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THE DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTIONS.…
THE DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTIONS. 40-- CAERPHILLY. ..—. + COUNCILLOR WILLIAM THOMAS' CANDIDATURE. On Monday evening a well-attended public rueeting w-is held at the Board School in sup- port of tiie candidature of Councillor William Thomas. Amongst those present were Messrs John Morgan. M. P. Williams, Thomas Rees, Johr. Puttison, J. R. George, D. T. Salabhiel, Henry Coggins, Arthur Coggins, Thomas Jcnes, John Gibbon, Phillip Re-es, Thomas Weston, Thomas Howell, J. Hargreaves, Alf. Herbert, Thomas Davies, Hopkin Enoch, Wil. liam Davies (R.R.), W. A. Phillips, J. H. Phil- lips, flari-v James, J. D. Hughes, Harry Lloyd, Mrs Waters, Mrs T. Rees, Mrs J. Tay- lor, and Mrs A. R. Nicholas. On the proposition of Mr John Morgan. Mr I William Davies, sculptor, was unanimously voted to the chair. The Chairman, in his opening remarks, eulogistically referred to Councillor William Thomas' public career, and also to the sound judgment which he had dis- played in connection with various affairs per- taining to the district generally. Although it might be said by many ratepayers that Mr Thomas might have "done this and done that," still he believed from the reports of the Coun- cil's proceedings which appeared in the "Gla- morgan Free Press," that Mr Thomas had been a faithful servant, and fully deserved to be re- elected. He called upon Mr Thomas to give them an account of his stewardship during fit- last three years. Councillor William Thomas, on rising to ad- dress th.3 meeting, wa3 vociferously cheered. He said: There is an old saying which is very often true, "He who is good at excuses is good for little else." Perhaps there is a possibility that what I have ventured to dignify as ex- planations may be dismissed as excuses by per- sons prone to prejudice, and that the pro- verb may be applied to my disadvantage. (Cries of "No. no.") The task I have set my- self will, I fear, prove long and dry. So I can only assure you of my sympathy with you ;n your present hour of affliction. By the bye, 1 will do my best to reduce it to about half an liour. Just a word or two by way of com- mencement upon the question of ALLOTMENTS. TiP Council have endeavoured to obtain land for allotments in the Town Ward, TafFs Well, amd Nelson Wards. We succeeded rather easily in Taff's Well, but only after many dis- appointments in Nelson. The attempts for the Caier*phi!Iy Ward were absolutely resultless. For this I don't admit the Council were to blame. There was the sirne desire on the part of the Council to meet the wishes of the Caer- philly applicants as those of other Wards. The causes of failure were—in the case of the Rhos, unsuitability of the soil and the unreasonable rent asked for it. In the case of the land on the Van road, let us now call it a misunder- standing between the then Clerk of the Coun- cil and the owner, anyhow the final result was absolute refusal. But you will say: Why net u", your compulsory powers? Now, gentle- men, I wish to be honest, and, therefore, I have to say that after long and painstaking study of the provisions of the Act, I was forced to the conclusion that for the purpose of ac. quiring tlia land on reasonable terms and suffi- ciently near to a developing place like this,the t,o-calle: compulsory powers are not worth the paper iIv:-» are printed on. Perhaps you will sav But what do you know about the law? W ait ° bit. At. a meeting of the Council a few months ago, when this point was under discussion, Mr Spickett (ilnd those who know Mr Spickett best will respect his opinion) ex- pressed the opinion that the so-caller1 compul. st ry powers were of little use. So you see "ùat my views proved practically the same a-1 those ci a solicitor, who, as you must admit, has had a pretty fair experience in Local Government affsirs. But please do not sup- pc -:e that I wish to discourage further applica- tion for Allotments. I repeat an offer, an un- accepted offer, which I made here three years years ago. to attend, if re-elected and invited, a meeting of allotment applicants to discuss the matte: and see what can be done. ROADS. I i/.ave heird a considerable amount of (h-ere criticism on the maintenance of the loads here Opinions have been freely expressed that on nmny parts of them ther-i is too little work, and too ready a recourse to fresh metalling. My opinion, for what it is worth, in the main agrees with those criticisms, and it is one f the questions which should be dealt with. Some time ago, there were loud complaints of delay in metalling where it was wanted, with the re- sult that v.-e hed loose stones rJitlyfully rolling about under the wheels even in summer. j took the matter iip, and claim to have brought about considerable improvement, but not yet perfection. The question of the use of Clee Hill or other hard stone on certain heavily worked portions of the Council's Roads has been raised. Inquiries and investigations will be duly made, but unless there should be con- siderable difference in favour of those outside stones apparent I should vote against de- priving our limestone ratepayers of even a portion of the contracts now shared amongst them, and upon the execution of which local labour is employed. (Loud cheers). PRACTICAL MEN. Much has been said about the need of having "practical" men upon the Council. Some of this talk has been to my disparagement. The desirability of practical knowledge and exper- ience-the wider the better for the Council— -will be admitted by none more readily than myself; but what I claim to be of at least of equal importance, is a determination