Free Library Committee Criticised. The annual meeting of the Aberdare Central Free Library was held on Thursday evening, Mr A. P. Jones, chairman of the general committee, presiding. He was supported by Mr W. Henstone Sturdy (librarian), Mr G. J. Tuekfield (treasurer), and Mr A. S. Morris (hon. secretary).
Chairman's Reply. Replying to the criticism, Mr A. P. Jones said that people who ought to attend the Executive Committee never did so, and the work was left to four or five persons. He did not pretend to bc an authority on Welsh literature. though he could speak and read Welsh. He had always been prepared to he led by any authority in this matter. The committee had a right to expect more encouragement. The late Mr Griffith George had gifcsn a great deal of assist- ance, and E-i) haxl the Rev. J. M. Jones, and the late Mr D. M. Richards. On the whole they had had very little sup- port from local ministers and clergymen —the very people who ought to take an interest and attend. He had paid a great deal of attention to juvenile literature, for a very large number of children came there. They had also catered well in mining and kindred sub- jects. What was meant by "the majority" was the majority of borrow- ers, and this majority was made up of boys and girls, hence his interest in the juvenile department. He had felt all along that it was a mistake to have so many libraries in the district. One Central Library with branch reading rooms would be far better. As it was the bulk of the money went in adminis- tration. The actual cost of administra- tion in Aberdare town was t361 and if it were not for the fact that they had a balance in hand from the previous year all the money they could spend on books would be tll. Continuing, Mr. Jones said it would be very nice to have a 2d. library rate, but other things were going up, such as the education rate. The salaries of teachers were going up by £ 1,000 a year, and a Id. rate only produced £700. In Cardiff and Swan- sea a Id. rate would bring in anything from £3,000 to £ 4,000. Mr. Geo. Powell thanked the chair- man for his explanation, and Mr Og- wen Williams gave notice to move a re- solution dealing with the election of committees. Mr Williams added that all the criticism had reference to the committee and not to any of the offi- cials.
ILLTYD WILLIAMS -)'! (, is making a SPECIAL SHOW of j New Dress Materials THIS WEEK, with all the Latest Novelties in BUTTONS, TRIMMINGS & FANCY SILKS.
Aberdare Bankruptcy Court. On Friday, before Mr Rees Williams (Registrar) and Mr Ellis Owen (Offi- cial Receiver). Adjourned.—G. J. Edwards, jeweller, Mountain Ash, came up for his ad- journed examination. The Official Re- ceiver said that in this case the ac- counts asked for had not been furn- ished. The debtor had sent his books and papers to an accountant, and this accountant had not returned the books. In the absence of those books and papers, and the amended accounts or- dered by the Court, it was useless go- ing on with the examination. There- fore the case would be further ad- journed. Debtor was asked to prepare amended accounts by the next hearing. Aberdare Haulier's Failure. Benjamin Osborne, Wind Street, Aberdare, haulier, was examined. This was Osborne's third examination. He was represented by Mr T. Marchant Harris, from the office of Mr W. Thomas. Official Receiver: The suite of furni- ture, particulars of which were not disclosed at the last hearing, has now been purchased from me?—Yes. O.R. You had also removed a clock and ornaments to the same address, and those have now been purchased from me?—Yes. O.R.: Have you disclosed all your affairs?—Yes, everything. O.R.: Why did you not disclose all these things in the commencement ?— I simply removed them to make room for a bed downstairs. On the application of Mr Marchant Harris the examination was closed. Aberaman Tradesman Fails.-Takings Reduced Through Early Closing. The next debtor examined was Joseph Rogers. 