Collection Title: Merthyr Pioneer
Institution: The National Library of Wales
Rights: The copyright status or ownership of this resource is unknown.
Navvy Pat's Views. i- SEE PAGE 5
Peace, Peace, when there is No Peace. SEE PAGE 3 I 1'.
Corporation and Dowlais Coop
Corporation and Dowlais Co-op. ALD. GRIFFITHS AND A MEMBER'S I WORD OF HONOUR. SEQUEL TO PEACE MEETING CANCEL- I LATION. TOWN COUNCIL TO HOLD A WAR I MEETING. The monthly meeting of the Merthvr Town Council, on Monday, was one of the most newsy," from a general reader's standpoint, than has been the case for some time. Several importan fc local matters were dealt with, and personal fe:lng ran somewhat high when Aid. Charles Gn[rdls protested against the non- acceptance of his assurance to the Libraries Committee that the Dowlais Go-operative So- ciety, of which he is President, had never en- gaged the Carnegie Basement Hall for a Peace meeting. Another matter of some little interest is the 'bus service between Merthyr and Troedyrhiw. The Public Works Sub-Committee has had unddr consideration an application from the proprietor of these vehicles for licences for three omni- buses. but after inspection the Sub-Committee was" of opinion that the condition of the vehicles is such as to render them unsatisfac- tory to ply for hire," and recommended that the licences should be refused. Mrs. Edmunds told the Council on Monday that the conveyances had been sadly missed by the people of lvoedyrhiw and the lower end of the valley, and moved that the matter should be referred back. It was also pointed out that the vshicles were very useipil to colliers, but ultimately it was decided that if the proprietor -who was present—had anything to offer in the way of improvements in the vehicles, the sub committee would meet him. When the Watch Committee report was for- ward for acceptance. Coun. Francis referred to the decision to allow the Chief Constable's re- port on the working of the restricted hours for the sale of intoxicants regulations to go forward to the Liquor Control Board as the expression of his own opinion, with regard to which the Committee took no action, beyond the expres- sion of opinion that the Order should be ex- tended prohibiting the opening of licensed houses until 12 noon. Coun. Francis questioned the advisability of sending forward a private view instead of the considered view of the Commit- tee. and believed that a principle was at stake. The question of officials reporting was a serious one to his way of thmking. and he would have preferred the report to have been amended so a-s to «spress the opinions of the majority of the Watch Committee. It was, however, pointed out by several mem- bers of the Watch Committee that the Chief Constable had been requested to forward his views to the Home Office Authorities, and that no request of a similar nature had been made to the Watch Committee. Coun. Francis: J. want to know from the Town Cleric whether the Order is likely to be altered without the Watch Committee being con- sulted on the report by the authorities. Coun. Phillips: The Liquor Control Board has full power to make any Order it likes with- out consulting the Watch Committee. Aid. Thomas could not understand the opinion that the Order should be extended prohibiting the houses opening until noon. The Order in force already did that. The Town Clerk pointed out that this referred to those houses which opened for the sale of non- intoxicants. Aid- Thomas: That lias to do with my tee- tobaT friends; I have nothing to do with that. (Laughter.) Coun. Francis asked whether there was any resolution debarring the casual employees under Parks Committee from having their war bonus. He /was given to understand that there were a.bout a, dozen men affected, and they said that it. was- unfair seeing that all the conditions Applying to other workmen applied to them, that they should be debarred from receiving the bonus. Court. D. Jones (Vice-chairman of the Paries Committee) said that he was not aware of the existence of any such resolution, and the Mayor suggested that the matter should go before the Parks Committee, and this was decided upon- though Coun. Francis wanted to move that the mer. be paid their bonus. Mrs. Edmunds thanked the Council, on behalf of the public of Troedyrhiw, for the attendance of the Municipal Band tine previous week. Their musfc was much appreciated, and the people of Troedyrhiw would like their visits to be made a little oftener. A letter was read from Mr John Evans (Sec- retary of the Dowlais Co-operative Society) oontradicting the statement made at the Libra- ries Committee that the Co-operative Society had booked the hall of the Carnegie Library for the purpose of holding Peace meetings, and pointed out that the hall was