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WELSHPOOL'S CIVIC RISING. WELSHPOOL people are not going to be brow beaten by a municipal dictatorship, the like of which we have locally never seen set up before. This they made severely manifest at last week's public meeting, thanks to the fearless lead given them by Councillor Hiles, whose fighting deliverance, his Conservative professions notwithstand- ing, was socialistic in the best acceptance of the term. His was the righteous indig- nation of a man whose intelligence is in- sulted and sense of honour outraged by the unwarranted conduct and defiant behaviour of municipal colleagues, who, like himself, have undertaken to loyally serve the com- munity over which they preside. His con- ception of true representative Government, resting upon respect for and confidence in the average man," is 3candalised by deli- berate defiance of the communal wish and a transparent conspiracy to thwart it. And right soundly did he thrash this spirit of feudalistic assumption, which would fain masquerade in the guise of single-minded independent judgment. We have due re- spect for individual judgment, but when it arrogates to itself a self-sufficiency and an infallibility, which not only scorns the be- hests of almost the entire community, but abuses its trusteeship to prevent the accom- plishment of the people's will, then it becomes a mischievous thing. The people's title to self-government is spurned and trampled upon, and the municipal franchise becomes a farce. This is the position in which the citizens of Welshpool find them- selves, and they would have been regarded as miserable creatures, indeed, had they cried content under such gross maltreat- ment. Here is a community worthily am- bitious to possess itself of an efficient sanitary system, which will not only secure the public health, but provide the essential facilities for industrial progress. Its present primitive system of tipping town's refuse in the open-a system which by and by the Local Government Board will nowhere sanction-has cost the ratepayers dearly, is both an expensive and unsatisfactory system, and in some respects is a disgrace to civilised society. Practically unanimous, the community gave a mandate to the Cor- poration to purchase the Henfaes estate of 25 acres, whereon a comprehensive sewage scheme could be carried out, and this man- date was acted upon to a certain extent. Since then, however, conspiracy has evi- dently been at work by those councillors who opposed it, and regardless of an honour- able agreement with the owner of the Hen- faes, they have established themselves in a majority against the project. But for the interests at stake, we should be inclined to say that the inhabitants of Pool deserve to suffer the consequences of their indiffer- ence or slavish attachment to Toryism, which calmly assented to the unopposed return of some of these oppositionists at last election. The reason for such extra- ordinary inaction we have never been able to understand in the light of subsequent procedure. That regrettable fact, however, cannot be mended nor, for that matter, does it minimise reprehensible defiance and obstruction, because, if we recollect aright, there was a majority for the scheme follow- ing the November election. Alderman Harrison repudiates all party association with this question. Who sug- gested that his opposition was thus prompted and fashioned ? Nobody. Successive public meetings have demonstrated that Tory and Liberal are united in a strong desire for this sanitary reform, and the severest criticism of the obstruction has come from Conservative citizens. The Alderman is, of course, entitled to the exercise of his own judgment-be it right or wrong—but he claims more than that. He claims the right of not 'merely thwarting the com- munal wish, but of forcing upon the com- munity something which it declines to ac- cept. Is that his conception of faithful trusteeship ? To describe such an attitude as "disloyal" seems to him unfair. Well, the people of Welshpool have determined that point, and we scarcely think he will derive much satisfaction from their pro- nouncement. There is a section of the press," which, like Councillor Hiles, dis- 1 charges its public duty fearlessly, and we are glad that it receives recogni- tion. Alderman Harrison's speech—the ( best that could possibly be made in an 1 attempt to vindicate the obstructionists- was for the most part hypothetical. Hesees no possible difficulties in connection ifith the ( alternative scheme of dumping the town's ] refuse upon the fields sought to be ac- { quired of Lord Powis, which he favours, { in order to save the community from an additional shilling rate he, apparently, discounts the value of the Henfaes project from the standpoint of industrial progress the likelihood of trouble arising from pol- lution he dismisses as imaginary, and his peroration consisted of a most unhappy personal belittlement of a much respected and valued townsman, which the meeting, we are pleased to notice, rightly resented. It is unnecessary to supplement the review which Mr Hiles made of the Alderman's speech. Little was left of it after that smart dissection, and the resolution of some 600 inhabitants scattered what may have remained. In face of that resolution, will the Council have the hardihood to pursue a policy totally and forcibly con- demned by those they represent ? Well, we know they dislike to climb down from an unenviable position of their own creation but down they must c.ome, un- less the whole Principality is to witness the unprecedented spectacle of unutterable disloyalty and amazing defiance. Mean- while, Lord Powis looks on. Now he knows that the request made of him by the obstructionists is in deliberate opposi- tion