3 Lewis Street, Aber- aman, sanitary ware moulder. He was represented by Mr F. W. Beach, Ponty- pridd, and Mr S. Willson, architect, Aberaman, was present as a creditor. Mrs. Walters, another creditor, was represented by Mr Isaac D. Morgsui, Aberdare. Debtor attributed ITis failure to: "Paying too much for the business; accident to my wife; illness of my daughters; bad trade." The Official Receiver's observations were as follows:—(1) The receiving order on debtor's petition was made on the 8th April, 1914, and he was adjudged bank- rupt on that date. One creditor had obtained judgment against him. (2) The debtor (aged 51 years) states that he is employed as a sanitary ware moulder, earning on an average 32s 6d a week; that in December, 1906, when he had a capital of t25 and no liabili- ties, he took Over a business of fancy draper and costumier at 3 Lewis Street, Aberaman; that the stock at selling price, less 30 per cent., came to E137 Is. 3d., and the fixtures and fittings to L13 5s.; that he arranged to pay these amounts by annual instalments of 1:20, but has only been able to pay one in 1907; that the business, attended to by his daughters, has not paid him, and that he has been obliged to borrow money of money lenders during the past three years at heavy rates of interest. (3) He added that on 23rd March, 1914. a distress for £ 16 10s. rent was levied on his furniture, and that on 31st March he sold such furniture by private treaty to two friends for R20, with which sum he paid off the distress, and also one or two other small accounts. The furniture is said to have been re- moved from his premises by the pur- chasers on the date of sale. (4) The books of account kept by debtor were a ledger with debtors and rough invoice book. He says he never took stock or otherwise took steps to ascertain his financial position. (5) He admits knowing himself to be insolvent in 1906, since when he has contracted most of the debts now owing, his expecta- tion of being able to pay them being that he could arrange with the vendor of the business to take it back in settle- ment of her claim, and that he would be able to ay the other creditors by in- stalments. (6) The furniture now on the debtor's premises is claimed by his wife, on the ground that it was given to her by her parents. (7) He says his daughters estimate that the takings in the shop during the last 12 months have not avet-agel more than 10s. per week. He also stated that the money to file his petition was lent to him by two friends. (8) The unsecured liabili- ties comprise: 1 creditor for balance of purchase money, t109 8s. lid. 5 credi- tors for money lent, £;")1 5s. 5 creditors for good supplied, JE13 14s. 2d.; total, 9174 8s. Id. Replying to the Official Receiver the debtor said that he bought the costum- ier business from a Mrs. Walters. The first payment was in April or May, 1907. He borrowed £ 20 from the Bank to pay. He now owed her about C130. The J625 capital was spent in obtain- ing fresh stock. O.R. Where were the profits? — I never saw any profit, -Debtor added that his daughter looked after that business, and he had no check on her. However, he had no reason to believe that he had not received all the money taken in the business. He had asked her to keep accounts, but she was then only a girl of 16, and did not do so. The shop premises were in a very bad state, and there was a risk of break- ing one's legs in walking about the shop. This had been very mucli against his business. Customers' feet had even gone through the flooring. He had lost customers owing to that. He had complained to the landlady re- peatedly, but she refused to repair the place. With regard to the price he paid for the stock, a traveller said it was not worth more than P,10, and if he (debtor) knew what he knew now, he would not have taken it as a gift. With regard to bad trade, the Shop Hours Act had been the means of re- ducing his takings. Previous to early closipg he used to do a lot of trade after the big shops were closed. As a matter of fact he took more during the last hour he was open than during the remainder of the dav. The rent was £ 20 per annum. His wife had been ill, and so had his daughter, who was sent to Canada. Debtor admitted that he had borrowed six times from money- lenders, viz., The South Wales Loan Co., Pontypridd, Stephens and Co., and Philip Morris. The first loan was for £30, and he signed for t42. The Official Receiver pointed out that debtor had paid £61 10s. for the loan of money. "Don't you think it was ridiculous for you to pay all that money for loans?" asked the Official Receiver. "Yes," replied debtor. That ex- plains your failure to a great extent," commented the Official Receiver. Deb- tor had bad debts amounting to 1:12 15s. The examination was closed.
