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MR WATKIX WILLIAMS, M.P., AT WREXHAM. On Tuesday night, Mr Watkin Williams, M.P. for the Denbighshire boroughs, addressed a portion of his consti- tuency in the Town Hall, Wrexham. There was a crowded attendance. Mr Charles Hughes presided. Mr WATKIN WILLIAMS, who was enthusiastically re- ceived, said that since the last session of Parliament events of the most startling character had taken place on the Continent of Europe, and had so far eclipsed everything of public interest in this country, and Lad thrown back everything that took place in the last session of Parlia- ment to such a distance of time, that it appeared to be years ago since it took place. The first great measure that was passed was the Irish Land Bill, which he hoped would result in an improved relation between the land- lords and tenantry of Ireland, and also an improved con- dition of the people cf Ireland. The next great measure was the Education Act, with respect to which he should have liked to have seen the leaving of the teaching of reli- gion to the Christian churches which abounded in this country. That, however, might be made the subject of amendment in the next session of Parliament. There was one measure about which a great deal of misconception had existed with regard to the part that he took in it, and that was the Sunday Trading Bill. That Bill was brought from the House of Lords into the House of Commons at about two o'clock in the morning, and therefore the people had not much idea what it was about. The object of the Bill was to introduce a certain laxity in Sunday trading. It was confined to large cities of 10,000 inhabi- tants, and it prohibited the sale of certain things in shops that were generally kept open in those large ] laces. He objected to that Bill because be believed it to be a thorough Pharisaical and unjust Bill. It allowed the rich to buy their poultry and their wines on Sundav, and the only people it meddled with v/ere the poorest 'classes of the community. He objected to a Bill which would touch the poor and leave the rich unaffected. (Applause.) He knew people who gave champagne dinners on Sundays, and employed sen ants, and he therefore said if they were sincere about this Bill, let them carry it out thoroughly, and he proposed a clause that no one should give those grand entertainments and make their grooms clean their horses on the Sunday. The effect was that his amend- ment extinguished the Bill. (Applause.) With respect to the disestablishment and the disendowment of the church in Wales, he had told them before in that room that in bringing forward that question he had two objects in view, the first of which was to obtain a hearing upon the question, and the second was to open it for discussion. When he brought it before the House of Commons, he received the most kind hearing; but as regarded the ventilating and re- opening of the question, he was told that his principle was most ill-judged and premature, and that he was injuring the cause. What, however, was the result ? After bringing it before the House of Commons, in less than four months Mr Miall, the leader of the nonconform- ists, gave notice of his intention to bring forward a mea- sure for the disestablishment of the church in Enziand. Mr Miall had no sooner done this than the people of Scot- land called a meeting and asked why he had left them out, and they sent a deputation to ask him to consent to include Scotland in his motion, and he consented t' > do so. So far, therefore, from having retarded the movement, in less than twelve months England and Scotland had taken it up, and he prophesied that in less than twelve rao-iths it would be brought forward and he should support Mr Miall in his motion. (Applause.) Next refprrincr to the war on the continent, Mr Williams said that his mind was oppressed about the stupendous events which had arisen during the last six months. A fearful war, probably the most unspeakably tragic that had ever happened in the history of the human race, could notbe without the deepest interest to all of us, whether it was for the svmpathy which we must have for the people of those countries which had been dragged into this mutual destruction, or whether it was for the lessons which we must ourselves learn by those events. It was certainly one of those things which would engage the attention of Parliament in the next ses- sion. The question we had to consider was what had we to d 1 for ourselves, and what lessons had we to read from these events. There were some people who would tell us that the circumstance of two of the leading and most powerful of the nations in the civilized world beinsr plunged into the most unjustifiable war that the world had ever seen would lead us to the conclusion that the notion of having general peace in the world, and of having our dis- putes referred to arbitration, was gone for ever, and that we were as far removed from the blessings of peace and civilization as people were hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago. After a careful studv of the subject he did not take that gloomy view of it. He believed that this war had not been brought about bv the same evil passions which existed in former days, but that it wns due to what might be called an accident. The view he took of it was this On one side there was France suffering from all the evil effects of protracted personal rule. Napoleon for twenty years had exercised absolute and per- sonal rule, and, in order to maintain his d vnastv and to stem the tide of popular government which was rising in r ranee, he was compelled, by whst turned out to be a mi-guided idea, to