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THE LAST MESSAGE AT NEWTOWN.

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THE LAST MESSAGE AT NEWTOWN. Mr. C. F. Masterman's Ridicule I of the Tory Party. I I The Chairman said that they had practically come to the end of the chapter in the Montgomery Boroughs, and he hoped the electors had made up their minds to return the Liberal member (ap- plause). If they did not it would be a great dis- appointment, tor Wales was looking at Mont- gomeryshire. Th"y all knew that what took precedence was the House of L,1rrJi;, and that must be dealt with, as it would b.. us.-I,,s to t-ilk aheut other qn.stious until this barrier to ull pro^r^ss in Liberal legislation had bei-n removed. The complaint amcu, the el^e^ors in tl¡l-! past had h.en that these wh) cauia forward as candidates were carpet- and it took them a long timy to nurse the constituency but now they had a local man who would t*kt> an abiding interest in all that concerned the constituency. He would ask them to be faithful to their principles. He knew for a fact that many electors had been approached in an utiderhnndad manner, but he hoped that none would yield to it, but vote straight on the morrow, and return Mr. Humphreys-Owen (loud and prolonged cheers). Alderman Morgan Thomas. You will remember that Mr. Lloyd George said that in Germany and France wages were lower, hours of work longer, and food was dearer. Mr. Bonar Law answers that in Germany wages were rising in a higher percentage than in this country, and'so they might too—there was plenty of room for them to rise. Tariff Reformers are getting ashamed of their work, and Mr. Balfour wants to put Tariff Reform in the background. Mr. Austen Chamberlain won't have it, so they are already falling out. There is no half-holiday in France or Germany. It is on Sunday that the working man gets his holiday. I think Mr. Bonar Law stated that food was as cheap in Germany as in this country. Why didn't he say what class of food ? The black bread in Germany is as cheap as our white bread, but the white bread that we pay 6d a loaf for is not sold by the loaf in Germany. If it were, the price would work out at something nearer to a shilling. We are not going to work longer and eat horse- flesh, to suit the millionaires and landlords in this country. The Conservatives say, If we put a small duty on wheat we will take it off tea and sugar." Don't be deceived; they will never take it off. What the Liberals are trying to do is to take it off the whole lot. If you curtail the demand for anything by raising the price, what happens? You curtail the work, if you curtail work you increase compe- tition for the work, and directly competition for work increases down go the wages. The Lords, as at present constituted, are incap- able of legislation for the people of this country, because they are not elected by the people, and they are noc responsible to the people. Sir Francis Edwards. In this fight there is only oue issue, though there are many side tracks. Tariff Reform is a quack medicine, it is produced for anything and everything. Is your hair falling off? Then try Tariff Reform. It wont help the farmer-Mr Bonar Law has said so-and it won't help the workman, because it will make his bread dearer. I How taxes on articles will cheapen them, I cannot fathom. The' Economist,' which is simply a financial paper, puts this question :—" If a tax of 2s a quarter on corn will make the loaf cheaper, what amount of taxes will enable the baker to give the loaf away altogether ? Since the days of the South Sea bubble there has never been such an imposture as Tariff Reform, nor one which has revealed so thoroughly human nature at its worst or human intelligence at its lowest." That is a perfect description given by our friend Mr Ure, the Lord Advocate of Scotland. You remember some years ago Mr Chamberlain started a Tariff Reform Commission. What did he start it for ? In order that the Commission might frame a scientific tariff which would keep out sweated goods which came from Germany and other places. That was the-inain object of the Commission. What has been the result? There have been trips to Germany, in which they have taken numbers of working-men there to show them the sweated labour. No but to show them that Germany is really the paradise of the working-man. They idon't talk in the same way in the towns as in the country. When they come to the farmer they tell him that he will get better and higher prices for grain and stock under Tariff Reform, but when they go to the towns they tell them that their food will be cheaper. The promises of Tariff Reform -%re like the rainbow, beautiful in colour, buc insubstantial in fact. I believe in a Second Chamber, but I want it on the conditions laid down by Mr Asquith, when he said that a Second Chamber must be democratic, representative of and obedient to the will of the people. Mr George Wyndham said that the Referendum which the House of Lords would propose would remove all unfairness between Liberals and Tories, but in saying this he is self-condemned. Mr. Masterman. Mr Masterman, who received a stirring reception followed by the singing of He's a jolly good fellow announced the fact that this was his first Welsh audience. He didn't know that he would