MERIONETH COUNTY GOVERNING BODY. The quarterly meeting was held at the Police Station, Barmouth, on Thursday, Dr Edward Jones, Dolgelley (chairman) presiding" The other mem- bers present were-Mrs Burton, Bala; Hon C H Wynn, Rhug; Dr Roger Hughes, Bala; Mr H Haydn Jones, Towyn Mr John Davies, Dyffryn; Mr E P Jones, Festiniog; and Mr J Lloyd Owen' Corwen with Mr R Jones Griffith, clerk Mr T Lloyd, assistant clerk; and Mr E D Jones, M.A headmaster of the Barmouth County School. LLANEGRYN SCHOOL BUILDINGS. It was stated that these school buildings were under the control of the County Governing Body and that the school had only been insured to the amount of £ 100. Mr Haydn Jones said the property was worth at least z6600, and £100 was much too little.-The Hon C H Wynn concurred, and it was decided that the school buildings should be insured to the amount of £ 500. THE SURPLUS MONEY. A communication was read from the Charity Commissioners relating to the surplus money. They said that the County Governing Body were not entitled to draw upon the sum of X63 surplus money which should be kept on account.—The Chairman said that sum was spent in connection with the school buildings, and surely it should be paid as had been done to the building fund.—The Clerk said he also participated in the same view.-The Chairman It is the reasonable view.-The Chair- man said an application had been received from the Barmouth School managers for the sum they had now in hand, and he believed now was the time to consider that application. As to their right to dis- pose of this money the section said that any money standing to their credit and not required for build- ing purposes should be transferred to the general account and treated aa capital. The money might be required as all the school buildings in the county were not completed.-The letter of Mr W J Morris, on behalf of the Barmouth Governors, stated that it had been unanimously passed that an appeal be made to the County Governing Body for the balance of the county building fund now in hand as a grant to the building fund of the school. He pointed out that the grant given them under the scheme was considerably less than that of other school districts in the county. They had been obliged to tax their local resources to the utmost in order to build a school large enough to [meet the demands of the district. They were providing accommodation for 120 scholars. A sum of £ 1,025 had already been collected, andX600 was realised by means of a bazaar. The school contract amounted to £2,070 without extras and the site cost £ 550. He therefore trusted that the application would be favourably enter- tained.—The Chairman said he could at once dis- abuse the managers as to the money as it was impossible for them, to give the money as a grant. They could not grant any more money but at the same time as they happened to have something in hand they could put it at the disposal of the Bar- mouth managers for a nominal interest, say 10s. In reply to the Hon C H Wynn, it was stated i-hat the sum in hand was S124 12s 6d.—Mr Haydn Jones proposed that the Charity Commissioners be written to stating that the sum of X63 128 6d was part of money expended on the school buildings and that in regard to the balance of X120 odd that it be given as a loan to the Barmouth managers upon payment of a nominal interest in order to assist them.—The Hon C H Wynn seconded the proposition, which was carried. PUPIL TEACHERS IN THE COUNTY. A notice of motion stood in the name of the Chairman to consider some method that would secure the instruction of pupil teachers at the different Intermediate Schools of the county and to secure the co-operation of School Boards for this purpose. The Chairman said that since he had given notice of his motion be had received a pamphlet from the Principal of Aberystwyth University College, in which some suggestions were made, and as they were all aware, this was a question which very much agitated the country at the present time. It was found, he believed, that the present method was quite unsatisfactory and that some other system would have to be adopted. There was one thing to be said, and it was cer- tainly a complimentary statement to make, that one School Board-he referred to that of Blaenaa Festiniog-had for years been carrying out a system upon which Principal Roberts based his suggestions. As it was rather a complicated ques- tion he suggested that a small committee be ap- pointed to go into the matter.-This was adopted and the following were elected on the committee: Dr Edward Jones, Mr Haydn Jones, Mr Lloyd Owen, Mr E P Jones, and the Hon C H Wvnn. In reply to the Hon C H Wynn, the Chairman said that no provision was now made in the county for the instruction of pupil teachers in the county schools except at Festiniog. EXAMINATION FEES HEAVY CHARGES BY THE CENTRAL WELSH BOARD. The Central Welsh Board wrote claiming £3319s in respect of the inspection and examination of Dr Williams's Endowed School, Dolgelley. From cor- respondence read it appears that'uhe Central Welsh Board wrote to the Charity Commissioners, and in reply they were informed that Dr Williams's school was not a county school within the meaning of the Act. They therefore made a separate charge for inspecting and examining the school, the sum charged, as already stated, feeing £ 3319s as against about P,15 for examining the county school.