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Newtown Annual Eisteddfod.

Welsh Amateur Cup.



GREAT SCHEME FOR THE COUNTY. To call attention to (1) the recent pur- chase of LIwynybrain and Henfryn farms for the purpose of small holdings, (2) the provision of a new county lunatic asylum, and (3) the impending break-up of the poor- law and the utilisation of the present work- houses and to move that a county con- ference-to consist of all the members of the County Council, together with the sev- eral Boards of Guardians-be convened at the earliest possible date, for the purpose of djiscussing the above subjects and their relation to each other. This motion stood in the name of Mr David Hamer on the agenda of business for the meeting of the County Council at Welshpool on Monday. Mr Richard Jones (the vice-chairman) presided, and there were present Colonel E. Pryce-Jones, M.P., Messrs R. Rees, J. Marshall Dugdale, W. Forrester Addie, Edward Powell, A. W. Williams-Wynn, P. Hurl butt, Charles Shuker, A. Vaughan, John Pugh, J. W. Poundley, F. Langford, W. P. J mes, Charles Lewis, Edward Ed- wards, GJffith Owen, E. Parry, J. Pughe Evans, E.,S. Perrott, F. G. Howarth, David Jones, E. H. Roberts, C. J. Newell, John Edwards, Maurice Evans, J. Davies, J. LI. Peate, David Price, C. W. Humphreys,4 Robert Griffiths, Stephen Breeze, John Rees, J. B. Willans, E. R. Owen, J. Hamer Jones, David Hamer, and Richard Lloyd, with Messrs G. R. D. Harrisor^ (clerk), *W. G. Maddox (assistant clerk), G. A. Hutchins (county surveyor), P. Wilson-Jones (small holdings officer), R. S. Forbes (director of agriculture), W. J. Holland (chief consta- ble), Dr Humphreys (county medical offi- cer), and D. Hamer (inspector of foods and drugs and weights and measures). Mr Hamer first dealt with the purchase of Llwynwbrain and Henfryn farms. Per- mit me to say, he opened, that I have known these farms all my life. My father's brother was tenant of Llwynybrain 60 years ago. Llwynybrain especially and Henfryn, to a certain extent, are very unsuitable for the purposes for which they were pur- chased. A certain gentleman wrote to one of the local papers bringing out a lot of facts concerning them, and I know all of these facts to be proved. He has not stated all of them. There are others quite as strong against the conversion of these farms into small holdings. But one fact alone I am to deal with on this occasion. They are unsuitable for small holdings be- cause there is no water upon them, having been drained into the river thirty years ago. I now come to the question of the county asylum. MR. LLOYD NIPS IN. Mr Richard Lloyd: Then I rise to a point of order. This Council has ap- pointed a very strong committee of about 18 or 20 members to deal with the whole question of the present position of the Council in regard to its lunatics. A dis- solution of our partnership with Shropshire comes into effect on the 31st March next. This committee are to consider steps as to how they are to deal with those patients and how they are to deal with them for the future. They are in communication with the Local Government Board, and they have correspondence with the Caersws Guardians. This question has been before the Council for some time, and any proposal or sug- gestion made at this stage outside of that committee, and without its knowledege, would be a very great mistake, and might seriously interfere with it. For those reas- ons it is undesirable (and I won't say any- thing more now) to raise the question at all. At the proper time this committee will report before the Council is bound to any- thing. The Chairman: I have asked the Clerk whether the Council has committed itself to Forden, and he says there is nothing on the minutes, but that the whole question has been referred to a committee. Mr Arthur Wynn: I am right in sup- posing that the purchase of these farms has been already sanctioned by the Council. The Chairman: Yes. Mr Hamer (continuing): I don't wish to interfere with the rights of either the Small Holdings Committee or the Asylum Com- mittee, but if I can shed any light it is my duty to do so. Mr Lloyd: Would not that be better done by communication with the Small Holdings Committee and the Asylum Committee ? Mr Hamer should write to the Clerk of the Asylum Committee. There is an import- ant meeting of the Shropshire Visitors and the committee of this Council to talk over the whole matter, and we don't know what will be the result of that. This discussion i might prejudice the case. Nothing will be done to bind the Council. Mr Wynn: May I ask Mr Hamer to es- tablish some connection between the two resolutions. I had not the smallest idea of what No. 1 was whether he was going to point out that the farms were unsuitable. What connection it has with a lunatic asy- lum I could not see. Mr Hamer: That is exactly the purpose for which I have got up. Mr Lloyd: I must ask the Chairman's ruling. Mr Powell: Mr Hamer, surely, has a right to address the Council (hear, hear). AN IDEAL SITE. Mr Hamer: This is one of the greatest questions we have got to face. As far as I can understand, the committee at present are looking to one of the workhouses, es- pecially Forden, for the county asylum. I have no particular objection to Forden. I felt for some time in favour of it, but there are several fatal objections to it. First, you have no water there by gravitation. That is one of the first essentials where you collect a lot of people together. Then it is near the railway, which fact would render facilities for persons of unsound mind to commit suicide. It is near the riverside, which also makes it unsuitable. What I want to point out is that by your recent