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WMllaiid I? ami District Council.

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WMllaiid I? ami District Council. ANNUAL MEETING AT THE PARK HOTEL. ) THE CHAIRMAN RE-ELECTED. THE NEW RATING BILL. Tae annual meeting of the Whitlaud Rural District Council was held at the Park Hotel, V/hiiland, on Friday. There were p>rc$ent :—Rev Daniel Jones, Whitland Mr John Williams, Egremont Mr T. Evans, Llanfaliteg; G. 0. Lewis, Eglwys- cyuunyn Mr John Williams, Henllan- amgoed; Mr William Thomas, Cilmaen- liwyd Mr T. Davies, Llangiydwen Rev 0. J Thomas, Marros; Mr James Davics, Llanboidy: Mr Benjamin Thomas, Pendine; Mr Levi Davics, Llanhoidy; Rev W. Thnm-e-, Whitland and Mr John Davies, Castlcdwyran together with the Clerk (Mr John Thomas) the Surveyor (Mr Rees Davi.-s); and tho Inspector of Nuisances (Mr j. M. Thomas). 1. LECTION OF CHAIRMAN. Mr G. 0. Lewis proposed that Mr James Davh :i should occupy the chair pro. tem. Mr Thomas Evans seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. Mr James Davies then took the chair. Mr Thomas Davies proposed that Mr Edward James should be re-elected chair- man for the ensuing year. Mr John Williams, Egrcmont, seconded the motion. Tho Chairman asked if there was any amendment to the motion. Mr G. 0. Lewis I do not think there is any amendment if Mr James does not refuse. Mr Thomas Davies said that they were all very sorry to hear the intimations which T Mr James had made at the last meoting- that ho did net intend to accept the chair for another year. Ho (Mr Thomas Davies) hopd that they would bling their influence to bear on Mr E. James, so that he would continue to act as their chairman as long as he lived. Mr James had for over fifty years discharged the various duties connected with public bodies and had more experience than any one of those present. It was to be hoped that he would remain chairman of the Council as long as he lived. There was not ono present—with due respect to them all—who was as well qualified to occupy the chair as Mr James he had a knowledge of Local Government, which none of the other members of the Council possessed. Rev Daniel Jones said he should also like to bear testimony to the great services rendered by Mr James as chairman of the Council, and as a public man in the neigh- bourhood for a considerable time. He hoped that they would be able to.' ptirsuade Mr James to fill the chair for the coming t< rm. Ho would be a great assistance to tho Council, and would enable them to clear up some matters relating to their financial arrangements which still wantedclearing un. Mr .Iam?\s understood that the Council were unanimous in re-electiDg him to the chair, no doubt, lie would re-consider the intimation that he had made at the last meeting, and they would have again the pleasure of sitting under him as chairman. The motion was then put to the meeting, 01 and carried nem. con. ELECTION OE VICE-CHAIRMAN. The Clerk said that the next business to be transacted as the election of vice-chair- man fur the ensuing- year. Mr William Thomas, Cilmaenliwyd, pro- posed that Mr John Williams, Egremont, should be elected vice-chairman of the Council for the ensuing year. Sir Levi Davies seconded. Mr John Williams, Egremont: I am much obliged to you, but I cannot accept it. ZD Mr T. Davies said he hoped the vice- chairman would also re consider his decision. Mr John Williams, Egremont, however, intimated that he had fully considered the matter, and was not prepared to occupy the vice-chair for another yaar. Mr Williams, IIenlln, moved that iale G. 0. Lewis be appointed vice-chairman for the ensuing year. Mr Thomas Davies seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. Mr G. 0. Lewis, in taking the chair, said he had no idea that he would be elected but if everyone refused, they would neither have chairman nor vice-chairman. If-as they hoped—Mr James accepted the chair- in a n> hip of the Council, there would be very little work for the vice-chairman to do. With Mr John Thomas as clerk, and Mr Edward James as chairman, they would not go very far astray. There was not a better clerk than Mr Thomas in South Wales and Mr James attended the meetings so regularly that the vice-chairman would not be called upon to do much work. He concluded by thanking them one and all for the honour they had conferred upon him. A DEPUTATION. Mr Thomas Davies proposed, and Mr Benjamin Thomas seconded, that a deputa- tion should wait upon Mr James, asking him to re-consider his decision in regard to the non-acceptance of the chairmanship of the Council, and to press upon him to accede to the wishes of the whole Council by taking the chair. The following were proposed as the deputation Mr Thomas Davies, Mr William Thomas (Cilmaenliwyd), Mr Benjamin John, and Mr James Davies. Mr John Davies moved, and Mr Benjamin Thomas seconded, a similar motion, but with the amendment that the following should constitute the deputation :—Mr Wru. Thomas (Cilmaenliwyd), Rev 0. J. Thomas, Mr John Williams (Henllan), Mr Thomas Davie?, Mr James Davies, and Mr Thomas Evans. On being put to the meeting, the amend- ment was carried by 9 votes against 2 for the original motion. THE WAGES OF THE ROAD LABOURERS. Tho Chairman said that the next business was to consider the question of the road labourers' wages. The Surveyor—according to instructions received at the last meeting—presented a detailed report dealing with the road labourers in the district. Full particulars were given with regard to each of the 29 labourers in the district. The time during which the men had been in the services of the Board varidd from 1 to 33 years their wages varied from Is 8d to 2s 6d per day. Hev Daniel Jones said he had gone over the list, and ho moved that the wages of the road labourer for Ciffig should be advanced at least threepence per day. The man at present received 2s per day; he was tho oldest in the service of the Board, having been in their employment for 33 years. A letter was then read from the Clerk of the Ciffig Parish Council, stating that that body had passed a motion asking the District ZD Council to raise the road labourer'n wages.