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Topical Tattle.

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Topical Tattle. We evidently don't get any nearer the end of the teachers' strike-at any rate at the time of writing. I rather fancy somebod y is getting the worst end of the stick, and it isn't the teachers, as I hear the County Education Secretary will not see any more piessmen. That's a sign of either weakness or loss of temper—and neither is a sign of a cheerful spirit confident in the justice of one's cause. Of course, after this you must not bo surprised at anything. If only the business of the county was run by business men on business lines, and not, for the most part, by a set of patriarchal autocrats (who call the tune and are followed by the other Councillors like a flock of sheep), who are altogether out of touch with modern thought and modern movements, the whole business would have been settled long ago. What, after all, is it the teachers are out for ? A scale, a thing that is in operation in practically every other part of the country, but benighted Hereford shire. It is all a question of supply and demand, and market value. The supply of teachers is limited, so naturally up goes the demand and the market value. ♦ Take the appointments that the Education Committee have made so far, and if the truth were told, they are paying a higher rate than even the N U.T. put forward in their proposed scale. This again bears out the argument that it is a question of supply and demand and market value. Then again, taking them generally, what class of teacher do the Education Committee expect to get as strike-breakers. What is the usual stamp of strike-breaker from a labourer up ? As a rule they are people who cannot get a job anywhere else, or they are people so devoid of honour and loyalty to their class that they allow themselves to be tempted by the bait that is offered them. We can therefore assume, for the sake of general argument, that the strike-breaking teachers the Education Committee have got hold of, are not a very good sample as a whole, and according to the reports that have reached me the County will be well rid of some of them. ♦ And now just a word to the National Union of Teachers. Their proposed scale is too high, and we must have a lower one. I am well aware that they simply put forward this scale as a basis for compromise, and that they do not dream of insisting on it. It is just as well that this should be known, in case some people are frightened by Mr Wiltshire's £10,000 and 4d rate. We can rest assured that the N.U.T. are willing to compromise, but worse luck, they are up against a blank, dead wall of autocracy in the Special Committee of the County Council. Talk about the autocratic Czar and Emperor Wilhelm! Why, we have half-a-dozen of them in this county who could give both start and then lose them. Locally the position is about the same. There is still only the headmaster and two uncertificated assistants at the boys' school, and at the girls' school there is the head- mistress and three other teachers, while the infants' school remains closed. Miss Dunk, the certificated teacher, departed on Satur- day, for another part of the county, I believe, and another teacher has been drafted to the school in her place. The attendance at the two schools that are open is anything but satisfactory, but this is not altogether due to the strike, as there is a good deal of sickness about in the shape of measles and whooping cough. I heard a really good story anent the teachers' strike which is too good to pass by. One day last week three farmers were travelling Gloucester way and were dis- cussing the Herefordshire teachers' strike. In the same carriage, engrossed in a daily, was one of the strikers, of course, unknown to our three farmer friends. As was to be expected the agriculturists were of opinion that the teachers were very well paid for what they did, and one of them turned to the teacher in the corner, and asked if he did not think so, too. That did it. No, I don't," replied the striker, as I happen to be one of them." And then the argument began. # Teacher- Look here,you three are farmers, I take it ? Farmer-Yes. T.—And live in Herefordshire ? F.- Yes. T.—Don't you think you can breed and feed as good cattle and sheep, and grow as good corn and hops in Herefordshire as the farmers can in Gloucestershire and Worcester- shire ? F.—Yes, and probably a bit better. T.—And don't you reckon to get as much for your stock and your produce in Hereford- shire as the farmers do in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire ? F.—Yes, and a bit more if we can get it. T.—Then we teachers in Herefordshire want as much as the teachers in Gloucester- shire and Worcestershire-—that's all. And I take it that finished the argument. I have not yet heard one to beat that point of view. Some time ago I heard a remark passed at one of our public bodies that the placards on the Town Hall advertising the glorious British Army were unsightly and had been placed there without permission. Orders were given for their removal, and they were taken down by one of our Urban Councillors in his spare time. Now I notice f urther placards, which according to the same argu- ment I am entitled to term unsightly, more especially one ad vertising a weekly journal which was nailed on the box of the weighing machine, and may I be allowed, in all meekness and humility, to ask who gave permission for any or all of these placards to be displayed there ? Person- ally, I consider it most unpatriotic and bordering on bigotry, to object to advertising placards of the British Army, and to allow bills about temperance or small holdings to be exhibited. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Either let 'em all come, or clear the lot. Will our Charity Trustees please note. ♦ If the British Medical Association can defy the British Government what price the National Union of Teachers against the Herefordshire Local Education Authority ? If it takes six months to fill two appoint- ments out of three at the Ledbury Boys' School, how long will it take the Local Education Authority to fill over 220 positions in Herefordshire? TATTLER.

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