DIPORTAXT TO MERCHANTS & SHIPOWNERS, j TIIOMPSOX V. GILLESPY. SON*, & SCOTT. This wa-i an action brought in the County Court at Card fr, before Thomas Falconer. Esq., the Judge of that Court, in order to settle a question freqnelltly before disputed, but never yet legally contested, ILlmely-thc question ItS to who should pay the charge of twopence per ton levied by the Bute Dock Company, Cardiff, as wharfage 011 coal shipped in that port. Mr. Ingledew, of the firm of Ingledew and Daggett. ap- peared for the plaintiff, and Mr. John Bird appeared for the defendants. Tiie attorneys on either side having agreed as to the facts of the case, submitted the question of law to his Honour in the form of a special case, which, as it sets forth the circumstances, we here copy :— In the County Court of Glamorganshire, holden at CaidifF, between Edward Thompson, plaintiff, and Thomas Gillespy, John Roebuck Gillespy, and Edw. Benjamin Scott, defendants. The plaintiff in this action is a ship owner, resi- dent in London, and the defendants are merchants car- ying on business in London. In July last the plaintiff and defendants entered into a charter party of affreightment whereby the defendants agreed t > load in the customary manner the plaintiff's vessel, Wilbelmine.' with a full and complete cargo of coal. The freight was to be in full of port charges, pilotage, and dues. Vessels are usually loaded in Cardiff, in the West Bute Dock, which was formed under the authority of a local public Act of Parliament, 1 Will 4, cap. 133. By sec. 39 of the Act, a wharf was required to be formed, and certain duties were made payable in respect of all' Mine- rals, merchandize, or other goods which shall be lauded or loaded upon or from any such public wharf;' and by sec 42 it is enacted that these duties shall be payable by the owner or by the master, or other person having the command of any ship, &c., coming into, or using out of the said ship, canal, dock, or basin, or importing or exporting any goods, wares, or merchandilie, or by the merchant or merchants, or other persons exporting or importing such goods, wares, and merdian !ize;' and in the same section power is given to the Marquis of Bute to distrain on the vessel having such goods on board, for the duties payable in respect thereof; and by sec. 46, the Collector or Comptroller of the Customs may refuse the oocquet or dis- charge of a vessel until the duties are paid. In pursuance of the Act of Parliament, a wharf was made round the dock. The manner of loading vessels in the West Bute Dock is by means of a tip or spout, which passes over, or is placed upon the wharf, and waggons full of coal are brought along the spout, and con sequently over the wharf, and the coal is shot from the spout into the vessel. In pursuance of the said charter party, the defendants, through their factor, Mr. Samuel Thomas, caused the plaintiffs vessel to be loaded in the West Bute Dock with a full and complete cargo of coal. The loading of the vessel having been completed, the master went to the dock J office, in order to pay the duties in respect of his vessel, when he was informed by the Collector of the Duties that there was a sum of £ 4 9s. 8d. for wharfage on 538 tons of coal shipped on board his vessel, which must also be paid, and refused to give the necessary pass to allow the vessel to go out of dock until it was so paid. The master of the vessel then went to the factor of the defendants, and stating he thought the wharf- age was a charge which ought to be paid by the merchant, and not by the shipowner, asked him to pay it, which the factor refused; whereupon the master notified that he should pay it himself nnder protest, so as to get his ship out of dock, and then seek to recover it back from the merchant. The master of the vessel then entered his protest, with a notary, and sub- sequently paid the fA 9s. Sd. It is admitted that it is customary for the wharfage of steam coal to be paid by the shipowner. The opinion of the Court is requested, whether under the foregoing circumstances the wharfage ought legally to be paid by the plaintiff or by the defendants. If the opinion of the Court is, that the wharfage ought to be paid by the de- fendants, then judgment to be entered for the plaintiff; and if the Court thinks that the wharfage ought to be paid by the plaintiff, then judgment to be entered for the defendants." Mr. John Bird addressed the Court at some length, and stated that his clients resisted the payment of this claim, because by the terms of the charter party such charge was included in the freight. The expression in the charter party is,—" That the freight is to be in full of all port charges, pilotage, and dues." This wharfage is a charge incident to the port of Cardiff, and therefore a port charge within the meaning of the clause of the charter party at all events comes within the meaning of dues, and as this charge being included in those payments which were specially agreed by the plaintiff and the defendants to be covered by the freight, the plaintiff has now no claim to recover that which he seeks. He (Mr. Bird) further relied upon the admission in the special case that it was the custom for the shipowners to pay the wharfage. For many years it had been the invariable custom that vessels loading in the dock should pay this charge, which custom was well and generally known, and could not now be departed from. Mr. Ingledew, for the plaintiff, submitted that the terms port charges and dues had reference to the dues and charges payable in respect of the ship, and not in respect of the cargo previously to its shipment. This wharfage was a payment made to the owners of the dock for the use of the wharf by the merchant in placing his cargo on or carrying it over it. It was a charge incurred before the cargo meets the ship, and it would be unreasonable to hold that the shipowner should be liable for charges on merchandise before it came under his control. If such were held to be payable by the shipowner, it might, by a parity of reasoning, be held that he would be liable for the charges incurred previously to the cargo reaching the wharf. As to the question of custom, although he (Mr. Ingledew) admitted that a custom did exist for the payment of the wharfage by the owner, yet a custom that one person should discharge liabilities of another is on the face of it un- reasonable, and before a custom can be set up it must be shown that it is reasonable. His Honour, at the close of the arguments, stated that he should take time to consider the question, and the Court would at the next sitting deliver its opinion. On the 30th of November his Honour accordingly delivered his opinion as follows 0 The 36th section of the Act provides that there may be collected for the use and benefit of the Marquis of Bute, &c. of and from every the masters and commanders, owners of or otner persons having tne rule or command of, or navigating or conducting any ship, boat, barge, craft, or other vessel, passing into or out of, or in, or along the said ship-canal, dock' &c.. or using either of the piers at the mouth of the said ship- canal, for and in respect of every ship, boat, &c., such reason- able rates, or duties, not exceeding the rates, or duties set forth or specified in the second schedule to the Act annexed as the said Marquis of Bute, &c., shall think just and reasonable. These duties are expressly made payable bv the master or commander, or owner of every ship using the ship-canal or dock for his vessel. They are, therefore, port charges or dues within the terms of the charter-party produced before me, and the freight, therefore, is to be paid in full of such charges and dues. 7fhe 39th section, however, requires the Marquis of Bute to set apart