Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

15 articles on this Page






NOTES BY THE WAY. A good deal of practical interest in Volunteers is shown by such men as Colonel Pryce-Jones and others in keeping open the situations of the men who go to the front. Lieut II M Pryce-Jones has already taken an active part in the campaign and has earned distinction. Captain Robert Wynn is giving time, money, and personal services, and is going out to the front with the Yeomanry. The part which Sir Watkin is taking in raising a troop for service is in keeping with the honourable tradi- tions of his family. While all this in going on we can only regret that our county member should be amongst those who, while thinking the war unjust and unnecessary, are actually willing to vote funds for carrying on such a campaign. As Mr Chamber- lain said in the House this week if they considered the war unjust and unnecessary the Opposition ought to bring forward as amendment to stop it. This seems to us the only consistent course which could be adopted. The inquiries into the charities of Montgomery- shire will eventually be found to be worth the holding, if only because they will result in a com- plete record being made of the charitable bequests so numerous in the county. It is good that the trustees should be thoroughly looked up from time to time. We note that the 66 acres of land be- queathed to the Welshpool Corporation for the maintenanco of the public buildings, realise only L146 per year. This is below the average price for land in the immediate neighbourhood of the town, and it is believed that more money wO'lld be realised if, whea the land is to be let, the fact were more widely advertised. For this land to fall in value to the amount of zElOO a year in twenty years is surprising, and we think the Council might, with advantage, consider the whole matter. Again, we learn that one tenant has 36 acres of charity land, with buildings and house, for £ 12 per year. It can only be very poor land which is worth no more than 6s 8d per acre with buildings thrown in, and we should not be surprised if a re-valuation results in an increase of the rental. As we foreshadowed in a recent article, the Local Government Board have declined to sanction the loan for zE18,000 to enable the Oswestry Corporation to buy the electric lighting works for the town. There are a multitude of reasons for this action into which we need not go, but probably the strong- est was to be found in the fact that a large majority of the ratepayers were against the purchase and that the Corporation were therefore acting in oppo- sition to the wishes of the people. The confidence of the general publio was shaken at the outset, and it required exceptional circumstances to renew that confidence, and the exceptional circumstances were not forthcoming. Aberystwyth Town Council and Aberystwyth College are at loggerheads over the new Promenade. The College authorities took no action when the Local Government Board inquiry was held, but now they submit proposals which if acquiesced in by the Council will place the town in the position of subordinates to the College. The Council are, how- ever, much to blame, in electing upon the Com- mittee to meet the College authorities members of the Council who were closely associated with the College Council. Independent opinion in such matters is, of course, much the better, and if other members of the Council had been seleoted the College Committee would not have been allowed to carry such proposals. The construction of the new promenade has always been looked upon as a scheme which would be of infinite value to the College, but now the town is practioally told that it will be a nuisance and oan only be permitted under such an arrangement as practically puts the control of it in the hands of the College Council. They stipulate that no entertainments shall be given on the new promenade and that no building 1 11 be erected. As was pointed out, the College is closed during the summer months and, even if it were open during the silly season," the College Council could easily minimise the dangers of shooking the morals of the students by frosting the windows, an inexpensive item and one that would admirably serve the purpose. But whilst this would serve to keep the students pinned to their tasks, it might not find favour with the Col- lege staff, who are tried men and to whom, even in this very matter-of-fact age, a Punch and Judy exhibition is not altogether unattractive. The Town Council have sent the report back to the College Committee, and it is hoped for the benefit of both parties that nothing more will be heard of these somewhat childish and superfluous con- ditions. *#* It is reported by the keepers that the spawning season on the Dovey river has been a splendid one and the prospects for the fishing season are there- fore good. Fishing has begun on the tributaries and some excellent catches have been made. The little god who knows everything is always with us. It is well known that the men who alone can conduct newspapers successfully are all outside the newspaper world, and that our Generals in South Africa are the biggest fools it would be possible to select for the