Aberdare Minister's Views. No Salvation Outside the Church. Special preaching services were held at Siloa Welsh Cong. Church, Aber- dare, on Sunday and Monday last. The preachers were the Revs. H. M. Hughes, B.A., Cardiff; D. J. Lewis, B.A., Tumble, Llanelly, and T. Ed- munds, B.A., pastor of Carmel English Baptist Church, Aberdare. Mr. Ed- munds preached on Sunday afternoon. He was introduced to the congregation by the Rev. D. Silyn Evans, pastor of Siloa, in his own original manner. The meeting was commenced by the Rev. J. S. Jones, Ffestiniog, who ministered at Ynyslwyd Baptist Church that day. Mr Edmunds took as his text Mark i., 14-40. He emphasised the fact that outside the church there was no salva- tion. In olden times this was preached and generally accepted as an undisput- ed fact, but of late we never heard it except occasionally by a Roman Catho- lic or High Churchman. We had lost from the church the vision which placed it above all other institutions on the face of the earth. The old line of de- marcation between the church and the world seemed to have become obscured. One reason for this was that so much of the world had entered into the church. Another reason was that the social life of the world had been Christianised to a greater extent than Before. He would have liked to believe that Jesus Christ had no enemy in the world to- I day. But it was not so. The other day he saw a publican in Aberdare laughing scornfully at a poor drunkard who had just been ejected from that man's house. Dwelling on the lament- able ignorance of many religious people Mr Edmunds remarked that there were several who were unable to say whether Abraham, Moses or Christ came into the world first. Some people kept away from the church because they could not believe all that was said of Jesus in the Gospels. But the condi- tion of salvation was not to understand Jesus but to follow him. Peter fol- lowed Jesus promptly in response to the Master's call. But years later, when Peter declared with such vigour and strength of conviction the divinity of Christ, it was evident that even then he had no clear vision of Christ's teach- ing. To have a perfect character it was not necessary to have a perfect creed. The call of Jesus came to var- ious persons in various ways, but one call that was common to us all was an invitation to join his church and help to promote the kingdom. Could a man be a Christian without being a church member r AVell, it would be nearer the truth to say no. Wherever there was a community of saints, however small in number, Christ was more manifest there than he could be in any in- dividual. Let us strive to restore the belief in the sanctity of the church.— The anthem, "Mi a godaf," was sung. —Monday morning's meeting was com- menced by the Rev. Grawys Jones. The afternoon meeting was commenced by the Rev. T. Eli Evans. A vote of con- dolence with the family of the late Rev. Job Miles was passed, all the congre- gation upstanding. Mr W. J. Evans was the organist on Sunday, and Mr J. J. Williams on Monday.
Dr. Creen Resigns. The Secretary read a letter which had been received from Dr. C. A. H. Green, resigning his place on the gen- eral and executive committees owing to his promotion to the Archdeaconry of Monmouth. He added that he had served on those committees with much pleasure since the Library's formation, and he wished the Library every suc- cess in the future. It was necessary to elect five new members on the general committee in- stead of the following:—Dr. Green, Mr W. F. Parry de Winton, Rev. J. M. Jones, the late Mr D. M. Richards, and the late Mr J. H. James. The follow- ing were elected: Rev. Thomas Jones (curate), Mr John Griffiths, Bryn- hyfryd; Mr John Rees (Glan Cynon), Rev. Wm. Davies, M.A., and Mr. John Davies (Oxford Street). The first four were also elected on the executive com- mittee to fill vacancies.
