Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



THE SWANSEA DISTRICT SEAT. Annimated Delegates' Meeting at Neath. I An interesting: stags in the Swansea I .District bye-eiection was reached on Sat- urday, when the three prospective candi- dates whose names are before the ector- ate addressed a representative meeting of Liberals of the constituency at the Gwyn Hail, Neath. There was a laurge attend- ance, the hall being full- Alderman Hopkin Morgan was voted to the eliair. and he was supported by the prospective candidates-M.essrs. Dan Thomas, T. J. Williams, and A. A. Thomas. Alderman Hopkin Morgan, in defining the object of the meeting, appealed for a fair and impartial hearing for each candi- date. We are all to clear out of this hall by six o'clock," ho said with signifi- cant emphasis-- a-ad Hear, hear?—" because it is wanted for another ^purpose." Half-an-hour would be allotted to each of the candidates, who would speak in alphabetical order, and written Questions would be allowed after all the candidates had addressed the meeting. Mr. A. A. Thomas, who had a cordial reception, said that was his first eistedd- fod." He could not but feel pleased at Vaviog an opportunity of addressing so many of his own friends. fellow towns- men and leaders in Liberalism, who had pyread the light and held the flag through dark days and bright days..No doubt a lot of those present had been taken away from work more immediately connected witli their friends and rela- tives at the front, but the choosing of a Parliamentary representative for a great industrial constituency like that was of interest no lees to those who were fight- ing our battles than those left at home. For the iutereerte of the soldiers had to be watched, and they had to see to :t that never again should England be dis- graced by the sight of her old soldiers begging for bread, but; that the disabled soldiers and bereaved relatives should be adequately provided ior. The war had produced a new England in(i Wales, he proceeded, and many of the old questions had been settled. He hoped the day would not long be delayed when universal suffrage should put the democratic seal upon the franchise of our land. Happily, the great questions of Homo Rule and Weh.,h Disestablishment er. settled—" and settled to osir eatis- ht<>tirin 'but whc.u the war was over Parliament would be called upon to deal I'with questions of social reform, security for labour, better housing, better health. and better oducation. As aa old public administrator and a mem- ber for six; years of the London County <JouHcil, he was naturally in- terested in housing reform. (Applause.) As one who was closely connected with agricultural work and labour, he was d-L-(' PIY inte-rest.ed in the question of the minimum wage, which he believed was I destined to sol ve many difficult problems. He alio (naturally most interesrted in the education ol the worker's child, having taught in the people's school. He appealed, in passing, to the leaders trf Liberalism in the oonstituency to see that the organisation was put into proper order. (Applause.) It- was no good say- ing. "This has always been a Liberal set and will alwava be." They must remem- ber thai the other side wera active—'he Tajif R-eftirmer and the purawlør," the Social Democrat and Socialists with thousand and oxve varieties of German philosophy. (Laughter.) Proceeding, he said he believed that jrhen all the present troubles hart paftsed away tbore would be a gJ. spring-time of hope for the people of this country. that the great spade-work done in the wonhi, reap beu, fifty, and one hundred Ifllfl ftrtiat in the future. Especially in Wale?. and in that district had they grounds for confidence in the future. To- day the heriedits of the intermediateschoois and higher education, which were monopolised by Scotland and Lngland when he was a hoy. were being felt in Walt-9, and WeMmion were hoidiitg hIgher and more responsible positions in the world in consequence. This was the fla.v of little nations. Belgium had sac- rificed herself to t'avc the world. (Ap- plause.) He believed that Wales had not preserved her own language and literature without a reason, but that she ha(? a. mcasa?e. not only for their own i?n<!? bu t for eivry Land—a m?sas? ■ commercialism. c. something above the bread that oerbhes/' Speaking, in conclusion, of the indus- tries of the district, Mr. Thomas observed that the artistic worker had no home in Eouth Wales. He believed there was great artistic genius in the worker of South Wales, and he wanted to see a greater variety of industries so as to give j their youths a chance. He