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SOMEWHAT LIFELESS.

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SOMEWHAT LIFELESS. Laymfen Criticise the Temperance Movement in Montgomeryshire. An £ s. d. Problem. Teetotal Test for Schoolmasters. A Smoking Sidelight. "The publicans are grumbling something awful here," remarked a Llanidloes man last Thursday, when the Montgomeryshire Temperance Association held its annual meetings in the first town on the Severn. But there was a hospitable smile on the face of one temperance housekeeper as min- isters and laymen wended their way along Bethel-street to the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. Mr John Edwards, Penegoes, one of the vice-presidents, took the chair in the "big pew," which also contained the energetic Secretary (the Rev J. M. Edwards, Sarnau), the hon. Treasurer (Mr David Rees, Llanid- ftes), the Rev Elias Jones (C.M.), Newtown, and the Rev Glyn Davies, Rhyl, secretary of the North Wales Temperance Federation. During the morning the attendance reached the number of forty many of these were ministers, but the gentler sex had only one representative-Miss Evans, Tynvreithin, Newtown. The assembly sang the hymn, Work for the night is coming," the Rev T. B. Evans, Carno, prayed, and then the Chairman spoke briefly in Welsh. COUNTY MEMBER A GREAT POWER. He said it was an undoubted disappoint- ment to them that Mr David Davies could not be with them that day. Their President was a man full of the temperance and total abstinence spirit, and had done very much to further the good cause substantially in Montgomeryshire and wherever elsewhere he went. Mr Davies' presence would have been an important inspiration to the con- ference in the work they were trying to do, but under the circumstances they had nothing to do but do the best they could in his absence. They could say that Mr Davies would be at their back in whatever scheme they might adoptâhe had always been ready to support them (hear, hear). And," added the Chairman, you know what a great power money and influence have to carry out everything connected with the temperance movement." The Chairman, continuing, said that at present the temperance movement was un- doubtedly somewhat lifeless in Montgomery- shire, especially amongst the brethren. But there was a good deal of activity amongst the sisters-he believed it was they who kept the flame alight in the county nowa- days, and they should have the credit. He hoped the conference would have an in- spiration to the brethren to do something during the present year. Public opinion was in their favour. Much had already been done, but he felt they were in the midst of the battle, and he hoped the en- suing year would be noteworthy in the his- tory of the temperance work in the county. Perhaps some had a new scheme in their minds they could not always go along the old lines there had been too much of that in the past, but humanity needed variety. 15 MEETINGS, 28 SPEAKERS THE SAME NIGHT. Brief reports were then received of the temperance meetings that had been held in the district the previous evening, and on the motion of Mr David Rees, seconded by Miss Evans, a vote of thanks was passed to the speakers, who had taken part in the following meetings:â Llanidloes, Revs Howell Williams, Welsh- pool, and Charles Jones, Llanfyllin. Cwm- belan, Revs J. E. Thomas and E. Griffiths, Meifod. Llangurig, Revs T. B. Evans and J. Williams, B.A., Carno. Glynbrochan, Revs T. James, Llanfyllin, and G. Griffiths, Newtown. Pantydwr, Revs J. M. Edwards, Sarnau. and R. Jones, Llanidloes. Trefeglwys, Revs J. G. Williams, Llanfair, and R. H. Jones, Machynlleth. Neuadd, Rev G. B. Roberts, Caersws. SaronâRevs Elias Jones, Newtown, and Mr J. Edwards, Penegoes. Carno, Rev E. Wnion Evans, Machyn- lleth. Llanbrynmair, Revs Thomas Jones and D. H. Hughes, Machynlleth. Llanwnog, Revs T. Well Jones, Oswestry, and D. Mor- gan, Welshpool. Bwlchyffridd, Revs G. O. Evans, Coedway, and R. L. Williams, Pen- arth. Caersws, Mr Alfred Jones, Welshpool, and Rev 0. Matthias, Llanymynech. Llan- dinam, Revs Glyn Davies, Rhyl, and J. D. Hamer, Kerry. Caerau, Revs H. Parrv, Bwlchyffridd, and T. Williams, Groeslvryd. The Secretary had distributed printed copies of the Executive Committee's re- port, which appeared in last week's issue. The committee stated that they were able to report "considerable activity and pro- gress," but Mr Alfred Jones, Welshpool, who moved the report's adoption, found few signs of "progress." Temperance Sunday," lie said, was an old institution. Temperance sermons had been preached throughout the county for a large number of years. With regard to the last election, they were very satisfied that they had returned two gentlemen pledged to support temper- ance legislation,â(hear, hear)âand they left their opponents, who would not pledge themselves to any style of temperance legis- lation, weeping underneath the willows (laughter). But there again they could not report progress they were simply in the same position as before. "NO GOOD." It was very true that the need of tem- perance hotels, with stables attached, and village institutes are keenly felt in many places in the county." A very pleasant institute had been built at Llanidloes, also a village institute at Caersws there was another in course of erection at Machyn- lleth, and another' had been promised by the Plas Dinam family to Llanfair. The question of institutes had been before the Association as far back as he could recol- lect, but from the Association's standpoint they were in exactly the same position now as ten or twelve years ago. There is not an institute in the whole of the county that you can point to that has been erected by public enterprise. The institutions we have have been given entirely by the Plas Dinam family. I consider that is a very great re- flection upon