Collection Title: Merthyr Pioneer
Institution: The National Library of Wales
Rights: The copyright status or ownership of this resource is unknown.
Munitions Act at Work. W. C. Anderson. See Page 3
A General Survey of Our Present Method of Organisation. By Tom Smith. FW See Page 3 "I
Conscription. By THOMAS THOMAS. The forces of re-action are blowing vocifer- ously the trumpet blasts of Conscription. Un- less the workers exercise great caution they'll be inveigled in the meshes of the Prussianised British Junkers. These disseminators of a spurious patriotism would gladly establish here at home the inquitious system they pre- tend to abhor in 4ei-itiarii-a system we are supposed to be out to destroy. Already the politica.i idol of Wales is committed to this measure, and it will be difficult for Welsh Nonconformists to withstand the siren bland- ishments of his rhetoric. Since the betrayal of the Prince of Peace into the hands of Mars. it would not lie surprising to find the religious democracy of Wales shedding every vestige of virtue. Principles hitherto held sacred are violated rights, to obtain which our fore- fathers sacrificed comfort, and even life, are bastardised to prosecute the war and now our last remnant of individual liberty is threat- ened, and this supreme sacrifice is demanded not so much because there is real need, but because the devotees of Mars believe the pre-j sent an excellent opportunity to force on the nation their quack nostrums. If wealth and power ever won a cause, then Conscription stands a good chance of becoming law. For- tunately. these militarists, in their arrogance, have overstepped themselves, and it is evident that their intrigues, so far, have only resulted in resolutions by trade union branches con- demnatory of their pprfervid clamour. There is abundant evidence to show that un- derlying this agitation for Conscription is a desire for a cheap army. The plutocrats are apprehensive about their pockets. So many advantages can be derived by placing the workers in military bondage: in fact. Con- scription would confer untold benefits on the captains of industry by making it almost an impossibility for the workers to strike. Gov- ernments have the power in conscript nations to compel strikers, because of their military obligations, to do as soldiers what they refuse to do as civilians. A notorious example of this evil wa.s given in the late -Frenoh railway strike. It behoves, therefore, the British worker to be alert. The principle has already been conceded in the Munitions Act that its extension is certain if wealth and power can achieve their purpose. If the workers be gulled into granting this demand of their in- stinctive enemies, they will deserve to suffer the consequences. Too fcrue that various forms of compulsion have been brought to bear on eligible young men. Many men have been forced to join the afnu through economic pressure, and ti., cLie- oulprits in exercising this detestable method of compulsion are those who are straining every nerve to make it a statutory obligation. And what has be'en the reward of some of these forced volunteers to the army? In agricul- tural districts we find wounded men and their families subjected to indignities too contempti- ble for words. The men responsible for this ..utcrv for Con- scription have never been friendly to the masses they have invariably opposed every inJ dutrial and social reform. They have ma- ligned and misrepresented the workers in and out of season, so to listen now to their pseudo- patriotic clamour would be suicidal. What service has Lord Northcliffe ever rendered the working class? Every time a strike has taken place lie has used the full force of his press to defeat the men. The Times" and "Daily Mail have had their column? full of vituper- ation against trades unionists, and all sorts of coercive measures have been advocated to keep the workers in the bread-and-cheese sphere in which God has been pleaed to set them. Many attempts iiave been made to undermine the whole fabric of Trad es Unionism. Whenever Trades Unionists have felt it incumbent to ex- tend the force of their temporal power" they have had to reckon with these hereditary jun- kers. Shall we give heed to their bleetings now knowing their pas misdeeds? Conscription is an evil in all its forms, but its influences arc more destructive when ap- plied to industry titan to military life. Its power for evil can be gauged in the army. but in oivil life it is more m inister. The miners laughed to scorn the threatened penalties of the Munitions Act during the late strike; they ootild afford to at the time. but the serpent is not bereft of its fang because momentarily checked. Still, even should they, in the future, be able to succesfully evade the penalties for infringing the Munitions Act, let not their natural conceit betray them yrto indifference regarding Conscription, for probably, the forces of privilege will soon bring them back to their normal senses. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance," but that liberty will not be assured by merely singing Britons rtever, never, never shall be slaves." Mr. J. H. Tho- mas, M.P., has warned the sowers of interne- cine strife that an industrial revolution will follow any attempt to establish Conscription. The railwaymen are preparing to down tools in the event of compulsory service being force d on the nation. Judging by present tokens, this threat is really meant. Le1» other work 01- low this example, and deluge the Government with resolutions against this evil; thus may we save tho country from the worst horror of Prussian militarism.
