Town Council Committees. FIRE BRIGADE.—FRIDAY Present: Councillors T. E. Salmon (chairman) D. C. Roberts (mayor) R. J. Jones, and Alderman David Roberts. The Chairman stated that the object of the meeting was to take steps to get a new fire brigade instead of the one that had resigned.—The Mayor said he was present at the fire on Thursday night saw how the men worked, and was very satisfied with the manner in which Mr. Rees Jones, the borough surveyor, the police and other volunteers of the town had carried out their work, and tackled the fire. They had great pleasure in pro- posing that a new fire brigade should be at once formed.—Councillor R. J. Jones stated that he also heard a very satisfactory report of the way the men worked. He was very pleased to hear that the Mayor and the Chairman were present, though, they had no brigade, but they left the work in the hands of Mr. Jones who carried out the work in a very satisfactory way.—The Chairman stated that he was very sorry he could not call a meeting prior to the fire, as under the circumstances he was compelled to be from home for the last few weeks. He further stated that they wanted a man of experience and who understood the work to act as captain.—The Mayor said he would be very pleased to ask the Chief Constable to undertake the duty of captain of the brigade, and as he could select some young men, and the police he would recommend the Council to apply to the Chief Constable to accept the duty of captain.—Councillor R. J. Jones said he had great pleasure in seconding. They could not make a better selection, the Chief Constable understood discipline well, and to have him as captain would be a great advantage.—Alderman Roberts said he thought it a very wise proposal, and thought that they were going the right way about it. He was not at the fire, but heard that the surveyor and his volunteers had done their work satisfactorily, and as to appointing the Chief Constable a captain he thought they coould not choose a better one.—Mr. Rees Jones, borough surveyor, thanked the committee for their kind words, and he thought it a right step to appoint the Chief Constable. He himself would render every assistance in the meantime. He said he had only employed four persons, and he hoped that the committee would pass the bill, which was as follows:—James Evans, 6s. 6d. D. Edwards, 6s. 6d.; J. Humphreys, 5s. 6d,; E. Evans, 5s. 6d.—The Mayor proposed that the bill be paid and should be submitted to the Insurance Company.—The Chair- man proposed that a vote of thanks be passed to the police and others who had assisted, and he noticed that three of the old brigade men were present and had worked well and hard, namely, Michael, Jones, and Davies, they assisted in a most creditable manner.—Councillor R. J. Jones seconded, and the vote of thanks was then passed. HARBOUR COMMITTEE.—MONDAY. A meeting of the Harbour Committee was held at the Corporation Offices on Monday evening. Present: Messrs. Robert Doughton (Chairman), E. H. James, D. Roberts, T. Doughton, I. Hopkins, and J. P. Thomas. Alderman Doughton produced a letter from the Bailiff of the West Sea Fisheries requesting permission to place copies of the byelaws and an admonitory notice as to crab-catching, &c., in the harbour.—It was resolved that the request be granted. The circular letter from the Board of Trade enclosing a return of the number of deaths in connection with harbours, and asking for the Council's observations, was submitted by the Town Clerk. It affirmed that 137 deaths occurred during the past year in connection with gangways 27 through no protection on the sides of docks, and 59 from other causes. The Town Clerk pointed out that this matter really referred to large ports like Cardiff, where there were a number of gangways. Alderman Doughton: We have a gangway, and I should say that the Corporation should go to the expense of fencing its front wharf to the river. Should a person fall down and break his neck, we should 4Q liable,—The Town Clerk explained that this is not so. A long as they allowed the steps J.0 remain as they were they would not be liable, but if they put up something, and an accident happened through that getting out of repair, then they would be liable. Councillor Thomas sug- gested that the Corporation should place a chain along the Quay so that any person falling over might have something to hold to. The matter was allowed tq drop without anything definite being settled. PUBLIC WORKS. A meeting of the Public Works Committee was afterwards held, Alderman Peter Jones presiding. There was also present:—Messrs. T. Doughton, E. H. James, R. Peake, 1. Hopkins, R. Doughton, D. C. Roberts, and J. P. Thomas. A circular letter was read from the Mayor of Stoke- on-Trent, with reference to a scheme providing fur the formation of a mutual insurance association confined to Municipalities and District Councils for the purpose of meeting claims of injured workmen and others, under the Workmen's Compensation Act, the Employers' Liability Act, and at Common Law. The letter explained that the insurance would not be confined togas works, as was originally contemplated, but be made applicable to all work- men employed by municipalities and district councils, and a premium not exceeding 3s. per cent. on their wages, was considered sufficient. It was intended to hold a conference in London.—The Chairman remarked that it would be a satisfaction to be relieved of their obligations under the above Acts by so small a payment.