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MR. WILLIAM SPICKETT AT RHYDFELEN. ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING. POWERFUL SPEECHES BY PROMINENT PONTYPRIDDIANS. A meeting of the electors of Rhydfelen was held on Wednesday evening last at Ebenezer Chapel, Rhydfelen, for the purpose of furthering the candi- dature of Mr. William Spiclcett for the coming County Council. The chair was occupied by the Rev. D. G. Evans. The meeting was well attended and was most enthusiastic throughout, the speeches 'lu delivered being most vigorous and powerful. The Chairman, in the course of his opening address, having pointed out the object of the meeting, said they all respected Mr. William Spickett and they intended to win the battle. Mr. Spickett had been appointed as the proper man to fight this battle, and he was sure they were all ready to be faithful to that gentleman. The County Council had become a great political power ir. the country. Some people tried to say that it was not, but its actions in the past proved the contrary. Not only the Council was a great power, but it would be a still greater power soon, and would be able to settle some of the most important questions of the day. With reference to Mr. Spickett, he could say that he was a thorough man. (Cheers.) He was a Nonconformist to the backbone — (hear, hear) — and although he was an influential and prominent townsman. He had not as he throve in the world turned his back on Nonconformist friends as some men they knew had done. He was also a thorough Liberal, and therefore would be just the sort of man to faithfully represent Nonconformists and Liberals, (Loud applause.^ He (the speaker) hoped they would all do their best to return him to the Coun- cil, and he was glad to say that Rhydfelen would be true to its colours, and, in his opinion, would do all in its power to further the Liberal cause. (Loud cheers.) Mr. John Jones, a working man, who spoke in Welsh, referred to the close acquaintance he had had with Mr. Spickett since the Local Board elec- tion. and added that he had every confidence in that gentleman who would make a thorough working-men's representative. With regard to the independent" candidate they had heard so much of, he would say that if once elected he would show that he was independent of all things apper- taining to the welfare of the v.'orking classes. (Laughter and applause.) Mr. Jones then referred to the hard work Mr. Spickett had put in at the last Local Board election, when he spent two whole nights to hunt up the register in order to find if there were any working men who were qualified to sit on the Local Board. Only two such were found, and they did not see their way clear to stand. (Cheers.) Therefore in their ov/n interests it was their duty to return Mr. Spickett with a handsome majority. (Loud applause.) Councillor Roberts, who was well received, said that during his occupancy of the seat he had always recorded his vote on the side of Liberalism, and courted investigation to prove his assertion. Alluding to the assessment of property in the county, he said that when the County Council first looked over the books they found that the properties had been most un- fairly assessed, for while the poor working men's cottages had been assessed to their full value, lands, mansions, and public-houses were wretchedly low rated. (-i Shame.) This was the most glaring scandal and proof of misrule it had ever been his duty to notice. For instance, a castle in the Vale of Glamorgan with 15 acres of land attached was rated at £ 50. ("Shame.") The land was rated at 15s. an acre, whilst the fields of a tenant of the owner of this castle were rated at £ 3. (Hisses.) Some of the most prosperous public- houses in the county were apsei-sed at £10. Speak- ing on behalf of Mr. Spickett, he said that that gentleman, if elected, would not represent his own interest but that of his constituents. And there was plenty of work still to be done on this Assess- ment Committee, which Mr. Spickett would take great pleasure in performing. (Cheers.) He (Mr. Roberts) had known him to be a Liberal and his family were Liberals, and had done yeoman service to further the Liberal cause. (Loud applause.) They might depend upon him to be a man true to his religious, political, moral, and social principles. (Hear, hear.) It was said that this battle was not to be fought on political grounds, but they would find that in the divisions which took place on the council all the Conservatives were on one side, and all the Liberals on the other. In Breconshire tho no politics" cry had blinded the people, and Independents were returned, with the result that the Independents who, in plain language, he would call Tories, were having all their own way, but he was sure that the three years' ex- perienoe the electors had had was sufficient to open their eyes to the responsibility devolv- ing upon them. (Cheers.) He was in favour of the payment of members in order that working men might be enabled to become coun- cillors for it was only fair that a man who lent his brain for the good of his country men should be paid a fair day's wage. (Loud applause.) Again referring to the assessment of the county the speaker said that three years ago Glamorganshire was rated at £ 1.800.000, but through the energy )f Liberal councillors they had increased the rate- tble value by half a million of money, and it was low assessed at £ 2,300,000. (Cheers.) In con- ilusion he fervently hoped that the meeting and ;he ward electors would do all in their power to )lect Mr. Spickett. (Applause.) Rev. D. Evans, in the course of a few remarks, lelivered in Welsh proposed a hearty vote of shanks to Councillor Roberts for his services in ihe past. This was seconded by Mr. J. Hiscocks, supported by Mr. John W. John. and carried un- inimously. Councillor Roberts suitably returned thank?. W Mr. W. Spickett, who on rising received a most flattering reception, said he did not come forward as an 16 independent" condidate, but as a true Liberal. (Hear, hear.) He was, perhaps, more in- dependent after all than his opponent. (Laughter.) He had always been known as a Liberal and supported the platform laid down by the Liberal Federatton, the first plank of which was Home Rule for