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______! I■ [NOTES AND COMMENTS.

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[NOTES AND COMMENTS. The Court of Alderney has passed an ordinance prohibiting cigarette smoking by young boys. I The number of new cases of small pox j in London on Saturday and Sunday showed a diminution. But there was an increase again on Monday. Since August there has been about 3,000 cases and nearly 600 of the patients have died. The disease has made its appearance at Dewsbury, Chester, and Birmingham, and on Thursday a steamer arrived in the Mersey from Boston with fourteen cases on board. Over 10,000 persons have been re-vaccinated at Swansea. The question of watering the streets of Manchester with sea water instead of fresh water, in consequence of the greater humi- dity it affords in summer, is to be discussed by the Waterworks Committee. At the Llanilar Petty Sessions last week a young man was sent to prison for a month for stealing E50 from Frongoch Mines. It was stated by the defence that the young man had been living beyond his means at Pontrhydygroes, and was too fond of society. Our readers will see by our Aberayron news that the public men of that town have a funny way of amusing themselves during the winter months. Possibly mindful of Watts' words that "Satan finds a mis- chief still for idle hands to do," they give them employment by trimming ladies' hats. We shall expect them to go in for crinolines next time. On Tuesday a well-attended meeting held at Carmarthen in connection with the National Association for the Prevention of Consumption resolved to request the lords- lieutenant of Carmarthenshire and Cardi- ganshire to convene county meetings for the election of represertatives to serve on the committee of the West Wales sub-branch of the association. The Bishbp of Peterborough has with- drawn his name from thA list of patrons of a church bazaar in Northampton at which in- toxicating drink was advertised to be sold. It is amusing to note that in the official handbook of the bazaar there is printed a side-face photograph of his lordship, who is shown gazing at a full-page advertisement of the Northampton Brewery Company, Ltd. Mr F. Cawley, M.P., speaking of the pro- posed legislation with regard to clubs, said he did not think well-conducted clubs need fear anything that 'was likely to take place. There were so-called clubs that were mere drinking places, and in regard to them legis- lation was necessary. Some clubs were formed for the sake of providing drink at times when the publican could not provide it, and it was time something was done to stop the practice. We know of nothing that can tend to do more to ameliorate the lot of the working class, and in fact to brighten every home, than the acquisition of a scientific knowledge of the laws of health, with special reference to the treatment of cases of sickness. The series of lectures given at Machynlleth by a member of the National Health Society, under the auspieces of the Aberystwyth College, were an unqualified success, having been attended by nearly 800 people during the six evenings. According to the analysis made by the Liberation Society of the division on Mr William Jones's resolution in favonr of Dis- establishment in Wales on Tuesday evening, the motion was supported by (including tellers) 78 English Liberals, 28 Scotch, 21 Welsh (not including Monmouthshire), 51 Irish Nationalists, and one English Union- ist (Sir M. Fostei-)-179. The opposition to the motion was composed of (includiug tellers) 187 English, Scotch, Welsh, and Irish Conservatives, and 33 English, Scotch, and Irish Unionists—220. Machynlleth has made some splendid strides of late in its public improvements, and the new premises of the Board School, which are now building, will prove a welcome addition to the town as well as an inestim- able boon to the rising generation. The buildings are situated in a pleasant spot in a central position, and it is to be hoped that it will not be long before an entrance to its site can be eflected from the main street. Such anapproach would unquestionably prove of great advantage to the town generally. A man pleaded guilty at the Lincoln Police Court on Tuesday to sending on two dates five postcards through the post con- taining words of an offensive character. The cards were addressed to Mr Labouchere and had reference to his attitude on the war. The magistrates imposed a fine of 50s in each case, and expressed the opinion that it was intolerable that public men should be an- noyed with such communications as the de- fendant had posted. The prosecution was undertaken by the Postmaster General. Our contemporary is as full of braggadocio as ever. Last week he said We know all about the Act of Parliament about rates." What a pity the Government cannot secure the services of this gascon, and dispense with the Railway Commissioners, who are so often perplexed because they do not, and possibly cannot," know all about the Act of Parliament about rates." As will be seen from our report of the Board of Guardians this week, our contemporary has utterly failed to grasp the statistics of local affairs, to say nothing of knowing all about the railway rates." Thales is not the only man who stumbled in the mud at his feet while trying to gaze at the stars. In the Birmingham County Court on Tuesday a solicitor's clerk brought an action against the Birmingham Liberal Association to recover five shillings-the price he had paid for two tickets of admission to Mr Lloyd-George's meeting in the Birmingham Town Hall. On arriving at the hall he presented a ticket to a police officer who ap- peared to be in charge of one of the vesti- bules, but the officer said his instructions were to admit no one, and he accordingly turned him away. The Judge said the plaintiff's remedy-if he had ene-was against the individual who had sold him the ticket and refused to allow him to take ad- vantage of it. The plaintiff had failed to prove that the Association had anything to do with his being obstructed The action would be dismissed. Mr J. I.loyd Morgan, MP., will earn the gratitude of a large section of the public if he can succeed in securing some reform- however slight—in the present stereotyped method of summoning juries. In the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Lloyd Morgan asked the Home Secretary whether he was aware of the fact that during the Assizes just concluded for five counties in South Wales there was in three of the counties no work for the common jurv and that at least 144 roen were Summoned