-=- THEATRE MI ROYAL, Lesees THE SOUTH WALES ENTERTAINMENTS Co. MONDAY, MAY 10th, and during the Week. Mr. STANLEY JAMES'S COMPANY, including Mr. C. H. CROKER-KING and Miss MARY CARNEGY, in MICHAEL MORTON'S Latest Comedy— [ MY WIFE. | DIRECT FROM THE 1IAYMARKET THEATRE, LONDON, preceded by "THE VENGEANCE OF JIM," An Original One-Act Play, founded on a Story, by OWEN OLIVER and STANLEY KILLBY. Doors Open 7.15. Commence 745. Circle, 2s. Stalls, fs. 6d. Pit, Is. Gallery, 6d. DOWLAIS CHAMBER OF TRADE Fiat EISTEDDFOD, In the Dowlais Schools Playground, WHIT MONDAY, 1909. Musical Adjudicators—DAN PRICE, Esq,, Prof. R.C.M., London. DAVID THOMAS, Esq., M.A., Mus. Bac., Swansea. OYER £105 IN PRIZES. MALE VOICE CHOIR, £45. CONGREGATIONAL, £25. JUVENILE £10 VOCAL SOLOS, £2 2, EACH. Substantial Prizes for Instrumental Solos, Penillion Sinking, Musical Composition, Ambulance Timbering, and other Contests. Programmes, 2d., Post Free, from the Gen. Sec. Mr. David Rees, Ormonde, House, Dowlais. GWJHJSTT CHAIR EISTEDDFOD HYMNBY, MON. WHIT.WPPOAY, JUNE 1st, 1909. L- -fi (a) "All Men. all Things." AIAM -c l (b) "Cwsg, Filwr, Cwsg," cbsOO Second Choral "Daybreak" £20 Male Voices "Voice of the Torrents" £25 Ladies' Choirs U Yr Haf" £15 Juvenile Choirs "Haste not, Rest not" £10 Boys' Choirs Tiger, Tiger" £5 Pryddest "Anian" Prif Draethawd "Dyfodol Uymru" £3 3 0 SOLOS, TWO GUINEAS EACH. Quartette, Duet, Cywydd, Can, Englyn, Translation, JRecitations, Mining, Ambulance, Wand Drills, &c. Full particulars in Programme, Price 2d., from the Secretary, I. W. EDWARDS, THE TERRACE, RHYMNEY. THE EVENT OF THE SEASON GRAND. CHAIR EISTEDDFOD AND CONCERT at BRECON, MAY 17, 1909. t; ,«00D ENTRIES FOR MALE VOICE, MIXED and JUVENILE COMPETITIONS, Vocal and Instrumental Solos, Duetts, etc. GRAND EVENING CONCERT AT 7.30, for which Madame HUGHES-THOMAS'S Celebrated WELSH LADIES' CHOIR has been engaged. This World-renowned Choir has had the honour of singing before Their Majesties The KING and Qunx, and has only recently returned from a rnosa Successful Tour in the United States. SPECIAL EXCURSION LATE TRAIN after the Concert to PENGAM, MERTHYR, FARES. DOWLAIS, and all Intermediate Stations. For full particulars see Official Programme, now ready, post free 3d. Company's Bills. OSCAR WATKINS, Secretary, Brecon. The New Park, Pontypool. WHIT MONDAY & TUESDAY, May 31st & June 1st, 1909. Monstre FETE. Fnur ADn I P F n n I <1M the Great ContinentalAerial Cyclist and High Diver. The most tu WflKU J' rillUUIOn, Sensational Act of its kind in the World. wJv'Sou. Kauffman Troupe chJL* Lady Cyclists,« Pastimes on a Battleship. GRAND BALLOON ASCENT an DESCENT by CAPTAIN SPENCER. HERR PONCHERY and LA BELLE ROSE, Monarchs of the High Wirg. WOOLFORD'S CIRCUS, with their Wonderful Performing Ponies, Dogs, and Donkeys. The BOB HANLON TROUPE, in their Graceful Performance on the Aerial Bars. The CHANDON TRIO, Aerial Slack Rope and Teeth Performers. CAPALDI BROTHERS, Laughable, Comical, Musical Clowns. The LES VALDOS, the Great Eccentric Comedy Knockabouts. The BROTHERS MARLANDS, with their world-renowned Punch and Judy, and Dog Toby. VE OLD ENGLISH FAIR, comprising Round-abouts, Cokernut Shies, Up-to-Date Cinematograph Show, &c., by arrangement with Mr. Marshall Hill, Bristol. Amateur ATHLETIC SPORTS, Donkey and Sack Races. Over JB50 in Prizes. Horse Competitions, Whit-Tuesday, £ 150 in Prizes a,,i-stufforSc1;;lteuco;1'. DISPLAY OF FIREWORKS. WHIT-MONDAY-SPORTS, 120 Yards Flat Handicap (Open) Prizes Value £5 5 0 220 Yards »• 5 5 0 440 Yards" 4 m 5 5 0 220 Yards Boys' Flat Handicap (open tjo Boys within a radius of 3 Miles) (> 10 0 Half-Mile Flat Handicap (Open) 5 0 0 One Mile Walking Race (Open) 4 4 0 Sack Race (Open to Boys under 1/ years of age). 0 15 0 Must bo 4 Starters, Ri.nn«rs to find their own Sacks. Entrauce Feo, 6d. Donkey Race (Open). No Entrarco Fee. -v 10 0 t 11;0 Second and Third Prizes. MERTHYR AND DISTRICT MAY HORSt SHOW AND PARADE. PENYDARREN PARK, Thursday, May 20, 1909. £150 in Prizes for Riding, Driving, Jumping — Trotting & Galloway Classes. A SPLENDID AFTERNOON'S ENJOYMENT. The CEFN TERRITORIAL BAND DUFF SE.14E:C't1QN OF MUSIC ¿ .11 dUflng tho day, JUDGING TO COMMENCE ABOUT 12 :50. Admission to Park, ls, Enclosure, 6d. extra. Children, Half-Price. Schedules and all Particulars from the Secretary— W. T. JONES, 50, High Street, Mertihyr, iOOK OUT FOR THE GREATEST EVENT OF THE SEASON TROEDYRHIW DOC SHOW AND SPORTS, JUNE 12th and J.4th, 19D3. 52 Classes* fov DØgii. Also PROFESSIONAL FOOT RACES. w G41!!]Z88. 