— A letter of a subsequent date was read from the same quarter, stating that the motion of Z7) the Parish Covncil was irregular, as proper zn notice h id not been given before it was moved. Mr T. Davies drew attention to what he considered the inconsistency of the rate at which the men were paid. Some of the men were paid 2s 6d a day, whilst others equally good only had 2s 2d, 2s Id, 2s, and even IslCd. Ho was speaking of able-bodied men he did Dot refer to those who had only I Is 8d—some of whom were not able-bodied. Rev Daniel Jones said that they had to consider not only the abilities of the men, but also the district in which they lived. A man might only have 2s a day in a certain district; and have a better chance of living than another who earned 2s 6d a day in a pi .ce like Whitland where he had to pay a considerable amount of rent. Mr James Evans: They are not bound to live in Whitland. Rev Daniel Jones If the Surveyor can 1 find labourers who will live outside on a 't small rental well and good but I say that we should consider this. Mr James Davies drew attention to the fact that an advance had taken place in the wages paid to road labourers he had not lidard cf the advance being made. Tho Surveyor said he could not get tho laboiuers for less than he paid them. Mr James Davies drew attention to the fact that some men were paid a good deal more than others. The Surveyor said that the particular part of the locality in which the man lived would have to be taken into account. Mr T. Evans said he did not think they ought to consider the locality at all. What they ought to consider was the amount of work which each man was able to d). Mr John Williams, Henllan, said that there was a lot of ill-feeling caused by the fact that tivo of the men in Llangan received 2s 6d a day. He did not say that the men were getting too much; what he did say was that if they were entitled to so much, the other men were getting too little. Rev Daniel Jones said that the matter could be easily settled. If Mr Davies or Mr Williams could find men in Llangan parish to work for less than 2s Gel a day, the Surveyor would be very glad to hear of them. If any councillor could find such men let him bring them forward by all means and assist the Surveyor. The list was then gone into piecemeal. Any alteration, however, proposed for any particular parish seemed to be opposed by the bulk of the Council. Some discussion was aroused by the fact that the occasional labourers were paid less than the constant labourers. Mr Benjamin Thomas thought that the occasional labourers ought to be paid more than those who were working both wet days and fine. That was what the farmers had to do; they might have a man all the year round for 12s a week; but if they only required him for a few days to help they had to pay 2s 6d a day. Rev Daniel Jones thought it was the constant road-labourers who ought to get the better pay. They had to do all the year round with what they earned in the service of the Board but the occasional men had a chance in busy seasons of earning a good deal more than 2s or 2s 6d a day. Mr T. Evans said that they appeared unable to como to any satisfactory conclusion in the matter. lie moved that the wages of the men remain the same as before.—Mr T. Davies seconded. Rev Daniel Jones moved as an amend- ment that tho wages of William Thomas, the labourer for Ciffig, should be increased to 2s 2d per day. Rev 0. J. Thomas said ho had seen the labourer in question some three times a week for years—oftener a good deal than any other member of the Council; and ho did not consider him entitled to an increase except there was to be an advance all round. Rev Daniel Jones said he had taken the opinion of the Parish Councillors—who, he took it, were the leading men in the parish C5 —and they were of opinion that the wages of the man ought to be increased. He was very sorry to find a clergyman opposing the granting of an increase to the man. Rev 0. J. Thomas said he did not oppose the granting of an increase to the man but he objected to his getting an increase if the other labourer did not get the same. If there was to be an increase, he thought, it ought to be an increase all round. The Chairman seconded the amendment moved by the Rev Daniel Jones.