Baldwin May Be Forced Into Government Ownership Plan by Probability of a General Strike

"Anything but peaceful methods, in solving the present industrial situation in England, are recognized as impractical," said Mr. Rennie Smith, member of Ramsay Macdonald's Labor Party in the House of Commons, to a CRIMSON reporter, after a speech on "The Present Industrial Situation in England," at the Liberal Club yesterday.

"To say that A. J. Cook is preaching red revolution is a gross exaggeration," continued Mr. Smith. "Anybody is ready to believe that the Secretary of the Miners Federations has a finger in Communism, but Cook knows as well as anyone else that the only way to arrive at results is by reason."

Private Ownership Harmful

The great problem in the mining industry, Mr. Smith pointed out in his speech, is that there are so many small, privately owned companies with conflicting interests. They are badly managed, and their methods are wasteful.

The owners recently tried to reduce wages to prevent loss of profits, but the mine workers had struck rock bottom in living conditions, and went on strike. It was then deemed necessary for the Government to subsidize the industries, by promising support up to 40 million pounds over eight months that operations might go on.


Three Policies Face Baldwin

"But this cannot be a permanent remedy," continued Mr. Smith. "Three choices will be open to Mr. Baldwin in the next sitting. First, the government can go on subsidizing the mining industries; but all wage earners can with as much right claim the same support; and if given, the result would be national bankruptcy.

"Second, Mr. Baldwin can say 'Let them fight out their own problems,' an impractical suggestion which would result merely in a test of endurance, and in the meantime, more unemployment and a complete halt in production.

Nationalization is Remedy

"The third choice is the reorganization of the entire industry, establishing a national system not handicapped by the petty interests of small owners. This step would seem strange indeed, coming from Mr. Baldwin. But it is not entirely improbable as he has a son in the Labor Party now educating him."