THE ISLANDS OP TRISTAN DA CTTITHA. There are a large number of people who regard as flat blasphemy a suggestion that Britain should abandon any portion of her dominions, but, except for this sentimental objection, there would appear to be noth- ing very alarming in the rumour that the islands of Tristan da Cunha are to be relinquished as part of the British Empire. It may safely be assumed that the inhabi- tants are attached to their home, because we know from other examples* that the more bleak and desolate the country in which people are born the more loth they are to leave it, and the more they long to return if they happen to be away from it. There was a striking illustration of that fact a few years ago when some Lap- landers visited Loudon. Their home was in the neighbourhood of the Arctic Circle, in a country containing vast areas of deso- late tundra and dreary swamps, where their condition wss such as would be regarded by the vast majority of Europeans as al- together miserable. They came to London at the height of one of the most beautiful summers, and every effort was made to promote their happiness; yet they yearned day and night for their native land, and could not be prevailed upon to settle in Britain for all the wealth of the Indies. The situatiion of our fellow subjects in Tristan da Cunha is more cheerful than that of these Laplanders mainly because the islanders have quite a tolerable climate, but they are shut out from all communica- tion with the rest of the world, and the recent report that they are short of pro. visions tends to shew how limited are their resources. It is suggested, as an argument against abandonment, that the islands would be useful as a coaling station in the event of a maritime war, hut a reference to the map suggests the reflection that it is very improbable any of our ships would find themselves in that latitude.
LOST VESSELS. I Perhaps the most terrible of all bereave- ments are those which attend the complete loss of a ship at sea, when the vessel sails bravely out of harbour but is never heard of again, even to the extent of a floating spar which might afford some evidence of its fate. Meanwhile, the relations of those on board continue to hope against hope that the loved ones may return, and it is. perhaps, scarcely an exaggeration to say that the prolonged suspense which follows such a calamity is in itself as dreadful as the certainty of death. Such was the story of the Allan liner Huronian, which left Glasgow on February 11th, 1902, but never reached the port which was her intended destination, and was in due course posted as missing." From that day no trace of the vessel has been discovered, but a few days since a bottle was found off the coast of Ireland containing what purports to be a letter from one of the crew. It seems unlikf ly that the bottle should have been floating for five years in the Atlantic ocean without being discovered, but such a thing is possible, and the evi- dence seems to be on the side of the conclusion that this is not one of those cruel and senseless "practical jqkes" in the perpetration of which some people appear to find a strange eajoyment.
MERRYWEATHER ON WATER SUPPLY AND FIRE PROTECTION of COUNTRY MANSIONS. EXPERTS SENT TO ALL PARTS TO Report on EXISTING Arrangements. WRITE FOR PAMPHLETS: MERRYWEATHER & SONS, 88, LONG ACRE, LONDON, Y.&
WESTGATE-ON-SEA. There was one matter associated with the life of Baroness Burdett-' outts which has not been noticed in the daily Press, althouh it must be confessed that those journals have done their best to exhaust the subject. Lady Burdett.Coutts was a large landowner in East Kent, and the freeholder of the town of Westgate-on-Sea, which she regulated on somewhat unusual, although not altogether unique, lines. Westgate is only a mile from Margate, but it affords a remarkable contrast to that popular water- ing place. In order that Westgate might be kept quiet and select, Lady Burdett- Coutts refused to allow a railway station to be built unless the company undertook not to run cheap excursions, and she has always declined to consent to the extension of the tramways, whose terminus is at the Mar- gate boundary about half a mile away. For the same reason there is no pier, so that the boats are unable to land excur- sionists at Westgate. At the present moment the inhabitants of the pretty little town are wondering whether the Baroness' successor in the freehold will adopt a similar view, and some of the aristocratic folks who have houses there are a little con- cerned in their minds as to what may happen.
