This Yuletide. 1 We have reached a season of the year when, by custom and tradition, everyone wishes his friends and neighbours all eorts (ü good, sentimental, material, and otherwise. In ordinary circumstances we should be doing the same to-day as! we have done on many previous occasions, from one end of the country to the other, and both city and village would be ring- ing with the joyful sounds of peace and goodwill. Alas! this year sees us plunged into a tifa of trouble the results of which will be as far-reaching as the experience Is poignant. The unhappy war thrust upon so many nations by the wilfulness of one ambitious man, has sent the angel of grief to accompany the heralds of joy. Prom the picture of a group of shepherds who watched their flocks by night we turn to th" grim panorama of warring tamps, serried ranks of armed soldiers, flevastated villages, shell-smitten churches, bavonetted babies, slaughtered old men and women, violation of the helpless, long rows of crowded graves, mangled bodies of men and beasts, and the pleasant fruits of husbandry shadowed by the smoke of destroying fires. In truth, it is a sorry Yulelide through which we arc passing, one that will bp remembered for life by all who are passing through such a novel experience. Probably many of the preachers v ho Rpeak to their congregations on this Christmas morn will be dwelling upon the lessons of the moment. A large por- tion of their remarks may be devoted to the advisability of looking on the bright side. They will be confronted by the fact that the stress of the times must have its effect upon the work of the churches, in that so much of what is happening is so contrary to the chief tenets of the Christian religion. Indeed the greatest mystery of the war- is the fact that a nation with its monarch who have professed Christianity so loudly. and fostered the arts of culture and civilisation that have so marked the Christian era, is now so entirely subvert- ing everything that those I;rofessionF; mean when applied to co net .if material welfare is the ambition to which a nation should aspire, then Ger- many would, less than a year ago. have been accounted one of the most successful of the world's empires. Why 1H1 pro- fessions are thus thrown to the winds, why all the material good of the nation should be subjected to disruption and destruction, why the lives of linndreds of thousands of men and women should be destroyed without a qualm will remain a mystery to human intelligence. It can be accounted for by no reasons that show the probability of gain, it bears no test of either right or necessity.. However, sad as the moment may be. it is no time to be depressed. To the people of the British Empire there is one duty. and that is to hope for the best. We must realise that the war is upon tis, that, much against our will as a people, we are in it," and that the one task in front of us is to see the thing through. At a season like this, a thought that must press itself upon us is that the war we have to wage is not merely against, an enemy at the gates who must be defeated if we are not to be over- thrown. It is something more than that, for wa are called upon to see to it that -one result of the struggle shall be an end of aggressive militarism, a greater recog- nition of the right of humanity to live by the arts of peace, a truer idea of the practice of truths that have been taught by religion and philosophy, a greater exercise of care for the aged and afflicted, and a more sure application of what are known as the rights due to human com- munities under the name of liberty. If he war leads to more security against hvrannv. and a greater recognition of men's right to the truest joys of life, then the war will not have been in yam. ior will the sacrifice entailed be waste.
LOCAL NOTES. ABERAVON & PORT TALBOT. During the past week it has been a pleasure to witness the great labour of love carried on both in Aberavon and Port Talbot in pa-cking-up and despatching parcels of Christmas comforts for the local soldiers serving the colours, both at home aid abroad. These paroels contain ¡e:rt, body belt, head cover, two pairs of socks, mittens, 60 cigarettes, matches, sweets, and a Christmas card. For many days and nisfrts the Aberavon Council iOamber has been a beehive of activity. Assisting were I the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Williams) and MiiS Williams, Mr. Chae. Jones, J.P., and Miba Jones, Mr. Frank B. Smith, Mr. Abel Jones, Mr. and'Mrs. Willie Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Lovelnck, and numerous others, whilst several tradesmen gave packing material and lent their as- sistants to carry out the work. Over 5CO parcels, at a coat of CZOO, have been sent to their various destinations. No less active have been a committee of I lady workers in Port Talbot, carrying out a similar duty. The Port Talbot Dock Offices, which were kindly placed at the ,Io- posal of the committee for lite purpose, has been a scene of great bustle. The num- ber of parcels packed and sent away from here was 400. Amongst the ladies who gave active assistance were Mrs. D. R. David, Mrs. D. J. Jones (Vicarage), Mrs. Edward Lowther, Mr*. W. B. Hallows, Mrs. Edward Knott, Mrs. John David, Mrs. W. J. Griffiths, Mrs. J. S. Ellis, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. McEvan, Miss Thomas, etc. Already numerous letters have been re- ceived during the past week from local soldiers serving with the coloura by the Mayor of Aberavon (Mr. W. J. Williams, J.P.), Mr. Humphrey Jjeyshon (Secretary of the Aberavon Football Committee), and others, expressing their thanks for the Christmas comforte. Major Lt. David, oomamnding the Glamorgan RoyaJ Horse Artillery in camp at Marsham, writes:- "On behalf of the officers and men I write to thank all those who kindly sent such a sjdendid collection of warm farmcnts for the men of the Glamrogan P.HA. The clothes will add greatly to their comfort and well being, and they much appreciate the kind thought, labour, a.nd generosity of those who have contributed and worked for them- "All are fulsome in wishing the sub- scribers and workcre a joyous Christmas and prosperous Now Year." There ii just one matter farther that ttte public of the district can further help. At ooet of these gifts will be about JE350. Although a considerable amount lias been subscribed, there is yet a big deficiency. To ihelp to moot thia there has been organised a concert, dramatic entertainment, and first-class picture exhibition, which will be given on Christmas night at the New Port Talbot Theatre, kindly placed at the dis- posal of the committee by Mr. Edward Furneau, entirely free of cost. Mr. Furnean will also take part in the dra- matic sketch. The pictures will be providtd by Mr. Mstthia«, of the Public Hall Cinema, Aberavon- All will be given absolutely tree. This is really very good and gener- OIlS. The concert portion of the programme has been