to fulfil the duties of the position, and a preparedness to sacrifice a good deal of time in doing so. (Hear, hear). As it is election time I will ver. tun- to say in self defence that, !f you ask 1.1Y colleagues, they will readily admit that f tac kle every important matter that comes be- fere U. and soon make myself practically ac- quainted with it. At the last annual meeting, when the Chairman and vice-chairman were •elected, one of the principal reasons pressed upon me. even after I had declined to take the vice-chair, (for the second consecutive year, was that. as one of the members put it, "I had all the business at my fingers' ends." Again I have appointed en, I think I may say, every special commi: tee, other than local ones, I for the last two years or more. Thesa facts are sufficient indication of the opinion of my colleagues, and I leave you to consider who are best qualified to judge, my fellow-members or the irresponsible critics of the streets and corners. (Loud cheers). STREET IMPROVEMENTS. It will perhaps appear strange to some of you that after over four years on the Council, I am not able to point out any substantial improve- ment in the condition of our streets, which frequently shew more than the genesis of mud, but unfortunately not yet the e.od. Of pro- gress in another Council-the great Council of the Nation—it was said, "Ireland blocks. the way." So with regard to Caerphilly improve- ments. I had until very lately to say, "Cardiff Road blocks the way." One reason for the statement that it blocked the way was because the surface of the future Cardiff Road will regulate the levels of the side or cross streets running into it. It is true that the Clifton street improvement plans, and those of Wind- sor street, have been ready for a long time, but I did not care to push those two on until the others could be brought into line, else there would be plausible grounds for complaints against me of interested partiality—my house and shop being in Clifton street; and as a club member and a director. I am interested in Windsor street. Another reason why "Car- diff Road blocked the way" is that I did not think it wise to imperil the rather delicate na- ture of the question of Cardiff Road improve- ment by overloading my ship while its fate was uncertain. I think I may claim at last that the improvement of Cardiff Road is now a practical certainty, and in an electioneering way I may also claim that, with the co-opera- tion of the late Mr Henry Anthony. and with the generous assistance of Mr Corbett, my perseverance, taot, and the appreciation by my fellow-members of my fair-mindedness n what may be termed district matters, have been mainly the cause of the ultimate success. Now it will, I hope, be only a question of a comparatively short time, to bring about other much needed improvements, and there will now be this important difference, that there will be three local members to watch over,, and push on, those improvements. GAS. I learn that the Council are being blamed for not purchasing the gas undertaking. Now I personally claim immunity from attack upon this point. You see, that however favourable Mr Anthony, Mr D. Lewis, and myself, who were all shareholders, may have been towards entertaining proposals from the Gas Company, we were outvoted and overborne by the mem- bers from the other Wards, who naturally looked with suspicion upon anything we might say as being tainted by self-interest. Therefore it any want to tatack the Council for not purchasing the Gas Works, in common fair- ness, go and do so in Ystrad Mynach, Nelson. and TafFs Well Wards, and do not visit the sins of others upon me. DRAINAGE. With reference to the Drainage Scheme, I hardly know at what point to commence. I have already told most of you that the Gwain- ybara scheme was adopted in the time of the Local Board here before my official time, and then adopted upon the best obtainable advice of that time. I have more than once told you that several different schemes and sug- gestions have been carefully considered. I have also told you that in 1896, the Septic Tank system of sewage treatment came under my notice, and that I commenced to study the possibility of lessening the enormous estimated total of P.56,000, by adopting the Septic, or some such system, for the sept rate treatment of Nelson. I put myself to a great deal of ex- penditure, of time, trouble. and my own money, in studying this matter, with the final result of reducing the estimates by £ 16,000; that is, E36,000 for the lower porticn of the Ward, and E4,000 for Nelson, as against £ 56,000 for the whole original scheme. I am frequently falsely and unfairly accused of having caused the loss of zE3,700, but none of the accusers, so far as I know, acknowledge the part I took in the saving cf the £ 16.000. I presume you all know about the sewer fiom the end of the present Senghenydd sewer to the farm is to be laid as soon as possible. No one who knows the deplorably insanitary state of things in the Aber Valley-a state which be- comes positively disgusting and dangerous in some parts in summer-will question the ab- solute necessity for hurrying on this portion of the work. This state of things affects us also as t.he Aber brook flows in this direction. During winter the volume of water therein is sufficient, not only for solution and carrying clean water away, but also for effecting a ger- micidal chemical change, practically equivalent to an annihilation of dangerous presences. But when. as inevitably they will, the proportions change as the water decreases and the sewage increases, then will come the danger to ns. Last summer I had repeated complaints from farmers and others