1 L Trade Union Notes. I By Trade Unionist. I The Comb-Out Ballot. The South Wales miners' ballot upon the ,,eomb-out" question is now practically Cüm- Meted and the result shows that, roughly, 4Wt one-fourth of the men are in favour of ,adopting a down tools policy. Naturally, "ais result is hailed as a great triumph for the -mongers, and in a sense it is so. But it is ?dent thaa the supporters of a continuation of ￼ war had a distinct advantage, inasmuch as ?question put to the men, viz., "Are you in Wour of a down tools policy in case the Gov- ment apply the' comb-out' IICheme," was of "lentous importance. A majority of the kmen may be in favour of Peace by Nego- ,4tion, may be bitterly opposed to conscription, iMd in particular they may be against the par- Mcipation of their trade union, as such, in any jjoheme for the compulsory taking of men into the army, and at the same time be against mani testing such opinions by refusing to work. They j ad to face the plausible argument that a stop- ge of work would paralyse the fighting forces °f this country by stopping the supply of coal frhich is a prime essential in the carrying on of the war, and thus give the enemy a distinct ad- kiltage Whatever their opinions about the no sensible man amongst them would. abouring under such a conviction, vote in favour of a stoppage. If, however, a, vote I ad n taken on the question of a peace by nego- tiation, or on the plain question of the comb- at scheme, without the "down tools" pro- Posal, it would be seen that the war-mongers I Itould be let down rather badly. j I Silly Jubilation. Many of the miners' leaders are indulging in IQ, y jubilation over what they term as the le- i diation of the delegate conference." The vote is described as a further proof that dele- Sates do not represent the views of those they 'present. That may or may not be. In any e such jubilation and taunts are quite out of Place in the present instance, because, as I pointed out above, the vote was taken upon the down tools issue, upon which no decision recorded by the conference. Besides, if it "ere so; if the conference had declared by re- Nution in favour of down tools," and had keen afterwards repudiated by ballot vote, this kind of talk is quite-out of place. Someone once Sa-id, the minority is always right." That ^obably is an exaggeration, but certainly it is i \rue to say that the minority are not always j \tl'iong. What about the experience of the Exe- cutive members themselves? Do they forget the struggle they had to have the contributions the S.W.M.F. members increased from Is. to a month? On two (or three) separate occa- sions they (the Executive) recommended and the ^legate conference adopted the recommenda- tion to increase the contribution, the workmen 7rere advised by circular to vote in favour of the Proposal, because it was essential that the Jh-ange should be brought about if the Federa- I'" n was to be saved from financial ruin, and in &pite of all, the workmen on the two occasions Hcorned the advice, and repudiated the confer I n.ce resolution by hugh majorities. In the end 'he Executive enforced the change in opposition the wishes of the majority:, and in contra ven tion of the rules. This was a, case of the minority ^ving the organisation, and that fact ought to an.3ike these men refleot that the minority in this 1Qa«e also were possibly in the right and the *^ority in the wrong. J Hairdressers' Charter. I 'he Hairdressers (journeymen) are not a very I onerous body, and as a general rule not dis- llÏshed for any particular zeal for oTgani- tlOn. It is all the more gratifying, therefore, ? record that the Shop Assistants' Union have for the London West-End hairdressers th Charter, for which the organisation has been t, Station for some time. A strike was threat- I^fted, but has happily been cheated by the ac- J^ptance of the CUarter by the hair dressing <JTn6. Here are the terms of the Charter as horded in the Shop Assitant Maximum ? 