I TRADE UNION NOTES. SEE PAGE 3
POLITICAL NOTES. By F. W. JOWETT. PAGE 2.
The Education of the Child THE DEVILRY OF THE PRUSSIAN SYSTEM AND THE BRITISH. THE NEW WELSH INSTRUCTOR- PATRIOTISM." By B. N. LANGDON-DAVIES. There were, in this country before the war, lrliny admirers of the German educational sys- tem. \Vhaie\'er may be the merits or demerits .f that system there has always been in it one Serious defect which has been responsible for a great deal during the last three years. This de- fect is not that the State controls the education of the people from the kindergarten to the uni- but that an autocratic government, having this control, uses it to inculcate in the klindis of the people certain forms of political Philosophy and morality. This has always been the cause of many protests from the more inde- pendent spirits in Germany, both among the teachers and among the general public. Usually the protests have taken the form of objecting to Protests have taken the form of objecting to particular doctrines taught. British critics have also, particularly during the war, become "ery much alive to the evils of those particular l' ctrines when instilled into their enemies. But venture to suggest that the real vice of this ystem lies -In the inculcation into the children Of any political doctrines at all at the dictation of a government or as a national policy. The business of education is not, or ought not to be, the instilling of views into the pupils, but ather the cultivation of their minds so that ?ey may farm reasonable views for themselves, An inconsiderable part of education is, it is t,Ue» .concerned with the imparting- of facts, and the teacher while imparting them cannot well Yoid lending them the colour of his or her own news. But a teacher w 11, having will always Z that there are otL ￼ )Iours and will try to ?et the pupil to (?boos? ddependntly amono- t '?n. When, however, the teacher must on S N( of dinjssal colour tha facts as a govern- ?t Prescribes, when the subjects are chosen nd the books written with a view to the par- tieular ?°*<?ur r quired, the result is mental and ritual slavery for the teacher and then for tho nation. That ? what has happened in Ger- ^an ? ?M country we have always prided our-I "lv-es on our freedom from this vice. Our U "lae i, of course, without foundation. We h4ve no?'indeed, until lately proceeded openly; it Was not the Government which prescribed the \'le",g; they were wrapped up in religion; they ?ere evolved by the squire, the parson and the ?wer acting m concert. For example, we t?"aeb the children of the rich to be ambitious ￼ to assume responsibility; to reinforce this "8 I quote from the Scriptures and from the :rings of such people as Lord Nelson. The f i I ren of the poor, on the other hand, we Wt '3e humble and contented and we select ? ?"'erent portions of Scripture and different say- jft of such people as Lord Nelson. Games, c )n> are openly regarded as at least as impor- tfa?"" ? ? work for the children of the rich, while f0j. the children of the poor we are inclined to f?n-? be as recreation technical education in ? rework, gardening or some such subject, and ?legate games to a few minutes of unor- t"l1i8ed play i an mter?'al from work. All this, ?ever, has happened almost by chance; it has bi??ll the inevitable result of the government of t?in"- ?es of the people by class-conscious But capitalists. The authorities have not <}??? ed to prescribe the doctrines; the schools j^e been quite safe in the hands of the reaction- y goverrors, managers, parsons, squires, 4"ty councillors and ? governing class men ?.? the Universities. (If course, there has always been a certain fo? "? tone set by the selection of the textbooks i the public elementary schools. This has not ￼ so noticeable in regard to social matters j, ce the successive capitalist governments could ￼ on the right kind of views in that respect ^iri as to what patriotism is, and he desires t})a,g,vW01'k'nS classes should hold those views ? o. It happens thus that the textbooks of his- t0r and other subjects tend to Instil the partI- • ot^er sub j ects tend to instil the parti- 1%1?l- of patriotism which has always com- lIded itself to governing classes. Now it is ? ?y Purpose to say that that is the wrong 'tI ,hould, as I have already said, think it | (a?.ctionable that Tolstoyanism, Socialism or tW )(w servatism, or any political views at all should ? so tangbt. But the particular example we ? i'S'- C l- P?ulgatlon of that Jingo militar- t' )'0 :wluch ? the invariable complement of the ?j?