Conisborough and the Coal Tax – Mr F.W.Fisons “Death Blow.”

May 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, May 3

Conisborough and the Coal Tax

Mr F.W.Fisons “Death Blow.”

The annual meeting of the Conisborough Conservative and Unionist Association was called for Tuesday evening at Mr George Clarkson’s restaurant, Church Street.

Probably owing to the fact that there is not at the present time any excitement in the local political world, the attendance was not large. Mrs C. Jones was voted to the chair.

The meeting was reminded that at the General Election. Mr F.W. Fison, M.P., was returned with a majority of 365 votes.

In this election Conisborough again did its fair share towards achieving the splendid result; and the thanks of the Association were due to the workers who so willingly gave their services, and also to the gentleman who lent carriages.

Some difficulty was experienced in obtaining a working committee for New Conisborough. Eventually a small but very earnest band of workers was got together under the able leadership of Mr J. Forest and Mr A Walker. After election a celebration dinner, at which Mr F.W. Fison, M.P. attended was held and a very successful evening was spent.

Mr Norwood, the hon secretary, said he had been secretary for 12 years. He thought that was a fair innings. He had had a lot of work to do, which took up a lot of time, especially in connection with important events like elections, dinners and entertainments. Of course he did his best, but he could not always be depended upon to be found at a moment´s notice, as some of the members of the Association seem to think he ought to be.

Not only did the work take time, but is also required in some degree the expenditure of money. He did not mind that so much if it was for the welfare of the cause in Conisborough. He regretted very much indeed that the Association was not better supported, particularly by the more influential gentleman in the district.

He knew it was most disheartening to members of the committee, but it was particularly so to the secretary. He had at times experienced great difficulty in getting gentleman to take the chair at their various gatherings, and that was a great drawback to the Association. In conclusion, Mr Norwood said that the Association had done good work. It was acknowledged by the executive at Doncaster that Conisborough did it share in the General Election.

Mr T.R.Booth called attention to the speech Mr F.W. Fison, M.P. delivered at Doncaster on Saturday, and said he deplored very much, that their member should go against the shilling per ton coal tax; he thought it would be Mr Fison´s death blow. He was sorry to see Mr Fison had taken that step. In his opinion, it was just a few Doncaster Coal merchants that had got round him and persuaded him to act so. The tax was a perfectly right and just one in his (the speaker’s) opinion, and if a ballot were taken throughout the country a majority would be in favour of it.

He had been told by one of Mr Fison strong supporters that he would not support him again; he had heard several others speak about it, and say would be the downfall of their member.

Mr Norwood said he had no doubt some pressure being brought to bear Mr Fison from coal owners, representing as he did a colliery constituency.

Mr Booth remarked that the colliery owners did not return. Mr Fison to Parliament, and he did not think Mr Fisons action would get him a single vote.

The subject was not further discussed.

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