative service f chernes, wfio were fighting on the battle fronts; and welcome as new workers those larger numbera who were learning the truths 01 Into/nationalism and Socialism on the fields of Flanders to-day. ORGANISATION. Comrade H. Hrockhouse (our now -Natll()Ilzl.l I Organiser) then addressed us on organisation. Organisation, he reminded us,'was- not a substi- tute for ideals and enthusiasm; but, on the other 1 mud, ideals and enthusiasm were uncon- trolled elements that might work damage rather than good if not directed by organisation. Or- ganisation was alisohvtely necessary in order to get the best results fixim the leant expenditure .Yf energy, and the I.L.P. was still upon the fringe of the question of organising the vast, potential power tha.t. was inside tho movement, and which would be expressed once it was pro- perly organised. Organisation would yield to us more pleasure and less friction, for we felt then that something wa." being done. The only way to keep enthusiasm permanently going was to have organised effort: otherwise we had dif- fusion and disappointment and dropping out of tho ranks. THE FEDERATION. The organisation of the I.L.P. was particu- larly adapted to the purposes we had in view. Wo had all the framework necessary for the perfect organisa,tion of the Party. The weft k- est part in that framework in South Wales, as in other parts of the country was the Federa- tion, and after a .series of talks with Federation secretaries from all the areas he would suggest that the efficiency of the Federation in its three impor?nt tasks of rQ<;nsbi!ity to keep branches in a stat of eStdency; the responsibi- Ut.y for opening up new branches to corer the area., and for the organisation of efficient speak- ing oampAi?nn both in summer and winter, would be greatly increased by removing from the pur- view of the Federation the financial side of the work. Federation secretaries told him that quite half their time was occupied in this work, which could be just as easily negotiat4od directly between the Divisional Council and the branches as with the assistance of the Federation. If the three tasks which be had defined as the import- Ant tasks of the Federations were thoroghly lione, then the Federations would justify their existence. The..Federation was a nedessarv link in our organisation, and the branches would find great benefit by taking it more seriously than it wat; being taken at present. PECULIARLY FAVOURABLE SOil. There was also a little weakness 1Il the or- ganisation of speaking campaigns, which, after all, would always bo the most important part of our propaganda. He suggested that in the summer a complete programme should be drawn up for the. winter, and in the winter for the summer. But his great point was that thorough organisation for the securing of persons as members was not in existence to take advantage of our huge meetings, at which sympathisers were particularly ready to receive our message. The general impression he had gained from his South Wales visit was that South Wales was peculiarly favoura ble for the reception of the message of the l.L.P. The industry of South Wales, the efficiency of its organisation indus- trially, the national spirit of the Celt were all in favour 'of our securing a quicker response from our population than could be got from the stolider parts of England. He wanted a big membership of the Party, but having made members the problem was to keep them. That problem eould be- solyed in various ways, but a prime indispensability was the dis- play of a truly comradely spirit. A second way was to make them workers straight away. We should practice the policy of devolution down wards to the most minute detail and, thirdly, we should educate the members once they came into our ranks. The w.,i, more educated than the man in the street, but the education of the 1.1..P. was never finished. Every branch ought t.o be a centre of intensive, culture un- limited in extent. We could not study too much and we could not. go too deeply. There was nothing outside the purview of the legitimate search for knowledge and truth, therefore, we had a. very wide field. We should also be stimu- lated to study by the fact that we had in South Wales n. number of men who were very serious students upon the lines of economics and indus- trial history, ft was good for us and them and for the country that we had such men, study- ing questions of such importance to the I.L.P. and tin. country in genei,. We-ivtr(, none of us efficient until we had studied these subjects. He was only sorry that the official literature of the I.L.P. on those lines was not richere than it was; but demand would of a. surety create the supply. AN INDIVIDUAL CRITICISM. Speaking purely an an individual and not as a-n official of the Party he would like to say that ho thought that it would be a dangerous thing if we were to dcvotop th narrow pirit which was sometimes described a-, the materialist j basis, or the Marxian theory of Socialism. So-! nialiÇt economics were correct, but, economics did not and could not express nil chat we stood for in the I.L.P. If we adopted in the broadest possible spirit and in the proper sense, the really religious sense combined with the scientific knowledge we should best reach tho great bulk of the people in this country. 1'hen" were rnanv great tniths otitside the purview of the pure materialist philosophy, and wo were entitled to enlist all the powers seen and unseen, either in ourselves or outside of ourselves, of which we were capable in other words, we could link up in our Socialism a. religious fervour which would carry us through a.nd make us steadfast in times either of success or failure. The man who has a real vision is not upset by the dark outlook which was in front of us to-day. Let U8- have a broad and sympathetic spirit; not a. dogma, but a faith in the future and in ourselves. Let us look upon the individual as a much greater thing than he is on the surface. Let us wor- ship humanity. INDUSTRIAL ACTION. In conclusion Mr. Brockhouse dwelt upon the importance of organising the women of the country into the I.L.P. movement, and dealt, •wirh the iu tor-relationship of industrial and political action. Both siclvs of tho Democratic working-class movement should be closely allied, should be sympathetic the one to the other. Whatever happened in the one field ought to be known to those working in the other. The two things wore mutually supporting. The I.L.P. appealed to men in a broader sense than as railway men or as miners or dockers. At the same