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l .. ANTI-VIVISECTIONISTS…

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l ANTI-VIVISECTIONISTS AT BARMOUTH. ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NORTH WALES UNION. The first annual meeting in connection with the branch formed in North Wales of the Anti- Vivisectionists Society, was held at the Masonic Hall, Barmouth, on Friday afternoon. Mr. Lloyd Price, J.P. (Rhiwlas), presided over a good atten- dance, which included Miss Frances Power Cobbe, Miss Jackson, Mrs. Price (Rhiwlas), Mrs. Edwards (Dolserau Hall, Dolgelley), Capt. Bailey (Tanllan, Dolgelley), Rev. W. Owen (Llanylltyd), Rev. Ernest Jones (the rector of Barmouth), Mrs. Talbot (Treffryn), Mr. and Mrs. Blakey (Barmouth). Mrs. Evans (Talarfor), Mr- and Mrs. iCattermole (Dolgelley), Councillor John Davies (Dyffryn), &c. The chairman intimated that letters expressing regret at inability to attend had been received from Miss Gwyneth Vaughan, Rev. Hugh Price Hughes (London), Rev. Z. Mather,&c. Proceeding to open the proceedings, the chairman expressed pleas-; ure at seeing so many subscribers and supporters present. He was glad to be able to say that the success of the society had been very great, but he Beed not allude to that aspect, as it would be dealt with by the senior secretry. They in Wales, for- tunately, had not such an arduous task before them as they in the North of England and in London, for Wales was comparatively free from the crime of vivisection (applause.) Their ranks had been morej in the nature of a reserve force to be brought for- ward, if necessary, in order to supplement the fighting ranks in other parts of the country. Fighting was going on with the greatest possible vigour. They had read in the newspapers of the meetings that had taken place day after day in the North of England. He was glad to see that the working-men, the backdone, and sinew of the country, had taken up the subject; and were forcing it to the front (hear, hear). Modern civilization tolerated the killing of men in war and the legal execution of :criminals; but many other modes of torture peculiar to the dark ages had been swept away, and how ? Not by legis- lative measures,Jbut entirely through public opinion. What the people willed Parliament had to do. They would strengthen their cause much more by fighting it on the platform than by appealing to the members of Parliament, who would never listen to any reason whatever unless it had something to do with their seats. Having called attention to the starting of the new organ of the Society, The Abolitionist," the Chairman went on to point out the increase in the number of deaths caused by diseases which had been supposed to be curable by means of vivisection. The increase was about double what they were before these means were employed. Once they had grasped, this fact he thought even the medical profession would see that they were on the wrong track. He quoted from a pamphlet written by an eminent French scientist on Pasteurism." The writer gave statistics which showed that during the few years in which the Pasteur institute had existed, the number of deaths arising from the cause alluded to, instead of de- creasing, were exactly doubled. In conclusion he congratulated the North Wales Branch on the rapid strides it had made owing to the efficient service rendered by the energetic secretary and the other officers, to whom they should accord their heartiest thanks.—(Applause). Miss Blanche Atkinson (Hon. Secretary), then read the report which was as follows :—The first Welsh Anti-Vivisection Society was founded in Barmouth on June 23rd, 1898, and now numbers. "290 members. Subscriptions for the year now, ended have been received amounting to zE80 6s. 4d. The expenses have been chiefly incurred in printing and distributing literature on the subject of Vivisection—the first work of this Society being to make known in Wales the terrible cruelties involved in experiments on animals. It is hoped that a sound and intelligent public opinion will thus be gradually created; and the Committee earnestly desires that every member may feel pledged to help forward this work-not only by money but by: moral and practical support. The Committee has to record two losses during the past twelve months. Mrs. Ashmore resigned her post when she left the neighbourhood, but is still a friend and subscriber. The deeply-regretted death of Lieut. Col. St. Clair is an irreparable loss to our Society. Shortly before the sad event occurred he had sent an additional subscription and his zeal, interest and judgment were an inv aluable help to the cause. The Committee is glad to state that a South Wales Branch has been formed under the presidentship of Lady Windsor. The original Section will for the future be known as the N. Wales Section." The new organ of our parent Society- The Abolitionist "-affords information concerning the