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It " Merthyr Express " Diary.…

Notice to Subscribers.

"THE BUDGET. !

THE COAL TRADE.

* * * ' THEATRICAL LICENSES.'

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THEATRICAL LICENSES. THE question of renewing the license to the lessees of the Merthyr Theatre for the per- formance of stage plys will comc for considera- tion before the Town Council on Monday next, and we hope the Council will take a broad view of their duty in the matter, and not be influenced too much by personal views. Throughout the country it is a recognised practice th^t when the local authority grants the license to perform stage plays the proprietors of the theatre have the right to apply to the Inland Revenue Commissioners for a license to sell alcoholic drinks on the premises. The whole ethics of the question hinges upon the use or the abuse of this privilege. Nobody desires to see places of amusement like theatres converted into mere drinking places, at which the entertainment is merely a. draw for custom at the bars. It is undeniable that abuses of this nature have occurred, but they are the exceptions to a general rule of well-conducted refreshment bars, used with propriety for a ligitimate and rational purpose—the refreshment of visitors at interva13 during the long hours of a dramatic performance. We can see no valid reason for refusing a license which may cany with it the grant of another license for this purpose. The Corporation has ample power, through the control of its own police, to exercise such a supervision over the conduct of the bars as will effectually preclude their being abused for drinking or any improper purpose. With this security in their hands we think that the Council should have little hesita- tion in granting the license to the Theatre, without any restriction against the sale of intoxicants at the refreshment bar. Suppose it does somewhat increase the income of the lessees. There is no harm in that. On the contrary, if the Council can assist them indirectly by these means to maintain a succession of well-ordered high-class dramatic productions they should do so, for no one, except the narrow- est and most bigoted minds, will deny that the legitimate performance of the best examples of ancient and lmodern dramatic art is not only a source of intellectual relaxation and pleasure, but exercises a powerful refining and educative influence upon the spectators. We desire to see our theatre in a position to give us of the very best of the class of entertainment which it provides for th&jjubUCjjiilcl the privilege of the oinary refreshment bar will assist the managers to attain this object. It would be one of the -worst things that could happen for the town if, through the restrictive action of the Council the Merthyr Theatre were reduced to the necessity of discarding first-class com- panies and running the house for cheapness and vulgarity. We trust the Council will rise to a sense of its duty in a question of this kind, and think of the larger public whose varied tastes and reasonable requirements ought to be provided for. If the privilege should be abused then will arise legitimate cause for its withdrawal, and the Chief Constable can be trusted to keep a watchful eye upon that. i.

,GOSSIP.

"Cost of Twynyrodyn Houses.…

Merthyr Corporation Finances.