and appropriate part of the margin of the dock for one or more public wharf, or wharves, for the landing or loading of goods from or on board ships, &c., using the dock or basin, and that it shall be lawful for the Marquis of Bute to recover for his own use, upon or in respect of all minerals, merchandise, or other goods which shall be landed or loaded upon, or from any such public wharf such additional rates and charges [over and above the rates and duties herein. before authorized to be levied] as the said Marquis of Bute &c., shall from time to time fix, not exceeding the rates speci- fied in the third schedule of the Act. This clause charges duties upon and in respect of the minerals, merchandise and goods placed on the public wharf. These duties are not pay- able in respect of the ship, but in respect of the goods, and therefore, would be payable by the party who should use the wharf for his goods. These duties also are not payable in re- spect of private wharfs they are made payable for the use of the public wharf. The lessees of private wharves—which wharves are authorised to be made by the 48th section of the Act,-are not liable to pay the dues mentioned in section 39. This difference shows that the dues mentioned in section 39 are not general port charges and dues affecting the ship but the 40th section aids in showing the nature of the charge imposed by the 39th section :-it provides that it shall not be lawful for any person who shall have landed or laid any goods on any public wharf to permit the same to remain longer than three days without special license,-or, if they do remain longer than three days, they may be removed to a warehouse or other place of safety and be detained until payment of the charges of re- moval, and wharfage rates and warehouse rents due in respect thereof; and if such rates and rents are not paid within ten days after demand, such goods may be sold to pay the said rates and rents. Surely, then, it cannot be contended that the master or commander of a ship is the person to be charged for these rates, or rents ? The primary liability for the dues men- tioned in section 36 is on the master or commander of a vessel and is a general charge on all vessels the primary liability under sections 39 and 40 for goods placed on a public wharf is on the person who lands or places goods on the public wharf and the dues and rents for which such person is liable may be recovered by a sale of the goods, or a sufficient part thereof. Up to this point there can be no difficulty in this case The wharfage dues for the use of a public wharf would be charge- able on the person who should place coal on the public wharf to be put on board ship. If he paid that charge lie could have no demand on the master or owner of the ship laden with the coal. His payment would be a discharge of his own legal and personal liability. The words in the charter-party of "port charges and dues" to be paid by the ship owner would not apply to such payments-for these words mean only such charges and dues as the ship owner is liable to pay an ac- iCOun,t.-°f -the sh>. He is uot chargeable on account of liabilities incurred in respect of the goods or coal before he has received such goods or coal. I presume it would not be contended that he would be liable for dues accruing through delay in goods remaining, without license or with license on the public wharf on which wharfage dues or rents had become due, in consequence of their non-removal or their removal to a warehouse by the owner of the dock before the ship arrived,-yet what distinction is there between the dues legally accruing the first day or the last, or the dues accruing in re- spect of the use of the wharf or the rent for the use of the warehouse to which the owner of the dock may have directed them to be removed ? The difficulty has arisen from the very imperfect manner in which section 42 of the Act has been drawn. It provides that the rates, duties, and charges autho- rised by the Act to be demanded and received shall be paid by the owner, master, &c., having the command of any ship, &c., coming into, or using, or going out of the said ship-canal or dock, or importing, carrying, or exporting any goods, wares, or merchandise; or by the merchant or merchants, or other per- son or persons conveying, exporting, or importing, or shipping, or carrying, or receivingsucli goods, wares, or merchandise; or by the merchant, factor, consignee, or other person or persons into whose custody or possession the same shall on demand, be delivered and toll and every of such several and respective parties and persons shall be severally and respectively liable to tne owner of the dock, for the same, or such part or parts of the same, as shall at any time remain unpaid bv the other of such parties or persons. Certainly, I never saw "such ajumble of liabilities, or primary converted in so summary a manner into ultimate liabilities. The draftsman of the Act was making a new rule of law, and it is to be assumed that he consulted his ease in order to avoid legal difficulties which he could not master by abstaining from distinguishing or noticing existing rules of law which defined the respective liabilities of the parties mentioned. Then the same section proceeds to declare, that if the persons specified shall refuse or neglect to pay such rates or duties, or any part thereof, on demand the owner of the dock, or person authorised, may go on board such ship, &c., and demand, collect, or receive the said rates or duties and on non-payment thereof may take and distrain such ship, &c., and all the tackle, apparel, and furniture thereto belonging, or any part thereof,—and all or any part of the goods, wares, or merchandise, either oa board such ship Ac, or on land, and the same to retain until, Ac. This general power of distress is one that appears to me to be given to the owner of the clock as landlord, and not tube a power interfering with the liabilities of the parties between themselves in respect of payments primarily payable by them. Payments, therefore made by any one of the parties under this power of distress in order to payoff the claim of the owner of the dock in discharge of the primary liability of some other person may be reco- vered back from such other person by the party distrained on, and making snch payment for him. This interpretation of the Act entitles the plaintiff, therefore, to recover in this action."
The Great Strike of the Colliers. ABERDARE, THURSDAY. Since the list publication, when we gave some delaih in connexion with the unfortunate difference which has arisen between the colliery proprietors and their work- men, owing to a reduction in wages, varying from 10 to 15 percent, rendered necessary by the deplorable state of commerce, nothing of great importance has occurred. On Friday a lar4e body of the county police arrived, under their able Superintendent, Mr. Wrenn, and at once formed a guard for the protection of the different pits, at which the engineers were threatened if they con- tinued to work the pumps. This has had the desired effect, for at all the pits, with one exception, the pumps have b^en regularly kept going, and no material damage, as far as we can ascertain, has been sustained. In the instance referred to however-that of Messrs. Shepherd and Evans's pit-the engineers themselves struck, and we are credibly informed that the pit is fast filling with water. The consequence of this must be deplorable even to the colliers themselves, because whenever a settle- ment of the dispute may be arriverl at, it will perhaps take weeks before the pit is again in a state to commence operations, and during that time the colliers usually working there can have no chance of employment. Urgent applications having