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ECHOES 01'TUli WEIiK. [BY SIRIUS."] THE POSITION OF THE CoLLECTOR. I -No or' o will complain of the decision of the Llanelly Borongh Council to increase the salary of Mr. David Francis, the collector of the borough rates, to the extent of LI,50 per lnnum. Mr. Francis has been in the service of the Council for about twelve years at the same salary, notwithstanding the fact that during that period the work has materially increased. The decision of the Finance Committee of the Council to increase the salary at this juncture is really due to a recommendation of the Loca] Government Board auditor to the effect that 31r. Francis should devote the whole of his time to the duties of the office, Mr. Hugh Williams, the auditor in question, being of opinion that zixiy other arrangement would be unsatisfactory. An application for an increase of salary was made to the Council by Mr. Francis some years •ago and it was acceded to, not by raising the salary standard, but by giviughim permission todoother work. This system has apparently not been a success, hence the change instituted at the meeting of the Finance Committee on Friday ur last week. The conditions of remuneration ure now to be readjusted, Instead of leceiving a fixed sum, Mr. Francis is to receive a com- mission of 2b per cent., in accordance with which it is expected there will be increase in the return to him of about ;£lijO. This is not an extravagant increase, in view of the fact that in future Mr. Francis is to devote the whole of his time to the duties of the office. Hitherto, he has been making about £2ÕO per annum out of the work. This sum, however, has not been all for himself or anything like it. Indeed, is is ques- tionable whether he has made anything out of the office except the merest bagatelle, for out of the figure just named, he has been expected to pay two or three clerks to assist him in the work. | THE HEALTH OF LLAKELLY. I The report of Dr. Sydney J. Roderick, the I medical officer for the bore ugh of Llanelly, is II reproduced in another column, and I am sure my readers will join with me in concluding that it forms highly interesting reading matter. In one important respect, the report is absolutely unique in the annals of the town, inasmuch as it registers the lowest death-rate on record in the history of the town, the rate of mortality for L896 being as low as per 1,000. This is really excellent, and will, L imagine, more than favourably compare with that of any similar- t sized borough in the entire kingdom. A death rate of 13 5 per annum constitutes indubitable testimony to what in the main must be a higly ratifying condition of sanitation in the district within the jurisdiction of the Council, and it also speaks volumes for the quality of the water supplied from Cwmlhedi reservoir. If the sanitation were defective, and the water supply poor, an inevitable tale would be told in the presence of two particular diseases, which are a singularly true aud reliable index ja both directions named, I allude to diphtheria And typhoid fever. It is eminently gratifying j --a gmtificatioll in which every unit of the community must share—that during the last decade the death-rate in Llanelly bts been reduced from 231 per 1,000 to 13'5. This is a fact which we should seek to publish as ex- tensively as printer's ink can circulate it. AN INCIDENT OF OTHER DAYS. The extraordinarily low death-rate for the past year recalls an incident during the tenure of Office of LAIr.Botirne as chairman of the Council, un incident which is well worthy of reproduction here. It was, I think, in the late eighties that n communication was received from the town clerk of Brighton, directing attention to the remarkably low death-rate recorded in that borough during the previous year, the communi- cation being obviously intended to serve as an advertisementfor that fashion able health resort. It so happened, however, that in the very year under notice the death-rate in Llanelly also had heen remarkably low—with the exception of that for last year it was, indeed, the lowest known-and Mr. Bourne, after the late Mr. Jennings had finished reading the communica- tion, jocularly observed that Llanelly, having ontie one better than Brighton in this respect, aiiould succeed to the prerogatives and privileges of that fashionable resort and that a, reply to that effect be sent to the Brighton town clerk. ——— THE HOSPITAL FUND. The Hospital fund to be raised under the auspices of tue Queen's Diamond Jubilee, may now fairly be said to be on the go." A highly satisfactory start with the working arrange- ments were made at a meeting of the Special Committee on Thursday last. It will be remem- bered that on the previous Monday evening the meeting of the committee in question was, in vulgar parlance, more or less of a" flat shot." Ample amends were, however, made for this tit the adjourned proceedings on Thursday evening when a thoroughly representative assembly went earnestly and vigorously into questions affecting the details associated with the collection of the money necessary for the purposes which the managing committee have concisely and cogently placed before the public. if there has been any doubt in the mind of the committee in question in relation to the Attitude of the public to the movement which has been set on foot, this doubt must have been effectively dispelled by the warmth and spirit with which the various practical details of the work were taken in hand by the meeting held on Thursday evening. The proceedings on the occasion named offered a substantial guarantee that the sum of £ 2,000, which the management committee hope to raise, will be found. This, at any rate, is the earnest wish of the writer of this column. At the meeting under notice some references were made to what was considered a grievance of the artizan class in the town in respect of the non-representation of the working men on the committee of management, and curiously enough, one of the speakers was disposed to raad into a. note appearing in this column a week ago an allusion to this grievance as constituting the reason for the small attendance :<.{; a recent meeting of the special committee. 1 take the first opportunity, however, of dis- claiming having any such intention in the echo iu question. if I had ever heard of the grievance. I assure my readers that it was not present in my mind when the references embodied in my note of last week were penned. Indeed, I have been satisfactorily convinced throughout that the existing committee of management have every desire that the body should be thoroughly representative, and would g:aclly welcome a strong working-class re- presentation. It is just as well, however, that the grievance should see the light in proper hrm" and in the proper quarter, since it gave !n opportunity to Mr. Maclaran, as chairman of the committee of management, to correct in definite terms an unfortunate misapprehension. Alter Mr. Maelarans courteous, cogent, and f ex't'austive explanation, I imagine that the I grievance will disappear for good. i