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DIARY OF COMING ENGAGEMENTS.

- THE GENTLE ANARCHIST.

. PERFIDIOUS LANCASHIRE.

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PERFIDIOUS LANCASHIRE. The Lancashire sea fishery gentlemen are determined to wrest the Dee estuary from us at all costs. This is the conclusion to be drawn from Monday's meeting at Preston, which will be found fully reported in another column. The odds against our northern neighbours are heavy indeed. In the first place no attempt was made at Monday's meeting to meet the apparently conclusive objection raised by the TOWN CLERK of Chester at the last meeting of the Town Council. Mr. SAM. SMITH then drew attention to clause 12 of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, which states that no sea fisheries district shall extend into the estuary of any salmon river. The Cheshire County Council, the Chester Town Council, and the Dee Fishery Board are dead against the proposal, and we may safely take it as a foregone conclusion that the Flintshire County Council will not be a jot less active in its resistance. With these four bodies in opposition, it is hard to see how Lancashire can hope to prosecute its grabbing policy with success. If further evidence against the scheme were required, it is furnished by a very pertinent letter which we publish to-day from the Rev. C. WOLLEY DOD to the effect that at the recent Chester Con- ference where the scheme of the Western Sea Fisheries Committee was discussed, the CHAIR- MAN (himself a Lancashire representative) gave the distinct assurance that no invasion of the Dee estuary was contemplated on the part of Lancashire. It was only on the strength of this solemn undertaking that the Cheshire representatives withdrew their opposition to the scheme, and it was the same pledge that influenced the Cheshire County Council to agree to contribute to the costs. That was in the middle of May, and now before August is out we see Lan- cashire by a flagrant breach of faith attempting to annex practically the whole estuary of the Dee. By a side wind the opposition -of Cheshire was silenced, for the time being, and now, having got their inch, the Lancashire re- presentatives seek to obtain their ell by some- thing that almost warrants the description of a trick. No explanation is vouchsafed of the extension of the district up the Dee, and people who do not go minutely into the details of the scheme might assume that Cheshire had at the May conference consented to the inclusion of the estuary in the Lancashire district. This is a point which Lancashire has yet to explain it is a point also which must be brought prominently to the front when the Board of Trade inquiry comes on. With Mr. A. T. WRIGHT'S attitude at the Preston meeting we cannot conceal our dis- appointment. although it would be affectation on our part to express surprise. Mr. WRIGHT gravely informed the meeting that those mem- bers of the Cheshire County Council who had considered the subject were in accord with the proposals of the Lancashire Committee.' If we were to enquire who are the members who have 'considered the subject' in Mr. WRIGHT'S estimation, we should in all probability discover that it is only Mr. WRIGHT himself who has considered the subject. How he has arrived at this extraordinary conclusion we are, of course, unable to d3termine, but the only charitable explanation to be placed upon this re- markable speech is that Mr. WRIGHT con- siders he has all his County Council at his back simply because he himself has not properly and fully studied the question. It is an open insult to Mr. JOHN THOMPSON, for instance, to say that he has not given this question his full consideration, and everybody knows that Mr. THOMPSON is utterly opposed to Lancashire's encroachment. Perhaps Mr. WRIGHT would be bold enough to say also that Mr. WOLLEY DOD has not studied the matter thoroughly, but when the impending investigation arrives, perhaps the member for New Brighton will discover to his cost that the recalcitrant Cheshire members are not only perfectly versed in the bearings of the problem, but are likewise equally capable of explaining their views before the Board of Trade. All through this con- troversy Mr. WRIGHT has betrayed a singular sympathy for Lancashire, as against the county he represents, and perhaps from his long business association with Liverpool he has come unconsciously to believe that Lancashire, like the KING, can do no wrong. He endeavours, as Lancashire advocates have done before him, to confuse the issue by asserting that it is only the Dee Salmon Board that resist this invasion. Now, to begin with, there is no Dee Salmon Board as such. The Dee Fishery Board have the charge of the salmon, and the sea fish in the estuary as well. The Board entertain no apprehensions regarding the salmon, because they know that nothing that Lancashire can do will interfere with their jurisdiction as a salmon authority. What they do fear, and fear with just reason, is that Lancashire will succeed in establishing herself in control of the sea fishery in the whole estuary of the Dee. The allegations advanced by Mr. WRIGHT that the bye-laws in the Dee estuary are being evaded, and that the Dee Fishery Board have not a sufficient staff of bailiffs to effectively watch the sea fishery, are perfectly new to us. If Mr. WRIGHT had any ground for making these accusations, why did he not as a member of the Cheshire County Council raise the point at a meeting of his Council, and object to paying a contribution to a Board which did not properly carry out its duties ? We hope the aspersion cast upon the Dee Board will not be lost sight of, and that the member for New Brighton will receive his answer at the next meeting of the fishery authority. With the solitary exception of Mr. WRIGHT'S statement, we have no evidence of any laxity in the super- vision of the Dee sea fisheries, nor of under- manning on the staff of the river police. So far as the results go, they shew a wonderful improvement in the sea fishery under the control of the Board, which is the best proof available. Any accusation of undermanning, however, comes with an ill grace from Lancashire, whose miserly programme of police supervision we all know so well. Lancashire's idea of effective police supervision consists in two cutters to patrol the coast-line from Cardigan Bay to the Mersey; Cheshire's idea is one cutter for the Dee estuary alone. We leave unbiassed readers to form their own conclusion as to which body is likely to give the most satisfactory results. From no point of view can we see how Lancashire is able to make out a shadow of a case in support of her projected invasion of the Dee, and we look forward with the utmost confidence to the forthcoming Board of Trade inquiry, if, indeed, that body does not rule that the initial objections from the local authorities interested are fatal to the application.

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