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COMMON DISEASES. |

THE FUTIHE OF WELSH LIBERALISM.

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- "MZ OCAKKIMisBj AND TaElii…

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"MZ OCAKKIMisBj AND TaElii | UNION OFFICIALS I Conference at Carnarvon ilOW THE PEMUIYN STlUKfc I Vi AS SETTLED THE GEN* UAL SKHiKTAKY S IXPLANAT.OA- On Saturday there was held at Carnar- von a conference i nwhich quarrvmen gener- ally look with deep interest. It will be re- membered that in May last, at one of the I meetings held in connection with the Labour Day, referei.ee was made to a reso- lution passed by be Festiniog lodge in favour of making con a in alterations in the rules of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union The conference which was open to the press, was then adjourned until a month ago, when the proceedings were con- ducted with closed coors. Though the proposed changes were discussed at great length, no decision was came to, and a fur- ther ajournmeut ws agreed upon until last Saturday, when there were present over 50 delegates rèpresenting the various lodges. Mr Robert Da vies, the ne\- president, oc- cupied the chair, and he wan supported on the platform by Messrs J. Williams igeneral secretarv of the Union) and Mr D. n. Daniel (organiser). Despite rumours that the meeting would be of a pr'vate nature, a number of reporters made ilieir appear- ance, and took their seats at a table await- ing developments. The roil having been called, Mr D. Lloyd-Humphreys, a Festiniog delegate, who is not only a quarryman but a correspondent for a Welsh newspaper, proposed that the reporters should wth- draw. This having been seconded Mr J. D. Jones, a Waenfawr delegate, moved a resolution to the contrary, and said that he had been censured by the work- men whom he represented for having voted on the previous occasion in favour of ex- cluding the press. Mr W. W. J ones (Penygroes) seconded the amendment and observed that they had no need to be afraid of the proceedings being made public. Were they to adopt the original motion they would certainly show to the world that they were greatly behind the times in the manner in which they con- ducted their meetings. Mr H. Griffith (Festiniog) supported the original motion, and contended that it was not customary for any association to alio reporters to be present at meetings at which private matters were transacted. Further discussion followed, and a divis- ion was taken. The Chairman announced that 21 had voted -or the original motion and 19 for the amendment. It was, how- ever, pointed out that of the dele- gates had not voted, and a second vote was taken. This time 27 voted for the original proposition and 2G for the amendment. The reporters were, therefore, by a majority of one, requested to leave the room. Subsequently discussion took place upon the following proposals submtted from the Festiniog lodge — (a) xhat the whole of Rule X. be omitted I and the following rule substituted in its stead:—'The General Secretary and his duties The Organiser shal act as General Secretary during the term of his office, but when there is no Organiser the General Sec- retary shall be elected at the General Coun- cil. He shall b epresent at all meetings of rhe Executive Councl and the Annual Con- ference, and keep an exact record of the same. lie shall gve due attentcn to, and carry out all the correspondence; superin- tend the despatch of all goods, receve all goods, parcels, letters on behalf of the Unon and lay all necessary correspondence before the Council. He shall also have the power to call special meeiings in cases of special importance. Further, he shall also prepare I an agenda of the business to be transacted at the nveT: f rh? Council and Confer- ence. The office, books, goods, furniture, &c., belonging to the Union shall be under &c., belonging to the Union shall be under his care, and he shal hand over the same, I. together with the papers and everything else in his possession the property of the Fnion, to the Council when requested to do so." (b) That the following rule be added — "The Financial Secretary and his duties: The Financial Secretary shall be elected an nuallv at the General Conference, and he shall' be subject to the Organiser. His duties shall be to keep an exact and accu- rate account of the money received and paid he shall be present at all meetings of the Councils and Conference, and submit a balance sheet containing a report of all the accouits in connecton wth the Union. He shall keep proper books of account and sub- mit the same together with any other papers in his possession when requested t do so by the the Council the Trustees, ( r the Auditors, to be audited. Hissalar. shall be determined by the Conference, and he shall be paid monthly. He shall not ab- sent himself from his duties without the consent Of the organiser; and in such an event he shall provide a competent substi- tute. He shall continue in office for a year and shall be eligible for re-election if not guilty of misconduct or fraud. In such cir- cumstances he shall be subject to instant dismissal." (c) That Section 2 of Rule XIII. shall be omitted." (d) That the words "Financial Secretary" shall be inserted instead of ''General Sec- retary" at the end of the last