Collection Title: Merthyr Pioneer
Institution: The National Library of Wales
Rights: The copyright status or ownership of this resource is unknown.
I WAR NOTES t f
I WAR NOTES. t f ——————— j WHAT IS BEING SAID AT HOME AND ABROAD. TRfUMPH FOR OUR REA?ION- ARY -FRENCH ALLY. SziN R. E. D. himself a Roman Catholic, in his weekly letter from Paris to the New Statesman." He is dealing with the appointment of a re- presentative of King George at the Vatican: It. will be understood that this report has caused a great sensation in France. Since the beginning of the war the Clericab and reactiona- ries have been trying to exploit the situation to their own advantage. 1 have already mentioned some of the methods which they have eirwloyed. One of their demands has always been for the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and the alleged action of the English Gov- eminent is a godsend to them. I am in a position to say that the French Government was not consul- ted about the matter and first heard of it from the newspapers. This is very unfortunate. In ordinary cir- cumstances. of course, the English Government would not consult France in such a case, but the cir- cumstances are not ordinary. It is strange that the English Govern- ment did not realise the effect that a step of this kind would have over here. No doubt with the best pos- sible intentions, it lias thrown down an apple of discord in France. The result may be a violent controversy between Clericals and anti-Clericals which will greatly tWtharass the French Government. It is thought to be incredible that EIW- land should reverse her policy of the last four centuries, and resume permanent diplomatic relations with the Vatican. It is quite a possible hypotb^is that the in, trigue originated a, France and that the Duke of Norfolk has ben mere- ly the tool of French reactionaries who desired to embarass the Govern- ment. The moral in any case is that if the English Govern- ment really intends to sup with the Pope, it would do well to provide iiself with a. longer spoon than the Duke of Norfolk or Sir Henry How- ard. He PATRIOTIC RAILWAYS. Says the "Manchester Guardian": — Our normal consumption of home- grown pit timber is about 800,000 tons per yj:ar; and though the present year's normal cutting would be less than that, we might by abnormal cut- ting obtain an esairuited 410,000 tons. At present, however, home-grown timber is not lwing, marketed at a satisfactory rate, and the explanation is found, net in low prices, nor in shortage of lazour. but in extortion- ate railway rates. Those from many districts, especially East Anglia and the South and West of England, ap- pear to be quite prohibitive, and not based on any fair calculation of what the timber can pay or what its car- riage costs, but simply on the squeeze of the railway monopoly." # »- A BRAVE WOMAN. The Ciitzen continues to make itself ridiculous. It speaks of Clara Zetkin as "a prominent recruit" to the i Peace propaganda movement amongst the German. Socialists, whilst, at. a matter of fact, the veteran and ta- lented lady has been a staunch suppor- ter of Carl Liebkneclit from the very beginning. Her paper bag been confis- cated for saying- The longer the war lasts," says Fra.u Zetkin, "the more oompletely the masks which have deceived so manv are being torn from the faces of those who are re6ponsible for it. It stands revealed in all its native ugliness ns a war for capitalist con- quest and the domination of the world." She then makes a. passion- ate appeal to women to be true to the old Socialist ideal, and not to be carried awav by jingoism, and says. If men must kill, it is 'eft to us women to fight for life: if men are silent, we must speak." When will the Citizen" be confiscat- ed for saving the same wise "Slings ab- out the war? MORE "PATIUOTJSM." There is a growing tendency in W.t Londo. to revert to something like the normal life of entertaining and amuse- -titiiri- iti d tmgise- ment among rich people, who &ay that they are driven to it by the constant complaint that self-denial of LUXURIES BY THEM MAY MEAN STARVATION TO THE TRADESPEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THEM. After Christinas things are going to be resolutely brighter. A stop towards this is seen in the re-opening of skating rinks and dancing clubs, and both are drawing their patrons largely from military men, including many who are home on leave from the front.