organised by Mr. E. Marchani, Jenkins and Mr. Dick Henry. Another big event in aid of the fund should be kept in view, viz.. the aesa,ult-a<t- arma, which has been organised by the Aberavoo-Port Talbot Rugby Football Com- mittee, and which, through the kindness of Mr. Bell, will be brought off at the Grand I Theatre, Aberavon. on Monday night, January 4th. Here again the entire pro- ca-ls will go to the local war funds. In addition to the parcels of comforts sent to the soldiers by the local committees ilr. S. H. Byass, J.P., of the Mansel Tin- plate Works, has sent 70 parcels at his own expense to men serving wtih the colours from his own works, and, in addition to this, he has contributed £ 20 to the general fund. Even with the stress of other work, those responsible for the hospitality of the Bel- gian refugees in the district, at Wesley Hall, and the Bethany and Oarmel Manses, have taken adequate steps to give their guests a cheerful Christmas. Pastor- Bert Bailey intends keeping up his annual "Old Folks' Treat" for the New Year at Wesley Hall, and would be pleased to receive any assistance to give the old people of the dis- trict a royal New Year's time. and a first- class entertainment. The large number of friends in Aberavon, Port Talbot and district, of the late Mr. Fred Bateman, will hear with regret of his death. Fred had given numerous exhibi- tions at the Or3.r:d Hotel, Constitutional Club, Hotel Vivian, Y.M.C.A., and Cwm- avon, where he became very popular. His reputation as a first-class biliiard exponent, was known to but a few in the district, and the following particulars will be read with intercot-)Batemaii was born at Walsall, in 1876. and in 1S97 contested the championship of the Midlands against Walter Osborne, who won a keen game of 9.000 up by 67 points. The following year, however, Bate- man gained his ambition, defeating Osborne by 622 in 16,000 up for the Midland title, repeating his vitory in 1900. Bateman Played in the tournaments of V-,97 and I 1900-1. In the latt-er year, receiving 600 in games of 3,000, he defeated Dawson in the deciding heat. in one of the heats Bate- man beat Stevenson (scratch) by 3,000 to 928. On one occasion, when playing Daw- son, Bateman scored 453 in 27 minutes to his opponent's 8 points. It is very gratifying to find that during the past week the shipping trade of Port Talbot has been brisk. The tonnage dealt with has sprung from a very low ebb to over 50,000. The shipping boom comes ap- propriately just on the festive season, and will tend to cheer and brighten scores of homes which would have otherwise been under a cloud over Christmastid.e. A very pleasing bit of news for the dis- trict generally, and Abergwynfi and HlaeIlL gwynh in particular, is the intimation that, after a dispute which has kept the Great Western Collieries idle for six years, an amicable settlement has been effected, and that work will be resumed very shortly. The lengthy stoppage of these collieriee meant practical ruin to many tradesmen and the breaking up of scores or happy homes, through the natives hav- ing to leave and find employment in other places. The restarting of these collieries will mean almost immediate employment for upwards of a thousand persons. It will bring a ray of sunshine to the village, which is badly required. These pits will tend to greatly en hance the coal ship- luentsat Port Talbot Docks, which is the nearest and cheapest port. At the • last Aberavon Town Council meeting, letters of thanks w <'foe read from Countess Roberts and daughters for the vote of sympathy passed by the Coraicil on the death of the late Lordj Roberts. Also letters of thanks for similar votes from Col. Homfrey, on the death of his 6on killed in action, and from Mr. W. E. liVans (sanitary inspector) on the death of his mother, who was one of the town oldest and most respected inhabitants, and widow of one of l'ort Talbot's oldest pilots. A few weeks ago reference was made in these columns on the lamentable in- crease of infantile mortality in the borough, and in it some hints as to the cause were mentioned. One was the ab- normal quantity of inferior quality of tinned milk upon which infants were fed. Some years ago the was-tage of infant life in the town was so great thsit the Town Council was compelled to take definite steps to prevent it, and one of the siops taken was to issue circulars toalllllothers with clear instructions as to the feeding of their infants. 't the time these facts caused quite a sensation, but they appear to be quite for- gotten to-day, judging by the statistics given by the eanitary inspector at the last Aberavon Council meeting. At the insti- gation of Councillor Aaron James, the sanitary ins]>ector (Mr. W. E. Evans) de- clared in this report: During the period, from January 1st to November 31st, 1914, there were 47 deaths of children under one year of age—South Ward 30, North Ward 17. In the North Ward eight children were bottle-fed with condensed milk, one with cow's milk, and the rest breast fed. In the South Ward 20 children \VC$ bottle fed, 17 on condensed milk, three on cow's milk, and the remainder bmt6t fed." It will be seen that out of 47 deaths of infants in 11 months, only four were led on cow's milk, 18 brea-s-t fed, and 25 fed on condensed milk. Taken in conjunction with the analyst's report, this is a matter of the most vital importance to the child life of the town. It is not, however, the mare feeding of infants on condensed milk that counts, but the brand of condensed milk. A few of the better brand s were found to be highly satisfactory, bu.t others valueless. There is room for prompt, and determined action by the Town Council, as it is monstrous that this deplorable destruction of the innocents can be allowed to continue. Last week, at the St. Theodore's Parish Church, a choicely designed stained glass window was unveiled. The window has been given by Mrs. Rufus Mainw<aring, to the memory of her late husband, who for ma.ny years commanded a wide and deep respect amongst all sections of the district, and by whom his early demise was sadly deplored. ,t)n Thursday afternoon, at the Chapel- of-Ease burial ground, Port Talbot, another of those who was closely and honourably linked with the early history and doings of the ancient borough of A fan, was laid t-o reat. The late Mr. Richard Jones (of the renowned Old Com- pany Stores) had attained the advanced age of 84 years, and whilst away on a visit to hii daughter breathed hia lt. ii? was of a most genial a.nd kindly disposition, a friend to all, and an enemy to none. The Mayor of Aberavon ha." received a letter from an officer of the 5th Battalion South Wales Borderers, stationed at Basingstoke, which pays a decidedly lofty compliment to (those who have enlisted from 'Bravon. The letter states tha.t out of a draft of 39 recruits who left Aberavon on September 2nd, 14 have received pro- motions to officers and non-commissioned officerfi. Lucifer.
