14th Jul 1917, The Rugby Baking Trade – No more men can be spared.

THE RUGBY BAKING TRADE.
TRIBUNAL SAYS NO MORE MEN CAN BE SPARED.

On Thursday evening in last week the Rugby Urban Tribunal spent hours in considering the suggestion of the Military that, by means of a scheme of co-operation in the baking trade, a number of men could be dispensed with. There were present : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint, T A Wise, L Loverock, and H Yates. Mr H P Highton was the Military representative, and Col F F Johnstone (recruiting officer) and Mr F M Burton (secretary to the Advisory Committee) were also present. Two of the cases were applications for further exemptions, and the remaining 28, consisting of master bakers, their employees, and the employees of the Co-operative Society, were questions raised by the Military.

Mr H P Highton opened the case, and explained that, from figures which had been laid before the Advisory Committee, that body were of opinion that the quantity of bread consumed in Rugby was far beyond the requirements under Lord Devonport’s scheme. With a view to preventing overlapping and wastage of labour, a deputation from the Advisory Committee met the Committee of the Co-operative Society, and asked them to formulate a scheme for the centralisation of the baking trade locally. The reason the Co-operative Society was approached was that they possessed by far the largest plant in the town, and the Advisory Committee thought they would be much more capable of propounding a scheme. The Co-operative Committee were very reluctant to put forward such a scheme, and it was only by appealing to their patriotism that the Advisory Committee could gain their consent. This scheme was explained to the master bakers, but failed to meet with their approval. On June 13th the Advisory Committee met the master bakers to discus» this or an alternative scheme, and after this meeting the Chairman of the Master Bakers’ Association wrote to the Committee :- “ The master bakers agree to co-operate, and to leave you (the Advisory Committee) to take which employees you think fit. At the same time, we ask you to be good enough to give substitutes where possible, and to allow a little time before calling up.”—A further conference of all the parties concerned was held on June 25th, and as it then appeared that there was no prospect of arranging a definite scheme, the only course left to the Military was to call up all the bakers who had received exemptions. He wished to emphasise the fact that this had not been done on the spur of the moment. The Advisory Committee had not acted impulsively, but they had endeavoured to act in a manner which would cripple the industry to the least extent. He suggested that, after hearing the facts, the Tribunal should decide how many men should be made available for the Army, and then the members of the trade themselves could, within a week, submit a list from which the final selections could be made. If this course was adopted, he asked the bakers to consider the national interests before everything else, and to deal fairly with the Military by releasing, as far as possible, general service men. He was quite aware that the baking trade was a hard and exacting one, and that “ A ” men were most useful to them. Doubtless a system of co-operation might mean that they would have to work longer hours, but the sacrifice they were asked to make was not comparable to that which was made by the men in the trenches, or of the mother who gave up her boy.

SOME INTERESTING FIGURES.

The following statistics were then agreed upon after some discussion :—Population of Rugby and New Bilton, 28,000 ; bread baked by Co-operative Society and delivered outside the town, 2,400 loaves per week ; bread sold by private bakers in the country, 2,390 loaves ; bread sold in town by country bakers, about 90 loaves per week ; number of 4-lb loaves to sack of 280lbs, 90. It was agreed that each employee of the Co-operative Society, with the assistance of machinery, could make up 11 sacks a week, and other bakers 10 per week. On this basis it was calculated that five men were required to bake the bread which was delivered from Rugby in the country. In order to arrive at the number of bakers required to supply the town, Mr Highton suggested that they should take Lord Devonport’s rations as a basis, indeed, this was the only basis they were allowed to work on, he contended.

Mr Eaden objected, however, and pointed out that this was not a compulsory, but a voluntary ration. It was not within the province of the Military or the Tribunal to say what the public should consume, and he contended that they should work on the basis of the bread which was actually consumed in the town. A large number of railway men were employed in the town, and many of the engine-drivers, firemen, guards, &c, when starting on a journey, often took one or two meals with them, and some of them took a loaf. The Tribunal must not work on an imaginary basis, but upon facts. A few weeks ago the actual number of sacks baked in the town was 491, and if the rationing had been adhered to on a basis of 30,000 population only 312 sacks would have been required.

It was pointed out that at present the private bakers made up 258 sacks (bread only) and the Co-operative Society 182—a total of 440. To do this the private bakers would require 26 men and the Co-operative Society 17—total, 43. Of the 440 sacks made up 52 was for country delivery, leaving 388 for the town. This would bring the average consumption per head to 4 27-28ths lbs of bread. The Davenport ration of 4lbs included flour used for other domestic purposes, however.

