The government called out all the railwaymen who were army reservists, but continued to keep them at their railway work, exercising military discipline over them and thus ensuring the continuance of the service.
The first of these was in 1899, and the subjects were the railwaymen employed on certain lines running through highly malarious districts.
In respect of the former an increase of 30% in the payments to the insured as compared with July I 1917 was made, while at the same time better terms were given in the insurance of miners and of railwaymen; insurance against sickness was completed by extending it to agricultural and domestic workers as well as to the families of the insured.
In 1910, and for many years was secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen, and the most powerful voice in deciding their policy.
For some years he took no very prominent part in Parliamentary life, being actively engaged outside in the interests of his railwaymen, who, besides many smaller disputes, came out in a body in the great strike of 1911.
1918 the rank and file disregarded an agreement which the executive of the National Union of Railwaymen had come to with the Government for an advance of 5s.
In spite of this, there was a general strike of railwaymen in S.
He welcomed both the bill establishing a Ministry of Health and that establishing a Ministry of Transport; but he warned the House of Commons not to expect cheaper passenger fares and freight charges; the railwaymen would not allow themselves to be sweated for the benefit of the travelling public. But, once again, his real activity was outside.
In the disputes in March 1919, between the railwaymen and the Government, he was the chief leader of the men, and at a moment of crisis he flew across to Paris to discuss the question with Mr. Lloyd George, then in attendance at the Peace Conference.
In 1920 he and his executive were faced by the difficult problem of the refusal of Irish railwaymen to handle munitions of war; and the only solution he and they could suggest was that the Government should cease to send such munitions and that the Labour party should make an appeal to the Irish people - a solution which ministers, of course, could not accept.