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MR. WATKIN WILLIAMS'S FAREWELL } ADDRESS TO HIS CONSTITUENTS. On Tuesday evening, April 23rd, Mr. Watkin Williams, Q.C., M.P. delivered a farewell address to his constituents in the Public Hall, Wrexham. There was a Ip.rge atten- dance, and it included some ladies. The Chair was taken by Mr. Charles Hughes. On Mr. Watkin Williams ascending the platform, accompanied by Mr. Osborne Morgan, Q.C,, M.P., Mrs. Watkin Williams, and Sir Robert and Lady Cunliffe, he was greeted with loud and enthusiastic cheering. The CHAIRMAN, in opening the proceedings, said that the object for which the meeting was convened, was to give Mr. Watkin Williams the opportunit/of making a friendly adieu to the constituency of the Denbigh Boroughs, the con- nection with which was formed some ten years ago. Having like other Liberal electors in these Boroughs, fought very earnestly and ardently for the truths and principles represented by Mr. Williams, and so ably sustained by him throughout his career, he (the chairman) could not help regretting the necessity the hon. gentleman felt was laid upon him of relinquishing that connection. (Cheers.) They remembered how earnestly he led them into the electioneering enthusiasm with which he started the contest for those Boroughs, and excited within them as a party the consciousness of a power which up to that time they hardly believed they possessed. He trusted that although the connection between the constituency and Mr. Watkin Williams was about to be severed, they would never lose his interest and sympathy for Wales and Welshmen while life lasted. (Cheers.) Mr. WATKIN WILLIAMS, who was received with great cheering, said he rose to address them with a heavy heart, but he hoped with full courage, sustained by the feeling that he was taking a right and proper step. The warmth of feeling with which they had received him was almost too much for him. It had taken him a great deal by surprise. Not that he expected they would treat him un- kindly, he had known them too long and too well to suppose that for a moment, although the reception might have excited a momentary doubt whether he had not committed an error in j udgment in the step he had recently taken, further and almost instantaneous retiectionshowed him that they had formed a just and sound appreeiatioll of the ratherconsider- able personal sacrifice hehad made in taking that step. His purpose in addressing them that evening was to endeavour as far as he could to re-unite and re-consolidate the Liberal party in those boroughs, and to bring them back before they had to face another election, to that condition of strength which a united party alone could possess, that strength which led them to so grand and splendid a vic- tory for the Liberal cause in 1868. (Cheers.) Having performed his duty in making a great personal sacrifice, he called upon the Liberal electors of Wrexham to follow his example, and to take a share, perhaps not less than his, in consolidating the party. Before he came to the more immediate, and perhaps more personal question which had led him to that step, he would most earnestly call their attention to what it was they might have to do, to what part they might have to play in the affairs of the nation. They would probably in the course of two or three months be called upon by electing a member of the Great Council of the nation to take their part in determining issues of the greatest moment, issues involving peace and war, issues involving Christianity, civilization, and freedom upon the one side, and darkness, oppression, and slavery upon the other. (Cheers.) He had not been, and did not wish to be, too severe or hard a critic of the Government. They were entitled from a generous people to every con- sideration for the anxious and serious difficulties in which they were placed. But to his mind the Government had lamentably failed in dealing with the great question they had in hand. (Cheers.) They had by their vaccilation and absence of definite policy brought this country to the verge, not only of war, but of a senseless and ruinous war. (Cheers.) He wished to ask the working men of Wrexham whether they considered it dignified, and really patriotic to allow a secondary ques- tion upon which they had unfortunately fallen out, to intervene and possibly to oblige them to cast their voice upon an issue of this magnitude against the national weal, against the national conscience, and against the interests of the whole of this Empire. (Cheers.) Mr. Watkin Williams then proceeded at some length to review the history of the Eastern question, and to criticise the policy of the Government. He said he could never forgive Lord Derby for having when the insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina broke out against the intolerable misgovernment