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- THE REPRESENTATION OF FLINTSHIRE.

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THE REPRESENTATION OF FLINTSHIRE. RESIGNATION OF MR. S. SMITH, M.P. THE OUESTfON OF .SUCCESSOR.. 0:1 Satnrdav afternoon a meeting of the Flint- shire Liberal Association was held at the Town Hall, Flint, for the purpose of considering a letter received from Mr. S. Smith, M.P. Alder- man M. A. H.alli, J.P., presided, and amongst the local delegates present were Messrs. S. Perks, J.P., J. L. -Muspratt, J.J' R. Llewelyn Jones, Elwy Williams, J.P., S. J. Amos, C. Jones, Hugh Edwards, J. \Y. Jones, R. Jolley, H. Percival Williams, (1. W. l'arry, John l'rirn- ston, Thomas Whitley, J.P., Captain GriblArt, of Rhyl Dr. Easterby, St. Asaph; Messrs. John Hughes, Robert Jones, and Thomas Jones, Prestatvn, 0:C. There was also a large repre- sentation from the other polling districts in the county. Mr. Harding Roberts, secretary of the Associ- ation, read letters apologising for non-attend- ance. Among these was one from Mr. G. A. Parry (Mold), who referred to the rumour that Air. I. Herbert Lewis, the member for the Rooug'hs, might stand for the county division. In his humble opinion, he wrote, there was danger in such a course. In the first place the lioroughs ad no right to choose a candidate for the county; also it was dangerous at all titles to change horses when crossing a stream. Further Mr. Lewis now held a safe seat, and that which might be a safe eat for one might be dangerous for another. Mr. Harding Ro- berts added that he wrote to Air. Parry stating he was not aware that the Boroughs had inter- fered in the matter at all. Air. Roberts men read the following letter:- Orchill, Draco, Perthshire, July 24th, 1905. My dear Ilarcmg Roberts,—1 think the time has come when 1 ought to write you definitely aijout my position. I have delayed thus far at the earnest request of my constituents, who wished to avoid a by-election. I am sorry to say there is no chance of my being able for more public work. This last illness has been the most serious, and for a time my situation was very precarious and recovery seemed oubtful; but now my doctor thinks a real -improvement ha:, set in, and that I may have at least a partial iccoverv. This may be so, but 1 have not the least hope that I shall be <e for work again. There is a general ex- pectation of a dissolution of Parliament at early date. I feel sure it cannot be long 1 -tponed, for the Government is a house divided against Hself, which on the highest authority cannot stand. Whether it comes this autumn or early next year is uncertain, but I beg to intimate to my constituents that I shall not seek re-election, and that I must retire from a service in which I have enjoyed their cordial support for seventeen years. It is a cause of real sorrow to me to sever the bonds of friendship which held me to Flintshire for so manv years. No member could have had a more happy experience than has fallen to me. I have never had a differ- ence of any moment with mv constituents, and I do trust that my successor, whoever he may be, will be equally fortunate. May T take this opportunity of saying how desirous T am of seeing a strong, united Liberal party in the next Parliament ? The country is sick of this reactionary Government, which has blurred and blotted all the old landmarks of our national progress for the past century. It yearns for the old Liberal ideals of peace, retrenchment, and reform, for the full devel onment of civil and religious liberty, and for tha continuance of the Free Trade policy un- der which we have grown and prospered for sixty years. I anticipate a great Liberal victory if our partv works cordially together, and for Wales particularly I anticipate the return of the largest Liberal majority of our time. Kindly read this letter to the meeting and delegates, and believe me, vours very truly, SAMCKI. SMITH.' The Chairman said he was glad to see such a large and representative gathering. He dwelt up_n the necessity of being united, and said they must stifle small differences and work for a common object (applause). Whoever be- came their candidate must be returned by a large majority (applause). Air. S. Pen;s,J.r., proposed That this meet- ing of the Flintshire Liberal Association re- ceives with the mo-t profound regret the decis- ion of Air. Samuel Smith not to seek re-election. It recalls with gratitude the innumerable ser- vices he has rendered to the Liberal party in the county of Flint during the 17 years he has represented that constituency, and the Associa- tion offers him its deepest sympathy in his illness and expresses the hope that his valuable life may long be spared, artd that in. other capacities