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I " Merthyr Express " Diary.

Notice to Subscribers.





GOSSIP* Mr. D. A. Thomas, M.P., returned to Llanwern on Saturday, greatly benefited in health by his stay on the Continent. On Monday afternoon he made his first appearance in the House of Commons this session, and was heartily wel- comed by members of all parties. He is not yet completely restored to health, however, and may not be seen regularly in the House for some time. The treatment of the Roman Catholic Schools by the Merthyr Oucation Authority is now exercising the minds of all sections of the community. It was because of his attitude on this question that Councillor Griffiths was excommunicated by the Labour Group on the Town Council. Councillor Isaac Edwards, who is a staunch Nonconformist, has" also been sharply criticised. At a meeting of the Dowlais Free Church Council, the' other evening, Mr. Edwards went into the matter at great length. One of the items on the agenda was" to declare the policy of the Dowlais Free Church Council towards the non-provided schools under the Merthyr Education Authority." Mr. Edwards has been a prominent member of the Free Church Council, and it was not surprising, therefore, that he regarded this as an attack upon himself. After hearing Mr. Edwards, the meeting passed a resolution re-affirming its faith in the Welsh National Policy of no rate-aid to non-provided schools, and expressing its appreciation of the fact that, according to Councillor Edwards' statement, the Merthyr Education Authority had not departed there- from. While one may approve of the Welsh National Policy of no control, no rate-aid," there is no reason why the Roman Catholic Schools should not be treated justly. In his report, which was presented to the Town Council last week, the Local Government Board Auditor said that an examination of the accounts appeared to justify some of the complaints of gross unfairness in the allocation of the education funds. It is one thing to refuse rate-aid it is quite another matter to withhold Government grafts earned by non-provided schools. That appears to be what the Merthyr Education Authority are doing. According to the figures given to the meeting of the Dowlais Free Church Council by Mr. Edwards, and according to statements made repeatedly at the meetings of feke Town CQiwsil, a 1?r ? ntysie • va 1 Roman Catholic Schools. If that be so, it seems hardly fair, and Nonconformists, I think, I will not wish that such a policy should be con- tinued. It may be pointed out that the salaries of teachers have been advanced considerably since these schools came under the control of the Education Authority. That is an undis- puted fact, and if a profit is being made on them now a much bigger profit must have been realised by the managers in years gone by. Even so, Catholics have some cause for com- plaint that a portion of the grant earned by their schools is being applied. to other schools. This conflict between sectarianisjtn and unsectarianism is a vexed question, and until we get the secular solution I am afraid there will be no educational peace. Till then, however, it should be the aim of the public representatives, whatever their religious views, to act fairly to all classes of schools. Probably more will be heard about, this qnestion-ot the next meeting of the Education Authority. The concert whfcii waC^o have been held" in the Merthyr Theatre Royal on Whit-Sunday evening, in aid of the funds of the Brecon-road Soup Kitchen, has been postponed until June 13th. The Coal Conciliation Board for South Wales and Monmouthshire, having failed to come to an agreement with respect to the owners' claim for a reduction of seven-and-a-half per cent. in the wage-rate from the 1st of June, it was necessary to call in the independent chair- man, Lord St. Aldwyn. His Lordship met the Board on Saturday, at Cardiff, when figures were put in on behalf of the owners, showing that prices had dropped Is. 2d. per ton. as compared with the quotations of the preceding quarter. The workmen's delegates contended that prices were hardening, and trade improving. Lord St. Aldwyn suggested an amicable arrange- ment, and the parties met again, but failed to agree, the workmen suggesting a reduction of five per cent. and the owners one of six-and-a- quarter. The independent chairman thereupon gave his casting vote in favour of the owners' claim for the full reduction of seven-and-a-half per cent. At the Merthyr Police Court, on Tuesday, a man aged sixty-six years was ordered to con- tribute towards the maintenance of his father. He told the Magistrates he would soon be on the road himself. # The recent advance in the price of bread has been severely felt by the very poor. Fortun- ately, we have no taxation of wheat in thi3 country, otherwise the price of the loaf would have been higher still, for taxation of wheat would inevitably raise the price of bread, just as the taxation of bread must raise the price of toast. About SO out of every 100 cwts. of wheat used in this country have to be imported from countries which are more suited for wheat- growing than ours is. The falling-off in the wheat imports last year was mainly due to the fact that India, which sent us 18 million cwts. in 1907, only sent us three millions in 1908, owing to the failure of its wheat crop. But for Argentina, which sent us ten million cwts. more than in 1907, bread would have been dearer than it is. And Tariff Reformers would tax Argentina wheat so as to keep it from coming into this country. If such a tax had been in operation last year it is easy to imagine what the result would have been. On the 10th of March last the price of wheat in this country was 34s. lOd. per quarter, while in Paris it was Jls. 7d. per quarter, and in Berlin 49s. Id. per quarter. That :s how Protection works out. General Booth will visit this district in August during his motor tour. According to present arrangements the veteran head of the Salvation Army will be at Pontypool, Newport and Aber- tillery, on August 17th. On