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WELSH MARKETS. DENBIGH, January llth.-It was a comparatively small market, considering it to be the monthly fair as well. Quotations:—Wheat, from 9s to 9s 3d; barley, 9s Od to 9s 3d; oats, 5s 6d per hobbet. Fresh butter, from Is 2j to Is 3d per tb; small tubs, Is Id to Is lid; large ditto, Is per lb. Eggs, from 12 to 13 for a Is. Fowls, from 2s to 3s 6d per couple; ducks, 5s 6d per couple. Potatoes, from 5s to 6s per hobbet. Oatmeal, 2d per lb. LLANGEFNI, January 5th. Oats, from 13s. 6d, to 14s. 6d. per quarter; potatoes, 2s. 3d. to 2s. 6d. per cwt; fresh butter, Is 3d per lb; wool, 7d per lb; fowls, 3s 9d to 4s Od per couple; ducks, 4s Od to 4s 6d per couple geese, 5s 6d to 7s 6d each. Eggs, 8 to 9 for a Is. Young pigs, 15s to 17s each; fat pigs, from 3d to 3igi per lb. RUTHIN, January 9th. Prices were as follow:- Wheat, from 9s Od to 9s 6d per hobbet; barley, 8s Od to 9s 6d; oats, 5s Od to 6s Od. Fresh butter, from Is 3d to Is 4d per th salt butter, Od to Os Od per lb fowls, 3s to 4s per couple. Ducks, 4s 6d to 5s 6d. Eggs, from 13 to 14 for a Is. Bacon pigsf, 3d per lb; porkers, 3:Fi; stores, 3Jd; and sows, 21d per lb.
FRENCH DUPLICITY IN MADAGASCAR.
FRENCH DUPLICITY IN MADAGASCAR. OUR relations with France are still far from satisfactory. There are manv dim culties on hand, and these do not look any more promising in the light of the latest Blue Book, which deals with British grievances in Madagascar. There are ominous signs of trouble with France in Siam and in China. There is the frontier question between the Soudan and the French Ubangbi to be delimited, and the controversy over the Newfoundland Fish- eries is rapidly coming to a head, when it must be settled one way or the other. Finally, the ratification of the Niger Con- vention has long been delayed, though it would be impossible to imagine a settle- ment more favourable to France in West Africa than this accords. But the French Governments, one after another, are as incapable of appreciating generous conces- sions, as they have again and again shown themselves to be unable to rise to the common honesty of fair dealing. The Madagascar correspondence is one long protest from Lord Salisbury against the injustice done to British interests under the most deliberate and flagrant breach of faith on the part of France. The story is. of course, no new one. It was told at the opening of Parliament last February, when Lord Salisbury complained of the utter disregard of the French for International equity, and he stated that no other step remained for the redress of British wrongs short of a declaration of war. The facts and sources of the controversy are simple enough. Under the Treaty of 1865 with Madagascar, British trade enjoyed perfect freedom, with duties limited to ten per cent. More than half the foreign trade with the island-the third largest in the world-was with this country, when, about fifteen years ago, the French became actively aggressive in Madagascar. In 1890 they declared a Protectorate over the island, which this country recognised on the express and written undertaking that no British rights or privileges were altered. Why we should thus have made the way easy for France, has never been apparent or explained; but no material injury was done to British trade until the autumn of 1895, when Madagascar was declared a French Colony. In the previous year, France entered upon her final war of conquest against the Hova Government, and secured the benevolent neutrality of Great Britain upon the re- iterated assurances that no injury to British interests was contemplated. Finally, she dishonourably broke these promises by an- nexation, and forthwith applied the French Colonial tariff to Madagascar. This im- posed duties of from 45 to 65 per cent. on British goods, while French trade passes free. Not content with this, a further addition was made to some of the duties last year, and other artifices resorted to, in order to extinguish British competition. In one district the Resident called the natives together and threatened them with punishment if they dealt with any but certain French firms. A pamphlet was issued by the Governor-General enjoining the people to buy only those goods bearing French trade-marks, as illustrated, and subsequently an order was issued confining the coasting trade to French vessels. All these matters are the subject of repeated protests from Lord Salisbury, who says in his despatch of last July, that if this coun- try had known of the treatment it has met with, the attitude of the British Govern- ment would have been very different. This trust in French promises-the most explicit and solemn undertaking ever given by one civilised country to another—has been wholly misplaced. As Lord Salisbury puts it in diplomatic terms, the action of France is inconsistent with our International rights, and with the repeated assurances given by the French Government. There the mat- ter rests, as Mr. Balfour once said of this question, for not one word is vouchsafed in reply to these representations. The ship- ping regulations have been withdrawn, for the reason, as gratuitously stated, that the number of French vessels available are in- adequate for the trade. But apart from this, Lord Salisbury's protests remain un- answered and even un-acknowledged, and his publication of the despatches is mockingly referred to in the French press as a wanton and vaxatious attempt to embitter the re- lations between the two countries. What the British nation feels is, that the time has come for plain speaking, and it is this ne cessity that seems to have guided Lord Salisbury in giving fresh publicity to the Madagascar scandal. The Fasboda affair was only one of many incidents that have made this country a little tired of the French policy of greed and deception, and unless this unsatisfactory state of things can be remedied by more outspoken, or by more friendly methods, it is difficult to see how the pretence of good relationships with France can be much Ipnger maintained.
