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MR. JOHN BRIGHT ON POLITICAL…

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LOCAL NOTES.

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LOCAL NOTES. FEEDING FAUPBR PATIENTS. PERHAPS we should not even say feeding unless it can it can be said that the use of ye noxious wede can be said to feed the body. At Aberdare somebody must have great faith in the utility of flying to extremes in this as well as in other respects, and for a confirmation of this statement we refer our readers to our report of the last meeting of the Board of Guardians. MR. GEORGE DAWSON. ONE of a rare race in this country visited Merthyr on Monday evening, and told us the tale of his trip to America. Mr. George Dawson represents a scarce and valuable section of the British com- munity, and strange to say in these days of speech- making and oratorical flourishing, a section which shews no sign of increase. Although his lecture of Monday cannot be called an oration—although from what we have just heard one would hardly expect to see an audience in tears, or in a trance of en- raptured delight from the "burning words" sent forth by this rhetorical speaker, still Mr. Dawson has the true ring of the class which he represents, and can charm an audience like the Arab story- teller of the silent desert. We wish we had more of these men, for a passing word from such as Mr. George Dawson seems to touch a hidden spring within the British breast, of the bare existence of which we were totally ignorant. PROFESSIONAL ETIQUETTE. Mr. JONES: Evidently there is not a good feeling prevailing among the medical gentlemen of this district. Mr. EVANS: Quite true. But where can you find a good feeling anywhere among the profession ? THE above is an extract from a report of recent pro- ceedings in connection with the Neath Board of Guardians. That there is an absence of good feeling among medical gentlemen generally is a rather bold statement to make, but we give it on the authority of two Guardians of that Union. It is a well known fact, nay it has almost emerged into a proverb, that the disciples of iEsculapius, as far as their pro- fession goes, do not love one another. Frequently I are the public amused at the ferocious tones of opponent prescribers, who attack each other's pro- fessional characters in a manner simply laughable- at least the game could be a laughable one if we felt independent of the aid of these squabbling practitioners. But we Merthyrians may claim an exceptional fate, for who ever heard, or who ever dreamt of hearing, of anything like discourtesy, dis- agreement, or an absence of professional etiquette, among our Merthyr doctors ? Nay, have they not long had the honoured reputation of being bright ensamples of professional and almost filial affection P To be the oldest of the medical staff living with us is to be the kindliest affectioned, and the vision of a venerable practitioner in our streets is to the dys- peptic or the convalescent patient like a streak of sunlight, for those who have spent years in the select professional circle of Merthyr life show it in their very countenances. But as to unhappy outsiders, doctors and patients, 0 tempora 0 tnores THE CALEDONIANS. THE Merthyr branch of the Caledonian Society held its annual re-union a few evenings ago, when, under the genial management of the hostess, Mrs. M'Eachern, the good things provided proved a welcome contributory to the joviality of the evening' The Caledonians are to be found everywhere, which says a good deal for the cosmopolitan character of the Scotch as a race, and, what is more, their abiding love of home associations. Who can think much of a man who is dead to all feelings of patriot- ism, and where is there a breast which cannot warm to the sentiments utterred by one of Scotia's famous bards ? But the Scotch are clannish, and even in these days observations neither complimentary nor polite sometimes pass between natives of tho Northern and Southern counties. But, thank Heaven! the days when Scotland was in the market at a price, and when her internal economy was disturbed by cattle lifting," have gone by, and we ara happy to think all ill-feeling and family feud are rapidly following into the land of forgetfulness and obscurity. NO better proof of this could be found than such gatherings as that which took place at the Bush Hotel, and all will re-echo the wish that a society calculated to do such re-echo the wish that a society calculated to do such a work may be long lived. THE SCHOOL BOARD AND ITS WORK. IN another column will be found a report of the pro- ceedings of the Merthyr School Board at their last meeting. A most comprehensive history of the opera- tions and intentions of that body since its establish- ment, with regard to the compulsory and voluntary education of the district, was made by the chairman and who can say that, receiving matters in the light as put, the work has been badly done ? At any rate, it only required the application of the compulsory powers of the Board to complete the educational edifice they have so industriously reared. This we pointed out a fortnight ago, and now the Board have determined to add the top-stone to the structure. We congratulate them, adding, moreover, that it would have been more than a mistake if they had neglected to do so. Perhaps some may raise an ob- jection to this course on the ground that the present members were not elected on any such programme, put to these malcontents we would put the question- must we do everything else, erect schools, persuade parents (sic), and engage educational ability of a high class, and then stop short here and rest in faith on the good-will and approbation of many who would have opposed the Board's coming into existence ? We must carry out the law in its perfec- tion. Half measures will no more suit Merthyr than any other place, and if anything were required to prove the thorough efficiency of our School Board their last act puts it out of all question. THE