-?ahst system. I wonder how many children Í.!3 thIs country have been taught their English ,tory out of a book entitled "The Patriotic I'S 'r of the British, Empire." The patriotism 'WlR work consists in representing, with mny QstratlOns of i ea^ battles and cannomsed ki? llel'Rls the ?story of our people as a constant ?rie? ? ?'?'? ? whicif we and God were imari- ? <llocessful. '?"? is only one example, but Ollré ? ???Y and ??Y ???. needless to say, a c°ftiple+ ??'n?t-iOn of the history of the Bri- tish peoni desi¡med to J'oduee a ce-rtain political ??per? ??ned to produce a certain political ?o? ￼ in the chil d ren. 't oe !BW" Years siliee? there were introduced ?(?;nT?l?? semi-officially, 1 believe, certain td U4 (?ationa1 ?stiyals such as EmpIre Day, at iwh "'ch amid flags, Southey?s Life of Nelson," ^flahimatoi^ ?Pseches by vicars and the rest of > thfe. Will f Power, as the Prussians say, was £,,11 ￼ ind T'o-dav we have ??nt mind. To-day, we have f .'??o?s of this tendency. There rli-iliino- ￼ Partial array, there are war lec- Wes f) tll? t' from tli 8trictlv governmental point of WIh the lectrer relying for their fcts on ?-eii,soi-ed pr 'there, are P?? bv which the ^ilclrer nn 7 d lVl dually write to sol d iers and Qr. hen may mdIVIdually write to soldier and ,qr Re them -Jt,^?eadfa^ in this particular Qldt 1: B.ut tlns, I faney, all happens i> n th& good ,,I ￼ wi:l;y; the Sovernment does not order ? he rir.1,0 'i >SHause ? knows that the order is ??nicph c??' ?'? is, however, a direct step ^WlT on^vv +rieri J. the Government has taken in ?hc, Pl-ussi-,ii dIrection. The Board lf Education has ISSUed a beautifully got up llow teic h er- °oklieet t ? ?ow teacher, how the views, of the children of Wales in this cage, are to be formsd. This booklet is called "Patriotism" and it is most ably written. I cannot here deal with it as I should like, but perhaps I may be allowed one 01 two quotations. Penny Banks and Savings Banks," we are told, are to help children to be thrifty, and by being thrifty to be patriotic, and by being patrio- tic to help their country as well as themselves." There is the pure milk ûf the Capitalist system, and I can almost hear- a teacher concluding his address on this theme with the quotation: Whatever, Lord, we lend to Thee Repaid a thousandfold shall be." The writer of the pamphlet continues with a. comparison of patriotism to playing for one's side in a game and, with great fairness, says: Wrongful actions by one's country (and our country has not always done right) are just as despicable as foul play in a school game." And having made this admission he proceeds to enu- merate a number of such wrongful actions by "one's country." They are the German treat- ment of Belgium, the sinking of the Lusi- tania," the killing of Nurse Cavell, the Turkish massacre of Armenians and cthor historic actions of our present enemies. A Hoble appeal to preserve and defend, "even at the coet of our lives, the. great heritage of liberty and honour," etc., etc., is not, as you. might imagine, followed by any reference to Haoeae Corpus or D.O.R.A., or the three or four thousand men now languishing in prison or as bad because they will not kill people, or because they want self-government for Ireland or because they venture to express their disagreement with the Government, oh! no, this is succeeded by the denunciation referred to above and by the assertion that the soldiers are laying down their lives in protecting the liberties they enjoy by be- longing to this country. And this at a time when the British Government is enforcing the Regula- tion forbidding soldiers to take anv part in politics! Well, now, it is time that this sort of thing was stopped. I have only quoted isolated facts which have by chance come to me; much more telhng examples could no doubt be found. But it is clear to anyone that the worst features of the Prussian system are being officially gi-afted on to the British. Very soon we shall have book- lets on the vices of Trade Unionism, the inferior- ity of Irishmen (Kipling, by the bye, has done lthi? at) ths immorality of Socialism and all the aimoury of that bitter class-war continuously waged by the Capitalist and condemned by him in the proletariate as being unpatriotic and immoral. Will the workers realise in time that they must look to what their children are taught or ar6 we to have a generation brought up thus on the Prussian model ?