us as an Association. It is no good to come here year after year and to present and discuss reports and.give sug- gestions, and then go away and be like sleeping bees, and re-appear next year and discuss the same thing without any sub- stantial progress being made." In the Welshpool district, continued Mr Jones, what work that had been done to make village life more pleasant and more pleasurable in the matter of amusements and institutions had been done entirely by the Church of England party. In Welsh- pool a Church of England institute had been established during the last twelve months, where young men and boys could go and read the papers and smoke they had a shooting club, and a place where they could play dominoes, draughts, etc. In fact, it was a splendid counter-attraction to the public house. There were similar in- stitutions at Pool Quay, Trewern, Middle- town, Castle Caereinion, and Leighton, pro- vided by the Church party. We are, as Nonconformists, veiy much to blame in this matter, and as a temperance party espec- ially," commented Mr Alfred Jones, be- cause everyone of us agrees that this is a direction in which we should work. YOU MUSTN'T COME TO OUR CHURCH TO COLLECT." "I hope that we shall make a real effort to get some work done. I don't know why it isn't done. I know in Welshpool the churchesâor the ministers particularlyâ when it conies to a question of collecting money, they seem to say Hands off! (laughter). It is as much as we can do to make our own place pay its way, and don't you come around collecting subscriptions' (laughter). I have been secretary to the Free Church Council three or four years, and we find it is very difficult to collect subscriptions, and we are always handi- capped for lack of funds, simply because the ministers and deacons say, 'You mustn't come to our Church to collect. We have a collection every Sunday.' If we are to make progress, we must sink sectarian strife and jealousy, and be prepared to sacrifice a little as Churches in order that the general work shall go on the more speedily." With regard to auctions, continued Mr Jones, the report showed that things were ( as they had been. Drink was still provided at auctions and sales. Regarding scientific temperance teaching, they must heartily congratulate their Secre- tary for the excellent work he had done going about as a scientific lecturer and giving his services practically free. Mr Edwards must be a very busy man with the charge of two and sometimes three churches, but he did considerable work in winter in addition to his ordinary work by going ab'out delivering these lectures. Mr Edwards would do very much more still if he were given greater help. It was a shame that the Association could not enlarge its work in this direction, and make it less of a burden upon Mr Edwards. At least he should not be subjected to any out-of-pocket expenses in the work. HOW MANY T.-T.'s? Mr Jones was very glad that at last the Association had provided 6,000 pledge cards. The county medical men's manifesto showed a certain amount of progress during the year, but he quetioned whether things of this sort did a very great amount of good. After all, it was to spade-work they must look for real progress. Eight shows in Montgomeryshire were free from intoxicants. There had been progress in the reduction of licenses, three public houses having been closed, which made for a more temperate county. Here the Secretary had done a good deal of workâit was a big job to work up opposition to a public house license. Mr Jones suggested it would be a very good thing to get statistics of the number (If total abstainers in the county. The Executive Committee should organize a tem- perance society in every Nonconformist chapel, and get as many persons in their Churches to sign the pledge. The secretary in each Church should be a laymanâthe ministers had too much to doâ(laughter and applause),âand, if the thing were left 111 their hands it would not be done at all. At present the Association had no means of comparing how they were progressingâ It was merely guesswork. Mr Edward Rees, J.P., having seconded the report's adoption, the Rev Edward Griffiths, Meifod, asked had the temperance manifesto been sent to all the doctors in the county ? He found only ten names from Montgomeryshire. He was glad that three of the Welshpool doctors were included. Welshpool is decidedly getting on (hear, hear, and smiles). The Secretary remarked that the Rev Glynn Davies would deal with that question later. WELSHPCOL MINISTER'S EX- PERIENCES. The Rev Howell Williams, Welshpool, rose to criticise some of Mr Alfred Jones's observations. Regarding Temperance Sun- day he declared that there had been pro- gress made in the Churches. The conscience of the Churches was becoming more sen- sitive on the temperance question. He found it easier to preach upon temperance in his Church now than he used to. When they knew he was going to preach a temperance sermon families did not stay at home now- they were not afraid of it. Their churches in Welshpool were getting healthier and stronger upon the question year after- year. Mr Howell Williams related his experience in a Montgomeryshire church at which he WAS preaching one Sunday. In the evening one of the deacons said to him, "Mr Wil- liams, I know you are very strong on the temperance question. But don't be too hard this evening, because there is one publican a member of the Church (laughter). But, added Mr Williams, he was glad to say that since that time he had had many invitations to preach temperance sermons in that Church (hear ,hear). Regarding temperance hotels and village institutes, Mr Alfred Jones had forgotten the existence of the Llanrhaiadr Temper- ance Hotel (applause). Mr Jones had also referred to the kindness of the Plasdinam family in establishing the various institutes. What had moved the Plasdinam family to do this Was it not the temperance spirit throughout the county ?