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4 ATI OH AL CONSERVATIVE LEAGUE. [ Ledbury Lodge Hold a Suooessful I Gathering. On Saturday night the members of the Ledbury and District Lodge held a most success- ful gathering on the occasion of their monthly meeting and smoking concert, held at the lodge room at the New Inn Hotel, Ledbury. The Worthy Master of the Lodge (Bro WL Pritchett) presided, and was supported by the Deputy- Master (Bro J E Craddock), Bro Henry Garrood, Bro H R Cotton (chairman of the Executive Committee) and the lodge officers. At the business meeting nine new members were elected, including one or two who have hitherto been identified with the Radical Party. CONGRATULATIONS, I Bro John Preece said he would like to' congratulate the mern-bers of the Lodge upon the improved position that they placed their Depttty M .ster on the poll at the recent election, and it «■. satisfactory to-state that he attained a tikore I..minent position. He would like to congratulate the members of the Lodge and the Deputy-Master on that achievement. Bro Preece also drew attention to the fact that the registration work would be coming on shortly and the necessity of holding themselves ready for a, General Election in the near future. (Applii-i,e-) Subst gently the business meeting closed, and theiu was a very large attendance of members for th* smoking concert. During the evening the Worthy Master said they could congratulate themselves on again augmenting their numbers. They had made nine members that night and that was a very respectable number for any meeting. (Applause.). He called upon Deputy-Master Craddock and Bro Cotton to report to them on the proceedings at Grand Lodge, Deputy-Master Craddock first of all thanked1 them for the vote they gave him on Monday, April 6; in placing him fourth on the list at the Urban Council Election. (Hear, hear.) He felt that they had some confidence in him in placing him fourth on the poll out of nine candidates. He could assure them that he would do his best for the welfare of the town of Ledbury. (Hear, hear.) Personally, he felt he could almost call himself a native of the town, as next February he would have been there for 20 years. (Hear, hear.) Referring to his visit in company with Bro Cotton, to Grand Lodge in London on April 1, he must say he was somewhat disappointed. Last year they had some extraordinarily good; speeches from some very learned men, but on this occasion owing to the disturbed condition of politics he thought their brethren at Grand' Lodge refrained from speaking as they would have done under other circumstances. He thought they were waiting for a lead, and they did not care to committ themselves. They simply explained to the delegates what they had seen in the papers- the question of the Army versus the nation. He sincerely hoped this cloud that was hanging over them would soon be dispelled. (Hear, hear, and applause.) GRAND- LOD&E DOINGS. I Bro H, R Cotton said having been a, oo. delegate with the Deputy-Master to Grand Lodge it was his pleasing duty to give them some impressions of his visit. As regards the ofifcers uf Grand Lodge he was pleased to tell them that all the officers had bee-n re-elected. The Duke of Somerset was again Grand Master, and he had promised' to assist the Lodge considerably next year. He was unable to do so during the last year owing to pressure of business in other ways, but he had promised to take a personal interest in the League during the ensuing year and he thought they might rightly expect good things of him. The National Conservative League was still doing a great and good work. (Hear, hear.) They had increased their membership and now had 125 lodges and a total membership of 10^624. They had during the past year opened up 13 now lodges, chiefly in the county of Durham., and they were led to understand that further lodges would be opened, up in the course of a few weeks in the same county. Durham had hitherto been a strongly Radical county, and they were hoping to return a very strong and good Unionist member for the county next lime. The Worcestershire brethren had also been working very keenly, and had increased their membership from 1.200 to 1,601. He thought they ould run them pretty close in Herefordshire, especially as regards their own lodge. The Deputy-Master We are above Worcester- shire. Bro. Cotton, continuing, said special uaentio-a was made in the report of Grand Lodge to the work done by different Members of Parliament, and among them was the Member for that division, Captain Clive—(anplause)—who knew what a valuable asset the National Conservative League was to him at election times as well as at other times, and it no doubt caused him to take a keen interest in it. There was also special mention made of four secretaries of lodges who had rendered valuable service to the Grand Secretary. Next year a larger means of finance would be at the disposal of the League so that further work could bo done in the opening of lodges. There were places where other lodges could be opened and a special effort would be made so that more funds could be raised and the work of the League carried still further than it had been done. Regarding the speeches which they genorally heard at G rand Lodge from the big men of the party he must say, with their Deputy-Master, that they were extremely disappointing. The position in the country was somewhat critical and they did not know how far to go to be safe. There were some curious things being said about that time, and the speakers were very tentative in their remarks, and rightly so, as the crisis was at that time too serious for them to touch upon. (Hear, hear.) As showing the interest which Captain Clive took in the League, he was present at the meeting and the luncheon afterwards. One point in the report that he would mention was that one member of a lodge in Kent had been instrumental in making 130 new members, and great credit was due to that man for the work he had put in to attain such a result. (Applause.) Turning from matters concerning the Grand Lodge, Bro. Cotton reported that he had received a letter from Bro. H Yoxall, secretary of the Sir Richard Temple Lodge, inviting the brethren of the Ledbury Lodge to pay them a return visit to Worcester on Thursday, May 7. Ho hoped the brethren would make a note of the date, make an etfort to accept the general invitation, and insure a good attendance. As regards the numbers of their own lodge in reference to the other lodges in the league he could not give them the exact figures, but they were an equal second in the tribute they paid to Grand Lodge. Deputy-Master Craddock added a few words with reference to tke forthcoming visit to Wor- cester on Thursday, May 7. The Worthy Master announced that at the next meeting of the Lodge, which would be the last of the session, Captain Clive would pay them a visit. (Applause). The meeting would be on Thursday, May 28, of which due notice will be given. Bro. Hy. Garrood proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the entertainers, and referred to the excellent judgment of Bro W G Witham in securing the services of such an excellent artiste as Mr Harry Nickson, the principal entertainer that evening. He also emphasised the great services rendered at the lodge U smokers" by Bro E W Reed at the piano. (Applause). Bro Reed briefly acknowledged the compli- ment, and said the entertainers were only too pleased to do what they could to entertain the brethren. The Worthy Master was cordially toasted on the call of the Deputy-Master, and in replying, the Master referred! to the fact that Bro A Short was a new member, and they cordially wel- comed him-(applause)-which the new brother briefly acknowledged in a few words. The musical programme was an exceedingly good one, the chief contributor being Mr Harry Nickson, oomedianj of Hereford, whose songs and patter proved exceedingly to the liking of the members, and he was vociferously encored. Mi-kado," "The Silent Magician" and Japanese conjurer, also added to the programme with a clever exhibition under difficulties. Bros David Smith and E Godsall contributed enjoy- able songs, and the instrumental trios by Bros. C W'Jessett, G F Palmer and Mr R Summers were most popular. Bro. E W Reed was, as usual, at the piano, and rendered his customary excellent service. The proceedings concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.