A stormy scene developed at Concord Council last night in sharp contrast to the usually peaceful meetings of the municipality.

The Mayor (Alderman Lee) left the chair and broke up the council meeting after having been defied by an alderman, and the police were called in to eject the offender.

The trouble began when the Mayor warned Alderman Foxcroft about his continual interjections. After rebellious murmuring by the alderman, the excitement lulled for a while, until a fresh outbreak of comment and interruption from Alderman Foxcroft during the discussion of a sub-division, brought the Mayor to his feet.

‘Either I am going to rule this council or you are’ he shouted.

‘I am going to rule as well as you’ retorted Alderman Foxcroft, hotly.

‘I won’t take that from you.’ cried the Mayor.  ‘Please retire.’

‘I won’t,’ declared the alderman, flaring defiantly.

The Mayor stepped down from the dais.  ‘I can’t stand any more of this’, he cried. ‘I adjourn the meeting for ten minutes’.

Excitement followed, officials hurried to and fro, and the telephone was set ringing for the police.

Aldermen gathered in eager groups while a number of ratepayers ran a meeting of their own, at the end of the council chamber, a woman’s voice rising above the rest, denouncing everything as disgraceful.

‘When the new aldermen got in everything was going to be in open council’, she declared, ‘but instead it is all Star Chamber’.

At the end of 10 minutes the Mayor re-entered and strode to the table, while a stalwart policeman appeared in the doorway.

‘Well’, asked his Worship resolutely, ‘are we ready to proceed?’

Before the offending alderman could reply, the indignant lady had rushed to the table, shouting — ‘Mr. Mayor: I must speak’.

Amid the aldermanic consternation at this boldness the Mayor tried to reason, but the lady assured him he would be quite in order to listen to her.

Eventually, she was persuaded to retire, and Alderman Foxcroft said he was ready to apologise.

The Mayor waved over Inspector Massey.  ‘Tell that gentleman at the door he is not wanted,’ he said.  And the man in blue withdrew to the vestibule to await further possible explosives.

(TROVE: Article published in the (Sydney) Evening News on Wednesday, 10th October 1923.) 


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