(hear, hear). And was not that due to the work of the Mont- gomeryshire Temperance Association ? Per- haps they had compelled the Plasdinam family to do this by compelling them to take an interest in temperance work, and the institutes might be the direct fruit of the Association's work in the county. A Voice Question The Rev Elias Jones (in an emphatic stage-whisper): Question Yes, it is a question Quite a mistake Mr Alfred Jones, continued the Rev Howell Williams, referred to the institutes in a Welshpool district as having been founded by the Church party. But the Castle Caer- einion Village Institute was entirely un- denominational (laughter). It was goverened by a committee made up of members of his (Mr Williams') own church, and of the Anglican Church. The Executive Committee's report was then adopted, and the Association passed a vote of sympathy with the family of the late Rev Bulkeley Owen. NOT i-D. FROM EACH MEMBER! Mr David Rees, Llanidloes, presented his treasurer's report, which he requested the press not to publish. The Rev Elias Jones declared that the receipts were quite unworthy of Montgom- eryshire. In such a great county was not temperance worth 4:12 or £ 15 ? Estimating that there were 10,000 or 12,000 church members, the collections were not nearly equal to Jd for each member. But he thought this was due to the lack not of tem- perance zeal, but of placing the case before the people they sympathised and would contribute if they had a fair chance. Mr Elias Jones testified that Montgomeryshire had improved greatly from the temperance point of view since 30 or 35 years ago. Public opinion had changed entirely, and there was nothing like the amount of drinking at fairs and auctions as 30 years ago. Let them not break their hearts. The work was going forward. Their labour was not in vain. The Secretary announced that lie had reason to believe that Mr David Davies would give more this year than his usual subscription of k2 2s (hear, hear). The treasurer's report was adopted, and Mr David Davies was re-elected president. The Association appointed three new vice- presidents-Mr Edward Rees, Caersws, the Rev Samuel Roberts, Llanbrynmair, and Dr R. D. Thomas, Welshpool. The Secretary explained that the vice- presidents need not be already members of the Association, but they must be total ab- stainers. The Rev J. M. Edwards was re-elected secretary and Mr David Rees hon. treasurer. MEDICAL MEN'S MANIFESTO. I The Rev J. Glyn Davies next spoke, and explained that he wished to draw the Mont- gomeryshire Association closer to the work of the North Wales Federation. The Fed- eration scarcely ever had any candidates from Montgomeryshire in their temperance examination. The Federation were doing their best to stir up North Wales generally to forward temperance work, and undoubt- edly there was a considerable awakeningâ (hear, hear)-with regard to the possibilities of temperance work. Mr Davies said that the fact that 101 medical men in North Wales had deliber- ately signed the temperance manifesto was an immense stride forward. If lie had the liberty to reveal the history of the mani- festo, it would be a revelationâhe did not know which was the more wonderful, the men who had refused to sign or the men who had signed. They had made inquiries so far as they could in all the counties of North Wales as to the men most likely to sign, and the result was the manifesto. Its compilation took him 18 months, but he was proud of it. It had two statements -that to a man in good health alcoholic drinks were no good whatever, and that in the case of extremely bad health, alcoholic drinks should be prescribed as any other powerful and dangerous poison. Mr Davies did not know was the Associa- tion in Montgomeryshire moving as fast as they might in connection with the reduction of the licenses. Their proportion was con- siderably below Anglesea and Merioneth. He should like the Association to take this matter up and, if possible, accelerate a little the rate of reduction. As to the children, Mr Davies asked two questions: 1. Has every church in Montgomeryshire a Band of Hope ? 2. Is there in every Band of Hope in Montgomeryshire clear and definite temper- ance teaching ? SHOULD BE UNQUESTIONABLY CLEAN." Dealing with temperance teaching in the day schools, Mr Dayies stated: "I am very firmly of opinion that every school- master in the land ought to be a total ab- stainer (hear, hear). And I think we ought to see that the managers, in the appoint- ment of schoolmasters, should definitely ask this question. The position of the school- master is one of such grave importance, his influence over the boys and girls is so unspeakably great, that on this question of alcoholic drink his hands and his lips should be unquestionably clean (hear, hear). Mr Davies bore testimony to the won- derful readiness" of the Montgomeryshire Education Authority to help the summer temperance school. Rut, he asked, "how many of your day schools in Montgomery- shire have definite temperance teaching, scientific, economic, and moral ? The Rev G. Griffiths ended the morning meeting with prayer, after which the com- pany adjourned for luncheon in the tem- perance house which Plas Dinam gener- osity has provided for Llanidloes. After the repast it was made clear that though the company might agree with the. Rev Glynn Davies as to imposing a total abstinence test. upon schoolmasters, not all of them could have given satisfaction to Mr C. J. Newell, when that well-known county edu- cationist inquired, Do you smoke ? The first words one minister spoke as he left the dining room were, "Which is the way to the smoke-room, please ? And quite a little column of temperance advocates fol- lowed him upstairs.

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