3rf 12n "v « £ S, d, £ a. d. £ a. d. Yards,' Flat Handle^), Open g5 0 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 880 •• II, 8 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 120 xt" MI 6 0 0 8 0 0 10 0 300 Nov icq tti 0 Q 1 10 0 1 0 o 100 „ >• 4 0 0 1 10 o 10 0 •• I) Years of Age 1 0 0 0 10 0 0 5 0 gc, Handicapper—Mr, TED LEWIS, Pontypridd. ^WlC'4 Iimry Fom« HOW leady, Ap^ly to Sc-oieUuy- DAVID PAYlfis?, 17, ikidge Iw^jrrbiw, Glan., R,S<0« DAVID VA VIE, 17, ikidge j;,)U1 Iw^jrrbiw, Glan., ..L9. PENYDARREN PARK, MERTHYR TYDFIL, WHIT-MONDAY, TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, May 31st, Juno 1st and 2nd, 1909. THE FIRST ANNUAL MONSTRE FETE AND GALA, SPORTS AND HORSE SHOW The following Artistes have been engaged at great expense: DON PEDRO, The Modern Blondin. THE ALEXANDRE TRIO—The sensational Flying Trapeze/Act. Lieut. CHARD'S DOG CIRCUS. Prof. MANLEYS ROYAL PUNCH & JUDY. The CARLSENS. The MEZZETTIS. The RICHARD'S TRIO COMEDY ACROBATS. The THREE CYCLING CYCLISTS. The AMIO TRIO. Whit Monday & Tuesday-PROFESSIONAL ATHLETIC SPORTS Including a £ 50 Sprint open to the World. Galloway and Trotting Ennts-Ncarly £ 200 in Cash Prizes. Whit-Wednesday—HORSE SHOW £ 200 in Cash Prizes and Championship Classes. Single and Double Harness. Riding and Jumping Classes. Gallaway and Trotting Events. The following celebrated Bands have been engaged—Whit-Monday, The Battalion Band of the Breck- nock Territorial Rest, Conductor, Mr. Ki. Cunningrton Whit-Tuesday, Aberclarc Town Prize Band. Conductor, Mr. J. Manlcy; Whit-Wednesday, Cyfarthfa and Merthyr Municipal Band, Conductor. Mr. George Livsey; also an Orchestral Band. A Grand Display of Fireworks by Messrs. W. & J. Wilder, will conclude each evening. ABMISSION, Is. For particulars of cheap excursions see Railway Company's Bills. Gates open at 11. Commence at 12. Schedules and Entry Forms now ready. Tenders invited for Refreshment Tents, Sweet and Fruit; Stalls, etc. For spaces apply ISRAEL PRICE, Secretary, lemperance Hall, Merthyr. Look out for DRILL HALL ATTRACTIONS. PARK BAPTIST CHURCH, THE WALK, MERTHYR. PRBACHBR NEXT SUNDAY- REV. J. LLOYD WILLIAMS (PASTOR) Services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Market Square Congregational Church. I MUSICAL SERVICE. On Sunday Evening, May 16th the CHOIR of the above Church will I render the CANTATA, entitled — "CHRIST AND HIS SOLDIERS." Book of Words 2d. each. SERVICE TO COMMENCE AT 6 P.M. The 21st Annual EISTEDDFOD WILL BE HELD AT Caerphilly Castle RECENTLY VISITED BY ROYALTY (By kind permission of the Most Hon. the Marquess of Bute), on WHIT-MONDAY, MAY 31, 1909. COMPETITIONS Chief Choral, Great and Wonderful," jBM, and Gold Medal. Male Voice Choirs, The Reveille," J525. and Gold Medal. Juvenile Choirs, "A Shepherd's Lullabv,615. Vocal and Instrumental Solos £ 1 lis. 6d. each. Poetry and Recitations. Good Prizes for Ambulance Teams. CHEAP TRAINS FROM ALL PARTS. ,I Programmes ld. each. to be had of the Secre- tary, Mr. J. D. HUGHES, Rhosynfa, Caerphilly. PICTURESQUE VILLAGE OF POtT NEATH. VAUGHAN. THE THIRTEENTH ANNUAL Chair EISTEDDFOD will be held at the above place (in a Spacious Pavilion) on SATURDAY, JULY 3rd, 1909 ADJUDICATORS-Mnsic: Mr. D. W. LEWIS, F.T.S C., Brynaman, and Mr. R. D. H. PRICE. L.T.S.C., Swansea. Litera- ture—Mr. LL. GRIFFITHS, Cwmavon, and Mr. LEWIS DAVIES, G. and L., Cymraer. CHIEF EVENTS- Mixed Choirs, "Ar Don o FIaen Gwyntoedd (Parry), not under 50 voices, lOB. to each unsuc- cessful Conductor £ 15 Male Voice, Martyrs of the Arena," not under 35 voices zio Juvenile Choir, The Stream and the Flower (T. Price), for Children under 16 years of age JM 48. Drum and Fife Bands, Own Selection L4 4s. Solos, each JBI Is. Competitions for Ambulance. Ode, Essay, Reci- tations, Questions on Coal Mining, etc. For full particulars see Programmes, now ready, lgd. by post, from Mr. R. J. HQGHES, 46, High-st., Glynneath. Chairman of Committee: Mr. B. HARRIES, Green- wich House, Glynneath. New Public Hall, Aberdare. FREETHOUGHT. MR. G. W. FOOTE, LONDON (President of the N.S.S., Editor of "The Freethinker") will deliver tr-t 'W VT TB?* <SS 3E. M 0 W XY i-R. M M ON SUNDAY, MAY 9th, 1909. SUBJECTS: 2 30 p.m -The Moral Failure of Christianity." 6.15 p.m.—"GOD and Humanity." Discussion earnestly invited. Admission Silver Collection. NATIONAL PAGEANT OF WALES. CARDIFF, JULY 26 to AUGUST 7, 1909. EHWYSG HANES CYMRU! THRILLING EPISODES HISTORIC COSTUMES GREAT NATIONAL SPECTACLE on a Scale never before attempted in the Principality. Th« TWNRIWO OFFICE at PAGEANT HOUSE is Now OPEN to all Guarantors. The Booking Office will he open to the General Public on MONDAY, MAY 10th, when Plans of the Grand Stand may be inspected. Reserved Seats-2116, 5/ 7/6, and 10/6. Performances-July 26-31, at 2 30 p.m. August 2-7, at 7.30 p.m. A. W. SWASH, Hon. See.. Paveant House, Cardiff. ABERGAVENNY. Whit-Monday, May 31st. Great Open Pony Races, Trotting Handicaps, and Timbering Competition. Whlt-Tueaflay, June 1st. Great Athletic Festival (Under A.A.A. and N.C.U. Rules) and Open Pony Races. SPECIAL CHEAP TRAINS. Entry Forms frorn- Z. WHEATLEY, Hon. See,, Abergavenny. p- :c' GOLDEHRETURNS I Facsimile of OrtfOmce Packet. j Archer's Golden ns Xha P«r(eetloa of Pill, Tobiaaa. (JooL flw.. «*n l'AQV.A1<1'. 