, THE INEBRIATES ACT.
THE INEBRIATES ACT. rHE present week is utilized in Denbigh, md probably in other places, in endevour- ing to convince by argument, and by illus- tration, the evil of over-indulgence in in- ioxicating drink. On the 12th of August ast, an Act intended to do by legislation vhat both argument aim illustration have ailed to do in many instances, received the Soyal assent. We allude to the 'Act to irovide for the treatment of Habitual In- briates,' but which is commonly known as he Inebriates' Act. The provisions of his Act are so important, and marking as hey do a new era in the attempt to miti- gate the evils of drunkenness, that we make io apology for devoting considerable space o some of its details. The Act creates a new crime, or, to be recise, it provides a new treatment in the ase of those whom the ordinary provisions of the previously existing laws failed to benefit. Broadly speaking, the Act deals with two classes of drunkards. Its first clause enacts, that when a person is con- victed of a crime punishable with imprison- ment or penal servitude, such person may, in addition to, or in substitution for any other punishment meted out to him, be also, if it is proved that the crime of which he is found guilty, was committed under the influence of drink, detained for a period not exceeding three years in a State Inebriate Reformatory. The jury who tries the case are also empowered to say, after evi- dence on the point has been given, that the prisoner or defendant is or is not, a habitu- al drunkard. Certain forms are to be observed which we need not allude to. The other class of persons for the benefit of whom the Act has been framed, are those whose only crime is that of drunkenness. After the passing of this Act, any person who, within twelve months is fonr times convicted of drunkenness, is liable to be detained in a Reformatory for a period not exceeding three years. We will quote the section of the Act (Sec. 2) which deals with this subject, fully. It is as follows :—Any person who commits any of the offences mentioned in the first schedule to this Act (persons found guilty of crime punishable by imprisonment or penal servitude) and who within the twelve months preceding the date of the commission of the off >nce. has been convicted summarily at least three times of any offences so mentioned, and who is a habitual drunkard, shall be liable upon conviction on indictment, or if he consents to be dealt with summarily on summary conviction, to be detained for a term not exceeding three years in any certified ineb- riate reformatory, the managers of which are willing to receive him.' The marginal note to this clause explains the clause in this manner: 'Detention of habitual drunkard four times convicted of drunken ness.' It would appear therefore that if a man is convicted four times within twelve months of the crime of drunkenness, the justices may assume that he is a habitual drunkard, and treat him accordingly. We hope that our readers, and especially people who are in the habit of over-indulg- ing in intoxicants will take heed of the pro- visions of this Act. They are most serious. From inquiries which we have made of the police.in Denbigh-and Denbigh is by no means worse in this respect than other towns-we find that there are in this town at least nine persons who could be sent to reformatories for a period not exceeding three years. This is not a voluntary re- treat on the part of persons who unfortu- nately cannot break off their vicious hab- bits, but a sentence of virtual banishment, passed by the magistrates in Petty or in Quarter Sessions, as a punishment, and, it is hoped, a reformation, to the habitual ine briate. The Act provides what the Inebriate Reformatories are to be, how governed and how supported. It came into force on the 1st of January, but, it cannot be strictly enforced until the regulations recently made by tbe Home Secretary shall have laid on the tables of both Houses of Parliament for four weeks, when both Houses are in session. In three months at farthest, the Act will be in full operation.
SLINGS AND ARROWS.
