Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page

Family Notices

[No title]

[No title]



CORRESPONDENCE. We do not consider ourselves responsible for the opinions and sentiments of our Correspondents BONCATH HIGHWAY BOARD. SIR,Will you allow me a small space in your valuable paper, as your report of the proceedings of the above Board has been mercilessly attacked by a correspondent of the Carmarthen Journal, and as a member of that Board I feel It my duty to say a few words in defence of your reporter. I shall pass by the insinuation ot the Journal's correspondent as to your reporter being an interested mourner over the decline of John Colby, Esquire's popularity, and only notice his remark as to my not having nominated that gentleman. His statement is quite wrong, as I did so, and was seconded properly, and the proposition would no doubt have been carried unani- mously, and the Board and district benefitted by his valuable services as chairman; but Dr. Jones of Llancych brought word from him that be would not accept office, consequently I withdrew my motion, when Major Lewis of Ciynfiew, was elected as our chairman, and B. Evans, Esq, its our vice-chairman, without oppo- sition. I am fully satisfied that the author of the report respecting the transactions of our Highway Board at Boncath is not a member, as his statements are quite wioog, and oanoot be supported j ho is certainly ill-dis- posed and nothing else, and for that reason I shall not consider him worth my further notice except he subscribe his name to his letter; if he does that, be shall know more about it if required. I remain, Sir, yours truly, GKOIIGE BOWKIT, Guardian of St. Dogmell's. Plasnewydd, May 25th, 186G. rHE GUARDIANS OF THE HAVERFORDWEST UNION AND THE POOR. SIR,-The Haverfordwest Union District is now under the Union Chargeability Act,' the avowed object of which, is, I believe, to improve the condition of the poor. That such may have been the honest intention of the framtra of the Act I will not deny but it is by no means likelv that such a result will follow the manner in which the Act is administered in this District. I am not an ardent admirer of rates and taxes I cannot say that I feel a thrill of joyous emotion when that much abused but useful functionary, the Rate Collector, makes his ppriodical appearance indeed I often think I should feel better pleased if his visits bore a greater resemblance to what angels' are said to be, i.e., 'few and far between.' Although this feeling is shared to a considerable extent by ratepayers generally, still, I do I not hesitate to say that the majority of those who pay rates would rather pay a little more in order that those who are no longer able to feed and clothe themselves should at any rate be provided with the necessaries of life. There is, Sir, now, and has been for the last few weeks a considerable amount of suffering among the aged poor residing in the District of the Haverfordwest Union. This suffering is brought about by the Guardians, who in their anxiety to do justice to the ratepayers, are doing that which I doubt not will be the means of lessening the number of those who receive relief; for to take fnm the aged and infirm a part of what was barely sufficient to sustain life is a sure way of getting rid of them altogether. And such, Sir, is the plan pursued by the Guardians of the Haverfordwest Union. True they have, when reducing the amount of relief, or taking it away entirely, informpd the poor creatures that they could go into the Workhouse.' But it is well known that to a great number of the un- fortunate poor the dread of the Workhouse is only ex- ceeded by that of the Jail. That feeling which has always prevailed in the British breast has not been lessened by that story of 'A Night in the Worlchouse' which sent a thrill of indignant horror through the land. Some of those aged paupers who have lately been de- prived of the trifle they were allowed and in its place offered the indoor relief' were in the habit of doing an odd job heie and there, and thus with the 2s or 2s 6d from the parish managed to eke out a living. Now, Sir, I contend that these persons who do all in their power to help themselves are the very ones who should be helped and encouraged. But our Guardians think otherwise, and either reduce the amount or take it away entirely and give them tve miserable choice of starvation or the Workhouse. Can we wonder at their not accepting the latter offer? The following fact will give your readers an idea of the manner in which the poor are treated in the Haverfordwest Workhouse. An aged woman who is, I believe, still in the Workhouse, was paralysed, and instead of necessary nourishment being supplied her, there was nothing but the bare Workhouse fare allowed which she could not touch, and not until those who waited on her positively refused to carry it to her, was there anything done, and then she was put on the sick list. When such cases as this occur, is it to be wondered at that Poorhouse and Prison should almost be considered as synonymous words? The Guardians surely cannot be aware of the destitution they are causing by depriving the deserving poor of relief and leavintthem the miserable alternative of going indoors. Such a system cannot be supported by the plea that it is mere economical and will lessen the poor rates for if a pauper who was receiving 2s 6d a week as outdoor relief be sent into the Workhouse what will the cost be ? At least double. I have no wish Mr Editor to see pauperism pampered but I do think honest poverty should be pitied noc punished. I am, Sir, Yours, &c., A WELL WISHER TO THE POOB. LORD BROUGHAM AND THE BEER-HOUSES. SIR,-There is a misconception abroad that Lord Brougham was one of the responsible authors of what has proved an unmitigated curse to this country, namely, the present beer-house system. I therefore claim your aid in removing so unjust an accusation against that veteran statesman and philanthropist. Nearly a generation ago, Lord Brougham—when moving the second reading of his Sale of Beer Act Re- peal Bill in the House of Lords-described the beer- houses as 'polluting the soil of the country, casting a dark shade over the minds of the people, and infecting and poisoning the atmosphere which the people