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IColwyn Bay Women's Liberal…


Colwyn Bay Women's Liberal Association. THE POLITICAL SITUATION DISCUSSED. GROWING EXPENDITURE ON PRE- PARATIONS FOR WAR. HOW SOCIAL REFORM IS HAMPERED. Mrs. Byles, the distinguished lady who is President of the National Women's Liberal Association Executive, was the principal speaker at a public meeting held in the I Lecture Hall, Colwyn Bay, on Thursday evening, under the auspices of the Colwyn Bay Women's Liberal Association. Dr. Morris Jones very capably presided over a fair attendance, which would un- doubtedly have been larger were it not for I two circumstances. In the first place the weather was certainly discouraging, and, secondly, the mcle Liberals of the district did not realise that the meeting was a public" one, and not for ladies only. However, the mere men may find satisfaction in learning that the meeting got on very well indeed in their absence and was in every respect a success. The Chairman made an appropriate speech in welcoming Mrs. Byles. The political situation, he said, was at all times interest- ing to many of them, but there were certain periods in the history of the country when the political situation was not only interest- ing but very grave, and the nation seemed to be passing through such a period at the present time. Alluding to the position occu- pied by Mrs. Byles, he said that in these days, if one desired to know anything of the inner side of politics, he must consult, not the National Liberal Association but the Women's L'beral Association. (Laughter, and hear, hear.) SIR HERBERT AND LADY ROBERTS. Mrs. Byles, who was cordially received, spolie with some difficulty, albeit with never-failing charm, in consequence of hav- ing caught a severe cold. After having made a lengthy tour in sunnier Southern climes she encountered the severe November gale, ar.d thus contracted a chill. "I must apolo- gise," she said, for speaking like a croak- cri ing raven—(laughter),—but I can assure you that I shall have no croaking in my words and no croaking in my thoughts." (Hear, hear.) Liberals could not croak at a n'oment like this. Their hearts were high, especially after the news from South Shields and Walthamstow. (Applause.) Whatever might be the feelings on the other side, Liberals at any rate did not care how soon an appeal was made to the country. Cer- tainly they did not care in that great con- stituency, with their admirable Member and his equally admirable wife. She thought they knew as Liberals that they were safely entrenched in that seat. She very much wished that Lady Roberts had been able to attend—(hear, hear)—but that was impossi- ble, owing to another engagement, as Lady Roberts had explained in a very charming letter to the speaker. She would like them to know, Mrs. Byles added, how high Sir Herbert and Lady Roberts stood in the estimation of Liberals, not only in that divi- sion, but throughout the country. (Hear, hear.) No one would more deeply deplore the retirement of Lord Morley from the India Ofiice than Sir Herbert, who had proved himself an expert on India in the House of Commons. Very few men had so thorough- ly mastered the complica/ted problems asso- ciated with the good government of India, and no one in the House had supported more consistently the great reforms advo- cated by Lord Morl £ y. It would be a diffi- cult task to find a competent successor to Lord Morley, but whoever was chosen, no doubt Sir Herbert would do his best in the future, as in the past, for the success of a true Liberal policy ;n India. (He-ar, hear.) The speaker next dealt with the wonderful progress which is being made throughout the country by the National Women's Liber- al Association, which she said was advanc- ing by leaps and by bounds, notably in con- stituencies in the South of England which until recently had been regarded as Tory strongholds. The examples she cited of the devotion displayed by women Liberal work- ers under ad-verse conditions were truly in- spiring. At Cohvyr. Bay, she said, they be- longed to a Liberal constituency which had never been anything else. "We don't cxpect anything else from Wales," she added—but, neverthel-ess she hoped they would have a vigorous Association there, especially at a time when they had such splendid Liberal leaders as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Hear, heir.) Although everything was so favourable to the Liberal party at the pre- sent time, they had to keep their lamps trimmed and burning. London was ringing with all sorts of rumours about Cabinet changes, and ro one seemed to know what would be the upshot of it all. Only one thing ceemed certain—the General Election was off for the present. (Laughter.) South Shields and Walthamstow had rather damped the Tory ardour for a General Elec- tion. (Laughter.) But