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CONFIRMATION OF THE ARCHBISHOP…

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COMMERCIAL TRAVELLERS.

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THE MONMOUTHSHIRE CANAL CO.

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THE MONMOUTHSHIRE CANAL CO. To the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin. Sin,âThe observations and statements which have lately ap- peared in your paper respecting the Monmouthshire Canal, from their inaccuracy and hostility to the Canal Company, and from the injurious effects they are calculated to produce upon the property of the concern, and from their thereby involving the comforts of a numerous class of individuals, who, unable to pro. tect themselves, derive their chief means of support from invest- ments made on their behalf therein, call for a reply. As a canal proprietor of long standing, I cannot but feel deeply interested in its stability and success, whilst in other rela- tions in which I stand, I cannot but feel an equal, or perhaps a greater, interest in the prosperity of the mineral district with which it and its roads are connected, and which district, within the active period of my own life, has, from an all but uninhabited waste, become, from the developement of its minerals, through the means of the canal, one of the most thickly populated por- tions of the empire. The Monmouthshire canal, with its rail roads, which roads constitute the most important part of the concern, as it is well known, is one of these original undertakings which was formed when works of its nature were in their infancy, and but little experience had been had, as to their manner of execution. It was however constructed at an expenditure of many hundred thou- sand pounds in the best and most efficient way which science and the then state of engineering knowledge could effect. Previous to its construction, only five furnaces, producing less than 200 tons of pig iron per week, existed in the whole district, and not a single export colliery but constructed as it and its railroads were, they served to develope and put into activity the mineral riches of the country, so that in the last year 233,000 tons of iron, and 607,000 tons of coal were produced and conveyed to Newport upon them. Improvements in the construction of canals and railroads have kept pace with the extension of the iron works and collieries; and as far as their means have served, or could be made applica. ble, improvements have been introduced into the works of the Monmouthshire canal. The roads were originally formed with cast iron rails, three feet long, kept together by iron sleepers, running across the road. The first improvement was the substi- tution of heavy stone blocks, instead of the iron sleepers. This substitution was effected at a very considerable cost on the roads of the company. A second and important improvement was the substitution of the tram plate for the three-feet rail. This im. provement was also adopted, at a very considerable cost, on the company's roads. Improvements in the construction of railroads, still went on, and it was found that rails of wrought iron, on an entirely new principle, were far superior to the old roads. This improvement was accordingly introduced into the company's roads. These extensive improvements, it must be evident. could not be effected without a very great outlay of money. By the acts of parliament, the capital of the company on which they could divide dividends, was fixed and limited. They could there- fore only be effected out of the income or profits of the company, and from this source they were executed, for for several sucessive years, the whole income of the company was expended upon the undertaking, and no dividends were made to the proprietors. At later, and at recent periods, the principle of improvement has continued to be acted upon, and is so at the preseot moment, and to an extent hardly to be paralleled by any similar concern in the kingdom, for at the general assembly of the proprietors, held in July, the sum of £ 12,831 2s. I Od. was transferred from the trade account to the deposit amount to be expended in improvements, and a sum of upwards of £ 40,000., of the profits of the concern, divisable among the proprietors, and which they might therefore have put into their pockets, ball, within the last few years, been applied to the improvement of their works and roads, by means of which, facilities have been given to the trade of the freighters, and to the conveyance of the mineral produce of the country, which may well account for the vast increase therein, as above stated. It is not denied, that in the progress of these proceedings, questions of great importance between the traders or freighters on the canal and roads, and the Canal Company, have atisen- that much collision and discord have occasionally taken place, and competitions threatened, which experience has informed us too frequently attend discussions, where interests of so much ini. portance are involved. The rates of freight or tolis authorised to be taken by the acts of parliament, have also always formed a prominent subject in these discussions. The reductions which have from time to time been made in them, have, by the traders, and even by some influential canal proprietors, been thought to have been too tardily made. Their adjustment has therefore in conne-lion with the improvements of the roads, been