48 hours week; minimum wage (ladies) 25s. Jeekly and 10 per cent. on all takings; gents -"nds 3os. weekly and 121 per cent. on all tin; general hands 45s. and commission; "AUy hands 60s. and commission; charge hands and commission meal timee as allowed in top Hours Act, 1912; one week's holiday per Sterna* with full pay. i V Railway Clerks and Women. [ "Ehe Railway Clerks' Association, have, like ?my other trades unions, been confronted with ￼ problems raised by the wholesale introduc- *?on of female cictrks into th e servioo of the rail- ?y companies. Their chief task, of course, to organise the new comers and afterwards 16 secure iMPTOvements in their conditions of 4%bour. They had succeeded so well in their ^ganising efforts that they were able early in the year to get an increase of 5s. a week in goo. The increase is not universal, 'however, ^fd wen where secured, the women do not "Olljoy the same rate as the men. The R.O.A. passed resolutions stating that the em- ployment of women under male rates tends to ess the general standard of clerical remuner- ation, and advocating that, rather than oppose e introduction of female labour, which would 1. futile, they should press for equal pay for I8Q1¡h sexes, for equal work. The Cotton Outloók. The outlook in the cotton industry is not at a pleasant one. The industry has been for o time worked under a controlled scheme, %be principal feature of which was the payment '()f out of work benefit by the employers. Ac- cording to the Manchester Guardiian 40,000 "Or 50,000 operatives are always temporarily un- employed in the Oldham province alone, and the Slants they receive are far from adequate in the days of high prices. Under the scheme the en are also debarred from making an appliea- n for an increase of wages. Dissatisfaction s been very pronounced for months under ihe-.e conditions, and now we understand that Ot and after December 10th the scheme will be Jfithdrawn. That will leave the operatives at liberty to apply for an increase in wages, but on \he other hand their trade unions are left to ,?)&nge for the payment of out of work benefits ,rom their own funds. I presume that the anti- ?Pation of the trade unions is that by Decem- Ili? 10th the trade will be in a prosperous con- ,ajtion, and that there is no reason why they Quld not e#ect their release and demand an lIloreased wage. It is to be hoped that their -t.i.cipa.tion is justified, but there are a few (Continued at foot of next eolumc).
I Our Oligarchy.-I., BY W. N. EWER. A.G.G., of the Daily Newe," writimg the other day in praise of Mr. Asquith and in dis- praise of the Prime Minister, declared that after all it was precisely for parliamentary Govern- ments that we were fighting the war. Now that is one of those stupendously wrong statements that are in their way as illuminating as the most crystalline truths. Just in itself—as a statement of war aims, to use the cant phrase of the moment—it is sim- ply unimportant; simply an addition to the long string of reasons for the war which now rather weary us who have heard them all, from Belgium to Bagdad, reiterated so often and so tediously. It is the fashion of the day that when one is commending anything one should always add that it is, after all, what our armies are fight- ing to secure. As one gentleman I me.t recently, who took me confidentially aside, said: "Do you know the real cause of the war? H No," I answered, politely. "Esperanto," he whis- pered fiercely, "was conquering the world; and the Kaiser believes in Ido." But this, as I said, is all rather unimportant. The bearing of A.G.G.'s remarks lies in its im- plication-and it is in its implications that it is so astoundingly, albeit so innocently untruthful. The Arabian Knights. Consider first the personal question. The whole point ,of it was the suggestion that of the two men, Mr. Asquith was the defender and Mr. Lloyd George the destroyer of Parliamentary Government. Now it is a curious phenomenon that Mr. Aequith is always praised by his sup- porters for qualities exactly opposite to those he possesses. He, who is one of our most ornate, and, if you will, verbose