4i _IL. ,J!L. I.I! III Ji. ,n mum ■mil! J. GRAY & SON, FLORISTS AND SEEDSMEN, MERTHYR, FIRST PRIZE WINNERS at MERTHYR and TROEDYRHIW for BEST WREATH, BOUQUET, and LADY'S SPRAY A large variety of ARTIFICIAL WREATHS From 5s. upwards also a good I selection of FLOWER & VECETABLE SEEDS in Stock. Merthyr Express Diary. I All fixtures advertised in the" Express" will he 1 included in the diary free of charge. Sunday, MAY 9. Anniversary, IVor Church, Dowlais; also 8th. Anniversary Castle Sstreet Church Tredegar, Bentley's HaH, Merthyr-Spintualism. Lecture Aberdare—Mr. G. W. Foote's tu, ± t» Monday, MAY 10. Iheatre Royal, Merthyr—Mv Wife." TvT ?u EFAberdare-Variety. Trevethick Hali, Merthvr—Spiritualism. Palace, Ebbw Vale—"Held in Bondage." Chair Eisteddfod at Bargoed. AT • 1 r. • Sunday, MAY 16. Musical Service at Market-vquare, Merthyr. v ..Monday. MAY 17. Uhair Eisteddfod at the Market Hall, Brecon. Monday, MAY 24. Aberaman Horse Fair „ ^hit-Monday, MAY 31. i £ P°rts. ar)d Horse Show at Merthyr; also luesday and Wednesday. Chamber of Trade Eisteddfod at Dowlais. M on Si,re Fete, Pontypool Park; also Tuesday. etc-> a<- Abergavenny. Eisteddfod at Caerphilly Castle. T,, Tuesday, JUNE 1. RhymneY-Gwent Chair Eisteddfod. Ureat Athletic Festival, Abergavenny. Saturday. JUNE 12. Ircedyrhiw Dog Show and Sports; also Monday4 Monday, JULY 26 to Saturday, AUG. 7. IN agonal Pageant of Wales at Cardiff. AT Thursday, MAY 20. Merthyr May Horse Show and Parade. Monday, JUNE 28. Tredegar Horse Show and Parade. Saturday, JULY 3. Chair Eisteddfod at Ponfeeathvaughan. Notice to Subscribers. Tnree editions of tlie" M er/hur Express" are. printed eperllweek one for the Aberdare Val ley from Hirwain to Abercynon; one for the Bot- ough of MerUiyr Tydfil and East Glamorgan; and one' for JJ'est Monmouth, inclusive of the Rhymney Valley. Subscribers in one district desirous of obtaining the edition in another district can be supplied toiih it through their regular agents by sending a post card to the publisher, Glebeland- street, Merthyr, intimating their wishes and nanu. ing the agent.
THE BUDGET. THE Budget which Mr. Lloyd George unfolded to the House of Commons on Thursday se'n- night was in many respects the most remarkable that has been laid before the country since the memorable times when Mr. Gladstone was reforming our financial system, under which the national prosperity advanced by leaps and bounds., We have travelled far indeed since those years, when the approach of the annual imperial expenditure towards the figure of a hundred millions sterling excited the gravest apprehensions as to what would result from such extravagance. We are now spending over a hundred-and-sixty millions as the normal recurrent expenses of the public services of all kinds, and Mr. Lloyd George warned us in the course of his speech that this figure was not going to be diminished in future years, but would certainly grow larger. The jump this year is altogether extraordinary. No less than sixteen millions had to be provided for by new taxes or the increase of old ones, and of that vast sum three-fourths was on account of an absolutely new charge for pensions, and a fresh augmentation of the cost of the navy, in consequence of the serious efforts of Germany to provide herself with a fleet capable of doing z, battle with our own if the contingency ever arises. The misfortune is that when nations imbued with the aggressive spirit of Germany are conscious of possessing the means of striking tremendous blows they are prone to use them, and that fact imposes upon every power which may possibly become the object of such hostility the duty of being ever ready to defeat it. Hence, as Mr. Lloyd George stated, our naval charges are certain to become greater instead of less, and the pensions scheme has come to remain as a permanent feature of our social and political system. There is thus, from these two causes alone, an abiding addition of twelve millions or more to our national burden, and the balance of the deficit was made up of diminished income, from a variety of taxes, as the result of depression in trade. No Chancellor of the Exchequer ever had a more serious task than to devise the means of raising fresh income of such a large amount in a time of peace. There was no lack of advice and suggestion to Mr. Lloyd George as to the sources from which he was to derive the money. The Government, through the mouths of the Chancellor and the Prime Minister in particu lar had given the public to understand that they would seek to find it amongst those who were the best able to bear additional burdens- which meant the classes who enjoy the largest proportion of the wealth of the country. They would not do, as the Tariff Reformers wish to do, broaden the basis" of taxation by imposing duties upon articles of food and hampering industry by increasing the cost of living, which would have a powerful reaction ipon the cost of production. They have passed by these sources of income and tlis- iributcd the fresh charges amongst the middle iad upper elates—tbe recipients of :=. f income and the owners of accumulated wealth but they have not forgotten to lay a due share of it upon those articles of consumption which 'j are, in a large measure, luxuries not essential to existence, such as alcoholic drinks and j tobacco. Through these the million are reached and tapped for national needs who would other- • wise not contribute. The final deficit that had to be balanced amounted to £16,112,000, and the Chancellor allocated it by new taxation, as follows :— Motor Cars and Petrol. E600,000 Spirit Duties 1,600,000 Higher Liquor Licenses. 