11 SEPTEMBER 1920, Page 2

The Miners' Federation on Friday week also presented its case

to the journalists, through Mr. Hodges, who argued that a reduction of 14s. 2d. in the price of " domestic " coal would lessen the cost of living. The rise of 14s. 2d. in May had, he said, been imposed in order to make the poorer collieries solvent, whereas the profits of the industry ought to be pooled. The miners wanted higher wages to compensate them for the greater cost of living. Their wages had been raised by 155 per cent. since 1914, but 30 per cent. under the Sankey award was given to improve their standard of life and ought not to be counted. This thoroughly Jesuitical argument is designed to obscure the notorious fact that the miners are the best paid class in the community. Mr. Hodges expressed a platonic desire to increase the output of coal. He declared that the Federation's claim for higher wages and a lower price was one and indivisible. The whole " surplus " of transitory profits on exported coal must, he implied, be taken, from the Treasury and allotted as the Federation thought fit.