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IConway Town Council.

North and South Wales Bank,…



AN ATTRACTIVE SALE NEXT TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.—There is likely to be a good attend- ance at the sale of furniture and effects Mr F. A. Dew is conducting by Auction at Morannedd, Marine Road, Colwyn Bay, next Tuesday and Wednesday, February nth and 12th.—Mr Dew's two-days auction-last week, at the Public Hall, -of the furniture and effects from Bryndinarth, was a conspicuous success.-On February 20th, Mr Dew is holding at the Public Hall, one of his series of sales, for which he is now soliciting further entries. WELSH MEMBERS AND THE EDUCA- TIONAL QUESTION. THE ARMENIAN ATROCITIES. A public meeting was held, at the Public Hall, Colwyn Bay. on Wednesday evening, when speeches were delivered on the above question, by Mr J. Herbert Roberts, M.P.; and Mr J. C. Humphreys-Owen, M.P. At the hour announced for the commencement of the proceedings, 7.30, there was only a moderate attendance, which, however, subsequently was in- creased. The chair was occupied by the Rev Thomas Parry, J.P., A.C.C., who was supported, in addition to the two Welsh members, by the Rev Dr Cynhafal Jones, John Ed- wards, W. Evans Jones, and T. C. Roberts, and Messrs James Wood, John Roberts, and H. O. Hughes. The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, said that during the last few weeks public attention had been very much occupied by events occurring abroad. Black clouds had been hanging in the North, South, East, and West, but (thank God) there were now prospects of sunshine, and they were able to look at home. They had not met there that evening for the purpose of attacking the policy of the Government. They were there entirely on the defence, because as Mr Asquith had said, they did not know what their policy was. [Laughter]. That day they found the Church of England and the Church of Rome united to compel the State to pay for the education of the young. He thought that they would all agree that they already had too much of the ratepayers' money to do as they liked with. The Church Party had over a thousand Schools under their control, and they would all agree that that ought not to be, and he hoped that they in Colwyn Bay would raise their voices against it that evening, and that at Rhyl, the following day, the whole of North Wales would do the same. [Applause]. They should raise a cry which even Lord Salis- bury and the Duke of Devonshire could not withstand. [Applause). He hoped that they might be made to listen. They certainly would be compelled to listen at some time or other. Even if the clouds were now black, they must not be discouraged, for sunshine would be certain to exist. Before the close of that meeting, they will have heard the views of their worthy Member and Mr Humphreys-Owen on the great and important questions at issue. In conclusion, the Chair- man remarked that it would be a great injustice to England to allow those two parties-the Church of England and the Church of Rome-to have sole control over the Eleinentary Schools. The Rev Cynhafal Jones then proposed the following resolution :—" That, inasmuch as an attempt is now being made to set aside the arrangement come to in 1870 on the subject of elementary education, in order to secure additional grants for sectarian schools, this meeting solemnly protests against extending any further aid, either from local rates or from the Exchequer. to any schools not under public control that we cannot but regard any proposal to extend further support to so-called Voluntary schools, and towards paying the salaries of teachers whose appointment or dismissal rests with denominational bodies, as an attempt to create a fresh endow- ment to religious denominations by the State, and therefore as being directly contrary to the principles of religious liberty and we therefore bind ourselves not to rest until our system of elementary education is perfected by placing all schools sup- ported from public funds under public control and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, and to our honourable member for this county." The reverend gentleman, in moving the resolu- tion, spoke briefly in the vernacular. The Rev John Edwards (Colwyn Bay), in seconding the resolution, said that he did not agree with all that had been published in the newspapers upon the question of Voluntary Education, and the articles which had from time to time appeared in the daily Press, had created a wrong impression in the minds of the public. In Colwyn Bay, while they had only one elementary school, they had many other schools, their town being considered one of the most important centres of education in North Wales. [Applause.] However, they had only one school available for the education of the children of artisans, and they must be very sensible or charitable, otherwise they would not be able to get along so well. Their Board and Infant Schools were second to none in the Princi- pality. [Applause,] They had a Higher Grade School at Colwyn Bay, and they were prouder of that than any. They had lost the Intermediate School, but they had got the Higher Grade. [Applause.] They had in their Board Schools a plan of religious instruction, and he would venture to state that there was no better plan in the whole of Wales. [Applause.] Furthermore, they had not experienced the least difficulty in getting the children to agree to that plan. There had only been one exception, and that was in the case of a Protestant's child brought up by a Roman Catholic. He expressed himself proud of the religious instruction given to the children attending the Board Schools at Colwyn Bay. The following resolution was then