Dispute – July 17th – Support for Grievances – House of Lord’s Condemnation

July 1885

Miners´ Meeting At Denaby Main.
Support for Grievances
Condemnation for Lords rejection of Reforms

On Friday evening last a miners´ meeting was held in the open space near the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, Mr. Dixon occupied the chair, and, after referring briefly to the need which existed for more inspectors in mines, to the Home Secretary´s answer to the deputation that waited upon him with reference to that subject, and to the throwing out of the Franchise Bill by the Lords, Mr. Samuel Hall, in an excellent and moderate speech, urged on the miners the importance of unity. It rested in great measure with themselves as to whether they were to be treated unjustly or not. If they were determined to stand shoulder to shoulder for their rights they would succeed in their endeavour. He made a reference to the statements uttered by some of the men concerning their being sold, and said the man who was most afraid of being sold was the very man who would try to sell someone else.

Mr. W.W. Chappell spoke on the men´s grievances at Denaby Main which had not been rectified, and proposed the following resolution :-

” That this meeting thinks it to be it´s duty to lay before Mr. Chambers a list of the grievances complained of, believing that they claim his immediate attention.”

The resolution was carried unanimously.

The Chairman proposed :- ” That this meeting of miners of Denaby Main, Mexborough and Conisbrough, hereby expresses it´s unqualified condemnation of the House of Lords in throwing out the Franchise Bill.”

The motion was seconded by a Miner, and supported by Mr. Aitcheson of Westmoreland, who made reference to the energetic action taken by the men of Denaby Main in the past, and said he was sorry to find that there were so many men employed at the pit who did not belong to the Union.

Employers, if their men did not take steps to prevent them, would try to keep the noses of the latter on the grindstone, and they would work them until their noses were like those of greyhounds. ( Laughter )

With respect to the throwing out of the Franchise Bill by the House of Lords, he said they had no right to be dictated to by a man simply because his father or grandfather was a lord. In some instances such a man had no more brains than a hen could hold in her claw.

Every measure of reform has been opposed by the Lords – they opposed :-

The 1831 Reform Bill,
The Catholic Emancipation Bill,
The Emancipation Of The Jews,
The University Tests,
And The Repeal Of Slavery,
The Repeal Of The Paper Duty,
The Repeal Of The Corn Laws,
The Last Reform Bill Of 1867,
The Education Act,
The Deceased Wife´s Sister Marriage Bill,

and every useful piece of legislation, they had tried to hinder.

He had much pleasure in supporting the resolution.

The motion was carried with acclamation.

Mr. Aitcheson proposed, and a Miner seconded :- ” That this meeting hereby desires to record it´s entire approval of the home and foreign policy of Her Majesty´s Government, and hopes they will not dissolve Parliament until the Franchise Bill becomes the law of the land.”

The motion was carried with acclamation, and the following resolution was also carried unanimously :- ” That this meeting pledges itself to use every endeavour to get every man and boy who are not in the Union to join us at once, as our interests can only be protected by a strong organization.”

Copies of the foregoing resolutions were ordered to be sent to the Premier.