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Towyn and Aberdovey have done very well in connection with the relief of the widows and families of those now fighting for us in South A frica. Å sum cf between X60 and £ 70 has been collected. A • contributor this week re-opens a question on which there has been a great deal of controversy, not only in Wales but also in England. The poor We have always with us, and in a similar manner also the poor rates. Some Unions get off very cheaply in the matter of poor rates, others the Averse. Briefly our contributor's contention is that Towyn contributes annually to the Machynlleth 1,1011 a sum far in excess of what is returned to the poor of Towyn, while other villages and town- ships contribute much less than they receive, a notable instance being Llanbrynmair, which Receives £ 150 per year more than its total con- tribution. This, he argues, is not fair to Towyn and other districts so situated, and he contends that there should be a re-arrangement which will Provide that each district shall maintain its own Poor. <L B rnr °e argument at first sight seems plausible enough, but from past experience we know that the Local Government Board will consent to no such re-arrangement. We must bear in mind that the people who pay the rates, whether in Towyn, Or llanbrynmair, or Newtown, or Oswestry, derive no advantage from the presence of the poor in their districts. Why then should Llanbrynmair ratepayers be mulcted in a penalty in the shape of an advanced rate for something from which they detive no benefit? Why they any more than, say, the ratepayers of Birmingham or London ? We Cannot help pointing out to our contributor that if ^Dl0ns Were to be further sub-divided into little isfcricts, a determined effort would be made to ^1Ve °ut of the different parishes those who, °ugh misfortune, were a source of expense. This would be within the range of possibility, especially where, as is often the case, the whole of the property in a township is owned by one land- lord. The poor would then be driven from place to Place, just as in the old days they were whipped at the cart-tail and driven through the streets of the towns. Vagrancy would, under such a state of things, be a greater evil to the country than it has p8r heen, and we should require an increased force 0 Police to deal with it. We think our contributor might have made out a tnuch better case, had he instead of advocating a ystem of sub-division, argued in favour of larger ^eas. Had he suggested that the maintenance of the poor should become a matter for whole coun- tie,, there would have been more hope of his advancing arguments with success. There are bot a few who contend that this question should be DStderpd as an entirely national question, and relief should be administered from money ained from Imperial sources. But the question IS one which cannot be lightly dealt with. Th 1 ef 6 ^l'esent war is teaching the authorities many s°ti8, anc| there are numerous questions in regard f the which the military authorities will,| at c^°Se of the war, adopt an entirely new atti- j ^he status of Yolunteer Battalions has been Past, and is now, a burden on the officers. tali ^'s generally believed that these bat- c°un^8 are rna'nta'ne<^ the expense of the .r^' there are extras not covered by the and.11 a^10DS which amount to a considerable sum, ^lent?680 uPon the officers. It not unfre- in^i means that to officer a Yolunteer Battalion ■*u"Olveq n 1 ia Iarge annual private expenditure. This benefit^'1^ ^a*r" ^ie country reaps the °aght t ^r°^anteer services, the country the ° PrePare(^ to pay the cost, and not saddle Conn °n "18 The Middlesex County 1 bave taken the matter in hand, and are u01Ug growth Can encouraSe an(^ foster the bot^ ^he "Volunteer Battalions within their rni iQ eac^' „ y propose to enrol a new company raise f ° county electoral districts, and to extr"1^8 fc° re^eve officers of the heavy burden ^attal^8' they also propose that the Volunteer Pryce jDS should be put on a new footing. Col ^Unic fQeS' at once placed himself in com- Counfc' p11 W^h the Chairman of the Middlesex Rested^ th°UnC^' P°'nte<^ out that it was sug- peace l V* aPP°intment of justices of the Peace, lord-lieutenants should give preference to se ing commissions in the auxiliary forces, and that in a similar way non-commissioned officers and men should have smaller honours. Col Pryce-J ones also suggests that County Councils and other local authorities should have power to aid by way of grant Volunteer corps in their res- pective areas which come up to the required standard. For ourselves, we doubt whether this would be as satisfactory as meeting the difficulty directly from Imperial sources, with special grants to meet special cases. That a re-arrangement is necessary is obvious. # A pretty little correspondence is taking place through the medium of the Daily News between the Rev Silas K Hocking, novelist, and Mr R Johnson, Liberal candidate for the Ince division of Lanca- shire. Mr Hocking believes nothing ill of the Boers and nothing good of the English to him it is an unholy, ungodly, unrighteous war. Like most men, who have a bad case, he sought to belittle Mr Johnson and to exalt himself by informing the public that until he saw Mr Johnson's letter he was not aware of Mr Johnson's existence, as though anything which Mr Hocking does not know is not worth knowing. But, alas! he that exalteth him- self shall be humbled. Mr Johnson retorts that it does not belong to every politician to know a man who has abandoned the Nonconformist ministry to write fourth-rate novels. The concluding sentences of Mr Johnson's letter are as follow:- Should Mr Silas Hocking be short of funds for the prosecution of his pro-Boer campaign in London, I can give him the name of a gentle- man who has been offered X500 per year by a prominent Boer to carry on a similar campaign in Lancashire. Information of this character ought to be useful to those persons who are :— Hoarse, shouting in the ear of God The blasphemy of wrong. Canada is threatened with invasion by—the Fenians. According to telegrams the Fenian organisations in the States have projected an invasion of Canada and they are believed to be at this moment storing dynamite and other things calculated to do harm at those points where they think they will need them. The scheme is said to be fully matured and the invasion is to begin with- out delay. It will be a happy day for this country when the invasion is inaugurated. It is the sort of news which is too good to be true. This country spends a considerable amount of money in watch- ing these interesting gentlemen and ascertaining their whereabouts, and the authorities would hail a visit by them to this side of the ocean with far more glee than the arrival of a Chinese minister. Their invasion of Canada would be the simplest means by which we could wipe them out of exis- tence, but we very much fear that the only weapon the Canadians will have the opportunity of using will be laughter. Since the war began there has forced himself into prominence the individual who knows exactly how to conduct the war and how to bring Kruger and Co, to their knees. This individual is a ubiquitous plurality. He lounges everywhere, frequents every club, and the tencnr of his con. versation is that no one knows anything about the war but himself, and that the salvation of the Empire is only to be accomplished by the nation pitchforking him into the office of Commander-in- Chief. Almost every newspaper has its military expert, and not a few of the experts belong to the self-respecting order of Bill Adams. They are the class of people who, in the early stages of the con. flict, thought the thing would be so easy and con- sidered all that was required of our men was to march straight ahead and turn aside all resisting Boers with the point of the bayonet. What strikes us as peculiar is that all those who know exactly how the thing should be done remain some six thousand miles from the scene of action. One is tempted to suggest that this band of knowing critics should be given horses and equipment and sent out on a specially fast steamer. Lest their operations might be hindered by being attached to a particular brigade, the critics and experts might be allowed to work independently and to appoint their own officers. If there were a prospect of this ever coming to pass the army of carping critics would become by conversion a host of enthusiastic admirers. A fool uttereth all his mind; a man of understanding holdeth his peace.