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POLITICS IN SOUTH GLA- MORGAN. MR. A. J. WILLIAMS. M.P. AT BONVIL- STOXE. CRUSHING REPLY TO MR. CHAMBERLAIN. A large and enthusiastic meeting of Liberals was held at Zoar Chapel, Bonvilstone, on Friday even- ing last, for the purpose of hearing an address from Mr. Arthur J. Williams, the member for the Southern division of Glamorganshire, of which the district of Bonvilstone and the Vale of Glamorgan forms part. Mr. E. W. Miles, solicitor, Cowbridge, presided, and he was supported by Mr. Williams, M.P., Rev. — Humphries (Peterstone). and Messrs. W. Llewellyn Williams, B.A. (South Wales Star), Jenkyn Thomas (Bonvilstone). Daniel Evans (Cowbridge). Thomas Rees (Peterstone), &c., &c. The proceedings were marked by the most com- plete unanimity and the greatest enthusiasm. The Chairman on rising to open the proceedings was received with applause. He said it was a very pleasant duty for him to preside over such a meet- ing. They were present that lllght to welcome their respected member—(applause) and to hear an address from him. He felt sure that they all owed a certain amount of gratitude to Mr. Wil- liams for sacrificing his time in visiting even the most remote and scattered parts of the constituency for the purpose of meeting his constituents. (Hear, hear.) Their member was one of those who fought against privilege. It was an uphill fight was this one against privi- lege. and it was an uphill course that they had to run. He did not want to occupy the time, there- fore he would call upon Mr. Williams to address them. (Cheers.) Mr. Arthur J. Williams. M.P., who received a very flattering reception, said their chairman had remarked that a certain amount of gratitude was due to him for taking the trouble to come down and address those of his constituents who lived in the Vale of Glamorgan. No gratitude was due to him as he was their member, because he felt that as long as he represented that division in Parlia- ment. his duty ought to bring him, not only into the populous districts of the north, which 110doubb contributed the large share of his majority, but into those parts of his constituency where the population was scattered, where it was mainly agricultural, and where privilege still remained. (Hear, hear.) Because, as the chairman said, the fight of their party during the last hundred years had been a fight against privilege of all sorts, and it was therefore of great importance with refer- ence to the future that the people who lived in the country should be alive to the great interest they had in all the questions that were coming forward. (Hear, hear.) During the last two or thres days Wales had had visits from two extremely clever men. The Tory Government had sent down Sir Edward Clarke to Cardiff. and Mr. Chamberlain—he did not know whether the Tory Government had sent him—-(a laugh)—had also come down to Wales, and these two very clever men had delivered two very clever speeches. What had they come down into Wales for ? (Laughter and" Hear. hear.") Wales was a very awkward bit of the kingdom just now. When in 1833 the Liberal party was broken up by the dissentient Liberals—as they called themselves—Wales stood firm—(cheers)— it was not led astray, and tho result was that in Wales the Liberal majority practically remained untouched. (Hear, hear.) It was a very awkward and significant fact. and the reason why those two gentlemen had come "down was because they felt that they must try. if possible, to alter the present state of things. He did not believe that they would be able to win a Liberal seat, bu^; they knew that there was to be a determined attempt on the part of the Liberal party to sweep the whole of W ales—(cheers)—so they meant to make a gallant defence of such constituencies as Radnorshire and Pembroke Boroughs, which at present returned Tory mem- bers. He happened to be in Radnor recently with Mr. Frank Edwards, and, if he was not very much mistaken, neither Sir Edward Clarke or Mr. Chamberlain would prevent Mr. Frank Edwards going in as the Liberal member. (Applause.) He said he would only that night dwell upon one or two of the arguments, if he might call them so, "which had been put forward by those gentlemen to try and persuade the Welsh people that they ought to support a Tory Government. Mr. Cham- berlain had tackled a good many jobs during the last four or five years he was a man of undaunted courage he did not flmch when he set his mind -on anything in the House, or out of it, his courage never gave way, but he did not think there over was an instance of his showing more Tinfliiiching courage than that of coming down into the middle of Wales to persuade the Wel-Ii Radical that he was wrong and that Mr. Chamberlain was right. (Applause!) It was so hard a business that he did not wonder when they came to look at Mr. Chamberlain's speech that they found how hope- less the task was. and that how much he felt when he was delivering the speech how absurd the effect was. In the first place, he came down to Welshmen, and