—The Mayor suggested that the Town Clerk be instructed to reply that the Corporation regarded the scheme favourably, and this was agred to.-A letter was submitted from Mr Hugh Hughes, clerk to the Rural District Council, saying that the inhabitants at Llanbadarn desired to have a supply of water to their houses by means of surface pipes, and asking if the Cor- poration had any objection, provided the project was satisfactorily carried out. The Chairman remarked that the great point to consider was that the Corporation would lose half a dozen customers that contributed as much as the whole village would pay if the request was granted. The minimum charge on the District Council would be £26 a year; they were receiving two-thirds of that from two or three customers already, so that in granting the request they would be reducing their revenue, at the same time the District Council, as the water authority for that district, should have entire control.—The Town Clerk We ought to put it to them that if they are going to have these concessions the terms should be re-arranged.—The Surveyor mentioned that some of the inhabitants had infringed the water rights by connecting a private supply to the houses from the main with- out the Council's consent.—The application was not favourablv entertained, but the Chairman remarked that if the District Council brought forward a well- defined scheme it would be considered.—The circular letter had been received from the National Telephone Company, relative to wayleaves, Aber- ystwyth being one of the boroughs in the Company's schedule.—The Chairman said they had got the power to apply to the Post Master General to have a scheme of their own.—The Town Clerk was in- structed to make inquiries as to regulations, &c.- Alderman Doughton asked how they stood with regard to the harbour railway. What, he asked, were they going to do about the matter. He thought it was time to proceed with the construc- tion of the railway. It would be a revenue to the harbour and a great saving to those who had to bring down material to be shifted off.-In the course of discussion that followed it was pointed out that the question would be whether after the Corporation had constructed the new siding, the Corporation would run their trains from the pre- sent terminus without any further charge.—The Chairman said the Committee should inspect the plans and specifications prepared by the surveyor for carrying out the necessary improvements. They ought to have their position with regard to the Railway Company clearly deferred.—The matter was deferred.—Mr. Lewis, Great Darkgate-street, attended, and wished to lay before the Committee a serious grievance with regard to the drainage of his house." Two years ago the drain to his and Mr. Edwards' (neighbour) house was not connected with the main drain but with an old sewer. They were then occasionally troubled with an overflow, and the Surveyor's attention was called to it." If the thing was bad before it was ten times worse now."—The Surveyor said he had fixed a syphon between Mr. Lewis's drain and the main drain in accordance with the bye-laws and the instructions of the Local Government Board.—Mr. Lewis said when the syphon was filled, his cellar, being lower than Mr. Edwards, "was full before they knew what had happened."—The Surveyor said there was only one connection for the two houses.—The Chairman: Did you experience this overflow only on the occasion of the rccent storm.—Mr. Lewis No, we have had it before-Mr. Roberts The diffi- culty arises through the syphon being choked up. —The Surveyor said this had been made similarly to others in fhe town, and there was no remedy. —Mr. Lewis: I understand its a general complaint in the town. The only remedy is to remove the syphon.—The Surveyor said it would be a contra- vention of the bye-laws to remove the syphon. He p superintended the drain when it was made, and he did not know of a reniedy.-The Surveyor was instructed to inspect the drain and report to the council.—Mr. Isaac Hopkins next brought forward a complaint. In 1894 he said the council tried to come to an arrangement with him to raie the roadway at the bottom of Custom House-street. They would not give him the lease of the house if he did not, allow them to do so. In 1895 he agreed, but the road was now higher than 'the footpath, and on the occasion of the recent heavy rain, the water running down from Custom House- street and South-road overflowed into his shop which was simply flooded. The consequence was that a good deal of damage was done through the council having done wrong by him. He did not think they had a right to raise the road higher than the footpath, and so allow the water to run into his shop.—Mr. Roberts: This flooding hap- pened in a dozen places in town. Custom House- street was like a river. There was such an extra- ordinary fall of rain that no drains would have taken the water.—Mr Hopkins: But this is through the road having been raised higher than the foot- path, and if there's an overflow of water it runs into my shop instead of away. This has happened to my shop half a dozen times, and I have told the council of it many times. It is not right that I should suffer all this.—The Chairman reminded Ir. Hopkins that the Surveyor had been authorised to secure additional pulleys, so as to have an increased number to intercept the flow from Custom House-street.—Alderman Doughton No amount of gulleys will do. It came down my street like a river.—Mr Hopkins: But it never entered my shop before the council raised the roadway.—Mr. Peake: It used to run out of your shop on to the street (laughter).