bordering on the polluted stream. Many cattle, whose milk we drink, have access to this stream. Some of us have dene our utmost to pmh forward this drainage provision, but I fear we shall have one more dangerous summer before the reiief can be effected. WATER. It has been a, common charge against nol Council, and against myself more particularly, that th- expenditure of the £3,700 upon rhe water struggle was absolute waste, and was unnecessary.I deny point blank both these charges. You all know that in the summer of 1S96. as well as before and after, there was an alarming scarcity of water here. I gave the mos' unstinted attention to the important mat- ter of an increased water supply, and con- side-red the possibility of utilising the springs or streams of the immediate neighbourhood, and also meditated upon everything I could see myself, and what countless advisers brought under my notice. We actually tried to acquire some of them, but from one cause and another, we abandoned the hope of -in- quiring and using any of them with Parliamen- tarv powers. It was in lie autumn cf 1896 we learnt that the Rhymney and Aber Valley Company was being formed to promote a scheme to impound water on the borders of Breconshire for supply the whole valley. We prepared a scheme of our own, and at the same time tried to obtain satisfactory terms from the Company, but their offers were not what we could consider as safeguarding the district. Meanwhile several visits were paid to the site of their proposed reservoir, and I soon saw their scheme was a bad one. This statement is a bold one, but its correctness has since been practically proved by the action of the promoters in substituting the present scheme, which is totally different from the original one, and in my opinion a much better one. Now. let me ask you to carefully con- sider the then position. Here was our district indisputably in want of a better water supply, and a company attempting to get seven years Parliamentary powers over the district with a scheme which I, who of all the Conucil, knew most about, felt certain would never be carried i out. Now, suppose we had done nothing in way of a scheme ef our own. I ask you what chance of success would we have had in attempting to fprevent theSr encroachments. The answer must be, none whatever. Parlia- ment would certainly have granted them their Act, and what would be the result. They would be under no compulsory need of spend- ing a penny on the actual carrying out of a scheme. They would only have to wait until the ifrcreasing demands for waetr. and the in- creasing pressure of the superior authorities, would compel this district to buy them out. I have more rfeasons than my own opinion for saying that that would mean paying at least £ 10,000 for absolutely nothing, except the free dom to begin again a scheme of our own. (Shame). Why, it was absolutely necessary to I prepare tho CWYn Ceffyl scheme in order to save the district. We lost our own Bill it is true, but I have papers here which would go a leng way to support my contention, that it was a blundering misunderstanding between our principal expert witness and our leading coun- sel that chiefly wrecked it. But we won the other fight, and saved the district from uncon- trolled monopoly. The water struggle-not the water Bill only-but the whole water struggle cost. as you know only too well, about £ 3,700. But if my advice had been taken, there would have been a possibility—I think a probability—of a different result with some- thing like half the cost. (Hear, hear). At a certain stage in the proceedings we were strongly advised by our Parliamentary agents, and by the engineer, to oppose the Rhymney and Aber Valley Bill on Standing Orders. I moved that we should do so, but did not even get seconder. Someone proposed waiting upon the company to ascertain their best offers, etc., etc., But waiting meant losing this golden opportunity. By the time the following meeting was held, it was too late. At that meeting, which was decisive, I gave my views very fully, and after doing so, said, "Well, gentlemen, I have placed my views be- fore you, but remembering the isolated posi- tion I was in at the last meeting, I cannot take upon myself the further responsibility of pro- posing the proceeding with the Bill." It was then proposed and seconded by two members from another Ward that the Council proceed with their scheme. So you see that, although I did nearly all the work, it is absolutely un- fair to saddle me with so much of the blame. (Hear, hear). The candidate here handed the Chairman a copy of the minutes relating to these meetings, as a proof to the correctness of his statementt. Mr Thomas, proceeding, said: With your permission, Mr Chairman, I will read out the agreement we entered into with the Rhymney and Aber Valley Company last year, and ex- plain the circumstances, which led to that agreement. Here the speaker read some clauses, and continuing, said: The first endeavour, after the Parliamen- tary fight was to bring the different Rhymney Valley authorities, ourselves inclu- ded, to undertake a joint scheme. But even at the first meeting at Hengoed, there was so great a divergence of opinion, and so much cross-pulling, that the first meeting was also th? last. (Cries of "Shame.") We entered into negotiations with Merthyr, which exten- ded over a considerable time. Their offers were carefully considered, more especially by M" Corbett and myself. I spent many a long hour pondering the probabilities, and so I pre- sume did Mr Corbett. We made our calcula- tions separately, and arrived at much the same conclusion, viz., that the Merthyr arrangement would entail, besides the highest