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! -? Death of Mr Alfred Davie8…

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? Death of Mr Alfred Davie8 of Ilainpstead, London. X-)1.P. FOR CARMARTHEN BOROUGHS HOUSE OF COMMONS SCENES RE- CALLED. A quaint figure ini the political life of our time passed away at Haiv.ptrad on in the person of Mr Allied Rav.es, Lx-,1.. for the Carmarthen Boroughs. In the eaily day. of the last Gov^nment, Mr Davies; won fame as the Pickwickian interrogator of Mi Chamberlain as to his a dm migrations of the Colonial office. Mr I>avies 3 naivete, quaintness. and persistence provoked the House of Commons to unrestrained laugntei and no one appreciated the humour cf the situation more than Mr Chamberlain himself Quick to perceive the .source of Ins popularity the member for (the ¡Carma rtlwnl-);)\I:2: mado this novel foitm .of interrogation i» = forte, amd earlly in his Parlianiontaiy eaieso he was; widely known throughout the conn i> through the caricatures of "Punch a.-> ic wiek M.P. Far from resenting this omi ot fame, in which naivete was occasionall.y enet shadowed by burlesque, Mr Davies gloried in it, and for the remainder of his parliament- ary career lie was Ik,1,mn1, with his own ap- proval as Pickwick M.P. Even in persona'l appearance Mr Davies re- called Dickens' immortal creation, and the parallel was still iniore close in their common merriment, kindness, humour, and good nature. Apart from the serious elements of Parliamentary life, it may be correctly claim ed that Mr Davies's maiden speech in the House was the most noteworthy event of tho first cession of the Government that came In to power in 1900. Its modesty, its shrewd- ne s, its humour, its fine, full., rich flavor of kindliness and old-world courtesy, charmed the jaded commoners. ■Mr Davies assumed the role of the patriot endeavouring to help'Alinisjtei-s in themanage ment of the Empire, by putting important questions to them and cany wig on convert tion with them acmes the floor of the-- House. When Air Davies first asked Mr Chamberlain a question, he tacked on to it the phrase if he would be kind enough to answer. The old members raised their eve-brows in sur- prise and consternation at this old-fashioned courtesy, and Air Chamberlain himself com- meiHted on this innovation. "As a rule," he remarked, "we are asked questions with a pistol at our ears," Though Mr Davies was very polite to the Colonial Secretary, he was not afraid of him, and ere long the distin- guished Colonial Secretary and the Carmar- thenshire M.P. were on the best of terms. No new member received so much attention from the caricaturists as the Parliamentai y Pickwick. Sir F. Oarruthers Gould in tho columns of the "Westminster Gazette, and "South Wales Daily news," and Mr E. j. Reed in "Punch," especially, made good, kindly sport, of him, and as previously stated the victim rather enjoyed it. One fight or his Parliamentary experience he used to re- late with great elaboration of native humour During the maiden speech the Speaker called him to Order, and the stramge and novel ex- perience produced such an effect upon him that lie heard'the cry, "Order, order." in his dreaims, and started up in consternation from his slumbers more than once during the fol- lowing night. Air Da vies died with tragic suddenness on Friday morning at his Hainipstead home while chatting cheerfully with his family. He had been ailing for some time. having never re- covered from the shock caused by the death of his eldest son who was one of the victims of the Berlin steamship disaster off the Hook of Holland last February. He leaves a widow one daughter, and v four sons. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. Mr Davies was born in 1848. He was tho fourth son of the late Rev John Davie-s, Con gregational minister, a Carmarthenshire man who was pastor of Albany road Chapel, LOin- don and subsequently of Marsh street Church, Walhamstow. On his mother's side, Mr Davies was descended from a Baptist family. Her maiden name was Miss Mary Kidman Foster, daughter of a Cambridgeshire family whioh can tface its Nonconformity and its descent back to the parlous times—for Non- conformity— of Kin gCharJes.II. True to his ancestry, Mr Davies was a staunch advo- cate of Disestablishment. He was one of the first deacons of Lyiidhurst road