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THE FATAL ACCIDENT IN THE…

PENARTH LOCAL BOARD.I

THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS…

Mp Chamberrlain at Birmingham.…

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Mp Chamberrlain at Birmingham. BRILLIANT SPEECH ON POLITI- CAL TOPICS. The German Annexation Scare Ridiculed. The New Liberal Platform. BIRMINGHAM, Monday. This evening Mr Chamberlain was entertained at dinner at the Birmingham Town-hall by the newly-formed Birmingham Artisans Association. About six hundred artisans sat down to dinner, under the presidency of Mr F. C. Barnes, the secretary of the Glassworkers' Association. Mr Chamberlain's appearance on the platform was made the signal for an enthusiastic ovation. The company present, both in the body of the hall and on the platform, were confinedfto artisans. After dinner, when the public were admitted to the side galleries, the chairman proposed the health of Mr Chamberlain. Mr Chamberlain having replied, Mr J. H. WIGGETT proposed -'The Associa- tion, after which the following resolution was moved by Mr T. C. BARNES, and seconded by Mr J. CHATTAWAY :— That this meeting of working men tenders to the ■Right Hon. -T. Chamberlain, M.K, its deep sympathy with him in the unwarrantable attacks that have been made upon his personal character, and wnile assuring him oi their string and unabated confidence, congra- tulate him on the passing of the Franchise Bill, and ou the piv.sp.fcts of the great n'easure for the redistribu- tion of i-eats which has been introduced by the Govern- ment uf which he is a member. The resolution having been carried amid long- eoutinr.ed cheering, Mr CHAMBERLAIN, who was again cheered very loudly on rising, spoke as follows :—Ladies and gentlemen,—I thank you for the resolution which you have just passed with so much cordiality and enthusiasm. It is a great satisfaction and a great encouragement to me to know that I still retain your confidence. (Hear, hear.) I have been your member now for nearly nine years, and during the greater part of thai time I have had the honour of a seat ¡ ,1 the Government. I have had to make great claims upon your patience and indulgence, and you have never failed to respond with a generosity which in one of the most striking charac- teristics of great popular constituencies. In the course of that time you will easily understand I have sometimes found it difficult, as the Radical member of a Liberal Government—(laughter and cheers)—to conciliate the loyalty which I owe to my colleagues and to the party at large, with the strenuous and constant promotion of the princi- ples which I am supposed especially to represent. I have had at times to reserve, and sometimes even to sacrifice my opinion. (Hear.) Perhaps I may have disappointed my constituents—(cries of "■No" and "Nsvi-?")—but it has been in my opinion necessary, in order not to bring about a division which might injure our common cause— (hear, he t)—or which might embarass the leader whose unsurpassed ability—(loud cheers)—and long tried devotion to the people's service—(hear, hear) —have earned for him their undying regard and esteem. (Cheers.) I rejoice the more in this ex- pression of continued goodwill to me, because we stand to-night at the commencement of a new •ra. (Hear, bear.) I A NEW DEPARTURE. We are about to take a new departure, and re- joice to think that we shall take it together. (Hear.) The resolution refers with satisfaction to the present position on th question of elec- toral reform.^ For my part, I hardly know whether feelings of pleasure or of surprise ought to be our predominant sentiment. Ever since I last had the pleasure of addressing a public meeting, there has been such a change in the political situation as can only be compared to the trans- formation scene at a pantomime. (Laughter and cheu-s.) We thought a little while aero that we ere on the eve of the most tremendous struggle of our time we were bracing ourselves for a fi^ht which must be protracted and which might have had many vicissitudes, and suddenly, a.s by the wave of an enchanter's wand, we find ourselves in full possession of the fruits of victory, without having fired a shot or drawn a sword. (Loud cheers). But what adds to the strangeness of the situation is that our opponents profess to be equally satisfied. (Laughter). So that I suppose there never was in the whole Doliticjal history ot the country so many thoroughly satisfied and completely contented politician. (Laughter and cheers). I suppose it will I); an ungracious act t) disturb tLe general {eki-ity which is only broken by the plaintive murmurs of the members. THE SOCIETY you P"IOPOIITIONAL REPRESENTATION —(laughter)—who are going Up and down the country with a ballot box met blackboard, ex- hibiting the latest machinery for political thought- reading. (Loud laughter.) 