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MR. YERBURG-H AT SALTNEYI…

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MR. YERBURG-H AT SALTNEYI ♦ I CHINESE SLAVERY HOAX. I NEW HEBRIDES CONVENTION. I OnFridayevenxngMr. Yerburgh addressed a suc- cessful meeting in the Lecture Hall, Saltney, under the auspices of tho St. Alary s Ward branch of the Chester Conservative and Union- ist Association. Mr J. PeroivaJ Gamon pre- sided, and was supported by Messrs. T. O. Hogarth, G. F. dough, Channon, E. H. Jones, and C. If--Glas&ey (secretary and registration Chairman, paying a tribute to the lato ex-Premier, remarked that those who differed from him in politics, could not but admire the fine sense of duty which he shewed in accepting the groat responsibilities of State under the burden of heavy domestic bereavement. As to tho position of the Unionist parly, the Chair- man said that the result of reoent eleotions in- dicated that their return to power was now within measurable distance. Mr. Yerburgh, who had a cordial reception, said he carried w:i,h him a lively recollection of a mefcting he addressed in that hall before tho last general election, when he was subjected to a good deal of heckling. He remembered the occasion well because the subject then de- bated was one that was most before the elctors at thac tiIll-the employment of the Chinese in the South African mines. With the electors throughout the country they were told that the conditions under which the Chinese wero working amounted neither to more nor less than slavery; and that they were raking the place of white men who ought to have the labour which the mines afforded. Not only in Chester, but ail over the country those argu- ments had a tremendous effect. They had a most vivid presentment of the Chinese in chains, arid pictures shewing thorn as being unmercifully flogged. The generous instincts of the English people revolted against aIlY-j thing that partook of the nature of slavery, and it wa6 no wonder that they voted against a Government who they were led to believe I had introduced slavery into our Colonic*. But WHERE WAS THE SLAVERY AGITATION I now.' (Hear, near.) hveryono now knew I there was not a word of truth in the accusa- tions of the Radical party. Air. Winston Churchill's explanation was that the language used upon the question was really composed of "terminological inexactitudes, by which he (Mr. Yerburgh) supposed he meant- to say that the statements he made with regard to Chinese slavery were directly contrary to the truth; while Lord Elgin. the responsible Minister for the Colonies, had apologised for what he Mid on the- question. The present Government were returned on this question, and if slavery had really existed it was their bounden duty to nnm diately send every Chinaman from South Africa. (Hear, hear.) Yet the number at present in the mince was only about 10,000 lesi than in 1207, while there was now a brgely i!,oreaJc{\ number of natives working in the mines, there baing a total increase of yellov¡ anJ other coloured labour of 45,777. If the Unionist Government by introducing the Chinese were keeping vihite men out of the mitres, what wore the present Government guilty of when they had in- creased the amount, of coloured labour by over 45,OOO? (Cheers.) If the Chinamen were working as slaves in the mines the other coloured labourers were also working as slaves, and the Government had increased the IlurnLer of slaves by over 45,000 The Govern- ment offered in 1906 to repatriato the Chinese who wanted to return home under very ad- vantageous conditions, yet within eight weeks only 54 out of 50,000 applied to go home. On ♦lie 8 th June in that year we found Mr. Win- ston Churchiii saying in the Hottse of Com- mons It is impossible tc resist the conclusion that there is no general desire on the part of the cgolies employed in the Witwafersrand to leave their work and to return home." The present Government, who spoke so strongly against the Chinese labour ordinance, declared th rough the present Prime Minister that if it was proposed by the Transvaal Government to re-enact it the House of Commons, would veto it; but they had actually re-enacted it for two and a half years or thereabouts. IlYPOCHITf('AL CONDUCT. Such conduct could not be characterised ot.ner- wissthanas iOypccr¡nenL Cheers.) For his own part, i: he had believed what those gen- tlemen affected to believe he would never have Tested until we had got every Chinaman out of South Africa (Hear, hear.) England had