of Turkey, deprecated diplomatic interference with the Ottoman Empire, and stated that he considered the grave situation of affairs was due simply to the apathy and want of energy on the part of the Ottoman Government in crushing the rebellion. From that time to the present not one single word of compassion or sympathy for these unhappy people had escaped the lips either of Lord Derby or of Lord Beaconsfield. His grand charge and indictment against the Government was that it refused to join Russia in forcing upon Turkey the necessary reforms of the Christian provinces. (Ltmd cheers.) He was no more enamours1 .)f Hl1"i;. than the Government, and he protested agaii:»fc the policy which threw upon Russia, the most despotic Pow on the face of the earth, the task of liberating these millions of Christian people in European Turkey. (Cheers.) To have forced Turkey to reform did not mean war. One of the most decisive battles within the last fifty years, the battle of Navarino, with France and England on one side and Turkey on the other, in which the Turkish fleet was destroyed, took place without a war. There was no war, Turkey remonstrated, and we took no notice of her remonstrance, but told her it served her right. If we had taken part with Russia and the other Great Powers in forcing the necessary reforms upon Turkey, it would have rendered war absolutely impossible. (Cheers.) On the 8th of June last Lord Derby was informed that Russia would insist upon stipulations which were substantially the same as those embodied in the Treaty of San Stefano. He (Mr. Watkin Williams) heard Lord Beaconsfield's speech the other day, when he announced the policy of the Government in calling out the reserves, and he felt humiliated, degraded, and ashamed that the Prime Minis- ter of this country could have used the language he did in that speech—(loud cheers)—language which was abso- lutely contradicted and falsified by documents he (Mr. ■Watkin Williams) held in his hands. If it were true that the stipulations of the Treaty were inconsistent with the interests of this country and of Europe, and with the in- terests of freedom all he could say was that last June the Government must have been guilty of fraud and falsehood towards Russia. (Cheers.) With regard to the details of that Treaty his firm conviction was that if all the European Powers were to assent to it in omnibus that Trea y would no more settle the Eas'era Ques ion than any scrap of paper they could pick up in I ha., room. The insurrection began no' in Bulgaria, but. in the remote provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which under the Treaty were actually lefc in the possession of Turkey. Was it. likely now tha;. Turkey was reduced almost TO nothing, with an independent Bulgaria be ween, that, these provinces would remain in con en ed subjectian to the hated Ottoman Government ? Was not a congress the only natural and proper method of se t ling these ques: ipns ? (Cheers.) Wha should we go to war for? Supposing England were vie orious, and Russia driven back, we should then have to face diflicul ies enough to appal'he stoutest heart. Were we going to occupy Bulgaria? Heaven forbid Were we going to restore the liberated Chris ians to the Ottoman Power? He could not think of any single issue of the war which would no" be calamitous and disgraceful. (Hear, hear.) It would be madness and wickedness beyond description. (Cheers.) Such was the great question upon which they would have to pronounce their verdict at the next election, and he would appeal tothem to let their voice be heard on the side of freedom and of peace. (Cheers.) The hon. gentleman afterwards went on to say that with a country like Eng- land there must always be questions upon which there was an essential difference of opinion. Such a question was that of temperence legislation. (Cheers.) He had spoken to all classes of people upon the subject, and he found a common agreement between them with very rare exceptions indeed, that some reform in legislation relating to the sale of intoxicating liquors was necessary. It was also Ion undoubted fact that they differed enormously as to the means by which it ws to be accomplished. Nothing was easier than for a member of Parliament to get rid of all responsibility and trouble by premising to vote for a par- ticular measure. Supposing they had a candidate whose general opinions upon great national affairs they thought sound, let them considet what position they placed him in by compelling him to pledge himself to a particular measure. (Loud cheers.) He himself had read many a Bill over which appeared at first sight very simple and very clear, but when he had heard all the arguments for and against it, he became convinced that he was utterly wrong in his judgment upon it. Let them consider the position they placed their