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TIDE TABLE FOR THE NORTH WALES…

THE POLICE.

'0'-.---CURRENT TOPICS.

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'0' CURRENT TOPICS. Llanrwst Guardians. "AN OLD FICTION." This is the description given by the principal service journal to the statement made by the Vicar of Dolwyddelen, as a member of the Llanrwst Board of Guard- ians, to the effect that three-fouiths of the Poor Rate is swallowed up in official salaries. We reproduce, in another column, the article in which The Poor-Law Officeis' Journal deals with the Vicar's assertion, and after reading it the rev. gentleman will no doubt see the wisdom of publicly withdrawing his remark or attempt- ing a justification. This is incumbent upon him, as a representative of ratepayers of the Llanrwst Union, not only because his accuracy is denied, but also because his. motive in mak- ing the allegation is involved. THE CLERGY and ministers of all denomina- tions who enter public life, particularly in rural districts, are under a ,special obligation to be most careful as to the accuracy of their re- marks. By reason of-their position and superior education, their utterances carry greater weight than those of the lay members. They cannot be expected to be always accurate-they are only mortal and fallible like other men-b,ut as they possess readier access to information and a greater capacity for analysis, comparison and investigation, it is naturally assumed that, whether right or wrong, they have good ground for any serious criticism they may offer in the course of public debate. When, therefore, a Vicar like the Rev. J. Ll. Richards, during a discussion on the application of a matron for an increase of salary, declares that ninepence out of every shilling collected as Poor Rate is spent upon officials, it is supposed that he has mastered the facts of the case, and his words have great influence upon the judgment of his colleagues. As A CASE in point, one of the members, the Rev. Henry Jones, of Trefriw, said that the Vicar's statement had so much influence with him that he felt inclined to vote against the granting of the application. The min- ister in question, however, subsequent to the meeting, inquired into the facts of Poor-Law administration in the Union, and found that the proportion paid in official salaries was, not ninepence out of every shilling, but three-farthings out of every shiling—a very considerable difference. The Rev. J. Ll. Richards was severely criticised for his state- n'ent, and in defence said that his figures re- ferred to the country in general, and not to Llanrwst Union, and, further, he denied having uttered the allegation with the object of pre- venting the matron's application from being suc- cessful. As to the first point, the expenditure of Boards of Guardians throughout the country upon offioiai1 salaries, the Journlal," proves Ihfim to be hopelessly wrong. As to the second point, the question of motive, we are of course compelled to accept his denial. But on both points it is due from him—due, that is, to him- self and the ratepayer si—(that he should either withdraw or attempt to justify his observation. The only justification urged so' far is that he obtained the information from the report of a speech made by Mr. John. Burns. Let him pro- duce that speech. If Mr. Burns does not know better what are the facts of the case, he is not fit to be President of the Local Government Board. If his speech has been misrepresented, however unintentionally, the Vicar's duty is obvious. Dyserth and Newmarket Line. THE L. & N.-W. RAILWAY CO., in 1906, obtained an order enabling them to acquire by compulsory purchase certain land, required for the construction of the proposed line from Dyser.th to Newmarket. The Company, how- ever, have not seen their way clear to carry out the work within the period named in the order, and they are noiv seeking an extension of time. The Holywell Rural District Council, on Fri- day, decided not to oppose the application. The fact that such an application is being made is satisfactory in this respect, that it affords reason for anticipating that the much-needed extension of the railway to the beautiful upland village of Newmarket will ultimately be made, and that the scheme is not being dropped, as was at one time feared in certain quarters. The proposed railway extension will open up a most promising district, and on public grounds is most earnestly to be desired. Whether the scheme will repay the outlay is a .subject upon which the Railway Company are better able to estimate than we are; but we cannot avoid the conclu- sion that it must prove remunerative in the near future. The great pity is that railway enter- prise is seriously handicapped in this country by exorbitant charges for land. Our railway system could be rendered far more useful than it is were it not for this difficulty; but we sincerely hope that in the present case the landowners will see theiir way to meet the Company in a reasonable spirit. If they do. so the benefit will not be all on one side, but, great advantages will accrue to the landlords themselves as well as to the Company and to the public generally. School Gardens. THE Colwyn Bay Horticultural Society, for whose work we have the greatest admiration, make two1 announcements of a most interesting character this week, as will be seen from a paragraph in another column. In the first place, the next. show is to be a two-days' event—in itself a gratifying proof of the past success and future possibilities of the Society's efforts. And in the next place there is to. be a competition which tests the progress which the school-child- ren of the district are making in nature-study. This is a branch of education which deserves every possible encouragement for many reasons, not the least, of which is the delight which it is capable of affording to the children themselves. COLWYN BAY possesses so many and siudh varied charms for the true lover of nature thatt it is a matter for surprise that such inadequate attention, is paid to nature-study by the educa- tion authorities. We do not, of course, suggest that the subject is entirely neglected on the contrary, we are well aware that much good work is being done; but it is none the less true that scores of town children from the great centres of England spending their holidays at Colwyn. Bay are better informed with regard to the flora of the place than are the local child- ren reared amidst these lovely surroundings. Speaking of North Wales in general, and not of Colwyn Bay in particular, we consider tliicui ,the idea of school gardens has not been taken up either so generally or so enthusiastically as might be expected. There are abundant facilities for the purpose, but the will is lacking and the children suffer. On this subject we have pleasure in calling attention to a most readable article descriptive of school gardens in Glouces- tershire, which appears in the December num- ber of that excellent journal, The Agricultural Economist and Horticultural Review." The ex- periment was commenced five years ago. With what result? Gardening has spread from school to school, and at the present time there are sets of gardens at 62 schools, and the num- ber is likely to increase, as the Education Com- mittee and local managers are alive to the value of gardening as a, school subject. The gardens are evenly distributed over the county; some are in the purely agricultural districts, others among the mining villages in the Forest of Dean and the manufacturing areas round Bristol and in the Stroud' Valley." THEN comes this significant paragraph: — The interest of the head masters has been wisely fostered. It is of the greatest importance that they should be in full sympathy with the movement, and at the same time have at least a general idea of the principles under which the work is carried1 on. A conference on School ■Gardening Work was held at the Shire Hall, Gloucester, in May of the present year, at which papers were read by some of the masters. Thus, Mr. A. J, Dee, head- master ox Carnscrossi School, read, a paper on The Correlation of other School Subjects with Work in the Garden; Mr. H. Marohant, head- master of Stroud Whitehill School, read a paper on the Use of the School Garden in Nature .Study, with especial reference to Insect Lite; and Mr. C. E. Smith, headmaster of Christ Church School, CoTeford, read a paper on The Influence of the School Garden on the Village Boy. The papers were in each case thoroughly practical, and the lecturers expressed themselves emphatically in favour of school gardening." The titles of these papers, it will* be seen, are suggestive of the good that may be done in assisting village chidren tOo learn how to earn their living on the liand instead of migrating to the towns, as, so many of them un. fortunately do at the present time. After read- ing the article, we are not surprised to. learn that The keenest interest, is taken in garden- ing, both by teachers and scholars, and in a number of cases derelict pieces of land have been. transformed into useful and profitable gardens. Apart from the boys who work in the garden, the idea is to get the whole school in- terested."

...-.--Bible in the Day School.

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