time, if through their feelings of injustice on the industrial field we -ould got them into Socialism, then we were justified :n following that line of actiou in increasing cur membership. He did not advocate that the I.L. P. should in- terfere in any way with the trades union side of industrialism.. CRITICISM. I questioned the wisdom of taking the finances from the Federation, Colwyn Raw despite its infancy as a branch, holding an idea that the present system gave the power of withholding money which the branches might! find it necessary to exercise under exceptional circumstances. Another delegate reminded Mr. Brockhouse that he had said that the study of economics was necessary, and that Marxian economics were narrow, a.nd asked what theory of economics was the corrpf/t theory for study by the I.T,.P. Mr. Brockhouse in reply said he had not the time to enter into a controversy that afternoon. Titf- Ilien you should rot have taken the opportunity of making the statement. Mr. Brockhouse: What I pleaded was that you should not limit your outlook purely to a narrow economic point of view. (Applause.) As Mr. Brockhouse had to leave early, a vote of thanks was moved from the chair and car- ried. THE MALE ORGANISER. Mr. Watts (the Divisional Secretary) prefaced the recommenda-tion to appoint Miss Minnie Pallister as woman organiser in the Division by a general statement on the question of or- ganisers. He reminded Conference that at, the January conference an undertaking was given by the Divisional Council that immediate steps would be taken for the appointment of a male organiser. An advert was consequently inserted in the Labour Leader," and the nineteen ap- plications received in answer were at a special meeting oi the Council reduced to a short list of six. Among the six was our Comrade Geo. Richards, of Aberdare, out he withdrew his rut me and left five, three of which were suooe. quenrly eliminated owing to the replies received from the references they had given. This left two strangers to the district in the list, and as the new Man-Power proposals raising the age- limit to ol were passed about this time, it was felt that the best, course to ollow wafs to drop the appointment of a permanent male organiser for the time being and ask Conference to ratify a resolution empowering the Council to temporar- ily appoint a male organiser should the need and opportunity present themselves. The matter had been dropped for the time being solely because of the difficult ties. The Divisional Council had then considered the report, of Ivor Thomas as N.A.C. representative that the National Coun- cil was prepared to contribute toward s the sup- port of two organisers in the district, one to be a female, and it was unanimously decided to ask Miss Pallister if she was prepared to under- take the work. MISS PAL LISTER'S APPOINTMENT. The motion to appoint. Miss Pallister was warmly moved by Comrade. Geo. Richards, seconded by a Briton Ferry delegate, and sup- ported in terms of eulogy by the Chairman, by Comrade Morgan Jones (Bargoed), and by Miss Pallfner's own home town delegate from Bryn- mawr. The appointment was equally enthu- siastic and unanimous, and Miss' Pallister. in thanking conference for this mark of its trust, said that the I.L.P. was the dearest thing on earth to her. Whatever she lacked in any other respect she did not lack in her love for the I.L.P. and for Socialism as a whole. Although she felt unfit red to grapple with the responsibi- lities of her new office, still it would not be for wa nt, of endeavour on her part that she would fail if fail s he did. ENCOURAGING REPORTS. Comrade J. E. Edmunds (Cardiff') presented an encouraging financial report for the year; and John Wans report as Secretory reported wonderful progress from the point, of view of or- ganisation. Thirteen new branches had n opened during the year, and the membership had increased almost oO per cent. Our new chairman was inducted to the chair by the- Rev. Geo. Neiirhbunr but business wa.s proceeding so slowly that our Comrade Griff. .Tonc, cut out his speech and pressed forwjyvl tho business when given the gavel. Ivor Thomas presented -i report as our N.A.C. representative, in which he quoted figures showing that. the numerical pro- gress of South Wales was pretty generally re- flected ali over the country. *The X.A.C. felt keenly the question of organisation that this greatly increasing membership demanded, and ii was seriously tackling the problem. Ho wel- comed the appointment of Mivs Pallister. and said that the securing of a woman organiser filled a. warn that had been keenly felt for some- time. He mentioned that official 'action had raised difficulties for the National Labour Press, a point whic-h a few delegates seized upon to counsel a defiance of the Government, but the majority vetoed any such suggestion. PIONEER BUSINESS. PIOtER business occupied some considerable timts. of conference., the attitude being encour- aging from every point. view, though the Briton Ferry resolution limiting the PJONW-'K representation on the Divisional Council to a. purely consultative character carried on a card vote; though it was officially opposed by the Council, and the arguments of the majority of delegates who rose were against, the resolution. The Merthyr notion that the same person should not be eligible as N.A.C. representative for the Welsh Division for more t.han two years consecutively, divided conference in debate, but on a. card vote was defeated by 02 rotes to 32. Bargoed withdrew its Home Rule for Wales resolution because conference felt rhat the movement for autonomy was a political red- herring, and on the Divisional Council pro- mising to issue a manifesto on the subject. The evening was now well advanced, and tho t.wo last, resolutions being of a non-ccntentious nature, was rushed through quickly, tht-y were: "That., having regard to the important powers that, are increasingly invested in the County Council, this Conference calls upon tbe. Labour forces in the Principality to organise for the, purpose of obtaining complete control of those bodies" (Bargoed); and, "That this Conference demands that the control of pllblw dfall's be re- stored to the people, by the removal of the re- striction on constitutional election of nil public bodies" (Newport).

I Manchester Trades Council…

I Ironworers Wages".

I Unofficial Strike at Ebbw…

| S.W.M.F. Executive.

Social Science Classes, j

I Aberdare C.O.,

I Workinen's Compensation.

IPersecution of Morgan Jones.

ILabour and Welsh Home Rule

I Enginemen and Stokers and…