Collection Title: Merthyr Pioneer
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Read WAR NOTES on Page 3. Interesting and Informative.
Read WAR NOTES on Pd £ 6 |3. Interesting and Informative.
Trade Union NotesI
Trade Union Notes. I By TRADE UNIONIST. I The prolonged agitation of the mi- ners for an increased wage has come to an end at last. As our readers know, decisions have been given in all the federation areas, which give the miners an increase of wages va- rying from 15 to 181 per cent. It is somewhat difficult to describe the re- sult. It cannot be described either as a victory for the employers or for the men. Both sides have had to give way on certain points. I suppose it must be called a draw. m The employers have been compelled to give more than their original of- fer, and the men have to be content with less than they demanded. The employers scored on one point, how- ever. You will riecollect that the men's representatives contended that the increased cost of living applied uniformly throughout the whole country, and that the increase in wages should therefore be made a uniform one. and with that object in view they demanded, and secured. a national conference of miners and mine owners' representatives. Having failed to agree, and having asked for Government intervention, the men accepted Mr. Asquith's decision that the actual increase must be settled through the established machinery of the Conciliation Boards, which, of course, meant the, failure of their attempt to force a national treatment of the wages" question. «- On the other hand, the men scored on another important point. The em- ployers (in South Wales at least) of- fered a 10 per cent. advance as from April 1, conditional upon the men agreeing to leave undisturbed the present wage agreement, which auto- matically terminates in June of this year, until after the wflr, The ad- vance in wages has been secured without any such condition, and they are now free to seek a new and bet- ter agreement when the present one terminates. » » • It is quite safe to say that the 1,000.000 organised miners of this country were in a position, had they the will, to exercise their power to enforce their demand and receive from their employers all they asked for. They knew that the employers could well afford even more than was asked of them. But the men did not will to exercise the power they possessed; rather than risk a stop- page at a critical time like the pre- sent, they preferred to compromise. Meanwhile, let it be remembered that the brewers and distillers, when the interests were threatened by the pro- posed taxes of Mr. Lloyd George, made such a vigorous protest, and showed such a determined opposition to them, that the Chancellor had to withdraw. Patriotic sentiments were not allowed to come between these people and their porfits. A request has been made by the Admiralty to the South Wales Min- ers to forego their Whiteun holidays, beca.use of the urgent need of the Navy for South Wales coal. It has been customary for three days' holi- days to be taken at Whitsun. This year, however, the S. W .M.F. Execu- tive have agreed with the coalowners, having regard to the request of the Admiralty, that there shall be only one day-Whit-Monday. If there is an urgent demand for coal, and it seems tha,t there is, it would be a traitorous action on the part of the miners to refuse to supply it, and the Execu- tive have done well to meet the Gov- ernment in the way they have. But why not demand an extra remunera- tion for it? Why should not overtime rates be paid for working on holi- days? Because, after all, it is over time, just as work on Sunday is over- time. Besides, the coalowners are not a poor lot of people, but extremely well off, and are reaping enormously increased prfits in consequence of the war. Decidedly, they should be made to pay overtime rates, and one wonders why the Executive have not insisted upon it. » The London County Council car service has been completely paralysed this week by the sudden strike of the tramwaymen. There must be "serious grievances indeed before such a large body of men could withhold their labour. They are demanding an increase of wages, an increase which has already been granted by the Tube Railways and the London General Omnibus Co., both competitors of the Council trams, and several other im- provements in the condition of ser- vice. It is notorious that for a num- ber of years genuine grievances of the men have never been sympathetically considered by the County Council. It is also notorious since the service is being controlled by a capitalist clique which was prepared to allow the road-borne passenger traffic of London to pass into the hands of a combine-men who did not desire that London should own its own trams at all—and the result is discon- ient owing to unsympathetic treat- ment of the men. » What has become of the Building Trades Federation's demand for a war bonus ? When last I heard of it —some weeks ago—the Master Build- ers had met the men's representatives on the matter, and they had agreed to further consider the men's de- mand. They have had ample time to come to a decision by now. What is the Building Trades Federation do- ing As far as I can gather, they are doing nothing. They surely do not expect the employers to thrust the matter forward and urge the work- men to clamour for an advance? If they do not urge the matter forward themselves, they can depend upon it that they ha.ve heard the last of their war bonus demand.