SLINGS AND ARROWS. "r"r-j,J-r, IBY A YEOMAN OF THE GUARD]. I do not know what was the cause of it, whether pure accident, or mischievous de- sign, but the way some of the posters con- nected with the Denbigh Temperance Mis- sion were exhibited was laughable, to say the least of it. On Tuesday night a theatrical company occupied the Drill Hall, and pro- duced a play entitled • The Liars.' The town bad been well-billed with their ad- vertisements, and in at least two cases, these got mixed, or apparently mixed, with the Temperance posters. In the two places mentioned, the following was the case. At the top of the hoarding were the words The Liars is coming.' Underneath followed a list of the Temperance speakers I W 9 • 9 What has come of all the projects for Light Railways in this district? Have they all died of neglect? Soon after the passing of the Act, schemes for light rail- ways were as plentiful as flies in August There was going to be a light railway from Denbigh to Llansannan and Llanrwst, with a rival line from Abergele to Llansannan; from Corwen to Ceryg-y-druidion, Pentre- foelas, and Bettws y Coed; from Ruthin to Ceryg-y-druidion, and to Mold, and host a of others. Not one of the proposed routes have even been surveyed. No one hears a word about them. The Light Railways Act so far as this portion of the Principality is concerned, is a dead letter. Cannot something be done to either resuscitate some of those schemes, or to promote new ones. A vast district suffers from isolation, or comparative isolation from the rest of the world, and it is high time that steps should be takeu for opening up this district. • w w Whilst on the subject of railways, I might call attention to the inadequate way Denbigh is catered for in the matter of the issuing to it of market tickets. I shall give one instance only. Caerwys is situated between Denbigh and Mold, but nearer to Denbigh by some miles. In fact, it is within six and a half miles of Denbigh by rail, whilst it is nine and a half by rail from Mold. But the Mold people have been wide awake, and they have secured cheap market tickets from Caerwys to Mold and back. I do not find fault with the Mold people for this. But it undoubtedly militates against Denbigh. The trains are also more convenient, as now running, for going to Mold than to Denbigh. Most people do their marketing in the afternoon. If a Caerwysite comes to Denbigh by the 1.48 p.m., he will be compelled to be absent from home for 3 hours, 21 minutes. If he starts at 3.22 p.m., the time allowed him will be too little for marketing purposes, unless he waits till the 7 p.m. train from Denbigh, and that means an absence from iome of 3 hours 52 minutes. The working classes, however, must do their marketing in the evening. With the exception of Saturday nights, it is impossible to come by train from Caerwys after 3.22 p.m., and go back again. Denbigh people should seek to remedy this. They should agitate for a later train in the direction of Chester on Wednesday nights, and for cheap market tickets from stations on the Mold line.
DENBIGH. 'J-r. The Fair.-The monthly fair on Tuesday was one of the smallest held during the past year, both as regards the quantity of stock, and the attendance of dealers and buyers. Prices on the whole were lower than at the previous fair. Balls at the Asylum.-The annual Balls of the Asylum were held, the patients ball on Friday evening, at the officers' ball on Tues- day evening last. Both were very well attended. At the first, the music was sup- plied by the Asylum Band, under the leader- ship of Mr. C. M. Humphreys, and at the second by Haselden's Band. Swine Fever.-An order from the Board a Agriculture just issued, proclaims the fol- lowing districts as infected with swine fever —the Borough of Denbigh, the parishes of Llanrhaiadr, LIanychan, and Llanynys (Rural). This order will no doubt be fol- lowed up by the closing of the pig fairs in the district. During the last few weeks, I pigs have been slaughtered on several farms j in the vicinity of Denbigh, and last week I three or four valuable boars at the Hawk and Buckle had to be destroyed. Robbery at Townsend.-On Sunday night, a quantity of coal w -a stolen from the back premises of Mr. Meirion Jones' establish- ment. The thieves had also smashed a window, and had endeavoured to get into a room, but had failed, owing to a bar of iron that was placed across the window. It is to be hoped that the police will be able to arrest these unwelcome visitors. Death of a Denbighite in America.