Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

32 articles on this Page







[No title]




[No title]











[No title]



A NEW LIBERAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE MEETHYJTT BOROUGHS. SPEECH BY MR CHARLES EERBEltT JAMES. On TV fdr-eecay Queuing a meeting WM held in Sarcn C.-fcpel, A oeranan, for the parpoy0 Qe moting the formation of a wiarMng Liberal Association f:w tb? There was a numercus aMendai ae. David«s Maeeyfljnon, pretidci^ t>.e principal speaker being Mr. Charlts Hjerh^' James, who has been selected by the No#coT,i<>imiats to conteat the Merthyr boroughs tfea forthcoming election. The CHAIKMA^, IN 4 few opening remarks in Welsh, said h<& feewtUy in the present movement, *«±r. HI. JONES, oollier, moved the ^f^f^oainion as follows That this meeting MMaDt that the spirited foreign policy of J? Government has a tendency to jeop-?? » peace of Europe, is detrimental to the w the nation, and that it is likely to bri English nation into contempt and ridicule estimation of European nations." Mr. CHAS. HERBERT JAMBS (who was receive with applause) seconded the resolution. He said it gave him great pleasure to come there oa an occasion like that, because he found they had apparently made up their minds to have what they called a Working Men's Liberal Association, so aa to keep themselves warm in respect to political matters. There was no doubt that in the future the householders of England, as ia: as they could see, would have the power in tW country, and this was £ matter of grave retp^finsr1^' o#t»> mc)*t serious things as ia^hmaU had to do, tile time came, to give hÍIf antl do the best for Ne country. was only intended for the good of the be governed. It was not intended for the good of one especially, whether higfe or low, but it WtK intended for the good of the whole '.communis. The great thing the English jsaople hM to co- sider was, how to obtain the greatest go ^d for tho greatest number. (Hear, hea^r,) But fet them see how they fared with regard to* their (govern- ment, for it appeared to him, as thr mover o< the resolution put it, that they were goiag from bad to worse. The present Government had five nut- lions in hand when they commenced business, ajcsl only a 2d. income tax. That five millions' was gone, and it appeared to him that from the day the present Government began office they had I gone from bad to worse, and from bad to worse again, and he did not think they could tell to what they were indebted to the taxes of the country. They did not mind about the money so much; on the whole, the people were rich in England, and the money could be got but the Government had done worse than soend money, they bad done all they could to change the con. stitutional usage of the country, and that, they might depend upon it, was a good deal more serious than spending money. The little wars in which they were engaged were at the root of the downfall of the country, and had done more to charge the Constitution of the Government than bad been done within 100 years before. (Hear, hear.) Now let them glauce at what bad been done. They called the present Government a personal Government. Now the Queen could do many things which the people would say were legal, but which would be quite unconstitutional. It was a matter the people did not understand thoroughly, that the Queen could do something which was perfectly legal according to law, and yet be utterly unconstitu- tional. Be had said something of the kind before in Merthyr, but he would like to say it again as far as he could. The Queen might make a regiment of soldiers, and put them into the House of Lords, and he did not know that there was any law to say she had done wrong. It was her privilege and prerogative to create peers, and if she had created peers in that way he did not know that there was any court of law that would tell her she bad done wrong. But the people would not hesitate to tell her that it was uncon. stitutional. If the Queen broke her bargain with them, the people should break their bargain with her. Loyalty and treason were oo-relative. He was thoroughly loyal to the Queen, and owed her service, butthe Queen must be loyal to him, and if she put the power in the hands of persons who would use it unconstitutionally towards him, where was his loyalty ? He was not to be loyal to persona who acted unloyally and unoon. stitutionally towards him. Now, what had the Government done f When there was a chance of war, the custom was that, before the country was committed to it, the matter was brought before the Houses of Lords and Commons, to see it there was any ground for war, and if they were satisfied that there were grounds, war was declared, and the Government came to the country for the cost. (Hear, hear.) But this had not been done. The Government had not gone on in the ordinary way, but these people had studicusly kept from the Houee of Commons the various steps by which they were leading the country into war, and the people must pey the bill. Now this was not fair. ("Hear, hear," and Shame.") America did quite differently. Now, he did not say that he wanted the matter altered all at once. It was not to be done. But, in America, the president could not deolare war until he has the Senate with him. He thought this was quite reasonable; they should have the consent of the House of Commons, whioh held the purse strings