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MERTHYR TYDFIL.

Recognition of the Honour…

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 1896.

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SPARKSnPECBrraiTANVIL.

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SPARKSnPECBrraiTANVIL. BY JOE HAMMERSMITH. On Saturday the Board of Guardians, for the third time since the resignation of Mr. David, will have to select a relieving officer for Aberdare. Mr. Price, the candidate chosen on Saturday week, turns out to be beyond the advertised age of 45, and he has with- drawn his application for the post. When he applied he was under the impression that he was only 42, but the registrar has placed the matter beyond doubt. Last week I mentioned the fact that candidates for posts carrying with them age-limitations are generally required to produce certificates of birth. The Merthyr Guardians have not followed this rule in the past. But they will do so in the future. On Saturday they passed a resolution to that effect, proposed by Mr. R. H. Rhys, and seconded by Mr. D. Davies (Merthyr). This rule, had it been in force, would have obviated the present delay in the matter of the Aberdare relieving officer. It is doubtful whether the mode of procedure resolved upon by the Guardians is strictly legal and legular, Twe it y-three candid xtes applied for the post when it was rendered vacant by the disappearance of Williams. Out of these 23, four were picked out for final selection. Price was chosen, but he proves to be ineligible. What the Guardians are now going to do is to fall back on the other three. Are they entitled to do that ? Should they not go through the whole thing over again from the beginning, and issue advertisements in the ordinaly way? Two more cases of small-pox are reported from Dowlais, and one from Aberdare. I hope the sanitary authorities are doing all that can be done to prevent the spread of the disease. People over twelve years of age are advised to get themselves I re-vaccinated. The public vaccinators should ha\ea busy time of it during the coming weeks. The Merthyr District Council, at their last meet- ing, resolved, bv a narrow majority, to support a petition which the minority protested they did not understand. Member after member got up, and said the actual meaning of the document was not quite clear to them. That being the case, and the matter not being particularly urgent, would it not have been better :o postpone the debate for a fortnight ? It would at least have been courteous towards the minority. I can't say I quite understand this petition myself. I do not feel satisfied in my mind that I see right through it, so to speak. The petition asks that the capitation grants should be increased, and that Parliament should limit the amount to be raised by means of local taxation." What do3s this actually amount to ? Is it not the limiting of the local educa- tion rate ? The West Ham folk, who started the petition, pay a school board rate of 2s. 4d., and their little game now is to reduce that rate to 3d., and get the remainder from Imperial funds. That would not bo just and equitable to other places where the rate is lower than 2s. 4d. Moreover, the ultimate result of such a step would be the arrest of the educational progress of West Ham by the compulsory reduction of the local rate. I do not care to speak too dogmati- cally on the subject, but it seems to me that the peti- tion adopted by our District Council, the petition which the minority did not unders'snf, really aims at crippling the Board schools. My friend Mr. E. P. Biddleis retiring from busint 33 and leaving the town. We shall all miss the genial Alderman very much, ard I rather think he, too, will miss his hosts of Merthyr friends. He has played a prominent part in local affairs for many years, and he was always found in the front rank of those who fought for municipal reform. I need not enumerate the various movements with which his name has been associated. Most of the leforms he advocated have been secured. One of the last questions he took up was that of the slaughter-houses unfortunately he leaves us before that battle has been really begun, and it will have to be fought without his valuable assis- tance. There is a general feeling in the town that the Alderman," as his friends delight to call him, should not be allowed to leave us without some tangible proof of the love and respect in which he is held. Ho should carry with him to his retirement something to show that life old fellow-townsmen thought kindly of him. If a movement with that object is set on foot, as I hope it will, I am sure it will be taken up with much heartiness, and there will be no difficulty in obtaining sufficient funds for a suitable and worthy testimonial. The question has once more cropped up, what town should be the capital of Walts. I am prepared to back up the claims of Merthyr against all the towns in the blessed Principality. At any rate, it should be either Merthyr or Aberystwyth, and the claims of the former are twice as strong as those of the latter. I base my reasoning on the analogy of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The argument is rather a subtle one, but weighty and sound. What London is to England geographically, and what Edinburgh is to Scotland, that's what Merthyr Tydvil is to Wales. The three towns lie in the southern quarter. Not, mat k you, on the extreme southern border, else Cardiff would have the first claim. Cardiff is too much south, and Merthyr just south enough. Cardiff is Welsh only geographically. Ethnically (and perad venture ethically as well) it is cosmopolitan, that is