onlv engaged by the Society for the purpose of holding its own meetings. The letter concluded The state- ment of the Chairman (Aid. C. Griffiths) to that effect was perfectly correct. Ald. Griffiths, speaking to the letter, said that he had been very much surprised, when making the statement at the last Libraries Committee meeting-, that none of the members would acoept his statement. If any other mem- ber had made the statement, it would have been accepted, and he wanted the Council to understand that his word was :as good as, any other man's there. If he gave his word as the representative of a big society, he expected it to be accepted. Aid. Dan Thomas made some remark, which drew from Ald. Griffiths the statement, "You were the culprit." Ald. Thomas: I was one of them. Bwt we did not refuse to accept your word. We were told by the Deputy Town Clerk that the Libra- rian had said that the request came from the Co-opertive Store. If Ald. Griffiths wants to probe this matter further, let him move for the appointment of a Committee of three or four to go into the truth of the Librarian's state- ment or this letter, Aid. Griffiths So they are not prepared to accept this letter. I know perfectly well that the, Co-operative Society has never engaged the room for anything other than its own meet- ings. N omatter what the Librarian or Town Clerk says, I say that, and I want the Council to unciersta-Kid that my word here is as good al another mairs. If it had been one pf the. other side who "had made the statement, it would have been accepted. To the Mayor Do you accept the letter, sir ? The Mayor: I do not see how the Council can decline to accept it. Coun. John Da-vies said he thought the mat- ter should be probed a little further in fairness to the Librarian as well as anyone else. Al- though the Mayor had consented to receive the letter, but there had been some doubt thrown on it, but the matter could be easily cleared. The Borough Comptroller had a statement made to him every month as to who was engagiag the hall of the Library, and they would find that during the past four months the hall had only been once engaged by the Co-operative Society, and that for its quarterly meeting. Mrs. Edmunds: Has this hall been paid for? If so, who has paid for it? Ald. Griffiths: The hall was engaged for that particular night by a person working in the steelworks. I cannot make out where the Co- operative Society came into it. The Mayor: 1 do not think the Librarian could let, the hall for any purpose without some authority. Coun. Davies: I think we have given him the authority. Aid. Griffiths: Of- course we have. The Deputy Town Clerk; What the Librarian said was that he thought it was engaged by a person in the Co-operative Society, and I said that Ooun. Fen wick bore out the deputy's state- ment. Coun. Francis said that he had taken care at the Libraries Committee to point out that the official consent could be obtained from the Librarian. A person did not have to come before the Libraries Committee to engage the hall. He went to the Librarian. And the same thing applied to the Education Committee. One did not go before the Education Committee to engage a school. One went into the office, paid 2/6 and booked it. But tke underlying princi- ple in the whole thing was that no Peace meetings were to be held; they were to be pre- vented by hook or crook. But he did not want the members to escape from the position into which they had placed themselves. It was stated that it was a condition of the gift of the Lib- rary that no meetings were to be held there. It was a very funny thing to him, that if this was so, this position had not arisen hitherto, for a good deal of money had come to the Council from this &onrao, and if no meetings are to be allowed, then it will mean the loss of a good deal of money to the Council. The Town Clerk said that there was nothing in the deeds of the Carnegie gift to prohibit meetings being held. Aid Thomas moved that a small committee of three or four be appointed to go into the matter The Town Clerk The Libraries Committee has full powers. Aid. GriffiMis What is this Committee for? Aid. Thomfta eeaplained that it was to clear up the matter. Aid. Griffiths: Then you are not prepa,red to accept the word of honour of the Society. I do not think that is fair. Wa are a very large society doing business on behalf of 2,000 mem- bers, and whilst I do not fear an investigation, I do think you ought to accept the word of ho-n- our of the Society. I have already told you who engaged the hall for this meeting, and I am prepared to give his name to the Mayor. A Voice Give it noiv; tl-ii-S is a public meeting Aid. Griffiths: No; I know how these things have been used in the past. Mrs. Edmunds associated