♦ Fire at Aberystwyth. FIRE BRIGADE WANTED. The Skin-preparing Works and Wool Stores in Mill-street, adjoining the Steam Laundry and Elec- tric Light Works, owned by Mr. A. J. Watkin James, of Dolybont, were the scene of a fire on Thursday evening. The outbreak, which occurred about midnight, would not have caused much ex- citement but for the proximity of the large gas- holder erected by the Aberystwyth Gas Company, and the consequent possibility of an explosion. In the upper storey was the office of Mr. Hopkins, Mr. James's Aberystwyth buyer, who left about seven o'clock, whilst Mr. Wm. Parry, Mr. James's skinner, did not leave until half-past nine, when everything was safe. The outbreak was first noticed by a U.C.W. student (staying at Mr. Ellis, coal mer- chant, Mill-street), who lost no time in giving the alarm at the Police-station. P.S. Phillips promptly attended to the call," by sending P.C. Rowlands for Mr. Rees Jones, the borough surveyor, and P.C. Charman, for Mr. David Edwards, the turn- cock. It will be recollected that the Borough Surveyor, on the resignation of the Fire Brigade some time ago, was directed to make temporary arrangements for dealing with outbreaks of fire, pending the organisation of a Brigade, The hooter at the gas works warned the inhabitants that danger was afoot, and P.S. Phillips and Evan Evans, one of the Corporation carters repaired with all haste to the Fire Brigade station in Smithfield Road, where to get at the appliances they had to force an entrance, owing to the keys being, goodness knows where. The reel was brought out, taken to the scene of the outbreak, and attached to the hydrant. Fortunately there was as plentiful a supply of water as one could desire, but when it was turned on, it was discovered that the hose had seen its best days, the water gushing forth in all directions, and some time was lost in supplanting good lengths for the defective ones. The fire, which had by this time got a good hold of the eastern side of the building, was now being watched by a big crowd, which included Mr. Peake, the late Captain of the Brigade, County Councillor T. E. Salmon, Chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee, the Chief Constable (Mr. Howell Evans), and other influential townsmen. The flames were being "played on" with a will within fifteen minutes of the alarm, among those assisting being Messrs R. Davies, W. Michael, W' Jones, and R. Worthinghton (members of the late fire brigade) Mr. J. Rae, police officers, several engine cleaners from the Railway Station, Corpora- tion workmen and others, and in 20 minutes the fire was got under, and in another half-an-hour entirely extinguished. The property was insured. The fire will not interfere with the working arrangements of the firm.
CHURCH NEWS. The offer of £5,000 made by Sir W. H. Wills M.P., to the Bristol Congregational Council, on condition that a sum of E15,000 be raised for church extension, has been the means of creating much interest in the movement in that city. The local effort has now reached close upon P,14,000, and only an additional £1,000 is required to secure Sir W. H. Wills's generous gift. THE NONCONFORMIST POLITICAL COUNCIL. The Executive of this Council has held a meeting in London, Mr. R. W. Perks, M.P., presiding. It was resolved to hold the conference and demon- stration in Cardiff in the first week of November. The following resolution was unanimously passed in reference to the adoption by the Liverpool School Board of the Evangelical Free Church Catechism and part of the Church of England Catechism as a manual for religious instruction in the Board schools of that city:—"That the Executive of the Nonconformist Political Council protests against any formulary issued by Nonconformists as a statement of their distinctive views being taught in the Board schools, and protests with equal earnestness against the Church Catechism being used for Board school instruction. The Council considers that the use of such formularies would be a gross violation of the Cowper-Temple clause of the Education Act, and it calls upon the members of the Liverpool School Board, the head teachers of the schools, and all lovers of a fair and upright policy in the city to do what is in their power to prevent effect being given to the deplorable resolution of the Liverpool School Board, which was carried only by a bare majority of the members." The Rev. Gwvnoro Davies, of Bar- mouth, was elected a corresponding secretary to the Council to act in the Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wales. Other important matters were also taken into consideration.
WALES IN LONDON. A movement is on foot in the city among our countrymen to form a London United Welsh Choir to compete for the chief choral prize at the forth- coming Eisteddfod at Newcastle-Emlyn. There should be no difficulty in organising a splendid band of trained singers-especially so for this event, as the percentage of London Welsh from the neighbourhood of Newcastle-Emlyn is very large. Last Sunday the Baptist Church worshiping at Castle-street held its Midsummer Flower Services. At nine o'clock in the morning a Zenana Missionary Breakfast was held, and at ten a Christian En- deavour meeting. A largely-attended Sunday School meeting was held, under the presidency of Mr. Wm. Jones, M.P. In the evening the pastor, the Rev. R. Ellis Williams, delivered a special sermon for the young. Mr. John Thomas, harpist to the Queen, at his annual concert at St. James's Hall on Saturday, again secured the co-operation of a large number of his pupils. Twenty-five lady harpists, indeed, took part in no fewer than four pieces, and with some flutes and other players likewise accompanied the singing by lady students of the Royal Academy of Music of a couple of effective part songs by Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Mrs. Mary Davies and other artists appeared, and Mr. Thomas himself played three of his own pieces. + 81< Rarely, even for London, has the wealth, beauty, and talent of nations been concentrated in the! cause of charity as it was in the Albert Hall on Wednesday. Happy indeed is the Charing Cross Hospital in having so active and august a patron as the Duke of Coburg, to whose interest must largely be attributed the extraordinary brilliance of the personnel of the bazaar. Every nation was repre- sented by a stall presided over by exalted persons. Wales was duly installed among them, and there; were present among its sponsors the