work. The bar parlours and mutual improvement debating societies vie with each other in the production of every imaginary form of hero to meet every imaginary form of orisis and, further, the finest politicians, colonial, military and naval administrators are the politicians and administrators of the pint pot and clay pipe. There are some hundreds of thousands, ranging from school boys to persons who, by changing hands in the South African game with Sir Alfred Milner, could have secured all that we wanted and much besides. The number who could have done better than Sir Redvers Buller is legion, while there is an absolute surfeit of genii who could knock Mr Chamberlain, Mr Balfour and Lord Salisbury inro a cocked hat. They know everything before it, happens, and whatever takes place finds them gravely saying I told you so." The man on the spot apparently knows not half as much as those whoare not, and those who have never seen the shores of Africa know its geography and its people, its problems and and its difficulties better than those who have been there a lifetime. The Congregational minister at home knows far more than the whole body of the Congregational Union of Natal-at least to judge by the pulpit utterances of the Rev Z Mather, of Barmouth. He has fallen into the swim of the insignificant minority and has considered a bash of foolish charges and ridiculous assertions sufficiently nutritions spiritual food for his flock. Quoth Mr Mather "The war was unnecessary and unjust, and murderous and should have been avoided." The Natal Congregational Union Humanely speaking the war was inevitable prepared for by the Boers with a view to political domination over the whole of South Africa." Canon Farmer (for the last five years in Pretoria): War was absolutely necessary and could not have been avoided. Permanent peace in South Africa is not, and was not, possible without war." Mr Mather: If it had not been for Lhe discovery of gold in that country there would have been no war. What were the Boers fighting for ? Who were fighting for freedom and righteousness ?" The Natal Congregational Union: The plea of fighting for independence has been but a blind to hide the real aim of the enormous military preparations of the Re- publics which commenced years before the disasterous Jameson raid." Mr Mather: The time would conae when the whole question would be considered deliberately, fairly, and impartially, when it would be seen who were in the right. How true were the words of the Bible that th6 root of all evil was the love of money." The Natal Congregational Union They desire to impress upon their fellow- Christians in England that the Boer ideal of government is a military oligarchy, the power being exclusively in Dutch hands; while the British ideal is based upon the equality of all white men and the humane and just treatment of the native races and they believe that this is only to be realised by the complete success of the British arms. For this great end large numbers of the Colonists of Natal, very many of whom belong to the Churches and Sunday Schools of the Union, are now fighting at the front."j The Rev Chas Phillips, for four years Congre- gational minister at Johannesburg, in the course ef an interview this week, said All denominations in South Africa, including the Anglican and Catholic, are absolutely unanimous in their views on the present war. We have been accused of advocating a bloody, racial war.' This is not true. So far from advocating war, we did every- thing in our powei to prevent it. We dreaded it; while, at the same time, we feared and believed it was inevitable." # # # # There is in addition to these quotations an op n letter from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kim- berley declaring Mr Chamberlain's indictment of the Boers to be fair. The Churchmen, Noncon- formists and Roman Catholics on the spot are therefore i Mted in their condemnation of Kruger. If Mr Mother, of Barmouth has taken a correct attitude, his fellow-Christians on the spot- as earnest and truly Christian as Mr Mather-are either born fools or idiots, or they are supporting a cause which they know to be unjust. There is another alternative which we hesitate to put for- ward, but we do so because it is one of the argu- ments used by Mr Mather, not against these Christain brethren, but against the supporters of the cause generally. What about the gold mines ? Have the representatives of Christ im the Trans- vaal, in the Free Stare, Griqualaud West, in Natal and in Cape Colony, been caught in the grip of the gold fever and -BOUGHT ? Let Mr Mather answer the question. Our columns are open to him. Mr Mather will also perhaps favour us with his ideas, as a Christian minister, on per- sonal freedom and political equality, and let ns know under what conditions, if any, he would give a vote to an Outlander. Will be, as a representa- tive of the people, give a definite unqualified answer-a Yes or a No-to the question of whether the majority or the minority sheuld rule a country. And if it should happen that the majority own three-fifths of the country and pay nine-tenths of the taxes, is their right to have a voioe in the government of that country increased or diminished ?