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- - - - - - - - - -MR. MASTERMAN…


MR. MASTERMAN CHOSEN ————— Conference of Swansea District Liberals. At the Neath Liberal. Club on Satiir- ;&y afternoon the appointed detcgatf-tt- te^emhled to select a successor to Sir j I>avid Bryrrmor Jones. K.C., as Parh". xientary rf-prftk-mtative for Kwarjfcca dis- trict. There wwe 143 proserr, and a series oi unpleasant incidents sfcmok a discordant and unfortunate D'-It". in the procedings. Aid. Hopkin Morga-n. J.P., president, oi the Neath Liberal Clut), was voted to the chair, a>n*i without introduction an- nounced that a notice of motion had been received by Mr. Harry Williams, the 800'. jvtery. from Cwsuavcm. The letter stated that on behalf of the delegates Mr J. Hanbury would move: That the resolution of the nuanimou*- vote for tww candidate to be returned from each district be rescinded, and farther that the total of actual vot<\> cast in the district meetings be the de- j termining factor in the final selection." "This," continued the Chairman. raises a very important matter, and one calculated to upset the motion Tarried at last Saturday's meeting. T. a.m sorry, bo- eixuse at that meeting you decided your policy and mode of procedure in selecting a candidate to-day. and therefore I mus rule this motion out of order. (Applause.) I do po because it rerq>ens th" whole ques- tion. and therefore what you did last Saturday will be of no avail." Mr Edward Harris (Morriston) Before that is taken, f ask for the production of the minutes of last Saturday's meeting. The Chairman: T understand the mmutes have been sent all the districts in the constituency. Yov bare all re- jpcei ved thejn. Mr. John Moirris (Neath): That is not so. Mr. Edward Rarrie: I have not seen the minutes. The Chairman: The question of the accuracy of the minutes liac not been raised- Snrelv it is known to you all what resolution was passed at the last meeting. AD the dirid that did not nominate candidates at last Saturday's meeting were allow-pxt until Wednesday to send in their nominations. This has beeu done in rvery case; < herefore it Iwii been accepted hy the districts, and the resolu- tion is in operation. (Applause.) Mr. Edward Harris: J question that. No resolution was passed at the, last meeting deciding that the majority in any particular district should command the rotes of -the district, and therefore your ruling is not correct. (Cries of Order. ") If it is so I can for the minutes. Rev. T. W. George (Neath) asked if all the districts had sent in their nominations ? The Chairman: I have stated definitely what was discussed and what was re- solved as to the coarse of prwedure here to-day- I do Not think that is ques- tioned Mr. Edward Harris: I do question it. and call for the minutes. (Cries of Ordeor" and Chair.") Mr. J. Banbury (Cwmavon) said the version given by the Chairman wiv- the version adopted by the Cwmavon meet- ing. (Hear, hear). Before they dis- cussed the merits of the candidates they considered the mode of procedure to be followed. and in the course of that dis- cussion it was pointed out that it would, be unfair and a. little unjust to pledge tliemselves to any candidate without knowing who would be finally adopted. It was also urged that it was not in ac- cordance with the ordinary methods adopted at general elections, neither would it give the voice of the minority in determining the issue at tbe final meeting. It was on those grounds they tent in the notice of motion which the Chairman had just read. The Rev. T. W. George (Neath) asked i: all the districts had sent in their nominations ? The Chairman: Not ail. The Rev. T. W. George contended that they had no power to dictate, to Cwmavon or any other district how they f;noul(1. make their nomination. Mr. John Morris: I should like to know the names of the districts who have sent; in their nominations «.nd those who have net. The Chairman: I will repeat the, state ruent I have made before. Some of tin; districts made their nominations ,o t h (,;ir Saturday, others have sent them in hance. Mr. John Morris: But, Mr. Chairman—! (cries of Order and ChariT.") Uproar reigned at the back of the room, and the Chairman gii"*Aeofully appealeti for order. Continuing, he said that most of the district meeting* had exercised the right demanded by last Saturday's deci- sion, and he had never heard it questioned until now. Mr. Ranbury had put the matter before tbem in a perioeotly frank and fair way. and Cwnmvon having sent their nomination he suhmitted tha., fbey had complied with the resolution be- yond any question. (Bear, bear.) A. Delegate: Why don't you read the minutes of the last meeting They have been asked for. The Chairman: Because this meeting is u n-able to mado wh-at ww done at the last meeting. (Applause.) It is Oil qnibe a different beiew, and quite a difierenrt meet- ing, inasmuch as it is convened for a i specific purpose. Chows.) M-E. Iobm Morris: I ask that the Secre- tary shouJd read out the names of the itteaMcts who have sent in normrifariona. J know some who have not seøt in. (Cries of Sit down.") Mr. W. T. Dalies: Surely those district who heM meeting last night are not to be debarred because their noniinations were •not recexred on Wednesday Diot-? Mr. Mastthew Arnold (IVfayor of Neaih): I move that we proceed witfo the Dftét hufrinews. (Loud cheers.) Mr. John Mo-rris (e«ated3y>: What have we got to hide! A Delegate; I move that we be governed by the Chairman's ruling to-day. abso- lutely. ^Laughter and appiause At this stage the Chairman read the fol- lowing letter, written from Crown Villa. Morriston. and dated December 16: Dear Mr. Morgan,—After full considera- j 1.)u of the spe I tiou of the special erreumatancup con- nected with the present imite in this con- stituency, I shall be obliged if you will at the outset of the meeting annownce my desire to wititdraw my name from the fist of candidates.- Yours, faithfully. Dan. Thomas. The Tetter TO* greeted with cheer?, and a delegate shouted "He's a sport! Mr. Morgan Thomas (Loughor), said that at the last meeting he asked & question as to whether it was definitely known that Mr. Masterraan would accept the seat if ,iftcrei itini. and the answer he received was. "Tie may." Since then cor-j respondents had been published in the papers giving information that i-o fairness to the whole if the districts should have been given to them at the la?t mtil1g"1 ?Hfar. heM). He T?pTP?nted a. MnaU district in the constituency—goo d voters—; but ho thought everybody understood to- day that "might was not right," and small district were entitled to the same informatioT) as the larger ones. (ApplauseN.. The Chairman said he found no fault with Mr. Thomas's question, and he would endeavour to ecrplaiu what had taken place a. fortnight ago. A roe-ruiting meeting was held at Neath at which Mr. William Jones, ir.p.. attended, and im- :parted the information of Sir David Brynmor Jones's appointment. At the (,1°,"8 of the meeting, he (the chairman) met several Liberals and discussed the situation in quite a casual way, and I someono suggested that if the oppor- u g--v f' d tiinitj- p;"pse11ted itself they could, per- j haps, find a seat for Mr. Masterman. A further suggestion was made that they should communicate direct with Mr. Mnstenaau to ascertain his views on the mattM'. Acting upon that suggestion, he t (the ca.iTman1 wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a purely private capacity, and the reply he received was in his pocket last Saturday. Seeing the. state of the feeling in the meeting—there; was certainly a good deal of electricity among the -peakerr, -he thought it would be unwise to make any reference to that private communication. (Hear, hear.) And he felt th?t by his acHon he gave the meeting full -:ropp to discuss the pros and rons of any candidate they thought proper. (Hear. bear). Since <!?n. he -m% what -fforfs had been un; for'h by others to secure a can(li(i;te and the news leaked out that he had received the letter. An urgent recfupst was made that the purport of the J letter should 1* communicated to the j division. Certain gentlemen were allowed; lo see it. and it leaked out in that way. If others thought: tit to ask certain gentle- men to stand snrely he had an equal; rig-hf. He had no particular interest to j =?rv, and he pledged his hononr that it was only the welfare and strength of the Government he had at heart. (Loud applanse ) Mr. Morgan Thomas: Before I came to last Saturday'H meeting T was told by several people that there was an official request that the candidature of Mr. Masterman fhouh! be brought before the meeting. That was my reason for asking the question. The Cbairman: I don't think I made  any anR?'