2,600,000 Increased Tobacco Duties 1,900,000 Estate Duties 2,850,000 Stamp Duties. 650,000 Income Tax 3,500,000 New Land Taxes 500,000 Sinking Fund. 3,000,000 f Total E17,200,000 Of that the income from motors and petrol is to be set aside for main road improvement all over the country, leaving a final surplus of II £ -188,000 for contingencies. OF course, the Budget has been received with I different feelings by different classes of people. I However loudly persons may voice their patriotic ardour in shouting for eight Dreadnoughts," I when the decision to spend has been taken they are mightily concerned in the selection of the taxpayers who are to find the money. Nobody likes to pay taxes. We are all willing for others to pay if we can escape ourselves but it is as certain as death that if the nation insists upon increasing its expenditure, for adequate reasons or otherwise, somebody must provide the money. The selection of the sources from which it is to be drawn is not an enviable task, because it is essential that no class should be unduly mulcted, and that the taxes should be laid where they can not only be borne with the least amount of hardship, but where the common sense of justice of the entire community will confirm the equity of the imposition. The motor taxes will meet with general approbation. The traffic which is most destructive to road surfaces will now bear a share of the cost of their efficient upkeep. The spirit duties will fall upon the consumers, no matter whose hands pay the money to the excise officers. Perhaps the same cannot be said of the higher License Duties, but, knowing the enormous value added to the public-houses by the Act of 1904, and the failure of the Government to recover the monopoly value so conferred, it was a foregone conclusion that the country would recover some part of its interest in licenses by imposing higher duties. The licenses are now to be charged upon a basis of 50 per cent. of the annual value of the premises, as licensed premises, with a minimum according to the population of the "wns; and in the case of beer-houses it is to be one-third, with a minimum on the same principle. Clubs are to pay a duty of threepence in the pound upon the value of liquor sold by them. Smokers will have to pay eightpence per lb. more for their tobacco-twopence per quarter, a penny on the two ounces—and we don't suppose that this tax will lessen the consumers of the popular weed by a single individual. They will pay it and they won't feel it. » i THE increase of the scales of Death duties will certainly be felt. The extra sum to be raised from this source will not be paid without a good deal of grumbling. At the same time, the revision of the scale contains some reasonable changes. It was generally acknowledged that the steps between the percentages in the lower amounts were too far apart, and by interposing intermediate figures an increased revenue will be derived, and no material hardship be inflicted upon any person. After all, if it is right in principle to impose higher duties, upon the higher amounts, it is but just that the people who inherit a divisible estate of E25,000 should pay a higher rate than those, who have to divide only £ 10,000. The period during which a gift made during life is liable to be taxed is extended from one year to five years. The addition of twopence to the Income Tax, upon all unearned incomes, will press heavily upon small taxpayers, but the super-tax of sixpence upon all incomes above £ 5,000 a year,, upon the amounts in excess of £ 3,000, will fall upon a class of persons who are well able to bear the strain. On the other hand, the Chancellor has had a kind thought for a numerous class of small Income Tax payers—the fathers of families, with incomes not exceeding E500 a year-and henceforth, in addition to the present abatements, a further deduction will be made of flo for each child under 16 years of age. This concession will be highly appreciated by the beneficiares. New land taxes of various kinds are imposed, from which half-a-million per annum is expected. These include taxes upon unearned incre- ment of town lands and houses, upon lands held back from enterprise, and upon minerals not let for winning. A ten-per-cent. tax is imposed upon the falling in of .reversions under leases, upon the new value of the property-a tax which will exact toll from a class of property owners who have hitherto escaped, and have stepped into enormous increments of value due solely to the enterprise of others and the growth of communities. Tms is the first time that any attempt has been made to compel the owners of land to pay upon unearned increment," and the result of the experiment