insulted them in the most gross way. He said it was their duty to support a Tory Government, and he said that at the last election the conduct of the Welsh electors was that of men who betrayed every principle oi their lives in order to get a bribe from Mr. Glad- stone. It seemed to him that that was not the way to make friends with Welshman. (Hear, hear.) Mr. ChamberLain asked the Welsh people Why did you. when Mr. Glad- stone in 1885 brought in his bill, vote for Home Rule. You Welsh Nonconformists wanted to have religious freedom and equality I am in favour of religious equality." Mr. Chamberlain was in favour of it once, and he put it in his programme but during the last session of Parliament he got up twice in the House of Commons and said he was not in favour of reliirious eqnality, because he would rather sacrifice every principle he had had during his life than turn out the present Govern- ment. (Apphuse.) If Mr. Chamberlain was in favour of the Disestablishment and Disendowrnent of the Church in Wales, why did he not support the Welsh members when they brought forward their motion: Did he get up and make such a speech as he did ten years ago when he presided over the annual meeting of the- Liberation Society ? (Cheers.) It was not expedient for Mr. Chamber- lain to do that now. and yet he wanted the Welsh people to support a Government, which if it was pledged to anything—he did not think any of the Tory pledges were worth much—was pledged to resist to the very last ditch the Disestablishment' and Disendowrnent of the Church in Wales. Mr. Chamberlain at Llanybyther in effect said, Why did you support Mr. Gladstone Not'because you conscientiously believed that this great measure of peace to Ireland was a wise and just message you did not care about Ireland, you did not care about Home Rule as far as you were concerned you would not have supported Mr. Gladstone but for one thing. You hoped that if you followed him in Home Rule. you might have persuaded him to give you the bribe of Disestablishment in Wales." (Laughter.) Never was there a mAre monstrous calumny. (Cheers.) It was untrue: in fact, there was not the slightest vestige of hope in the minds of the Welsh people at the time that they would gain anything in the shape of an advance in the object of their desires in supporting Mr. Glad- stone. He cxild call their attentions to constant expressions of disappointment on the part of the press in WmL s. because Mr. Gladstone did not com- mit himself: in fact he di~t nctly refused to pledge himself. If any man had done his very best te make it clear that they should not have a Tory member for Wt les at the next election, that speech at Llanvbythsyj had settled the matter. It only showed how vary clever men. it once they left the great''broad path of principle, and had to tak.e steps which were in violation of their own interests of right, n-ade the most stupid mistakes. Mr. Cham- berlain never m?o4 J such a mistake as coming d-own. to Cardiganshire, except the stupid mistake of -delivering the speech. (Laughter.) They were charged With, at the last elect ion of sacrificing every- thing in orier to get Jjisestablishmeut and Disendow- rnent. The. Welsh ptople were not going to sacri- licfc their principles to expediency neither for Mr. Gladstone or an> other statesman that pre- sided over the destiaSes of the country. Mr. Chamberlain went on to point out how foolish they were not -to have thrown in their lot with him. and the present Government of course. Now came the most ao-urd mistake which he made in that speech. He said that even taking it for granted that Mr. Gladstone was returned to power, the Home Rule Bill would have to be settled before Parliament cc>ald discuss the qaestion of religious ^equality in Wales. \Ve knot; he said, that -the Irish representatives claim an independent parliament." They had never since the con- stitutional agitation began claimed anything of the sort, and Mr. Chamberlain knew it. (Cheers.) Could they conceive of a great statesman descend- ing to such a statement as thatHow could he expect that it would go unchallenged. There were. liowevef. one or two great principles which they wouldagattt hear of. when the next. Home Rule Bill's were introduced. There wasnodoubt thatthey would give the Irish people the control of their police (Applause.) On the last occasion the Todes ob. ^ected to Uiq Irish people having control ot the police, and Mr. Gladstone was obliged to give in- There was no necessity for the present kind of force. The Irish people were as law-abiding as English people and Welsh people if they were left alone, and treated properly and trusted. (Lo"d cheers.) Then Mr. Chamberlain went on to point out that if the House of Commons accepted Mr. Gladstone's measure, there was the House of Lords to deal with. (Laughter.) That was one of the funniest things in the history of that remarkable man. He (the speaker) did not think there was any sadder career—unless it be that of that un- fortunate man whose life was prolonged just one year too much. He