work of all the Branches of the British Union. It will appear on the 15th of each month, and can be obtained either through local booksellers or from the office of the Union-20, Triangle Street, Bristol. Annual Subscription, 2s.: by post, 2s. 6d. Each number of The Abolitionist" will contain 8 or 12 pages of letterpress, and a cartoon by :M:r. Cecil Aldin. This artist's name, and the contribu- tions of such eminent writers as Mr. William Watson, Mr. Blackmore, and the Bishop of Durham ensure both literary and artistic distinction for the new periodical. AH members of the Branch are invited to become annual subscribers to the Abolitionist," which cannot be distributed gratis. In consequence of the illness of the Hon. Sec. last winter, a Secretary was appointed and has greatly helped forward the work of the branch. During the past twelve months three pamphlets translated into Welsh have been widely circulated; and 10,000 new leaflets printed. Besides these, selected parcels of literature are constantly sent to enquirers from all parts of Wales. The essay in the Welsh language, which was awarded the first prize at the Barmouth Eisteddfod, will be shortly published in the Cymru," and afterwards in pamphlet form. A circular letter appealing for interest and support has been sent to all the Clergy and Nonconformist Ministers throughout Wales. The expenses of Mr. Williams' lecturing tour in North Wales were largely defrayed by Miss Cobbe, Mrs. Rathbone also made a special donation to this object. Nine public meetings have been held, and well-attended and it is to be hoped that during the coming winter further efforts will be made in this direction, in country districts. In order to carry on such work, ample funds are necessary, and will—the Committee trusts-be generously supplied. Miss Atkinson went on to say that the receipts amounted to £80 8s. Id.; the balance at the bank was iEl9 11s. 3d., and the cash in hand of the treasurer, P,3 10s. 10d. The past twelve months, (she continued) had been chiefiy sowing time." They must wait for the harvest, but she did not think they would have to wait long before they, had an abundant one (hear, hear). They had got, -so many members and received so much money,: but that was not all they had done. Seed-sowing did not produce immediate results, but the know- ledge they had already spread was producing a harvest. To-day there were hundreds of people in Wales who, a year ago, did not know what the: word "vivisection" meant, but to-day they were, making up their minds as to whether it was right; or wrong, from one end of Wales to the other. An appeal had been sent by them to the ministers of religion to help them to put a stop to an abomin- able evil (hear, hear). They had many letters of sympathy, and asking for information; she need hardly say how gladly that information was given. The one thing needed to abolish vivisection was that the great mass of people should know what it was (applause). Her own belief was that there -were people who would rather face death than -that they should have cures for diseases at the cost of doing wrong (hear, hear). They must all agree rthat it was a wrong—a sin against God and a gainst mankind—a mean, cowardly cruelty (applause). knowledge was the one thing to abolish it. They -]),ad spent the money given to them in letting in "light on this dark, horrible business. As was said of old, so let them say to-day Let there be light" —physically, morally, and intellectually. What they needed was sympathy, which was the very soul of such a society. She would rather have sympathy without the shillings than the shillings without the sympathy; but at the same time they wanted both the sympathy and the shillings (tear, hesrr, and applause). 'It was the will of the people that would abolish vivisection. Even woEeen, who had no votes, could do something. They were not fighting a losing cause, it was a winjsang cause, because they were fighting for te right (hear, hear). It was right to show mercy, and exercise justice towards the weak, and if they believed in God Almighty, maker of all things, they roust believe to the justice of this crusade (applause). Councillor John Da'tfies, in moving the adoption j of the report, congratulated the Society upon the stride made during the year. He remembered the meeting held 12 months ago, when he was con- verted. He ,had read aut vivisection before that. but had beem in doubt to how to justify the means to attain the end in Tiew but the meeting a I ,entirely turned him to the side of the anti-vivi- i Aicctioniste. A good sign oftlbe work doae by the Society wag that it had caused consternation in the enemy's cam,p. He alludeo, to the agitation in Liverpool, and to a statement made by Dr. Church, an eminent visisectsonist, to the effect that the first object of the medical profession was a desire for knowledge, a desire to investigate the mysteries of iiatire. That was the very