INCORPORATION OF MERTHYR. IF ANY further conclusive arguments were needed in favour of the Incorporation of the Parish of Merthyr, one would think the most obstinate and cynical would at last acknowledge their convic- tion after the observations just made by Mr. John Bright. We have much pleasure therefore in calling our readers' attention to the remarks of the greatest English orator, which we reproduce below. In passing, we think it worth while to remark that, curiously enough, the most active opponents to the Incorporation scheme in this place are ultra-radicals, just those who in carrying out a programme which might even go to greater lengths that even the great Liberal leader, whose name we have just mentioned, would sanction, think it part of their business to become obstructives! It would be needless to com- ment on the inconsistency of a course which is in opposition to the policy of a party who found and still find it worth their while to legislate for towns, with a view to confer lasting benefits on communi- ties which contain a maioritv of their supporters. Mr. Bright says:— Has it ever occurred to you in this town of Birming- ham—and there is no better assembly in the kingdom more appropriate to put the question to than this—did it ever occur to you that, during our lifetime—the last forty or fifty years—the towns of the United Kingdom have not only made the policy of the country, but have had the greatest gain out of the policy, as gradually transferred into law. (Hear, hear.) In the Reform Bill of 1832 the towns got a franchise of £ 10 Md counties a franchise of £ 50 (I am speaking of occupation). In the Reform Bill of 1866 the towns got a. household franchise the counties got only a S12 rating, which means a JE16 rental franchise. But in 1835 the towns got one of the best measures that was ever passed by the English Parliauieut-the Alunicips,l Corporation Reform Act, a most admirable Act, which gave self-government to almost all the towns in the United Kingdom. What has been the value of the Corporation Act? Look at your town. People com- plain that they have rates. Of course they have, but if they send good men to the town council-such good men as you have in your Mayor-( cheer.)-you may TOU uPRn y°u Sek value for that which you spend. Why, if you had no police, no lights, no supply of water, no gas, no pavement, no drains, Birmingham could not exist. That is not all. (Hear, hear.) It is a°L that you would be uncomfortable, but you actually could not exist. I say there is nothing better in the world that I am acquainted with than the municipal governments in this country. If they have not always turned out as good as we wished, it is be- cause the people who made them and administer them are themselves not quite as good as we could wish. In the counties there is no Municipal Corporation Act. The rules and affairs are administered by a number of gentlemen who are county magistrates. I do not say they are not doing often the very best they can but they do not admit a great many persons who would be very desirable members. There are counties, I am told in which there is scarcely a Nonconformist upon the bench of magistrates. These country gentlemen exert whatever powers they have, I daresay, as wisely as they know how —(laughter)—considering how difficult it is to be always disinterested, and how most of us make many blunders in the course of our lives. (Laughter.) I think the smaller towns and villages in the counties which are not included within the Parliamentary borough limits have a right to as good municipal govern- ment as we have in the larger towns." (Cheers.) MERTHYR SCHOOL BOARD. T ^# The fortnightly meeting of this Board was held on Friday last, at the Workhouse. Mr. G. T. Clark (chair- man) presided, and there were also present the Rev. J. M. Bowen, Mr. Thos. Williams (Goitre), and Mr. W. L. Daniel. The minutes of the previous meeting having been read and confirmed, the following business was tran- sacted THE NON-ATTENDERS.—COMPULSMN RECOMMENDED. The General Purposes Committee having read the attendance-officer's report carefully, recommend the Board to serve notices according to Form A, appended to the bye-laws of the Board upon the parents in the following cases, and that on their failing to appear before the Board or the Committee duly appointed, that the Board proceed to enforce the penalty for commit- ting a breach of their bye-laws :-The following were the cases referred to :-John Aubrey (9), Pontmorlais Rachel Liberman (7), Victoria-street; Elizabeth Lewis (10), 18, Newfoundland Tip; James Thomas (12), 11, Canal-square Philip Lewis, alias Jones (9), 15, White- row Sarah Ann Evans (7), 3, Aberdare-road Bessie Thomas (11), 5, Tramroad Side; John Evans (10), 21 Elim-street; Margaret Ann Williams (8), 20, High- street, Penydarren David Morgan (10), Twynvrodyn • Alfred Browne (11), 39, Horeb-street; Ivor'Pees (10\ 72, Mountain Hare. The following is a copy of form A, referred to:- Merthyr Tydfil School District. "To —— — --— Take notice that you are hereby required, within —— days after the service hereof, to cause your child —— to attend a public elementary school. (Signed) —————— Officer of the Board. The officer serving this notice will, if required, ex- plain the same, and the consequences of refusing to comply therewith, and will also give you any informa- tion relating thereto, or to the schools which your child may attend. "The officer will not disclose the fact of your having been served with this notice, or any information relat- ing thereto to any person other than a member of the Board, or a school manager, or the principal teacher of a school. If you do not compiy with this notice, and wish to give any reason or explanation for not doing so, you are invited to attend a meeting of the School Board, or a committer thereof, or of school managers, appointed by the Board to be held and before any proceedings are taken against you full consideration will be given by the Board to any statement you may think fit to make at such meeting