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I LOCAL INTELLIGENCE

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MERTHYR TOWN COUNCIL THE NEW LABOUR EXCHANGE. MR. RICHARD BELL AND SIR W. CROSSMAN APPEAL FOR CO-OPERATION. PROPOSED INCREASE OF LIBRARY RATE. The monthly meeting of this Council was held on Monday, the Mayor (Coun. F. T. James) presiding. There was a full attendance of members with the exception of Coun. A. W. Houlson, who is indisposed. From the minutes of the General Purposes Committee it appeared that the Town Clerk had reported that Air. L. L. Llewelyn had in- terviewer! j'im with respect to the proposal that the Co on and other adjacent local au- thority dd acquire the Glamorganshire Cana^ < ;e. was directed ,to communicate witb.^|t.and SMcuiit^in Councils, <tnd\I1,¡;" n^gatv ftoiinjy Council,} suggest- ing "i^ncfcvfor f^to^rhicpaso ;of discussing the rtiai;yr. — Aid. A. Wilson moved that the Corporation take no action in the matter, but the Mayor assured the Council that the confer- ence would not commit them to anything. Coun. Ed. Edwards asked when the widen- ing of the main road at Graigberthlwydd would be carried out.—The Surveyor said he was taking action, and the improvement would be proceeded with a3 soon as the tind was obtained. Aid. T. J. Evans complained that there were no roads in front cf new houses at Penyard, and the Surveyor replied that he had sent an estimate of the cost of making the roads to the estate owner. He hoped the work would be commenced very soon. It was reported that thvee tenders wcro re- ceived for the construction of a gallery in the Court of Quarter Sessions, viz., Mr. John Jen- i i THE Hash "MR. 'Mattetew TECHAI?, CT_P. (See Page 1L) kins, Canal Wharf, M 118.. Mr. N. Moss, F,87 15s. 9d., and Messrs. J. Williams and Sons, L98 15s., and that the Watch Committee had accepted that of Mr. Moss.-Ald. J. Har- pur asked why the lowest tender was not ac- cepted.—The Mayor said he was told that Mr. Moss's tender was accepted because that con- I tractor was already in possession of the court, I altering it to plans, and Mr. Moss had accepted E85. The Mayor moved that the Council acoept the offer of the executors of the late Dr. Draffin to sell the surgery at Merthyr Vale, for con- version into a police station, at C52.r).-Ald. E. Morrell seconded, and it was agreed to. Aid. Wilson drew attention to the report in the Finance Committee's minutes that the General Education Committee's account was overdrawn £22,636 10s. 10d., and said he was told that £ 6,000 was due to the Corporation in grants.—Aid. Morrell said the Education Com- mittee would receive about gll,OLIO at the end of March.—Coun. Dan Thomas: The overseers do not owe anything. Coun. Marsh moved, and Ald. J. M. Berry seconded, that the present overseers be re- elected, viz., Aid. J. Harpur, R. Evan3, and Ivor Abraham, Coun. J. W. Lewis, A-. W. Honlson and Dan Thonias.-Ald. E. Morrell said he would like Coun. D. J. Lewis to be an overseer, and moved his appointment.—Coun Dan Thomas: Oh, that's too serious a matter for him (laughter).—Coun. Dd. John second- ed the proposal.—It was agreed by 14 to 13 votes that no alteration be made.—The Labour Group called for the names of those who vidted to lie recorded. The following were appointed on the Joint Farms Management Committee:—Aid. J. Har- pur, Coun. Dd. John. E. Edwards, and H. M. Lloyd. On the motion of the Mayor, seconded by Coun. N. F. Hankey, a Museum Committee was appointed to deal with the provision and maintenance of the museum at Cyfarthfa Castie. The Mayor said there would be a very interesting summer exhibition, including another loan of works of art from the South Kensington Museum. A letter was read from thfe Local Govern- ment Board complying with the application of the Corporation for powers to purchase com- pulsorily a portion of St. David s School site, and the same was received with applause.