Mr Highton contended that only 30 men were required to bake the bread necessary for Rugby and New Bilton, and five for the villages. It was possible, too, he thought, to dilute the trade by women labour. This had been tried with successful results in some towns.

Mr F M Burton gave the figures of employees in the Rugby baking trade as follows :—Private traders, whole-time bakers 29, youths 10, boys 9 ; Co-operative Society, whole-time bakers 18, women (confectionery) 4, and 1 boy. This made a total of 47 whole-time bakers, and the youths between them might do as much as two whole-time bakers.

Mr Baden contended that the private traders only had 22 whole-time men engaged in the trade.—Mr Yates pointed out that, although it had been urged that 43 men were required to bake the bread for the town and district, according to the figures only 40 men were employed, and Mr Wise drew attention to the fact that from Mr Eaden’s figures his 22 men were making up 11 sacks a week each on an average.—Mr Eaden informed the Tribunal that several of the master bakers were engaged wholly on confectionery and smalls, and others only made up a small quantity of bread. He also asked whether the Military were anxious to go on with the scheme suggested, whereby all the bread should be made at the Co-operative Society’s bakehouse.

Mr Highton replied that the Military held no brief for the scheme. He would be delighted to see a scheme adopted, but they had no means of enforcing such a scheme.—Mr Yates said, as the disparity between the capacity of a baker working at the Co-operative bakehouse and the other bakers was so little, only one sack per man per week, he failed to see that a centralisation scheme was advisable. Had there been any marked difference it would have been worth considering.—Mr Highton thought the scheme would save labour in many ways, especially in delivering.—Mr Eaden : We have very serious objections to any such scheme.

THE SCHEME EXPLAINED.

At the request of the Tribunal, Mr F M Burton briefly explained the scheme which had been put forward, and said it had been suggested that the whole of the bread should be baked on the premises of the Co-operative Society, and that the master bakers should send in their orders on the day before they required it. The cost of production, such as wages, rent, fire, light, rates, gas for the engine, &c, would be added to the costs of the flour, and the master bakers would be charged cost price. The wages of the men employed would be on the scale of the Bakers’ Union, and the control of the scheme would be vested in a committee of seven—three master bakers, three members of the Co-operative Society, and an independent chairman. Every week each master baker would receive a share of the profits based upon his purchases. The Advisory Committee were of opinion that if such a scheme was adopted it would result in a great saving of labour.—In reply to Mr Loverock, Mr Burton said, if they agreed upon Lord Devonport’s rations, the whole bread required for Rugby could be baked by 30 men at a central station.—Mr Eaden contended that there was not a suspicion of a satisfactory factor in the scheme so far as the master bakers, were concerned. When the bread was baked at the Co-operative Society the bakers would be expected to fetch it away, and before they could do so they would be charged with a proportion of the Society’s rent, rates, taxes, &c ; while at the same time their own rent would be running on. Was it suggested to cause all this upheaval and throw all these men out of business for the sake of one extra sack per week per man ? He also pointed out that if ovens were not used for any length of time they tended to deteriorate.

In giving the decision of the Tribunal, the Chairman said, after very careful consideration, they were unanimously of opinion that the state of affairs which had been disclosed did not warrant them taking any more men from the baking trade. In view of the quantity of flour baked, they did not see how they could carry on with fewer men. The two applications would be adjourned, and the exemptions, which had been reviewed at the request of the Military, would be allowed to stand.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

