28 AUGUST 1926, Page 1


THE coal dispute seems to have lapsed into a drifting state which gives little hope of a return to the Report. We have written on the subject in our first leading article, but must' chronicle here the principal facts of the last few days. The voluntary meeting between the owners and the miners on Thursday, August 19th, was a fiasco. The incalculable Mr. Cook had certainly used language before the meeting which suggested that he was at last convinced of the necessity of give and take negotiations. Very likely he meant what he said at the time, but he changes from day to day, being, like too many Labour leaders, dependent for his inspiration and guidance upon the feelings of his audiences, to which he reacts violently. The miners expressed the opinion that longer hours were not necessary, that a national agreement was essential, and that an application might be made to the Government fur financial help during reorganization. As for the question' of reducing wages for the higher paid men they said that they would be willing to consider it after the nature of the reorganization had been discussed.