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-.-.- - SPIRIT OF THE WELSH…
SPIRIT OF THE WELSH PRESS. I [BY SHTDTCHEINWR."] THE WELSH LAND COMMISSION1. Now that the Land Commission is again sitting, and that at a time when there is a comparative lull in the political world, we ca.n expect that its nitt-inws will ov-ershadow all other topics in the Welsh papers foe some weeks to come, Most of the Welsh papers had gone to press last week ere the commissioa began its investigations in North Wales. Expectation was keen, however, and the Herald Cymraeg published full biographies of the members of the commission, giving photographs of each, with the exception of Mr Seebohm. As the commission proceeds on its journey through North Wales we may expect evidence besides which that laid before it in Glamorganshire, star ling and unexpected as it was, will be comparatively commonplace. The Werin thinks that the evidence tendered at Bala will reveal Welsh people in a new light to he commission, in their adherence to principle. The commission ho a alrt»«.^v hnd enouerh facts to justify its appointment. No reasonable being v can deny; now that farmers have serious grievances. The, unanimous demand of the witnesses was for the establishment of a land court, which will be competent to determine a fair rent, and to reform the land laws in such a way so as to give security of tenure and compensation for improvement&" The Goleuad says that "examples were given before the commission at Bala of oppression on the pait of landlords who allowed their tenants, to make valuable improvements on their land, and then demanded them as their own pioperty." THE HOUSE OF LORDS. The action of the House of L rls in throwing ..out the Home Rule Bill is almost unanimously condemned by the Welsh newspapers. "Down with the House of Lords," cries the Celt, and the cry is echoed more or less vigorously by several other papers. The Cymro points out how the democracy has advanced within the last twenty-' five years, and warns the Lords that their rejec- tion of Home Bale has hastened their end. Seren Cymru says that the Lords were never so numerous, so united, and sj resolute as they were with respect to this measure, and this is accounted for to a great extent by the unnatnral and diabolical union of old Tories with Radical and crafty Secessionists, a union like that of Herod and Pilate of old." The Baner, in a long leading article, opines that the Lords will obstruct other necessary reforms. Welsh ones among others, and that then, having accomplished their iniquity, they will be swept away. The London corre- spondbnt of the same poper applies the proverb, Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make taad," to the Lords. The 1'yst thinks that it is a serious matter that 400 legislators are allowed to over-ride the wishes of the country. The Goleuad is of opinion that the bishops who voted with the four hundred majority considered this a fine opportunity for retaliating on the Government having adopted Disestablishment. The Hemld ymraeg believes that the Lords, by thus giving challenge to tie country, have done an im- yrtaiit service to the Liberal party. The Genedl yiraeg asks, What shall be done with the and comes to the conclusion that they i swept away and that the Upper House e abolished. The Llan ridicules these itic threats," and thinks that when the made to the country the action of the 11 be approved, as the eyes of the people .)w been opened to the perfidy of Mr cone's Bill. The Clorianydd awaits with interest what course will now be taken by Mr Gladstone. He had nothing behind him but an Irish majority, and the action of the Lords is approved of by Englishmen generally." Gwalia rejoices that "the Bill, which has been an eyesore for the country for seven years, has been thrown out. The name of Mr Gladstone's inconsistencies is legion; and Britain is fortunate in pos easing a body of men to check the disasters which would be brought upon us by the fanatic whims of one man." WELSH ORTHOGBAPHY, The much-needed question of Welsh ortho- graphy has been a sore sturablin-hlnek to Wel -h çu. ror tne laqr, two or three generations. The variations of Welsh spelling are not ascribable, like the anomalies of English orthography, to mere carlessness or to the fancies of compositors. The mQst part are the outcome of intentional in- novations on established custom made by scholars, literary men, and often by charlatans in deference to the current etymological theories of the day, or, in some instances, to English example. Most of these innovations were introduced during the first half of this century. S veral of the Welsh papers are now reviewing a little book published by "The Society for Utilising the Welsh Lang- uage." It is an admirable attempt to solve the difficulty under which Welsh writers are labour- ing, and is the o, ittome of a long research made by "experts." It may not give absolute satisfac- tion to anyone-some of the recommendations seem odd, no doubt, at first-but the report is un- doubtedly the best attempt which has been yet made to settle this difficult question. JOTTINGS. The de ith of Mr Morgan Lloyd, Q.C., is referred to at considerable length in all the papers, and the editor of the Brython Cymreig refers to the help he received from him at the time when Cardigan- shire was endeavouring to have two members. The Llan has a satirical skit on the independent spirit of the Welsh members, and speaking of Mr Bryn Roberts's attitude on Welsh Disestablish- ment, it bursts forth into the following doggerel Genedl to right of him faller to left of him, Herald in front of him, Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with threat and sneer Our M.P. quais with fear, Though he fails to see where He has blundered.
FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR ELLESMERE.
FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR ELLESMERE. On Tuesday afternoon a shocking fatal accident happened near Ellesmere, which has thrown the whole district into the greatest sorrow. Miss C. Chapman, the second daughter of Mr Hillyar D. Chapman, of Kilendre, was taking a ride on a young cob, and she was accompanied by a groom named Morgan. They went in the direction of Ellesmere, and when near Pentre Madoc they met a trap in which Mr Minshall, of Escob Mill, was returning from Edesmere. Just before meeting the trap the pony shied and turned round. Miss Chapman was thrown, and her foot becoming fast in the stirrup she was dragged for about four hundred yards, the pony galloping at a furious rate meanwhile. When near Pen,tre Morgan her foot was released, and she fell on the hedge side. The groom, who followed at the gallop and did all he could to catch the pony, was on the spot immediately, and was soon joined by Mr Minshall and others. I wis then found that the young lady had sustained frightful injuries to the head, and was unconscious. She was placed in Mr Miuehall's trap, and taken with all speed to Kilhen- dre. The groom went for Dr. Lloyd, of Chirk, and another messenger went for Dr. Roe, of Ellesmere. Both these gentlemen were soon in attendance, but their services were of no avail, as the unfortunate young lady never spoke after the accident, and had I most probably expired before reaching Kilhendre. Miss Chapm"- was thirteen years of age, and the pony upon which she was riding when she met with the accident was a birthday present. Mies Chapman was a most attractive young lady, and much beloved by all who knew her in the district.
