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MERTHYR BOARD OF GUARDIANS. The weekly meeting of this Board was held on Saturday last, and there were present:—Messrs. Lewis Lewis (in the chair). R. H. Rbys, D. Williams, E. W Scale, D. Rosser, J. Williams, J. Edwards. G. Davies, R. Thomas, J. Rhys, J. W. Russell, G. Martin, W. Jones, T. Evans, R. Wil- liams, and the Rev. J. Griffith. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. THE CONTRACTS. The Clerk read the contracts for the supplies advertized for, which had been adopted by the committee. The report recommended that the purchase of potatoes should be left to the master for about another month. Mr. Thomas said this was a bad time of the year to pur- chase potatoes. The Clerk That is the reason the committee leave it to the master. The report of the Finance Committee was then read. Mr. R. H. Rhys remarked that the BoarJ were paying JE7 16s. for a room in Dowlais. in which the relieving of- ficer attended once a week to relieve paupers, and they were also paying 16s. a quarter for a place for vaccination. Mr. Thomas thought it was monstrous that so much should be paid for a room which was only used once a week. Mr. Jones, the relieving officer, said the letter of the room was thinking of asking for an advance. Mr. R. H. Rhys Would not a house ^o ? Mr. Jones It would not accommodate me. Mr. Thomas Do they charge you extra for fire there ? Mr. Jones They do not. The Clerk Could not the vaccination also be dlilne there ? Mr. Jones The vaccination is done in a little room off this school-room. Mr. Thomas I think we should not pay for two rooms, for I think one would do very well (hear, hear). Mr. R. H. Rhys: I believe Mr. Edwards is one of the trustees (laughter). Mr. Edwards Yes, I am one of the trustees. The matter then dropped, and Mr. Scale remarked that the beef contracted for did not seem to be according to the kind mentioned in the adver- tisements. The advertisements asked for legs of beef cut close to the rump. Mr. Thomas was afraid there was something in the ad- vertisements likely to mislead the people. Mr. Scale What is the use of advertising then? A Member We couldn't do business without that (hear). Mr. Rhys: It refers them sure to the clerk. Mr. Thomas It looks rather strange that the papers say legs of beef, and the specification says sides and legs cut close to the rump. Mr. Scale My belief is that you have been using bones for the last three or four quarters. Mr. R. H. Rhys The fact is this, we used to have the legs of beef cut close to the rump, and we found the master was obliged to be constantly in the habit of having other parts of beef, and it was then changed to sides. The sides are more beneficial, and will be always the cheaper (hear). Mr. Scale That is quite a mistake. The Chairman: Really, you are talking now about things which it is the duty of the Visiting Committee to examine. Mr. Scale: But they don't do so. The Chairman I always do, and when I find the meat or butter is not according to the sample, J always report it. Mr. Thomas All that is very right; but the Visiting Committee are not supposed to know what the persons have contracted for—they can only tell whether the thing sup- plied is good or not. I agrte with what Mr. Scale has said that it ought to be according to the advertisement, but I think that may tend to mislead people. However, as this contract is made now, we had better pass it over, but let us see that things will be better done in future also, you hear what has been said by Mr. Rhys, that the people themselves have become tired of having the same pieces of beef always, and they wish to have them altered. I think we ought to get what is most economical and the best for the paupers (hear, hear). Mr. Scale But you get a lot of bones now. Mr. R. H. Rkys But the bones make excellent broth. Mr. Thomas: I don't think we can alter the cantract now after it has been accepted by the committee. IJcertainly think we ought to be guided by what the master says of the people getting tired of the same pieces always, and I beg to move that the contract be accepted as it is, subject to the approval of the master. The Clerk That is already done. Mr. Thomas: I would like it to be done for the future also. Mr. Meredith here entered the room, and Mr. R. H. Rhys asked him which would he think the most beneficial for the paupers, the sides of beef, or the legs cut close to the rump ? Mr. Meredith We always find that the sides are as good as the other, because we have to make a good deal of beef tea here, and we want the neck bits for that. We now make about nine pints of beef tea every day. Mr. Thomas 1 hat was the reason it was altered before. Mr. R. H. Rhys 1 really think it would make no dif- ference. The Master: It makes no difference to me were it not for the beef tea. The matter then dropped. THE "ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN THE INFIRMARY. The Clerk read the following letter from the Poor Law Board in relation to this subject:— Poor Law Board, Whitehall, "19th June, 1866. Sir,—I am directed by the Poor Law Board to acknow- ledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th inst,, forwarding for their approval the plan of certain alterations and addi- tion." which the guardians, at an estimated cost of £624. propose to make to the infirmary of the Merthyr Tydfil Union Workhouse. The Bo..rd have had the plan under their consideration and do not see any objection to the proposed reconstruc- tion of the four water closets to the frontwards of the infir- mary, but desire to suggest for the better ventilation of them that two iron air-bricks, one opposite the other, should be placed near the ceiling of each closet, in the positions marked respectively