moved by Mr James Wood: That we regard with feelings of the deepest humiliation the failure of the British Government^to put an end, by diplomatic action, to the ruthless massacre of our fellow-Christians in Armenia. We feel it the more in view of the treaty responsibility undertaken by us. We call upon Ministers to join with the Powers of Europe, in giving a mandate to the Government of Russia [cheers] to enter Armenia and put an end to the foul cruelties perpetrated by Turks is that unhappy country." Mr Wood said that there was not a man, woman, or child, knowing anything at all about what had taken place in Armenia, who had not wept in secret and been troubled at heart to think that human beings should be subjected to such horrible cruelties at the hands of their fellow-creatures. The Rev T. C. Roberts having seconded this resolution, the Chairman called upon Mr Herbert Roberts, M.P., to address the meeting. Mr Herbert Roberts, who was received with loud and enthusiastic cheering, expressed the pleasure it gave him to find that they in Colwyn Bay had decided to take some definite action with regard to the Armenian question. He had had an opportunity lately of travelling in the East. He had seen a great deal, consequently it was likely that the horrors of the situation had been burning most vividly in his mind. He himself felt most strongly on this question, and he hoped that those present that evening held an equally strong feeling with regard to it. Most of his hearers had no doubt read the astounding remarks made by Lord Salisbury a fort- night ago, on the occasion of a banquet. They also must all remember his words when speaking in the Guild Hall, Lon- don, in November last. Both speeches were in an entirely different note, and the meaning of the first had been entirely whittled away by the last. It was not only Lord Salisbury who had noticed this, and brought the fact before the public, but it had been stated in a leading Unionist organ. The Observer, that the change of attitude of Lord Salisbury tended to lower the prestige of Great Britain. [Applause]. The speaker also could not agree entirely with the utterances of Mr Balfour at Bristol, on Monday evening. What did he say ? He said that, if Europe had failed to procure protection to outraged Armenians, we in England, at all events, were not to blame. Was that not the language and feeling of a coward school bov when afraid of the lash ? Such an utter- ance could hardlv have been expected from one of Her Majesty's Ministers. But Mr Balfour had said still more. He had said that were he a Turkish statesman anxious for the perpetuation of the empire of wh'ch he was a citizen, there was no part of contemporv history which he should regard as more full of omen for the future of his country than the change which had taken place in English public opin- ion on the subject of Turkey, in consequence of the events that had taken place in that country. Was that the way in which to settle the Eastern question ? Oh, no! Thousands and thousands of our fellow-creatures in Armenia, were dead and dying. Where they to stand unmoved and see all this going on ? It seemed to him that they were, under treaty, obliged to interfere. But, even if they were not, now that they had gone behind technicalities and diplomacy, it would be a lasting disgrace to Great Britain if they did not interfere. [Applause.[ Yes. and it would be a disgrace to the humanity of our country also. [Applause]. Speaking in support of the second resolu- tion. Mr Herbert Roberts said that he was pleased that that meeting had been held on the eve of the important demonstration at Rhyl. That evening they hoped to light a torch which, on the following day, would blaze at Rhyl. [Applause]. He hoped that the fire, when once lighted, could never be put out. [Applause]. At Abergele, the previous week, he had taken advantage of the opportunity afforded him of dealing with two aspects of the educational question. With their permission, he would deal with the religious aspect. In the first place, he wished to point out that Scotland had had great advantage over England and Wales. Scotland had had a start of about 250 years. They had passed a law whereby it was necessary to establish a school in every parish, and also imposing a tax 0 on land in each parish, in order to maintain those schools in working order. What, he asked, would be the present condi- tion of VVales if an elementary school had been established in every parish for the last 250 years ? If they had spent their money in maintaining these schools, instead of it having been wasted upon an institution which they could only regard as al en, and one which failed to do its duty. [Applause.] A few years ago he had found, upon referring to a Blue Book, that the number of children, aged over seven years, in elementary schools in Scotland, who were sufficiently well advanced in scientific subjects, was 100,000, out of 381,000, whereas, during the same year, in England, out of 2)467,000 children, only 56,000 were well advanced. The percentage was thus 28 per cent. in Scotland and only I per cent. in England. These figures clearly proved what abundant ser- vice 250 years of good sound elementary education would wT provecJ to the children of the land. However, they in Wales were rapidly making up for lost ground [Applause], and it was of the greatest importance that they should do nothing that would in any way interfere with the progress of elementary education in this country. Up to the beginning of the present century very little had been done as regards elementacy education. In 1798, a man, whose memory ought to be cherished in our hearts,—Joseph Lancaster [Applause], founded.a British and Foreign Schools