+ Henry Ventham, aged 13, was committed for trial at Romsey charged with murdering another boy named Betteridge, by stabbing him during a dispute which arose while they were picking blackberries together.
OSWESTRY DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL…
OSWESTRY DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY'S SHOW. This society held its thirty-first annual show at Oswestry on Thursday. The entries reached the hitherto unprecedented number of 839, and the prizes offered amounted to £ 400. The band of the F Com- pany, V.B. King's Shropshire Light Infantry, played offered amounted to X400. The band of the F Com. pany, V.B. King's Shropshire Light Infantry, played selections during the day. j With such a splendid entry, it waa only natural j to anticipate that the show would be one of an ex- ceptionai character, and these anticipations werjj fully borne out for there was a really fine display m all of the mjre important departments, and on.all! hands it was admitted that this year the Brciety | eclipse all their previous efforts, and have succeeded in achieving a triumph which speaks well for the future. Coming to the different departments, it is need. leas to say that, in respect to tha Shropshire sheep, there was a lemarkaoly good show, and that the valuable prizes offered by the society, coupled with those given by the ltcU gentry, brought together a I large number of competitors, among whom were most of the noted exhibitors in this part of the county. The Earl of Brownlow's prize for the best Shropshire ram went to Mr T. L. Lee, of Ensdon, for a handsome looking two-shear, while for bhearling rams Mr J. '1 Bowen-Jones, Ensdon, was placed first in a very fine class. For five ram lambs of this year, Mr Riuhard Brown, Ruytou-xi-Towns, was first, and in the succeeding ciasi-raw lamb of 1893-Mr T. Cart- wright, The Buildings, was accorded premier honours after a very severe contest, all the exhibits being in fine condition. The ewe lambtl looked promising. For the best pen of ten Mr W. Thomas, Beam House, was deservedly placed first, while for the best pen of five Mr W. Nunnerley, Keuwich, was to the front, winning Mr A. E. W. Darby's prize of 5gs. Of Welsh sheep there was but a small show. There was an excellent show ot cattle, both shorthorn and Here- ford breedd being well represented. The shorthorn bulls made up a good entry, and the judges had a difficulty in coming to a decision; bus at length they decided in favour of Kingsiey, a fine animal exhibited by Mr E. K. Bickiey, Ehesmere, who was awarded Earl Brownlow's prize of ^5, and also the champion prize of .£5, given by the president, fur the best shorthorn bull in the showyard. A prize of similar value, given by Mr Stanley Leighton, M.P., for the best shorthoru bull under two years of age, was secured by Mr F. B. Owen's Jumbo, a promising red, and the same gentleman carried off the Mayor of Oswestry's prize for a bull under one year. Among thj winners for cows and heifers were Mr J. D. Owen, Mr F. B. Owen, Mr E. K. Bickiey, and Mr W. ihouias, the exhibits in most of the classes being of hign merit. Six classes were ae- voted to kierefutdi;, and although the entries were not over numerous, the animals shown were full 01 quality. For the best bull over two years of age, Captain Crone, the property of Mr James Watson, Berwiok, was placed tiret, and a remarkably nice bull it is wuile in the class for bulls under two years old, Mr J. Bowen-Jones' exhibit secured Mr Stanley Leighton's special priz". Mr D. S. Price, of Gaer- fawr, Welanpooi, won two firsts in the female classes, his exhibits being Lady 31st (oow) and Spangle 43rd (heifer). Tue cross-ored cattle made up a gooJ show, as alo did the Jerseys. Here Mr G. P. Mead Bicton, was first, and the whole class was commendtd. The horses farmed quite a feature in the bhowya- d. the entries throughout being unusually large. Fù, agricultural purposes, Mr E. Green, Welshpool, was a successful competitor, winning the first prize for stallions with a fiue bay, Sterling, and also the first for mare with foal with Weston Bloss m. In the class for three-years-old geldings Mr Thomas Green Pool Quay, took first honours, and also the champion prize fur the best mare or filly shown in Classes 37 to 44, with Ruth, a grand bay filly by Carbon, Mr D. ttichards, Welshpool, who was first with a shire filiy in the class for two-year-olds getting the reserve number. Mr J. Richards, of Moiton liall, Oiwestry, won two first prizes, and Mr T. G. Davies, Knockin, was awarded the Earl of Brownlow's 10 guinea puze for the best shire-bred yearling for agricultural pur- poses bred by tenant farmers. Among the backs and huuters was some really first-olass animals, and con. siderable merit was shown. The hackneys for saddle or harne,s, over 14 hands, were quite a form.dab.e class, and must hav-i puzzled the judges. The winner, t bay mire be.ongiag to Mr J. M. Jones, Mathyraf jl, was great.y a imned and the same remark applies to the winning exhibit in the ciass for 13 hanas jwned by Mr E. Green, Welshpool, who ulsotjoii tiret honours for a mire aud toal over 14 hands. There was a good show of butter and cheese. As to the butter, the white was far superior to the coloured. The tub butter was splendid, but the treoh was not well made up, except nome few sampift vhich were of exoellent quality. Of roots there was j, c tpttal display. The show was very largely attended throughout fchn day. and AIH,ý,bm¡r po.i>o \0 Q. uwob euctroeatni result. At one o'clock a public luncheon was held in the grounds, the Earl of Powis presiding. The caterer was Mr C. Drew, of the Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry, and it is needless to say that his efforts gave the most complete satisfaction. The luncheon was largely patronised. The PRE-IDENT, on repsonding to the toast of Success to the society," coupled with his name, said he occupied a very proud position in having the honour of returning thanks on behalf of the society on the occason when it had completed a record. H was told that this was the best show they tud ever held. He was very glad to say that he had the honour of being among the prize winners. He sup- posed they would expect him to say one or two word- on the subject of agriculture, and he wished he could say they had had wet weather during the last month, for he thought if they had they would have been iu much better spirits than they were. It was not often one wished for a wet day on an occasion of this sort, but really he should have liked to have seen oue. He did not know whether anyone took any interest in the fa3t that the Government had lately issued a Commission to enquire into the state of agriculture, but he was afraid himself that not a deil ot good would come of it. The only thing that was required in agriculture was to fino out the way to put more money into people's pockets, and until they had found that out he did not think any Commission or any legislation would be of much use. He thought the best thing the commission cuUid do was to enquire in the question of whether the agricultural community was not too heavily taxed. If they could throw any light upon the question how to reduce the taxation oa agricul. ture they did not see that very much good was to come of the commission. It would only add to the expan- ses of the ratepayers without putting any more money into their pockets. Mr WHITFIELD (secretary) announced that the prizes for the best crop of turnips or mangolds within the area of the society has been awarded as follows 1st, Mr T. S. Minton, Montford (a tenant of the Earl of Powis); highly commended, Mr E. Edwards, Pen- tredavid (a tenant of Lord Harlech). MR MARSHALL DUGDALE then proposed the Health of the Stewards and Secretary (applause). He said to make the society of real, piactical use they required a good secretary, and in Mr Whitfield they have got one (applause). The arrangements that day were perfect (hear, hear). Then they wanted a body of good Stewards, and the way the stock had been turned out that morning was a credit to any show (loud applause). Mr WHITFIELD replied. He had had to do with the show for nearly quarter of a century, and never saw the yard managed go well &4 it bad been that day (applause, and hear, hear). With regard to himself, it would always be his endeavour to do the beet he possibly could for the Society (hear, hear). The proceedings then terminated.
