ο»Ώ . SWANSEA'S NEW CHAMBER OF .,COMMERCE.|1915-01-30|Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder - Welsh Newspapers Online
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SWANSEA'S NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. Opening Ceremony by Sir Alfred Mond. Bart. I In the presence of a large and represen-, tative gathering of the commercial men of Swansea, the new Exchange Buiidings were opened on Friday morning by the Right lion. Sir Alfred Mond, .bart., P.C., M ,.p Chairman of the Exchange Build- ings, and President of the Chamber of Commerce. Fortunately the snow storm of the pre- vious night had cleared away, and the members of the Chamber of Commerce, with thedr President at their head, inarched in fine weather from the Royal Institute to the handsome new building. The Formal Opening. I Sir Alfred Mond, as Chairman of the Swansea Exchange buildings, Ltd.. ojjemed the entrance ga", sayings I de- clare this bunding open." :Sir Atired then proceeded up the steps, Sind as President of the Chamber of Com- merce, opened the doors leading into the JUxonangt*. Having assembled in the fine and com- nioaious exchange room, the President took, the chuir, and was bupported by the President elect (Mr. T. P. Cook), Mr. Ilykua tiQuibeçg (fcemor vice-president), the Vicar ot Swansea (the liev. the lion. 'laibot Kice), the Mayor of Swansea (Aid. Dan Jones), Mr. iienry J. Marshall (secretary), Mr- E. P. Jones (late secre- tary), Sir Griffith Thomas (Chairman of fcwaneea llarixmr Trust), Mr. W. (jr. toy, ifr. A. vr. Moifatt, Mr. R. L. Sails, Mr. L. (jr. Jeffreys, Mr. W. T. Farr, Mr. Roger Ml C. T. Kutlien (architect), Mr. Henry Billings vcontfector), Mr. W. Law (General Manager of tho Harbour Trust), Major Harries, Mr. W. W. Ifoluies, Mr. Vougliaii Edwards, Colonel J. H. Wright, Mr. K. Pascal 1 (Postmaster of Swansea), Mr. J. Aerun Thomas, Mr. R. G. Lewis, Mr R-eos Davies, Mr. J. Hoagera, Mr. Lo- ar! O^t-n, .1 .P., Mr. 0. V. Crabbe, Mr. Evans Lewis, Mr. Parl-ei, and the Town Clerk, tho hall being crowded. The compacy present having sung" God Suve the King, appropriate prayers were offered by the Vicai or Swansea. I Miss Kuthen, daughter of the axeh i. ted.pre.sented Sir Alfred with a gold key, after which-the president addressed the meeting. Si:- Alfred Mond Declares New bxcnange 11 Open. 1 I Sir Alfred Mond, who had a cordial reo ception, said it was -his pleasing duty to deeifiro the nlY; Exchange open, and "vou are iio-.v at, liberty to comment business immediately." (Laughter), They l;ttl-> thought when they commenced the enterprise which had been successfully carried to a conclusion that day. that wheu tbev came- to the opening of the Exchange- vrould open it under the. firrunjMar.<? in vh?b they found tt?-u?Iv? m-dav. They were OPf'l1illJI that buikiing during a pcri?t of worlÚ- wido W:lr:atc:" I more intense, coyer- ing more countries and many millions more p,ofle than any previous war t-ii f, world had ever seen—and the circum- stance was a remarkable one. TInt he Hwught the fact that they had not only completed the enterprise, but f were opening it with hope and confidence I and with a certainty of carrying on their business* and trade, even under these exceptional circumstances, was symptom-; otic and tvpicai of the wavon which this! Emoire %-as facing this tremendous ( problem. (Hear, hear, and appxause). Vie are engaged in a colossal enter-j- pr-K?)'" sir Alfred proceeded. "we hnvp.x all of its, relatives and friends einier actually in the fighting or 'very shortly to be engaged in fighting. We bare difficulties and anxieties in connec- tion with the carrying Oil oi our com- menial u rider takings, but there is ono thing we have not got—we have not got the dihtr: doubt as to the result oi the war—(hear, hear and applause)—or the slightest doubt as, to our capacity and ouV intention to go on until we achieve th res?t we sst cut to gaiR." (A11jJbmef, e, ce)ul- We iH ngland on the ?hole. com- pared I 'Vtlae people in other counthes- f ?Titinu?d th" sp'aker, have been for- tunate. The. fact that they could as- f-mbie there that day in peace and b a t c-till had f-ecur itv. the fed that they still had business to transact, within those walls, a ad trie fact that. in this country unem- ployment was alinost non-existent were in themselves features so remarkable that even the mcst sanguine of them, at the outbreak of the war, would neve-r have thought they would be in such a position to-day. Even the most sanguine looked forward to greater financial disturbance, greater trade disturbance, and greater industrial disturbance, but they owed it very largely —and he cMild say so with some confi- dence, having had the privilege of being j ft: the initial stages in close contact with the man he was about-, to name—they owed it very largely to the courage, clear- fightedness, and strength of the Chan- cellor of the Exchequei-(applause)-and 1to those of all parties who had associated wifh him in working out, during these days of anxiety and gloom, the necessary measures for the protection of the credit of this country, that they had been able to carry on in the way -they had. And we shall be able to carry on to the end," Sir Alfred declared. They all bad diffieulties-natural clifficulties-in carrying on business under these condi- tions. They had embargoes put on and taken off again. Sometimes they might appear to some of them a little