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NOTES BY WATCHMAN. HOLIDAYS. I take the liberty of doubting the wiæ om of the Neath School Board in not adhering to the custom of giving the scholars the week's holidays at Whitsuntide. The Neath Board is the one exception in the district. Mr. Edmund Law has intimated that the School ¡ Board does not do as the Neath School Board does, offers an insult to the Neath School Board. There are few who will doubt Mr. Law's ability to talk extravagantly, and it will be difficult to find amongst the treasure of Mr. Law's utterances one surpassing this in absurdity. The Neath School Board does not set the fashion for all the other Boards surely. But the Neath Board will not give the week's holiday notwithstanding the fact that at the meeting at which it resolved upon its fi at reports had been presented, which showed most eloquently what admirably work had been done by the scholars under the Board. There has been good steady work, and a reasonable holiday for the tired little brains, with a stretch of the few days of unmitigated play, would have brought the possessors of those brains back to school fresh for another spell of steady knowledge gathering and grant-earning work. GRANT EARNING. Grant earning is an important considera- tion as I think most will allow. It is the touchstone to which those dreadful people, called economists, bring all that relates to present day popular education. The Neath Board Schools have just earned the highest possible grants, and with attendanees at school not interfered with, it might be safely prophesied that what has been done by them would be done again. But as is well under- stood attendances at school must not be ir- regular. I am afraid that such an interruption as I have indicated will trouble the school managers in Whit week, when, it being a holiday season, the attendance must inevita- bly fall. And if this takes place to anything like a serious extent, down comes the grant. And if the grant is reduced will Mr. Law call it an insult or what ? THE WATCH COMMITTEE. Our Watch Committee has certainly attracted great attention to itself, and much discussion is taking place as to what this powerful body would have done, if any of the means they employed to find out the writers of the letters to the "Police Review" had proved successful. One thing I. think is certain, and that is that it was not in their minds. (Is it correct to speak of the Watch Committee as being possessed of minds, or is it only one mind? I am rather doubtful.) Well, it was not in their minds to promote, to a more lucrative post, the letter writer if they could have been satisfied as to his personality. But they must have meant to do something, or why should they have taken so much trouble. As it is the trouble has been taken with a most unsatisfactory result (from the Watch Committee's point of view). But what was the modus operandi ? A QUOTATION. In answer to this question, which I thank a correspondent for asking, I quote from the Police Beview a description which is strangely out of keeping with the present day. On Monday, the 29th of April, at 3 p.m., the Watch Committee of this Borough (Neath) sat for the purpose of making inquiries with refereace to the letters which appeared in the Police Review' on the 12th and 29th ult. All members of the Force had been summoned to attend, and the following questions were put to them (the men) three times: 4Do any of you know who wrote these letters, or caused them to be written, or do any of you know anything about them.' Needless to say," continues the contributor to the Police Review, every man in the Force value.d his position and replied in the negative, all knowing quite well, should any- one breathe a word, that the result would be disastrous to him. The chairman then gave the men a day to consider, before he and his committee sent to ask you Mr. Editor who was the author of the letters." STRANGE READING. This is strange reading in the present day, it is strangely out of character with the spirit of liberty which, with unfettered pinions, mounts to altitudes for long only dreamt of. This treatment of the Neath Police Force savours of the old tyranous times, when a man was not allowed to call his conscience his own. Surely our representatives ought to know that freedom of man extends to much more than right to choose his religious or political creed. Liberty, according to glorious John Milton, is liberty to know, to utter, and argue freely according to conscience. Let us be thankful that the spirit of tyranny (openly shown at least) is a thing of the past. What the Neath Watch Committee has exhibited is, after all, only an unexpected and isolated survival of the old harsh cruel days. The spirit of freedom, of pure unfettered freedom, is abroad, and never more suitable than now might the words of the famous Earl of Chatham be repeated: The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the force of the crown." .1 THE PUBLIC LIBRARIAN. A copy of last week's Police Review" has come my way, and from it I gather that a needless complaint had been made in the columns of the Police Review in respect to a little service rendered the Public Libra- rian whilst he was ill. The Editor of the "Police Review writes The Public Librarian of the Borough of Neath complains that the statement in "Chtrles Town's" letter in our issue of the' 19th ult., as to the police being employed in lighting up the Public Library is inaccurate, the only founda- tion being that during this gentleman's ill- ness the police were kind enough to offer theit services to light the gas in the evenings, which was gratefully accepted. They having done so, the Librarian has reasonable ground of complaint that a member of the Force should subsequently complain. Taking the facts for granted, we can but agree with the Librarian's complaint. It is always a great I mistake to overstate a case, and there seemed plenty of reasonable ground of complaint without dragging in this needless reference." This quotation will serve to show what a reasonable and level-headed man the Editor of the Police Review is. Our Watch Com- mittee can gauge him better now, I think. SUNDAY FOOTBALL. The Rev. Jonah Roberts, the highly-res- pected pastor of Maesyrhaf Independent Church, Neath, has caused a profound sensa- tion by a statement made by him near the sounding sea, or to be plainer, at Portheawl, that football was played at Neath on Sundays. I am bound to say that I think the reverend gentleman referred to football of an intel- lectual character. I presume there is intellec- tual football, as there arerhetorical fireworks. But he should have made it clear. Perhaps it was the ozone of Porthcawl air that caused our reverend guide and friend to make an adventurous night into the realm of metaphors. I shall get another friend of mine to call to see whether he has come back from Porth- cawl and metaphors.


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