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St. Mary's Church, Haverfordwest.

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- -The Milk Tax.

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The Milk Tax. TOWN COUNCIL RECEIVE A DEPUTATION. TOLL TO BE MAINTAINED. THREAT TO INCREASE TEE PRICE OF MILK. The mayor (Councillor Isaiah Reynolds) presided at a quarterly meeting of the Haverfordwest Town Council last night, the other members present being Alderman T. James, Alderman J. II. Bishop; Councillors Herbert J. E. Price, George Davies, Herbert George Llewellin, Philip White, H. J. Rogers, T. H. Thomas, George Merchant Phillips, James Reynolds, Hugh J. P. Thomas, and W. J. Jones. PETITION FROM THE MILK VENDORS. The Town Clerk read a lengthy petition from a large number of milk vendors protesting against the proposed toll of Is tid a week on each milk cart doing business in the Borough. The petitioners stated that they regarded the proposal as grossly iidjust and unfair. They objected to being classed as hawkers, and said that they simply in nine cases out of ten delivered milk on their customers, and con- tended that as no market was provided for them they should be treated in the same way as bakers, butchers, grocers, Arc. They pointed out that the price charged for milk in Haverfordwest was below that charged in most other places, and said that if the toll was imposed, amounting as it would tof3 18s per year, the milk vendors would have noalternativS but to advance the price of milk to the consumer, to 4d per quart, which was entirely against their wishes. The petitioners reminded the Councillors that when they sought re-election they promised to do everything in their power for the public benefit, and in their opinion the result of the Town Council s action, if carried into effect, would affect indirectly every inhabitant of the town. Milk was a prime necessity of life; it was the food for the old and the young, for the rich and the poor, and they expressed the earnest hope that the Corporation would reverse, their decision because it was the inhabitants who would have to suffer bv the imoosition of the toll. They maintained that if aiiv6tie deserved to be remunerated for his labour it was the milk vendor, who had to face all weather and was deprived of almost all the pleasures of lifeâ(laughter)âenjoyed by other people, because his business was such as could not be deputed to another. Last but not least their occupation deprived them of many Christian privileges. Mr Llewellin remarked that the milk vendors were to be congratulated on the composition of the petition. The Mayor: The Chancellor of the Exchequor said that the most popular tax is the one which somebody else pays. (Laughter). In support of the petition a deputation consisting of Mr Jenkins, Crundale; Mr James Evans, the Hermitage; Mr Thomas, Milford Road; and Mr S. Lewis, Prendergast Place, waited on the Council. In reply to a question it was said that three milk vendors using carts resided within the borough. Mr Thomas, Milford Road, asked whether the < Council were taxing the milk or the carts. The Mayor replied that the toll would be on the J carts. Alderman Bishop questioned the deputation as to whether milk was sold cheaper in Haverfordwest than elsewhere. Mr Jenkins It is sold cheaper here than in many other places. We don't say it is cheaper than every- where else. Alderman Bishop reminded the deputation that on a previous occasion the milk vendors tried to advance the price of milk. Mr Jenkins: Yes, but the Council are trying to induce us to do it now. You are asking for it. Mr Llewellin Do you know of any place where milk is sold cheaper than in Haverfordwest. SOLD AS MTTjKO. Mr Jenkins: Yes, but it is sold as millo and not as new milk. (Laughter.) The Town Clerk enquired as to the difference. Mr Jeukins It is skim milk added to new milk. Mr Llewellin Isn't that done in Haverfordwest? (Laughter.) Mr Jenkins: I don't know, illid I should not like to say. We could sell "milko" at the cheaper price. Mr Llewellin: I think milko is only the cry of the vendor. If it is not new milk it has to be labelled as such. Mr Jenkins I will prove it to you next meeting if you wish it. Mr Llewellin remarked that be did not think it was difficult to prove that much of it was skim milk now. Mr Jenkins: We all sell it pure until we are caught, sir. (Laughter.) Mr Jenkins: Supposing I used my cart without the can in it should I be liable to pay the toll ? Town Clerk I don't think you had better answer conundrums, Mr Mayor. The Mayor assured the deputation that the Council would endeavour to decide the matter in the best interests of the milk vendors and the ratepayers of Haverfordwest. They had to look at the question from an impartial point of view, but it was hoped that the vendors would see their way clear not to advance the price of milk. Mr Price Would not the result of your advancing the price of milk be to let in those who carry cans ? Mr Jenkins That would not be very much. Mr W. J. Jones thought it right to point out to the deputation, or rather to remove an erroneous im- pression, that although he proposed, and Mr Hugh Thomas seconded, the adoption