wanted to see literature, art, poetry, and music made t common heritage. It was in the direc- tion of education that he wanted to see Wales go forward and be a pattern to the j tther' 'nations of the world. (Applauds.) • Mr. Dan Thomas was then called upon to address the lactting, and on rising received a popular ovation. lie, like the previous speaker, w»i having his iirsfc experience of an eisteddfod, but at the, same timo he hoped to get through it with a good will and emerge successfully. (Ap- plause). It was, he continued, unfortu- nate that at this juncture they should be involved in a decision of the character explained by the Chairman when their minds were necessarily concentrated on the great strugglo that, was taking place in the other side of the English Chanuf-1. It was, however, not their fault, but the fault of circumstances. Naturally, they were glad that their late and distin-; guished raeffifjor and fellow countryman,! Sir David Brynmor Jones—laplauee)— had been privileged to have a great dis- tinction conferred upon him which made it necessary to select a successor. Ife was going to otai-a bis case; briefly and plainly, and he would begin by asking them to eon- sider his record as a Liberal, .and Welsh Nationalist^ (Cheers.) He was born in Morns'on 35 years ago, and he was. a Morristonian to tho hilt. (Applause.) His parents were Noncon- formists and Welsh to the core, as were also his grandparents. He was brought up within the fold of Welsh Nopcon- formity, and had remained within it in other lands. (CheeTS.) Whilst resident in Lbnti" he had identified himself with everything that was Welsh. Whether religions, social, or political movements, if liey" wwe Weigh he had been actively associated with them for the last 14 He was a Welsh Nationalist not dimply because he was born in Morriston, but became his whole life ba-d been devoted to matters affecting J Welsh communities and national affairs. Eli« whole instincts and aspirations were itiked with the interests of Wales. Mr. Thomas claimed that he had done real spade work for Liberalism. He dealt briery yitk his association with London LibøralisDl. As one (,f the British delegates at the In- teraatiafcal Frt-a Tra*3o Congress coiir renod by the Gobden Club in 1908, he presumed his position as a Free Trader would not be challenged, (He-ar, hear). But his 'greatest work for Liberalism void particularly for Wales, was he ven- tured say,, that which he did in con- nection with their great national ques- H?n—Welsh Disesfcabl'fihment. (Cheers). In 1911 his experience of English politics conduced- him that there was a necpa- j isitt for gresfor h t iOll on tho fjneøtio-n. of disestablishment among Liberal*. anil having con- united .-ome of hi* friend" in the Welsh Liberal Ptrty a oonfeience j was duly held in the Grand Committee I Room of tho House of Commons. Welshmen were present from all parts of London, representatives came irom Wales, and among them was Coch- farf, one of the greatest Welsh national- isrs ever produced. (Cheere). As a re- suit of that conference a Central Cam- paign Committee was formed, and with- out dealing in detail with the work of that committee, of which Mr. Ellis Griffith consented to be chairman and he (Mr. Dan Thomas) one of the hon sees., he ventured to say that were it not for the formation of that committee, the Welsh DMestaMishiaent Act to-day ;?),?Id have been a mere skeleton of what they wanted, and what they had demanded for so many years. (Loud cheers). They fought to a successful issue not only the opposition, but the great apathy and in- difference of English Liberals. Another sphere in which he was actively identified was when Mr. Lloyd-George— (cheers)—commenced his great campaign of enquiry into the system of land and housing in this country. He appointed ai committee of investigation, and he (.Mr. Dan Thomas) as many of them would! perhaps remember, was identified with, one dep&rtment, and issued part of the "quastionaire?' that was sent to this district and other parts of Wales. Hej was associated with some of the Welsh members in carrying the work through j the initial stages, and acted as temporary hon. secretary of that committee to make I a Welsh enquiry. He, thew-Ofore, claimed; to haw a special consideration for the ¡ Swansea district. But he had never aspired to any other constituency; his gole aim and ambition had been to represent Swansea District. (Cheers.) If any man k-new tiis needs a ad its people, he did. Some people might say he was rather young; in answer to that he would say with Disraeli, If that is a ftyslf, it is a fault that grows lesp