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LLANELLY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. A INSTRUCTIVE ADDRESS ON COM- MERCIAL EDUCATION. A VALUABLE DISCUSSION. A meeting of the Llanelly Chamber of Commerce was held on Friday evening last. Mr. Dan Williams presided, and was supported by Mr. F. N. Pawell (hon. sec.). NEW MEMBERS. I Mr. D. G. Rees, solicitor, and Mr. D. Williams, accountant, Coldstream Street, were elected members of the chamber. THE NORTH PEMBROKESHIRE RAILWAY. Mr. J. A. Williams gave a report of the proceed ings occuring between the deputation of the Chamber and the Dock Committee of the Harbour Commissioners in connection with the North Pembrokeshire Railway Bill. It will be remembered that a deputation was ap- pointed by the chamber to urge the Harbour Commissioners to induce the promoters of the scheme to make a connection with Llanelly. Mr. Williams said that the deputation had duly waited upon the committee and had been well received. The deputation expressed the view that unless the commissioners could get very good terms from the promoters the commissioners should oppose the Bill. After Mr- David Davies had explained the clauses of the scheme, the committee expressed themselves in sympathy with the views of the deputation. He believed that the promoters had promised the commissioners to bring in a Bill next session giving Llanelly a connection from Pontar- dulais through Llangennech, Llwynhendy, Felin- foel and Dafen. However, as they were aware, Parliament had thrown out the greater portion of the Bill. There was no doubt that the promoters would re-introduce the Bill next session, in which provision would no doubt be made for the Llanelly connection (hear, hear). The President remarked that they were all doubt- less very pleased to receive such a favourable report. When the bill was re-introduced next session, the Chamber would again have to consider the ques- tion. I THE JENNINGS' MEMORIAL FUND. I The President observed that it was the privilege of the Chamber to appoint three representatives to act on the special committee to settle the distribu- tion of the above fund. The following were appointed Mr. Thomas Jones, Mr. Dan Williams and Mr. W. Bowen. QUEE, N'S DIAMOND JUBILEE. I The President stated that the Chamber was asked to appoint two representatives to act on the sub-committee to obtain subscriptions for liquida- ting the debt on the hospital and for the provision of a children's ward. The Council of the Chamber had had the question under consideration and found that the hospital committee had appointed a depu- tation to wait upon the Borough Council on Monday and in view of that fact the Council of the Chamber were 02 opinion that it would be better to defer the consideration of the question until the result of Monday's meeting was known. This was decided to be done. COMMERCIAL EDUCATION. I The President stated that they had now come to the more serious and the more instructive item on the agenda, namely, an address by Mr. Sidney Jones on Commercial Education. It was unnecess- ary for him to introduce Mr. Jones, as he was well- known to them. All he would say was that it was very kind of Mr. Jones to come all the way from. London to deliver this address. Mr. Sidney Jones then delivered his address and opened with a survey of the educational machinery of this country. Having shown that despite the educational changes of recent years, little pro- vision had been made for commercial education, Mr. Jones quoted from a speech by Dr. James, a distinguished American educationalist, as follows: We expect shortly to be able to compete in foreign trade with European nations. In this field England leads by virtue of long possession, France and Germany by better training of their com- mercial youth. We must supply a ready supply of trained men for foreign commercial service, men systematically trained in foreign languages, in the geography and industries of our own and foreign countries, men with considerable knowledge of the general rules of commerce and some of finance." What applied to the United States applied to England with a hundred-fold importance. To provide such a supply was the more immediate and technical function of a commercial school. There could be no doubt that commerce as a study and science did not exist at all in England. At the large public schools, the commercial sides were in nothing less than a scan- dalous state, although the majority of the boys must eventually enter business in some form or other. As far as the work went, that of our higher grade schools was excellent in many ways, but it had a technical tendency, rather than a commercial. Grant-earning also had to be considered, which rather hampered the freedom of the headmasters. The government, by the science and art classes, aided the teaching of some 25 science subjects, but did not look upon any really commercial subject as worthy of being classed under the head of science. Such was the condition of commercial education in the greatest commercial nation in the world. Mr. Jones then surveyed the machinery existing on the continent for imparting a know- ledge of commerce. In France there were many different types of commercial colleges, the most important being under the supervision of the government. In addition to these, there were public and private commercial schools, the management being generally in the hands of the local Chamber of Commerce, while in nearly all cases the