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Pfcntre Bye-Election.

New Wesleyan Schoolroom. Treorchy.I

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Mid-Rhondda ChamberI of Trade.


Mid-Rhondda Chamber of Trade. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. The usual monthly meeting of the above Chamber of Trade was Held at the Grocers' Room, Wellington Chambers, Tonypandy, on Wednesday evening, Mr. 1). S. Thomas presiding. Mr. Llewollyn Evans (outfitter), who was elected as chairman at the last meet- ing, wrote thanking the Chamber for the honour, but regretting that he could not see his way to accept the position. After numerous expressions of regret from the members at Mr. Evans' decision, Mr, Noah Meredith moved that Mr. D. S. Thomas, who was elected vice-chairman at the annual meeting, be asked to take the chair. This was seconded by Mr. J. Owen Jones, and supported by Mr. J. Kinstley (jeweller), one of the oldest members of the Chamber, who expressed the opinion that Mr. Thomas was one of the ablest men in the locality, and that his appoint- ment would be most desirable. The proposition was carried unani- mously. Mr. Thomas, in thanking the meeting, said that he was coming into the chair at a great disadvantage; the past year having been such a notable one in the history of the Chamber, and the last chairman (Mr. J. Owen Jones) having filled it so successfully, especially on the filled it so successfully, especially on the occasion of the Royal visit. He (the speaker) did not expect anything in the wav of a Royal visit to the district during his term of office, consequently the Cham- ber could resort itself to spade work. There were many things needing earnest attention in the locality, and nuisances, which he hoped would in a very short time be removed. He hoped also that during the ensuing year long strides would be made towards the Incorporation of the Rhondda, and he was proud of the fact that the Mid-Rhondda and District Chamber of Trade were the prime movers in the movement. He would also like to see the Early Closing Order carried out, and the Grocers' Association successful in their desire to fall into line with the otter trades in the district. The election of vice-chairman was then proceeded with, and Councillor James Evans, Blaenclydach, was unanimously elected. EARLY CLOSING ORDER. In order to consider the appointment of an Inspector to see that the Closing Order is strictly adhered to, a deputation from the Penygraig and District Chamber of Trade had been invited to the meeting to discuss the matter. Upon the deputation, which consisted of four members from Penygraig, enter- ing the room, Mr. D. S. Thomas extended j to them, on behalf of the meeting, a very heartv welcome, and he hoped that through conferring with one another, it would be helpful and beneficial. Some places, said the speaker, were most faith- ful in the carrying out ( the Act. If the shops were closed in Tonypandy, the people very often could go to the top of Clydach Vale or Penygraig and get served. Mr. J. Picton Davies (draper), Peny- graig, stated that the matter of an In- spector had not been discussed by the Penygraig Chamber, but the deputation would take back to them the result of the conference with the Mid-Rhondda Cham- ber. Mr. John Rees asked Mr. Picton Davies whether Penygraig would be will- ing to give their support to an inspector. Mr. T. Evans (draper), Din as, another member of the deputation, said the feel- ing was prevalent that something should be done. They (Penygraig) considered the Tonypandy shopkeepers the greater sinners in regard to the Early Closing Act. In relation to an Inspector being appointed, there was the very important question of financing. He (Mr. Evans) thought it would be a difficult matter to get people to subscribe towards paying a person who in all probability would be prosecuting themselves. He, for one, if prosecuted on one occasion, would not contribute a second time. Mr. Evans further stated that he thought the shop assistants should move in the matter, and if the assistants had any funds at their disposal, they should be. asked to contri- bute towards the cost of paying an In- spector. Or, perhaps, subscriptions could be gathered in from those outside the trades. He (the speaker) thought a great difficulty in the way of the working of the Act were the shops who were not under the Order, such as the grocers and others who kept drapery and boots for sale on their premises in addition to their grocery. There was a nOiSsihj lityof this kind of goods being sold in shops such as he had mentioned without the proprietors being caught. It was afterwards pointed out to Mr. Evans by Mr. John Rees that shop- keepers who sold goods that came under the provision of the Closing Order were bound to exhibit