» An extraordinary outrage OB a child is engaging the attention of the Bradford police. On Tuesday night a girl, three years old, named Amy Carter, was accosted nea- her home by a shabbily dressed woman, who, by a bribe of a few sweets, induced the child to fo low her. Late on Wednesday night the child was deposited near her home by a woman with her face muffled, who at once ran away. The child was insensible, and an examination showed that its body was covered from head to foot with bruises intermingled with burns apparently made with a red- hot poker. CAMBRIAN RAILWAYS.—Approximate return of traffic receipts for the week ending Sept. 17th, 1893: —Miles open, 237. Passengers, parcels, horses, carriages, dogs, and mails. i;3,897 merchandise, minerals, and live stock, X2,125 total for the week, £ 6.022; aggregate from commencement of half-year, £ 67,643. Actual trifflo receipts for the corresponding week last year :-Miles open, 237. Passengers, parcels, horses, carriages, dogs, and mails, £ 3,734; merchandise, minerals, and live stock, < £ 2,224; total for the week, X5,958 aggregate from commencement of corresponding period last year, J266,746. Increaee for the week, passengers, &c., £ 163; merchandise, minerals, &c., XLOO; total increase for the week, .£64; aggregate increase from commencement of half-year, XOOO. Decrease, Passengers, parcels, Ac., .£000; merchandise, &c., J699; total decrease for the week, ROOO; aggregate decrease from commence- ment of half-year, .£000. Aggregate increase, pas- sengers, parcels, Ac., J81.029 merchandise, minerals, and live stock, J6000 total for the week, .£000; aggre- gate increase from commencement of half-year, .£896, Aggregate decrease, passengers, parcels, &c., £ <jii0 merohandise, minerals and live stock, J2133; total for the week, £ 000; aggregate decrease from commancfmeut of half'year, 45000. I
I THE WELSH LAND COMMISSION.…
THE WELSH LAND COMMISSION. BARMOUTH. The Commission sat in the Masonic Hall on Friday week, Lord Carrington presided. Mr John Davies, C.Q., gave evidence as to the general condition of the f arming population in the district of Dyffryn. He said that farmers and their wives took considerable part in the manual labour on the farm. Labourers' wages were now so hign that they were forced to work to pay the present rents. He could not assign the present depression to foreign competition. He recommended ad remedies a land or arbitration court, and the abolition of the game laws. Replying to a question, witness said that the children of some of the farmers we, e prevented from attending school owing to the necessity for their services on the farms. The Hon. R. H. Eden, Hillhampton, Stourbridg agent for Lord Dudley's estate, gave evidence. He deposed that rent was fixed by valuation. So far as he knew of Wile-, the first causa of the present de- pression was the large number of sheep lost in 1885. I Then came bad prices for all kinds of stock from 1885-88, and the great drop in tho value of sheep in 1892-3. Witness said thab the difference of language, religion, or politics made no difference in the selec- tion of an applicant for a farm. Mr D. R. Parry, Bala, formerly a tenant of the Countess de Morella, said that he had had his rent raised on his own improvements, and got no compen- sation for building new walls and manuring when he left. Richard Roberts, Tygwyn, Trawsfynydd, spoke of the gradual decrease in the agricultural population of the parish, and submitted a list of aU farms in the district had been abandoned, and 51 cottages had fallen into ruins. Mr Edward Williams, Uwchlawrooed, tenant far- mer, spoke of his reuts having been repeatedly raised, hia improvements unpaid for, and his land devastated by game. The game was let to a Mr Pone, who was not a Welshman, and was sometimes in London, and sometimes down at the farms. Replying to ques- tions, he said he did not know how much he had lost by the pursuit of game by the lessee. Mr W. R. ,M. Wynne, of Peniarth, gave evidence relating to his estate of about 9,200 acres in Meri- onethshre. He said that politics and religion did not interfere with his adminietration, the tenants being mainly Nonconformists. Witness never heard of furms being let to the highest bidder. Many small farms had been consolidated. Most of his tenants snared rabbits, and any damage done by game was compensated. He had only turned out one farmer Î1, his life, and that was for arrant bad farming. Two addresses had been given him by his tenants at inter- vals of ten years, both ot which expressed satisfac- tion with the interest and kindness he and his father had shown in their welfare. He had continually re- duoed the rents of his ftrms. Answering Mr bryn. mor Jones, who referred to the clause in witness's agreement, providing that tenants could not claim compensation on the scale given in the agreement, if they had violated any of the clauses in it, and said that if a tenant neglected to give notice of two months under the Agricultural Holdings Act, and the landowners ouJd find that he had violated a clause in the agreement he would be deprived of all right of compensation, was this a fair thing between landlord and tenant? Did it not put the farmer at the mercy of the landlord ?—Witness replied that no such case had arisen to his knowledge. If he thought the cl-use was at all unfair he wouid have it at once remodelled. Mr Robert Jones, Ystumgwern, Mr David Griffiths, ryddyndu, Harlech, aud Mr Edward Williams were also examined, and the Commission rose. PORTMADOC. The Land Commission sat at Portmadoc on Satur- day. Mr Owen R. Hughes, Brynrefail Uchaf Garn, a tenant of Lord Harlech, said he wished to speak of the farm of Gweinddwyrjd, Penmorfa, which be. longed to Messrs Huddarts, of Brynkir, and had been in the occupation of his family since 1826. The rent in 1851 was .£74 About 1856 the tram road, half a mile in length, was run through the best fields, but no reduction was granted, in 1870 about twelve acres were added aud the rent raised to .£92. In 1873 the rent was raised to .