Striving for a world transformed by justice and peace - a TL from 1827

In the debate in the House of Commons on the atrocities by the Ulster Volunteers (UV), the Leader of the Conservative Opposition, Stafford Northcote, said that he condemned and deplored the attacks on the previous Saturday by the UV. However the war in Northern Ireland would end only if the British government met the just demands of the UV for Northern Ireland to be free from the jurisdiction of the Irish government and parliament. Also the ban on the UV must be lifted. Only a Conservative government would bring peace to Ireland.

In the noisy debate which followed, John Corry, who was in effect the shadow Irish Secretary, accused cabinet ministers of being responsible for the deaths and injuries of Commonwealth government ministers, and of party workers, because of their intransigence in refusing to negotiate with the brave men and heroes of the UV. In effect cabinet ministers killed those men and women two days previously. At once Commonwealth MPs stood up and asked the Speaker, Sir John Mowbray, if Corry was in order to accuse cabinet ministers of murder. He said he was not and asked Corry to withdraw his accusation, which he did.
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Then Lydia Becker, the Postmaster-General, stood up and said that to call the murderers in the Ulster Volunteers brave men and heroes was utterly reprehensible. David Ellis, the young man who saved her life by standing in front of a UV gunman and took bullets meant for her in the attack in her constituency party office in Manchester Blackley, was a true hero. (1) He left a wife and two young children. He was a spinner in a Manchester cotton mill.

The Speaker was widely praised for his impartiality in keeping order during a particularly bad tempered and fractious debate, though he was a Conservative MP.

(1) He is a fictional character.
After the debate, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Thomas Halliday, made a statement. He told MPs that the British government would pay to the families of the people murdered by the Ulster Volunteers (UV) on 15 March, £4 for each person killed to pay for their funeral expenses. This was the minimum cost of a funeral.

During the night of 17 and 18 March, a large quantity of guns and ammunition for the UV were landed at harbours on the coasts of Antrim and Down, without the army or police knowing. On 18 March, the head of publicity for the UV informed the editors of Irish and British newspapers by telegram, about the arms landings. He used the recognised code word 'Boyne'.
They are funded by donations from their supporters in Ireland, among whom are aritocrats and businessmen. They are getting arms from European arms dealers and the Prussian government, which denies it.
Are there investigations by TTL British Government to find the sources?
If this is found, internationally it would be a casus belli.
And there would probably occur a lot of arrests and confiscations in Ireland.
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Are there investigations by TTL British Government to find the sources?
If this is found, internationally it would be a casus belli.
And there would probably occur a lot of arrests and confiscations in Ireland.
The British government knew that the UV were receiving financial donations, but they could not stop them. Most of these donations were in cash, and the government did not have the legal right to stop payments by cheque. Also the UV kept most of their funds in cash, not in bank accounts. The British government did not have the legal power to close these accounts.

The British government knew that the UV were receiving arms supplies from Prussia, but they could not prove it as they were chanelled through arms dealers.
After the killing of Bridget Heaney and Thomas Lawson by the Ulster Volunteers in Ormeau Park, Belfast, on 8 March 1884, their widower and widow, Sean Heaney and Margaret Lawson, replaced them on the ten person executive committee of the Peace Crusade.

Sinead Heaney wrote in her editorial in the March 14 issue of Hope , the weekly newspaper of the Peace Crusade, that the work of the Peace Crusade would continue. She asked the wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and sweethearts of UV to persuade them to leave that criminal organisation. She also proposed her idea of a Peace Walk in Ireland in July 1884. People would leave from towns around the coast of Ireland and walk to the cathedral city of Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, for an open air demonstration.
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About a couple of months after their move to Fishguard on 2 December 1882, Maire and Aneurin were missing family and friends in Swansea. The train journey from Fishguard to Swansea took about four hours, while that from Ferryside to Swansea took about one hour and fifteen minutes. Maire was also missing St. David's Priory Catholic Church. But they wanted to move back to Ferryside where they had lived from June 1877 to December 1882, rather than Swansea.

