TRADE UNION NOTES. SEE PAGE 3
INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK. PAGE 3.
Political Notes UL ,v By F. W. Jowett, M.P. 11 The peace debates this week came to an un- timely end after Messrs. Balfour and Asquith had spoken. The first member to catch the Speaker's eye after Mr. Asquith's very brief speech was not allowed a hearing. Those mem- bers who in regard to the war are never- on,dious"cha.nted "vide," "vide," in chorus every time the member in question, Mr. White- house, attempted to speak. In the end Mr. Bonar Law moved the closure, and the motion was carried; only 31 members voting against it. Looked at from the safe seclusion of the green benches of the House of Commons, winter in the trenches has no terrors. The chief impression left on my mind by the debate is that so far as the British Government is concerned peace is not desired until either Germany or this country has been, defeated and has acknowledged defeat. Both Mr. Balfour and Mr. Asquith referred to the war aims of the Allies as being the same now as they were be- fore. They ignored the fact that Russia had renounced the policy of annexations, and for months has been pressing the other Allied Gov- ernments to renounce theirs. When the shock and surpn of the Russian Revolution came upon the Government, Minis- ters were anxious to make it appear that, in substance, the British Government agreed with the new Russian Government. This pretence is now thrown off, and Mr. Balfour insisted, once more on the war aims stated in the reply to President Wilson's note. This means that the Allies are fighting not only for Alsace Lorraine for France, but for the independence of the Czecho-Slovaks, whoever they may be, and for the dismemberment of the Auatro-Hungarian Empire. It is a S5 flcoain-g with the It is a pitiful thing, that, in deling with the issues, real and imaginary, for which our fellow countrymen, by the thousand ?,very day, are being converte,d into bloody rags," the people threatened with famine utter ruin, Ministers will per sis# in avoiding the plain facts of the ease. Misrepresentation and deliberate obscurity of statement is the out- standing feature of speeches made by Ministers when they are asked to come to close quarters with the points in dispute. Mr. Balfour, for in- stance, would persist in the pretence that Mr. Lees Smith had stated that Great Britain was party to the agreement between France and the 13ite "Russian Government, the effect of which Would be to take German territory on this side of the Rhine from Germany, in addition to Al- sace-Lorraine. In spite of repeated protests, Mr. Balfour persisted in this pntellce. Of course, his object was clear enough. It was ito avoid dealing with the real fact stated by Mr. Lees Smith, viz., that France and the late Rus- sian Government had agreed on this outrageous policy and that the present Foreign Minister of France has declined to renounce it. Another instance of Mr. Balfour's method of avoiding the simple issue to which his attention was drawn during the peace debate.is his indirect reference to the annexation schemes of Italy and Roumania to which the people of each of these oountries believe the Allies are committed. Al- though British Ministers refuse information on the subject, Italian Ministers have stated pub- licly that the Allies are pledged to the war aims of Italy, which are undoubtedly imperialist in their character. The same is true of Roumania. Italy is to have Austrian "territory in which Serbs, not Italians, are the majority. Italy seeks also, and expects, to dominate as a result of the war, the coast opposite her own, which is purely Serbian and Albanian. Smyria also is to be given to Italy as a prize of war, and a reward for her intervention. Roumania, as the prize of war, is to have Austrian and Bulgarian territory in which Germans, Serbs and Bulgars are in majority. All these annexationist aims were ignored by Mr. Balfour. "What is there Imperialistic," he asked, "in saying that Italy should have the restoration of her own soil, should embrace those of her own race, of her own tongue to her own civilimatioli? And, with regard to Romllnia's annexati.on"i. st aims,, What is there," J|gd Mr. Balfour, Im- perialistic in saying Wit the Roumanians should be under the Roumanian flag? At which point Mr. Balfour's audience of "never-endians" over military age cheered, although all that Mr. Bal- four had done was to throw a cloud of obscuri- ties over the real war aims of Italy and Rou- B?nia. rmanner an d in amorclqnc?e with the In like manner and in accordance with the (J; # 4> on. foreigi? re l a- custom of Ministers in debates on foreign rela- tions Mr. Balfour dodged the necessity for ex- amination of the portion of the Central Powers with regard to peace terms as affected oy the Reichstag resolution and the German