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It " Merthyr Express " Diary.…

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GOSSIP. The coalowners of South Wales having made an application for a reduction of 7 per cent. in the general wage rate, a meeting of the Concilia- tion Board was held on Monday to consider the matter. As the two sides of the Board were unable to agree, it will be necessary to call in the independent chairman, Lord St. Aldwyn, and another meeting will be held on the 22nd inst. A joint committee was appointed to discuss the necessary arrangements for the carrying out of the Mines Eight Hours Act, and they will report to. a special meeting of the Conciliation Board, which is to be held on the Slat inst Mr. L. Forestier-Walker, the prospective Tory candidate for South Monmouthshire, speaking at Maesycwmmer the other evening, referred to the question of unemployment. What were the Government going to do, he asked. And he added, The Opposition had got a panacea for it, but the Government had none." The Opposition's panacea, of course, is Tariff Reform, but while Tory speakers are- fond of saying that Protection will prevent unemployment, they do not explain how it will do so. They conveniently forget, too, that Protectionist countries have suffered quite as much from unemployment during the last eighteen months as we have. If Protection will prevent unemployment why has it not done so in Germany and the United States ? < Another part of our panacea," said Mr. Walker, is preferential treatment to the Colonies." By all meani let us strengthen the ties which bind the colonies to the mother country, but would preferential treatment do it? It would be more likely to lead to friction and disruption of* the Empire. At the present time all goods imported from the colonies are admitted free to our ports, but. articles sent from the mother country to the colonies are taxed. It is true that in some cases British goods are given a preference over those of foreign nations, but of what benefit- is that if the tariff is sufficiently high to prevent our manufacturers competing with the cdlonials ? It would be no advantage to British manufac- turer's and merchants if the colonial tariffs against foreign nations were raised, unless the duties levied on our goods were at the same time reduced. We all deplore the depression through which we, along with other countries, have passed, but, happily, there are signs of returning prosperity, and the probability is we shall hear less and less about the panacea of Protection. 1 The auditor;g report on the accounts of the Merthyr Corporation for the past year was to have been considered by the Finance Committee on Tuesday. Several members, however, were away, and it was therefore deemed advisable to call a special meeting of the General Purposes Committee for next Monday, to deal with the report, and it will afterwards come before the Council In an article on the Budget, the Nation says: "It is good morals as well as good finance and high statesmanship to make wealth pay according to • its ability, to keep labour— which probably pays an average income tax of about 2s. in the £ —immune from assaults on its necessary food and clothing, and industry all but unharassed. These are the blessings that only Free Trade and democratic finance combined can supply, and the mingled violence and incoherence of the attacks on the Budget show that it safeguards tho nation against the clow aright plunder of Protection,* and qualifies tho sei.ish dominance of wealth, while it enables tuc 5\e to take a long took forward into the] future, and to equip itself for the tasks that time will bring." A few weeks ago a Welshman was elected 1 President of the National Free Church Council, and this week the Rev. J. D. Jones, of Bourne- I mouth, who, as his name implies, comes of Welsh stock, has succeeded to the chair of the congregational Union of England and Wales. Mr. Jones shares with Mr. Jowett the distinction of being one of the j'oungest ministers to occupy that distinguished position. He is regarded by many as one of the six greatest living preachers. Next year's chairman of the Union will be the Rev. C. Silvester Home, who, on Monday, received 447 votes more than the next on the list. Mr. Home is one of the most popular preachers of the day. The position of High Constable of Caerphilly Higher is shorn of its public interest, duties of the office, so far as Merthyr is conce^pd, now devolve upon the Mayor. At the Merthyr police-court, on Tuesday, Alderman Andrew Wilson (the Mayor) was sworn as High Constable There were no congratulatory speeches as formerly, and no formal handing over of the rods of office. -Col. D. R. Lews, the Magistrates' Clerk, simply read the oath, and the Mayor kissdd the Bible. That was all, and the business of the court was proceeded with. if It is reported that a definite pleage has been given that the second reading of the Welsh Disestablishment Bill shall follow as closely as possible the second reading of the Finance Bill. There are still hopes that the Welsh Bill may pass through all its stages in the House of Commons this session. The Welsh Church Commission resumed its sittings on Monday, for the further consideration of the chairman's draft report. & This paragraph is for golfers:—A stout country woman, with