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MONTGOMERYSHIRE LIBERAL ASSOCIATION.…

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

MONTGOMERYSHIRE LIBERAL ASSOCIATION. A special meeting of this Association was held in the "Victoria Hall, on Tuesday. There were present Messrs William Davies, Berriew, J. Godfrey Bowea, Llangurisr, J. W. Foulkes Jones, Machynlleth, Stephen Higgs, Carno, W. Jones, Lianfyllin, Edwd. Jones, Trewythen, Edward Jones, Meifod, Robert Jones, Llanfair, David Jones, Trefeglwya, Richard Tilsley, Caeraws, E. R. James and John Powell, Montgomery, J. W. Clayton, David Owen, T. Parry Jones, R. Lloyd, W. R. Grindley, C. E. Clarke, Dd. Hamer, Martin Woosnam, C. J. Newell, John Hughes, John Edwards, J. Humphreys, and Thomas Phillips, of Newtown, Evan Williams, Llandyssil, Dr Morris, Messrs John Morgan, W. Ashton, John Jones, G. Meredith, T. George, David Evans, and Dd. Hamer, of Llanidloes, and Daniel Howell of Jjlanbrynmair, with Mr John Jones, hon. seo., and Mr W. Cooke, secretary. Mr John Jones said he had received the following letter from Mr A. C. Humphreys-Owen :—" I can well understand the difficulties, which, in the present state of affairs, attend the selection of a number of representatives by each borough, and I therefore fally sympathise with the wish that the resolution lor the appointment of the proposed body should be rescinded. We may hope that after the autumn ses- sion both general and local politics will be in a posi- tion whicl* will render united action easier than at present. The proposal for a separate organization for the boroughs, a-emj to me, one for the boroughs alone to decide. The Association oannot, even if it would, and would not if it could, in any way fjree Any person, or body of persons, to continue to belong to that body. The first condition of suooess in poli- tic1-1 o>nteats il that every person in every seotion of the party should feel himself unooerced and un. fettered. If therefo.-e, the opinions of the boroughs is in favour of a separate organization, I think that the Central Association should frankly assist in the nece*s»ry arr ingem 11 s." Mr Richard Lloyd said he was snre they all re- gretted the absence of Mr Humphreys-Owen, because of his very great experience, which would have helped them to oOlLe to a concusion on the matter. In his absence he had great pleasure in proposing that Mr John Jones take the chair. Mr E. R. James seconded, and the motion was carried. The Secretary (Mr W. Cooke) then read the notice convening the meeting, and which stated that the business of the meeting was to rescind a resolution parsed on July 14th, appointing six representatives from each borough to select a candidate to represent the boroughs at the next election; and to reconsider tie question of having a separate organisation for the boroughs. The Chairman suggested that the meeting should consider the second question first, and then consider the question of rescinding the resolution afterwards. Mr Woosnam: May I ask before the business is commenced whether the Executive has called this jneeting or who has called it? The Chairman: This meeting has been called bv •the authority of the President under rule 9, which provides that he has power to do so on receipt of a requisition signed by twenty members of the associa- tion. A requisition was signed by twenty members jfl the association residing at Newtown, Llanidloes, and Welshpool, though I am not sure as to the latter place. I hold that he had a perfect right to do no, fffA that the meeting is regular to-day. Mr .Woosnam: The only thing is whether the re- quisition handed to the President was actually signed by 20 members, because if 20 members did not do so, I apprehend the meeting is informal. The Rev D. B. Edmunds asked if all the members had had notice of the meeting. He had not received one, and he only heard by accident that one was to be bold. Mr Cooke: Your notice was posted by myself. The Rev D. B, Edmunds It was lose in the post. office then. The Chairman The notice was signed by 20 mem- bers—Liberals—members of the party in the boroughs referred to, and I think we had better proceed at once to thrash the matter out, in the hope that we may get rid of one of our difficulties. Mr Woosnam I do not want to say anything abont it, but from information which has reached me the 20 members who have signed the requisition are not members of the association. They may be mem- bers of the party, but they are not members of the Association however, you get over the difficulty, if it is a fact, of course the meeting will be informal. The Chairman The rulea say that the Association shall consist of all Liberals—Liberals first, who sig- nify their adherence to the objects and principles of the Association. I think we are here, if possible, to clear UD the difficulty, and if Mr WooBnam will waive his objection, it will be better. It is a volun- tary Association, and members have come from dif- ferent parts of the county to talk over the question at iRstLo. I Mr E. R. James also made an objection to the I meeting, but the Chairman declared it regularly con. stituted. Mr Lloyd thought it would be better to proceed with the agenda, and deal with the questions in the order in which they appeared on it. Possibly, if the motion to rescind the resolution were carried, the other resolution as it was put