Congrega- tional Church, at Hampstead, of which Dr Horton is pastor. When eight years of age young Davies was sent to a private school at Norwood, where lie had as school-fellow Mr Arnold Afonley, the past Liberal AVhip. Four years later he went to Mill Hi]], the Xoncon- forjnist Eton, where among his companions was Mr Albert ..spicer, M.P. At the age of 17 he left school and entered business, and 110 resolved that when he came to man's estate he would have a business of his own, or would try his fortune in a foreign land. He 1 ad been in the office of a steam shipping com- pany for a time, when he determined to start as an international carrier and underwriter on his own account. He did so, taking a voyage to America for the purpose of open- ing an agency there; and so large has the business become that it has agencies ?nd branches in all parts of the world. Mr Alfred Davies was one of the fir.t I. n don County Councillors, and he was subse quently elected an alderman of the Conned. When the keen struggle on the music nil question took place in 1889, Mr Davies, in order to strengthen the hands of the Lice ns- ing Committee, obtained expressions of ap- proval from many of the leading London Nc n conformist ministers. His desire was not to shut up places of amusement but to elevate them. The point, however, to which he p avo perhaps, greatest attention, was the subject of underground dwellings, and his crusa lo against them will possibly be the piece (f work by whiclh he will be most remebered as a London County Councillor. Though an Act has been passed prohibiting these dark and damp cellars which did not fulfil certain conditions as dwellings, the Board of Works appears to pay but little attention to tho Bill. At his own cost Mr Davies took; 1;t summonses amd obtained convictions after personal investigation. A resolution, moved hy Mr Davies, was passed by the Council p- viding that the district surveyors should carry out their duties in these matters, 1 nd as a result some hundreds of cases were taken in hand by the Council within ten months.. J being in Kensington, and ove: 200 in the large parish of St. Pancras. Mr Davies looked upoji politics as a part of his religion, and upon, social questions as a part of his politics. With the working classes, he was usually very popular. He was not only a home ruler for Ireland, but for Wales also. CARMARTHEN BOROUGHS REPRESEN- TATION. Mr Alfred .Davies entered in Parliament in 1900 as member for the Carmarthen Boroughs capturing the seat from Sir John Jones Jen- kins (now Lord GLantawe), who represented the constituency as a Unionist. His Lord fl'i ai' returned to the Liberal toll. Mr Davies's relations with his cor.st 1- l AfrT, n<i °rt'1 natelt, happy, and when Mr Lloyd George visited Llaneliv fo deliver Ins famous sppecK on South Afri-a i war, the member of the borough, whose views were not in harmony with the objects of the meeting, entered a protest in a letter Lo -t11( "Times." In the .summer of 1903, when a General Election seemed imminent, the Li an elly Liberal Kxe»cutive passed a resolution reocmmendiiig that steps be taken to select a candidate. to> A meeting was held in October of that year, and Mr Alfred Davies, Mr Tom Terrell, and Major Jones were nominated. The majority of the mem'.l>ere of the joint selection Council, it was stated, were Kn >wn to be in favour of the sitting member, riul desired to take a poll before the views )f ti e candidates had been obtained. There was trouble in the Liberal camp some of the n m hers breaking away from the association. These invited Mr Tom Tend to address pub- lic meetings in the constituency, and at Cm ma'rt-hen, Air Terrell made certain disclosures and Mr .Davies was asked by the Llaneliv Liberal Executive to answer the charges, and this he did in a sensational address. b quently, the executive recommended that their previous recommendation to the joint council selecting him as candidate be set aside, and that the select ion of a ca ndidate h eta ken be novo. Mr Alfred Davies u- fused to put himself in competition with the other candidates, and for a (considerable t'ne there was a split in the Liberal ranks at jdanei'lly and Carmarthen. Ulti.me. ely. Mr Llewelyn Williams was adopted jy the" joint council, and Mr Alfred Davies's >v:ihdra ,val was ultimately announced. "I ys "A short, but eventful, polivcal