will be watched with profound interest. It is a source of wealth which is insidiously prolific without an iota of effort or expenditure on the part of those to whom it accrues. For years past, ever since John Stuart Mill propounded the principle of its just liability to taxation for public necessities, there has been a consensus of opinion that Parliament had neglected its duty in passing it by as a source of revenue. Opinions have differed widely as to its capacity to yield taxes, and, without doubt, some have over-estimated as much as others have under-estimated its productivity. But it is a matter of general satisfaction that the present Government has determined to put it to a practical test, and a few years will suffice to prove its real value. It will be well for all parties that experience should decide what solid basis there is for regarding these sources of wealth as mines for taxation. The allocation of the motor taxes to main roads will be appreciated by every public 'authority responsible for their main- tenance. The grant of a sum to be continued annually for afforestation, and the assistance of agriculture in scientific research for purposes of improvement, will also be welcomed. The establishment of Labour Exchanges has Elooooo appropriated to such purpose, and that may be regarded as the beginning in the fabrication of a large scheme for dealing with the problem of unemployment, a system of insurance, complusory and State aided, being foreshadowed by the Chancellor as a prominent feature in the scheme. Many of the new taxes have been based upon their growing productiveness for future increases in national demands, more than for their immediate value, so that when once they are under way they will form sources of income of automatic increase, and thus relieve future Chancellors of the necessity of devising new taxes for the enhanced expenditure which is now a foregone conclusion. Mr. Lloyd George bade us make up our minds that nothing can be reduced to any material extent, whilst increase in every department was certain. The same thing is happening in all the great civilised states, and the day of small taxes has apparently gone. I T The Lower House of Convocation passed a
resolution against ths levijfl of betting and gambling. c ■»=
GOSSIP. Those engaged in the trade are up in arms against Mr. Lloyd George's proposals rela ting to licensed houses. Hitherto the license duty has been comparatively small, and many of the large hotels have paid no more than the wayside inn. Now, however, all license.?, big and little, will pay on a uniform Kcaie of fifty per cent, annual value on full licences, and thirty per cent. on beerhouses. In the case of tied houses the brewer and not the publican will pay. What the effect of Mr. Lloyd George's proposals will be locally may be judged from the following figures :— Castle Hotel, Merthyr, present licence £40. proposed duty, E148 10s. Belle Vue Hotel, Merthyr, £ 35 and 4L140: Talbot. Penjftlarren. £25 and 946; Windsor Hotel, Mort'nyr Valo. E40 and 1:150; Navigation Hotel, AVrfan, £ 45 and 9200; Navigs'i^n Hotel. Trehams, £4[) and £200; Commercial Hotel, Treharris, £ 10 and £ 150; Black Lion Hotel, Aberdare, 130 and El IS Boot Hotel, Aberdare, £ 30 and £ 120 Aberaman Hotel, £40 and E200; Mount Pleasant, Trccynon, £ 25 and £ 50 Carpenter's Arms, Aberdare, JEM and £ 40 Ivy Bush, Cwm- aman, JE30 and £!h.1; Cwmneol Inn, Cwmaman. "IoA 1 11 A-ou ana tiiu Miepherds Arras, Cwmaman, £ 30 and £110; Mount Plpasant, Cwmaman, £ 30 and Swan Hotel, Aberaman, £ 35 and £150. At the annual meeting of the Merthyr Board of Guardians on Sat unlay, Mr. David Hopkins, one of the Gellygaer representatives, was, elected chairman. Mr. Hopkins has for many years been a very useful member of the Board. and last year he occupied the vice-chair. He is fully entitled to the honour which his col- leagues have conferred upon him. I hor his term of office will be a pleasant one. So Theological and controversial sermons and conferences may need prolonged and profound studies; but the preaching of simple and practical Christianity is easily within the capacity of simple and practical men (says Father Tyrrell in the Contemporary Review for May). Not to speak of the Galilean fisher- men, we may consider the lay-preachers of the Wesleyan Methodists. These men-barbers. shoe-makers, grocers, and the like-arc sent out to all the little hamlets and villages (too small and too poor to support a Catholic or an Anglican Church) to read the Bible, to pray and to preach. Each has a circuit of some ten or twelve villages, and preaches the same sermon to each of thDl in succession. Like the apostles, they commit the spiritual care of these little stations to some of the residents, who in the absence of the preacher will take his place. By this simple organisation, the Methodists have captured all those country districts in England which were deserted by the Roman Catholic Church and the Chnrch of England, owing to the paucity of their ministers and the complication of