Duchess of Wellington, Countess Carrington, Lady Llanoattock, Lady Aberdare, Lady Windsor, Lady Eva Wyndham- Quin, Lady Florence Bourke, Lady Lettice Gros venor, Lady Marjorie Carrington, the Hon. Gladys, Rice, the Hon. Alice Douglas-Pennant, Mrs. Brynmor Jones, Mrs. Asthurst Morris, Mrs. Francis Brenton, Mrs. Alexander Warden, Miss Mabel :Kill, Miss Bourke, Miss Knollys, and Miss Dillwyn Llewelyn. Miss Hill, the secretary of the Welsh Industries Association* said that, as in the case of the other stalls, the products of Wales entirely monopoliser the stall. Among other things offered for sale were, Welsh flannels and dress stuffs, pottery frbm Ewenny and Llanelly, jugs, wassail bowls, baskets, coopered jugs, plaited string stools from Lampeter, leather-work blotters, etc. The stall itself was distinguished by a red, white, and blue canopy, exactly resembling the English stall in this respect, and was neighboured on the left by Egypt, and on the right by Canada, the other countries having stalls being Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, India, Japan, Belgium, Austro-Hungary, Italy, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, and America. In charge of each stall were the most distinguished of the aristocracy of each country in London, making the bazaar the great social event of the season. Among others near the Welsh stall were Lord Aberdare, Lady Hill, and Mr. Owen Llewelyn of Clevedon. The Baroness Patti-Cederstrom had not arrived. It is confidently expected that the bazaar, which, as stated, is in aid of Charing Cross Hospital, will turn out a grand success. -.j,- t
LAND TENURE IN WALES. THE REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION. In the House of Lords on Friday, the Earl of CARRINGTON called the attention to the subject of land tenure in Wales and Monmouthshire, and asked whether it was the intention of her Majesty's Government to initiate any legislation on the subject. He said that in 1892 the Welsh landlords, asked for a Royal Commission, which was refused by Lord Salisbury. In March, 1893, a Liberal Government appointed a Royal Commission to inquire into the conditions and circumstances under which the land in Wales and Monmouthshire was held, occupied, and cultivated. It was generally considered to be a very fair Commission. Lord Kenyon and Sir John Llewellyn, two of the best landlords in Wales, represented the landlords interest: Mr. Griffiths (Pembrokeshire) and Mr. Richard Jones (Montgomeryshire), two of the most respected farmers in Wales, represented the tenant farmers, and the remaining members were Mr Brynmor Jones, Q.C., M.P. (a Welshman), a County Court Judge, well acquainted with Welsh life generally Mr. Grove, chairman of the Monmouth- shire County Council; Principal Rhys, of Jesus College, Oxford and Mr. Seebohm, the well-known writer. He (the speaker) was chairman. The Committee was occupied in its labours for three years, during the whole of which time the members worked very harmoniously and very hard. They sat 80 times in Wales for the purpose of hearing evidence (on 23 occasions in courts, on account of the large number of witnesses anxious to appear before them), and 19 times in London, and they had 45 private meetings. In all 1,100 witnesses were examined. Two landlords' protection societies watched the landlords' side of the case. No tenants' organisations for the whole of Wales were formed, but local committees of tenant farmers were formed in most districts. They had the sympathetic assistance of the vernacular press, and everywhere they received the greatest kindness, civility, and hospitality. They were at once struck with the good management and liberality of many of the big Welsh landlords. Their report, which had been criticised as being too voluminous, was divided into two parts. The first book presented a general view of the conditions and circumstances under which land in Wales and Monmouth- shire was occupied and cultivated, with a history of land tenure in Wales. This portion of the report was compiled by all the Commissioners, and was a valuable description of the customs of the Principality in matters relating to agriculture and the farm, and it was, as a matter of fact, accepted ali a great authorative work, and would, he believed as time went on, become more and more appre- ciated. Book two contained the conclusions and recommendations of the Commissioners as to legis- lative and administrative action. There was, first, the report of the majority, and, eastly, the summary of recommendations, which was signed by all the Commissioners, which therefore constituted the unanimous report of the Commission. It was only of this unanimous report that he wished to speak. He would only trouble the House with four of the eleven recommendations which it contained. The first of these was that Wales required separate legislation. The words of the report assented to by all the Commissioners were these:—" We think that the circumstances disclosed in regard to Wales by our inquiry urgently call for legislation, and that it would be expedient to deal with the case of Wales in a separate bill." Again, in an- other paragraph, the minority said:—" We are fully sensible that they may nevertheless be economic differences between the agricultural pro- blems of the two countries requiring careful con- sideration." This had been denied, but he could only say that those who denied that Wales differed from England were divided into two classes-those who had very small powers of observation and those who had lived in England and not in Wales, or vice versa. The second recommendation was as follows:—" In cases of the death of the estate owner or of the sale of an estate the tenant should be protected by law in the occupation of his farm at the old rent for three years, instead of one year as at preset lie fulfilled certain condi- tions." OL course the conditions that must be ob- served were the punctual payment of rent and a proper cultivation of the land in a husbandlike manner. There might be objections to this recom- mendation, but he would like to call attention to how estates were sold in Wales. When it had been decided to put an estate into the market one year's notice to quit to every tenant was invariably given, and often the estate had been revalued, with a consequent rise in the rents. Notice to quit was given at Michaelmas, and the estate was generally put up the following June when the auctioneer was able to say to intending parties-" If