Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

26 erthygl ar y dudalen hon





SWANSEA'S BOROUGH I MEMBER 'REPLIES TO MR. J. H. THOMAS. The Liberal rally at the Swansea Albert Hall to hear an address by Sir Alfred Mond, M.P., on The National Situation," on Friday evening, was successful in so far as the party followers turned up dn force, whilst the audience, which filled the hall, »"as largely composed of women, as all iVidical gatherings are. Mr. Richard Martin, J.P., said by some to be the chair- man of the Swansea Liberal Association, though there is an uncertainty about it, even on the part of members of his own party, presided, and the platform ticket- hclders were shown to tin ir sea to by the party officials, Messrs. W. J. Crocker and A. D. Perkins, and the platform in- cluded all the well-known Lriberal-Ir. and Mrs. Aeron Thomas, Mrs. M. B. Williams, Mr. and Mr3. W. E. Harries, Mr. Gwilyrn Morgan, Mr. Morgan Tutc-on. Mr. R. L. Sai-s. Mr. R. W. Jones, Mr. John Williams (Dulais House), Mr. T. P. Cook, Mr. David Griffiths, Dr. Edwards (King Edward-road), Mr. D. J. Davies, J.P., Mr. Dd. Matthews, Dr. Lloyd Edwards, Mr. David Roberts, T. P., Mr. J. Vaughan Edwards, and Dr. John Da vies, etc. Sir Alfred Mond was accompanied by Ladv Mond and his brother. Mr. Robert Mond. Interruption at the Start. The Chairman .said the meeting was called to hear the views of their member A Voice: We don't WdIlt, to hear the "ièws of a German. (Cries of Order," and Put him outside," and interruption, which lasted a few minutes, whilst the chairman looked on.) At length Mr. Martin went on "I am not used to giving my views in front of a lecturer. I know too well you have not come here to hear me. You have come to hear the member." He had not heard two opinions on one question, and that was t.he duty of nation to prosecute the war to' a, successful issue. (Applause.) They might have differences, buL. to get over those differences was to be loyal to their leaders, and in that w-iv they would, get rid of all thoce difference. (Hear, hear.) The Borough Member. Sir Alfred Mond said the meeting which he had atkecl to be called at a time of grave national crisis did not appear as some seemed to imagine, to be of the character of a non- party gathering. To him, coming frecli from the House of Commons, where the Government was composed of all parties, he was amazed to hear the talk of a Radical meeting or Radical politics. Since the war started he had only had one creed of politics, and that, was the winning of the war. He cared not what views a man had expressed before the war brr>k-.> cut and what views he would express when the war ceased. He F, -?r (?'c d 1 t u &ê\(] "For God's sake, let u.^ all join to win the war, .uid when we have won it will be time enough, if we have the inclination, to return to the quarrels of the pest." (Hear, hear.) Some people seemed to forget that we were in the greatest danger the greatest countrv in the world had ever seen, and when he saw resolutions of many kinds parsed, some of which reflected on himself, he would boldly ;;ay this, "I don't believe there is a leader—a responsible leader—of tho Conservative party in the House of Commons to-day who would endorse for a single moment the resolutions passed here the other day." (Hear, hear.) He had en- deavoured, as they knew--apd he was glad to think that it had been generally recog- nised by all the men in the town whose good opinion he cared about—(cheers)—to do hid beit to forward in every possible way i/v personal endeavour, by personal sacrifices, by personal work, to promote the cause they had in hand. What was it that induoed him primarily to meet them at all ? It was that recently they had been addressed bv a col- league of his in the House of Commons, whose purpose it was to divert their support from i-he Government in the course of action which he (Sir Altreo) tnought absolutely necessary for the winning of the war. He said, without fear of contradiction, that a.t one period the wastage of cur army was greater than the number of recruits we were getting in. It was then that he decided— whatcvor the opinion of others and whatever Lhe consequences which might accrue to him in his career as a politician—to speak out boldly. and to see that no preconceived ideas, no prejudices of the past, and no view which might be different under difterertt circumstances, should divert t.he policy necessary. (Cheers.) Thr Compulsion Bill ) T  ?- ( ?ompil l giclil, did not in any way dimin ish the I-oiunteet- i spirit. The free and williing rreil would be just as much volunteers whether there was compulsion or not. Compulsion might make a man who wa* uemtatu/g to do his dutv j make up his mind, but once it was made up for him he would be Its good a soldier as any one who ever walked. (Cheers.) He ha-d the privilege at his houne of ell-tertaifiing v, ounded soldiers. Their duty was to get well and go out and fight again. Some had been out not once, but twice and three times, and they said "We don t want. to go back. Is it light when there vre hundreds of thousands ol able-bodied men in the coun- try who have never lifted a little finger to help forward the war?" (Hear, hear.) Was it r i h t, was it fair, it right, was it fair, was it democratic, was it "British"? (Hear, hear.) He said "No," and he could not understand those who were opposing the Government Bill in the face of those heroic and wonderfully patient men who hid suffered and suffered and were asked to suffer ag;iin because others would not ao their duty. (A voice: "Shame:") National or Private War? He hau oiien asited himself the question, "Is it a national war we are waging for a national object, or is it a, private war we are waging for private people?" (Hear, 1 hear.) if it were a national war it was all equal national obligation for every man to take part in it. (Hear, hear.) If it was the duty of every man to take part in it, and if people would not, sometimes from selfish reasons in order to better themselves by; other men's patriotism, then they should be made to go. (Hevr, hear.) He had read the speech of Mr..J. H. Thomas, against- whom