the following day he will visit Ebbw Vale and Merthyr, and then on the 19th he will drive through Mountain Ash, Pontypridd, and Tonypandy. On the 20th Caerphilly, Penarfh, and Barry Dock will be visited. A meeting of the Committee of the Merthyr Y.M.C.A. is to be held on June 3rd, to consider the tenders for the proposed new building. There is now in hand about exclusive of the £500 promised by Mr. J. Cory, directly a start is made, and R500 when the building is completed. Mr. Richard Cory has also pro- mised £2QO as soon as a start is made, and there are other similar promises, which amount altogether to about £70. The Committee, therefore, have in hand and promised something like £3,500. Some of the members of the Committee, I understand, are anxious to start building operations at once, but others urge that work should not be commenced until there is £3,000 in hand. Something definite may be done when the Committee meet. In the meantime, those who have promised sub- scriptions would greatly assist by forwarding the amounts to the secretary. Doubtless there are many who would like to help the scheme in a small way, and they can do so by purchasing bricks—in other words, picture postcards, which are now on sale at two-pence each. « Successful advertising means doing it now, and doing it all the time. It is a proud day when a man seas his first advertisement in print; it is a prouder day 'when a man sells his first article that he has advertised. The proudest day of all is when he finds that he keeps on selling his articles, and heaps up profit on the top of profit."—From Successful Advertising," published by the Smiths' Agency, London. Rev. Alfred Hall, an ex-President of the Baptist Union of South Africa, and for ten years Editor of the S. A. Baptist," formerly of High-street Church, Merthyr, has been recalled from South Africa to undertake the position of Dominion Representative for Canada, for the British and Foreign Sailors' Society, London. This appointment was announced recently in a speech to members of both Houses of the Natal Parliament, when Mr. Hall presented a bust of Lord Nelson, made of Victory copper, on behalf of the Society. By precahing, lecturing, and organising work throughout the Dominion, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the development of the Society's work will be advanced. Rev. A. and Mrs. Hall, and their little daughter, are expected to arrive in London by the Rennie liner Inkosi" at the end of June, and they will proceed to their new home in Toronto in August. Letters may be addressed to the Sailors' Palace, 680, Commercial-road, London. It will be be remembered that Mr. Hall visited his old congregation in Merthyr on* both occasions when he was in England in 1902 and 1905. « In connection with the proposal to establish Labour Exchanges* in this country, it is inter- esting to note that there are about 700 such institutions throughout the various German States. More than half of these are public exchanges, supported by the municipalities. Some 25,000 jobs are found every week for out-of-work men and women by the agency of these registers. An insurance Case of some importance was heard at Merthyr County Court last Friday. A Bargoed irornun sued the Royal Liver Friendly Society for the return of premiums paid in respect of policies taken out by her upon the lives of her father and mother. The policies were taken out in 1903, and she paid about £13 in premiums. She was then told by an Inspector that the policies were invalid. Plaintiff, it appeared, had no insurable interest in her father and mother, and His Honour gave judgment for the Company, but refused to allow them costs- He commented strongly on the practice of agents going about from house to house touting for business. These agents, he said, accepted insurances wholesale which they knew to be quite illegal. It is hard that poor. people should have to su ffer in cases like the one heard at Merthyr last Friday, but if they will take the risk they must apparently take the consequences. Will there be a. stoppage in the South Wales coal trade ? The report of the Sub-Committee which sat in London last week to consider the requests of the owners for concessions in connection with the Eight Hours Act was presented to a special meetirfg of the Concil- iation Board at Cardiff last Friday. The owners claimed as-the result of the Act a rc- duction in daymen's wages and the right to demand that sixty hours per annum Le worked in excess of eight hours per day as permitted by Clause Three of the Act.. The workmen's representatives had already declined to consider the question of a reduction of wages, and as to the extra hours said that the Miners' Federation of Great Britain prohibited any district from conceding them. The sub-com- mittee reported having failed to come to an agreement upon any of the points demanded by the owners' representatives to be of great im- portance, and at the close of the meeting last Friday it was annonnced that a dead-lock had been reached, and that the owners would serve notices on June 1st. The coal owners met on Monday. and endorsed the action of their representatives at the meeting of the Conciliation Board. There the matter rcsis for the time being. It will be a calamity if the mines of South _>lea. ace clcgetf, <^4 ■ jiQ :e.tI9 should be — —" spared to prevent this.' "Mabon" adviseg the men to be patient, and suggests that the differences should be referred to a small committee. Whether his advice will be acted on remains to be seen. It is to be hoped, however, that some way out of the difficulty will be found before July 1st, and that a stop- page, which may prove disastrous to both employers and employed, will 1 e avoided. -x- The receipts at the Merthyr Show, last Thurs- day amounted to £129, or £1 less than the pr&' vious year. -1.. -x- A very pleasant function took place at the Merthyr Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon. It is well known that Aid. D W Jones, the ex-Mayor, took an active part in the movement which led up to the securing of the