you purchase you have a perfectly free hand, for you may con- tinue tenants at the old rent, you may raise the rent if you please, or you may get rid of the tenants within three months and put in your own men, or farm the land yourself." Then the tenant must go, and all the conpensation he would get would be under the Agricultural Holdings Act, which it was generally acknowledged was not worth the paper it was written on. Their proposal was that when an estate owner died, or when it was necessary that an estate should be sold, the tenant should be entitled to remain on his farm for three yeas from the date of the sale at the old rent, so as to give him time to look round, to provide himself if necessary with a new occupation, and so avoid nosing the entire fruits of his industry, This proposal the members of the House would find was recommended by the whole of the Commissioners. The third recommendation was: In the event of the tenant giving notice to quit with the view, say, of getting his rent reduced,'though he might afterwards make arrangements with his landlord to go on with his farm, or in cases of readjustments of rent by the landlord, there should be constituted fresh lettings. and the tenant should be compen- sated for the improvements up to that date under the Agricultural Holdings Act. This secured the reform for which tenant farmers throughout Great Britain had fought so long-compensation to the sitting tenant. On any rearrangement of the terms of the tenancy all that the tenant had done would be allowed for before the new rent was fixed Notice to quit should be given for specified reasons only, such as non-payment of rent and non- compliance with the terms of agreement, and if given for any other reason the tenant should re- ceive compensation for disturbance, in addition to compensation for his improvements." It was gen- erally asserted that in Wales there were no such things as eviction, but he would quote one instance that struck him very forcibly. A Mr. Jones stated the following case:—His father, Elias Jones, of Tanycastell farm, was the occupier of a farm within sight of Snowdon, in the parish of Dolwyddelan, which his family had occupied for over 500 years. He altogether held three farms, on one of which stood the old castle of Dolwyddelan, a picturesque spot in which tradition said Prince Llewellyn him- self was born. It was acknowledged that the farmer had built the house and all the walls, and had reclaimed land on the mountain side. He had fallen foul of the parson. He had voted In the Liberal interest in 1868, and was promptly given twelve months' notice to quit by his landlord, who turned him out of his house and home, and conse- quently he had to seek a resting place elsewhere. The man who had recited that story had said to him Mr. Chairman, the man who did this cruel thing was your own uncle, Lord Willoughby d'Eresby." That was the only one of many similar instances. In the same year 1868, tenants of a whole district in Cardiganshire were evicted for voting contrary to the wishes and proclivities of their landlord. That was 20 years ago, and he was told that such things did not happen now, but no wit- ness attempted to palliate or deny the injustice and cruelty of these evictions, and the evidence showed that the memory of that iniquity rankled with a bitterness which had little diminished with the i lapse of time. The landlords might have forgotten, but Hot so the evicted tenant. Was it true that tenants had not been cleared off their farms during more recent times ? In Denbighshire a Mr. Pechin had bought a propert y 20 years ago, when there were 25 tenants on the estate, but at the present moment out of these 25 thete were only four left. Only those with a knowlege of Welsh customs and conditions of farming could estimate what the statt of feeling was which existed in consequence of these occurrences. He thought he had said enough on that point, but if necessary he could give many other instances of people being turned out of their farms unjustly. There was one further point to which he would like to draw attention—a point referred to in the minority report of the Com- missioners. In cases of something like a general dispute oh an estate between the landlord and the tenants as to the rents or the conditions of tenancy the minority recommended that the Board of Agriculture should appoint a mediator to bring about, if possible, a friendly settlement," but according to their proposal he was not to have any Csmpulsory powers, so that after taking immense trouble in the matter his advice might at the last moment be rejected by either party or by a few refractory tenants. This, in reality, meant an optional Land Court. These suggestions, coming as they did from Conservative land-lords, made it very plain that the necessity for an inquiry as to how land was held and occupied in Wales was very urgent, and that drastic changes in land tenure were imperative. On the question of the land court he would like to say a word. He had made it a practice on his estates when any dispute had arisen as to rents to refer the question to an independent arbiter, agreed to by both parties, and his decision was final. That custom, he believed, had also been adopted on Lord Kintore's estate, in Aberdeeshire, and worked with the happiest results. Hehad a tenant who began farming on his family's estate 50 years ago, and who had suc- ceeded so well that now he spent £5,000 a year in wages, and occupied four or five farms in North Bucks. That tenant had complained of his rent, and said it must be materially reduced. The J question was referred to an eminent valuer at Bedford, who went carefully into the matter, and reduced the rent P-100 a year. This the tenant had cheerfully accepted. In the case of another tenant who farmed 800 acres, who had complained of his rent being too high, an independent valuer had increased the rent by exactly the same amount as the previous decrease. These instances showed that landlords had no cause to fear independent arbitration. He had to thank the peers present for giving him that opportunity of laying before them the unanimous recommendations of the Roval Commission, as he had so imperfectly attempted to do, and he bad only only one more word to say in conclusion. When he had mentioned his intention of bringing the matter before them he was asked over and over again what was the use of doing so. People had said, The best that you can expect is that the matter will be