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THE BARRY AND CADOXTON LIBERAL…

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THE BARRY AND CADOXTON LIBERAL ASSOCIATION. -— THE LIBERAL VICTORY. MR. A. J. WILLIAMS OX THE CLAIMS OF WALES. On Saturday evening a public supper was held at the Barry Dock Restaurant to celebrate the return of Mr. A. J. Williams as member for South Glamorgan. There was a good attendance of the members of the Liberal Association, and 1)lr. A. J. Williams. M.P.. who received a very pearty welcome when he entered the room. took the chair, and he was supported by the Rev. W. Williams, Rev. W. Tibbott. Mr. Alderman .Meggitt, Dr. O'Donnell. Mr. W. LI. Williams. Mr. F. W. Taylor (secretary to the Liberal Association), and Messrs. Barstow. Benjamin Lewis. Sidnev Davies, Lewis Evans. C. H. Horrell. Edward Rees (auctioneer), R. Ward. D. Trask. W. P. H. Pate- man. James Jones, William Miller. James J. Moon. W. J. Thomas. Harry Inch. Henry Davies. A. J. T. Probert. D. Hamer. John Hamer. A. G. Taylor. H. Taylor. A. Sawyer, J. Rowlerlg-e, E. Rees, liartnell, D. J, Lloyd. J. Robins. J. S. Goodman. Tom Rosser. John Rowledge, G. H. Taylor. A. G. Taylor. Michael Donovan. Dennis Housden. &c. After full justice had been done to the elegantly- laid, and substantial repast provided by the Misses Harry, which was undoubtedly one of the best ever partaken of in the district, and rejected much credit on the hostesses the Chairman rose and pro- posed "The Queen and the Royal Family. which was received in a loyal fashion by the company. Mr. W. Llewellyn Williams said it was with peculiar pleasure he rose to propose the toast of *• The Clergy and Ministers of all Denomina- tions." as the chairman was a descendant of a celebrated minister. Doctor Price, who was one of the most advanced political thinkers of his time. as well because he (the speaker) was connected with a family, some of whose members were ministers not, alhogether unknown, or unhonoured in the recent annals of Welsh X onconformitv. Every Welshman must honour the toast: for in *he dark days when the people of Wales were as ■siieet) without a shepherd, when their educated men deserted their country for England and cared not for the land that reared them. the Noncon- formist ministers of Wales acted as the leaders of the people. (Hear, hear.) He (the speaker) was not one of those who cried down political Dis- senters." Wales would not be what she was to-day but for her politic;! Dissenters." -{Cheers.) For very many years it might be said that the Nonconformist pulpit had absorbed all the talent, all the enthusiasm, all the patriotism of Wales pnci it was but natural that the ministers should have been the political as well as the re- ligions leaders of the people. (Loud cheers.) In these latter days Welsh talent found other outlets, in Parliament and in the learned professions and it was nothing to the discredit of the Welsh pulpit to say that Wales was beginning to look more and more for her political leaders else- where than to the ministers. By educating I and enlightening the people, the ministers were bringing to an end their political mission. (Hear, hear.) The position of the Establishment, no less than the efforts of the ministers, had made Wales politically what she was. Let them read the account of how a boy at Llandyssul had been that week carted off to gaol to live with the wretchedest and guiltiest criminals for committing a disturb- ance, as boys would, at a tithe sale—(" Shame ")- to see how much was due to the unholy and in- iquitous alliance between Church and State for the present political position of the Principality. (Loud applause.) He (the speaker) had not a single word to say against the Church of England as a religious institution, but her connection with the State had mainly contributed to the bitterness of political feeling in many parts of Wales. He coupled with the toast the names of the Revs. W. Williams and W. Tibbott. The Rev. W. Williams first responded. He was much flattered by the speech of Mr. Williams, and the credit he had given to the ministers of Wales. but he had not given then too much credit. He did not regret that they were no longer political leaders, but they wanted to follow in the ranks. and be supporters, and he intended as long as he could to do what he could for the advancement of Liberal principles. (Applause.) He was very pleased to find in Mr. Williams a man who was always ready to support the principles of the Liberal party, and he was one of the most ad- vanced Liberal members for Wales, and ad- vocated. welfare of the lower classes, a people whom he (the speaker) loved to see in prosperity. (Applause.) He hoped the day would never come when they would ex- clude ministers from the councils he was always readv to allow them to take the lead. and he hoped that many more young men of Wales would rise up as trainers of the political education of Wale". (Applause). The Rev. W. Tibbott also responded in Welsh, after which Mr. Sawyer sang The Midshipmite," and the two ministers having to leave were accor- ded hearty cheers. Mr. Rees proposed the next toast that of Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal Members of Parlia- ment." When Mr. Taylor, the energetic secretary. asked him to propose chis toast he did not know how far a schoolmaster could enter into the political arena of the district. He had, however, been en- gaged in political work for 16 or 17 years, but had never made a Tory an enemy. He liked them as men. but hated their politics—(Applause)—which as a rule became a matter of personalities. The contrast between the two parties could be seen In their leaders Mr. Gladstone had never had a blackman." and they could emulate the great leader in that respect. It was one thing to bully a-small state like Salisbury had done to Portugal, and another matter to gain the esteem of states such as Bulgaria. (Loud Cheers). He could always trust-his fellow men, but the Tories could never trust their fellow men, Mr. Gladstone was now in his old age, but he was not in his dotage. It was a low idea of the Tories and their Press to regard the intellect of the Grand Old Man as defunct. The last election had contradic- ted that. He was sorry they had not a larger majority, but it was composed of men of the right sort. The starch had been..taken from their collars and put into their backbones. (Applause). He was glad to find that in Wales they had not been behind hand. He had much pleasure in coupling with the toast the name of Mr. A. J. Williams. (Loud applause). Mr. A. J. Williams, amidst loud applause, rose to respond to the toast. He responded, he said, with pleasure to the toast of Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal M.P.'s, more especially for the Welsh members. The Liberals had done well at the last election on the whole, although they ought to have done better. (Applause). and if they had done as well in Scotland and England as they had done in Wales he should like to know where the Tory party would be the Tory party in the House of Commons would be reduced to one bench, and that is how it ought to be. and would be if England was as far advanced as Wales was in political thought and action, and in that backbone which was essential if they were to do any good in this world. (Applause.) Mr. Rees. in his speech, had well drawn the contrast between principles and personalities, and drawn a very proper contrast between the tone of their great leader and the tone of the man who, for a few days only. was to be the Prime Minister, and in his mind there was nothing that was more striking in the personality of their great statesman than the elevated tone he had adopted in all his public utterances, and it wotild remain a permanent monument—that grand and lofty tone which had lifted him above all the petty little personalities which had been levelled at him in the House of Commons and out of it. He had never descended, even when it was necessary to be crushing, to be personal, and he had seen and listened to Mr. Gladstone when, in the course of twenty minutes, he exposed his former colleague to the laughter, not only of his side of the House, but to the whole House in that famous speech upon that blessed word oppression after Mr. Chamberlain— {hisses)—had endeavoured to wriggle out «f the principles that a little time before he had preached to the whole world. He (the speaker) smiled as he inflicted punishment on that man under which he writhed, whilst Mr. Balfour and the whole Tory benches rippled with laughter. That was not personalities. There was not the slightest doubt that thev had got some hard work before them in the House of Commons, but when the Tories tried to make out that they could not go on with a majority of 40. he could appeal to many incidents in the political history, which contradicted the assertion. The great Reform Bill of '32 was passed by a majority of one: and those who studied the political history of their country knew that one of the greatest criminal act-! of the country—the Act of Habea.,t Corpv*—was passed by a majority of only one. He had found one or two other curious incidents of what had been done by small majorities. In one division, where a Bill was supposed to be carried by a majority of eleven. it was found out that one of the tellers had counted a very big man as ten. (Laughter.) There was another famous division, when, after being in power for nearly 40 years. Sir Robert Walpole was overthrowll by a majority of three. The impeach- ment of Diindias, Pitt's great lieutenant. was carried by a majority of two or three. Mr. Williams gave some amusing incidents of the effect of port wine on Pitt and Dundias, and as to the state of the House of Commons in 1805 when Pitt was in power. He found the great defect of their party at the present momentrwas that they were not sufficiently students of tbe past history of their own country. This was not desirable. It was for the Tory party to try and hoodwink the country, and. suggest what with a majority of 40 they should try to carry. He believed from all he could see this new Parliament'was going to be one of the most famous Parliaments they had ever had. (Applause.) Of course nothing but the unexpected happened in politics, and changes might happen which might bring them to the country again, but his impression was that if they put