basket over her arm, was watching from an adjacent footpath a golfer addressing his ball on the tee. He hit his feet, while finding his stance, as if he were standing with bare soles on hot bricks and he waggled his club -consumedly. The woman breathed the more rapidly as the waggling was prolonged, and at last exclaimed If yon man docs'na hit that little ball soon, I's'll bust ma stay laces." "i William Joseph Foy paid the penalty, on Saturday, for the murder of Mary Ann Rees, at Merthyr, on Christmas Eve. During the last few days of his life Foy wrote a number of letters to his relatives and friends. In one of his last communications to his sister, he said "I think it is my duty to tell you that my sentence is just. I am guilty and think it j right you should know." He added: I hope my fate will be a warning to' othfers, and that young men will take a lesson and avoid evil and choose the good." The houses recently erected by the Merthyr Corporation, at Twynyrodyn, have cost f 8,605 9s., or £545 more than the original loan. It has been decided to apply to the Local Government Board for sanction to borrow the latter sum. A useful little Bill passed its second reading by a large majority in the House of Commons, last Friday. This was the Coal Mines (Check- weighers) Bill. The object of the measure is to make it clear that the provsions of the Coal Mines Regulation Act of 1887, which enable a Court of Summary Jurisdiction to remove a checkweigher from his office on the ground that he is impeding the working of the mine or interfering with the workmen, shall only apply to the action of the checkweigher when he is actually on the premises of the colliery. Lopg and fierce were the struggles concerning the appiontment of checkweighers, and their right to be present at the pit top, but the miners were at last victorious, and the check- weigher is now a recognised institution in every colliery. The present Bill is designed merely to remove some misunderstandings as to his precise position and the control to be exercised over him by the coalowner or company outside his working hours. The Bill was faintly opposed, but it received the support of men so well acquainted with mining districts as Mr. Atherley Jones, Mr. Lambten and Sir S. T. Evans. The majority for the second reading was 145, only 13-unlucky number-voting for its rejection. Among a number of books presented to the Merthyr Library Committee for the Abercanaid Library was one on Manners for Men." Councillor Dan Thomas suggested at the meeting, on Monday, that this should be passed round to members of the Council. p Reference has previously beeh made to the proposal to erect cheap cottages of concrete, at Gellifaelog, with the object of relieving the overcrowding that now exists at jpeoydaxiren and Dowlais. The question should have been gone into at a meeting of the Housing Com- mittee, oh Monday, but as only four members were present, it 'was deferred for a month. I hear there may be some opposition to the scheme,- not because the houses are net required, but because it is thought it would not be wise to erect houses of such a character on the land in question. A Building Club has been formed, and plans for thirty better-class houses, to be erected at Gellifaelog, have, I understand, already been passed, and it is suggested that it would bo unwise to put up cheap cottages so near. 01< County Alderman John Morgan has been elected, by the Glamorgan County Council chairman of the Glamorganshire Secondary Education Committee. This is considered a great honour in view of the fact that Merthyr has been separated from the county, and proves that the county authority recognises the Stirling worth of Mr. Morgan. # A very interesting event took place at the Presbyterian Church, Merthyr Vale, last Thurs- day, to wit, a dual wedding ceremony. Mr. Herbert Bertram JDobbs was united to Miss Ann Jane Myfanwy Rees, and Mr. Gomer Llewellyn s-brother of Miss Rees—to Miss Gertrude Annie Llewellyn. The event created no small stir in the village, as the families are well known and highly respected. One of the bridegrooms attained his majority on the same day, and it is also worthy of note that one of the brides was given away by her grandfather, who is hale and hearty at eighty-four. The young couples were the recipients of many presents, and they entered the married state with the best wishes of a very large number of friends. It was announced at a meeting of the Merthyr Parks and Cemeteries Committee, on Wednes- day, that the draft conveyance for the transfer of Cyfarthfa Castle and Park to the Corporation had been approved by Mr. Crawshay's solicitors, and that the matter would be completed by the end of next week. Ratepayers will be pleased to learn this, as they have long been anticipating with pleasure the opening of the fine grounds. At the same meeting, an application from the Cyfarthfa Band for permission to give concerts in the park, and other recreations grounds in the borough, on Sunday evenings, after the church services, was considered. Some objection was raised, but the request was acceded to,: it being contended that such concerts would attract people from the streets. What do readers think of the idea ? < Hearty congratulations to Councillor William Thomas on his election as High Constable of Aberdare. Mr. Thomas has for many years