thing he had found vivisectionists to have in view, and that they could trace to selfishness. They could trace these cruel experiments these bloody practices, •to selfishness. Dr. Stables, in the current number of the Abolitionist," said that he was not number .of the" Abolitionist," said that he was not afraid to aver that 10 per cent, of thesevivisection- ists had not a particle of truth in them, but they wanted to feed their desire for fame (hear, hear). Mr. Davies then made a few remarks in Welsh. Speaking in Welsh, he humourously remarked, bad A a greater effect upon the Welsh people (laughter), because it was a far more expressive language (laughter and hear, hear). He would deal with the moral aspect of the question in Welsh, not that he believed the Welsh people to love morality more than Englishmen, but they had a keener sense of it (laughter). He enlarged on the proposition that it was man's instinct to help the weak, and, in con- clusion, said that he had no faith in legislation to eradicate such an evil as this. Let them rouse the public conscience—appeal to man's innermost nature (applause). Rev. William Owen seconded the adoption of the report, which was agreed to. Rev. Ernest Jones moved the re-election of the Officers and Committee. Every good work, and especially a public crusade, depen- ded very largely for its success upon a hard- working, energetic committee; and the soul of a committee was usually its secretary. The officers had shown during the year that they thoroughly deserved the society's confidence, and they could not do better than re-elect them to carry on the good work that they had commenced so suc- cessfully. He was, like Mr. Davies, a recent convert, and be was one of those who needed a good deal to convince him. One argument that appealed forcibly to him was this-that the practice was a useless cruelty (hear, hear). Some said that vivisection was not cruelty. The medical profession was somewhat undecided on it. One medical man told the Royal Commission that it was not cruelty, as the animal did not feel the pain; but another stated that if the animal did not feel the pain the experiment was useless. If there was to be any scientific result-aiiy addition to medical know- ledge, it depended entirely as to whether the poor, dumb creature suffered by being experimented upon. But he would take a higher ground. This carrying of torture to the position of a science and making it a fine art-could they estimate the moral effects of it? It must make young men feel a pleasure in pain. If a certain drug had a certain effect upon an animal, it did not follow that it would have the same effect upon a man. One great result of the practice would be that it would de- velope the selfish side of man's nature. On the Continent they were extending the practice to human beings. The society had nothing to be dis- heartened about, as they were on the side of righteousness, of true light, and all unprejudiced people would support them. Proceeding, the rev, gentleman said he would now turn into Welsh, for although when he came to technical terms he found that language deficient, on ,the higher ground of humanity, religion, and sympathy for their fellow- men, they could adequately express themselves in the old mother tongue. He argued that the prac- tice was cruelty, that the knowledge accruing from it was not enough to justify it; and that it led to experiments being tried on human beings. Miss Harrison, in seconding the motion, remarked that she had carefully studied the question as a nurse, and could say that no experiment had been shown to be beneficial, the drugs having different effects; there was no surgical operation that had been initiated or developed by which any human subject benefited. All that one need know in medi- cal science one could learn from the human body when diseased. The course of a disease in an animal was different, and doctors could have quite enough material to go upon in hospitals without having recourse to vivisection, which was totally unnecessary, and which ought to be put down by public opinion (applause). The proposition was put and carried with ac- clammation. The Rector of Barmourh moved: That this meeting approves of the policy of and pledges itself to support the British Union for the abolition of vivisection." He remarked that the promoters and supporters of the policy of the Union were to be warmly congratulated on the great progress that had been made in the propagation and acceptance of these principles maintained by them. The sec- tion formed at Barmouth 12 months ago was the the first in Wales. Like all real reforms it had to combat with two foes-ignorance and bigotry. He did not know of an instance in the history of any movement for reform in which these two foes had not figured. Some people would not know. These two foes appeared very early on their battlefield in the form of anonymous letters in the local press. They