28 AUGUST 1926, Page 1

* * * * The owners countered all this by

declaring that the hours of work and wages which were in force before the stoppage were now out of question, that they could not consent to a national agreement and that they objected strongly to a subsidy. Mr. Evan Williams may have meant to be humorously genial, but his reference to the intervention of the religious leaders and his question whether Mr. Cook would like to open the negotiations with a hymn were not in effect happy. As we have said else- where, generalship, if it can be said ever to have been present, has disappeared, and a " soldiers' battle " is now going on in the coalfields. There has been a marked tendency in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire for the miners to follow the example of Warwickshire and Leicestershire and to accept the comparatively enticing terms for district settlements offered by the owners.