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-Collier Parachutist.

,' An Admirable Performance.'



BORDER CHILDREN. -0- AN UNIQUE PROSECUTION. CASES ADJOURNED. The long-standing dispute between the Llanelly Education Committee and the Car- marthenshire County Education Authority re- lative to the education of the border children reached an acute stage on Wednesday, when eight of the parents were charged at the Police Court before Messrs. Henry Wilkins, R. W. Evane, and Thomas Seymour, for neg- lecting to send their children to school. For some time before the hour of the opening of the court the children numbering about two hundred paraded the principal streets of the town. The little mites trudged along quite hilariously, and carried with them flags and bunting of various hues. Preceding the pro- cession were two stalwart lads, carrying a banner bearing the following inscription, "Border children. The parents have been prosecuted for absenting their children from school, when they have no school to send them to" The parents of the children fol- lowed the procession, and when it reached the Town Hall, the children lined the route and unfurled their banners, and displayed their happiness by singing some favourite ditties, intermingled with the National An- them and the "Land of My Fathers." Mr. J. W. Nicholas, clerk to the Carmarthenshire; Education Committee, appeared to prosecute, and Mr. D. R. Edmunds defended. There was a large number of the County Committee and the local Education Committee present in court:. Mr. Edmunds said that the seven sum- mouses issued by the Carmarthenshire Autho- rity were regarded as test cases, and he ap- plied that the cases be adjourned for a fort- night. There had been, as their worships were aware, a controversy-an unhappy con- troversy-for several months between the two authorities. The seven summonses had been issued at the direct instructions of the Board of Education and although the County Autlxo- rity had had several months to take .action, tli.V had only done so hurriedly now. The cases were unique in the history of education and also the controversy, and lie thought it would be unfair to the parents of the child- ren and to himself, who had only been in- structed a few days previously, to proceed with the summonses that day. He presumed the Bench could presume why the parents, took united action in this matter. So far as the other parents were concerned, who might have been served with a summons, he thought lie would be able to show that the attendance officer had exercised an amount, of cleA-emess1 in selecting a particular seven There was a. great deal of correspondence to be read, newspaper reports, etc., and he hoped the Bench would agree to his applica- tion. Mr. Nicholas said he had a strong objection to an adjournment. Six of the summonses were served on the 27th May, and one on the 28th ult. That would leave five or six days to make preparation for any defence that there possibly could be in summonses of that character. They were the simplest possible summonses that could be made out in accor- dance with the bye-laws against parents for i not sending their children to school. As a solicitor he always endeavoured to oblige another solicitor so far as he was personally concerned. Mr. Edmunds had had ample time for any possible defence. If any point of law arose, he saw no occasion why the cases should not then be -adjourned, but he failed to see how any point of law could be raised. In his letters Mr. Edmunds had re- quested the County Committee to produce a number of documents and reports, including all minutes and correspondence, registers, etc., and he had complied, with the result that some of the schools were practically dis- mantled. All this information was ready, al- though he OVtr. Nicholas) failed to see what it had to do with the case Those documents were now within the precincts of the court, and he hoped the Bench would not put the County to any further expense in bringing these documents to the court again. Mr. Edmunds said he was sorry that he would have to read some further correspon- dence. He believed an adjournment would have been consented to, but for the high- handed action of a certain man on the County Authority. Mr. Nicholas: I object to that remark. Mr Edmunds, continuing, said he intended to make some very much stronger remarks at a later stage. There had been a good deal of controversy and unpleasantness. Mr. Nicholas replied that there was no con- troversy raging so far as the County Com- mittee were concerned. If there was any controversy it was between the parents and the Llanelly Committee. Mr. Edmunds objected to Mr. Nicholas' -in- terruptions. Mr Nicholas said the remarks of Mr. Ed- munds were quite irrelevant. Mr. Edmunds was about to proceed, when Mr. Nicholas again interrupted. Air. Edmunds: I think this is very unfair, as I did not interrupt you. Mr. Nicholas: No; because I kept to-the point. ilf r. Edmunds said the Bench were the best judges of that. The Bench after a consultation with the Clerk, ruled that the cases should proceed until it was found that an adjournment was necessary. Mr. Edmunds said lie was sorry, because he was quite unprepared, and he had no wit- nesses. The Presiding Magistrate said the majority of the Bench had ruled that the case should proceed. John Morgan, chief attendance officer, pro- duced the bye-laws and the authority to pro secure Mary Jane Thomas, daughter of Mr John Thomas, Cold Blow, Cwmbaeh, did not attend any school up to May 18th. Mr. Edmunds: Did you give notice, offlnal warning to the defendant?