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THE EIGHT HOURS ACTI ISSUE
THE EIGHT HOURS ACT I ISSUE. PROPOSED SUSPENSION RESISTED. I A special meeting of the Executive of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain was held at the Westminster Palace Hotel, London, to the consider the re- I sult of the West Yorkshire strike ballot on the minimum wage dispute and other I matters affecting the industry. Mr. Robert Smillie (Scotland), president, was in the chair. YORKSHIRE BALLOT. ) Mr. Thomas Ashton (secretary) pre- sented the figures of the recent ballot in West Yorkshire, which showed that 26,676 men voted in favour of giving in notices and 7.211 against. The majority on the ballot is largely in excess of the necessary two-thirds, but it is understood that further efforts will be made to effect a settlement of the dispute previous to the expiration of the notices on February 20th. It was decided that Messr. Robert Smillie, T. Ashton, W. Brace, M.P., and Stephen Walsh, M.P., shall act as re- presenting the Miners' Federation with the representatives of the Yorkshire Miners' Association in any further negotiations with the West Yorkshire coalowners for the settlement of the dis- Dute. EIGHT HOURS ACT. I The Executive proceeded to consider the agitation which has been started in certain quarters for the suspension of the Coal Mines' Eight Hours Act, I and the following resolutions were I passed "That this Executive Committee em- phatically protest aginst the movement at present being engineered by certain mine owners, manufacturers, chambers of commerce, gas committees, and others in- terested parties to bring about a suspen- sion of the Eight Hours (Mines) Act. We desire prominently to bring before the Government and the public the fact that any shortage in coal is not in any way due to the. operations of the Eight Hours Act, large numbers of miners at con- siderable number of collieries throughout the country not having the opportunity i of working more than a few dw's per week at the present time. Thei com- mittee desires public attention to be drawn to the fact that the workmen in certain important districts have quite recently su ffered reductions in wages be- cause of falling prices in coal, showing that the supply so far as the workmen are conc i m>d lias been adequately main- tained. Any shortage of supply is, in the opinion of the Executive, due to such causes as congestion of traffic on the railways, excess of freight charges, ex- ploitation by middlemen, and other causes entirely outside and irrespective of the Eight Hours Act." It was reported that the miners of Cleveland had been requested to meet the mine-owners with a view to mutual understanding being come to in claiming i that the Eight Hours Act should be suspended for a period. The Executive Committee, having fully Considered the matter, decided that they could not see their way to countenance the suspensnion of the Act applying to i any part of the mining districts of Great Britain. j THE PRICE OF FOOD. The next matter which was considered was the all-round rise in the pnc-" of food, and the following resolution was unanimously agreed to :—"That, we view with grave concern the rise in the ■ price of foodstuffs, which is equivalent to a serious reduction in wages. We there fore call upon the Government to take immediate steps to control 811pphs. regulaJte prices, to prevent gambling J with the living of the commosi people. And to prevent the general community being exploited." The Executive adjourned until Wed- j nesday. I
QUESTION OF NEW AGREE 11 MENTSI
QUESTION OF NEW AGREE 11 MENTS. I The Executive Committee of the ) Miners' Federation of Great Britain at their adjourned meeting on Wednesday considered the question of the new wage agreements under the various Conciliation Boards. Mr. Robert Smillie was in the efaair. The action of the Federation Executive was taken under the power given by the Federation conference at Soarboroush in October, 1913, when a resolution was passed "that no new wage agreement shall be made by any district of the Fed- eration which does not provide for a new wage standard to include the present minimum wage in substitution for the standard, wage of 1879 and 1888, and a minimum wage of at leaat 7s. per day." The federated mining districts in Eng- land and North Wales opened negotia- tions with the ooolowners' section of the Conciliation Board in Juy of last year for a rrfw agreement on these lines, and the negotiations have made considerable progress, though a settlement has not yet been reached. The South Wales Miners' Federation wil' meet at Cardiff on Saturday to consider the advisability of giving three mm ths' notice to terminate the present agreement for the purpose of entering Into negotiations with the coalowners for a new agreement. The progress of the negotiations in England and the action taken by the South Wales miners were reported to the executive and a protracted discussion tallowed, which was incomplete when the executive adjourned for the day. It is expected that a resolution defin- ing the Federation policy on the question of wage agreements will be passed at Thursday's sitting of the executive.