the frequ'en subject of exciting and conflicting opinion. In this state, then, of occasional collision and of occasional harmony, matters stood, when the introduction of locomotive power, gave a new turn to railway conveyance. Improvements of the most gigantic character, placing the intercourse between man and man, and all the relations of social lift, on a new foot. ing, sprung up as it were by magic, connecting in an equally new and an improved way, the minerals of the kingdom and the dis. tricts in which providence has deposited them, with distant towns for the increase of individual comfort, and with the seapoit towns for the promotion of domestic and foreign commerce. Could the Monmouthshire canal company,with cnals and roads of morethan seventy miles in length, and extending into the heart of one of the richest mineral districts in the world, consent to stand s ill and rest content with the improvements, important as they were, which they had already made in their works 1 They determined not to do so. They resolved to afford to the mineral and populous dis- trict with which they were connected, the best possible communi- cations which the matured state of science and of engineering skill could afford and as this object could not be obtained, but with the sanction of the legislature, they determined to apply to parliament for the necessary powers, and for powers to raise the necessary funds. The application was accordingly made, and hereupon were revived all the excited feelings between traders and the canal company, as to the rates of tolls the latter should be entitled to, for the improved concern. The canal company sought no higher rates than such as would enable them to con. tinue to divide among the proprietors the same amount of divi. dend which, for several preceding years, they had enjoyed, viz.- from £8. to EIO. per share. The traders, on the other hand, insisted upon lower rates than existed on any other railway or canal in the kingdom. The parties met io parliament. The most determined opposition was given to the progress of the bill. Statements the most inaccurate-specul at ions the most unfounded (as they have since, from the actual results, been proved to be) were made to the parliamentary committee which sat upon the bIll: Unfortunately for the canal company, the railway fever which then prevailed in the country, had not only found its way into parliament, but bad attained such an ascendancy there, that, intoxicated with the frenzy, the legislature added stimulants to the delirium. Of the pernicious effects of this course, the late rl and still existing crisis bears record. But to return. The com- mittee gave ear to the demands of the traders. They would lis. ten to no representations of the canal company. The old and vested interests of existing concerns, which had been created by former parliaments, were treated with contempt. The estimates of tbe costs of the projected works and improvements were cut down to the lowest minimum and upon the estimates, the rates of the tolls were calculated and fixed, and fixei at a lower rate than bad been established in any other concern in the kingdom. With this adverse feeling, and with these proceedings of the committee against them, the canal company deliberated upon withdrawing their bill, aod would, in all probability, h ave come to that conclusion, had they not been assured by some of the most influential traders, who had, up to this time, opposed them, that if they would accept it, they might rely upon every assist- ance, co-operation, and support, in their power to afford. This pledge has, however, been since entirely forgotten or forfeited. They have lent the company no aid, either in money or otherwise -on the contrary, they have rather thwarted them in their proceedings. By this act, the canal company are empowered to raise the sunt of £ 196,000. to complete the projected works and improve- ments, and to become carriers. The works were to be executed in three years, at the expiration of which time they are to become carriers. The tolls they are then to be enlitled to receive, are, for iron, Id. per ton per mile for eoal, id, per ton per mile for carriage and locomotive pt wer, jd. per ton per mile being a reduction of 50 per cent. on one half of the tolls they were re- ceiving under their former acts of parliament. Could the works and improvements be executed at the esti- mated cost on which these new rates of toll are calculated aod fixed, the canal company have grounds to expect that fri>m an increase in the trade, which may be reasonably expected, they would have been able to divide among the proprietors an annual dividend of from 17. to £ 8. per shaie on their capital but it is now found, that from the advanced price it has been necessary to give for the land purchasedâfrom the actual cost of that portion of the works already executed, and from Ihe coutracts already actually made for those in progress, and to be he'ea/ler undertaken, the parliamentary estimates were altogether in. accurate and insufficient, and that instead of the sum of £ 190,000. being enough, there will be required a further sum in addition thereto of at least £ 350,000. The canal comp. ny, therefore, think it not unreasonable, in applying to parliament !o empower them to raise this sum, to submit at the same time the justice and necessity of revising and increasing the follf, to meet ihe increased expenditure. Trns increase they propose to limit