a printed card stating that such goods would not be sold after the hours provided for in the Act, and Mr. Rees read to the meeting a case in point, where a shopkeeper was fined for not so doing. Mr. J. 0. Jones thought the Act would be a failure unless the combined Cham- bers of Mid-Rhondda and Penygraig would take the matter up in earnest. The shops in Tonypandy had closed to time through the winter months, and he (the speaker) thought it would be a pity, now that the summer months were coming on, for the Closing Order not to be adhered to. Continuing, he said he did not think that as shopkeepers they ought to look to the assistants to appoint an Inspector, and if they did so, they would possibly appoint one of their own number, a thing which would not be beneficial either to that assistant or his employer. He thought the combined efforts of the both Chambers of Trade would have more weight. Mr. T. Evans, Dinas, thought the assistants should not confine themselves to the appointment of one of their own number, but advertise for an Inspector. Mr. J. Rees. thought an Inspector would only be wanted for a short while each evening, as he would have nothing to do during the daytime. Mr. J. Picton Davies, Penygraig, said that he was open to be convinced, but he would like to see the Closing Order become a universal matter, and unless that came about, very likely he would do all in his power to oppose the Act. Mr. J. Owen Jones said that when the Act became in force in Mid-Rhondda, there was a very great grievance with Portb because they had not come under the Closing Order, and now that Porth was about to come into- line and adopt the Act, he (Mr. Jones) thought, in jus- tice, they should try and enforce the Act. Mr. Evans, Dinas, thought that before an Inspector was appointed, the grocers should be brought under the Closing Order, and then the question could be dealt with in a much better way. Mr. D. S. Thomas said the opinion and feeling of the Tonypandy tradesmen was that an Inspector should be appointed to see that the Act was carried out effec- tively. He thought that to ask the shop assistants to do it would be a great in- justice to them. Something was done at one time by the assistants at Cardiff, and some of them had to suffer to this day owing to their action* in the matter. We have the law," said Mr" Thomas, "and we should enforce it. If anyone transgressed, then they should put up with the consequences. Mr. Thatcher (painter, &c.), Penygraig, said the great difficulty was to draw the line between the small shops in the back streets, where nearly anything and everything could be obtained,, and the larger shops in the main streets. He (the speaker) had closed faithfully upon the first stages of the Order coming into force, and his experience had been that he had the pleasure of seeing the people going to these "ismall shops." Mr. Evans, Dinas, thought they did not want a man to look after them, as they were perfectly able to look after themselves. Mr. Picton Davies, Penygraig, thought there had, never been an Act passed through which a horse and cart could be driven like that of the Early Closing Order. It was full of loopholes. The Chairman then stated that he was sorry to hear the sentiments expressed by the deputation. He (the speaker) could vouch that at nresent the Act was being carried out by the Tonypandy shop- keepers. He had gone the length of the main street that evening (Wednesday), and found that all the shops were closed at the appointed time. Mr. J. Owen Jones asked the depu- tation whether, if Tonypandy tradesmen appointed an Inspector, would the Peny- grai- Chamber withdraw from the Order, to which they replied that they would certainly not withdraw from the Act. Mr. Evans, Dinas, thought it would be very unfair on the part of Tonypandy to appoint an Inspector without concurring with Penvmraig, and he thought a little time should elapse so that the Order would have been in force at Porth for a, while. After further discussion, the Chairman thanked the deputation for their visit, and stated that a snecial meeting would be held in a fortnight's time, and in the meantime Penygraig Chamber could fully discuss the pros and cons. CORRESPONDENCE. Arising out of the correspondence, a letter was read from Mr. L. W. Llewelyn, Glyncornel, Llwynypia, accepting the position Qf president of the Chamber for the coming year. NEW BRIDGE? A letter was read by the Secretary from the Council Offices in reply to an application by the Chamber for a new bridge to be placed near St. Andrew's Church, in the place of the one washed away by the floods. The letter stated that the Council have had designs pre- pared for the construction of a new steel bridge to be built upon the site referred to. They had written to the estate owner, and also to the