and Aus- trian replies to the Pope's Note. The Reichstag resolution declares definitely for: (1) the policy of no forcible annexations of territory; (2) against economic war after the war; (3) freedom of the seas; and (4) international organisation for public rights (i.e., League of Peace). The reply of Germany and Austria to the Pope's no-be, adds two other important declarations, viz., Re-: duction of armaments by agreement, and, Arbi- tration for the settlement of International dis- putes. Instead of dealing with the position of the Central Powers in regard to peace terms as affected by the terms of the Reichstag resolu- tion and the replies to the Pope's Note, Mr. Bal- four had the audacity to say that The people who have never declared their war aims are not the Allies but the Central Powers." The Central Powers have not mentioned separately the terri- tority in their possession that they are willing to evacuate, it is true, it would have been better if they had, but Mr. Balfour knows what "no forcible annexations means. It means, of course, no forcible annexations for the Allies as well as the Central Powers, and it is because Mr. Balfour and the Government are pledged to all manner of forcible annexations which he dare not openly defend lie had recourse to the miser- able subterfuge of confusing the issue in the manner described. The rest olf Mr. Balfom's, speoch consisted mostly of the oft-repeated charges against Ger- many. Her will to exercise power, her belief in war, her desire to dominate the world, and her methods of warfare. In a more astute form lie repeated all the charges made earlier in the de- bate in the course of an impassioned speech by Mr. McCurdy, one of the members for North- ampton. All these charges are a true bill against militarism everywhere. The will to power is ex- pressed by militairists of all nations. Professor Cramb, the popular and learned British writer, expressed it openly, as also did Admiral Mahon, the famous American writer on naval and mili- tary strategy. As for belief in war, who has preached the gospel of war for its own more clearly than Lord Roberts ? Speaking of the British Empire, Lord Roberta said :— How was this Em\ Ire of Britain founded? War founded this Empire—war and conquest." Lord Charles Beresford hafi said: "The whole art of w,a-t- "is to strike at the enemy's weakest points wherever they are or whatever they be; there is no sentiment after once the action commences and I say boldly and openly that if an officer could damage his enemy and procure panic and demoralisation in the enemies country, he would be wrong to deanur a moment in Ig a ransom or bom- barding a seaport town if the opportunity occurs. It # On the same subject of war and war methods Lord Fisher moralised to the late Mr. W. T. Stead as follows — "The humanising of war! You might as well talk of the humanising of Hell! When a silly ass at the Hague got up and talked about the amenities of civilised warfare, and putting your prisoners' feet in hot whaler and giving them gruel, my reply, I regret to say, was con- sidered totally unfit for publication. As if war could be civilised! If I am in command when war breaks out I shall issue as my orders: The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecilit y. Hit first, hit hard, and hit anywhere. If you rub it in both at home and abroad thaft you are ready for instant war with every unit of your strength in the first line, and intend to be first in and hit your enemy in theheHy and kick him when he is down, and boil your prisoners in oil (if you take any!) and torture his women and chil- dren, then people will keep clear of you." e ics of liitpr- As for the military view of breaches of Inter- national law what could be more outspoken than this declaration by Lord Roberts in defence of the seizure by Great Britain of the whole Danish Fleet in 1807, without eren the formality of a declaration of war;- "Nothing," wrote Lord Roberts, "has ever been done by any other nation more utterly in defiance of the conventionalities of so-called international law. We considered it advisable and necessary and expedient, and we had the power to do it, therefore, we did it. Are we ashamed of it? No, certainly not .we are proud of it." v And this very week there has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons an offi- cial report which, so far, the Government has refused to publish which records certain events that took place in Ceylon only two years ago that are strangely reminiscent of the charges made against the Germans in Belgium in the early days of the war. One of the witnesses at the enquiry to which the report relates stated that the Inspector General—apparently a British Hun—after giving him his orders — Bnlarged on these instructions to me, par- ticularly saying that we were to get out and act—do