Great Picture Play of Ancient Rome I
Great Picture Play of Ancient Rome. I Roman history has a strong attraction for producers of cinematograph films, for the rea- son that it covers I and embraces so many moving incidents lending themselves to wide and liberal treatment. The leading Italian firms have made u.s familiar with great spectacular scenes, gorgeous settings and won- derful acting. Another of these remarkable films is being released by the Gaumont Co. In story, action and scenic effect "SALAMBO" has never been surpassed. It will be exhibited at The Palace Pontutorials, in the near future.
EVERY PRINTING ORDER given to the It Pioneer Press means more Ammunition for Party Propaganda. Get into the Line of our MUNITION WORKERS.
THE PIONEER 10000 SHILLINGS FUND
THE PIONEER 10,000 SHILLINGS FUND. MAKE IT A PERSONAL MATTER. Our Share Capital and Shillings Fund look a. little healthier this week, but it is due to the generosity of Miss Pallister for the most part, and we have still to complain that our regular readers are chronically indifferent to our appeal. It is a curious phychological proo- lem which we are unable to solve-why so many people praise the "Pioneer," why our circulation shows a steady weekly increase. and yet our appeal for funds to spread the work, and increase our efficiencv as a unit of the South Wales Democracy should not be heeded. Here is a sample phrase out of a letter that has come from Riscar from an Ab- erdare man who has removed there:—"Please send on the 'Pioneer' (including back num- bers) since I have left Aberdare I have been lost without it." Face the question fairly, and then ask yourself, whether we are worth the, 1/- for which we beg no. not beg, we are not quite mendicants yet-appeal fori We have often said that this is a personal appeal to yoi: who read this. but so far you have preferred to regard it as a personal question to someone else. In heaven's name, do you imagine we find any pleasure in thus asking, when the re- sults are less than similar effort would pro- duce from a stencilled begging letter ? We as sure you this is the only distasteful task of the week. For heaven's sake, rouse out the 10.000 shillings, and give us this space for more interesting news.. Share Capital. I £ s. d. Already acknowledged 278 0 6 Received this week 0 10 0 zC278 10 6 10,000 Shillings Fund. s. Ct, Already acknowledged .1,374 0 -inl,ss Palli.tel 5 6 Mr. Tom Roberts 1 0 1,380 6
Merthyr Car at the Front I
Merthyr Car at the Front. I NOT AVAILABLE FOR LOC.AL VISIT. I MAYOR TO HAVE PHOTOGRAPH I HUNG IN TOWN HALL. Merthyr and its environs is not to have a chance of viewing the motor-car that it has contributed to the Red Cross Society owing to the War Office command that all available ma- chines are to be forwarded to the field with- out delay. We are somewhat disappointed at thus being deprived of the opportunity of viewing our communal contribution to the hu- mane side of warfare, and none of us more so than our good Mayor whose work on behalf of the car, as well as in aid of -he Joint Hos- pital at Trecynon. and other deserving chari- ties, has been so consistent and so good. Still military exigency must have prior claim, and not many of us would be comfortable whilst viewing the car if we thought that men were lying in the agony of shot-torn ilesh and bayo- net ripped wounds, whose pain ould be allay- ed by the service of the machine we were wat- ching. We are, however,to have the next best thing, a photograph which has been forwarded to the Mayor by the Society, and which His Worship proposes to have fra ned and hung in the Council Chamber without delay, so that all who care may see the picture of the Mer- thyr Red Cross Car. We have seen the picture,
Munition Volunteers. I MERTHYR TEACHERS' QUESTION. I At a. meeting of the School Management Committee of the Merthyr Corporation on Wednesday, Coun. Francis presiding, the Di- rector of Education (Mr. Rhys Elias) men- tioned that two or three teachers had asked lint what would be their positions should they volunteer for munition work. One tea- cher had joined the Cardiff Corporation's class which taught munition work and he (the Director) understood that &fter he had attended there for one month, he might, or might not, be put an munition work. What attitude were they going to adont with refer- ence to that teacher? Ald. Dan Thomas aid it was entirely a matter for the Education Committee. In reply to a question the Director stated that the man's wages for the month would not be paid until the committee came to a decision. He was the only on a vho had been released, but one other teacher had spoken' to him on the subject. Coun. W. Lewis: Surely we ought to en- courage teachers in these matters. The question was referred to the Education Goimmittee.