—"Man- chester Guardian." jf it LOGIC AND NONSENSE. Mr. John Hodge, M.P., addressing a meeting at Manchester on Tuesday week, sa.id that six months ago he was one of those sweetly innocent people who believed in the protestations of their German fellow-workmen, that all they desired was to lire in brotherhood with the workers of other countries, and there were people in England who aad thought there would have been m- war if we had declared a strike ag- ainst it. But M wished to point out that we were net the aggressors. If the tour million Socialists in Ger- many had declared a strike there would have been no war. The war had been thrust upon us, and we had got to see it through. We were convinced of the justice of it so far as we were concerned. It is." he concluded, "because I love liberty and do not want any German kultur,' that I am out for giving thu Germans such a smashing that they will never want war again." Mi. Hodge nJiay. in all fairness, I!e aiked, whether he knows what is meant by the general strike? Was he prepared to bring out his men with their Geirman comrades? Is this slan- dering of the German working class necessary to obtaining recruits, and is it likely to make for good relationship between the steel workers of the two countries being again set up when the war is over? I THK "HOLY" CjAli AGAIN AT I [ WttRK. At the moment when public opinion is already anxious over the publication of a legslative programme, countersig- ned by the Tsar. for the abolition of the remnant of Finnish autonomy. news arrives of an attack on the rights ¡ of the Duma. The immunity of its de- It puties from arrest, save by consent II of the Duma itself, is one of its few valuable privileges..Five of its Social Democratic members have been arres- ted. and will be tried on a charge of high treason. The- accusation against them (that they were planning some movement against Tsarism in the ar- my) is precisely the charge on which the whole Social Democratic Party in the Second Duma was sent to prison and Siberia. In their case, the Du- ma's Commission found them innocent, and declared that the only plot was one of the secret police against its col- leagues. Whether the present charge is better founded we do not know. What is important is to note that the bu- reaucracy still declines to conform it- self to the spirit of reconciliation which swept over Russia on the outbreak of I the War—" The Nation" THE RUSSIAN FRAUD. If we are entitled to remind our- j selves of the fortunate consequences that flow from sea power, we must franklj- face the fact that Russia'* arms are not prospering in the East. The third invasion of Poland is prob- ably beng made in greater force than that which preceded it it is being pushed with more resolution, jyjainst more determined opposition, and it seems to have been planned with greater strategical skilL What the German- Me doing fbis time is to make I an adequate use of the disadvantage which the Polish salient imposes on the Rusian defence.— "The Nation." I I CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS. I Mr. J. R. Olynes, M.P., in an ap- peal to trade unionists not to allow the war to detract them from loyalty I to their unions, says: — They are falling behind with their Trade Union contributions because, owng to the war. they say they have to pay for other things and help a number of deserving objects. Now, there is no more deserving object than the Workmen's Trade Union. Tn timo of need he turns first to his Union and expects the aid of its funds. and the service of its offi- cials if anything goes wrong. Some- thing may 30 wrong at any mo- ment. Dispute, disability, wage, or working conditions may at any hour require the Union to intervene on behalf of workmen. The;, be true words, and labour lead- ers who are now frequently appearing 011 platforms with the enemies of La- bour might Jay them well to heart. ¡ No man can serve two masters!. I HONEST BRITISH AKTILLKHY I OFFICER. An officer in tire Royal Field Artil- lery wrote a letter, wliidh appeared in the Tiiiies" of Monday, the 14th 111st. He says, iuter alia:- As for shooting at church towers and steeple^, and. in fact. any high buildings, it is vital. IT IS NONSEN- SICAL TO OF Tfir." DESTRUC- TION OF LARGE HUW.DINOS. WHETHKK TOW HALLS. CHTLLCHES, on FACTO- IUHS. when in the contested area. "'E DO IT AS MUCH AS THE GERMANS DO, and observing officers of both sides use these same buildings to di- rect their artillery fire on those of the other. IT HAPPENS TO BF. IN FRANCE NOW. HUT LATER ON IT MAY WELL liE COLOGNE CATHEDRAL. WE HAD BETTER NOT SHorT TOO LOU]) NOW Ol WR SHALL MEHIT THE EPI- THET HYPOCRITE LATER ON. After all, one's country's interests and the lives of men must, to the soldier, come