or to the officer serving this notice." The Chairman said the General Purposes Committee had met, and had now presented their report before the Board. As a school board they had not wished to be unnecessarily severe, but still they had felt it their duty to take care that every child in the district was edu- cated. The Board had compulsory powers, but they were anxious not to use them if they couid avoid it, for they had felt that very many of the people of this town had not had the means, conveniently at any rate of obtaining cheap and good education for their chill dren. The Board had waited, therefore, until after an amount of exertion they would be able to say they had those means for nearly, if not the whole of the district. Now, by the purchase, building, and opening of schools', there were, with regard to a very large portion of the area they represented, convenient and good schools within the reach of all. (Hear, hear.) The Board hoped that while they were doing this the parents would become alive to the advantages of education, and that they would send the children to the schools without its being necessary to have recourse to compulsion The Board, however, found that that was not tbe case. A very large number of the parents were awake to the importance of education, had sent their children, and were sending them, t.) the schools, but there was a for- midable number who had not chosen to do that. These had been admonished by the Board, who had appointed an officer, whose business it was to try to persuade them in every way. Moral pressure had been tried, but this had by no means met the difficulty, and now at last they, as a School Board, had to come unwillingly to compulsion, and they felt absolutely forced to put it in operation. The committee of the Board had gone through the list of cases with attendances, which had been prepared by the attendance-officer, and in their wisdom they had selected-he thought rightly-as a class upon which the compulsory powers were first to be tried, those who were in the receipt of good wages, and who wanted the will and not the means of sending their children to school. It was to be hoped that it would not be necessary to put the law into force by summon- isg a lot of people, which was exceedingly inconvenient, and because in England people gave way rather to moral than legal pressure. Mr. Clark here referred to the 12 cases chosen by the committee, and said they would be dealt with firstly by the admonitory note given above, and then if the parents did not show good and satisfactory reasons why the children did not go to school, the law would be put into opera- tion, and they would be brought before the magis- trates, who would deal with them as the law directed He concluded by saying th;it it had been thought that it would be better not to delegate the examination of the parents to a committee, but to leave this matter in the hands of the whole Board. The report of the Committee was then adopted and the summons contained on Form A made returnable next Board day. THE SALARY QUESTION. The Clerk read the report and recommendations with regard to salaries, presented by the Georgetown school managers. The Chairman said the Board would remember that at their last meeting there was some discussion about salaries, and it was then mentioned that a certain scale should be adopted. It was felt that without these returns it would be impossible to do justice in each case. They were now on the table, but being voluminous it would clearly be better for them to be considered by a ccmmittee than by the whole Board. This suggestion was at once agreed to, and the returns were left over for that purpose. REPORT. The report of the attendance-officer (Mr. Simpson Evans) and which drew attention to the fact that the Board schools were being examined in rotation by the Government Inspectors, was read and adopted. BOARD AND NON-BOARD SCHOOLS. A letter was read from the secretary of the Manches- ter Liberal Association, drawing attention to certain resolutions passed by that Association on a recent pro- posal of the London School Board. The resolutions were as follows;-I. That this Council desires to ex- press its strong disapprobation of the proposal of the London School Board to ask the Government to increase the grants out of the Consolidated Fund to Elementary Schools, as calculated to perpetuate the concurrent en- dowments of all religion." 2. "That in attempting to establish a system of education by the Act of 1870 the chief plea. for the continued existence of denomina- tional schools was the great support they derived from voluntary subscriptions that in order to enable them the better to compete with the proposed rate-supported Board schools, the educational grr.nt was materially increased that with this grant well-conducted schools ue now almost enabled to dispense with voluntary sub- icriptions and that to further increase the grant so as sntirely to dispense with such subscriptions to denomi- national schools would destroy their character as volun- tary schools, under which they have a right to exist." 3. That institutions supported by public money ought to be under public control, and that all elementary schools receiving Government grants or payments under the 25th clause of the Education Act ought to be under inspection and control by the local authorities esta- blished under the Education Act." The letter requested that the Board would pass a resolution in accordance with what had been done at Manchester. The Chairman said this was an important proposal which had come to them from a quarter where a great deal of influence was exerted on educational matters They would remember that Manchester had always been foremost in education, and the support which thev w! given to Mr. Forster and Lord Aberdare had tended in a great measure to bnng about what the country now had in this particular. He agreed in with the Manchester people, but the grounds o "which he would be prepared to act were very different from theirs and he thought