COLLIERY MANAGERS^|1872-02-16|The Merthyr Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Iron Districts of South Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page






COLLIERY MANAGERS^ MR. BRUCE has reintroduced his Mines Regulation Bill, and, to all appearance, in an improved shape. It would be premature to pass an opinion upon it before its complete provisions have been definitely made known, but one feature at least deserves im- mediate consideration. r. BRUCE proposes that all Colliery Managers shall henceforth be certificated. Every one who undertook the management of a colliery for the first time, on or since the 1st of January last, or who shall henceforth become a colliery manager, will be required to pass an exa- minati m, and to earn a certificate. Thoso whose management of collieries commenced before the above date will not be subjected to exam an examination which is to be of a striotly prac- tical character-but they will be bound to procure certificates. The advantage of this system is, that, in event of an accident and a subsequent inquiry, it will no longer be in the power of a jury to acquit a manager of all blame, and, in face of strong evidence against him, to restore him to his post whitewashed and free from blemish. He may lose his certiifcate. An inquiry may be held before a stipendiary magistrate, a county court judg1-?, or a barrister named by the Secretary of State, and if the manager should appear to have been guilty of misconduct, his certificate will be cancelled. Mr. DRCl'r; reason for introducing this arrangement is, that wherever a manager is found guilty by a coroner's jury -of manslaughter, the Bill is invariably thrown out by the grand jury, and, adds Mr. BRUCE, "I doubt whether there is an example of a single conviction of a manager, however gross and patent his negligence." The proposed examination and certificate will un- questionably be a powerful check, but it will make it more serious than heretofore to be a colliery manager. But why hedge the proprietors so care- fully all round ? Every one may surfer but these men, and it is unfair to quit them of all responsi- bility. The proposal, however, in reference to managers is a most important one, and as some- thing must be done to shield the coUkr from the carelessness of those to whose hands his life is daily entrusted, it is absolutely necessary to in- crease the responsibility of managers. We shall, no doubt, have to return to this and other pro- visions in the Bill, and we hope that in the mean- time all pirties interested will bestir themselves, and use their influence to secure a really good measure. MIX lJ V. M ATTE IT. A WEEK to-day the Merthyr School Board was asked once more to repeal the unjust and illiberal bye-law which provides for payments out of the rates to Denominational Schools. True to their instinct, the denominationalists were present in full force The two parsons and the two priests were duly seated in their wonted places. The only absentee was a Nonconformist—Mr. WIL- LIAMS, of DulFryn—whose vote was accordingly lost. Why this gentleman was absent on an occasion of such importance, we do not know, but the people of Merthyr will naturally expect to hear that nothing short of absolute necessity kept him away. Liberals are proverbially careless Conservatives are always on guard but Merthyr cannot afford to excuse any Nonconformist absentee when the votes to be taken are to decide the success or the failure of great fundamental prin- ciples. Wo are sanguine, however, that Mr. WILLIAMS will be able to give such an explanation of his absence as will satisfy all parties, and the sooner he does so, the better. Many of the rate- payers thought, no doubt; that those who had previously insisted on paying fees at Denomina- tional Schools at the public expense would, at least, express regret at not being able to vote in accordance with the opinions of those whom they profess to represent. If the last election did not teach them the propriety of either falling in with the clearly expressed wishes of the ratepayers, or resigning their seats at a Board on which they had ceased to represent the constituency, it might have taught them, at the very least, to be courteous to the parish. From gentlemen like Mr. CLAI K, Mr. CHARLES JAMES, and the Hector of Merthyr. the people have always expected something like courteous treatment and the c nirtesy with which the people have always treated them deserves reciprocation. At the last Board meeting, how- ever, the inhabitants of Merthyr and Dowlais had anything but courtesy at the hands of the majority. N'ot a word of defence or apology was ottered by these gentlemen for their continued opposition to the demands of the people. To the appeal made to them not to set at defiance the clearly expressed convictions of the great majority, they gave no reply, except their silent vote against their constituents. \Ve regret to be obliged to acknow- ledge it, but this course was at once undignified on the part of