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Family Notices




ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. ABBMSSBB SO '1.Z BBITO*. The Editor is not responsible fortheopinions of his Correspondent THE ASSESSMENT OF THE PARISH. Sir,—Wjll you allow me to make a few observations on the assessment of property in the parish ? A proposal has been made to add 15 per eent. to the rateable value of cottage property, and cottage owners are ibout holding an indignation meeting, not only against the j I injustice of the proposal, but the mode by which it was attempted to carry it into effect. The proposal of the overseers to add 15 per cent. to the present assessment of cottage property, without increasing any other kind of property, is manifestly unjust, but there is urgent need of the re-adjustment or equalization of the assessment, not only of cottage property, but of other house property also, for the inequalities of the present. valuation are palpable and disgraceful. The present assessment seems to have been arrived at by a kind of haphazard, for there ir. no rule, principle, e>r basis of valuation, that is applicable to it. Differences of 50 and even 100 per cent. exist in the rateable value of certain properties. There are houses rated at less than half their rental, whilst others are forced up considerably above their value. Two houses may be pointed out in High-street, one, assessed at £HO the other at £73, where the premises valued at £7;) are worth two of those assessed at .€90 And tho two houses adjoin, and the same business is carried on in them. What is required is an equalization of the assessment. Ratepayers are too fond of complaining and finding fault with men in office. One might suppose when listening to such persons that they are the victims of some despotic system, against which they have no remedy. There is no greater mistake. The persons who manage the assessment of property and levy and collect the rates, are chosen annually by the ratepayers themselves—the very men who crumble ? I would therefore suggest to the cottage owners and others who complain of injustice in their assessments, that the remedy is in their own hinds, and that they can appoint as Overseers and Guardians whomsoever they please. Men who stop at home and mind their business" have no right to find fault with those who make sacrifices of time and money to serve the puhlic.- Yours truly, March 4th, 1872. DAVID EVANS. THE NINE HOURS' MOVEMENT. Sm, Not expecting to add much to the forcible letter of Mr Lumley's in last week's issue, but strongly desiring to give this nail another How. and in the hope that some- how or other it may be driven home, I venture to trespass upon your space. The enemy whom Mr Lumley is fighting is a very olll one, as old as the hills between which he writes it is inertia, and surely there is no greater obstacle to progress in any direction than that of mere inertia. The resistance is passive, but it is intensely provoking. People will not move on until the course of events, which is but the sequence of law, fairly kicks them then, smarting under the blow. they begin to slir themselves. Only think, for instance, after the researches of science, and the teaching of common, experience, that we should be comparatively ilJdiffcreRt to those gross offences against sanitary lnw that abound ou all hands among the poor that inhabit our hill sides, as well as in the castles of the rich. Probably now that a prinrc has narrowly escaped the full wages of those sins, something more may be done, although it is sad testimony to our Christianity that the decimation of the poor by these offences should move us less than this solitary case which the pomp and circumstance of Royalty has fixed upon the public mind. So, I fear, that until we suffer not a little from our vant of technical knowledge, and our lack of art training, by a stroke of international business, which will take the brisk demand from our shares, we shall go on in the old un- intelligent jog-trot way. In these days of free international c9mlIllmication, with a daily increasing art-discrimination, and scientific knowledge among the consumers of our pro- duce, that law, which surely brings the best as well as the least expensive work into the most active demand, must, sooner or later, operate against us, unless we prove our- selves equal to our continental rivals. For energy or work- Ing power we are unequalled. We only want to train our national taste, and apply the known results of science in the exercise of our energies, and we may defy the world. The nine-hours' movement clearly will either put us at a disadvantage, or the contrary, just as we may as a nation choose to use or abuse the leisure hours thus given to us. It will of necessity raise the price of labour, and that will be a disadvantage in our international competition, but if these hours of leisure are appliQd in such a way as to in- crease the actnal value of our produce then we shall be the gainers. Let those among us who have great influence over the hearts and understandings of our fellows manfully exercise their influence in favour of Technical and Art Instruction. Surely the industrial life of a community is worth saving, at any price of personal effort. We therefore appeal to the highest and most powerful motives for support in these matters, and we hope that on all hands an honest effort will be made to rouse the people out of the sleep of in- difference, and to compel them to "move on." Yours, &c.,—A BRITON.