prices of the present scheme, a 6d rate m aid. This would probably be necessary for some time, and then perhaps gradually decrease. In the meantime the Rhymney and Aber Valley Company were preparing their scheme which, as I said before, is materially improved from the former. They gradually effected agreements with nearly eiver £ affected company, and every district authority from RJfymney downward. The ym Caerphilly position was a critical one. We had no scheme of our own, and the Merthyr arrangement would be too burdensome, so in oner to prevent the company from having un- controlled powers over the district, we made the agreement I have just read. I claim from every considerate, fair-minded elector, the ad- mission that we did the best that could be reasonably be expected under the circum- stances. If the company carry out their scheme we shall have a good and efficient water supply. If they do not meet the stipulations of the agreement, their powers in this district cease. (Hear, hear). Well. Mr Chairman and gentlemen, I have endetvoured to tell you a plain, unvarnished tale, to put matters as clearly as I could in a short address, and I now invite any pertinent questions. (Loud and prolonged cheers). Mr J. Gregory asked whether the water rate would be increased or diminished by the water scheme the candidate just referred to. Councillor Thomas: Oh, increase it. Mr Gregory: Under the agreement you have just read, I think the price of gas is quoted at 48 6d. Councillor Thomas: For public lighting. Mr Gregory: But is there no limit in tnb price for householders? Councillor Thomas: Yes. 5s 6d per thousand cubic feet. Mr Gregory: Do you not consider that a ridiculous price for gas? In many towns in the North of England and elsewhere, where th° expense of the carriage of coal and cost of other materials are much heavier than they are at Caerphilly, the price is from Is 10s to 2s with 20 per cent. discount if the account is paid within 15 days. Councillor Thomas: I am afraid Mr Gre- gory has overlooked my remarks, about the gas company. The Council have no control what- ever over gas people who can do just as they please with their own property. The only question I have to answer is that of the non- purchase of the Gas Works by the Council, and that I have already dealt with in my statement. The responsibility for that must be laid at the door of the members from the other Wards, to whom any complaints of this nature should be referrd. Had the Caerphilly members the power to buy, and the terms of purchase 'reasonable, the Gas Works would probably have long ere this been the property of the district. Mr Gregory again emphasised his objection to the exorbitant price of gas, etc., and with whom Councillor Thomas expressed his sym- pathy. Mr D. T. Salathiel wished to know whether the candidate would oppose the acquiring of the Water Works by the Rhymney and Aber Valley Company until they showed practical proofs of carrying out their scheme. Councillor Thomas Yes, certainly; I shall spire no effort to do so. Th? Chairman congratulated the candidate upon the excellent account he had just given of his stewardship during the last three years. He was more than satisfied with it, and be- lieved all those present felt similarly. Mr John Evans (one of the candidates) said there was a rumour that some antagonistic feeling existed between him and Mr Thomas, and he attended that night to make it known that there was no feeling of that kind. (Hear, I-ear). The paragraph in his address, which had been misconstrued, really applied to the Council as a body. He knew Mr Thomas would be returned, and hoped he (the speaker) would be successful in his candidature, so that Mr Thomas and himself might be able to work shoulder to shoulder in the interests of the Caerphilly ratepayers. (Hear, hear). He trusted the weapon would supply the cure after all. (Cheers). On the motion of Mr John Morgan, seconded by Mr D. T. Salathiel (who also thanked Mr Evans for his explanatory remarks), a vote of confidence )in Councillor Thomas was unani- mously passed. Councillor Thomas, responding, said: I have to thank you most heartily for your kind re- ception and for the encouraging response you have given to the proposition of a vote of con. fidence in me. I hope I shall so conduct my- se!f as to retain that confience. I frankly accept Mr Evans' explanation, but I did not, at any time, look upon the attack as indicating any personal feeling, but only as a kind of thing that one must expect at election time. (Hear, hear). I am, however, relieved to find that after all I was too "greedy" in appro- priating all the blame to myself. (Loud laugh- ter). In conclusion, I have only to add the same promise that I made here three years ago, viz., to do my best, with, however, this important difference—that it will now be my "experienced" best. (Loud cheers). A hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman closed a most successful meeting. ABER WARD. (From our Special Correspondent). The five candidates, Messrs David Thomas, Edmund Evans, -Eleazar Lewis, John Lewis, and Robert Lougher, are earnestly but quietly at work. It appears that at a public meeting held at N ocldfa Vestry on Thursday all the candidates except Mr John Lewis attended. Mr David Thomas held a meeting at Senghen- ydd on Wednesday ana at Aber to-night. It is almost a foregone conclusion that the follow ing three will be elected: -Messrs David Thomas (retiring member), Edmund Evans,and Eileazar Lewis. An -unfounded rumour pre- vailed at Sengihenydd last week ,and matters looked as if they were coming to a serious climax. Wise counsels, it appears, have pre- vailed, and everything is apparently calm.