I The Bargoed Bricklayers
I The Bargoed Bricklayers. STRONGLY FAVOUR UNDERSTAND- WITH S.W.M.F. AND OTHJR LARGE UNIONS. The Newport Branch of the Operative Brick- layers' Society held its quarterly meeting on Saturday last, when Mr. Bennett presided over a full attendance of members. The Secretary had the pleasant duty of reporting that the contributions were good. Mr. H. J. Moore gave an interesting re- sume of the district meeting at Abertillery. a place which always occupied a place in his thoughts from the. fact of being a delegate there, on the formation of the branch, with the present General Secretary. He told of the difficulties which the branches in the hills were experiencing, largely by the losis of their best workers under the "industrial pol- icy" of the S.W.M.F., and opined that some thing would have to be done in the immedi- I ate future in the way of coming to a definite: understanding with the larger Unions. At the same time lie strongly advocated a single, strong Union for the building trade, and urg- ed his hearers to work steadily and whole- heartedly towards that end. Mr. W. T. Lloyd. District Secretary, re- ported on his recent visits to the G.W.R. and Alexandra Docks on behalf of the branch members. It appears that, the permanent bricklayers at the docks are proposed to be put on a weekly wage instead of the hourly rate that has been obtaining up to the present. Quite a number of the members took part in the subsequent discussion—the branch is fortunate in possessing more than its share of enthusiastic members with the powers of gra phic expression and it was dtimately de- cided that Mr. Lloyd should interview the Chief Engineer at the Alexandra Docks and complete the terms. The G.W.R. case is to be sent to the E.C. to deal with. If we remember aright, the railway officials refused to treat with the Union. It was also decided that the Executive be written to by the District Se-crtary pointing out the desirability of some understanding being arrived at between the A.W.U., the S.W.M.F. and the O.B.S. Messrs. Edwards and Christopher were elec- ted branch delegates to attend the meeting of the South Wales Building Trades Workers, to be held in the Ruskin Institute. Cardiff, to-morrow (Saturday). Several important matters rffecting the work of the O.B.S. were discussed and voted upon, after which Mr. H. J. Moore pointed out that the next district committee meeting would be held at Merthyr, and the delegates had been invited to visit the offices of the Pioneer." We again hold out the invitation to the District Committee, whose interest in their own paper is beginning to manifest itself so magnificently through the activities of the Bargoed comrades.