1 do not think it is worth our while to enquire too closely into the foundation of the satisfaction which our opponents profess to enioy. I am not disposed to criticise too acutely the motives of their leaders. It has been said that Lord Salisbury— (hisses)L-has been influenced by a desire to imitate Mr Disraeli, and once more to "dish the I don't think that that can be the true explana- tion. I have read of a tribe in Russia with an unpronouncable name. It is called, I believe, the Tuvac, and it lives on the banks of the Volga river and this tribe has many curious customs, but perhaps the strangest of all is the fact that when any of its members desire to be revenged upon their enemies, they do so by hanging them- selves at the door of the man they hate (Loud laughter and cheers.) Gentlemen, I can hardly believe that Lord Salisbury can L,e actuated by such a motive, or can have adopted the tenets of the Tuvac. I do not suppose that he would com- wou conl- mit political suicide in order to spite Lord Kartington or Lord Granville, and therefore I have come to the conclusion we have all done him great injuscice, that the dearest Widh of his heart has been to speed the advent of the Radical uiillenium, and to pave way for that REIGN OF DEMOCRACY which we thought at one time it was his special mission to stein. At all events that is, it, ixiy judgment, the clear result of the settlement which has been arrived at a few weeks a°-o. I should have kept my impression a profound secret, but now our tongues are loosened and we may speak our inmost thoughts. The Franchise Bill has been passed-(great cheering)—and the pistol, of which Lord Salisbury spoke so emphatically, has been loaded, and it is in our hands. (Renewed cheers.) Next year two millions of men will enter for the first time into the full enjoyment of their political rights, and these men are for the most part your fellow workmen in factory and in field, and ior the first time the toilers and the spinners -(Ioti(I cheers)—will have a majority of votes, and the control, if they desire it, of the government of the country. (Cheers.) To-day Parliament is elected by three millions of electors, of whom, perhaps, one-third are of the working classes. Next year a new House will come to Westminster, elected by five millions of men of whom three-fifths belong to the labouring population. (Applause.) A PEACEFUL KEVOLTTTTFW It is a revolution which has been peacefully and silently accomplished.. (Hear, hear.) The centre of power hai been shifted, and the old order is giving place to the new. (Hear, hear.) This democratic movement will be accentuated by the proposal of the Seats Bill. I ln°k upon that bill as safe and for this simple reason that if our opponents do not take it they will have to take something m their opinion worse. (Hear, hear.) If they don't take it, if some mischance should happen to it, it will be the starting point for another bill more exhaustive even than the present bill. The bill which is now before the country is the minimum that the new voters will have it is the minimum, hut it is enough. The ore at Reform Bill of 1832 distributed 143 seats. The Tory bill of 1867 dealt only with 47 seats, but the bill of 1835 will distribute 160 seats, and will transfer the Denver from the sparse, the slug- gish, and the unprogressive populations in which it now resides to the active, energetic, and highly- organised constituencies which contain the vitalising elements of our political system. THE EFFECT OF THE REDISTRIBUTION RTn- But this account does not exhaust the demo- cratic changes which arp. in nrncrrp« THE TORIES' POLITICAL CLAIMS. I understand that the Tories take credit for this proposal as specially the result of their interven- tion. (Oh.) Equal electoral districts was the dream of the Chartists almost before Lord Salisbury was born. (Hear.) It has been the desire of Radicals ever since, and I think if the Tories would look back only two years ago they would find this proposal and most of the others in the bill contained in an admirable pamphlet which was written by our friend Mr Schnadhorst. (Cheers.) I believe that this proposal, which at one time was thought would be objected to in the country, and especially by the great constituencies, is the most popular part of the whole bill—(hear, hear)—and not without good reason, for, believe me, it will in- fuse new energy into our political life—(hear, hear)—it will widen the interest in pubiic affairs, it will open to a new class of candidates the opportunity of public service, and it will lead to a more definite and complete expression of public opinion. If the description which I have given of this latest chapter in the history of political re- form be accurate, if