in pencil on the plan. With regard to the two new fever wards intended to be erected over the two existing ones, the Board consider that the capacity of the four wards, each of which is proposed to be 21 feet long, 16 ft. wide, and 10 ft. high, is insufficient to accommodate ten patients in each, as, according to the plan. appears to be contemplated. The Board recommend that the wards should be made, instead of ten feet, 11 feet in height, and that not more than five patients should be placed in any of them at one time. The total accommoda- tion would then be twenty patients. Should it be required to accommodate a greater number than that, it will be ne- cessary so increase the proposed area of the wards accord- ingly, keeping the height eleven feet. With respect to the approximation of the ward, unless a second stair-case can be provided, it is desirable, in order that the classification may be preserved, that the two new wards should be as- signed to the exclusive use of male patients, and the two present ones to female patients. Lastly, it is desirable for the purpose of ventilation, that openings, say two feet in diameter, should be made, one opposite to each side win- dow, both in the wall dividing the two present wards, and proposed division wall between the two new wards, fur- ther, a fan-light hung on centres and provided with stops, so that it may always be open one inch, is desirable over the door to each of the present wards, and over both doors to each of the proposed wards. The Board, subject to the foregoing alterations and sug- gestions, approve of the proposed alterations, and have affixed their seal to the plan accordingly. They return tba plan, and will send to you shortly the requisite form of order for the consent of the guardians to the intended works.—1 am, sir, your obedient servant, "F. James. Esq.. Clerk "ENFIELD, to the Guardians of "Secretary." Merthyr Tydlil Union." Mr. R. H. Rhys But this work is going on now. The Clerk remarked that he had learned from Mr. Harpur that some of the suggestions might be carried out, as the work proceeded. Mr. Thomas thought the suggestions in the letter might as well be adopted, because if not, the commissioners might not in future, be so ready to give their consent (hear, hear). The Clerk said the Poor Law Board were supposed to know a great deal about these matters, and it would be well to adopt their suggestion. Besides that, Mr. Harpur had said there would be no difficulty in doing them as the work proceeded. Mr. R. H. Rbys: I think it ought to be done (hear, hear). Mr. Thomas I think their permission is on the under- standing that these things be done. The Clerk No, not at alL Mr. R. H. Rhys I believe it would be the best plan to leave all to Mr. Harpur. Mr. Scale And let him be told to carry out the instruc- tions of the Poor Law Board (hear, bear). Mr. R. H. Rhys: Was there a schedule of prices accom. panying the plan ? Mr. G. Martin: I think not. Mr. Rosser They may make a material difference in the prices, and it would be better to let Mr Harpur see about it. Mr. Thomas: Suppose Mr. Harpur agrees with the con tractor for all—that would be the beatpltn. Let him be empowered to do so. Mr. R. H. Rhys Yes, I think it would be better to lefvealltohim. The Chairman: I would also like that Mr. Harpur should attend occasionally to the masons working here. The Clerk I met him this morning, and he said he had condemned a lot of stones in use here. The Chairman I know they have put in quarry stones in the front here, which are thinner than some paving stones I have got. It is a most ridiculous thing to see stones used there not six inches thick. Mr. Martin Mr. Harpur should not allow them. Mr. R. H. Rhys: 11 would be well to direct his atten- tion to it (hear, hear). The Chairman: It is not right to have them robbing us in this way. Mr. Rosser Have you reported it to Mr. Harpur? Chairman: No I only saw it this morning. Rev. J. Griffith I saw him this morning, and he said he had condemned a lot of the stones. Mr. Edwards That is the result of not giving the con- tract to a man who would do the the work well. Chairman I don't say anything at all about that; I say the materials are not right. Mr. Edwards: The present contractor is only a mason— he is not a builder. Mr. R. H. Rhys: What are half the builders in Merthyr? Mr. Martin There is not a better mason in Merthyr than O'Neill. He understands his work well, and can do it if he likes. Mr. Thomas If he does not we can stop his contract. Chairman: I have no hesitation in saying that he is doinar bad work there, and if he were to do such for me I would stop him immediately. air. Martin That is the fault of those looking over him. He should not be allowed to use material of inferior kind (hear, hear). The Chairman: I suppose Mr. Harpur would better be informed of it. Mr. D. Williams Hr. Harpur has too much to do. The matter dropped. DEPUTY REGISTRAR. A letter was read from Mr. Ed. Martin, proposing Mr. Rees Davies as the new deputy registrar of births and deaths, and the proposition was adopted. "LENDING" RELIEF. A bill for £29 was handed in from Dr. Creswell, parish surgeon at Dowlais, and it included one item ot £5 for me- dical attendance given by him to a man named John Lewis, who met with an accident some time ago in Dowlais, in consequence of which he was for some time an inmate of the Union at Merthyr. Mr. Scale thought the man was not a pauper at all, and therefore Mr. Creswell had no claim on the Board. Mr. Thomas If relief was given to him by us by way of a loan" we are doubtless liable to Mr. Cresswell for his charges. We are certainly liable in this case, in my opinion. Mr. R. H. Rhys The man was brought into the work- house, and we recognized him as a