A NOBLE WOMAN. I Writing on the late Baroness, the Hospital" says :—" Great as may have been the good accomplished by the gener- osity by which all her actions were sup- ported, the Baroness Burdett-Coutts' claim to recognition in history will deservedly rest upon the results for good which have flowed from her example. By her sagacity and good sense she immeasurably raised the position occupied by women in the general estimation, gave courage and enterprise to her sex, led the way jar the rich to wisely utilise their wealth, during their lifetime, for the good of the community, and was in fact, as has been well said, not only the devoted and trusted friend of Queen Victoria, but her life will stand, next to that of Queen Victoria herself, in the Victorian era. Loving freedom, justice, purity and the joy of doing good, the Baroness Burdett- Coutts' example may well stimulate every woman to quit herself worthily, and to do her utmost, always, to maintain the princi- a ples from which she derives her own strength. She was deservedly and widely popular and beloved. Throughout her career she avoided publicity, and so little is actually known of her many good works, that the obituary notices, which have ap- peared, reveal a paucity of information, which is the most striking testimony to her worth and methods that could be forth- coming. The Baroness was a noble woman, for to her initiative and strength of character women owe much, which they have probably failed, as yet, to appreciate at its true value."
I LOANS TO LOCAL COUNCILS. I There is said to be nothing new under the sun except, as a French writer added, that which has been forgotten-but within the past few days a suggestion has come from Ley ton which seems to have some claim to novelty. A ratepayer, who had some money to invest, conceived the idea of offering it on loan to the district council, who accepted .£310 for some purpose which they had in view, and agreed to pay the lender interest at the rate of 37 3 per cent. In that way both parties are benefited. The rate of interest paid by local authorities in London is 4 per cent., so that, where large sums are borrowed, it is obvious there would be a saving which is worth con- sideration. Many of the ratepayers on the other hand, have their savings invested in the Post Office, or in banks, at a low rate of interest, and it would be a boon to them to receive 3f or even 3.1 per cent., with such 4 2 security as the local authority are in a posi tion to offer. It is. of course, well known that many municipal corporations offer their stock in the money market, but that is not the same thing as accepting loans direct from their own ratepayers, with no more of formality than is involved in making an entry in a deposit book.
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I THE GURKHAS. J Lord Kitchener's praise of the Gurkhas confirms the opinion of many British officers with regard to these native troops. The Gurkhas have been known for. years as the best little soldiers in the world," and Lord Kitchener spoke of them as some of our bravest and most efficient soldiers," such as he should be proud to command in the event of serious war. The Gurkhas have the reputation of delighting in war, and the Indian native cavalry are for the most part born fighters, recruited from such castes as those which have given our troops a good deal of trouble on the North West frontier. In India the supply of soldiers, both of cavalry and infantry, is practically inexhaustible, and, led by British officers, these men are quite capable of standing up against the most highly trained European regiments in the event of it becoming necessary to defend our Indian Empire from attack. That view has been expressed before, and it is re-assuring to find it en- dorsed by such a capable commander as Lord Kitchener.
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I Viscount Tredegar on Cricket When opening a bazaar at Machen, on behalf of the local Cricket Club, last Friday afternoon, Viscount Tredegar humorously remarked that he thought January 4th rather an inappropriate time of the year to have anything to do with cricket, which was associated with flannels, hot weather, and the game itself. When asked to perform the function be felt almost inclined to write, as he once did rather rudely to a lady (the only time he had written rudely to a lady) who asked that she might be allowed to make his acquaintance. He said that he would be very pleased to see her when he was walking about, and she replied that she hoped he would not come out by moonlight. That incident occurred about the same time of the year as the present, and so he wrote to the lady saying that when he had a chilblain on each toe he did not feel like walking about by moonlight. (Laugh- ter.) However, they could look forward to the time when they would wear flannels again. He would not say flannelette, because he once before got into trouble for talking about that. He looked upon cricket as the nicest, best, and most gentle- manly exercise in Great Britain. Perhaps no one quite knew the true history of cricket. They had probably heard of the gallant old admiral, who, when he had both his legs cut off, fought on his stumps. That, he thought, was the first allusion to cricket. (Laughter.) They had another allusion in the work of Charles Dickens, entitled "The Cricket on the Hearth." (Renewed laughter.) His lordship concluded by speaking of the way in which the parishioners of a certain district referred to the qualities they wished for in their new curate. We don't care much about the preaching, but what we want in the curate is a good break to the off." (Laughter.)