been made to the Secretary of Slate, in cousequence of the threatening attitude as- sumed by the colliers at the beginning of the strike, and I the names of certain influential persons having been posted as fit objects for vengeance, Sir George Grey or- dered a detachment of the 22nd foot, to Aberdare, and they arrived on Saturday evening. In the absence of suitable quarters, the military occupied the Town-hall, the front of which was daily crowded by hundreds of spectators, principally colliers, many of whom had before never seen a body of "red coats," and it was somewhat amusing to hear the criticisms of the crowd. One fellow in particular, ignorant no doubt of the invincibility of the British bayonet, was talking to his companions about licking" half-a-dozen of them. However, as things continued to wear a more peaceable aspect, and the quarters of the soldiers were far from agreeable, they were on Tuesday evening removed to Cardiff barracks, there to await orders, and arrangements have been made to bring them up at a minute's notice should their services be requited, which we sincerely hope will not be the case. On Tuesday there were some symptoms of the men re- turning to work, and in one or two of the collieries this was rumoured to have actually taken place, but unfor- tunately this was not so, for although many of the men were anxious enough to return, they were overruled by their more violent and less wise companions, and the result was a determination to continue the strike. On the same day a meeting of the coal proprietors was held, at which it was iutended we believe, to make a still further reduction under the supposition we presume that as the colliers were determined to stand out, the re- duction may as well be 20 as 10 or 15 per cent.—and the losses which the masters must sustain in the interval is the re ison alleged for this greater reduction in wages. At the urgent suggestion of H. A. Bruce, Esq the hon. member for the borough, who with his usual good na- ture has been doing everything in his power to bring matters to an amicable adjustment, it was determined to give the colliers a few days further for consideration be- fore any alteration in the terms, was decided upon. Saturday, however, is the last day which will be so al- lowed, and in the meantime Mr. Bruce has met the col- liers on several occasions, entered fully into their views and feelings, and discussed with them calmly and delibe- rately the position of affairs which has rendered this reductions matter of absolute necessity. On Wednesday a very large meeting was held at the New Markets for the purpose cf hearing Mr. Bruce on the subject, he having been requested hy the colliers to meet them on that occaMon for the discussion of the sub- ject. There was a very large attendance, and nothing could exceed the orderly conduct of the workmen — not an attempt at interruption occurred from the commence- ment to the end of the meeting. MR. BRUCE'S SPEECH. H. A. Bruce, Esq., M.P., rose and said I hope we shall be able to discuss these matters which so deeply I affect our interests as reasonable men (hear, hear). Let me say a word for myself before I begin. I ought not to be here to-day. My place now should be in London on matters of the greatest importance, with which I am pri- vately connected, and also in reference to matters of great public importance, occupying the attention of Parliament. At some inconvenience, however, I complied to a request made to me by a number, both of the masters and men, to appear before you to discuss the nil-important question of the strike, alllll do so, because both parties have been good enough to say that they have confidence in me, that I was a fair man as between the two, and that I had no interest on the one side more than on the other (hear, hear), and that, therefore, I might probably be of some use in bring. ing the masters and men together. I know that some of you may say that I am notaltogethei on-intereem(I-thitai my father is a large coalowner, 1 am necessarily an in- terested party but if you turn the matter over in your minds, you will see the fact of my father having this large interest in the parish, is the very circumstance which renders me impaitial in the matter. For what is the interest of a proprietor like my father! Why, that the coal should be worked as quickly as possible, and in order to do this, it is essential that a thorough agreement should exist between the masters and the men, for unless there be a just and fair agreement—just to the men as well as to the masters—there must and will be strikes (applause). My interest, as far as my father is concerned, is that there should be no strikes. I am speaking now of my interest as connected with the coal proprietory but I have an interest also as a friend and a neighbour of many of you, with whom I have been on terms of intimacy, and indeed I have received nothing but kindness from the people of Aberdare and it is my interest to endeavour to keep upon those good terms. As to the question immediately before us ,1 do not know whether you have called me here to speak to you, or to answer your questions. If any of you wish to put questions to me, to ask me whether I think you are right or wrong in the course you are pursuing, I shall be delighted to answer them. I have already met a considerable number of colliers on this subject. The even. ing before last I addressed some 250 of them at Mountain Ash, and last night again I met a number of men belong. ing to Abergwawr, and had a frieedly talk with them for some three-quarters of an hour, and I think I know pretty well the views and feelings of the colliers in this matter. You have struck-you have refused to receive the terms offered by your masters. Are you wrong because you have struck 1 I do not say that a strike in itself is a wrong thing. A strike is wrong, according as there is jnstice or not on your side. If the masters try to take unfair ad- vantage of the men-if they try by some false excuse to force down wages below what they ought to be—then the men are right to strike, and under such circumstances, I wish the men success. But if the masters have not taken an unfair advantage—if the masters have been compelled to do so by the pressure of the times-if they have only lowered the wages of the men when forced to do it, in order to save themselves from ruin, then the men are wrong and the masters are right. In the present instance, then the simple question is, are the men or the masters in the right! I shall be very glad to hear anything the workmen may have to say to prove that they were justified in striking. But I own, from what I know of the existing state of affairs, not only here but throughout the whole country, that it is unfortu- nate the workmen should have struck upon this occasion, because I do nut think that the colliers of Aberdare, whom I de3ire to see stand w II in the opinion of the world, will, in this instance, make the woild think that they are right. You see I am not afraid of speaking the truth. If you listen to me it is because you believe that I have not been in the habit of deceiving you, bat of saying what I think whether you like to hear it or not. In this very room I have given opinions which were not the opinions of the majority you have let me know that, but your opinions have always been given kindly and civilly, and I am sure this will characterise your conduct now that I am about to express opinions from which I know by experience many of you will dissent. I have put the question whether the masters or the men are right. If you are right, then by all means go on atriking-if wrong, I call jupon you as just, as reasonable, and as Christian men, not to inflict wrong upon your masters, upon your families, and