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MERIONETHSHIRE WOMEN . UNIONIST…

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MERIONETHSHIRE WOMEN UNIONIST ASSOCIATION. ANNUAL MEETING AT BAR- MOUTH. The annual meeting of the Merioneth- shire Women's Unionist Association was held at Belle Vue Hall, Barmouth, on Wednesday of last week, Mrs. Lloyd, Rbaggatt, Cor-wen,presiding over a large > and representative gathering. A tele- gram was received from Lady WinChel- sea, the president of the Association, regretting that owing to ill-health she was unable to attend the meeting. Mrs. Lloyd proposed there-election of Lady Wincbelsea as president of the As- sociation. In seconding, Mrs. Charles Wilhams, Hengwm, Dyffryn, expressed the hope that her Ladyship would soon be restored to health and strength (hear, hear). The motion was-carried with acclamation. On the proposition of Mrs. Keightley, Miss Patehett was unanimously re- appointed organising secretary for the county, and Miss Dorothy Wvon, Rug, Corwen, the treasurer. Miss Patehet-t appealed for co-oper- ation amongst the members of the Association. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted in public that he looked upon the Liberal cause as a reli- gions faith. Now, that admittedly was a very good expression, but Mr Lloyd George sbouid bear in mind that Union- ists likewise regarded their cause from the same standpoint (cheers). The newest feature regarding their Associ- ation was the signing of the Ulster Covenant, 1334 women having already signed it in Merionethshire, which num- ber was excellent considering the size of the county (hear, heat- She inciden- tally mentioned that the annual fete would probablybe held at Dolgelley this year, the date not having yet been defi- nitely fixed upon. THE ULSTER QUESTION. Miss Austin Park, then addressed the meeting. She said that her primary in- tention was to stimulate interest in the great Irish question. Although it was not impossible that Home Rule would eventually be adopted in three provinces in Ireland, she could at the outset assure her audience that it would be impossible to palm it off on Ulster. The same people who advocated Home Rule cheered in the House of Commons when British reverses were reported during the Boer war., It was interesting to note thai in some parts of Ireland nowadays the rates stood at lis, 12s, 13, and in one town, at least, as much as 17s 6d in the pound. Was that a bright prospect for. Home Rule '? A friend of hers was unable to go about without police protection, be- cause he did his duty as a landlord in ejecting a tenantj who was two years in arrears with his rent. If that happened now how much worse would it be for those who had the courage of their con- victions, and were denied police protec- tion. Again, was Ireland financially strong enough to run a Government of its own, particularly when they had to pay the salaries of Cabinet Ministers and members of the Dublin Parliament? The argument was freely made use of that if Home Rule was granted mem- bers of Parliament at Westminister would be free to carry on their work. Rut then, it should not be forgotten that it is intended to have 42 Irish re- presentatives at Westminister, even if I Home Rule becomes law, and they like Oliver Twist will ask for more. Ire- land already possessed many privileges as compared with other parts of the United Kingdom. They had their special land measures; labourers' cot- tages at" a rental of Is a week, etc. It was really remarkable in Ireland, when the Old Age Pension Act first came into vogue, how quickly comparatively young people attained the allotted span of three score years and ten. The Local Government Board Act was in force in j 'the Emerald Isle; agricultural Imple- I merits were cheaper, and in fact Ireland was much better' treated by English- I men than by her own kill) and kin. j Miss Park said that she would like if those who evinced no interest in Ire- land could go over there to see things i for themselves. The Old Town Hall at  by women Belfast was now occupied by women ? loyalists, who were taught 'ambulance work, cooking, flag signalling, and stretcher drill. They had a Post Office of their own, and dispatch riders and !j women did all this work, A year ago there were 1000 male volunteers in Ulster. To-day the number has in- creased to 110,000, irrespective of rank in life or politics. They were a fine body of men who were determined that Ulster should be excluded, from the Home Rule Bill for an indefinite period. These loyalists are ready to die for the Empire, and the women-folk shed tears of pride at such a noble sacrifice (cheers). They who signed the solemn covenant sincerely believed that so long as they did not desert the people, God was on their side. Should it please God to harden the hearts of this present Government as He hardened the heart of Pharaoh of old, Ulsterites were pre- pared to die for their liberty. They preferred losing their lives rather than their religion and civil liberties (cheers). The gun-running plot was the most wonderful thing in history. Whereas quietness reigned supreme in Ulster, London was all astir Ulster retaliated. "You may break us but you'll never bend us" (cheers), Ulster women were even keener than the men in standing to their giins. M e n e v e n e a e r i fi o e d their sports in order to devote the whole of their .spare time to drilling. On the other hand, the Irish Nationalist Volun- teers were not a disciplined force, as yet, and they bore hatred in their hearts towards England and the British gene- rally. However, Ulsterites were deter- mined to do nothing silly, although their patience was sorely tried. When Mr. Joseph Chamberlain was requested re- cently to give a message to Ulster loyalists his reply was,. I' hate the mention of conversations, compromise, and coercion" (hear, hear). If there was one fact she (Miss Park) was proud of it was being a native of London- derry, the motto of which was No Surrender." It was a wonder that Welsh Noncon- formists were so apathetic towards the North of Ireland inasmuch as-Noncon- formists formed the bulk of the people in that faith as well as for rights and liberties. After all, the downfall of l, i, t .ie downf,,7Li'l 0 f' Ireland would eventually be the down- fall of Wales. As it was stated in the fable, it is impossible to break a bundle of sticks, but when they are taken out singly the task is much lightened. So also were we, as an empire, the finest in the world, were bound together by Imperial patriotism. It might be that the Loyalists. will be killed and over- powered no one could tell how it would end. One never yet came across a German who did not wish well to Home Rule in Ireland. The inference was obvious. When we are engaged in fight- ing among ourselves, enemies will step in. They in Ulster only asked to be left alone. Lord Roberts was an Irishman, as also was the Duke of Wellington, and if danger threatened England the 110,000 Ulster Volunteers would assist to allay it. The horrors of civil war were indescribable, and all hoped and prayed that it may yet be averted (cheers). A vote of thanks to the speaker hav- ing been enthusiastically carried, the pioceedings concluded with the singing of God Save the King."

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111 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.

BARMOUTH.