initiation had been taken by commercial men. In Germany there were 50 high class schools devoted to commerce, while many were spread over Austria, some in Sweden, Italy, and Belgium, and even Russia ,had the honour of having established a commercial school. The normal course of two years study in a Paris commercial school embraced the following general commercial notions and the studv of commercial documeuts, commercial arithmetic, the elements and general theory of the keeping of accounts, banking and exchange, railways and railway tariffs, commercial correspondence, two living languages, of which one must be English, study of merchandise, chemistry, navigation, his- tory of commerce, commercial legislation, political economy, writing, and shorthand. If the students leaving such schools carried away with them even a rudimentary knowledge of most of those subjects small wonaer was it that German and other foreigners were supplanting our English youth as clerks and correspondents. In addition to the regular schools, there were classes for women, for apprentices and others. At Leipsiz there were classes for apprentices engaged in commercial houses. In many quarters, the mediasval idea was still prevalent in this country that the best training for commerce was the so-called Liberal education— the spending of many yeafs over the classics, and in 9 cases out of 10 with no appreciable result. That idea was, however, changing and it was being recognised that a course of science and modern languages could also develop the reason and ob- serving powers. Soon he hoped this recognition would be extended much further and that school- masters would be more alive to the fact that it was no so much a particular subject that educated a boy as the manner in which that subject was taught. What was wanted in England was (1) a few high grade commercial schools, (2) a thorough re-organ- ization of our secondary schools. When this was done commerce would hold a very prominent place. These changes, however, could only come about through the initiation of the state or of influential men. The Llanelly Chamber could do a great deal by keeping the question of commercial educa- tion before the public, and by inquiring into the exact state of commercial education in the neigh- bourhood. The Chamber might lead the way in seeing that Commercial education received its pro- per consideration from the Intermediate Ediication authorities. Mr. Fielding moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Sidney Jones for his excellent and edifying address. Any gentleman who devoted an evening to tSSe benefit of the Chamber was at least entitled to their thanks. Mr. Jones had placed a mass of interesting and instructive facts before them and these he felt sure would be carefully considered by the Chamber. Mr. J. A. Williams had much pleasure in secon- ding the vote of thanks, remarking that the l excellent paper read by Mr. Jones entirely justified the adjournment of the debate. Comparing the syllabus in the curriculum of commercial education under the London Chamber of Commerce with that in vogue in the various continental centres, the speaker said that the former suffered very materially by the comparison. The con- tinental syllabus was a very valuable one, but upon examination he found that the curriculum of the London Chamber of Commerce did not contain a single subject embodied in the former. Mr. Williams went on to state that the Chamber ought to show a practical interest in the question by offer- ing scholarships to boys for proficiency in commercial subjects already taught in our schools- Mr. Thomas Jones was disposed to thorougly support any practical scheme. Those who could afford to send their children to Germany and France to be educated would no doubt do so, and he would welcome any scheme for enabling other parents to do so. 1- Mr. B. R. Rees cordially supported the vote of thanks to Mr. Jones. If the address had done no more than to awaken an interest in commercial education it would have done good work. Mr. Harry D. Evans gave a series of most inter- esting and instructive instances of the position occupied by France in commercial education. Mr. Frank Randell followed on the some lines. The President also cordially supported the vote of thanks. He thought that the less of Welsh they had in their schools and more of French and German the better. Mr. J. E. Jones considered that the London Cham- ber of Commerce scheme was too ambitious, but he was convinced that something could be done if the commercial men of the district put their heads together. It was moved by Mr. Frank Randell, seconded by Mr. David John, and carried, that the address be printed and circulated among the members. Mr. Luke Bradley followed and also remarked that the less of Welsh they had in their schools the better. The vote of thanks was then carried amid acclamation. Mr. Sidney Jones replied, and corrected Mr. J. A. Williams in his criticism of the scheme of the London Chamber of Commerce. Nor did he agree with sending their youths to France and Germany to be educated. He thought that ought to be done here. Mr. Fielding then moved the following resolu- tion :— That this Chamber Cannot accept the examination scheme of the London Chamber of Commerce relative to commercial education, but suggests that steps should be taken with the view ef establishing some scheme more likely to meet the local rsquirements." Mr. J. Allen Williams seconded, and it was unanimously carried.