orators, is praised as a master of terseness and compression: the subtlest and mose dexterous Parliamentary tac- tician of his generation; he is hailed as a blunt, straightforward Englishman. But never was estimate of him wider from the obvious truth than this one, for it was precisely during Mr. Asquith's eight years Premiership that Parlia- mentary Government was, as an effective thing, finally extinguished ill this country. All that Mr. George has done has been to make obvious the fact which his predecessor had carefully con- cealed for compared with Mr. Asquith, the Prime Minister is a. butcher and a bungler. He is cunning, but with a clumsy cunning that can- not emulate his master's skill. In this matter they are like the two men in the Arabian tale. You remember the swordsman who smote so cunning a stroke with so keen a blade that his victim stayed upright, his severed head still poised on his neck; and then came the thief with the bludgeon who hit what he thought was, a live man and knocked his head clean off his shoulders. It was the sword of Asquith, not the club of Lloyd George that slew the House of Commons. And, in view of the carefully organ- ised boosting of Asquith-stocks at the moment, it is as well that we should remember it. But vastly more important than this wÐigh- ing of the relative merits of Capitalist politi- cians is the whole question of Parliamentary Government And it is in his underlying as- sumption that Parliamentary Government is identical with democracy, that A.G.G. is most magnificently and most sigmnca.ntly wrong. Parliamentary Government and Oligarchy. lilor the simple, fact is that Parliamentary Government, so far from being an instru- ment of democracy is essentially, an in- strument of oligarchy. It was devised by an oligarchy, it was developed by an oligarchy, and its every form and feature are adapted to the needs and purposes of oligarchy. It has, indeed, passed through two phases. For roughly two hundred years it was the direct means by which our oligarchs governed us. For roughly half a century it has been the screen be- hind which they have governed us. Parliament since the second Reform Bill has, in fact, been a device of political camouflage; and Parlia- mentary Government has been oligarchy dis- guised as democracy. What Mr. Asquith did was really, in effect, to complete that transition to eviscerate Parliament and leave it a mere shell; what Mr. Lloyd George has done is clumsily to break that shell and reveal the naked oligarchy. Or, if you prefer it, Mr. Asquith took everything else out of the bag; Mr. George has let the eat out as well. And, indeed, we ought to be grateful to the Prime Minister for his clumsiness. Becauise one of the greatest dangers that beset the Labour Movement before his arrival was the danger of believing in Pariiamenttary Government. Many of us had failed to see quite clearly that "re- presentative government" was anything but re- presentative that H respoibe Government" was utterly irresponsible: and that with exist- ing institutions it could be nothing else. We talked of "capturing the political machine" without pausing to consider that it was a ma- chine utterly useless for our purpose* and that to capture it would be about as useful as for an aspirant to aviation to capture a traction engine. But, thanks largely to Mr. Lloyd George we are now beginning to see this, and to realise that an instrument devised for the felonious purposes of Capitalism and oligarchy is not likely to be much use for Socialism and Demo- cracy. We have begun to see that if we are to have Democracy we have got to find a sub- stitute for this "Parliamentary Government" beloved of a L.-G.: that in short th theorv and practice of Socialism must be as distinct" from those of Liberalism in matters political aI in matters eoosaomie.
Gilfach Goch Notes. Mrs. BDuvier at Gilfach Goch. I Mrs. Bouvier, of the W.S.F., deputised at Gil fach Gooh on Saturday for Miss Sylvia Pank- hursi. Dealing with adult suffrage in the main, lIfrs. Bouvier had a splendid reception.