Mountain Hare Hauliers Death I
Mountain Hare Hauliers' Death I Mr. R. J. Rhys (Coroner) conduct- ed an inquest at the Merthyr Union on Monday concerning the death of Richard Davies (36), 62 Mountain Hare Road, a haulier, who met with a fatal accident at Messrs. Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds' No. 2 Colliery, Fochriw, on April 9, and was admit- ted to the Workhouse Infirmary the same day, and died on Saturday, May 15. David Harris, a temporary master haulier, said that a tram vhich Da- vies was driving became derailed, and whilst endeavouring to get it back on the rails deceased was pulled by the horse down a steep gradient, and in attempting to save the horse from injury, Davies stumbled and was injured. Coroner The reason it happened was that you did not put the tram on in the ordinary way? Witness: Yes, sir. Coroner: Can't you see it was a stupid thing to do? Witness: Yes, sir. A verdict of "Accidental death was returned.
Temperance Hall. It is but modesty that has pre- vented Mr. Israel Price from billing his company this week as "A Pro- gramme of Stars." This it might truly have been termed. Every ar- tiste appearing has made his or her name before a London audience. Vo- calisiii we have here in excelsis. Messrs. Wood, WeHs and Wilkins, who occupy the premier position this week, show with what ease they can take us from the ridiculous (though clever buffoonery) to the sublime of the human voice as they harmon- ise in such classics as Daddy," Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," &c-, the bass vocalist striking with accuracy a wonderfully low note, and the tenor possessing a fine purity of tone. Throughout the whole clever act the antics of the comedian would bring a smile to the face of the pro- verbial Sphinx. Th other star is one Chris Van Bern, who is described upon the bill as being a great act. We simply wondered and laughed and can only advise others to try to find out how he does it. Miss Irene Rose has two charming numbers, and. daintily dressed, soon has the b'hoys helping her with the chorus, the cuddle-up catch phrase being very much in evidence. Victor Morgan, who possesses a voice of good and pure tone. scores all along the line, and xesponds to well-deserved encores. Flo and Mack. in an eccentric act. keep us laughing all the time, the gyrations of the mere male prov- ing that he is a most capable acrobat. Crowded houses should be the order of the week if the applause of Monday is to be taken as a criterion, the whole show is too good to be missed. Of Ragtime all have heard before, have sang it. and have danced it. but the limit in "Ragtomania" will be at the Temperance Hall next week, when a grand revue, The Ragtime Girl," will be performed. We will not attempt to describe any of the situa- tions or scenes, but we can promise a grand surprise to the patrons.
Local Employers and Recruiting I
Local Employers and Recruiting. I MR. J. H. MAY AND CON- SCRIPTION. QUESTION OF FEMALE I LABOUR. A conference of employers or the wholesale and distributive trades of the district was held at the Town Hall, Merthyr, on Wednesday. The Mayor (Ooun. John Davies) presided. The conference, which had been con- vened by the Mayor at the request of the Parliamentary Recruiting Com- mittee, was poorly attended, there being less than one hundred people present. Letters of apology for absence were read frolm Mr. Edward Saxon, Mer- thyr; Mr. W. R. Thomas, Treharris; and Mr. H. B. Reeves, Goitre .Farm, who stated that he could not attend owing to shortage of labour," and that he hoped to secure female labour." The Mayor, in opening the meeting. said that a large number of men had joined the forces from the borough, which had done so well that the men had to be stopped because there were not sufficient men to do the work in certain departments, particularly un- derground. The miners had decided to only have one day's holiday at Whit- sun instead of the usual three days, And a number of men complained, not the usual men, but the men who were putting in every ounce of effort in producing, because they were unable to obtain a little more holiday than had been decided. He had met this by reminding them that the country was in the middle of a crisis, and that they were all called upon to make sacrifices. (Applause.) At the present time the money that was being- collected for the various funds was a credit to the borough. He had received R140 since last Thursday for the Motor Ambulance Fund. jE400 had been collected for the Serbian Fund; L265 on Flag" Day; £ 175 for the Territorial prizes; more than P,1,000 for the Local Fund; and thou- sands of pounds for the Prince or Wales Fund. (Applause.) This showed that the people were willing to res- pond when good reasons were put be- fore them. (Applause.) Mr. J. H. May, of the Parliament- ary Recruiting Committee, said the object of the meeting was the same as that of the address of Lord Kit- chener to the House of Lords the pre- vious evening. It was simply a call for more men, and yet more men. The necessity had arisen, and it had to be faced with coinage and perseverance. As the months had gone by since Sir Edward Grey had said, in effect, "Here we stand and can do no other," and he thought there were few Bri tishers who could stand up and face their fellows and say that anything else but that a love of liberty, the main- tenance of the traditions of their race and country, were the things for which they were contending, in the interests of humanity. That had been brough home to them by the sinking of the Lusitania." It was like a. cinema picture which concentrated I the events, of years in a few rapid reflections. I A Re-adjustment. I The work of the Committee appoin- ted by the Home Secretary, of which he was a member, was to see how far and by what means they could so ad- just the conditions of employment in the distributive trades, So as to re- lease a larger number of men from those trades for the voluntary ser- vice. They were not singling out one section of industry. It was simply a division of labour. The general ap- peals which