Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

4 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

.' i Notes of the Week.


Notes of the Week. The Royal Visit to South W ales.- Wales was graced last week with Royal visitors in the persons of Princess Christian and her daughter, Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. Their Royal Highnesses went to a part of the Princi- pality that is far out of the ordinary walks of distinguished personages, but their welcome from the humble and unsophisticated folk who "dwell on the moorland, between the watersheds of the Towy and the Teify, was quite as honest and hearty as any welcome they might have received in districts that are more familiar with Royalty. On the hilltops between those two famous rivers, already mentioned, a new sana- torium for consumptive patients is being built, and Princess Christian went down, or really up, there to lay.the commemoration stone. Unfor- tunately the weather was everything but royal °n that day. Rain fell at Alltymynydd all day. hope it was a sign, not that loyalty is to be hashed out of Wales, but that all the elements are in league with the Sanatorium Committee to WIpe out dread consumption from the land. And whilst the members of the Royal Family interest themselves in such beneficial move- ments there is no danger of the spirit of loyalty dying out among the people. Welsh Language Society.—The Welsh Language Society was formed some years ago o do some spade work, and it has been more 'aithful to its trust than almost any other society ye know of. Whoever desires the death of "yr en iaith," and that only one language should in use in the British Isles will have to reckon this Society. And a body guided by an executive Council consisting of such men as *r Isambard Owen, Sir Marchant' Williams, Principals, Registrars, and several Pro^ ssors of the three University Colleges, the _je^ Inspector of the Intermediate Schools, d many 0f the leading Welsh schoolmasters, evjdently not a body to be trifled with. At its annual meeting, held at Bangor last week, the Society considered a scheme prepared for compulsory teaching of Welsh in the Elementary Schools. As to the general and essential principles of that scheme there was complete unanimity, though some differences of opinion concerning details were expressed. Two special committees of experts were appointed to take the scheme, together with another scheme formulated and adopted by the Carnarvonshire County Council, into consideration-one com- mittee to deal with the problem of bilingual and English-speaking districts, the other to deal with it in monoglot Welsh districts. We hope the day is not far distant when the teaching of the language of the soil will be as compulsory in all the schools in Wales as the teaching of English. The Latest Carnegie Project.—Mr. Carnegie is nothing if he is not up to date. Like the quality of mercy he is doubly blessed-he has ideas and he has the means to give them effect. And his ideas are as large as his means is. He never attempts anything on a small scale, a project must be one that can be coupled with millions before he will take it up. He seems unable to think except in seven figures. The majority of us seem to lose all power of thought when it becomes necessary to employ more than one. Mr. Carnegie's latest benefaction is a gift of two millions to provide pensions for aged University Professors in the United States, Canada, and Newfoundland, so that they may be able to retire and give place to younger and more energetic men. This is a scheme that ought to commend itself to all, except venerable pro- fessors themselves perhaps. Somehow or other, no man, whatever weight of years he carries, does not enjoy being put on the shelf, be that shelf ever so comfortable. But everybody else will welcome the project. It is a crying shame that so many men are allowed to fill the most important chairs in our educational institutious long after they have run to seed. "Very often," as the Standard well put it, "the least com- petent teaching is given by the men who are best paid." We admit that it would be cruel to turn adrift an old servant who has spent himself in the service of others without making adequate provision for his comfort, but the great mil- lionare's offer seems to be sufficient to meet the difficulty. Easter in Russia.—In Russia Easter is observed a week later than in most European countries. Many predictions were made that the festival would be accompanied by very serious disturbances; but, happily, those pre- dictions were not fulfilled except in few districts. St. Petersburg, though its streets were crowded, kept perfectly quiet; but in Warsaw the troops came into collision with some strikers, and some lives were lost. The authorities seem to be much relieved by the fact that no revolution occurred. That in itself is sufficient to show how unsatisfactory the state of things is. The Czar took advantage of the festival to issue, as a thank-offering for the birth of his heir, a decree remitting loans made to peasants in bad harvest years to the amount of nearly eight millions sterling. He has also issued another Ukase of much more importance on Liberty of Con- science. It provides that any Russian upon attaining his majority may join any Christian faith he chooses. It also extends important concessions to the hitherto persecuted Non- conformist. The obligatory closing of Roman Catholic monasteries in Poland is abolished, and Buddhists are not to be henceforward officially denounced as Pagans. This appears to be a really liberal document, the most epoch- making since the issuing of the decree liberating the serfs. But everything depends upon how it is carried out. The "Yellow Serfs" in South Africa.—The latest Blue Book published by the Colonial Office is not pleasant reading. It must cause serious misgivings to those who are in doubt as to the wisdom of the policy of importing alien Eastern labour into the Transvaal. Though the official comments endeavour to show that the experiment, as it is called, has turned out satis- factory, the tables given of cases of refusal to work, revolt, fines, and imprisonments tell a different tale. In no sense of the word can the imported Chinese be called free agents. Documents forwarded by Sir A. Lawley show clearly that they did not understand what they were doing when they signed the contracts, and as a consequence "riots and "desertions are the order of the day in all the mining districts. Refusal to work is a daily occurrence, and is punished by fines of "^3 or ^5 a month or one or two months hard labour." Those con- sidered to be the worst offenders are flogged in addition. These cases number many hundreds every month. When it is remembered that one reason given why we went to war was in order that white men had a better chance of being employed on the Rand, the following words from the pen of Lord Milner sound somewhat ironical:—"The ratio of one white to 8'5 coloured workmen, which existed on the mines prior to the war, is now being gradually attained to, and it is probable that it will be eventually exceeded. Coloured labour on the Witwaters- rand has not at any time been plentiful, and it cannot be said that in the year 1899 the labour conditions were by any means ideal. If a sufficiency of skilled white labour and of cheap unskilled labour on these fields were at any t,ime obtained, the proportion of white to coloured labour on the mines would be materially altered, and it is probable that this proportion would be a ratio of 1 to 14." The whole story, read in the light of this Blue Book, is a very sordid one, and reflects no credit upon Great Britain's administration of its recently-acquired colony.


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