before art and beauty. Quite a contrast to the canting hum- bug and hypocrisy of the one-eyed jingoes, isn't it? THE GHCRCH AND THE WAR. Rev. Herbert Morgan' contributes a very searching article on the above subject to the current issue of the Welsh Outlook." He says, inter alta:- We must enforce worthier ideas of patriotism and of national service. Instead of the old exclusive idea of patriotism we must insist that all nations have a special service to render to the world and that all na- tions should discover #Wti- own gift and their own duty. By the love of my country 1 must seek to serve the world. I have no conceivable right in the name of patriotism to exploit other countries, nor can I be allowed to imagine that genuine culture is the monopoly of any race or people. WCe are members of one another, all NATIONS members of one another, just as all individuals are within the same nation. We must guard against the en- croachments of militarism. Much facile nonsense is talked about driv- ing out the ugly spirit of aggressive and insolent militarism from the heart of Germany. Ai}p we sure that it won't come to these islands to roost? Already the Jingoes and the Militarists are beginning to scream and to traffic in our fears and our jealousies. If we ha.d a bigger army it never would have happened, and we must create a formidable army to prevent its re- currence is what they are saying al- ready, and so we are to have the German system fastened upon us. The Church will have to summon all her energy to meet this propaganda. It will be a wore menace than the German hordes, for te worst perils always come from within. » CHRIST AND MOLOCH. In a 10110" letter to the" Methodist Times." Mr. Lloyd George, the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, gives the fol- lowing incident of his experiences in a recent visit to the front:- ] recently visited one of the bat- tlefields of France. I saw a village being shelled by the German guns. A prisoner of war was just being brought into the French lines. He was in a motor car under guard. He was wounded, and looked ill. and in pain. A French General, with whom I had gone to the front, went up to the wounded Prussian, and totd him he need not worry: he would be taken straight to the hos- pital and be looked after as if he were "one of our own men." The Prussian replied. We treat your wounded in exactly the same way. It wa-s a curious rivalry under those conditions, for you could hear the wliizzle of the German shells and the shuddering crack with which they exploded, dealing out death and destruction in the .French trenches close hv. We were in sight of a powerful French battery, which was preparing to send its deadly mes- sengers into the Prussian ranks a little further on. I marvelled that this exhibition of goodwill amongst men who were sworn foes should be possible amidst such surroundings. until my eyes happened to wander down a lane, where I saw a long row of waggons each marked with a great red cross. Then I knew who had taught these brave men the lesson of humanity that will gradu- any, surely, overthrow the reign of hate. Christ had not died in vain. • • BARBARISM. Compare the above with this:- In the trenches there is MUCH HI- LARITY over the latest exploit of the Ghurkas. It was known that the Kaiser was "flirecting operations be- fore Ypres. and late one night it wa,5 noticed that six of the dark little men had disappeared. Abeiit 1 o'clock in the morning a loud cry was heard from the German lines, and there was much commotion. Two hours later the six Ghurkas reap- peared, crawling, as is their oustom on their stomachs, with their kukris in their mouths. Where have you you been?" asked the captain. "ga, hib." they answered, we went for a walk and found a great tent. and in the tent was a king, and, sahib, we have brought back these." They laid befoue the astonished captain a pair of waxed moustaches, pointed upwards at the end." —" Glasgow Evening Times," De- cember 17th, 1914. SCOTTISH "HUMOUR." This is from a member of the staff of the "Glasgow Evening JPimes" for the 18th inst. It shows that vulgar- ity and bloodthirstiness are not con- fines:! to the alleged German "Huns": If the Kaiser want wmeone to p?rfm-m an operation on his throat, the Ghurkas will undertake the job with the greatest of pleasure. Will Mr. Mann sajr whet hen anything worse than this ever appeared in the vilest of the German papers?
I THE PIONEER PRESS is fully equipped for the execution of aU kinds of General and Commercial Printing. Give us a trial. Our prloea are moder-1 ate. Estimates free.