down would not be carried. It would be remembered by all who were present at the last meeting of the Association that a resolution was then passed, asking each of the boroughs to nominate six persons to be a committee for the seleotion of names of gentlemen to contest this seat at the next election. In accordance with that resolution it became his duty as president of the Newtown Liberal Association to summon the Liberals together in public meeting, which was done with sufficient notice, in order to lay the resolution before them. There was a large meeting, and they dis- agreed with it entirely and declined to take part or paroel in the matter at all in any way. They ulti- mately arrived at the resolution, of which notice had been sent in, and a copy handed to the Chairman (Mr John Jones) as hoa sec. He would not take up their time by going into the matter any further. After thev had heard the expression of opinion from the President, who had thought the matter out, it was clear that they were of opinion beyond doubt, that the resolution should be rescinded. To do so would be to clear the way, so that they would be able to work hand-in-hand as a united party, as they had done in the past (applause.) There was no difficulty in their securing the two seats to the Liberal party, for both the county and boroughs were Liberal. There had been differences of opinion as to procedure in the past, but he did not intend to go into them. He had had his say, but he would not touch upon them any further. He would leave them as tney were, so far as he was concerned, and he hoped they would bring themselves together as one strong, united party-(applause)-to secure the return of a Liberal candidate for these boroughs at the next election. He might say, if they would allow him. that that had been his great desire in the past, throughout the whole course. It was a great mistake that the present man was in Parliament, misrepre- senting the constituency. Of course they would have to be on their watchtower to fight the battle again, and if they kept on the lookout when the next election came to see what took place, and saw that things which occurred in the past did not happen again, be had not the slightest doubt that the Liberal party would be successful by a large majority. He moved that the minute be rescinded. Mr J. Morgan As one who signed the requsition, I have much pleasure in seconding the motion. The Chairman said Mr Thomas Watkin had written excusing his non-attendance. He said that he thought members should have something better to d(. than to meet and pass resolutions, and then to meet again in exactly the same circumstances to rescind They might hope that the time would soon arrive when the questions which now troubled and divided chem would be finally settled. Mr E. R. James thought it better to say what he thought. He was sorry to differ from Mr Lloyd in the motion for rescinding the resolution which be nad moved. In the first place it was passed at a full meeting of the Association when delegates were pre- sent from all parts of the county, by a majority of six. Now, because it did not meet the views of the rriends of Newtown and Llanidloeb, they had given notice to call another meeting to rescind it. They knew that there were many members of the Council .ho were tired of the business of first moving and than rescinding, and they had not taken tne trouble bo attend. He thought before his resolution was re- scinded that the Council should wait until the annual meeting, wheo there would be a larger number ot delegates present, and eich borough fairly repre- sented. At the meeting that day he saw no one pre- sent from Machynlleth or Welshpool, and only one from Llanfyllin. He asked the delegates from New- town and Llanidloes whether they should be c-illed upon to rescind the resolution without letting it stand for twelve months to see how it would work, and if it were found it was not a good plan let them rescind it at the annual meeting. If it were rescinded at the present meeting it would only cause dissatis- faction. At a catch meeting of this sort it was hardly the thing to do. The Chairman Do you move an amendment? Mr James: No. It is a direct negative. Mr T. Parry Jones said he waa very sorry some of the boroughs were either unrepresented or only par- tially represented. He maintained that the meeting was a constitutionally called meeting, and that the one when the resolution was passed was thoroughly unconstitutional in spirit. If they looked at it caimly they would see that they were taking a course alto- gether at variance with the constitution of this Asso- ciation. Instead of going in for proportional re- presentation, which had always been a plank in the Liberal platform, they harked back to an old Tory idea, and said they wanted little and big boroughs to have just the same representation, which en the face of it seemed an utterly unfair arrangement and quite at variance with Liberal practice and principles. He was nob at all surprised that the Liberals of Newtown should have kicked against such a resolution. There was another course which they might have adopted, and refused to send any delegates to attend, and then where would they have been? They might have virtually decided not to sanction such an arrange- ment. The smaller boroughs liked this arrangement because it gave them more power and