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= BY THE SILVER SEA.

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= BY THE SILVER SEA. SOME REFLECTIONS FROM PORTHCAWL By SEA-SERPENT. Let me hasten to gratefully acknowledge the compliment the members of the local gov- erning authority paid me on Monday night by Their discussion; upon the observations I had the temerity to make last week in refer- ence to the vexed camp6 question. Carefully designed1, well rehearsed and delivered, as I am told' it was, with an evident sense of the gravity and historical importance of the oc- emitm, that discussion will doubtless go down; in the pages of history as an assurance to pos- terity that, though much maligned and per- secuted, the Camps Committee did its duty! Bea.ding some of the perorations one cannot fail to be amused at the frantic efforts of the famous committee to exonerate one another from all blame for the failure to secure the oamp of the Worcesters and Warwicks fc:r this year. But the excessive zeal which characterised the defence caused no little dis- crepancy, as we shall presently see, and the Camps Committee may be likened to a pri- soner charged with a crime who, after em- phatically pleading his innocence, proceeds to establish his guilt. Let it be, home in mind that my primary charge against the committee was not their failure to come to terms with the command- ing officer of the Worcesters adid Warwicks, but the fact, that they had refra; noo from presenting any explanatory report to the Council, in accordance with the custom in- variably followed by ail property-conducted public authorities. It now transpires that though the Camps Committee has been in existence for nearly eleven months, not a single report has been presented by them to the Council, just as if what they were doing '5&3 a matter of no consequence to either the Council who appointed them or to the rate- payers, whose views they were to translate. The members of the committee were too art- ful to make any reference to this aspect of the question, though it was with this that I dealt, almost entirely, last week. The posi- tion of the committee in that regard is, of eoiwse, defenceless. They knew it was, and refrained from attempting the impossible. They focussed their energy and mighty elo- qivenoe on the other aspect of the case, and. with an amazing self-assurance, declared that they found no fault in themselves. The in- trospection was incomplete. I recommend them. another trial. The outlook, so far as the Sea-Serpent" was concerned, was posi- tively gloomy when Surveyor Lilley saved the situation with a. neat trump card in the form of a telegram. That missive must have come ae a. shock to some of the members, who were frank enough to admit that they had not beard of it before-which, to say the least, is rather curious. Major Gillman, whose in- formal application for land had been before the Council since September, last year, wrote em June 9th that he had received a wire stat- ing the brigade should encamp at Porthcawl from August 2nd to the 16th, if he could ar- Tange it. and he asked for a. wire in reply the same day as to whether the Council could pilace land for the camp at the disposal of the brigade. The reply sent was peremptory: Lands already engaged to the end of August. A message of that sort ought never to have- been sent. In the circum- stances I do not blame the Council for letting the land, secured for the Warwickshire Bri- gade for another Territorial camp, but in order to interpret the desires of Porthcawl people, the Council should have made it clear that, while the lands secured had been iet, they would guarantee to provide another site, or, iiii the event of their failure to do this, place the common at the disposal of the brigade as on the last occasion. But no such undertaking was given, and it was not untii 24 hours afterwards that the Council gave Major Gillman to understand that there was laud available. The urgency of the matter was shown by the necessity for telegraphing, and the delay in sending an assurance that fond could be found proved fatal. Subsequent to the production of that tele- gram it was urged that the encampment of two brigades in the same district was unde- sirable, and that this was the sole reason for the diecision of the Warwickshires not to en- camp at Porthcawl. This was not supported by any documentary evidence, and, while I do not believe for a moment that the mem- bers who mentioned that reason would wil- fully mislead the public, I have no hesitation in affirming that that was nothing more than a pious expression of opinion. The members who took up that line had allowed a very im- portant item in the surveyor's report to slip their notice. Referring to the committee's telegram on the 11th July offering land, Mr. LilJey stated THE OFFER, HOWEVER, WAS TOO LATE, as other arrangements had been made." • Unconsciously to the members of the Camps «CVwnmittee themselves, the real reason slipped • -Vstft and—well, I think I can leave the Camps Committee to evolve some other scheme of eHtancipatiou from the entanglement they got themselves into. One member of the Camps Committee, who is wont to make a point of showing how, in public work, he can despise and dispense with the ordinary canons of Mir afPod taste, went out of his way to cast an un- ■Bjttjjputifia b le imputation upon the writer of the as to the motive which animated him. As to "motive," I remind him of the saying about glass houses" and "stones." He con- siders me to be a sort of Philistinic giant set- ting out to do mischief to all and sundry, while he calmly appropriates to himself the other role in, tho piece. But really when Mr. Grace is so ungraceful as to resort to this form of cheap abuse, so characteristic of him, be really bites the hand that feeds," as he jrou'ld realise did he but know what studied restraint I exercised in penning that note— what I left unsaid, and, therefore, un- revealed The one topic of perennial interest is the weather, and just now it is of paramount in- terest. The climatic disappointments of this 44 alleged summer" are of vital importance to those resident at places like Porthcawl, whose livelihood is more or less dependent on the proceeds of the "season." Tbe showers of Jfily are washing away their hopes, and they view with growiftg misgiving the leaden skiets that seem to be our almost daily lot this month. There must be a consensus of opinion, even among the argumentative geopl-o of Porthcawl, that we have had enough rain. We want more su-nsliaiie-and, visitors. The uncongenial weather, the angry look of I the Channel particularly, prevented many from availing themselves of the trip to llfra- teombe and Clovelly by the Cambria—one of Mittens. P. and A. Campbell's luxuriously ap- pointed steamers—on Wednesday, but, as it mus, there was a large number of passengers. The weather improved as the day wore on, and the trippers were able to get about to see the picturesque views obtainable at the Devonshire resorts, though their enjoyment would have been intensified under warmer ikies. The journey across the channel was accomplished, having regard to the condi- j tiens, in very good time, and the trip was 31. together a pleasant one. This was tbe first aecaursion of the season, and' it is to be hoped fib will be the fore-runner of several successful Crips. It would be a distinct advantage to the place if Metssrs. Campbell Gould be in- duced to run a series of excursions in August. TiMe is a matter that the Chamber of Trade I Bttight well take up. The Chamber of Trade, it> seems, are taking Bp the question of the provision of a band- Slarnd. At the last meeting a resolution was pawed voting a sum of C5 to form the nuoleus of the fund, and' the energetic secretary (Mr. H. r Morley) was empowered to collect fur- I _her subscription^. It is understood that tbe Chamber intend erecting temporary plat- 3 forms on the Esplanade and Green for Mr. I Higginson^s Band for this year, white they 1 purpose providing a handsome permanent I band-stand before next season. With Mr. I Msrley in charge of the scheme, it will no deabt be carried to a successful issue.

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