upon yourselves; but own that you are wrong, and like manly fellows go back to work. Now, what are the causes of the wages being lowered 1 The causes, I may say, are threefold. The first is, that the trade of the district is altogether slack and bad-that not only in the coal works, but in the iron works the quan- tity of work to be done is small, and therefore the value of labour has fallen. Bear that well in mind, for you will always go wrong if you start with a wrong principle. There are many among you who think that the wages of colliers should rise aud fall with the rise and fall in the price of coal. If in this district and in Monmouthshire there were nothing but the coal trade the argument would be quite correct, because the price of coal depends upon the demand for it. and when the demand is great, and prices therefore high, there is a greater demand for labour, which makes that more valuable also, and hence wages go up. But the coal trade is not the only branch of industry,—there are the ironworks, and if the iron be down and the works partially stopped, it does not matter what the price of coal may be, the wages of the collieis must cjme down too. To make the matter clear to you, supposing during these terrible times some of the great works which have been threatened with ruin—say Ebbw Vale, Dowlais, or C)farthfa-(an(1 if the monetary crisis in all its severity had continued long theie is no telling what might have happened)—supposing, I say, that 20,000 or 30,000 men had been thrown out of work by the stop- page of these houses, and had to seek emj lojment in this district, do yeu think, if had been at 1 h. per ton, that this great it,flux of lab-lur would not have brought down wages T Of course it would. The rate of wag -s depends upo-i the quantity of work on the one side nnd the numtei (if workmen on the other. If you have plenty of work and few workmen you have high wages: if plenty of work and plenty of workmen, moderate wages if little work and plenty of workmen wages will be low. Bear the-e principles in your minI) for they are true principles. I am sorry any master should have said that he would give his workman wages according to the price of coal. This is not a safe principle, and once start from a false basis, and you will be sure to get into difficulty. Let me put the matter in another way to you. Supposing the price of iron to go up, the colliers at the iron works would be in demand, and would be receiving high wages; but supposing at the same time that iron was up the price of coal went down, would you be content with a reduction of wages under such circumstances 1 "No;" you woul,1 say, "the co liers are every where else getting high wages," aud you would not li-ten to y-ur masters if they told you that coal was down, but would tell them that you could get good wages elsewhere, and would not submit to any reduction. I mention this to show you that the rate of wages ought not to depend upon the price of coal, but upon the demand for labour throughout the whole dis- trict. What is the'meaning of wages having been lowered 20 per cent. at the iron works 1 Why, that the masters cannot find work for their men, and that they would be glad to get rid of many of them if they could, though they do not like parting with good workmen, and would rather lose a little money in order to keep them together. Although the principle I have explained to jou is the right one, there is no difficulty in proung that the price of coal has fallen. I am certain you may find at this mo- ment that contracts have been taken as low as 8s lOd. per ton, and there are none above 9s. GJ. Formerly coal was at lis., now 9s. would be the full average; and, there- fore, upon your own principle—that wages shoull rise and fall with the price of coal, you ought to submit to this re- duction. But supposing the piice of coal were really in reittity the masters would not be receiving more than 9s., aud would be glad to receive that sum. There is such a demand for money now, and so difficult is it to obtain, that many rich men have failed, and been unable to pay their debts; and discounts are now ranging at a higher rate than wa'3 ever known io the history of Eng- land. Payments aremadetothecoalmasterseitheritti ready money—that is, in about a month after the coal is delivered, or else in three months' bills. These bills, iu good times, are taken to the bankers, who give the lull amount for them, with the exception of 3 or 4 per cent. for discounting. Now the price of money is so high that the richest men cannot get their bills discounted under 10.1, and I have known many cases where 12 per cent. was refused upon good billi and instances have even come to knowledge where people under the pressure offered their bills at 15 percent, to London bankers with- out being able to get them cashed. Beside, I will under- take to say that there is not one single coal owner in this Valley who has not in his box bills which he cannot at any price get changed into money. You expect your wages every week: do you ever think of the sacrifices the masters have often to make to accomplish this ? I well know the sacrifices the masters are obliged to make to meet the weekly draws and monthly pays in times like the present, when for every 1:100 in the shape of biils they take to their bankers, they only receive JE88 in hard cash. You have, therefore, beside the low price of the coal, the difficulty of converting bills into money. Under this double pressure, then, the masters have lowered your wages from 1, 9,1. to Is. 6d. per ton. Is that an unrea- sonable reduction! I should be glad to see the price of cutting coal at 2s. or 2s. Gd., if the masters would realise a profit, because your interests are indirectly involved in that question. See what the coal owners have done in this district. You will say, what money they have accu- mulated but supposing there were only half the em- ployers or pits that there are, and all you men were seeking for woi k, do you not think wages wouldcom« down directly; or supposing you were twice as many colliers as you are, do you not see that there would be a scrpc.rabundanceof labour, which would equally hffect your earnings 1 Thus the more pits there are in the country the better it is for.vo.u, because tbe greater the demand for labour. Now, if the masters have accumulated money out of the profits, which many of you think ought to have gone into your pockets, many of you think ought to have gone into your pockets, they have uot put it into banks or invested in the pur- chase of landed property, but they have empiojed it in sinking new pits and extetnimg their works. All this must benefit the working men, and through this course you obtain higher nages than you would otherwise have done, so that you see the profits that the masters make are benefiting you by their being laid out in sinking fresh pits, and creating fresh demauds for ltbour. A number of you say, Well, we own the times are bad—it is very difficult to get money, and the price of coal is not very high, but why don't the masters make it Its. instead of g,. If they can afford to give us Is. 91. with puces at lis., why don't the masters combine to keep the price up, then thtre would no necessity for a reduction." That has been tried by the masters and it has failed. No doubt if the masters were to be true to each other, and strictly adhere to a resolution not to sell coal below lis. per ton, they would be able to get a good profit, and pay the present rate of wages; but they cau only do it upon one supposition, viz., that nobudy else outside the Aberdare Valley can produce steam coat. ftow you know that from Aberdare coals are good, perhaps the best in the country, but there is a great deal of coal very little