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--..------u_-----TAFF VALE…


-u_ TAFF VALE RAILWAY COMPANY. The seventy-second half-yearly meeting of this com- pany Was he'd at the College Green Hotel, Bristol, yesterday. Mr. J. Poole presided, and there Were pre- sent Mr. W. D. Bushell, deputy-chaimian, the whole of the directors, and a large attendance of proprietors. The notice convening the meeting having been read, Mr. MARWOOD; the secretary, read the report, which has appeared in the South Wales Daily News. The CHAIRMAN, in moving the adoption of the report, explained the reasons which had induced this directors to hold the meeting on that day, instead of on the 37th as originally announced. He congratulated the proprie- tors upon the fact that, although the amount to be dis- tributed upon the past half-year was upwards of £ 8,000 less than what it was in the half-year ending Juae last, the directors had been enabled to make the same divi- dend as before without deduction (hear, hear). If they asked him how it was done, he would tell them that it was done in this way. In the first place they paid less income tax to the amount of 9975 next, they carried less to the depreciation and contingent liability fund, by £ 4,250, and they had £ 3,210 saved in the balance, showing the pfudencS of the directors in carrying for- ward in the j nno half-year so kfge a balance as they did, and the rapidity with which the traffic re- covered itself after the two months' strike had con- cluded. It showed also how prudent the direc- tors were in providing for an increase of traffic by having available a large rolling stosk. Unlike the Great Western and other large lines, the traffic upon their concern was of a spasmodic order, sometime3 large and sometimes STT>I>,11. At present, owing to the untoward weather, which had prevented vessels from leaving, Penarth Dock was crowded with ships; the I Bute Docks were in the same condition, and the toad- stead was equally thronged with weather-bound vessels. This necessarily caused a decrease in the amount of coal brought down the line, and was an instance of the causes of the spasmodic traffic he had referred to previously. The Penarth undertaking showed an increased balance against the company, owihg t the prejudicial influence of the strike, but for which, he believed, the greater portion of the balance would have disappeared. There war, a large fleet of ships now waiting for admission to Penarth, and they could not be admitted because there was no room, owing to the dock being crowded with vessels detained by the weather. They could only hope that a change would take place, and that the elasticity of the undertaking would show that it could meet the diAiculties which might arise. One matter mentioned in the report was of considerable impor- tance. It was that relating to the large increase in the items of wages, materials, and coal. The advance in wages was resisted as long as it was prrt- dent on the part of the directors to do so. Many of the. claims were of an unreasonable character; but they were obliged to submit to them, and that advance of wages coupled with the short time, would amount to several thousands a year. They could only hope that in the next half-year their traffic would continue to increase to meet that difficulty. In regard to the drivers upon the line, if the shortened hours of labour and addition to wages were used for the purpose of the improve- ment of their minds and relaxation, it would be all very well; but unfortunately it was not the case. Their engine-drivers were obliged to commence very early in the morning, and ended their work very late at night, and consequently their wages were high. They were paid at a rate of 7s. per day, and with their eStra hours those men were now getting £ ± or X4 4s. per week, They had never been brought up to any trade, they had never had to pay a premium to learn a trade, they were advanced from stokers to be drivers, and yet they had the audacity-if he might use the expression-to desire shortened hours of labour, and an advance in wages, making their salaries JE5 5s. a week. He only asked them whether those men were deserving of that increase? Their superintendent (Mr. Fisher), to whose department such matters fell, stoutly resisted that advance still the in- crease they had been obliged to make made the item of wages a heavy one, and they must meet it in the best way they could, and he could only reiterate the hope that the traffic would equal their expenditure. With re- gard to the next paragraph in the report, somehow or other they always had a Parliamentary campaign, but they had hitherto been successful. He supposed that every undertaking of a prosperous kind invited aggres- sion. Their company gave the largest amount of accom- modation. They had an admirably arranged system, and they enforced the strictest punctuality; still all were dissatisfied, and made aggressions on the company in a variety of ways. The Port Talbot and Rhondda Junction Bill," to which reference was made, was of a singular character. The promoters not only proposed to join this company at the top of the Rhondda valley, but that their engines should run over the whole of the Taff Vale lines, north of Newbridge. The result would have been most disastrous to this company, and he was pleased to state that they defeated the bill on the standing orders. With regard to the junction between the Taff Vale and the Great Western, he believed the Great Western was desirous of keeping good faith with this company. The reason why the junction at Mer- thyr had not been completed, was in consequence of some lapse in the Parliamentary notice, which would be corrected in the bill now before the House, and that junc- tion would be commenced immediately. The loop connecting the South Wales with the Penarth line was in course of progression, and was going OR very satis- factorily so that instead of having to go over from Cardiff to Penarth by steamboat, or in carriages or vans, people would have direct railway commu- nication between Cardiff and Penarth (hear, hear). As to the appeal case of the Marquis of Bute's Trustees, that stood in status quo, and he need not say anything about it. Believing, with his predecessor, that long speeches were synonymous with short divi- dends, and that long dividends only required short speeches (laughter) he should not trouble them with any further remarks, but move the adoption of the report (applause). Mr. W. D. BUSHELL briefly seconded the motion. The CHAIRMAN asked if any shareholder desired to put a question, or make any remark. There was no response and the report was then put, and unanimously adopted. On the motion of Mr. W. D. Bushell, Mr. James Poole was re-elected chairman; and Messrs. George Thomas and W. Tribe were re-elected auditors. This concluded the business of the.meeting.







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