the ecclesiast- ical apparatus. Moreover, it may be doubt-fed if the priest or parson with.his elaborate theolo- gical training can ever get to th^ hearts and understandings of such village folk as well as these lay-preachers of their own station of life, who come to them not as professionals or for pay, but spontaneously and for the pure love of .souls-me,n who havo lived their own life and felt their own difficulties. Miss Florence Smithson has achieved another success. In criticising London's latest musical comedy, The Arcadians," produced last week at the Shaftesbury Theatre, The Ref. eree says The big hit of the production was made by Miss Florence Smithson, who, in the part of Sombra," sang so sweetly that the house was more than once moved to enthusiasm. Her- rendering of The Pipes of Pan raised an almost irresistible demand for a repetition, and the wonderful high note that came at the end of a charming delivery of Light is my Heart" towards the close called forth a very hurricane of applause." This week a start has been made with the Pontmorlais improvement scheme. Should the fine weather continue, the work of extending the Promenade from the Forward Movement Hall round to Pontmorlais West ought no to take very long. This will be one of the best improvements effected in Merthyr for a Ion,, time, and will be greatly appreciated by pedestrians. The Local Government Board having refused to sanction a loan for shops pro. posed to be erected by the Corporation, that portion of the scheme has been abandoned. Aberdare ratepayers have just cause fjr indignation at the cavalier-like manner in which the Glamorgan County Council propose to-deal with the district under the Water Bill which is being promoted. Had similar terms been offered to the private companies, whose works are proposed to be taken over; the Bill would have been fought tooth and nail; and the Bill will meet with strenuous opposition from Aberdare, and rightly so, too. A public meeting was held on Monday night, convened by the High Constable, on a requisition from the Chamber of Commerce, and a resolution was passed strongly protesting against the proposals of the County. It was made clear by the various speakers that Aberdare has nothing to gain, but everything to lose, by joining the scheme. Should the District Council be compelled to become partners in the Water Board on the lines suggested by the County Council. Aberdare will be penalised for exercising ioresight in years gone by, and other parts of the county will reap the advantage of that fore- sight. Aberdare is one of the few districts which have provided waterworks of their own, and it would be most unfair to compel the District Council to surrender the undertaking to the County on the terms suggested. The capital expenditure on the works has been E145,600, and of this sum 1112,000 has been. repaid, leaving a balance owing of only £ 33,600. In addition to the £145,600 several thousand pounds have been spent out of revenue, and the total cost is putrdown at something like E170,000 One of the speakers at Monday night's meeting said that the value of the undertaking had. been estimated at £350,000. That may be tdl large a figure; at the same time it is certain the works could not be constructed to-day for f.170,000. J What do the County Council propose ? Not to take the works over at thatr value to-day, but at the cost price, %,vhtor is that all. It is cus- tomary in such dealings to add ten per cent. to the cost price for compulsory purchase, but in this case the Water Board suggest a reduction for depreciatoin. Further, should the Bill pass in its present form Aberdare will not only part with its waterworks at much below their value, but be compelled to purchase water from the Board at 4Jd. per one thousand gallons, which is more than twice the cost of supplying water to the district to-day. No effort should be spared on the part of the District Council and ratepayers to defeat the aims of the County Water Board so far as they relate to Aberdare. One can sympathise with districts which are to-day without adequate water supplies, but because they have been lax in the past is no reason why Aberdare shoudl be mad^Yo suffer. It would be a derilection of duty if the District Council did not exert every effort to defeat the Bill as it is at present drawn. I think this water business, too, furnishes another argument in favour of Aberdare seeking to obtain a charter of incorporation, with the ultimate object of gaining county borough powers. The district would then be outside the jurisdiction of the County Council altogether. Councillor Dan Thomas, at the quarterly meeting of the Merthyr Town Council, on Wed- nesday, asked when the auditor's report wou d be presented. Many people besides Councillor Thomas are curious to know what the report contains. The Clerk said it would be read at the meeting of the Finance Committee, and added that it would take an hour to go through it. Councillor Thomas replied that he was prepared to stay two hours if necessary, as