Sub-Contracting in Mines I DISMISSAL OF WORKMEN. FAR-REACHING DECISION AT MERTHYR. An important decision relative to terms of em- ployment in connection with sub-contracting in mines was delivered by the Merthyr Stipendiary (Mr. R. A. Griffith) on Tuesday. The case was one in which the Hills-Plymouth Colliery 00., Ltd., were sued by Thomas Griffin, of Troedyrhiw, and Rees Jenkins, of Bargoed, for damages amounting to £2 1&. 4d. and £7 Os. 2d. respectively in lieu of notice. Mr. E. Roberts, Dowlais, was solicitor for the workmen, and Mr. Griffith Llewellyn (of Messrs. Gwilym James, Charles and Davies) appeared for the company. It was stated by Mr. Roberts that Griffin and Jenkins had signed a contract with the Hills- Plymouth Company under the Conciliation Board Agreement of 1915, and under Clause 26 of that agreement fourteen davs' notice was necessary between the owners and the men as signatories to terminate employment. Griffin and Jenkins, however were given notice by a sub-contraetor--John Edward Price, of the Mardy Hotel, Merthyr—under whom they worked and by whom they were paid wages less the customary deductions for insurance, etc., made at the colliery office. Messrs. Hills-Ply- mouth were written to in respect of the dismissal but their reply was: "From enquiries we have made we find that both the persons in question were employed by one of our contractors and the matter is therefore no concern of ours." The Stipendiary: What do you say is wrong with the notice P Mr. Roberts: We say notice should have been given by the Company and not Price. It was not a proper notice. Griffin and Jenkins bore out their solicitor's statement and added that be fore they were taken on at the South Pit in the first instance they had to make an application to the manage- ment for work, and this being granted, were passed over to contractors until eventually they got into Price's gang. For the defence it was submitted that' men working under sub-contractors, by whom their duties were directed, were not interfered with by the colliery officials, and the contention was made that sub-contractors could both give and accept notice to and from workmen irrespective of the Company. Accepting the Conciliation Board Agreement as the contract of employment, His Worship held that as a matter of construction the only notice to terminate an individual contract con- templated by Clause 26 of the Agreement was a notice by the owners or the men. Accordingly he found for the workmen for the full amounts claimed and costs, and added that the notices given by Price were invalid.
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Subsidising Technical Education. IEBATE BETWEEN MARK STARR AND WILLIAM HARRIS. INTERESTING GATHERING AT BENTLEY'S HALL. Should a trades union organisation financially support technical education? Just how keenly the Merthyr men are interested in this question was shown on Sunday morning when, in spite of shocking weather conditions, somewhere about 100 men attended the debate between Mr. Mark Starr and Mr. W. Harris (Secretary of the Merthyr Trades Council) at Bentley's. All our readers are acquainted with the genesis of the debate, but it is necessary to just lightly touch upon it to give sequence to this account, which, by the way, does not pretend to be a report of the hour and a half's pro. and con. Some few months ago Mr. Seymour Berry decided 'to com- memorate his father's close association with the Borough by donating a sum of £ 10,000 for the establishment of a centre for Technical instruc- tion in Merthyr. There were certain conditions such as the raising of scholarishps, the entitle- ment of the hall, etc., with which we need not concern ourselves, since they were accepted by the local Education Committee, and have not been questioned by Labour in general, or Sun- day's disputants in particular. What does con- cern us is that however useful that £10,000 is as a nucleus fund for the establishment of an efficient scheme of technical education, it is ridi- culously inarlequate to accomplish the task itself. My own views have been set forth at length in these columns, and 1 estimate a minimum magnification of that sum by eight. Labour felt the need for t school, and, more still, it felt that if the oitation of the school was to be countered a. vi, it must be by the participation of Labour in the scheme as an active moulder of policy. With this end in view the chairman of the Education Committee attended before a special meeting of the Trades Council, sketched a scheme, which was subsequently criticised at length in our pages, and secured the whole- hearted support of the Trades Council to some scheme of Tc-chnical -Zdti,.at-i<)r and that sup-, port was pledged to consist of financial and any other support possible. The best way of giving that support was relegated to the Education Committee who, after careful-consideration, re- commended the raising of a minimum sum of £3,000 for the endowment of not less than three scholarships. This sum it was proposed to raise by a levy of Id. per week on all workmen in the Borough, the sum to roe banked by the Trades Council and handed over when a scheme had lKendevised and approved by them. It was this decision that brought to our columns the letter of Mr. Mark Starr, a fortnight ago, challenging the principle of subscribing i. this way to an education essential to Capitalist production, and primarily a charge on Capitalism. His conten- tion was all in favour of the provision of plebian Social science by plebian organisation; leaving to the fat men the duty of providing the technical education so essential to the develop- ment of