1 IBy J KEIR HARDIE MP
I By J. KEIR HARDIE, M.P. NELLIE." I Nellie was a bulldog. Her master WJIS a bachelor. and Nellie and he lodged together in a room over an eat- ing house in the East End of Louden. -Nellit",s master. in addition to being a bachelor, was also a shop assistant and 40 years of age. Fatal age. I don't know whether his hair was becoming grey, or his eye dim, but at least he found himself out of work, and in due time came to the conclusion that life and he had no longer any use for each other, and so he committed suicide. One morning the servant girl of the eating-house downstairs carried up his breakfast, but finding no response to her knocks at his door. except the growling of Nellie, she left the tray outside, and then proceeded with her duties until dinner time. When dinner time came she took up a second tray. and was astanished to find that the breakfast tray was still outside the door and untouched. She knocked again, but still the only reponse was Nellie's growl. Somewhat alarmed. the girl reported what had happened, whereupon an attempt was made to open the door. but the voice of Nellie from within warned the would-be in- truders of the reception that was in store for them. Finally the police were sent for. and they proceeded to make an attemp to break open the door. but by this time Nellie was in a state of fury which there was no miunder- standing. and so the police very wisely desisted. Clearly Nellie wa,s an Anar- chist, and the proper thing would have been to send for some hundreds of policemen, a squadron of sharp shooters, a field gun. and a fire brig- ade. together with. of course, a Home Secretary. Instead of which the po- licemen oontented themselves with bo- ring a hole in the door, and peeping through. The' sight that presented itself was that of the body of the shop assistant lying in a pool of blood on the floor, his throat gashed from wx to ear. In front of the body sat Nellie, showing licr, teetll,, and uttering low but men acing growls. The hole in the door was enlarged. Nellie becoming more watchful as the operation proceeded. and an attempt was made to induce her to drink some poisoned milk. But the dog was not to be sediiim4 from her watch by the body of her dead master. A piece of meat tied to a string had no better result. And so the hoitrs passed. the policemen out- s ide. the dead body on the floor with- in, with poor Nellie whining over it. licking the dead face. and determined to guard it against all comers. Final- ly. late in the evening, a piece of poi- soned meat was obtained, and thrown in front of the faithful creature. For over 24 hours she had tasted nothing. She looked at the meat, she looked at the dead Shop Assistant's body, she was very hungry, and without for a moment taking her faithful eyes off the hole in the door, she cautiously crept forward to where the tempting morsel lay, ravenously swallowed it. and in five minute she too lay stiff and dead beside her master. She was only a dog, and presumably had no soul to be saved, but she was the only God-like thing in aU that horrible tragedy. A great Christian Government ruling over a great Chris- tian nation, in which wealth abounds to an unlimited extent, knew nothing of the Shop Assstat. and could do no- thing for him. The policemen who triiard oar lives and our property would have been in duty bound to run him in had they found him taking bread wherewith to stay the cravings of hunger. Our civilisation, our law, the whole organisation of our sodfety, were all helpless, heartless, or power- less. The Coroner, with his twelve good men and true. who conduct- ed an inquest on the corpse, brought in a verdict certifying that the man had committed suicide during a fit of temporary insanity. They had heard the letter read in which he told of the terrible drudgery and mo- notony of hi daily toif, of his starva- tion wage, and of his being out of work. They had not a word to say ab- out the employer who overworked and underpaid the man, nor of the system which, when it had sucked body and brain dry, cast him aside as a useless eumberer of the ground. He was insane." because he preferred to die at once by his own hand, rather than starve to death by inches. The one thing that cared for him was Nellie, and she was only a dog. and could do nothing for him save love him in life and guard him in death. His one reg- ret on leaving life must have been the parting from his sole companion Nel- lie. There are thousands of these lone- ly souls in I/ondon and elsewhere, slav- es of the desk, of the counter. Few of them have even a dog for a com- panion. Heaven help them. The man in his solitary life needed fellowship, human sympathy, and hu- man help, and the one creature who. in life and death. was faithful and loy- al and devoted to hfcn was Nellie. One pictures the hours that these two spent together, how joyously Nellie would listen Íier his footsteps ascending the wooden stair after his day's drudgery behind the counter was ended. the evening walk together through the crowded street.. in the oool night air, the frugal supper together, and then, perchance, whilst he smoked his pipe and read his book, Nellie would lie contentedly by his side, enjoying that fulness of companionship which com- munion of soul alone can give. Then came that awful evening when, after a farewell caress, Nellie saw something happen to the man she loved so much, and one can picture her through all the long hours of the black night sitting by the body, looking into the glazed eye-, seeking to attract their attention and wondering why he lay so cold and so still. Somewhere at the back of Net- lie's brain, perhaps, there would be the vague, undefined feeling that never again would his kindly hand stroke her or his eye light up with affection at her approach, and in her own dumb fashion. Nellie resolved that no saori- i legious hand would be laid upon him whist she had strength to guard and protect him. That those who had neg- lected him in life, those who were re- sponsible for his death, should not be allowed to come near him. Faithful Nellie! God grant that the day may soon come when the human heart may be as tenacious to its trust and as faithful in tts loyalty a9 was poor four- footed. soulless, heroic. Nellie.
