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THE NEW PUBLIC OFFICES AT MERTHYR. THE "BUNCH OF GRAPES" LICENCE. At the ordinary meeting of th» Merthyr District Council held oa Wednesday, Mr. T. H. Bailey, J,P., presiding, Mr. Dan Thomas moved—"That having regard to the fact that no provision has been made for including the licence of the Bunch of Grapes Inn in the public buildings proposed to be erected by the District Council, and having regard to the valuable character of the existing property, which will not be utilised, it is expedient that the said licence be offered for public competition, the Council pledging itself not to oppose the purchaser in any application that may be made to the Licensing Justices, either for the removal of the said licenee to other existing premises, or to any new building to be erected in the parish. Mr. Thomas stated that no provision had been made in the scheme to deal with the property, whish would be vacant after erecting the building. The total area of the ground belonging- to the Council was 2,1&Q square yards, and the portion intended to be utilized by the new Public Offices was 1,676 sq. yds., leaviug with the roadway a vacant piece of ground of 277 square yards He found that for the property adjoining the Board had paid £ 5 per square yard, and they would be throwing away £ 1,335 unless 'they uti- lised this site. He suggested that in seme way or other they should make use of it for the public benefit. Much 95 he would like to see a large number of public houses in Merthyr done away with, provided that they did not do away with hLA own (laughter), still they ought to deal with thii property as public property. This was almost the only freehold public-house in the Valley, and he had every reason to believe that a very large sum could be obtained from the licenea if it was shifted down to Treharris or Mer- thyr Vale. If they did their duty to the ratepayers they might spend a thousand ponnds in building premises, and then they could sell it at a 99 years lease for jE3,000, making a clear profit of £2,000. This money could bo used as nucleus for a fund for the building of a free library. He understood that Mr. Frank James had generously offered a valuable site if the Council could find the money to erect the building. Surely they were not going to see this valuable property in tho middle of the town thrown away. They should not allow their personal feelings to enter into this matter, and he knew that the personal feelings of some people had not entered into it.—Mr. Bell said he would not like to have the money lost to the ratepayers, but he should be sorry to see the Council and the public generally becoming public builders of hotels.—Mr. Dan Thomas said that his resolution simply meant that this valuable property should not be thrown away when they could make JB3,000 from it.—Mr. Evan Lewis seconded. He said it was very well for some people to giggle, but it was a matter of too great importance to be trivially dealt with. Every private man in the room, if be had the chance of selling sneh property, would dispose of it to the best advantage. They would never allow a valuable licence to lapse.—The Chairman You must speak for yourself, Mr. Lewis.—Mr. Lewis I will never be a party to do away with it.—Mr. Bell having apokeninfavour of retaining tbe money, but protesting against the Council speculating.—Mn D. Davies rose to move a direct negative, and said that no doubt the old Board .had gone fully into the matter. He was ashamed that Merthyr did not have public offices.-The Chairman pointed out that Mr. Davies was hardly speaking to the motion.—Mr. Davies My impression is that we are going to speculate.—CoundHor Thomas Thomas expressed himself in favour of the motion, as also did Mr. Harpur, who agreed with the view taken by Mr. Bell.—Mr. Wills also supported the motion, and remarked that Mr. D. Davies was not acting con- scientiously, for he could not deny that he was the owner of two public-houses, and had sold them as sueh. He ought to act as such towards the rate- payers as he had done for himself.—The Chairman said that he cluld not consistently vote in favour of the motion, for if the licenco was in his hands he would allow it to lapse but he wished them to do what they thought best for the benefit of the public at large (hear, hear). He had very strong feelings on the matter, not that he believed the use of alcoholic drink to be as dangerous as the misuse and the abuse of it (hear, hear).—The motion was then put to the Council, and all the members, with the ex- ception of Mr. David Davies, voted in favour of it.- Mr. W. Lewis agreed to adjourn, until the next meet- ing, a notice of motion standing in his name for deal- ing with the qnestion of public offices.