15 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 3

The Coal and Trade Disputes Bills The Liberals, when we

write, have not concluded their negotiations with the Government over Part I. of the Coal Bill but both sides seem to be anxious fOr a thorough settlement. There is no suggestion of reducing the miners' wages, but if we may judge from the accumulating signs the miners are much less ill-disposed than they were to a ninety hour- fortnight instead of a seven and a half hours day. The mine-owners are already convinced that this is a sound plan. The prospeCt Of a fair passage for the Coal Bill has made the Goverrirnent think that they can find time to revise the Trade Disputes Act of 1927. It is said that their Bill will in effect restore the Liberal Act of 1913. That is to say there would be " contracting out " instead of " contracting in ". for the political. levy of the Trade Unions, and the Civil Service unions would be able to rejoin the Trade Union Congress and to send representa- tives to Parliament. This would by no means satisfy the left wing of the Labour Party who want the conditions to be exactly as they were before the General Strike.