have come down to Wales but for what he had seen of the other people who were addressing the Montgomery Boroughs (laughter and cheers). He thought that an English member who had won was as good as an Englishman who had lost— (laughter)—even though they threw in one of the Peers to make the scales balance (laughter). He came from a region which at present was pretty well pleased with itself-the East of London (cheers). They had brushed the Tories out from the whole district as if with a broom, and Mr Lloyd George was clearing the last of them out that night (laughter and cheers). They boasted I the largest area of unbroken Liberalism south of the Tweed. I Mr Masterman afterwards entered upon a very clever analysis of the thimble-rigging tactics adopted by the leaders of the Tory party to capture the constituencies at this election, his subtleties provoking an almost continuous chorus of laughter. He had read in Tory speeches deliv- ered during the past few days the most amazing and extravagant utterances. But they must not be too bard on them. Those gentlemen had their engagements made and they had te fill it in some- how (laughter). They had been smashed three times in five years, which no other party had been before—(cheers)—and already they had begun to quarrel among themselves in order to ascertain whose fault it was (laughter). But while the Tories would spend the next year in quarrelling the Liberal Government would pass the Parliament Bill (loud cheers). He had been reading in a paper as he came down that this was a drawn battle (laughter). If it was, it was the most amazing drawn battle he had ever seen, and it was the kind of drawn battle which he was out looking for (laughter). TWO MEN FIGHT, and one knocks the other into the gutter-last January. He gets up in December, and having been knocked down into the gutter again, he says, "I claim this to be a drawn battle" (laughter). "Why," he is asked, do you claim a drawn battle." Because," he says, nothing is changed (laughter). I was in the gutter last January and I am in the gutter now" (great laughter). They said of us that we are a miser- able, cringing, timid party, only clinging to office by help of Irish votes, and have been forced into an unnecessary election at the hands of the dollar dictator. We are not," continued Mr Master- man, "clinging to offioe through Irish votes. We have a clear working majority even if Ireland was sunk into the depths of the sea. Great Britain- England, Scotland, and Wales—has given tis a larger majority than Disraeli ever had when he ruled far BUt years, and so far from Ireland having forced tkia election, it is almost true to say that the only one of the four nations in these islands which has not been flouted ar.d jeered and mocked at by' the House of Lords during the last five years is Irelmd. The controversy is between (ire it Britain and the Lords (hear, hear, and chet-rs). Britain for the Biitisli is our motto. Everyone of the great bills which the Lords bplvk, thrown out, or mutilated, has been British hd not Ir.sh. I am NOT A BETTING MAN, yet I will lay any stakes, in spite of all that is said, that the Parliament Bill will be law before this time next year (loud cheers). In the future those who are learning British history will see such dates as 1832 the Reform Bill; 1846 the Repeal of the Corn La v* 18ti the agricultural labourer got the vote, and 1911 the destruction of the Veto of the House of Lords (cheers). Everyone who has taln-n part in this Liberal victory will be proud d it in the days to c me (hear, hear, and ch*rr). Continuing, he said the Tories complained that they had been giveu no time to fill in the details of their scheme for the reform of the House of Lords. They lia(i t%vanty-five years in I which tc reform it. For sixteen years the country was living under Single Chamber government, with a Conservative majoiity docile in both Houses (hear, hear) Puiin^ that time any kind of a reform schema couM have been threshed out and endorsed by the country, and carried into law. But none was att-moted. He disliked death-bed repentance (laughter). While the Toiies were having a rollicking time, and we were legislating during the spsing and the summer, there was no thought of reform. They were out on the burst (laughter). They saw in the future unlimited supplies of whiskey. There was no question then of their taking the pledge (laugh- ter). It had been said by a great writer that the aristocracy are never destroyed they always committed suicide. He thought that would prove to be true in this case with the power of the landed aristocracy as it is embodied in the House of Lords. If the Tories bad given them any kind of suggestion of a Second Chamber respon- sible to the people, in touch with the people, in- dependent of one class, representing the country as a whole, and giving an account of its steward- ship to the country, there would have been no need for this election (hear, hear). Liberals did not want a Single Chamber, but, speaking for himself, HE WOULD NOT BE CONTENT until every man who had anything to do with the making of the laws of this country was directly responsible to the people of the country (loud cheers). That was the only condition under which any free country enjoyed its freedom; it was the condition prevalent in