vexatious, but there was one thing they all realised- that it would be infinitely better that they should lose business than that the enemy should gain the slightest advantage in that way. There were difficulties of freights, tonnage, and shipping, which, of course, mus taffect trades like the coal trade, and the Swansea trade very con- siderably. He was hopeful that 6ome of these difficulties would lie ameliorated as larger numbers of captured ships of the enaciy were released oa the market. They had seen a rise in the price 01 food of a considerable, if not ah alarming, character, the speaker continued. But -they could not expect to carry on the greatest war the world had ever seen and at the same time live under normal con- ditions. Evan neutral countries Like Swit- zerland or Italy were experiencing diffi- (Allties in regard to commerce and food quite as much as England. And if we, one of the biggest pa ,«?icipants in this war," he said, have to carry burdens ol this kind, all we can do is to carry them patriotically and gladly, without too much complaining, without encouraging our enemies to believe we are getting faint- hearted, and with the mutual desire of all of us to. relieve wherever possible the strain on those less able to bear it." Such was their position to-dey, he wept en. But they were not going to remain indefinitely in a stiltl& of war. They looked forward with new confidence to the time when they would resume their ordinary business in a normal way. HélVas glad it had been given to him during his presi- dency of that important Chamber to open a suitable and fitting- habitation for carry- ing on the. trade and commerce of the im- portant town of Swansea. He wished to congratulate his colleagues in the com- pany .who had been engaged in its erection and who had done the work with com. mendable rapidity. He ako wished to congratulate the architect, his friend Mr. Ruthen-(hear. hear )—most sincerely on the skill with which he had surmounted the not inconsiderable difficulties which the foundations of that site presented, und aitM on the. taste aud artistic merit fee had diai4ftiTed in desisojjM! a buikline which would be a great credit to Swansea and the whole of South Wales. (Ap- plause.) He also congratulated the builders on the excellent quality of the work they had put into the building. (Applause.) He hoped sincerely that all the anticipations which had been formed of the success of that Exchange would be more than fulfilled. He hoped everyone connected with the commerce of the neighbourhood would be- come a member of that Chamber, and would now feel that he, as well as his friends and customers, had the enjoyment -of a building which was at once dignified and comfortable. That peace might soon retryn must be the ardent wish of every htuau being throughout the length and breadth of the world, and when peace did return they would continue to develop the utility of that Exchange in fostering the great trade And industries of Swansea, the increased prosperity of which was his most ardent hope. (Applause). The Mayor congratulated the Chamber' of Commerce upon its beautiful building. He hoped and believed it would be a great success in such an important town as Swansea. He expressed the hope that every member of the Chamber would in that new room lie able to make large fortunes. (Laughter). unambers f oundation ne-caiieu. I Sir Griffith Thomas said he was very happy to be associated with the Presi- dent of the Chamber in assisting at the ojwning of the Exchange and to wish it, and the members of the Chamber con- nected with the harbour port of Swansea. every success in their transactions there. lie was perhaps the only person present who was at the first meeting many years a,-o when the question of starting a Cham- ber of Commerce in Swansea was iniciattid. He believed no one who was there on that occasion believed, that he would live to see such a fine building completed and such a large number of people in the Exchange. (Hear, hear.) To have remembered the beginning was one of the penalties of being almost the oldest inhabitant in the town. (Laughter.) ) Mr. T. P. Cook (vice-president), speak- ing as one of the docks community that H mild make daily use of the Exchange, paid his recollections, also went back to the insignificant beginning of a daily ex- change started in the little room in Adelaide-street. It was a very unpre. tentious and modest. affair. but it had grown—thanks to the foresight and per- severance of men connected with it, and particularly of the late secretary—to the present large proportions. They re- moved from that room to the large one on tho site of the jvresent buildings, which was also the site of the Countess of Huntingdon's old chapel. The building, in which the original roof of the chapel was retained. was ugly and uncomfortable, and one felt ashamed to introduce strangers into it, particularly if they were clients from abroad Mr. Hyam Goldberg warmly congratu- lated his fellow members of the Chamber of Commerce upon the successful achieve- ment of an object which they had in view for a great many years, and they could now congratulate themselves upon having a building quite worthy of the commercial' interests of this important town and borough. Mr. W. G. Foy said they might con- g-patulate themselves on being on the same old pot, After a period of two years they found themselves in a fine building of