herself with Aid. Griffiths' last remarks. It was really con- temptible that some of the members there should make use of their knowledge of the inner workings of the Council to give their fel- lows a slating on the street corners, as had happened since the prohibition, of. the meeting in Abesrcanaid. Aid. Thomas: Hello! Here's something else wanting enquiry. Coun. Phillips said the Council ought to ac- cept the written word of any man, and so far as any member of the Council was concerned, his word ought to be accepted. The Town Clerk again, reminded the meeting that the Libraries Committee had full power to deal with the matter, and the question was al- lowed to drop. A letter was read from, the Municipal Em- ployees Association asking for an increase in wages because, of the diminished value of their salaries. The matter had been deferred until the prac- tice in other places could be ascertained, and the letter was left over pending the presenta- tion of that report. A resolution was read from the local Naval and Military War Pensions Committee stating that after a consideration of the suggestions for carrying on the work, and particularly that in. which it was suggested that the local com- mittee should solicit contributions from the public, the Committee had come to the conclu- sion that the provisions of these pensions was a national obligation and a matter ef national honour ought not to be dependent on charity. On the motion or Coun. Phillips, the Coun- cil adopted a resolution giving expression to the same idea. The Town Clerk said that a meeting which he had attended at the Westminster Palace Hotel the other day had passed a similar resolution, and a deputation was to mait upon the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer on July 27. It was decided that Ooun. H. M. Lloyd (Chairman of the local Pensions Committee) should deputise the Mayor on this deputation. A general resolution that it behoves Munici- pal bodies to provide work distinct from char- ity for the soldiers discharged at the close of the war was read and adopted, as was a circular resolution from the Wolverhampton Town Coun- cil calling upon the Government to intern all enemy alien subjects. It was decided to circularise the members in response to an invitation from the Merthyr Free Church Council to attend a Fallen Heroes' Memorial Service to be held ai, Zoar on Sunday, July 30.. It was decided to help .forward the Lord Kitchener Memorial F mtd, and a letter was read from the Ministry of Munitions asking the Council to help forward the movement for with- holding the August holidays. The Labour members fought this idea. on the ground that Parliament, and the colliery offi- cials were taking their holidays as usual, and so long as their bad precept was set. it was not right to try and withhold a day from the men, and ultimately it was decided to give the men in the Council employ the first Monday in August holiday. The British Empire Union (incorporating the Anti-German Union) forwarded a resolution cal- ling for the internment of all aliens. Coun. John Davies We shall get rid of the Spaniards in Dowlais then. Aid. Lewis (Treharris) Spaniards are not aliens. (La tighter.) A letter was also considered from the autho- rities suggesting that the Council should organ- ise a meeting for August 4, at which a resolution should be submitted that on "this the second anniversary of the outbreak of war." the citi- zens of Merthyr Tydfil recorded their inflexible determination to carry to a successful issue the war for liberty and justice which were the common and sacred causes of the Allies. Ooun. Francis: There is a very sharp divi- sion of opinion on this matter, and the best thing that can be done is to allow it to lie on the table. It was moved that the meeting be organised. Coun, John Davies: What is the good of that? A great majority of this community is in favour of prosecuting the war until we have an honourable peace. What. then, is the good of this? It is ba,by work. It seems as though the authorities think the majority is against them. On being put to the meeting, 10 were in fa- vour of holding the meeting, and 7 against. In reply to the request of the Council that a late train should be run from Newport and an early train run out in the morning, a letter was rea d from the Dist?rict n read from the District Manager of the G.W.R. saying that in view of the need for coal and other economy, and the probable smallness of the number who would use such a train, the company could not see its way to acceding to the request. It was decided to write t-v the General Man- ager of the Company, giving him all the facts, and pointing out that soldiers arriving home from the front on short leave' had at pre- sent to lose a night in Cardiff.