every day." (Laughter and applause.) If young, he was old enough in experience; to know and appreciate the stern struggles fear ex- i isienoe. that most of the woarfoeans presort had. (Cheer*.) He had been in tire toil tf life himself, and had emerged IiIO far to be at. any rate presentable on the plat- form that day. (Laughter and applause.) He w.m not desirous to enter the. House of Commons to represent the tsnplate n- dustry. He was a Liberal. (Load and pro- longed cheers.) And as a Liberal he repre- sented every class in the community. (Ra- aewad cheers.) He could, however, justly some knowledge of the tinpiate in- dustry, a.nd an intimate knowledge of the men who worked in the mill and tin- house, because he commenced life in ».tin- plate works. (Applause.) That in itself, he thought, a good groundwork to qualify him to represent a tin- plate constituency. (Hear, hear.) Last July, continued Mr. Dan Thomas, on the eve of the great struggle now being waged on the plains of .Europe. the Government was engaged in great pro- posals for social refonii. Who-muld say whether these proposals would be re- sumed where they were left off when the terrible war was ended and peweo pre- vailed ? What new issues had arisen out of this gigantic struggle? AH they could hope for was that at the end of the war they would find a brofid spirit of love and toleration existing between man and man; that they would have learned the great lesson of the fearful consequences of war and its terrible penalties; that they would realise and appreciate the impor- tance of looking at the greater and more essential things in life; that they would blush to w-,o a man walking along the roadside, ragged, unkempt, homeless and hungry, with the spirit of independence crushed out of him by circiimstances. The rights of the poor and the oppressed must receive consideration. (Cheers). At any rate, they could only hope that th lessons cf the war would, v-hn dis- cus"ion of domestic politics was resumed, make it easier to deal with the difficulties land problems affecting the masses, and that it would be willingly aeconled. that I [the gronter burden must be placed upon the shoulders of those best able to bear it — (cheers)—and that the labourer shall j be deemed worthy of his hire; that he J shall live decently, be fed adequately, and that his children shall be reared in comfort, far removed from the tarnish- ing conditions of congested areas and bad housing conditions. (Ohecrg.) And te hoped that the spirit abroad would allow Irish Home Rule to go unquestioned. (Applause.) There were other great re- forms which necessitated development; they would have to proceed with hous- ing, education and land reforms, and tem- perance reform required urgent attention. (Cheers.) I They must also have Home Rule for Wales. (Cheers.) As Welsh Nationalists they claimed to be a nation. In the past they had only been content to claim that fact, and it was only within recent date that they had had men to apply this claim to a practical solution, and to-day they realised they were a nation and had the right to govern and express the voice of Wales as they deemed best. (Cheers.) The day was past for the scornful utter- ances of their opponents, who used, to say that they were in Wales not a people; a petty Principality; simply a county, and the greater part English. To-day these misrepresentations were silenced. Wales was recognised as a nation, and they had had it stamped in the personality of that great Welshman—Mr. Uoyd George. (Cheers.) The only hope for Wales lay in the creation of a separate assembly, so that they could make their own laws and express their own wishes in legislative form. If you return me as your member," continued Mr. Dan Thomas, I pledge myself to devote all my energy to the fulfilment of this hope. (Chrs. Hav- ing briefly, but adequately I hope in the circumstances, state.d my political views, I hope, you will be able to take my measure not, as Mr. I.loyd George once said, from the shoulders downwards, but from the shouldere upwards. (Laughter and applause). I have no ad- vocates except Liberal advocates; my politics are too well-known to have any frietnds except among Liberals, and if liberalism select me from this constitu- ency I promise faithfully to keep the flag flying. (Cheers). I believe in organisation; and I am convinced that proper organisation :8 essential in every ward of the Swansea District in order to get a true and proper expression of Liberalism. Th-e first duty of the eeLcted candidate should lie to see that an association is fornwd, and that adequate preparation is made for the great