Lodge Officials' Obligations. I IMPORTANT MERTHYR JUDGMENT. -Francis Adams (secretary) and other officials of the South Wales Miners Federation were de- fendants in a curious case brought before Judge Bryn Roberte at Merthyr County Court 011. Wednesday, when Wm. Morgan, a Merthyr Vale Collier, claimed 22 Is. damages in respect to the loss of three days' wages alleged to be due to delay upon their part in informing the man- agement of the Merthyr Vale Colliery (where he was employed) of his being" clear" in regard to his federation contributions. Mr. W. R. Edmunds was for plaintiff and Mr. W. P. Nicholas, Pontypridd, for defendants. Mr. Edmunds stated that plaintiff was given fourteen days' notice to terminate his employ- ment unless he joined the federation. At the expiration of the notice on June 8 he was refused permission to go on working although he had paid up his subscriptions, because no intimation that he was clear on the books had been re-' ceived. He, however, obtained a letter from Mr. Adams to this effect and was allowed to re-com- mence on June 11th. Mr. Nicholas contended that plaintiff could have satisfied the management himself, by show- ing his card, thus avoiding any loss of work. Holding that there was no obligation upon the lodge official to acquaint the colliery manage- ment of the position j his Honour found for de- fendants with costs. —=
Theatre Royal. Candidly, I have been pleasantly surprised this week over the excellence of the interpre- tation of The Christian" which the Morton Powell Company are making at the Theatre Royal. Well as the company have undoubtedly played their previous pieces, they are this week exercising a restrained harmony that brings out all the beauties of Hall Oaine's famous play, with a power such as is seldom met with outside the big London combinations, The work itself is by no means an easy one to tackle, covering, as it does, such an immense field of dramatic art, and working from situation to situation to culminate in the great climax that marks the play as distinct from the mere "pot boilers." that too often pass for matured stagecraft in drama. And it is the spirit of the piece that gives rise to these difficulties, its analysis of clashing characters, passions, desires and inten- tions, a conglomerate of sheer humanism that if wrongly caught may be emphasised into ab- surdity, weakened into futility, or spoiled into ludioruity. The company this week neither, over emphasise, weaken or spoil. They have, one and all, from the humblest part to the principal leads, caught the inner spirit of Hall Caine, and often as I have seen "The Christian," I must say that never have I seen it better done; sel- dom so well played. That appealing part of "Glory Quayle" is delightfully done by Miss Nina Blake Adams, and Mr. Geoffrey Suther- land gives life to the part of the Hon. John Storm in a fine visualisation of that character. Altogether it is a play to be seen and enjoyed. For next week the same company have chosen "The Light that Leads Me Home," a new drama of exceptional merit. A story of love and domesticity, of strange happenings and unex- pected developments, that wherever played has been ranked high by drama lovers. I myself have not seen the play, but some of my friends who have assure me that it is altogether differ- ent from the tawdry stuff that is labelled drama these days, that it has a fine grip and a sparkling book. That being so I am looking forward to next week's play at the Royal. PLAYGOER. I
Gadflights." I [" Gadflights," by C. L. Everard. George Allen I and Unwin, Ltd., 2J- net. ] There is no art so effective as that of the satirist. Also there is no artist so scarce as the satirist. A very narrow bookshelf indeed would contain the editions of our best satirists, but it would be a bookshelf to which one's hands would most headily stray when seeking the true inwardness of any event that came within the purview of our satirist; rather than to the more numerous and heavy tones in which our windy philosophers, and laughter-free historians have entombed in stately language and heavy periods the events we desired. For it is the essence of the satirists' art that it delights, aye, and en- lightens, even when the ephemeral event or per- son has passed from memory, and from laughter. We of the Socialist Party have been indeed ,lucky in finding the satirical artist at qpe with most of the other real giants of literary art of our school and not against us; and amongst them we must certainly number C. L. Everard- "Gadfly" of the Herald," who delighted us for so long, and whose Hadflights" have just been published in a neat two-shilling volume, that ought to have been a quarter of the cost. I am aware that the -price of a book is dictated by its circle of readers, and that it is because our people are not numerous enough to reduce costs to those of a "shilling shocker that we have to pay through the nose for our books. They are always worth it, taken as intrinsic value to ourselves, but, after all, the cost does diminish the effective sphere of influence" of our books, and we are the losers in great part. I should be delighted to find "Gadflights" amongst the season's best sellers, for then I should know that his laughter had converted scores to our views; and that enemy forces were wasting time in futile angers, instead of occupy- ing their minds with back-stair intrigues for class advantages. And that would be to the good. At all events "Gadflights" will always be a companionable book; a book that will al- ways serve as an excellent tonic to a debilitated conversation, and that will be given precedence over Thomas a Kempis, or Samuel Rutherford in the book about bed books of a future Nun- quam "that is if the future prototype of our determinist fallen angel has an eye to a book of good-fellowship, and seraphic satisfaction, and not upon the gas meter.