AMMANFORD. Christmastide in Ammanford promise*; to be fairly cheerful, although the fellow- feeling for others in others towns, more deeply aSeot?d by the war, saddens ,h(? season to all. Here, trade is moderately brisk, and the recovery from the depres- sion caused some months ago by the stop- page of so many of the surrounding indus- trial concerns has been extraordinary. Many of the Regulars and Terri- torialg" are home on short leave from camp or wherever they may have, been stationed, and others, convalescing after hospital treatment, give the place quite a military appearance. The shops are bright with di<?play« of goods of all kinds to suit the season and the class of customer ex- pected, and there are preparations going on for mild Christ mats festivities for the children and young people in connection with a few of the places of worship. On the eve of the Ohristmostide, we are told that we are to expect four or five families of Belgian refugees, who certainly will receive a warm welcome, for they have been long looked for, and premises have been kept waiting for them, so that Ammanford, like other p faces in Wales, may extend to them hospitality as the only tangible way in which the Amman Valley people can show their appreciation of the heroism and sacrifices of the bravo little nation wljose wonderful stand against thè German hordes saved Prance from being conquered and saved Britain from being invaded. Mention of Belgian refugees, however, reminds in a of a humorous taio told by an. Amimuiford gentleman with regard to an incident connected with the reception accorded to another group of refugees not many miles away, tie savs the Belgians were brought to a "Welsh chapel one Sun- day night by a well-known and highly- respected friend who had taken, and still I a h; a deep interest in their welfare. After service there was the usual cyf- eiUach" (or "socicty ") of the members, and the Belgians, who had been furnished with. Welsh hynm-'x^ks, with the hymns found for them, all through the proceed- ings remained txihind with their host. Of course th"v -did not understand Wel-sh, vot the minister, not knowing French or Flemish, gave them a sympathetic Welsh welcome. Af'.er this, the gentleman rp- 1 erred to followed with a few remarks in Welsh, and then, muling from a manu- script which he held in his hand, he ad- dressed the refuges** in what may be taken to be their natin tungue. My informant l db me it sounded lik" Pí-fe&rhœ, de Belgiana, ?i cocaloruni, and so forth." But he declared he could not vouch for the accuracy of tie words. He then got up and said a few words in English, re- producing some idoo of the sermon preached by the pastor, and the Belgian mariner's eyes glistened, at the sounds, because he had sailed o'er the stormy seas with many a sturdy" Sais," and, to finis-ty the confusion of tongues, the original interpreter got up and explained in Welsh what he had said in the mysterious lingo of t-h-o N-iz., that in the midst of their trials and tribulations they were all comforted by the fact that they were all subject to the over-ruling Providence of God; that the Belgians and the Welsli worshipped the same God, and that lie was the same God in the sunshine and in the storm. Thwas what my narrator had taken' to bo Pia-fee-rhee, coc-a- lorum." All of which reminds me of Billy Llvstwyn's earnest prayer—" Diolch, 0 Arglwydd, dy fod ti yn deall Cymraeg a Saesneg. Helpa ni heno i ddweyd, Stand back Satan." At this time of the year it is difficult, if not unnecessary, to write about mundane matters not connected wit h hospitality and goodwill and philanthropy, so I will not inflict upon the reader any disserta- tion on local public movements (not even the long-deferred sewerage scheme or the evergreen cemetery question), but will conclude with a reminder that some of those who said they were going to send me a shilling each or so for the Bettws postman who is a prisoner of wa.r in Ger- many have not done so, and that I expect them to fulfil their promises. They know where they can find me, or they can leave 'ith Mrs. Harries or a donation for me with Mrs. Harries or Miss Dent at the Bettws Post Office. But the result of the splendid effort put forth by the tadiBR of Ammanford by means of the gale of emblems last Satur- day was so satisfactory that it must be mentioned to the credit of all concerned. £ 20 17«. was the substantial sum realised, and the Queen's "Work for Women Fund" is benefited to that extent. Excellent. Awstin.
