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THE CHRONICLES OF CARTOONIA.

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Dowlais Sunday School Union.

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) DOWLAIS. (

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| A FAMOUS GENERAL.

NERVE ENERGY & PHYSICAL VIGOUR.

Free Churchmen and Roman Catholic…

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Free Churchmen and Roman Catholic Schools. I COUNCILLOR EDWARDS AND HIS CRITICS. HAVE THE NON-PROVIDED SCHOOLS BEEN FAIRLY TREATED? A special meeting of the Dowlais Council of Evangelical Free Churches was held at Eliza- i beth-street Chapel, when Mr. D. M. Oriel (the president) occuoicd the chair.—The Rev. Ed. Jones, late pastor of Gwernllwyn Welsh Con- gregationa-1 Church, wrote expressing his most sincere thanks for the resolution appreciative of the work done by him for the Council from time to time, and for the kind wishes for his future welfare. He wished the Council every success in the future. At the outset the hon. secretary (Mr. D R. Davies) read a letter from the Rev Thomas Bowen, who expressed reg-ret at his unavoidable absence through illness and strongly hoped that whatever resolution was passed it would not come shori. of strict adherence to the policy the Council had adopted all along the line. He deprecated the attitude taken up by Noncon- formist Councillors who would treat the Non- Provided Schools like the Council Schools, which are under the Council's full control. He further stated that he could not take up any attitude other than an uncompromising stand against the Nou-Provided Schools being treat- ed like Council Schools. The next business was to declare the Coun- cil's policy with regard to the non-provided schools under the Merthyr Education Author- ity. The President referred to the existing resolutions in favour of the Welsh National I Policy, and he invited discussion, as to whethex they were still of the same opinion.—Several speakers mentioned that, as far as they could see, the Merthyr Council carried 'out the Welsh National Policy. A DENIAL. Councillor Isaac Edwards said he would have been pleased if the President, who bad introduced the question, had taken up a stronger attitude in this matter,* as although tho item on the agenda simply stated that they were there to "declare the policy of the Dow- lais Free Church Council towards the non- provided schools under the Merthyr Education Authority," everybody in the room, reading between the lines, u'nderstood that this was more or less an attack upon himself. In the first place. he (Councillor Edwards) wished to make it clear that although he never asked the Council officially to support him at the recent municipal elestion, still he would concede at once that there was a close conncction between the Council and himself, his continuous inter- est in its work justifying any criticism. It had been stated by some persons indirectly in- terested in this matter that sinca he had been en the Council there had been a direct effort made to get the Council to repudiate the Welsh national policy. He wished to deny that statement, and to take the opportunity of replying to thone critics who had rushed anonymously into print and who had given public utterance to messages complaining of the attitude of certain Nonconformist coun- cillors in this matter. His attitude was that while advocating complete popular control in educational matters, he wanted to see the Ll fullest measure of fair play given to all non- provided schools, and was utterly opposed to sweating those schools and making a profit upon them to the relief of the rates. Since he entered the Council, he had discovered that the grants received from the State for the pur- pose of maintaining and managing the Dow- lais Roman Catholic Schools were not being spent upon those schools, and he submitted that the money earned by those schools should 1>3 solely spent in meeting the cost, of educat- ing the children attending them, He had en- deavoured to get to the bottom facts in this matter, and from such figures as were avail- able, he found that the income received from the Dowlais Roman Catholic Schools was baing used to benefit other non-provided schools in the district, and after their deficits had been made good, what was left was used in relief of the rates. He considered that if it was obnoxious tc Free Churchmen to pay for Roman Catholic teaching, it was equally ob- noxious to Roman Catholics to pay for Protest- ant teaching. If the Welsh national policy was to be carried out—no rate-aid for non- provided schools then common justice d-e., manded that each school should receive the full benefit of the money given by Parliament for that particular institution. Still, the que-so tion they were considering that night was whether or not the non-provided schools in the Borough were on the rates. Some suggested that they were; others said the\ were not. If they were on the rates, then the Welsh na- tional policy was being ignored, and anyone who urged that further public monies should be spent upon those schools was going con- trary to that policy. If they were not, then it was well for the public to know it. He felt quite confident him-elf that the members of the Dowlais Free Church Council did not wish to adopt a policy of petty persecution, find although Free Churchmen in the past had suffered ser.ous disadvantages when they were in a minority, now that they were in a major- ity on the local authority, they did not want to turn tyrants and persecute any other minor- ity with whose opinions they differed. PROFIT ON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS. The earliest figures he bad been able to secure were a summary of receipts and ex- penses for the financial year ending-the 28th February, 1905, issued by the Education Auth- ority. and they showed that whereas the Dow- lais Roman Catholic Schools earned in the period a grant of JE946 16s. 8d., only £ 738 14s. 10s. was expended on them, leaving a profit of £ 208 Is. 10d., there being also another item of profit from the Merthyr Roman Catholic School. This joint balance was, in