£103. In 1886 the farm without tne twelve acres waa sold for ^3,400. Since then his mother, the tenant had had to pay for the portion sold X100 rent and for the twelve vires 4J15. Witness's father had expended about X200 on im- provements, but had not received a peony compensa- tion. Buildings on farms generally throughout the district were inferior and iusufficient, and there ought to be some means for compelling landlords to ,4rect. proper buildings for farm purposes, and where 'jjsey were erectea oy tne tenant there should be a provision enabling him to recov r their fair valuo. The tenant should be secure in his tenancy as long as he cultivated his farm properly and paid the rent. It was very unfair that the tenant should be at the mercy of the landlord, and be should have some voice in fixing a fair rent, either by means of arbitration or a land court, as in Ireland. Witness feared there was no chance of getting permanent reduction in rents without the intervention of the law, because he believed a good many of the landlords had heavily mortgaged their property and increased the rent so as to cover the interest. There was among farmers a feeling of being oppressed, and they were very glad the Commission had been appointed; but so great was their fear of their landlords thit very few of them dared come forward to give evidence. When it be- came known that he (witness) was to give evidence many farmers asked him, Are you not afraid of jourmasterp" (laughter). In reply to questions, witness said that farms in the district were generally small, and the large farms had a lot of poor land. Times were so bad that this year tenants could not really afford to pay any rent (appliuse). In the course of this witness's examination, Lord Carrington interposed to call attention to the state- ment tnat the tenants of the district feared to give evidence before the Commission, which statement, the Chairman said, was emphasised by the witness's reply to a question by Lord Kenyjn, namely I hope Lord Harlech will not do any harm to me for being here, for I only mean to eay what is right," and Lord Kenyon's comment, with which all the Commissioners agreed-" I am quite sure he will not, if he is a reasonable man" (applause). He thought it his duty after those expressions of opinion, to state that the Commissioners had come there to do their duty with- out favour or affection, in order to probe that great question to the bottom. Although they did not for one moment think that any landlord would act in thac way, they could not shut their eyes to the sug- gestion that such a thing might oscur in individual cases, and therefore he rejd two sections of the Act for the better protection of witnesses Rho gave evi- dence before Royal Commissions or any Committee of either House of Pdrliament or at any other pub- lic inquiries. The Act, continued Lord Carring- ton, gave the Court power to condemn any persons convicted of any such offence, in addition to the punishment named, to pay the costs and expenses of prosecution and any sum awarded by the court as compensation for any damnification or injury sus. tained by the complainant. He could only say that tha Commissioners did not for one moment think that any landlords would be hard on their tenants for giving evidence, but if any individual case came before them they would not hesitate to at once put the law in motion. Mr W. Watkins, agent for Gwernddwyryd, said in the good times of 1873 a slight advance was made in rents. The estate had spent a thousand pounds upon the farm. John Roberts, tenant of Cefntrefnfawr, belonging to Mr Poole, said he suffered a good deal from the game, the landlord letting the shooting to gen- tlemen, who sublet it. Witness was afraid of exercising his right to them. Mr Richard Hughes, corn merohant, Portmadoc, said he attributed part of the present agricultural depression to foreign competition. He actually sold only one-tenth of English corn and produce to nine- tenths of foreign. It would be a very great thing if foreign produce were compulsorily labelled as such. Mr William Williams, jun., of Tanygrisiau Uohaf, Featiniog, described his father's history in connection with his house and farm, the owner of which was Lord Harlech. As the farmhouse was very dilapi- dated, the father applied several times for a new one, and timber and slates were promised him if he would provide stone and do the work. At first he was un. willing to do this unless he had security for compen- sation, if he had to leave. In 1881 he obtained i-ixty years' lease, at a ground rent of 30s for the site upon which he built a house and hayshed. In 1891 he was served with notice to quit the farm, though he remained in possession of the house. He asked to b9 allowed to continue his tenancy of the farm, as other. wise the house would be useless, but was refused. The house and the other buildings cost his father .£290, and the agent refused to compensate him for improvements to the other buildings. Witness was a shopkeeper, and could give evidence as to the way in which farmers had run into debt during the last few years. Cadwaladr Roberts, of Buarthmelyn, a glebe farm belonging to the incumbent of Llanfihangel, said the land was mountainous and swampy. He wai born and bred there, and hii family had lived on the farm some centuries. In his father's time the rent was iJ14, and at present it was .£38. It was proposed to accept a bankrupt as tenant in his place at JUO more rent, and witness had to pay the .£10 to retain the tenancy. He had spent much in improvements, etc., for which he had received no reoompense. He offered to buy the farift, and they gave him notice in order that he might do so, but now notices were issued offering the farm tor sale by auction. Mr W. B. 0. Jones, of the Nanney estate, main- tained there was no deire on the part of Conservative landlords to favour Church tenants at the expens) of Nonconformists, but he hold ttiat No: conformists and Church landlords had a perfect right to choose tenants I agreeable to themselves. Improvements on farms were more talked of than executed. Stock waa badly bred and badly fed. There were, however, some exceptions. Buildings were erected as a rule by landlords, but in case of buildings added by tenants material was invariably supplied free of charge by landowners, the tenant obtaining increased comfort and facilities for profit-making as the result of his investment. By the custom of the country and by local agreements teuants contracted out of the Agricultural Holdings Act. Sufficient compensation was difficult to define, but any man would be silly beyond hope if he spent his money on another man's land without getting an understanding as to the position he would be in when he left the farm. Many tenants did not avail themselves of the Ground Gune Act, recognising that hares and rabbits belonged to landowners, and declining to take advantage of any variance in the old custom brought about by Act of Parliament. One of the causes of depression was excessive supply and foreign meat being sold as prime Welsh, whereby consumers were cheated and robbed by being charged the same prices for a sirloin of beef brought from Canada marked Prime Welsh." The remedy for distress would be increased produce at reduced cost, which could ba obtained by greater activity among farmers and closer attention to their business—in fact a thorough knowledge of their business theoretically and praotically. PWLLHELI. The Welsh Land Commission resumed its sittings on Monday at the Town Hall, Pwllheli. Mr William Humphreys, tenant farmer, of Aber- kin, Pwllheli, who was the Unionist candidate for South Carnarvon at the last election against the sit- ting member, said that he