Society, and in 1811 the National Society for the teaching of poor children the principles of the Church of England, was also founded. In the year 1883, the first Parliamentary Grant was made. From 1833 to 1870, the Grants increased from year to year, and they swelled until the thousands became millions. But, during the year 1838, a Bill was actuallv passed through the House of Commons, enabling localities to build schools out of the rates, thus anticipating by 31 years the great Act of 1870. but it was thrown out by the Lords. The more they examined the records of history the more numerous appeared the instances of injurious and retrogressive action by that Assembly in legislation. When they contemplated the revolution brought about in a quarter of a century by the Act of 1870 in the condition of the country, what would have been the result now had the principle of the Act been passed thirty-one years before ? [Cheers.] He contended that the moment State aid was called in there was created a right of adequate public control in the management of the schools. [Cheers.] The passing of Mr Forster's measure proved the failure of denominationalism to perform the duty of educating the children of the country, and the marvellous expansion of educational facilities during the last twenty-five years was a striking tribute to the power of national responsibility in education. But, in spite of all this, the compromise of .870 had more than once been broken in favour of the Chnrch Party, and it was proposed to break it again. For his own part, he could not agree to the view that even the compromise of 1870 could be allowed to stand for ever, and as war had been proclaimed by the other side, let it be war until every elementary school in the land was free in every sense of the word. [Loud cheers]. Alluding to the religious difficulty, he had not a little sympathy with the spirit of the utterance of the Duke of Devonshire, Hang I theology" [Laughter], but. as it held a leading place in the controversy, they were compelled to face it. Personally, he (Mr Roberts) thought that the Bible should be read and taught in its matchless simplicity and grandeur in all schools. [Hear, hear]. Their objections as Nonconformists lay only to the teaching of any particular creed or form of religion at the public!expense. It was alleged that the Voluntary Schools taught religion, and that the Board Schools did not. The Cowper-Temple clause in the Act of 1870 was, according to Canon Daniel, "an abiding and shameful monument of the sacrifice of principle to the exigencies of party," and Dean Gregory, a leading spirit of the National Society, had said that Nothing has done more to sap the religious faith, to injure the moral condition, and to lower the social status of the country than the Act of 1870." A truly Christian sentiment forsooth [Laughter]. In reply to these discreditable state- ments, he quoted the opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury and ther leading Churchmen, that the religious education in Board schools was satisfactory. But there was something to be said on the other side. Was it a fact that religion, pure and undefiled, was always taught in the Church schools? That was not the opinion of a leading Liverpool clergyman, who said not long ago that the teaching in many Church schools is religious so far as its title goes on circular reports and so forth, but as given by the teacher and received by the children it is too often purely academic, not to say grossly irreligious." And yet the clerical party had the hardihood to agitate for an up- heaval of the whole system of elementary education on the plea that the country was becoming Godless, because the principles of the Church of England were not taught in the Board schools of the country. In conclusion, hclsked which party had proved itself most worthy to speak in this name of religion. which side had done most for religion and morality in Wales during the present ceutury. He answered without hesitation that it was those who, under Divine blessing, through the principles of Dissent, had raised the country from the shadow of spiritual death, had awakened it to a sense of its self-respect, and had taught it to tread the ways ot freedom. Let them be true to their principles, and their final triumph was assured. [Loud Cheers.] Mr Humphreys-Owen, M.P., followed, and said that Colwyn Bay might be proud of the fact that they were the first who had passed a resolution casting aside all- apprehension of the power of Russia, and calling upon the Government to stop the misrule of Turkey in Armenia. [Cheers.]. Referring to the education question, he remarked that the bishops made a point of the terrible number of children in Wales who grew up without any religious teaching in schools, and that statement was believed in England, where it was thought the Government would hit Wales hard on the point. He urged that the people of Wales should not be content until they had done their utmost to strengthen the hands of those within the Government who might perhaps have some power of checking the hands of Lord Salisbury, but they must have the voice of united Wales to effect any good. [Cheers] They must fight hard, and insist upon absolute and complete equality in the schools, as they wished to have it for the nation at large. -[Cheers.]. The resolutions were then put to the meeting and carried with acclamation, and copies of them were ordered to be sent to Lord Salisbury, Mr. Chamberlain, and Sir William Harcourt. Upon the motion of Mr. John Roberts, seconded by Mr. Nunn, a vote of thanks was accorded the Members of Parliament present, for their addresses. The usual vote of thanks to the chairman, closed the meeting.