Triple Alliance – No Appetite for General Strike – Local Situation

September 1920

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 24 September 1920

The Triple Alliance

No Appetite for a General Strike.

Moderating Influences.

The Triple Alliance failed to come to a decision last night, and adjourned till 10.30 this morning. The inference is that the miners did not want to go into a strike alone, and could not persuade the others to go in with them.

The deliberations of the Triple Alliance were of a most protracted character. The Alliance met just before six o’clock and had a general discussion. At eight o’clock it was decided to adjourn in order that the three different sections should deliberate independently. At nine o’clock the Triple Alliance again met as a united body and discussed the whole situation. The conference was unable to come to a decision owing to the fact that opinions are very much divided.

At the meeting of the miners yesterday afternoon Mr. Smillie made what was described as the great speech of his life in favour of conciliation, but the delegates refused to accent his advice for further negotiation with the Government.

At the Triple Alliance Conference speeches were made by Mr. Ben Tillett. Mr. J. H. Thomas, and Mr. Ernest Bevin suggesting conciliation and further negotiation. When the the sections met again the whole subject was once more discussed, but opinion was so strongly divided that shortly after 11.30 the adjournment, was moved, and this was agreed to. The conference will re-assemble at 10.30 this morning.

Attitude of the Miners.

The official report of the miners’ conference which was submitted to the Triple Alliance said that Mr. Smillie reported on the position taken up by the Prime Minister, he informed the conference that the Committee could not recommend the acceptance of either of the Government’s proposals. There was a lengthy discussion as to whether or not the Government proposed to submit the wages question to an impartial tribunal should he referred back to the districts and another ballot vote taken. A card vote was taken, with the result that it was decided that nothing had emerged that required such a reference back.

Don and Dearne Valleys.

The Position in Case a Strike Becomes Operative.

With the exception of one large firm, the industries in the Don and Deanne valleys would not be seriously affected during the first three weeks or so of a coal strike, writes our reporter.

The public services in Mexborough and Swinton will be able to continue uncurtailed for some time. At the Mexborough electricity generating station there is a sufficient stock of coal to enable unrestricted public lighting to be continued and also to allow of the local firms dependent on the station for power to receive normal supply for three or four weeks.

The Mexborough and Swinton Gas Works, which have been receiving supplies of crude gas from the Manvers Main Colliery, propose to resume the manufacture of gas at their own works if the strike materialises. They hold large enough stocks of fuel to enable them to meet normal demands for supply for about a month.

Of the three glassworks in Mexborough, Swinton, and Conisborough, only Messrs. Dale Brown’s would be immediately affected. Here, in the event of a strike, it will be necessary to restrict work to half-time from the beginning.

Messrs, Hathersley Bros., stove grate manufacturers, Swinton, will be able to carry on as long as a supply of electrical current is available from Rotherham.

Only at Messrs. John Baker’s Kilnhurst Steel Works will the effect be serious from the outset. An official of the firm informed the ” Telegraph ” last night that they would be compelled to close down immediately the strike took effect, and the whole of their employees, 400 in number, would be thrown idle.

The Mexborough and Swinton tramways service is entirely dependent upon the Rotherham Corporation Electricity Station.