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Deganwy Action in Liverpool.

Talycafn Mart Sale.


Socialism at Llandudno.


Socialism at Llandudno. BRILLIANT ADDRESS BY MR. G. BERNARD SHAW. For many weeks past great interest had been mani- fested in the proposed visit of Mr Bernard Shaw to LIandudno, on b-half of the newly.formed Fabian Society of that town. Accordingly a large audience gathered together in the Grand Theatre on Thurs- day, despite counter attractions elsewhere. They were rewarded by hearing the famous lecturer at his best, and for over two hours enjoyed his most bril- liant exposition of present-day politics. Beyond all doubt those who were not present missed one of the greatest intellectual treats ever offered to the people of North Wales. Mr J. Allanson Picton, J P., of Penmaenmawr, had been advertised as chairman, but owing to sudden illness, which was most deeply regretted, was unable to preside. Accordingly the position was filled by Mr Francis Nunn, of Oolwyn Bay, who made an ideal chairman. He briefly explained the reason of Mr Allanson Picton's absence, and immediately called upon the lecturar. Mr Bernard Shaw had a splendid reception, and was very soon on the best of terms with his audience. He explained that the lecture was held under the auspices of the Fabian Society, which was noordinary Society, but exclusively composed of intellectual and superior people, like unto himself. (Laughter.) They did not press fji- membership, as this was a privilege to be qualified for, a thing to whom a virtuous and intellectual man might eventually attain. (Laughter.) In this country four out of every five electors were working people, yet they only had thirty representa- tives in Parliament, the remainder representing none bat the upper classes. However, this was but a beginning, and they were certain to grow until a day should come when they would have a majority. (Cheers.) Probably by that time the upper classes would have discovered that Parliament was a mis- taken institution. (Laughter.) The working classes were now to some extent represented in the House of Commons, and so were better off as compared with the middle classes, who were not. This was because the middle clases did not believe that they belonged to the middle classes they belonged to the aristocracy. (Laughter.) No working man objected to the name if he was a decent fellow at all, but no one could tell a middle-class man that he was such. In consequence of his exclusion from Parliament the middle-class man was being very badly left. Certain people put forward THE BUDGET as a means of raising funds to provide Old Age Pen- sions, and to relieve distress caused by unemploy- ment while others held that Tariff Reform was the only correct method of raising these funds. Either method would, in the first instance at any rate, in- crease unemployment. Anyone who believed that Tariff Reform would abolish unemployment was a lunatic. (Laughter.) He would not say that Free Traders were any better. (Renewed laughter.) In the case of America they had reduced the handling of tariffs to a science, yet had unemployment to a fearful extent. Germany had fared no better, and on the occasion of a recent Royal visit to Berlin, many thousands of troops had to be employed to keep the streets (dear of unemployed men who were starving and destitute. Tariff Reform was not so popular in our seaport towns as elsewhere. We paid for our imports by exports, a.nd any attempt to curtail the former would naturally injure the latter, to the immense disadvantage of our mercantile marine, which carried the vast bulk of the world's commerce Again, if a tariff failed to exclude foreign goods, it would merely increase the retail price if it succeeded, there could be no revenue from this source, and the cost of Dreadnoughts, increased OLD AGE PENSIONS, &c., would have to come from additional taxation. The Budget contained a powerful attack upon the land- owners, and would affect all dependent upon them, chiefly the class who administered to the luxury of the rich. He thought the widdle-classes would do well to organise themselves and combine with the working- classes. They had a common bond, the strongest of all bonds running through human society, in that they both had to work for their living. The working classes were organised and were ready for the General Election, at which he thought they would gain con- siderably. It was high time that the middle classes followed this example, for they were slowly but surely being crushed out cf existence. In the commercial world their existence was threatened by the rise of trusts and combines which were invading every in- dustry with their huge aggregations of capital, against which THE SMALL TRADER was absolutely powerless. Ruined by these merciless competitors, the tendency was for former proprietors of small businesses to become the salaried employees of the very concerns which had ruined them. He in- stanced the case of an old acquaintance whose prosper. ous business was assailed and eventually overthrown by the merciless competition of a company of uni- versal providers," who for a time sold goods below cost-price. There were a number of amusing people who went about saying that Socialism would drive capital out of the country, but these very people were themselves carrying capital out if the country, to spend in pleasure. (Cheers.) This capital was created by the hand and brain labour of the working and middle classes, but was taken as rent and interest by the upper classes. Capital that should be utilised to make this country a cleaner, healthier and happier land to live in was being taken by the rich and wasted in luxury on the Mediterranean shores. It was not even required of these people that they should spend the money they took (but did nothing to earn) within the limits of the kingdom, much to the disadvantage of Llandudno in common with all other holiday resorts. (Cheers.) One thing was to be conceded to the Socialists, viz., that they had never made any Droposal which would not have the effect of investing English capital in England. (Cheers ) He had himself toured in the Mediterranean and seen the APPALLING WASTE OF WEALTH taken from a land where hunger and destitution were rife, and he had returned to find in sorrow and anger that the people were thinking of anything rather than the remedy for this state of affairs. (Applause.) Mr Balfour, speaking at Manchester, had said that the proposals contained in the Budget were striking at security. Whose security ? The security of people at Nice and Monte Cirlo. (Cheers ) Nothing was said as to the security of the business men and workers of this country, not one of whom could rely upon escaping bankruptcy and dying in the work- house. One out of every four or five persons in this country died in a public institution. What was the mark one saw on the face of every person with whom one came into personal contact daily ? It was the hateful mark of pecuniary anxiety. (Cheers.) The moment that a proposal was made to put a little taxation on the idle rich there was a terrible scream. (Laughter). They no longer felt secure! Well, he did not wish them to feel secure. (Loud applause.) He desired that all unearned wealth should be taxed and taxed without remorse nineteen shillings and sixpence in the pound if necessary. Mr Lloyd George (cheers) was very angry with the landlords but omit- ted to deal drastically with other unearned incomes. After all, such landlords as spent considerable sums in the up-keep of their estates wore of more benefit to Society than men who drew profits from industrial concerns and spent the money abroad. He advocated a gradual extension of Municipal and State enterprise with more and more public employment, and less of the present terrible dependence on private employers. It was alleged that Socialism would destroy in- dividual liberty, but that was absurd. Individual liberty was destroyed by the present competitive system. Who could call himself free when another man had a grip upon his very life ? Who dare stand up boldly to the man who could give him the sack" and cast him forth into destitution ? (Loud applause ) The ideal Parliament would be one which would represent the workers as against the idlers. (Loud applause ) The lecturer then proceeded, at great length, to explain the manifold advantages of MUNICIPAL TRADING, on which important subject he is admittedly one of the greatest of living experts. The audience followed him keenly, and appreciated to the full his trenchant criticism of the upnolders of private enterprise. He related his experiences in connection with a certain municipal electrical undertaking in London, which retailed current at cost price, and at a figure very much below that charged by private companies. They were adversely criticised for not showing a large profit! It was not their business to make profit out of the undertaking, but to give the maximum of service to the community. (Applause.) Had they made a profit by charging high prices they would have deserved imprisonment. (Laughter.} What would the married men of his audience think if they discovered that their wives made a profit—(Laugh- ter)-otit of the funds provided to maintain the


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Socialism at Llandudno.