—The melancholy news reacned town on Wednes- day, of the death in America, of Mr. Moses Ellis Hughes, adopted son of the late Mr. T. ughes, joiner, and Mrs. Hughes, Yale-St. The deceased emigrated to the west some years ago. He was well-known to a large circle of friends in the town, who, no doubt, will be sorry to hear of his demise. Silver Wedding Gift.—We understand that it is intend d to purchase a powerful harmonium for use at the services held in Henllan street, C. M chapel. The bulk of the cost is borne by Mr Joseph Roberts, junior, Henllan street, as a souvenier of the twenty fifth year of his married life. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, on the sensible way adopted by them of celebrating their silver wedding, and hope that they shall also see their golden wedding. Breaking into a Wine Store.-On Tuesday night, or during the early hours of Wednes day morning, one of the plate glass windows of the Factory Place Wine Vaults, recently the property of the late Mr. J. Meredith Roberts, and now in the possession of Messrs. Salt and Co., was broken, and several bottles of brandy and beer stolen therefrom. The robbery was a particularly daring one, there being several houses in close proximity. The police are actively engaged in making inquiries into the matter We are informed that the thief or thieves had taken extraordinary precautions to prevent their operations being discovered. The stone used to smash the window had been wrapped up in linseed meal and brown paper, evidently to deaden the noise. The Gate. A terrific windstorm passed over the town on Thursday afternoon, and considerable damage to property has been caused in various parts of the town. At Gwalia Villas, which are situated opposite to the Castle entrance, the chimney of the house occupied by Mr. Hutchinson, mana- ger of the Star Tea Shop, was blown down, the debris crashing with much force through the roof, causing serious damage and loss. A large portion of the roof was also des- troyed. A chimney was also blown down in a house occupied by Mrs. Jones at Graig View. One of the windows of the 'Pioneer Drapery Establishment' in Highgate, was blown in with great force, doing consider- be damage. Other accidents of a less serious nature have also taken place. The Liars.Under the patronage of the Mayor, who was also present, accompanied by the Mayoress (Miss Tumour) an ex- cellent performance of the above fascina- ting play, by the well known dramatist, Mr. Henry Arthur Jones, was given at the Drill Hall, on Tuesday, evening, by Mr. W. Payne Seddon's Company. Undoubtedly this was one of the cleverest companies that has ever visited the town. The Liars' is a new and original comedy, in four acts, and has been acted at the Criterion Theatre, London for over two hundreds nights. Its presentation to a Denbigh audience on Tuesday night, was worthy of the high reputation which this company possesses, and we may venture to say, that a more finished performance was never witnessed in the town. Owing to the indisposition of Miss Winifred Arthnr Jones, the leading role was taken by Miss G. Darragh, who was a charming 'Lady Jessica.' Mr. Stanley Dark as Sir Christopher Deeming' proved himself an actor of great force and natural- ness. Miss Campbell as Lady Rosamond,' Miss M. Jones as Dolly Coke,' Mr. Edward Swinton as 'Freddie Tatton,' and Mr. Stan- ley Dick as Archibald Coke' acted their parts almost to perfection. The play at times was highly amusing, and, as the plot deepened, and the dfficulties of the Liars' multiplied, the interest of the audience also became intensified. The persuasive eloquence of Sir Christopher,' by which he surmounted the difficulties, and saved the honour of Lady Jessica,' and her infatuated lover, was worthy of the author, and the occasion. There was a fairly large audience present. "y
TEMPERANCE MISSION. MEETINGS AT THE DRILL HALL. During the present week, a series of meet- ¡Pg!'t were held at the Drill Hall (with the ex- 1 Tuesday eiglit, wben ;th meeting