ought to breathe.' It is no insignificant fact in our parliamentary history that when Lord Melbourne, the then Prime Minister, announced the intention of his cabinet to re- sign, Lord Brougham, in reference to his anti-beer Bill, said, I consider that Bill to be of more importance Ks regards the public morals than the resignation of any ministry; and I shall proceed, whoever ho'ds the ofliceof Minister of this country, in my endeavours to obtain The re- peal of a measure which 1 believe to be permanently fraught with mischief to the character of the country.' In the course of his eloquent speech, Lord Brougham said, Some of my noble friends have charged me with having changed my opinions upon this subject. "'How can you," ask the writers of the letters I am daily receiving, "how can you be against the Beer Bill who originally brought it in ?" If I had brought it in, and found that I had been wrong, that would be a good reason why I should change my opinions. But it so happens that I not only did not bring it in, but I opposed it in every way I could. I brought in a Beer Bill, but it contained a clause prohibiting, under severe penalties, the consump- tion, of beer on the premises.' Lord Brougham produced overwhelming evidence of the immoral effects of the beer-houses, and said he bad further examples which were too shocking for him to read to the House. These related to the 'most abhorrent cases of female prostitution, and of such profligacy and crapulous vice as he had never read or heard of before! He then delivered what has been termed a withering and eloquent invective' against merely palliating evil. The following is but a summary :—' To what good, or with what consistency, could the clergy occupy themselves in inculcating piety and morals on the Sunday, and visiting their parishioners, in order to tend their flocks and keep them in the right path ?-to what good was it that the Legislature passed laws to punish crime, or that their lordships should occupy themselves in finding out modes of improving the morals of the people by giving them education ?—what, in the name of Heaven, could be the use of all the education they could bestow,—what the use of sowing a little seed here, and plucking up a weed there, if these beer-shops were to be continued, that they might go on to sow the seeds, not of ignorance, but of that which was ten times worse-immorality broadcast over the land, germinating the most frightful produce that ever bad been allowed to grow up in a civilised country, and, he was ashamed to add, under the foster- ing care of Parliament, and throwing baleful influences over the whole community ?' Then, as now, it was asked, 'How about the Revenue?' To this question Lord Brougham made the fitting reply that he dealt with this subject on high moral and religious grounds, and that he really felt ashamed to treat it as a mere 'petty ques- tion of financebut if he did sink down to rest, he would say that he was perfectly confident that, instead of a re- peal of this Bill being an injury to the revenue, it would cause an increase of it. The great Duke of Wellington supported Lord Brougham's repressive measure; so did not the noble Marquis of Westminster, who feared it would 'ruin the beer-shop keepers;' he was in favour, however, of the suppression of 'gin-palaces' and 'ardent spirits,' which, in the words of Lord Brougham, he ad- mitted, were the parents of crimes of the worst descrip- tion,' namely, crimes accompanied with violence. The Duke of Richmond supported Lord Brougham, and said that if he were in office, the first thing he would direct his attention to would be the corrction of this I detest- able evil.' The Earl of Harewood said he had never heard anything from any human being but a complaint of these beer-shops. His words were—' This is almost the only subject I ever knew on wh ch there is one uni- versal feeling expressed throughout the country^' Fol- lowing the example of Lord Brougham, be said, I I oball not consider the subject as connected with revenue at alt. For the benefit of the people, at all risks, do away with the system which is one of the greatest evils that ever has been inflicted upon the people. It is absolutely essen- tial to the morals of the people that it should be done away with.' Unfortunately, Lord Brougham's warning voice has been disregarded, and 'at all risks' the evil has been continued but I believe the present Parliament will not pass away without an attempt being made by the Government to redeem its pledge of a rectification of our anomalous licensing system. The beer-houses are indeed universally condemned. Even the licensed vic- tuallers condemn them, but their condemnation, though deserved, is not perhaps wholly disinterested I quote it for its pungency. The Guardian of their interests lately stated that, 'Never was an Act of Parliament more thoroughly unsatisfactory in its working than that which enabled a host of beer-shops to be opened. We find too frequently that the person who opens such beer- shop is a man whose character will not bear investigation, and who deliberately lajs all his plans to make as much as possible out of those who earn their money like horses and spend it like asses!' Again, 'the beer-shop keeper collects about him the very dregs of society. It is in these places that robberies are planned and crimes con- trived. The beer-shop keeper is too frequently the banker of the thief,' &c. This is the character of these places as painted by their 'respectable' brethren. But what is the chief attraction to these beer-shops? and what causes the mischief which they inflict upon their frequenters and the public? it is the poisoning and maddening drink, that burning alcohol which is neither food nor physic, and which, in even stronger doses, is the staple trade of the public house and the gin-palace. I raise my voice therefore against the cause of the evil demon drunkenness and its deadly brood; and believing. with Lord Brougham, that it is dangerous and criminal for a State to rely for any portion of its revenue upon such a polluting source, I call upon the people to support those legislators who will give them a veto power for the suppression of this prolific cause of national llcmorali. sation, Yours truly, HENRY PITMAN. Manchester.