—The Chairman said there was no doubt as to their liability to pay for inspecting and examining the school, but the question was whether they would have to pay the z633 193, or a percentage on the endowment of the school.—Mr E P Jones asked if they were bound to accept examiners from the Central Welsh Board, and the Chairman replied that they ought to according to the scheme. He should be sorry to do away with the Board.—Mr E P Jones said that before the Central Board took it up the charge for examining the school only amounted to £10 or so.—Mr Haydn Jones said the charge was enormous; it was simpiy preposterous. He suggested that the Central Welsh Board be asked to reduce it.—The Chairman remarked that a communication to the Charity Commissioners would be more elective.—The Hon C H Wynn and Mrs Burton pointed out that this was one dis- advantage which followed the school not being acknowledged as a county school within the mean- ing of the scheme.—Mr Haydn Jones then pro- posed that they should write pointing out that the school had been examined at the same time as the other schools and that they failed to see why the extra charge was made, and that they intended to apply to the Charity Commissioners to have the school inspected by another body next year.—Mr Jones pointed out that the Central Board was a body supposed to further and encourage education but the schools were simply robbed of their money by charges of this kind.-The Chairman said that if they could prevail upon the Board to accept the rate of 5 per cent on the endowment it would be better than any other terms tfiey could get.-Mr Haydn Jones said he was afraid they would have to pay ultimately but thought no harm would be done in applying that it should be reduced. It should be represented also to the Central Board that unless the application was granted the Body would make a representation to the Charity Com- missioners to be allowed to make other arrange- ments for examining the school.—It was agreed to make an effort to have the amount. reduced, failing which the clerk was directed to point out that the charges were exhorbitant and to endeavour to obtain a reduction. AGRICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIPS. There having been only four applie itions for the five agricultural scholarships offered by the County Governing Body they were awarded to the follow- 1-1 ing:—Thomas Davies, Llanuwchllyn Cynwal H Hughes, Bettws-y-Coed; Lewis E Davies, Llan- dderfel and Ellis W Jones, Berthlafar, Bala. A J0KE. The Clerk said he had received a letter from Mr T Mortimer Green, Aberystwyth, giving notice that at the next meeting he would move that a certain sum be devoted to the provision of instruction in dyeing, at the University of Wales.-Dr Roger Hughes: In dying! (laughter).—The Clerk Dye- ing.-Dr Roger Hughes (who appeared greatly re- lieved) Oh (renewed laughtei). AUDITOR. Mr John Lloyd, solicitor, Towyn, was re-appoint- ed auditor on the proposition of the Chairman, seconded by Mr Haydn Jones.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD INQUIRY AT BARMOUTH. A HARMONIOUS MEETING. HISTORY OF THE TROUBLES OF BARMOUTH. At the Council Office an inquiry was held on Friday by Mr H P Boulnois, M. Inst., O.E., into an application by the Urban Council for a provisional order under Section 303 of the Public Health Act, 1875, to partially repeal, alter, or amend the Barmouth Local Board Act, 1891, so as to enable the Council to borrow, with the sanction of the Lecal Government Board, additional moneys for the purposes of the waterworks undertakings of the Council. Mr W George, clerk to the Council, made the application for the Council, and he was supported by the Rev J Gwynoro Davie? (chairman of the Council), Messrs 0 W Morris, H Wynne Williams, Evan Richards, Edward Williarrts, and John Richards (members of the Council), Mr Pybus (clerk to the late Local Board), Mr B J Allsopp, Mr David Davies (Beach-road), and Mr Blakey. In reply to the Inspector, Mr George said there was no oae present to object. All the gentlemen attended for the purpose of supporting the ap- plication of the Council. Mr George said the rateable value of the town in 1895 was £9,156 14s 6d; it was now £ 10,784, and houses in course of erection brought the figure up to £ 11,234. The resident population ia 1895 was 2,500. He estimated it now at 2,700. In summer thousands of visitors stayed in the town. The application was to amend Section 303 of the Local Board Act of 1891, which stated that the Local Board had power to borrow such sums as they thought fit not exceeding in the whole the sum of £ 20,000, and with the consent of the Local Government Board any other sums not exceeding in the whole £ 5,000, and the Local Board might mortgage the district fund and general district