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THE BARRY DOCK CATHOLIC SCHOOL. OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. The School Board Chronicle, the recognised organ of the School Board system, comments in its last issue upon the recent discussion of the Barry School Board in reference to the Roman Catholic School, and the editorial remarks of the South Wales Star thereon :—" The burning question of the right of the School Board to prevent a Volun- tary School being placed on the Department's list of grant-aided schools is raised in a clear and forcible manner by the Cadoxton School Board, Glamorganshire. The Barry Dock Roman Catholic School has been built and wants a grant, and their Lordships have asked the Board to state any objections they may have to the recognition of the school by the Department. We have not the text of the Department's letter;'but the description of the letter in the local newspaper rather conveys the impression that their Lordships have somewhat changed the form in which they put the usual question to the Boards under Section 93. The Board are very strongly opposed to the recognition. It is their desire to provide all the necessary accommodation in the shape of Board Schools. We need not say we are strongly of the opinion that the Board's position is the right position legally. But we would warn them that they have weakened their case by arguing, as the chairman argued at the meeting, that there is a sufficiency of accommoda- tion if the accommodation exceeds the average attendance. That is a complete fallacy. There is a deficiency of accommodation if there is not a school place for every child of school age in the district for whom accommodation is not otherwise provided. The same fallacy appears in the leading article of the South Tl ales Star on the question. It would be a misfortune if the Board were to forfeit its rights in the matter of the provision of Board School accommodation by stumbling over this question of the average attendance. The Catholic JS'cic* thus comments on the matter:— The hardships of the present Educational system were well illustrated last week at Barry (South Wales), when the Barry School Board decided to reply to the Education Department that the proposed Catholic school at Barry Dock, for re- cognition of which Mgr. Williams had applied, was not necessary." It is a fact that there is a deficiency of accommodation at present for 370 children, so far as the present re- gister is concerned, that the erection of the Catholic school was contemplated before there was a Board School there, and that there would be a saving both to the imperial and local funds. Two voted for the Catholic school and three against. The South TVales Star, comment- ing on the case, puts forward the stereotyped arguments, (1) if people want religious instruction, let them pay for it themselves, (2) that public funds should be administered by the public, and (3) that religious equality would suffer. It omits to explain (1) why the people who do provide their own religious instruction at their own expense, are all the game, concurrently taxed to support irreligious institutions of the Board Schools in which they can have no share, (2) or to show how the administration of Parliament and the Education Department is not a sufficient public administration of public funds, and (3) how the refusal of justice to one religious body improves the religious liberty of other bodies. The Iriih Catholic and.Nation is not so calm and I judicial, nor does it seem to be quite so well- informed. After an introduction, full of interest- ing speculations as to the llomans, Picts, Huns, the Mammoth, the Mastodon, the Irish Elk, and Bumble, it goes on to pity the Catholics of Cardiff (sic.) Bumbledom" it says, Is actually rampant in their midst; it stalks about un- abashed and undismayed, putting its clumsy feet into everything it can possibly insert them in, until it has made as complete a mess of local affairs as the Mammoth or Mastodon would make of the ordinary citizen's modest front garden. In face of such a state of things as this even Bumbledom becomes tiresome and palls in its attractions, and if there are any who doubt the accuracy of this statement we would ask them to study the proceedings which recently took place at a meeting of the Barry (Cardiff) School Board, when the fact that the Catholics of the locality in question had had the temerity and audacity to petition for a Government grant in aid of the local school came before that august and solemn body of consolidated Bumbleism. It appears that on the occasion to which we refer the Clerk read a letter from the Education Department in which the Board were asked to state any objection they might have to a Government grant being given to the Barry Dock Catholic School under Section 98 of the Education Act of 1870, while a letter was also read from the Right Rev. Mgr. Williams, the venerated pastor of the district, explaining how it was that a Catholic School had been erected at the place in question. The Monsignor showed in the most conclusive manner possible that the Catholic school, which it was plain Bumbledom regarded as peculiarly ob- noxious and hostile, had not been erected in any spirit of mere opposition to the Board Schools. He declared that its erection had been determined