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MR. S. T. EVANS AT KENFIG…

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MR. S. T. EVANS AT KENFIG HILL. HOME RULE AND WELSH DISES- TABLISEPMENT QUESTIONS. THE HOUSE OF LORDS. On Tuesday evening- Mr. S. T. Evans addressed a large gathering of his former constituents at the Independent Chapel. Kenfig Hill. The Rev. T. Howells presided. and amongst those present were Messrs. T. D. Williams, John Matthews, James (Porthcawl), McEwen. Lewis Morgan, Rees Jenkins. Edwin Ace, D. II. Price, John Ware, W. Rowe, and W. Rees (Cornelly).—The Chairman briefly opened the meeting, strongly recommending Mr. S. T. Evans to the electors.-On the motion of Mr. Rees Jenkins, seconded by Mr. Edwin Ace, it was unanimously resolved, That this meeting desires to express its unabated confidence in the Liberal party and its venerable leader, the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, and is confident that he will be returned to power by a large majority in this election. L pon the proposition of Mr. T. D. Williams, seconded by Mr. John Matthews, the following resolution was enthusiastically adopted "That this meeting desire, to express its fullest confidence in Mr. S. T. Evans, our late member, and pledges itself to do its utmost to secure his re- turn at the coming election." Mr. 8. T. Evans who was most cordially received, said it was most encouraging to the person who had been the member of a constituency to meet his late constituents, and to receive such a flattering reception as they had been kin 1 enough to give him. He thought it was an indication that he who had had the honour of representing them in the last Parliament would also have the honour corf- ferred upon him in the Parliament about to be born. (Hear, hear). It was totally unnecessary for him togive them an exposition at any great length of the principles which were his-and which he thought were theirs also. (Cheers).—in politi- cal matters. The principles which he now pro- fessed were exactly the same as the principles he professed when they placed their confidence in him and elected him as their representative. He had not changed his principles.—(Cheers).—and unless the constituency had changed theirs there need be no change in their representation for the future. (Hear, hear). As that was the fifteenth meeting he had addressed in about a week's time they would excuse him from giving an elaborate political address, especially as there were other parts of the division which perhaps required more persuasion than Kenfig Hill. (Haar, hear). They had in that division a fair and square fight between Liberalism on the one hand, and between Toryism on the other. He did not refer to the personalities of the candidates at all, but merely wished to show that one of them was a follower of Lord Salisbury—that was perfectly plain—and that the other was a follower of Mr. Gladstone. (Loud cheers.) They had to decide which of those statesmen was the one that commanded their confidence for the future, aDd to which of them they would entrust the government of the country. He asked them to return him as a sup- porter of Mr. Gladstone by a big, thumping majority. (Cries of We will," and applause.) If the voice of the ceustituency was the same as it was at the previous election, they would speak most plainly in favour of Mr. Gladstone and his policy. (Cheers.) If, en the contrary, they be- lieved in Lord Salisbury and Mr. Balfour, they knew for whom to register their votes, but he thought that the electors of Mid-Glamorgan were determined to no longer entrust the government of the country to the Tory party, led by Lord Salisbury and Mr. Balfour. (Applause.) They had had quite enough of the Tories during the Parliament just drawn to its close. (Hear, hear.) It had been a very curious Parliament. Parlia- mnets had been known by various names in the past. One was known as the Long Parliament," another as the "Short Parliament," and another, as they would remember, as the Rump Parlia- ment but he did not know what name to give to the Parliament just dissolved, unless they called it the Mongrel Parliament "—(laughter)— because, strange to say, it was a Parliament in which there was a Tory Government, in office, without there being a Tory majority in the House. They were enabled to carry on the business of the country, and to keep a majority in the House of Commons by the support of the Liberal Unionists. That was a crutch upon which they would not be able. he thought, to lean in future for he believed the Liberal Unionists would be incorporated in the larger Tory party. In going shortly over the history of the last Parliament he would remind them of how it came into existence. He thought they ought not to forget the early history of the Parliament just dissolved, It was most important that they should remember. The