fights* that time will bring U6. (Applause). I soek no social position in being your repnesenta- tive; I have a purpose and. a mission in the political field of activities, and my eolo aim is to do something for the good of the community to which I belong, and for the bettexwfilt of the, land of my birth, and for the gejietral improvement of, &)I conditions of lite- (Loud cheers). In conclusion, Mr. Thomas toM the story of heroic David Jones, of Ufyiioii Holl, the Cardiganshire tenant farmer h(J rather toban vote as the great ioeal Tory landlord desired, w- banished from his farm. He emigrated to America. Disaster befel him; his children died dur- ing the voyage, and his1 wife, who had con- tracted consumption, passtd away shortly on arrival. Broken down in health, David Jones returned to Wales, and died. Although David Jones lost eveiytiitng that was material, he retained the price- less jewel —hie character. (.Cheers.; f That is the spirit we have inherited; that is the measure of our Liberalism in. Wales; that is the tradition you óH1ve to uphold. Follow it with the dignity that is customary in the Swansea District; be brave in your principles: be brave as Liberals, clioose your candidate an-I let him be the best man. (Loud and p-o- longed cheering). Mr. T. J. Williams, the last candidate to speak, said his Liberalism dated from j his boyhood. He was nursed in Liberal principles. He had the honour, as far back as 20 years ago, of shaking in that; constituency for Sir Henry Hnafey Vivian, afterwards Lord Swansea. What had he (Mr. Williams) done for Liberalism r There was hardly a. county in the whole of South Wales in which Eel had not spoken. In Gower in 1906 he I fought an election of hig own and lostj by a narrow majority. He declined the? invitation to stand again for that division ? because he had in view the constituency in which he had always lived, the people of which he had always loved, and in the industries of which he had always been interested. Proceeding, be advocated 60C'ia11 reform for the pur?se of up- HftiB? the people. But. gentle- men," he declared, I api here principally as a business man." He had aR intimate a knowledge of the industries. of the Swansea District as any man in the British Isles. Leaving ITniversity College, London, at the age of 15i, he was brought home and had to go through the workshop like any other son of a work-! man, with the exception that he was paid nothing. (Laughter). He studied metal- lurgy in the Sheffield Institute under Pro- fessor Arnold. He secured every exhibi- tion it was possible to obtain, and at the end of his course came down to the Upper Forest and Worcester Works. Shortly afterwards the manager of the Upper Forest Steelworks died, and at the early age of 19 he was appointed his successor, and shortly afterwards manager of the tinplate works. There were 22 tin plttte mills, and with the steelworks they em- ployed about 18,000 hands. (Voice: 1,800). fLater in the meeting Mr. Williams cor- rected himself and said the number was 1,800). At the age of twenty-one, Mr.! Williams proceeded, his father made him! a partner in his firm. Having little to do on his return hsme, he qualified as a barrister, but on his father'a death; later he returned home again) and took up commerce once more. At his works at Morristoiis there had not been a day's unemployment among the men, they had had no strikes, and he could say quite frankly they were the happiest employes he had ever .set eyes on. He wished to use any qualifications he bad fer the-benefit of the Swansea Dis- trict. (Applause.) Not long ago, when Canada re-arranged her tariff, and gave the British tinplate manufacturers a ten per cent, preference over America, a big mistake was made by his Majesty's Government becanse they did not know the difference between block tin and tin- plate, and thart, mistake meant a loss of employment in 24 tinplate IHills in South Wales. He (Mr. Williams) had the privi- lege of. explaining the difference to the Government, and if he could only- rend&r service in Parliament like that to the Swansea Distriat, he claimed he would have done sosmething to merit the confi- dence of the electors. (ApplauseO A number of all the candidates were sent up from the audience. Asked for his views on the tcmperance question, Mr. A. A. Thomas said his policy on temperance was the same as that of the Progressive party of the London County Council. Mr. Williams, who was aa-ed the same question, replied he would support any reasonable, fair measure of reform which was for the benefit of the community. Are the candidates in favour of a second ballot in