purchase of Henfryn you have acquired a piece of land which is an ideal site from every point of view for an asylum. What are the advantages of Henfryn ? It is dis- tant from the station half-a-mile it is an elevation surrounded by a plain, conse- quently all your sewers will be working properly. You have also acquired it at a cheap price. You bought it for small hold- ings, and before you are committed to cut it up, I want to secure this site for the asylum, or at all events thoroughly thrash out the proposal. It is in my opinion the best site you can find in the county for such an institution. I presume it cost you something like 1:4,000. You have had 170 acres for that sum. If you take 50 acres out of that, you will find you have pur- chased a building site very cheaply. You can obtain any amount of water by gravita- tion. I propose 10 get it from Llyn Tarw lake on the hill, at a distance of three miles and that is a sheet of water seven acres in extent, and well adapted for the purpose. That water supply could be brought at a cost of £ 3,000. I propose taking a partner into this water scheme. The Caersws Rural District Council are compelled to find a water supply for Caersws. They have got that to face. Our Chairman said last Jan- uary that Caersws could not get its water supply because it would cost 93,000. We could give them a supply under this scheme for £ 1,000. Say the asylum paid 50 per cent. and the small holdings 17 per cent., you would have an ample supply for the small holdings at Llwynybrain and Henfryn. The water pipe would go along the public road. Consequently there would be no way leave to pay for. The Council road and the Dis- trict Council road go all the way to the hill, and the supply would be obtained from a height of 1,000 feet. You will want to have light for the asylum. You cannot get gas at Forden, but with a small turbine you would be able to generate your own electricity under this scheme. Now, if you purchase Forden Workhouse as an asylum, you will have to pay for it as a matter of course. The ratepayers of Forden would receive the income payable by other rate- payers in the county, yet they would have no purpose for that income. I want the conference to agree to the four workhouses becoming county property. That process is a question for lawyers, and not for a lay- man like myself. If they were made county property, instead of union property, the Forden Workhouse would become a suitable place, without spending another penny on it, for all the poor-law requirements of the county. Caersws Workhouse is part of Hen- fryn farm. A large portion of it could go to make the buildings necessary for the small holdings, and thus you would save an immense amount of money. If I have made out a prime facie case, I think a conference should be convened at an early date, perhaps within a month. Mr C. J. Newell seconded. "THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG." Mr Dugdale: At last the eat is out of the bag. With a great flourish of trumpets you went in for buying a big estate for the pur- pose of small holdings. We were all amazed. We heard that some of the farms were not suitable, and next that two of them had been sold. We now hear that two other farms are not suitable, but they are suitable for something else. They are suitable for a lunatic asylum* .-(Iaughter)-- and they are suitable for bringing some water at a cost of E3,000, not only for a lunatic asylum, but for Caersws. Every- body will see it is not perfectly possible nowadays for a County Council to acquire land for one thing and then adopt it for quite another thing, and the cost is to be found from the man who has been to sell his property. Mr Arthur Wynn said he did not think Mr Dugdale need fear that the land ob- tained for small holdings could be devoted to other purposes. He thought the Board of Agriculture would not sanction that. Mr Edward Powell said the Council ought to feel indebted to Mr Hamer for bringing this matter forward, because if they were to adopt his suggestion, the sooner the bet- ter they made up their minds on the asylum question. Mr Lloyd remarked that there were a great many important questions to be con- sidered in connection with this matter. An asylum might cost in one place E30,000, and in another place £ 60,000. They must get an asylum suitable for all purposes at as small a cost as possible, on as convenient a site as possible, and that is the point be- fore us. The question of building a new asylum will mean a very different thing from the purchase of some place we may have under consideration. Such a sugges- tion as Mr Hamer had made would double the cost. Mr Hamer, replying to criticism, said that if it were necessary, they must have an act of Parliament to carry out this scheme. No obstacles must stand in their way, if by doing so, as he thought, they could save many thousands of pounds by tha carrying out of this project. He called to mind what the Lunacy Commissioners said with regard to Forden Workhouse-it was incapable of being adapted to the pur- poses of an asylum. He wished to impress upon them that they would always require an asylum, but he hoped the day was not far off when they would not require work- houses. According to his scheme they would have an up-to-date asylum served by a gravitation watef supply. At Caersws, Forden, and Bicton asylum all water was obtained by pumping. In case of fire there was a condition of helplessness. On a division, nine voted for Mr Hamer's motion and six against, and it was agreed to hold the conference at Caersws on January 20th.


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IThe Great Gale and Floods.


An Interesting Fact.