large trade interests with China, and it was essential that wo should cultivate good rela- tions with China. The Chinese were very jealous, of foreigner;, and as many people of our own blood ros-ided in the country it was necessary to take every precaution not to arouse the jealousy or hatred of the Chinese. While in China in 1306 Lord Ronakkhay found that exact copies of the posters depicting Chinamen being tortured, that. were circu- lated in this country. were being distributed by the Chinese among their own countrymen. Had not the people responsible for those placards a great deal to answer for and was it not possible that they had jeopardised the lives of many of our own countrymen and women in China? (Hear, hear.) He hoped that we would neVBi" again have a general oko- tion disgraced by posters of that character. (Cheers.) Under th" New Hebrides Conven- tion, signed by a Government who rooe into power on the cry of Chinese slavery, and signed in face of the protests of the Govern- ment* of Australia and Now Zeabnd, power was given to indenture children of both sexes '> labour for three years, provided they were io.Jl enough. Women oould also be taken away Oy the consent of the head of the tribe to forced labour for throe years. The Chinaman worked for ten hours a day at Is. 6d. a day, and of his own free-will but iiitfortti-iate women and boys and girls had to work from sunrise to sunset, with one hour's interval for the mid-day meal, for 4d. a day. ("Shame.") If they did not work they were liable to different penalties, including- imprisonment for one month. Putting those two Conven- tions side by side which was least to the credit of thivi country—that which sanctioned the movement of Chinamen of their own free-will, or that which a Mo wed defenceless women and children to be taken away to lalxsur from sun- rise to sunset at a miserable pittance? He co'dd not beH?ve t.?at any ?upporMr of thO./ ppeaont Government wonid aanction by his vote a poUcy of that kind. (Cheerg.) Referring to his attitude at the last election towards the Trade.3 Disputes Bill. Mr. Yerburgh Mid that had he chosen to abandon his principles He had no doubt that he would now be the member for Chester. Being opposed to the measure, he acted hofteytly and he hoped that his holding to his prineiples in the facte of what ) he knew to be cert-am defeat would be taken ns an earnest of what they might expect from him m the future. (Cheers.) Dealing with the charge of extravaganoe aga inst the last I Government, Mr. Yerburgh pointed out the folly of the present Government in repealing the duty Oil exported coal imposed by the ¡ Unionists, which had increased the country's revenue by about eleven million sterling. The duty was paid by the foreigner, and the effect. iff its removal had been to force up the price of coal at home, affecting both the householder and the large industries. As to the Miners' Eight Hours Bili, he sympathised with the miners in their extremely hard and perilous work: but the miner3 were not at all agreed t h -,(, in Itle nortli Lc?,I:ng upon this question, those in the north being opposed to any legislative interference wit-h their hours of working. It was said that if the Bill became law the price of coal was bound to go up. Speaking of the Govern- ment's efforts in the interests of SO-CALLED ECONOMY, I Mr. Yerburgh said that in addition to taking off the t&x on coal, they had placed large orders for horseshoes for th., Army in the hands of foreign firm,?. If there was any infinitesimal difforcr.ce lot ween tho price of foreign and Eng- lish-ma do articles, he preferred those produced by our own people; but That was not the Radi- cal theory. They had also thought fit in their ardent desiro for economy to diseliargo num- bers of skilled workmen from 1h3 Woolwich Arsenal, and to vote for the payment of salar- ies and election expenses to members of Parlia- ment. Members of Parliament used to be paid. but they wore paid not by the State, but by tha constituencies which returned them. A 131il for tlio payment of members by the constitu- encies would now stand small chance of pass- ing. (Hear, hear.) He believed that a mem- f bar oould at the present time claim wages from his constituency, although the point had never been decided and lie suggested that any Radi- cal member who wished ro test the question should demand wages, and if refused enter an i action against his constittlc-ney. (Laughter and hear, hear.) Turning to the education question, Mr. Yerburgh said we knew that the