Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

THE SUSPENSORY BILL.

News
Cite
Share

THE SUSPENSORY BILL. ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT THE MARKET HALL, CADOXTON. SPEECH BY MR. ARTHUR J. WILLIAMS, M.P. On Tuesday evening a counter-blast was given by the supporters of Disestablishment and the Suspensory Bill to the meeting held the preced- ing evening at the Market-hall, Barry. Mr. A. J. Williams. M.P.. for South Glamorgan, presided over a large and enthusiastic attendance. The ho a. gentleman was supported on the platform by the Rev. J. W. Matthews (Swansea), Rev. W. William?, Mr. W. Williams, Rev. Jenkins, M.A. (St. David's), Rev. J. Matthews (president of the Young Wales Society, under the auspices of which society the meeting was held), Rev. Morris Isaac, Rev. J. Tibbott. Dr. Lloyd Edwards, Mr. J. L. Da vies, Mrs. Williams, Miss David, and amongst I those present were Miss S. B. Thomas, the Misses Davies, Rev. Christmas Lewis, Rev. Llechidon Williams, Rev. Du Heaume, Mr. and Mrs. John Rees, Mr. W. Phillips, Mr. C. Howe, Mr. J. 0. Davies. Mr. Morgan Davies, Mr. Edward Rees, Mr. J. Jones (Holton-road), Mr. Jones (book- seller). Mr. Jones (Newland-street). Mr. YV. D. Jenkins, Mr. Menatoa. Mr. Atwell, Mr. D. Morgan, Mr. DayKl ftses, Mr, Thomas (Vere-street), &c. Mr. A, J. Williams, M,PM who on rising was greeted with much enthusiasm, said he was there as they saw in the flesh, but he must honestly that his heart at that moment was else- Was hot a^ai'e, lie had no idea, when I he undertook to be present and preside at that meeting—he WM under the impression that they i (the House of Commons) were to be freed from I their duties in London, but. unfortunatsly, as they knew, things had passed in the House of Commons which had interfered with their arrangements, and that eight he expected THE LIBERAL PAnty IN THE HOUSE OF OO^MOX3 WAS DOIXG ITS DUTY. One comfort he had, that his abience would not diminish the force of their party; he had paired -(applause and laughter)-had neutralised the Tory vote, and consequently was there with a clear conscience. (Hear, hear.) He was iglad to be there because he thought it was a stage in their Welsh history, and at that particular crisis in their political history it was very important that they—the Welsh Liberals—should make it quite clear not only to those whom they sent to the House of Commons, but to the country at large that their earnestness in that great question- religious equality—was not abated. (Applause.) That their determination to have their just rights accorded to them, was as strong—nay stronger— than it had ever been before. He was present, as they all knew, the previous afternoon at a very historical meeting in the Foreign Office, that great building upon which so much of their money had been wasted. It answered, occasionally useful purposes, and on the previous afternoon it answered a splendid purpose. There were assembled in that great room a gathering of men, strong, united, determined and earnest, such a gathering of good SOUND UNCOMPROMISING LIBERALS, as made him proud to be a member of that party. —(Loud cheers). There was assembled not only the parfy.. the rank and file—humble members like himself, but there sat round the table a body of ministers who, taking them all in all, could not be beaten in the history of any Liberal Govern- ment—(hear, hear)-and at their head there sat, stately and dignified, with all his mighty power of intellect and oratory,that great statesman whom to hear-as even their strongest opponents admitted, and admitted with real generous recog- nition—to hear was one of the greatest privileges in such political life. It was a grand occasion it would live in the history of that country it would live in the history of the Liberal party, and leave an indelible impression upon the course of English Liberal political history, for although he sat with hat stately courtesy, that grace and dignity, good- humoured complaisance up to a certain point, ol' their great leader came and told them that to pass that measure through the House of Commons he must call upon them to LA.Y ASIDE ALL THEIR BUSINESS OF PRIVATE INTEREST for that measure, and to give them their interest and unconpromising support until they. had passed that measure of justice to Ireland for which they had striven, and for which the people of that great nation had given them a good working majority. (Applause.) They had heard a great deal in the Tory press about the internal dissen- sious of the Liberal party and the Liberal represen- tatives in the House of Commons—(laughter)—but when it came to a real question of their duty to their great oause they did not hesitate for one moment, and he did not think anything was heard in the Foreign Office so striking and impres- sive as the ringing cheers which hailed the announcement that they must* stand shoulder to shoulder, and give up every- thing