—Yes. Have you a copy?—No. You know why the child did not attend school ?—-She said she had been excluded from a school in the urban, area. The parents of the border children are j anxious that they should be educated, I suppose ?~I do not think so. They are respectable people, are they not? —Yes. Have you told them that these are only test cases?—I have not done so. Are they test cases ?—I suppose so. The Presiding Magistrate: It would, shorten the case if you answered the question. Mr. Edmunds: I submit there would be no ¡ further summonses if these cases were dis- I missed?—I cannot say. What is the distance from Cold Blow to Pwll School ?—About a mile and a half. What is the distance to Old Road School?— Two miles. I Do you know that it is one mile, five fur- tlongs, and two miles?—No I When did you receive instructions to pro- ceed?—Some time before the authority was .signed. Do you say the distance from Penbrvn is not three miles, five furlongs and five chains? —No, it is not so. How many children are there from Old Road School within this area?-About 140. How many are there within this district in- cluded in the seven summonses ?-Confine yourself to Cwm bach district first. Mr. Edmunds: I am conducting this case, not you. Witness: I am not able to answer you the J way you the way you ask the questions. Mr. Edmunds: Why don't you say so then? How many of the children reside in the Fur- nace, and excluded from Old Road?--I believe it is 109. There are 109 excluded from the Furnace disiriet?--Not- ex(,Iuded. At present they are not in attendance. Do you include Pentiepoetli, Furnace, Gat- ygarn, and Trebeddod ?—Yes. And everyone of these are liable to be sum- moned as the present defendants?—Yes. Can you tell me what the accommodation i is at the Pwll School?—We have it in the 'I Blue Book. 6 Mr. Edmunds: Never mind the Blue Book We will find that there are many inacel-i-raciez, in the Blue Book. I Witness: According to the Blue Book there 1 is accommodation in the mixed department for 106 children, and in the infants' 125. The Chairman: Can you give me the pre- sent attendance at this school?—The head- master is here to give that. Mr .Edmunds: What is the average attend- ance in the mixed department? Witness: The average attendance on the 30th April was 147. What is the average attendance for the in- fants ?-Nine ty- six. The Chairman: Can you give the number on the register ?—The number on the register for the same period in the mixed department II is 163, and 116 in the infants' department. I Mr. Edmunds: You are bound to contem- plate the possibility of every child attending I the school?—We are bound by the Board of I Education to provide accommodation for the I children attending the school. Is it within your knowledge that the Board of Education have asked you to revise your accommodation at the school?—Quite to the contrary. That applies to the erection of new schools. So I suppose the same principle applies to the enlargement of this school.?—I prefer the Clerk to answer that. Have you received any instructions from the Board of Education with regard to this Pwll School ? —That would not come within my province. But have you received any instructions from the Board of Education with regard to the Pwll School?—No. It is a notorious fact that within the last two years, in consequence of the growth of the districts of Llanelly, that the accommo- dation. is insufficient?—We have sufficient accommodation in every one of our schools. Have you plenty of accommodation at Felinfoel School?—Yes. What is the number on the register at this seliool?-There are 202 on the register for the Felinfoel Council Mixed School. The highest attendance in this school for the month of April was 155. The Presiding Magistrate: What is the average for the year? Witness: I shall have to make a return for that. Mr. Edmunds You say that the number on the register is 202; what is the accommoda- tion?—The accommodation at Felinfoel Mixed School is 258 The Presiding Magistrate: What is the ac- commodation at the Infants' Department?— The accommodation at the Infants' Depart- ment is 153. Mr. Edmunds: May I submit that there is an error in these figures? You have heard it being stated in the County meeting that there was an error in these figures?—No. Were you present on the 13tli May, when there was an acrimonious discussion?—Yes, I was. And you heard the letter being read from the Board of Education ?