to £ d. per ton per mile on iron, and to the half a farthing per ton per mile on coal. From the present altered state of railway undertakings, and from the exhaustion of the national resources upon them to the detriment of all other interests and pursuits, tlu canal company entertain the most serious doubts of the possibility, under any circumstances, of raising so large a sum of money as above. mentioned, and, therefore, as the cost of becoming cairiers will require a capital of 1250,000, part of that sum, and as they believe, from their now acquired information, that the carrying can be much more advantageously done by the individual traders and freighters themselves, than by them, the canal companyâfor which belief they apprehend substantial reasons can be adducedâ they are desirous of being released from the obligation of under- taking the carrying trade. Should this be conceded by parlia- ment, the required capital will be reduced in proportion, and they will then have occasion to raise only the sum of Eloo,ooo. In this case they will not think it necessary to ask for any increase in the present parliamentary tolls. Having now stated the facts of the case, as connected with the intended application to parliament, it may be proper to notice what are understood to be the objections of the traders or freIghters theieto. They are understood to say that they mean to stand upon what they call their vested rights, as established by the present act of parliament, from which they will admit of no deviation that with or without the funds, and be the expen- diture what it may, which is to them a matter of no concern. ment, they will compel the canal company to execute all the works for which parliament has given its sanction that they will permit no increase in the tolls; that they will not consent to release the canal company from the obligation of becoming car- riers; but that they will not object to the grant of power to raise a further sum of money. Previous to their urging these points before a parliamentary committee, it may be well to caution them seriously to consider what they are about to remind them that the railway fever has now abated, and a reaction taken place, although the injurious effects of that fever are still operating that parliament may have recovered its senses, and may be expected to listen to reason and to the demands of justice that the erroneous estimates which a former parliament adopted, and upon which, as data, the tolls granted were calculated, may be reviewed, and the erroneous conclusion, as to those tolls, to which those erroneous estimates led, may be corrected. It may also, by a parliamentary com- mittee, in 1848, be thought a little harsh for one set of men to call upon and compel another set of men to find and spend enor- mous sums of money for their beotfit, and to enable them, Ihe claimants, to carry on their trade in a more advantageous man- ner than heretofore, and, at the same time, to deny to them, the money fiodeis, any ( hance of remuneration for the money so found and spent. Other considerauous mav also be worthy of notice before adventuring upon a parliamentary content, such as, that a commiitee cf the House of Commons may think it ex- pedient and called for, by a regard to the national welfare, to limit, as far oil practicable, the further drain upon the country of large sums of money, by railway companies, to be expended upon works and to carry on trades, which can be far better exe- cuted and carried on by others, in their individual characters, than by railway companies; and that if such can be shewn to be the case in regard to the carrying trade of this concern, it may be somewhat hazardous to oppose the removal of the obligation imposed on the canal company. Ought also the cost, the profli- gate cost, of a parliamentary contest to be lost sight of, the time which must be occupied in it, and its uncertain result. But should these considerations fail to influence, and should the op- posers of the bill persevere and be successful, it would well be- hove them to reflect on the situation in which they will then be placed. The canal company have distinctly declared, that with a reduction of one half of their present rates of toll, and a conse- quent reduction of their future income, it would be utterly im- possible fcr them to raise the additional capital required, and that they would not, therefore, attempt it that, as a conse- quence, the further prosecution of the works must be abandoned, and the improved conveyance they are desiious and willing to introduce into the county, be given up. It may, without impro. prieiy, be also here remarked, that the threats heretofore held out to the caual company, of rival and competing roads, called, it would appear, bamboozling, have no longer their influence; that, denied the means of improving it, the canal company will maintain and protect their property as it is and that, although that property is not so perfect as they are desirous of making it, it is still fully equal to the conveyance of all the produce of the country. But, is this the language, or are these the considerations, which, on such an occasion, ought to be resorted to ? On the contrary, ought not all parties cordially to unite in promoting the improvement of the county in which they have so deep a stakeâought they not to confer with kind feelings and en- lightened liberal views on the means by which that improvement can be best effected, and