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WOMEN'S CHAT. ./"--I--I-,,-,---


[No title]



I THE PEACE CRU3 mE. CONTINENTAL ENTHUSIASM* J By W. T. STEAD. We have the literary men with us. An unda. suspicion of the interference of bookmen in national questions exists in some quarters, but that objection cannot apply to Dr. Conan Doyle and Mr. Bernard Shaw, who were the principal speakers at the Hindhead meeting. These are men of the world as well as writers of books. Dr. Doyle is a modern apostle of muscularity. He has ventured to glorify the ancient prize ring. Yet he is an enthusiast for international peace. He believes in the lofty and unselfish aims which inspire the Czar, and he has not hesitated to proclaim his opinion. Sunday's meeting at Leeds was, in many respects, a very remarkable gathering. The Coliseum was crowded to the doors nearly a quarter of an hour before the meeting began. Proceedings were from first to last unanimous and enthusiastic. Sir- James Kitson, who was in the chair, made a note- worthy speech. He is one of the few members of Parliament who have recently travelled in Russia. His testimony as to the anxiety not only of the Czar, but of his most powerful Ministers, to divert the expenditure on armaments to the construction of railways was received with intense interest by the crowded audience. Sir James Kitson is immensely impressed with the great field for industrial development which is to be found in the Russian Empire, and being a wise and prudent man, with a good eye to the main chance, he has been one of the first to profit by the opening up of this field for British enterprise. Mr. Herbert Gladstone, who wrote a letter strongly supporting the Crusade, and declaring that its importance was greater than that of any other- movement at present before the country, has also travelled in Russia, as far as the Caspian. He and Sir James Kitson drove with perfect security through mountain passes which, a few years before, had been infested with brigands, but which are now as safe as the road between Leeds and Harro- gate. No more gratifying testimonies to the civilising influence of Russia in Asia could have been desired than those which lay before the people of Leeds. A very mistaken idea appears to prevail in some quarters—that the meetings which are being held all over the country are being got up by the Crusaders in Lordon. As a matter of fact, the movement is breaking out on all sides in a way which renders it impossible for the headquarters to deal with the matter. Tnke; for instance, the town's meetings at Liverpool and Hull. Both of those were got up entirely by the townspeople. They were summoned by the Chief Magistrate, and addressed by local speakers. No representative was present at either one or the other from out- side, but in both of these great sea-ports—one on the east and the other in the west coast of England-proceedings were unanimous, the speeches hearty and the meetings crowded. There is no doubt an immense advantage in having evidence of the p pillar feeling, but it is much to be desired that those who are holding public meetings should, in all cases, communicate with headquarters, if only for the purpose of securing the adoption of a uniform resolution in favour of the election of delegates to the National Convention, which will probably be held in March. In places where the resolution in support of the Conference has been passed, without an accom- panying resolution appointing delegates in the pro-- portion of one to every 10,000 of the population, it will probably be found better for the speakers and the secretary to be considered as an informal committee of selection, and for them to nominate representatives of their towns to the Convention; but it would be much better if the resolution could be formally put to the meeting nominating a com- mittee of selection. The enrolment or volunteers has gone on at every meeting which I have addressed. Here, also, the need of local organisation is vital. The procedure is simple. At the close of each meeting those who are willing to volunteer for three months' service for peace are requested to come forward, pay their shillings, receive their badges, and enrol themselves as volunteers. As each volunteer under- takes to obtain two other volunteers, he should receive two forms of enrolment for his recruits, two badges on credit, and three forms of the Memorial—one for himself and one for each of his two recruits. By this means it will be possible, after even a small nucleus of volunteers, to multiply and increase their number so as to work the whole district. At Lambeth, on Sunday last, where the volunteers were first enrolled, 122 were obtained, at St. Austell between 60 and 70, at Plymouth over 100, at Rochdale 70, at Streatham about 30 while at Leeds it is expected they will exceed those at any other place. The organisation for enrolling volunteers has been usually improvised at an after meeting. At Rochdale, the Mayor, who presided over the town's meeting with his chain of office, accepted the post of Treasurer, and received the shillings on the spot. It is also necessary to have one or more places in the town where the badges can be issued and volunteers enlisted. Tradesmen in leading thoroughfares usually volunteer to allow their shops to be used as recruiting offices.. The reporting of the meetings of the Crusaders Taries amusingly. The largest and best reports, by far, have been those which appeared in the Plymouth papers. They devoted from five to seven columns of their space to the report of the town's meeting. The Manchester Gitmrdian and the St. Petersburg Gazette are the only daily papers which, so far, have told off a special correspondent to follow the Crusaders. .Although one finds little evidence of the fact in the great dailies, London is giving a support to this movement which it extends to few agitations. For every meeting that is held, two are immediately requested. Each post brings requests for help and information, which will be of value in the organisa- tion of gatherings. The agenda which was placed before the General Committee at its meeting on Monday had only bee. prepared on the Friday. It contained a list of the meetings arranged. Between the time of sending the copy to the printers and its actual discussion no less than five more meetings bad been arranged in the capital alone, and half a score others were in active preparation. These are facts that cannot be avoided, and that c. t only be ignored for a time. Hackney, Streatham, Westminster, and Walworth all speak unmistakably o an aroused public sentiment. Prom the first, Earl Grey, who presides at the meeting in the Newcastle Town Hall, has thrown himself into the Peace Crusade with characteristic energy and enthusiasm. He has not only consented to take the chair at a meeting, he is primarily responsible for the holding and the organisation of one of the most notable demonstrations since the commencement of he Crusade. The adherence of no other man could have done so much for the cause of peaco in the North of England. Earl Grey is a man about whom all parties rally. Even those who now differ from him politically respect and admire him personally. The way in which he has thrown his influence into the scale for peace has roused the whole North of England. Nor has he contented himself with active work. The largest cheque to the funds o' the Crusade, received last week, was one for E50, bearing the signature "Grey." On the Continent the interest in the pilgrimage of peace grows daily. One of the odd things illustrating this was the imperious demand from Paris that a day should be fixed for the arrival of the delegates, because Madame Sarah Bernhardt and other distinguished theatrical artistes who had Eromised to assist at a soiree to be given in their onour at the office of the Fronde must know a good while ahead, in order to keep the evening clear. What with soirees with Sarah Bernhardt, and "Te Deums" in the Cathedrals, and receptions by the Burgomasters, the pilgrims of peace are likely to have an interesting and exciting time. It has been decided that each of the smaller States shall send two delegates. If, 808 is at present talked of, Nan sen and Bjornsen are chosen as the delegates from Norway, the International Crusaders will not be lacking in elements of universal interest.