BfGHKs—January 6th, the wife of Mr. Robert Haghea, BIRTHS. Minawel, Bala, of a twins. JONES—December 29th, at Cefneurgain, Northop, the :wtfe of Mr. Edward Jones, of a son. JONSS—January 3rd, at Bryn Clwyd, Llanelidan, the wife of the Rev. R. J. Jones, Llanelidan, of a son— first-born. JONES—January 9th, the wife of Mr. Robert Jones, j 58, New Koad, Castle, Denbigh, of a daughter. JONES—January 7th, the wife of Mr. David Jones, Gwynfa, near Denbigh, of a daughter. ROBERTS—January 9th, the wife of Mr. John Roberts, tailor at the Asylum, Tower Terrace" -Denbigh, of a son. ROBERTS—January 7th, at Caersws, Montgomeryshire, the wife of Llewelyn Roberts, M.D., of a danghter first born. WILLIAMS—January 8th, the wife of Mr. F. J. Wil- liams, 447, Old Kent Road, London, of a son-first- born. MARRIAGES. JONES—JONES—January 8th, at the Parish Ohú b, Mold. by the Rev. Evan Jones. curate. Colour Sergeant Price Lloyd Jones, of Mold, to Kathleen Jane, second daughter of Mr. William Jones, farmer, Towen Rhodwy Farm, Llandegla. MINSHALL-RICHARDS December 26th, at Ohilst Church. Birkenhead, Mr. Charles Minshall, of Birkenhead, to Emily, daughter of Councillor Robert Richards, 17, Greenfield Street, Holywell. .rRTCH-EVANS-,Tanuary 3rd, at Mount Zion, Princes Avenue, Liverpool, by the Rev. Hugh Jones (Chair man of the North Wales District), Mr. Edward Price (late of Gwernymynydd), to Miss Susannah Evans, Old Oolwyn (late of Flint). PRICE—ROBERTS—January 4th, at Moriah chapel, Llanystumdwy, by the Rev. Thomas Ellis, and before Mr. Rees Thomas Pritchard (registrar). Mr. Edward T. Prion, eldest son of Mr. James Price, Brynygarn, Henllan, near Denbigh, to Mis" Dorothy Roberts, youngest daughter of Mr. Richard Roberts, Old Mill, Llanystumdwy, near Criccietb, Carnarvon- shire. DEATHS. ARMSTRONG—January 6th, accidentally killed at the Dee Oilworks, Mr. John Armstrong, of Bridge =Street, Saltney, aged 62 years. BELLIS-January 3rd, accidentally killed through fall- ing down a rock, Mr. Joseph Bellis, of Court Lane, Rhosllanerchrugog, aged 64 years. BRISTROW—January 3rd, at Gwespyr, Miss Alice Bristrow, aged 17 years. BEvAN-January 7th, at his residence, Coleshill, Mr. Thomas Bevan, aged 70 years. DRIVER—January 5th, at 11, Holt Road, Wrexham, Sarah Elizabeth Driver, aged 27 years. EDWARDS—January 1st, at the C. M. chapel house, Manchester, Teddy, only child of Mr. and Mrs. John Bdwards, aged 15 years. EDWARDS—January 1st, very suddenly, at Pentre Ceryg, Llanferes, Mold, Elizabeth Jane, the beloved wife of Mr. Robert Edwards (registrar of births and deaths in the parishes of Llandegla, Llanferes, and Llanarmon in Yale), aged 55 years. Interred at the churchyard, Llanferes, on the following Thurs- day. FOULKES—January 10th, at New Cottages. Llanerch-Y- m6r, near Holywell, Mr. Peter Foulkes, aged 23 years. GILLETT-January 5th, at Pwllglas, Mold, Mr. Fred- erick John Gillett, aged 47 years. HUMPHREYS—January 6th, at the Union Workhouse, Holywell, Mr. Robert Humphreys, of Tower Gardens Place, High Street, Holywell, aged 73 years. HUGHES—January 6th, at Tf Mawr, Ffynnongroew, Eliza, the beloved wife of Mr. Daniel Hughes, aged 58 years. HUGREs-Janultry 7th, at Penyball, Holywell, from the result of an accident, Mr. Dorothy Hughes, aged 62 years. HuGHEs-January 9th, Mrs. Hughes, the beloved wife of Mr. Robert Hughes, Minawel, Bala, aged 29 years. JONES—January 3rd, after a long illness, Morris, youngest son of Mr. John and Mrs. Sarah Jones, Ty'nycelyn, Bryn Eglwys, Yale.1 JONES—January 12th, very suddenly, Mrs. Jones, the beloved wife of Mr. David Jones, carrier, Bala. JONEs-January 6th, at 18, Ryder Street, Cardiff, Mr. Thomas Jones (brother of Mr. John Jones, Tros-y- maes, Holywell), aged 62 years. JONES—January 4th, the wife of Mr. R. R. Jones, Exchange Stores, Corwen, of a son. IFITCRELL-.Taniiary 10th, at Market Terrace, Buckley, Anne Mitchell, aged 62 years. PARRY-January 3rd, at the Infirmary, Denbigh, Mr. Harry Parry, Cae Marian, Llandyrnog. Deceased had been sexton at Llandyrnog for 17 years and during that period had taken part in no less than a hundred and fifty interments, and witnessed over a hundred christenings. The funeral took place on Friday, and was largely attended. ROWLANDS—December 30th, at Brongain, Ty'nygroes, Conway. Winifred, the beloved wife of Mr. D. E. Rowlands, aged 31 years. ROBERTS—January 9th, very suddenly, Mr. David Roberts, Market Place (late of Pwilclai), Corwen, aged 66 years. VAUGHAN-January 4th, suddenly, at his residence at Llanfynydd, Mr. W. H. Vaughan, headmaster of the Llanfynydd Board Schools. Interred at Bodfary, January 7th. WOOD—January 4th, at Crewe, Mrs. Elizabeth Wood, formerly of Ivy Terrace, Greenfield, Holywell, aged 57 years.
- CATTLE MARKETS, AND FAIRS.