in order that their great Statesman might carry on the legislation on this great motion he had undertaken. (Hear, hear.) Now he admitted there was one slight jar they all agreed that they would follow loyally and unreservedly their great leader, and that the first business they had to do was to get the Home Rale Bill through the House of Commons. There were, as Mr. Gladstone told them. measures of the greatest importance, pressing, beueficient, and progressive legislation for tho great body of the people ever brought forward by a Liberal Government, perhaps with the exception of 1838, there was this great programme to be carried forward also when once Home Rulo had been dealt with, and he was sure from what he had.seen that their leaders in the House of Commons would do what they had already done in the short 1 period of the Session, leave nothing undone to bring I forward all these great measures. (Hear, hear, and applause.) He was concerned with nothing more, as he was persuaded from what he had seen ] of the way in which these Bills had been brought that they would to the best of the r ability i loyally perform their pledges to England, Ireland, Scotland, and ast, but not least, to Wales. (Loud J applause.) He was firmly convinced that they < .aeed not urge their leaders £ i TO PASS THAT LITTLE MEASURE FOR WALES. They would do it if they could, and they, the little band of Welshmen in the House of Commons, were standing ready, in season and out of season, to further any opportunity for carrying that Bill. (Applause.) He knew a great many of his Liberal colleagues in the House-Englishmen and Scotchmen-and he told them they were ready to help them to do this work. He was sure, in the present condition and temper of the Liberal party throughout the Kingdom there was a deter- mination that Wales shall, if it chooses, have a chance, and he thought there was a good chance- almost a certainty-of carrying it. (Loud applause.) Nobody could understand, who had not aat in the House until late hours in the night, or rather morning, the obstacles placed in the way of legisla- tion by the opposition. Mr. Williams then alluded to the wanton waste of time on the part of the opposition, and said the night previous men who professed to be the leaders of the late Government got up one after the other, like squabbling schoolboys, instead of members, to excuse themselves for having waited the energies of the greatest assembly in the world. They had these difficulties to contend with, but they were going to pass the Suspensory Bill. (Loud applause.) It was not a big Bill-it was only a few lines almost -and did not afford many pegs to rest obstruc- tion upon. The great principle of the thing was the one thing they had to discuss, and the great principle had been confirmed by the majority of the United Kingdom. (Hear, hear, and applause.) They had nothing to fear except the assembly which did not represent any single man in the kingdom—there was their diffi- culty. Since this Suspensory Bill had been before the House, he had received a number of communi- cations from their Conservative opponents, from j meeting: of Primrose Habitations, and what was called parish meetings. They had sent resolutions by members of the Primrose Habitations, and by the parishioners of various parishes, in which they PROTESTED AGAINST THE PRINCIPLES OF THE THE SUSPISNSORX 1UJ.JU Upon two grounds, oiie that it was unjust in principle, and the other that it would be disastrous in its effect upon religion. Upon the question of principle he was not going to waste their time, as the question of principle had been pretty well worked out in the great question of equality. They said that it would be disastrous in its effect upon religion in Wales. How, he wanted to know, was it gsing to be disastrous in its effect upon religion in Wales ? He failed to see it, and he would not give conscientious support to any measure which he thought in principle to be unjust. The experience of the Church of England in Ireland since its Disestablishment convinced him that Disestablish- ment in Wales-whatever it might be-was not likely to be injurious to religion in any shape or form. Mr. Williams next quoted from a speech of the late Dean of Bangor in 1883, which said that five-sixths of the million of Welsh-speaking in- habitants of Wales were outside the Church. Well, if they Disestablished the Church, at all events he thought it was pretty plain, this five-sixths being outside the Church, whatever they did to the Church was not going to injure more than one-sixth of the Welsh people, putting the figures as high as the Dean of Bangor. Take away," said the Dean of Bangor in his famous peroration, Take away if you will the privileges of the Church, take away her endow- ments, but give her back that living ministry that can warm the hearts of the Welsh people, that warm religious heart and soul, which had been