pauper at once. Mr. Jones, the relieving officer, explained how the man, who was a mason, met with the accident for which Mr. Cresswell attended him. Mr. Scale asked was the man a pauper when he was taken into Dowlais surgery ? Mr. Jones said he was not. Mr. Scale Suppose he was taken to some other doctor but the parish doctor. Mr. Jones: He would then send him on to the parish doctor. The Chairman: Mr. Cresswell was bound to relieve him. The Clerk remarked that according to one of the articles, Dr. Cresswell was, at least, entitled to the half of what he claimed. Mr. Thomas: Then I say, he ought to get the £2 10s. Mr. Scale still did not believe the man was recognized as a pauper. Mr. Thomas would like to know what was a. pauper, ex- cept a man who came into the house because he had no where else to go to. The Clerk: This is a case in which you can allow £2 10a., and you can authorize me to write to the Poor Law Board, and get their sanction. Mr. Thomas: How long has this man left the Work- house? Mr. Jones About six weeks. Mr. R. H. Rhys I beg to move that the £5 be paid to Mr. Cresswell, because he is entitled to it. The Chairman: This is a bill from 1864, and I think that was a long time to leave it out-standing. It ought to have been sent in more regularly. Mr. R. H. Rhys: It makes no difference. This only amounts to £29. Mr. Thomas Was not this man relieved by way of a loan ? Mr. Jones: Certainly. Mr. Thomas Under that understanding the man ought to pay for all those expenses (hear, hear). The Chairman What is your opinion, Mr. James ? Mr. James (the Clerk): In my opinion Dr. Cresswell is entitled to the £2 10s. Mr. R. H. Rhys My motion is that he be paid the J65. Mr. J. W. Russell: I second that. Mr. Scale I beg to move as an amendment that the Clerk be instructed to communicate with the Poor Law Board, telling them the circumstances of the case, and then take their opinion whether the money can be legally paid or not, and whether the man was a pauper or not, and let the payment of the bill be adjourned till we receive an an- swer. Mr. Rosser seconded the amendment. Mr. J. W. Russell thought it was a very queer thing that the Board could not to attend their own business. Mr. Mfu-tin Indeed, I think so. Mr. R. H. Rhys: You know Mr. James says he is en- titled to be paid. In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Meredith, the master, said that when John Lewis was brought into the house he had only 7^d. in his pocket. Mr. Thomas What appears to me very mysterious is, how it was the Board relieved him by way of a loan. Mr. Jones: So as to put him in a position to pay it back. Mr. R. H. Rhys, in reply to Mr. Scale's amendment, said, he thought it would be very unwise to trouble the Poor Law Board on this subject. Upon another similar occasion they did apply to them, they gave a very vague reply, but the result was that they led the Guardians to understand that they were in favour of the me-dical man being paid. He (Mr. Rhys) thought it would be very foolish to adjourn this question, and he was of opinion that it would be much better to decide it at onc« (hear, hear). Mr. Scale I believe the statement was not fuller made at the time of the other case. Mr. Rosser: I think we may settle the matter by pay- ing one half. Mr. Scale Don't compromise. Mr. Thomas That would not be compromising. The Chairman I should like to settle the matter now. We ought not to be always appealing to the Poor Law Board but we ought to be able to manage our own busi- ness. The Rev. Mr. Griffith Medical men, as a rule, are not always well paid, and I think we ought to support Mr. Rhys' motion and pay the £ 5. Mr. Scale Then every man who comes here and breaks his leg is to be paid for I After some futher little disgussion, the motion and amendment were put,. The Guardians voted as follows — For the motion—Messrs. Lewis Lewis, J. Williams, G. Davies, G. Martin, L. Rhys, J. W. Russell, J. Williams, J. Griffiths, and R. H. Rhys—9. For the amendment- Messrs. E. W, Scale, J. Edwards, D. Rosser, Rees Wil- liams, D. Williams, S. Evans, R. Thomas, and W. Jones—8. The motion was, therefore, passed by a majority of one vate. Mr. Thomas I now beg to move that our clerk or re- lieving officer, or whoever should do it, be instructed to take proceedings against John Lewis to recover those charges. Mr. R. H. Rhys seconded the proposition, which, after some little conversation was passed. THE NURSE. The clerk read a letter from the nurse, requesting to have her train fare to and from Merthyr at the time she came here, paid. She said she was requested to attend a meet- ing of the Board, to which she came, and paid her fare to and from. As she had to go back again at the time of her election, she hoped the gentlemen of the Board would con- sider it due to her, and allow it in addition to her two months salary. The nurse complained of not having the assistance of another nurse. She found her work here much greater than it was before, and she should say her present salary was not equivelent to her duties, which she endeavoured to perform to the best of her ability, and which she would also do as long as she remained, which she hoped would be for a long time (hear, hear). Mr. Thomas: What has been her general conduct since she came here ? Mr. Meredith (the master): Very good, indeed, sir, (hear, hear). The Clerk I believe she had to come here twice. The Chairman It is not much. An order was made on the clerk to pay what the nurse required. THE MASTER'S REPORT was read, and it showed that there had been admitted during the week 12, born 0, discharged 6, died 3, remain- ing at present 208 corresponding week last year 203 in- crease on the year 5. The Guardians then proceeded to the relief of the paupers.