worse. The Monmouthshire coal, and the coal from the Swansea Valley make very good steam coal, and there are my friends, Messrs. Vivian, raising about 500 tons per day, which if a little softer than yours, is very much liked for steam purposes. There is also anthracite coal, which with a little alteration in the boilers, can be used as steam coal, and if you make the price of your coal too dear, the result will be that vessels, instead of going to Cardiff, will be sent where they can ship the coils whicii I have named—and instead of the regular trade which you of late experienced, the demand will disappear, and you will be half your time out of em- ployment. You see, therefore, that though at first sight it seems plain that the price of coal may be kept up arti- ficially, by a combination of the masters, it can never stand, for it is against the laws of nature in matters of commerce. In all dealings there are two people inter- ested, and it is not selier only but the buyer who has something to do in fixing prices, and if buyers fiud that coal is dearer at Cardiff than at other places to other phces they will go. Another thing has happened, and a very strange and interesting one it is in this general dis- turbance of commerce. Amongst those I am addressing are some who have come not only from the twelve coun- ties of Wales, but also England, Ireland, and Scotland and what has brought them all here? It is from the de- mand for labour on account of the coal, and it is the par- ticular value of this coal that has made Aberdare the rising and prosperous place it now is. Well, now what is the particular value of Aberdare coal 1 You all tell me it is good steam coal, but that is not the point. Its great value consists in this, that it has been ascertained by experience that eighty tons of Aberdare coal will take a vessel as far to sea as a hundred tons of the best coal from the north of England. A vessel, therefore, going from Liverpool to New York would have to put in a smaller quantity of Aberdare than of north country coal, and the room thus saved in the vessel can be filled with merchandise. It was, then, to save room that the vessels from Liverpool paid some 20s, per ton for your coal, instead of lb. or lis. 6d. for the best north country coal. In consequence of the disturbance of trade with America, the vessels have no cargoes to take out, and room is no longer an object. The consequence is, that they are buying north country coal for crossing the At. lantic, and the coal proprietors of this valley, who formerly sent 200,000 or 300,000 tons per annum from Cardiff to Liverpool, are now sending hardly a ton. That is one of the many ways in which the state of America tells upon the coal trade of this district. I might tell you, but that I am reluctant to use names in public, of the frightful losses which men in this district have lately undergone. Men—the very first in the iron as well as in the coal trade, are driven to all kinds of shifts to meet their demands, which in good times they would be ilsharn.ed to have re- course to. I know that my father has some of the best tenants, and they say they cannot pay their rants because they don'treceivetheirmoney, and however inconvenienced I be has been obliged to submit. Then, gain, you know that coal cannot be got away without being carried by railway, and railways are very expensive things to keep up, and insist upon being paid but last week, when in London, I saw the banker of the Vale of Neath Railway, when he said, How is it that the Vale of Neath Rail- way, that used to keep so good an account, has got into our debt 1 You must go and put things right." I pro- mised to go down to Neath to see about it; and I found there were more than £14,000 due to the Vale of Neath Railway from some of the richest men in the country. I asked the secretary if he had written for this money, and his reply was-" I have written, but cannot get it." Do you think that these men would have been "damned" by the secretary of the Vale of Neath Railway, if they could find the money 1 The fact is, they were obliged to pay their workmen, even if the railway suffered but notwithstand- ing all, the pressure at last came—with all these shifts, it was impossible to go on—and as a last resource, the masters ask you to submit to a reduction in your wages. You refuse to comply; and you are perfectly right in re- fusing, if you think you have justice on your side; but if the masters cannot afford to pay you the wages you have been receiving, I ask you as fair and just men to ac- cept the terms offered, to go to work, and trust to the honour and justice of your masters to give you higher wages when better times come. I have now said what I believe to be truth you have taken it calmly and reason- ably, and I do hope that your resolution this day will put an end to this miserable state of affairs. To me who have watched the steady development of the neigh. bourhood, it is lamentable to see the valley which formerly rung with the echo of your forge?, the activity every where displayed, numberless trains rattling down the vale, the steam engines bellowing away-to me, I say, it is lamentable to see all this transformed into death-like stillness-to see your streets filled with men in broad- cloth doing nothing, until a stranger would think you were the laziest population in Great Britain, instead of honest, hard-working men. I implore you again, if you think you are wrong, to confess it like men, by returning to your work, and earning thereby the gratitude of your I masters and the good opinion of your neighbours. Rev. D. Pr ee then gave the substance of the above in Welsh, for the benefit of the collier" unacquainted with the English language, after which Mr. Bruce stated that he hal omitted to montion a complaint made by the colliers a' Mountain Ash that their masters had refused to see them, and that hali the explanation which he (Mr. B ) had given been offered by the masters the strike would never have occurred. Ha felt bound to say, that at a meeting of the masters which he attended yesterday, they all expressed their readiness to see the men whenever they thought proper to call upon them, and several of them stated that they had given repeated explanations 10 their respected workmen, and had still every disposition to do so. Da.id Williams (a collier) then addressed the meetiog in Welsh, and after alluding to the disadvantages under which he and a majority of those present laboured in very imper- fectly understanding the English language, expressed his regret that the masters had attended none of the meetings of the colliers The workmen were ready to submit to the reduction if the masters would give any good reasons tor lowering the wages; but if the value of money had risen to 10 per cent., 15 per cent, had been reduced upon the workmen. The colliers of Aberdare were quite willing to Uke a share of the burden, but they were under the im- pression that if they took 3d. per ton reduction now they would never get it back again. Ilt-re was difficulty enough in maintaining one's famijy before the reduction, and they were unwilling to work without earning enough to buy food for themselves and their families. It was a very hard thing after a man had been at work all day, to return home and find nothing for him but herrings and potatoe-. There were many weeks when they did not earn a penny, and he had been a fortnight or tluee weeks out of the mouth without working, because the coal was not wanted. The speaker then called upon John Jones (Gwah-h), and one or two others, to speak in English, and after waiting for someti ne without their appearing, Mr. Bruce rose to reply. He said I was waiting, because I expected one of your number, John Jones, was to address