farmed 175 acres, without counting the sheep rans. The land belonged to the Hon. Frederick George Wynne, of Glynllifon. He believed the recent enclosures of land had done a deal of good. The land was now properly cultivated, and and a proper amount of stock put upon it. His land- lord had never interfered with the politics or religion of the tenants, who oculd act according to their opini- ons. Tenant farmers should be fully secured for un- exhausted improvements, and the landlord should b ? secured against dilapidations, the compensations for which should be eettled by arbitration. He gave an instance of penal clauses having recently been put into operation. He looked upon the labourers of the district as the best in the country, and he con- sidered their working hours were long enough. His landlord had never attempted to contract out of the Agricultural Holdings Act. Foreign competition was one cause of the present depression, and this competition was exceedingly unfair to British far- mers. Concluding, witness declared that he knew of many tenant farmers who held the same views as he did, but did not come forward because they were afraid of their ministers and deacons (laughter ) Lord Carrington Are you a Churchman or a Non- conformist ? Witness: Nonconformist, my lord—a Methodist. Lord Carrington Do you say there has been in- timidation from ministers and deacons ? Witness I do say that plenty of farmers daTe not come forward bee i uge they would lose all chanc) of promotion in the different chapels (loud expressions disapproval and hisses.) Examined by Mr B-ynmor Jones: He was perfect. ly satisfied with the atate of the law between landlord and tenant beyond the details mentioned. He did not represent any association, but he wote to Mr Georere Owen that he wanted to give evidence, and sent him a copy of it. Mr Owen, who was secretary of the Landlords' Association, objected to one section which he thought bard on the landlords, but witness refused to alter it (applause.) The instance in which Mr Lloyd George's name figured was simply intended to show that tenant farmers did not get copies of a- greement*. He stated facts. Mr R. Pugh Jones, Criccietb, gave evidence as to the Madryn estate, of which he was now trustee. He said that the outlying portions of the estate were sold in 1886, the purchasers of more than half the lots being the tenants, and, saving one or two in stances, they had not changed hands since the sale. which was caused through the talk about a Welsh Land Leagu-i. The mountain sheep farms realised 40 years' purchase. He was not a member of a land- lor Is' association. He derided the ida that either language, politics or religion had anything to do with the letting of land in Wales. Comparing prices of produce w'th wh-t they were fifty years ago, the rates were now considerably higher. This account-d fT the increase in rent. The price of labour, on the other hand, was three times higher than half a cen- tury JlfcO. Mr ftTinkcuil .1"°' Kan Fawv Diana, Llni_t.n, n. mamber of the Carnarvonshire County Council, saio he occupied 76 acres on Madryn estate. There had been a general increase of rents during the last forty years. Rents were now a great deal too high. A Land Ceurt to assess fair rents would be the only remedy. Land was scarce. The abatements made in rent were far too small as compared with the fall in produce, prices of which had fallen 50 per cent. during the last ten years. Gamo caused a good deal of nuisance. He advocated security of tenure and compensation for unexhausted improvements. He knew many farmers who abstained from coming for- ward to state their grievances, simply because they were afraid of offending their landlords. The Welsh farmer had therefore nothing to hope for without the intervention of Parliament. His life was one con- tinued struggle to pay rent. Mr John Jones, Penrhyndyn, Llanfihangel, Caehel. laeth, complained of damage by game which neigh. bouring landowners strictly preserved and let to other persons. Once he put down a fence to stop game coming on his land, and the keepers pulled it up again. The Commissioners resumed their inquiry on Tuesday. Mr Adams, solicitor, Ruthin, said he had been agent for twenty-one years of Aberdwyian estate be. longing to Mrs Jones Parry, and Garth Tregaian, be. longing to Mr Lloyd. The estate consisting of 2,453 acres in Carnarvonshire, Merionetb&hire, and Angle- sey was revalued in 1872, showing total increase of i2800. Structural repairs were carried out by the landowner, the tenant doing the repairs needed in. door. There WAS a reservation of game which was not affected by the Ground Game Act. The reserva- tion was seldom enforced. No shooting was let, and tenants were never interfered with in their dealings with game. There had never been any disagreement with a tenant, nor had the slightest ill-feelinor ever existed between them. The net rental was £ 1,624, reduction of 10 per cent. beicg given, reducing the income to JT,462. Turning to the Garth Tregain estate, Mr Adann paid the conditions there were pretty much the same. When a tenant died on either estate his nearest relative was invariably given the option of taking up the farm. Since 1873 only (hree strangers had been introduced to the estates. From 1883 reduction of 10 per cent. had been made in the rent. The ten per cent had been given as a reduction of rent, not an abatement. This was done in order that tenants might have the advantage of the reduced rates. Replying to Mr Grove, witness said he considered the cottaare accommodation on the estate ample. No farm had been consolidated. The agreement was printed before 1875, when the Agricultural Holdings Act was passed. Mr Ellis Nanney said he was the owner of Gwynfryn estate, consisting of seven thousand acres. He handed in a specimen copy of leases granted on his estate. He had received no complaints of oppressive or penal clauses in the agreement, copies of which in English or Welsh were invariably supplied to the tenants. The rents were fixed on valuations and no other services were exacted. During the last filty years some rpnts had been increased and some lowered, In 1876 the estate was revalued by a prac- tical farmer from an adjoining estate, and he (wit- ness) handed in a schedule of rents permanently re- duced as a result, showing the table of abatements. Local rates had increased, but tenants had a voice in electing boards on whom depended in a great measure the amount of local rates. Many farmers availed themselves of the Ground Game Act, and farms subjected to damage by game were dealt with according to valuation. Asked what remedy he would suggest, witness said he did not think any panacea could be named. If landlords gave tem- porary assistance and tenants &et to work not only with hands bat also with heads, studying the ever- varying requirements of the markets of England, and sending good stock to local fairs which dealers would look at, he saw no reason to despair of tenants doing well. Questioned by the Commissioners Neither po itios nor religion made any difference in his treatment of tenants. He believed their relations were friendly. There was fair dairy accommodation at the farms. Farmers' eons attended the B mgor College lecture on agriculture in fair numbers, and the f iruiera' daughters attended the dairy lectures. Questioned by Mr William George, solicitor How many notices to quit were served on your estate after the 1868 election?