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Free Churches Conference.


Free Churches Conference. The Aberdare Boxing Contest. A conference was held at Nazareth (C.M.) Church, Aberdare, on Tuesday, under the presidency of the Rev. R. Williams. There was a full gathering of representatives from the Welsh Churches.—A letter was read from Mr. J W. Hurt, Market lessee, which stat- ed that the promoters of the boxing contest would not give it up under any conditions.—The following letters from Mr. Keir Hardie, M.P., and Mr. Edgar Jones, M.P., were read by the secre- tary, Rev. T. Eli Evans:— House of Commons, Feb. 6, 1913. Reverend and Dear Sir,—I beg to acknowledge with thanks your favour enclosing resolution on prize-fighting. Such fighting is very brutalising, but v we are up against the same difficulty there as in so many other matters. There is more than one building in London set apart for prize fighting un- der the patronage of educated, rich people, and as these would require to be included in any legislation, the pros- pects of such are somewhat nebulous. In a few weeks from now we shall be discussing the spending of more millions oa preparations for fighting by sea, and so long as the nation is prepared to submit to that it seems like swallowing a carmel and straining at a gnat to make much fuss about two individuals pommelling each other for a purse of inon?y. You will understand, of course, that I am against both.—Yours very truly, il. Keir Hardie." House of Commons, Feb. 6, 1913. Dear Mr. Ei,ans,-While heartily in agreement with the resolution you for- ward to me as to boxing contests, and the need for strengthening the exist- ing law, I gather that the local authori- ties have now indirect powers over buildings, etc., sufficient to act as a strong deterrent if not as a veto. I trust the worst form of the abuses will be suppressed.—Yours faithfully, Edgar Jones." Supt. Rees had written stating that the police had no power to stop boxing ( contests. Any influence, however, that h.? could use with a view to preventing a recurrence of these contests he would bo most pleased to exercise. Lord Merthyr had written saying that he had had an interview with Mr. Hurt, who said that, so far as he was concerned, he had simply let the hall to a syndicate, and that he had no power to stop the contest. If he was indem- nified in the matter, he would willing- ly do what he could to prevent its pro- ceeding. His Lordship felt sure that if it were a mere matter of rent, Mr Hurt would be prepared to forego it. He (Lord Merthyr) had, at the request of the High Constable, done what he could in the matter, and he was sorry that, under the circumstances, there was no possibility of stopping this particular contest, but hoped that nothing of the kind would take place in the future. A long discussion ensued.—Rev. H. P. Jenkins suggested that a letter be sent to Mr. Hurt to show their disap- proval of his conduct.—Rev. T. J. I ritchard took strong exception to the replyef Mr. Hurt, and he proposed "That this conference of the Welsh Churches of Aberdare and district de- sire to voice their strongest disapproval of Mr. Hurt's action in refusing to pro- mise that the Market Hall will not be let for boxing contests in the future unless the churches undertake to re- compense him for his loss; further, that we are opinion that this is an insult to the appeal of a Christian community, who have been his natrons."—Rev. J. D. Rees seconded the proposition, and Rev. J. Morgan supported.—Mr. John Mills believed thnt the extinguisher had been put on these contests as far as Aberdare was concerned. Even sup- porters were sick of the farce they had in their town the previous evening. Councillor W. Rees said that the direc- tors of the Market should also be blamed for letting the market at such a high rental, and from what he under- stood Mr. Hurt would only be glad to get out of the whole transaction.-Afi-. J. H. Powell (High Constable) said it was only fair to the directors that the meeting should know that the Market was let to the highest tenderer.—The motion was carried.—Councillor Geo. Powell was in favour of interviewing the directors, and asking them not to grant a lease again without a clause prohibiting boxing.—Rev. J. Griffiths moved that a communication be sent to Mr. Kenshole asking the directors to meet a deputation representing the Welsh Churches.—This was seconded and carried.—Rev. J. Griffiths would like to know what were the powers of the District Council in matters of this kind.—Councillor Geo. Powell gave a lengthy report of what took place at tho District Council meeting the previous evening, when a protest was carried against the contest. He was pleased to inform the conference that four of the Labour members had voted against the fight.-[A report of the D.C. will be found in another column.]—-The Rev. W. Davies, M.A., was glad to hear from Mr. Powell of the protest of the Dis- trict Council, and he moved, "That this conference tender their thanks and gra- titude to the members for their loyal action." -H eV. J. Griffiths seconded.— This was carried.—Rev. W. Davies, M.A., moved "That the conference ask the District Council to make arrange- ments to purchase the Market for the community."— Mr. Ogwen A1711liams seconded the proposition, and said that the public should own such a place.—-It was decided that this question be left in abeyance for a time.—Mr Lewis moved, and Mr D. Richards seconded that a deputation wait on Lord Merthyr asking him to aid in stopping the boxing con- tests, etc., held on the Fair Grounds.— It was also decided that a deputation wait upon the owners of the different Bioscope Shows of the town and district to ask them not to show the prize- fights in their entertainments.

Welsh Churches and the Contest.


-_._--Grand Theatre, Aberaman.


Letters to the Editor.


Abernant. #