Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page

THE NORTH WALES ELECTIONS.

News
Cite
Share

THE NORTH WALES ELECTIONS. MR. WATKIN WILLIAMS' CAM- PAIGN ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION. As we briefly alluded in our last edition, a meeting of Liberal delegates from various parts of the constituency was held at the Queen's Hotel, on Thursday, last week. It transpired that Mr Jones-Parry, of Madryn, who had bean adopted as a Liberal candidate, was suffering from severe indisposition to such an extent that it w:ts feared he could not undergo the heavy task of entering into a contest for the representation of this county. A deputation was promptly despatched to confer with that gentle- man and Mr Breese, Portmadec but as Mr Jones-Parry's medical adviser insisted upon the abandonment of his determination, Mr Watkin Williams, Q.C., the member for the Denbigh boroughs, was at once ccmmunicated with, and invited to contest the county in his stead. After some negotiations, the hon. gentleman consented on Friday to place himself at the ser- vice of the Liberal party. This announcement, we need hardly state, was most enthusiastically received in every part of Carnarvonshire, and the Liberal party proudly accepted Mr Williams as their candidate. GREAT LIBERAL MEETING AT PENY- GROES. On Saturday afternoon, Mr Watkin Williams, Q.C., the Liberal candidate, accompanied by Mrs Williams, arrived in the county by the afternoon express from London, and at Bangor and Car- narvon received an enthusiastic reception. At the latter place he was compelled to leave the rail- way carrige, and, briefly addressing the vast as- semblage which awaited his arrival, he thanked them for the truly Welsh welcome with which he had been received, and reminded them of the im- portance of the struggle in which the constituen- cies were about to engage. The hon. gentleman afterwards proceeded to Penygroes, where the en. thusiastic populace turned out en masse to welcome him. As soon as Mr and Mrs Williams alighted, the brass bands struck up the air, See the con- quering hero comes," which was followed by deafening cheers. Mr Darbishire, chairman of the County Liberal Association, escorted them to an open earriage, and after they were seated they were dragged through the principal streets. The procession was headed by the members of the Bethel Band of Hope, and two brass bands. The Market Hall proving inadequate to the accom- modation of the immense audience, an open-air meeting was held under the presidency of Mr Darbishire. The President, who was cordially received, expressed his regret at the withdrawal, through illness, of the candidature of their old friend, Mr Jones-Parry. The gap, however, had been most ably filled up, and if they had lost good soldiers, there were plenty of willing recruits. The Liberals were now prepared in every detail to enter in earnest upon, and bring to a successful issue, a contest which, so far as they were concerned, would be carried on fairly, honourably, and in good humour (cheers). He had great pleasure in introducing Mr Watkin Williams to the meeting (applause). Mr Watkin Williams, who was received with enthusiastic cheers, which were renewed over and over again, then came forward to address the vast assemblage in Welsh. After continuing to address hia audience in the vernacular for some time, the honourable gentleman proceeded to deliver an English speech, which he opened by expressing sympathy with his old friend, Mr Jones-Parry, and his regret that he was not well enough to stand before them and enter into the great fight which was at hand. He was very sorry for it, and feared he would prove to be but a poor substitute to take the place of their old faithful servant, Mr Jones-Parry (" No, no," and loud cheers). He had been asked before to enter into the contest, but he had declined to do so until he was assured that Mr Jones-Parry had absolutely withdrawn from the contest, and would not be able to come to the front. Mr Jones- Parry, however, had withdrawn, and had expressed a kindly wish that he should take his place and fight the battle for them (loud cheers). He had come that day from London at their command and in obedience to their call, and to enter upon what must be a great and important battle (cheers). He was glad to notice how well, happy, and contented, the people in that neighbourhood looked, and in what good spirits they were. This caused him to inquire who was the owner of the beautiful sur- rounding property, and he was given to under- stand that a deal of it belonged to Lord New- borough-a nobleman whose character it would be impertinent for him to praise as a good, Liberal, and just landlord—(hear, hear),—a kind, chari- table neighbour, and, in a word, a noble gentle- man (loud cheers). After a long journey from London and late hours at the House of Commons the previous night, his words must be few, but he trusted they would be to the point. Most of them knew of that great states- man—the greatest statesman in Europe,— Mr Gladstone (loud cheers),—who was going to Scotland to fight the great magnate of Conserva- tism in Midlothian, and he (Mr Watkin Williams), as a humble imitator of Mr Gladstone, felt hon- oured that he should have been called from a long distance to fight the great magnate of Conservatism in Carnarvonshire—(loud cheers) -and he hoped to make a good, gallant, and successful fight (cheers). But, after all, the question was not one of personal principles. The all-important