19 JUNE 1926, Page 1

Wages are the test by which, almost exclusively, they measure

upward and downward movements in the con- ditions of their industry. They have frequently been wrong in doing so, and they have commonly taken no account of the differences between nominal and real wages—but there is the fact. Mr. Frank Hodges has repeatedly said that longer hours are preferable to lower wages, and hitherto with much courage and with less success than he deserved he has tried to persuade the miners to agree with him. We still think that his task is quite a hopeful one, in spite of the abuse he has re- ceived, mainly inspired by Mr. Cook. We gather from the debate that Mr. Baldwin, who understands industry as few members of the Cabinet do, distinctly prefers an optional increase in hours to any appreciable interference with wages.