Hide Articles List

3 articles on this Page

Advertising

NAILING A LIE TO THE COUNTER.

News
Cite
Share

NAILING A LIE TO THE COUNTER. We are not of those who regard the promoter of the Electric Lighting Scheme in Bangor as either insane fanatics, or as unscrupulous men bent on the furtherance of this scheme for their own benefit. We have always condemned the scheme, and we do still, but we now, as ever, are quite prepared to give the promoters of that scheme credit for honest convictions and pure motives in their vigorous efforts to impose upon a town, which, in spite of the recent so- called "victory" for the also so-called "Pro- gressists contains a minority (little smaller than the majority) opposed to this fin do mcle fad, a system of lighting by electricity. We are quite prepared, we repeat, to give these men credit for purity of motive and honest convic- tion in the aim they have set before themselves. We regret, however, that we eannot adopt the same tone when we come to regard the methods adopted by this party or some. of its agents in the promotion of the scheme, or rather in the furtherance of the candidature of the support- ers of the scheme and in the decrying of the opponents of that scheme. We very well re- member a meeting of the Council following the Local Government Inquiry, at which both sides complimented each other on the fact that the dispute had been carried on in the best spirit, and without indulgence in personalities. We are of opinion that may be said of the sub- sequent stages of the contest as far as person- alities pure and simple are concerned, and, as far as our recollection serves us, not a single case of personal abuse occurred during the electoral contest which took place during the closing weeks of October. Neither side, in direct terms, called the other names. But we regret to find that in spite of this adherence to the amenities of muni- cipal electoral contests on the surface, a little scratching of the skin reveals the existence of the savage under the thin veneer imposed by custom or prudence. And this is to be found in the fact that though direct personalities were not openly indulged in by the advocates of the Electric Lighting Scheme, though there was no direct mppressio veri, there was a good deal of suggestio falsi on the part of the so-called "Progressist" party. There is a blunt plain English phrase for the Latin words we have used which politeness warns us not to use, much less to print. We will therefore continue to use the convenient eupheuism u sugge&tio falsi" in our remarks on the subject. The particular matter we have in view is one which undoubtedly had some effect on the result of the election, and, in any case, was a cruel injustice toyne of the most prominent of the citizens of Bangor, and one that caused the gentleman we refer to a great deal of pain, more, as a matter of fact, than a more direct personality would have done. It will be remembered by our Bangor readers that one of the statements circulated by the advocates of the Electric Lighting Scheme was one to the effect that Alderman Thomas Lewis, one of the most prominent opponents of the scheme, was responsible for the preparation of a scheme for the expenditure of a sum of £30,000 or £ 4(7,000 on the extension of the Gas Works. If this had been a fact, it would have been a perfectly fair and legitimate counter- blast to have employed against the contention that in this matter the measures proposed by J the advocates of Gas against Electrioity would cost the ratepayers less than the schemes put forward by the advocates of the Electricity scheme. But it was not a fact. There was, it is true, some grounds upon which a not too scrupulous adtagonist might base the con- temptible sugge&tio falsi contained in the state- ments we have already referred to, but they are grounds of such a character that no honourable opponent would have thought for a moment of distorting in the man- ner in which this precious "Progressist" party has distorted them. At the adjourned meeting* of the Bangor City Council, held on Wednesday night, Mr. Thomas Lewis asked the permission of the Mayor, Dr. Grey Edwards, to make an explanation on this point. As far as we can gather, the new Mayor gave the asked- for permission, and then Alderman Lewis proceeded to demolish the mgge&tio falsi we have referred to. Alderman Lewis, however, had not I got very far in his vindication (but quite far enough to show which way the cat was about to jump), when the Mayor suddenly awoke to the j fact that the explanation which lie had iust > given Alderman Lewis permission to make, was I "out of order!" Alderman Lewis reminde his worship that he had already obtained hi worship's permission to make a statement on the subject, and proceeded. He prefaced his statement by the perfectly relevan. olservation that during his thirty or forty y. IS of public service he had always, at any ra' e, ricd to be correct. Hereupon, Councillor .1, t Williams^ with a fine affectation of disgi announced that if Mr. Lewis was going to J. Je himself he could not stop in the counci; amber any longer. Poor fellow! Under- d by this,, Alderman Lewis proceeded to say that the accusation made against him was entirely devoid of foundation, when the. Mayor said that he must really rule this out of order, that in fact. he had already done so. Mr. Lewis said that he was about to finish, and intended to confine himself to substantiating his denial of the suggestio falsi we have described by the evidence of the corporate documents themselves. Here Councillor T. G. Williams' aesthetic soul became so harrowed by this spectacle of a man trying to, set himself right in the eyes of his fellow- townsmen, of a maligned gentleman trying, by the permission of the Mayor, to vindicate him- self in the eyes of his constituents from a villainous imputatation, that he rose to order, exclaiming that it was not right that they should listen to such braggadocio. We have had some experience of the amenities of municipal life, and of t: leir abuse, but seldom, if ever, have we, kno vn a case in which an alderman and public servant and benefactor of the calibre of Alderman Lewis has been subjected by a person of the calibre of Councillor T. G. Williams to such a sample of pure Billingsgate as this. Braggadocio, forsooth! We have heard a good deal of brag- gadocio pure and simple from Councillor T. G. Williams, but to hear Councillor T. G. Williams charge Alderman Lewis with stooping to such stuff is something new. The insult was passed over in silence by the new Mayer, and it is, we very much fear, only a foretaste of what may be expected now that the "Pro- gressist party is in the confirmed ascendant in the Council. So far from rebuking Coun- cillor T. G. Williams' coarse phraseology, the new Mayor en phatically repeated that Alder- man Lewis was entirely out of order. On the point of order pure and simple, we are disposed to agree with his Worship, but this ground was cut from under his feet by his giving Alderman Lewis permission to make the statement he wished to make. What Alderman Lewis said is fully reported in another column, and to that dignified, and, in our opinion, crushing, exposure of the dirty tactics adopted by the so-called "Progressist party, in their attempts to impose on the City of Bangor a policy venturesome in the extreme, to use no harder words of it, and one opposed by a minority, as we have said before, almost as large as the majority, we commend our readers' attention. The first appearance of the New Electric Lighting, party in office, and the manner in which that meeting of the Council was conducted by the new Mayor, is a bad augury for the future.

BANGOR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.