DR 17 PROSECUTIONS.—Austin William Harris, baker, 37 Pennington Street, Rugby, and William John Eales, farmer, Ling Hall Farm, Church Lawford, were summoned for failing to deliver to the Recruiting Officer at Rugby a statement of all their male employees of 16 years of age or over on July 2nd and June 30th respectively.-Eales wrote stating that he was too busy to answer the summons personally. He was sorry the offence had occurred, but he did not know that he had to send any forms in. He only employed two men, and one of these was over 60.—P.S Percival stated that on June 30th he called on defendant, and asked if he had sent the form in, and he replied that he did not know he had to do so.-Frank Middleton Burton, supervising clerk, Recruiting Office, Rugby, stated that on June 30th no Form DR 17 had been received from defendant. He added that the non-receipt of these forms retarded the work of the Recruiting Officer and caused considerable delay. The Military Authorities had spent large sums in advertising the regulation in the newspapers, and already they had had one prosecution in that Court.-In reply to Mr Wise, Mr Burton said the advertisement appeared for 10 or 12 weeks.—In imposing a fine of £2, the Chairman said employers must understand that they must comply with the law.-Harris admitted the offence, and pleaded ignorance.—The Chairman : What are you ?—Defendant : A baker.—Q : Don’t you ever see a local newspaper ?—A : I don’t get much time for reading.—Mr Wise pointed out that the Advisory Committee had done everything possible. They advertised the regulations conspicuously in large type, and one could not open a newspaper without seeing it.—Defendant stated that he only employed one man casually, and as this man was over military age defendant did not think he had to send a form in in respect of him.—Mr Burton said the form had not yet been sent in.-Fined £2.

LIGHTING OFFENCE.—Christopher H Pywell, dentist, Rugby, was summoned for an offence under the Lights Order, at Rugby, on June 29th.—He pleaded guilty.-P.C Lester deposed that at about midnight on June 29th he saw a bright light shining from a window at the back of 49 Church Street. The light was unshaded. On the following day witness saw defendant, and he said he would take all responsibility. He added that he switched the light on to see to write a letter, and he forgot to turn it off when he went out.—Fined £1.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second Lieutenant Maurice V Eyden (son of Mr Alfred Eyden), 2nd Northants Regiment, has been promoted to the rank of First-Lieutenant.

Lieut M E T Wratislaw, supervisor of Warwickshire Military Service Appeal Tribunals, has been promoted to the rank of Captain.

Second-Lieut J A Hattrell, who for some time was at the Rugby Recruiting Office, but is now in the Birmingham area, has been promoted to a captaincy. He is the son of Mr G P Hattrell, of Welford.

Signaller L Smith, R.F.A, who prior to enlisting was employed for several years in the saloon of Mr A Coleman, hairdresser, Church Street, has been recommended for the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry by remaining at his post under particularly heavy shell-fire on June 7th and 8th. He has served in France nine months. His home is at Cambridge.

Warrant-Officer A Forsyth, son of Mrs Forsyth, 48 Murray Road, has been personally thanked by the General-in-Command of the R.F.C in the East for his splendid work out there. He also obtained his commission on the field, being promoted to lieutenant. He has twice received the Serbian decorations—first the Silver Star and since the Cross of Karageorge.

Sapper W A Tandy, Royal Engineers, attached to the to the Leicester and Lincoln Territorial Brigade, has been awarded the Military Medal. Prior to the War Sapper Tandy was employed as a machine minder at Messrs Frost’s, printers.

Mrs Mulliner invited a number of people to attend a concert given on Saturday evening by the Sports Club of the 84th Squadron R.F.C, to the officers who are patients in her hospital at Clifton Court. A more beautiful or healthy position for convalescents could not be desired, and the recreative facilities have been added to by the transformation of the rose garden into an open-air theatre. This sheltered nook in the grounds lends itself admirably to such a purpose. A spacious stage has been erected at one end, and scenic effects are obtained by the tasteful arrangement of flowers, evergreens, &c. The auditorium was fairly well filled with officers and visitors, and also men of the Flying Corps and their friends, who enjoyed the excellent programme presented by the entertainers.

Corpl S Souster is amongst the names given in General Murray’s list of recommendations in his Egyptian dispatch. Corpl Souster, who lives at Grosvenor Road, Rugby, joined the Rugby Company of the Royal Engineers as surveyor on its formation, and went out to Egypt with the Company. He was afterwards put on the important work of taking the water supply across the desert, and was greatly complimented by the Chief Engineer of Egypt. He has since been promoted to a sergeant.

FOOTBALL IN FRANCE.—During their “ rest ” behind the, lines the khaki men play various games, notably, Association football. Recently the 1/7 Royal Warwicks met a team of Australians, and beat them by 12 goals to 3. In the return game, however, the tables were turned, and the Warwicks were defeated by 14 goals to 9. C M S Hayes, of Rugby, captained the Warwicks XI.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

PROPOSED MOTOR TRANSPORT VOLUNTEER CORPS, RUGBY.

DEAR SIR,—Under the above heading an article appears in your issue of June 30, stating “ representations are being made to the War Office and Petrol Committee to the effect that all petrol licenses should be made subject to membership of the Motor Corps,” and in another sentence the “ commandeering of cars ” is mentioned.