Electric Theatre I
Electric Theatre. I The public this week has read of the great- est Budget in history. It has been the topic of conversation, and no doubt the public will have to safeguard themselves and economise in various ways. One way out of the difficulty is to consider in what form your entertain- ment should take place. We f-ertainly think that one could do no better than visit the Electric Theatre, the programmes are so en- tertaining and always reliable in giving full value for the small price of admission. The early part of the week again was well patron- ised, and as usual the programme was of the best. Last night quite a change of subjects was screened, including 191L" by ta, produced by Tucker, and featuring such well- known screen artistes as Sane Gail and Ger- ald Ames. The acting, needless bo state, is special. The photography and settings are magnificent. Apart from the star. it is almost difficult to differentiate between, the others. Two exclusives besides "1914" in one prog- ramme is quite unknown in this District, but Mr. Bowen is determined to maintain his lead. with the result that he lVes his pat- rons special opportunities. There are-produc- tions on the market to-day whisli are booked exclusively to the Electric which cannot be surpassed. Therefore picture goers of Mer- thyr are in for a good time. Next Monday, to those who appreciate a well-knit, compact, forcible story, must not fail to see "The Enemies." This picture. a Vita graph Broadway star, is a very powerful tale of seafaring life. after the style of the great sea stories of Jack Lon Ion. It tells of the revenge a skipper took for the wrong done to his sister. The action passes on board his vessel, and there are some very rough incidents as well as deeply pathetic scenes. "The Enemies" is a good strong drama, but is not crudely sensational. It is a picture which will interest the most critical and in- telligent among us, and grip the attention of every class. On Thursday the "l^af e-flt-ari-" Price Man" is to ba shown one of the dangers with which this country may have to reckon with soon—is perhaps already reckoning with is the superior person who takes a malicious pleasure in differing from the rest of his countrymen completely on the vital question of war and peace. The pea,ce-at-any-pi-ice, man is a familiar nuisance, but this is the moment, not later on. The picture deals v, ith a reckless peace enthsuiast who refuses to take his part in his country's struggle for life. The story shows how he was gradually coaverted by his friends, lite relations and his own conscience to abandon his false views at last and to give heroic service to his country. The film is full of striking scenes, and while thoroughly topi- cal, throbs with dramatic inter ?st. There are other exclusives in the week's programme. At any rate. everyone should nake an effort next week to see the programmes, and keep an eye on the Theatre for further announce- ments. Enterprise at tihis theatre is still alive. and the manager is to be congratulated upon his magnificent selections.
IMonmouthshire Trades and Labour Council Couference
I Monmouthshire Trades and Labour Council Couference. ALL OUT AGAINST CONSCRIPTION. At the Newport Town Hall on Saturdav, a conference of 207 delegates, representing 55,23 < members, passed a resolution protest- ing against the action of the Lord-Lieutenant (Major-General Sir Ivor Herbert, M.P.) and the County Defence Committee in initiating a campaign for the introduction of Conscrip- tion. Such a policy was opposed to the inte- rests of the majority of the residents of the county, and had resulted in creating serious divisions among people where formerly unity prevailed. Mr. J. Winstone, Miners' -Feleration, who presided, said he wished the Government to know from that conference that the Welsh miners were opposed to Conscription. Millions more men would join under the voluntarv sys- tem if necessity arose but it would be fatal to introduce Prussianism. They are not after military conscription alone, said he. but eco- nomic and industrial conscription. It would do good to spend Id. on the "Labour Leader" of that week to see revelations of the Press on who were responsible for this plot. He should like them to bear in mind that the South Wales miner still lived, and if the junkers brought about a revolution they must be re- sponsible for the consequences. Mr. Jacks, Newport, in putting the