Ireland," He agreed with Mr. Gladstone's views on the matter. (Loud applause.) With reference to the Disestablish question he might say that the support they would receive from their Irish friends in return for the support they gave them would help the Welsh people to obtain what they desired. (Hear, hear.) When that came about justice would be meted out to the Welsh people for which they had cried in vain for a long time. (Cheers.) As a Noncon- formist he felt deeply on this matter, and would do all in his power to further the cause, for it was a lasting shame that poor farmers were compelled to pay tithes to clergymen whom they did not recognise as their spiritual advises, and a hard ■ ship to Nonconformist ministers who were ex- cluded from positions which were at present avail- only to clergymen. Referring to the division of rates between owners and ratepayers, Mr. Spickett said that inasmuch as the rates of houses occupied by the working classes were so high, their rent. were likewise higher than they ought to be (Hear, hear.) He was in favour of taxing royalties and ground rents, which at present were not rated, for he considered that if the occupiers of houses were rated it was only right that the ground rent which the owner reoeived should also be taxed. (Loud applause.) He was of opinion that a great deal of the work now done by Parliament would soon devolve upon the County Councils who.would afterwards have more power in their hands. In referring to the election which took place in April last, Mr. Spickett said that although he was defeated then he had received "A the support of a greater number of voters than his opponent, and he knew of a case where a father and a son, who had 12 votes each, had given the same to his opponent, and that numbered 24 out of the 37 majority. But, at the same time. he might tell them that he was prouder of the magnificent address he had received from the electors than the successful candidate was of his seat. (Loud cheering.) This election, how- ever, would be by ballot, and would be fought on the one-man-one-vote principle, so that he felt confident that he was going to win. (Loud and continued applause.) He would support the one- man-one-vote principle-(hear, hear)-and would favour the establishment of district councils. (Cheers.) He was also a supporter of free educa- tion, and trusted that it would be made more ex- tensive by keeping a sharp look-out on the rating of land and property. (Applause.) Proceeding. he said he was in favour of giving the councils of Wales Statutory powers on matters relating to Wales, in order that the expenses now incurred by the promoting of Parliamentary Bills for local affairs might be greatly lessened. (Cheers.) He i would also advocate the movements in favour of Welsh-speaking in law courts, and would support Local Option, for he was of the opinion that the inhabitants of a district should have the chief voice in deciding what number of public-houses they required. (Loud applause.) He might, perhaps, not go so far as his friend the Rev. W. I. Morris, but he would, at any rate, say that it was a shame that the granting of licences should be allowed to a magisterial bench, without any regard to the wishes of the people. (Hear, hear.) The old cry that he was young had again been raised, but, in reply to that, he would only say that being young would give him more oppor- tunity to learn than his opponent. (Laughter and applause.) When he had been elected, as he was sure he would be with their support, he would do his utmost to serve them to the best of his ability. (Loud and continued cheers.) Mr. James Hiscocks followed with a Welsh speech, after which the Rev. W. I. Morris referred id complimentary terms to Mr. W. Spickett, and expressed his entire sympathy with his candida- ture. They had heard a great deal about the In- dependent candidate. (Laughter.) He would like to know what his independency meant. A working man asked the question at the meeting convened to select this Independent candidate, what the term meant, and the chairman was unable to say. (Laughter.) Did it mean the representa- tive of independent electors, who were neither Tories nor Liberals, Churchmen nor Nonconfor- mist., If it did he was afraid there were but few of (Cheers.) Would the candidate be inde- pendent of the Established Church He hardly thought so. (Laughter.) Would he be independ- ent of the liquor trame ? Certainly not. (More laughter.) Would he be independent of the Tories (Cries of "No.") It would not be a hard task for Mr. Spickett to defeat such a candi- date. (Loud cheers.) Supposing Mr. Leyshon should be elected, but he feared it would always be a supposition—(laughter)—and a resolution came before the Council calling upon the Government to oppose the Disestablishment of the Church. Would he vote for that ? (Cries of No.") Would he not act a party man if he did not.' (Laughter.) If called upon to vote on the Local Option question, would he favour that ? (" -No, no, no.") Of course not an independent candidate would be an ab- surdity. (Cheers.) The whole affair was only a Tory move to secure certain votes. In conclusion, Mr. Morris urged upon the olectors to support Mr. Spiekett, who, in his opinion, was a thorough working man's candidate. (Loud applause.) Rev. Josiah Roberts then moved the following resolution That this meeting pledges itself to support Mr. Wil- liam Spickett, the Liberal candidate for tie Graig and Treforest ward of the County Council, and that we use our utmost endeavours to return him with a tri- umphant majority. Father Smyth seconded, and, in the course of a witty speech, said that their opponents were ashamed of calling themselves Tories, for patriotic Welshmen like patriotic Irishmen looked upon Toryism as another word for cruelty, and oppres- sion, therefore their opponents hid themselves under a cloak called" Independent." (Laughter and applause.) This contest would result in an easy victory for his friend (Mr. Spickett), if they had no traitors and renegades in the camp. (Cheers.) Mr. W. Davies, Rhydfelen House, having sup- ported the proposition was put to the meeting, and carried unanimously, and with acclamation. Mr. W. Spickett suitably returned thanks. A vote of thanks to the Chairman brought the meeting to an end.