representative in with his conviction, judgment, and conscience on one side and the pledge ex- torted from him by some of his constituents on the other. He did not envy that man's position. (Loud cheers.) Let them examine their candidate's views and principles as much as they liked in order to satisfy themselves that they were sound, but for goodness sake let them not fix him or pledge him to any particular Bill. (Loud cheers.) He congratulated them upon the selection of Sir Robert Cunliffe as their candidate. (Loud cheers.) He was extreme- ly glad to see the prudence and judgement and courage with which he dealt with that subject in his address. (Cheers.) That constituency was thoroughly Liberal. They had an enormous majority of Liberals. (Loud cheers.) Let them follow the advice given by Count Moltke, March separately, but strike together," and then they would not only strike, but win. (Cheers.) The hon. gentleman then referred to the relations of the Press to public men. The freedom and independence of the Press was dear to all true Liberals. It was one of the greatest triumphs achieved by the Liberal party. But there was a licence of the Press. Of late years, a practice had sprung up on the part, he believed, exclusively of the Tory party of maintaining newspapers for the purpose of slandering and vilifying public men, newspapers without any sufficient circulation to pay. their way —(great cheering)—but which dealt with the char- acters of public men in the most reckless and unscrupulous fashion, and which were maintained by the purses of wealthy noblemen and gentry belonging to the Tory party, Such a paper he had taken the pains to as- certain existed in that county. It was not maintained by its legitimate circulation, but was subsidized by the landed gentry. (A Voice: Wrexham Guardian and loud chee and laughter.) A neighbouring gentleman, whose name he would not mention, had subscribed no less a sum than £4000 towards the maintenance of that paper. (Cheers.) Was this legitimate warfare? Was this honourable? (No, no.) The candidate. who had come forward to oppose at the next election his friend, Sir Robert Cunliffe, Mr. Kenyon had, it was his duty to jtell them, been assisting this paper. (Loud cheers.) He had re- cently made an appeal on its behalf which some of them might have seen, and he had made the mistake of commit- ting it to writing. W ere they (the working men of Wrexham) going to sanction or permit this sort of warfare ? If they did, it would be a disgrace to their county, and a disgrace to the Principality of Wales. (Loud cheers.) In conclusion Air. Watkin Williams strongly urged upon the Liberals of Wrexham a policy of union and conciliation, and to show a firm and consolidated front to the Tories at the next election. (Loud and prolonged cheering.) A 'deputation then came on the platform to present the followiag resolution to Mr. Wa kin Williams. At a meeting of the Liberal working men, held in the rooms of the Liberal Association on the night of Wednesday, the 17th of April, 1878, it was resolved—" That this meeting of Liberal working men hears with regret Mr. Watkin Williams's deter- mimltion to retire from the reprosentatlOn of the Denbigh Boroughs and desires to convey to him its deepfelt thanks for the able, conscientious, andjstraightforward manner in which he has reprosented the Boroughs during the last ten years, and that there be appointed a deputation to present the resolution to Mr. Watkin Williams on his visit to Wrexham.—Robert Wil- liams, Thomas Davies, Samuel Cameron, John Barrat, Benjamin Powell, John Samuels, Joseph Smith, Thomas Jones, Ishmael Evans, Finlay McRae, Edward Rowland, Charles Edwards, Andrew Johnson, William Foulkes, William Edwards, and Robert Williams (chairman)." Mr. WATKIX WILLIAMS briefly replied, and in the course of his reply, took occasion to explain that the statement that he had been accepted as a candidate for Newcastle-upon-Tyne was incorrect. Two or three days after he issued his address he was asked and consented to allow his name to be put before the Liberal party in Newcastle for their consideration, but he had heard nothing more on the subject. Mr. NATHANIEL GRIFFITHS afterwards proposed a re- solution to the effect that the meeting, whilst regretting the circumstances which, in the opinion of Mr. Watkin Williams, rendered it advisable that he should not seek re-election for the Denbigh Boroughs, begs to tender him its best thanks for his past services in Parliament, and to express its admiration of his conduct as a private citizen. The resolution was carried with acclamation, as was also a resolution approving of the candidature of Sir Robert Cunliffe. Sir Robert Cunliffe,) the new candidate, and Mr. Osborne Morgan, subsequently addressed the meeting.




















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