Tories came into Parliament by pledging them- selves that there shobld be no coercion for their sister country-Ireland, and immediately they came into office they passed a perpetual coercion measure. (" Shame.") They threw the Irish representatives into. prison. What would they think if the Government threw the representa- tives of Wales into prison, because they might advise the Welsh farmers not to pay tithes for the support of the Church of England, and if for that and no other reason their representatives were cast into prison? The Irish members were put into prison for no greater offences than that offence would be -if it would be an offence. The Tories not only promised that there would be no coercion, but that there would be equal measures for Ireland as would be passed for the rest of the United Kingdom. Thev would remember that they had had Local Government in this country, but in Ireland they had not got even local government. The Tories did nothing in the first five sessions of Parliament, and in the sixth they produced a Bill which, they said, was to give equal laws to Ireland in the matter of Local Government. They knew the history of that Bill. with which he would not deal that evening, but it was as well that he should just touch upon it, because it was the programme of the Tory party, as against the Home Rule part of the programme of the Liberal party. The Lo-al Government Bill for Ireland was such that the re- presentatives of the Irish people flung it back into the teeth of the Government as an insult upon the Irish race. The Irish members said they would rather wait for the Home Rule Bill which the Liberals were prepared to pass when they got into power, than accept such a Bill as was proposed by the Tories. The Bill was of such a character that the Tory party themselves were ashamed of pro- eeedin^ with it. because, although they passed the second"reading by the great majority of 92, they withdrew the Bill, and did not proceed with it in Committee. Therefore, they did not try to pass it. In the last manifesto which Lord Salisbury gave to the country be called the Free Education Act, a Measure of Gratuitous Education. Lord Salisbury would not call it Free" Education. He (Mr. ,Evans) did not wonder at all, as the word free"" was scarcely to be found in the vocabulary of the Tory party. The Tories did not like free- dom in any sense. Freedom could not exist in the same atmosphere as a Tory, or as the Tory party. (Applause.) Let them see what the history of that Education Bill was. The Liberals at the beginning of the year 1890 complained that the subject of Free Education was not mentioned in the Queen's Speech, and Mr. Arthur Acland moved an amendment which practically pledged the Liberals to give Free Education to the country. The whole of th& Liberal party—so far as he was .^ware—voted for the amendment The Tory party, on the other hand, all voted against it. It dawned upon the Tory party subsequently that if they did not give Free Education the Liberals would, and the object of the Tories in giving the measure they had was to protect the voluntary schools. It was simply a measure for the further endowment of the Church of England, and he thought one of the first duties of the Liberals when they came into power would be to amend that Free Education Act-by giving to the people of the country, whose money went to the support of those denominational schools, a voice in their management. At present the voluntary schools were managed by the parson or the parson's nominees, or by the squire or the squire's nominees. The Government had themselves admitted that their sole object in taking up the question at all was to save and promote the welfare of the volun- tary schools. Mr. Goschen and Mr. Sydney Herbert had clearly admitted that. They called them voluntary schools, but he saw nothing voluntary in them at all. (Hear, hear.) Voluntary was entirely a misnomer—they ought to be called denominational schools, pure and simple. The object and motive of the Government was clear. So far as the measure had gone it had been accepted by the Liberal party. He did not object at all to accept a measure wherever it might come from, whatever the party may be, or whoever the parson may be. It was the principle of all true Liberals to accept such a measure for what it was worth. Let them accept such measures and wait for an opportunity for amending them. (Cheers.) What were the programmes of the two parties which were laid before the country in the mani- festoes of the leaders of the two parties respec- tively. On the one hand Lord Salisbury, in his manifesto, dwelt almost entirely on Home Rule for Ireland, which he said he was going to oppose. On the other hand, Mr. Gladstone, in what was now well known as the Newcastle programme, mentioned reforms of every description, which, as their opponents said, would