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--------------ELLESMERE PORT'S…


-'----''--_..__.._._-__ CREWE…


CREWE UNIONISTS. — +-- MR. CHAPLIN ON UNITY. SUGGESTION TO THE LEADERS. On Monday evening, under the ausp cos of the Crewe-Division Constitutional Association, amass meeting was held in the Crewe Town Hall, at which addresses were delivered by the Right Hon. Henry Chaplin, M.P., and Mr. J. H. Wels- ford, the prospective Unionist candidate for Orowe. Colonel Kennedy presided, and among others present were Mr. D. McIver, M.P., and Mr. J. S. Harmood Banner, M.P., Mr. Harry Bowler, Mr. J. F. T. Roydis, Mr. A. N. Hornby, Mrs. Welsford, Mrs. Cotton Jod-rell, Mr. G. B. Baker Wilbraham, Mr. J. H. Cooke, Mr. W. Eardley, Mr. E. R. Bellyse, Mr. J. Perks, and Mr. J. Furber. Mr. Chaplin, M.P., said -it was becoming moire and more apparent that the time was corning, and ooming quiokly, when we oould not be very far distant from an appeal to tho country. He far distant from an appeal to the country. He was old enough to have taken part in many such appeals to the oountry, to have seen many great majorities come and go, and he had also seen at t,ime.s most unexpected results from general elec- tions. Though nothing in the world would in- duce him to break the old rule, ''Never piophecy unless you know," he would entirely decline to subscribe to the belief expressed in a certain portion of the Press from day to day that the Unionist party was foredoomed to defeat, though ho did not for a moment forget that when a party had been in power for a great many ye&rs there was apt to come the 116, of the pendulum, which was generally an important factor on thtsse occasions. MANIFESTO WANTED. He had been mked the other day what would beat re-unite the Unionist party on the Fiscal question. He did not, could not, and would not admit for one moment that the Union st party is I as a whole could be said to be disunited: on the Fiscal question. It was quite possible there might be differences of opincii on some branches of the question, but in regard to the party as a whole they had bad an absolutely unmistakable evidence at Newcastle recently that they wert practically entirely united. The best and most complete specific to consolidate absolutely the Unionist party on the Fiscal question at the pre- sent time would be a joint manifcsto-cil the lines of the resolution they were to have moved later—from the two great leaders of the party, to the party-for they were the two great leaders of tho party though one was in and the other was out of the Government. (Applause.) After nearly forty years' experience of work in the service of that party he was absolutely convinced that if by any means that could be done it would bring a.bout a re-union and a complete solidarity of the overwhelming majority of their party. He believed he would be right in saying that ninety-nine hundredths would be united. Surely it ought not to be difficult to devise eomothing cf that kind after all that their great chief had said on that subject and after the lon^ period in which their two leaders had worked together wit-h such absolute loyalty. Ho believed such a manifesto would be hailed with believed such a manifesto would be hailed with satisfaction and rejoicing by the most loyal supporters of Mr. Balfour in every part of the oountry, and he believed that at the general election, taking into account the swing of the pendulum and everything else, they would make at least an uncommonly good show. He based his belief on the case they had to put before the oountry. MR. WELSFORD AND PREFERENCE. Mr. Wesford the prospective Conservative candidate for Crewe, moved— That this meeting is of opinion that the time has arrived for a reform of our Fiscal system, not only by the methods of retaliation suggested by the Prime Minister, but particu- larly through the medium of preferential ar- rangements between the Colonies and the Mother Country, with a view to strengthening the commercial union and existing ties, in order to firmly unito the British Empire. He said, that so far as the Unionist party in that division was concerned, the principles of Tariff Reform were an accepted plank in their platform. He was convinced that they were not only the best for the consumers of the United Kingdom but for the consumers of the British Empire. He had been oalled a Protectionist, and though he did not like the word, if to be in favour of a total revision of our tariff system, if to aim at the development in every possible and reason- able way, if to desire to, find more employment far British labour, and if to insist that the pro- ducts of other countries should pay a market toll such as they make us pay was to be a, Pro- tectionist, he did not care what.they called him. (Applause.) A QUESTION OF JUSTICE. He believed it was a question of justice. They wanted to give the British producer and the British workingman as fair a chance in his own market as the foreigner. (Hear, hewr.) In that division they had dealt with the misrepresenta- tion that a preference to the Colonies would in- crease the price of food. He was convinced that if foreign wheat were taxed and Colonial wheat admitted free the price of bread would be moire likely to be reduced than increased, for the best way to reduce the price of any essential article was to increase the area of production. The mis- representation with regard to the Colonial offer had also been dispelled-the Colonial offer was on the Statute Books of the country. Wo had a great responsibility towards our Colonies, and the question of preference was one of the utmost importance. We wanted a close union with them, and we wanted also a Colonial Federation such as was the ideal of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Chaplin. If we had had a Colonial Federation at the time there would have been no South African, war. The representatives of Capetown and Natal would have been able to inform the Government in time of what Mr. Kruger Was doing, and the want of such a federation had cost the British taxpayer two hundred' and fifty millions sterling. There were other things which mader a closer union with our Colonies necessary. WHAT OF AUSTRALIA? Take the case of Australia, a country which ex- cluded the Japanese from its borders. He had been very pleased with the Japanese Treaty, but supposing at any time there was trouble between Australia and Japan-he sincerely hoped there never would be-who would have to fight for Australia ? We should, of course, and if trouble arose between any other part of our Empire and a foreign Power we should have to intervene. As a business man with Imperial aspirations, he said that the time had come for a closer union with our Colonies. (Applause.) The Colonies were actuated by the best motives, and he believed they were ready to do their share in regard to Imperial Defence. If we entered into a preferen- tial agreement with them also with regard to trade, we should gain a large market, there would be a great development of our industries, and consequently much more employment for our people; there would be homes in the Colonies for those who could not find1 employment here, and through the reduction in our taxat:on the burdens on our people would be considerably lightened. Protection of the olden time was dead, Free Trade was rendered impossible by foreign tariffs, and what he longed to see was a British Empire ittl Free Trade within its borders. (Applause.) Tho resolution was seconded by Mr. Harmood Banner, M.P. and carried.

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