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RETIREMENT OF THE BOROUGH MEMBER. Afraid of a Single Chamber Election. RENUNCIATION OF HIS ELECTION PLEDGES. Feeling in the Constituency. "Heard the news P J.D. » has resigned! In this fashion the resignation of Sir J. D. Rees was circulated throughout the Bor- ough on Friday morning. It transpired that the hon. member had written a letter to Mr Hugh Lewis, the president of the Boroughs Liberal Association, in which he stated his, inability to continue longer with the Liberal party. Confirmation of this came with the London 'Times,, which con- tained the full text of his letter. Needless to say, prominent politicians momentarily stepped aside from business pursuits to dis- cuss the situation with their neighbours. Singularly enough, while Tories condoned with Liberals, Liberals smilingly congratu- lated each other. They had never been satisfied with the political shiftiness of their member, though recognising his usefulness to the constituency, and there was no affected pleasure in their prospect of a position which will enable them, at least, to secure a representative after their own heart. From all the Boroughs come reports of Liberal satisfaction, and of increased hope of winning the forthcoming election with a thorough-going democratic candi- date, concerning whose political mind and convictions there will be no breath of sus- picion. The name of this candidate will probably be announced after the meeting of the Liberal Association, to be held at Newtown on Wednesday. THE BOROUGH MEMBER'S LETTER. The Borough Member's letter is as fol- lows :— My dear Lewis,-The Conference, from which I hoped to the last some measure of agreement/ would result, has failed, and the Chancellor of the ^Exchequer and the Home Secretary having already issued their elec- tioneering addresses, I must assume that their leader will follow, and that a Single Chamber and Home Rule election is to be rushed. I have always thought that there are two spirits in the Liberal Party, one good and one bad, and from the telegram sent by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the York- shire Observer,' it is, evident that the latter will be unchained, and the coming election fought on what I cannot but regard as practically a Single Chamber issue, which 1 not only cannot support, but am bound to strenuously oppose. Mr Lloyd George telegraphed:— Having in vain used every endeavour through conciliatory methods to win equal political rights for all Britons, we are now driven to fight for fair play in our native land. We repudiate the claim put forward by 600 Tory Peers that they were born to control 45,000,000 of their fellow citizens" [345,000,000 outside the United Kingdom are characteristically forgotten] and to trample upon their wishes for the good Government of their own country." "SATAN REPROVING SIN." This, like all the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer's extra Parliamentary utterances, is grossly exaggerated and unfair, and his persistent and violent denunciations of British landlords cruelly misrepresent and I malign a class which performs more unselfish and unremunerated public duty, and spends a larger proportion of its resources upon its neighbours, than any other with which, in any part of the world, I have become acquainted. Landowners are now submitting to a severe strain, and it amazed me, I confess, in view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's political record, to read that at the recent Land Valuation Conference he solemnly stated that people evading laws they dis- liked were on the highway to anarchy." It is a classic instance of Satan reproving sin. I cannot join this Daniel come to judg- ment in his violent and indiscriminate abuse of members of the Upper House, which has played an honourable and patri- otic part in the history of our country, though I am convinced that reasoned and temperate changes in its constitution are at this stage inevitable and such changes it is willing and anxious to make. I cannot, however, agree that the Second Chamber should be precluded from referring a Finance Bill to the country, for it is evi- dent that a Budget may be packed with politics, or may, for other reasons, be such as the electors should expressly approve. It is, moreover, impossible to conceal the fact that if this election is rushed, and the power of the Second Chamber impaired or destroyed, Home Rule for Ireland, to which, as a loyal citizen of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, I am opposed, will also be rushed, nor can any man, however hard he may try to wink, be oblivious of the fact that funds collected from avowed enemies of Britain abroad, now supply the sinews of war for the coercion of Britons at home. "THE SATISFACTION OF SOCIALISTS." I have, moreover, no confidence that un- der Mr Lloyd George's administration the proceeds of taxes which press very hardly on certain classes of industries will, in fact, be devoted to the defence of our country, and will not be used for the appeasement of agitators and the satisfaction of Social- ists, like