he may be enabled to continue to take a sympathetic interest in the well-being of the county he has so well and faithfully served both in and out of Parliament. He said he was sure he was only expressing the views of evervone present that whoever m.ay be the suc- cessor of Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith would always live in their memory as a faithful and consis- tent representative of that county (applause). Air. J. L. Muspratt,J.P..in seconding, said he was sure that however great the pain it to Air. Smith to sever his connection with that county, to those of them who had worked with him for the last seventeen years the pain was still greater. Hut having had his services so long, they had felt stronger and better Liberals since he had represented the county, and who- ever succeeded him would have a hard task to accomplish to obtain in the same degree the amount of devotion and respect which they felt for the gentleman who would shortly cease to be their member (applause). Air. J. Heruerl Lewis, M.P.,in Mipporting the motion, referred in sympathetic terms to Air. Smith, whose coileague he had been for over eleven years. He personallv would feel the separation very keenly indeed, and he only washed it nad been possible for them to keep Mr. Smith as their representative hear, hear). However, considerations of health were para- mount, and to his infinite regret he was obliged to retire. Mr. Smith had given a quarter of a century of his life entirely to the public ser- vi.—not merely the fag end of his life after the claims of business and all social obligations bad been discharged, but the whole of his life. It had been a distinction for Flintshire to have been represented by such a member (applause). Mr. Smith had always regarded it as a great ht nour to be associated with Flintshire, and he (Mr. Lewis) could easily imagine the pangs his colleague would suffer at having t sever his connection with a constituency he esteemed so highly. He cordially associated himself with the words that had been spoken or. that memor- able occasion (applause). "he motion was carried unanim nsiv. ír. Elwy Williams (Rhyl) said the retirement of Mr. Samuel Smith was not only a great loss to the county, but to the country. He was one of the greatest social reformers in Parliament, his high moral character and stsdfastness of purpose earning the deep respect and admira- tion of all his fellow-members lavmlausel. THE QUESTION" OF SUCCESSOR. Th.e meeting proceeded to consider the ques- tion of selecting a candidate. ■Ir. Thomas Parry, Aloid, saM ihev should first of all offer the seat to Mr. Herbert Lewis, the member for the boroughs. As a county elector he had not heard expre--ed any wish on the part of the boroughs or Cie countv to dictate as to what course should be pursued. The interests of the county and the boroughs w-re practically identical and li;e.> with each °ther, and both representatives -mould be in harmonv with and interested i- the county generaiiv. Mr. Herbert Lewis, a. t.iough he was technically the member for the roughs, had lir t in the past confined his attention to his own constituency, but had loc.ied after the county as well (applause). X*r.er all the cir- V-umstances he thought it was their duty to inquire whether Air. Lewis felt inclined to ac- cept the seat. If he was, then trey should offer it to him as a reward for his r'mthful services in the past. Mr. Parry said he formally propose that the Association ii:* Mr. Herbert Lewis to become the candidate Flintshire. Dr. Williams seconded the re-, nation. Mr. Lewis' past services entitled hin: the honour of promotion. They could n ("e sight of the fact that they were passing through critical times, and that the Labour vote in the county was to be seriously reckoned with. There had been rumours fiving about that the Labour element were not altogether satisfied with the state of affairs, and that it w?.< not unlikely they would run an independent candidate of their own. A voice Quite correct. Dr. Williams: Quite correct? Yen" well. tie supports my argument (laughter). He was sure, he added, no man could carry the Labour vote with him better than Mr. Lewis. He had I been looked upon in his own constituency as a Labour candidate, and he (Dr. Wiliiams) could not help thinking that there might be little I trouble with the broough electors before they would let him go (laughter). Air. T. Lindop, Buckley, said he had no auth- ority to vote for any particular candidate that afternoon. He did not think it wise definitely to select a candidate without submitting his name to the bulk of the electors (hear, hear). Air. Elwy Williams said no one would work harder than he would do if Air. Lewis was selected as their candidate. At