question the country had now to decide was whether its desti- nies in the future were to b e entrusted to and governed by Mr Gladstone,—(cheers)—or continue to be misdirected and misgoverned by Lord Beaconsfield (" Mr Gladstone.") How was it that whenever the Tories were in power they had com- mercial depression, foreign complications, and deficiencies in the finances Was this due to mismanagement or to accident (" Mismanage- ment.") Mr Gladstone left power in 1874 with a surplus of 16,000,000, and the floating debt was reduced to a little over £ 4,000,000. Bat what was their condition to-day ? Under Tory rule they had not only no balance in their favour-tbey had no surplus of £ 6,000,000, but a defi iency of £ 3,000,000 ("Shame ")— £ 8,000,000 on the wrong side, and the floating debt increased to L25,000,000 (" Shame.") This unsatisfactory state of things had resulted from the policy of interference with foreign countries-A policy which was adopted with the object of distracting attention from the state ef affairs at home. The great disturbances in the East, the cruel and unnecessary war in Zulu- land (hear hear)—the invasion of Afghanistan- exitements and complications abraad—kept the attention of the nation from its home affairs which was just what Lord Beaconsfield wanted. The nation wanted to get back to home affairs, and to carry out those great measures of reform so dear to them and to do this they must act upon what |he poet said'— Who would be free Himself must strike the blow." They could not expect this to be done unless they took their own share in this fight. He wanted to see this most mischievous and demoralising Government the country ever had deprived of power (cheers). They wanted to get Gladstone and Bright brought back again (loud cheers). Was -not the question of education to be attended to ? Ueforms were needed in the land laws, and the question of Disestablishment and Disendowment ot the Church of England was also to come for- ward sooner or later. The electors in Penygroes -were determined to do their utmost in favour of these reforms, and if the other voters in Carnar- vonshire were as decided in their opinion as they were, there covtld be but very little doubt as to the issue of this great contest (hear, hear). Although perhaps a stranger to some of them, he was not new to Parliamentary life. He had -.tt in Parliament twelve years, and during that time had always endeavoured to maintain a perfectly independent course, doing nothing which he did not conscientiously feel to be right and just. As the Liberals in Carnarvonshire had invited him on: Thurssday, he hoped they would return him to Parliament with a triumphant majority. If the other constituencies thraiighout England followed the example of Scotland and Wales, there would be a grand working majority of Liberals in the House of Commons. They would go to work, not to create quarrels and to complicate affairs in Europe, disturb commerce, and confusing .and confounding their finances, but to carry out much needed reforms at home. The land laws required to be refofp.aed, and the question of Disestablish- ment ougfci to be considered. It was also neces- eary that they should take into consideration the question of free education of a higher class. The endowments were national property, from which all classes of the community in general ought to derive equal benefits. This national fund ought, in his opinion, to be applied towards free educa- tion in this country. No member of Parliament was indifferent to that most important question- temperance, and a vast number of them were over- desirous of diminishing the temptation to drink, although they differed very much in the way of doing so. A large number of them were in favour of closing public houses on Sunday. He had always voted in favour of closing public-houses on the Sabbath Day, and also had taken part in bring- ing in bills to regulate and control the number of public houses, and the hours during which they should be opened. This he was prepared to do again (hear, hear, and applause). There was a deal of difference of opinion as to the best mode of carrying out these reforms, and he was greatly mistaken in his opinion of independency of spirit of the people of Carnarvonshire if they did not respect his opinion in such matters. He asked them that, seeing he had given up his seat in the Denbigh boroughs on a detail of this question of temperance, they should respect his independence; that they should trust him, and have confidence that he would en- deavour, although they might perhaps differ in detail, to carry out the great principles upon which they were all agreed (hear, hear). In conclusion, the hon gentleman said that they had a great battle before them-a very arduous battle- the magnitude and importance of which he did not under-rate. But the reception accorded to him that evening had given him courage, and he would do his best from that day to the time of election to work with the constituency to try and depose Lord Beaconsfield and bring Mr Gladstone to power (loud and prolonged cheers). Mr John Evans, Caellenor, Carnarvon, then came forward to deliver a Welsh speech. Mr 0. T. Owen, manager of the Dorothea Quarry, after delivering a spirited Welsh address, pro- posed the following resolution — "That this meet- ing, having beard the satisfactory address of Mr Watkin Williams, accept him as a suitable person to represent the electors in Parliament, and pledges itself to exert its utmost to secure