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Newspaper Page Text
COAL STRIKE BEGINNING
TO TAKE ITS TOLL
London, England, 'March 23.
Never in the history of Great
Britain has the land known, such
suffering as exists today. -
'Hunger and cold and the .mer
ciless grip of usury has spread
oyer ever community in England,
Scotlaad and Wales, like an epi
demic. The coal -stpke is beginning to
take its. toll; and it is a toll not
only of money but of human liy.es.
Two and one-half'million work
ers, men, women and children,
On that two and one-half mil
lions there ar.e enough others de
pendent to bring the total of
thpse facing death by starvation
up to ten millions.
- Less than a million of those out
of work' are coal miners. The
rest are men and'women and chil
dren, whose places of employ
ment have been shut down for
lack of fuel.
The cities are places -of horror.'
Through the streets winds a con
stant; never-ending procession of
men and women and "children,
white-faced and wan, pinched by
hunger. . q
Their dragging steps, lead all
the one way. They all carry some
miserable little household god in
their hands. They are,the starv
ing, bouhd for the panshops.
And tfiese the pawnshops
have increased their rate of inter
est, and lower the pitiful amount
of -their advances. They have
taken a "business" -advantage of
Tn every community of ovet"-5
5,000'soup kitchens have been es- J
tablished by the municipalities.
One instance alone is sufficient'
to show how badly they are in
need. In the "Hanley pottery dis-"'
trict today, 100,000 men, women
and children were lined up in a"'
bread Ijne-to get th'e pittance 'of
bread and soup which the city T
council had ordered distributed. 0
Some of the women and children
were so weak that they fainted ''
as they stood there. Those who
fainted lost their place in the line.
Food riots have taken place in'"5
several places, especially through- v
out Scotland and Wales. Stores '
have been broken into and pil-7
laged of their provisions. ras3
works have been attacked and1',
wrecked that a little coke might
be secured for fuel.
And each day the conditions
are becoming worse. The major- s '
ity of the Lancashire and York- i
shire cotton mills closed down to-''
day because of "lackof fuel. Their
tens of thousands of -workers'
have joined the army of thestarv-'
ing and the cold. , '
The infant mortality is appall- -ing.
Few of the wdrking class
have money left to buy milk, and "
in thousands of homes weak,
futile gruel is beingi fed to babies
in its place.
And the homes are deadly cold,'
and there is no furniture, no1"
heayy clothing in them Every
thing that could' be payned has ,
been pawned. '
So the1 babies are dying, and
the more delicate of the women, '
and the 'men' are reaching the'5