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CARMARTHEN LITERARY AND SCIENTIFICI…

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CARMARTHEN LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC I INSTITUTION. The annual meeting of this Institution took place on Tuesday evening last, in the Reading-room, King-street. Mr. Hughes, one of the vice-presidents, occupied the chair. The attendance was unusually small; and, although this was the time for electing the officers and committee, very little interest was shown in the pro- ceedings. The Chairman said there was nothing that required any remarks from him on this occasion. The income of the society, although not so large as was desirable, was sufficient to meet all the demands upon it. There was a balance of £18 2s 9jd in hand, a proof that the committee had kept the expenditure within the income. It was not right, he thought, to have a large balance, because the subscribers of this year should not pay for the accommodation of those who succeed them. Still a small balance was indispensable. In 186] the balance was £ 14 19s 8jd. The first report rea d was for the quarter ending Dec. 31st, 1861, from which it appeared that the number of members was 296, being an increase over the preceding and corresponding quarter of last year, which was at- tributed to the canvass of the town for new members in September last. The balance at the end of the year was S18 2s Hd, and at the corresponding period last year fl4 19s s ild. A new daily paper and a review had been added to the reading-room. The Rev. A. M'Aus- lane's lecture on "The proper time to say No" was not appreciated, for, although members were admitted free of charge, only 110 out of 300 attended; and as the entrance money for non-members amounted only to zel lis, there was a loss to the Institution of £2 Is 3d the committee have not, therefore, recommended any further free lectures. The next report read was the one for the whole year, and is as follows :—" In considering the condition of the Institution during the past year one fact is distinctly evi- dent, that the subscriptions of the members are gradually declining. In 1859 they amounted to X122 lis 8d; in 1860, to X116 Is lOd and this year to X110 14s 2d-a decrease of £ 5 7s 8d in comparison with 1860, and of £ 11 17s 6d contrasted with 1859. A sum of at least 15 was the result of the late canvass, without which the subscriptions of 1861 would not have exceeded £ 106 and as in 1858 they reached e,114 Is 9d, and in 1857 C104 19s, it is clear that, so far as its financial resources are concerned, the Institution has receded to the position it held five years ago. This decrease is chiefly to be ascribed to the diminution in the number of annual members since 1859-from 61 to 50, some of whom were subscribers of one guinea. Also during the first three quarters of the year the number of second-class members sank much lower than at any time during the last five years, and even when the large number added by the recent canvass is included, the average for this class is still below that of the four preceding years. However, it is some satisfaction to the Committee to be able to affirm that the Institution has this year been kept in as efficient a state as before. In the reading-room, the diminution of the prices of newspapers has allowed additional newspapers and periodicals to be taken with- out increasing the total expense. In the library, although no additions have been made by purchase from the income of this year, yet above 20 volumes have been added from the binding of the periodicals of the rAading room. Also a selection from the large number of blue books presented by Colonel Saunders Davies, Esq., of Pentre, will be available. Should the income even slightly recover, a considerable portion of the present balance can be prudently applied by the in-coming committee to the augmentation of the library. The museum has during the year received donations of above 60 specimens of fossils and 70 specimens of minerals. Under the active superin- tendence of the curator, Mr. W. J. Morgan, the case is fast being filled, and now contains upwards of 530 specimens. In order to explain to those persons who, merely looking at the gross amount of the income of the Institution, wonder why it is not more efficiently conducted, and that large annual addi- ditions are not made to the library and other depart- ments, the Committee beg to state that out of a really available nett income of about X120 annually, the fixed charges (for rent, rates, insurance, fire, lighting, librarian's salary, collector's commission, printing, sta- tionery, repairs and cleaning of materials, without which absolutely necessary expenditure the Institution could not be carried on) amount to £65. Of this sum the rent and rates amount to nearlyt32, or more than one- fourth of the whole income, and in the opinion of the Committee a great increase in the prosperity of the Institution would take place if this burden were lessened. In an appendix it was stated that a sum of £7 18s 4d remained applicable to Museum purposes, the balance from the amount specially subscribed for the Museum in prior years. The average number of members per quarter had been 24i1-less than any year since 1858, when it