of the people, who elected the members, before the country was committed to a war. He did not think if the country bad the chance of knowing something about the Indian war before it commenced, there would have been any war at all. (Hear, hear.) They would, no doubt, remember how that war came about. First of all there was the Eastern Question, in respect to which the Government made a great noise, and brought troops from India to frighten the Emperor of Russia. Seven thousand men to flighten the Emperor of Russia A most absurd thing, bat it was so. ALd what did the Emperor of Russia do r He caid, I must do something to annoy these per. sons, who are doing all they can to annoy me." And he sent an embassy to Caoul, composed of a very few persons, to see what they could make of the Ameer. It was only feasible that the Emperor of Russia should do so, as -they were annoying him and goading him in every way to declare war against England. This being so the Government actually picked a quarrel with the poor Ameer, who was merely the midctie mau between the English empire in India and Russia. And eo they picked a quarrel with him, and at last resolved to invade his country, and in what way was that done r lhey would remember it was tirst of all said that the Ameer had seat an insulting letter, and the country was aroused about that. Then it was said, no, it was not the letter. They had sent some people to Cabul, who were met by some of the Ameer's men, and told that they must not go on, as it appeared, in a very civil way, but they would remember that a telegram was received at home which aroused the whole country, and it was said that they were insulted. Now, what business had the English people there ? The first thing they should have done would have been to have asked the Ameer if be was willing to reoeive the embassy. (Hear, hear.) But, oh, no, they were insulted. A few days afterwards when the mischief was done, and the whole country raised into a white heat against the Ameer's people, they had a speech from the Prime Minister at the Mansion House, and he said that the reason of their going to Cabul was that they wanted a scientific frontier. Now, toneet people, consider what you have been doing. fhat boundary was the Ameer's, as well as ours. W hat was a good frontier for one was a good frontier for the other But they had commisted as great a burglary as was ever committed by one nal,tion towards another. They had no business to break into the Ameer's house, to break into his boundary, or go into his territory. (Hear, hear.) it was not for them to Bay to the Ameer, we do not like this frontier, and as we have a strong hand we will it so. This was a bad business, and brought discredit upon the good name they had held upon the Continent; and now it was known that they had forgotten the high name they had kept for years, and had desired to take that which was not their iown, and with a high hand had broken into this man's territory, and were now going tc annex it. It was a bad business, and brought disgrace and discredit upon the Government that did it. (Hear, hear.) This war was brought about by Sir Bartle Frere. He was not going to eay whether the frontier that was now talked about was better than the old one, which was a matter for engineers aid scientific men. But if it was a better boundary they should have bought it, and not have picked a quarrel with the man and then stolen it. (Hear, hear.) It was as plain as two aad two are four. They had broken into a man's house and taken his property, and if there was a God in heaven it must tell against the nation that had been guilty of ao base a crime. ("Hear, hear," and "Shame.") Nowhe would come to the Zulu war, and he was afraid they had hardly anything better to say about it. Ana, what was most odd, this war was also caused by Sir Bartle Frere. It appeared that some little time ago some Dutch people settled in the Transvaal, and in a high handed manner our Government allowed their people to do things which went to annex the country againat the will of the inhabitants. Thie Transvaal adjoined the Z alu land, and it appeared that the Dutch Boers, from time to time touk some land which the Zulus said belonged to them, and when the English annexed the Transvaal the question turned up as to what was to be done with this disputed boundary. It was referred in some kind .of way to Sir Bartle Frere, who took upon himself to make some kind of award between the Zulu and the Transvaal people. And a wonderful award it was! He lcund that the land upon which the Boers bad squatted was the land of the ZnlcB, but he went on to say that the Boers should keep it, and that the English resident officers were to go there and see that the Zulus did not keep anything more than a kind ot Suzerainty —some kind of lordship without any profit—over it. Could they think of any- thing more unjust than that? (Shame.) It was the most wonderful award in the world. ("Hear,hear, and laughter.) Could they wonder that the Zulus were angry i He did not think that the Zulus intended to come in to the English country at all, but fcir Bartle Frere had undertaken to commence war upon them, and not upon this ground alone. He said, you Zulus keep a much larger army than you should, and you have a way of dealing with your young people—that they shall go into the army and ahall not marry until they have been in it a