these are the results which we have the right to anticipate, I don't think that we need waste time in discussing to whom the merits of authorship belong—(hear, hear)— whether it be Lord Salisbury or Mr Schnadhorst, whether it be Mr Gladstone— (cheers)—or Sir Stafford Northcote. We will accept them thankfully from whatsoever hand they came, and with a profound belief in the probability of future benefits to follow in their turn. You are in the position of men who have suddenly come mto a fortune of which a short time ago you had only a distant expectation. By a stroke, almost immediately you will be placed in the full enjoyment of those political rights of which up to this time you have only had a trifling foretaste. These changed conditions will require novel combinations to meet them. The Liberal party next January will have outgrown its old clothes— (laughter)—and it must be prepared with new garments. ENLARGEMENT OF THE LIBERAL PROGRAMME. The organisation of the party and the programme of the party must be alike enlarged to meet the necessities of the situation which will have been created. I we that in some quarters the Tories are consoling themselves for the changes which they fear. They hope that at all events they will put an end to the power and the influence of the dreaded caucus. (Laughter.) They never were more mistaken in their life. (Cheers.) The caucus is like the fabled hydra. You may strike off its head, and half a dozen new ones— (laughter)—spring from the dismembered trunk. (Laughter.) There will be more need than ever for organisation—(hear, hear.)—if you are to gain the full advantage from the new conditions. Vested interests, special crotchets, personal claims —they have a natural tendency to combine; they are on their defence. They are bound together by common ties, and by common fears and if the public good, if the interest of the great majority is without discipline and without recognised leaders, it will be like a mob, and disperse before the steady tread of a few policemen or before the charge of a handful of cavalry. (Cheers.) I desire to impress upon you that our free and open representative Liberal associations are the essential condition of success in the future as they have mainly contributed to our success in the past. (Hear, hear.) But, although the principle re- mains, the form may very likely have to be changed. THE OBJECTS OF THE PARTY. In the big towns we have two objects in view. In the first place I hope to express your opinion when I say that we all desire that the unity of In the first place I hope to express your opinion when I say that we all desire that the unity of the constituencies should be preserved—(hear, hear)-that the initiative and the momentum which have been the prerogatives of these great com- munities should be continued. We should all be be sorry if the places which have been occupied with so much honour- Manchester, and Leeds, and Birmingham, and other large towns—should in the future be empty if these potent voices should be silenced, and if all the traditions of the past, and their bright examples, should be so much ancient history, carrying with thein no practical lesson for the future. But on the other hand, in our reverence for the past, do not let us omit to salute the rising stars—the new constituencies into which our borough is to be divided. They should be encouraged, and invited, and stimulated to dis- charge with honour and dignity the responsi- bilities to which they are called. (Hear, hear.) What the exact form and details of the new organisation should be may well be left to the constituencies themselves. (Hear, hear.) I THE NEW CONSTITUENCIES. It seems to me, however, that it will almost be a necessity of future union and future success that in each of these districts there should be created a powerful and representative district council of the Liberal association—(hear, hear)—and that to this district council should b3 wholly left the duty of selecting the candidates for each of the localities. (Cheers.) But then these district councils which unite to form the United Liberal Association of Birmingham would be no longer an Eig-ht Hundred;" it would be more likely a "Two Thousand"—(hear, hear, and a laugh) — which would alone have the power of collecting and expressing the opinion of the whole town; and so under this system you would have the federated association defining—formulating the policy and the programme of the Liberal party as whole, while the district councils would select their spokesmen and representatives in Parlia- ment, on the school board, and in the town council, to carry this policy without interference, control or dictation from any other body whatso- ever. (Cheers.) When your organisation is per- fected, when in due proportion to their numbers every class and