forward side by side with the Home Rule Bill measures abolishing a plurality of votes, a proper system of registration Bill, and that in that Bill they made it sure that every man should not be deprived of his vote. and a measure by which the expenses of elections should be put upon the rates -if with these measures they were at the same time vigilant, active, determined, and stuck to their post, he did not see why they should come to the country again until these measures were past, and a Home Rule Bill brought in. They must face the chances of the House of Lords throwing out this measure, but anyone who had read the history of the Upper Chamber carefully would hesitate to say whether they would do so or not. One did not like to use even the suspicion of a threat, and that the best thing was to refer to the history of the past. and they wO'lld find that this House of Lords had never ventured to refuse to give what it saw the county must and would have, and he therefore had the hopes that in this case the House of Lords would have the sense to give way in time, and not defend the public opinion. (Hear, hear.) As to the affairs in the House of Commons he believed that nothing had been said, he was sorry to .say, en the measure which they had placed second on the programme for the next Parliament. He said and repeated to them in all seriousness that they should take care that their measure of Disestablishment was not postponed until these other measures were dealt with. It was his personal feeling that they should insist that this measure should be dealt with: and if they were united— as he had no doubt they would be—they would give great support to the Liberal Government, but they would give a greater support still if they found this measure of their own was introduced without delay. (Applause.) The only measure about which there seemed some doubt was the pay- ment of members of Parliament. It should be brought in as soon as possible, and he did not know whether they would return to the old safeguards when members of Parliament received wages. They were paid down to the time of the Restoration. That old Radical. Andrew Smith, got his wages paid by the borough of Hull, which he represented in the reign of Edward III. They were told their wages were kept back from several members because they had neglected their work. and in the reign of Henry VIII. it was enacted that no mem- bers have the right to buy their expenses but those who sat to the end of the ses- sion, such only excepted who had leave to depart, and they had their expenses paid to the time of their departure, provided they returned to their duty. In Queen Elizabeth's reign the list was handed in to the Clerk of the Crown of those who had not attended Parliament, with in- struction to pay them no wages: and several knights of the shires were lined £ 20—equal to £310 of our. money to-day; and some burgesses were fined £ 10. They paid them their wages, but made them work. (Laughter.) He was very much amused by the fact that the gentlemen of England were saying the House of Commons were not gentlemen now as in the times when only gentlemen were allowed to sit in the House of Commons — the House of the people — and it was scarcely credit- able to the time of Elizabeth that men were sent about their business because they could not pro- duce the coats of arms. Those old records indi- cated to him the style of their manners up to the times of the four Georges, and the manners of the House of Commons of to-day were far better than the manners of the House of Commons of the Charles down to the death of the first gentleman of Europe. George IV. It was quite clear that the manners of those House of Commons were in- finitely more coarse than those of the House to which he belonged, in which there were no finer gentlemen than his friends Mr. Burt and Mabon. (Applause.) There was a quotation in one of Pepy's Diaries, in which the Secretary to the Ad- miralty said. My speech being very long, a good many went out and came back after dinner, very drunk and disorderly." He said from close observations of the manners of those who sat on the democratic side of the House they were more intelligent and courteous than those who sat on the Tory side of the House. (Applause.) Mr. Williams, in conclusion, alluded to the four contested contests he had gone through, and under the strong feelings of irrita- tion he had never used personalities. They would carry on their battle in South Glamor- gan in a truly Liberal spirit, and the only thing they had to consider was how were they to retain the majority, for that he would always get, but how were they to infuse into the great body of his supporters that live earnestness the true element of Liberalism-how were they to be got to think and judge rightly, and to take a great interest in political questions. They were not doing that properly. They ought to have something in the shape of missionaries by whom they could bring before the working men the past and future of the country, and so that should interest them in these great questions. He should be pleased to assist and forward their efforts in every way. (Ap- plause.) After Mr. Harry Inch had sang a song, Mr. J. J. Moon proposed The Trade of the Dis- trict," coupled with the names of Mr. Benjamin Lewis and Mr. Miller. He could not but be very heartily pleased with the rapid strides the district was making, and he trusted that ere long they would be even more greatly surprised with the greater developement of the place. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Miller said the district was a new one, and they had to work very hard. although it was a splendid district to work in. He should like to see the -trade going on a more rapidly than at present, and with greater prosperity. People came and looked at the Dock and said This is the place to trade in," and went away with the impression that all the trade of the country was done there. That was a mistake, but it was the place of the future. (Hear, hear.)—Mr. Benjamin Lewis said it was a rather remarkable thing to him that at neatly every dinner since the opening of the Barry Dock he had been expected to say something about the trade of the district. If they spoke to some people about the trade of the place, they said it was very bad, and getting worse every week. It had got so bad that some of the tradesmen were getting out of it, and others would go. What with the number of those gentlemen who object to spend their money with the tradesmen, and the large number of tradespeople the trade was never good. In Cadox- ton there was more foolish trading done than in Cardiff. He should like to see come into the dis- trict some kind of manufactory. There was a good scope for employment there. There was a very bright future before them as working men and tradespeople of the district. (Applause.) The Chairman at this stage of the proceedings mentioned that he had received letters regretting inability to attend from Mr. E. R. Moxey. J.P., in which Mr. Moxey said it was a grand thing that they did not return a single Tory or so- called Unionist for the whole county; from Mr. John Cory. Porthkerry Park, who said they had his best wishes for a good meeting, and expressing his sense of the hearty appreciation of the services which had been rendered to the cause of Liberal- ism by the working men during the past election and Mr. Clifford Cory, who expressed his great regret at being prevented attending. Mr. D. J. Lloyd proposed the toast of "The Barry and District Liberal Association." They all knew nothing could be done unless there was unity, and by unity they should have which he was sorry to say they had not, they ought to be able to send in their member not by 900 but by something after the style of Merthyr. (Applause.) He should like, during the coming winter, for the Liberal Association to be asked to meet, to get up lectures and entertainments. There was a lack of interest which was not in their Association alone, unfortunately. An idea prevailed that only in the times of election they were wanted to take an interest in politics if they held discussions and read papers at their meetings they would be enabled to cultivate and bring themselves to con- sider questions of importance. He saw in the SOUTH WALES STAR a leader with which he could not agree. That leader said the Welsh party held the key of the situation. That was nonsense. The Welsh party had only 30 voters in the House of Commons, and they could say that of the Scotch and Irish. If those 30 votes were to be taken from Mr. Gladstone it was a shame. The Welsh members were not only sent to Parliament to protect Welshmen but to support Mr. Gladstone himself. The Welsh questions were second to the Home Rule measure, which the grand old man was trying to pass in his 83rd year with a genius the world had never seen before. (Applause.) Mr. Alderman Meggitt, in responding, said the reason that had brought them together was to see each others faces as Liberals, and it was a good thing in the end. He responded with a great deal of pleasure to the toast. The Association had the possibility of a great amount of work in It, I and he thought the members should help to return the member who deserved this of the Liberals of the whole district. They could rank the seat in South Glamorgan as a safe seat, but that was no earthly reason why they should not make any efforts. Only that week in the course of conversa- tion with a gentleman who was present at the counting of the votes, who informed him that only in three polling stations were there majorities of votes cast for Sir Morgan. There were twenty-two polling stations and nineteen of these cast majori- ties for the Liberal candidate, and the majority in Barry and Cadoxton was large in the approximate figures. That was no reason why they should rest upon their laurels they should seek to educate their young men and educate themselves. If they could meet together and have debates, and that kind of thing, those who left them would do so im bued with those I ideas which they would seek to implant in the district in which they went to live. The majority would have been larger but for the kind of feeling that the seat was perfectly safe. and that one vote more or les would not make much difference. The small majority thev had in the House of Commons would tend to make the Liberal