reso- lutions to the meeting, denounced the cham- pions of Conscription, He said tuat Col. Her- bert had said that he was sure people would have sufficient common sense not to fight the resolution of the previous meeting. The junk- ers would be proud to see Trade Unions blown up The Junkers bad done more to retard re- cruiting than to assist it, and he advocated a strong policy under which they would down tools immediately they were shackled up. Mr. Albert Thomas (Miners) seconded, and said he could not kill a man. nor even think of it. We were not all mentally fitted for mi- litary duties. He dwelt upon the probable con- ditions after the war. and pointed out the evils that would foliow upon weakened Trades Unionism. He strongly favoured the transference of the pensions of the House of Lords to compensate soldiers r fter the war. if there was not hard cash to eet the na- tion's obligations to its crippled fighters. Mr. Tucker (Railwaymen), in supporting, made a stirring speech in support of unimpair- ed Trades Unions and the maintenance of liberty. Mr. Davies (Abertillery iviiners.) also sup- ported. and showed how Conscription was a menace to Trades Unionism, and declared that if we. as Trades Unionists, could only see as far as the Junkers, what a blessing it would be for the nation. He would not give his lib- erty to men who would crush hi n. Mr. Powell (Miners) thought it was a ruse to U$e our strength to crush us again. Mr. Geo. Davies: We should re-affirm the Trades Union Congress resolution at Bristol. Mr. Pollard (N.U.R.): We have asked for reasons. They have failed to give them. He then dealt at length with the war profits, and re-affirmed the other speakers' iews that the latest ruse of Conscription was to smash In- dustrial Unionism, and set them back years and years. They should send men to Parlia- ment who would represent them loyally. Mr. Cook (Blaenavon) said there were no reasons for Conscription. It was nothing hut military and labour Conscription, which they would never shake off. Mr. A. Williams (Railwaymen). in an able speech, said he was proud of the stand made by Mr. J. H. Thomas. He referred to the fi- nancial position of the nation. This was the first conference called by the Trades and Labour Council, and Mr. William Harris (Organiser), and Mr. Heap (Newport) were highly complimented on Their foresight. Judging from the enthusiasm, it augurs well for the future of the Monmouthshire Trades and Labour Council.
National Society of Painters I
National Society of Painters I RESIGNATION OF BRANCH SECRE- I TARY. The quarterly meeting of the above Society was held at the Y.M.C.A. on Monday last. The attendance was very satisfactory consider- ing the general slackness in the trade through- out South Wales. Consideration was given to the application of the branch to a further increase in wages; the present agreement will terminate on May 1 next. Se"eral members considered that ii was necessary to put the machinery in motion immediately. However, it was resolved to have a full discussion at tbg next meeting. A. letter was read from the Rhymnev Building Trades Federation asking the branch to send delegates to Cardiff on Saturday next. when a conference will be held in the Ruskin Institute of the whole of the buiMing trades throughout Soutll Wales. Spe- cial business to be the levelling up of the lower pn id trades, etc. It was resolved to send two delegates, Messrs. Edward Shaii-eli, and W. fiain bp PI g chosen. The Secretary, Mr. John Jon.-s, stated that owing to private and personal reasons he could no longer retain the office of secretary. In his address lie stated that it was only fair to several of the more active members that they should have an opportunity of holding this im- portant office, and he very much regretted ha- ving to take this step. but he was perfectly sure that there were equally as capable officers as himself, and that they should have no diffi- culty in securing an efficient secretary. There ware several nominees for the office, and, ev- entually. after a keen contest, Mr. Edward Shadbolt secured the position with a clear majority. Mr. P. Walsh, in proposing, a vote of thanks to the late Secretary, for the ex- cellent and enthusiastic manner in which he ha-s) served the branch. expressed the hope that Mr. Shadbolt would carry cut the duties equally as well as 2\f1- Jones. Mr. R. Moss seconded the vote, which was carried unani- mously.