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Inquest on a Colliery Manager. An inquest was held at Aberbeeg on Monday by Mr N. H. Matthews, Deputy Coroner for South Monmouthshire, on Thomas Pontin, underground traffic manager, who was killed at Llanhilleth Colliery, owned by Messrs Partridge, Jones, and Co., on the previous Thursday. William Pontin, brother, deputed that deceased died on Thursday while he was being conveyed home from the colliery after the accident. Richard Harris deposed that he was working with the deceased at the colliery at about 12.45 on the day of the accident. They were about four or five paces from the bottom of the shaft. Witness was watching deceased and others pushing a tram on to the cage, when a lump of coal fell from the top of the pit and struck deceased on the back of the head. Pontin reeled, and fell on the edge of the slump. Witness ran to his assistance and shouted that Pontin had been killed. Assistance arrived, and the deceased was conveyed to the surface. He could not say how the coal fell down the pit. Witness assisted in taking the deceased home, but he died on the way. William Price corroborated. A verdict of Accidental death was returned. ">
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Monmouthshire Education I Committee. At the monthly meeting of this Authority at Newport, on Wednesday, Alderman J. Daniel, J.P., presiding, the secretary (Mr C. Dauncey) reported that the sub-committee to which was delegated the hiring of temporary premises or the erection of an iron temporary school at Machen, had decided, as no premises were available, to recommend the committee to purchase an iron building to accommodate 300 scholars. The old rchool was in an unfit condition and belonged to Glamorgan, but 85 per cent. of the children attending it were from Monmouthshire. At Glasgow, the secretary said, an iron building accommodating 600 scholars, had been put up for £ 1,000. The building could be removed when done with to any other part of the county. The permanent schools at Machen were expected not to be ready for about two years. The committee approved the idea of the sub- committee and ratified it, Mr T. Price (Tredegar) referred to the question of who should pay the salaries of extra teachers necessitated at those county schools where pu pil teachers now attended, and pointed out the hardships of a school having to bear the additional expense without participating in the earned grant. Alderman S. N. Jones, chairman of the higher education sub committee, promised that financial help would be forthcoming when the scheme was fully prepared. Most of the county schools would have to be enlarged, and funds must be forth- coming. Every possible help would be given the governors to meet the altered conditions forced upon them by the closing of the pupil teachers' centres. The agricultural education sub. committee recommended the adoption of a schedule of prizes, in value -658 10s, to be given at the forthcoming Bath and West of England Show at Newport in competition amongst those students who have attended the annual classes in agricultural subjects promoted by the subcommittee. The elementary education sub-committee recommended for adoption the following resolu- tion That it is desirable, in order to make provision from time to time by way of appoint- ments for trained and certificated teachers of the education committee, that the services of married women teachers be dispensed with when and wherever the circumstances of the grouped areas permit." The sub-committee notified that they had with- drawn the notice given to Mrs Edwards, head- mistress of Pontllanfraith School, terminating her engagement. The Sites and Buildings Sub-Cammittee re- ferred to the payment of further monies out of the surplus of Jones' Charity. By agreement with the Board of Education, the amended scheme authorises that j6500 each extra is to be paid to Monmouth Grammar School and the West Monmouth (Pontypool) School, and JE300 to Mon- mouth Girls' High School. The question of the salaries of the headmaster of Monmouth Grammar School and the headmistress of Monmonth Girls' School was again before the Committee. The Board of Education recommended a maximum of jgSOO for the master and £600 for the mistress, but the Sub-Committee thought these sums still excessive, and resolved on a deputation to the Board. They also adhered to the demand for representation on the Board of Governors of the School of six instead of five, and for an increase in the quorum to one-third of the whole number of governors. The proposal to spend £3,000 on a laboratory at Monmouth Grammar School was also the subject of a recommendation.