every district sends up its member to the great council of the nation, which, for the first time, will be truly representative, what will this assembly do with the powers entrusted to it ? What effect will the change we have been considering- have upon THE FUTURE POLICY OF THE COUNTRY ? What will be the clireetion of the new legislation in which we shall all be engaged ? I hope at some future time to have an opportunity of deal- ing more in detail than I can do to-night with the programme of the Liberal party. (Cheers.) But there are two important branches of the subject on which, with your permission, I wish to make a few general observations. (Hear, hear.) In the first place, then, I think that on the whole, the extension of popular authority will make for peace. The lata Mr Carlyle, in one of his books, says that the common people desire war, because in wartime there is a demand for common people to be shot. I do not believe in the truth of this cynical ob- servation. (Hear, hear.) I do not think that democracy wilt have any love for a policy of intervention and aggression, nor any ambition for conquest and universal dominion. These things lead straight to conscription, and you will not be eager or even willing to pay the blood tax which is levied on your brethren in continental countries. (Cheers.) EGYPT. I anticipate, tnen, tnat you will give no assist- ance.to the party which is clamouring for what they call a strong foreign policy, and which at this moment, in the interest chiefly of the bondholders and financial specula- tors, are calling upon us to take possession of Egypt without regard to the wishes of the popula- tion, or the just susceptibilities of other nations. We are in Egypt at this time in pursuance of an un--ellisli object. Our task has proved of greater magnitude than we had anticipated it is one, indeed, of almost unexampled difficulty. We have met with hostility and opposition in quar- ters where we had reason to hope for assistance and co-operation, but we will not be driven from our intentions. (Cheers.) We will no £ yield one jot, either to the perfidious liuggestions of dubious friends abroad or to the interested clamour of financial greed at home—(cheers)— and we will not destroy the independence which we are solemnly pledged to Europe and to Parlia- ment to respect. (Cheers). I hüpe and believe that in this course we shall have your approval— h(ear, liear)-g.,nd that you will'know how to distinguish between a policy of justice and 1 a policy of weakness. (Hear, hear). It is not the bravest man who blusters most. (Hear, hear). And the universal bully at a time of pinch is very likely to be found a universal coward. (Cheers). DEMOCRATS NOT AFRAID OF WAR. But if the occasion should coino to assert the authority of England, a democratic Government resting on the confidence and support of the whole nation, and not on the favour of any limited class, would be very strong. It would know how to make itself respected, and how to maintain the obligations and the honour of the country. I think that foreign rulers would be very ill-ad vised if they were to assume, because we are anxious to avoid all cause of quarrel with our neighbours that, therefore, we are wanting in the old spirit of Englishmen, or that we should be found very tolerant of insult or long-suffering under injury. But, then, I hope that the conscious- ness of strength will bring with it the calmness and the confidence which are the characteristics of asense of power and the possession of true courage. Suspicion, irritation, and nervousness, which seem to characterise a certain school of politicians among us, are to my mind altogether inconsistent with the dignity of a great nation, whose resolution never to suffer wrong should make it slow either to give or to take offence. A NECESSITY OF MAINTAINING ENGLAND S DIGNITY. If we are to be thrown into an agony of appre- hension every time any other nation show3 signs of restlessness, our power of effective interven- tion will be lessened when there is real occasion tu put it forth. It would be humiliating indeed if England, the mistress of half the world, were to be driven to imitate the conduct of an angry scold, and indulge in a fit of hysterical passion because Germany had snapped up some unconsidered trifle of territory which we have hitherto not thought it worth our while to acquire. If it be necessary, as I think it may be, to re- view our foreign and colonial policy in the light of recent events, let us face the altered circum- stances of the problem in the spirit of full grown men, and not with the pettish outcry of frightened children. I regret the action, how- ever natural it may be deemed on some grounds, which the C e':lHrl Government has thought it necessary to lake. I see that it is stated that Prince