alluded to Mr. Parnell, whose perhaps was more sad in its tragic history. When, however, the lives of those two men came to be written, the life of Mr. Chamberlain would be sadder still. (Hear hear.) Full of bright pro- mise. with an overwhelming power of clear and lucid expression, a master of the English lan- guage, acute in thought, far-reaching in insight, with all the qualities to make him a leader and a Prime Minister of a Radical Parliament, yet he had fallen from his high estate, and none of those great qualities could be devoted but to those mean. those wretched, those miserable at- tempts to mislead the consciences of the people. (Cheers.) Well, Mr. Chamberlain referred to his friends, the Lords, and said that once the Bill passes the House of Com- mons it will go before the House of Lords, and asks if it will go further. But the outspoken language of Mr. Gladstone -(cheers)-and the still more outspoken language of Sir William Harcourt, had gone forth as a warn- ing. (Applause.) He (the speaker) had given it for years—-(hear, hear)—and now he found the leaders of their party taking up the watch-cry. He believed it was the beginning of a distinct constitutional movement, which would be so overwhelming that it would determine that the House of Lords shall not obstruct any longer. (Loud cheers.) He did not believe in a second chamber. When that Liberal paper, well-known to many of them, the South JF ales- Star—(applause)—published what ittermed its Confession of Faith, he remembered that it was in favour of a reform of the House of Lords only. anl he (the speaker) thought it his duty to point out in an article which lie wrote that no doubt remained in the minds of his constituents that a second chamber could not be of any use, and that, consequently, the sooner they had only one chamber the better. (Loud applause.) No sooner does Mr. Chamberlain fall away from his party and backslides, then he becomes the victim of bogeys. (Laughter and hear. hear.) He had now the bogey of the House of Lords. What did Mr. Chamberlain mean when he came into Cardigan- shire and asked the Welsh people to support the Tory Government. P Did they believe that any Tory Government that ever existed or would exist would ever grant the farmers of Wales those great privileges which were to be granted at the expense of the Tory land- owners in Wales. Of course the Welsh people would secure their Land Act, but not possibly as soon as they might have done if Mr. Chamberlain had not betrayed the party to which he belonged. (Hear, hear.) If hs had only stood true to his principles, if he had not been in such a hurry to take the reins of office out of Mr. Gladstone's hands—(cheers)—they might at this moment have been passing a Land Bill for Wales. (Hear, hear.) He (the speaker) thought that even his humble efforts had swept away Mr. Chamberlain's attempts to delude the Welsh people. (Applause.) It gave him infinite satisfaction to do his best to show how absurd and how vain had this attempt been to mislead the awakened intelligence of the great body of the Welsh people. To his mind one of the greatest satisfactions of his political life was to observe how two great measures had transformed the face of his native land. The first was the Education Act of 1870, that great gift of the Liberal party, for which they had been working for so many years—although it ought to have been more generous and just—and the other the Reform Act of 1884, which had absolutely trans- formed Wales from being hopeless and from looking up with fear and trembling. (Ap- plause.) The hon. member then proceeded to briefly refer to Disestablishment and one or two other topics, and concluded an eloquent speech amid loud applause. Mr. Daniel Evans (Cowbridge) proposed a vote of thanks to and a vote of confidence in Mr. Williams. (Applause.) He said he had watched their worthy member's career, and he seemed to him to be thoroughly orthodox in the radical creed. (Applause.) Rev.—Humphries (Peterstone). Mr. W.Llewtllyn Williams (South Wales Star), and Mr. Rees (Peterstone) supported the resolution, which was carried unanimously, Mr. Williams, M.P,, in responding, said he saw that the S< nih Wales Star was dealing with a recent county court appointment in Wales, He did think there was a great deal th" t was verv wrong in the question of official app >intments in Wales. It ought to be put a stop to, ana it could be put a stop to.. They t hould nut only have good lawyers in their county courts, but they should have judges who understood the language of the country—(hear, hear)—and that particularly they should have appointments made without reference to political or personal favour. He thought that the recent appointment was open to the greatest question, and he hoped that it would not be allowed to pass unnoticed. (Applause.) The hon. member then moved a vote of thanks to the chairman. Mr. Jenkin Thomas seconded the motion, which was carried.—The chairman having replied the proceedings concluded.



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