-Yes. You heard the discussion tha.t followed that letter?—Yes. And you heard a member of the Committee state that there was a mistake in the .Blue Book?—I heard something to that effect by Mr. W. B. Jones. Did you hear fo W. B. Jones state that after careful measurement by the Inspector there was only sufficient accommodation for 226?—Yes. You heard it stated publicly at that meet- ing?—Yes. Do you think it human to send the child- rOll from Penbryn, Cwmbaeh, to Pwll in wet weather, and especially the weather we had last, year?—The, Board of Education think so. 1 But I am asking you as an expert ?-If I were called upon to exercise my authority, I should certainly say that if a child of about five years of age absented herself for one day from Pwll in. consequence of wet weather that, proceedings should not. be taken. Is it within your knowledge that at a ro- I cent meeting of the Education Committee, a sub-ceommittee was appointed for the pur- pose of enquiring for special accommodation and the building of a new school to meet, the requirements of the ohildrën lYes, a special, committee was 'appointed. Why did they appoint a committee if they had sufficient accommodation ?-Mrs. Lloyd supported the motion, and I was instructed to accompany the committee. What were your official movements that day?—I will answer questions bearing upon the case, but not otherwise. You were one of the officials appointed to come to Llanelly to arrange temporary accom- modation. What did they decide that day?-- I The committee have, not yet made their re- port, Did you call in any single place with a view to securing temporary accommodation, or did you see any person who could give you tem- porary accommodation?—There were some en- quiries made. Where did you go to that day?—We went to Furnace and Pentrepoeth. Did you walk on the road from Furnace to Felinfoel ?-We walked some distance, and a j brake conveyed, us to F21infoel. I Mr. Edmunds: And you expect children of about five or six years of .age to walk that distance (laughter). Who did you see at the Furnace with a view ] to providing temporary accommodation? I spoke myself to several persons Give me their names?—I do not know their names. Did it occur to you that the committee should see the local education authority with regard to the accommodation at Old Road j School?—I cannot answer that. I will not answer anything with regard to Old Road School. Mr. Edmunds subsequently pressed for an adjournment, because he could not possibly conduct the case without his witnesses. Mr. Henry Wilkins said it was very unfor- tunate for them to sit there and hear what had been going on. There were seven sum- mouses, and only one case had been touched | upon. The Bench suggested that the County Committee should arrive at a compromise be- I fore proceeding any further (hear, hear), so that the children could go back to the school I they were in the habit of attending. Mr. Nicholas said the County Authority had ample room in their own schools. Mr. Edmunds: That I emphatically deny. I say they have not got accommodation. Mr. Nicholas: I can prove here to-day that there is ample accommodation There are, as a matter of fact, 531 vacant places in the county schools for these children. What more, in common fairness, can the County Authority do? Mr. Edmunds said the Board of Education had taken a strong action, and had made a reprimand on the County Authority. Mr. Nicholas said there had been no rerii mand, and the Committee had never sup- press2d any facts. Any political discussion lhat may have taken place over the question 11 had nothing to do with a court, of justice. Mr. Edmunds enquired if it was too much to ask the Bench to again read the letter from the Education Department, and see if it did not contain a severe rebuke. Mr. Nicholas said that Mr. Edmunds was quite wrong. Mr. Edmunds observed that the Bench might draw their own inference. According to the letter the Committee had failed in their duty. Mr. Nicholas stated that lie wished it to be understood that the Education Department had no control in any shape or form. Mr. Wilkins asked Mr. Edmunds to dearly state hie defence. I Mr. Edmunds said he thought he had done so. The cases were unique. He would point out that the distance and accommodation as stated by the witness were incorrect. It was also his intention to have a plan prepared. The County Authority had practically decided to pay another authority 25s. per head for the education of border children. Much venom had been introduced. He had shown that the defence was not allowed sufficient time for preparation. The Bench acceded to an adjournment for a fortnight. Mr. Nicholas: May I ask your reason for adjourning the case? Mr Wilkins did not give any reply. Mr Nicholas said the prosecution were given no consideration. Mr R. W. Evans: I do not think you should say that. It was subsequently decided to adjourn the case until Tuesday Week.


Fatality at Bynea.I


Music in the Park.

IAccident at Loughor.