DONALD. Donald was a ffttie, shaggy Shet- land pony, with long, matted, yellow hair, round brown eyes, and ort sturdy legs. I think he must have been a pet with the farmer's children on the farm on which he was reared. I can imagine him as a wee foal trot- ting after them. and begging pieces of bread which he would eat from their hand, after which he would trot off tti his mother, quietly grazing in the field or enjoy a roll on the grass. I do not know whether this was so or not. but am certain that poor Donald had memories of a happy foalhood. over which he used to brood in the sad da.ys in which I knew him. He and I got to be very good friends, but not understanding each other's language. I never learnt the history of his youth. In an evil day for him. Donald was sold by his master with a herd of other ponies to a Glasgow horse dealer. and in course of time to a colliery owner, who had him sent down to work as a pit pony. It was in the pit. where I was also working, that I first got to know him. The pit pony in tjiose days of fortf years ago. had a very hard lot. Their work was to draw the trains of fettle wagons loaded with coal from one part of the mine to the other. They were constantly knocking their heads or haunches against the roof or sides of the road along which they had to travel, and it, was a rare thing to see a pony who waa not cut and bruised about the head and body. The roof of the particular mine to which I am now referring was very low, and this was why Donald was sent there, It was thought that his short, dumpy figure would enable him to work those reads where the ordinary pony was no long- er able to go, even though they crou- ched as they passed through the low- est parts, as most of the older ponies had learned to do. I was afterwards told that for a dav or two Donald did his work fairly well, though in a half- hearted, listless sort of way. Before the week was out, however, he seemed to have made up his mind that he had had enough of ifc. By this time the hair and part of the skin had been rubbed off his neck and back. and both his eyebrows had been badly cut b* his running against sharp, jutting pieces of roek. On the day on which 1* struck ho had allowed himself to be gwvithed and led out and yoked to the rake of hutches -a.s the train of little wagons is called in Scotland but nothing would induce him to be- gin drawing. There he tood with four little feet firmly planted, his head moving occasionally from side to side, but deaf to every appeal to get a. move on. Owing to his coat of long, thick hair. a. whip was of little use. and so his driver took to kicking him about the legs and belly. When a kick hurt specially. Donald would lift the leg up a little way. shake his head in dour fashion, but take no further no- tice By this time several other pit boys had gathered round, took a hand at trying to get Donald to go. We lad- dies in those days were rather a rough lot. especially when a pony "reisted." and poor Donald was belaboured with sticks and stones and whips till he must, have ached all over. Then, af- ter various minor plans had been tried and had failed, it was decided to re- sort to the fail -me--ne,er." This took the form of piling some straw under the belly of the pony, and setting nre to it. It was remedy that had ifever known to fail. But it failed this time. The straw was brought and loosely | piled uuder Donald' belly, and then set afire. The poor, tortured creature I gave a. short scream, looked patheti- cally at his tormentors, but did not budge. One of the boys kicked the: r burning heap from under the quivering bea.st. and the gaffer, who was present at the latter stages of the scene, or- dered that Donald .should be taken Back to his stall. That evening I was told to take charge of him. My first work was to apply some cooling lotion (soap suds, I think) to his poor. blistered belly. Then to cut his hair, and give hftn a good clean with brush and curry comb. As was my habit, I kept talking to him whilst at work. and though he was at first lislless and unresponsive, he at length began occasionally to turn his head'to- wards me. and once or twice he wrig- gled his ea.rs in a playful sort of way. By the time he was fit for work again we had become quite intimate .For several months I was his driver ,and a more wining