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.