Welsh Books Not Provided. — A Yiolous Principle." The report of the Executive Com- mittee was as follows:- "The Executive Committee beg to submit their report for the year ended the 31st March, 1914, together with the usual tables, accounts, and estim- ates. The number of volumes issued during the past year was 42,335, and the number of volumes consulted in the j Reference Department 4,505. The total issue from both departments since the establishment of the Library is 358,800. The number of borrowers' tickets in force on the 31st March, 1914. was 2,242. It is worthy of notice that al- though the increase in the aggregate issue for the past year, compared with the previous year, is small (due pro- bably to the fine summer of 1913), there is a very large increase in the 'better class issues, while there has been a de- crease of 3,414 in prose fiction. The percentage of the latter is 46.4, as com- pared with an average of 63.95 from Public Libraries generally. Some re- j marks have recently been made as to the paucity of Welsh Literature on the Library shelves, which is due to want of encouragement from Welsh readers. It has all through been the policy of the committee to cater for the majority, and the committee are always pleased to give effect to such recommendations as may be for the general benefit of those who frequent the Library." Mr Ogwen Williams called attention to the paragraph dealing with Welsh literature, and said there was an impli- cation that we were lacking in Welsh readers in this district. He would like to point out that no town in the whole of Wales patronised Welsh literature better than Aberdare. No town would compare with Aberdare in the extent that Welsh Magazines were purchased and read. If there was a dearth of borrowers from the Welsh Department of the library it was due to the fact that people could get the books they wanted from the local clubs and from the chapel libraries. What the Central Library lacked was a collection of costly Welsh books, and he hoped the committee would consider that mat- ter. Mr J. Griffiths agreed with Mr Wil- liams, and remarked that the committee ought to buy good and expensive Welsh volumes—volumes that a person could not buy for himself. The committee should move in that direction even if they bought only one or two volumes every quarter. Councillor Geo. Powell objected to one phrase in the committee's report, and that was: "It has all through been the policy of the committee to cater for the majority." That was rb- solutely a vicious principle to preach. (Laughter.) One might think they were reading from a catalogue of Har- rod's Stores. A library existed to create an atmosphere, and they should foster a taste for the best literature. According to the principle referred to, if there was a demand for it, the com- mittee would provide the most low type of literature. ("No, no.") Well, that was the logical interpretation of the phrase. No doubt it sounded very democratic, but the committee should use its discretion, and the public looked to the committee to lead and not to be led. He sincerely hoped that that prin- ciple would be placed on one side. Pro- ceeding, Mr Powell said he hoped the committee would improve matters in the direction mentioned by Mr Wil- liams. He (Mr. Powell) could find 50 working colliers who had better Welsh libraries than the lending library of Aberdare. He knew one workman who had five times as many Welsh volumes, and better selected. He contended that the percentage of books borrowed from the Welsh Department was equal to history, biography, etc. So the lack of encouragement could not be justified by figures. Mr A. T. Jenkins (Cwmbach) sug- gested that an arrangement be made whereby Aberdare borrowers might procure books from Cwmbach Library, and vice versa. Mr J. Griffiths: Have the Branch Libraries issued catalogues? Chairman: Only Trecynon and Aber- aman. Librarian: A copy of the Trecynon Library catalogue is kept here. Rev. 11. Williams said it was rather a reflection that Aberdare did not possess a better Welsh library. He had been told that Cwmbach, in this _e- spect, could place Aberdare in the shade. Cwmbach had a very good sys- tem; they alloted a certain sum of money for Welsh books, and not only did they have more Welsh books than Aberdare, but they had better quality ( books.
Proposed New Library Buildings. The Rev. R. Williams asked how far advanced the Council were at present re the proposed new library buildings. Chairman: I think it is on paper. (Laughter.) The Chairman added that they had three years unexpired lease on their present premises. According to the Act the Aberdare Council must take steps to acquire new ground before next August. The Council had two alternative schemes: (1) To take up the j whole site (in High Street, opposite St. David's Presbyterian Church) for a library, and (2) to take a portion only for the library and let tb(o other por- tion for a Post Office. Mr George Powell remarked that there was great need of a hall in con- nection with the library building, and a little public pressure in this direction might stimulate the Council to purchase the whole site and use it all themselves.