creature never wore s hoes. Not only so. but he begged for affection, as I have seen a child do At corning (meal time) he would leave his corn pail and come ant stand by me to get bite with me from the bread I was mating, and which I could ill afford to spare. I used to get equal with him by picking out the beans and peas from his corn. He discover- ed quite a passion for cold tea. and every time I raised the flask which held it to my lip*, he looked ifrresisti- bly funny as lie begged me to remem- ber that he. too. was thirsty. In the end he became an inveterate pickpoc- ket. and could not only deftly un- fasten the napkin in which my daily breatl was tied np. but a lso withdrew the cork from the tea flask, and rais- ing it the neck between his teeth, gulp down the contents. Probably he had been brought up on a bottle When pail and napkin were both emp- ty. nothing pleased Donald so much a,s to come and stand behind me with his chin resting on my s houlder, and his cheek pressed close to my own. On leaving him at night he would turn round in his stall and look after me in his dumb patient way so long as my lamp was in sight, and in the morning?! he never failed to lie on the watch for my coming, and to welcome no in his own ungainly way. This went on for perhaps six months, and then I was removed to a neigh- bouring pit to take charge of Jock a black, camsteerie brute, who kad proved more than a match for all who had tried to drive him. and had seve- ral accidents standing to his credit About a month afterwards I met the manager—a litJe. white-haired, kindly old man—he was over ninety who stopped, as was his custom with boys, to ask how they Hked their work, and give a word of cheer and encourage- ment. As he was leaving me I ask- ed him how Donald was. He was tlead. I learned afterwards that for the first few days after I left him he did his work well and ate his food m a dogged kind of way. always looking wistfully into the darkness, as though waiting and longing for somone who never came. Then he grew thrawn and morose, giving his driver a lot of trou- ble and finally he once "reisted," and refused to move a step. The punish- ment he received is too painful to de- cribe. or for me to think about, though forty years have come and gone since I cried over it, but nothing availed; and in the end he had to be taken back to his stall. Not far from the stables was the eiffcrance to some old workings which were lying full of water, and there the ponies were sometimes taken of an evening to be washed. One of the pony drivers saw Donald painfully hobbling down towards the water, but paid no heed to him. as the pomiee of- ten went alone to the plaoe to drink. That was the last that was ever geea of him. He had evidently walked right into the water, and on and oM. until it drowned him. He may have been dazed and done it unwittingly my own theory has always been that it was a case of deliberate suicide. Life without love and companionship was a gift not worth having, and so he re- linquished it. His was a gentle spir- it, though cased in a shaggy exterior, and being gentle it was also strong and could not brook tyranny, misunder- standing, and abuse. He deserved & better fate. I have known and cared for mww animals, since I took my last farewell of Donald, but he was my first love, and it is to him my thoughts most constantly turn when brooding over th ose days; and if there be a Valhalla ahead of; us. then. whoever else may fail me, I am certain of a warm wef- comn on reaching its shores from shag- gy-haired Donald.
I I TRUE RELIBION I
TRUE RELIBION. I Or is your ideal the tfeachings .)f .Je6w, IT you must cease military training. His Kingdom is not built up by might or by power. You cannot imagine Him teaching you to stick a bayonet into another man. He taught that all men are brothers. Those who support conscription do not believe this, neither do you if you are drilling, however much you thnk you believe it. Pnt uy thy sword." said Christ Friend, there are no foreigners" for me and my International .Friend. Christ.
Relieves m 48 hours derangements* of the Urinary lyif A Organs. Superior to Copaiba, Cubsbs and Injections. Cures no nauseating or badeflecu Of all CbemisU. Wiy ■ I or post free for ala fr-)D-o WILOOX & CO. (Ospt.(j ) 49, Maycnarket. Loadua. S, W,