Liberals must not rely upon that, they must not relax their efforts on behalf of the principles they held so dear, among them Free Trade. Free Trade was vital to the home. Perhaps the women knew most about that subject, be- cause they had the spending of the money for the purpose of keeping the home going, and their daily experience showed them how essential was Free Trade tc the home happi- ness of the people of this country. (Hear, hear.) But she was not going to occupy their time by dealing at length with the arguments for and against the Free Trade policy. It would be flogging a dead horse to begin talking about Tariff Reform in Colwyn Bay. (Laughter.) Mrs. Byles was splendid in her treatment of the principles of the Budget and the national benefits which will flow from it, and her humorous hits at the wealthy people who are crying aloud against Form IV. were most effective. nd created much amusement. She made it quite clear that the sole aim of the Budget was to ensure that the possessors of great accumulated wealth should bear a fair share of the burden of taxation What these wealthy people objected to was not so much the amount of the new taxes but the fact that they must disclose the value which they put upon their land. HOW THE MONEY IS SPENT. I Mr. Lloyd George had pointed out a strik- ing fact in connection with the Budget. Out oi ever/ sovereign contributed from the new taxes, no less than ten shillings had to be spent on the Dreadnoughts for which the wealthy clashes had been clamouring. It was an appalling and senseless thing that England, Germany and other European nations were competing in a mad race towards national bankruptcy by squandering so much monev in preparation for war. England was the greatest sinner in this re- spect during the last ten years we had in- creased our expenditure on battleships by 59 per cent. and this policy had been pro- vocative to the other nations. It was not the common people who wanted Dread- noughts it was the rich people who demanded them because they had so much property to be guarded, and -it was they who should bear the cost. It would be more creditable to the nation to pay less attention to warlike preparations and to devote more attention to improving the social and moral life of the people. While on this subject the speaker touched upon Mr. Lloyd George's scheme of insurance against sickness and uernployment, and said that in this connec- tion, at any rate, there would be no disfran- chisement of women. Liberals must not go to sleep on the ques- tion of excessive expenditure on armaments, on the demand for more soldiers and sailors and forced military cervice. She hoped that conscription would never commend itself to the people of this country. Anyone who had travelled in Europe, and realised how con. scription was a curse upon the lives of those nations, would shrink with horror from the idea of inflicting it upon our own people. ,^ther ™att«rs wer« touched upon, hfmfncinl" af*u<le of the Tories toward* 2 1+ Pcle+V°f democratic government axid dTfy„of nation to restrict the veto of tho House or Lords, and in conclusion she the movement in favour of votes for women. Mr. R. Thomson, J.P., whom the Chair- man alluded to as a Liberal warrior," pro- posed a vote of thanks to Mrs. Byles. In doing so he dealt with several of the ques- tions of the day, and showed how the ex- penditure on warlike materials was hind- ering social reform. He also, as an old member of the Peace Society, condemned in vigorous fashion the various movements which he described as existing to familiarise the people of this country with the idea that such enormous expenditure was necessary and inevitable. There was, he said, the National Service League, which, with other institutions, was claiming that the peace of the world could only be secured and main- tained by huge expenditure on war mater- ials. A greater fallacy and a greater piece of hyprocisn was neveT put before the people 01 this country than to degrade and de- moralise the minds of the people with that idea. (Hear, hear.) Miss Lewis seconded the voce, which was heartily carried. I DISESTABLISHMENT. Mrs. Byles, in responding, said she had expected, not a vote of thanks, but a vote of censure for having omitted to deal with one subject which was a burning question in Wales, that of Di.-rcstablishment. But she had purposely left that out because she felt it would be an impertinence on her part to come into a great Welsh constituency and talk about Disestablishment. That," she added, is settled. You are going to have that religious freedom which vou demand and deser-'i." (Applause.) On the proposal of Mrs. Byles, seconded by Miss Sugdrn, Dr. Morris-Jones was thanked for his efficient services in the chair.

0 win • m Colwyn Bay Musical…

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