taken a deep interest in all that concerns the welfare of Aberdare, and is well worthy of the honour now conferred upon him. It is expected that during his year of office the question of applying for a charter of incorporation will be taken up in earnest. If so, success ought to attend the efljprts fo the promoters. Aberdare is certainly entitled to rank with the municipal boroughs of the country. Indeed, there are many towns with smaller populations than I Aberdare, which possess the higher form- of local government. With a population now bordering on fifty thousand, Aberdarians may look forward to the time, and that at no distant date, when the town will have attained the status of a county borough, and then be abso- lutely free from the interference of the County Council. It is sometimes urged that municipal government is more costly than administration under a district council, but there is no reason why that should be so. Municipal schemes need not cost more if engineered by a corporation instead of by a district council. But, even if expenses of administration under a county borough council be a little more than under a district council, the advantages gained are worth the extra cost. With wise men at the head of affairs, however, thtre is no reason why Aberdarc's rates should be higher than they are at present, unless, of course, new and ambitious schemes be embarked upon. Probably more will be heard of the matter shortly. » The promoters of the Bargoed Eisteddfod and the Bargoed May Show, which were held on Monday, are. to .be congratulated on the success which attended their efforts. Feara were at one time entertained that the two events clashing would militate against the success of each other. Such, however, docs not appear to have been the case. Fortunately, fine weather prevailed, and this being the case, probably a larger number of people were attracted to the Rhymney Valley capital than would have been if f¡, mats had been JjteM ou separate days. However that may be, it is gratifying to leara that both ventures proved successful. • The death took place, in London, on Saturday, of Mrs. Fothergill, widow of the late Mr. Richard Fothergill, of Abernant, a former member of Parliament for the Merthyr Borough. Assurances having been given by Mr. Law, on behalt of the Executive of the National Federation of Free Church Councils that the holding of a communion service has not been the usage of the National Council, and that there is no possibility of such a service being held again, the scruples of Welsh Baptists have been overcome. At the meeting of the Baptist Union of Wales at Brecon, on Tuesday, a resolution was passed to the effect that there can how be no objection to' the Baptist Churches becoming affiliated with Free Church Councils. Alpha writes.—" Dear Polonius.—One item of news given by you, last week, interested me considerably, concerning a gift of six spittoons to a Merthyr Chapel, for the use of the occupants of the pulpit seat. Whether this was a joke or not, I cannot very well say. I do not very well see what any deacons want with spittoont in the big seat; seeing they do not smoke there, This bit of news struck me last Sunday morning, when listening to a minister in the pulpit, gird at many. things that evidently gave him pain. A few spittoons would be useful in some churches for the minister's room, to rid a man of possible venom before going to a pulpit. What the minister said was undoubtedly, true, but much might very wisely have been left unsaid—ia the ^pulpit. Is it wise, for (instance, to gird at men who seem to devote themselves to makilq money ? Is not our country indebted to men who devote themselves even to that aim ? My personal experience, and the experience of many others these days, is that we have to devote almost every energy 'and gift to oUt business-not to make money, but to make things pay. Let ministers .spend less time in acamedic studies, ,and more time in going amongst the business men. of their congregations, and they will acquire a better grip and under.; standing of their lives and work." The para- graph last week was not inserted as a joke; the spittoons have actually been presented to a local chapel for the big seat. i Two recruits were brought ip by thp sergeant and presented to the recruiting officer, who was of a rather choleric disposition. He at once began to question them. Officer (to first recruit): What's your samel Recruit: Watt, sir. Officer: What is your name? Recruit: Watt, sir. Officer (impatiently). t What's your n2. ? Recruit: My name is Watt. sir—W-a-t-t. Officer: Humph Where do you come from! Recruit: Ware, sir. Officer: Yes, where do you come from? Recruit: I come from the town of Ware, siis Officer: Oh,. that'll do! (Turning to secono. recruit) What's your name? Recruit: Mee, sir. Officer: Yes, you. What's your name? Recruit: Mee, sir. Offioer (by this time out of temper and dently thinking the man was working a joke,- shouted): Will you give me your name? Recruit: My name. sir, is John Mee! Officer: Humph! And where do you come from?- Recruit: Hoo, sir! Officer: Confound it, you sir; where do you come frbrh? Recruit: Hoo, sir! Officer: Well, if eTer- Sergeant (interposing): The ipan coraesjroTS the village of Hoo, near Chatham, sir. POLONIU&

"Cost of Twynyrodyn Houses.…

Merthyr Corporation Finances.