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Correspondence. [In no case are we responsible for the opinions expressed in this column.] To the Editor of the WEEKLY NEWS. CONWAY SCHOOL BOARD. SIR,-I shall be obliged if you will kindly allow me a little space in your paper, to briefly answer a letter by "Iorwerth under the above heading, which appeared in your last issue. I do not think that Canon Rees would feel in the least flattered to be told that he is the "deus ex machina" of the Conway Anti-School Board agitation, for it is entirely due to his own exertions that it was a skeleton (and not a real) Board that was formed. The smartest piece of business that Canon Rees did, during the twenty-five years he was Vicar of Conway, was to clear off a mortgage of £ 1200 on the Boys' Schoolroom in ten months, and thus prevent a real Board being formed. It is not to be wondered at, that the Canon manifests such keen interest in this agitation, and I do not believe that he has any desire to disguise it. "Iorwerth" calls this agitation a "palhy pother" and "a very forced and artificially stimulated business." I believe that the ratepayers of Conway have now learnt that, should they decide in favour of a Board School at the next School Board election (which will probably take place next March) the Board will have no more control over the present School buildings than they would have over the Vicarage. They are the property of the Church,—vested in the names of the Vicar of Conway and the Bishop of the Diocese for the time being. What cost would new buildings in a place like Conway, where land is scarce and dear, entail ? A very low estimate would be L5000- We are told that the present Boys' Schoolroom (apart from furnishing) cost Mr Albert Wood .,C, isoo. Is that a paltry pother? But this would only be a fraction of the cost. Without a word of exaggeration, the "extra burden on the rates" would be about 1/6 in the I have no doubt some innocent ratepayer will exclaim that Alderman Hugh Hughes has said that the rate would not be more than 2d or 21-d in the jQ." 2 But I don't expect the redoubtable Alderman will repeat that statement now. [I call Mr Hughes redoubtable in all sincerity, although I do not share his views, still I cannot help admiring his pluck, for he has recently proved himself more than equal to all the Conservatives put together on the Town Council.] "Iorwerth" goes on to say :-Look how hard the Church people are fighting against the School Board Why ? Because the establishment of a School Board means the loss of one of their most patent means of recruiting the Church and Tory Party in the Borough. I wish it was all true. But let me ask any fair- minded person in Conway, How many children have joined the Church through the influence of the Church Schools ?" I answer, unhesitatingly, "Not one." And, moreover, is not the "Conscience Clause there for them to avail themselves of it. There is no doubt whatever, that, if the money which Churchpeople subscribe towards the maintenance of Church Schools in Conway and elsewhere, were devoted to making the Church Services more perfect and more attractive, this method would prove far more effective in bringing people to Church than National Schools. If this were the case, it would be a selfish system, but, as things are at present, a higher principle is involved. The Church Schools are the only guarantee we have, that a child is being taught religion. The child is taught to reverence God, and to respect his betters, and not to sneer at religion. The Conway people are not "less inteligent" nor less alive to the interests of their children. They are anxious that their children should lead godly and pious lives. They are also conscious that there are no better conducted and more efficient Schools in North Wales than the Conway Sc,hools. What was H.M.I.'s report last year? Something to this effect, better if possible than ever." The people have no fault to find with the teaching in the National Schools, but they would soon stare at unsectarian teaching. The writer goes on to ask What has Canon Rees to do with it?" namely the Church School. He an- swers by saying that Canon Rees doesn't like the idea of sharing the loaves and fishes, etc. What a contemptuous idea Where, pray, do the loaves come from. Again, he repeats the question, and the best answer I can give him, is, "put that question t ) yourself." Why, he asks, does not Canon Rees seek for a seat on the Council ? Here is an instance of Iorwerth's knowledge. He is unwittingly exhibiting his ignorance, for he ought to know that a clergyman is prevented from seeking a seat on a Town Council. Hence, perhaps, the reason that Canon Rees is not a member of the Conway Town Council, and perhaps intet alia" Mayor of the Borough. There is one more point I wish to touch upon in Iorwerth's' letter, where he refers to the voice of the people.' He knows (or, at least, he ought to know perfectly well) that the majority on the Council, when they passed a resolution for the establishment of a School Board, did not represent the voice of the ratepayers. The School question had hardly been referred-to since the Jubilee Year, in the addresses of Candidates seeking the suffrage of the people, so that that majority could not claim to be representing the ratepayers. And, if it did, why did not they, like men, resign their seats when they were challenged, and appeal to the ratepayers. They knew too well what would be their fate, and, ever since, they have received notice to quit,—though the process is slow, it is a sure one,—and the result at present is, there are only three of them left; one only was elected last November, and that was, if you like, by a fluke' owing to a fifth candidate coming out on the Conservative side, and thus wasting about 100 votes. You ratepayers of the Borough of Conway, do not be led away by such flimsy arguments as those of Iorwerth. You will find, on careful examination, that the stuff he wants you to pur- chase, is not 'flannel' but 'flail tielette. Apologising for taking up so much of your space, I am, yours truly, Vox POPULI. Dec. 24th, 1894.

The 2nd V.B.R.W.F.



Special Sessions.