One of a series of social and political gatherings promoted by the
North Lonsdale Unionist Association was held on Thursday evening last, in the
Coniston Institute and was largely attended.
The chair was taken by Mr. T. WARSOP, who, in referring to the absence
of Mr. R. CAVENDISH, M. P., said he was engaged in helping the Government to
pass one of the greatest measures of social reform that has been proposed in
the Parliament for a long time.
Mr. F. W. DEACON, of Manchester, in the course of an address, said the
previous year had been an eventful one. Among the chief events was the
recovery of the King from a dangerous illness. Lord SALISBURY, the great head and
foot of the Unionist cause had retired from the honourable position he had held
so long and with such signal benefit to the empire, and had been followed in
his retirement by the best wishes of all, and congratulations on his splendid
record from almost every section of the community.
The empire under the Unionist Administration has vastly increased in
extent and power, three million extra square miles of territory, and forty
millions of additional subjects having been brought under the British flag, and it
was instructive to contrast the magnificent policy associated with the party,
with the miserable display of shrinkage in all affairs of empire during the
period when the Liberal party was in power.
Another great event of the year was the declaration of peace. He
commented unfavourably on the attitude of the Opposition during the war, and
claimed that most hostile critic of the Government could not allege that the terms
of peace were niggardly or narrow, or otherwise than generous and magnanimous.
In regard to domestic legislation the Opposition had sought to make political
capital out of the imposition of the corn registration duty, but the cry of
the big loaf and the little loaf had failed to carry the working classes, for
the prophesied rise in the price of bread had not happened.
The speaker next spoke at some length on the Education Bill, dealing
with the chief objections raised against it. The agitation against it,
apparently rather successful at first, was based largely on misrepresentation, but the
Opposition had since lost ground throughout the country for closer
acquaintance with its provisions intended to prove that it was a comprehensive and
statesmen like measure, calculated to be of vast benefit in the future, Whilst
admitting the good work done by school boards, he did not consider their
abolition the calamity it had been made out to be. They exceeded their powers, and in
levying rates for secondary education purposes, had acted contrary to the law.
He maintained that the School board system had been a costly and extravagant
one, and that the bill when brought into operation would effect an enormous
In conclusion he asserted that the displacement of the Unionist
Government by a Government so dislocated as the Liberal party would have disastrous
results for the empire, and that the men of North Lonsdale had everything to
gain and nothing to lose by supporting their present member at the next
election as they had done before.
During the evening an excellent musical programme was rendered by a
company of performers hailing principally from Ulverston, and including:
Miss. H. PARKINSON
Messrs. J. and S. CLAYTON
T. W. A. BAGLEY as vocalists
Mr. E. JENKINSON as solo whistler
Miss. A. BOWNESS of Coniston as accompanist.