their own, swept and garnished and fit- for a king to live in. They looked upon it as their commercial home. (Applause* Mr. A. G. Moifatt. made a humorous speech, in which he said it was a joy to him to find the scheme completed, but he had still a few shares to dispose of. Mr. E. P. Jones, on rising to address fchs meeting, expressed his pleasure at being privileged to take part in that cere- mony. He looked upon it as the most important event that had occurred in the life-time of the Chamber of Com- merce. Mr. C. T. Ruthen (the architect) said he had done the best he could, and he would like to acknowledge the assistance of the directors, and particularly of Mr. Moffat, the clerk of works, and Messrs. Billings, the contractors. He sincerely trusted the premises would satisfy all the requirements for which it was designed Mr. Henry Billings was glad the gathering was so well pleased with the building He had tcied to do his best. ANNUAL MEETING. At the annual meeting ot bwansea Chamber of Commerce, held in the new Exchange room on Friday afternoon, the retiring president (the Right Hon. Sir Alfred Mond, Bart., M.P.) presided over a good attendance, and supporting him were Messrs. T. P. Cook and Hyam Gold- hprg (vice-presidents), and H. J. Mar- shall (secretary?. The treasurer's statement showed a balance in hand at the beginning of the year of £1,2i Is. 3d. The investments included 100 shares in the Exchange ?Jiiiilding Company valued at Cloo, and £ 600 in thf Loan Building Society. Sir Alfred Mond said he had very great pleasure indeed, on behalf of the Council, in placing on record a resolution which was engrossed on an address that he proposed to hand over to their friend, Mr. Edwin Price Jones. Sir Alfred then j read the resolution, which has appeared in the annual report, and said he had no doubt it would be passed unanimously. He had the very greatest pleasure pos- sible in being permitted, as their presid- ent, to move this resolution. Although his acquaintance with Mr. Jones had not been over the period of 32 years, he could only say that during the* length of time he had had the pleasure of knowing him he had found him unflagging, unfailing, and untiring in his efforts to promote the interests of the chamber, and equally untiring in his kindness to lighten his (Sir Alfred's) burden in any way and in anything which had to do with the Chamber of Commerce. He was sure the Chamber had every peason to congratulate itself on having a secretary like Mr. Jones. They must all be very sorry indeed that he had found it necessary to retire, but they were glad to think he was going to remain with them as vice-president, and they would continue to have hie unrivalled experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm in order to still further promote the success and pros- perity of the Swansea Chamber of Com- merce. He had much pleasure in moving the resolution, which he would put to the meeting as a forraality, and ask them to carry it by acclamation. (Applause.) Sir Alfred Mond then handed to Mr. Jones the illuminated address, and the! resolution was carried with applause. Mr.' E. P. Jones thanked Sir Alfred Mond personally for the very kind re- marks he had made, and the members for the unanimous manner in which they had accepted the resolution. It was a double duty, that devolved upon him now, to take a final farewell of the Chamber in the capacity of secretary, and also to fit him- self, as far as possible, into the position of vice-president to which they had prac- tically appointed him. He epoke of th,- relactauce which he -felt when it was boratf in upon him that the time had I come when it was necessary for him to give up the work. and said it was really like taking away a of hi. .anatomy. (Laughter.) He ha*' completed a aanritude of 32 years (as see- '■retary of the Chamber. The work was of a most genial character, and it was, exactly the kind of work in which he would willingly be emploveu U.e had found it possible to withdraw from his other avocations. But he felt that while the Chamber of Commerce was bound to require more time from itsi official as secretary, as far as he was con- cerned, he was not able to give it increased attention, and that being so, he felt it was not right, either to himself or the Cham-1 ber, that he should continue longer in the j office. What remained in his me ory clearly and strongly was the wonderful consideration and kindness he had met with during the whole time of his office as secretary from everybody connected with the Chamber, from each successive President, members of the Council, and members of the Chamber itself. Mr. Stephens, in a happy speech, moved the election of Mr. T. P. Cook to the position of president, paying a tribute to his errthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and dis- cretion. What he did not know about the business of the docks was hardly worth knowing, and he had established himself I in the esteem of all classes there. Mr. W. Law seconded with great pleasure. Mr. Cook had already proved himself a most capable and impartial I chairman. He would worthily uphold the position.