— The letter was referred to the Law and Par- liamentary Committee. A letter was read from Mr. Jackson Withers inviting the Mayor and Corpovatioh to attend the Theatre and witness a performance of "The Arcadians." The offer was accepted. Twelve tenders received for the erection of a new bridge at Aberfan wero referred to the Public Works Committee to be tabulated, with plenary powers to accept the lowest. Coun. Dan Thomas referred to the fact that tradesmen whosfe tenders were accepted had to pay 10s. 6d. for the stamp when the oon- tracts were sealed. Ho said that having regard to the fact that tradesmen "cut" prices, this seemed hardly fair.—The Mayor said the Au- ditor insisted upon a stamp being affixed to contracts for over 950. INCREASED ASSESSABLE VALUE. j Upon the minutes of the Finance Committee coming up for adoption, Coun. W. Jones re- ferred to the statement that the basis for county rate for the parish of Merthyr had been increased from L271,462 to £ 279,950.—Aid. D W. Jones said the figures were correct. The assessment of the Borough had increased, —Aid. J. Harpur (an overseer) The figures are quite correct.—Coun. Dan Thomas: Yes: the rateable value is £ 9,0C0 more than last time. THE JOINT ASYLUM. The reports of the Committee dealing with the proposed joint Asylum as Swansea, which have appeared in extenso in our columns, were referred to.—The Town Clerk report-sd that a sub-committee had met representatives of the Swansea Corporation, and the latter said they would be prepared to pay the Merthyr Corporation £ -300 a year from the rates as soon as the asylum premises proposed to be erected jointly were included in the County Borough of Swansea.—Tho Council considered this satisfactory, and the Town Clerk was in- structed to reply accordingly.—Coun. Grif- fiths: Is it arranged that we are to join Swan- set in the erection of en a-svlum?—The Mavor: Yet;. STAGE PLAYS ON GOOD FRIDAY. Upon the licence for the performance or r-tage plays at the Drill Hal! being renewed, Coun. IT. M. Lloyd said there were only three towns in the country where stage plays were allowed on Good Fridays, and he did not think Merthyr should be one of the three. He moved that in future the licence be granted on condition that r.o performances taki; place j on Good Fridays. He thought the majority of people would be in his favour.—Coun. Marsh seconded.Couu. F.-S. Simons said he did not see why people should be deprived of seeing a performance on Good Friday if they wished to, and lie moved the previous nuestion.—Coun. Dan Thomas: I hope Coun. Lioyd won't open his shop on Good Friday.—The proposition was lost. PARK FOR TRfcHARRIS. Coun. Wf L<5W)s, Treharris, proposed that the Park, Corrrhit^ee dfcal with the question of acquiring a site for a recreation ground at Treharris without further delay. He said that Merthyr had done very well. and Aid. D. W. Jones's name ought to be in)-riortalised.Ald. Morrell seconded, and said that he was cflad that Aid D. W. Jones had converted Coun. Lfcwis to see the need or public parks.—Aid. I D. \V. Jones said he l:aJ never known Mr. Lewis in a more genial mood (laughter). The j Committee weri very anxious to get open spaces throughout the Borough (applaufe). The ion wis earned. SUGGESTED INCREASE IN LIBRARy j KATE. Coun. J. Ditties (Dowlais) had given notice to move That the r.ewssary steps bo by the to a for the purposes of the Public Libraries I within the Dg.Touib qf thret halfpqjkop in the JE. The Town Cierk said an Act of Parlia- ment would be required first.—Coun. Davies: I understand that. But I have heard also that some authorities have been empowered to levy a twopenny rate.—The Mayor: I must rule you out or order unless you move that we take steps to promote an Act of Parliament.—Coun. Davies: Then I move that. He said the bor- ough was so scattered that a penny rate was totally inadequate.—The Mayor Let the mat- ter stand over until -Coun. Dan Tho- mas Until he is a member of Parliament (laughter).—Coun. Davies: Oh, that won't be very long (renewed laughter).—The Mayor: I was going to sav until later on. We may have to promote a Bill in Parliament, and this could be included.