Gwmavon and Port Talbot Notes I
Gwmavon and Port Talbot Notes. I A short time after I posted my notes for last week, another Conscientious Objector was arrested. Lemuel Emanuel, hairdresser, was fined the usual 40/- and ordered to await an escort. He was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, but, owing to a shortage of magistrates, his case was not heard until the day following, therefore he was kept in the cells of the Port Talbot Police Station until he left for Cardiff Barracks by the mid-day train on Wednesday. A fellow-lodger of his offered bail until the hear- ing of his case, but this the police refused. Mr Btnanuel is a member of the Cwmavon N.C.F. and I.L.P. Branches. Bethany Square Again I Despite the inclemency of tha weather last Sunday, R. C. Wallhead succeeded in attract- ing a large crowd at a meeting held at Beth- any Square. The meeting had been in progress for 15 minutes when the police made their ap- pearance. The result of this official intrusion was that the meeting was shifted a little higher up towards the Forge Road Cinema. It was comical to see Dickie and his enthusi- astic followers shuffling along through the drizzling rain towards this spot. And when he got there, well-" Dickie" did not forget it. There was a good sale of literature and col- lection. Making a Soldier. I Pte. David Davies, of the 2nd Monmouth- shires, stationed at Howbury Camp, near Bed- ford, came home at the end of last week on 6 days' sick leave. Private Davies is a Conscien- tious Objector and was an active and interested member of the Cwmavon. N.C.F. For three weeks prior to his arrest he was laid up with severe muscular rheumatism, and the circum- stances which led him into ihe Army are worth relating. Two days after he had risen from bed he was arrested-r.ather, ho was politely invited to make his appowranceat the Police Court, AbeTavün-in company with other Con- scientious Objectors. He was in such a weak state during the proceedings at the Police Court that he expressed a desire to be medically examined. Nevertheless, he was given the usual fine, and escorted to Cardiff. At Cardiff he was miedically examined by an army doctor, who passed him for second-class service, and he was straightway sent to Bedford Hospital.- This resulted in his clotires being sent home. He was in the hospital for three weeks leaving there he was detained in camp for 13 days, and fed on milk. He has been away from home altogether for seven weeks, so it is manifest that only a small proportion of that time has been given to training. It is also manifest that Pte. Davies was literally forced into the Army.
Nearly 700 Years Imprisonment forI Conscientious Objectors
Nearly 700 Years' Imprisonment for I Conscientious Objectors. The number of Conscientious Objectors who have been arrested is steadiy rising, and now reaches a total of 1,611. Of these 101 have been diiseharged for health and other reasons, and 765 have been court-martialled. The total sentences on the latter (even al- lowing for all the commutations) amount to 682 years 5 months, made up of 98 years 11 months' imprisonment and detention. 243 years 6 months' hard labour; and 340 years' penal servitude.
Second CourtMartial of the Abercynon Boys
Second Court-Martial of the Abercynon Boys. DEVIZES DEFENCES OF THE FIVE CON- SCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS. A court-martial was held at the Barracks Devizes, on Tuesday, July 11, on the Abercynon Conscientious Objectors. They were charged with refusing to obey the lawful orders of a super- ior at the Military Prison, Devizes, on June 10. Major Hawkes (Wilts) was President of the Court, and Lieutenant and Adjutant Johnson prosecuted. Several relatives of the accused were present also the local gentleman who acts as their Quaker Chaplain. The Rev. J. R. Hug- hes (Abercynon), Mr Morgan and Mr Smith (Yn- ysybwi) gave evidence as to the excellent character and sincerity of the accused. They looked fairly well, and were in excellent spir- its They all entered the room smiling, plainly showing that three months' imprisonment had not affected their spirits nor weakened their determination to continue the fight. Several letters which bore testimony on behalf of the accused were attached to the sworn evidence to be sent to the War Office. The first to appear was Percy Kendell. The President, having read the charge, asked him if he were guilty, and Kendell replied: I plead guilty, but on the grounds- that I am not a soldier but a Conscientious