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OUR COLLIERS AND MINERsT THE important bill which has just passed the Legislature, and is now law, promises in many ways to ameliorate the condition of our miners and colliers. It legalizes what in some of our best conducted mines have been the prucfcnt, arrangements of masters, and established" fRr good, certain plans which hitherto have been among the hoped for changes indulged in'by working men. We recognise the bill as a proof that the interests of a very large portion of the work- ing population are not unthought of, or un- cared for; that it is the desire of our leo-isk- tors to provide every possible and prudent means of education; every possible means for improving the health and moral condition of the thousands who toil for our comfort, and waste the best day^Jbf th&r life in the pits and mine3 of Great Britain. In the first place the^U, enacts "that no boy under the age of twelve years shall be employed in mines; with thisjexception, that boys between the ages of ten and twelve who have certificates as to education and school attendance may be employed. The owner must obtain a certificate from the ui a comPetent schoolmaster, that such boy is able to read and write; and secondly, in the second and every subsequent week, during which such boy is employed, the owner shall obtain a certifi- cate from the hand of a competent schoolmaster t J the effect that he has attended school for not less than five hours in every day during the week exclusive of Sunday. The next enactment .ig..very important. Henceforth it will not ^e jipwful for any owner of mine or colliery^o allow any one under the age of eighteen^ .have^charge of any steam engine, or other >ugise,' windlass or gin, whether driven or wor&s^ by manual labour or any other power, or to have charge of the machinery, ropes, or any other tackle of any such engine, by which persons are brought up or passed down the pit of mine or colliery. Many of the following general rules are also important:-— a?onat of ventilation shall stone mirie Produced m all coal mines and iron- Q i entrances to any place not in working, a suspected to contain dangerous gas, shall be fenced off so as to prevent all access thereto. J ,-neVer safety lamps are required to be used, they shall be first examined and securely locked by a person duly authorized for this pur- pose. 0tb. Every working and pumping pit or shaft where the natural strata under ordinary circum- stances are not safis shall be securely cased or lined. How many a death have we not had to re- cord from time to time owiing'to the non- existence of this wise precaution, No. 7 enacts the employments of distinct and definite signals for the means of communication between persons at the top and at thb bottom of the shaft. Clauses 8 to 11 provide for the due protection of individuals ascending and descending shafts. Clause 16 enacts that it shall be lawful for the men to employ a person at weighing, measuring or guaging times, to represent them, and to attend to their interests.—But in the matter of coal the dispute between masters and men at some collieries relative to weighing coal ntfhe pit's mouth, or after a 1-uge transit, is not touched upon, as in our humble opinion it should have been, for the colliers' interests are decidedly over- looked .wherever the coal is not weighed at the I pit's mouth. til Every possible contingency seems, in this masterly bill, to have been provided for; ac- I e cidents, deaths, inspectors'reports, penalties for offences against^ the act, obstructing in- spectors, abandonment of mines, leaving work without notice, and, finally, the ques- tion of wages is thus decided. The wages of each person employed shall be paid to him separately in money, at an office to be appointed for that purpose, and such office shall not be contiguous to any- house wheref ppirTts^cer, or other spirituous liquors are s61d, and every owner or agent who shall pay or permit any wages to be paid contrary to fmis^act, shall for every Bach offence be liable to a penalty not exceeding £ 10. ■ With reference to this last enactment there is no further protection given the men against Truck than what already exists, though this protection is notoriously ineffi- cient. This is to be regretted; but we trust it will not be long before an able measure will be introduced that shall render the em- ployment of Ttfuck custdm.s as impossible as now is for persons to commit any crime without rendering them at once liable to the law's just penalty. Truck is a crime, what legislator have we who denies it! Then why not legislate accordingly ? ■. lV. If there were any crime in the long rolL which the law was powerless to contend with, we should not be long without an act so "framed as to close every avenue of escape from the evil-doer. Yet, here we continue session after session, neglecting to take this most important question of Truck in hand, while the poor are ground down and in." poverished, and the Truckmaster thrives and fattens. This is unworthy of the great English nation, and is a stain on the honour of our representatives, and a re- proach, nntil this cruel curse is banished from the land. + LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. THE CYFABTHFA BAND.-Like veterans re. turning from a well-fought struggle, decked with the laurel, and. welcomed with hearty plaudits, the far famed Cyfarthfa band reached home on Saturday last, and preceded by banners and the junior band in their uniform, and followed by a carriage in which were placed the well-earned trophies of the late brass band contest in the Crystal Palace, proceeded through the town on their way to Cyfarthfa. The spectacle was eminently an interesting one and attracted thousands of spectators. EXCITING CHASE.