?r to you. Th?rc i a notion abroad that I said no communication had beeu received, which is not correct. It is true that I said the only official communication received was a telegram from Sir David Brvnmor Jones Mr. Morgan Thomas: I still adhere to what. I have said. It if. an undeniable fact that before last Saturday's meeting several electors were under the impression that an official communication bad been received on behalf of Mr. Masterman. (Hear. hear). Now you say it was a pri- vate communication. We were here as a body representing the Liberal Five Hundred, and I think we should have been told. We were here to discuss matters, and to my great surprise we dis- cussed nothing. (Laughter). The Chairman: I think we discussed I) a great deal. Had J etated here publicly I that I had received a letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer those pre- sent would have been in a worse mood. Mr. Edward Harris: If. as you r say, it was a private reply to a private letter, why did it appear in Tuesday's South Wales Daily N ws?" It was an official request, and Mr. Lloyd George's name has been j dragged into this Controversy to favour one candidate more ilan another. It waA published to i nB ueoC( votes, and I main- tain that slim tactics have been used to favour on? candidate at the expense of others. (Hear, hear, and cries of "Rat '"). A Delegate: Did Mr. Wm. Jones and Sir David Brynmor Jones have a conver- sation with the Chairman on the matter, I and what was the result of it? (Cries of < Oh. oh;"), Rev. T. W. George: I think it is a piece of impertinence for anyone to ask such a question as that. (Applause). If r. T. D. Davies (Swansea): I should like to have the Chairman's interpreta- tion of that letter now—was it private or official? I ask for an answer because! Pentrechwyth has passed a conditional resolution. If official, they will support: Mr. Masterman: if not they will vote for ir, Williams. The Chairman: My reply to that ques- tion is that the report in yesterday's papers can be accepted as a correct state- ment of the letter received. I Mr. T. D. Davies: I must ask for your ruling. Is it private or official? Mr. Edward Harris: Having regard to the fact that this letter has been pub- !!ished. I think all the correspondence that has paesed should be produced. The Chairman: I should like to know whether you have written any letters ree-I' garding the candidate for this constitu- ency? (Cheers). Mr. Edward Harris: To whom? The Chairman: I am not suggesting who, Mr. Edward Harris (warmly): You oan take it from me that I have not written a single letter to anyone on the subject. 1 (Applause.) I am iii-pri sed that you as chairman flhOÐld insinuate anything of the Bort.. (Cheers.) The Chairman I am not insinuating, I but you asked me whether I had w-ritten i a, letter, and I asked whether anyone else had written. Mr. Howell (Port. Talbot): I am sur- prised that liberals should come here to- day to quarrel. and to say that of « man who hm done ho much for Liberalism. I (Cheers.) To say he has been guilty of slim tactics is an aspersion which I very strongly resent. I wrote a private letter to the Chancellor, and had a wire from him yesterday. A Delegate: There's another one. (Laughter.) l Further pressed for hris ruling on the j letter, the Chairman saad fee regarded it as an ElXprn from the Chancellor of | the Exchequer that he considered it an important matter and particularly de- sired the return «f Mr. Mawterman. (Chews.) A Delegate: At your request! The Chairman (warmly): Certainly not. Mr. Morgan Rpft; (Pentrechwyth): That expression of opinion by the eixeirmou is sufficient for us. (Cbeerw.) In reply to a deS*g«t*v. the dwfcntian said that if Mr. Wm. Jones or any other member of Parliament chose to talk matters ever to him privately, he was not justified in making that private oonver- asta-an public. It would be a breach of confidence. (CheertO A Delog?t?: It w&s done to faster one .?n '0 nomination! The Chairman: I beg your pardon, it was not. Mr. Masterman has not beeu in the constituency, but other people have been canvassing for other nommees. (Cheers, and a Voice: That's abseJute!" and laughter.) 5 The Mayor of Neath- Proceed to business! At this stage several delegates rose to speak, but there waf; such an uproar at the back of the room that the chairman had to appeal for order. It was some time before peace was restored, ;usd after Mr. Mom^ Tbom.? had declared ?he r&- 9u!t of tb? voting a? AbeMvern. Mr. Edward Harris stood -np and Paid he wanted to raise a question. I The Chairman: Please Kit «own! We have decided to proceed with the busi-j ness, and whilst the ballot is beiny I taken I cannot hear yôu.. (Cheers). Mr. Edward Harris persisted,, hut me. remarks were inaudible, one section I shouting. t. Sit down." Obey the chair," and Chuck him out," whilst another section shouted encouragement, For fully ten minutes Mr. Edward Ha.rris -reined on his feet defying the chairman, and above the aborts the Rev. Penar Griffiths' voice was heard: Is Mr. Harris to put his point or not" It was an appeal to the meeting, and there was a thunderous response, N NO.1 no At last Mr. Edward Harris resumed I his seat, remarking as he did 80. "Very well, I will obey the chair, but you may, he sorry for it." I Order was then restored, and thêl various delegates read out the result ofj[

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