21 November 1888
A temperance meeting numbering several thousand persons took place on Monday evening in the Great Assembly Hall, Mile-end-road, E. Prior to the commencement of the proceedings a large procession, embracing the Good Templars, Rechabites, and Phoenix Lodges, formed in Grove-road, and marched to the hall with banners flying.-Mr. E.H. PICKERSGILL, M.P., presided, and in a few opening remarks said that the intemperance of the country needed to be attacked on various sides. The homes of the people should be made sanitary, the humanizing influences of art should be introduced into the lives of the people, and licensed victuallers should be made to sell tea, cocoa, and coffee at reasonable prices.-After a few words from the Rev. Arthur Collier, Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., M.P., delivered a brief address. He said he would not appear under false colours. He himself was not a total abstainer-("Let us hope you will be one," and cheers)-though he recognised the enormous value of the temperance movement. The other day Lord Randolph Churchill-a man of ability, with popular pulses stirring within him, and one who could be counted on for knowing how the cat was jumping-(laughter)-had drawn attention to the necessity for, and the effects of temperance. (Hear)-A collection was then made to defray the expenses of the meeting, after which, amid cheers, Sir Charles Russell unfurled a new banner of one of the lodges. In doing so he expressed the hope that it would prove a banner under which a large and victorious army would gather.-Mr. John Hilton then moved the following resolution:-"That this meeting emphatically declares that the liquor traffic not only aggravates the sins, the sorrows, and the poverty of the people, but counteracts all efforts for their amelioration; and hereby urges Parliament to pass measures for the closing of public-houses on Sundays throughout England, and to provide the people with the means of prohibiting the traffic in their own localities by a direct popular veto."-Mr. Hilton declared that both Liberals and Tories were now throwing in their lot with the cause of temperance, in confirmation of which assertion he pointed to the recent utterances of Sir William Harcourt and Mr. Arnold Morley.-The Rev. Septimus Buss seconded the resolution, which was supported by Mr. W. Bowen Rowlands, Q.C., M.P., who said that great as had been the achievements of the past, greater triumphs lay before the temperance party in the future. In a mixed company a teetotaler no longer had to adopt a tone of apology because he did not drink wine. The wine drinker had to adopt the tone of apology. (Cheers.) The resolution was passed by acclamation, and several other speakers addressed the meeting.
Mr. MATTHEWS, in replying to Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM and Mr. PICKERSGILL as to a letter by Sir C. Warren in which he said he had protested against instructions which appeared to be contrary to statute, said he presumed Sir C. Warren referred to correspondence between the Home Office and Scotland-yard. It was unusual to lay correspondence of this kind on the table of the House, and he knew of no occasion on which he had given Sir Charles Warren directions "apparently" or really contrary to the statute; but if the hon. gentlemen would put on the paper any specific facts he would give all the communications he could give them, to enable them to form their own judgment.
Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM asked in what manner they were to obtain information. He might remind the Home Secretary this involved the death of three Englishmen, killed in London, and he would like to know who was responsible.
Mr. CONYBEARE asked whether the circumstances were not unusual, and whether, in order to enable the House to arrive at a conclusion as to the relations between the Chief Commissioner and the Home Office, it was not necessary to have the whole correspondence before the House.
Mr. MATTHEWS did not think so; and, as he had stated, a great deal of the correspondence could not be laid before the House.