Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page

Advertising

THE RATING OF COLLIERIES.

News
Cite
Share

THE RATING OF COLLIERIES. THIS subject has lately attracted unwonted attention, owing partly to the motion made by the Rev. Mr. Knight at the Quarter Sessions, and partly to the increased value of coal. There are, of course, two sides of the question to be considered, and much may be said on behalf of the view enter- tained by the rev. gentleman, whose exer- tions to secure a fair mode of ratal will be appreciated at their true worth. The dis- cussion, which stood adjourned from the previous Quarter Sessions, was re-opened on Tuesday at Swansea, on the motion of Mr. Knight, that the basis of the valuation of the county be re-considered by the assess- ment committee. Very little was said about any other kind of property, and the debate was narrowed to the ratal of collieries. No doubt the enormous profits lately made by coal-owners have had the effect of increasing the value of the pits from whence the sup- plies are drrwn. But then, it must be re- membered, that the more coal there is won, the less remains to be brought to bank. Upon this hypothesis the opponents to an increased rating, in some measure, rely for arguments against the proposed augmenta- tion of the impost, but the main objection raised was the illegality of taxing profits, advanced by Mr. Vivian, M.P. for the county, and as a coal owner admirably qualified to express an opinion upon the point, with the authority of practical ex- perience. It seems that, with one exception, the collieries of Glamorganshire are more highly rated than any others in the kingdom, and therefore, as compared with many dis- tricts, pay as large a sum pro rata as could be expected. The hon. member for the county also contended that the rating of profits was illegal, and would not be sanc- tioned by legislation, and he further con- tended that iron works and mines ought to be more heavily taxed, if the principle was to be recognized upon which the Rev. Mr. Knight based his motion. The fact is, however, that profits are always taxed in- directly, and in no other way can assess- ment committees arrive at the relative value of property. A thing is worth what it will fetch in the market, and upon this theory calculations are founded almost without ex- ception. Collieries now are worth much more than they were three years ago, not because there is more coal in them, or that they can be worked at a less cost, but that coal is in greater demand, and stands abnor- mally high in the market. To possess a coal pit, is in these days, equivalent to the possession of a Golconda mine, and the re- sources to be drawn from such a fountain are as precious as the auriferous waters of Pactolus. There would, therefore, really appear to be no valid reason for allowing matters to remain as they are. At all events, the reference of the question to the assessment committee does not imply a radical change. They have the power to make enquiry, investigate accounts, form averages, and generally to gather evidence, in order to enable them to form an accurate judgment upon the points raised. Under the circumstances, we are by no means sur- prised that the magistrates, with but one dissentient vote, resolved to refer the ques- tion to the committee, and we have no fear that justice will be done to all concerned. Probably it may be worth while to take into consideration the re-valuation of other pro- perty, and it is just possible that enquiries instituted with reference to coal pits will re- sult in bringing to light many anomalies connected with the county assessment not contemplated by the Rev. Mr. Knight. However, that gentleman has now set the ball rolling, and the enthusiasm manifested by him and his brother magistrates in favour of a higher ratal of collieries, will, doubtless, lead to an equitable adjustment of rates to value in the case of other posses- sions, which, in these days of prosperity, are worth more than they were a few years ago. We shall be curious to learn the re- sults of the labour of the committee, not only as regards collieries, but other proper- ties, the changed conditions of which cannot fail to attract attention when once an inquiry has been commenced. WOMEN'S RIGHT TO THE SUFFRAGE. TIIB ladles who advocate the extension of the suffrage to women, and claim for them other privileges at present withheld, deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. Asa matter of fact, they have the right to discuss these questions and when they do so in a temperate and dispassionate way, ridicule is as undeserved as it ie unwarranted. The course pursued by Mrs. CRAWSHAY and her colleagues, at the meeting on Tuesday, was one which, if it has net resulted in bringing conviction to the public mind, has had the effect of proving to demonstration that the subject is growing in importance, and bids fair to assume proportions of considerable magnitude. The plea that many women already possess the municipal franchise, and participate in other privileges denied to the sex at large, is very generally urged in support of the movement. But it is precisely because they are placed in exceptional circum- stances, that exceptional laws operate in their favour. Were the spinsters married, as we could wish them to be, or the widows still in the enjoyment of wedded bliss, they would not be able to vote for Town Councillors, or influence the constituent elements of a Board of Guardians. Whether they esteem this boon as of more value than the presumed 1 advantages arising out of the conjugal state, it i would be impossible for any one not in their i oonfidence to decide. It is probable, however, | that very few care much about the franchise, i even when it comes as a solace to a lonely or sorrowful life, and we may be sure that the ladies, as a class, will not be content to sacrifice their domestic rights, and the power which they possess at home, and within the social circle, for the apocryphal benefits alleged to arise from active interference in elections. Nor do we believe that an extension of the franchise would be acceptable to women, and the theory propounded by the new Solicitor General has to be disproved before the prosposal of Mrs. CRAWSHAY and her amiable colleagues will meet with general acceptation. The right of women to full and ample opportunity to improve their minds, develops their faculties, and acquire the means of self-support, is admitted and recognized. Every day we hear of con- cession being made by colleges, schools, and other institutions in connection with which mental culture may be practised with advantage. Moreover, the shield of the law is thrown over them with almost paternal care; and while they have their full share of the benefits accruing from a well-ordered state of society, they have far less responsibility than men. As an indication of a marked improvement in the education of women, the activity displayed by many in the fields of literature, science, and art, is to be regarded with equal pleasure and admiration. But we do hope they will be content to adorn the domestic circle with those higher excel- lencies of virtue, and intellectual and moral worth which would be lost upon electioneering mobs, and probably fade if they did not perish altogether in the rude storms of public life. It is to be regretted, perhaps, that with such able and eminently worthy ladies as those who spoke in Merthyr the other night to advo- cate the cause of women, we should yet feel con- strained to say that we do not think their case has been made out. However, they may be assured that if we cannot agree with their proposals or adopt their arguments, it will form no, part of our policy to disparage them in the eyes of the world, or cast opprobrium upon speakers of whose sincerity and strong conscien- tious convictions we entertain no shadow of doubt.

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.

Advertising

MERTHYR BOARD OF HEALTH.

[No title]

[No title]

MERTHYR POLICE COURT.