-Witness: I don't know. I discuss such matters generally with my agent, but I don't go into details. That agent is now dead. Is it denied that all who then received notices voted for the Liberal candidate ii-I cannot answer that question. Was Mr Robert Jones, of Glyn, a tenant of yours, and why was he evicted ?-He was my father's tenant, and I don't know why he was evicted. Why was notice to quit given Mr Rowland Hughes, of Hendre, and Mr William Jones, of Velingwvlod, after the 1868 election f-Hughe8 was on my lather's estate; Jones was on my estate, but I cannot givo particulars. Have you and your fellow landlords enclosed Rhosian Common and if so, by what right ?-It, wmw done in my father's time. I eannot tell by what right, and I cannot furnish particulars about it. In reply to a question by Mr Vincent, witness said he could not recollect giving a notice to quit for political reasots. Lord Kenyon Can you say you have fiWef £ ive»- notice to quit for political reasons ? Witness Not that I can remember. The Chairman We must have an answer to question by Lord Kenyon. Lord Kenyon having repeated his quesiiSWthe wit, ness gave tbe same answer. The Chairman: Is that the only aasver you can' give ? Witness I say I leave detai's to, my agent; I can* not remember the reasons. The Chairman This is a very serious matter. The witness here proceeded to refer to a particular case, when the Chairman reminded him that, the question was g neral—namely. Can you say yoo have never given notice for political reasons?" aiid added, Is your former answer the only one you cant- give?" Mr Nanney Yes. The Chairman Thank you; that will do. Kobert Jont-s, of Piascopol, Pen i-byiidOUdTZDtli,- gave evidenoe with reference to his occupation of Plasynpenrhyn farm, olned by Messrs Hnddart, After he had been in occupation two years' tiventy- five acres of the farm were sold, but th. re was no re- dnction of rent. He continually complained that ho could not mike the farm pay, but the agent always persuaded him to stick to the place, saying no one would be harsh to him. A reduction of rent w,, r fused. Owing to his losses, he had to st-ll his sto^k and leave Piaepenrhyn a ruined man. He loet there in eight years, so that now at the ag.> of 73 De had to work hard for the support of himself and bia, wile. His old farm was now let as accommodative land for half the rent he had had to pay for it. Mr W. Watkin, agent to Messrs Huddart, said it was true that he allowed the tenant to run into W r^ars of .£600, sold him up for < £ 150, and left him with only .£15 and his turniture. Mr John Jones said that in 1862 he took the farm. of Plas Isif Brynceiyn, being told that he would not be disturbed. He was not disturbed in fact until after the death of the agent, when the rent was raised to such a pitch that he could not pay it, so he wae turned out without compensation. He afterwards tooic a farm belonging to Mr Asshelon Smith. White there the 1880 election occurred, and a Tory agent came for him to vote. He refused to go, but subse- quently he voted when the agent was unaware that he did so. Afterwards he got a notice to quit front* Captain Stewart. Replying to Mr Brynmor Jones, he said that bliss Gilleapie, his present landlady, called upon him the previous day, was very kind, and promised new build-- ings (laughter). It was the first time he bad eeeo the lady since she had succeeded to the property four years ago. Captain Stewart denied that the last witness was given notice to quit for a political reason. Mr Jones was a bad tenant. Dr. Rowlands, of Llanelhairn, said the sanitAry condition of farmhouses was very unsatisfactory. The men servants alept often in outbuildings, such as lofts over stables, &c. Tenants bad difficulty in get» ting repairs done by their landlords. The condition of the maid servants was very unsatisfactory. lie thought night schools to teach both men and women reading, &c., should be established. He believed th" district councils to localise the government would lead to improvements Mr Evan Pri, chitrd, a farm labourer, said there had been an increase in wages and a change for the better" in food at most farmhouses. He complained ol the waLt of sleeping and other accommodation, and thought the landlords ought to be compelled to pro- vide better rooms, seeing that servants were nece8»" sary for the farmers to produce their rents. Mr William George, of the firm of Messrs Lloyd George and George, said he came of a farm family, and was intimately acquainted with th., con- ditions ot Welsh farmers. Tney lived in a state of paralytic fear of their landlords. The Welsh farmer was a very vulnerable animal, owing to his attach* u ent to the soil. Witness puc iu a number of agree- ments, and pointed out the clauses therein which be" considered unfair to the tgrarit. One of the penal clauses is an agreement provided that if the lIant. ,lid uot inform his landlord that potcher- had bee]) on the land he was liable to forteic all benefit- under tne covenant. The Agricultural Holdings Act WII'Ø entirely useless, mainly becausfe of the provision requiring the landlord's written consent as to iaIw- provements. CARNARVON. The Commissioners opened their inquiry at Caror narvon on Wedneadty, Colonel the Hon. W. E. Sackville West, of Bangor* chief agent of Lord Penrhyn's estate, was in" first- witness called. The acreage of the estate, he said,- was about seventy-two thousand aore:1. includingr- uplands. Part of the estate was held in strict BOttl., meut and part was his Lord-h p's absolute property. No commons had bee-i eicloeed iu ids time. bbeep runs made adjacent farm more valuable, but as &■ rule rents were no higher for having shoep runs. Language, politics, or religion had no influence whatever on thu administration of the estate. It was of course desirable that landowners and agents should be able to converse with tenants, but ho hoped that the increasing knowledge of English would- obviate this difficulty before many years were over. He was not aware of a single case of hardship on ths estate. Compensation was always given when land- was taken for timber cutting or planting. Betato were seldom altered except on changes of b,ut, d itries, and as a rule farms were relet at the same rente. There was no such thing as letting to the hiirhtst bidder on the estate. Since 1883 about < £ 750 per annum had been given in permanent reduction. The f..rm rent income on the estate for last year was .X21,01)0. He advocated the continuation of preferential claim for rent, for if abolished landowners would have to take guarantees for rent or take rents in advance. On all property the tithe was included in rent, so that when abatements were made the tenant got a reduction on his tithe as well as the i eut. Consolidation of farms had not taken place of late years. The great drawback on small firms was tb.. excessive cost of farm buildings, which could only bs properly borne by wealthy landowners. All imprvTe.