some of the vanced were quite unworthy of them. With regard to voluntary schools there was no question that the volun- &e^entlW0aS a very val^ble one, and he was sure /rr ° Whc w°uld not undervalue it. ihrnfu K J Whether tfee children of this country should be educated by direct taxation without help from voluntary sources was another matter. There riUi.eiStlon that Mr- Forster was quite right ii, e voluntary idea, which had spread COUH^PP lcts ^ch, as far as he (the chairman) could see, were not able to elect and sustain a School Board. In this country there were a number of little parishes which were perfectly unable, and where it would be ridiculous to attempt to elect a self-governing Therefore, he, for one, was by no means pre° pared to do away with the voluntary or denominational system of schooling, but at the same time he did not wish to do any more to encourage it, and certainly not at the expense of the School Board system. He thought the sum at present given by the Legislature towards voluntary schools to be quite enough, but he did not think they received sufficient to make them independent, as stated. But he had found that the subscriptions to the voluntary schools since Mr. Forster's bill passed had been greater; there had been an agitation and a setting up of voluntary schools in opposition to Board schools, and be did not think that the grants gi 7en by the government were sufficient to sustain these so-called voluntary schools without voluntary subscriptions, if it were so that would put another complexion on the matter. He quite admitted that those who took the people's money acquired certain responsibilities by so doing, but on the other hand he would like to know who received or earned money, and did not acquire with it some responsibility? If a handful of guineas dropped into his pocket from Heaven he would acquire with it some responsibility, and so it was with all who lived. Money could not be applied how we liked, but ac- cording to law. Now he thought that the person who received money should be responsible for the way in which he spent it, and practically those who received government or legyl money were held responsible to the same parties as those who worked in the Board schools -he referred to the Government Inspectors. Agaiu, it was certainly from the people that the money came, but it was not proper for the person who contributed to the tax to go into the school to see how the tax was laid out, for it was found more convenient that such a person should have a voice in the election of a govern- ment—which should see how the money was spent—and therefore to say that those who took the people's money should be directly responsible to the people, and not to the people through their government was quite contrary to the present School Board system. On the whole lie agreed with the general proposition, and thought it highly undesirable that the amount of grant to voluntary schools should be increased. Then again the tendency of modern progress was to throw tax charges upon the system of imperial taxation lately, however, a large amount of the work of taxation had been thrown upon the local bodies, but county magistrates were the only men in the country who could tax and lay out money without being elected for that purpose by the ratepayers. While they were not so elected, yet the public voice had a great influence with them, and this was one of the points which the present government would find it necessary to legislate upon. He thought they would all see that there was a. very great deal of advantage in local taxation, because of the personal interest taken in the laying out of the money. Suppose all the poor rates of the country were all paid by the imperial government to spend by the Boards of Guardians, or a committee of Boards for the whole country, could anyone suppose that there would be anything like the economy that there was now but still the tendency was to throw more charges on the imperial pocket. Mr. Clark concluded by excusing himself for these lengthened observations, on the ground of the importance of the subject, and where the resolutions emanated from. It was agreed that the suggestions contained in the circular be referred to the consideration of the General Purposes Committee. PRINTING FOR THE BOARD. The question as to which of the Merthyr printers the work for the next term of six months should be given was raised by the clerk. Mr. Daniel understood that each of the Merthyr printers had had a turn, and he believed there were one or two printers at Dowlais. Inasmuch as Dowlais was in the same parish he thought the Board might give them a turn too. The Chairman pointed out that what the Board required was good and cheap printing. He discoun- tenanced local patronage except the work were done as well as it would be at a distance, and if this were the case, it became a duty and a satisfaction to apply for local aid. The printers at Dowlais might be as good as those at Merthyr, and both as good as the printers in London. Mr. Daniel understood that it had been agreed to select the senior printer first, and then let the work go round the town. The Chairman remarked that it was rather a delicate subject for him to deal with, and perhaps a change would be preferred, but in private life they were not in the habit of acting in this way, and he never in his life left a tradesman so long as he was satisfied with him. The Clerk observed that this was only a matter of JE15 or .£20. Mr. Williams pointed out that no application had come from Dowlais. After a short discussion, The Chairman said it appeared to be the custom of the Board to have a sort of rota of printers. This had now been worked through, and it was suggested that they return to the first name on the list, which was Mr. Rees Lewis, and that the printing for the next half- year be given to him accordingly. This was agreed to, and the public business of the Board came to a termination.

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MERTHYR BOARD OF GUARDIANS,