The Marchers' Voice. No.1
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Action Against Hunger THE MARCHERS' VOICE No.1. Issued by the Yorkshire Marchers' Council. 31, Henry St, Sheffield. 24/1/34. This is the first issue of the Marchers' Voice. The purpose behind the publication of this Bulletin is to explain why, and by whom, the National Hunger March and Congress have been organised, what it hopes to achieve, and to describe the experiences of the Marchers on the road to London, by giving you first hand information direct from the Marchers on the road. We shall issue a fresh Bulletin from time to time, on different coloured paper, as the March progresses. This Bulletin will give accurate and authentic information on the March and the Congress. The descriptive articles will be written by the marchers themselves in the form of letters to the workers at home. The whole series will form an interesting souvenir of this mighty March and great Congress of working class effort. We ask you to purchase this copy at the cost of one penny and to give an order for subsequent issues. The profits from the sale of this bulletin will be used towards the organisation of the March and Congress and to clothe and feed the marchers. WHY WAS THE MARCH AND NATIONAL CONGRESS ORGANISED ? The direct answer is that they are being organised to rouse the whole country to an understanding of what the Unemployment Bill, now before Parliament, means to the working class; and through this agitation, to build up a sufficiently strong working class organisation to defeat the Bill. WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ORGANISING THE MARCH AND CONGRESS ? No one Organisation or Party is directly responsible for this March and Congress. The idea came from a meeting in London of representatives of various trade union branches, political parties, unemployed organisations and other working class bodies, which had been convened to consider the Unemployment Bill and how best to combat it. The individuals directly responsible, acting for the National Unity Committee, are:- ANEURIN BEVAN, M.P. Councillor JAMES CARMICHAEL. J.B. FIGGINS. ALEX GOSSIP. WAL HANNINGTON. T. HILL. JOHN JAGGER. JAMES LEE. W.C. LOEBER. TOM MANN. JAMES MAXTON. M.P. HARRY POLLITT. FRANK ROWLANDS. JOHN McGOVERN M.P. JACK TANNER. ELLEN WILKINSON. DOROTHY WOODMAN. - Joint Secretaries: JOHN APLIN and MAUD BROWN. All monies collected and all finances in connection with the March and Congress will be controlled ABSOLUTELY by the National Unity Committee and an audited balance sheet of income and expenditure for the March and Congress will be published after the Congress has been held. WHAT DOES THE UNEMPLOYMENT BILL MEAN TO THE WORKING CLASS ? Firstly, it means the end of publicly elected representatives having any voice in the relief of able-bodied unemployed, and the substitution of fascist machinery to drill and exploit the unemployed as slave labour in so-called "training" camps. This machinery is deliberately designed to assist employers to break down all trade union restrictions on more production at lower wages, thus directly challenging the conditions of employed workers. Under this Bill, unemployed workers can be compelled to work for local authorities making roads, laying sewers, electric cables, etc. etc. and to perform tasks under the various Municipal Depts. for the bare amount they received previously as "relief". It will be illegal to give poor law relief outside the workhouse to able-bodied persons under the terms of the new Unemployment Bill. No wages will be paid for work in the "training camps", unemployed persons being compelled to perform tasks and drill under instructors, for rough rations and 2/- per week "pocket money". Any one refusing to enter these camps when so instructed will be offered the workhouse as the alternative. If they refuse to enter the Workhouse, their dependents will be given relief through the P.A.C. and the individual concerned will be brought before a magistrates court with a view to committal to prison as a vagabond. On the other side of this Bulletin we give a more detail explanation of the Bill, showing how the Bill alters the present regulations giving our authority for the above generalisations on the Bill. We hope that after you have given careful study to these conditions you will agree with us that the Bill must not be allowed to be put on the Statute Book and that you will assist us by every means in your power to agitate against it. P.T.O.
|Archive collection||Trades Union Congress|
|Archive file||National Unemployed Workers Movement|
|Title||The Marchers' Voice. No.1|
|Issuing organisation||Yorkshire Marchers' Council|
|Contributors||National Unemployed Workers' Movement|
|Document date||24 January 1934|
|Course name||Social Welfare in Britain|