more say, and when they met in committee probably Newtown and Llanidloes would be unrepresented. What chance was there of a partial committee of that kind select- ing a candidate who would be acceptable to the whole constituency ? He thought that Newtown and Llan- idloes had only taken a fair and reasonable course in endeavouring to get the Association to rescind the resolution. They could not sanction the resolution, and they had taken the constitutional course of call- ing another meeting to rescind the resolution, and whatever they did that day they must all come tJ the conclusion that the resolution was so utterly unfair that it must be rescinded. Personally, he did not care whether they had a separate organisation for the boroughs, or whether the boroughs settled the whole thing for themselves and not interfere with the present constitution of the Association, simply allow. ing borough representatives who were elected on a proportional principle to form a sort of executive for special borough business. Such a committee, if it wanted a small committee of selection, might elect them from among themselves. If that plan were adopted he would prefer that the proposition should be carried, if only it would work, that the estimated number of Liberals in each of the boroughs be taken as a standard, and that they should elect a committee of selection on proportional principles. He did not care which was adopted, but surely there could be no objection to go back to where they were before (hear, hear.) He heartily supported the rescinding of the resolution passed at the meeting held on the 14:h July. Mr T. Jones, of Llanfyllin, said he had great plea- sure in opposing the resolution. The representatives of Llanfyllin were rather far away to come down to Newtown to play (hear, hear.) They came to the last meeting when the subject was thoroughly thrashed out, and be did not agree with it being re- scinded again so soon. It was an expensive matter to visit Newtown, and some of the delegates could not afford it. He thought the general assembly was stronger to deal with the question than at a special meeting when all the delegates could not attend. Mr David Hamer: I should like to have your rul- ing upon one point with regard to the resolution passed at the last meeting. I cannot say that I have very much sympathy with the proposal to rescind the motion. It seemi to me to be childish work. I think the resolution does not do all we intended it to do, or rather it is not as easy to carry out as we thought it would be. The resolution gives the power to each borough to appoint six representatives, making thirty-six in all. I should very much like to know what are the functions of that body? I am not sure that that was clearly defined. Some said they were merely to act as a Selection Committee, others that they had all to do with the boroughs. Which of these is correct I am not sure. If it is to be a selection committee then I think 36 is too large a number. Another question was to whom are this t committee to report when they have made their selec. tion ? Is it to the Central Association, or are they to make the fi >1 al decision themselves ? I think these points should be cleared up. If that is so I think the resolution would be unworkable, and in that respect I am in favour of rescinding the resolmtion with a., view of having a future amendment, which will be 1 more workable. I have no sympathey with all the cry and noise made in Newtown. Tne idea of re- scinding the resolution is like a big man wanting more representation than a little man. It is a pieci- of self importance which has brought this about, and if you are disposed to work in the true spirit of Liberalism, we can very well get on with equal repre- sentation from each borough. The Chairman: To select a candidate or candi- dates, that is the wording of the resolution. Mr James: I think more than that. The Chairman: I think it is conclusive on the point. Mr Hamer: Who are they to report to ? The Chairman: To the body from which it ema- nated. Mr Parry Jones said a good many understood different to the Chairman's ruling. Mr John Humphreya said he had great pleasure in supporting Mr Lloyd'8 amendment. When he came to the meeting he heard some people say that the Liberals were meeting, and there would be a good flare up again, but from the tone of Mr Lloyd's speech he thought they would be likely to be dis- appointed. He was pleased with the conciliatory speech of Mr Lloyd, and he thought Mr Parry Jones had argued out the matter very fairly and equarely, and as reasonable men they would see that the reso- lution was not fair. Mr Hamer had said the resolu- tion was well thrashed out at the last meeting, and yet he came that day and asked the chairman to ex- plain it (laughter). He hoped they would all be able to see eye to eye on the matter. The Liberals in Newtown did not expect anything but was reason- able and fair, and they did not ask for anything else, and he admitted that there was a good deal in what had been said about bringing them from different parts of the county to rescind the resolution, but it was an unfortunate thing that the resolution was passed at the last meeting, for had it not been so they would have no necessity to meet that day. HI-: felt it would be a very disagreeable thing to have to go to Welshpool, simply to please the whims or