take years to carry out. It was rather strange, he thought, that their opponents should complain of the Gladstonian programme because it was too large, too full, and too comprehensive. (Laugh- ter.) If he had to accept of one of two pro- grammes, he thought he would prefer to accept the programme which was too full rether than the programme which contained n< thing at all. (Ap- plause.) The first thing in the Liberal programme —and they must not pass it by, otherwise they would be told that they did not believe in it—was Home Rule for Ireland. (Loud cheers.) Welsh- men believed in Home Rule. (Hear, hear.) Home Rule simply meant giving the people of Ireland a restoration of their old Parliament, which they had up to about one hundred years ago. It meant giving the the Irish the management of their own domestic affairs in Ireland. That principle was perfectly well known, and he, for his own part, was prepared to leave to Mr. Gladstone—especially after he had had six years to think about it—and to those who had acted with him, the details of a measure which would effectually carry out such a measure of Home Rale as would, and ought to, satisfy the Irish people. (Loud cheers.) Wales had sent a bigger proportion of members in favour of Home Rule for Ireland than Ireland herself. Wales was not frightened by the proposals of Mr. Gladstone in 1883. The reason was clear. The English were not a nation of reformers, although they were a fine race. They moved slowly in political, as in many other matters. The Welsh, on the other hand, were a nation of reformers, and were pre- pared to march forward much more quickly than English people. (Applause.) Thus it was that the Welsh constituencies in 1886 stuck to Mr. Gladstone—(cheers)—and returned a vast ma- jority of members in favour of Home Rule for Ireland. Home Rule for Ireland was necessary, because they wanted additional time in the House of Commons to deal with English affairs. The time of the Rouse of Commons had been too much occupied in dealing with such purely Irish affairs as drainage and railway Bills, or something of that kind, which would be much better dealt with by an Irish legislature than by the Imperial Parliament. (Loud applause.) It stood to reason that if they got rid of those Irish affairs, and allowed the Irish to manage their domestic business themselves, that they would have additional time in the House of Commons tOlpMS some of those measures which they desired to see in this country. (Hear, hear.) He would not tell them what the whole of those measures were. They would take years to carry, no doubt, but he ventured to say that he be- lieved the next Parliament would be a really democratic Parliament. (Applause.) He believed in the people. (Hear, hear.) He believed that Liberal party would be a really democratic party in the future. Unless he believed that he would not be as anxious as he was to see them returned to power. He believed that the Liberal party would be really democratic in its character, and that it would desire to the very utmost of its power to carry out those measures which the democracy in this country wished to see carried. (Hear, hear.) He ventured to hope that the people. of this country would rally round the Liberal party, whose programme might be divided into two parts —that part which dealt with the question of the perfection of the machinery, and that which dealt with the questions of reforms themselves. The Tories were very anxious to persuade the people that they were the friends of the working classes, but it was the Liberals who gave them votes in 1885, and who gave them the Ballot Act. (Loud applause.) One of his first political memories was of the election of 1868, when small farmers and peasants were turned out of their homes because of the way they voted. The Liberals had made it impossible for a landlord or employer to know how their tenants or workmen voted—(applause)— so that they could vote without being afraid. He asked them all to register their votes at this election. Everyone ought to register his vote — Tory or Liberal. (Hear, hear.) Every man who had had' the franchise conferred upon him ought to exercise it. Another great puasure in which the Liberal party had interested ithemselves was that of Disestablish. ment and Disendowment of the Church of England in Wales, When that measure would be carried he could not say. It might be necessary to pass some of the reforms to which he had alluded before tackling that question. Even if that was so, those reforms, including some reform in the Registration Laws, would not take a very long time. He thought it ought not to be difficult, troublesome, or expensive, for any man to have his name upon the register of voters. They would probably find that the names of many who were entitled to vote were omitted from the register now in foree. As had been said, it