- ments were made by the landlords except when ma,io by tenants under the compensation clause in the agreement Atked whether pt'esent rents could be maintained if wages were paid by farmers for their children's labour, witness pointed to the fact that the rents were the same in cases where these were no children, and he observed no difference between the two. He thought the depression in that district- commenced in 1885 and continued until 1889. Good stock sold now, but the inferior stock bred by farmers in many places were a drug. From 1867 to 1892 ibe sum of X128,207 bad beon spent on repairs and im- piovements on the estate. In some cases interest had been charged for a time, but in nearly all cat-es that had been remitted. In addition to this, £ 4,7,990 had been spent on workmen's cottages making a. total of X177,200 or thereabouts during twenty-sevett years. Mr Brynmor Jones said he found in a leading article in the Times of August 10, 1849, a passage stating that for fifty or sixty years preceding ihat- date Crown property in Wales had been looked upon as a legitimate sort of political corruption. In that article these remarks occurred: We take the charges as we find them when we htate that in that period Crown property of enormous value in Wales has been appropriated by private individuals with the privity and connivance of Crown tenants, sheriffs, lords of the manor, stewards of lordships, and Crown officers ex-ojficio guardians of the property. Sheriffs of counties, invariably landed proprietors, appointed as their deputies their own solicitors. We do not of course asert of our own knowledge that objection- able transactions actually took place in consequence of arranging matters such as these, but, the arrangements are very suspicious, and the charges • are openly made. Can witness give any information as to these charges ? Witness; Nothing of the kind. That was long be- fore my time. Lord Penrhyn and his lawyers are perfpctly satisfied with his title Witness, in reply to Sir John Llewellyn My ob- jection to a land court is that it involves freedom of sale and fixity of tenure. If rent is fixed in an arbitrary manner it must be below the market or competition rent or it would be useless. Then there would accrue the difference in value between the absolute actual rent and the selling value, and the question to whom that should belong would arise. If it belonged to the tenant he should have the power of sale, and the next man would pay the full niarket valug of the farm. I think loases the best form of security, and I would give a tenant greater security for money spent in improvements in case of his farm being sold over his head. The Chairman Mr Brynmor Jones waa anxious to- know about the Crown property enclosed some years- ago before you were agent. Would there be any objection to letting the Commissioners know under what citcumstances they were enclosed, or would it be necessary to go to the Comtuiseioners of Woods and Forests for the information ? Colonel West: I don't know how it could be ola,. tained. Mr Brynmor Jones: The Commissioners could go* to the Woods and Forests Commissioners. The Rev R. W. Griffiths, C.C., Bethel Llan- deinolen, Carnarvon, said that few improvement. were carried out by landlords, and 5 per cent, interest was charged on such as were granted, Compensation was granted where agreements existod6-
BOARDS- OF GUARDIANS. -
BOARDS- OF GUARDIANS. NEWTOWN & LLANIDLOES,— WEDNESDAY. Present: Capt. W. H. Adams (chairman), Mr Rd. Beunett (vice-chairman), Messrs Cornelius Morgan, John Lewis, David Divies, Evan Jones. Richard Not- ting, David Jones, William Francis, Edwd. Edwards, D. Hiffgs, Samuel Meddins, Evan Powell, Wm. Alder- son, Wm. Gittins, M. H. Davies, Edward George, and William Jones; with Messrs R. Williams (clerk), A. R. Breese (master), R. H. Lloyd, R. Owen, and J. Hamer (relieving officers). A MOTION OF SYMPATHY. The Chairman: I have a very disagreeable duty placed upon me to-day to perform, and that is-I am sure when I ask yon to vote with me upon the reso- lution which I shall put to you, I tbiok I shall have yonr unanimous vote ne on it. Since our last meeting nere a great calamity has fallen upon one of oor officers, an officer who I am sure is highly respected by ua all; and in a few words I beg to propose that we pass a most hearty vote of condolence to our Clerk, Mr Williams. Mr John Lewis seconded He did so for more than one reason. He was sorry that owing to the discus- sion. of a vexed quest on at the meetings of the Sanitary Authority and School Attendance Committee, on Tuesday, that the duty was omitted. No one was more ready than himself to propose a vote of sym- pathy. There were other reasons why he should do 8), the great esteem in which Mr Williams was held by them, and he very cordially seconded the vote of condolence. The motion was then put, and carried unanimously. Mr Williams: I cannot trust myself to say more than thii;-t,hat I thank you very much for your vote of condolence. HALF-YEARLY ESTIMATE.— DECREASE ON THE YEAR. The Clerk presented the half-yearly estimate of receipts and expenditure up to March 3lst, 1894. He ^a.j/4 that the purport of the estimate waB that the Board would require for the coming half-year X3,888, and that would amount to a rate of Sid upon the whole of the parishes. The corresponding half of last year was eightpence and one-eighteenth. The difference was caused through there being a little larger balance in band last year, otherwise on the estimates the expenditure was æl84 less. The Chairman: Cannot you manage to do it with tile sam" rate ?