Capitalistic production. In that letter he challenged Mr. Harris to debate the point, and Sunday morning was the outcome. It is es- sential, nowever, to remember that although the whole causes of the debate were local, Mr. Starr desired to discuss the general principle without prejudice to the local position which had given rise to his challenge, and this he carefully em- phasised on Sunday. Mr. T. J. Evans was un- animously elected to the chair. Mr. Starr opened with an initial 20 minutes, in which he pointed out that both he and Mr. Harris were Socialists anxious for control of in- dustry, and that the question therefore resolved iteelf into whether that control could be more quickly brought about by subsidising technical education or social e ducation. With the neces- sity for technical education he was as much in agreement as Mr. Harris or anyone else. But working-class organisation existed for the propa- gation of the class-struggle; and class-conscious- ness should be the object and end of its activi- ties in education. Viewed from this necessary standpoint, technical education did not help the working class as a working class. Uncoupled with social science technical education was des- tined to increase the profit of the few rather than add to the happiness of the many. Techni- cal education did produce results beneficial to the Capitalist class, and with an intensification of Capitalist competition such as we had never hitherto known following this war; the provi- sion of technical education became a, vital need to the Capitalists and would therefore be pro- vided by them, and it was not the proper func- toin of trades unions to help in this work. He honoured the good intentions of gentlemen like Mr. Berry and of the Trades Council, but with a rampant Imperialistic policy committing the nation to an economic war after the war, these good intentions would be pounced upon by Capi- talism and exploited, by the powerful economic forces wielded by Capitalism in society for the purpose of upholding the status quo rather than undermining it. Technical education would se- cure no class advancement. Indeed, the working- class had been relatively worsened in the past by the advances of technical education which had been developed and would be increasingly developed by the "other side. He quite agreed that we should increasingly get control of it, but was now the time to do it? Had social science so far developed that we could safely spend our time, our money and our energy in taking up this attitude ? Mr. W. Harris read a quotation from the current copy of the Call," in which it was stated that nothing had so much hindered the cause of Socialism as the ignorance of the prole- tariat. It was this ignorance that he was out every time and all the time to combat, since the continued existence of this ignorance was all the time operating against the workers securing control over their industries and over their own li\es. The greatest retrograding force in Rus- sia to-day was the illiteracy of its peasants, its greatest driving force the intelligence—chiefly amongst its technically trained workers in chemistry. England had suffe-red communally, was suffering during this war from the shortage of sugar, and coal tar products, because we had been insufficiently educated to appreciate and utilise the discoveries of our own technical research chemists, who had been forced to mar- ket their discoveries in the more highly techni- cally trained Germany. But to take a more sel- fish view of the subject, working-class control of industry was coming, coming perhaps more rapidly than some people thought, and in order that tha.t control should be effective it was necessary that the education of the country should have been such that we were prepared with the people to go into their proper places. Then again the more highly educated the working man the more divine discontent would there be in his industry and the sooner would his intelli- gence quicken the movement towards control.' The German chemists had been turned out at a terrific rate, and they were consequently worse paid than the miners, but ultimately out of this very condition would grow a trades union or- ganisation of technical chemists and a hew key industry, with which the forces of Labour should link up at once. Let the same thing happen here. Train the men, train them in such num- bers that they were compelled to become hewerls of wood and drawers of water and the conse- quence of the training and the economic condi- tions would be a consciousness that bred real rebels of, great utility. He was all in favou-i- of social science, had taught working-class econ- omics in the municipal economics classes, and blamed us for ever having let them drop. But be was not prepared to fight for Socialism and Trade Union control at only one small spot on the battle line. He would fight all along the line, anywhere and everywhere that opportunity presented itself. If Merthyr offered facilities for werking-elass control of anything he waa not going to w-a i t until evei- going to wait until everywhere ?1? was ready. No, he was going to have that control in Mer- thyr and work for its extension. Technical edu- cation was coming, that was certain, and what he wanted was that when the scheme was being drawn up Labour could go to that table with its money in its hamd, make its demands, backed by that money, and be in a position to demand by reason of it. That way lay the road to con- trolling technical education, and he vastly pre- ferred that way to the erection of the technical shcool in conjunction, with the wo -Xshop, which wae one of the alternatives.