caprice of some particular persons. But in this in- stance there waa a real grievance, and until it was redressed they would not be able to work amicably together (bear, hear). Mr John Ashton asked the meeting to unite, and make a bold front against the enemy. He thought the resolution should be rescinded on a matter of principle. He did not see much principle in 200 Liberals having the same an 100. Dr Morris quite agreed that the resolution which they were asked to rescind was most unfair. There was certainly no principle attached to it. It was just like Ulster wishing to govern the whole of Ire- land, instead of allowing the majority to dictate what was best for the country. The resolution was iu antagonism to the principles of Liberalism. They professed to be just, and the foundations of their principles were justice, fairplay, and freedom, and if they agreed to such a resolution, it went to the very bottom of their principles. He felt that tho time had come when they ought to amalgamate ano unite together, and should be prepared to make con- cessions (hear, hear). They were at present not only a laughing stock to their enemies, but to the Liberal of other counties. He hoped the various difficulties would be removed, and that the stumbling bleaks would be taken out of the way by making conces- sions (applause). Mr Martin Wooanam said he did not come tc the meeting with any intention of upsetting the har. mony which should exist at all political assemblies (applause). He came with the intention in his mind of adding his mite of influence towards the ameliora- tion of the difficulties which had in the past existed The question they had to decide was whether they should rescind a resolution, which was passed on hit proposition giving equal representation to each o' the six boroughs on the qnestion of selecting a oandi dite to fight the seat in the Liberal interest. Thai, was the point. It might take some of them by sur- prise if he said he agreed with the rescinding of tho resolution (hear, hear and laughter). He agree. that the resolution should be rescinded, and be fe! in with Mr Lloyd's motion (applause); He hope< that that would dispel any idea that he came ther, to upset the meeting. If it were the wish of tht contributory boroughs that there should be i,ropo tional representation to select a candidate, he agrok3, to it. It would be impossible for any contributor3 borough to have the representation based upon tb. number of Liberals which were supposed to be i) each borough-for this reason. How could the) earmark the Liberals which existed in the contri butory boroughs. He defied any living man, be h ever so influential and well acquainted with th. position of the boroughs, to put his hands upon tb< Liberals of Newtown, within a couple of hundred and say These men are Liberals," (hear. hear am laughter). Let Llanidloes take this one note o; warning. Welshpool would have a very mnct greater representation if it were based upon tht number of voters in that borough than Llanidloes would, although the latter town might possess thre, Liberals to every Tory. Of course the question o; the candidate would crop up again. He hoped ano trusted that there would be none of that friction which had no doubt existed in the past in tht selection of a suitable candidate to fight the borough- < (cheers). What they wanted to do was not to have their pet man at all, but they should band themselves together and combine to select the very beet man they could find, one who wouid represent the feelings of the national party in Wales- (applause)-and not a man who would stand aside and say, "I will vote for this or for that" (hear, hear). They did not want a man of that description, and who would back out again, and who would not fight the battle in the boroughs. He hoped there would be no personal feeling arising in their breasts, or that any pet man would be put forward, who did not represent the national aspirations of the Principality in which they were proud to live. He was sorry they should have to rescind one resolution, but it was exceedingly indefinite, and he hoped it would not become a prece- dent (hear, hear). It was a special case, and there- fore the necessity arose. He agreed that it was in ordinary circumstances cbildish to rescind a resolu- ion. Mr David Hamer said since he had spoken he found out that he was speaking to a different subject than that before the meeting, and he agreed with the re-icinding of the resolution, and should support it (laughter and hear. hear). Mr Ffoulkes-Jones said at a meeting held at Machynlleth the previous night they came to the decision that they should like the resolution to stand. In a matter of this sort the principal of proportional representation was hardly the principle upon which they should work. They felt as deep an interest in the question in Machynlleth as they did in Newtown, ind for that reason he thought they should have as great a representation upon the committee. He was at there to press this point against a majority, as it was evident he was ia the minority, but they were anxious to get the matter settled, and were quite willing to fall in with the decision of the meeting (cheers). All that they asked was that a candidate should be selected who had a chance of winning the boroughs (cheers). The Chairman said he should like to see the ques- tion settled. The