OUR DREADNOUGHT GIFT.
DISORDERLY MEETING IN cHkisTcmnacH. UNION JACK TORN TO SHREDS. (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) CHRISTCHURCH, Wednesday. A meeting was held in the King Edward Barracks to-night, under the auspices of the local branch of the Navy League, to consider ;v motion endorsing the action of Cabinet in respect to the Dreadnought gift, and expressing approval of the offer. There were quite 4000 people present, and from the start the meeting was most disorderly, and broke up in confusion. None of the speakers was given a hearing, and even Bishops Julius and Grimes, on rising to speak, were received with groans and cheers, which were continued, and so prevented them from being heard. Nobody in the crowd had the least idea what was going on owing to the awful uproar made by a noisy section standing just in front of the platform, and the call for a show of hands in favour of the motion had to be done by means of a notification on a blackboard. The motion was declared carried amid a scene of indescribable confusion, and then followed a perfect pandemonium. Mr. T. E. Taylor, M.P., endeavoured to speak, but could not;be heard owing to the din, and his violent gestures were not understood. A Union Jack at one corner of the platform was pulled down by some person, and before it could be rescued was torn to shreds and trampled under foot. Eventually, after a great struggle, in which hundreds of men joined, portions of the flag were rescued, tied together, and hoisted aloft by the Hon. Lieuten-ant-Colonel Smith amidst frenzied cheers. Another great fight took place over possession of the blackboard. It was first of all snatched away from the platform, and an attempt made to carry it to where Mr. Taylor was standing/ presumably with the object of putting a hostile amendment in the same way as before, but the other section of the crowd got to work, and the blackboard was tossed about like a raft on the sea. Even when it was announced that the proceedings were closed hundreds remained cheering and hooting, and it was not until the lights were extinguished that the barracks could be cleared. A noisy open-air meeting was held in Cathedral Square afterwards. AN ADVERSE RESOLUTION. (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) INVERCARGILL, Wednesday. At a meeting at Waikhvi, convened by Mr. W. A. Morris, who opposed Sir Joseph Ward in the contest for the Awarua seat at the last election it was resolved—"That the unconstitutional action of the Government in respect to the Dreadnought gift merited severe censure."
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