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PONTYPRIDD BOARD OF GUARDIANS. The ordinary meeting of this Board was held on Wednesday, ai the Union Workhouse, when there were p esent :âMr Jo-dah Lewis (in the chnir), Dr. Idris Davies, Mi A. Cule, Mr Moses Cule, Mr 1). Ley. shon, Mr D. John, Mr Klias H. Davies, Mr T. Morgan, &c, with the Clerk, Mr Spickett. Mr Bircham, the Inspector of the Local Government Hoard %sits in attendance. LETTMR FROM THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARO. The miuutes of the last meeting having been read and sisrned, the Clerk read the following letter, which had been received from the Local Govern. ment Board Offices, London â "lamdirectad by the Local Government Board to acknowledge, thn receipt of your letter of the 7th inst., in which, under the circumstances mf ntioned therein, you inform them that the Guardians of the Pontypridd Union are desirous that the Parish of Llan wono should be divided into three, instead of two wards, for the purposejof the election of Guard. ians, and to state that the order issued by the Board on the 22nd of Eebruary, 1878, dividing that parish into two wards was framed after a careful consider- ation of all the circumstances of the case, and with a view to secure, as far as possible, a fair rer re- sentation for all the parishes therein concerned. The Board will, however, instruct thoir inspector, Mr Bircham, to confer with the Guardians upon the subject at an early opportunity." Mr Bircham said that when the last arrangement was made he was a good deal perplexed as to how to make a fair and equitable arranafement. L an- wono was at present divided into two wards, but he understood that it was suggested to make a new arrangement, giving two Guardians each to the Home hamlet and Glan- cynnoti. He did not think that to be proper, be- cause the population ot Glancynnon was three times that of the Home hamlet, and the rateable value was more than three times as great. He thought six guardians wns enough for Llanwoiio, and if they increased them the same thing would be naked for by the Ystrad, and he did not see how he could do it unless he gave one Guardian to tip, Home ham- let and three to Mountain Ash. H had been in- furmed the present distribution of members was very good, but that some Guardians « ere afraid the Board would he swamped by Mountain Ash mem- bers. However, the arraugement be mentioned, and which would fullo" an arrangement made on the basis of populatioc and rateable value, Would be worse for those who were afraid of lx iog swamped. The Clerk: May I say that at the last election a compromise was made. There was no contest. Mr Bircbam I hope there will be none at the next eleotion. If my words go any further I cau only express a hope that the Guardians will do the same again!" Then proceeding, he said, the Local Government Board had made it a rule not to make any change until after the census had to be taken. It did not seem to him that there was here any actual grievance. The present Mountain Axh members, it seemed, did not attend very regu- larly, so it would not make much difference. But, if, after the next electiou, they found that the Board swamped, it would then be for the L'lcal Government Board to make some arragementp. However, he would report the mattei to Them. The Chairman. The parties who had made the complaint are not here to-day. Mr A. Cule pointed out lhat there were tlirf,.t, Guardians for Mountain Ash, and one for Ferndale had only lately been elected. The matter then dropped, the Chairman remark- ing. Let's hope they won't use tho great power they have." TRI: INCREASE OF PAUPERS. Mr Bircham said that another matter which he wished to mention was thH increase of paupers in this Union. NoiwitlntamJiug -ho ieviv;:l in the trade of the district thy pauperism wa« 0er than last year, and it was larger than in any Union in his dintrict, except Swansea. He had heard ap- plications made that day which he did not think would have been made at all if the applicants had not got the idea that they would he easily granted. They must, as one was often obliged to say, remem- ber, that it was other people's m mey they were spending, and he hoped they would turn over a new leaf with the new year. There were aL all events without making any great boast of prosperity signs of a revival in trade enough to give many more em- ployment. Mr M. Cule: There is an increase in the popula- tion, Mr Biicham. Mr Bircbam Oh, yes: there is no doubt thf average increase of population, but there are ft great many more employed than therd were this time last year. Mr M. Cule: Wf never had suoh a slow time as at present With the chain works on the other side. Mr Bircham: That is very small, you know. Thrre is uo doubt the colliers are in better employ. The Chairman Just at present. ;But it has not continned long. They are working more regularly than they were. Mr VI. Cule We have two large collieries here idle now. Mr Biroham Yon have had no application from Penygraitj, have you ? The Chairman No. Mr M. Cnle But from other colliers. The Chairman I beieve I can say this for all the Guardians. They all pay the greatest attention, and take a great amount of interest in relief mat- ters, and try to keep the relief list down as much as possible. I have always found the Committees, I think without an exception, and every Guardian on them, wishful to discharge their duties as faithfully as possible, and with due regard to keeping the ratepayer and the rate receiver on a balance. I think the increase in the population is so great here that we must attribute the increase of pauperism to that. Mr Bircham then remarked that he only desired the good of the Board, and his words must be taken for what they were worth. THE BURIAL FEES OF PAUPERS, Mr M. Cule gave notice that at the next meeting he would move that an agreement be entered into with the Glyntaff Burial Board with regard to the burial of paupers. "The Chairman remarked that he was very glad to hear Mr M. Cule say that, for a case had oome be- fore them that day in which Mr Bircham made the remask that the fees were very l,igh. M r Bircham But those were not pauper fees, it should be remembered. THE ALLEGED STARVATION