present state of suspense had a bad effeot upon the Liberals in each of the boroughs, md the sooner they came to a decision the better it vould be for the success of the Liberal party. The motion was then put and carried, with two dissentients. The Chairman: We have taken down, and must now build up. What is to be substituted for this resolution ? Dr Morris proposed that the number of delegates for the selection of a borough candidate be in accord- ance with the approximate number of Liberal elootor6 in each borough. Mr Woosnam asked if Dr Morris was in order in moving a motion which was not on the agenda. Tb It was the very reason why he voted for the motion to rescind. The Chairman: I think we can discuss the ques- tion. We are here as the representatives of the party, and if it is right to destroy one resolution, it ia quite competent for us to pass another (applause) Mr Thomas George seconded the resolution. Mr Woosnam: I certainly do not agree with it. The Chairman: I have ruled it iu order. Surely we are not to have another meeting to pass it. Mr Woosnam It is not our fault. I should like to point out that the resolution is entirely out oi order. The resolution to rescind which Mr Lloyd gave notice of was a specific one, and if it had been intended to move a further resolution in lieu thereof. it should have been so stated on the agenda. If thera were a larger representation here to-day it would not have mattered so much, but all those who are absent had no idea that Dr Morris's resolution would be proposed. Mr Parry Jones said from a legal point of view that was a splendid idea, but from a business and common sense point it as not. Mr E. R. James asked if what the Selection Com- mittee did would come before the Council. The Chairman said he hoped they were going to form a committee to select a candidate, who must be submitted to the several boroughs, and every borough would express its opinion. There was no difficulty at all about that. 1 Mr Woosnam asked how Dr Morris intended to ear- maik the Liberals in the different boroughs. How would he distinguish a Liberal from a Tory, or both from a doubtful (laughter) ? It appeared to him that it would be very difficult. Of course there uld be no difficulty about Llanidloes—(laughter)— but there would be in the town in which he lived, and i r) Welshpool and also, the other boroughs. The Chairman asked the meeting whether hey wouH agree to leave the matter to the President, whu should hear evidence from representatives of each borough as to the position of the parties, and that after the numbers had been arrived at by the President they should be sent to the secretary, who would communicate them to the secretary of each borough, andthe latter would then elect the names of their candidate^. Dr Morris I should be quite agrpeable. t'he motion was then put and carried, and also one Betting forth that the representation should be in accordance with Rule 3. Xr Woosnam drew attention to the fact that he did not vote 00 Dr Morris's motion, and as there would be som" dispute he thought the names of those members of the Council not voting should be plaoed on the minutes. The Chairman We will take your word for more than that. SEPARATE ORGANIZATIONS. With reference to the question of having separate organizations for the boroughs and county, Mr Parry Jones said it was inexpedient at present to form separate organisations so Jong as they adopted the Spirit of Mr James's resolution, and that wa& that the representatives who were to the Council from the boroughs should form a committee to deal with and settle separate borough business themselves. Mr Lloyd said that was the intention all through that was meant to be adopted, if the resolution to re- scind were passed. They did not want to press the question of separating the Council, The Association had worked harmoniously in the past, and it would be a great mistake to divide the association in any way in the world. He had as great an interest in the county as in the boroughs, and all he wanted to see was the success of the party in both constitu- enoies (hear, hear, and applause). Mr John Humphreys said he thought Mr Lloyd had expressed the feelings of the Radicals of Newtown, that they had no wish to separate from the Central Association; and be was very pleased that they had not been compelled to resort to extreme measures Mr Woosnam: It is an agreeable surprise to find our friends at Newtown have really come to their senses (laughter). It would be a sorry day to divide the boroughs and the county. We are able to assist the county in the boroughs, and the county is able to assist the boroughs, and it would be a pity to divide, not only financially, but in other ways (hear, hear). The Chairman: I am glad to see some light in the immediate future, and that we shall be one united party, who will not rest until we secure the double representation of the boroughs as well as the county (applause). Mr Lloyd I should like to correct Mr Woosnam. I am very glad to see that the minority have at least come to the senses (loud laughter). Mr Woosnam: I protest against that. The Chairman: I think our friend protests too much, gentlemen (renewed laughter). The meeting then broke up, a hearty vote of thanks being accorded Mr John Jones for acting so effi. ciently aa chairman.

ST. ASAPH DIOCESAN CONFERENCE.

THE CONFERENCE.