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THE GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN. IN DEFENCE OF THE LABOUR SUPPORTERS. To the Editor, Amman Valley Chronicle. Sir,-I feel constrained to utter a protest against the insidious suggestions made in your columns that the behaviour of the Labour sup- porters during the re,-ent Election campa -I was so bad as to have been responsibl ror th t: defeat of the Labour candidate. An outsider, perusing your columns, might very well L- pardoned for coming to the conclusion that our supporters are a gang of hooligans. In fairness to the Labour Party, I want to I emphatically protest against these suggestions. And let me straightaway admit that our sup- porters indulged in some heckling and inter- rupting. The Coalition supporters were guilty of the same crime. At Election time, when feeling runs high, this is inevit- able. And within limits I don't think is altogether a bad thing. A timely interjection adds a little spice to a political meeting, and there is a vaet difference between a wise or witty interruption and the silly shouting of Stuff to gie em," and the ringing of bells. What made matters rather bad in the local campaign was the introduction of personalities into the campaign. And I maintain that the Coalition speakers were responsible for this. I think I may fairly claim that we endeavoured to keep the political issues of the contest clear before the electors. We fought upon our programme, and the speeches made at our meetings were, in the main, confined to elucidating its proposals. Apart from a little mim;cry, not a word disrespectful of the Coalition candidate, as an individual, was uttered from our platform. It was some individual from Burry Port who aggravated matters by making absolutely false and groundless charges against the Labour candi- date, involving his honesty and integrity. Anc it was such tactics that were responsible for the major portion of the interruptions at that particular meeting. The meeting at the Palace, on the eve of election day, I attended myself, and I know what happened. Up to a certain point the meeting went well, and the speakers were listened to fairly atten- tively. It was only when a certain individual essayed to address the audience that the row began. The demonstrations made were not of a political character, but were spontaneous expressions of feeling against that person. 1 think every one who was at that meeting will agree with that view of wha< took place and what caused the rumpus. I can remember the time, Mr. Editor, when these people who profess to be so shocked at interruptions used to howl like wolves at Con- servative meetings at Ammanford. They have evidently forgotten those days, and it will not be amiss to give them a gentle reminder of their past. They may not then be so ready to blame others for following their example. We may have lost votes, as you say, be- cause we interrupted. On the same reasoning I the Coalition lost votes, for they were guilty of the same things; so we were quits. In any case, I haven't a high opinion of the man who would not vote for our principles becausa some of our men interrupted. He must hold poli- tical principles very cheaply if his vote depends on such trivial occurrences. have written in defence of our Parry. We are as jealous of the rights of free speech as our opponents claim to be. (By the way, Mr. Editor. they were responsible for D.O.R.A., which completely abrogated the right of free speech). Moreover, we endea- vour not to abuse those privileges by making false charges against any man. This is not characteristic of the Coalition. We are, for instance, still waiting for the promised sub- stantiation of those fearful charges made by the Coalition candidate against Robert Smillie. I-I am, yours, &c., JAS. GRIFFITHS, Secretary, Ammanford and Llandebie Trades and Labour Council. [In reply to the above communication, we may state that no charge whatever way made against the Labour Party; therefore, the need does not arise for any defence" by Mr. Griffiths. We simply stated that there are many who believe that but for the unseemly and unfair conduct of some extremists who obstructed the Coalition candidate' s meetings both at Llanelly and a t Ammanford the result would have been otherwise. It is a pity the cause should be jeopardised by these immature and unthinking adherents." The above remarks are substantially true, as there are scores of people who have expressed such an opinion. Mr. Griffiths should have recognised that we have nothing to say against the Labour Party. To the contrary, we deemed it only right to protest againsf the action of extremists who jeopardised the cause by their conduct. The paragraph which appeared in our Welsh columns was quoted from a contemporary, and did not emanate from us.—ED.]




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