Parliamentary elections when there are three candidates for one ran another question. Mr. A. A. Thomas: Yes. Mr. Dan Thomas also replied in the affirmative." Rule by majority is. thp principle of Liberalism," lie said, -and when there are three candidates in the field, the only possible way of ascertain- ing the wishes of a majority, uniev« there is a clear majority in the first in- stance, is by a eooond vote. Mr. Williams' reply was that he ad- vocated the second vote in 1906. A Voice: Do it now, then. The candidates were aleo asked (1) If they were in favour of extending the Irish Land Act to Wales so, as to give security of tenure to farmers; (2) if they were in favour of a land measure, giving better facilities for building houses and thereby reducing rents; (3) would they support a measure of local option in tho drink trade. Mr. A. A. Thomas, replying to the first question, said he thought the questioner must have had in mind the Scottish Land (Smallholders') Act, which gave security to the tenant without requiring him to buy the farm. He would like 1 to see that Act applied to Wales. In re- gard to the second question, he would like to see the freehold of the land in the hands of the people. (Applause) His answer to the third was, Yes, T will." Mr. Dan Thomas said Mr. A. A. Thomas had stated their news generally on the first two questions. If they had Home Ittile for Wales they would soon settle ,y wou l d soon ,ettle the question of local option. He was not prepai ed to say that local option- was the only way of dealing with the temperance question in Wales, but he would favour that as being a proper and adequate way el dealing with the question. Mr. T. J. 1V111ia.n:ts replied that he was in favour of local option, and his views on the other two questions were in agreement with those of the other candi- dates. At this atasre Mr. W. Row en Rvnen (Neath) got on his feet, and arai-ounced Jhafc ho had addressed a question to Mr. T. J. to Yi? T. J. William* whioh had not been read. Searching ajotonp tho papers on the tjable, the chairman disoorvened the missing slip, which he reMi an JtolkrwBA# you are in ,La.votFr of tilo eeocmd ballot, wiU you be in favour of at an the order of procertune at. Il'l"n &a.¡,u'l'd.ay'ji meeting? VoioM: Play the gome!" and --D.On,t, answer jt l" Order restored, Mr. Williams replied "As far as the mode of voting is concerned, it is absolutely in the handa of my support- ers." A section of the audience seemed satisfied with the reply; they cheered and laughed, but among the majority resentment pre- vailed, which ended in uproa,r. There were speakers everywhere, and no one seemed witling to yield to the other. At last the ohairman obtained a hearing. "You have been good up to now." he said, "and I hope you will support the chairman until the end of the meeting." (Cheers.) He then proceeded to read the following ques- tion addressed to Mr. Williarns:- "It has been said that you will force a fight if the decision go against you next Saturday. Is that corroot.r Mr. T. J. Williams: I have never meae such a statement. (Cheers.) The only state- ment I have made concerning the question was my reply to the secretary's letter. A votn. !ot thanks to the candidates for their presence and addressee was formally moved by :v.l'.E.dwrd llaarie MT. Dan r-lorpaa srd JCr. T. J. Wilhaxaa briefly, replied, bat Mr. A. A. Thomas la.bort£d. H? -.kt that since be had been in the room he bad been informed th?t ?! ?x-al paper ba.d ct&ted that he did n()tj' propose t.o run to the end of the aleetkm. That "t=eat WM made wM;oat. hi* authority. He was in" the hande of the ,Agsocia:tioo,u like the other c«indid.5!.tes. (Ap- plause. 1 The oaodida*es h»«- £ Tetireti. the Chair- man said he fel-t it rnmrmhent upon him to mention that, he had. rp^aifcrj protects from all parts of the coneti-tuencar acainst the resolution passed at the last meeting in regard to the mode of final selection. The sist of the whole of them," he eon tinned. a-mounts to this: They oonisider i« this contest that each electoral division should reduce tho number of candidates to two with a view of getting » clear majority in favour of the candidate. (Clieera.) I •jroiild not rahe it upon myself to disregard such protests, and I feel it my duty to give the meeting an opportunity of dealing with t.hem for the few remaining minutes we have got." (Applause, and a Voice: "Qnit right. ") The Chairman then rea.d the replies he received from the candMa&es, and «ooeluded" by .inking if it was the pleasure of the meeting to rodneR the number of candidates from three to two in the final voting? (Shcut of