TO-MORROW MAY BE TOO LATE. Get a Box TO-DAY: Robert Edes, of Weybridge, writes After I had taken the second two I felt better than I had done for over four years. The pain in my back had entirely gone." Mrs. King, ?nwe I I Road, Wickford, states:—" Your pills cured me after years of pain." Sufferers from Gravel, Lumbago, Pains in the ?r"PSY, Bright's Disease of the Kidneys, etc.. Sciatica, Rheumatism and Gout, will 6nd a. positive cure in Ho!droyd s Gravel PiUs, Is. 3d., all chemists; post free, 14 stamps.— Gravel Pills. "Medical Hall, Cleckheaton. H,a11, Cleckheaton. PRINTING SENT TO PRIVATE COMPANIES means Profit for Individual Owners. When WE do your work, the Profit comes in the PROPAGATION OF SOCIALISM AND TRADES UNIONISM. to LLOYDS BANK" M|yi LIMITED. HEAD OFFIC, E: 71, LOMBARD STREET, It 3. CAPITAL SUBSCRIBED £ 31,304,200 CAPITAL PAID UP • 5,008,672 RESERVE FUND 3,600,000 DEPOSITS, &c. (Oct., 1917) 159,041,262 ADVANCES, &c. do. 62,433,784 FBJENCS AUXILIARY: I LLtOYD9 BANK (FRANCE) ft MTIOfiAL PRGVINGML BANK (FRANCE) LTD. [ 11- It II DuftWLAls ftCO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY, Limited, I 16, 17, 18, and 19, Union Street, Dowlais. Ig DRAPERY DEPT. I We are now showing a Lare Assortment of New Goods for the I I coming Season,, I I Household Linen. Blankets. Quilts. Sheets. | i Carpets and Rugs. II m I MILLINERY DEPT. I I Costumes. Jackets. Blouses. Ladies and j| I Children's Millinery. iS VALUE AND QUALITY GUARANTEED IF YOU BUY AT I 16, 17, 18 & 19, Union Street, Dowlais. I | PantscaHo?, Dowlais. Caeharris, Dowials. | I High Street, Penydarren. I I Station Terrace, BedHno?. I
Mid-Rhondda Notes. I The Co-operative Movement. f A weal-attended meeting oi trie Mid-Rhonddft Co-operative Society was held on Saturday itigit when Mr. T. Ll. Arthur read the balance-sheet for the last six months. It was most satisfactory. A resolution was passed congratulating the com- mittee and staff on their work. A falso rumour has been prevalent in some quarter* to the effect that the shortage of food has been caused to a great extent through some of the mem bers re- ceiving more than their share. The meeting was not furnished with any evidence which would substantiate the rumour, and the com- mittee would be well advised in dealing witn those people who are responsible for this rumour. The C"perative, with all its faults and failings, is the best and most effective organisation for an even distribution in the whole country. The Government know that, and if it was not for the fact that it has failed to deal effectively with the profiteers it would have long ago taken the Co-operative organisation as its mcatM of distribution. Cambrian Collieries. A mass meeting of the above collieries 1VM held on Sunday, November 11th, to consider what attitude the lodge would take with refer- ence to the Income Tax. After some discussion it was unanimously resolved to suspend payment pending a conference on the matter. Rhondda Socialist Society. I The usual meeting or the above society was held on Sunday evening, when Comrade Will Sussex gave a short, but excellent, paper, and a very interesting discussion followed.
Pontypridd Notes. J I.L.P. Activities. I On Sunday evening, November 4th, Comrade T. Young (Tonyrefail) spoke at the I.L.P. Hall on "Morals of War," Owen Hughes presiding over a good attendance. The speaker, who op- posed all wars as being engineered for the fur- therance of Capitalism, was literally deluged with questions, which he ably dealt with. One new member was made. Last Sunday night Griff. Maddocks, of Porth, an ex-C.L.C.stu.dent, lectured on "The Workers and the Social Struggle, the address being an able exposition of scientific Socialism, and was much appre- ciated. Two new members were accepted. Trades Council Notes. m L r1-J.LL I ■« i *1 ii. I At the last meeting or tne j.raaes council uie proposed terms of the four local Co-operative branches of the Ynysybwl Society (per John Baker, chief delegate) were accepted; thus this movement will be represented by eight members. At the same meeting after hearing the report of the Labour members on the Food Control Com- mittee, it was decided to call 'a. special meeting for the 'following Wednesday to select six dele- gates from each of the six wards to act as Vigilance Committee.