party more active and alert than if they had had a majority. If the parties were more equal in this district then they would work harder and be determined to win. The object of their association was of course to inculcate Liberal principles in the minds of all. What were those principles' They had a Local Board, which was for the sanitary and local matters, a School Board which was for the training of the young, and they had other corporate bodies and places of worship, all with definite objects in view and a Liberal Association for the dissemination of Liberal ideas. In that association they should come together on one level; there should be no seeking of place for the gratification of personal ambition, and they should aim for the promotion of everything that would tend to elevate their fellow-beings to a higher level to that in which they moved. He was a Liberal because the Liberal party was prepared to support those measures which tended for the well-being of the people and they should seek for themselves individually to cultivate every idea that would tend to broaden their views and lift them all from their present position to a higher moral and social position. The Liberal party in the past had done that duty well and faithfully, and they were to continue that work and make the country better than it has ever been before. If the Liberals could come together, have debates. read the history of their own country they would get more knowledge, more intellectual capacity, they would fulfil the purpose of their Liberal Association much better than by merely meeting to register when elections came round. He did not want them to be Liberals only in name. He could not help thinking that if the association were determined and resolute in seeing that Liberal principles were brought forward and instilled into their fellow-men, they would have a much better Liberal Association than they had to-day. He hoped they would make a point of bringing all Liberal members to their meetings, so that they might elect on the committee those men who were ready to work. There were names upon the books of the association of gentlemen who had not at- tended a single meeting. That was wrong. He should like to see life in the association, and that could :not be if the members were backward in coming forward. They should look at the ideal, not at what their opponents were doing, and seek to have a vigorous association in their midst; and if they all blended their efforts towards this end they would be better prepared to discuss the ques- tion why they were Liberals, and he would like to put the association on a higher standard than some political institutions he should like it to be a humanising association. There were many evils to be removed, not by Act of Parliament. They should seek to rise the standard of living. He was a Liberal because he was firmly convinced that by Liberalism they could make their fellow- men better in every sense of the word. He begged to offer their congratulations to Mr. A. J. Williams, M.P., on obtaining such a grand majority the other week. Mr. W. J. Flowers added a few words, and said he trusted that not only would public meetings be held, but private public ones in some institution of their own. Mr. Harry Inch proposed the toast of The Press." Those who read the SOUTH WALES STAR must be struck with the really good articles appearing in it. There had been something in the articles which opened their eyes, and they were appreciated not only by himself but by many others. (Applause.) Ms. W. Llewellyn Williams, editor of the SOUTH WALES STAR, said he had responded for the Press many times, but never with more pleasure than on that occasion. For himself, whilst recognising that one of the objects of a newspaper should be to give news, and perhaps even.a little gossip and mild scandal, he thought it had a higher mission, to instruct and elevate as well as to amuse. Since he had been the editor of the SOUTH WALES STAR he had always done his level best to teach Liberal principles, and he could answer for the promoters, of whom Mr. A. J. Williams was chairman, that the only object in starting the paper was to further Liberal ideas. Mr. Lloyd had alluded to a leader he had written saying that the Welsh members held the balance of power in the House of Commons, they certainly did. Since 1868 they had been at issue at every general election more or less on the question of Church Disestablishment alone. They had returned 31 out of 34 members pledged to Disestablishment, and, in common fairness to Wales, the Disestab- lishment of the Church should be placed second on the programme. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Llewellyn, editor of the Barry Dock News, also responded. Mr. F. W. Taylor proposed "The Hostesses," and said the way in which the dinner had been pro- vide 1 reflected credit on them. 119 Mr. Alderman Meggitt proposed The Chair- man," and the toast was received with three times three. Mr. A. J. Williams returned thanks on behalf of himself and also on behalf of The Hostesses," and the proceedings terminated after a most enjoyable time had been -spent.

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