he understood the report contained recommenda- tions as to how money might be saved. After that, ratepayers will be more anxious still to see the document. It is announced that Sir Christopher Furness, in association with two other north country gentlemen, has completed the purchase of Wingate Colliery, Durham, at which 1,500 men are employed. Sir Christopher has invited the men and boys to meet him on the 21st inst., with a view to establishing a more beneficial arrangement between employer and employed. It is believed that Sir Christopher will apply his co-partnership ideas to the working of the colliery. Mr. Keif gardie, M.P., regards the Budget, on the whole, as a fairly, courageous effort to meet the present situation. He suggests, how- ever, that Mr. George might have adopted an easier way of getting, at miaeral royalties. He might have made a charge of a half-penny on every ton of coal raised and deducted it from the royalties paid to the landlord. If that were done, Mr. Hardie points out, it would bring in half-a-million a year to the Exchequer, and still leave the landlords, from this one source alone, 18,500,000. I The printed abstract of accounts for the half-year ended Ootobet Sod last was presented tg t1} Martyr §88$9t QliRKUftlW Isst day. It showed that, exclusive of balances4 the total receipts amounted to E46,771 10s. 4d. and the total expenditure to £ 43,247 3s. 2d.1 The assessable value upon which the contribu- tions of the various parishes had been based was £ 631,843. At the end of the half-year the outstanding liabilities were 1627,111 2s. lOd. The total number of indoor paupers relieved was 3.451, an increase upon the corresponding period of the previous year of 392, and the number of outdoor paupers relieved 12,166, an increase of 5,209. The average weekly cost for food and necessaries and clothing of th6! Workhouse inmates was 5s. 3d. A Merthyr man went into a local tobacconist's shop on Saturday for his weekly supply of tobacco. When told that the price had been advanced a half-penny per ounce, he asked the reason why. and was informed that it was on account of the Budget. Snid another man who was in the shop, They are giving you an opportunity of helping to pay for the Dread- noughts." "011, are they ?" lie replied, but I'm not going to help I'll give up smoking from to-night." I have not heard whether he has put his resolve into practice. I knew a man who once made a similar resolution after hearing a lecture on the harmful effects of smoking. On getting out of the room lie broke his pipe and threw away his pouch, and next day he was sponging" on his worknjates for tobacco. « The arrangements for the, National Eisteddfod of Wales, which is to be held in London next month, arc, now well in hand. Entries for the competitions closed on Saturday, which was also the last day for receiving compositions on the various subjects in poetry, prose, the drama, translations and music, for which prizes amount- ing in all to £1,000 will be given. For prizes of E200 in the chief choral competition for choirs of 200 voices—which takes place at the Albert Hall on Tuesday, 15th June, under the presidency of Viscount Tredegar and Mr. A. .T. Balfour, M.P.—seven choirs have entered Cardiff Harmonic Society, Rhymney Gwent Choral Society, Carnarvon Choral Society, Llanelly Choral Society, Rhymney United Choir, Brynaman and District Choral Societyti and Pembroke Dock ChoraJ Society. For a competition for choirs of 100 voices at At Albert Hall, in the presence of the Prima Minister, on 16th June, twelve choirs will compete: Skewen Music Lovers, Fishguard Bay Choral Union. Grangetown United Chdral Society, Cefn Afawr Choral Society, Southport Choir, Pentre and Treorchy Choral Societyi Portsmouth Excelsior Society, Coleford Phil- harmonic Society, Briton Ferry Choral Society; Willesden District Choir, Nantlle Vale United Choir, and Mr. A. G. Gibbs' Choir (London). Llanbradach Ladies' Choir have entered the competition for female choirs; and Dowlais and Bargoed will. take part in the male voice choir competition. The Chair prize for the best ode on The Land of the Hills," which is the blue riband of the poetical section and carries with it f20 and a carved oak chairs has elicited no fewer than 21 odes. For the. Crown prize of f20 and a silver crown for a poem in free or non-alliterative metre on The Lord Rhvs-a. Welsh Prince of the 12th Cen- tury," six poems have been received. Foui dramas have been sent in. By permission of the King, the ancient bardic Gorsedd will be held in Kensington. Gardens. V It is said that a, proposal has been made to abolish the present system of regulating the miners' wages in Northumberland, and that an attempt is being made to have the wages I fixed according to the profits instead of the. selling price. The Merthyr Board of Guardians have decided to appoint a resident medical officer at that Workhouse, at a commencing salary of JE200 a year, rising by annual increments to £ 300; togetiier with rations, apartments and laundry." From