—On being put to the meeting, however, there were only two votes for the amendment against nine for the motion. THE SUPERANUATION OF THE HIGHWAY CLERK. The application of Mr E. H. James—late clerk to the Highway Board—for a quarter's salary, etc., then came on for consideration. The Clerk said that Mr E. H. James left the service of the Board on the 7th February, 1896. Rev W. Thomas moved that a chequo be drawn in favour of Mr James for a quarter's salary. The Clerk said he did not think they had the power to pay Mr James further than the date to which he had served. They would have to leave the amount unpaid until the books were audited. With regard to super- anuation, Mr James would have to send in a claim for the amount, to which he con- sidered he was entitled. The matter was allowed to stand over in the meantime. MORE LIGHT ON MEDICAL ETIQUETTE. A letter was read from Dr Jones, Glany- rafon, Llanboidy, with regard to the allega- tion made by Dr Creswick Williams that he had neglected to report a case of scarlet fever which had occurred at the Stag, Llan- boidy. Dr Jones averred that the little girl had never had scarlet fever because (1) her temperature had never exceeded 100 deg. (2) there had been no tenderness of tho skin k3) there had been no strawberry tongue (4) there had been no albumen in the urine, and (5) there had been no desquamation or peeling off of the skin. So far from their being anything serious the matter with the little girl, she had been during the time of the progress of the alleged scarlet fever playing as usual with p r, her young- companions—not one of whom tr had shown any symptoms of this highly infectious disease. What she had really suffered from was febricula." Dr Jones said he had no hesitation whatever in endorsing what Mr Thomas Jones, the father, had said as to the medical officer's statement that it was a deliberate lie." He further said that when he sent notifica- tions to the medical officer, ho always registered them and kept the post office ;n receipts for them well knowing the character of the official The letter con- cluded with some references to a meddle- some official and to badly-cooked state- ments.—Mr Thomas Jones, the father of the little girl, wrote to pretry much the same effect. Mr T. Davies I beg to propose that the Medical Officer of Health attend at the next meeting of the Board and give his version of the affair—and not go by correspondence altogether. Mr T. Evans seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. A POLITICAL MOTION. Mr T. Davies then begged leave to briug forward a motion approving of the course, which the Government had adopted in introducing the Rating of Land Amend- ment Act. The Bill was an attempt to grapple with the question of local taxation. The farmers had been grievously burdened with taxation for the last few years. Any attempt in the direction proposed ought therefore to receive every support. The ¡ last Liberal Government had appointed a Commission to enquire into the agricultural distress which then prevailed. One of the recommendations of the Commissicn was that one quarter oi the rates were to be allowed that recommendation had not been carried out to the letter in the present bill. It was proposed by this Bill that one half of rates from next March were to be allowed. That was a question of £ s d to them all. In a small parish like Llanglydwen with a population of 200 it would be a question of some X45. A farmer who formerly had to pay £ 18 or C26 would only have to pay £ 9 or £ ly in future. Whitland was a purely agricultural district, as much so as any in South Wales. Of course, the urban authorities would be against them on this matter, but urban authorities got direct benefit from the taxes whereas rural tax- payers—although they contributed heavier to the Imperial Exchequer than the urban ratepayers—got no direct benefit. He thought the present Bill would be a great boon to th9 agricultural interests. He moved that the resolution proposed should be sent to Mr Chaplin, tho president of the Board of Agriculture, and Mr John Lloyd Morgan, tho member for West Carmarthen- shire. Rev Daniel Jones said he would move that no resolution to that effect should be passed that day. He would ask that the matter be postponed and notice of motion given. He was not quite ceitain whether that biil was going to create an universal panacea for the depression in agricultural districts. It required a good deal of study to find out whether the Bill would be for tho benefit of the farmers or the landlords. Mr James Davies It is the tenant farmers who have to pay the rates. Mr John Davies: I hope it will come at: yway. Mr T. Davies said ho did not norve tho resolution itS a political partisan. He did not, care which party introduced such a Bill, he thought it ought to be supported. The remedy contained on the Bill had been first proposed by a Liberal administration. He thought something was wanted soon before the poor farmer had gone to the" cats and dogs." Rev W. Thomas thought the motion was not urgent; and no harm could be done by postponing tho consideration of it until next meeting. Rev Daniel Jones said there was no doubt a gloss on the surface of the Bill; but the farmers would find that when the Bill was passed they would not get the abatements which they got now. Mr T. Davies: That is a question of honour altogether. Rev AV. Thomas: I think we will gain by leaving it over for a bit. The matter then dropped. FORTNIGHTLY PAYMENTS. Mr John Williams, IIenllan, moved that the road labourers should be paid fortnightly instead of monthly as at present. Tho Surveyor said that there were 14 parishes in the district; and it took him 10 days to go round the district. He would— it' the motion were carried—have to devise some method of paying the men in batches or divisions. The Clerk said that the women could call at the Surveyor's house on Friday when they came to Whitland market. No doubt tho Surveyor could find some way of getting over the difficulty. Mr T. Evans seconded the motion. He did not think they could do better than leave it in the Surveyor's hands. The motion was then unanimously adopted. PETROLEUM LICENSES. A petroleum license was granted to Mr Thomas Jones, the Stag, Llanboidy. The application of Mr Thomas Davies, Llanboidy, was refused. This was all the business of importanco.

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