dismissed with contemptuous indifference. If you bring in a bill it will be thrown out by an enormous maioritv. and at the same time you will afford an opportunity for opponents of any land reform whatever to hold up the Royal Commission to ridicule and to represent it is an ignorant, unfair, and partisan body created for the sole purpose of attacking property in general and the Welsh landlords in particular." He had no fear of that, for thirty years' experience of that House had taught him that the great majority of the peers were always disposed to treat any proposals for the uplifting of the community with patience and consideration, how- ever distasteful or unpopular they might be to some members of the House. Besides, public opinion on land questions was advancing by leaps and bounds, Every member of the Opposition front bench in the Commons two years ago voted or paired in favour of Mr. Vaughan Davies' bill to establish a Land Court, and, what he thought was more important, still, the Conservative candidate for East Denbigh- shire at the by-election, having the support of the whole Unionist party-of every parson and of every squire,-pub-icly pledged himself, if returned, to brin? in a bill embodvinfr tnp nTiammrma ro. commendations of the Welsh Commission. He honestly believed that these recommendations, if carried into law, would do no harm to landlords, whilst they would give security and confidence to hundreds of farmers, whose families had for many hundreds of years been building houses and walls and reclaiming land higher and higher up the mountain side, and whose only prayer and hope was to be allowed to remain in peace in their old homes, in the land of their fathers-the land they loved so well.—(Cheers.) The Duke of ARGYLL thought it possible that, burdened as he was with the enormous work of Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, Lord Salisbury might not be aware of all the facts which bore upon this question. In the first place. the question was nothing less that an inquiry whether the Government was prepared to bring in a new Irish Land Bill for the Principality of Wales. At this period of the session the only answer to such a question must be in the negative, and as to the prospect of legislation in a future session, surely they could not expect the Government to make a statement now. He wished to put before the House some facts connected vith the Welsh Land Commission which had struck him very much. Earl Carrington had dwelt on the ex- cellence of the Commission and the worthy men on it, and he had spok-ii of it as a body of very great authority. In one sense he fully admitted that, but in another sens he disputed it. He desired to take that opportunity of protesting against legis- lation by a Commission, whose report was always a foregone conclusion. What happened was this. A Government found some portion of the community anxious to get something from their neighbours which the Government were not prepared to give, and they said, Oh, we shall issue a Commission," —(Loud Opposition Cheers). This Commission was for the most part composed of men of strong opinions. It was interspersed by a few men of more moderate views, and one or two landlords were put on just to preserve appearances. The Commission issued its report, and so far as the report dealt with facts it was ligitimate enough' but it also dealt with recommendations of the most fundamental character, altering, perhaps, the whole constitution of society. For that work such men as composed this Commssion were not competent; indeed, it would require such men as the framers of the American Constitution on the Commission. With the exception of Earl Carrington, who had discharged every public duty to which he had been called in the most admirable manner, there was but one man who had ever been heard of or would ever be heard of outside that Principality, and that was Mr. Seebohm,the well known author (hear, hear). He would like to know how many of the members of the House had read the report of the Commission, which, with the evidence, filled 5,700 closely printed pages. He did not say there was very use- ful information in the report. One of the pages,, for instance, gave the price of the skins of all the wild beasts in the tenth century (laughter). He did not quite see the bearing of that on the ques- tion of land tenure. There were some remarkable facts in the report which did not tell in the direc- tion of Earl Carrington's recommendations. Why should they be urgedto this hasty legislation when Wales had been less affected by agricultural dis- tress than England ? Then the improvements in Wales were all done by the owners, as in Scotland. —(Earl Carrington: No, no). At any rate, as a rule they were done by the landlord, and not by the tenant. What an immense difference that made in the whole state of things. Many of them, when exercised about despoiling the Irish land lords of a great part of their property, always salved their consciences by saying: Oh, you must remember that in Ireland all improvements are done by the tenant." They could not say that in regard to Wales. Another striking fact which went far to show that there had been little distress in Wales, was that there were no vacant farms, (hear. hear). In England- there were many vacant farms, which could not be let because the agricultural distress was so great that they could not be farmed at a profit. In Wales there was eager competition for every vacant farm, and the rents were consequently driven up. This competition did not come from strangers and foreigners, but was entirely between Welshmen themselves. Did that point to insecurity of tenure or the unhappy condition of things which had been pictured to them ? Did that condition of things require revolutionary agrarian legislation ? (hear, hear). He did not know who penned the report of the Royal Commission, but he had never read a report or Parliamentary paper so full of pompous and empty phrases (laughter). In some parts it was utterly unintelligible. He desired to mention a circumstance connected with the Com- mission which happened to himself. Seeing from the papers that a certain Scotsman, whom he would not name, had given most absurd evidence about Scotland, he asked to be allowed to answer these statements. In the course of his evidence he stated the principle which bad often laid down with regard to the value of land which was taken by the State for public reason. The Com- missioners in their