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Swansea District. In times of political contest it is only natural that differences of opinion should be expressed by those taking part on either fiide. A man who places himself in a public position has to realise that as one of his first duties, and coupled with it should remember that the chief safeguard of public life in this country is that public men must submit to open criticism Df their action. They have the right to reply, and no one should complain so long is those replies are explanations and not bvaslons. We are moved to remind readers vf these well-accepted doctrines bya speech made at Pentre by Mr. T. J. Williams, who has come into the limelight rather prominently as one seeking Parliamentary honours. Mr. Williams urged that our Immediate contemporary, the Cambric Daily Leader," had attacked him, that the vt tacks had been unjust and abusive, Terming on the lines of defamation of eh a racter. The facts of the case are these:—When the question of selecting a Liberal candi- dat,e to succeed Sir D. Brynmor Jones was published, it became known that the Government desired the selection of Mr. Masterman. There were serious political and imperial reasons why that desire should be met, one of the chief being that now the Chancellor ofthe Exchequer has to deal with the finances of the war it was essential that he should have a6 a col- league in the Cabinet a member who was able to deal with affairs connected with the Insurance Act. This was met by a series of articles in certain local Tory papers, which threatened that if Mr. Mas- terman were selected Mr. T. J. Williams would be Ilominate-d against him. The Editor of the Cambria Daily Leader spoke to Mr. Williams, pointing out that the action of the Tory Press could not be allowed to pass unnoticed, informing him of the intention to publish an article ex- plaining that there was a desire to avoid anything that might seem to be unfair to Mr. Williams, and asking him to give a statement of his own view on the subject, either as an interview or in any other form. Mr. Wililialla-Eil 3 reply was that he declined. Accordingly the Leader" published an article, pointing out that the seat was Liberal," that under the truce arrived at by the political parties Df the Stare there should be no contest and that a candidate should be selected by the Liberal party, that the delegates tor the various districts in the division had a tree right to choose whom tbev like without interference or threats or dicta- tion from local Tory press, that if the Tories wanted to force a contest they Bhould have the courage to bring forward a Tory and not use the name of a Liberal as their instrument in causing trouble, and that whilst Mr. T. J. Williams had a perfect right to submit his name to any meeting of delegates he should dissociate aimself from the Tory use that had been made of his name. What has happened since has quite justified the action of the Loader." Mr. Williams has been approached, but has refuel to listen to reason. On the con- trary, his supporters at the first Neath conference of delegates based their state- ment of his claims upon a virulent attack upon Mr. Lloyd George. The vote went against Mr. Williams, but he fulfilled the prophecies and threats of his Tory Friends by maintaining his intention to rontest the neat, and so far flouted the decision of the majority of the delegates, 17he I-C'SI] l t We4S lhe result was that Mr. Masterman was not able to accept the invitation to repre- 0 sent the constituency, and the liberal party of the Swansea District became a laughing stock for the whole country. Then, having carried his recalcitrancy to the extreme limit, he came forward at the next meeting of delegates with a request that he should be selected by *them as candidate. Mr. V:illÍ;\ms aJluded, in'the speech re- rred i c-, to the fact that the Leader" -,eporteti 125 speeches by him when be was uiberal candidate for another con- ttitnency. We should have thought that aa would be silent on that point, because ? emphasises all the more the obligation res-ting u-pon him now to explain why hia recent action hus been so incom-istent with what is regarded by most pi ople as loyalty ■9 party. It also makes more poignant our regret that one who has avowed Liberalism in the past should now allow I him°eif to be u. without protest as a pawn in the Tory game. There are five challenges thaI- we should like to offer Mr. Williams. Thev are: (1) Can he quote a single sentence from the Cambria Daily Leader that cap be regarded as either abusive or defamatory? (2) Will he tell the public I what passed between him and the Liberal Whips since the vacancy in the con- .titueney occurred? (? Does he mean by its reference to the late member for the division that the Right Hon. Sir David Brynmor Jones either advised or approved his opposition to Mr. Masterman P (4) Will he admit that the Cambria Daily Leader" inserted not only one but each tommunication that he sent or handed personally to the edttor? (5) Will he, if he is returned to Parliament (where he will find Mr. Masterman representing j anotlier constituency), vote in concert with and in support of the Minister whom I lie opposed in the Swansea District, and, if st)" how will lie justify his action in I either case?






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