to the town's wish, yea, in the very teeth of its protest. Will he grant that re- quest ? We cannot for a moment believe, that he will. JUDGE JELF ON ASSIZE GROUPING. While in Montgomeryshire, Mr Justice Jelf contented himself with a seeming sympathetic reception of the petitions pre- sented against the proposed concentration of assize courts, at Anglesea he made a decided pronouncement. The reason may be that since leaving Montgomeryshire, his Lordship has witnessed a universal feel- ing of strong opposition to the proposal. In each of the counties in which he has sat he has received similar petitions. Of course," he said at Anglesea, "judges have no personal power in the matter at all, but, like all other citizens, they can express their views, and I heartily concur in the desire expressed by the petitioners, be- cause I think it would be tearing up some of the most important principles of the conduct of our land if we did away with the bringing home of justice—civil and criminal-to each county, and conglom- erated them with other counties, so pro- ducing great inconvenience and confusion." Against judicial pronouncements of that kind the proposal cannot prevail. If An- glesea can plead that the grouping of assizes at Carnarvon would involve great "inconvenience, loss of time and expense to jurors and witnesses," how much stronger is the case for Montgomeryshire, so far removed from the northern county! THE COMING BUDGET. Many verbal inquiries are made of us concerning the probable character of the next Budget, which is now over-due. We have no more idea than the man in the moon what Mr Lloyd George will demand of us in the way of taxes, but one fact can be stated—i.e., that our expenditure will be something like eight millions more than it was last year. That, however, may not occasion the imposition of additional taxa- tion. The taxes levied under the last Bud- get will next year yield very much more revenue than for the year just closed. It is estimated that estate duties themselves will realise three and half millions more, while the revival of trade, which has now happiljV ensued, will produce a much larger amount of general taxation. But the sit- uation is confused by that Lordly interfer- ence with finance, which is not likely to be allowed to recur. ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION. While on the subject of budgets, we might return for a moment to our Tariff Reform friends, whose taxation of the foreigner" is the grand remedy for all social and industrial ills. Well, in Ger- many we know that they impose a stiff duty upon all foreign importations. Yet the Government of the Fatherland is at present confronted by a deficit of fully twelve millions on last year's budget, which, added to the deficits for four pre- vious years, represents a total deficiency 'of 46 millions. What thus comes of taxing the foreigner ? A London Protectionist daily has just allowed itself to speak of Germany's "high prices, its poor wages, and its heavy rates." What more con- vincing illustration could be given of the fact that "taxing the foreigner" means in reality taxing the consumer ? Why, it may be asked, do the German people stick to Protection, if it tells so hard upon the working classes ? That question is an- swered by a reference to the character of German representation. For instance, we read that in the present Reichstag a total Conservative vote of 1,543,000 secured 82 seats, while the Socialists have only 43 seats with a vote of 3,259,000. The wealthier classes rule the roost, and, as they would do in this country under Protection, they see that taxation falls lightest upon them- selves. • LLANIDLOES WATER. Why need Llanidloes waste time inquir- ing the cause of filthy water, with the knowledge that the filter beds have not been cleaned for nine years. Filter beds, unless regularly renewed and cleaned, are responsible for impurities rather than puri- fication, and the Llanidloes Council should not tarry in the undertaking of a work lying so obviously to their hand. The idea that the water cart is in any way respon- sible for the sediment does not, we hope, indicate an inclination to trifle with the duty of securing for the community a whole- some supply of drinking water. If there were no sediment in the mains the filling of the water cart could not create it, and no improvement is conceivable other than through clean filters and thoroughly flushed mains. Tinkering policies in connection with defective water supplies are dangerous. PULPIT SUPPLIES. We heard something of the material side of preaching at the North Wales Calvinistic Methodist Association on Tuesday. Diffi- culty in the matter of regularly supplying the pulpits of small churches inspired a recommendation for the enlistment of lay preachers judged qualified in knowledge, character, and eloquence "—a commendable trinity not always found in ministers them- selves—to preach occasionally, on the under- standing that their emoluments do not ex- ceed the amount of travelling expenses. But while it would appear that such an arrangement is desirable in the Lancashire area of the Association, there is, on the contrary, in many parts of North Wales, a superabundance of preachers. Hundreds of preachers are out of work every Sunday," says an Oswestry minister their supply exceeds the demand, and in illustration of this view voluminous statistics were thrown against the proposal. Plainly the ministers were by no means enamoured of the scheme. Very properly one oppositionist declared the desirableness of raising the status of the pulpit if people are to be attracted, and he did not regard the establishment of lay preachers, however high their character, as advancing that ideal, while another pro- tested that many a preacher who had undergone