Charter of Incorporahon He acted 88 solicitor for the committee which had the matter m hand in 1897, and though thplicatjpn then made failed, no doubt the way Vas ped foiv the suc- cessful application a few years later Aid. Jonee- worked exceedingly hard to secure the higher form of local' government, and it was fitting that his services should be recognised. The presentation consisted of a handsome solid silver epergne, which was purchased out of the fund raised by the advisory committee. It was handed over by Coun. F. T. James, on behalf of the incorporation committee. After defray iner the cost of the epergne, there remained a balance of £69 6s. 6d., and a cheque for thl11 amount was handed to the Mayor by Mr. J Plows for the purchase of a mace for the Cor; poration. An appeal is being made by the Great Wes- tern Railway Company against the assessment of their lines in the Merthyr Union. The reduc- tion asked for is £38.000 f.rom £49,774 to £11,476. The Assessment Committee have de- cided to engage an expert valuer to go into the question. SIr March ant. Williams sharply criticised tint Merthyr Borough Justices last week for impos- ing light fines for drunken and disorderly con- duct. "I cannot have fines varied," he said. "If a man is guilty of being drunk and disor- derly a fine of 10s. and costs is a proper one to fix." A man came before the Magistrates on Tuesday, when Sir Marchant was present, and the charge apainst him was that of being drunk and disorderly The defendant appeared to be rather dazed and the Stipendiary ventured tha opinion that he came from North Wales. "Asb him if he does not come from North Wales." said Sir Marchant. The question was put to the man in the dock, and the reply was "He comes from Radnorshire, sir." "Oh," said the Stipendiary, "there are some decent people in Radnorshire as long as you come from there we will let you off for 5s and, costs." One may ask why should a Radnorshire man be let off with a fine of 5s. and costs, while a Dowlais man, say, has to pay 10s. and costs? It will not bo surprising if other tipplers urge as an ex* cuse that they hail from Radnorshire. Mountain Ash Territorials attended the Bap- tist Church on Sunday morning last. and art eloquent address on "True Patriotism" was delivered by the Rev E. V Tidman. Some Rocialists who were present kept their seats during the singing of the last hymn, "God bless our native land," because it was sung to the tune of the National Anthem. What cranks! There have been several cases in Merthyr, of late, in which persons have been summoned for committing breaches of the Factory Act. Doubtless many of the offences have been com- mitted in ignorance, but in the eye of the law that is no excuse. There are many people who make up goods at home for sale. By doing this they come under the Act, and should notify the Inspector. Failure to do sp constitutes an o, fenoe. Section 127 of the Factory Act lays it down clearly that persons occupying premises where any article is made, altered, or adapted for sale, render themselves liable, and they should report the fact that they are using their premises for such purposes to the Inspector of Factories. Capt. Edwards, H.M. Chief Inspec- tor of Factories for this district—which includes the Merthyr. Pontypndd, Cardiff, and Bridg- end Unions, as well as Cowbridge. Brecon, Mon- mouth, and Radnor—will be pleased to give any information as to the requirements of tha Home Office. People who are doing work at home, would be well advised to communicate with Capt. Edwards, whose address is Gresham Chambers, Kingsway, Cardiff. The Merthyr Justices held a private meeting on Friday last, to consider the appointment 01 a valuer of public house property for compen- sation purposes. The choice lay between Isaac Edwards, Mr. Wyndham Prichard, and Mr. Seymour Berry, and eventually the first named was appointed. Merthyr ratepayers will be delighted to lean that the keys of Cyfarthfa Castle and Park have been handed over to the Corporation. Arrange- ments are now being made for the formal open, ing to take place to-morrow (Saturday) week. It is almost a pity that the park could not be thrown open during the holidays, but if that had been done the attractions at Penydarren Park would not have been as well patronised. Un. der the circumstances one can hardly complain. The keys were handed over on Monday, and Coun. David John (Cyfarthfa) was the first to enter the grounds, and he savs he had a plea* ant walk through the park. I venture to think that in a few years Cyfarthfa Park will be* come one of the most popular resorts in South Wales. Its upkeep may possibly mean a slight addition to the rates, but ratepayers will not grumble. A prize fight took place on Sunday mornina at Mountain Ash between two men, for a pouni aside. It was a stubborn contest, so ovir corres. pondent says, nineteen rounds being fough Then one of the men gave in, and he was SCI. badly damaged that he' had to be taken to tha Mountain Ash Cottage Hospital. This in Wales, in the twentieth century, and on a Sunday morning! Here are a few "howlers. taken from & recent issue of Past and Present." an excellent monthly paper which is published in the inunsta of The Friends' Schools:— War may prevent overcrowding in the world, but why not kill people off in some more human-e fashion? Surely War is ridacoulous, what good is H shouting a man who is 100 yards away event if you hit him. Some men never go past a public house without going in The money spent on drink is pure wasW averaging about £9 a head, now if this waa spent on ioed buns it would give everybody} 2,520 each. which would be splendid. Seventy-five per cent, of paukers are causeif by drink. Dust is a thing that should always be care* ful to be got rid of. as it nearly always con.; tains germans, which do a lot of harm. Socialism means having all the railway* j run on one line, a.nd all that sort of thing, which seems rather hopeless. Equivocate is to speak about horses. POLONIUS. I ■

.Theatre Royal, Merthyr.


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