MAN, WIFE, AND THREE CHILDREN PERISH. Fivo lives were lost in a fire which occurred between five and six o'clock on Tuesday at a greengrocer's shop in Market-square, Bromley, Lvcnt. The victims are George Buckland (35), proprietor of the shop, Mrs. Buckland (34), Erenst Buckland (10). Elizabeth Buckland (6). and Alfred Buckland (C). Mrs. Buckland's sister-in-law Agnes (21), Violet Auckland (9), Norali Buck- land (1), and Eileen Buckland had narrow escapes. The building consists of a shop with two floors above used as a dwelling house, and when the fire broke out, Mrs. Buck- land and her six children were asleep in the upper rooms. Shortly before six o'clock, passers-by noticed that the fire was raging furiously, and an alarm was immediately raised. It v. as realised that the occupants of the building coukl not possibly escape by the staircase. Several perons were at an upper win- dow calling for help, and a number of postmen who hurried from tHe Post Office near by obtained strong sheets, j into which some of the children jumped or were thrown. Mrs. Buckland and her eldest son were killed by the fall. Mrs Buckland and her eldest daughter, who jumped from a window, were in- jured, and were removed to hospital. When the firemen had subdued the flames, a search of the premises resulted in the finding of the three bodies hor- ribly charred as to be quite unrecognis- able. The bodies were removed to the mortuary to await formal identitication.
THE OLD GUARD. Private Evan Roderick, the well-known Margam marksman and successful com- petitor at Bisley and the Glamorgan County meeting, has made an excellent suggestion to the Chairman of the Margam District Council, pointing out the number of ex-Volunteers, Territorials and Service men, over the age of enlistment, who can- not altogether forsake their occupation and workshops to enlist in the National Reserve companies for one year during the war, but are still quite prepared to J share their time between getting fit to aid their country and keeping in touch with their occupations. Mr. Roderick suggests that overtures be made to the War Office j that such men should attend at least two drills per week, and should he liable to be sent when tit to any part of the conutry to help to repel invaders, on the under- standing that they return when such danger is over; that they wear at all times when not following their occupation an uniform or distinguished badge, and that they use all personal interest to aid recruiting; and that one man be at all times kept on duty (taken in rotation) with facilities for the immediate mobilisa- tion of the whole.
CANTON (OHIO) AND THE WAR. Mr. Tom D..Tones, 1,309, Harrisbnrg- road, Canton (Ohio), and a native of Aberavon, writes:- Things industrial here are worse. Works are partly closed down, some of the shops are closed altogether, and others working half-time. The boys in the tin mills—we have a number of them from Swansea, Llanelly, Morriston, Neath, 'Ferry, Aberavon, Port Talbot, and Cwmávon-they are all out of work. I have only worked a few weeks since I arrived home, and don't expect to start before the New Year. "You have war in Europe, and re have hard times in the United States. Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year."
THE SHORTEST DAY. Auttifnn disputed the coming of winter until twenty-four minutes after four on Tuesday afternoon, at which moment the sun attained its lowest point south of the equator, and thus ushered in winter to the northern hemisphere and summer to the southern. The day ot the inter solstice is also the shortest day, but as a matter of fact our evenings have been lengthening for more than a week past, the earliest sunset having occurred on December 13. But wJiat we have gained in daylight at the end of the day we have more than lost in the mornings. The snn will con- tinue to rise later until the end of Decem- ber, though the progressively later sun- set-, will mote than make up for the 1 delayed sunrises.
WHEN CHReST CAME- AND NOW. CHANGES IN THE EUROPEAN KALE!DOSCOPE. AN INTERESTING PARALLEL IN HISTORY. (SPECIAL TO THE HERALD.") ,I ,I 1 rom tmv beginnings arose the great race of Romans that from a small area on the banks of the Tiber became the dominant force over nearly all the then known world. The community had passed through various phases, from tribal rule to political, until Rome became a nation. Various forms of government came into being and passed away; some- thing in the form of a senate was tried and broke down; then there wa.s the con- sulship that in its turn broke down; then the dictatorship broke down, and Augustus became Emperor. He had an empire that reached from the Atlantic to the Euphrates. The whole i of northern Africa, then known as Maure- tania, Numidia, Cyrenaica, and Egypt, | was joined in this empire to Judea, jo Syria and Asia Minor, and then right across the South of Europe until it in- cluded the Iberian Peninsula, Gallia, Hnd I then the South of Britain. The Mediter- ranean Sea became a Roman lake, and the territories surrounding it one va-st Roman farm. The legions ot Rome were arrested by the snows of Sarmaha (now Russia) and Germauia (now Germany and Prussia), just as they were by the terrible wa.stes of Scythia, but within those borders all the races received their laws from the Italian capital and paid their tribute to Rome. Within a population of about 120 millions was included all the world's wealth and all the world's intelligence; included, too, many races that were tierce and strong, but were subjygated by the dominating force that had made Rome great, namely, organisation and political strenffth. Armed v:ith weapons fliat were primi- tive, defended by armour that would be useless nowadays, and wearing helmets surmounted, by eagles whose beaks were of brass and whose talons were of steel, legions that numbered 300,000 men were able to enforce the will and the power of the emperor whenever he chose to exert that power from his seven-billed capital. There came a time when there was prac- tically an all-world peace. The great generalship of Julius Ciesar had subdued all possible rivals. The death of Pompey and the conclusion of the cil war had left Rome an undivided empire, swayed by a single autocrat. Pagan culture had been brought to its highest pitch, but the temples of learning in (Ireece had begun to crumble. No new Pythagoras, no new Socrates, arose to inspire and instil the students of the academies. In Rome, and Rome only, was there any resemblance to intellectual superiority. Even there, the great masters were becoming a dwindling band. Seneca Wifg born in the same yetir as John the Baptist, but the wisdom of Cicero and the sublime speculations of Lucretius were remembered by but a few. Virgil had died but a short time, and the tomb of Miecenas had been opened to re- ceive the bones of Horace. At that time Rome had not-enteroo upon the