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Coal Mines (Nationalisation).

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1920.

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Photo of Mr William Brace Mr William Brace , Abertillery

It is not a breach of the law of the country for men to withhold their labour. If, unfortunately, it was found impossible to settle a dispute the workmen would have the right to withhold their labour. But it must not be forgotten that we are endeavouring to introduce a scheme to bring in a new motive—a motive that will enable us to produce, not for profit, but for humanity. That may be accounted very idealistic, but workmen are not without their own standard of honour which is equally as high as that of other men. Of course, starving families make men do things they would rather not do; broadly, however, the workmen would much prefer to carry out their obligations honourably if they can, and I myself would infinitely prefer to rely upon the honour of the workers to carry out an undertaking entered into either at the pit, the district, or by the National Standing Committee, even if I had the power to enforce any penalty.