on long before Bumbledom had set up its School Board in Barry, and pointed out that, in other localities, bodies similar to that to which he was appealing had risen above prejndice and approved the making of Government grants in aid of Catholic Schools. For instance the Monsignor stated that at Tredegar a Catholic and a Board School were erected almost simultaneously, divided only by a wall, and that Roman Catholic Schools were in receipt of a (government grant already in the School Board dis- tricts of Treforest, Danygraig (Swansea), Tony- pandy, and Cardiff (East Moors) while he showed most clearly that the existing school accommoda- tion in Barry would be entirely inadequate were the provisions of the Education Act properly enforced. Mgr. Williams showed, furthermore, that the recognition of his school would actually result in a considerable annual saving to the rate- payers, pointing out that each child cost the dis- trict at present 18s. 2fd. in rates, whereas no sectarian school could get more than 17s. 6d. per head as grant, and hence there was a saving in the Imperial grant; while, in addition, as the school was not erected at the public cost, no local rate would be levied for its maintenance. Mgr. Williams added that there was accommodation provided at the Catholic school for 240 children, so that the saving in maintenance alone to the ratepayers would be d6218 15s. Notwithstanding the clear and forcible state- ment of Mgr. Williams, the Board, by a majority of one, refused to reply favourably to the inquiry addressed to it by the Education Department, and Bumbledom had the satis- faction of knowing that it had main- tained the most eternal of the traditions of its ancient race, and nobly sought to prevent other people from doing what it could not do itself. Naturally, the day will never come when Mgr. Williams or his people, whose claims were well and vigorously maintained at the Board meeting by Dr. O'Donnell and General Lee, will surrender the Catholic children of Barry to the intelligent custody of Bumbledom, and, therefore, all that it has accomplished is the securing of one more piece of evidence of how ineradicable are its own inherited characteristics. This fact does not, however, render the injustic perpetrated against our co-religionists the less a grievance. TO THE EDITOR OF THE SOUTH WALES STAB. Sm,—For the last few weeks I have observed in your columns a good deal of talk and letters on the subject of religious education. Alas my dear Editor, that there should be in your district so many Liberals and so little Liberalism. Liberalism, I take it, means sympathy with the views of others. And of that the people in your district seem to possess very little. Let me now explain. Ther" are those who think that religion should be un- denominational. There are those who think, rightly or wrongly, it does not matter that un- denominational education spells unchristian educa- tion. The Roman Catholics belong to the latter section. Now, your Liberal readers, and even yourself, think it perfectly right to take the money of the said Roman Catholic to pay for a system of education of which he can con- scientiously make no use. But you esteem it the height of injustice to take public money to support his school, which you force him to pay to support you. This I take it is the matter in a nutshell. I am perfectly wining for the bigots in your district to call me a re- actionary. May I recommend to their notice the essays of Matthew Arnold, the ablest and most cultured of the Liberal writers of our day. Oh, Sir, if the Nonconformist ministers in your district could be induced to read poor Mat! to get into their nature something of sweetness and light how much happier you would all be. Now in thinking over the matter this point strikes me very strongly. For practical purposes your Non- conformist or Evangelical Christian gets denomina- tional education in those schools in which the Bible is read and explained. For his creed is based on the Bible. But this is not so with the Roman Catholic or for that matter with the Anglican. They do not base their creed on the Scriptures in the same sense as the Nonconformist, and, therefore, the idea of Christianity that they get in the Board School cannot be that of which their Churches would approve. Now, I don't wish for one moment to underrate the advantages of undenominational education. Sectarian bigotry is as contemptible to me as to any of your co-'respondents. My whole education, too, was practically undenominational, and to that I own any capacity that I possess for judging fairly of men's creeds whose views are not mine. And yet one cannot meet, especially in London, so inn ny men as one does Churchmen and N onconformL, whoL veno creed, and not trace the fact to a frut'u of education that practically refuses to lo k at history or philosophy in a Christian light. There is much brutality and coarseness in Soutn Wales done in part, 1 fear, to our nationalistic system of education. Let your readers understand I am not blind to the dangers of denominationalism but our modern nationalistic system has also its serious drawbacks. Although your Nonconformist ministers cannot see them, they should know more of the world.-Yours, &c., National Liberal Club London. ALIQUIS.


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