report dealt with this point, and the first principle they laid down was that the Commissioners should separate the value of land in its improved condition from its value in its unimproved condition—that was, its prairie value. Did any of the peers know what prairie value was ? Nobody that he had asked had been able to give him an answer on the point. He was not quite sure as to the origin of this clap- trap expression, but his belief was that it had an Irish-American origin. Prairie land might be, and often was, the richest land in the world, but the value of land was in the demand for it, not in its own qualities. There was no demand for prairie land, and therefore what Irish agitators meant by this expression was land that had no value at all. And this was the first principle which was to be considered by the new Welsh Land Court. He did not say that there was no room for improvement, in the present land system. All he said was that at this moment no foundation had been made for this revolutionary land legislation for Wales (cheers). After a few inaudible remarks by Lord Stanley of Alderley, The Marquis of SALISBURY said I am afraid that I must plead guilty to the charge, in which both the first speakers enveloped the House, of not having studied the whole of the report of the Royal Commission. Your Lordship will appreciate the nature of the task which would have been imposed upon any Minister when I tell you that if that report were placed before me now I should not be able to see any of the noble Lords on the opposite benches (laughter). I only wish to say, in answer to the noble Lord, that we have not the slightest intention during the present session of attacking the Welsh agrarian question, and I do not venture to prophesy when that question will be dealt with I do not myself think it is desirable to have an agrarian measure for Wales. When the Irish question was put before us we were always told that Ireland was a highly exceptional country, and that the precedents which were created there would not be employed to the injury of property in this island. I am afraid that I always thought this too' sanguine a view. The proposal of the noble Lord was, I think, envelopedtn unnecessary compli- cations. He tried to persuade us that he was simply the mouthpiece of the Commission at the moment when it became unanimous, but he gave us a speech which, if it had any meanirg or object at all, must have pointed-and I do not think he denied it-to the erection of a Land Court with compulsory powers—(hear, hear)—that is, to give to some persons a right to take money out -of the pockets of the landlord and to put it into the pockets of the tenants. To legislation of this kind. I certainly feel no inclination whatever, and I believe it would do nothing but harm. The'noble Lord read to us the summary of recommendations of the Commission, and, reading them over with some skill. I think he tried to persuade himself and the House that the Commission had reported in favour of a compulsory land court. The com-' pulsory land court is the whole kernel and -gist of this matter-if it is not compulsory it is nothing —whether the power is to be given to any person, however selected, to take the money from the landlord and give it to the tenant. To this legisla- tion certainly the Commission, when it became unanimous, had not committed itself. Whenever a serious proposal of that kind comes before the House, then we may deal with it in detail, I can only say now that the whole of the noble lord's argument appeared to rest on the fact that the rights of property have occasionally, it may be frequently' abused. But the same argument may be applied to all rights of property, in all coun- tries, and at all times, and with reference to property of every sort. It is quite the same, in- deed it is more marked, in respect of personal property as between the creditor and the debtor whose proceedings constituted the main subject of attention in the courts of this country. There are numberless cases of gross hardship where the creditor, by enforcing his rights, has reduced the debtor to misery and despair, but we have not yet been asked on that account to put and end to the right with which the debtor himself has invested the creditor. If you did so you would shatter the progress and prosperity of the country, and bring all commercial action to an end. There is no other ground than those occasional-I believe very occasional-abuses of the rights of property, which existed to a much greater extent thirty or forty years ago than they do now. This House at least has never accepted the principle that because of such abuses all the rights of property should cease. If a compulsory Land Court were erected all independent rights of property in' land would cease, and therefore I don't believe that under any circumstances the Legislature of this country would place so dangerous a principle upon the Statute-book. As far as it effects this island, I am afraid I can give the noble lord no help what- ever. He mentioned some other matters that were recommended by a unanimous Commission. They did not seem to me to be matters of very great im- portance, and whether they are worthy of legislation I do not know without more careful examination; but I agree with the noble lord that the essence of the whole matter is a compulsory Land Court, and to a compulsory Land Court, 1 am undoubtedly opposed (hear, hear.) The Earl of KIMBERLEY: The Noble Duke is un- doubtedly well acquainted with the land question, and has paid great attention to it, but he has always seemed to me to look at it from a single point of view-that no concessions which can be avoided should be made to the tenantry, and that the extreme rights of landlords are in accordance with the principle of free contract, and ought to be maintained. He was always a consistent, con- scientious, and able opponent of the legislation for which we on this side are responsible with regard to the Irish Land Acts. The fault I find with the attitude he has always assumed is this, and he has a set of economic principles which are to be applied, like the bed of Procrustes, to all and every situation, whatever it may be. If the tenant does not fit into the bed upon which he has to lie that is his fault, and he must suffer the consequences. I daresay he would say that that applies equally to landlords, but I do not believe that it would be wise or safe to deal, especially with land, upon these cut and dried principles. Of