21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 33



STa,—In your most interesting article on "The Lessons of the Cotton Dispute" in last week's Spectator you assume that the masters agree with the operatives before short time is worked in the mills. This is hardly so. As a matter of fact, the masters decide matters of this kind for themselves without any reference to the bands. There are often cases of individual short time, and occasionally the Employers' Association arrange concerted action over the Federation area ; but in all instances the workpeople are never consulted on the line of policy as to lessening the output of yarn or cloth. Then you say that Lancashire weavers had no benefit from their Union during the recent strike because they them- selves were not involved in the strike. You must have been misinformed, I fear, for in most districts of the county the Weavers' Union had to pay fairly large sums on this account, and it is understood that its funds suffered severely