After a stoppage of six years the Aber- gwynfi Collieries, which have been taken over by the Ocean Colliery Company, are to re-start, and the news has been re- ceived with rejoicing at Abergwvnfi, at which place during the week flags were t flying at various planes.
MR OLIVER ONIONS AND THEI WELSH
MR. OLIVER ONIONS AND THE I WELSH. To the Editor. I Sir,—It is not easy to tell whether your correspondent objects to me or to Mr. Oliver Onions as interpreter of Welsh life, or to us both. I am not concerned with his irrelevances—what have I to do with Staniforth ?—but if he challanges my credentials, as I infer from his slight- ing reference to "pidgin" Welsh, I submit certain facts to your readers, who may judge between us. I have spent a year of my life in Pem- brokeshire, nearly ten years in Carmar- thenshire, more than ten years in Glam- organshire; I have made sundry visits to North Wales, and have observed Welsh life in the Metropolis. I have attended the "gyfeillach" and the "cwrdd gweddi" times without number, and from my boy- hood's days I have known by heart the prayers that certain "blaenoriaid" have offered up. It is not extravagant to claim that I have seen and observed more of Welsh life than can be seen and ob- served from the top of a. rain-tub at Tregaron. Now as to Mr. Oliver Onions. Your "simple" correspondent alleges that be- cause Mr. Onions is a Yorkshireman he is ipso facto disqualified from writing about Wales, and that he is grossly in- accurate about Eesaac Oliver, Howell Gruffydd, the church and chapel feud, and Mr. Tudor Williams, M.P. I agree that none but a Welshman will ever interpret Wales adequately, but even a Yorkshireman can paint a broadly ac- curate picture. One of the best represen- tations of rural England in the eighteenth century was the work of an Irishman named Oliver Goldsmith. In the last century Max O'Rell, a Frenchman, wrote more accurately of England than most Englishmen. The most notable books of our generation on English sea life have been written by Joseph Conrad, a Pole. "Mushroom Town" is, in the broad sense, a reasonable and fair picture of what it purports to describe. Eesaac Oliver was destined from boy- hood, by his parents, to be a preacher. A generation ago it was the rule rather than the exception for a parent to wish the bright boy of his family to enter the ministry. Many of our ministers have only entered on their studentship in the early twenties, I know, but the reasons for this have been mainly economic. Eesaac Oliver was the son of a prosperous grocer. "Simple" Welshman is qtiit. i,i;-Ilt in thinking that I have no respect- for the tradesman class. As a class-conscious pro- letarian I have a profound contempt for the bourgeoisie of my own and of other nations. Your "simple" correspondent says they have done a lot for publis life. Well, last week Mr. Herbert Samuel, in an address to the County Coun- cils Association singled out Welsh County Councils as more reactionary, in housing matters, than any other. As to the | church and chapel feud, it was particu- larly virulent a generation ago the period with which "Mushroom Town" commences—and it has by no means died down to-day in the villages. Tudor Williams, M.P., your correepon- dent declares, is a travesty, because I Welsh M.P.'s do not visit their constitu- encies. What an argument! Tudor Wil- liams was sent for specially by some of his most influential supporters. When he met them he poured out an unending stream of flattery. My "simple" com- patriot says that he cannot imagine any Welsh M.P. speakiug as Tudor Williams spoke. That is merely to advertise the weakness of his imagination, and his ignorance of our Liberal M.P. 's. I can mention off-hand half a dozen of them who habitually "soap" their chief con- stituents, and it is unnecessary to go out- side Glamorganshire for at least one. "Simple" Welshman has not read Mr. Oliver Onions' book. The fact that he is reaody to pontificate about a. book that lie has not read implies either "simplicity" or impudence--your readers will not be at a loss to decide which.—yours, etc., JOHN BLUNT. 1 4p
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ON PENSION LIST I I
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER ON PEN- SION LIST. An unmarried woma.n, 70 y.earsi of a ge, living in the parish of Llany- crwys, on the borders of Carmartheuv siiire and Cardiganshire, with her aged mother, who is in receipt of an old- age pension of 5s. a week, submitted a claim too the Llanybyther Pensions Committee fora.n ..old-age pension for .herself as well. The committee granted the claim, and thus is presented a rat-her rare .1 case of mother and daughterTiving in the same house each receiving an old- age pension. The mother is over 90 of I age. ————— —————
ADMIRALTY ADVANCES WAGES I