ought to be as easy for a man to get his name on the register, as upon the rate-book. (Hear, hear.) He believed in equal electoral power—in One Man One Vote (Cheers.) He believed that every man who had attained to years of discretion ought to have a vote. He believed in manhood suffrage, and thought every man of the years of discretion, whether he lived in a house of his own, or whether he had continued with his parents, was entitled to have a vote, and to take his part as a citizen of this country. (Loud applause.) There was no sense in allowing a person to have as many votes as he had got estates or houses. (Hear, hear.) There was no reason why a man because he was wealthy should be able to vote in, perhaps, a dozen con- stituencies. He had thereby conferred upon him a great deal more electoral and governing power than other people who had quite as much intellect. He (Mr. Evans) had observed that Providence had not always given brains andintellect to rich people. He had seen many a working man who had had bestowed upon him, by Providence, more brains and a better intellect than many a man who had sat in the House of Lords. (Hear, hear. and applause.) He thought it was too late in the day for people to have more votes given to them simply because they were wealthy and powerful. With reference to the House of Lords he was not certain that a second Chamber was required, but if a second Chamber was required he was perfectly certain that the present Upper Chamber was not the one they ought to have. If the House of Lords could be reformed so as to make it really representative of the people, it might b3 as well perhaps to retain a second Chamber, but reformed it must be, and if it could not be mended he said it ought to be ended. (Applause.) If the House of Lords repeatedly threw out the Home Rule Bill it would be time for the country to consider whether they ought not to clip the wings of the House of Lords. (Hear, hear). Wales had been arguing the question of Disestablishment and Disendowment far too long. Their minds were made up upon it. and it was highly important that they should in the electionsi n Wales show how really in earnest they were upon that question. They could show that in two ways. FiNt, by returning only Liberal members pledged to Disestablishment and Dis- endowment,"and secondly by giving those mem- bers large majorities. Dignitaries of the Church of England were keenly watching the result of those elections, and would try to make two and two into five of the fieures of the elections. (Laughter). The Bishop of St. Asaph had said that there were only nine members from Wales in favour of Dis- establishment for every one that was against. He (Mr. Evans) should have thought that was a good proportion. He wondered if the English people would have an Established Church in their land if they sent nine members to Parliament in favour of Disestablishment to everyone against. However that might be they in Wales could make a present to the Bishop of St. Asaph of something more than that. They could with a little effort-and he hoped they would—sweep the board, and every member returned from Wales pledged to Disestablishment and Disendowment. (Cheers.) One or two significant things had happened in connection with the addresses of the Tory candidates. One Tory candidate in North Wales had made a speech in the presence of the Dean of St. Asaph in which he (Sir Robert Cunliffe) said that he was prepared to remain neutral. He (Mr. Evans) thought that showed they had made a great steps in advance when a Tory candidate said that in the presence of one of the champions of the Church. It showed that they were afraid to declare themselves against Disestablishment and Disendowment. (Hear, hear.) To come nearer home Sir John Llewellyn ignored the question altogether in his address. He (Mr. Evans) did not know whether the electors of Swansea were going to elect a man who ignored the chief topic of interest in the Principality in his address. The fact was significant. The Tory candidates were afraid of facing the question for fear of not being re- turned as members for the constituencies whose suffrages they sought. (Hear, hear.) To give them an idea of the importance of giving large majorities to the Liberal members upon that ques- tion, he would tell them that statements were being made by Church dignitaries to the English people which were simply astounding to them as Welsh people. The other day, at the Rhyl Congress, the Bishop of St. Asaph actually said that when a Non- conformist family were in any trouble they did not send for their own minister, but for the curate, vicar, or rector of the Church of England. That Bishop also said that the Church was im- proving in many ways. The Bishop would have the English people to believe that there were no empty churches to be found in these days at all, but that