rate and the revenue of their water undertaking to secure the repayment of the moneys borrowed, with interest. Mr George proceeded to say that the estimate of £20,000 was based on the pre- liminary estimate when the bill was applied for. He produced the original estimate submitted by the Engineer. The figures were made up as follows:—For the construction of the works, £ 16,315; compensation, £ 1,685 costs £ 2,000; making a total of £ 20,000. Everyone of these items was considerably exceeded. The Local Government Board had already been satisfied that that was so up to a certain point when Mr Burt Clarke an Inspector of the Board visited the town, and when an application was made to borrow the additional sum of .65,000. There had already been expended up to that time £19,977, and the works had not been completed. He should explain how this state of things was brought about. The late Local Board, after the act was passed, on the 13th July, 1891, invited tenders for the work, and took the construction of the works upon themselves, instead of letting it by contract. He believed they started the work in June or July, 1893. They went on for a time but soon found out they could not finish the work with the money they had in hand. The Economic Assurance Society had promised to advance £ 20,000, and they actually advanced -617,000 odd, but refused to advance the balance of £ 3,000 odd without being satisfied that the £17,000 had been properly expended. So the works came to a standstill in October, 1894. Shortly after that the Local Government Act came into operation and the Local Board was formed into an Urban Council and at the time of the election, the great question was the construction of waterworks. The ratepayers elected an entirely new set of men with one excep- tion. Inquiries were then made into the administration of the £17,000 odd already spent, and it was soon found that the works could not be completed at anything like the figure originally estimated, and so an application was made to borrow the additional £ 5,000. As the matter then stood it was a great loss to the town. The £ 17,000 stood idle, and the ratepayers received no benefit from the scheme. In August 1895, it was hoped that the addition of £5,000 would enable the Board to complete the scheme, but since then further bills had come in, and claims had to be settled. They now found it impossible to finish the works in accordance with the original plans without getting an additional loan of from £4,000 to £ 5,000. Up to the present there had been spent in partly completing the works, that was, in connecting the new line of pipes from Bodlyn Lake with the old line of pipes at Ceilwart and in bringing the water to the town a sum of £ 27,815. (Mr George handed in the details). Up to this point they bad spent £ 27,815, They estimated the cost of relaying the pipes at £800, i.e., in completing the scheme really. Then there were outstanding claims, compensation, valuer's fees, and other odds and ends to be put down at £100, and then the caretakers house would have to be erected at Bodlyn at a cost of £ 150. They had borrowed under the act £ 25,000, so that they were now short of £ 3,865, practically £ 4,000. It was part of the orignal scheme to construct a fish pass at the lake. It was found to be rather expensive and as it was considered not to be of any real utility it had not been constructed, and nobody so far had raised any difficulty on that point but it was within the power of the land- owners and persons interested, if they so minded, to compel the Council at some future date to construct this fish pass. It was the duty of the Council to be prepared for such a contingency. The Inspector What is the estimated cost ?—Mr George: This is one of the difficulties we are in as the engineer is dead. It is rather a big sum. Mr Wynne Williams: £ 1,500. Mr Pybus More than that; over £3,000. The Inspector: Is it in the bill ? Mr Pybus Yes. When the Board of Trade held an inquiry it was represented that it was not required theu. That was the reason why it had not bjen carried out, but there was nothing to prevent a private owner insisting that the work be carried out. The Clerk said it was put down now in order to avoid any application to Parliament should it be absolutely necessary to spend the money. In reply to the Inspector the Clerk said the money was all required in connection with the Waterworks undertaking. The Clerk wished to make one or two further remarks on the general aspect of the case. They were in the position that they had a scheme sanc- tioned by Parliament. It was not therefore for them to convince the Local Government Board or Parliament that the scheme was a good one as it had been sanctioned. It was simply a question of ways and means for carrying it out. It was abso- lutely necessary that this work should be carried out if they were to get the benefit of the scheme. The pipes had only really been brought to within a mile or so of the town. They had had to stop short and to fix them to th6 old pipes. The old pipes were much too small to carry the water from