years of training would suffer thereby." For our part we are not specially attached to the system of lay preaching. The lay preacher has lived a life of blame- less mediocrity, and starts the building of a New Jerusalem for his neighbours equipped with a few pieces of theology chopped up and curried. Rather is there a desire for a still better trained- ministry, and especially one more enlightened upon social questions, the knowledge of which is surely the complement of pastoral work. The layman's view was submitted by Mr David Pryce, Guilsfield, who supported the recommendation with the fact that ,in the Montgomery Presbytery there are 17 churches which have no regular preachers every Sunday night in the year. Irregu-1 larity of service or of supplies is to be re- gretted. The ever open door is the Church's true policy. The more spasmodic the Church becomes in her services, the more difficult she will find it to hold her own. SUNDAY IN MACHYNLLETH. How often it is that on a Sunday one remarks the most displeasing features of a town Attractive shop windows are screened by ugly shutters, entrances are closed by equally ugly doors and gates, signboards, little noticed on other days, arrest and offend the eye by their weather beaten state, the unwashed cur seems despicable on Sunday, and the appearance of the streets impresses its testimony as to the character of the cleansing department. All these revelations stand out conspicuously in the quiet of the Sabbath. It seems that at Machynlleth shopkeepers sweep their rubbish on to the streets on a Saturday evening, and there it lies till at least Mon- day, giving the impression to visitors, according to a prominent townsman, that the inhabitants are not quite agreed that cleanliness is next to Godliness. This same good citizen is vexed to stand at his win- dow and behold the base of the old clock tower festooned with dandelions, whose luxuriant growth suggests unfamiliarity with the scavenger's brush. It is not often that local authorities admit remissness of this kind, but one of the councillors con- fesses to an abominable condition of the streets on Sunday." Machynlleth is so charmingly environed with natural beauty that its internal uncleanliness or untidiness would be more than ordinarily apparent. Cobble pavements are not wholly out of harmony with rustic surroundings, but un- clean streets are a decided blemish. We feel sure that Machynlleth will wipe this smudge from its escutcheon. PURITANIC. The voice of the Puritan rings amongst us. The lust of pride and selfishness, the domestic desecration of the Sabbath, the ostentatious display of dress and regard for fashions, which are the inventions of the devil," the hoarding up of filthy lucre, and the addiction to drink and tobacco are some of the Christian vices which we have just heard assailed at Kerry with a vehem- ence of language that will, at least, ensure a study of the indictment. Many, if not most people, will be inclined to view this scathing censure in the light of a mere pul- pit appeal for funds, though we daresay the preacher's was a higher inspiration. At any rate, we should be sorry to think that Baptists are such as they are pictured so fearfully even by one of themselves. The Puritanic ideal was also present with the Calvinistic Methodist Association at Llanfair. Here it was proposed that total abstinence should be made a condition of membership with the Monthly Meetings and Presbyteries. This drastic limitation in the choice of representative persons did not, however, find favour. It was, indeed, scourged by one minister bold enough to declare that the qualification" had been supported by some people in whom there is not much confidence as regards either their character or their temperance." The temperance cause is not advanced by measures of this kind. As well propose that membership with the church should be confined to total abstainers, and that no financial support be accepted from any others. Puritanic consistency would de- mand as much. THE THUNDERSTORM. Considering its violence and long duration it is astonishing that the week's thunder- storm in Montgomeryshire has accounted for so little destruction. No lives have been lost, property has escaped with tri- fling damage, and farmers have suffered small loss among their flocks and herds. But considerable destruction by flooding is reported from all quarters. Fortunately the cereal crops are not advanced enough to be damaged by the severity of the rain storms, and with a succession of heat all kinds of crops should benefit from the change which ensued at a desirable time. IMPORTANT TO NEWTOWN. Agriculturists in the Newtown district, and not less the people of Newtown, will learn with great satisfaction that the auc- tioneering business of Messrs Wilson-Jones and Davis has been acquired by Messrs Morris, Marshall, and Poole. An adver- tisement in to-day's Express' announces the intention of this well-known and in- fluential firm to establish a permanent branch office in the town. Newtown ex- tends a very hearty welcome to a firm which carries a beneficial influence wherever its extensive business has con- nection. Its coming will undoubtedly do much towards restoring the local fairs, which have recently declined through lack of enterprise, and, should we say, munici- pal indifference or shortsightness. We hope that Messrs Morris, Marshall, and Poole will celebrate-their advent in Newtown by the erection of an auction mart, similar to those which they so successfully conduct in other places. Their influential association with many of the most notable English dealers, their characteristic enterprise, and the confidence which they enjoy among all classes of agriculturists leave no room to doubt the success that would attend this desirable effort.