they were all filled to overflowing. It had been said that the objects of the Nonconformists was plunder, and that their motive was envy. He would fling that insult back to Mr. Balfour— (applause)-their object was not plunder, neither was their motive envy. (Hear, hear.) They had got nothing to envy in the history of the Church. (Applause.) What they said was that the national funds should be applied to national purposes. (Hear. hear.) Referring to his opposition to the Church Discipline Bill, Mr. Evans said he held in the first place that Parliament had no right at all to interfere with matters of Church discipline. Nonconformists did not go to Parliament and ask for power to turn out any immoral clergymen. They were able to deal was them otherwise, but the Church of England were in such a position that she said she was not able to deal with the immoral clergy unless Parliament gave jlier further powers. The second ground of his objection to the Bill was that the Church of England already possessed powers to turn out every immoral clergyman. It was true that the process of doing it was sometimes found to be expensive, but as he told them in the House of Commons he was not sent to the House of Commons to save the pockets of the bishops of the Church of England. He also objected to the Bill upon another ground— viz., that there were other far more pressing question which Parliament ought to deal with. For instance there were many questions affecting the working classes. The Tory party had not dealt with the question of the amendment of the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, and Mr. Balfour now pleaded that it was because they had not had time. The country should remember how in 1890 weeks were wasted in the House of Com- mons dealing with the question of compensation to brewers, which had to be withdrawn in the end. (Applause.) In 1891 the Government spent weeks to pass a Tithes Act, and in 1892 a great deal of time had been spent over the Clergy Discipline Bill, so that they would see that Mr. Balfour was not entitled to the excuse that i t was want of time which prevented the Government from Mealing with the question of Employers' Liability. (Hear, hear.) That was a question in which he (Mr. Evans) had taken a great interest, and he hoped that a very thorough measure would be passed giving to the workman compensation for all injury he might sustain-not caused by his own negligence-in carrying on his avocation. (Loud applause.) He (Mr. Evans) had had the honour of presenting to the House of Commons the Leasehold Enfranchisement Bill (Places of Worship). That Bill compelled a landowner to sell to the trustees for a fair sum the site upon which a chapel was built. He was fortunate in getting that Bill read on two occasions-last session, and the session before-by majorities of two to one. (Applause.) The House of Commons had, therefore, assented to the principle, and he hoped it will be carried soon when the Liberal party came into power. (Cheers.) He had tried to do something in the way of legislation, but some- thing else was necessary for a member of Parlia- ment. Of course, he had to attend to his duties. He had attended to his duties while he had been their member, and he need not be ashamed to say that he had attended the House of Commons as regularly as any member from the Principality. That involved considerable sacrifice very often, but a person had no right to offer himself as M.P. unless he was prepared to undergo the necessary self- sacrifice in attending to the interests of his constituents. He ventured to say that no division had taken place since he had been member for Mid Glamorgan in which their interests were concerned in which he had not taken part. (Loud applause.) Mr. Evans narrated how he had been able to resist the proposal of Mr. Goschen to appoint a committee to consider the financial relations of the three countries — England, Scotland Ireland — unless Wales were included. To this suggestion Mr. Goschen had refused to accede, and he (Mr. Evans) said that he should persist in his opposi- tion to Mr. Goschen's proposal as long as he de- clined to include Wales. (Cheers.) In connection with that Mr. Evans said he had shown in the House of Commons how Wales only got ninepence three farthings per head out of the Probate Duties, &c., as compared with one shilling and three- pence halfpenny per head received by England. In 1891. instead of receiving £ 101,260, Wales only got £ 73,883, or j6 27,000 less than they were entitled to. Again, out of the Licence Duties, etc., Wales in 1891 only got about JE 28,000. instead of about £ 38,000. He concluded by appealing to them all to register their votes and to give the Liberal party a triumphant victory. (Loud applause). The meeting ended in a vote of thanks to the chairman.

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