the mains at full pressure, and were not strong enough. This they had found out by experience. The Inspector: Is there any outstanding loan on the old pipes ? Mr Pybus said that loans had been obtained in respect to some of them, but they had been con- solidated into one loan. The Inspector said there was a difficulty to borrow money if there was an outstanding loan. Mr Pybus observed that this was not an old scheme. It was the carrying out of a new scheme. The Inspectar said he would have to report that there was a loan on the pipes to his Board. Proceeding, Mr George said that some people in the town complained of scarcity of water. When the scheme was completed it would bring a larger revenue to the Board. The Cambrian Railways Company had made the Council an offer to be sup- plied with water for all their engines in the towr, and were willing to enter into a contract to pay £27 per annum for it. They could not at present avail themselves of that offer. There were others in the town who would like to get water for motive power. Barmouth was also making progress every year and had made very substantial increase since the construction of the waterworks. According to the medical officer's report for the county it was the most healthy town in the county. The mortality statistics for Barmouth were 11'2. The consequence was that there was a large influx of visitors to the town. Rev J Gwynoro Davies pointed out that it was not intended to disturb the old pipes, but to use them for flushing purposes. Mr Allsopp observed that he had had plenty of water all through the season. Mr George said he had only said that there were some places in the town which did not get an abun- dant supply of water. New houses were being built on the mountain side, and the occupiers of those houses were calling for water. In reply to the Inspector, Mr George said the Council had the pipes ready, and considering the high price they would have to pay for them at the present time, they were at least 75 per cent. cheaper than they could buy them now. Mr Allsopp said he believed they were worth more than even that. The Inspector said he was pleased to understand that they bad the pipes in hand. The Inspector having examined the plans, Mr George said they were very desirous of having the work carried out as soon as possible before the summer months. The Inspector My report willfgo in next week. The Chairman of the Council said they were a little disappointed that the other inquiry into the sewerage scheme was not taken at the same time. They were hampered because they bad not the means of carrying out schemes which were of the greatest importance for the place. The Inspector said the matter of arranging the inquiries did not rest with him. The Clerk said the inspector could expedite matters if he made a representation to the effect stated to this Board. The Inspector: I will have pleasure in doing so. The Chairman then proposed a vote of thanks to the Inspecror for the patient way he had con- ducted the injuiry. He had not had much ex- perience of inquiries, but from what he had read he was led to believe that Government Inspectors always brought terror wherever they went and created commotion. Such was not the case that day.—Mr Allsopp in seconding, said he had some experience of inspectors, and all the inspectori had always been courteous and nice at Barmouth (laughter). The largest ratepayers in the town were represented there that day, although the meeting was a comparatively small one. The motion having been carried, the Inspector said they were only a terror to Pha evil-doers (laughter). So long as the Council did its duty properly they would receive every assistance from the inspectors. He thanked the clerk for the lucid manner he had stated th e case for the Council. ♦
MEETING OF PARLIAMENT. THE WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE OPPOSITION ATTACK. Thd seventh session of the fourteenth Parliament of Queen Victoria, was opened on Tuesday. The Qneen's Speech, which was read in the House of Lords, referred to the war in South Africa, and to the" patriotic eagerness and spontaneous loyalty,, with whicn Her Majesty's subjects in all parts of her dominions had come forward to share in the common defence of their Imperial interests, and it contained an exhortation to sustained and renewed exertions until the struggle of the maintenance of the Empire and the assertion of its supremacy in South Africa bad been brought to a victorious con- clusion. Reference to the existence of famine and plague xn India, and to the measures taken by the Government to relieve the suffering there -as made. Members of the House of Commons were informed that in the Estimates for the public service of the year the provision for D1ili. tary expenditure must be largely increased on account of the charge for military operations ia South Afriea. "At a time when several other nations are perfecting their naval preparations at the cost of increasing efforts and sacrifices, the solicitude with which you have provided for the efficiency of our navy and of our coast