his return (loud cheers). The Rev Robert Jones, Baptist minister, Llan- llyfni, seconded the resolution in a humorous Welsh speech, and it was carried without even a dissentient voice. A vote of thanks to the chairman, proposed by the Rev P. W. Jones, and seconded by Mr Watkin Williams, brought the proceedings to a close. The carriage containing Mr and Mrs Watkin I Williams, Mr Darbighshire, and others was after- wards dragged to the railway station by the en- thusiastic crowd, and departed for Carnarvon by the evening mail amid great cheering. PUBLIC MEETING AT PWLLHELI. On Monday afternoon Mr Watkin Williams, Q.C., M.P., addressed a crowded open-air meeting at Pwllheli. He was met at the railway station by the local committee of the Liberal Association, including Mr Richard Roberts, head agent of Lord Newborough; and the carriage in which he was seated was dragged through the principal thor- oughfares of the borough. At 2.30 p.m. an open- air meeting was held in" front of the Crown Hotel, Mr. John Edwards presiding. The President, in opening the proceedings, ex- pressed his regret at the inability of Mr Jones- Parry to come forward as a candidate. That gentleman, however, had desired him to return thanks on his behalf to those numerous friends who had reselved to support his candidature had he been able to come forward at the present election. The Liberal cause was dear to his heart, and he had promised to do his utmost in favour of Mr Watkin Williams (loud cheers). The principles upheld by the hon. gentleman were consistent with the principles of a large majority of the in- habitants of Carnarvonshire, and it was the duty of all the electors to vote in his favour. Mr Watkin Williams, who was lustily cheered upon rising to address the large crowd, said that the warmth of the reception!accorded him that day, and the vast crowd which he saw before him, was really too much for his emotion, and made it rather difficult to him to address them as quietly and with as much courage as he desired. But at the same time the reception afforded him that which he re- quired and was doubtless greatly in need at the commencement of the great contest which was before him. However, before saying anything further, he desired first of all to express his deep sympathy with his old friend Mr Jones-Parry, and his regret that the state of his health was such as to render it impossible for him to come forward as a candidate for the representation of this im- portant county. He was happy to repeat what they doubtless knew, that he had Mr Jones- Parry's warmest sympathy and support; and it was only right that he should mention to them that until he was assured he had the full concurrence and good wishes of that gentleman he could not for a moment listen to the suggestions that he should be named as a candidate for the representation of this county (hear, hear). They were called upon at this election to decide the greatest questions which were brought before the country during the present century. Both parties agreed in this respect, and it was for them to decide into what scale they would throw their weights for the county of Carnarvon. In broaching the present question, he begged to remind them of one or two things. In the first place, he desired to say that they had opponents in this county of great wealth, influence, and power. But he was happy to tell them, and he wished distinctly to impress this upon their minds, that in coming forward to record their votes they had through the power and influ. ence of the Liberal party the full protection of the ballot—(cheers)—and whatever attempts were made to convince them to the contrary, they may rest assured, that the ballot afforded complete security and secrecy to everybody. who :wished to record a vote (applause). In connection with the ballot, he had a word to say which for years had been uppermost in his mind. For his own part, he regretted to think that the electors should be canvassed for their votes. It seemed to him that canvassing and solieiting votes was contrary to the true spirit of the Ballot Act. By that aQt it was intended that every elector or voter should be [ morally and legally secure against all manner of influences; but it appeared that both parties-and each party deserved as much blame as the other- restorted to this practice, and that neither the true spirit of the Ballot Act, good taste, nor sense of honour prevented some persons from com- pelling the electors to promise their votes. In his opinion, the time had come-and the Liberal Government would certainly bring this about- when soliciting for votes and canvassing the electors to pledge themselves one way or the other, ought to be abandoned by law (loud cheers). A few nights ago, Mr Gladstone said, in the course of a speech delivered by him in London, and in which he referred to the prospects of the general election, that Scotland was against the present Government, and with reference to Wales he said: "They knew that poor little Wales, which seldom gets a word of comfort from anybody"— A voice: Not so poor after all" (laughter and cheers). | Mr Watkin Williams, proceeding, said that Mr Gladstone did not use the word poor in any tsense but a friendly one (" Three cheers for Mr -Gladstone"). Mr Gladstone said that "poor little Wales seldom got a word of comfort from anybody, yet it was a place where the human heart beats 33 freely and as warmly as in any land on the face of the earth-they knew that Wales was also against the present