certain number of years; thus making, as Sir Bartle Frere says, a large army upon the confines of cur territory, and continually alarming our people. That waa the ground of quarrel; and Sir Bartle Frere eent an ultimatum, and told the Zulus that they must do away with their army or war would be declared upon them. Now, was this right ? (" No, no.") J he same thing existed with The army in FraDoe and Germany aa in Zulu. land but did they ever hear of the English Government going to either of those nations and tolling them that unices they ch&aged their army system war would be declared upon them? But this 1rM what had been done III Zululand. And why? Beeauae it waa thought they were not strong enough to prevent it. And a very bad "why" it was. He had preached with regard to these wars a good deal on the other side of the hill, but 1m had had no op- portunity to do so at Aberaman. People had written a long time ago, and asked what reason ( we bad to go te VN AT all. If their friend Henry portunity to do so at Aberaman. People had written a long time ago, and asked what reason ( we had to go te war AT all. If their friend Henry luchard wus there, he would say that the) musi Lot go to war at sh-be was all strong as » horse upon that. They might not go so f..r as that. but what everybody was writing about was that A 9re was no justification for war unless they themselv e8 received an injury. That was the test. The e must be some serious injury dote to themselves GT the nation before they were justified in going to war with another nation. Now, 'et them teitt the 1 nrian business. Where wae the pretence for injury r Was the letter an it jary-a lattet'tha.t was supposed to be contemptuous r Who was iiiured r Put the letter in the fire. and there was an end of it. He maintained that the officers of the Ameer were right in stoppil g thel embassy from going aBy fcrther. SUppOSiDg a oouple of French offi. cera came over to the Isle of Wight an(i said they wanted to walk up to Parliament, would not the man who was in charge say, I have no right to let you pass; I am bere to protect my country, and you must go back." And this was exactly what was done by the Ameer's people. Having further pursued this subject, Mr. James said he W& £ afraid they were not out of this Afghan war yet. b. was sorry to see so many Welshmen slaughtered iu the with the Zulus, but since this event WM,t ffT ™via& another little war on th* of n„,w.M Burmah a king Burmese war. It seemed that** admit that took it into his head—and he arn«* "weep hey were terrible brutes—to raahe « ot'ell bis relatives, so that the enecesTO1r w. throve after bim might reign unmolested t The Government had already sent two- or three regiments to the foflKter, and in a day or two they would rCfidvtf some insult from the King of Burmah, and the ch^uoes were that they might have some wretched Wt;f with him. Now was it desirable that English people, aa a small nation, surrounded as they were by the sea, and who could live as happy as mioe, should be fighting all over the world- Afghans, Zulus, and Burmese—and the coat ccmicg out of the earnings of the working people? (Henr, hear.) It was monstrous, it was a shame, and the people in power seemed to have brought these wars upon them without any excuee whatever* No doabt they would try to make a scapegoat of some one or the other; no doubt they would find Sir Bartle Frere at fault. but they muat remember that when Sir Bartle t fere went out the Jingoes, the roughs of the cotaatry, were power. The people in India heard of what the Jingoes were doing, and thought it was the people of England who made them fight, and ifcgolved alee to go on and fight it mi. They thought that those miserable roughs who had created such tuimoil and noise in J2agi*.ud were the respectable people of the coun- try, L'ut not so-they were the scum and riff-raff of £ &» country. The Zulus and others had thought that England was in a mood for these wars, and so they h.,d gone in right and left, and the English people woyld have to pay the piper. He did not think ho would trouble them much more upon these matters. They had lately been having very bad times, aud it etrfick him whether there would be any good in going into the matter, and seeing what brought these bad times about, and what would bring a better state of things in the country. No doubt the chairman eoold do that better than he himself could, bat a few ideas had struck him. He had given as much thought as he could to it, and had tried to work it out, but he did not know whether it would bir worth listen. ing to. (Applause and Go on.") Now, a little time ago they had a wonderful season of pros- perity, and that time existed during the American war. Now, if they would look at what happened when a great nation like America went to war, they would see why persons who were dealing largely with them should benefit. The great bulk of the American people had nothing to do tor a time but war. The gieat body of men who were formerly ironworkers or cotton manufacturers, and employed in the various ,trades of America, had to go to fight, and, in con- sequence, a certain amount of work had to come to England, which was the great workshop of the vpo,ld. Although everybody felt that the war was a very great calamity, yet England benefited to some extent by the war. And beyond that, there was a very large amount of war material