WAR – Redcar and the War Vote

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 01/02/1878


          On Wednesday  morning last (30/01),  a petition was sent to Redcar by the Cleveland Liberal Association,  depreciating  the thought of credit and confidence asked for by the  Government.  Messrs. Hirst,  Hudson, Lee, and Cowl took  great pains  to octane signatures, and to assure the signatories  that their action was of national importance.  The Conservatives, being unwilling  that their options should be ignored on a question of European interest, prepared a counter petition  declaring confidence  in this Government. Mr. R. B. Atkinson  and  Mr. A. H. Partridge went vigorously to work to canvas, and in a feel hors a large number of signatures were obtained, , including  many of the principal residence of Redcar and Coatham. The Conservative petition was forwarded early on Thursday morning by the promoters, Dr.  Bennett  and  Mr. J. H. Webster,  to Mr. James Lowther, M.P.,with a request that he would present it to the House of Commons The  Liberal petition was forwarded to Mr. J. W. Pease, M.P., for presentati Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 08/02/1878


One of the most remarkable political meetings ever known in Redcar was held on Friday evening last (01/02). It had been called “to take into consideration the present position of this country in regard to the Eastern Question, and the thought of credit for six millions sterling demanded by the Government for the Army and Navy,” and was evidently the outcome of Liberal deliberations. Notwithstanding, the Conservatives mustered in strong force, and from the onset it was evident that the promoters of the meeting would not have things altogether their own way, for when Mr. Andrew Scott came forward shortly after 8 eight o’clock, to propose that Mr. T. Hugh Bell (President of the Cleveland District Liberal Association) take the chair, he was greeted with a derisive shout from a large section of the densely crowded audience. There being no counter proposition, Mr. Bell made his way to the platform, followed by the Rev. W. J. Franks, Messrs. Scott, Boyd, R. Moore, F. H. Cooke, and Wells, who were subsequently joined by Messrs. Simmons, and Crabtree. The Chairman commenced by stating that when Sir Stafford Northcote  rose in the House of Commons a few nights previous to propose the war vote, he remarked that the subject with which they had to deal was worn of greater importance than had ever before being brought forward in time. (Hear, hear.) He quite agreed with him, for the question was whether or not this country should be plunged in a fearful and bloody war. (No, no.) The Government asked for six millions, for the purpose of bolstering up a rotten and decaying power on the Bosphorous. (No, no, and hear, hear.) The speaker then dealt with the Eastern question from a geographical point of view, maintaining that as yet there had been no British interest involved, but lamented that at such a time the destinies of this country were in the hands of a Jewish juggler – a remark which was greeted with loud yells and cries of “Share.” The Rev. W. J. Franks roars to propose the first resolution; That this meeting views with distrust and alarm the recent action of Her Majesty’s Government, and is of opinion that the wisest policy for the country at the present crisis in the Eastern question is one of strict neutrality and non-intervention.” He looked upon the recent action of the Government as a menace to Russia, that was intended to lead to war; and consequently viewed their proceedings with distrust and alarm, because he believed if they got the six million then now asked for, an order similar to the one of the previous week would again be sent to the fleet, which would not be followed by the counter-order. (Hear, hear, followed by a verse of “Rule Britannia.) Mr. Simmons begged to propose an amendment, viz.: “That this meeting approves of the neutral policy of her Majesty’s Government, and believes that it is the duty of all subjects of this realm to give it at this crisis a hearty and unanimous support.” He was confident that the Government would that night get the six millions asked for; and if the country had been brought to the verge of war, as had been asserted by the last speaker, he would ask who had brought them their? (Cries of “Dizzy,” and “Gladstone.”) He denied that it was the Prime Minister, it was Mr. Gladstone. To put things in order, the Chairman asked Mr. Wells to second, the resolution, who, in doing so, gave a resume’ of the proceedings of the Government from the time of the Constantinople Conference up to the sending of the fleet to the Dardanelles, which he characterised as a breach of neutrality. This speaker could only be heard with difficulty, owing to the tumult which prevailed, and when he at length concluded, “Rule Britannia” was again started by the patriotically party. Mr. Crabtree, came forward for the purpose of seconding the amendment. He said that he did not know what could have been the object of specially inviting ladies to be present, unless it was to keep the old woman who had called the meeting company, for it was a fit subject for a lot of old women to talk about. He was there, however, to second, the amendment, which he was quite sure would be carried. On Mr. Crabtree resuming his seat, Mr. Scott was called on, presumably to support the resolution, but when he got to the front of the platform. Mr. Crabtree again rows, and a scene of indesirable confusion followed. Both gentlemen determinedly stood their ground for some time, and the Chairman at length interposed, ruling that Mr. Crabtree was out of order, and he ultimately sat down. This was far from satisfactory to the Conservative portion of the audience, who refused to hear Mr. Scott; he, however, stood for some time longer, and by his gesticulations appeared to be speaking, though it was impossible to hear a word of what he said, owing to the hooting and yelling at the back of the hall, which was occasionally interrupted with the refrain “Britons never shall be slaves.” At length the chairman managed to octane comparative quiet for the purpose of putting the resolution and amendment, the latter being put first, and declared to be lost, and the resolution carried. Mr. Crabtree strongly maintained that it was the amendment that was carried, but the Chairman pledged his word that to the best of his belief such was not the case, and he said that as the meeting did not seem inclined to hear speaking, he would simply put another proposition from the chair, to the effect that a petition in accordance with the resolution be prepared and forwarded to the House of Commons. Mr. Crabtree moved that “amendment” be substantiated for “resolution,” and after voting and counter voting had been carried on for some time, without any definite result been arrived at, the meeting broke up in the greatest disorder at half past nine o’clock, with the singing of “Rule Britannia” and “God save the Queen.” Excited groups afterwards gathered in the streets, and the town did not resume its wanted quiet until a late hour.


Lol Hansom July 14, 2015 Military & War Years