May I ask on whose authority these statements are made, so that I may have some tangible source to quote when making counter-representations ? Have the Ministry of Munitions or the Red Cross Society been consulted ?

The latter is more especially of personal interest to me, being responsible for the organisation of transport for wounded in connection with two local hospitals. Am I to understand that those car-owners who have given their help for so many months, sometimes running their cars a hundred miles in a single week for this purpose, are to be debarred from the use of their cars unless they join the Motor Volunteer Corps ?

Many car-owners, like myself, take exception to the tone of the article. The composer of it is evidently unaware of local conditions and still less of the saying that “ one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

—Yours truly,            F. VAN DEN AREND.
Whitehall, Rugby, July 12, 1917.

CROOP HILL ALLOTMENTS.—An Allotment-Holders’ Association has been formed by the tenants of these allotments, the objects being : To foster the spirit of co-operation in the production of food and its distribution ; to eliminate waste labour ; to buy in bulk where practicable seeds, raw material, and implements for cultivation ; to endeavour to place under cultivation all unused land in the Bilton district, and to affiliate to kindred societies. At the initial meeting a committee of twelve was formed, with Mr Goodacre as president ; Mr R Lovegrove as chairman ; Mr W R Beasley, 14 Adam Street, New Bilton, as secretary ; and Mr W H Corfield is treasurer. The association has bought a sprayer and the members are co-operating in the spraying of the potato crop. Steps are being taken for registration of the association. Although beginning in a small way, it is felt that there is a wide field for the development of the association.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
A BRAVE SOLDIER HOME.—Gunner Mark Herbert, R.G.A, recently reported severely wounded, has now been invalided home.

IN MEMORIAM.

BARNWELL.—In ever-loving remembrance of Lance-Corpl. GEORGE T. BARNWELL, who died of wounds on July 15, 1915.-“ A day of remembrance sad to recall.”—From his loving MOTHER, SISTERS, BROTHERS and ELSIE.

BUTLIN.—In loving memory of my dear son, Rifleman R. B. BULTIN, of the K.R.R., who fell in action in France on July 10, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear one, in a soldier’s grave ;
Your life for your country you nobly gave.”
—Ever remembered by his FATHER, BROTHER, SISTER and AUNT.

DAVENPORT.—In loving memory of our dear and only son and brother, 1210 Gunner WILLIAM EWART DAVENPORT, killed in action July 18th, 1916, aged 18 years.
Gone to the face we loved so dear,
Silent your voice we long to hear,
Your gentle hands, your loving face,
There is none can take our dear one’s place.
Fought with the brave, his life he gave,
And now he rests in a soldier’s grave.
—From his sorrowing MOTHER, FATHER, & SISTERS.

HIPWELL.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. ARTHUR HIPWELL, who was killed in action in France on July 14,1916 ; aged 25 years.
“Out on yonder battlefield there is a silent grave
Of one we loved so dearly, and yet we could not save.
His King and country called him ; he bravely did his best :
But God saw fit to take him to his eternal rest.”
—From his loving FATHER and MOTHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS.

KENNEY.—In loving memory of Sergt. ROLAND ISAAC (1/7 R.W.R. Territorials), dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Kenney, Stretton-under-Fosse, who was killed in action on the Somme in France on July 14th, 1916 ; aged 23 years.
“ He fought for his country,
He answered duty’s call ;
His home, his friends, his comforts ;
He sacrificed them all ;
But be won the admiration
Of Britain’s glorious name.”
“ Peace, perfect peace.”
—Never forgotten by his loving MOTHER & FATHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.

LANGHAM.—Killed in action on April 20th, in France, WILLIAM LANGHAM, son of Mrs. Langham, 14 New Street, New Bilton, Rugby.
“ Not dead to those who loved him :
Not lost, but gone before ;
He lives with us in memory,
And will for evermore.”
—Never forgotten by his loving brother, Sergt. LANGHAM, B.E.F., France.

MANNING.—In loving memory of Pte. THOMAS MANNING, Northants. Regiment, of Braunston, who died of wounds on July 11, 1916, at 13 General Hospital, Boulogne.—Not forgotten by his wife GEORGINA, of Leamington.

PAYNE.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. E. PAYNE, who was killed in action on July 15, 1916.—“ He died a hero’s death fighting for King and country.”—Gone but not forgotten by his WIFE and CHILDREN.

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