to endeavour, by their joint efforts, to reader the bill, abont to be tendered to the legislature for that purpose, as perfect and as practicable as possible 1 As a canal proprietor, and having otherwise an interest in the prosperity of my county, 1 tender this course for acceptanceâif accepted, no effort on my part shall be wanted to render it succe- sful if de- clined, I will persevere, to the last moment, in the legitimate de- fence of the Monmouthshire Canal. A CANAL PROPRIETOR. December 8th, 1847. NEWPORT POOR RATES. To the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin. Sin,â I have just been applied to for a poor-rate of Is. Gd. in the pound, authorised on the 18th September last. This increase of 6d. in the pound upon the poor rate arises, I judge, from the circumstance, stated by one of your correspondents, last week, of a defalcation of £400. having been discovered by the District Auditor in the accounts for Newport. May I take the libeity, Sir, of inquiring whether any steps have yet been taken by the Guardians, or any other body to whom the duty may belong, to ascertain and make known the reasons for this deficiency or are the rate-payers to be burdened with an increase of 50 per cent. in their rates, without being permitted 10 know why it is so 1 Are collectors of rates required to give security for the faithful discharge of their duties 1 I am, Sir, yours respectfully, A RATEPAYER. Newport, 14th Dec., 1847. ABERGAVENNY RAILWAYS. To the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin. Sm .-Altbougb so many schemes were before the public in 1845, to afford railway communication to this place, and although the government granted powers to carry out some of them, yet it appears we shall have to begin again present appearances do not promise much. If we can believe the state of the two corn. panics to be as represented in the case of the Newport and Pon. typool line, we unfortunately find them at a stand still for want of capital, arising from the calculations of the engineer being so different when put in practice, to what they were in theory. 10 the case of the Hereford, Abergavenny, and Newport line, we find an advertisement in the London daily limes, for a meeting to consider the propriety of dissolving that company, although they promised so much. Now, sir, what is the cause of all this ? Is it by the locslity through which these lines were to pass, and the little convenience they would give to the iron works and col. lieiies of Ihe mineral district ? or is it from want of câofideoce in the promoters of these measures 1 If this is the public opi- nion, the field is open and wide still; and I have no doubt but you can find in Monmouthshire many practical engineers, who could not only choose the proper locality, but who could estimate the construction of a line of railway to very nearly what it would ultimately cost. The Aberdare line is one proof, sir, that the engineers had practical men to deal with, and men who could get up an estimate correctly from their own experience. Now, air, it too frequently happens that a man may be possessed of a knowledge of the trade and commerce of a district, and be able to point out the best line of road, but if his ideas are not entertained by those immediately interested, of what value to the public is his judgment! If Mr. Crawshay Bailey, and other gentlemen of his stamp, were to promote a railway from N aoty- glo to Newport, or lo Abergavenny, you might safely calculate on its being made. We have good hopes of a line being made at no very distant date, projected by NIT.James l'odd,engineesing surveyor, who has taken much interest in the promoting of a railway from Abergavenny to join the Vale of Neath at Mer- thyr, thus affording a direct communication with South Wales and Ireland. Mr. Todd proposed to form a juoction witli the Hereford and Abergavenny railway, at Abergavenny, passing close to Llanfoist, up Cwin Llanwenarth, and tunnel under Blaenavon works. The station there would be on such a level that the Newport and Pontypool Company could approach it, and by this means we should have a direct liae to Newport. The line will proceed from Blaenavon by tunneling from near Blaenavon to Cwm Tilery valley, thence to Cwm Celyn, Blaina, and through the forge at Naniyglo works, passing close to Beaufort and Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Mertbyr. This is cer- tainly the line that would accommodate the works, and produce a traffic that would pay a large percentage. It has been examined by one of the first engineers in London, who has reported very favourably on its perfect practicability, at a moderate cost. A strong feature in its favour is its going through the works, instead of passing them at a distance as if they were unworthy of notice. It is, I believe, warinly taken up by men of capital, who mean to bring it prominently before the public, at the proper time. It will confer on Abergavenny one advantage, which we much want, viz., cheap coal at present we are paying lis. 6d. for not the best coal in the country. In conclusion, I and many of my townsmen heartily wish it success. IMPROVER. Abergavenny, Dec. 7th, 1847. â¦

To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…

EXPLOSIONS OF FIRE DAMP.

Review of the British Corn…

Review of the Foreign Corn…

[No title]

r,...I.''rfIJI".. RISCA.

CARDIFF POLICE.—MONDAY,…

'oJ...",MERTnYR.

ABERDARE-

--""II■■..■■-■PII--4|…

AGENTS FOR THE MONMOUTHSHIRE…