PROPAGANDA, NOT PROFIT," is the motto of the "Pioneer Press." If you are alive to the tremendous social improve- ments that the Party the Pioneer" represents stands for, then it is your duty to all that all your Trades Union, Co-operative, and General Printing comes to Williams' Square, Merthyr, the Home of the Pioneer." SITUATIONS VACANT. WANTED, a Smart Errand Boy.—Apply, TV Pioneer" Office, Glebeland, Merthyr. LITERARY. UNITARIAN PAMPHLETS on The Bible, "Heaven," and" Hell," given post free. —Miss BARMBY, Mount Pleasant, Sidmouth. MEDICAL. fi/i -PAGE BOOK ABOUT HERBS AND U^fc HOW TO USE THEM, Post Free. Send for One. TRIMNELL, THE HERBALIST, 144, RICHMOND ROAD, CARDIFF. Established 1879. MISCELLANEOUS. A STROLOGY.-Life Events, Changes, For- f tunate Days, Business Success, Matrimony; Two Years' Future added.—Send Birth date, II- (P.O., PROF. GOULD, "The Nook," Heathfield Road, Cardiff.
Gorseinon Notes. The Band. The local band visited Briton Ferry on Satur- day and carried off the third prize in Class B. Mansel Grenfell a Criminal! The many friends of the stalwart Mansel Grenfell will be pleased to learn of his well-being at Walton Gaol. A splendid letter was received by Mrs. Griffiths, his sister, this week, from which we understand that prison walls and rou- tine have not broken his great-spirit, nor dulled his reasoning. On the contrary, he is more de- termined than ever to see the struggle through, and his thoughts concerning criminals and offences are: "It would not be proper to call him (Mansel Grenfell) a criminal, nor to describe him as an offender, in the strict sense of the word. However, if it is, he must be a criminal of the very worst type, for he commits crime and offends quite unconsciously, and is quite im- pervious to regret and remorse. Indeed, so much is this the case that what is imputed to him ag crime he considers as a duty, one which nto could not honourably neglect, and regards him- self and his interest in this duty as having suf- fered a very serious offence, rather than as having given any. Offence implies attack—or abuse. Well! he is not aware yet of having been guilty of attacking or abusing human interests, he feels rather a quickening of the desire to pre- vent their being abused and an intenser zeal for service for the whole of humanity." He goes on to quote the following lines—true indications of the state of his mind, and his de- termination to stand by his convictions, even if he has to stand alone. Surely, if this is the result of prison life upon people's minds, it would not be amiss to allow some folks we know to undergo a term or so between the walls. Whoso hM felt the spirit of the highest, Cannot eonfound, nor dotibt it, nor aeny. Yea! with one voice, 0, World! though thofe denieri, SCand thou on that side, for ob this mm JY
1-, HELP THOSE WHO HELP YOUR PAPEWI
facts which tend to create doubts. The root of the whole matter is the deficient supply of cot- ton, and it does not appear. that that will be re- medied. It has been announced that the con- sumption at present is 50,000 bales a week, and that the import will be reduced from 300,000 bales to 100,000, That being so it is apparent that the stock of cotton in the country will soon be very low, one paper saying that by January the stocks would be reduced to as low a level as it was during the American Civil War. This means more unemployment, and the financial ruin of the unions. Representatives of the men met the employers last week at Manchester to consider the Spinners' application for a 50 per cent. advance on pre-war rates. The employers promised te reply on the 23rd inst. t