The Possibility of Pauperism MERTHYR GUARDIAN'S PROTEST I AGAINST INADEQUATE PENSIONS FOR I SOLDIERS. The possibility of men discharged from the forces with inadequate pensions being pauperised by circumstances was the subject of strong pro- tests by the Merthyr Guardians on Saturday, when an Aberdare soldier, discharged owing to wounds from the Army, made an application for outdoor relief. The Rev. Llewelyn M. Williams (rector of Dowlais) said that these ex-soldiers should be maintained at all costs, but from the Imperial funds and not at the expense of the ratepayers. He moved that the War Pensions Committee, London, should be communicated with, and asked for a definite statement of the board's obliga- tions in such circumstances. Mr. Sam Morgan protested it was a disgrace that a, wounded man should be forced to appeal for Poor-law relief. He had gone out to fight for his country only to lose his citizenship if he got relief from a Poor-law authority. The Rector: It is far bettter for him to have, his wife and family fed properly than to have a vote to send men to Parliament. After further discussion, the Rector suggested that a way out of the difficulty would be to give the man "sick" relief, thus allowing the £ 1 2s. 6d. a week pension granted him by the Army authorities to go for the maintenance of his wife and children. Mr. John Prowle declared that the board should not subsidise the Government. Mr..F. T. James (clerk), advising that no re- lief should be granted, pointed out that were such a precedent created hundreds, and prob- ably thousands, of such applications might be received. The application was eventually declined, and the clerk was instructed to communicate the facts of the case to the Central War Pensions Committee and the Aberdare War Pensions Committee.
RHEUMATISM- KIDNEY TROUBLE. Rheumatism is due to uric acid crystals in the joints and muscles, the result of excessive uric acid in the system that the kidneys failed to remove as nature intended, and this acid is to a great extent the cause of "backache, lum- bago, sciatica, gout, urinary trouble, stone, gravel and dropsy. The success of Estora Tablets for the treat- ment of rheumatism and other forms of kidney trouble is due to the fact that they restore the kidneys to healthy action, and thereby remove the cause of the trouble, and have cured num- berless cases after the failure of other remedies, which accounts for them superseding out-of-date medicines that are sold at a price beyond all but the wealthy. Women frequently suffer from ills, aches, and pains under the impression that they are victims of ailments common to their sex, but more often than not it is due to, the kidlneys, and in such cases Estora Tablets will set them right! The test is at least worth making, as woman's happi- ness and success in life depends on her health. Estora Tablets fully warrant their description —an honest remedy at an honest price, 1/3 per box of 40 tablets, or six for 6/9. All Chemists or, postage free, from Estora Co., 132, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. Bargoed and Aberbargoed Agent—W. PARRT WLLLXAMB, M.P.S.