parograph of Section 2 of Rule Villi. In the course of a long discussion—the meeting occupying close upon three hours— it became maifest that opinion was consid- erably divided upon the question. It was obvious that the object of the proposals was to make Mr W. J. Williams as finan- cial secretary, subordinate to Mr D. n. Daniel, in the latter's capacity as organizer and general secretary. Mr W. J. Williams, speaking in much warmth, said that he was not going to be a subordinate to a younger man, who had had but little experience, whereas he was an old quarryman, and had been associated with the Quarrymen's Union for twenty-three years. Ultimately I proposal (a) was adopted with a slight but immaterial alteration. With regard to pro- posal (b) the following amendments were made The financial secretary "shall be sub- ject to the council"—not to the organiser; and ';he shall not absent himself from his duties without the consent of the president" —not the organiser. The words "in such an event" were omitted, and a new sentence commenced with -the following word. I These rules will, ho vever, not be confirmed until the annual conference to be held next May. THE GENERAL SECRETARY'S EX- I }lay, PLANATION. Speculation was rife as to what discussion -ould ensue upon a private cli-.iilpr which ) dunng the weekbad been forwarded by Mr Williams to oil the delegates, touchirg upon certain allegation-, made against him. as to the part which he had taken inrenewing the negotiationsh which resulted in the settle- ment of the Penrhyn dispute. The circular was to the following effect: — ¡ "7, Market street, Carnarvon, September 18th, 1897. To the quarrymen.—Private. Sir,—I regret that I am placed under the necessity of sc-uding you this letter owing to the groundless rumours which are being circulated respecting myself by per- sons who would not. dare to do this in public and to bear the responsibility for so doing. I cannot but believe that it is the malicious intention of some persona to do me injury in my character and circum- t stances, and especially in my connection J with you as a class of workmen, by cowardly attacks upon me behind the hedge. It. is suggested by some that I betrayed the Pen- 19 rhyn deputation by writing the private letter to Mr Carter (not, as has been I wrongly stated, to Lord Penrhyn, to whom I never wrote a line in my life or spoke a word). The object of the letter to Mr Carter was to attempt to reopen negotia- tions with Lord Penrhyn instead of those terminated in May last, against my wish at the time. I suggested then ;t would have been better to appeal to Lord Penrhyn per- sonally, as the negotiations with Mr Young had proved futile, but this suggestion was overridden. Five or six weeks had passed with nothing being done to bring about a settlement so far as was known to me, or the deputation or the committee. It was then perfectly clear to those who were ac- uainted with the circumstances what would be the result of further delay—the funds were being exhausted whik1. the de- mands upon them were multiplying, aud the workmen and all -vho eont.'i! utn.-d wo e inquiring what was- being done to bring about a settlement. In this crisis I wrote the following letter to Mr Carter, a Welsh translation of which I send you that you may judge for yourself whether there is any- thing out of place or not: — 7, Market street, Carnarvon, 6th July, 1897. (Private.) Dear sir,—Though I am somewhat re- luctant to trouble you in the matter of the Penrhyn quarrymen, I cannot help feeling that in a matter of this importance affect- ing the welfare of so large a number of people, common humanity demands that all private consideration should give way. Though we differ on many points, I will do you the justice to believe that you are sirous as I am to see this prolonged dispute brought to a satisfactory determination. It is in this belief, and notwithstanding your avowed intention to have nothing further to do with the matter, that I venture to express my readiness to explain my own views on the situation, and to state how, in my opinion, the matter might be honour- ably settled to the satisfaction of both part- ies. I will here add that I am the more prompted to take this step at the present moment by the fact that the generous offer made by the Canadian Government, and announced at last Saturday's meeting, has br, -rht matters to such a crisis that we are compelled to seriously consider whether it is not our duty to adopt a policy of whole- sale emigration failing a clear, definite, and final understanding with Lord Penrhyn as to the future. I will frankly add that I do not consider the difficulties in the way of a mutuady sat- isfactory settlement, honourable to all part- ies concerned by any means insurmount- able. Though, from my necessarily intim- ate knowledge of what has transpired at the interviews, I have been-unwdlingly forced tothe conclusion that Mr Young's evident want of tact and lack of ability to deal with a large body of men is largely resposible for the unfortunate breakdown of the recent negotiations, I have no difficulty in recog- nising that these negotiations have very materially smoothed the way for a final sat- isfactory settlement. I think the relative positions of the two parties have been very materially improved by these interviews and