. Aber Ward Election
Aber Ward Election To the Editor. Sir,-I feel justified in replying to the letter written by "Justice" in your issue of the 11th mst., if only to maintain the interests of the "favoured few" who, I predicted would contest the Ward. It would have been a pleasure fot me to do so had "Justice" "t.ten in plain every.day language; but T tho i 60 affected bv l<1;ei*°Sicrous ejaculations" of his letter ..j* "ustlce" wi;1 not deny me a few of his J nquistic quotations" in reply. Does he seek .Aistlce when he„proclaims the dection gentlemen who have r.o wish to be nominated alone contest a seat? Is it "Justice" to ones peace of mind to find such scratch phmscs as "preposterous ejaculations" grating on one's auditory and ccuMr nerves? Is it "Justice" to himself to spend an hour at a modem Dictionary looking for torturing epi- thets to suit the orgies of his mighty mind? Lastly. doss he do himself "justice" in think- ing those candidates who have entered the field as anything but "aspirants." Yes, Sir, "As- pirants" they undoubtedly are, but as I pre- viously stated, aspirants who are not too timid to withstand the test of a District Council election. But whence came this supernatural being residing at Senghenith who claims "jus- tice" on behalf of Mr Morgan and Mr 1. J. Thomas? Is he a voter; a stroller in decora- ted pantaloons, or a gravedigger? No-one would sooner assist in the election of the gentlemen above-named than myself, were they nominated. As it is, "Justice" can ill afford his valuable time in publishing his opinion of every next-dcor neighbour,, which has no re- lation to the election whatever. "Justice" can rest contented that he is the wisest—in Seng- henitli, at any rate, for after setting forth the excellent qualities of two gentlemen this week (with which I thoroughly agree) we may ex- pect him to produce another two the following week, and so on, although the nomination day is past since the 9th inst. "Preposterous ejaculations!" How that haunts me. It visits till candidates in their nocturnal canvassing visits, and wakes up the owls and vampires of electioneering to a sense of duty never before known. I ain certainly open to correction re my remarks on the Council election, but please Mr "Justice," do not use those brain-tongue- anct-ear-raekers in your future correspond- ence. A few drachms of "laughing'' gas" can bo cheaply obtained at Senghenith, but let ns tuckle to seriously and choose the fittest three to represent the ward, without squandering time and other things over wrangling in dic- tionary terms. Messrs D. Thomas and R. Lougher are again facing three new fielders, whose qualifications are all excellent. Tho fight has suddenly blazened forth, and now bids fair to equal any for years past, although a week ago it seemed likely that an election would be avoided. Mr Evans is the only direct representative of Aber, the remaining four being confined to the upper village. Besides the three above-named, Messrs John Lewis, builder, and Eleazar Lewis,, builder (brothers), ar gallantly to the front, and as the former represents the Conservative party and the lat- ter is nominated by the Liberal Association, it is expected that both will succeed in gaining a seat on the Council. TVfr Lougher is a mem- ber of the Liberal Association also, and will undoubtedly take some beating after the gal- lant fight he made last year. His qualifications are afcove reproach, and it is believed he will receive a triumphant return on the 27th. Five candidates for three seats looks as if the con- test will be as keen as possible, and then it is considered that the five candidates are men worthy of a seat on the Council,, it will be no dishonour to the two that fail to reach the standard of inclusion. Mr Howells has row been definitely nominated for the Town Ward, although he would have fought for Aber had Mr Evans decided not, to contest the seat. It is very probable that Mr Howells will oust even tlir oldest member from Caerphilly from his usual place on the foiling roll, for great are the expectations of his adherents from top to bottom of the town. Mr Howells gives forth his views re "Consecration" in as fair terms as possible, and deserves special praise for the manner he has drafted his reply to the ques- tions issued on the matter. We understand that Mr Evans, Aber, pledges himself to defend the rights of denominationalism as against en- crcachments by the Church through the bishops Such men deserve the support of the electorate and we trust that a "true" return will be made cf those who are earnestly following the prin- ciples of ri6eralism in both Wards.—I am, dtc.. ABER CORRESPONDENT. (The writer must remember the rule of the Press-to write on one side of his foolscap sheet only.—Ed.).
« R H ON D D A.
« R H ON D D A. No. 4 WARD. MEETING AT YSTRAD. An enthusiastic meeting was held at Nebo Chapel, Ystrad Rhondda, which was kindly lent for the occasion, on Tuesday night, in support of Dr. Thomas, under the presidency of Mr George Clarke. Mill Street, Ystrad, when important business was transacted. Addresses were given by the Chairman, Mr D. Williams, Mr Thomas Jones, Mr Issac Edwards (Scottish Legal Insurance Agent), Mr D. Mor- gan, Mr Richard Morris (Ystrad Restaurant), and Mr D. Lloyd (grocer), the secretary being Mr Reea Watkins (Pearl Life Insurance agent) Dr. Thomas is a candidate who possesses un- doubted abilities, and the active part which he has taken in the recent District Council will probably merit the support of the working classes, and the fact that he has taken a keen interest in all affairs of public interest should certainly be taken into consideration. Mr David Morgan submitted the following resolu- tion to the meeting: "That this meeting of electors of the Rhondda. No. 4 Ward, having heard Councillor Dr. Thomas' views, desires to express its unabated confidence in him as one of their representatives on the District Council, and pledges itself to use every legiti- mate means to return him to the Council with a triumphant majority." Mr Robert Thomas seconded. After hearing the views of the candidate, they could not do better than 'I send him back again to the Council. The resolution, on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously with acclamation.
- ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT…
ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT HAFOD NO. 8 WARD. On Friday evening a large and influential meeting of ratepayers was held at the Board Schools, Hafod, in support of the candidature of Mr Brooks. Mr Moses Jones, Hafod, pre- sided, and was supported by Mr James Baker, pheckwelgheii. National Colliery; M!r John Rogers, checkweigher, Cymmer Colliery; Mr Evan Evans, grocer, Hafod; Mr Tom Thomas, Tyooed, and Mr William Davies, ex-check- weigher, Cymmer Colliery. Mr Moses Jones, the chairman, in his open- mg address, said it gave him much pleasure at being honoured to preside in that meeting, especially from the fact that he was advocating s a straightforward policy in supporting as it were a friend of the working men. He went on to say that he was sorry to speak of the in- difference of a large number of people who were direct ratepayers in Hafod, who did not participate in a proper franchise. Hafod was lacking in many things, and whatever would take place in tha vicinity it was always hard to induce the people to attend meetings. He quoted several instances of important func- tiens having taken place when excellent pro- grammes were prepared, but those who should interest themselves in it kept away. Mr Jcnes at this juncture gave some interesting figures dealing with the late war between the Ystrad- yfowg and Pontypridd School Boards, and added that it was full time to introduce new blcod upon several of our various Beards. New blood was wanted in the shape of some- one in their own locality. He wanted the people of Hafod to support a candidate who would be near to them-a man of their ow.. calibre, a man who would listen and entertain their grievances, and lastly, a man who was in touch with the requirements of the working man. He always considered when members were elected upon Boards they were public servants, and they were put there to work, to carry out the programme according to the ne- cessities of the public. When people were elected he would call their attention to the say- ing, "that there was nothing so dignified as true service." Dignity itself was simply a position, such as M.E., C.E., and such letters stood for nothing without having regard and equality for the welfare of his or her fellow- beings.He (the speaker),if permitted to say so, would crave and loudly appeal to all present to vote for a man who had the welfare of the working community at heart. In Mr Brooks they had a man of great business capacity, ot a big heart, ,vho possessed all the qualifications that were essential in filling the seat upon the Council. The speaker smilingly went on to say that Mr Brooks had made his pile, and was glad that he intended to stay among those from whom he had sprung, anti that he inten- ded to spend his future spare time in looking after the interests of his Ward if elected. (Loud applause). Mr Evan Evans, Hafod, next addressed the meeting, and said if there was any one present —that had suffered more than he through in- difference of some of the members of the Rhon- dda District Council, he would sympathise with him or them. He said it publicly, that it was a shame how the Hafod district had been treated and misrepresented in late years. All present understood the position of Hafod, and it was through their (the ratepayers)' own fault in not selecting a member that was .,t least a man that could be approached when anything was wanted in the shape of improve- ment. He was sorry to report that during the last three or four years no fewer than seven big floods had visited his cellar; the last one especially had played havoc with everything he possessed as furniture, etc. He measured 4 ft. 7 inches of water in his underground kitchen, and when he wired to the nearest member, the answer was, "Cannot afford time to come down." He (Mr Evans) went person- ally to see Mr Griffiths, and Mr Mathias in order that he should prove toothem the true state of affairs. Their combined answer was they could not come down. After this Mr Evans appeared before the Council, and fully I explained his unfortunate plight, and after a little consultation the Council informed bin. that they had nothing to do with it, and re- ferred him to Mr Beasley, of the Taff Vale Railway Company. However, he went to Car- diff, and saw Mr Beasley, who offered him bit little solace, and told him that the Board was liable for the part of the road where the river overflowed its banks. Now, said Mr Evans, as he appealed to the enthusiastic audience, what could he do under such circumstances? (A Voice: Change some of them."). (Applause). As regards the candidature of Mr Brooks he was sure if they elected him they would have a member who could be prevailed upon to give the ratepayers a hearing. (Cheers). And un- doubtedly, he would be the right man in the right place. He heartily supported him for many reasons, and sincerely hoped that Mr Brooks would be returned. (Loud applause). Mr Brooks, the candidate, was now called upon to address the audience, and to point out his views. Upon rising, he was greeted with au enthusiastic cheer. Mr Brooks said: This is the first time I have had the pleasure and honour of addressing a public meeting. I feel very much obliged to you on this occasion especially to see so many friends from the neighbourhood of Hafod pre- sent. I may say that our chairman, Mr Jones, has just touched upon many points which) I in- tended to lay before you, and has taken a great deal of pith out of me. You are aware that next week a duty will be involved upon you to select three members upon the Rhondda Dis- trict Council. No doubt you are aware of the importance of the Council, as they have now to look after the welfare and comfort of about 120,000 people. So it behoves you, as electors, to think seriously who you return to watch your interest on the Board. The work that the Council is expected to do is to see that the cleaning, paving, stoning, scavenging, watering, and lighting of all streets, not only the main streets, but the bye-streets and lanes, are attended to.I think it a shame that people who pay rates and live in the bye streets should not have proper lights and roads, as well as people who live upon the main street. I find that the District Council have full control, and arc responsible for the carrying out of all sani- tation, such as drainage and sewerage. They havo to employ medical and-sanitary inspectors and if you return me I will endeavour to