had been made some months ago were beginning to wea- ken in their results, and yet the absolute necessity for more men was becoming apparent. So it was decided to appeal to the various sections of industry separately. It must not be assumed that the distributive trades had not already done extremely well. They had all done magnificently. In ibis district, he believed they had sent to the Services a larger percentage of the population than any other in the country. That was a great honour and credit to the district. From this particular industry about 300,000 men had been recruited. (Hear, hear.) But it was suggested that there were still about 200,000 men of suitable a.ges in these industries available for military service. It was possible, he thought, by some arrangement to release these 200,000 men, which would go a long way to realising the 300,000 men now asked for by Lord Kitchener. If the clerks and the commercial travellers were included with the number recruited from this section, it would be found to be near- ly 450,000; but those available were about 350,000. This went to show that in every industry there were still available large raw material to draw upon for the services. We have, continued Mr. May, to consider how the services of these men could be replaced in the business of the country, because it is unthink- able that they can be taken away without being replaced. The Labour Department of the Board of Trade has opened a register which has regis- tered during the past six weeks about 60,000 women who were willing to take the places of men. There was thus a reserve of men who might be called upon to serve, whom employers could do without by replacing them by women's service. If the local em- ployers can isee their way to release more of their men, it is hoped that you will reinstate them if they came to you and desire their employment back at the end of the war. That has been done in thousands of cases. Shopping Methods. I The Committee were also appealing to the public to assist the shopkeepers by re-arranging their methods of shopping. There is a system of send- ing orders which have to be made up and distributed. This was a consider- able expense to employers, and the public were being asked to concen- trate its trade during certain hours of the day, and leave the rest idle and to carry their goods home in small parcels. You have been asked to give the' number of men of military age which it is possible for you to re- lease. But the Committee don't ask you to give names and don't ask that pressure should be brought to bear upon individuals. That was a's much as they could do without taking away the liberty of the subject. When men have pressure put upon them either by silly girls in the streets or other responsible people they are inclined to "get their back up." Conscription? I Continuing, the speaker said that when asked some time ago by the pa- rents of two young men who were now serving at the front, "Is there any likelihood of their being forced to go?" he had replied "N o, not yet." But I am not going to say now what I did some months ago that there is not going to be pressure. Ev- erything is pointing in that direction. I am personally against conscription, and I hope we shall not have to re- sort to it in this country. (Loud applause.) Mr. Matt de Lacey congratulated Mr. May on having put the true facts before them in such a lucid manner. "I think," he said, "that Conscrip- tion is the only way out of it, whe- ther others agree with me is a mat- ter of indifference. I feel that there has been a great deal of pro-German feeling in our midst which has been detrimental to the country. We have had men in this office (Town Hall) who have been given the opportunity of serving saying, "Wn have nothing against the Kaiser," and refusing to go. Coun. H. M. Lloyd said he hoped Lord Kitchener's appeal would meet with a ready response, and he hoped that this country would adhere to the voluntary system. There was every reason to believe that if young men came forward in other towns as they had in this district that there would be no need for any other system than the one at piesent in vogue. (Ap- plause.) Mr. Wm. Griffiths, Pencaemawr, Chairman of the Local Recruiting Committee, said that if his committee could assist the employers in any way they would do their best, and he hoped some of the employers present would offer some suggestions aa to how they could assist. Mr. Lewis Jones (Liberal Agent) suggested that it might be useful to make a list of available female lab- our in the town, who would bt- willing, to'lend assistance by taking up em- ployment behind the counters of the drapers' and grocers shops. Mr. R. T. Jones said he would not like Mr. May to go back with the idea that the local distributive trades had not already contributed their quota to the Army and Navy. A large number of the young men em- ployed in his shops had gone, and had been replaced by female labour. Those that had gone had been given the assurance that their places would be open for them on their return. ———————— I There were still some young men of available age, but although nothing would be put in their way, he could net i -cruise to bring any pressure to bear upon them. He would, how- ever, run the risk of running the business with femae labour until the war was ovar. Merthyr Pals' Company. I The Rev. David Pughe announced that Capt. Grosvenor Williams had informed him that Col. Marwood- Elton had sanctioned the formation of a company of about 200 to be called the "Merthyr Pals," and as- surances had been given that the men would be kept together. (Hear, hear. ) Dr. C. Biddle also spoke. The following resolution, moved by the Rev. David Pughe, and seconded by Mr. Robert Gunson, was carried unanimously: That this meeting of representa- tives of various distributing and other trades in the Borough of Merthyr Tydfil, pledges itself to so re-adjust and re-organise business as to rp- lease for service with the colours any men of military age who may wish to join. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Mayor.