CATTLE MARKETS, AND FAIRS. BriLKENHEAD. -Agricultural Produce. -January 10. -Elay, old, 22 10s to X3 per ton; old clover, 23 to 24 5s; wheat straw, 21 6s to 21 15a ditto, oat, 21 to 21 10s; turnips, 19s; and manure, 2s to 4s per ton. LoNDo.,q. -Agricultural Produce. -January 10th.— Good supplies, and trade quiet at the following prices: —Good to prime hay, from 65s to 82s 6d; inferior tQ fair hay, 45s so 60s; good to prime clover, 70s to 100s; Inferior to fair ditto. 50s to 68s; mixture and sainfoin, 50s to 85s; straw, 26s to 38s per load. LIVERPOOL.- Wholesale Vegetable. -January 11th.- Potatoes:—Giants, 2s Od to 2s 4d main crops, 2s 6d to 3s 2d bruce, 2s 2d to 2s 8d per cwt. Turnips, 6d to lOd per dozen bunches; ditto swedes, Is 2d to Is 6d per cwt; carrots, 2s lOd to 3s 6d per cwt. On- ions, English, 5s to 6s; ditto, foreign, 4s to 4s 9d. LIVERPOOL.-St. John's Market.-January llth. Beef, 5d to 9d per lb; mutton, 7d to 9d; veal, 7d to 9d; fresh pork, 7d to 9d per lb; fresh butter, Is 2d to Is 4d per pound; ditto, salt, Is Od per lb • e??8 ner 120, lis 4d. 8 V WREXHAM, January 9th.-There was a lø.re supply of atock at the market, especially of pigs. Trade was also better, and the clearance was a most satisfactory one. The supply of beef was large, and realised fully 6d. per lb., while mutton ranged from 7id. to 8d. Pigs sold remaikably well, making from 8s. to 8s. 6d. per score lbs nd the better quality ran up to 9s. Calves sold well. rearing calves being in great demand. These fetched up to 63s. each, while fat calves made up to 95s. each. There were a nice lot of dairy cows stalled and these ranged up to £20 10s. each. DENBIGH, January 10th.—This is one of the smallest fairs of the year. Milch cows sold at from 20s, to 80s each less than at the last fair. The prices offered for store etock were only middling; but beef was a little better to selI-id. per lb. at least higher than at the December fair. There were but very few sheep in the pens. Fat wethers sold at about 3fd. per lb alive, and fat cross-bred sheep at about 7d. per lb. killed. SALFORD, January 10th.-There was an increase of 400 beasts and nearly 2,700 sheep, compared with last week's supply. Stock at market: beasts, 2,516; sheep, 9,390: calves, 96; and pigs, 50. Prices ;-Beef, from 4d to 61d; sheep, 5!d to 8d; and calves, from 4 51cl to 8d per lb. Pigs, 7s 6d to 8s per score lbs. ■BIRMINGHAM, January 12th.-Supplies were short, and trade fair. Best Herefordshire beef, from 6id to tijd per lb; other qualities, 4d to 6d; and mutton, 5d to 8id per lb. Bacon pigs, from 7a 6d to 7s 9d per 20 lm.;porkets,9s to 10s; andjsows :6s 6d, to 6s 3d per 20
. ELECTORAL REFORM.
ELECTORAL REFORM. THE question of a redistribution of Parlia- mentary seats, raises many issues. It has lately attracted a good deal of attention, and it is fully understood that the Govern- ment will take up the subject of electoral reform before the end of the present Parliament. Mr. Middleton, tbe chief Unionist agent, has recently urged the necessity for a new Registration system, and the Attorney-General stated the other day at Cranleigh that the Government would deal with electoral inequalities, re- form the Franchise, and establish the principle of one vote, one value. This, of course, means redistribution in arranging the constituences with all much about the same number of voters. The idea that this involves nothing more than a simple matter of arithmetic seems to have given rise to the rumours that the Government purposed to deal with the subject at an early date. Nothing of the kind is in- tended. When the question is dealt with, it will necessitate the revision of the whole electoral system, and that means the dissolu- tion of Parliament immediately afterwards. The ministry may go out before the summer of 1901 as a matter of tactics, but it is not at all likely, and it is scarcely possible that the Government will ever be compelled to resign by an adverse vote in the House of Commons. Therefore, whilst nothing is more probable than that the Government will eventually dissolve on a Redistribution Act, this is not likely to be attempted for two or three years yet. As regards Regis- tration Reform, there is a pretty general agreement that a clean sweep should be made of the uncertainties and numberless technical absurdities which so often impair a man's voting qualification. The suffrage should be put upon a commonsense basis, and as Mr. Middleton advocates, the Re- gistration of every qualified elector ought to be a public duty devolving upon public officials, who should be responsible for any neglect. There is not, of course, the same agreement about the abolition of plural voting, but any such plan of equal electoral I districts, as Sir Richard Webster contem- plates, almost necessarily carries with it the principle of one man only one vote. It would also mean the taking away of more than 25 of the 103 members for Ireland, as fixed by the Act of Union. According- to all the latest available returns, the popula- tion of the United Kingdom is now 40,200,000, which divided by 670, gives 60,000 persons for every member of Parlia- ment. The total number of electors is 6,488,000, or an average of 9,680 for each member. The proportion of registered electors and population is not, however, quite the same in all the four divisions of the Kingdom. Thus the electors are 16-3 per cent. of the popuiation in England. In