Mr Keir Hardie, who disgrace England in the eyes of Europe by advocat- ing at international conferences general strikes, in order to paralyse the arms of their fatherland in time of war, a proposal dismissed with the scorn and contempt it merited, even by the Socialists of other countries. And although I have greatly admired the statesmanlike administration of Lord Morley, I strongly deprecate the transfer of responsibility for the Government of India from Calcutta to Whitehall, lest in future days, with less eminent and patriotic ministers, the worst elements in Parlia- ment, the itinerant agitator, the breathless philanthropist, the impatient idealist, the heedless altruist, the ardent faddist, and the political week-ender may prevail. I dread the encouragement given to those classes which make our country detested in Europe by their ill-advised incursions into a sphere which they are little calculated to adorn, and so far as lies within them, leave no stone unturned to impair that Imperial unity, which it is our sacred duty to maintain. The very able and patriotic Minister for War has, for the last five years, worked under perpetual opposition and discourage- ment, and so has the First Lord of the Admiralty, though had he not been inca- pacitated by illness, he might well have reproved his subordinate, the Civil Lord, who has just stated that the pre-Dread- nought ships are worthy to stand in the battle line," a statement calculated to mis- lead the uninformed on a vital issue, and contrary to the deliberate statements made in Parliament by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. FREE TRADE NOT FROM HEAVEN. Again, the Under Secretary in the Home Department, a subordinate, it is true, but straws show the direction of the wind, he who, unrebuked by his leaders, said on the platform "that any criticism of our Navy should be on account of our excessive strength rather than on account of our weakness," has just now spoken of the "cant talked about putting country before party and his chief, the Home Secre- tary, has, in his electioneering manifesto, made what are, in my opinion, reckless and wholly unsustainable charges against the House of Lords. The answer to his diatribe is that the Government lies under no sort of necessity for advising a disso- lution of Parliament, and if it believes in the excellence of its own administration, is behaving with mere petulance, to at- tribute no worse motive, in throwing up the sponge because it cannot score every point. Is the Gaul at the gates, or is Van Tromp sweeping the Thames, that the whole country must be thrown into the turmoil of a second general election in the year, in order that Home Rulers and Con- stitution wreckers should without giving time for reflection have their wicked way ? On the fiscal question you know I have already stated on the platform, after a re- cent visit to Germany, that the accounts of the poverty and unwholesome food of German workmen are fairy tales, and that they-whether by reason of or in spite of Protection, I do not know—are at least as prosperous as the same classes in the United Kingdom. I repeat I do not regard what we call Free Trade as a scientific system which came down from Heaven, and believing employment to be more im- portant than cheapness, I would experi- ment by cautiously and gradually taxing manufactures, and by giving reciprocal preferences to our Colonies, without, how- ever, raising the price of food for the masses, of which I do not think they can be ex- pected to approve. I am no Food Taxer, and, indeed, would reduce the taxes at present levied upon food. ALARMED BY SOCIALIST ATTITUDE. ,.Jhe7iews 1 have expressed so far do not differ from my former platform utterances, but in regard to Disestablishment, I con- fess that the report of the Welsh Church Commission, the first and only authorita- tive enquiry, portions of which, no doubt authentic, have been prematurely pub- lished, compels me to reconsider the views I have hitherto expressed. The Socialist attitude towards private property, condoned, if not encouraged, by certain Ministers, increasingly alarms me. The poor man's mite is held by precisely the same law and title as the rich man's million, and there is no difference in. prin- ciple between robbing a man, or a class, and despoiling a church or any other cor- porate body. Finally, I am an indifferent party man, for my country is my party, and my fellow- countrymen are my constituents. In Parlia- ment I have always earnestly endeavoured to benefit the Borough electors, wholly re- gardless of their political views, and nothing in life has iven me so much Pleasure as to wtth^n SUch services as lay within my power. I deeply deplore that I cannot, in view of the considerations I have set out, con- tinue to represent my Liberal friends, who have been kind and indulgent to the last degree, and from whom I part with the great- est regret and with an affection which will not on my part be at all diminished by the rupture of our present political relations.- Yours sincerely, J. D. Rms. Travellers' Club, S.W., November 17th, 1919,