G.W.R. Train Service. The following important alterations have been made in this month's time table:— A car leaves Aberdare at 7.8 a.m. for Pontypool Road, calling at all stations, and giving a connection to Aber- gavenny, Usk, Monmouth, Wye Valley, etc., etc. The 8.50 a.m. car, Aberdare to Swan- sea, starts at 8.10 a.m., and connects at Glyn Neath with the Express from Merthyr to Swansea, the arrival at the latter point being 9.25 a.m. The 11.25 p.m. (Saturdays only) from Aberdare to Hirwain, starts at 11.5 p.m., and will run to Glyn Neath. A Car leaves Aberdare at 11.48 for Quakers Yard, connecting there with a Car from Merthyr due at Newport at 1.20 p.m. (Bristol arr. 2.50; London, 4.20 p.m.). There are also several other minor alterations.
Labour Day. Aberdare Miners' Annual Gathering. On the first of May the Aberdare Dis- trict of Miners held a huge demonstra- tion at the Public Park. The various contingents marched into the Park headed by their respective bands, viz., Hirwain, Llwydcoed, Cwmaman, Aber- aman and Aberdare Town. At the Park, at the request of Mr C. B. Stan- ton, the Agent, the massed band played "The Marseillaise." Councillor Idwal Thomas, Chairman of the District, pre- sided, and he was supported on the platform by Mr. Stanton, Mr Keir Hardie, M.P., Rev. J. Nicholas, Tony- pa ndy; Rev. G. A. Ramsey, B.A., B.Sc., Rector of Writhington; Council- lor E. Stonelake, Guardian Noah Tro- mans, and Councillor Illtyd Hopkins. Secretary of the District. The Federation resolution was moved by Mr. Stanton, who referred to the flourishing condition of the Federation in the district, where instead of 3,000 they now had a membership of 10,000. It went to show that the workers were rallying round and realising that their hope lay in unity and co-operation. They were witnessing the amalgamation of the Labour forces in the country at the present time, but in the near future they would see not only the miners, railwaymen, and transport workers I joining forces, but half-a-dozen other bodies would be added to them for the purposes of achieving their common aim of uplifting the lot of the workers. I (Applause.) Mr Illtyd Hopkinlåtseconded the re- solution. The Rev. T. Nicholas, in supporting, said that when he saw the programme he was in a doubt as to whether he was in a Cymanfa or at a miners' demon- stration. However, both religion and labour preached the same gospel of ibrotherhood. Mr Nicholas remarked that the presence of that large crowd of workers was an eloquent testimony to the healthy condition of Trade Union- ism in the district and to the power wielded by the men's organisation. (Hear, hear.) The Rector then addressed the large assembly. At first he was in a humor- ous vein. Then he drifted into a more serious mood, and dealing with the up- lifting of the masses said that in aristo- cratic circles it was considered degrad- ing to work. Newspapers were very partial sometimes when dealing with matters that affected the workers. In one paper recently a very small space was given to an account of 200 men being imprisoned in a burning mine in America, but half a column was given to the announcement of the accouche- ment of Lady So and So. The work- men of our land were still looked upon as slaves. Of late years, however, he was glad to note that the British work- men were developing the spirit of brotherhood. Also the dignity of labour was being emphasised more and more. There were troublous times ahead, and it needed men of the type of Mr. Stanton to lead the workers and men like Mr. Keir Hardie to represent them in the House of Commons. (Ap- plause.) Mr Keir Hardie, M.P., alluding to the need for raising the minimum wage standard, said that this was a matter requiring attention without delay. Wages were just now a hit up compared with what they used to be, but the signs of the times pointed to a decline in trade, and unless they got their mini- mum fixed on the present basis before that decline set in, it would be more difficult then than it was now to bring this about. The Minimum Wage Act was only an experiment for three years, and he hoped the Miners' Federation realised that it came to an end this year. and were preparing their amend- ment to it so as to have three half- crowns per day inserted as the basis of the minimum wage of the future. No man who was responsible for the out- put of a colliery should also be respon- sible for the safety of the men working in it. A manager was appointed to make dividends for the shareholders, and as a counter action there should be a man in charge to see that the laws of the land with regard to safety regula- tions were so enforced as to give more protection to life and limb, and let the profits take care of themselves. The resolution was carried with una-! nimity and enthusiasm.
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