-As the last Vale of Neath train was on the point of starting on Sunday evening, a smartly dressed young man was de- tected in the act of pocket picking, and seeing arrest inevitable, he tried the desperate experi- ment of running for it. Through the crowd he dashed, and pushed for the High-street, straining every nerve to get clear of the crowd that pur* sued him. The attempt, however, was hopeless. He managed to reach the O'd Brecon Bank, and there was cleverly caught by Mr. John Williams, fishmonger, who handed him to a policeman, by whom he was safely conveyed at the police station. Ing ECLIPSE.-Much to the disappointment of many, the interesting phenomenon of an eclipse was invisible, owing to the cloudy sky on Wed- nesday. The darkness caused was however per- ceptible an unnatural gloom seemed to hang around, increasing until a little before 3 o'clock, when the light gradually won the seeming contest with darkness, and all nature recovered its vivacity. A SUGGESTED EXCRBSTON.—During this and past seasons, we have had excursion trips from Merthyr to many of the surrounding localities. The Beacons, Hepsta Falls, the Crimlin Bridge, V ay nor, Caerphilly, Swansea, and Jjlandaff have been visited in turn, and now those .who are content with towring it to the lions of the district are begining to thing, we dare say, to which place they next shall wander. If our enterprising townsmen were to get up an excursion to Pen- twyn, or the fountain head of the Merthyr water works, we have little hesitation in stating that the speculation would be a doubly successful one. Few have ever seen the neighbourhood where the navvy has of late worked wonders, and still less have been enabled to comprehend by report and rumour the extent of the great reser- voir, and the proportions of the undertaking. These works, the Brecon Railway, and the scenery around would well repay an early visit. THE BOARD OF GUARDIANS.—At a meeting of the Board held on Saturday, July 14, the follow. ing members were present :-G. T. Clark, Esq., (chairman), Messrs. L. Lewis, D. Williams, T. Williams, D. Rosser, B. Kirkhouse, J. Ansell, E. W. Scale, J. W. Russell, D. Rees, W. Wil- liams, J. Perrott, D. Jones, and T. Evans.- Number admitted during the week. 14; dis- charged, 12; number in the house, 179; corre- sponding week last year, 176; out relief, 2,416 corresponding week last year, 2,490; amount of v. c.9rTeBP°Qding week last year, &2iuy lZs. lis, itcligious services in the home, morning, (church,) English, Rev. L. Rowland; evening, Welsh, Rev. J. Bevan, Ynysgau. PLAIN SPEA.KING.-The rector of Merthyr ia known by all men to be one of our plainest of speakers. He never minces the matter, but speaks his convictious with all the energy of a muscular action. On Sunday last he read his congregation a lesson few of them will readily forget, and supplied an instance of plain speaking such as would, if imitated, be in our humble opinion of great good to all classes of worship. pers. In reference to the undertone of unbelief which prevails in a great deal of our literature, and the lethargy of professing christians in car. rying out their religious convictions in the every day details of life, the rector brought forward a case of local o?currence to illustrate his remarks. A Bible Society Meeting was announced lately to take place in the town, at which a deputation from the parent society would attend, and also Dr. James, the renowned of Pan teg. He thought sudieient notice was given of this meeting; he, the rector, had seen placards on every wall, yet at the hour named, he arrived at the room, and ccuectve nis astonishment no on,. •«)«.? there. It was a meeting not confined to church people, all religious secis were invited and expected to be represented there, but it was fully naif an hour after tao meeting was announced to comraence I? a sufficient audience could be gathered gether. He l:ad laboured amongst them for we^ie months, the rector added, aud this was > e truitot his labours! God forgive him, but instead of good seed he only saw darnel and hem- Jock, tares were beheld instead of good grain. J- uooughoiit the meeting he did not see one of liie congregation of his own church, not a soul. Suppose, said he, that instead of a Bible meeting, it had been announced that Lord John Russell or the mighty Wizard of the North would give a treat, why, before the hour named, evr.y shop would have been closed, aud a round iobin" in- dustriously circulated amongst the shopkeepers petitioning for the release of their assistant, as sush an intellectual treat would not again perhaps fall to their lot." And when the doors opened, what a crowd would have been there! liui;, to a Bible meeting, where the poor Bible wouul tell of his wanderings and labours, —— And the reverend gentleman concluded with a mosit energetic and eloquent tribute to the Bible as the embiem of civilization, carrying blessings wherever it wanders.—■Communicated,—[If the Wizard of the North or any otuer shrewd person had a pecuniary interest in obtaining a large audience, we arc persuaded he would adopt a very dmerent method of attracting public notice to tiLnt. of print ing a few small handbills. We feel sure that not a hundred persons in all Mer- thyr ever saw an announcement of the Bible meeting, though put up on every wall." It is part of our business to ascertain when such