19 JUNE 1926, Page 2

It is generally known that before the debate on Tuesday

the Government tried to induce the owners to say that if the miners chose a longer day there would be no reduc- tion at all in wages. The owners felt unable to agree. They went so far, however, as to say that according to their calculations there would be no reduction in fifty per cent. of the pits, that in twenty-five per cent. the wages would still be above the 1921 level, that the majority of the remaining twenty-five per cent. of the pits would be able to pay the wages of 1921 and that the small remainder of pits would have to be shut down. The miners' leaders profess to be very indignant at such figures, but we sus- pect that their indignation is less real than it seems, for they cannot forget that in their conversations with the owners a fortnight ago they themselves made the appall- ing suggestion that (by the maintenance of wages all round which they demanded) at least half a million miners might be thrown out of work. Moreover, the purchasing power of wages is now thirty per cent. higher than it was in 1921. The miners will be sorely wanting in reason if they refuse to consider this offer. If Mr. Cook remains obdurate we shall not be surprised at a break-away from his leadership.

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