ADMIRALTY ADVANCES WAGES. I Seamen employed on Government I vessels in the Bristol Channel parte have been granted an increase in their wages if JE1 per month, making it now 27 10s. per month. This is the result of the interview which leading officials of the National Sailors and Firemen's Union had with the Admiralty recently, there being a good deal of disatisfaction among the men with the rates of pay in view of the extra risks ran and the increased money whioh was obtainable on vessels working from other ports in the United Kingdom. ————— ————-
34S PER TON I
34S. PER TON. I THE PRICE OF COAL IN LONDON. f The price of coal sold in London has been increased 2s. per ton on all grades. The decision took effect on Friday morn- ing. Best households are now selling at 34s. a ton, against 32a. last week. This is claimed to be the first war increase aa compared with normal winter prices. ————— .41D. —————
The latest in the Eisteddfodic world is a military Eisteddfod. Such a one was held at Llandudno recently. A general occupied the chair, amd a. private soldier, who was a Mus. Bac., acocrmptanied, and aU competitors were soldiers. I
FOOD AND COAL PRICES TO BEI DISCUSSED AT EARLY DATE I
FOOD AND COAL PRICES TO BE I DISCUSSED AT EARLY DATE. I When the Speaker took the chair in the House of Commons, on Tuesday, after a nine weeks' adjournment, there was a large attendance of members. The Ministerial .benches in particular were- well filled. The only oceupantis of the Front Opposition bench at the outset were Mr Bonar Law and Mr. W alter Long. Mr Asquith, replying to Mr Bonar Iw, stated that ?n Wednesday he would move a resolution taking the wthole time of the House for Govern- ment business, for the tame being, providing that the House should not sit on Fridays. On Thursday Civil Service Supplementary Estimates" would be proceeded with. CABINET AND FOOD PRICES. I Mr Arthur Henderson (Lab., Bar- nard Castle) asked the Prime Minister whether he would state the scope of the inquiry by the Cabinet Committee into the prices and supply of com- mod ities, whether the Committee was receiving evidence on th subject, when the inquiry was likely to be completed, i and whether he would grant the House an early opportunity or discussing the whole question of the prices and supply of foodstuffs and other necessary com- modities. (Cheers). Mr Asquith: The Committee of the Cabinet over which I am presiding has been for some time giving this matter moat careful consideration. All as- peats of the question axe being examined. The Committee is receiving full information from the various t Government departments concerned, and these departments are making cuch inquiries as they ythink necessary to I complete the information already in their possession. I cannot say when the inquiry will be completed, but no avoidable delay will take place. The Government are fully alive to the urgency of the subject. The House Wji! certa.iniy be given an opportunity or discussing the whole question. Mr Henderson, at a subsequent stage, again raised the question wiiich, he remarked, was certainly the most serious issue with which the civil papulation had been confronted since the war began. There was such a feeling in the country and among the poor people especially, that they were being so hardly dealt with because of the a?no?,? i??nne prices that now Ob-I taiinm, tjjcc i? 6eemed to him that they ought to liave a discussion on thia matter in one of the early days of nest I week. Mr Asquith replied that he was as anxious as his right lion, friend that the matter should be discussed at the earKeit possible time. I COAL CONSIDERED. Mr Barnes (Lab., Blackfrmrs, G las- gow): Is the Govern) .icut considering the advisability of fixing MI the mean- time the maximum prices of wheat and coal ? Mr Asquith: All these suggestions are being very carci'uiiy reviewed. Mr John Ward (L., Stoke-on-Trent) Will the right hon. gentleman say what will be the earliest day for the dis- cussion of the question? Mr Asquith: I hope very soon in- deed. Mr Hodge (Lab. Gorton): Is the Prime Minister aware that in the East End of London 2s. 6d. per cwt. is being charged for coal? Is that not mon- strous. and dces it nm demand instant att.ention P I Mr Asquith: We are fully alive to the urgency of the question. ADJOURNMENTS TOO LONG. I Mr ARTHUR HENDERSON said he be'ieved there was a very strong feel- ing in the country and among mem- bers of the Mouse, that the adjourn- ment which had just closed was much too long. He hoped the Government would g;ve the House an assurance that thy had had the last of these lorLg adjournments during the war. Mr Asquith said that no objection was raised by any member of the Lab- our Party at the time the adjourn- ment was moved. As to the future, the Government would not ask the House to adjourn for any unreasonable time.
