30 JANUARY 1926, Page 1

Mr. Thomas's warnings were obviously justified. If the all-grades programme

of the N.U.R. had been accepted by the National Wages Board, the cost to the companies would have been about 140,000,000 a year. When the negotiation over this programme, began the companies counter-claimed for an all-round reduction in wages of 4s. a week in industrial areas, and of 6s. a week in rural areas. The decision of the Board was that the wages of the present employees should not be changed, but that recruits to the service, and men promoted from a junior to a senior grade, should not be entitled to the cost-of- living bonus. In the financial circumstances of the companies—their revenue is falling—this was a fair arrangement. There is no compulsion upon any man to join the railway service ; if he does not think the wages and conditions good enough he can seek 'work in any other industry that pleases him better. • * *