Scotland they are 15-6 per cent., in Wales 17-2 per cent., and in Ireland 15 8 per cent. Making some allowance for these slight variations, we find that according to population, England should have 497 mem- bers, as against 465 at present. Scotland would be reduced from 72 members to 69, Wales from 30 to 29, and Ireland from 103 to 75 The nett result would be that England would gain 32 seats, of which Ireland would contribute 28, Scotland 3, Wales 1. What effect equal representation wouid have upon the two parties in Great Britain is not easy to estimate. The smallest constituency is Durham, with 2,548 electors, and the largest is Romford witb 24,911 electors, and between these two extremes they are all shapes and sizes. There are forty constituences in Great Britain, with an electorate of less than 5,000, and these at least would have to be merged into others. The greater number of the small constituencies are in England, and with very few exceptions they are all Unionist seats, so are all the nine Univer- sity constituencies, which this scheme would naturally abolish. Certainly, in the establishment of equal electoral districts, the immediate Unionist losses would not be less than those of the Liberal and Irish parties combined, but how the rearrange- ment, and the transfer of 25 or 30 seats to England would affect the next election in Great Britain, it would be impossible to tell, or even guess with any reliable guide to accuracy. It would probably turn out as broad as it is long, and no re-distribu- tion system would be a fair one, except it was framed in a spirit of strict impartiality. The largest re-arrangement was the outcome of a compromise between the two parties, and no objection can be taken to this method of settlement. The result has so far worked very well, but no one supposes that our Parliamentary system is anything like what it should be. There is no security that a majority in the country, will corres- pond to a majority in Parliament, and it is to the common interest of both parties that there should be some guarantee to this effect.
POLICE COURT. THE PLAS HEATON POACHING CASE. At the Borough Police Court on Friday afternoon, before the Mayor (Mr. E. A. Tumour), in the chair, Messrs. R. C. B. Clough, and Mr. William Mellard, Evan Bather, and Robert Thomas Jones, both of Henllan street, were charged in custody with night poaching on the Plas Heaton Estate, on the night of the 3rd inst. Both men denied the offence, and chose to have their cases heard separately. Mr. A. O. Evans appeared for the prosecu- tion, and applied that the witnesses be ordered out of court, which was granted. The charge against Bather was'first pro- ceeded with. Having opened the case, Mr. Evans called upon John Griffith, the gamekeeper, to give evidence. He said that on the previous Tuesday night, he was out netting on the Plas Heaton Estate, in company with another keeper, of the name of Robert Griffith. They started out of the house about nine o'clock. When going to the park, the other side of the Plas Heaton cover, he heard a dog barking in the warren, which was situated on the other side of the house. On proceeding there, he failed to find any body iu the warren, but in the next park, called Cae Newydd, he saw two men using the lines. He went up to them, and they ran away. He followed, and on the bank which is in the same field, there were six other men. He had a gun in his hand at the time, which was charged. He fired both charges in the air, to give the alarm to his partner. The eight men were standing on the bank before him, when one of them said in Welsh 4 where are the nets.' He recognised the voice as that of Evan Bather. Of this he was positive—absolutely certain. There was an impediment in the man's speech, and when saying the word Rhwydi,' he did not prcnounce the 'Rb,l which was the case with Bather. Bather here interrupted witness's evidence by saying that he had been blamed before jn account of this, when he was perfectly Innocent. Witness proceeding, said that the size of ;he man as well as his voice made him cer- ;ain that he was Bather. It was a starlight light, and defendant was not more than dght yards from him at the time. At this ime, the leader of the gang-Robert T. rones-shouted Here he is, let's go for him, me, two. three,' and then they all began to ielt him with stones. Robert Thomas ones, was the leader, and witness charged im. Witness here produced the nets, lines, ticks, a hat, and several large stones, which e said, were fair samples of the stones, ith which he had been pelted. If he had j i brought all the stones to court, he should' havp required a wheelbarrow. I liubert Griffiths, the next witness said he was also a gamekeeper on the estate, and corroborated the evidence given by the previous witness. P.C John Evans, Henllan, said he appre- hended Evan Bather, on Wednesday, and charged him with the offence. In reply Bather said he had not been out night poaching since he had come out of prison, some time ago. Mr. A O. Evans, said that was the case for the prosecution. The first witness for the defence was Mary Jones, servant at the the Chirk Arms. She swore that Bather was at the Chirk, fetching a glass of beer at live minutes to nine on the night in question. Cross examined by Mr. Evaas: She said that her grandmother came to ask the time, when Bather was in, and that was how she noticed what time it