those who adopted it, and insulting to the community. It may be very easy for men to sit on a Board, and outrage public opinion by silent votes, but it is an unmanly procedure. It proves that those who act i:i th's way have no argument to sustain them, no reason to allege on their behalf, but only a determination to have their own way, whether it please the parishioners or not. Their policy is the pulicy of the despot, "I have the power, and will please myself." The silent vote, we have reason to believe, was agreed upon before the Board met. The majority had con- sulted together, and resolved to go on thwarting the popular will, but not to attempt any defence of their conduct. The fact is, they have no defence to offer. They know that, on this question of payment of fees, they do not represent public opinion, so that to arroie the case was to encroach upon ground on which they would have been sure to be upset. How could Mr. CLARK or Mr. JAMES have said, "Gentlemen, I know that I am not a representative of public opinion on this question, but I do no: care twopeno for public opinion, and mean, on this occasion, to consult my own wishes, and send the public about its business r' The can- dour of such a speech would have been charming, but we can hardly expect the men of this genera- tion to be quite so outspoken. Instead, then, of making a speech in vindication of their conduct, the gentlemen in question merely voted. Then- votes said in silence what the above speech would briefly have expressed in plain English. They knew that they were in a false position, being no longer members of the School Board for the parish of Merthyr Tydfil, but only and simply Mr. CLARK and Mr. JAMES, and yet they were naturally too modest to confess that they meant to act, not in a representative, but merely in their individual capacity. Amusing beyond all description is the trouble of Mr. CHAEXES JA?.IES'S conscience about a five pound note which he used to subscribe annually towards the funds of the school erected on the Newfoundland Tips. Since that school ceased to be a British School, and became a Board School, Mr. James has withheld his annual con- tribution, and what troubles him now is, how to withhold rates from the Catholics, seeing that he no longer contributes to the school in question. The connection between the two will probably not be very obvious even to persons not remarkably thick-headed, but Mr. JAMES sees a connection, and he cannot canter over it with the skill with which his adored Mr. FORSTER cantered over the religious difficulty. If Mr. JAMES means that he saves himself five pounds a year at the expense of the rates, because the school to which he formerly subscribed has been thrown upon the rates, he has only to renew his subscription. As Mr. JOHX- STONE reminded him at the last Board meeting, nobody will object to his continuing to make the annual offering as before, and if it be necessary for the relief of his conscience, the sooner he pays down the money the better for his own comfort. But, in any ctse, does Mr. JAMES mean to say that because he has discontinued his subscription of five pounds, all Merthyr must be compelled to support National and Catholic Schools ? If Mr. JAMES feels aggrieved, it is quite within his power and privilege to relieve his conscience by giving a yearly subscription to the Catholic Schools. Why should all Merthyr be persecuted and fined to ease }lr..JA\rES's conscience ? It is surely a work which he ought to do for himself, and at his own expense. We regret one incident connected with last Friday's voting-Mrs. CRAWSIIAT'S desertion of her party, and the principles which she formerly advocated. From the few remarks which she made we can extract nothing to justify the course which she adopted. When the people of Merthyr said nothing about the sixth bye-law, and even before it came into public notice, Mrs. CRAWSIIAY voted for the principle of civil and religious liberty, but after Merthyr had made it known to the whole country that that bye-law was, in its opinion, offensive, unjust, and persecuting, Mrs. CRAW- SHAY withheld her vote altogether. It would require very powerful argument to defend this course. As for her remark that a parent might feel his conscience aggrieved by having his child sent to a secular school, where is the grievance ? Does Mrs. CRAWSHAY mean to affirm that a parent is aggrieved when he cannot hare religion taught to his child at the public expense ? Who is trying to hinder parents from having their children religiously educated ? Not a single person that we know of. For a parent to complain that the ratepayers will not teach his child religion is not to plead conscience at all, but to demand what no person has the smallest right to have. The vote of the Board has gone once more against public opinion The discussion, however, has not ter- minated. It will be up again before long, and the blundering, obstinate majority will be forced to L ice. give way to the claims of justice.




Family Notices