Nye told Maire that when he went to Swansea for readings of his poetry, he stayed the night with his lover, Sian Owen, and admitted that he shagged her. Maire had come to accept that Nye genuinely loved Sian and his children by her. But she refused to make her husband's infidelity make her bitter and miserable. He told truthfully that she always came first in his life and his love. She knew that if they moved back to Ferryside, Nye would continue to see Sian, and shag her. But she did not want to let that stop her.

So Nye and Maire decided to move back to Ferryside. After looking for suitable houses to rent, on 3 March 1883 they moved to a four bedroom semi-detached house. It had a small front garden and a good size back garden, and overlooked the River Tywi. The rent was eleven shillings a week.
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Maire was full of remorse for moving with her children from Ferryside to Fishguard against their wishes, in an attempt to end Aneurin's relationship with Sian. Aneurin got his job back as a reporter with the Cambrian Daily News . In May 1883 a book of his poems about Ferryside, the River Tywi and the Carmarthenshire coast was published. It was a critical and popular success.

Maire gave birth to a baby boy on 10 November 1883. He was hers and Nye's ninth child and fourth son. They named him Trefor.

Mairead, Maire's youngest sister, left her job as a maid in a Fishguard hotel. She loved living in Ferryside and did not want to leave there. She got a job as a maid in a local hotel. She continued to live with Maire, Nye and their children.
Maire Griffiths wanted to be friends with Sian Owen, so she visited her and her two young children at her cottage in Oystermouth, several times a month.

Sian gave birth to a baby girl on 25 March 1884 at the cottage in Oystermouth. Maire assisted at the birth, together with the midwife, Mrs Elizabeth Roberts. Sian and Aneurin named their daughter Rhian. She was their third child and second daughter.
At the cabinet meeting on 25 March 1884, the Postmaster-General, Lydia Becker, presented a memorandum setting out her proposals for a national telephone service in Britain owned and run by the Post Office. The postal and telegraph services in Ireland were the responsibility of the Irish government.

The memorandum proposed that the ultimate aim would be a telephone in the home of every person who wanted one. People would have the choice of buying or renting phones at low cost. There would be telephone kiosks in every post office and railway station, and in city and town centre streets. Every national and local government office, and police station would have their own telephone. The cost of phone calls would be kept as low as possible.
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Lydia Becker's memorandum also proposed that hospitals and doctor's surgeries would have telephones. The cost of construction of the national telephone service would be met out of taxation and a national telephone bond. This would be for a minimum of five years and pay interest at the attractive rate of 5% per annum. Becker told her cabinet colleagues that just as the rapid expansion of the railways over the previous fifty years had meant a transport revolution, so the proposed telephone network would mean a communications revolution. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created, and it would be electorally popular. After discussion, those members of the cabinet who were present unanimously approved the memorandum. Three cabinet ministers, William Chadwick, Thomas Rankin and Sarah Taylor, were still in hospital recovering from the attacks by the Ulster Volunteers (UV) on 15 March. The Prime Minister said that he would inform them of the contents of the memorandum and the cabinet's decision.

On 10 March the Government Chief Whip moved the writ for the Belfast South by-election, caused by the murder by the UV of Nancy Allen on 8 March, to be held on 5 April 1884. When nominations closed on 26 March, the only candidates were Roisin Allen, Nancy Allen's daughter, for the Commonwealth Party, and the Conservative Party. (1) The Irish Conservative, Irish Nationalist, and Liberal parties did not put up candidates in tribute to Nancy Allen.

(1) That is the UK Conservative Party. From now I will refer to that party as the Conservative Party, and the Irish Conservative Party by that name.
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The Ulster Volunteers issued a statement saying that they would not be carrying out operations in Belfast South during the by-election campaign, and on polling day. With the Commonwealth Party office in Belfast South closed from 17 March, the four bedroom house of the constituency party secretary was the campaign headquarters from that date. Roisin and Commonwealth party workers campaigned enthusiastically and passionately in the constituency, with open air meetings. canvassing, delivering and handing out leaflets, and other means. The Peace Crusade asked people to vote for Roisin as a Conservative defeat would be more likely to bring peace in Ireland.