see that proper and qualified men fill these posts, and it is very essential in the Rhondda Coun- cil that the chief officers should be experts in their department, and their recommendations should be accepted by the Council. (Cheers). I think they ought to be paid fair salaries to enable them to carry out the work which they are expected to do. (Applause). I find when people are not paid enough, the first opportuni- ty they have to better themselves they leave and go elsewhere, and by their so doing cause a great expense to the ratepayers in finding others to fill their places, and getting them to know the district. The Council should pro- vide suitable buildings, such as Isolation Hos- pitals for infectious and contagious diseases, and the widening and the creating of new roads and bridges. Whenever a demand arises the Council should cause every complaint of nuisance to be investigo.ted and dealt with. Gentlemen, those briefly are the principal ciu ties vested in the District Council with re- gard to improvements. About the Hafod part of the Ward, I would suggest the necessity of altering or causing to be altered the bridge over the Coedcae Colliery incline and the erec- tion of a new bridge across the river and the repairing and lighting of all the bye streets of Britannia and Hafod, and the needs of better and more lights upon the main roads. (Ap- plause). I need not tell you the difference be- tween the two lights of the Pontypridd Board and the Rhondda Board. It would be instru- mental for us. were it possible, to get the mme lighting properties as the Lower Board. Public Companies and landlords speak of being heavy ratepayers, but I say it is the colliers and every other kind of workmen who pay the rates—(applause)—if not directly, they pay i- in rent, and it is about time they should havc- a voice in the management of spending the money, by returning men to the Council who understand the needs of the workmen, and not afraid to agitate for their rights. (Cheers). What we want on the Board is fair play and equality. I think that the man who owns his house should have the same consideration as the rich man who may have a hundred. (Ap- plause). My heart and mind is full of argu- ments in favour of the ratepayer, but I am afraid I am taking up your valuable time, as we have other gentlemen to address you, who are more fluent than myself. I might say that I am a better thinker and better worker than a public speaker. It is for you as electors to tell me any time what you really require, and I promise to do my very best to further your interest at all times, and to make frequent visits over the Ward, and I will, if returned, when any important measure comes before the Council which concerns the ratepayers, endea- vour to call a meeting in order to obtain your views. No doubt, people will say that a big portion of the new councillors would be with- out experience, but for myself, I am fully alive as to the responsibilties resting on the mem- bers of this the greatest Urban District Coun- cil in the whole Kingdom, and there are not many towns outside London with a greater number of inhabitants than the Urban Dis- trict of the Rhondda Valley. Mr Brooks re- sumed his seat after loud and prolong cheering- Mr John Rogers, checkweigher, Cymmer Col- liery, read the following resolution: "That this public meeting of the electors of Hafod. No. 8 Ward., having heard the views of Mr Joseph Brooks upon the District Council mat- ters, we deem him a fit and proper person to be returned as one of the three members for the Ward. Also that this meeting pledges it- self to use every legitimate means for his elec- tion." Mr J. T. Jones, Glandwr House, Porth, in a curt and concise speech, seconded the resolu- tion, which was carried unanimously. Mr James Baker, checkweigher. National Colliery, next addressed the meeting, and said that not very often was he seen in this, the Hafod, constituency, but he came this night to nay a tribute and a conscientious feeling of duty. They were upon the verge of an impor- tant function, and it was his, and every other conscientious man's duty, to place upon the District Council a man of ability, economical, a.nd one who had plenty of time to devote to the duties involved. He did not believe in half of what appeared in several of the addresses prepared by some of the candidates. Some of them went on to say that they would devote their time and would be most economical, etc., etc. He (Mr Baker) argued that in many in- stances public moneys were spent in the wrong direction; Bridges, roads, etc., were public conveniences, but they should turn their faces t- enquire after what was most important, antz that was sanitation. He quite understood that the candidates were perfectly right in using the money of the public economically in the righ way, but there was such a thing as false .ry J economy. He believed r-hat !1" most signifi- cant item was "economy in tlr> living of hu- man life." Sanitation had been lost by several candidates, and it was the constituency's duty to see that they would return a member that owuld influence and endeavour to get first of all perfect sanitary arrangements. It was high time that the lower classes should see that they were represented as it were by someone that was near to them, not only as a member, but as one of themselves, who could meet and arrange their matters and grievances. People complained that they could not approach sever- al of the present members owing to their sta- tion in ftie, but the candidate before them that night was as one of themselves, one who had risen from the ranks, one who had climbed from the bottom rung to the top of the lad- der. Mr Brooks' name he would cherish while he lived, not because be was a candidate for a seat on the Council, but for his "humani- ty" in the recent strule-the great and di- sastrous strike. The saying that "one touch of nature makes an the world akin," stood fixedly before his eyes. Mr Brooks, without any ostentatious display, gave away scores of pounds; he had closely identified himself by alleviating the sufferings of the then poor women and children, and to-day the very populace should reciprocate with interest in his favour. (Loud applause). Mr Brooks had told him that he was prepared to work in the interests of the working men, and Mr Baker appealed earnestly to all present to rally round their candidate, to be true on the day of the election, and return him triumphantly to tho Council. (Loud cheers and applause).
