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-------. Y GONGL GYMREIG.

EISTEDDFOD ABERTAWE, AWST…

WESLEYANS AND THE DRINK TRAFFIC.

NEXT WEEK'S GRAND CONCERT.

RE-VALUATION OF SWANSEA.I

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THE TRADE OF THE PORT AND…

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--------__---" THE CAMBRIAN"!

,MUMBLES.

LLANDRINDOD WELLS.

LLANDILO.

LOCAL NEWS.

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THE MORALS OF THE STAGE.

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THE MORALS OF THE STAGE. DR. EAWLING REPLIES TO HIS CRITICS. TO THE EDITOR OF "THE CAMBRIAN." SIR,—I have neither time nor inclination to discuss fully some of the criticisms upon my action in the matter of the Grand Theatre license. It seems, however, necessary that I should say something. One critic says" the proposition that the Corporation should exercise a censorship over the Swansea stage is one that can never be accepted, even if it could be legally permitted." It would be profitable if those who assume this attitude would define the function of the Corporation. I am not in any doubt about it myself. We have absolute power. The license was granted by the Corporation, and can be refused any year, and, so far as I am a vare, there is no appeal from its decision. More- over, it certainly was contemplated in the legislation which removed the licensing power from the Bench to the County Council that the opinion of the community would be reflected in the decisions of an elected body. I have no doubt that those members of the Council who silently protested against the action of the theatre managers, had at their back the very best men and women in the community. If we had gone further, and refused to vote for the license unless an under- taking was given to withdraw the particular play to which objection was made, I believe that we should have done no more than our duty. We shall continue to exercise our right of censor- ship, unless it be shown that we have no such right. The people have their remedy. If they want a Corporation quite agreeable year by year to renew a license for the performance of plays of the class of "The Gay Lord Quex," then when their opportunity arrives they must get rid of men like myself. I hold, and never hesitate to say so, that we are chosen not merely to attend to the busi- ness of the town, but to do what we can to help its moral life by "making it easy for the people to do right, and difficult for them to do wrong." If we license places of amusement it is clearly our duty to use all reasonable precautions to keep them from being agencies for the moral degradation of the pecple. Those of us who are non-playgoers have been severely criticised because we dared to give an opinion on the fitness or otherwise of the particular play under discussion, and the extraordinary statement has been made that none but those who had seen the play were competent judges. There is ample material for judgment without visiting the theatre. All the London dailies give lengthy reviews which include a descriptive account of the plot of the play. In the case of "The Gay Lord Quex I found as much as a column of description in some papers. Besides this, as you well know, the whole of the dialogue can be obtained. Moreover, I did not judge the particular play to which I objected by my own standard, but was content to accept the judgment of the dramatic critic of the news- paper. Dramatic critics, as a rule, leave the moral aspects of plays severely alone, so that when they do speak even Corporations may be forgiven for paying attention to them. If your readers are in doubt as to the possibility of a sane judgment being formed on the character of a play, without seeing it staged, let them go to the Free Library, and ask for a copy of one of the great London dailies for April 10th. But with your per- mission I will give some additional press notices, and thus save the time of your readers. In its bantering article of July 22nd, com- menting on our discussion in the Council, the Telegraph does not care to dogmatise on the question as to whether we have any justi- cation for our action other than the associa- tion of Oliver Cromwell with Swansea. The Daily Telegraph," however, of April 10th, in its own review of this play, affords some justification. The environment of the story he (Mr. Pinero) has made vulgarly modern and in some parts needlessly suggestive. The manicure shop and the libertines who haunt it are not a pleasant inspiration; the pert and cunning female operators are, to put it mildly, not nice. We have here a faint reflection— but one full of innuendo—of some phases of our later civilisation that need no further allusion. The Marquis of Quex is a notorious middle-aged roue. His chief friend is —— a profligate of the agling order. They are a most unlovable party whichever way you may take them, either singly or in bulk. Mr. Pinero has, however, contrived to make them interesting and plausible." After much more iu a similar vein, the review winds up: Mr. Pinero's precept resolves itself into this—that it is better for a young and innocent girl to marry an experienced libertine with a scandalous and notorious record than a younger man whose i evil deeds are necessarily more limited in number. While the moral lesson it teaches is deplorable, the dramatic impressiveness is undeniable." Comment is unnecessary. Somehow, Mr. Editor, I have the impression that not many of my fellow-townsmen will quarrel with me for protesting against plays of this class being introduced to our town, and for announcing to all whom it may concern that so long as I am in the Council, I shall pursue the same policy. Nevertheless, I entirely agree with you that the most effec- tive way of purifying the stage is for all decent people who frequent the theatre to let it be known by theatie managers, in the moat practical way, that they also object to plays of the class of "The Gay Lord Quex."—I am, yours very truly, JOHN ADAMS RAWLINOS. Preswylfa, July 27th, 1899.

SOUTH WALES STOCK ANDI SHARE…

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