The result of the by-election was a Commonwealth majority over Conservative of 522. This was up from 147 In the 1882 general election. This was a very good result for Commonwealth in the largely middle class constituency, which until 1882 elected Conservatives with substantial majorities.
Angharad Griffiths, who was Commonwealth MP for Swansea, wrote to the chairman of the Swansea Constituency Commonwealth Party on 18 March. She offered him the use of her house as a meeting place for the party while they could not meet in the constituency office.

The Postmaster-General, Lydia Becker, made a statement in the House of Commons on 27 March about the government's proposal for a national telephone service. Commonwealth MPs welcomed it, but Tories opposed it. They wanted the telephone system to be run and financed by private companies, like the railways were.
After Lydia Becker had made her statement, MPs asked her questions about it. A Commonwealth MP asked about telephones being installed in rented housing. Most housing was rented. Becker said that it would be the decision of landlords as to whether telephones would be installed in the housing they let, and they would have to pay for their installation. But the tenants would have to pay phone charges. As to property in which the landlord lives with his tenants, that is they were lodgers, she said that it was up to the landlord whether to have a communal telephone installed, or just one for his and his family's own use. If a landlord chose to have telephones installed in his lodgers rooms, he would have to pay for their installation, but lodgers would pay for their phone charges.
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In reply to a question by a Conservative MP. Becker said that landlords had the legal right to increase rents, if they installed telephones in housing which they let, up to a maximum of ten percent. Angharad Griffiths asked Becker about tenants in council housing. She told her that Commonwealth controlled councils would instal telephones in the homes of all tenants who wanted them, at no cost to the tenants, and without any increase in rents.
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Commonwealth MPs wanted tenants in privately rented housing the right to have a telephone, and not because landlords wanted to have them installed. They wanted the national telephone service to pay part of the cost of installation of telephones in privately rented housing.

Louisa Twining (Hackney North - Liberal) raised concerns about women listed in telephone directories receiving obscene and/or threatening telephone calls. Lydia Becker told her that people could choose not to be listed in telephone directories. Women who chose to be listed would have the option of being listed under surname and initial(s) of Christian name(s) only, not as Miss or Mrs.
A Conservative MP asked Lydia Becker about live-in servants and telephones. She said that it was up to their employers if their live-in servants had a telephone in their room. But servants would have to pay for their own phone calls, which would not be permitted when they were working. As to the cost of installation of telephones in servant rooms, this would be a matter for servants and their employers.

In reply to a question by a Commonwealth MP, Becker said that eventually all police stations, fire stations, doctors' surgeries and hospitals would have telephones. Conservative MPs asked about telephones in shops, pubs, restaurant, hotels and guest houses. Becker said that their owners could choose whether or not to have telephones. But only managers would have the right to use them, except for guests in hotels and guest houses if there is a phone in their room.

MPs from rural constituencies expressed concern that it could be decades before they are connected to the telephone system. Becker said that while cities and towns would have priority in being connected, she hoped that rural areas would not have to wait long.

Becker told a Commonwealth MP that the mininum investment in the national telephone bond would be one shilling. In reply to a question by another Commonwealth MP she said that British Telephones, the name of the national telephone service, would be a co-operative. One third would be owned by users, one third by workers and one third by the government. This was received by loud cheers by the government benches. She also told a Conservative MP the estimated cost of the construction of the telephone system. Though she did not say that the final cost would be several times more than the estimate.
In March 1884 Megan Griffiths was 27 years old (born 11 February 1857), and living in Swansea with her lover, Esther Jenkins. Megan was a teacher at Hafod Copperworks School in Swansea. Esther was 28 years old (born 8 October 1855). She was a library assistant in Swansea public library. She also wrote fan fiction based on novels by authors such as Dickens, the Brontes, and Trollope. Some of her novels had been published by a local publisher. But she did not earn enough to make a living from them.

Megan and Esther lived in a two bedroom terrace house for which they paid six shillings and six pence a week in rent. They were in a sexual relationship and slept together.