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Councillor Edward Jones and…


Councillor Edward Jones and the Pentre Trades and Labour Council. Councillor Ed. Jones—ex-chairman of the Rhondda District Council and Labour member for Ward 3-is in hot water with the Pentre Trades and Labour Council, as the sequel to a meeting addressed by him and Councillor Walter Williams, a fellow-representative of the same Ward, at the Maindy School on September 22nd. The meeting; was the outcome of an agreement between the three members of the Ward arrived at when Mr. Williams was elected on the Council nearly three years ago, to give a periodical account of their stewardship to the ratepayers. The fact that Mr. Jones stood on the same platform as Mr. Williams has probably given offence to the extremist section of the Trades and Labour Council, and at the last meeting of that Council a notice of motion was tabled by Mr. T. C. Morris calling upon Mr. Jones to explain why he, a, Labour member, addressed a gathering in company with two enemies of Labour." Mr. Jones has represented the Labour interest of the Ward upon the Council for several years past, and the confidence reposed in him is manifested by the fact that his return was unopposed on the last two occasions. Some time after the Trades and Labour Council came into being, about eighteen months ago, Mr. Jones became associated with it, and he is now being paid by that body a sum which averages about C20 per annum for his services as a Labour mem- ber. Hence the conflict. Seen by our reporter, Mr. Jones very reluctantly consented to give his view of the position. He declared that there was an understanding between him and Mr. Walter Williams, when the latter was elected, that a report should be given to the electors of their stewardship, and that Mr. Thos. Davies, the other member for the Ward, should also be invited to address the meeting. Through unfore- seen circumstances, this meeting did not come about until September 22nd, and when the meeting was arranged, Mr. Davies (Windsor) was invited to join them, but owing to his impaired state of health he had been ordered to the Mumbles for a change of air. The meet- ing was non-political and non-controversial, and as far as he (Mr. Jones) was aware, it had no other object but the one already named. Whatever our differences in life may be/' said Mr. Jones, we are, as members of the Ward, muted in doing 9 what we think is best for the Ward. It is not for' me to decide who shall repre- sent Ward No. 3; I leave that to the ratepayers, and they paid me the compli- ment of electing me as one of their repre- sentatives, and during the past eight years I have enjoyed their confidence without proceeding to an election. I have never interfered in local elections, but have allowed our own ratepayers to select the man they think best for the post. Before I was last elected I fetched the papers from the office with the object of nominating another workman to represent Labour in my place, but that person found out that, for obvious reasons, he could not stand, and told me that I would have to contest the seat, as I was more conversant with municipal matters. I have represented Labour on the Council when only Daniel Evans and myself were the direct representatives of Labour on the Council. It has always been my object to do what I can for the rate- payers of Ward 3 in general, and for Labour in particular. Maybe, I have not created a display," but I have always attended to private questions and indi- vidual applications. There was no com- mittee to whom I was to give a report; only a casual meeting of ratepayers now and then. Throughout the years, I have attended Labour members' election meet- ings and spoke in their favour. Eighteen months ago," continued Mr. Jones, a Trades and Labour Council was formed at Ton, with the object of centralising the forces of Labour. During my chairmanship of the Rhondda District Council, they sent me, a complimentary letter, congratulating me upon my posi- tion, declaring it to be an honour to myself and the class I represented. In September, 1908, they sent me an invita- tion to join them. I did so, and since then they have defrayed my expenses at meetings of the Council, and I have en- joyed their confidence. I generally give them a report of the Council's doings every month, and when questions are in- vited I have done all I can to instruct them and answer their questions." What do you propose to do in the face of the notice of motion? queried our representative. I shall go on as hitherto. The fact of my having two of my colleagues on the same platform myself is not an' un- pardonable sin, seeing that it was a non- controversial meeting, and called purely and simply for the purpose of giving an account of our stewardship." Do you propose to continue your con- nection with the Trades and Labour Council ? I do not think that the notice of motion will curtail the liberty of the isubject. I If a clear understanding is brought about, I do not think they will tie my hands or impose any stringent measures." ri Do you! think they are within their rights in giving this notice of motion? I do not think they are. According to the constitution of the Council they have no right to call me to book, but I presume that individual members have a right to express an opinion, which is different from the unanimous resolution of any organisation. Of course there are extremists in every organisation, and probably this is only an expression of an extreme view from one of them." Is this Trades and Labour Council dominated by any political colour? It has not appeared so to me thus far, because it has been clearly given me to understand that its function is to join with different trade organisations so as to secure a greater Labour voice on public bodies." Do you think that the notice of motion conveys the general feeling of the Council upon the matter? No; because there were several mem- bers present who stood by my side in my first battle, and have stood loyally by me through the years, ready to support me." So you don't think the notice of motion is the outcome of any vindicti v- ness towards you personally? Oh, no; not in the least. The 'mover may hold he is in the right, and may be perfectly honest in his views; but what I maintain is. that the meeting was called purely and simplv for the object I have already mentioned, and should not be confounded with any propagative work of any political party. I know we do not all see eye to eye as to the method of uplifting the working classes, but I am as anxious, as anyone to better the con- dition of the working man." In conclusion, Mr. Jones declared that several persons had individually thanked him for addressing the meeting, and this, after all, was the expression of the Man in the Street.

1 hA English Constitution.

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