us in English. If John Jones is the work- mall I met last night, I should be glad to hear him, for seldom have I heard a more sensible or reasonable mat), and I am sure he would state the case on behalf of the workmen fairly. I wish all the woikmen of this valley ha,l as good heads on their shoulders as John Jones, though I have no doubt many of them have very good ones. Until he comes, I should like to say a word or two as to what fell from David Williams, who just now spoke to you. He says that jou have had time enough up to the present -that it was difficult to live upon your pre- vious earnings, and that to live upon less is impossible. I know that many among you have difficulty in providing for your families —that you work hard, and want good food—and it has sometimes been no easy matter to make both ends meet. But you must not make too much of that. Never since Aberdare has been a valley, has work been as regulir as during the last year, and never such high prices, and if you cannot live upon regular work and high prices, how in the name of Heaven did you live before 1 Why, you have had tOalpncounter much worse times—this time last year flour was 60s. per sack, now it is only 44! so that even at the reduction, you will be able to live better than you did last year. I recollect the time when you were only getting Is. 4,1. per ton, how did you live then, if you will starve now 1 You are quite right to get as much as you can but do not, in attempting to get Is. 9d., take a course which will make wages fall be- low Is. 6d., for that is reilly what you are doing now. He sap, the collier's dinner is one of potato and herring, but if you ruin the masters, you will have to live upon the potato without the herring. My advice to you is, to do as well as you cau, and in course of time you will be able to add to the potato and herring a muttou chop or beef stake (hear, hear). He also alluded to the stoppage which has taken place-that they had sometimes been able to work only one week out of four. Now I know that there are occasional stoppages, but do not let us have the case unfairly stated. I asked Mr. Powell yesterday what the stoppages came to! I said, "you must stop your pits very often,—sometimes the machinery gets out of order-sorne- times the east wind Mows, and you have no shipping at Cardiff-sometimes you have accidents -do not all these things throw your men out of a great many days' \vork 1" Mr. Powell replied-" No doubt these things happen sometimes, but I am certain that, during the whole of it year, the stoppages have not been more than two days in the inth." When I was at Mountain Ash yesletday, I asked tbe wun. ,n what the earnings of sober, steady men amounted to one wee. with another. One man, who 's aid he was a good workman, said he only earned 158., but I do not think that a good workman could earn so little as 15s., if he worked the whole week. An honest fellow got up and said, that he earned 24"" and could not li\'e UP,)!J less. Well," I saitl, "leI me ask you one question; many of jou come from Caermarthen and the vale of Glamorgan your fathers were working men, and there are working men there now bringing up their families as your fathers brought up yon, upon lis. or 12s, a week, at the very outside; and you say that if you get only 20s., you and your families will starve. Now, is that very reasonable 1" I will tell you another thing. Mr. Powell told me, of the truth of which you will know better than I do, he said— "The wages that the colliers are getting are so high, that I can hardly induce a steady, respectable collier to take the place of fireman at 4s. Gl- a-day regularly throughout the year." Now, 4s. 6d. a-day is 27s. a-week, and yet when asked to take this work the repty Wat, "I can make much belter wages than that as a collier." Another compUint of the colliers wa*, that too many men were put into the pit, which prevented the men earning such good wages as they would otherwise do. Well, I asked the masters why they did not put fewer men into the pit that they might work as much as they pleased. The reply was, ,u
CORRESPONDENCE. [The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of his Correspondents. j TO THE COLLIEltS OF ABERDARE. TO TUB BDITOR OF TUB CARDIFF AND MERTHTR GUAKDIAK SIR,—In reply to a letter addressed to me in the Gwron uewspaper, by the Colliers ollhe Vale of Aberdare, 1 beg to say that the price of steam coal bae fallen these several months. The price for a short period was lis, per ton on board vessel at Cardiff, Swansea, and Briton Ferry; but it came to 10s., then 9s. 6d., and at present it is from 9s. 6d. to 9s., clear of all expenses to' the pur- chaser and the reason the workmen were not asked before to reduce their price, was owing to provisions being so high, and our expectation of getting an advance in coal prices but instead of which, the general crisis came upon Ug, and produced such a circle of dark doudll, which com- pelled us to go with the times, and buried all our hopes for an advance for the present, so the workmen are labouring under a great mistake when they allude to the subject, and say that a few persons can regulate the trade. It is the lirge supply, and the high price of money, that brings down the market as at present. The hrge crops we have had this year have brought down the price of pro- visions, and so with the coal trade. When the markets are over full, prices will naturally fell. Again, some of them ask-" Why do the masters reduce the price of coal, when the demand is good ?" This is done for two reasons -one is to compete with other ports; and the second, to secure a more regular trade. What, if the employer and his workmen could get Is. a ton more for their coal, and then only getting half-woik, this would not suit either very well. The present times are regulated by a large trade and small profits. Again, they ask me, as the dis- count is only 10 per cent., and that it was always 5,- "Why do we reduce 151" 1 told them before that the price of coal had reduced from lis. to 9s., and 9s. 6J. at present, so I believe this ought to satisfy them, seeing that the reduction is caused by the lowering of prices in the market, and not by the discount alone. It is not a very pleasant situation to have seven, ten, or twelve thousand pounds in bills for our coal; one of them due in a month; another portion in two months; and the other for three months, and so on; and if the master has discounted them in the bank, if they are not met, the master is liable for them after all, and they all know that all my men are paid in cash for all that. I am, like others, paid in bills, and it is not a very pleasant task to overhaul the Gazette every morning to asceitain whether any of our creditors are bankrupts or not. With such a care the mind is bent under it the last thing at night, and it is the first visitor in the morning; and may I ask the worthy men-is it right, in their estimation, that their employers should toil on under such trouble and care, and that for nothing? There is no man willing to work for nothing, and that for a long time, if he can help it. Again, how can we, as employers and workmen, expect to be ex- empted from a reduction more than all others 1 The crisis is general all over the world, and there is no help. So if we will only go together, we will never require a blue jacket nor a red coat to keep us in order. Again, meeting the workmen to talk matters over with them. I have always done this. Whenever I saw any signs of better times, I told them of it, and the last three advances have been given them without their asking for them. And if we take that which is good, why not take the bad as well in our turn 1 I have at this present time reasoned with my workmen in every way