Since the Miners' Federation issued its ultimatum to the Government
on Thursday week we have had daily statements and counter-statements from the opposing sides, as we had during the war. President Wilson's advocacy of " open cove- nants openly arrived at" has prevailed in ,the industrial no less than in the diplomatic sphere. Sir Robert Horne received the journalists at the Board of Trade on Friday week and explained the Government's position. Mr. Smillie had, he said, made it plain that the Federation's demands were put forward as a step towards " nationalization," which Parliament had rejected. The Government would not re-establish the costly State control of the coal industry, though they would continue to control prices in order to prevent excessive exports. The Federation's claim to a fresh increase of wages would at once raise the price of coal. As the Federation asked at the same time for a rise in wages and a decrease in the price of coal, the Government had nothing to say to them. But, in so far as the Federation's claim related to wages and not to policy, it should be submitted to the Industrial Court.