colliery owners, to ask them to support the Council in the payment of the proposed new bridge, and unless they were prepared to do so, the Council were hardly prepared to pay the full cost of erecting the same. Several members expressed themselves as being dissatisfied with the letter from the Council. Mr. J. Owen Jones asked to whom should the ratepayers look to to do these things, unless it was to those to whom the rates were paid. He thought the matter should receive the Chamber's earnest attention, even if they had to seek legal advice upon the matter. He said the path could not be closed, and it was a serious inconvenience and loss to Ur>ner Tonypandy in not having the bridge replaced as quickly as possible. The Chamber ought to assert themselves and see the thing carried through. Mr. Noah Meredith thought the Cham- 1 her should write to the colliery pro- prietors and to the ground landlord, and thereby strengthen the hands of the, Council. Mr. Griffiths (Oliver's) thought it would not be right to write to anyone at all. He thought the Council was responsible, and, therefore, should see the. work was carried out. Mr. John Rees (secretary) said that the Council had never taken the bridge and pathwav over. Mr. J. Owen Jones said he would sup- port the idea of Mr. Meredith if it would be the means of coming to some amicable settlement. The Chairman thought if the landlord and colliery owners were written to, it would be handing over the people's rights to the various parties. Mr. Geo. Evans (printer) stated that in his opinion the parties concerned should be interviewed. It was finally decided to see the parties concerned in the matter. PUBLIC CONVENIENCES. A letter was read from the Council in reference to underground public conveni- ences being placed on Pandy Square, stating that the matter had received the consideration of the Health Committee, and it had been found impracticable to carry out the suggestion of the Chamber of Trade: but if a deputation desired to attend the Council's meeting, they were prepared to grant them a hearing at their next meeting. This matter received considerable dis- cussion, several members expressing them- selves as being entirely dissatisfied with the present state of affairs, Mr. J. Owen Jones stating that at the local T.V.R. station the lavatory was used so largely by persons not going by train; that it had been stated on good authority that the Company intended removing it down to the railway platform. This, he thought, was a proof of the necessity of a public convenience being placed in a public place in the locality. T-V • I 1 T rr ivir. uavies knutcneri XJUWCI iony- pandy, said that it was not necessary to have it on Pandy Square, but he was of opinion that one should be placed in some convenient snot. Mr. Meredith suggested that the local Councillors be interviewed ana asked to do all that was in their power to further the matter, and failing any progress being made, a public meeting should be called. He was of opinion that, if a con- venience would be erected, it would become self-supporting by adopting the penny-in-the-slot principle. It was consequently decided to ask the Councillors to attend a special meeting of the Chamber. TELEGRAPH OFFICE. A letter was read stating that the cir- cumstances did not warrant the Post Office officials complying with the request of the Chamber re establishing a telegraph office at Blaenclydach. The Chairman stated that the whole postal question would be re-opened at some future meeting of the Chamber. G.W.R. EXCURSIONS. A letter was read from the Abercynon Chamber of Trade asking the support of the Mid-Rhondda Chamber in the matter of excursions on the Great Western Rail- way. The letter stated that at present excursions were run on Friday night to the Isle of Man and various other places; that being the case, it was impossible for tradesmen to avail themselves of the privileges offered, owing to the fact that they could not leave their businesses over Saturday. If some excursions were r u'.v on Monday nights, it would be much more appreciated by the tradesmen. It decided to support the Aber- cyaou Cumber of Trade. POLICE DAY OF REST. Mr. D. S. Thomas brought before the notice of the Chamber the position of the local police in regard to being allowed to have one day's holiday in seven. He stated that he understood it was within the power of the Police Committee to grant a day off. It was decided to send a resolution to the Chief Constable, also to the secretary of the Police Committee. j EISTEDDFOD. It was decided to allow the matter of holding an eisteddfod this year to drop through. HALF-HOLIDAY. The subject of changing the weekly half- holiday from Thursday to Wednesday afternoon was left for a special meeting.

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