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Family Notices




ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. Afirr.BSSED TO TUB EDITOR. The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of 1113 Correspondents THE NINE HOURS MOVEMENT. SIR, -Tlie nine hours have become almost the universal day's work throughout, the country, ;nd the employers and the cmyloyes of Merthyr and its neighbourhood have been very fortunate in being spared a contest which in many otker places has cost a. very large amount of sacrifice on both sides. However, we have in Merthyr come to an amicable understanding, that instead of sixty hours, as at present, fifty-four hours sliall constitute a week's work for the future—the new arrangement to come in force on the first of next April. This reduction will be equal to one hour per day from our labour. Now, the question which may be asked of us is, to what use are we going to turn this hour which is. added to our leisure time ? Are we prepared to utilise these extra six hours a week to the improvement of our minds and to the acquisition of knowledge, and to learn the principles of cur crafts, each in his own depart- ment, so as to become abler men and better workmen? or shall the extra leisure time he thrown awav in frivolity, or piven to standing sentry, as it were, about the corners of the streets—a habit which a respectable working man would not be guilty of under any circumstances. Should our extra hours of leisure be thus thrown away they will, instead of being a blessing to us, become an additional source of our degradation. Therefore, Mr Editor, I beg your per- mission to appeal to the young men of various trades to utilise their leisure hours by availing themselves of the opportunities now open for them in the Science Classes which are conducted in the town. and assisted by Govern- ment grants. In these classes, both young men and men advanced in years, may learn the principles of their respec- tive trades, and qualify themselves to become first-class men in their own departments. I am persuaded that there is no district in the United Kingdom which stands in more need of technical education tha> this district of Merthyr Tydfil, which is a centre of industrial productions, second to none in the iron and coal districts ill the kingdom yet how slow we are in embracing the opportunities now brought to our doors in the shape of Evening Classes, which have been carried on for the last two years. Instead of the attendants at tliene classes being reckoned by tens they ought to be by hundreds, as they are in districts not so populous as ours. Working men of Merthyr do not allow it to be said that we are standing still while others are marching with the age. Cardiff and Swansea are taking up the work with much better spirit than Merthyr, and as a matter of course the men of those towns will look upon us as an inferior class of workmen, and very naturally treat us with disdain when they come in contact with us. If the people of Cardiff and Swansea, who are mere re- ceivers and distributors of our produce, consider it neces- sary to acquire technical and art knowledge, how much more necessary must it be for us, who are th? producers of wealth, than for those towns which are mere channels for distribution. It is very true that in years gone by we were so well off that neither employers nor employes had paid but very little attention to technical education—the one being taken up with accumulating wealth, while, unfortun- ately, too many of the others were wasting their strength between the tap-room and their political agitations. How- ever, the advantages which we once had are gone for ever. And if we are to keep on a level with our fellows in other parts of the country, we must not fall behind them in pre- paring ourselves for the work which we have to do, other- wise we shall be obliged to enter the competitive list very much the same as a regiment of brave soldiers armed with "Brown Bess" would be in entering into a contest with another, possibly not so brave as themselves, but armed with hrccch loaders, and well drilled in their use. In such a oontijst no one for a moment would he in the least doubt as to the result, however brave the Brown Bess men might be. Therefore, Merthyr men let us take to our brcech loaders, and to our drill, which in our case should be technical knowledge, and science and art classes. Yours very truly, Merthyr, Feb. 27th, 1872. L. R. LUMLEY. -— THE BOARD OF HEALTH ELECTION. Sin, I was pleased to see in your last issue the able remarks on the coming election, and feel it my duty (with your permission) to draw the attention of the ratepayers of Merthyr to a great want in the Board of Health, and for which we have suffered in the past. In looking over the names of the remaining members on the abovcBoard I find that there is not one able to examine the practical matters which are brought before it, tfuch as the estimates, plans, and materials used for the requirements of the town. Should, such an one be there I strongly believe that he would be the means of saving a great deal of expense. Many of the most important matters that come before the Board are those that require the opinion of a shrewd practical man. Trusting that such a candidate will stand at the coming election and be well supported by my fellow ratepayers, I am yours respectfully, Feb. 28th, 1872. A RATEPAYER.