Objector to military service of any kind. The President told him that he should be permitted to make his state- ment in defence, which ran thus: "My reason for disobeying military orders is that I am a Conscientious Objector, and as such am opposed to all warfare. I stated this at the Tribunals, but was refused exemption. I am a Christian and a Socialist, and believe in the Brotherhood of Man and the sanctity of .,human life, and I cannot and will not obey military orders, nor become part of a machine which has for its object the destruction of human life." Mr Idwal Williams came next. He said that he was a Conscientious Objector, and challeng- ed the jurisdiction of the court. I am not a soldier, he protested emphatically. Do you persist in your objection to be tried by this Court?" asked the President.—"I do," replied Williams.—" Then you wish that your trial be deferred until. you get h-;al assistance After a, moment's reflectij»i> -oivferred that the trial should proceed, and pleaded guilty to the charge on Socialistic grounds. He had no witness to call, but called the attention of the President to letters in his behalf by Mr T. 1. Mardy Jones and others, which he requested should be at- tached to the sweft-n evidence and sent to the War Office. Then came the case of Bethnel Ifrm. Morgan, of Ynysybwl. How to spell Bethnel and Ynysy- bwl was worse than a Chinese puzzle for the President, and Mr Morgan was called upon t'o deliver him out of his distress. But when the word was properly spelled the nearest approach to the pronunciation of Ynysybwl was "Un-niss- able." In reply to the charge. Mr Morgan said, "I am guilty of the facts, but do not ad- rift i< that I am a soldier." Asked if he had anything to state in hie defence, he made the following elaborate and im pressive statement:—" I a.m a follower of Jesus Christ, and as such I am a Conscientious Ob- jector to all war, and to all kinds of militiary service. Christ was and is a Prince of Peace and 1. like my Master, am an advocate for Peace. I contend that all war influences thoughts, are in direct conflict with those of the true Christian. I was nurtured on a religious hearth, and from my youth I have been sus- ceptible to religious impressions. From the age of 12 years, I have been a member of the Baptist Denomination of the Christian faith. At all times I have been unswerving in my sin- cerity to the principles of Christ. The Omnipo- tent alone knows my sinceritv in my convictions and the struggles that I have made to remain loyal to Christ's teachings. I have suffered and sacrificed in the past. During my first year at the Normal College of Bangor I refused to join the Territorial Corps. During the second year I refused to join the Officers' Training Corps. I have also suffered confinement for 3 months; and. if needs be. laani prepared to sacrifice my life, in order,to prove to the Gov- ernment and to mv nation, my loyalty to Christ. The above statement was ably substantiated by Mr Morgan's father. Mr Gwilym 1. Smith was next called. On being charged he said: "The facts are true; but I am not a soldier. My aasjsver to the charge is that I am here through the misrepresenta- tion of the Tribunals as to the demands of the Military Service Act. That is my explanation." The President told him also that the ministers' letter's as to character, etc., should be attached to the sworn evidence and sent un with it. The father of Mr Smith also gave sworn evidence, corroborating that of his son. The last of our group to face the military music was Emrys Hughes. He pleaded guilty at once as if anxious to see the farce over. His statement was brief. He said: Ever since I have been able to think for myself I have been a Socialist and a Pacifist. I have lost on account of my convictions positions under the L.C.C. and also under the local Education Committee. I was refused exemption under the Military Ser- vice Bill. On April 20 I was arrested, and 1 refused to sign papers and obey military orders. I was tried bv court-martial ait Cardiff on May 16 and sentenced to 2 years' hard labour, which was commuted to 9 months' detention, and which again was reduced to 112 days. I have not changed my views nor my intentions during my military detention here. I have not vet obeyed a single military order, neither do I intending doing so. let the penalty be what it may." The sentence will be promulgated in due course.
Has yeur name appeared in our 10,000 Shil. i lings' Fund tist P If not, let it be there "ex week.. 11 I -?