possible, and I defy them to say that I have ever told them an untruth, nor have taken an advantage over them in any way. I know myself what work is, and I always wished to get the best price I could for my work, so I do not bl-une them in their endeavour- ing to do the same. But if this were done in the same way as they write to me, I think the matter could be araicably settled, and I beg to thank them for their gentlemanly manner in addressing their employers. We all live by each other, and we should endeavour to benefit each other, but I am very sorry of the plan adopted at present. What good cm come from threats'! What would they be better if they could drown all my work'! and how much would they benefit themselves, if they could make me bankrupt at oneet But I humbly beg to inform them that even if my works were all stopped to-morrow, and that for ever, they will not make a very wide difference to me; consequently, they ought not to fight against their own interest. I can only say that I shall go with the times. Will they say the same? May I tell them—" Let us talk over our matters-settle our own matters, and do all we can for each other." Should any one be wishful to see me now, or in future, to discuss matters in the same spirit as the present letter of the workmen, I shall be most happy to meet the same. I hope that I have given a satis- factory reply in the above. D. WILLIAMS. Ynyscynon House, 7th Dec., 1857. EISTEDDFODAC7. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CARDIFF AND MERTHYR GUABDIAK SIR,-In perusing your widely-circulating journal I per. ceive a letter, in which the writer endeavours to debase the "petty meetings of bards," called Welsh Eisteddfodau, which are supported solely by the working classes for the purpose of self-culture and improvement in the art of writing correctly, and in the knowledge of the rules of Welsh poetry. I admire the generosity of the man who would deprive the peasantry and others from enjoying themselves in such a rational manner if the working-classes of the Princi- pality choose to subscribe towards such praiseworthy ob- jects, the man who would endeavour to vilify their pro- ceedings must, indeed, be very liberal, and worthy to be classed with those who wish to keep the people in a state of utter ignorance. It is true that these small Eisteddfodau are held often in the rural districts of South Wales, and their influence on the morals of the people is markedly beneficial. In- stead of exercising in those degrading sports which lead to so many evils, the people of Wales generally spend their Sabbaths at Sunday-schools, by the means of which many men have become eminent in the knowledge of their own country language, among whom we may enumerate the late Rev. J. Blackwell, whom Anti-humbug calls immortal. Perhaps Anti-humbug believes that a man can acquire knowledge in reading and writing without going to school at all, and that those who are inspired with the muse can compete with bards of the first class, without ever attempting to write for competition to the small Eisteddfodau. If those things were so, Anti-humbug's occupation would be gone. No schoolmaster would be wanted. A man could write as well at the first attempt as after many years' practice. At these small Eisteddfodau small prizes are offered, for which the young men make their first attempts at composition. It would be folly for a boy to wrestle with a giant-for the inexperienced to cope with veteran scholars. Such, then, is the use of those petty gatherings whence spring the germs of genius in the intricate art of Welsh. poetry. Here the young bard improves upon his first lessons, by hearing the acute criticism of the adjudicators upon the respective productions sent in for competition. Anti.humbug says he was at one of those small eistedd- fodau a short time ago, where the Wehh language was extolled to the skies, and all sorts of abuse heaped upon the English language; an nssertion much to be doubted, but if it were so, some little leniency ou-ht to be allowed to those who know but little of any language except their own. A man who knows but one language hears every strange tongue as a mass of confused and unintelligible sounds, from which he concludes that such a language ill worse than useless, he believes it is uttered with that rapidity which renders it beyond the power of any civilized being to distinguish the syllables one from another, consequently Anti-humbug ought to forgive those patriotic and enthusiastic men who may happen to say a few inconsiderate words unfavourable to a tongue which they do not understand; and if he is a strong advocate" for Welsh eisteddfodau as he says he is, I trust he will write with better taste, and endeavour to select some other subject than that of traducing the ancieut customs of a country which can boast of so many poets and literary characters among its peasants, artizans and miners. The examples set forth by those patriotic gentlemen who supported the Abergavenny Eisteddfod, have created such a taste for music among the people of Wales, that prizes are now offered at all those meetings, which Anti- humbug condemns, to the best choirs, glee singers.&c.. the result of which is that the Principality can now boast of a great number of amateur singers who can scarcely be surpassed. Such time-honoured gatherings then ought to be rather encouraged than surpressed, lest the minds of the people- may be diverted towards other objects which may not prove so praisworthy. Llysvaen, Nov. 13th, 1857. AB. CENYDD. [Both parties having now been heard their future communications on this subject can only appear in our advertising columns.—ED.J «. — SEAMEN IN WORKHOUSES. It is shown by a return moved for last session by Admiral Sir C. Napier, MP., that at the date of the return (which was sent in and ordered to be printed in August) there were in England and Wales 592 seamen in receipt of in-door relief in workhouses, and 965 in receipt of out- door relief. The average weekly cost of their maintenance amounted to 3s. 6ïd. in England, and to 2s. Hid. in Wales. Nine of the seamen in workhouses were under 20 years of age, 24 between 20 and 30, 23 between 30 and 40, 34 between 40 and 60, 68 between 50 and 60,184 between 60 and 70,198 between 7Q and 60, and 62 80 years of age and xxpwards.
MERTHYR AND NEIGHBOURHOOD. The annual thow of cattle, ponies, sheep, pigs, poultry and vegetables takes place on Wednesday next at the market house. 1 INDIAN RELIBF FUND.-Merthyr was somewhat slow in taking up the subject of the Indian Relief Faod but we find that after all, the committee have collected up- wards of £105, which will be forwarded to the proper quarter as soon as the collection has been completed. A MAIL TO BRRCON.-Brecon and Merthyr Tydvil, are both named from the same family, the one having re- ceived its name from Brychan Brycheiniog in the fifth century, and the other from Tydvil, his daughter; but their fortunes have been and are somewhat dissimilar. There was a time when Brecon with its castle and castellated priory was a place of considerable comparative importance, and frequently found a conspicious place in the annals of Wales-a time when Merthyr Tydvil was only known to the fewfarmers of the district, and even at a comparatively recent period, the latter place was only noticed as a small villige, on one tide of the main road from Btecon to Cardiff. But latterly how the relative im- portance of the two places has become changed Brecon (borough) in 1851, had a stationary population of 6070; while Merthyr (borough) had a growing population of 63,080. And though the distance between the two towns is only IS miles there is scarcely any postal communica- tion between them. All letters had to travel round through Abergavenny, and took a long time to go; and all things considered, there was almost a probability of our losing sight of Brecon Altogether. Latterly, however, the fortunes of the old town have been looking up, and they now wear a brighter appearance. The magnates of Brecon took a heroic resolution a coach which had been for some time travelling between the two towns, received the honour of being now and henceforth called-not a coach, but a Royal Mail and on Monday se'nnight Brecon was re-admitted into civilization, and obtaiued the gracious privileges of a direct postal communication. TABKRNACLE CHAPEL.