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CARDIFF A PENARTH 'BUSES I

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DEATH OF ALDERMAN PRIDE,I…

ISWANSEA GUARDIANS AND THEI…

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SWANSEA GUARDIANS AND THE I POOE-BATE COLLECTION. Concurrently with the refusal of the Swansea Board ot Guardians, at their meeting yester- day, to accept the resignation sent in by Mr. Llewellyn Davies, collector of poor-rates for the hamlets of Claee, a curions suggestion was made that a compromise should be effected with the sureties of Mr. Mitchell, the late collector of poor-rates for the' hamlet of St. Thomas, who became a defaulter to a considerable amount some fow months ago and absconded. The board, it appears, decided that no compromise should be made, and the ratepayers, when they come to know of this determination, will applaud the decision arrived at. No one, of course, will deny the truth of Mr. Bath's ASSERTION at a later stage of the proceedings, on suggesting the very desirable cliango from private personal gecu- rity to that of a guarantee society, that when- ever a serious defalcation arose the board felt some compunction in asking private gentlemen to refund money for which they had received no ru. compense. The com punction of a body of men under these oircumBtances is perfectly natural; but at thet same time, so long as private guaran- tees are taken, it should be clearly and distinctly understood, as a simple matter of justice to the ratepayers, who are pitilessly at the mercy of their publiq servants, that any proved pecuniary shortcomings will be rigidly insisted upon, either at the hands of the defaulter himself, or at those of his guarantees, on the strength of whose trustworthiness he came to be installed in office. Matters in this respect in Swansea are beginning. it seems, to wear a very serious aspect, and ro. oent experience only tends to intensify public distrust. It transpired yesterday that at the last Easter vestry a committee of inquiry was appointed to investigate the books of the rate. collector for Clase, bnt that the oommittee had been usable since that time to get at the books, having been refnsed access to them every time application was made. It MNJ be remembered that this was the case with Mr. Mitchell, the defaulting rate-collector for St. Thomas. Frequent application was made to him for the books, both by the corporation and theguardians, and the application wa. as frequently evaded. The rate-books of the cor potation were at last found by accident, lying at a potato-store within a stone's throw, almost, of the town-clerk's office, where they had been left by the defanlter some weeks previously, lie himself, at the time the books were so left, and knowing well that he was a defaulter to a con- I siderable amount, actually being N candidate for the offioe of poor-rate collector for LlanBamlet. In a week or twa after. wards the bubble had burst, and the bird had flown. What might have been the result had he succeeded in obtaining the UN- samlet collection it is by no means difficult to tell, viewed by the light of recent experience, It is not too much to say that, if the corporation had pressed for the books when suspioion was first aronsed, those who became Mitohell's guar- antees would not now have to be ask- ing the guardians to oompromise with them in their misfortune. The liability might nodoubt have been less, if not evaded altogether. It was, indeed, the intention, some time ago, of one of those who became security for Mitchell to quoa tion b" liability, on the ground that if tho cor poration had done its duty the loss by defalca- tion need not have oocurrod. This, wo need scarcely say, was only a forlorn hope, and by this time the responsible party has no doubt found it out. As we have already remarked, financial matters in connection with the two municipal and parochial bodies of the town would seem to be getting serious, and, as was stated at the meeting of the board of guar- dians yesterday, necessitate a most searching inquiry. It is, it appears, the settled oonviotion in the public mind, seeing that, within the last IS years, no fewer than four rate-collectora have gone to the bad at Swansea, that there must be something radically wrong somewhere, aud that the sooner the defect in the system is discovered and cured the better.

(BKHTER'8 TELEGRAMS,) I j

LONDON OOKRi^POJNDENc fc *

ITHE WILL OF -THE LATE MS-…

1 THE FElsGE MYSTERY- I

ITHE TYNEWYDD DISASTER I

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