was. Idwal Jones, tinman, Henllan street, said that Bather and Mrs. Rush were at his shop about ten minutes past nine, asking for a loaf. Cross-examined: It was not a 'thought that Bather was there, but a fact. Mrs. Idwal Jones, the next witness called, also said that Bather called at her shop to fetch some butter and candles, about ten o'clock. John Riley, Henllan street, said Bather wa,s in Mrs. Rush's house at 8 30 p.m., and then went out. He came back about quar- ter to ten. He again left the house for a short time,, and returned before eleven o'clock with some butter and other provis- ions. At eleven o'clock, Bather bid him good night and went to bed. Mrs. Jane Rush swore that Bather was with her, at the Chirk Arms at five minutes to nine. From there they went to Mr. Idwal Jones' shop. This would be about a quarter or twenty minutes past nine, Hav- ing returned to her house, Bather went out again about ten o'clock, to fetch a pint of beer and brought home butter and provis- ions. Bather then made a statement, in the course of which he stated that he had got the blame for the Dyffryn Aled affray, with those chaps (meaning the prisoner Jones and his brother). He had not been out night poaching since he came out of of gaol William Henry Jones, the brother of the prisoner R T Jones talked just the same as he (Bather) did, and -could not pronounce the 'R.' The bench then proceeded to hear the case against R. Thomas Jones. Mr. Evans said Jones was the ring leader of the poaching gang, and it was he who shouted now for him.' The keeper knew him perfectly well. John Griffiths, the keeper, said that Jones came up close to him, with a stick, and he (witness) struck him on the forehead with the gun. He had hold of defendant three times, and at last, Jones bad him by the legs whilst the other poachers beat him. A hat was here produced, which the keepers had found after the affray, and which also was stained with blood, on a spot corresponding with that, where Griffiths alleged that he had struck Jones. The defendant here stated that he was as innocent of the offence as a new born baby. He did not deny that he was out that night, but it was in company with two other men, his brother and Bob y Big. Dr. R. James Hughes was called and said that he had examined prisoner on the pre- vious day. There was a wound about an inch long, but not very deep, in the middle of the forehead, and a bruise, on the left temple. The prisoner told him that he got drunk, and fell on the fender. Witness did not think that such a wound could be caused in such a manner-it was very improbable. The wound on the prisoner's head was a vertical one, and was quite consistent with the keeper's story. Sergeant Farrell said he interviewed the prisoner on the previous Wednesday, and asked him to account for his whereabouts between six o'clock and twelve o'clock on Tuesday night. Prisoner made a statement to the efrect, that he was out from 8 30 p.m. until six o'clock next morning with his brother and Bob y Big. Being asked by the bench whether he had any witnesses, prisoner said he had not, as he had been locked up, and had not the opportunity of calling anybody. The Chairman here remarked that Bather had also been locked up, but had succeeded in getting plenty of witnesses. After a short deliberation the bench dis- missed the case against Bather. As to Robert Thomas Jones the case had been clearly proved against him, and the list of convictions against him was rather a long one. He would be sentenced to one calendar month's imprisonment, and at the expiration of that time, must find one surety in the sum of Xio and two in £ 5 each not to so offend again for a period of twelve months. FRIDAY (to-day). Before the Mayor, Messrs. R. Owen, John Davies, William Mellard, and R. C. B. Clough. DISTURBING SALMON IN THE YSTRAD. Robert William Ellis, a young man living in Denbigh, was summoned by James Ryan, river watcher in the employ of the Clwyd and Elwy Fishery Board, with disturbing salmon when spawning in the river Ystrad on the 7th inst. Defendant pleaded not guilty. James Ryan said that on the day in ques- tion, he saw defendant with a gaff at the river Ystrad, near Brookhouse farm. He was at the time trying to gaff the fish when witness caught him. Defendant threw the gaff into the river. Later in the day, de- fendant's mother visited his house, and asked him to look over the offence, Supt. Jones proved a long list of previous convictions against defendant. The Bench found defendant guilty, and find him 21 and costs, in default, one month imprisonment. THE PLAS HEATON POACHING CASE. William Henry Jones, Bull Lane, and Robert Jones, Castle, for whose arrest a warrant had been issued, were charged with ;aking a rabbit on the Plas Heaton estate, m the night of the 3rd inst. Defendants, for whom Mr. Marston.'Mold. appeared, pleaded not guilty. Mr. A. 0: Evans prosecuted. The evidence tendered against defendants was similar to that given at the previous court agaii st Robert Thomas Jones, and Evan Bather on the previous Friday, the prosecution alleging that the two defen- dants were with other poachers OB the night in question. Evidence for the defence having: been given, both defendants were sentenced to. one month imprisonment each, with hard labour, and ordered to find security in the sum of £10, or two in X5, not to so offend again for 12 months. In default, sis month's imprisonment.