-The anniversary of the Taber- nacle Baptist Chapel, took place on Sunday and Monday se'nnight, when a number ot sermons were preached by the ministers under-named. On Sunday morning, at 11 p.m., the services were conducted by the Kevds. J. D. Evans of Elvin Chapel, and T. Roberts, Hebron, Dowlais at two o'clock the preachers were the Rev. J. Lloyd, Ebenezer, and T. R. Davies, a Baptist minister from North Wales; and at six the latter gentleman preached a second time, in association with Mr. J. D. Evans. There were three services on Monday also, when the officiating ministers were the Revs/T. R. Davies, J. Jones, Zion, J. Evans, Abercannafd, E. Evans, Dowlais, and T. E. James, Cwmbach. The apprehensiveness of a gloomy winter was felt in respect of the collections, which only amounted to A;40 or about half the sum usually collected at these anniversaries. WATER WORKS COMPANY.—-Tbe Joint Stock scheme does not progress favourably the share list stands at about eight thousand, while thirty-seven thousand pounds are required and there seems to be but little confidence in its success. Unless the masters take shares to half the required amount, which under present circumstances at least is unlikely, the scheme will be a failure. Mr. Clark is as yet the only ironmaster who has subscribed, while Mr. Crawshay is said to plead bad times," and to de- cline becoming a shareholder. In view of these facts a lengthened discussion took place at the Local Board of Health on Thursday se'nnight, when Mr. Rosser moved, and Mr. Bryant seconded, and it was carried unanimously, That inasmuch as a parish meeting had been called, and the town of Merthyr had been canvassed in favour of the formation of a water company, and the sum sobsctibed, but about JE4000 from the town, is so inadequate to that re- quired, about X50,000, the Cleik be instructed to proceed no further with the parliamentary notices in regard to the private company." The peivate company is, therefore, now wholly abandoned. URQHAKTISM.—Some of our readers will recollect the visit to South Wale@ of Mr. David Urqhart, to expound his peculiar and jaundiced views of our foreign policy, to pervert historical facts, to preach the national duty, to impeach Lord Palmeiston, and to insinuate with be- coming modesty, that he (David Urqhart) was the only man who could now save the state. But like many ano- ther Cassadia be preached in vain, neither in South Wales nor elsewhere did the people read the signs of the times in the same way, and by common consent it was agreed to consider him as a gentleman with a twist in his brain, and who had an unmannerly knack of applying the epithets "fools" and "simpletons," to all persons who asked questions. Some, indeed, insinuated that the pre- tended patriot was after all only a pttid agent, drawing cash and inspiration from a certain club-house in London but from some cause or another, he disappeared to a con- siderable extent from his public manifestations. Latterly the troubles in the east have brought him again on the stage; the agitaUon of the alleged iniquities of Palmer- stonian policy is about to be revived, and agents are dis- patched to various parts of the country, to form local as- sociations. One of these agents visited Merthyr on Monday last, and a few of the extreme politicians of the place, such as Messrs. Gould and Henry Thomas, met him at the Temperance Hotel. Possibly we may hear something on this head but the views of Mr. Urqhuart are not likely to make much impression here. THE EXCELLENCIES OF THE LITURGY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, AND THE ADVANTAGES OF PRECOMPOSED FORMS OF PRAYER.—A lecture was delivered upon the above subject on Wednesday evening se'nnight, at Dowlaia Church, by the Rev. Canon Jenkins, M.A. During the hour and a half that the rev. lecturer ad- dressed his audience every individual within the sacred edifice was most attentive, and seemed to be most vigi- lant in not allowing either a word or a sentence to escape their notice. Previous to his entering upon the subject he adduced the opinion and statement of a great Non- conformist divine, respecting the peculiar efficacy of the Common Prayer—the striking harmony which runs through it—and the great end which it promotes. After proving historically the antiquity of our Liturgy, and ex- patiating upon the form and manner in which the general services are conducted (omitting the occasional services as time would not allow him to dwell at any length upon them), and after explaining minutely and clearly the re- ligious instruction, and the pious ejaculations contained in the 11 matchlesg," Litany on behalf of "all sots and conditions of men," he then brought forward illustra- trations of tbe good and beneficial effects produced upon the minds of different individuals by the first hearing of the Litany, who previously had not availed themselves ot the opportunities afforded them to join their fellow-crea- tures in prayer and praise to God, as their Creator and Preserver, according to the beautiiul and scriptural pre- composed forms of prayer contained in the Common Prayer. In conclusion the rev. lecturer shewed the ab- solute necessity of perusing these prayers with a right spirit, inasmuch that by them we humbly make our con- fessions to God-solicit His pardon for our transgres- sions—and beseech Him to grant us His grace to enable us to act according to His divine will. He also ear- nestly urged upon his hearers to pray to God to pour His holy Spirit upon them at all times when they were en- tering the House of God, in order that their devotion might be complete, and their minds awakened to the consciousness that they were approaching, in a special manner, the throne of grace. Among the advantages of prescribed forms of prayer, he stated that they tend to preserve uniformity, which is always desirable, as it tends to edification and order according to the apostolical in. junction, and that the congregation not having their minds pre-occupied with the expectation of what is to be the subject of their prayers, can join in them at once, both with heart and voice, instead of listening to the un- premeditated sentences of another, which they must weigh and consider before they can say "amen" to them. Undoubtedly if the clergy, or the majority of them, were to adopt the same principle in expounding the liturgy, and assigning their reasons for precomposed forms ot prayer in preference to an extemporHneous one, their ef- forts would be rewarded, and their labours would not be in vain. Very probable, as the rev. lecturer wisely sug- gested, there are many who are alienated from the "old mother Church," merely because their mind" have been prejudiced against the Liturgy, and they themselves consequently entertain wrong lentimenfs concerning it the only plan, and the most successful, would be to follow the vestiges of the good rector of Dowlaip, in instructing and teaching plain facts connected with the Liturgy, to those who are partly or thoroughly ignorant of the nature, reasonableness, and scriptural basis of the incomparable and the unequalled human composition of the Liturgy of the Church of England.