THE STRUGGLE FOR INDUSTRIAL CONTROL WHATEVER may be the criticisms passed on the Recommendations contained in the Report of the Unrest Commission for Wales, I think it will be freely admitted that the statement of the extent and causes of discontent will prove of service to all who are interested in the establishment of industrial peace. It may appear to some people that the preliminary descriptive matter, especially that which deals with the influence of physical and geographical conditions, and of various sociological factors on the minds of the workers is quite un- necessary close students of Labour questions and of the psychology of crowds, however, will know that such factors although apparently irrelevant pro- foundly affect the outlook of men and conduce in no small degree to discontent. The Report deals mainly with unrest amongst miners for it is this class of workers which are most restive, and it is their views and actions which deter- mine whether South Wales shall be peaceful or otherwise. The Commissioners' diagnosis of the disease is as follows:- A considerable amount of unrest existed in South Wales for some years previous to the War, and the unsatisfactory relation existing between employers and men frequently mani- fested itself in disputes, many of which attained serious propor- tions. As a result of the conflicts a somewhat bitter antagonism has grown up between employers and workers in certain industries, and this has to some extent been fostered by ex- tremists and tactless partisans on both sides. A sense of irresponsibility has thus been created, and the men have shown a tendency to strike on the slightest pretext, despite the advice of their accredited leaders Such class antagonism has been especially pronounced in the mining industry, and in a much less degree in the transport industries." Again The more or less chronic unrest which arises from the conflict between Capital and Labour, and which is so charac- teristic of the South Wales Coalfield, is at the moment not so very active. The working classes as a whole are strongly loyal and patriotic, and their belief in the national cause has been clearly demonstrated by the fact of the heavy recruiting that took place from their ranks during the earlier months of the War. We are entirely convinced that there is absolutely no foundation for the allegation sometimes made as to pro-German influences in engendering the unfortunate labour disputes that marred the peace of the coalfield during 1915. That strike, and others which have occurred during the War period, we believe to be largely due to the suspicion that employers of labour were exploiting the national cause for personal gain. The causes of unrest are classified as Permanent and Temporary, the latter being causes arising out of the War. The permanent causes are further classified as Economic, Social and Political. Several economic causes are mentioned, the foremost being the fact that the rise in the cost of living has out- stripped the increase in wages. This is the funda- mental cause, and the conflict has arisen because industry is organized for gain not for service, and both employers and workers seek their own monetary advantage regardless both of one another's interests and of the interests of the community at large. Each party in production seeks its own profit, and in the process endeavours to restrict the profit of its partner. The other economic causes mentioned are all sub- sidiary to this main cause. The social causes include a variety of matters such as bad housing conditions, unsatisfactory surroundings, lack of adequate educa- tional and recreative facilities, etc. Perhaps the most influential immediate cause is that described as political. This covers the propaganda of such organisations as the Independent Labour Party and the Central Labour College. These bodies by their activities have brought a complete change in the attitude of workers towards their employers. 1. Hostility to Capitalism," the Commissioners state, has become part of the political creed of the majority of Trade Unionists in the mining if not in other industries, and unless the employers are prepared to meet the men part of the way disaster must overtake the mining industry in the South Wales Coalfield. Nearly all movements initiated by the South Wales Miners' Federation during recent years, consciously or uncon- sciously, are directed towards the overthrow of the present capitalist system, and the establishment of a new industrial order under which the workers will have a greater measure of control over their industry and a larger measure of the produce of their labour." From this statement it would appear that Capital and Labour are separated by a great gulf that cannot easily be bridged. It was the recognition of this cleavage that led the Commissioners to take such a serious view of the situation and to formulate recom- mendations which to many people whose knowledge of industrial conditions is perhaps inadequate, and whose outlook is circumscribed, appear almost revolutionary in character. The Commissioners have not attempted to gloss over the seriousness of the position. They do not anticipate any consider- able measure of industrial strife during the War. When the patriotic motive is removed, however, and the ordinary economic forces are again allowed full sway, serious trouble is to be anticipated unless measures are taken to estab- lish better relations between Capital and Labour. We do* not think that pre-War conditions can be restored, and Labour be induced to resume its old relations to Capital. There is good reason to believe that Labour will demand after the War a