what the Clerk said at the meeting on Saturday, it will also be necessary to appoint a dispenser, at a salary of £60 or f,70 a year. Having regard to the uncertainty which exists respecting the Poor Law administration, one may question the wisdom of the course decided upon. And even apart from that, the present is not an opportune time to embark upon new schemes which entail additional expenditure." It would have been well to have acted on the suggestion of the Rector of Dowlais, and deferred the question. The resolution was carried, however, by twenty-two votes to fifteen. The Merthyr Corporation are determined to put a stop to the nuisance caused by the shaking of door-mats in the public streets, and this wedk notices are being printed and circulated throughout the borough, stating that in future offenders will be summoned in the police-court, as it is a nuisance under the bye-laws. A wag asks where the poor people who have no back doors are to shake their mats. Recent gifts to a local Nonconformist Church included half-a-dozen spittoons for the big :ü. -9 it was on the Budget day of 1890 that Mr.; Lloyd-George first entered Parliament. With Mr. Acland, who then lived at Clynnog, in Carnarvonshire, on his one hand, and Mr.' Stuart Rendel, now Lord Rendel, on the other, Mr. Lloyd-George walked up the floor of the: House and took his seat as the newly returned member for Carnarvon Boroughs. He was described by one Parliamentary correspondent as pale and stooping, and of a lounging gait." Another writer, who pictured the scene, says Mr. Lloyd-George's entry attracted little at-l tention, because the eyes of the House werei centred upon two other fi-tires-one was Mr.! Goschen, who waited to present his Budget,: the other was Lord Randolph Churchill, "silent and sullen, the pathetic figure of an erstwhile Chancellor, who had never known the joy of: the travail of introducing a Budget." If few, i beside his Welsh colleagues, noticed the intro-I duction of the new member for Carnarvon, to the Speaker, still fewer contemplated the; day when the pale and stooping" young man would himself introduce a Budget of uuj usually momentous character. At a meeting of the Watch Committee of fthei Merthyr Corporation, on Wednesday, thej chief constable's report stated that the provisions of the Acts and the Orders of the Board of Agriculture, relating to the cleansing, dig., infecting and washing of cattle pens, liars,, etc. had been' carried out. Typewriters; make mistakes sometimes. Liars should have been lairs. Hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrsi Thomas Young, of Hirwain, who have this, week celebrated their golden wedding. Mr. j Young was born in Big-row, Hirwain, in 1836, and his wife at Llwyni Marteg, in J839. They were married at Carmel Chapel, Aberdare, on' May 5th, 1859. They have had twelve childxen. I of whom four survive. « Steps arc to be taken by the .'ferthyr Corpor" ation to have Wheatsheaf-larie closed. The sooner this is done the better. Wheatsheaf. lane is little used by the public, but it is the resort of undesirable characters. Ratepayers generally, I think, will approve of the resolution I passed by the Public Works Committee, on Tuesday. The Roman Catholics of Merthyr and district are organising their forces for the next election. Mr. Bernaseore is now busily engaged on work in connection with the registration of voters,. and he and his friends hope to add a lar-e number to the bur-ess roll. Ought not the other parties in the borough to be moving ? Many an election is won before the polling booths are opened, and unless they desire to court defeat Nonconformists and those who believo in pouplar control of the elementary shcools should be stirring. A fourth inquiry was held on Wednesday, at Cefu; into an application by the District Council for sanction to borrow money to carry out a sewerage scheme. It really is time this question was settled. Several schemes have been prepared, the matter having been under con- sideration since 1903. In the meantime the villagers have suffered on account of the periodic outbreaks of fever. The inspector, Mr. H. Shelford, said he would present a report to the Local Government Board immediately, and as there was practically no opposition to the scheme there is reason to hope that this long-delayed public improvement will soon be carried out. jfr It is trust which old folksllire so proud to win from children. But, flattering as it is, there is no question that the thing can be overdone. A certain grandmother does not feel so sure of her grandson's future as she did. Some person—and for Ahis conduct it is not proposed to offer any reason, excuse, or pauiation had presented him with a trumpet. This he blew not wisely but too well till the happy hour arrived when his grand- mother could justly put him to bed. He trumpeted through the stages of his toilet till at last the moment for kneeling had come. Then he handed his trumpet to grandmamma like a good little boy. Gran," says he, you blow while I pray". .POLoON(U..