was 246. The number of volumes circulated during the year had been 4264, the largest number yet issued in a single year. Mr. D. Williams, the treasurer, read his report, the substance of which is embodied in the reports of the Committee. The three reports were unanimously adopted, and votes of thanks accorded to the various officers of the institution. Mr. Williams was re-elected treasurer, and Mr. W. Smith and Mr. W. J. Morgan honorary secretaries. The Chairman said that this meeting afforded the members an opportunity to discuss any question con- nected with the Institution, or to suggest anything for its improvement. He did not know what they thought of the lectures, but they were certainly not so well at- tended as they should be. Last year they were a failure, and those who guaranteed them had to make good a loss of C7 and it was not yet certain that the lecture fund this year would meet the expenditure. Mr. W. Smith said that he had been so long con- nected with the Institution as to secure for him a fair and impartial hearing. He had now seen the workings of the Institution, and was satisfied that several altera- tions could be advantageously made. He must confess to being disappointed during the last year. He had expected, from the good balance in hand at the begin- ning of the year, that there would have been a balance of £ 16 this year available for the library. He regretted that the annual members were dropping off, last year to 50, this year to 44. This falling off could only be remedied by an increase of annual members, because they were of a class that did not fluctuate, composed for the most part of gentlemen and tradesmen, and when they declined subscribing he had always found it difficult to replace them. The institution had a strong claim upon them, and he could not conceive why they withdrew. The object of the Institution was such as to commend itself to all who sought the improvement of the town. He then noticed the alteration which had been recently effected and the present condition of the reading-room, museum, and library, which on the whole he pronounced satis- factory. As the lectures had failed, and there was no hope of assistance from them, it was necessary that some means should be adopted to increase the library from the general funds of the Institution. A consi- derable sum ought to be appropriated every year to that purpose. Now, if they had an increase of twenty annual members, they could do so; or if they con- sented to an augmentation of the subscription of each member 2s. a year. That would produce X20 and the improvement it would effect would be cheap at the price. There was another and a better way of securing the object, but he must admit it was difficult. He referred to a reduction in the rents and taxes, which amounted in the aggregate to a quarter of the total income of the Institution and, which was very remarkable, this was paid for the use of rooms built designedly for their benefit; but, instead of being a real benefit, it was an incubus—the Old Man of the Sea on the back of Sinbad. He did not complain that the rent was too high, which as a commercial matter was perhaps fair enough; but he complained that an Institution, established i for the good of the town, should have to pay so high a rent for rooms which were originally built for their benefit. It was not creditable to the town that the three societies, whose object was the improvement of the inhabitants should pay more than a fourth of their united income in rent and taxes. The Literary and Scientific Institution, the Musical Society, and the Christian Young Men's Association paid £ 80 rent to the Directors of the Public Rooms. He should like to sre the Institution in premises of its own, and then the whole of its income could be used in providing for the members. He then objected. to the method of voting for committee men, as expensive and injurious to the interests of the Institution. In reply to Mr. Rees Rees, Mr. Smith said that he was prepared with a well digested scheme for the erec- tion of a building of their own, which he preferred to the purchase of the present building, which was on a repairing lease. The Chairman said that the shareholders of the Pub- lic Rooms had expended £ 3,000 in their erection, and they had not yet received a single dividend the share- holders should, therefore, be considered as having con- tributed C150 per annum for the last nine years towards this and other societies using the rooms. Many years since it was found next to impossible to build premises for the Institution. He took an active part in a move- ment for that purpose, and had the promise of £800, but that being insufficient nothing was done. And, now that these rooms were in existence, he very much ques- tioned that so large a sum could be obtained. Some further discussion took place, and the proceed- ings were brought to a close by a vote of thanks to the Chairman. The ballotting lists were received at this meeting, and the result will be declared this evening.

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I CARDIGANSHIRE. I CARDANSHIl{E.

BRECONSHIRE.

CONYOCATIOX OF THE PROVINCE…

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HUNTING APPOINTMENTS.

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