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THE LICENSING BILL WELSH LOQAjL VETO: ELOQUENT SPEECHES. MR WLLiLIAM JONElS' PASSIONATE PLEADING. The claim of Wales to local option in the matter of the further reduction of licenses -which is embodied in clause 9 of the Licensing Bill was dealt- -with in Parliament yesterday afternoon in a most interesting de- bate. in. whidh. it is admitted that the Welsh members scored h'-vily. Not only did the Principality speak with one Voice but it spoke eloquently and -well in support of its united desert; Sir Her- hert Roberts, who is an leader of temp-o-rance reform in the House, and who has the saost intimate knowledge of the Weish question in all its aspects, made out a conclu- sive case for Welsh local option. Sir ne-rbert Roberts, pointed out that every constituency in Wales returned a representa- tive at the last election pledged to the princi- ple ot7 this clause. Indeed, ever since the Bal- llot Act came into force .the people of Wales, Iby overwhelming majorities. had expressed themselves in favour,of local option. There had already been special legislation for Wales in the sphere of licensing, and it was upon that foundation that they built their case for further legislation. The demand for local option permeated the whole .public life of the country, and was not merely something manu- factured by politicians at election times, and from first" to last. temperance reformers in Wales had had in view prohibition as well as reduction. What would be the result if the dause were carried out? At nresin: the num- her of licensee m Wales and Monmouthshire was 7100. The statutory reduction would bring them to 4669, and if the clause they were now discussing was passed and funds permit- ted. there would be a further decrease to 3104 The only difference in the working of the further reduction in Vv ales and in England -was that in England it would take place ac- cording to the discretion ot the justices, and that in Wales i't would be subject- to the voice of the people in each locality. He d id not re- gard this as a difference in principle. iSir Herbert was etrongjy supported by several of his colleagues. Mr Wm. Jones cap- tivated the House with a speech full-of emo- tion and passionate pleading ior the interests of his native land. speaking of the strong temperance sentiment in W ales, he said that dn his own native county of Anglesey there were 36 parishes without a public-house. In .some of those parishes houses had been closed not by a two-thirds majority, but practically at the unanimous request of the people. He knew of one parish in Wales where only one farmer was seen to enter the nubiic-<house in the course of three months. That man used to get drunk regularly two nights a week, and so far as drink was concerned he kept the house going himself daughter). In his native town—which was one of the meet important market towns in North Wales and was the centre for county government—there were 29 public-houses when he was a lad, and now, even with the growth o" population, the- public- houses had dwindled t^ eight. Why? The moral feeling of the people (cheers;. Al- though a total abstainer all his life, he had never taken a fanatical view of temperance reform. He held they ought never to have any temperance reform too much in advance of the moral feelings and the sentiment of the community. It was because he wv.s convinced through knowledge and experience that the moral sentunent of the people of Wales, with the exception of one or two little centres, de- sired what was now proposed that he sup- ported it. The moral feeling in Wales was PO strong that throughout the length and breadth of the land no candidate for Pariianient dare fit and up unless he was wholesome, and square and right on this question (chep-rs). Xo mem- ber could have been returned for any part of Wales without giving a pledge not- merely that he was in favour of the di^es-'taiblkhment of the Welsh Church, but that he was also in favour cif local option (cheers). We want to ifree our country and make it advance more and more. We are, said Mr Jones, doing it to the admiration of the civilised world in educa- tion. We only began this thirty years ago. Give us another chance..Send us as emis- saries of the Empire, the same as you have sent jthe Scotch. Give.us facilities, and those Iracilfties will cripple moral and social tempta- tion and help a. little nation to .ru ke more ad- vances in progress for the whole Empire ilor.d cheers). Mr Ellis Da vies, in a closely .< £ a:oned and •clearly delivered speech, contrasted the ad- vanced opinion of Wales in .regard to the tem- perance question with the mere sluggish feel- inic of the Engikh constituencies. The people of Whales, he 6aid, were prepared to take the risk that local or-tii-ix would lead to secret drinking. If this turned ort to be the case it would be a lesson co Eragland to take an- other course. If. on the other hand, it was a success, it would bs an encouragement for the people of England, to bring local cption in.to operation. The Chancellor of tho Exchen- ucr watched the progress of the debate most ca-reitJly and with evident satisfaction, but did not deem it neces- sary to intervene in the discussion. Mr Her- bert Lewis, another keen temperance reformer -to whom,Wales is deeply indebted, sat on tho front bench almost continuously throughout the evening, but. having regard to the favourable course of the debate, he too re rained from prolonging the discussion. Sir Alfred Thomas and several other \y"i,h representatives were equally watchful, but sacrificed their nersonal dee ire to speak in the interest of the cause. -By a very large majority when the di'ision "was taken the principle of clause 9 was -adopted.

THE FERRY, BRIDGE, A NO 3ATHS

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I FOOTBALL NOTES

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