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Conservatism in the Rhondda…

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Conservatism in the Rhondda THE "SPLIT" AT FERNDALE. INTERVIEW WITH MR LITLEJOHNS. AN ECHO OF THB 1895 ELECTION. "A BALANCE-SHEET BOfiEY." Whilst on a visit to Ferndale one day ilii* week, writes a "Free Press" reporter, I hap- pened upon Mr John Littlejohns, that prominent figure in Rbondda Toryism; and in the course of our conversation a reference was made to the artic'o, which appeared in last week's istue of the free Press," disclosing tee a;po,lAnt 'split" in the ranks of Ferndale Conservatives. "In answer to the question directed to me with regard to my past silence," said the novel- ist, "permit me to say that I never make a practice either of washing linen in public or of noticing every Yahoo that may chance to cross my path." "But the public are anxious to know the truth of the matter, Mr Littlejohns." "Then you may tell them that ever since I ran foul of a powerful attempt that was made to prevent a contest in the Rhondda in 1895, an organised effort has been put forth to rain my political work in Ferndale." "By whom?" "By probably all those that were behind the plot of 1895, together with the willing toolr whom they have engaged." "What is the ostensible object of their inter- ference in the political affairs of Ferndale?" "Various excuses have been given. When- ever a whisper of discontent amongst a section of the members of the Ferndale Conservative Club was heard, the vultures have invariably acme here to spring upon their prey." "Have the members of the clubs been allowed access to the books and accounts of the club?" "Most certainly they have. The books were examined at the end of the first year of the club's existence by two auditors, who were ap- pointed by the members, then by Captain Hotch- kiss, chief Conservative agent for South Wales, then by the elected members of the committee, then by the members themselves at a general meeting, and lastly by a member and a public accountant from Pontypridd." "The balance-sheet cry is, therefore, only a bogey "It certainly is. If it were not, do you think that the club would have survived the organised effort that was made to braek it down ?Further, do you think that the men who have investiga- ted the books of the parent club would be allowed to examine the accounts of its rival? I ask the malcontents for a reply?" "What have you to say about the opposition meted out to Blaenllechau from a non-resident in the Eastern Division?" "The spite is so puerile that it is only worthy of the jackanapes who have planned it." "Have they been misled?" "Yes, by a mountebank whose ambition is only excelled by his want of mental perception." "What leading men have seceded from the u party in the Khondda. "The majority of those who attended associa- tion meetings prior to the election of 1895." "Have you severed your official connection with the party, Mr Littlejohns?" "I have so far as the Rhondda is concerned. It is impossible for any voluntary work of value to bo done when you are surrounëled by a swarm of bees ready to sting you." "But you are not surtendemig your advocacy of Conservative principles?" "Not on this side of the grave. Conservative principles are the unerring precursors of destiny, and are the only maxims that will establish the British Empire as the hub of the universe and the ideal of time." The conversation now drifted from the un- pleasant details of the "rift within the lute" to the more congenial subject of literature, and this led to my asking Mr LittlejohnB for infor- mation as to the book he is about to publish on tin subject of Disestablishment. Naturally, the author was enthusiastic on the matter, and in telling me that a copy of the book would be sent the "Free Press" for review, he confidently challenged the reviewer to "use the rapier and the whiplash unsparingly.

-__-----PONTYPRIDD COUNTY…

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