defences will assuredly not be relaxed." The time was not pro. pitious for any domestic reforms which involved a large expenditure, but proposals would be made for several important changes which were not open to that objection. The speech of Captain Pretymau who moved the address, PROVOKED SOME DISSENT in the Opposition. When he excused the ignorance of the Government as to the immense strength of the Boers he was met with loud cries from the Irish and Radical benches of Butler, Butler » and on his asserting that whatever the war cost the amount would be cheerfully vofd Mr Dillon immediately shouted" No, no." His suggestion that the House would have to consider the causes which had led to the war evoked loud applause from both Rides The seconder of the motion, Mr H P Peace con- fined himself chiefly to the legislative programme of the Government, but ho remarked that he had heard from private sources that, if a Parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the war was demanded it would not be refused by the Government. Sir H Campbell. Bannerman spoke with an animation farm excess of his usual Parliamentary style, In complimenting the mover and seconder he referred humorously to Mr Pease, most of whose relatives sit on the Liberal side of the House as belonging to a family which was not restricted by any lazy uniformity of political opinion. He said he was satisfied with the modest scheme of legis- ation proposed by the Government, and then he turned to the subject which was in all men's thoughts-the war. He dwelt once a,rain on the readiness of those for whom he spoke to sn pport the PROSECUTION OF HOSTILITIES with vigour and unstinted means, in order that as rapidly as possible the integrity of the Queen's dominions might be vindicated and a suc- cessful issue attained. He blamed the Government for want of provision and preparation, and found the keynote of the last four and a half years in Mr Asqnith's allegation that the whole negotiations had been poisoned by the suspicion of our Govern- ment entertained by the Boers, Sir lIeury plied Mr Balfour with questions as to tho war in the style of bir W Harcourt's mode of catechising the Government, touching upon the Intelligence De. partment, Sir W Butler's alleged despatches warn. ing the Guvernment of the great force it would require to conquer the Transvaal, the incorrect estimates made by the Government, the late dis- covery that the war was inevitable, the influence of the Colonial Civil authorities on the Generals in charge of the campaign, and the plea of Mr Ba f ;ur that, if he had come to the House and asked fo.- a Vote to strengthen the Sou-.h African gar ism during the negotiations, it would not have beu accorded to him. Mr Balfour, in a long reply, answered a'l these questions categorically. In -the opening passages SOME AMUSEMENT WAS CAUSKD by his misquoting Sir H Campbell-Ba.merman's pledge that he would support the war with vigour. Mr Balfour drew the inference that his support would cease when the Boers were expelled from British territory, but Sir Henry objected to mean- ings which were not in the words being read into them. Besides, he had argued in favour of British supremacy being asserted over the whole of South Africa. The principal points in Mr Balfour's reply wele an admission that the Governrneut knew per- fectly well of the enormous preparations of the Boers that the under-estimate of the strength of the Boers was not due to the Intelligence Depart- ment; that there was no evidence to show how the under-estimate had arisen, but there might he at the end of the war that the Intelligence Depart- ment had communicated its estimates to the Government; that there was not at the War Office the slightest trace of any opinion such as had been ascribed to Sir W Butler; that the Civil authorities in Natal had represented to Sir G White the grave consequences of abandoning Dundee; and that the, Government at home had not EXKRC;SED THE SLIGHT EST INFLUFNCE on the military authorities. He concluded with a resolute statement that the war would be prose. cuted till the military honour of the country was amply viticlicated-a remark which the Minister- ialists generally warmly cheered. Lord E Fitzmaurice then rose to move a Vote of Censure on the Government for tie want of know- q .I foresiShfc displayed in their conduct of South African affairs since 1895, and in inspira- tionstor the war. Members off. to dinner and the first half of his speech was delivered to an audi- ence of half a dozen. The second half was heard by thirty or forty members. Mr Drage followed in support of the Government, and Mr Rubson from the Liberal side of the House, also justified tho Ministerial policy, and defended the war ay a ju:>t one. But he would vote in favour of the amend- ment, as the Boers had prepared to conteSG our supremacy, and the Government had not prepared to defend it. Mr E Cecit defended the Government. Mr F S Stevenson criticised the Govercmt-nt in a House which had dwindled down to five or six mem- bers, and was speaking at midnight, when the de- bate was adjourned.