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PROPOSED PETTY SESSIONS AT BETHESDA. On Tuesday at the Bangor Petty Sessions, Aldenhan W. J. Parry, Coetmor Hall; Messrs D. G. Davies (Messrs Ellis and Davies, solicitors); T. J. Samuel, solicitor; and W. R. Lloyd, attended as a deputation from Bethesda in support of an ap- plication for a petty sessional court at Bethesda. Mr D. G. Davies explained tkat the deputation was appointed at a meeting af ratepayers, Mr W. J. Parry being the chairman. The matter had been before the public for some years, and it was the universal feeling of the neighbourhood that sittings should be held at Bethesda. The ap- plication was based upon several grounds, one of these being the distance-live miles from Bangor. Most of those brought before the court were quarrymen, who could ill afford a day's wage and the expense of travel- ling and the cost of refreshments. The population of Bethesda was about 8000, and he maintained that this fact alone entitled it to a sitting. It was surprising that the relief now asked for had not been granted some years ago. During the year ending October 31st, 1894, the number of cases from the Bethesda district was 64, and for the year ending October 31st last the num- ber was 59, the total from the whole division being 1200. As to the mode of procedure, the Lord Lieutenant was of opinion that the local bench could proceed in the matter, as had been done at Festiniog, which was a parallel case. There ap- plication was made to the Quarter Sessions, and it being met with a refusal, the local justices took the matter into their own hands. As to the num- ber of cases coming from Bethesda, they would have been much larger had those coming before the school attendance committee been pressed to a hearing, out it was felt cruel to put poor parents to the cost of a journey to Bangor. In conclusion Mr Davies asked the bench to use their influence at the Quarter Sessions in order that the inhabi- tants of Bethesda might get the relief they desired. Mr W. J. Parry remarked that the deputation had good grounds for appealing to the Bench to establish sittings at Bethesda. A unanimous feeling existed in favour of having an occasional court. Mr T. J. Samuel also supported the application. Mr W. B. Lloyd said he was gratified to under- stand that Lord Penrhyn,with his usual generosity, had decided to grant an advance of 5 per cent. to the quarrymen in his employ. That being so he (Mr Lloyd) was afraid it would have a bad effect on the quarrymen and lead to an increase of the in- fluence of John Barleycorn (laughter). Mr Harry Clegg said he could not see what the magistrates at quarter sessions had to do with the matter. In Anglesey the police stations were made use of as occasional court-houses. So far as the present application was concerned it would appear to be a question not only for the Bench but for the Joint Police Committee, as, for instance, whether there were proper buildings in which to hold a court. At the same time it meant that the sessionS- there would have to beheld by two or three local magistrates. If the application was to be granted it should be in the sense of being a division of the Bangor Court, where all the magistrates could take their turn in the adminis- tration of justice. It was far better that a mixed bench of magistrates should administer justice rather than two or three local justices. The Bench, after consultation, said they would take the matter into their full consideration, and in the meantime suggested that the deputation should lay their case before the Joint Police Com- mittee. Mr Thomas Lewis, chairman of the justices, said the Bench wished to make it public that the statement made by Mr Lloyd conveyed rather a serious reflection on the people of Bethesda. The number of cases of drunkenness from Bethesda were comparatively few already, and the Bench considered there was no ground for such a reflec- I tien. _L




--Carnarvon. 1

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