I Markets. UUK, CATTLE, Monday.— A good attendance and supply, especially of cows and calves. The trade was rather slow in the former, but sheep sold well. The following were the quotations Best quality beef 6d to 6d per lb, seconds 5ld to 6d wether mutton 9d to 9!d, ewe 7d to 8d per lb; 2 cows and calves ;E12 to X16, yearlings £6 to ;CIO, two-year-olds XII to zC14, sows and pigs X6 to xio; strong stores 35s to 45s each three months' old 20s to 23s, weanera 16s to 20s each heavy- weight porkers 0s to 9s 6d score, light ditto, 10s to lie baconers 9s 6d to 10s per score.
Volcano in Eruption. New York, Friday. Waunaloa Volcano, in one of the Sandwich Islands, is in eruption. Flames from the crater are visible for hundreds of miles, and streams of lava are flowing down the snow- covered heights.
Another Railway Accident. I The midnight train for Aldershot when leaving Camberley last night ran into a siding, knocked over the buffer stops and ran down a steep bank. The engine and the guard's van over-turned, but no employees were hurt. The train carried no passengers.
Visiting French Outposts in Morocco. Paris, Friday. Lieut.-Colonel Lowther, military attache to the British Embassy in Paris, arrived at Oran (Algeria) yesterday. Colonel Lowther is going to visit the French advanced posts on the Moroccan frontier.
Increase in American Railway Capital. The New York Herald says that Pennsylvania railroad, capital is shortly to be increased by forty millions in stocks and bonds.
Weather Forecast. Brighter and colder weather predicted, with slight frost at night. Printed and Published hy "THE COUNTY OBSERVER, NEWSPAPER and PRINTING COMPANY, Limited, by JAMES HENRY CLARK, at their Offices, Bridge Stfeet, Usk, in the Ounty of Monmouth, Saturday, January 12th, U/07.
Among the FAMOUS WRITEl who contribute clever Serial and Stories to Cassell's Magazine are MAX PEMBERTON, RIDER HAGGARD, TOM GALLON, WILLIAM LE QUEUX, PETT RIDGE, EDGAR JEPSON, and others. The Stories and Articles are laVlshlg illustrated by leading Artists and from Photographs, Monthly, 6d. THE lop% E'n QUIVER is acknowledged to be the Premier SUNDAY MAGAZINE, and is famous for the literary excellence of its stories and articles. It Is profusely Illustrated with DratOm ings by Celebrated Artists, and with Special Photographv. Monthly, 6d. | ¡ THE BRIGHTEST and most entertaining Weekly Paper is Cassoll's Saturday Journal. It contains Series of Articles of Special Interest, Powerful Dramatic Serial, Short Complete Stories, Illustrations, and some* thing of interest for everyone. Liberal Prizes in Entertaining Competitions. Every Wednesday, Id., also Monthly, 6d. The Graphic says "LITTLE FOLKS is the Best Magazine for Children." This opinion is heartily endorsedbp. everyone Who sees this Famous Period- ical, which delights thousands of Children every month. Monthly, 6d. The Thrilling Tales and Complete Short Stories of Human interest, the Clever Articles, Humorous Storyettes, etc., to. get her With the bright Illustrations make ,W"% Am y The Penny Magazine What it deserves to be-The most Popular Paper of its class. LIBERAL PRIZES, etc. Weekly, 1d. Also Monthl ed. "CHUMS," The Ideal and most Popular 'Boys' Paper. Contains Stirring Tales of Adventure and School Life of a High-toned and Inspiring character. BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED. Bicycles, Watches, Weekly Money Prizes, etc., constantly being: offered in Easy Competitions. Weekly, 1dl. Monthly, 6d. The Greatest Value Ever Produced is the Musical Home Journal. Every week it contains New and Copyright Songs and Music by Leading Writers and Com- posers. Also Pieces for Piano, Organ, Violin, etc. Helpful Articles, Questions and Answers on Musical Matters. Valuable 'Prizes in Easy Competitions. Weekly, id. MonteSy, 6d. All who have a Garden should buy The Gardener An Illustrated journal containing Practical Hints on Horticulture for each week in the year, and other information of inestimable value. Every Professional and Amateur should read it. WeskEy, 1c3. T. Pz
