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OFFICIAL SALARIES. THE Guardians of the St. Asaph Union, in refusing the application by Dr. HEATOX, their medical officer, for an increase of salary, acted, we believe, in full accordance with the general wish of the public, and also in keep- ing with the anticipations which we ven- j tvied in a recoxit iseue. No one could be mean enough to desire that an efficient public servant should not be fully recompensed for the services which he renders. But there are always elements, other than mere efficien- cy, which cannot but enter into the reason- ings and calculations of business men when they find it their duty to discuss such a question as that which came before the St. Asaph Board of Guardians on Thursday, January 8th. There is in the first place a due regard for economy, and that regard should be an active and a potent factor on every occasion, as well in times of prosperity as in times of adversity. Guardians of the poor are also guardians of the public purse of the ratepayers. Their action in the disburse- ment of the rates should never be made under the influence of generous principles, for generosity is a virtue which should only be practised by individuals in their own private capacity and from their own personal means. The disbursement itself should be made on rigid principles of justice and necessity. No elasticity of the rules which act as guides in the spending of rates ought never be allowed, and eleemosynary acts are always, or should Or always, disallowed by the District Auditor. These remarks are equally applicable to both good times and bad times, to periods of pros- perity and to periods of depression. But when times are bad, as they are now, and when trade in its almost every ramification is depressed, and has been so for some time, it is imperatively incumbent upon those who spend the public money to be doubly watch- ful and more particularly careful of any pro- posed relaxation of the purse strings. It does not matter by what name these dis- Lbursers of the public money are called, for the principle is general, and in its application common to all. Now depression of trade lessons the power of the ratepayer to pay the rates vhich are levied upon him. In the case of many the rateable value is the same as the rental, in others the rateable value is greater than the rental, while in the case of a large number, and jnotably in the case of the aristocracy, the amount of rateable value is less than that of the rental. But in whatever of these three groups any individual ratepayer many find himself, he will also find that the single group of poor rates, highway rates, and sanitary rates amount in the aggregate to about one-sixth of his rent. The ordinary tradesman of to-day not only has to be satisfied with a lower margin of profit, but the margin of his trade is contrac ted also. In other words his trade is lessened, and the profit on any specific portion of it is also diminished. This cuts double, and plays fearful havoc with his balance of accounts, and yet he has to pay his rates as before. Surely then these are not the times to increase the salaries of officials, and the thanks of the ratepayers of the St. Asaph Union are due to Mr JOSEPH LLOYD who initated, to Mr JOHN ROBERTS, Geinas, who seconded, and to Mr ANGEL, of Denbigh, who supported the amendment, which vetoed the proposed in- crease in the salary of Dr. HEATON, the parish doctor of St. Asaph. The proposition for an increase was made by the CHAIRMAN, and the arguments, or, more correctly, the language he made use of was weak, illogical, and eleemosynary. It was a puerile conclusion to his speech, and utterly unworthy of one who has twice been a candidate for parlia- mentary honours, to say, Certainly they might get a young man to take the ppst at that salary, who would come there to com- plete his education on their poor." There are plenty of qualified Welshmen who do not need their education to be completed, and whose mother tongue is the old Cymric language, who, if they knew of the vacancy which had so unfortunately occurred at St. Asaph, would have been glad to have pre- sented themselves for the vacant post in September last. But they did not know of it, and Mr JOHN ROBERTS, Geinas, hit the right nail on the head when he said, He did not think they gave the country a fair chance when they advertised. They could get as good a man as Dr HEATON wag, and St. Asaph could support two' doctors, it al- ways had done since he remembered it." The advertisement for a medical officer should have taken a wider range, and should have been couched in terms which would have displayed the position in its several bearings. From the mistakes of the past wisdom for future action may be gathered, and so when- ever the advertisement has to be repeated the necessary correction in its form, and in its area of promulgation may be made. There is another, and a not unimportant aspect of the question of official salaries, which ought to be looked at and carefully scanned. It is of a dual or twofold nature, and the aspect may be viewed first, mentally, and then physically. First, then, for the mental one. The cost of living now is less than it was a few years ago, and the pur- chasing power of a sovereign is greater than it has been for years. This in the case of a salary fixed some years ago is an equivalent to an increase of salary, and there can be no doubt that the £80 salary of Dr HEATON will go as far, that is, will purchase as many of the necessaries of life as did the tll7 salary of Dr LODGE. This mental aspect of the question does not seem to have occurred to any of the Guardians who took part in the discussion at the St. Asaph Board, nor do we think that the following physical one did either. There is in all, or in nearly all, of the officials of the different Unions, and of the different corporate bodies of our own and neighbouring couwfties.aJftok..o £ jive]l-being, of being in the enjoyment of comforts, social and, physical, Tbis is to berejoiced at, fou no one has pleasure in gazing on a careworn face, on an attenuated form, or on a hungry look. Let these three dire appearances be ever absent, but when present it is the duty as well as the pleasure of the generous to try to effect a change. But it is not the duty of Guardians, and other representative men, to supply the means which can procure physical comforts, which may will social ad- vantages, and whose tendency is to make a man honoured, respectable, and comfortable. Blessed would be that state in which the majority of its citizens were in such an en- viable condition, but the times in which we live are not such as would sanction the extra expenditure of public money in procuring them. We do not want,and we will not have, two classes of individuais, one who starves, and one who fattens on the public money, that is, the money of the ratepayers, many of whom are poor themselves. With the advent of better times may come an increase in the salaries of our public officials, but till that much to bu desired consummation has taken place, it is the plain and unmistakeable duLy of the guardians of the public purse to practise the most rigid and inflexible prin- ciples of economy.