Bismarck, the veteran statesman whose great ability, high courage, and force of character have given him an extraordinary position in European politics, has been influenced in his recent acquisitions by a personal dislike to in his recent acquisitions by a personal dislike to Mr Gladstone, and a desire to embarrass his Government. I do not believe it. JilSMARCK AXD MR GLADSTONE. Prince Bismarck is much too large-minded a man to allow a private prejudice to affect his great designs, and he is much too wise to affront a friendly nation in the person of its chief in order to gratify a feeling of momentary irritation. (Hear, hear.) I have no doubt that he has very different and much more worthy motives for the policy he has pursued but not the less on that account-I am sorry that he should have thought it his duty to imitate a course which has already created widespread feelings of uneasiness, and which has produced feelings of the deepest irrita- tion and alarm in those dependencies of the Crown whose prosperity and welfare are regarded with the liveliest satisfaction by every Englishman. (Cheers.) It does not need a prophet to predict that in the course of the next half century the Australian colonies will have attained a position in which no power will be strong enough to ignore them, and that they will have a supreme authority in the Pacific seas, and for my part I cannot look with any confidence on any settlement which may bs made in those regions in defiance of their united opposition. OUR OBLIGATIONS TO THE COLONIES. Meanwhile, we are not unmindful of our obliga- tions. If foreign nations are determined to pursue distant colonial enterprises, we have no right to prevent them. We cannot anticipate them in every case by proclaiming a universal protectorate in every unoccupied portion of the globe's surface which English enterprise has hitherto neglected, but our fellow-subjects may rest assured that their liberties, their rights, and their interests are as dear to us as our own, and if ever they are seriously menaced the whole power of the country will be exerted for their defence—(cheers)— and that the English democracy will stand shoul- der to shoulder throughout the world to maintain the honourand integrity of the empire. (Cheers.) And now I turn to the last point upon which I propose to address you. What is to be the nature of THE DOMESTIC LEGISLATION OF THE FUTURE ? (Hear, hear.) I cannot heip thinking that it will ¡ be more directed to what are called social subjects than has hitherto been the case. How to promote the greater happiness of the people—(hear, hear)— how to increase their enjoyment of life. (Cheers.) That is the problem or the future—and just as there are politicians who would occupy all the world and leave nothing for the ambition of anybody else, so we have the counter part at home in the men who, having already annexed v' everything that is worth having, expect every- body else to be content with the crumbs that fall from their table. Now if you will go back to the origin of things, you will find that when our social arrangements first began to shape them- selves, every man was born into the world with natural rights, with a right to share in the great inheritance of the community, with a right to a part of the land of his birth, (Loud cheers.) Well, but all these rights have passed away. The common rights of ownership have disappeared. Some of them have been sold. Some of them have been given away by people who had no right todis- pose of them; some of them have been lost through apathy and ignorance some have been stolen by fraud—(cheers)—and some have been acquired by violence. Private ownership has taken the place of these communal rights. and this system has become so interwoven with our habits and usages, it has been' so sanctioned by law and protected by custom that it might be very diffi- cult, and, perhaps, impossible to reverse it. THE OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND. I But then, I ask, what ransom will property pay for the security it enjoys? What substitute will it find for the natural rights which have ceased to bo recognised? Society is banded together in order to protect itself against the instincts of men v.iio would make very short work of private ownership if they were left alone. That is all very well, but I maintain that society owes to these men something more than mere toleration in return for the restrictions which it places upon their liberty of action. There is a doctrine ;u many men's mouths and in few men's practice that property has obligations as well as rights. I think in the future we shall hear a great deal about the obligations of property, and we shall not hear quite so much about its rights. (Hear.) What are the rights of property? Is it a. right of property which per- mits