age of giantism that ruled its build- ings, but was rapidly becoming a collec- tion of remarkable pa-laces, luxurious baths, spacious theatres, and of temples in which were gathered all the brilliant adornment in which the pagan delighted. The Roman citizen claimed lordly rights over the citizens of the subjugated areas, and Rome had sunk into the habits of eal;o and demoralisation. In the past the Romans had suffered from the misrule of the senates, with their corrupt management of finance, mis- government of the provinces, and mal- administration of justice, but now that many of the subjugated races were pay- ing tribute to the empire's centre the people of Rome succumbed to the allure- ments of ease and depravity. The evil effects of this depravity soon spread through the vast empire until they reached away into Germany, on the north, even to Britain on the west, and to Palestine on the east. Throughout it there was the cruel jealousy for power of the emperor and his tetrarchs, which found its expression later on in such acts as the Massacre of Innocents. Culture and cruelty were then a com- bination that, Strange to say, finds a re- ma.rka.ble counterpart to-day. The man whose refinement and learning and whose affectation of the muses led him to writhe if a single note were misplayed by the musi- cians, if a single daub of unharmonious colour were introduced by the painter, or a single slip made by an actor, would turn from his graceful agonies to gloat over the convulsions of a dying gladiator and the spectacle of victillii-nicli, and animals—in the arena. The time had come for a change. For 4,000 years a great experiment had been going on: man had been allowed to do his best to retrieve the ruin of the Fall, but his struggle was in vain and ended in only a deeper plunge. The exploded nostrums of philosophy, the corruption of political and social practices, made the world weary of itself; dry rot had got into the ancient worships; idolatry and iPS Ad olatrV all( hero-worship tottered on their crumbling pillars; satiety and disgust were the pre- vailing mood of the wealthy; revenge and despair gnawed at the hearts oi the down- trodden millions. Tribes who had lost their nationality, the ci tizens whose hereditary freedom had been robbed, found no comfort in the ministrations of priests and temples, for people had lost faith in one another, and there was lilt tIc to inspire them with the fervotir of patriotism. The Hebrew Scriptures were known, but their lessons were not observed, and the Warnings of the prophets fell on heedless ears. Pagan mythology, it was true, had been brought to a fine art, but its elaborate system was too elaborate to maintain a hold on the people save under the compulsion of a cruel political sys- tem. It Feemed that the fulnesa of time had come when the Almighty should send his Son to found a new dispensation and to turn men's minds to run their course in better channels. Since then the map of Europe 1mis been an ever-chttfiging ka leidoweojie. The Roman empire broke, warriors and war- like troops from other quarters arose to assert their power, people who were few and wook became mighty races and nations that warred against each other, so that hardly a century has passed since the commencement of the Christian era until now without the map of Europe being altered. If we compa.re this con- tinent with its 6titp nearly 2,000 years ago, we .find that everything has changed. The then known world has become but a small portion of the territories of the globe. Asia has been' explored America has been discovered, populated and organised; Africa is a series of large coJonies from Carthage to Table -Niotinj bain; and in the Antipodes the great continent of Australia i* rapidly becoming a political entity, virile and wealthy. Dacia has been swept out of existence more surely than has Macedonia; Germania became a series of small nations that were not united into one until less than luilf a oentury ago. SarmaA-la "d Scythia have become one under the rule of the Tsars. Even Scandinavia is now occupied by naitions that bid fair to take their place in the community of the world. Two thousands years ago the tendency of Europe was to be united in one, but to-day we find she is undergoing the greatest shock the world has ever known, in which the forces of disruption are warring with the forces of reconstruction, and millions of people now await; not the coming of a new Saviour, but the final phase of retribution that may Blake that Saviour's work more easy.
I A DEFINITE POLICY. [FRENCH PREMIER'S DECLARATION. PARIS, Tuesday, In the French Chamber to-day M. Deschanel, President of the Chamber, in opening the session, said: The represen- tatives of France ought to lift up their hearts towards the heroes who have been fighting for her for the last five months. Never was France greater; never at any time in auy country has a greater display of courage been seen. Franco is not only defending her life, 1 er soil, and her sacred past, but with Britain, Russia, Belgium, Serbia, and Japan is also upholding re- spect for treaties, the independence of Europe, and human liberty. The question to-day is whether matter shall enslave spirit, whether the world shall be the blood-stained prey of violence. Europe wants breathing space. The nations mean to be masters of their mfii destiny. As for ourselves, we shall do our duty to the last, in order that the ideal of our race may be realised that right is might." M. Deschanel then delivered the funeral oration in honour of the Deputies who bad died since, the, previous session, and paid especially eloquent tribute to the heroism of those members who had fallen at the hands of the enemy. ■ M. Viviani (Premier) then made the following Ministerial declaration:— There is at present but one policy, a policy of merciless war until Europe has secured final liberation, guaranteed by a completely victorious peace. That is the unanimous cry of Par- liament, of the country, and of the army. In face of the unexpected uprising of national sentiment, so unexpected by her, Germany was disturbed in the in- toxication of her dream of victory. On the first day of the conflict Germany de- nounced right, appealed to force, scorned history, and, in order to violate Belgium and invade France, invoked solely the law of her tawn interests. Having since understood that she must reckon with the opinion of the world, the German Government has endeavoured, but in vain, to cast the responsibility for the war on the allies. All documents pub- lished by the nations concerned, and again in Rome yesterday the sensational speech of one of the most illustrious re- presentatives of noble Italy, testify to the long-settled determination of our enemies to attempt a coup de force." The Prifiie Minister rc-callcd the fact that on July 31 France, and Russia agreed to the British proposal to suspend