—The resolution was carried with great enthusiasm. On taking the chair, Mr. Cook said that they, who had known him so long, should have con- ferred on him the highest honour in theft- power was to him a matter of very great satisfaction. He asked for forbearance: (1) Because he had to follow in the imme- diate steps of a president outstanding in his ability and in the influence and help he had been able to render to the Cham- ber and to the wider circle of traders generally; (2) because they had dropped their pilot in Mr. E. P. Jones; and (3) because of his extreme youth, he being the youngest president who had ever taken the chair. He proposed that a hearty vote of thanks of the Chamber be accorded to the retiring president, Sir Alfred Mond, for his distinguished services in the chair I during the past twelve months. When they appointed Sir Alfred to the office they foresaw that owing to his many I duties, Parliamentary and otherwise, he would be unable to attend many of the l regular monthly meetings and Council meetings. But he had done far greater service to the Chamber than by merely presiding at the meetings. (Hear, hear.) When the war broke out and they were all so upset, and Government prohibi- tions, regulations, and orders were so harrassing to traders. Sir Alfred put him- self unreservedly fit the disposal of the Chamber, conveyed their protests, representations, and views to the proper quarters, and backed up those views by his own personal influence and the wteight of. his own authority. He was able to render to the Chamber most conspicuous services in that way, and they thanked him most heartily for all he had done. They could not measure entirely the good he had been able to render them, but from' what they knew they could most sincerely tender him grateful thanks. I If it was not for the state of the country, Sir Alfred was prepared to enter- tain the Chamber to mark that auspicous day. They thanked him very much for his generous intention, and they could only regret the circumstances were such that they felt it was desirable that the opening should be free of anything in the nature of festivity, and should be as simple.as possible. He hoped and believed Sir Alfred's interest in the Chamber would not termi- nate. (Hear, hear.) They would have the benefit of his counsel and advice in the years to come. He had spared neither time nor money to further the interests of the Chamber. Mr. George S. Harries seconded. It was their L'oast and pride, he said, that the membership of the Chamber was free from party politics, and that it had also been for many years the custom to invite the representative of the town in Parlia- ment to act in the capacity of President. That was followed last year. He felt that at that time they could not expect a mem- ber of Parliament with such manifold affairs as Sir Alfred Mond to devote very much time to the meetings of the Chamber He was surprised to find how often he did attend, but the work he did at the meetings was very small compared with what he did in connection with the busi- ness of the town and Chamber. He was really the business representative of the town. The resolution was very warmly re- ceived, and Sir Alfred Mond, replying, thanked them most sincerely for the kind words and the way in which the motion "had been received. Of the many positions it had been his lot to fill, he could honestly say there had been none which had given him greater pleasure. (Hear, hear). To have been asked by such an important business body, repre- senting, as he knew, all shades of poli- tical opinion, to preside over its de- liberations and 'to assist it in the conduct of important affairs of the busi- ness of the town had given him very great pleasure, and he was only sorry that he had not been able to -io even more during his term of presidency. He had to thank Mr. Cook in particular for the extremely kind way in which he replaced him at meetings at which he could not manage to be present. He could assure them h's resignation would not diminish the interest* he had always felt in the Chamber ever nco he became con- nected with Swansea. (Hear, hear). He had for a long time felt that Chamoers of Commerce in the country ought to have larger influence in the counsels of the management of the country and with the I Government, and he was always anxious to promote any movement in that direc- tion. Anything he could do in the future ) to help the present or any other president ) or secretary, either in London or Swansea, I in the work of the Chamber, he would be only too glad to do. (Loud applause.) On the motion of Mr. R. L. Sails, seconded by Mr. W. T. Farr, Mr. E. P. Jones was elected junior vice-president, and on the motion of Mr. Herschell Jones, seconded by Mr. H. C. M. Daniell, Mr. Hyam Goldberg was re-elected treasurer. Mr. C. V. Crabbe was re-elected auditor for the 24th year. The following were elected to the council: Messrs. A. Andrews, R. E. James, R., J. Matthews, W. D. Rees, W. A. Jenkins, W. H. ThomM. U. L. Harries, J. F. Coonan. After an amusing discussion, it was de- cided there should be no smoking on the Exchange premises. On the motion of Mr. R. L. Sails, seconded by Sir Alfred Mond, the meet- ing expressed its sympathy with Lord Glantawe in his illness. The following were elected new mem- bers: Messrs. W. Moubray Anderson, Edwin M. Bejienna, D. C. Davies, F. E. Finlayson, E. Goulborn, W. J. Gregory, Edwin P. Jones, P. R. Price Jones, W. L. Kelleher, W. Walter Hughes, Richard G. Lewis, T. J. Lewis, T. T. Pascoe, J. M. Phillips, W. H. Stone, Herbert Coward, C. G. West, A. W. Greatrex, Arthur L. Fumeaux, Archie Williams, C. D. Burgass.

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