—Coun. Davies: Very well. I'll withdraw. THE LABOUR EXCHANGE. Sir William Grossman. ex-Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and Mr. Richard Bell. as representa- tives of the Board of Trade, with Mr. Davies, of the Merthyr Exchange, attended before the Corporation and asked for the assistance of the,.Council. worj £ i<efril;he,rthyi:i>i:aodj" of-,tji&'vLapoyc, 'Exc^afjg?- ) jkjjpr-. Bolhf is -» natiye -o^-McEi^iyrj at th, Outset said he was proud of the progress the old town was making. He hoped that, progress would continue, and, that 110 would live to see the day when Merthyr would have a Lord Mayor (applause). The deputation came there to ask for the Council's assistance and co-opera- tion in putting the new machinery cf the La- bour Exchange into operation, and to obtain from it the greatest possible result*. Very frequently it had occurred that when a man left his house to go and look for work he turned to the right, and got no work, whereas had he turned to the left he might have found a situation. The object of tho Labour Ex- change, therefore, was to mitigate this hard- ship, and so put an end to the sufferings caused through unemployment. They wanted men to go to the office (situated opposite t'e Town Hall), register their uam-ts. and work would be found for them as soon as possible. But this labour machine oould only operate successfully with the co-operation of employ- ers, the Corporation, and other local bodies, In various parts of the country Corporations had engaged their labour through the ex- changes, and he trusted Merthyr would do the same. Over 200,000 men had registered their names, 32,500 vacancies were notified, and 19,907 positions had been filled (hear, hear). Whatever might be done by breaking up poor law Boards of Guardians, they could do noth- ing unless they provided some machinery in its p!ace. This was a necessary social reform.— COUl). Dan Thomas: Tariff Reform.—Mr. Bell: I could argue with you on Tariff Reform but I do not suppose I should be allowed to do so at this table (laughter). We want you to make it known to workmen and employers that this exchange is open, and we want you to en- gage your labour thrpugh the exchange. Coun. Hankey: What is the relation be- tween the Labour Exchange, and the Distress Conllnitke ?-The Mayor: The idea is instead of the Distress Committee meeting and select- ing men that we should go itoross to the Ex- change and say we want so many men for road-making.—Mr. Bell: That is the main ob- ject, bu'fi for the present the best is to work hand in hand as far as possible. A Labour Ex- change cannot make work, but a Distress Com- mittee can do so. Coun. Isaac Edwards: The Distress Com- mitter takes up the most deserving cases. Un- less circumstances are taken into account you cannot help our relief committee.—Mr. Bell said that the Cardiff Relief Committee had be- come part of the Exch&nge; He agreed it did away with favouritism. Ati Exchange did not inquire into circumstances like a Distress Com- mittee did. They regn.rded all out of works as distressed.—In reply to Aid. T. J. Evans, Mr. Bell said he did not think the unemployed grant would be renewed.—Aid. Morrell: When men are found employment the Exchange does not fix the waes ?-Mr. Bell:. No, we find men tvork, *and find out for them and and tell them the wagesj>aid and the hours worked. In Mer- thyr the Corporation could fuld the work, and the Exchange would find the men. Aid. D. W. Jones. after referring to the fact that the people of Merthyr thought a great deal of Mr. Bell, who was a. Merthyr boy, said he believed Merthyr would have been over- looked by the Board of Trade had it not been for the Corporation. He assured Mr. Bell that the Parks amd Cemeteries Committee would help the Exchange all they could.—Mr. Bell said it was contemplated that advisory com- mittees; consisting of workmen and employ- ers. would be formed. He had grca.t hopes that in the future the country would not see so many wastrels. Sir Wm. Cross roan also spoke. He said he thought the Exchanges would be a great boon. At Cardiff, the Exchange had found work for many men.—The deputation were thanked for their attendance.

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! WSGAN.

MKTLAKE, S.W.

MANCHESTER. I

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