Government." Now, what he (Mr Watkin Williams) wanted to know was this What message were they going to give him to take back to London. Was Wales against the present Government or not? (A voice: Yes," and "Turn the Government out.") Did they want to have Mr Gladstone and Mr Bright back again ? (" Yes "). That was the question which they had to decide, and in returning to London he wanted to know definitely whether they desired to have Mr Gladstone or Lord Beaconsfield at the head of the Ministry (" Mr Gladstone "). How was it that when Tories were in power they always found the oommercial prosperity of this country decreasing ?; When the Tories were in power they always found an increase of both taxation and expenditure, whilst the income was considei ably diminished, and there was also stagnation of. trade and agricultural depression. When Mr Gladstone left power, the income was more than the expenditure, with reduced taxes and commercial prosperity and during the short time the Tories have been in office, instead of having a handsome surplus, the country was over eight millions in debt, with a diminished income, increased taxation, depressed trade, and nothing flourishing. With reference to questions pertain- ing to Wales, he desired to know whether they were in earnest in favour of them. Had they not a right to claim from the Government support towards higher education in Wales,la grant towards the Welsh University College at Aberystwyth (hear, hear). As a fervent supporter of the Aber- ystwyth College, he was strongly in favour of pressing upon the Government to vote a grant towards that institution. They had been too quiet in Wales, whilst millions of money were being voted for education in Scotland and Ireland. The Tory Government had not given anything to the Welsh people it was therefore their duty to show to the Government that they were deter- mined to acquire their rights. If they returned the Tories to power, none of these benefits re- quired by Wales would be forthcoming; and it would be useless to complain if they supported a Conservative candidate, because he would not press upon the Government to vote anything out of the public funds towards what was required by them. If they voted for him (Mr Watkin Wil- liams) they would all be safe in that respect, as he had always shown his earnestness on behalf of the University College at Aberystwyth by voting in favour of a Government grant towards that in- stitution (hear, hear). After making further re- marks upon this matter, he said he was anxious to address a few words in reference to that great ecclesiastical monopoly in connection with the Church of England (hear, hear). Why should they in Wales suffer such religious inequality ? Why should not all religious denominations be placed upon the same position of equality ? They knew that for many years he had been in favour and voted for Disestablishment (hear, hear and cheers). He had brought forward himself motions in thej House of Commons for the disestablish- ment of the Church of England and the disendow ments of its revenues. Some people in London told him the Welsh did not care about these things at all. To this he replied that they were greatly mistaken. But," said they, "you have sent a Tory member for Carnarvonshire, and he has always voted against these things." He re- plied that such things would happen sometimes, but if they waited till the next election they would see what was the real feeling of Carnarvonshire with respect to this subject. If they passed a bill in favour of the Disestablishment and Disendow- ment of the Church of England, there would be no want of funds for the purposes of education. These national funds belonged to the nation, and why should not the nation get the benefit of them? (loud cheers). These endowments ought to be shared alike between the religious denominations, and applied in favour of primary, secondary, and higher education (loud cheers). The honourable gentle- man then proceeded to explain his views upon the land laws, the reforms of which could only be effected by a Liberal Government. He was also in favour of a bill which was of importance and interest to farmers and others paying rates—the bill in favour of establishing county financial boards to regulate the expenses and fix the amount of rates which farmers and others ought to pay (hear, hear). The Tories had brought for- ward a county financial board bill, but the electors must bear in mind that when the Conservatives found that the ratepayers were determined to pass a certain bill they stuck up a sham one alongside of it. However, he believed that his countrymen were too shrewd to be taken in in such a manner. Whenever improvements were required in the land laws, the Conservatives prepared a sham measure, and it was perfectly idle for the electors to think they would bring forward a genuine measure in that respect. They could only have it from a Liberal Government (cheers). With reference to that great question of temperance reform, he begged to remind the electors that he consistently voted in support of closing public houses on Sunday in Ireland, and he was also in favour of doing the same thing when the bill for Wales was brought forward (cheers). It was only right that he should state he had assisted and supported Mr Joseph Cowen, the member for New- castle, in preparing a bill for the better control apd management of public houses, and restricting the number according to the population. He would continue his support