a foreign speculator to come to this country, and lay waste two hundred miles of ter- ritory in Scotland for the gratification of his love of f,port-(" Shame ")-and to chase from the lands which their fathers tilled long before this intruder was ever heard of the wretched peasants who .were convicted of the crime of keeping a pet lamb within the sacred precincts of a cesr forest. (Loud cries of "Shame.") Are the game laws a right of property ? (No.) Is it just and expedient that the amusements of the rich, carried even to barbarous excess, should be protected by an ano- malous and Draconian code of law, and that the community should be called upon to maintain in gaol those who are made criminals by this legis- lation, although they have committed no moral offence? ("Shame.") THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY. Is it a right property that sailors ':shou3y be sent to sea to pursue their dangerous occupation with- out any sufficient regard to their security ? Is it to set, to pursue their dangerous occupation with- out any sufficient regard to their security ? Is it tolerable that in pursuit of a necessary livelihood to themselves and their families they should em- bark in ships whose safe return depends wholly on the continuance of favourable weather, and, upon the absence of any of the ordinary accidents of tho sea ? And is it right that they should do this while the owners of these ships, and tie employers of these men sleep comfortably in their beds with a certainty that, whatever happens, they will be no losers-they will probably be gainers, while disasters cause so much misery to tne seamen and to their families ? And, lastly, is it_ atl e.jSQntiai condition of private ownership in land that the agricultural iabouiers in this country alone of civilised conn- sries should be entirely divorced from the soil they till—that they should be driven into towns to compete with you for work, and to lower the rate of wages ? and that, alike in town and country, the labouring population should be huddled into dwellings unfit for man or beast, where the conditions of common decency are impossible, and where they lead directly to disease, intemperance, and crime ? (Applause.) THE QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED AT THE POLL. These are questions which I hope you will ask at the next election—(cheers)—-and to which you will demand au answer. (Hear, hear.) Do not suffer yourselves to be turned aside; do not be diverted. The owners of property—those who are interested in the existing state of things—the men who have privileges to maintain would be glad to entrap you from the right path by raising the cry of "fair trade" -(laug-tlter)-under which they cover their demands for protected industry, and in connection with which they would tax the tood of the people in order to raise the rents of the landlords. Protection very likely migxit, it probably would, have this result it would increase the incomes of the owners of great estates, and it would swell the profits of the capitalists who were fortunate to engage in the best protected industries. But it would lessen the total production of the country, it would diminish the late of wages, and it would raise the prices of every necessary of life. No, believe me, it is not 111 this direction that you have to look for remedy for the depression which undoubtedly prevails. Property cannot pay its debt to labour by taxing its means of subsistence. (Cheers.) THE CURE FOR DEPRESSED TRADE. You must look for the cure in legislation, laying the heaviest burdens on the shoulders best able to bear them. (Cheers.) Legislation will, in some decree, at any rate, replace the labourer on the soil, and find employment for him without forcing him into competition with the citizens of the towns. (Hear, hear). Legislation which will give a free education to every child in the land— (cheers)—and which will thus enable everyone, even the poorest, to make the best use of the faculties with which he may be gifted. (Hear, hear). Gentlemen, I congratulate you on the fair prospect which is opening up for the class to which you belong. In the era which is now commencmg we shall see many experiments intended to lessen the evils which poverty brings in its train, to increase the rewards of labour, to bring hope to the miserable, to give courage to the wean, and in this way to advance the aim and end of all our Liberal policy—the greatest happiness to the greatest number. (Loud and continued cheers.) The toast of "Our Governing Bodies" waO afterwards honoured, and the proceedings* ter- minated.

SHOCKING OCCURRENCE AT NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE.

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The Nile Expedition. J

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