SWANSEA PASTORS SON AT THEI FRONT
SWANSEA PASTOR'S SON AT THE I FRONT Mr. Leyson Rees, son of the Rev. W. Casnodyn Rees, pastor of York-place Chapel, Swansea, writes home giving a sad account of the devastation wrought in the small towns and villages of Bel- gium by the enemy's artillery. The dis- comforts of the soldiers' (he belongs to the 1st Devons) life in the wet trenches are also spoken of. "You can guess," said he, "we couldn't do much marching in that mud and water. Of course, all move- ments are done at night. Trench digging, burying the dead, and all fatigues are done by night. In the daytime the shells and bullets are going buzz, whizz all along, and we don't know what minute we might be blown to atoms. It is awful out at the front, yet the men keep up thoir spirits wonderfully well."
FURTHER ADVANCE IN COAL PRICES f
FURTHER ADVANCE IN COAL PRICES f A further advance of Is. per ton was intimated on Monday by the principal colliery companies of the Lothiana at the mines. Split coal nuta and other varieties are also being increased by 6d. or Is. per ton, according to varieties. The Scottish Coal Masters' Association have received an official reply from the Board of Trade refusing any reduction in railway carriage rates, owing to the Ad- miralty having closed the Forth porte as a precaution against enemy ships. The coal masters have replied by advancing coal prices a furth er b. per ton, making 3s. within two werks.
Cynhaliwyd cyfarfod bljjmyddol cyfran- ddalwyr yr Ariandy uchod yn Llundain ar y 29ain o Ionawr, i dderbyxi yr Adrodd- iad a'r Fantolen, i gyhoeddi y Cyfran- dal, i ethol Cyfarwyddwyr ac Archwil- wyr, ac i drafod materion arferol. Llywyddwyd gan Gadeirydd yr Arian- dy, Syr Edward H. Hoi den, Barwnig, yr hwn a ddywedodd Bychan y meddyliem pan yn ymwahanu ar derfyn y eyfarfod flwyddyn yn ol ein bod ar drothwy Rhyfel ar raddfa mor arswydus o fawr. Yr oeddym wedi gweled ac wedi galw sylw at y ffaith fod Germani yn casglu cymaint a allai o Aur, end ni wvddem fod hynny yn cael oi wneud fel rhagbaratoad ar gyfer ymdrech aruthrol oedd yn ymyl, a'r hon oedd i siglo sylfeini arianol a masnachcl yr holl genhedloedd. Tynnwyd Prydain Fawr i'r vmrafael ar unwaith pan ymddygodd Germani mor drahaus tuag at Belgium, ac yr ydym fel Teyrnas mewn Rhyfel a Germani er y 4ydd o Awst. Cyhoeddwyd Rhyfel gennym yn erbyn Yrnherodraeth Awstria a Hungari ar v 12fed o Awst, a daeth Twrci allan i'n herbyn ar y 5ed o Dachwedd. Y mM y byddinoedd sydd ar y maes yn eynrychioll- hanner poblog- aeth y byd, ac y mae'r hanner arall yn dioddef er nad i gymaint graddau. Nid fy lie i yw cyfeirio at yr agweddau gwladwriasthol a hanesyddol i'r ymrafael cyfyngaf fy sylwadau i'r ochr arianol i'r cwestiwn. Yna. aeth y Cadeirydd ymlaen i ddangos mor hanfodol ydyw i bob gwlad sydd mewn rhyfel i fod yn feddianol ar helaethrwydd o Aur, a phrofodd oddiwrth ystadegau fel yr oedd Germani wedi bod yn parotoi at ryfel yn yr ystyr yma-sw-ni yr Aur yn Ariandy ei Llywodraeth yn 1910 oedd 32 o filiynnau o bunnoedd, er- byn dechreu'r Rhyfel yr oedd yn 63 miliwn, ac yn a.wr y mae yn 106 miliwn; a chvfeiriodd y Llywydd at v cynlluniaa eithafol sydd mswn gweithrediad yn Ger- mani ac Awstria—y perdefigioil yn gwystli eu hetifeddiaethau a'u tiysau, a'r gweision 3, r morwyiiio/i yn aCt, a'u hychydig enillion yn fenthyg at v-asanneth y Llywodraeth, ac yr oedd pawb ymwelai a Germani yn gorfod. trotglwyddo eu Haur drosodd ac vn derbyn Ncduu yn ei le. Yr oedd y clerigwyr yn amiog eu gwrandawvr i fIUd a'u Haur i'r Ariandai, a gwobrwyid y milwyr Os gallent yn cu horiau hamddenol gas:;iu Aur yn gyf- newid am Nodau. Ond y mac Germani (yn wahanol i Brydain Faw r"! nu-gi.* vddi ei chau allan ymron oddiwrth y Byd. -ac y mae yn gwario tua dv. v filiwn bob dydd ar gostau y Rhyfel, ac er ir-aint H noddau, credai'r Cadeirydd y bydchi yn wasgfa arianol arni, heb son dim am yj- tyriaethau eraill, cyn bo hir. Ymhellach ymlaen YI: e.i craitii, dy\v
j LLANDEBIE PIT FATALITY
LLANDEBIE PIT FATALITY ————— Mr. W. W. Brodie, deputy-co-rr> j held an inquest at Llandebi-e into the death of John Pugh, of Capcl Vicar. Ll.ndebie, aged 25, employed as pcinn- ma at Llandebie- Colliery, who. when in the main -slant of the collierv was struck by a journey of trams, th3 s hackle of which had broken. The manager assert- ed that the firm who supr-lied the shack- les had guaranteed them and the mquest was adjourned until February 11, to en- able a r-:prer,;Mit:itiv-e to be present.