Workers Democratic Educational League
Workers' Democratic Edu- cational League. FIRST CONFERENCE AROUSES ENTHU- SIASM. An inaugural Conference was convened by Mr Sy Jones (Blackwood) and Mr W. J. Hewlett (Abertillery) on Saturday, July 8, at Bryn- hyfryd Restaurant. Pontllanfraith. of the five classes now in existence in Monmouthshire Bargoed, Oakdale, WattsviHe, Blackwood, and Abertillery-which are following the studies of Industrial History and Economics. A very fine representative gathering enthusiastically dis- cussed the advisability of linking up the classes now in existence into a closer organisation, for the purpose of furthering the cause of Demo- cratic Education amono- the working class. Mr. Syd Jones, of Blackwood. was unanim- ously voted to the chair. In a short intro- ductory speech, he pointed out the necessity for such an organisation, which would be the medium—or the vehicle, as it were—for convey- ing working class education far and wide am- ong the proletariat of present day society. Also pointing out that it was by the study of the his- torical development of human society and hu- man institutions that we, as a proletariat clase. would understand our true position in society. Mr Jones also pointed out the great oneness of purpose of this organisation or league, but we must not forget the relativity of all things, as only by understanding things in their relative sense could we explain all growth and develop- ment. He also drew atenttion to the Central Labour College, and the relationship existing between that institution and this conference. He went on to say that he had derived a great benefit by following his studies there for two years, yet he did not desire to rest contented upon that, but lie wanted the institution to live, grow and thrive- This could be ensured by the support of this organisation in the form of preparing students for the institution. Also by fearlessly propounding and carrying the princi- ples which the institution stood for over the length and breadth of the industrial community. That, he thought, was a sure way of protecting the institution, and the principles which it stood for, and so fearlessly proclaimed. But we know that there axe certain individuals, some of whom are. found among our c-wn Trades Unionists, who are not favourably inclined toward the Central Labour Col' Thpt was another rea- son vviiy w siiouid F: .u-lessly guaid the institu- tion which, he would make bold to say. was an institution of the rank and file. Mr Jones concluded his speech by laying em- phasis on the fact that working class education was a scientific education. The sentiments expressed drew the approba- tion of the conference. The agenda was then taken, which brought forth some very definite and progressive dis- cussions 1—Title of Organisation—Carried that the organisation shall be called the Workers' Democratic Educational League." 2—Carried that we advocate the teaching of the Curriculum of the Central Labour College wilen the institution was founded. 3—Carried that this conference of representa- tives of the five classes pledges itself to become affiliated to tie PIebs' League, .and to support the same with all the means in its power. 4—Carried that we undertake to organise the sale and distribution of the "Plebs' Magazine." that a small Executive Committee be appointed, the committee to consist of one member from each class with officials. XSswk class -to select its own member. Obiects. Methods and Aims of the League. Objects: I—To provide facilities for giving adequate expression for the Industrial and Political Ac- tivities of the Workers. Moth" 1-The formation of classes at various centres in Monmouthshire and South Wales. 2—The direction and control of classes to bo decided at periodical conferences. Aims: 1—The positive expression of the meedm and aims of the Working Class Movement. 2-The ultimate taking over of industry, and the scientific control of seme. The following officers were then selected — Presidents—Dennis Hird. C.L.C.. and George Barker, S.W.M.F. Vice-presidents- Councillor W. Hancock (S.W.M.F.) and Messrs. A. W. Perrv (N.U.R.) and W. L. Cook (S.W.M.F.) Chairman: Sydney Jones. C.L.C. and Blaek- wood. Seeretary-ll,, J. Hewlett. Abertillery. Treasurer—Geo. Walters. Bargoed. Several matters, of detail were referred to 1M Executive,, and to bring up a report at the next conference. z ? Any friends who are desiroUB of forming classes, or classes that are in existence which are desirous of becoming affiliated to the above organisation, will please communicate with the Organising Secretary, who will be most pleased to give all the information required. Come along, Workers and Friends; and help to weld the oond of friendship and brotherhood into one compact organisation, so that the emanci- pation of the proletariat may become a glorious established truth.-OTganising W. J. Hew- lett, 87 Oak Street Abertillery
BRITON FERRY •" DICKY 11 BUST.—We held a series of meet- ings this week-end, with Mr R. C. Wallhead as the speaker. The first two meetings he dealt with the situation after the war. the meetings being held in the open-air, and his remarks were received with much applause. A meeting was also held in the Public Main Hall, which was packed with an enthusiastio audience te hear Wallhead give a great address on Peace Negotiation." All went away highly delighted. The literature sales were good.