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RUTHIN GRAMMAR SCHOOL AND THE WELSH EDUCATION ACT. CHARITY COMMISSION INQUIRY. A special meeting of the Ruthin Town Council was held on Friday, for the purpose of meeting Mr. L. A. Selby-Bigge, an assistant Charity Commissioner, who desired to take the opinion of the Council with reference to the question of intermediate education in the dis- trict, which comprises 12,000 inhabitants. The Ruthin Grammar School, which is mainly in the hands of the Church of England, is man- aged under a scheme issued by the Charity Commission. The Denbighshire intermediate education scheme provides for a boys' school and a girl' school at Ruthin, and the Commis- sion now asked for the observations of the local authorities as to the possibility and desirability of the establishment of the boys' school as a competing institution with the existing Grammar School The Mayor (Alder- man Ezra Roberts) presided. It was pointed out that the Council had passed a resolution in favour of both schools, but Mr. T. P. Roberts said he was positive that many of the members at the time did not understand that it meant setting up a rival school. He had been a mem- ber of the Council for 21 years, and he was sure that the town generally was against that. Dr. Hughes said he would advocate the abandonment of the boys' school provided the governing body of the Grammar School were popularised and its unsectarian character as- surcd* Mr." Ronw said that if a new boys' school were established it would be a, scandalous waste of public money. If Ruthin were polled nine- tenths of the people would support his views. The agitation for the new school was a political thing and to show how the matter had gone so tar he might mention that although there was a considerable minority of Conservatives in the Council, that minority was not allowed to have one representative on the school govern- ing body. Mr. T. H. Roberts said it was of no use hav- ing two schools, but he thought that the fees at the Grammar School should not be higher than at corresponding intermediate schools, as they were at present. Mr. G. F. Byford objected to the two schools clashing, but, with the other speakers, he was anxious that a girls' school should be establish- ed as soon as possible. The Commissioner said the Commissioners were agreed with them as to the necessity of having a girls'. school, and the objections hither- to made to the proposals sent up were solely made on business grounds. Dr. Hughes said that the Ruthin Town Coun- cil only represented 3,000 of the 12,000 resi- dents in the district, and he thought that the District Council, which represented 9,000 inha- bitants, ought to be consulted. Mr. Bigge said he had not been instructed to see the District Council, but no doubt if they wished to give him their views they could do so in writing. Dr. Hughes said it was not right that the representatives of 3,000 of the 12,000 in the district should speak for the whole district. He believed the District Council had already passed resolutions in favour of the whole scheme. Mr. Byford said he knew many of the farm- ers in the surrounding district who sent their boys to the Grammar School, and he believed they were quite satisfied with the way in which the school was managed. As was stated the day before by the Mayor at the meeting of the Grammar School governors, the present school would be acceptable to the Nonconformists of the district provided there was some alteration in the governing body. The Mayor That is the point. Mr. John Roberts asked Mr. Bigge for his interpretation of clause 7 of the scheme, which he held gave them no option but to establish two schools at once. The Commissioner declined to answer the question. What he wanted to know was, what objections were there to the present school ? Mr. John Roberts said that, speaking for himself, one objection was to the practice of the Governors of holding their meetings in private; also that the Nonconformists of Ruthin and Lianelidan, which area was orig- inally intended to be benefited, were grossly under-represented on the Governing Body. Mr. T. J. Roberts said that he could i-peak of the school as he knew it ten year? and he could say that they drilled into him the Catechism by means of which he was induced to utter falsehoods, and that certainly went against his conscience. He had dogmas and tenets drilled into him that were most certain- ly repugnant to him and to his religious views. Moreover, the education afforded was imprac- tical, and there was not the modern element of first class schools. Dr. Hughes said he did not want to be associated with the views expressed by Mr. T. J. Roberts. There was not now any grievance, either as to the religious question or as to the character cf the teaching. He did not think that Mr. Roberts's remarks should be taken as the view generally entertained among Noncon- formisbs. Mr. T. J. Roberts: It is to a large extent, sir. Dr. Hughes said that, since they were trot- ting out grievances, the chairman of ttlfe Gram- mar School Governors had stated in a pamphlet circulated round the country that it was his avowed intention to get the school converted into a purely Church of England school, and that had been the cause of a great deal of ill- feeling. Mr. T. J. Roberts said he was making certain of his facts by speaking of the school as he knew it, but it was the genera] opinion of Nonconformists in the town that a particular aspect of religion was taught in that school. The Commissioner asked Mr. Roberts whether he had ever claimed the advantages of the conscience clause. Mr. Roberts said he had not, nor had his parents, so far as he knew. The Commissioner said he did net think that the son of Nonconformist parents who had not claimed the protection of the conscience clause was entitled to say that he had grievances, be- cause lie was taught th* Church. Catechism. Mr. T. J. Roberts. On two occasions I was orced to go to church. Mr. T. P. Roberts: Well, that was a sin (laughter). The Mayor said the scheme was not well- known in the district, and that was the reason why the Governing Body should be entirely remodelled, so that each community in the dis- trict might be represented, and better arrange ments should be made for securing an equality amongst the boys of all denominations. Mr. Rouw said that if the Governing Body of the school were remodelled it would be sub- ject to the same treatment as the county school governing body, which was comprised almost entirely of one party. Mr. John Roberts: I am rather surprised at those remarks of Mr. Rouw, for he knows per- fectly well that only last Monday of all this Council unanimously re-elected a Liberal Unionist to represent them on the Governing Body of the Grammar School, and that the Chairman of those Governors is determined, so far as he possibly can, to prevent the elec- tion of any Liberal or Nonconformist on that body. The Commissioner said that political or religious considerations were irrelevant. Mr. John Roberts: I quite concur; but I think it is only right that you should know the whole of the facts. Alderman Edward Roberts said that the reports of the examiners of the Grammar School were never published, and he thought they should be. The ^Commissioner said he was making a rather minute examination of the educational work of the school, and was examining the reports pretty carefully. The proceedings closed with a vote of thanks to Mr. Bigge, who pointed out in reply that he was there to get information only, and he could in no way bind the Commissioners by any remark he had used.