11 SEPTEMBER 1920, Page 1

The proceedings of the Congress on Tuesday were notable for

an attack by Mr. Smillie on the method by which the Trade Union Parliamentary Committee is elected. The method is that the officials of the larger Unions, or groups of Unions, meet privately and bargain with one another, on the principle : " You scratch my back and I will scratch yours." Last year the miners broke away from these conferences and no miners' candidates were elected. In the course of his attack on the system,, Mr. Smillie declared that there were regular prices for the buying and selling of votes, that the ordinary members of trade unions had no idea of how their votes were being put up to market, and that it was useless for trade unions to condemn the dirty methods of capitalism if they used such dirty methods themselves. Mr. Smillie, according to a report in the Daily Express, next stated that though there was a mining crisis, the miners' voice had not been heard in the Parliamentary Committee because the bartering of votes was still going on. Thereupon Mr. Will Thorne said bluntly : " If all the delegates will play cricket we will also. Otherwise we are going to carry on the same game as the rest." It is not a very enlivening prospect for clean voting.