oncer, brought into prominence the late Mr A'ucu Davies, a man of veiy remarkable pivts. I L a time his personality became vividly impressed upon his colleagues in the House of Commons. He made his mark fust of all by questions to Mr Chambedlain about the Transv aal and the Chartered Company, and other cognate subjects, treating the then Colonial with an a a- o,1 pat ionising aloofness that was immensely enjoyed by the House. When he had a question to ask, he would -rise with one hand in his pocket, and wav.ng his papeis in the air, blandly inquire: "Will the right hon. gentleman kindly give me a lepiy to question marked and I woii'.d he personally obliged to him if he would answer it separately the other tf,)!IoN\- The House would twitter exp'tciaaitCy. Mr Chamberlain would a brief aiwiver a monodyliable jiitivi ji' p.sie-lo. Then milii'g expansive 1 1 ,• Mi Da\ t would say, "And now, will the right hon. gentleman kindly answer No —■ in the same way "No sir,' was tne reply, ill a laughter* "And," pursued the u 11 aba-lied Welshman, "will ho now oblige me w t\ a better reply to the question ..hen Mr Chamberlain replied "The answer is in the negative," the House shook with laughter. Sucth was one of the many scenes enjoyed between Mr Davies and the Colonial Secre- tary. Soon Mr Davies made his mark by a maiden speech, which was quaint, simple and humoi011s, according well with his own char- acter. It was, in fact, one of the events of the session, and Mr Davies, who bore a strik- ing resemblance to "Pickwiioh," became the beloved of caricaturists. His nature was full of fun, and accustomed himself to saying funny things, nobody enj-oye<l more than ho ;t,.e caitooiiis of "Punch," in uhicli Mr E. T. Reed immortalised him. Air Davies was horn in London. Though 1 the son of a Weljhman, and one of the first supporters of the Welsh Nationalist move- ment, he neve-r lived in the Principality. His father was the Rev, John Davies, of Carmar- thenshire, and pastor, first of Albany Chapel i Regent's Paik, aiuP later cf Marsh-street i Church, Walthamstow. lie was educated at Mill Hill School, and there became acquain- ted with Sir Albert Spioer, with whom lie was afterwaacls much associated. Entering a counting-house as a. clerk at the age of fifteen he received a good training. Being ambi- tious, and a good bus'incss man, he com- menced business at itwenty-one as aai inter- national carrier and underwriter at London, | Liverpool, and New York. This business, he hililt up to prosperous proportions. During alii these years lie proved a man of kindly, genial temperament, well known for his hospitality. He also engaged in public life 011 the Hampstead Vestry and London County Council, and did a good deal of use- ful and vigoroug work for social reform. In the general election of 1900 supported by the recommendation of the late Henry Richard he stood for the Carmarthen Boroughs, and won a the seat for Radicalism, defeating Sir John Jones Jenkins (now Lord Glantawe) by 790 votes. His Parliamentary career though eventful, was destined to be short The public will re- member the amusing disclaimer at Llanelly towards the eii([ cf the last Parliament. Biok erings amongst the Radical paity in Llanelly brought to light seme humourous incidents. In spite of these, Air Davies declared his in- tent-ion to seeking re election, but considera- tions of health and the pressure or friends induced him to- retire from the- contest in the favour of Mr Llewelyn Williams. The House of Commons thus lost one of its most conspic uous figures. It was a new Hous.e of new men. that returned, aaid the genial personal ity was not so much missed; but there will scarcely be a dry eye amongst those who sat in the House of Commons when they recall the little Pickwickian figure, with its shin- ing bald head, genial face, and immense courtesy. Mr iDavies was a man with a great heart- too great, perhaps, for politics; he was much loved by those ii-lio knew him best, aud his generosity in a good cause was boundless. THE FUNERAL. The funeral of Mr Alfred Davies took place on Tuesday at the- Hampstead Ceme- I tery. Prior to it-he in-te-miient a service Was lie'! (I at the Lydidhurst-road Congregational Church. Among the mourners were the widow. throe sons, and a daughter.

Carmarthen r'ounly Petiy Sessiors

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