Y'see, he's been questioning the figures.
It's a clever (albeit customarily rude and arrogant) attempt at misdirection by the dunderheaded lobcock, but anyone who has ever arranged a function of any sort knows that those who say they will turn up is never even close to the number who actually do. And his estimation of the 'crowd' differs greatly to those of three personal accounts I have come across, the most generous of which could only say "12 maybe, at a push".
Of course, considering Chappers was there for the whole day, and definitely for the hour that he stood in front of them reading his speech from a piece of paper, perhaps - I dunno - he could have counted them? Or maybe he was unsighted? Reading with his back to the audience? Frosted glass between him and those in attendance, perchance; or perhaps his eyesight is failing, it would be understandable for someone of his age and failing faculties I suppose.
Still, we shouldn't mock the afflicted, he's never been that great at adding up, after all. Maybe counting to 12 was just too taxing.