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Youthful Merthyr Offenders
Youthful Merthyr Offenders. Five young boys were charged at the Merthyr Juvenile Court on Tuesday} with breaking and entering a Dowlais bakehouse and stealing a quantity of bread. Three of them were also charged with stealing a quantity of goods from the Merthyr Market. Owen John, the proprietor, identi- fied the loaves produced in court as being his property. P.O. Lovis gave evidence of arrest, and stated that two of the lads de- nied taking any of the bread. Inspector Lamb explained that the two smallest of the defendants were pushed under the door of the bake- house, and handed the bread to the others outside. Annie Scourfield identified certain goods (produced), which had been sto- len from a stall at Merthyr Market, and were valued at 10/ The two smallest lads, aamed Lew- is, were ordered to be sent to an industrial school, whilst another lad named Burke was sent to a reformat tory school for five years Another lad named Brogden was released on probation. In addition, the two Le- wises, Burke, and another lad were ordered four strokes with the birch. The parents in each case expressed a desire that the laala-should be "put away."
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Schools Football. MERTHYI IXaGUE CHAM- PIONSRIP. WELSH TEAM AGAINST SCOTLAND. The final game in the Merthyr Schools League Competition was played on Saturday, when the Qyf- arthfa Castle Schoolboys defeated Troedyrhiw on Troedyrhiw Ground by three goals to one. At half-time the Troedyrhiw lads led by a goal to nil, although their oponents had had most of the game. After the interval, the Castle lads, knowing how much depended on their efforts, improved their attack by placing their strongest lads in the in- side positions, and forcing the game. This proved so effective that they scored three goals during the last 15 m inures. The record of the winners is as fol- lows: -Mat-ches played, 14; won, 13; lost, 1; goals for, 93; against, 5. By their victory the Qyfarthfa team have secured the championship of the League, and will hold the Merthyr Express Challenge Cup. Their rivals throughout the season —Merthyr Vale Boys- are runners- up, and have also the satisfaction of holding the H Keir Hardie" Shield. Both teams will be presented with handsome medals.
Wales v Scotland Schoolboys International at Glasgow May 22nd
Wales v. Scotland Schoolboys' Inter- national at Glasgow, May 22nd. Six Merthyr lads have been hon- oured by the Welsh Council to play in this match, as wiU be seen from the list of play era. S. Scott, of Merthyr, will captain the Welsh side, a fitting climax to his phenomenal record as Schoolboy In- ternational. The Merthyr party left Merthyr at 6.40 on Thursday to meet their comrades from Cardiff at Pontypool. They were in charge of Mr. D. B. Evans, Penydarren School. The full Welsh team is: Goal. Ainsworth (Merthyr); backs, Richards (Cardiff) and Lewis (Pen- arth); half-backs, Eddie Jones (Mer- thyr). Foster (Cardiff), and Vaughan (Cardiff); forwards, Craig (Pontlot- tyn, Rhymney), Sullivan (Merthyr). Green (Cardiff). Scott (Merthyt') captain, and 0. Jones (Merthyr). Reserves: Woodley (Cardiff) and Prosser (Merthyr).
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