all free countries. If the Tories had offered a Second Chamber such as their Colonies enjoyed this Constitutional question would have been settled in six hours (hear, hear). Instead, they clung to their old banner with their distrust of the people, qualified by fear with which Mr Gladstone charged them many years ago (cheers). Liberals asked for but equal rights with Conservatives they demanded nothing more, and they would accept nothing less (loud cheers). There was a new bogey with which the Tories were trying to frighten the people. They said, Yes, it may be your Parlia- mentary Bill will pass "—they knew it would pass —" but we shall not accept it as a settlement. Next time we will recreate the House of Lords according to the Conservative ideal, and you may be no better off than before." How many beaten parties had made the same boast in the past history of our country ? All the Tory forces would not be able to put Humpty Dampy back again (laughter). Concluding, Mr Masterman 3aid :—"I think we have a right to emphasise for a lesson to those who come after us the bitterness, the hardness of the struggle, and the tremendous force which we have to overcome (cheers). Sometimes, when I see a Liberal majority in districts where I know, every kind of force and terrorism and intimida- tion has been brought to bear against us, and where on election day hundreds and even thousands of outside voters are poured in on motor cars to outvote the natives of the district, I wonder how we can win at all. I feel proud of the devotion of the rank and file (hear, hear, and cheers). After these fierce elections we see our way through the barrier that has ob- structed progress. We know WE CAN GET THROUGH and that to get through will result in legislation which will make in future more equality between those who are making for progress and those who are against it (cheers). I don't think there will ever be an election in future in which we shall have to fight against the handicaps we have suf- fered now. We have given an earnest of our inten- tion to realise two great causes-the enlargement of human freedom and the making of life less in- tolerable for those who in the midst of the richest civilisation the world has ever seen, still walk in the darkness and under the shadow of death (cheers). We have devoted ten millions of the revenue to t e demand, of these causes—hear, hear)—and we are going to devote seven millions more this year (loud cheers). We know that the country can afford to look after the forlorn and hopeless, who have come to poverty through no fault of their own. We shall go forward on those lines. The whole of the future will seem so different, because up till now we have had the feeling that all our work might be tossed into the gutter by the action of an hereditary assembly. Now we know that the people are behind us, and that the laws we pass will become the law of this land (cheers). We have no prejudice against the members of the House of Lords. We are quite content that they should go on and do their duty in the station to which God called them. Let them become elected if they like for Parliament if they can show the people that they are better than we are. But we ask them to CLEAR AWAY THE BARRIER which they have for so many years thrown across the path of progress, so chat the valleys may be exalted and the mountains removed, and that the people may march through the pathways to free- dom (cheers). I shall take back to Mr Lloyd George to-morrow a most pleasant memory of my first Welsh audience (cheers). I ask Conserva- tives, if there are any left in this hall—(laughter) —to ponder what an ignoble part your leaders have played. I ask you this time at least to come down on the side of the people. Clear away my lords and lackeys You have had your day, Here we give your answer In this 'yea' against your nay'; Long enough your home has held you, Out and clear the way." (loud and prolonged cheering). I The Candidate. Mr Humphreys-Owen had a tremendous reception, again and again cheers were raised as he stood facing his large audience. He did not say much, but what he said was direct and to the point. He and also his workers looked back almost with envy to the freshness of the first day when they went out to battle. He thought they had fought valiantly. They were not quite so fresh that day physically, but mentally and morally they felt immensely invigorated (cheer ). They did nut require a speech from the candidate that evening, for that ordeal they had suffered too often. From what they had seen and heard from Mr Masterman that night they might understand the reason of some men leaving the Liberal party (laughter and applause). There were certain feelings towards their neighbours and life in general, whieh were fundamental, and i,f they applied that touchstone to men's ideals and policies they would divide them into Liberals and Tories That was why they said the Liberal party left them. Nonsense, the Liberal party had never left them. the Liberal party remained the same large homogenous mass which was going to carry them to progress and freedom (cheers). Let them gain such a victory on the Friday which would be final and once for all and settle the position in the Montgomery boroughs.

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