negotiations, and with the exercise of a little tact and forbearance on both sides I believe a settlement honourable and satis- factory to both parties could be arrived at. Though I have no desire to take any part myself in any negotiations which may now or hereafter be resumed, I should have no objection to state, either in writing or in an interview, what in my opinion are the points still requiring adjustment, and how they could be settled to the satisfaction of both parties. This I should be prepared to do if you thought any practical good would be likely to result from my so doing. To bring the matter to a point, I should be glad to know at your early convenience whether in your opinion, seeing that the recent negotiations conducted by MrYoung have unfortunately fallen through at the point when the hopes of a settlement ap- peared brightest, Lord Penrhyn would be disposed at the present moment to person- ally carry on negotiations with the men's I representatives either in writing or by in- terview. You will probably recollect that it was the men's desire that the recent neg- otiations should be conducted with Lord Penrhyn himself, and not with Mr Young, and knowing what I do of what transpired 1 cannot help feeling had that been done Ahe Penrhyn Quarries would at the present noment have been once more in full swing. You can readily understand that it would tend to widen rather than heal the breach II if the men now approached Lord Penrhyn in a maner which might not be acceptable I to his lordship, and my earnest desire j, if possible, to so arrange matters that if Lord Penrhyn is disposed to listen to them they may approach him in the manner least likely to cause friction. Trusting to be favoured with an early reply, I am,yours truly, W. J. WILLIAMS. H. Lloyd Carter, Esq., Solicitor, Carnar- von. "The result of this letter was tne reopen- ing of negotiations. Then a meeting was arranged between Mr Carter, the men's re- presentatives, together with Mr Daniel and myself, to consider whether it would be wise and proper to attempt to bring about an understanding, and it was decided that it would be well to take advantage of this opportunity of endeavouring to arrive at some understanding. A time and place of meeting for the following week were ar- ranged. The next day Mr W. H. Williams came to Carnarvon desiring to be informed how the matter had now been reopened. He declarc-d his unwillingness to proceed further without this information. Before I 1 saw him Mr Carter had informed him that it was I who had written him a private let- ter. When 1 arrived Mr Carter informed m ethati he had told Mr Williams of the let- ter I had written. I then asked that the letter should be read to Mr Williams since he "flow knew who had written it. This was done, and I then asked Mr Williams if the letter contained anything out of place, when he replied that he would not say that, but that he felt that I was very confident. It can now be seen fro nithe result of these negotiations that there was good founda tion for my confidence. He then asked per- mission to tell about the letter to his fellow- members of the deputation and Mr Daniel only, to which we at, once consented. Sub- sequently the negotiations were proceeded with until a settlement was arrived lt. which was duly signed by Mr Young and the men's representatives on the 18th guAust. The text of this settlement was cabacx^uejitiy I"Cio pubnc and adopted by the men on the 21st of the same month. I So far as I know, not a word was said of this letter until the following Tuesday night, 21th August, three days after every- thing had been confirmed. It was then that the committee were first informed how the negotiations had been opened, and I was censured, and that in my absence. The previous May similar negotiations had been opened by certain persons without consult- ing either the committee or the deputation, and I never heard anyone blame them for doing so. The one who, together with my- self, was the means of reopening the last negotiations has been commended, while an attempt has been made to ruin me. I leave you and the public to judge of the eonsis- tency of such conduct. I honestly believe had it not been for what I did the Penrhyn t dispute would have remained to-day unset- I tled. "In the foregoing simple statement I have confined myself entirely to the matter which has immediate connection with the letter for which I am blamed. Though there are other matters in connection with the Penrhyn dispute which might be dealt with, and which it would be well that you should know, I do do not desire to open that question myself. At the same time I deem it my duty to you to say that I am quite prepared to enter into the whole matter, and that I am quite confident that the more fully it is inquired into the more clear it will become that throughout the whole of this painful dispute I have acted openly, con- scientiously, and in the manner best calcu- lated to benifit the workmen and the union I have served so faithfully for the past 23 years.