22 AUGUST 1941, Page 2

Mr. Bevin and the Workers

Mr. Ernest Bevin raised a number of debatable questions his address to the Transport and General Workers' Union Monday. Though the Trades Union Congress at its ann meeting next week will be asked by the General Council oppose attempts to apply a uniform wages policy or to interf with the system of free negotiation on wages, Mr. Benin none the less insisted that since sound measures have been tak to stabilise prices, national claims for increased wages must n be allowed to upset the whole scheme of stabilisation. He clearly right—particularly in view of the comparison with tke soldier's lot. In turning to the joint declaration by Mr. Roosev and Mr. Churchill he ventured on some proposals of his own n amplification of the policy defined therein. He suggested that the access of all nations to the world's raw materials would be made effective if an internationally controlled pool of ran materials were created from which nations could draw accord. ing to their needs. He further suggested that the fifth elm, declaring for co-operation between nations to improve standards of living and promote social security, should te implemented by building up standards of living which should be the same throughout the world. That is a noble ideal, which would abolish the principal causes of wasteful compen- tion. But it will not be accomplished in a day. It must le long before the African or the Japanese labourer will be able to consume as much of the world's goods as the worker in Britain or the United States. None the less, it must be the aim of world economists to devise means which will gin satisfactory conditions of life to all groups of labour in al countries.