For What Purpose? I NEW ZEALAND CONSCIENTIOUS OB- I JECTORS SHIPPED TO ENGLAND. Information is to hand that fourteen New Zealand conscientious objectors have been taken out of prison, forcibly put on a transport and brought to England. They are deemed to bo attached to the 28th New Zealand Reinforce- mente, and are now in irons in the Guard Room at Sling Camp, Salisbury. The following extract from the Maorjland Worker," of July 8th, 1917, describes the s'tuation:- '? ? Labour movement of Wellington seethed-there is no milder term that will des- cribe the situation—when it became known that a number of conscientious objectors had been dragged from prison and detention barracks and forcibly put aboard a transport. Their relatives were given no intimation whatever of this action being contemplated, and before the mothers and fathers were aware of what was happening, the lads affected had been taken out of New Zealand. The men refused to go -voluntarily, and were car- ried aboard. The only message they were able to leave behind was an intimation that they were all in good spirits, and determined to stick out to the wd.' It is needless to point out that this action has been taken without any reference to either the people or Parliament, and we have no doubt that the strongest protests will be forthcoming from the Labour bodies, and the strongest repre- sentations made to Parliament against the Cabinet being permitted to pursue such a dis- astrous line of action. The Government's action is indefensible from a military viewpoint alom. The British Gov- ernment has already more than 3,000 conscien- tious objectors in eustody, and to simply in- crease that number from this end has nothing to recommend it, and we have no doubt the British authorities will be heard from in due time. "The British Government, by the way, does not seRd conscientious objectors to the treiaohfio. As The Worker went to press on Mon- day arrangements were being made for a depu- tation of Labour representatives to interview the Defence Minister for the purpose of urging that the indescribable policy be at once discontinued." Subsequently a deputation waited upon the Prim«- Mi*»'i=% in connect; .1 vrith the i mita- tion of these men, and some of the statementa made by this deputation were rather interesting. Amongst them was the statement that there were 2,000 deserters gazetted under the Conscription Act in New Zealand, and probably from 2,000 to 3,000 who were not gazetted. In reply, the Premier stated that there were only 50 conscientious objectors imprisoned in New Zealand, and that the conscience clause did not exempt all religious objectors. He further stated that if the deported conscientious ob- jectors still refused to perform non-combatant service they would probably be considered as other conscientious objectors in England. It is i,ell to know in this connection that the New Zealand Act only grants exemption from comba- taTit service and that is limited to religious sects whose tenets definitely prohibit participation in war.
I Avan Valley Notes. (By DBMOCRITUB). With the redistribution of seats Swansea Dis- trict ought now to bo able to return a Labour Member for Parliament. Briton Ferry and Taibach, two strongholds of Labour, being placed in the Swansea District Parliamentary Area, no difficulty should be experienced in se- curing the seat for progress. Probably there will be many envious eyes on the seat, and aspir- ing political mountebanks are already pulling the wires in order to get selected. To be a Trade Union official is not sufficient recommenda- tion; the candidate must be known as a man capable of withstanding the wiles of officialdom, as a man strong enough to adhere to principles when they become unpopular, and as a man who has principles. Trade Union shekels are a mighty force, but they contribute nothing to the competency of a man to represent Labour. Any Trade Union official who is in the good graces of employers, and who can accept cigars and fur coats from plutocrats is to be avoided as vermin. If a man is known by the company he keeps then some of our Trade Union officials and ambitious political upstarts need whitewashing. It is said that were the police to make a raid into the houses of some of our super-patriots in the Avon District, they would find immense quantities of sugar stored away. Mr. John Thomas, B.A., was the speaker at Port Talbot and Cwmavon on Sunday last, and needless to &ay he kept up his reputation as a versatile and accomplished lecturer. Mr. Tal Mainwaring and Harry Thomas, who are on the short list for the position of check- weigher at Oakwood Colliery, have, inadvertent- ly, received a very high testimonial regarding their qualifications for the job. The manage- ment, it is said, is extremely anxious that neither of these men shall have the position. The miner* ought to take the hint. The meeting convened to chose a co-opted member for the Neath Rural District Council on Friday last at the Tinplaters' Institute was a distinct success. There were about a hundred present, fully half of whom were parochial elec- tors. Mr. John Jones Edwards carried by a majority of five. Should Mr. Tom Morgan, the other candidate, refuse to abide by the decision, not much can be said against him, for Mr. Edwards has himself set an example by refusing in the past to abide by the decision of the workers. However, Mr. Edwards, having seen the error of his ways, is now prepared to abide by the decision of Fri- day's meeting.