to that measure if elected to represent them in Parliament. Referring to the land laws, he conscientiously believed that the tenants ought to be protected from the oppression and tyranny of bad landlords— {applause)—at the same time the interests of both the landlord and tenant ought to be taken into consideration. The latter must also be protected against the rapacity of bad tenants and thus show fairness towards both sides (hear, hear). He had been in Parliament for twelve years, and during that time he had always endeavoured to show by his votes what his opinions were upon the prin- cipal topics of the day (A voioe: "What about the Game Laws ?") He was honestly in favour of the abolition of the Game Laws, and during the last three years had voted for Mr Taylor's motion for the abolition of those laws (cheers). With refer- ence to the land laws, he was strongly in favour of abolishing the law of primogeniture. He reminded them that he had been invited by the unanimous voice of the Liberal party to take part in the great battle which was at hand He came down from London promptly, and without hardly having time to change his clothes (laughter). He started from London about eight o'clock on Saturday morning, and reached Penygroes at five o'clock. Although he was greatly fatigued, the wirm reception accorded to him at that place was much better to him than all the champagne dinners he had in his life (laughter and cheers). He was welcomed with a true Welsh spirit, and he was confident that this spirit would return him to Parliament with a great majority (loud cheers). Before resuming his seat, he desired to address a few words to them about real busness. The ballot was an absolute protection to the voter. All he had to do was to enter the room where the voting took place. A paper containing the names of th o candidates be would handed to him. The name of Mr Pennant would be first (" No, no,") and his (Mr Watkin Williams) would be second (" No, no.") They would come in.,alphabetical order (A voice: "We will have it changed. ") All the voter had to do was to affix a cross opposite the name of the candidate he supported, place the paper in the ballot box, and no man living would know anything more about it (hear, hear). If anybody told them to the contary, he was telling them that which was unworthy of a man. He hoped that on that day three weeks, the Liberal party in Carnarvonshire would show whether they wished to have Mr Gladstone or Lord Beaconsfield at the head of the ministry (" Mr Gladstone.") All he asked them to do was to vote on the right side (" We will.") And if they worked earnestly from that day to the time of election, he was con- fident that Carnarvonshire and the rest of the con- stituencies of Wales would assist to return a large working majority to sdpport Mr Gladstone and Mr Bright in the Imperial Parliament (loud and pro- longed cheers). Mr Richard Roberts, solicitor, and head agent of Lord Newborough, was warmly received, and three cheers were given to Lord Newborough. In the course of an able Welsh address, Mr Roberts supported the political views of Mr Watkin Williams, whose principles, he said, deserved to be extensively upheld. He had great pleasure in moving the following resolution :—" That this meeting, having heard the views of Mr Watkin Williams, cheerfully accepts him as a candidate to represent the electors of Carnarvonshire in Parlia-, ment, and pledges itself to do all in its power to secure his return." Mr Hugh Pugh, Llysmeirion, Carnarvon, seconded the motion, which was supported by the Rev. Griffith Hughes, Edeyrn, and the Rev. Robert Jones, Llanllyfni. The resolution was adopted with acclamation. The President said that Mr Watkin Williams would answerany question or questions that might be put to him. Mr Jarrett, Nevin: Our future worthy member has forgotten to refer to Mr Osborne Morgan's Burial Bill. Mr Watkin Williams (in Welsh) It is a fact, tkat for many years I have voted in favour of Mr Osborne Morgan's Burial Bill. I thought that the question of Disestablishment covered all, otherwise, I would have referred to it. I will always vote for that bill (loud cheers). Mr Jarrett, Nevin, proposed the following resolution: -That;this;meeting desires to express its sincere regret that the state of Mr Jones-Parry's health has prevented him from taking his place among his Liberal comrades, and hopes he will speedily recover so as to be able to take an active part in the contest (loud cheers). Mr Darbishire seconded the motion, which was passed unanimously. At this juncture of the proceedings Mrs Watkin Williams was introduced to the meeting, and was enthusiastically received. She said I am very glad to be among you to-day, and to hear the very encouraging expression towards us. I am very proud to be allowed to bear, however small, a part in the great Liberal fight in the county of Carnar- von (loud cheers). On the motion of Mr Watkin Williams, a cordial vote of thanks was accorded Mr John Edwards for presiding, and the proceedings were brought to a close amid deafening cheers to the hon. gentlemen and his amiable lady. The carriage in which they were seated was again drawn to the railway station bv the enthusiastic assemblage. Mr and Mrs Watkin Williams left for Carnarvon by the four o'clock train, renewed cheers being giving as the train moved out of the station. .0

MR WATKIN WILLIAMS AT BETHESDA.

CARNARVONSHIRE CONGRE NATIONALISTS…

THE JCALYINISTIC METHODISTS…

CONSERVATIVE MEETING AT CARNARVON.