—Yours faithfully, "W. J. WILLIAMS." All the delegates having been furnished with copies of the circular it was deemed un- necessary to read it to the meeting. PRESS OPINIONS. The "Liverpool Mercury" says:-Aflood of light was thrown, at the meeting of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union, of which we publish a report in another column, upon the secret history of the Penrhyn Quarry dispute; and, as one strike is very much like another, the disclosures have an interest which is more than local. It will be remembered that the settlement of the stubborn conflict at Bethesda was brought anout by negotiations between Mr Wr. J. Williams, the general secretary of the Quarrymen's Union, and Mr Lloyd Carter, Lord Penrhyn's solicitor. Mr Williams, who had been opposed to the abandonment of the attempts to arrive at an understand- ing, came to the conclusion that he ought not to allow any false pride to stand in the way of a peaceful arrangement, and ven- tured on his personal responsibility to in- vite a resumption of the negotiations, be- lieving that only a little tact and forbear- ance were needed on both sides to\put an end to the conflict. The happy result of this audocity is that the quarries are now once more a busy hive of industry. It might have been supposed that Mr W. J. Wil- liams, as one of the diplomatists by whom the differences were smoothed away, would be entitled to the blessings of a peacemaker. Far otherwise has he fared. As soon as it became known to the leaders of the strike that he had taken upon himself to invite a renewal of the negotiations, a section of them began to denounce him as a traitor, and an agitation was set on foot to punish I him by depriving him of his office of general secretary and reducing him to the position of clerk to Mr Daniel, who had completely I failed in his ambitious efforts to terminate the strike through the interventionn of the Board of Trade. Happily, the plot has been foiled, but it has left its moral. It has been made more clear than before what trifles stand in the way of the settlement of adispute involving the happiness of thous- ands. The miserable little vanity of a knot of agitators counts for more than the pros- perity of a whole neighbourhood, and when an honest man has the courage to throw pride to the winds his reward is persecu- tion. The "Manchester Guardian" says: —A portion of the inner history of the negotia- tions which ended in the settlement of the Penrhyn strike has now been given to the public in the circular which Mr W. J. Wil- liams, the general secretary of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union, has just ad- i dressed vo the local lodges. It shows that the re-opening of the negotiations was due to Mr Williams's exertions, without which, probably, the dispute would still be going on: and the strangest part of the business is that in some quarters, for rendering this conspicuous service, Mr Williams has been, not praised, but censured. Perhaps now that the facts are known the attitude of the critics may change. At any rate, so far as the public is concerned, Mr Williams de- serves to be thanked for having, from the outset, acted with the sole desire of getting the genuine grievances of the men remedied and of bringing the dispute to a mutually satisfactory conclusion, and having consist- ently discountenanced every attempt to use the Bethesda men as catspaws for the ser- vice of ulterior ends. If his services in this matter have cost him the goodwill of any section of the quarrymen, it will be a case of ingratitude of a very bad type. A correspondent writes as follows to the Western Mail: "-On Saturday the ad- journed meeting of the Quarrymen's Union was held to consider a motion of which notice had been given by the Festiniog Lodge, the object of which was to remove from his present office the general secretary Mr William John Williams, and to invest the organiser, Mr D. R. Daniel, with the powers of general secretary. The present general secretary, who, together with Lord Penrhyn's solicitor, was chiefly instru- mental in brining about the Penrhyn settle- ment, has been subject to much hostile crit- icism by the more militant section of the Union for having re-opened negotiations with the management after the failure of negotiations in May last. In a private cir- cular addressed to the quarrymen, the general secretary points out that for six weeks after the negotiations in May last had fallen through the responsible leaders of the men had done nothing towards bring- ing about a settlement, although it was then perfectly clear to those who were ac- quainted with the circumstances what would be result of further delay—the funds were being exhausted, while the demands thereon were multiplying, and the workmen and all who contributed were inquiring what was being done to bring about a settle- ment." It was in this crisis in the history of the Union and the strike, when disaster to both appeared imminent, that the astute general secretary wrote the letter,, which brought about the final conference and saved the Union and the Penrhyn quarry- men in their extremity. The issue of this private circular, containing the text of the letter to Mr Carter, created such a revolu- tion of feeling among the quarrymen that Saturday's meeting practically rejected the Festiniog proposal, and retained the services of Mr Williams in a position which his long experience and practical knowledge pecu- liarly qualify him to occupy.

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LETT Ml* TO TIIE EUlTuII.

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