military preparations and open negotiations in London. If Germany had likewise agreed to that courso peace would have been secured even at that eleventh hour, but Germany precipitated the situation, ren- dering war unavoidable. If she thus diplomatically destroyed peace in its germ, it was because for more than forty years she had tirelessly pur- sued her goal, the crushing of France, in order to achieve the enslavement of the world. All thcsf revelations," the Premier continued, are brought to the tribunal of history, where there is no room for cor- ruption, and si nce, in spite of their attachment to peace, France and her allies have had to suffer war, they will wage it to the end. "Faithful to her signature of the treaty of the 4th of September, in which she plighted her honour- thilt is to say, her life—France will onlv lay down her arms when she has avenged her outraged rights; re-united for ever to their French father- land the provinces wrested from her by force; restored heroic Belgium to the ful- ness of her material life and political independence, and crushed Prussian mili- tarism in order to reconstruct, on the basis of justice, a Europe at last regene- rated. Wa are sure of success. That cer- taintv wo owe to the army and to the navy, which, in conjunction with the British Navy, gives us the mastery of the sea; fo the troops which in Morocco have repulsed incessant attacks; to the soldiers of our Colonies, wJro. as soon as war broke out. turned with tender impulse to the Mother Country. We owe it to our army, whose heroism has been guided by incomparable lenders through the victory of the Marne to the victory of Flanders and in many other engagements. Wo owe it to the nation, which has ) watched that heroism with union, silence, and serenity in critical hours. Wo have thus been able to pliow the world how an organised democracy can by vigorous action serve that ideal of liberty and equality which constitutes its greatness. We have thus shown the world, as our comniinder-ii-cliipf, who is at once a great soldier and noble citizen, has said, that the Republic may be proud of the army it has prepared. It is thus that in this wicked war all the virtues of our race have been enabled to shine forth, as well as those which people have denied to ns, viz., endurance, patience, and stoicism. We ?sailite all these heroes. A nation which is capable of arousing such enthusiasm is imperishable. In the shelter of this heroism the uation has lived and worked, accepting an the consequences of the war, and civil peace has never been dis- turbed." M. Viviani next re-called the fact that itli(? Government, before leaving Paris, has expressly asked for military authority, and had begun to take all the measures necessary to the nation's exist- ence, thus using the right which Parlia- ment had given it to deal with all matters. The Premier confirmed tho statement by M. Rebot on the financial situation, which, he said, bore witnese to the vitality of France, the security of her credit, and the confidence which it in- spired in all, despite a war which was shaking and impoverishing the world; a confidence which would enable her to carry on the war until the day when the necessary reparations were obtained. "I salute," continued the Premier, those innocent civilian victims whom hitherto the laws of war had protected, but whom in an attempt to terrify tho nation, which has remained and will re- main unshakable, the enemy has carried into captivity or massacred. WTith re- gard to their families, the Government is doing its duty, but the country's in- debtedness to them is not extinguished by the Government proposing to yon the opening of a first credit of 300,000,000 francs (02,000,000. It solemnly under- takes to re-build the ruins which lie in heaps in departments occupied under the stress of invasion by discounting in- demnities which we shall exact, and by anticipating the help of the contribu- tion which the whole nation will he proud to pay, thus fulfilling, in regard to the distress of part of its children, its duty of national solidarity. Thus the State proclaims the right of the victims of war operations to reparation, and it will fulfil its duty in the widest sense. The day of final victory has not yet come. Until then the task will be a hard one, and it may also be a long one. Let us steel our wills and our courage to ,this end. France agrees in advance to any sacrifice. Our Allies know it. The neutral nations know it. By an unbridled campaign of false news, vain attempts have been made to wring from the latter the sympathies we have won. Germany, which at first professed to be in doubt as to those sympathies, is in doubt no longer. She is also realising once again that the French Parliament, after more; than four months of war, has renewed before the world the spectacle it offered on the day when in the name of the nation, it accepted the challenge. Par- liament has full authority to do this, since for 44 years Parliament has been both the expression and guarantee of our liberties, and it knows that the Govern- ment accepts with respect its necessary control. The confidence of Par liament is indispensable to the Government, and its sovereignty will be obeyed to-morrow as it was yesterday. It is this very sovereignty which increased the force of the demonstration of which an example has already been given. To secure victory the heroism of our troops on the frontier does not alone suffice. We must also have union within. Let us continue to preserve tins sacred union unimpaired. To-day, as yesterday and to-morrow, let us have but one cry, Victory but one vision. Our fatherland,' and but one ideal, Right.' It is for that "e are struggling; for that Y.-e see struggling by our sido Belgium, who has given for that ideal all the blood in her veins; unshak- able England, loyal Russia, intrepid Serbia, and the daring Japanese Navy. If this war is the most gigantic in history, it is not because people are flying at each other to win territory and markets, an aggrandisement of material life or politi- cal and economic advantages. It is because they are in conflict to settl the fate of the world. Nothing greater has ever been displayed before tho eyes of men. Against barbarism and despotism, against a system of methodical provoca- ¡ tions and threats which Germany called peace, against a system of collective murders and pillagings which Germany calls war. and against the insolent hege- mony of the military caste which let loose the scourge, France, an emancipator and avenger, rose with her allies at a bound. What was at stake was something more than our life. Let us continue, to have but one soul, and to-morrow, in the place of victory, when our opinions, now voluntarily shackled, are agaiu given their liberty, we shall re-call those tragic days with pride, for they will have made us more valiant and better men. Reuter.