Yes" and No.") A "Voice- Can you explain how that can be done, The Mayor of Ne?th (Hr. Matthew Arnold; repH?d that it euuld be ea?ly (woomplished by voting for first and second choice. Mr. FAword Iiarr.ub, who occupied a seat on the pla'tfonn, rose 'to a. point of order. At the meeting held a fortnight agq >he safid). iL was distinctly agreed'that the sole purpose of the prn»ent meeting hear 'he views of the •candidates. Neither the ohairman or tho meeting, had. the right to di?uuNfi any other buaiues?. There was a, of considerable o?T? fusion followii)? thU, ?nd. ü'der restored, the Chairman asked if it was the pleasure of the meeting to re-open tihe quctrcion on the mode of voting for final selection. If so, were they prepared to accept a motion? | Affair) there were loud cries of "Y es," mingled with cries of "No." Someone appealed for a "vote." The eng- Eestion was acted upon, and on a show of bandiJ the chairman declared that the meet- ing was prepared to accept & motion. (Ch ers.) Immediately an elector rose, -and proposed tiiai the p-pc-ond vote be adopted. Before the cheers subsided, Mr. Foradyke (Aberavon) seconded the motion. With eq'ial swiftness, ar. amendment was proposed and seconded, but progress was ob- structed by scenes of disorder. A number of electors were on their feet challenging the right to spea.k. They gave way to t Nfr. Parry, who on being ruled out of order, ) Tr. Mol-gE- mounted the platform. Mr. Morgan R. Morgan, one of the Liberal stalwarts of Neath, immediately emerged from the rooks," and stood beside him, a silent chaUeng-er. Ultimately, the motion was carried by an overwhelming: majority. There was another breeze, a,nd the chair- man explained with marked elnphasis: <oft' hae been suggested to me that K things are poing to be done like this, Mr. Williams's supporters will fight an election. (Cries Shame> a,tld .a voios: "That k conclusive, proof that Mr. T. J. Williams and Mr. A. A. Thomas are running together." In the din, Mr. Edward 11 arris was. understood to say, Wo will fight ihe eleetiou." Time was called, aud the meeting termin- ated. I MR. DAN THOMAS AT LOUGHOR. I A well-attended meeting to inriiier the candidature of Mr. Dan Thomas was held at Nebo Schoolroom, Upper Lougbor, on Monday evening-, Mr. J. K. Clement presiding.—Mr. Thomas, in a stirring speeeh, said being a Nationalist, and having closely "identified'hint-self with all national iriovenit-rits, he had for a long time felt that they had not a practical expression of their ideas in the way they should, and. would not get it until they had Home Rule for Wales So he was out for Home Rule for Wales. When they got it they would be able to develop their ideals in regard to education, temperance, poor law and several other matters affecting their daily life. It might be that after the war a greater and broader spirit would prevail-that they would realise the importance of the great essentials: that Conservatives, Libr erals and Socialists, ceasing their bicker- ings, would legislate more sympathetically and more readily for the great mass of the people. (Hear, hear.) He could only hope this would be so. For the moment they had to concentrate their minds on the successful prosecution of the war. They could not afford, on occasions like that, to enter into questions of politics in too much detail. They niuafc be care- ful not to rouse passions that would for a moment cause men to forget the greater issues. In order not to risk this he had avoided a political speech of a Wider character. If he was chosen as the repre- sentative of the Liberals of the district, the flag of Liberalism would not be at- lowed to drop during his tenure of office. (Loud applause.) The Rev. James Evans, B.A., said he supported his friend, Mr. Dan Thomas, because lie was a man from the constituency, a Weldt Nationalist and Nonconformist, and because he had been consistent all round. They would find that the men who would really represent Wales in Parliament were those who had no axe to grind, and Mr. Thomas came to them because he had an interest in Wales and Welsh national life, and became all his prospects were connected with the ser- vice he was able to give to the constitu- ency, to Wales, and the Empire. Measur- ing him by hia record and hie unassum- ing services in the past behind the ecenee, he believed he had a great career await- ing him in tho public life of the country. There was not a candidate before the Lib- eral electors i tii each excellent claims. (Applause). (The result of the voting at district meetings will be found on Page 6.)


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