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CAMBRIAN GOSSIP. "'-''-'''---

.C W M .

THE PEACE CRUSADE.

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THE PEACE CRUSADE. A GLEAM OF HUXOUji6 By W. T. STEAD. There is no stay in the progress of the Crusade of Peace. The opening of Parliament and similar matters may have temporarily di, l-iced it from the position it held in the columns "f the news- papers, but the movement inarches along irre- sistibly. Every week there is issued to the members of the General Committee a list of the meetings held and to be held. From one page of printed foolscap that catalogue has grown to nearly three pages. Yet it does not take cognisance of half the gatherings. With scarcely an exception the meetings noted are town's meetings. The smaller. gatherings which are not called by some local authority are left almost unrecorded. The more one sees of the great provincial centres the more one becomes convinced that the feeling in favour of peace is such as would never be con- jectured by those who seldom leave the capital. London is doing well, better than it has done for any like idea for many years, but iis efforts seem cold and formal beside the burning enthusiasm of many of the great centres of population which I have been visiting. Lancashire has given its enthusiastic co-operation to the Crusade. Man- chester, Lancaster, and Batley have all spoken with strong voices. The meeting at Batley, although held in a chapel and on a Sunday, was a town's meeting, and one of the most thorough-going in its adherence to the Czar's proposals that we have had. So intensely serious is the general note of the Crusade that anything which lightens the general earnestness of purpose is welcome. In the early days of the movement the Bishop of London and myself were bombarded with texts from Scripture. That form of amusement appears to have palled on the too-djligent students of their Bibles. But the same spirit was shewn at Grange-over-Sands on Thursday. The splendid meeting there listened with amazement and amusement to the letter of a clergyman, who said he could not attend the meeting because, according to an Isaiahan text, only when Jehovah judges in the midst of the nations can there be universal peace. Another man was unable to support the movement because the Scriptures speak of wars and rumours of wars, and if the Crusade was successful the Scriptures will be convicted of a mistake. A I am writing before the holding of the Cbhfeta ence of London Labour leaders in St. Martin's Town Hall, and it is only possible to say of it that the omens point unmistakably to a remarkable gathering of much of what is best in the working- class movement in the South. An admirable group of speakers has been got together, and among the others who will be present are Mr. Thomas Burt, Mr. Charles Fenwick, and Mr. Fred Maddison, three of the men who so worthily represent their fellows at Westminster. Nothing has been more gratifying than the honest, whole-hearted support accorded to the peace movement by the workers and those who speak for them. Even those who directly might seem to have much to lose from any scheme of disarmament have taken a broad view of the question. Only the other day a Crusader jokingly asked a number of shipwrights on the Tyne how it was that he found them supporting peace. The answer came from a thoughtful man that if there were fewer worships to build there would be more merchant vessels. The shipwrights, he said, would not suffer. When the national convention assembles in London it will be in some respects the most notable gathering of public men which has been seen in the metropolis for a generation. The great town's meetings are choosing their representatives at the convention with a due regard to the great- ness of the movement they are sent to support. Here are a few of the delegates, picked at random from many scores. From Westminster will come Cardinal Vaughan, Sir Joseph Pease, and Mr. Burdett-Coutts, M. P., the representative of the division in the House of Commons. Mr. Alfred Thomas leads the Welsh party in .Parliament. He is elected to the conference by Cardiff, which also lends Mr. Maclean, who is at present in India. Sir W. Hornby comes from Blackburn, Mr. W. H. Myers, M. P., from Winchester, Sir Thomas Lea, y M.P., from Kidderminster, and Mr. John Burns and the Rev. Guinness Rogers from Battersea. In the same hall will be the Mayors of most of the trreat provincial borouirhs. Much of the success ot the Urusade, awd more and siore as time goes on, must depend upon the exertions of the volunteers who are enrolled. Public meetings are not enough. They serve merely to shew that the national feeling on the subject of the Czar's Rescript is real and intense. When meetings have been held, however, in any particular town, it falls to the volunteers to see there is no back- sliding, that the aroused conscience of the place is kept on the move, and that lukewarmness is not allowed to deprive the sowing of the seed of its due fruition. There is abundant evidence that we have men who are giving themselves heart and soul to the movement. From Jersey, for example, one volunteer writes that he will undertake the organi- sation of the whole island. He has been supplied with great bundles of literature, and has disposed of a large stock of badges. Although unable myself to attend any of the meetings held in London during the week, the reports I have received shew that even in the metropolis there is no slackening of the work of the Peace Crusade. The gathering of Shoreditch is described by the London papers, which have on the whole taken no rosy view of the prospects of the Crusade, as "a great demonstration." When I say that the local vicar was supported by Mr. Lowles, the Conservative member for the division, the local County Councillors and members of the School Board, three or four ministers of religion (including the son of Dean Farrar), Mr. James Stuart, M.P., and Mr. W. B. Cremer, it is enough to shew that even in the course of this Crusade no sueb assemblage of speakers, with diverse views oa ordinary questions, has come together on a single platform in the cai)ifal-. Another ef the great working-class constituencies in London which has held a most successful meeting is St. Pancras. The Chairman of the Vestry presided, and among the speakers were Mr. Walter Hazell, M. P., and Dr. Collins, of the London County Council. As to the future in the Metropolis, everything is now practically arranged. The organisers report that the. whole ground has been covered, that they know of no great division in ieh a meeting has not been held or is not to be held. In Woolwich we are promised a lively time.: The meeting there will be held towards the close of the Crusade. There is expected to be much opposition. from the operatives in the great arsenal, and a speaker good at answering questions is demanded. The Vicar of Woolwich, however, is throwing himself into the task of organising a meeting, and no more fears the opposition than do we at the head office. On the Continent the peace movement progresses apace. Italy has responded sympathetically to the Czar's Rescript, and will take part in the Con- ference. In Germany Henri Dunant has issued a proclamation to the peace-loving peoples. His long connection with the cause of international peace enables him to speak with peculiar authority. To him we owe the International Red Cross Society, whose beneficent work has done so much to mitigate the horrors of warfare. Henri Dunant. was also the originator of the Geneva Convention. Like many other reformers, he hopes that if the International Conference does not result in the adoption of a plan for the arrest of armaments it will found an International Board of Mediation. Once some such organisation is in existence, he believes that nothing can stop the development of its at work. Mr. Samuel Rawson Gardiner, the historian, does not believe in the Crusade. He looks to other means to bring about more friendly relations between the nations. "Ifweask,"he says in a letter to Mr. Bunting, "how it is that people iB Yorkshire don't want to fight people to Northamptonshire, as they did in the seventh century, the answer is that they have been united by pursuing common objects and standing side by side against common dangers. The European* Powers, I believe, can only reach peace in similar way. Surely such an organisation as that Crusade is doing something to promote that fraternity between nations which 1Itr. ciardiust desires,

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