CORRESPONDENCE.
We do not hold ourselves responsible for the opinions expressed by our
correspondents.
____________________________________________

ALSTON WARD ELECTION.

TO THE EDITOR.

SIR,-We have a strong list of candidates, and their names may appear in this
issue.
        It is very important for the electors of Alston Ward to carefully
and
thoughtfully select eight people who will give time, attention, and careful
consideration to the various interests of the parish and ward.
        No faddists, nor people who work to their own fancies only, but
those who have business instincts and experience, whose past public work, in
whatever capacity, has inspired us with confidence in them.  We want people
who will do their duty when elected, no more and no less.  There is plenty
of work to do; progress has been very slow during the last term, and there
was much room for fault finding, but if we use our judgment in carefully
selecting the next eight may improve.
        I quite think we shall be able to find eight very useful
councillors, especially as I hear that the old members who have been
nominated have evidenced a disposition to act more in unison.
        I am, etc.,                                   ALSTON WARD.
                        _________________


ALSTON WARD MEETING.

TO THE EDITOR.

SIR, - The "account by Heliotrope" of the above meeting, given in your last
issue, is so full of errors that, in justice not only to the promoters of
the meeting, but to the electors present, they should be corrected.

1.  "The business of the meeting", on the notice was, "to consider the
forthcoming District Couoncil Election."  The question of suitable
candidates was, of course part of the business of the meeting, but not
solely.
2.  Heliotrope says "the first difficulty arose in securing a chairman, no
one being disposed to act in that capacity.  However, after many
propositions, a willing mind was discovered in MR. THOMPSON, who was duly
installed."  This statement and the actual facts are as far apart as the
poles.  MR. THOMPSON was the first and only person proposed, and he took the
chair at once.
3.  Heliotrope says, "Next candidates were proposed, and the names put on a
blackborad."  As a matter of fact resolutions were "next" passed respecting
the advisability of changing the hour or day for the meeting of the Council,
also that candidates should be selected who would vote for this, and also
"free water," as that is commonly understood, and also repair of the Market
Place.
4.  Heliotrope's account of the selection of the candidates is so mixed up
that it is difficult to know how to dissect it.  No. 1 was MRS. CORE,  No. 2
was MR. J. H. MILLICAN.  These, with other ten names, were put on the
blackborad, but there was no selection by batches.  The names were taken in
order, and questions were asked.  Four of the twelve withdrew as their names
were come to.
5.  Heliotrope says "the candidates were subject to a shower of questions."
Four drops of rain don't make a shower, neither do four questions make a
shower of questions.  The three subjects mentioned above were asked each
candidate, and also one respecting ash deposits.  The flushing of the street
was not a question, but a suggestion by one of the candidates.
6.  Heliotrope says that "some of the gentlemen that subscribed their names
calling the meeting were not even present."  Only one of the gentlemen was
absent, and that was explained as being owing to the death of a relative.
7.  Heliotrope says "there is a diversity of opinions on the burning
questions relating to the Ward of Alston, "taking as the ground for that
view the small vote obtained."  The "small vote" was not due to "diversity
of opinion" on the burning questions, but for other reasons which it is not
necessary to mention here.

The Alston Ward Meetings are not always as unanimous and pleasant as they
might be, but the account by Heliotrope is far from a correct version of the
last meeting, and as publicity has been given to one side of the question,
it is only reasonable to have the errors corrected. - Yours, etc.,

Alston, Mar. 24th, 1898                                JNO. GEO. LEE.
 

MASTER AND MATRON VACANCY AT THE HALTWHISTLE WORKHOUSE.

TO THE EDITOR.

SIR, - I wish to call your attention to an omission in my letter of the
19th, which should have read......In asking for applications, they stated
that applicants "must" be between the ages of 25 and 35 years;  (now what I
want to know is how they come to place 22 and 50 between 25 and 35 ?) - the
latter being omitted.

A VISIT TO THE TOWN HALL.
On Monday, the 14th, our annual Parish Meeting was held, and I must confess,
mostly from curiosity, for I am one of those who have not much faith in the
wisdom displayed at these meetings by our citizens, I went to see how
matters were dealt with, and certainly what I saw and heard did not increase
my faith, in fact, it materially lessened the small stock I previously
possessed.  Upon looking round, after finding a seat, I could not help
noticing that a goodly number seemed to treat the whole affair as a huge
joke, others with complete indifference, while the different candidates,
putting on their most important look, seemed as if they wished to impress
the meeting with the great honour they were about to confer on the parish in
allowing themselves to be nominated, while our worthy overseer strutted up
and down the hall like an animated windmill.

The ratepayers were first deluDed into believing that they exercised a free
choice in the selection of a Chairman.  But it appeared to me as if this
also was one of the little matters that had been previously arranged.
Immediately a Chairman was asked for, before you could say "Jack Robinson",
the chair was occupied.  The Chairman seemed fully prepared for his work,
having his book with him.  Perhaps it was as well that this matter had been
arranged, for had it been a perfectly free choice, I should not have been
surprised had a person been elected for the sole purpose of helping the fun.
After nominations were called for and given in, the time came for
withdrawals.  Only one withdrew, and I am very sorry he did do.  After
having taken such interest in public affairs in the past, I was surprised to
hear the demand, "Ta-ak my na-ame off, Mis-ter Clark."  He really ought to
stand next year.