appeal to the worst and vilest feelinars of the people. With regard to the German peonle. they had endeavoured to develop their national unity, and in fn^lreJ^. agamst their own feelings anl instinctst, taey had been driven to throw themselves into the military- government of Prussia in order to protect themselves against the unfair rivalry of Napoleon. If that was a true view of it. then we need not take the Roomiest view of the war, because if people would determine not to be led by the nose in this way and were led to beliexethat they had their destinies in their own hands, then he believed that Peace could be accomplished. With respect to the question as to what we should do, his impression was that England had no need of any apprehonsi 1]1 what- ever. —(A-'fiyhtuse.) It must not be imagined that he was placing his trusl -ITT- the good intentions of anv Govern- ments, for we had seen the faith and the honour of nations in the last few m on tin? ,'29 far as their adherence to treaties was concerned, were not w'f^h the paner they were written upmi. The greatest enemf that England had to fear. France, was prostrate at the present tirae. and would probably not be in a condition to give an" trn' tor a whole century. Germany had also suffered too much to give any attention to a nation like ourselves. In the next place, England was isolated, and our crreat safe- guard was our fleet, and, from its numbers and eauip- ment and efficiency at the present moment, it was more than equal to all the fleets of the world opposed to us. (Applause.) With regard to our armv. it was really a melancholy and humiliating reflection to have to say that it^ co»t us fourteen millions a year, and y-^t that it was often boastfully stated that it was the m-t inefficient in Lurope and that we could not put 50.000 men in the v>e • ve-i sPer]t more than double on our armv to what 1 russia did, and more than what France did. There mus. be something radically wrong in our arm v. and he sutured to say that we must have an armv reform Bill next session. We had gone on too long in the old system: the amount expended on the armv was greater than was spent in any other country in" Europe, nnd vet it was said that it was the most inefficient of any in Europe. { oriarn?. ) I here was no doubt but that the system of purchase and the -enormous sinecures held bv people of rank was at the root of the evil. He should be dan. to see those sinecures swept away. A person who held a high position in the army appeared to be the Greatest obstacle to all these reforms. (Applause.) Why should there not be in the army what there was in every other profession -every avenue open for promotion from the lowest to the highest? (Applause.) In the army it did not matter what ability a man had every impediment was put 111 his way. The fact was that a large number in the army could not stand competition if it was introduced. Were we to stand this, and at the same time be told the humiliating truth that our army was not worth anything and could not be depended upon ? The time for having great professional standing armies had come to an end. War was their trade, and the more powerful they were made the more they brought us into war. (Applause.) He was afraid, however, that we had not got to that point at which we could say we could secure peace by dis- arming. What should we, therefore, do ? He should like to see the attempt made to increase the efficiency of the volunteers and militia—to see more of the enormous sums of money spent upon them, and to have a highly organized nucleus of an army, which could make use of the militia and volunteers as a reserve. (Applause.) Next alluding to the subject of the ballot, Mr Williams said he had no doubt a Bill in favour of it would pass the second reading in the next session of Parliament He concluded by ex- pressing a hope that his constituents would give him credit for the intention and desire to serve them faith- fully and so long as they honoured him with their confi- dence, so long would he endeavour to do his duty towards them. (Applause.) Mr R. C. R AWLINS then proposed That this meeting, on a review of the parliamentary labours of Mr Watkin Williams, begs to express its approval of his public con- duct, and its confidence in his fitness to represent these boroughs, and also to thank him for his assiduous atten- tion to his duties." Mr LORD seconded the resolution, and it was carried unanimously. At the conclusion of the proceedings, a working man got up and said that a good deal had been stated about the great amount of money that had been spent on our armv and other services. He wished to know what Mr Watkin Williams intended doing when the House of Commons was asked to vote 930,000, and kG,000 a year to the Princess Louise. Mr WILLIAMS said it was a question he had i..t ,iven attention to, but the feeling he had was that the present was not the time to break through the precedent that had been established. When the other princesses marric-d their German princelings, they had their dowries without a word, and could they deny it when one of the Royal family was about to espouse an Englishman, a member of the House of Commons? (Hear, hear.) He lid not agree with those who, without a word, would expend enormous sums of money on princes and princesses, but he thought the present case was not one in which to effect a change. He concluded by passing a high encomium on the Marquis of Lome, not hesitating to say that the marriage would be one of happiness and joy.—The remarks seemed to give general satisfaction. o A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the meeting.



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