required, and a great amount of shipping, too. All these things tended to ereate a very large demand for all torts of goods in England. When the war came to an end there was a kind of lull, but the French and Prussians, two other large customers of England, then went to war. The same thing happened again—the trade of this country was improved. It was a great pity that they profited by other people's wars, but it was so to some extent, tut after this war came the reverse. The nations that had been at war settled down to work for themselves, and everything they ceuld make for themselves they did make. It was a most unfortunate thing for England that those countries that had been at war, and had large taxes to make up in consequence—especially America-should put upon English goods, and iron in particular, euch enormous taxation as destroyed the trade of this country. But there were other causes for the diminution of trade in the country. The first of these he pointed out was the substitution of steel for iron rails, in the making of which puddlers and refiners were not required, and had to find other employment. And this introduction of the steel rails tcted in another way. The coal which used to go to the furnaces was now sent into the market at Cardiff, and being more than was required, prices went down and down, until the prices were most heartrending. t It was a question whether anyone was making his money out of the coal sold. To show how the market had been affected, he would read them a few figures. In 1872 the best customers for coal and iron were the United States. In 1872 the trade in railroad iron was JE4,800,000, or they might practically call it £ 5,000,000, much of which went from this country; only three years after. wards, in 1875, enormous duties having been put on this trade had gone down to £ 228,904; and in 1877 it had gone down to .€10,806, There was their best cnetomer gone, and until the trade came back he did not know what they would do. It was no use preaching to the people, and saying there was a good time coming. He believed that some of the American trade would come back. They could only hope that, as common sense advanced, the Americans would see that the good old free trade rule was the best, of buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest. This was the best rule for the world, and he was sure it would be for England. With regard to uu. wrought steel for America, that was also nearly gct.e. In 1872 thio trade amounted to £ 76i',S5i-, in 1875 it hhd gone down to JCS82,6D2 and in 1877 to JT214,800. So that the American iron and Eteel trade appeared to have gone. And what America bad done it appeared Germany would do. 'I be total exports of iron and steel throughout the kingdom in 1372 amounted to thirty-six millions in 1875 they were reduced to twenty-five millions and in 1877 to twenty millions. After thus showing how the trade bad gone, they could not wonder they were pinched in Aberdare. The matter was becoming serious beyond conception. Puddlers and refiners were now in about the same position as were the hand. loom weavers after the introduction of the power loom, but 'he was in hopes, inasmuch as steel was better than iron, and would be ueed in muoh larger quantities, that their children might see again the grand flourishing industries that they bad seen in the past. He was afraid, however, that it was a long outlook. They must also remfmber that they had very bad harvests, which had necessitated their importing their bread staffs. It was a good thing they could obtain the bread stuffs they required, but he pointed out that the farmers and agricultural labourers suffered owing to these importations, In 1874 the importation of corn amounted to £ 51,000,000; in 1875 it had risen to £ 52,000,COO and in 1877 it had gone up to £ 63,0U0,000. If they had a good harvest in the coming season he boped they would not forget to thank God, whom they worshipped in that chapel. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion he said he must refer to the question why such larger duties were charged by other countries upon iron. And he was sorry that he must once more return to the miserable business of war. Both France and Germany conse- quence of war to keep themselves provided with war material, and they asked what were they to do if they had not works in their own territory for the production of this war material. They knew that England could make iron and steel cheaper than they could, but France and Germany were obliged to keep up their own furnaces in conse- quence of the miserable wars. Thus they saw that this miserable question of war came back to them in the large duties which were put upon them. He hoped that his hearers would keep up a good heart. The coal trade had not gone alto- eether. He had given them a gloomy picture, but there was nothing like a true picture. Having told the truth, they must leave the rest to Providence, look things in the face, and keep up their hearts, as the English people geo«rally did. (Applause.) i he resolution was adopted. It was subsequently resolved, "That it is highly desirable that a Working Men's Liberal Associa- tion for South Wales should be formed, and this meeting pledges itself to use every legitimate means to establish the same." Votes of thanks terminated the procesdiugs,



[No title]




-------------------THE DINAS…


[No title]