chilled out of the Church, which had built three thousand shrines, and given £ 300,000 a year for God." (Applause.) This was the five-sixths of the Welsh-speaking million to which the Dean referred, would it hurt them ? (Applause.) To disestablish that rich, enormously rich one-sixth part, would it hurt them to take away the endow- ments from the great landed squires and lords, of which that one-sixth was mainly composed, with those who lived about them and under their per- sonal influence ? WOULD IT HURT THE GREAT BODY OF WELSH PEOPLE ? Would it lessen their deep,warm, religious affections and sentiments ? Would it lessen their generous devotion ? Would it lessen their desire and deter- mination to, out of their small weekly pittances, contribute towards their churches, and, in the words of the Dean, to consecrate and give £300,000 a year ? Not, it would not do any harm. (Loud and continued applause.) Mr. Williams then quoted from a num- ber of articles written in the If astern Mail by u special correspondent who had visited the whole of Ireland, to show that the Church of England in Ireland had benefitted by its Disestablishment. The laity had now a share in the Church management, they all worked for the Church in a different spirit, took a warm interest in her welfare, and had d«arnt to give liberally towaads her maintenance. Such would it be with the Church in Wales. Might he im- plore those friends of his who inundated him with those dispairing letters to take comfort from the Western Mail—(loud laughter)—by reading the correspondent's account of what had been done. He earnestly hoped the measure would not be delayed. Disendowment and Dises- tablishment would immediately follow the Suspen- sory Act, then they would see, as in Ireland, the Church not relying only on its great centres like Cardiff but on the voluntary efforts, given from the hearts and given from the souls of Church- men. (Applause.) THE RESOLUTION. The Rev. J. W. Matthews, Bethel Church, Court- road, moved the first resolution That this meeting expresses its great pleasure at the introduction of the Wales and Monmouth- shire Suspensory Bill into the House of Com- mons, and hopes that the representatives of Wales and Monmouthshire will do all in their power to ensure its passing through all its stages during the present session of Parliament, and at the eailiest opportunity a complete measure of Disestablishment and Disendowment will be brought forward and passed into law. He could move that resolution from a Christian standpoint—(hear, hear)—he had heard that it was said in the meeting held at Barry the preced- ing night that the protest made by them, the Church friends was a protest from a Christian stand-point against the Suspensory Bill. He wished to say he could equally take that Christian stand- point in supporting the Suspensory Bill. (Hear, hear.) The Suspensory Bill was said last night to be nothing but a prelude to Disestablishment and Disendowment. Well, we see that the prelude occasions great distress to the Church party they don't like the first part of the song, what about the part which was to follow. The Suspensory Bill would not stop the work, it would not stop until the work had been completed. (Ap- plause.) It would be very unwise and unfair to stop until a complete measure had been brought in for the Disestablishment and Disendowment of tho Church. (Applause.) At the preceding night's meeting good eounsel was given to the meeting by General Lee—a most estimable gentleman, a gentleman they all respected and liked throughout the neighbourhood—(hear, hear)—and he asked the Churchpeople in the distriat to lay it to heart. They would do no good by hurling accusations against those who differed from them, or by imputing unfair motives to them. (Hear, hear.) Well, there was a clergyman who lived not far from where he was standing who not long ago preached a sermon from the text, On this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The clergyman in his sermon said the church in that verse was the Church of England, and the gates of hell were the Noncon- formists, and they should not prevail against her. (Laughter.) If that was not hurling accusa- tions against Nonconformists he did not know what accusations were. It was said last night that they could send protests to Parliament against the Bill in favour of this Suspensory Bill. lie was -lad General Lee compared the petitionersto stones. He said in India there were heaps of stones by the wayside in rememberance of something which iiad occurred there, and the people as they passed idded stones to the heap. So the heaps grew, and :n the same way the friends of the Church could tdd to the heap of petitions forwarded to Parlia- ment. The comparison was a. very neat one, to compare those people's names to the stone-; in !avour of the Bill, They knew that stones wee) dead, inanimate things, and all these names against