GERMAN THEOLOGY. Oxford Principal's Broad-Minded Speech at Carmarthen. Dr. W B S-eibie, PrmciixiA of Mansfield College, Oxford, and chairman of the Con- gregational Union of England and Wales, delivered a leoture on "English and Ger- man Theology" at Zion Presbyterian Church Carmarthen, on Monday night. Mr. P. J. Wheldcn, J.P., presided. Dr. S-elbie saad that be had been a stu- dent of tierman theology for many years, and the outbreak of the war was to him, as to others, a retw. personal grief. lie felt that many of his ideals had ()ee,n shattered, and that he was compelled to revise many of the judgments and concluaiona to which he had come with roraal to .thinge German. He, felt, aie-o, that whilst lie ha.d some 1ea.rs that the war would come. he was altogether mieta.kea in his general estimate of the rGorman people twid their altitude of mind. One of the things which grieved him more than anything else was to see so many min- isters and teachers in Germany, and < s- pccially among theological teachers, taking up an attitude of bitter antagonism to this euimtry, and so hopelessly misunderstand- ing the attitude oi mind here. He did not profess to ttf able to explain Hue, but one could only feel that the Prussian domina- tion in Germany, which had been a grow- ing factor for a great many years, was now practically supreme. Practically everyone there had submitted to Prussian domina- tion, and waa looking throruiii Prussian spectacles. When one realised that there were men who, as recently as eighteen months ago, epoke to him about their deep affection for England, their deep admira- tion for English work, their strong hope tha.t. nothing would ever happen to break the friendly icla-tion between the two coup- tries, and who were now found writing let- ters of the bitterest antagonism to this country, one could only feel that there was ti-itth in the old saying that "whom the gods wish to destroy they first turn mad." Some evil spirit must have taken posses- sion of those people, and all we could do was to recognise tha.t. there was. a miseion git en us to drive it out. Mow it was to bo done God only knew He hoped that all that would not lead n-> to chango permanently our estimate *9 the contribution that Germany had made to the thought of the world, .loô there was a groat deal of rather heedless talk aL the present time of being done with everything Ger- man. It was perfectly natural, but how. ever much we might wi&h it we should never be able to accomplish that in regard to German intellectual thing». We were I more or ieas Germanised. Wq. had been thinking in German teima for a ?rcat number cf vear?i. He did not w=t to feet reckless admiration for thinga German. We 61ioiild approach them in the future with a great deal more discrimination than hitherto. We would recognise that this greal people had made its own contribu- tion to the thought. of our times, and that it was for us to ditr-irninate and remmber the fact, and use what they had given us in the future as we had done in the past We in England had struck out on certain lines in theological thought that were very useful and to a la.rge extent original; at the same time it \'I:tl true that, much of the best of our theological thought had beeu almost entirely depending upon their lie: man "friends" or enemies—(laughter)—how- I ever. they iiked to put it. In Germany (lie continued) there was a clean divorce be- tween religion and theology, and that waa the most serious indictment that could be made again&t any nation. The hope of our country, as far as theology was concerned, was going to come not so much frofa any fterman source or from any reading in metaphysics, but from the new psychology. It seemed to him we would have to make full use of the experimental part of theo- logical work, aud that could only be (louo with a wider knowledge of what psychology meant and stood for
I WILL OF CAPT. C. METHUEN, OF PUMPSAINT. Captain Cameron O'Brien ITarford Methuen, of Llystroyddyn, Pumpsaint., Car- marthenshire, and of the 2nd Royal War- wickshire Regiment, who tiaw service in the Boor War, and who was killed in action in Belgium on the. 20th October Iff; es- tate of the gross value of £ 40,215, of which the net personalty has been sworn at £ 8,929. Probate of his will, dated 1st October last, has been granted to his brother-in-law, Captain if £ ,r..ry Rope Pomeroy Salmon, of Tookington 11 anor Cilouccstersliire, find of the 3rd Battalion Gloucestershire llegim-ent. The testator left £ 2,000 to each of his sisters, Maud FIenuoi- Methuen, Emily Ger- trude Salmon, and Phyllis Mary Blanche; LZOO to his nephew, Tom Salmon; £100 each to his nephew, Harry Salmon, an:l his niece-, Elina Salmon; his property in Car- marthenshire and- his half sliare in the Ltatteridge Farm. Gloucestershire, to hie brother, Henry Charles Methuen, of the 79tli Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, and the residue of his property upon trust for his eaid brother, "with the hope that he will present a piece of in remembrance of me to ftnø mess of the 2nd Battalion, Waorwiokshire Regiment."
AUCTION SALES SUMMARY. (Full particulars will be found on Page 1.) Jan. 12, 1915.—At llangyfmaeh Auction Mart, E. Rice and Son wiU bold theIr firvSt monthly Sale of Live Stock.