remained anonymous for Jprudential reasons; they might have dreaded the exposure of their ignorance, which they must have felt they had. They met with a well-merited castigation, and an ignominious defeat, thanks to the President of the Weslh Union, Miss Cobbe (applause). The Welsh section to-day numbered 296 members, and it was increasing in power and influence, and going for- ward in its pioneer work with an ardour and resolu- tion that showed they were thoroughly convinced of the worthiness and the goodness of the cause (hear, hear). The section had been the means of encouraging the establishment of a similar section in South Wales, for which they had enlisted the sympathy and support of prominent leaders in all classes of Society in South Wales. It was to be hoped that they in North Wales would not rest on their oars, or be satisfied with their present laurels, but that they would do their utmost to work North Wales to such a degree of enthusiasm as would carry conviction to those responsible for the legislation of the country. The propa- ganda must be carried on until every county and every town had its section. Another sign of progress had been the establishment of the abolitionist." They most appear in the press, because it was the interpreter of men's thoughts; and still another sign of advance was that they were going to have a medical lecturer. The rev. gentleman went on to allude to a meeting held in St. James' Hall, London, which he attended, and where a speaker stated that in ten years the licenced vivisectionists in this country had in- creased from 75 to 224,and the experiments on living animals bad increased from 1,069 to 8,800. He asked his hearers, as people of common sense, could it be necessary that in the interest of curing human beings, 8,800 living animals should be put to torture and death annually ? He did not think there was one present who in his calmer moments would say that it was necessary (applause.) They would not stop with animals, but would extend their operations to human beings, even in this country. The "Christian World reported a case in Germany where dangerous operations were performed simply to give surgeons experience, and many cases ended fatally:; 80 cases were cited where children between the ages of eight and fifteen were inoculated with contagious disease for experimental purposes." It was so that the biologists and physiologists attached to hospitals were the sinners, but let doctors show pluck and come forward as a body, and eschew the practice. A great many of these doctors would tell them privately that they had not'the slightest sympathy with vivisection, but prudential causes keep them back. Let them come forward and say what they knew to be the case. It was not only scientific men that understood the .question, the ordinary layman understood it thoroughly. As a result of the London meeting it was decided that the branches formed thoughout the country should be formed into one great federation for the abolition of vivisection. Vivisection was a sin, a grievous abominable sin; and sin was the trangression of the law, and the law was the attributes of God Himself, and God was love, and torture was a gross violation of love.—(applause). Mr. Shenton, the South Wales delegate, then spoke. It will be a serious thing for us," he said, "when they begin to experiment upon us, because it is not likely that they will start upon them- selves."—(applause). The speaker dwelt on the progress that Shad attended the crusade in South Wales, andgcontended that as soon as the evils of vivisection were thoroughly known, they would enlist the.-sympathy of the whole population. The resolution, moved by the Rector, was then put and carried unanimously. Dr. Hughes, in moving a vote of thanks to the speakers, which was heartily carried, remarked that he had often heard of converts to, but never of deserters from, their cause; and lie hoped that at the meeting next year, instead of having two converts as speakers, they would have a dozen.— (hear, bear). A cordial vote was also aacorded the chairman, on the motion of the Rector of Barmouth. The chairman in acknowledging the compliment, remarked that every one of the speakers harped upon one topic, Let there be more light," and it was only fitting, therefore, that they should have secured the services of a competent lecturer, who could not be taunted with knowing notMaag about it," as their laymen often were. The chairman incidentally observed that it was a pity women of culture, refinement and experience of the world as Miss Cobbe and Miss Atkinson did not have the Parliamentary vote. It was a palpable anomaly that an ignorant coal miner should have a voice in the Government of the country, when highly intelligent women were debarred, especially as the coal miner voted exactly as his wife told him to and hear, hear.) The meeting then ended.

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