this Suspensory Bill, all who signed the ,t" r!l petition, according to General Lee, will be reckoned as stones, and all they hoped was that they would have the same effect as stones when the Bill was taken into the House of Commons. (Laughter.) Mr. Watkin Williams (Barry) seconded the motion. Sometimes they felt they were doing perhaps what they ought not to do, and sometimes they felt doubtful about the correct road to take, but they were quite satisfied in their own minds as to what they ought to do now—(applause)—and in seconding a resolution of that kind such a doubt did not cross his mind at all. (Hear, hear.) Their friends of the Church said they spoke harshly of them on Nonconformist platforms, but he was sure nothing harsher was said of them than by the professing friends of the Church in these latter days. In opposing the first reading of the Bill, a great man said if that Bill was passed the effect would be that clergymen would not accept appoint- ments because those appointments would not be secure except for one year. Now were they to accept that statement, which was to the effect that the clergy of the Church of England were in such a miserable condition. If so, the sooner the better such members were cast out, and if by the passing of the Suspensory Bill it had the effect of sending these people out of the Church it would be the greatest blessing the Church of England had ever received. He could stand up as a friend of the Church, and say he believed that the Bill would have a good effect, and be instrumental in getting men into the Church more worthy of the high calling. (Applause.) The Chairman next called upon the Rev. J. Matthews, (Swansea) to address the meeting, and said that atl the conclusion Mr. Matthews would be pleased to answer any questions. J The Rev. J. Matthews next addressed the meet- ing in Welsh, and after addressing a few words in English he announced that the Chairman had to leave, and called for a hearty cheer for him. This having been given, the Rev. J, Matthews took the Ghair, anfl Mr, WiUiaros left, Wifv WAS THE MfcistffcB BROUGHT FORWARD asked Mr. Matthews, as soon as the meeting had again settled down. It was brought forward, he said, because of the scandalous work done in connection with the Church in Ireland when it was disestablished and disendowed. As a. few instances of what was done at that time, the speaker said the Bill was passed in 1869, but did not come into force until seventeen months after- wards—January, 1371. When the Bill was brought forward in 1850 there were 500 curates in Ireland, but in seventeen months no less than 400 were added to that number, bringing the total number to 900. -That wholesale manufacture of curates was done in order to secure as much of the nation's money as possible when the Act oame into operation. It was proved that a few days before the Act became law, in one case a curate was ordained by a bishop, and he then made claim to £ 120 per year, although he had not had the opportunity of preaching a Sunday sermon. That meant £ 1,911 to the nation to secure for him an annuity. Another case cost £1,582, and at the" same time, and within three days of the Act coming into force, a deacon got £1,903 for the country. They were told that the Suspensory Bill would rob the Church but he contended that it was A BILL TO PREVENT ROBBERY. (Applause.) A nation could be robbed as well as a Church, and in order to prevent the Church in Wales robbing the nation like the Irish Church had done, the Welsh Suspensory Bill was brought forward. (Applause.) The Government had also declared that it would lead up to Disestablishment and Disendowment the next time. Because they pleaded for these things the Nonconformists were called bad names by the Church. He had not a report of the meeting of the previous evening, but he had read what Canon Thompson had to say upon the subject. That gentleman said that the Church of England and the Church in Wales were one, and that in Wales there were only four western dioceses of England. He was glad that the friends of the Church had become intelligent at last. (Laughter and applause.) The Welsh people had all along said the WELSH CHURCH WAS ONLY FOUR LEGS OF THE ENGLISH BODY. (Applause.) They had always said that they had enough to manage their own body. He could not help referring to the fact that while travelling with a friend in a railway carriage, a third party, who was not quite sober, placed his legs across his friends, and refused to take them off until at last his friend threw them off, thereby disestab- lishing them. Now, the Church in Wales had enough to carry their own legs without having the four legs of a foreign body. It was Dr. Rees, of Swansea, who told the story of a, boy from Cardiganshire who was a mystery to all the local doctors, as he could not walk. A London doctor was consulted, and he gave his opinion that the boy was all right, and