to say, mongrel. Merthyr is downright Welsh, and situated in the midst of a teeming Welsh population. The same reasoning would apply with almost equal force to Aberdare. What is against Aberdare is that they haven't got a progressive School Board there. A town whose board schools are backward cannot be the capital of Wales. The analogy of Ireland favours Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth is to Wales what Dublin is to Ireland. But England and Scotland are more than Ireland, and therefore the claims of Merthyr are stronger than those of Aberystwyth. Anyone who is not satisfied or convinced by this argument is at liberty to devise a better one, if he can, for himself. Mr. Stanley Leighton, "theman from Shrewsbury," eays there are four nations in Wales: The North Welsh, the South Welsh, the Flemish, and the English-Wcl;:h. He might have added a fifth the Welsh English, or tho Anglicised Welsh, or, to call them by their more modern title, the "cosmopolitans." Still there is a doubt about the fifth, as he whom God Almighty made a Celt cannot, strictly speaking, be anything other than a Celt, however much he may desire to de-CeIticise himself. He may be able, after long, persistent effort, to forget the Welsh language. But language is only an incident, not the essence of nationality. I suppose those who want four Liberal federations for WaUs build up their argument from some such data as those mentioned by Mr. Leighton. They go on the principle of "one nation one federation." Geography, however, is, I fear, against them. And geography is a stubborn thing. Aberdare Junction has now a Chamber of Trade. There is some confusiqn about the name of this locality. It has two names Aberdare Junction and Navigation. Neither, I should say, is quite appro- priate. There is no sense at all in calling an inland town Navigation, and not much in calling a town Aberdare Junction which is not associated in any way with Aberdare. Will the Chamber kindly take this matter up. and decide it one or the other ere it is too late ? c; Now Dowlais would be a better name than either of the above. Commercially, the place is associated with Dowlais. The neighbouring town of Treharris took its name from one of the owners of the coal-pit sunk there, which brought it into being. The family name of the owners of the Aberdare Junction Pit is Guest, and "Guest-town" would not be at all bad. Treguest," the Welsh form, is a hybrid and lacks euphony, the vowel-sounds in the two syllables being too tnueh alike, Tremartin," or Trefartin," would bo Welsh enough, and a graceful compliment to the managers of the great Dowlais Company. I beg respectfully to commend these suggestions to the notice of the members of the Chamber of Trade, who are in a better position than anybody else to deal with the subject. T have tried my level best to understand the town I of Cardiff, and I have failed. They are quite angry there now because the Court of the Welsh University have decided that the installation ceremony of the Prince of Wales as chancellor is to be performed at Aberystwyth. What did Cardiff expect ? Aber- ystwyth is as near as possible to the centre of Wales, and it has the oldest and most successful of the University Colleges. Cardiff stands at the extreme end of the Principality. But then Cardiff had an exhibition, and the idea was to run the poor Prince in double harness. The exhibition and the University were to be combined for the occasion, and the gulf between the sublime and the ridiculous was to be bridged over. Downright glad am I that such a preposterous scheme has failed. The function referred to should be performed in a distinctly Welsh town. Cardiff is not a Welsh town, rind certainly not popular in the Piincipality. Wales is ashamed of Cardiff, with its shebeens and slums and brothels. Its Birds and Reeds have alienated from it the sympathy of. Welsh Nationalists. Many of its cosmopolitan shopkeepers are caddish enough to fine their assistants for speak- ing the native language of their country. If Cardiff wants to win favour in the sight of Wales it must amend its ways, cast off its political cosmopo- litanism, and cease from offending the national sus- ceptibilities of Welshmen. Until it doet; that, it should not be surprised at decisions such as that of the University Court on Friday. On Saturday afternoon I saw a football match. It was what Mr. Traill, parodying Mr. Grant Allen, would call a "Tip-top" match. The ground should have been even, but it wasn't. Far from it. There was a big hole in the middle, where, after heavy rains, there is a fine lake. They use boats, I am told, to go after the ball on those occasions. The youngsters engaged in tho match played with a will, and it was an enjoyable treat to look at them. You should see them in a scrum This thing called scrum, I may remark by tho way, is without a doubt tho most humorous diversion ever deviled by tho wit of man. If I wero a member uf the Distllet Council I think I would try and secure a tolerably decent ground for these ardent j'oung footballers. Ifc is a shame to seo thorn having to run, so tx |<peak, up hill and down dale* I There was a crowd of spectators looking on. Tho young boys smoked cigarettes. When they took tho cigarettes out of their mouths they swore.

ABERDARE NOTES.

llEM ARK ABLE CONSPIRACY AT…

THE TYLOIWTOWN DISASTER.

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I MERTHYR YALE WARD ELECTIONS.…

WALES IN PARLIAMENT.

A R IN AAV AY HORSE AT CEFN.

MR. HARKY J;VAXS, A.R.C.O.j

" DELIGHTFUL " TREATMENT FOR…

BY THE WAY.

THREATENED STRIKE AT MERTHYH…

METEOROLOGICAL REGISTER

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