he had not a word to say personally, but he was associated with men who had never lifted their little finger to help the country in this war; .,nd sometimes really, cue absolutely failed to understand tihe men- tnlily of fellov. human beings in this matter. Invasion 11 Bogey Comes Home to Roost. T'ney had got to i-yicit-ure what was happening in Belgium, in Serbia, and in the munition factories ot Germany, and he wondered what those against compulsory military ser- vice in this country would say if 5O,wiJ Ger- mans landed at Sketty and were marching on Swansea? He wondered if they wo-ild tlhen say "I am a trades unionist, hist aaid tfvfrytiung else aft,elw",rdl> (Hear, hear.) He wondered if they thought their wivea and daughters would get any better treat ment from the German Huns than those of Belgium and Serbia" He wondered if these would pref er to work under the lash of the taskmaster in the German munition factories I (Hear, hear.) The alternative was either to win the war in- to losa it. (Hear, hear.) He had seen the resolution pas.ied by the Swan- sea Branch of the I.L P/, and he was told [there was no military necessity for i ht* pur- poses oi the war that the Government mea- sure was introduced. It was suggested that the measure wai introduced in order to plcasie some journalis' s -some capitalists— and the imagination of sorie of thosa who had been opposing the Bill seemed to have beconio over-heated—they had taken the tittle-tattle of Lobby journalists for Cabinet w.rets,-th-ev had got Lord Northcliffe on the brain, and imagined that the Govern- ment, composed of all parties and of men of rectitude and ability, had lent themselves to a most nefarious scheme for the pur- poses of some private interests. (Hear, hear.) Don't we all want to obtain victory?" asked the speaker. (Hear, hear.) Was there a single man, woman or child in this country who did not want to obtain vic- tory, and if there were, had not they bettel leave this country and go to some other. As regards the Darby scheme, the married men of the country had behaved magnifi- ce.ntly, and nowhere more so than Swansea, and if all other parts of the kingdom had behaved as well he ebouid not be there d'anissing that Bill. Mr. J. H. Thorn a.?, who spoke at Swansea, last Sunday, said he ha.d no sympathy with the slacker, but hell did not tell them what he was going to do with them. Mr. Thomas said he would go to any sin.? young man who ought to serve and tell ); to his face he was a coward. But that did not brin.; about his attestation, and ivhat right had Mi. Thomas to call a man a coward for not doing that which he was not compelled by law. Sir Alfred called that compulsion by insuit. Personally he pre- ferred compulsion by Act of Parliament. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Thomas said he wanted to investigate the cases (of the. slackers). But how wis he going to do that when the men were not compelled to go somewhere where their cases could be investigated? Mr. Thomas would compel a man to be in- vestigate and not compel a man when ho had been investigated to join the Army. Conscription of Wealth. What a^i illogical position. Mr. Thomas had stated, too. that if wealth was conscripted he would vote for the Bill. (Applause.) He could understand compulsory service being objected to on tlie ground of a mistaken view of liberty or there bemg no military neces- sity, -or that we wanted all the people here for trade a.nd finance, but he could not- un- derstand him objecting on the ground that he would not allow this to take place until he had picked someone's e>,e's pocket. Mr. Thomas was confusing two entirely diffenmt things. We wanted so?diere to figh and to keep those who hud bo(A Voice And we manage to p?y)— and that. was quote dinerent. irom money. If a battalion w;is in the trenches and wait- ing for reinforcements it would be no good sending out a sack of gold watches to fight the Germans with. (Applause.) Money, of course, was wanted to conduct the war. (A Voice "Give it.") What was taxation ex- cept conscription of wealth. He paid one- third of Ills dnoomo and he did not caira whether it was the whole. If the Govern ment wanted money for the war let them take it: he had not the slightest objection, but don't say, "I won't allow reinforce- ments to go out to save the Belgians and the Serbians till I have been. through your poc- kets." If they "conscriptod" wealth, let them consider wha.t was commg. Trad e Unions had funds. That w? wealth. Build- ing societieo ha.d funds. That w?s wealth. The wa.gN of munition workers was wealth. Think of the consequence. Let it all go into the melting pot if necessary. People had written to him to say don't infringe up<m j sacred Liberty. What, liberty not to do | your duty to vnr country and fellow man? Little Nayites. Ihat was not liberty but cowardice. Sir Alfred spoke of what we had done, and speakin- on our absolute control of the seas when a voice should, "No thanks to the Little Na-vyites. "I never belonged to them, either," said Sir Alfred, who added that he hoped the war would wield them | j mure together. (Applause.) H- L. Saiis p- a resolution approvin g of compulsion for single me-n w ho could not chow any reasonable cause for failing to jowi the forces, together with the action of the Borough Member in support- ing the Bill. Mr. T. P. Cook, in seconding, saixi liberty —which everyone claimed—was not the liberty to allow the other man to do the fight- ing while the shirker stayed conifortably at home. Ladv Mond a.Iso addressed the meeting, declaring that there was plenty of work for the women to do, and that if the neces- sity arose she was ready to brush the street crossing. If the men woiuidn't fight, she added, then the t women would. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) The resolution wa« then put and carried, the Chairman declaring tha.t there were three dissent Lents. The National Antbrm wa t,hen u,ng, and three cheers were called for Sir Alfred Mond, and given in a very half-hearted fashion. Prior to the meeting there wao .:in organ recital.






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