would walk if he were given a shock. That shocklwas at last given. The boy was being carried across a field on the shoulders of his brother when a bull hove in sight. The brother dropped the boy, and he found his feet and reached the hedge first. (Laughter.) That was just like the Welsh Church. It had been carried on its brother's shoulders for many years. IT HAD A GOOD PAIR OP LEGS, and was able to walk, but it required a-shock to bring it about. They were ready to give it that shock, for the Church and Christ required not the crutches of a State to rest upon. (Applause.) They eould do away with the legs without destroying the body. It was said by Canon Thompson that the Suspensory Bill was intended to bleed the body before it was destroyed. It was nothing of the kind. They wanted to do away with everything of a political kind. (Applause.) The Church of Christ was founded upon a rock, and if the Established Church could not stand, it was not the Church of Jesus Christ. (Applause.1) He believed the Church of England to be a branch of the Church of the Lord, but they must take away from it all that was connected with any other bodies. (Applause.) Disestablishment and Disendowment would be a great blessing td the Church of England in Wales, as it had to the Church in Ireland. Canon Thompson said the question had not been before the people. Where had he been living ? Had not the Nonconformists made it A TEST QUESTION FOR SEVERAL ELECTIONS? (Applause.) Even Lord Salisbury, who lived away in England, knew better than that, and had said that it was not upon Home Rule, but Disestablish- ment. that the people of Wales sent up such a large majority of Liberals. Yes, and the question had been settled by the people long, long ago, and they were only waiting for it to be settled once for all. Again, Canon Thompson said the Suspensory Bill would be disastrous to the cause of religion in Wales. It meant that the parsons would jack up work, and so to speak go on strike. (Laughter.) Personally, he believed, they would work all the better. But if the parsons did jack up work Wales would not sink down to the depth of. heathenism. What was the condition of Wales when left in the hands of the Church ? Had not the late Bishon of St. Asaph said that if it had not been for -the Dissenters of Wales the country would have been in a state of heathenism. (Applause.) Lord Aberdare had said almost the same thing, and even when the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Church Conference at Swansea had asked why it was that there were so many chapels about, Sir Hussey Vivian plainly told him that the voluntary system appealed to the people more than the other. IT WAS THE NONCONFORMIST BODIES WHO HAD KEPT THE RELIGION OF CHRIST ALIVE in the land, and had been able to cover the country with places of worship among a nation which gave about £300.000 annually to an English Church. (Applause.) Personally, he. believed Canon Thompson to be one of the finest men in the Established Church, a man of singular ability, and who could command an excellent congregation in any part of the world. He could speak well on any question except that of the Church. (Laughter and applause.) There was a dividing line between the Church and Disssnters far greater than between Tory and Liberal. They found many Liberals good Churchmen, and occasionally they found a Tory Dissenter. Why was it that they did not see the Church and the Nonconformists joining together like the latter bodies annual did ? No, the Church was like the spoiled child of a family. It got all tke good things while the rest of the family had to bear the expense, and take all the black looks. j THB NONCONFORMISTS WERE A .BODY TOLERATED IN THE LAND. It was because they were too numerous that the Act of Toleration was passed. They wanted some- thing more than that, and where did the con- sistency come in. In Scotland the Presbyterians were the Established Church, while in England and Wales it was the Episcopalians. (Applause.) Did not they all pay their rates and taxes, and yet the Nonconformists were only tolerated, and they would have it. Their forefathers had fought for religious, equality, and now they were determined to carry Disestablishment and Disendowment. (Ap- plause.) The resolution, on being put to the meeting, was carried, four only voting against it. NO TICKETS. The Chairman invited questions or si)peches from the other side, and reminded those assembled that the meeting was free, and no tickets. But no one responded. The Rev. W. Tibbott next moved, in Welsh, a resolution condemning the system by which sig- natures had been obtained to the petitions against the Suspensory Bill. Mr. J. D. Davies seconded, and it was carried almost unanimously. I This brought the meeting to a close.

A GLANCE AROUND CADOXTON,…

PRESENTATION TO EX-INSPECTOR…

LOCAL BOARD ELECTION.I ,

CORRESPONDENCE.

THE BARRY STRING BAND.

Advertising