something, search houses, if loot was found to take the man of the house out, stand him up against the wall and shoot him; no in- quiries, no inquests, and do not trouble to remove the body. Take no prisoners. We were given carte blanche to do as we thought fit." ? Last week Mr. Snowden questioned the Under Secretary of State for, War concerning the exe- cution of a young soldier of 21 years of age. The soldier had previously been invalided home suf- fering from shell shock. He was returned to the front again, and when he was on his way to the trenches a shell burst close to him. Being already completely nerve-shattered, he was un- equal to the ordeal of going forward with his regiment. For this failure he was court-mar- tialled and shot. These are the fruits of militarism, which is the same ruthless destroyer everywhere and at all times, and when for the first time in the his- tory of the world there is a distinct and definite proposal to make disarmament and arbitration part of a peace settlement between all the lead- ing nations of the world, British Ministers ig- nore the proposal, as if it were nothing of im- portasioe. They will learn by bitter experience later on, and so, also, will the people who have trusted them.
I- CORRESPONDENCE. I Correspondents are requested to condense their letters as much as possible. I SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS' SALARIES. I TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—The report of the sub-committee dealing with the question of teachers' salaries presented to the Education Committee on October 15th, which you printed in full in your issue of Oct. 20, presents many interesting features, both from the point of view of the general public, and from the point of view of secondary school teachers. The first point which arises is that all second- ary school teachers were to receive an addi- tional £ 20 for the year 1916-7 (August 1st, 1916, to July 31st, 1917) from the increased Fisher grants. These additional grants earned by the Merthyr Secondary Schools aanount to £ 2,097. For 1916-17, this was estimated 'by the Bor- ough Controller to cost £ 720. Apparently the estimate was for 36 teachers at £ 20 each. This estimate is too high (as also is the estimate of £1,080 for 1917-8), and is greater than the amount which has been paid "to the teachers for the period in question. Firstly Two teachers of the Intermediate School left in July last and re- ceive no portion of the £ 20. Further, the mis- tress and the master were not on the staffs for the whole of the period, and, therefore, receive only a proportional part of the £ 20. The total additional amount paid for 1916-7 to all the teachers of the Boi ough was not more than £ 667 10s. This amount includes the war bonus paid to the teachers, totalling P,79 3s. lid. A further deduction from the £ 20 has been made in the case of all teachers who received any increment of salary during 1016-17 under the old scale of salaries then in force. This applies to eight mistresses and two masters, and the total deducted on this head is £ 47 10B. 2d. This de- duction of increment is strongly resented by the teachers, and cannot be allowed to pass without protest.No understanding on this point had been made between the teachers and the Com- mittee—the question had never been raised in any form in the meetings of the teachers' depu- tations and the local authority. The effect of this deduction is to penalise the teachers con- cerned twice over: (1) Thev list the increment received last year, which was payable to them under the old scale of salaries in force. (2) They are placed on a lower rate for this year and suc- ceeding years in the new scales of series now in operation than they should be. These two points will be made clearer 'oy illustrating an actual case:—" A mistress was paid from Aug., 1916, to March, 1917, at the rate of £135 per annum. In March, 1917, her increment of L5 (i,in d ei- the old se?.ifle ) 'i b (, (under the old scale) began to operate, and she was paid at the rate of t- 140 per annum from March to July, 1917. From the payment of t20 due to her has been deducted (in addition to war bonus) the sum of £ 2 15s. 5d. being all the increment she received for the period March to July, 1917. Her salary for 1917-18 under the new scales now in operation should be at the rate of L165 per annum until March, 1918, and £ 170 per annum from March to July, 1918. The authority rule otherwise, and declare her salary for the whole year 1917-18 to be £ 160 per annum. She is thus penalised this year to the extent of more than £ 5, and also in succeeding years." The total amount paid by the local authority out of the increased secondary school grants for 1916-17 is £ 540 15s. lid. This is arrived at by deducting the war bonus paid £79 3s. lid.) and the increments deducted ( £ 47 10s. 2d.) from the total actually paid ( £ 667 IN.), so that out of a total of C2097 received by the local authority for the primary object of paying the teachers ade- quate salaries, the authority pays the teachers barely one-quarter, and retain three-quarters ( £ 1,556) for purposes other than those for which the increased grants were given. The treatment thus meted out to the second- ary teacher of Merthyr does not compare favourably with that of neighbouring large towns of South Wales and Monmouthshire. Thus: (a) Cardiff allocates £ 2,700 out of £ 3,100 to the teachers (b) Newport, £ 700 out of £ 819 (c) Swansea allocates the whole amount to. the teachers. Evidently the Local Education Authority of Merthyr has not dealt with the increased grants in keeping with the spirit and expressed inten- tion with which the Board of Education made the increased grants.—I am. yours, etc., ROWLAND tl. l-'UGH. J Intermediate School, Merthyr, t October 31st, 1917. '1
Mid-Rhondda Notes. I Rhondda Socialist Society.. I On Sunday last Comrade George Phippin gave an excellent paper on population and the Capi- talists efforts to preserve and increase the birth- rate. The speaker clearly showed that the. pre- sent clamouring about the welfare of the child was not in any way the result of any moral sense of obligation to the child, rather it was due to economic causes. The Capitalists, being anxious to acquire and preserve more wealth could only get it by taking some little care of those that produced the wealth. A very inter- esting discussion followed the paper. Food Question* The food question is s-till in a very unsatisfac- tory state in Mid-Rhondda, and one would not be in any way surprised if serious trouble breaks out, since the temper of the people is in an in- flamed state.
I The War of The Teachers THE IMPOSSIBLE POSITION OF THE CONTROVERSY. IF YOU WOULD ELIMINATE THE UNCER- TIFICATED, CAN YOU? Few problems of an academic professional, or trade, interest have ever gripped the imagina- tion of the Labour Movement in South Wales as has the present controversy of the teaching pro- fession, that is raging around the question of the certificated v. the uncertificated primary school teacher; none, I am sure, has ever found Labour so divided upon its solutions or so vigor- ous in its sectional feeling. Everyone seems to be certain of the way out; the solution to the Miner or the N.U.R. member seems much easier than it actually is; easier, for instance, than the solution of the surface craftsmen's position in the industrial organisation of the coalfield; or the problem of the relativity of the A.S.L.E. & F. to railroad organisation. As a matter of fact, the problem is much more difficult than either of these; and it is necessary to be something more than a ratepayer and the father of a scholar to be an expert on the topic. In Mer- thyr we are suffering from an acute attack of Ceitlficaticn only because our democratic- industrial atmosphere has made us civic con- scious, and has reacted on the teachers suffi- ciently to awaken thein to a. realisation of the value of trades union backing; and both have strained forward in an atttempt to secure that backing for themselves. I am no expert on this topic, and this article is no more than an attempt at the expression of the view-points put forward; and an endeavour to state some of the factors that have been sup- pressed or singularly overlooked in the discus- sions. So much has been said about the certi- licat,o "-both pro and con—that a,t the outset we had better realise in a general sense what it it. The "certificate" is a document that is issued with Governmental authority to teachers who have passed an examination set for the pur- pose of securing it; its possession is not de- pendent upon, though generally coincident with college training. By that I mean that all oerti- | ficated teachers have not been through a train- ing college or university; and, conversely, that all teachers who have been through a training college have not got the certificate. That is quite positive; though, as I have already said, the "certificate is a very important decument to the teacher as a wage-earner; for its posses- sion places its holder in a muel superior mini- mum and maximum scale of remuneration. To draw an analogy it is to the teacher as great an economic factor as is the C.A. to the account- ant it changes his shillings into guineas; a rougher analogy might put the herbalist and bone-setter on the plane of the uncertificated and the M.D. on that of the certificated teacher. The ordinary cashier may be as smart an accountant as the chartered accountant; the herbalist and bone-setter may have as imposing a list of cures as the General Practitioner; but neither have the legal protection or professional safeguards of the qualified men; and their monetary