Signs of the times
The Treasury has supplied the following particulars of payments to the Law Officers of the Crown since 1905, in reply to a question by Sir Arthur Markham :—
Sir R. B. Finlay, Attorney-General 1905-6, £9,768.
Sir J. L. Walton, Attorney-General 1906-8, £23,503.
Sir W. S. Robson, Attorney-General 1907-11, £41,246 ; Solicitor-General 1906-7, £16,168.
Sir Rufus Isaacs, Attorney-General 1910-14, £48,752 ; Solicitor-General 1909-10, £5410.
Sir John Simon, Attorney–General 1913-15, £31,331 ; Solicitor-General 1910-13, 41,541.
Sir S. O. Buckmaster, Solicitor-General 1913-15, £14,460.
Sir Edward Carson, Solicitor-General 1905, £6,052.
Sir S. T. Evans, Solicitor-General 1907-10, £22,698.
The largest amount paid to an Arorney-General in any one year was £16,762, received by Sir Rufus Isaacs in 1912-13. The largest amount paid to a Solicitor-General was £14,303, received by Sir John Simon in 1913-14.—(“Daily Mail,” Dec. 22.)
These are some of the people who have been been and are getting the brass. The M.P.’s are getting theirs—and keeping it. Asquith says he means to stick to his salary, so does Lloyd George and the rest. They are not very united. Each says he is the man; the others are always “too late.” But they are united enough when it comes to taking the brass and abusing the workers.
Now, you think, perhaps, that they will arrange some scheme of deduction, for war purposes from the salaries of these people who are really getting the money ? Well, you are wrong again. It would be an insult to these moneyed people to compel them to contribute. They are going to make the workers do it. Perpend:
A committee of employers and representatives of the British Steel Smelters’ Association recommends that each employee should contribute weekly on the following scale of earnings : —
£1 to 30s.—6d. to 9d.
30s. to 40s.—1s. 6d. to 2s.
40s. to 60s.—3s. to 4s. 6d.
Above 60s.—10 per cent., 6s.
It is suggested that the amount should be deducted weekly from the wages and be invested in the Post Office”.-(“Daily Mail,” Dec. 23.)
Think over it, ye slaves !
These are mere straws which indicate the way the wind blows. They show which class is getting the profits, and which class has got to make the sacrifices. Even in the matter of the drink regulations there is one law for the ruling class and another for the workers. The Parliamentary correspondent of the London “Daily Chronicle” (Nov. 10th) was moved to remark:
“Mr. Asquith appears to share the reluctance of a small section of members to the application of the “No treating” order to the House of Commons. Asked by Mr. Leif Jones to-day if he would give an opportunity to the House to vote upon the following question—”that it be an instruction to the Kitchen Committee that the no-treating order now in force in other parts of London shall be observed in this House”—the Prime Minister said he was afraid it would not be possible to give such opportunity. As there is no great rush of business, it is not clear why an opportunity of this kind could not be given. Were it offered there is good reason to believe that the House would decide to enforce the order within its precincts. As it is, it occupies a very invidious position in the public regard. Mr. Leif Jones was thoroughly justified in saying that the inertness of the Government in this matter “makes its exhortions to economy sound somewhat hollow.” In its refusal last May to follow the King’s example in banishing intoxicants from his table during the war and now in its disregard of the no-treating order the House has cut an inglorious figure.”
To say that the House “would” enforce it, is hypocrisy. The House could—but will not.
The fact that it is taken completely for granted that the profits are the share of the master class in the war, while sacrifice is the part of the working class, explains statements like the following made by the “Foreign Affairs” correspondent of the “Sunday Times” (Dec. 26th) in an article on the “Economic Results of the War”:
“A distinguished member of the French Parliament gave me the other day the best formula I have yet heard expressing the conditions which are indispensible to victory.
“Let us organise the allied nations,” he said, “in such a way that the state of war will become a normal state instead of an accidental state.”
Thus, if our Governments succeed iu establishing a sufficient equilibrium between our needs, industrial, commercial, and otherwise, and our military necessities, the comnmnity will gradually get used to the present abnormal life which through force of habit will have become normal. We will be able to go on fighting the enemy indefinitely, and to turn to the best use the unlimited wealth in foodstuffs, raw material, men, and gold, of the British Empire, of the Russian Empire, of France and of Italy.
The italics are our own. The “community” will get used to the war, which by “force of habit will have become normal.” The word “community” in the mouths of these arm-chair warriors means that the capitalist class will get used to taking abnormal profits from war stocks and war works, while the workers will get used to being overworked, maimed, or killed, and “will be able to go on fighting the enemy indefinitely” in order to perpetuate those profits. The prospect is most glorious ! Yet they say there is no Class War.