At a meeting of the Rhenish-West- phalian Cement Association it was de- cided to increase the pries' of cement by 30s. per double-wagon, as from January 1. in view of the increased cost of coal. Sir Robert Simon. M.D., F .R.C.P., for twenty-three years honorary physician to the Birmingham General Hospital, died yesterday, aged sixty-fo-T. He married a first cousin of Mr. Asquith and was the Prime Minister's host whenever the latter visited Birmingham*
i WAR NOTES. At different points in the west-era battle-grouml a series of desperate en- counters took place, generally initiated by German attacks, but little, if any, appre- ciable advance was made by etiher side. -it would seem that Souain. Perthes, Beau- ppjour, and the Argorne, and the country east and west of the ifeuse are the centre* to which the Allies are directing their main efforts. At Souain, for instance, there has lieen fierce bayonet fighting; near Perthes a section of the German front covering about a mile, has been stormed; north-east of Boausej our posi-- tions1 won a few days ago has ),WWII strengthcned and another row of trenched occupied. Posts occupied by the enemy in tho Argonne continue to tall into the liands of the Allies. On the right bank of tho Mouse the positions gained on December -0, after falling again into the enemy's hands, have once more been won by the Allies. The German wireless news dis- seminated yesterday mentions the attacks of the Allies north and north-west of Ver- dun, but reports that they were repulsed with loss. The Russian Victory. The news is published this morning of a big Russian victory on the Bzura. Yes- terday there was silence in official circles at Petrograd. The only news from this front comes from the Germane, who claimed to have crossed soine of the branches of the rivers Bzura and Rawka. To-day's bulletin from Russian head- quarters states that the Germans have been hurled into the Bzura with great ti l ??it6,ltter tft(?t- 1 ) ,? i n,, slaughter after being permitted to cross the river by the Russians, who hold im- mensely strong positions on the right bank. The Russian campaign against Turkey continues in their favour. The principal fighting is in the Alashkerd Valley. Strong Turkish detachments several times at- tempted to attack the Russian forces at Karakilissa and Alashkerd, but were forced to retreat with heavy losses. An engagement at Dutach lasted for several days. The enemy assumed the offensive, employing their heavy artillery, brought from Lrzrum, their object being to effect an envelopment of the Russians. The Russians had timely information of the Turkish plans, however, and after repuls- ing the Turks with heavy lossee they with- drew from Dutach. A Reign of Terror. Fugitives escaping into Switzerland I from Alsace give vivid accounts of the reign of terror which exists in the dis- tricts still occupied by the Germans. At Mulhouse, Co lmar, and Sundgau whole- sale arrests of citizens suspected of possessing French sympathies have just been effected, and a proclamation has been issued by the military authotities warning the public of the punishment .which will be visited upon people dis- covered communicating information to the French troops. Greatly to the joy of the population, the headquarters of General Von Ban- dungen, the Commander-in-Chief of the German troops in Lower Alsace, were recently bombarded by French artillery, psveral* of the general's staff being in- jured. A milk famine prevails in the district, and as ^iny as 16,M pints are sent to Mulhouse daily from Basle, in Switzerland. Navy's Destructive Work. Though the magnitude of its achievo ments has not been fully realised by most people at home, the British Fleet has been engaged in deadly work during the last month or two in bombarding the German positions over the Belgian coast in co-operation with the Allied Army in. Flanders. The warships have time aftel" time made the voyage across the North. Sea, engaged positions that the Germans had strongly fortified, destroyed batteries, causcd great loss of life amongst the enemy's troops, and returned safely to port. These operations have had especial value iu tho destruction—or partial des- truction, at any rate—of the submarine base that the Germans were creating at Zeebrugge, whence raids of these mosquito craft on English shipping in the Channel would be a matter of comparative ease. Few Casualties. Sumo of the batteries which were en- gaged last week-end were mounted two or more miles inland, and consisted of heavy guns. Remarkably few casualties have been sustained on the warships, and this in epite of the fact that tha destroyers and monitors have frequently been en gaged at very close range. The German submarines have on several occasions endeavoured to make their presence felt, but the destroyers have always driven them off. It is worth noting that the enemy's army has not been able to obtain the least assistance from tha powerful German navy during this devastating bombardment. The Energetic Red Cross. Tbe good work of the Red Cross ia Western France was reported upon yester- day at a meeting of the British Red Cross Society by Sir Frederick Treves, who has recently made a tour of in- spection of the hospitals there. Sir Frederick speaks highly of the fleet of motor ambulances provided by the society. In his opinion it represents the most valuable service ever rendered to the Army Medical Department in the form ol voluntary nid. These ambulances," lie statod, are everywhere. The majority are working at the front in convoys of various sizes. They are perfectly organised and equipped, and are always at work. When they come down with patients they return with stores for the wounded. In the saving of life, in the lessening of I suffering, and in the securing of prompt surgical treatment for the wounded the", ambulances have done a work the vitile of which can hardly be exaggerated." Famous Singer as Chauffeur. In addition to the motor ambulances the society has many other cars which are oi great service in dispatch work and the conveyance of goods. A large number of these have been lent to the society by generous owners. The chauffeur who drove Sir Frederick Treves to Le Touquet waj Mr. Kennerley Rumford, the famoul singer. Another driver of note il the vicar of a quiet country pal-igh i p England. Them* motor. drivers," Sir Frederick Treves adde4 U are as curious a body of men as were tlw < conductors in the South African War. A dispatch rider on -a motor-cycle waa pointed out to me. He was working with distinction at the front, and bad just come tome 60 miles with a dispatch. He was merely a bundle of rags, splashed with mud, and I was surprised to heat that he was a much-respected Church oi England curate." A Christmas Orgy. For the celebration of Christmastide the Germans have ordered Ghent 1c supply (says a Rotterdam correspondent; one million cigars, one million cigarettei and ninety thousand pounds of tobacco) whilst they have taken completo contro! of every wine cellar in the town. On4 proprietor was ordered to supply 8fH bottles of brandy, but, the order taking his breath away, he asked the soldier if < mistake had not been made. The soldiei answered Yes," and increase d the d,& inand to 1,600 bottles. The Germans ha\ i even requisitioned 12,000 musical instru ments.
It is stated that Messrs. Nobel and Cd intend erecting 200 houses at Pembmv and that the first hundred will be jwrq c-eeded with imLueLliate4 >