+ IJhondda District Council…
+ IJhondda District Council No 8. Ward. To the Editor. Sir,-It is with reluctance that I write and forward you this letter for insertion in your next issue, as I had hoped that the election in the above Ward would have oeen carried on without dealing in personalities, as such will generally bring about what Observer" in your issue before last fitly describes, "contentious feeling,' 'and which I feel his letter has been chiefly directed to kindle. It is not my inten- tion to balance the different qualifications of the various candidates, as I have every con- fidence in the ability and judgment of the elec- tors to discern which candidates are best to represent them on the unondda Urban Dis- trict Council. But my object in writing is to remove and rectify certain statements. In the first place, he condemns the Liberal Associa- tion for selecting an Irish Nationalist as a can- didate. Does "Observer" wish to debar a man from a public position because he advocates certain measures of reform in the interest ot h'.s fellow-countrymen. The suggestion is ex- tremely mean. How would "Observer" like a Welsh Nationalist to be treated in this man- ner outside of Wales. I love patriotism wherever it is found be it Welsh,, Scotch, Irish, or English. His next remark is: "I should commend them for selecting an out and out Tory rather than a Nationalist." H& should then know the colour of the bird, I pre- sume, from the letter that the colour of the bird and that of "Observer" would be identi- cal. Personally, I do not care to see politics in- troduced into the assembly of an administra- tive body, as it cannot be a help, but must be an hindrance in the discharge of their public duties. Mr Brooks has on his committee both Conservatives and Liberals, and to both a sys- tem of good sanitation, well lighted streets, and all other public improvements, must be equally beneficial. Further, "Observer" says: "M.. Brooks has not been selected for any- thing he has (lone for the Ward except the Fire Brigade." For "Observer's" information, ;.1 addition to the above, I may mention that during the period of slackness in trade at Coedcae in the latter part of 1897, Mr Brooks was foremost with others in alleviating the distress then existing. During the recent strike he supported tbe relief commit Lee fL nancially; also he was the means of getting about two tons of fish distributed. He is also an energetic worker in the Porth Cottage Hos- pital Eisteddfod; an annual subscriber to Cymmer Colliery Institute; also one of the trustees. When Mr Alfred Thomas contested the last election against Mr Jackson. Mr Brooks worked heart, and soul for Mr Thomas, doing his utmost to return the Liberal Mem- ber, although by doing it he opposed a man of his own religious creed, thereby showing to the world the colour of the bird. In the Coun- cil all political differences should be set aside. Those are the views of Mr Brooks, and every member should represent his Ward faithfully and in a manner worthy of this populous dis- trict.—I am, etc., CELT.
. Rhondda District Council…
Rhondda District Council Election. I THE "OBSERVER" UNDER OBSER- VATION. To the Editor. Sir,-Your correspondent, "Observer," hav- ing failed to attract any reply to his batch of innuendos, published in your issue of February 25th, has now in your last issue, become less cautious, and has displayed his weakness of character, by allowing his utter meanness to overcome his embryo judgment, as proved by his attacking personalities and institutions under the shadow guise of a nom-de-plume. Had he shown ordinary ability in making out a case,, it would have warranted the assump- tion that he had been briefed to puff three candidates at the expense of the fourth, whereas he .has only displayed spleen and pre- judice, unmitigated by a single redeeming fea- ture. I shall not attempt, Sir, to participate in hi j mud-throwing pastime, it being unworthy beyond degree, and willingly grant him his monopoly. "A great pity that contentious feelings should be generated in the Ward," says this paragon of "Observers," but a greater pity. Sir, that he should be the instigator of the same. Were it not that the public have a right to know the truth it would be wise to treat his virulence, with silent contempt. A lie that is half a truth, is ever the blackest of lies; a lie that is all a lie can be met and fought outright; but this half-truth, half-lie, is a harder matter to fight. As far as the Liberal Association is concerned, the question of candidates hid not been discussed, until it was ascertained, by actual deputation, that the past member was going to "come out against all comers." The public will note that this wa, before, not after, the rames of Messrs Brooks and Pewell had been submitted, which (Continued next page).