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DOWNIE'S BEQUEST COMMITTEE. NOISY PROCEEDINGS. THE CHAIRMAN DEFIED. Archdeacon Protheroe presided over a meeting of the Downie's Bequest Committee held at the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon, and there were also present Councillor T. Griffiths (mayor), Coun- cillor W. Thomas, Alderman W. H. Palmer, Coun- cillor J. Hopkins, and Dr Gilbertson, with Mr Evans (clerk). At the outset Councillor Hopkins said that he wished to correct a statement which appeared in the local papers as to the attendance of members at the last meeting. He was present on that occasion but his name was not included in the report. The Chairman said that no doubt the Press would take a note of the fact.—Councillor Thomas then rose in accordance with notice of motion to call attention to the proceedings, at various times, of the trustees. He said that he would be brief. The resolution was as follows That Mr Thomas Griffiths (mayor), a member of this body, having, on the 12th of December last, written to the Charity Commissioners objecting to some of the gentlemen nominated as trustees to urge upon the Commis- sioners that in common fairness to the public further inquiries should be made and requesting them to make such inquiries, we, as trustees, respectfully ask the Commissioners not to depart from their original intention of confirmiug the nomi- nations made in August, 1894, they first holding a public inquiry at Aberystwyth into the charges made against the gentlemen objected to."—Council- lor Hopkins I think Mr Thomas is out of order, sir.-The Chairman said that they must be careful about constituting themselves into a court of appeal. They could not be a court of appeal against them- selves.—Councillor Thomas The object of this is to request the Commissioners not to depart from their original intention without first of all holding a. public inquiry. I have given notice to call attention to the whole of the proceed- ings and I think that I am entitled to proceed.— The Chairman Provided we do not constitute our- selves a court of appeal.—Councillor Thomas Surely we can appeal to ourselves.—Councillor Hopkins I do not think it is right. I think Mr Thomas is out of order altogether. The thing is in the Charity Commissioners' hands, and until we have their decision before us we can do nothing ourselves. We cannot go into the whole thing from beginning to end.—Councillor Thomas I came here with the wish and hope that any re- marks I might be allowed to make would not be interrupted. I intend to be brief and discharge the duty which I think devolves npon me, and I hope that we shall not have any interruption. I have given notice to call attention to the action of the trustees.—The Chairman Very well When I think you are trespassing I shall stop you.—Coun- cillor Thomas I do not think you will have cause. Allow mo to proceed-The Chairman We shall have to be careful that we do not have personal reflections upon one another's conduct.—The Mayor: Allow me, sir. My name has been mentioned prominently with that resolution, and I think, like my friend Mr Hopkins, that Mr Thomas has no right to bring this matter forward "ere. l herefore he said the same as Mr Hopkins, that they should not hear Mr Thomas.—Dr Gilbert- son I don't quite understand. Are we going to sit in judgment upon uur own conduct ?—The Chair- man I don't think we are Councillor Thomas ou are doiug it now.—Two of you have come to a conclusion upon my conduct before I have ex- pressed it. Well, I have given notice.—Councillor <^>i1ln.s that the Mayor made the statement aiUC • ky Councillor Thomas outside rp i co™mittee, and Councillor Thomas could bnt bked outside that committee, o„ght t„ d„ SS?5'X"l I'ar(lon rie, Nve decline(, t(, give any opilli(,I-I,- Alderman Palmer: But as to i "Pm'oii.- 'Tontlernen wo -,1! i description of the tntlemci \vc all agreed.—Councillor Thomas- Mr Chairman, am I allowed to proceed or „ The Chairman: As long as you confine yourselves to asking that question I <lo not think ^tves order. Councillor Thomas: I <ravo + i j• £ noticc to renew the proceedings of the trustees. You may defend upon it I claim the right to renew our own proceed ings.Couiicillor Hopkins: Were you not in the proceedings ?- Councillor Thomas: Certainly • 1 hope that we may see the error of our ways Councillor Hopkins: Are yon the only judge r-- Councillor Thomas I only speak my own mind and it might influence some of you.—The Chairman said that it would be quite competent for anyone to move an amendment to the resolution, or a direct negative.—Councillor Thomas You cannot vote until yon hear me, I intend pointing out our errors and you will have an opportunity of explaining yourselves. Councillor Thomas then proceeded to review the action of the committee since 1894. The Mayor What have we to do with two years ago ? I don't know what you are driving at. Councillor Thomas, after much discussion (reading) The Chairman said: I wish you to understand that I have said over and over again The Chair- man: Youaresimly constituting ourselves a court of appeal. I object to it. -Councillor Thomas (continuing to read) I will not pledge myself to any definite thing I will not contradict myself" The Chairman I really protest-Councillor Thomas: You voted for—— Councillor Hopkins: I propose that we go on with the business-Councillor Thomas: I am going to proceed-The Chairman: You can do as you like. I strongly object to you constituting a court of appeal and making these personal- Councillor Thomas You voted for eight-The Chairman I protest against, and call you to order. The scene just now was rather noisy. Mr. Thomas persisted in speaking, but scarcely anything he said could be heard. The Chairman asked the reporters not to take notes, of the remarks made by Mr. Thomas, and although the Chairman repeatedly called Mr. Thomas to order, he refused to sit down, and continued his speech amid an uproar. At length, Dr. Gilbertson moved the previous question. Alderman Palmer said that ho would second the resolution, and he did so because he though tiiat the letter written by Mr Griffiths since he was made mayor should be enquired into.—Dr Gilbert- son again moved the previous question.—Coun- cillor Hopkins seconded.—Councillor Thomas rose a point of order.—Councillor Hopkins (to the Chairman) Take notice of him sir.—Councillor Thomas I address the chair.—Councillor Hopkins (to the Chairman) He did not listen to you, sir.— The Chairman I treat him with more respect.— Councillor Thomas claimed the right to reply.—The Chairman said that he had no right of reply.— Councillor Hopkins said that Councillor Thomas had been about the coal yard saying that he was going to kick up a row in the trustees' meeting so that they could not carry out the work. He heard Mr Thomas saying so. CounciHor Thomas: That's a lie, a deliberate lie. Am I allowed to reply ?- The Chairman Certainly not.—Alderman Palmer said that he never saw business carried on like this. —Councillor Thomas He forgets that he is not at a vestry Councillor Hopkins And Mr Thomas forgets he is not at Shiloh.Di- Gilbertson asked that his amendment should now be put. The motion to go on with the previous question was then carried.—The usual business of the committee was then gone into.





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