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" T.P."


T.P." ON WELSH POLITICS. The Welsh National League, conducted by the Rev. J. Hugh Edwards, made another sudden appearance last week, when a meeting of its adherents were called to Castle Street Welsh Chapel in order to hear an address from that able Parliamentarian, Mr. T. P. O'Connor, M.P. As the meeting was not largely advertised through the usual channels it was not to be wondered at that only a small gathering was present, and this is unfortunate, because a speaker of such note as T. P." deserved a full house for his discourses. Mr. Ellis J. Griffith, M.P., pre- sided, and in introducing Mr. T. P. O'Connor as a distinguished member of the Irish Parlia- mentary Party, remarked that Welsh politicians had much to learn from the way in which the Irish conducted their politics. Forty years ago they had their Church disestablished, and 26 years had passed since they also obtained their Land Bill. Wales lagged behind in both those matters. Some years ago there was a Welsh Land Commission, but still the land question remained where it was. They also had a Church Commission sitting now. At least it sat from time to time. But, somehow, it did not find itself able to sit more often than was necessary to allow the members to forget what they had heard at the previous meeting. It was impos- sible to look forward with hope or enthusiasm to that Commission. How is it that Ireland has been more successful than Wales in securing its demands. It is not because it is more Liberal than Wales. Wales was more unanimous for Home Rule than Ireland itself, and it aided the sister Isle to its utmost to secure that measure of right, and its representatives voted solidly for it; and he looked forward to Ireland to repay that debt to Wales when Welsh questions came to be settled in the House of Commons. The fault of its neglect possibly lay with the Welsh people themselves. When the Welsh people learned to make as many sacrifices as the Irish had made, then it would have a representa- tion that would compare with the representation that Ireland sent to Westminster. They should think about the manner in which the Irish had done things. He did not think that cattle- driving had ever occurred to anyone in Wales, but it had been used with great effect in Ire- land. It had never occurred to the Welsh that when a farmer overbid another something should be done to make his life as unsuccessful as possible, but those were methods that were successful in another country. It had never occurred to the Welsh to make such sacrifices as the Irish people had made for their representa- tion. Mr. T. P. O'Connor had a hearty welcome from the audience, and said that it was in 1870 he first saw Wales. It was on his way to the great Metropolis, and he had distinct recollec- tions of that first glance at its rugged scenery and lovely valleys. He recollected the lions that adorn that structure over the Menai Straits, and they seemed to him to be emblematical of the national characteristic of the Saxon,— cold, stern, and unsympathetic. It was owing to that want of sympathy with other nation's views that the Saxon had proved to be such a failure as ruler. Every nation has its own stand- point of looking at things, and both Ireland and Wales desired that their national sentiments should be recognised when laws were being made for them. Wales had a great Church question, and because that Church was suited to the Englishman, the English people could not understand why the Welsh could not tolerate it. The Englishman finds it hard to enter into the spirit of any one else who happens to differ from him. If you could get the Englishman to view the question from the standpoint that you do, the grievances would not last many months. I re- member your early battles on behaif of Disesta- blishment, and I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Henry Richard very intimately. I took up a paper one day with an account of one of his speeches, and he gave us such a picture of Welsh life and character that was wholly unknown to the Englishman. He (the speaker) regarded all state patronage in religion as stupid, unstates- manlike, and unchristian. He contended that the only solution to these national grievances was Home Rule. Let every country govern itself in accordance with the voice of the majority of its people. It is sure to come. Parliament as at present constituted was impossible. It only gave a few minutes time during a session for the consideration of great Imperial questions, but a small parochial subject would often flame the members to some exquisite and long flights of oratory for several days. Such methods could not continue, and he trusted that the Welsh people would be true to their nationality, as it was only by being true to itself the country would best serve its mission in the world. In moving a vote of thanks to Mr. T. P. O'Connor, the Rev. J. Hugh Edwards outlined the objects of this society, and stated that the Welsh Liberal League intended to be the 'knocker up' in Welsh politics for the future.