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Three Months for Neglecting…

Alleged Disturbance of Election…

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Alleged Disturbance of Election Meeting. Case Adjourned on Technical Point. W. T. Jones, Aberdare; Mrs. Edith Maud Hall, 84 Gadlys Road, and Wm. Cook, 2 Green Street, Aberdare, haulier (discharged soldier, 22 years of age), were charged with .disturbing a Parlia- mentary meeting at the Market Hall, Aberdare, on Dec. 13th. Mr. Edward Roberts, Dowlais, appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. St. John Francis Williams, instructed by Mr. W. Thomas, defended. Previous to the hearing a pro- cession of bit badge men formed at Trecynon and marched to town. When they arrived at the top of Market Street the police prevented them marching towards the Court, and the Parade was dismissed. The men were then allowed to proceed into Market Street, but few were able to enter the Court Room. A large crowd surged the doors and demonstrations were indulged in from time to time. When the case was called the Sti- pendiary had a private talk with Mr. Edward Roberts and Mi*. Fran- cis Williams for a few minutes. It was thought the parties had agreed to a withdrawal of the summonses, but the cases, however, were gone on with. Mr. F. W. Mander did I not take, part in the adjudication. Mr. Francis Williams said the de- fendants had been summoned joint- Iy, This, he submitted, was a mis- take, and he agreed to the amend- ment of the summons. There was DO collusion whatever between the three defendants, who were strangers to one another. j Mr Roberts, opening the caso, said the summons was taken out under Section 1 Public Meetings Act, 1908. Mr. Roberts read the section, which referred to meetings held between the issue of the Edi- tion writ and the date of the Gener- al Election. j lc went on to say that these proceedings were not taken in any vindictive spirit. The prosecution had made an offer, which had not been accepted. The meeting in question had been con- vened by means of printed posters for the purpose of assisting the can- didature of Rev. T E. Nicholas, the Labour Candidate. Mr E. Stone- like, agent to the candidate, saw the defendant Cook in the meeting. He was shouting continually and was taken out of the hall, but forced his way back again. By and bye he mounted the platform and eaug.'u hold of a chair, and < would have struck the person who was speak- ing at the time but for someone preventing him. W. T. Jones aiso made his way to the platform and kept shouting. Mrs. Hall was also shouting and mounted the platform and gave a flag to Cook. Owing to conduct of that kind the meeting could not be carried on and had to be abandoned. Mr. Roberts added; that proceedings were taken for the purpose of protecting the right of free speech. Stipendiary: To what extent were the speakers prevented from speck- ing? â¢Mr Roberts: The meeting had 10 be abandoned. The first witness was Air. T. Aneurin Rees, acting returning offi- cer for Merthyr and Aberdare. Mr Roberts asked him when was the writ for the election issued, where-! upon Mr Williams objected and said. that the writ must be produced. Witness said the writ was now in the Crown Offices, London, and could not be produced. Mr. Williams: You must not say that. It must be produced. The Stipendiary upheld Mr. Wil- liams' contention that to be strictly legal the writ must be produced in order to ascertain the date of issue, but added that the point was an academical one. Mr. -Roberts: It is a matter of common knowledge as to what (1<ite the writ was issued. Stipendiary I presume they were issued this time on the same date all over the country. Mr Robei ts Yes. Mr. Williams said he must adhere to his point. He was sorry if the Bench would be inconvenienced. Stipendiary: It is no inconven- ience to me. I shall be here in any case. It will mean the agony of your coming up again and earning another fee. (Laughter.) ¡ Mr. Willi ims: Well, I think 1 shall endure tho igoiit of coming again and earning another fee. (Renowed laughter.) The Bench thereupon adjourned the case for a fortnight. When the news readied the crowd outside, there was some shouting, I and the bit badge men marched off, t carrying the Union Jack. I

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