the first place, used to wipe off the deficit upon St. Davids (Merthyr), Pentrebach, and Graig- berthlwyd Schools: and after doincr that, there still remained a profit to the Committee on the years working on the five schools of jS241 16s. Id. further, the Local Government Audi- tor had stated in a report to the Council that for the financial year ending 1907 the whole of the five schools had been managed, with the result that there had been E204 profit made out of the grants. It should be borne in mind that in the ca*e of the Roman Cath- olic Schools a sum of £100 had been deducted by the Board of Education because of the refusal of the Authority to properly staff and maintain the schools, which meant that the schools had been penalised by the Local Auth- ority. The Board of Education went a step further in reducing the grant which should have been given them for the maintenance of this school by £100. To come up to date, Councillor Edwards submitted an income and expenditure account for the year ended 31st March, 1909, in which be showed that after taking into account the items of expenditure for that year, and deducting the same from the grants and other earnings in respect of that school, there still remained a balance over and above of B138 7s. If it was right and proper that no moneys should come from the rates to pay for those schools, he asked, then was it not equally right and proper for all moneys gained in grants by the Catholic schools to be spent upon these schools (hear, hear). With reference to the Local Government Auditor's report. Councillor Edwards gave an illustra tion or the difference in the amount spent upon provided schools and non-provided schools, the figures showing that the sum spent per child in certain provided schools was nT !r' ,and ln certain non-provided schools v.- u "l. Taking £ 2 18s. as a fair figure which should be paid in a year for the educa- tion of a child, he stated that in the non- provided school, the teacher spent half-an-hour each morning and afternoon in religious in struction, which meant one hour a day. The school hours were five hours a day, so that four-fifths of the time was given to code work au- w io to relig'ous instruction. Dividing this £ 2 18s. in that proportion, it meant that to treat equally the child in the non-prov;ded school with the child in the provided school- from a purely secular educational point of view, leaving out all questions of religious te-bing-the child in the non-provided school should have at least four-fifths of JS2 18s. (which amounted to J62 6s. Sd) spent upon it by the authority. SUGGESTED ARRANGEMENT. With regard to any possible claim of the Roman Catholic School Managers for a full tour-fifths of the money earned by them to be given to them for the management of their schools, he pointed out that before that could u ne» *^e teachers in the non-provided schools must be freed from religious tests. In conclusion, Councillor Edwards said he was proud of the fact that the Nonconformists of L Dowlais and Penydarren stood by him in his election, in spite of the mis-statements which had been made. He repeated also the figures which had been given as to the proportion of the hours spent respectively in religious and code teaching in the non-provided schools, ar stated that in his opinion the only fair and equitable mode of treatment was the standard- isation of the teaching staff in all schools, and then to pay each teacher according to services rendered to the Education Authority For in- stance, if a Council teacher wa-s worth £ 100 a year for 25 hours of Government code educa- tional work each week, then a non-provided school teacher of equal merit should have JB80 a year for the same teaching limited to twenty hours a week, and the difference, viz., the pay- ment due to that teacher for the five hours spent in religious teaching per week, should be paid at the same rate of wages by the managers of the non-provided school, who were responsible for such work. The managers, probably, would contend that they found this difference in the rent which was due to them in respect "of their schools, which rent they would allege they did not receive in cash but in kind. To have that point made clear, he would advocate that in each case a sum be fixed as the correct figure to be charged as rent for each school premises, and this sum the man- agers should be given to allot to their staff as they thought fit. Other speakers having addressed the meet- ing. Councillor Isaac Edwards replied to the criticisms made. The policy of the Welsh National Council, he said, and. in fact, that of the Free Church Council;; of Great Britain, had been to withhold rate aid, but to allow the tail Exciiaousx graatq to be pspA & S0 £ "Pr_-i' » vided schools, and he contended that in to far as the Dowlais Roman Catholic Schools went, that policy had not been exceeded. He alleg- ed that it was unfair and unjust to keep from those schools the whole of the moneys earned k o by them. He had urged that in two cases certificated teachers who applied for advances should be given those advances, and, at the most, such advances, if granted, would not have exceded £ 25 in the year. If these resolu- tions had been passed, there would have been still left over £ 100 profit upcn the schools. At the close. the following resolution was carried by an almost unanimous vote:—"That this meeting reaffirms its fait.h in the Welsh National Policy of "No rate aid to non-provid- ed schools.' and expresses its appreciation of the fact thai according to Councillor Edwards' statement, the Merthyr Education Authority lias not, departed therefrom."—Councillor Ed- statement, the Merthyr Education Authority has not, departed therefrom."—Councillor Ed- wards heartily thanked for his able ad- dress. and a vote of confidence in him was unanimously passed. Sunday trading was next djscussod. and Mr. D. M. Oriel, Mr. J. Edwards, and Mr. H. Jones were appointed to interview the Chief Constable upon the matter. RESCUE HOME, MERTHYR TYDFIL. Street Collection on Saturday next. Look out for the boxes. Piease help in this good work. s 1

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