Govern- ment wero returned partly to remove certain grievances under which certain religious bodies were labouring but they weiio not returned to remedy one injustice by creating another. The withdrawal of their first Education Bill shewed clearly they had found out-that the COUNTRY WAS AGAINST THEM. and that if they had appealed to its verdict I it would havo supported the House of Lords. Was tho Bill now before the country going to meet any better fate? Churchmen and Roman Catholics insisted on tho right of the parent to have his child brought up in the religious prin- ciples wirich he professed, and demanded that religious instruction should be given in school hourc. (Hear, hear.) He was told that in Franoe, where the- name of God had been prac- ticaUy banished from the sobools, thinkers were realising the mischief they had done when they saw the enormous increase of juvenile crime; and they were turning admiring eyes to tihe religious inst.ruction of the young in this coun- try. Let ns not make- the mis-take of depriving our children of that instruction by regarding it as a mere extra. (Cheers.! There were signs that the Government were seeing- the mistake thev had made, and there was a proposal for a round table conference in order to bring about a 1-appy solution of this :homy question. That was a sensible way to appioaoh the question. The Unionist party would be most happy to facilitate a settlement, and by th-o exorcise of a little Christian charity and forbearance it would be accomplished. Turning to the licen- sing question, Mr. Yerburgh said ho had always held that if the. State and the pcopl? thought. the existence of public-houses was bad. by all moans lot the State take thorn, but let it pay the fair market piice for what it took. (Hear, hear.) The Slate had ne ver token anything in this country for the good of the people- without giving a fair market price, and lie saw no roo- son why it should not do so in this instance. No foreign country which had tried to prohibit th2- 1120 of strong drink by legislation had ever succeeded. All they had done was to drive the disease of excessive drinking underground, and if we did this we would poison the social sys- tem. (Hear, hoar.) In thoe matters wo couid not go beyond public opinion, and surely the best thing io do was to elevate the tonc, of pubiic-housce. Workingmen ought to be against- any proposal -,vhieh would lead to an increase in drinking clubs. Personally, he was in favour of the pioper ie duct-ion of licences, and the Act pacsod by the last Government had been work- ing well towards that end, compensation being provided by members of tho trade..ilea: hear.) He could only characterise the present Government's piopo-sais as robbery. (Cheers.) The Government. undoubtedly wore in a very difficult position, and unless they were prepared to put dtinking ctuba under the same regula- tions "hiGh governed public-hou;ee they would be s i mr>! v I NT K N SI FY IN G THE DRINKING EVIL. (Hear, hear.) A speaker who addressed a rifl- cent- meeting at Saltttey. under the aegis of the Radical party. dealt with the Small Holdings and Allotments Act. He iMr. Yerburgh.) had been interested in the land question almost be- fore any recent member of the Ilous » of Com- mons on either side, and he was a member of <ho committee whioh sat under Lord Onslow on tho subject of small holdings. As the speaker at Saltney alluded to co-operation among small holders, he (Mr. Ye rc, i i rgh) might tell them that it was h? who was instrumental in tho inclusion of %as -iio was in-triinirntal I *ii ?.reli?sI on commending the adoption of co-operation. (Hear, hear.) As to the pait played by the Unionist party in the Act. they had the testi- mony of Air. Maatcrman that thev had cxhibi- ted every intention to make the Bill a satiisfae- to:y one. On one point, however, the Union- ists and Radicals wore at distinct- variance the former believed in ownership, and wero strongly opposed by the Radical pasty in their anwnd- merits to effect it. In conclusion, Mr. Yer- burgh paid a high tribute to the late ex- Premier, who he said had left a legacy of a llifeo well lived and of duly to his country well performed. (Hear, hear.) On tho proposition of Mr T. 0. IlogarMi, seconded by the Chairman, Mr. Yerburgh was cordially thanked for hi* address; and a vote of thanks to the chairman, proposed by Mr. E. H. Jones..seconded by Mr. Ohannon and sup- ported by Mr. C. II. Glaasoy, concluded Q il nvx.ing.

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