the same time ci it was hardly fair to have brought Mr. Lewis before a public meeting. The wiser course would have been to hold a private meeting, where views could have been exchanged with gieater freedom than in that meeting (hear, hear They certainly could not get a stronger candidate than Mr. Lewis, but they must re- CuTmse that possibly there might be a difficul- ty m bringing about the transfer. The boroughs would have to be reckoned with before any decision could be arrived at. Therefore, let them take no rash step that afternoon. Mr. S. J. Amos (Rhyl) said he also felt it was rntair to bring Air. name before the meeting, and he questioned whether that meet- ing had the absolute power to select a candi- date. They all knew the county was a safe 5.:>:0:. Aloreover, it was an exoensive C;12- much more expensive to work than the boroughs. It would he a calamity to the Welsh Parliament- ary party if bv means of a mistaken policy they chanced to weaken the representation cf either the boroughs or the county. Personally, he did not knew who could carry ths borough seat like Air. Lewis'. Mr. Wright (Queen's Ferry) suggested that the question be referred back for consideration by the various local associations, who could select a name or names. Mr. T. Lindop, Buckley, asked if Air. W. II. had been approached in the matter. Mr. Harding Roberts said no one had been approached. Mr. Lnclop said he had heard the name of Air. Lever mentioned favourably several times as a candidate who would likely receive the unanimous Labour vote. Mr. T. L. Muspratt said it had been hinted that the Association should look out for a can- didate who would spend largely not only dur- ing the election time, but afterwards. He knew it had been mentioned in private conver- sation in various parts of the count}-, but he for one hoped the Association would put its fool down upon such a thing (hear, hear). No mat- ter who the man was, he should not be asked to anything beyond his services and his e an, tone If thev got a good candidate t, represent them, they should not try to gauge the depth of his pocket. If they did, their choice would be restricted and they would perhaps not be so well reoresc-nted as they won! otherwise do (hear, hear). Mr. Parry (Mold) proposed, and Mr. Amos seconded—'That this meeting, in view of the fac; that the regrettable retirement of Mr. Smith renders the selection of a Liberal candidate immediately necessary, requests the local Asso- ciations to meet for the purpose of suggesting a suitable candidate or candidates whose name or names shall be submitted to the secretary at a given date, with a view to his selection by this Association at an early date.' Mr. G. W. Parry (Rhyl) said that eighteen year;- ago he happened to be travelling towards Chester, and there came into the lompartment in which he w-as travelling a young man—that youn^ man was Air. Herbert Lewis. It was at the beginning of the election of Lord Richard ( He needed no phrenologist to tell him of the character of that man. He in- rtantlv took it in, and he had not been mistaken in it applause). When it came to a question, of selecting a candidate in succession to Lord Richard Grosvenor, he happened to mention the name of Air. Herbert Lewis, but in the dis- trict f Rhyl no one would be acceptable but Air. Smith, and they vere delegated to vote tor that gentleman. At the meeting at Alold the feeling was so strong in favour of Air. Lewis that he was within seven votes, of being elected. He was in favour of Air. Lewis at the time, and now that Air. Smith, who had served them so iaithtuily and whom them valued so highly, was about to retire, he (Mr. Parry) had a chance of returning to his first love, feeling that it was impossible to find anyone to contest the county who would be more acceptable to the party generally than A!r. Herbert Lewis (applause). A voice: Is Air. Herbert Lewis willing to accept the invitation ? C Mr. j. \V. Jones (Rhyl) said it was useless L I I going before the different associations with anv names before they knew what -Air. Lewis would do. Perhaps that gentleman was not prepared to accept the invitation. Let the meeting have an indication of his feelings in the matter in order to convey them to those thev represented, (hear, hear). < Mr. Herbert Lewis. then explained his position to the meeting, but by request the reporters did not take a note of his speech in order, as the hon. member remarked, to allow him greater freedom of expression. In effect, Air. Lewis consented to stand on certain conditions. After some further discussion, the resolution was passed. It was also resolved to hold an- other meeting of the Association at Flint on September 5th.

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