to serve oh the common jury for those three counties, when there were no civil or criminal cases for them to try; whether, seeing that the High Sheriff for a county or borough was not empowered where there was no case to be tried two days before the date fixed for the holding of the Assizes to give the juv)rs summoned notice that they need not attend he would consider the question of amending the law to enable High Sheriffs to do so; wbether, having regard to the circumstances of the class to which jurors often belong, he would consider the question of introducing legislation to provide for the payment of their expenses. Mr Ritchie in reply, said he was aware of the inconvenience sometimes caused to jurors by their being summoned when no occasion arose for their services, and the question of the payment of their expenses had also been under consideration Lu, he did not see his way to introduce logislatioa to deal with these matters. In the House of Commons on Thursday Mr Lloyd Morgan brought in a Bill to prohibit clerks of Petty Sessional Divisions of counties from undertaking the prosecution of persons committed for trial by justices of such Petty Sessional Divisions. The Bill was read a first time. Maturer examinations has, we are glad to find, shown that there is no ground for any alarm respecting fhe reported case of small pox at Eglwysfach. We can well understand the difficulty that medical men must needs experience in diagnosing diseases which, fortunately, are extremely rare in our days and all who have any regard for the public health should duly appreciate the precautions they have to take, however circumspect. It is to be r egretted that the inordinate haste of some penny-a-liner should have given un- (lue publicity to this case before its nature had been determined by the medical men them- selves. —————— The Executive of the Manchester and Salford Temperance Union have unanimously adopted a petition to the Houses of Parlia- ment, in which they express their hearty approval of the Licensing Bill of his Majesty's Government, embodying, as it does, such much-needed reforms as the prohibition of clerks to the justices from acting profes- sionally for brewery companies or as solicitors to licensed victuallers' protection societies, the requiring that occasional licences may only be granted in open court and by not less than two justices, that justices shall have absolute control over the grant of grocers' licences, that licensed persons shall be prohibited from harbouring or serving those who have been notified as habitual drunkards, and that proof of habitual drunkenness shall entitle a husband or wife to judicial separation, that intoxicants shall not be sold in clubs unless the club has been registered by the clerk to the justices, that all offences against the Licensing Acts shall be recorded and considered by the justices at brewster sessions. The petitioners, be- lieving that all the aforesaid amendments of the Licensing Acts are urgently needed, well conceived, and calculated to deal effectively with the intemperance which has so long enfeebled our Commonwealth, earnestly pray the Houses to pass the Bill through all its stages before the close of the present session. At the Annual meeting of the Shropshire Chamber of Agriculture, Mr Fielden, M.P., opened a discussion on the question of rural depopulation, and asserted that the want of educational falicities in rural districts, of proper housing accommodation, and low wages were among the causes of it. While he did not think any remedy from the Legislature could be expected at present, he believed that the agriculturists might do something for themselves. Security of tenure he deemed necessary for the country working man, who was now in many instances too much dependent on the parson or the country squire. Something more than 15s a week ought to be offered him to go back to the land if he could earn 15s a week in the town. To bring about this he suggested a system of piecework among farm workers, which in some parts, he stated, answered very well to both sides, and farmers, he thought, might be able to give higher wages in this way by keeping fewer men and introducing on their farms gangs of workmen for the busy season.—Mr Home (of Shifnal) stated that urban inhabitants in many parts were feel- ing the clot" in our national circulation of population as much as agriculturists themselves. However he, for one, had hope for the marvellous vitality of the agricultural industry, and suggested as a remedy for "the present condition of the pursuit better wages, the establishment of small holdings, security of land tenure, and freedom from obsolete customs pertaining to agriculture. 0 Mr D. A. Thomas is maintaining his position as one of the most itetire of' the Welsh members. He is determined to press his opposition to the Board of Trade as a Government Department with the view of substituting for it a Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The constitution of the Board as it stands at present is, in his opinion, obsolete, and the well-being'of the Empire requires that the interests of its industry and commerce shall be administered by a State Department under the supervision and direction of a Minister having the status of a Principal Secretary. His notice of motion on this point stands first on the paper for Wednesday, the 5th of March, but it is, of course, very doubtful whether it can be introduced on that date. The Nantwich magistrates were occupied for a considerable time on Monday hearing applications for music licences. The Urban District Council have recently adopted part 4 of the Public Health Act, regulating music in licensed houses. It was stated on behalf of seven applicants that musical evenings had been allowed in Nantwich for many years. The applicants thought that the musical attractions would diminish drinking. An applicant said that if there were no music the customers would drink more and become quarrelsome. When music was provided customers got elevated in themselves and got higher thoughts. (Laughter.) Another applicant said that singing and music in public-houses lessened the tendency to drinking.—Dr Monro, a magstrate, asked why publicans were so anxious about musie and singing if they made less money by piovidirig these additional attractions.—An applicant said that great quiet was observed, and that it was better for publicans to take less money than to have policemen constantly visiting them.-The police opposed the appli- cations, which were all refused.

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