j OERMAN SOCIALIST DEFENDS ENG I f LAND j
j OER-MAN SOCIALIST DEFENDS ENG- I LAND j — The prominent German Socialist, Ed- wird Bernstein, writing in the "Leipzeiger Volkszeitung," delivers a furious attack on all Germans papers for their constant blackening of the British national charac- j ter as one of hypocrisv, mendacity, and fraud. Bernstein says that he and a good many other German Socialists have found by experience that the word of an Eng- lishman can be trusted to a greater ex- tent than a German's in Germany. When German Socialists like Liebknecht were not allowed to live in Germany they found friends in England. German sol- diers were coming back full of respect for the English. The world must knew that all German socialists will fight to a. finish for German liberty, and German socialists are among those who will at any time lend a hand tcvard a securing n' honourable peace providing justice to everybody.
i MARCH FROM ABERYSTWYTH TO I MARCH FROM ABERYSTWYTH TOI LAMPETER i LAMPETER I
-MARCH FROM ABERYSTWYTH TO • MARCH FROM ABERYSTWYTH TO 'I LAMPETER. LAMPETER. I The 1st Monmouthshire (Reserve) Bat- talion paid a visit to Lampeter on Wed- nesday, marching from Aberystwyth. Work has hitherto been carried on under conditions almost as bad as those prevail- ing in Belgium, but the men have faced night marches in the pouring rain with the proverbial cheerfulness of the British -oldier, and have returned at midnight 'nJwd- to the skin, but happy as larks. The Monmouths are expected to leave vhortly and are accustoming themselves to long and sustained marches so as to fit themselves for the greater trials which I a wait them.
I I IREMEMBER THE NUMfER J
I I REMEMBER THE NUMfER J Th." Pre,. B'wtn m-'kes the follow- I i~,r announcement :— It is notified by the War Office that I considerable delay in delivery is occa- j snoned by the ommi.Qsion of th^ roimlv-r of the battalion en letters addressed to officers and men serving in the regiments with the Expeditionary Force. The public pre, therefore, particularly requested to insert the number of the battalion in all oises when known to them.
IWEST WALES AND SUGAR BEET t
WEST WALES AND SUGAR BEET. t Mr. W. C. Jones, Waterston, Pem- brokeshire, yesterday informed the Pem- brokeshire Education Committee that he had written to the Secretary of the Board of Agrioulture on the cultivation of sugar beet, and had received a reply that the Government had no intention at present of subsiding this industry. Mr. Jones added that without factories close at hand and subsidies from the Govern- ment it would not pay the farmers to grow beet.
IPARADISE FOR PIGMENI
PARADISE FOR PIG-MEN I \NTED, a Man who understands wages JB1 15s. per week, with cot- tage to live in.-Apply This adver- tisement appeared recently in a Kent news paper, and indicates that owing to the Fcarcity of labour farmers and agricultur- izlts are c-ompelled, to offer fancy wages. —————— o so. .——————
What is the Eisteddfod coming to? I The latest suggestion is that priz-es should be offered for ploughing and hedging competitions, which would presumably be held in th, far corner of the Eistedd- fod field. If these competitions were confined to members of the Gorsedd, with Dyfed and Professor Morris Jones as adjudicators, we should no doubt have record "gates," and deficits would become things of the pse-
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