- The Clerk: No; we have out them down very low As it in. The Chairman: It is only a mere fractional in- ^The Clerk: Taking the whole year the rate will amount to Is S^d. i Mr Morgan said the rate in Llanllwchaiarn was Is 2d How was that? The Clerk There are various things included II there. The collector's salary and School Board rate. Mr Morgan: And Newtown only one shilling? Mr Lewis, How does the whole of the rate this year compare with those of previous years? The Cleik: They compare very favourably. We have had to pay Is 3d pec half-year, and this on the half-year Mr Lewis I want to know exactly how does this year's expenditure compare with last year's expendi- ture, so that we may make a little reduction each year. It is highly imperative our expenditure should he comitg less, otherwise we shall be less (laughter). Mr Francis There is no fear of that, as we have got such economists as you on the Board (laughter). Mr Lewi3: I think we shall be extinct before the century is over, unless we get some radical change. The Chairman We shall have a radical change the wrong way when the district councils come. Five well are to be elected for each parish and have entire regulation of the business, no matter whether Lhey are ratepayers or not. Mr D'tvid Jones Pick them up on the road. TheCu rk: We are calling upon the parishes now for the whOiG year £ 9,733, as against XIU,14j;1 the previous year. That is a saving of something like £ 400. Mr Lewis That is something like. Mr C. Morgan moved, and Mr David Davies seconded, that the estimates brought up be adopted, and on being put it was carried. STATISTICAL. The foUowiug amounts have been distributed in out- relief during the past fortuight: Newtown (per Mr R. H. Lloyd), £ 67 10s. to 272 persons; Llanidloes (per Mr R. Owen), £ 36 15s 9d to 386 recipients; and L anwnog (per Mr J. Hamer), X41 19s to 167 recipi- ents. The Master reported that the number in the House was 55. The number rf tramps relieved during the past fortnight was 126, as compared with 84 same period last year. FIRES. The Master reported that an ou break of fire occurred in the outbuildings on Monday. They were destroyed with the contents. The Board decided to send in a claim to the Insurance Company lor £ k0 7s. —for implements destroyed, and to ask Mr Evans, builder, of Caersws, to submit an estimate as to the amount of damage done and the cost of replacing the buildings. LLANFYLLIN,-THURSDAY. Present: Messrs Evan Evans. chairman, William Roberts, vice-chairman, J. Jones, and Captain Hayhurst-France, ex-ojjicio, Messrs J. Ryle, B. Bedioes, Dd. Evans, Thomas Roberts, Robert Roberts, Llanrhaiadr, Thomas Jones, David Pryce, Robert Roberts, Llanfechain, John Hughes, John Jones. J. Thompson Williams, Robert Richards, John Humphreys, and Charles Jones, with W. A. Puehe, cleck. fItli&¡. IDIOT PAUPERS. "lJ Ht)l"4 lUüfJ The Clerk reported that, the cost of maintaining the idiot child now in the Workhouse, at the school at Exeter, would be 12s per week. From this amount a grant of 46 would be made. It was decided to ascertain che cost at a similar institution at Man. chester. With regard to the boy now at the Bicton Asylum whom it is proposed to remove to a training institution, a letter was read from the Asylum Authorities stating that there was no improvement in the case, nor waa there likely to be auy. The boy had scarcely any intelligence, and they did not con- sider him capable of any training.—No action was taken in the matter. THE MSIFOD DEAF AND DUMB CASE. Mr Roberts, Ystumcolwyn, asked what was being done in this case. The Board had agreed to pay half the cost of the child's maintenance at a training institution. The total 3oat would be about £ 20 The people of Meifod hAd contributed .£5, and as the case was in Guilsfield parish, it was thought that Guilsfield ought to contribute the other £ 5. But the- Guilsfield people were behind, and the boy's time was being lost. Mr Pryce, "f Guilsfield, said he did not think the case was sufficiently well known to command the -yinpatbv of tnw Guilsfield gentry. The boy lived on the fiinge of Guilsfield parish, and as they were awaie, their parish extended to within a very short distance of Meifod village. Captain France suggested that Mr Wynn, of Coedymaen, should be approached wish a view to securing his influence in favour of the boy, in which case they might get the boy into an institution free of cost. Mr J. Jones, Gailsfield, did not think that was- possible in this cise tinee Mr Wynn had subscribed towards the fund, and if he had thought it possible to get the boy in free of cost he would have doi e 80. Aflo. ON RT 1J X'T IID (J O l;t.81s.d tc mention the matter to Mr Wynn, and the Guardians for the parishes of Guilsfield and Meifod were asked to visit the Doy in company with Dr. Gill, and report to the next meeting. THE RECENT INQUIRY. After the reading of the correspondence, the Chair- man said they all knew what had happened in the Board recently. The case had been referred to the Local Government Board, and he had received a letter from the Local Government Board, stating that they had taken the matter into their own hands, and ask- ing to be informed of what would take place at tho next meeting of the Guardians. He did not think they had anything more to do with it. The case had gone out of their hands altogether. They would, therefore, proceed with the business of the Board. The relieving officers were called in, and business proceeded with, when Mr Ryle, interrupting, asked whether there were no letters to read from the Local Government Board. The Chairman then said These are letters that I have received from the Local Government Board if the Board wishes to have them read:—Dear sir, I am directed by the Local Government Board to transmit to you the enclosed copy of a letter which they have this day addressed to Mr W. A. Pughe, requiring him to resign the position of clerk of the Guctrd^ans. The Board request to be informed after the Guardians' next meeting whether Mr Pughe's resignation has been received." This is a copy of the letter they have written to Mr Pughe Dear Sir, I am directed by the Local Government Board to ritate thit in consequence of the resolution passed by the Guardians of the Llanfyllin Union, on the 7th ult., the Board's Inspector, Mr Bircham, acting on their inatrnctionf, attended the meeting of the Guar- dians on the 31st ult. Mr Bircham reports that he was then informed by the Guardians of what had taken place at the meeting of the 3rd ult., by which you appear to have assaulted one of the Guardians in the Boardroom or in the office adjoining, and that vou were not present to offer any explanation or tender any expression of regret, and that though Mr B rcham during the last meeting requested you to attend, you declined to come, and further that you also absented yourself without assigning any reason from the previous meeting on the 17th ult. Under these circumstances the Board regret to feel that they have but one course to pursue, and they must require you to send in to the Guardians your resigna- tion of your office as Clerk of your Board at the next meeting of th9 Guardians on the 14th inst." The Clerk said he had replied to the letter written to him by the Local Government Board, and hoped to receive an answer betore the next Board. At the next meeting, if they would be kind enough to allow the matter to stand adjourned, he should be prepared to make a full statement regarding the action he had taken.—This was agreed to, and the subject dropped.