course it does not follow that every proposal for the reform of the land laws must be a wise one (hear, hear), but the general and steady, and, as I think, un- discriminating, opposition of the noble Duke to any reform is always far from wise, and is dangerous to the welfare of the country. The Duke of ARGYLL That is not my position. I have supported many admendments. The Earl of KIMBERLEY; That is my view of the noble Duke's position. It is my general deduction from many admirable speeches I have heard from him on this subject. With regard to the Commission itself. I do not think the report is open to the criticism of the noble Duke. He is a master of language and composition, but when he throws 80 much obloquy on an estate an economic unit," I venture to differ from him, and would ask him for a precise definition of that phrase. I take it in its ordinary acceptation, and I do not see why an estate should not be an economic unit. The expression is sufficiently intelligible, and it seems to me not open to serious objection. For the rest of the report the noble Duke dismisses it witl)v the "miserable claptrap." My belief is tkut the Welsh tenants have grievances, and that the case "of Wales consists in this, that the general condition; so far as I know-I do;,not profess to be ifttjmately acquainted: with Wales,—the g&ieral condition of agricari&tmil tenants in flat Country differ.most materially and seriously Jfcrtnthe condition; of'all ttoants in England. That Mpfould be my■'atr3wer- to lhe n6ble Marquis. I do all conlest tiiftftiiieflt'Xcjf the noble Marquis, anA'there ii a 'ilabof)iti.introducing into this 'Island-changes which wiil" disturb the foundation oil which we have for generations rested, but if there be in one portion of this island a peculiar position and a state of things very different from that to which we are accustomed, I do not think it is always wise or safe to refuse to apply a principle that may not be safely applied to other parts of the country, simply for fear and dread that we may be introducing some economic principle i not entirely in accordance with our general views: with regard to land. I confess I am not thoroughly acquainted with the evidence given before the Commission, nor do I think it absolutely necessary that everyone who discusses the question should have read not only the report, but all the evidence. The report is certainly a very remarkable one. I sincerly trust that whether it be dealt with by thet present Government or afterwards we shall not pu, aside contemptuously, as unworthy of attention the grievances of the Welsh farmers. These arise from a state of things to which we in England are not accustomed, and I do not think we ought to lay it down that no remedy can possibly be applied. The noble Duke said, with perfect accuracy, that this report was founded upon no allegation that there was agricultural distress in Wales, and in that respect Wales differed from Ireland. It was founded on the grievances of tenant farmers, who held under a tenure which thev considered ex- tremely insecure, and under extreme competition. These facts show the peculiar position of Wales. The noble Duke asked me if it was customary in Norfolk when an estate was sold for tenants to receive notice to quit. I have never heard of such a thing there. If it were done by anyone who wished to sell his estate he would find no one what- ever prepared to buy it, because, unlike Wales, we have extreme difficulty to keep the tenants we have, and it was mere difficult still to find new tenants (bear, hear, and laughter). The whole subject deserves most careful attention. How far it may be wise to go can only be determined when legislative proposals are before us. but I think my noble friend was well justified in bringing the matter before your lordships. The subject then dropped.
Will of the Late Sir William Roberts. The executors of the will, dated 10th March last of Sir William Roberts, of 8, Manchester Square London, and of Bryn Llanymawddwy, Merioneth, M.D., F.R.S., who died on the 16th April last, and whose estate has been valued at Z73,143 4s. 10d. gross, are his brother, Mr. Hugh Roberts, of Alderly Edge, to whom he bequeathed Z3,000, and his brother, Mr. Robert Roberts, of Crug, Carnarfon, to whom he bequeated £ 5,000. He bequeathed to his servants £10 each, and further £5 each for each year of service, and to his coachman, Hugh Edwards, in addition, P.1,000 to Emma Holly, and to Richard and Ben Davies, E100 each; to the testator's niece, Lydia Foulkes Roberts, of Oak- hurst, £ 1,000; to his niece, Maida Roberts of Crug, L500 to his niece Mary or May, daughter of his late brother, Thomas Foulkes Roberts, P,1,000, his jewelery and ornaments of the person, his leasehold house in Manchester Square, and the whole of the conten < thereof. He devised also to his niece the estate of Bryn and all other his real estate in the parish of Llanymawddwy. Sir William left the residue of his property as to one-fifth each to his brothers, John Foulkes Roberts, Hugh Roberts, and Robert Roberts as to one-fifth to the three sons of his brother, the late Thomas Foulkes Roberts, and as to the remaining one-fifth to the children of his brother, the late Richard Roberts.
PENYGARN. C.M. CHAPEL.—Penygarn Chapel, which is now over seventy years of age, is about to be thoroughly renovated, the contract for its renewal having just been given to Mr. Thomas Jones, builder, Dole, for nearly £1000. The front elevation will be completely altered to an improved design, and will have a new style of windows with cathedral glass. New seats and platform will also be put in, and the floor raised and blocked.
BOW STREET. OBITUARY.—On Tuesday the remains of Miss Margaret Rees, of Penrhiw, were interred at Peny- i y garn cemetery. The deceased, who was 45 years of age, had been ailing for several months. Miss Rees was a daughter of the late Evan and Anne Rees, of Penrhiw, and a sister to Mr. John Rees, Stepney, London. She bad been a lady* companion for a considerable number of years and had travelled much. She was held in high esteem by all her friends and acquaintances, acd the news of her death was received with general regret. At a meeting of the members of the Llanbryn mair Congregational Church on Friday evening it was proposed by Mr. Nathan Evans (Ceinfan) and seconded by Mr. John Davies (Dolgoch) and passe(}' That the church calls upon the deacons and officers to resign."
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