I South Wales Railwaymen
I South Wales Railwaymen. I DEMAND NATIONAL PROGRAMME. I AND CONDEMN CONSCRIPTION AND HIGH FOOD PRICES. A mass meeting of South Wales railwaymen was held, under the auspices of the Taff Vala Vigilance Committee, the South Wales & Mon. District Council, and the Cardiff Joint Com- mittee. at the Cardiff Cinema. Cardiff, on Sunday last. Mr. M. Fashy presided over a crowded hall. — Mr. John Tristram, Secretary of the Taff Vale Vigilance Committee. read the correspon- dence that had passed between him and the General Secretary of the N.U.R. He also gave a brief explanation as to how the meeting was called, and stated that the meeting was con- vened for the purpose of hearing a report from the National Executive of the negotiations which, it had been anticipated, would have taken place during the week on the question of the demand for an increase in wages for all railwaymen, but as the negotiations had not taken place, no report could be given. All for National Programme. In the discussion that took place, however, the meeting very strongly re-asserted its pre- vious decision to demand the whole of the national programme, and the following resolu- tion was moved and seconded:- That this mass meeting of South Wales railwaymen re-aserts its demand for the National Programme, and pledges its sup- port to the National Executive in whatever measure they adopt to achieve that, demand. There was a desire expressed by a large number of the members that the meeting should appeal for a South Wales movement, and an amendment was moved demanding that a, ballot of the members should be taken be- fore a settlement was arrived at but it was very strongly urged by Mr. A. J. Williams, Organising Secretary for South Wales and the supporters of the resolution that power and confidence should be given to the National Executive to negotiate on their behalf. The amendment was defeated by an overwhelming majority, and the resolution was afterwards unanimously carried. It was also decided to hold another meeting after the result of the negotiations in London had been made known, which, it is anticipat- ed, will be during the coming weok. Against Conscription. The loiiowing resolution was also unanimous- ly passed That this mass meeting of South Wales Railwaymen protests against he attempt of a section of the press to foist conscription on the people of this country. We hereby declare that in our opinion it is not, a real military necessity that prompts these indi- viduals to cry aloud for national compulsory service, but an attempt to break the power of the organised workers. and bring them down to the level of the workers in conscrip- tion countri es. We therefore emphatically (ieclare that we will strongly oppose acy attempt to bring Conscription into force. Furthermore, we heartily congratulate Mr. J. H. Thomas, M.P.. on his statement to r he House of Commons, and firmly endorse the views he expressed. We also support the decision of our E.C. in arranging for a spe- cial meeting of that body in the event of the Government introducing any proposals for compulsory military service. That this mass meeting of South Wales Railwaymen strongly protests against the continued increase in the prices of food- stuffs. W e hereby urge the Government to immediately take over the production, dis- tribution and exchange of same. seeing that we are badly exploited by rapacious profi- teers. which, in effeat, is crushing the life out of the working classes. That we condemn the action of the judi- cial authorities in sending to prison the signalmen associated with the Gretoa Green accident, and that this resolution be sent to Unity House and the Home Office. TAFF VALE MEETING. A mass meeting of Taff Vale employees, un- der the auspices of the Taff Vale Vigilance Committee of the N. U.R. and the A.S.L.E. and L. was held on Sunday last at the Cardiff Cinema. Mr. M. Fahy presided. Mr. John Tristram, the Vigilance Commit- tee Secretary, read the correspondence that had passed between him ox the Board of Trade. tlte General Sec.retary of the X. U .R., and Mr. Beasley. the General Manager. Mr. G. O'Connor and Mr. J. J. Dowse, members of the Conciliation Board, gave a lengthy report of the Conciliation Board, gave a lenthy report Thursday, and after a considerable number of questions had been answered regarding the reduction in grades and rates of some of the drivers, the following resolution í,-&¿:; passed-- That whilst we have not ucaieved all we desired to achieve, this mass meeting of Taff Vale sail way employees expresses its appre- ciation of the efforts made by the officials of its organisations and Conciliation Board representatives in securing the reinstate- ment of wages of drivers reduced, and we trust that the T.V.R. management in the future will display a more corfciiiatory atti- tude toward s the employees, and thus pre- vent the irritation and unrest which has 1 >een so prevalent on this railway for some time past.
TREHERBERT. A CIVIC WELCOME.—&>mewhat of a eivic re- ception was accorded Pte. Sam Bailey. 1st Devons, who has been badly "gassed," on his return home at Brooks Street Blaenrhondda. on Saturday. The town was festooned with greetings and flags, fluttered from most of the houses, whilst the returned warrior was greeted on his arrival bv a procession of nigh 7.000 peopfe. headed by the Tyflraw Brass Band and the Treherbert Volunteer Training Corps.