QASK AT TiTBAn. The members were about to separate, when Mr E. II. Davies asked the Chairman if the case of the woman Harries was to come before the Board. The Chairman Not that I am aware of. Mr E. H. Davies said he was truly sorry if it was not, because of the accusation made by one of the Guardians. The members again took their seats, and Mr Davies prodeeded to say that the case he meant was that of the man Thomas Harries, who was reported to have died from starvation: It appeared, he said, that Mr Idris Davies, who is a Guardian of this Union, had been the means of assisting in creating a great sensation in the locality by stating that the man was not properly attended to by the Guardians, and that he gave a note to say that the man had died from starvation. The matter had created a great sensation in the parish, and he had thought that it was coming before the Board in consequence of a letter from the Local Government Board. As the widow was in the ante-rooin, he thought they might hear what she had to say on the sulject. He considered that Dr Idris Davies should have brought the matter before the Guardians, or called the at- tention of his fellow-Guardians, s.) that it should be thoroughly investigated before aocusing the Reli v- ing Officer or him (Mr E; H. Davies) of not doing what was right. There had been an inquest on the body, and before the Coroner Mr Idiis Davies had contradicted himself on the charge of starving, by stating that he intended the Relieving Officer to take the word in a broad senize as indicating that it was an urgent case. Mr Idris Davies: And it was broad enough. Mr E. H. Davies, again proceeding, said the in- quest was held before Mr Overton, who went into the matrer thoroughly, and satisfied himself. Mr Overton had in his possession the documents (i.e. the depositions) stating that Dr. Davies did not mean to say that the man died from want of food. The case had been before the Board and and the man had 3s 6d per week of out-door relief the day before, and it would have been a some- what unusal thing for a sum of money to be paid twice the same week. There was only the man and his wife and his daughter, and the woman was not suoh as would reoommend herself to him as a recipient of out-door relief. He thought the least thing Mr Idris Davies could do would be to stand to the first report, or to withdraw, and make an apology for his conduct, for he (the speaker) had been accused by the peeple in the neighbourhood of not attending to the matter. Dr ldris Davies said this was an exceptional case, or he would not have done what he did. The case was laid before the Guardians as had been said, and Mr E. H. Davies, who had just spoken, brought the old woman a character of being a drunken, woman; therefore the ordinary order was refused, but the man was to be re- lieved in kind, and he was relieved in kind. But what he (Dr. Davies) said was this The old man, when he saw him, was lying ill, on an old settle with very little clothes about him. There was no bed in the house, and the man was very cold. He thought he was right in his meaning of the word starvation, that it meant not only want of food, but also want of clothing and he believed a man would starve much sooner from want of clothing than want of food. Well, the old man had recently altered, so that when the relief came he was un- able to take bread and cheese. Several neighbours took pity on him, and gave him a few shillings, and he (the speaker) called the special attention of the Relieving Officer to the case, because the man had no clothes or place to lie down, and be told Mr Jones that it would be serious. He thought he only did his duty so far as he was conerned, and he did not think he had anytning to apologise for. If in what he did he exceeded his duty, he would much rather resign the responsibility of being a Guardian. If a man was not to speak when he saw an extreme case of that kind, he did not know how to act. He did not blame any- body in the matter, but it was an extreme case, and he did not mean to say that the man died of starvation, for he spoke of that when the man was alive. Mr E. H. Davies (interrupting) But the certi- ficate- Dr Idris Davies: I said the man WM suffering from great debility and starvation, as he had no clothes to throw about him on the old osettle, and 3s 6d would not buy him sufficient coal to warm the house. Mr T. Morgan: Was the man ill, Dr. Davies ? Mr. Iris Davies Yes, very ill. Mr Morgan: Is it usual for the Guardians to give more than 3s 6d in a case of this kind ? Dr. Davies I don't know what the rule may be, I have not studied that. It was an extreme case, and I am sure that any benevolent man would have gone there and done what he could. Mr E. H. Davies: Bat Mr Davies has gone further than to say that it was an extreme case. Dr. Davies: I shall not withdraw anything. I have merely stated the facts which stand to this day in support of the case, and, as far as I know, acted properly. I had no inteatlon of injuring, or doing any harm to anybody. The note I sent to the Relieving Officer was a private note. Mr E. H. Davies: But he has compromised himself, he has called the attention of the report- ers to it as a case of starving. Dr. Davies Tho old lady is here now. She has not yet been called. Mr E. H. Davies: The case has been dealt with. Then he went on to say that the Guard- ians, considering that it was parish money they spent, desired to be very careful, but they all wished to meet every deserving case. (Dr. Davies then left the room in order to catch a train). Mr Morgan remarked that he did not believe Mr Davies intended to blame the Guardians at all, but that he felt at the time so much that he con- sidered something ought to be done. Mr E. H. Davies said he had no doubt it was so, but what about the certificate of death ? If Dr. Davies had any doubt in his mind as to whether the man died from starvation, why did he not say so ? Mr M. Cule: If there was a certificate, who called the inquest ? Mr E. H. Davies: It was because of a very gross, untrue report which appeared in the Western MfJttZ that the police took the matter up. That was said in answer to a question at the inquest. Tho .u^eting then terminate!. I