After some more prosaic business had been disposed of we came to the
question of the night - "Had urban powers to be applied for or not?"  After
a very fair and lucid statement by the doctor, the assembled wisdom began to
manifest itself.  First came one who seemed to speak from depths of thought,
with which the generality of men are unfamiliar;  indeed, he spoke from such
a depth that his voice was lost, and less gifted mortals were compelled to
ask that he should speak higher even though it should be at the expense of
depth.  Then came one who was sorry to see the doctor deliberately
misunderstood for the sake of finding an argument that would tell.  Another
speaker somewhat amused me, for he seemed to have unbounded faith in the
doctor.  Every statement he made was prefaced by "I hold with the doctor".
Not a very bad thing to do either.  But still, for it to come from a man
with such unlimited confidence in himself, it was a little singular.
    One of his ideas was really original, for he advocated a restricted area
for (lightning).  I am sure everybody would agree with him, and it would be
well if we could have a "very" restricted area for this.  One of our most
successful business men wished to apply to the question, business
principles;  that is, business in the modern sense of the term.   But I
should like to know if justice does not come before business.
    One of our public officials was much exercised as to the effect urban
powers would have upon the salaries of officials.  He spoke of a section in
the Act connected with this matter, but he had forgot particulars.  Really,
the height to which the memories of our public officials have been educated
is something marvellous.  They can remember or forget with the greatest of
ease which ever is most suitable to the occasion.

The conclusion I arrived at, sir, in my own mind concerning this question,
was that justice and right had not to be considered, self-interest was the
ruling force, and if only the burden could be shifted off your own
shoulders, it didn't matter who had it to bear. The business principles to
be applied, summarized are,  if there is a pigeon that will stand plucking,
it would be wrong not to pluck it.  All the fine talk about the welfare of
the town, and the keeping down of the rates, is simply a cloak.  If I am
reaping a benefit from anything, I would consider it only right if I had to
pay.  But to compel my fellows to help me to pay for privileges that they
cannot enjoy is unmanly and ethically wrong.

Another matter that cropped up in the general discussion was the publicity
given to the names of property owners, whose property required repairs or
improvements.  Now I believe that publicicty alone is sufficient to cause
some owners to do as they ought to do, and all the talk about being willing
to make any improvements, if only it is mentioned, is simply cant.  I
remember some squabbling that took place two or three years ago about a heap
of stones that was unquestionably a nuisance and an encroachment on public
rights.  Publicity was not enough in that instance, and the Parish Council
was simply made a laughing stock of, and I believe the stones would have
been there yet, had the Council not taken steps to have them removed,
intending afterwards to sue the person at fault for the cost of so doing.
    I am not altogether a cynic, but the behaviour at these times, of men
who profess so much disinterestedness, makes me doubt whether each or every
one is not seeking some private and personal end.
    I was in hopes towards the end of the meeting that the expense of an
election would be avoided.  But those who had previously demanded the
election were of the opinion that this expense should be saved.  But alas
for such hopes, because one or two had been left out who thought their
presence on the Council could not possibly be done without, a poll was
called for, and received sufficient support from persons whom I may be
forgiven for terming hardly annuals.  For as regularly as this meeting comes
round, they are to be found occupying the self-same positions.  Let me, in
concluding, plead for the consideration of justice of the golden rule on
Saturday, to sink all considerations of personal gain in the shape of less
rates, and let us vote for what is right and fair, and no doubt as to the
result is felt by yours,

March 23rd, 1898                                    ONE INTERESTED.



URBAN COUNCIL, HALTWHISTLE.

TO THE EDITOR.

SIR, - Will you please insert the following questions from "The Councillor
and Guardian", the leading organ of Local Government and the Poor Law, which
will correct mis-statements made at the meeting held in the Town Hall on
Wednesday evening last:......:"Before any such is made, there are several
points to be considered.  For instance, when railways form a large part of
the assessable value of the district, the effects of such conversion into an
Urban district, the effects of such conversion into an Urban district would
be detrimental to the other ratepayers, inasmuch as railways are only liable
to be raised at one-fourth of their assessment on the general district rate,
but contribute their full quota when assessed to the poor rate in a rural
district for highway, poor, and public health purposes.  Again, the
Agricultural Rates Act, 1896, does not apply to the general district rate,
and no Parliamentary grant would be received by the Council, although land
would be assessed at one-fourth on its rateable value; and, of course, such
deficiency would have to be recouped out of the pockets of the other
ratepayers and occupiers of houses."

"About fifteen months ago, the ratepayers of Newcastle Emlyn (South Wales)
petitioned for a king in the shape of an Urban District Council.  Jove, in
the person of the C.C. granted their prayer, but less than a twelvemonth's
rule, or mis-rule, has caused them to turn round, and with almost one voice,
petition the C.C. to depose the king.  The meeting at which a resolution to
this effect was passed, hailed the proposal with cheers."

I hope the ratepayers and householders will go to the poll on Saturday, and
give as decisive a majority against this attempt to thrust an Urban Council
on to the township as they gave at the annual Parish Meeting, and let those
gentlemen know that you have burdens enough to bear in the shape of "rates
and high rents."

Thanking you ******************                    *VM GRAHAM.