recompense is consequently infinitely lower. Ex- actly the same thing applies to the division in the ranks of the teaching profession; and the present struggle is the old struggle of the close- professional organisations on a new field. The certificated teacher naturally fears the wage- red ucing powers of an influx of uncertificated rivals, and seeks to use his powers of privilege and combination to render the spectre of this uncontrolled competition as anaemic as a spectre can possibly be. It is, in short, the old old tale of an attempt to control entry into a calling as a means of protecting the labourers' interests that runs through the whole past history of trades unionism, whether it be the superior trades unionism of the top-hatted and frock- coated physician or the corduroy-trousered trades unionism of the building trade artisan. It has come to the teacher late in the day that is all. Just when Industrial Unionism is being forced into the Labour ranks by economic pres- sure, the teacher is entering into the previous evolutionary phase from which the artisan is emerging. There is only one new factor, but that is a striking one—the shortage of candi- dates for entry into the teaching profession that has marked the past few years, but consideration of this factor must be deferred until we have settled with the" certificate." The certificate is, therefore, the finest pos- session a teacher can have; it is the diploma that guarantees his superior wage-earning capacity— not capability—and it opens avenues of promo- tion which its absence bars. As an index to the capability of a man or woman as a teacher it is in itself valueless. A particular man or woman who does not possess the' certificate may be naturally a better teacher than a particular man or woman who possesses the certificate; may even have more knowledge and a better method. But whilst this may be theoretically true, it seems to me that practically it will not work out that- way. I have already emphasised the fact that the certificate does represent a con- siderable improvement in the salary and pros- pects of the teacher possessing it; as well as the fact that it may be obtained without the per- sonal training in a residential training college or university, and it seems to me that once we realise the significance of these two facts we shall be in a better position to appreciate the, problem as citizens who pay for education, and whose children are the raw materials upon which the teacher practices his act. I hold it as a truism that any teacher who takes his or her profession seriously will not be content to be a hewer of wood and drawer of water in the profession; but will strive to qualify for the certificate that means so much. Apart from one or two hard cases," the existence of which we may all pre- suppose when arguing on this matter, but which only prove the rule, we may take it that the younger uncertificated teachers are persons who lack ambition and a sense of pride in .their pro- fession—who regard it, shall we say, as merely a temporary occupation, pending marriage or a movement into a more congenial calling. The certificate therefore becomes valuable as a guar- antee of the seriousness with which a teacher re- ga-ixls his or her profession. Who is the more likely to safeguard my child's educational inter- ests the teacher with a consciousness of his owa interests, and a.. pride in his or her profession; or the teacher who is unambitious, who is bon- tent to remain in the badly remunerated sub- stratum of a profession, and who regards that profession as a mere waiting-for-something-better job? I know that I am going to plump for the certificate every time on these grounds. It is a vague realisation of these things that has led to the desire for the elimination of the uncertiif- cated teacher throughout the ranks of Labour; amongst educationists, and with all who are not taking a prejudiced short view of the problem. The certificate, whatever its value from a scholastic point of view, and apart from it, is an invaluable guide to the teacher's individual- ity, and the teacher's attitude towards the teaching profession. So far I have merely stated the common ground of the average Socialist and Labour lay- argument in this problem; but underneath it is a far more difficult problem. We agree on elim- ination, but immediately we start to talk about "elimination we lose our grasp of facts, ruffle our hair, and breathe out hot words that usually turn to personalities. That is silly and leads to nothing but ill-willed recriminations. Let us look at the arguments. One side argues that since these employees are employed, the mere fact of their employment should guarantee to- them a living wage; bu t, in order to safeguard against the multiplication of these teachers with that certificate, we should demand a