4 JULY 1931, Page 7

Hours, Wages, and the Dole The Government is trying to

help solve the dispute con- cerning hours and wages in the coal mines. The owners still refuse to set up any national body with the power to discuss wages, and although some of them appear to be willing to extend the period of guaranteed wages to eighteen months, it is now known that both the South Wales and the Scottish owners are not associated with this offer. The Federation continues to insist that the safeguards proposed are insufficient, but will find it difficult to set up a national body to discuss wages if the hours are to vary so widely as seems likely. The negotiations are, however, continuing. Meanwhile Mr. H. T. Kershaw, at the conference of the Transport and General Workers' Union at Blackpool, has announced the intention of the Union to fight the proposals recently made by the employers in the dock industry. Nobody seems much to like the " anomalies " Bill. In addition to those who will oppose it because it is too weak, the I.L.P. Group have handed in an amendment opposing it because it is too drastic and "ignores the need to increase unemployment benefits."