Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 12 April 1921
The Triple Alliance.
Manifesto Gives Case for Stoppage.
Unless an offer is made to the miners which their colleagues in the Triple Alliance can feel justified in recommending them to accept, a stoppage of railwaymen and transport workers will begin.
So says a manifesto issued by the Triple Alliance. The proposed reduction in the miners’ standard of life is “as sweeping as it is unjustifiable,” and in resisting ” these monstrous proposals” the Triple Alliance, says the manifesto, is defending the standard of life of the whole working class. The threat to national wage agreements “is designed to break up the unity of the Miners’ Federation. The conditions which it is sought to-day to impose on the miners will, unless resisted, be imposed to-morrow on other classes of workers. The control of railways ends on August 31st. The standardisation of wages among all grades of railwaymen is in danger. The dockers’ minimum of 16s. a day, whether in Hull or Liverpool, or any other port, and the uniform rates of the seamen will be insecure if the miners are defeated. In supporting the miners the Triple Alliance is defending the interests both of its own members and of the whole body of organised labour.”
Dealing with the responsibility of the Government, the manifesto asserts that it is even heavier than that of the mineowners.
“The Prime Minister,” it proceeds, “has accused organised Labour of threatening the life of the nation. We reply that if the well-being of the nation is threatened it is not by Labour, but by him and by the Government of which he is the head. We are driven reluctantly but irresistibly to the conclusion that the present Government is not an impartial arbitrator in industrial negotiations, but an active, if secret, partisan, and that while it speaks of peace it behaves in a manner calculated to encourage war.”
As part of the case against the Government the manifesto points out that “in addition to calling up the reserves it has adopted the new and odious expedient of forming a volunteer force as an instrument to be used against organised Labour. In so doing it has lightly assumed the grave responsibility of provoking bloodshed and civil war.” The manifesto concludes by repeating that the issues are vital to organised Labour and calls on all sections to give assistance to their fellow-workers in a struggle “which has been forced on them against their will, and which even now they are doing their best to avert.”