time-limit clause by which they will be compelled to obtain the certificate or pass out of the profession; and, to prevent injustice, we should leave the uncer- tificated teacher of old standing—it is generally put at not less than 10 years' service—to die off by disease or otherwise. Those who negative this argument are in the difficult position of having to appear opposed to a living wage, and are compelled to rely to some extent on the inference that the uncertificated teacher is the professional counterpart of the blackleg." So far I have not heard one of them use the only real argument they possess; that of the declining entrants which is the out- standing truth of the profession to-day. Plainly the profession as it exists offers no inducements to the great body of men and women with en- thusiasm and ability enough to adorn it. I am told by a teacher that it will take fifteen years before there can be a normal supply of certifi- cated teachers, and looking at the past few years I do not see how it can be done within that time. The real problem, then, is to discover the ob- stacles th. t -inm the -ji -.flow r.f tal^t sVv- this channel. One obstacle is, undoubtedly, the nature of the raw material upon which the teacher works. It needs a tremendous optimistic outlook to make a rosy picture out of the pros- pect of perpetually conducting the juvenile mind. from one-syllable words to poly-sylabble reading; from the introduction of blue-eyed innocence to the fairyland of the multiplication table, thence to the Ogre's Castle of vulgar fractions; and then returning to repeat the offence against the compulsory enquirer for knowledge. Personally, the prospect of finding an occasional schoollboy howler" amongst a, bundle of essays on the cow, would never induce me to regard the task a-s anything but a punishment besides which the theological Hell would be a playtime occupation. This obstacle might be overcome by a revision in teaching methods, but that does not enter into the present discussion. I cannot regard the ques- tion of insufficiency of remuneration as the main obstacle, for compaiatively speaving the teacher enjoys as good a salary, and more security of tenure, as any other professional man; but it may be that an increased remuneration would induce more entrants and it will have to be tried. A further obstacle is the existence of the lower-graded uncertificated teacher. Unques- tionably the uncertificated teacher is a menace to the certificated. Demands for revision of methods for reforms, or better remuneration can be fought by means of inducements held out to the uncertificated teacher to be disloyal to the certificated teacher, and with a feeling of resent- ment and estrangement existent 'between the two they are likely to clash here. To the certificated teacher, and to the would-be certificated teacher the uncertificated day labourer in the school exists as a menace and a bar. Remove that menace and you might progress. But you can't remove that menace because you have nothing with which to substitute the uncertificated teacher. The schools are to-day understaffed; the entrants fall far below requirements, how- then will you staff if you eliminate the uncerti- ficated? How will you fare with the time-limit clause if the uncertificated teacher fails to carry out her guarantee to obtain the certificate? How, again, will you eliminate by remunerating the uncertificated grade better than now? The same spirit is creeping into the secondary school, wheore the fight is between graduate and non- graduate masters and mistresses. One would like here to interpose a beautiful cut-to-measure scheme that would solve these difficulties, but I am entirely at sea. Industrial Unionism might be thought to solve the problem; but so far as I can gather the linking together of both grad es of teachers into one organisation under one authority—the experiment has been tried unofficially so far as the N.U.T. is con- eemed-has only served to worsen the position of the certificated without adva-irtagmg the un- certificated. What is wanted first is a better understanding of the educational problem, and a really serious and germane anthology of repre- sentative teachers' opinions on the question, to- gether with the experiences of all educational authorities and directors. The problem is an urgent one: but its solution is impossible along the old lines and with nothing but the bazy facts that come to the lay man. A.P.Y.
I.L.P. MERTHYR CONFERENCE. A conference of the I.L.P. branch members, of all the branches in the new Merthyr Parlia-, mentary Division, will be held at Bentlev's on Saturday evening next (November 10th) at 7.30 p.m. The business is to discuss the question of Parliamentary representation, and it is import- ant that all members of the Party in the Valley should make an effort to be present.