SUNDAY OBSERVANCE. A good deal of attention has been given to the brief message to the nation which -was published last week, bearing the signa- tures of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westmin- ster, and the President of the Free Church Council. The appeal, which has been com- mented upon and endorsed in many quarters. sets forth the claims of Sunday to increased recognition, and it does so mainly upon two grounds. One day's rest in seven, as the signatories remark, contributes vastly to the physic il and mental efficiency of men, women, and children. This is becoming increasingly recognised all the world over, and although here and there we find men trying to work seven days a week, yet in the end they only furnish, by mental or physical collapse, the strongest proof that the laws of nature cannot be ignored with impunity. On the Continent, as every- body knows, it has not been customary to extend the same regard to Sunday as we in Britain are accustomed to extend to it, but, during the past few months, France has not only discovered that people cannot work seven days a week, but that the institution of Sunday was a wiser provision than many of her people had suspected. It was at first supposed that the difficulty could be met by enacting that each establishment must be closed one day a week, leaving it to the proprietor to select his own day; but the statesman who thought that such an arrangement would work did not under- stand human nature. Many an employer in this country has said to his workers, would it not be preferable in your own interest if you were to work on Bank Holi- day, and take the following Monday, wheu it would be possible to get about with comfort ? The employees, however, would hear nothing of such a proposal. If there was any holiday-making to be done, they wanted, as they said, to be in it, and it would have been gall and wormwood to them to work while others were at play. The second argument is the religious one, which weighs strongly with those who pro- fess to accept the Christian religion, and are careful to observe the injunction that they are not to neglect the assembling of themselves together for public worship. =
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SUICIDE IN A PRISON. I The melancholy suicide of a prisoner at Northampton emphasises the fact which is apparent from a perusal of Canon Horsley's book on "Prisons and Prisoners"—that the sentence which is regarded lightly by one person means death to another. The man who committed suicide at Northamp- ton was evidently in a condition of blank despair, which the jury might charitaWly have regarded as equivalent to insanity, and Canon Horsley writes of several similar cases. One prisoner scratched on the wall I of Iiis cell the words—" 21,000 times have I walked round this cell in a week 11 and another, 3,300 bricks in this cell, 131 black tiles, 150 red tiles." It is easy to imagine the state of mind of the men who made these inscriptions, and to believe that they suffered much more than the prisoners who declare that they can do their punish- ment on their heads."
TREATMENT OF STAMMERING. Encouraging reports come from Accring- ton on the subject of the treatment of stammering among children in the ele- mentary schools. The teacher is Mr Walter Yearsley, who is stated to have stammered painfully, but to have come to a plucky resolution to cure himself by a course of vocal gymnastics" which were perfectly successful It is quite possible that his system is not new, and. indeed, it is well known that many people have* overcome, like Demosthenes, difficulties in articula- tion. It matters little, however, whether the treatment is old or new, the point is that Mr Yearsley has succeeded in curing a number of boys who stammered, and it is stated that, if proper care and attention are exercised, the cure will be permanent in their cases as it has been in others. Mr Yearsley is supported in his efforts by the local education authority, and if inquiry confirms all that is claimed for his system it will certainly be adopted in other towns.
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South Monmouthshire Electors. The new list of voters for the Southern Division of Monmouthshire shows that for Parliamentary, county, and parochial purposes there is a total electorate of 19,807-an increase of 774 on the 1906 register. For Parliamentary purposes there are 16,511 electors-an increase of 653. There is a general decrease in the rural districts. The in- creases are shown at Rogerstone, 161; Cwmbran, 186; Newport (South Mon.), 249; Cross Keys, 14; Newbridge, 61 and Risca, 50,