of the report im- posing a toll on the milk carts of Is lid a week, that was only a formal matter. The committee unani- mously recommended that the toll should be imposed. He wished it to be understood that the original proposition was double the amount it was proposed to levy, and Is 6d was accepted as a com- promise. Therefore, if blame was to be attached to anyone, it must be to the whole of the members of the Corporation. Mr Hugh Thomas agreed with Mr Jones. The original proposition was a toll of 3s, there was another proposition to make it 2s, and finally a toll of Is lid on each milk cart was accepted. The Mayor said 3s was only suggested as a maximum. Mr George Davies pointed out that there was a further amendment that the toll be Id per day, or (id per week. But that was not seconded. Mr Llewelliu I think a little further explanation is necessary. (Laughter.) The Mayor: Are you coming out next November too. (More laughter). Mr Llewellin said the most powerful argument put forward by the milk vendors was that milk was a necessary food for all, including invalids, but the Council had reduced the toll to about half the usual amount imposed. The majority of milk vendors lived without the town and did not contribute any- thing towards the cleaning and upkeep of the streets. Shopkeepers had to pay for the upkeep of the streets, yet they did not use the markets. Alderman Bishop wished the milk vendors resid- ing within the Borough to understand that it was not the desire of the Council that they should pay this toll. The Council wanted to only impose the toll on those residing outside the Borough, but the Local Government Board refused to sanction any preference. There had also been some comment about the toll levied on the pigs, but he pointed out that these charges were rendered necessary by the orders of the Local Government Board and the Board of Agriculture. They were compelled to cleanse the fair ground with disinfectants, and the proceeds of the penny toll on pigs was more than absorbed in this way. So that so far as the county was concerned, the Borough was out of pocket and the Council must study the Haverfordwest rate- payers. He pointed out that the tolls and the Corporation property belonged to the Borough fund, and this fund was overspent to the extent of Cloo or 1120, while there was another instalment of £60 due which the committee were unable to pay". So unless they got additional revenue from somewhere, another penny rate would have to be levied. The majority of those present were tradespeople, and they carried on business not for the benefit of the customer but to earn a living. And if milk vendors could get a living without coming to Haverfordwest they would not come. Mr Jenkfns pointed out that the Corporation provided a market for the pigs. Mr Lewis said that Haverfordwest tradespeople did business over the country roads. The Town Clerk said that was general. The streets were used by people who did not pay rates for them. Mr Jenkins: We are only delivering ordered goods we arc not hawking. A TAX ON CHILDREN". Mr Lewis said that people with large families, and those with invalids to care for, must suffer if the price of milk is raised. NOT IX FRKE TH AI >K .MANCHK.STKK. Alderman James asked if the toll was imposed in other towns. Mr Llewellin said it was in some towns. Alderman James: I know there is no toll of this kind in Manchester. What is the reason for this toll ? Are you going to build a new market house ? No." replied a member sotto voce. Mr Llewellin We have to raise the tolls to meet our present expenditure. Our present expenditure is already greater than our income. Alderman James That is your own fault. The deputation then withdrew, and Alderman Bishop at once rose and moved that the Council adhere to their resolution. He thought that a toll of Is lid a week on each milk cart was a very fair and very honourable charge. A person with a cart containing a few dozen cabbages or a few pounds of butter would have to pay sixpence. It was well known that sometime ago the milk vendors made an effort to advance the price of milk to 4d a quart, but at the time plenty of people from outside would have taken milk into the town at 3d a quart. He did not think the Council need be ashamed of any action they had taken in this matter, and he moved that the petition be not entertained. Mr G. M. PhiIIips seconded. Alderman James You have committed yourselves too far for an amendment. The Mayor said that if the Council found later on that they could do without this toll they could remove it, or it could be regulated from time to time. Alderman James At present it looks rather dark. The Mayor said the Council did not know at present what the tolls would fetch. If they were in a better financial position at the end of the year they might be able to do without this toll on the milk carts. They must not overlook the fact that the toll would bring in a revenue of S50 a year. Mr George Davies took it that the Council would be obliged to revise the toll when they fonnd that the present vendors raised the price of milk and if outsiders did not come in with their milk carts. The Town Clerk said the Council proposed to let the tolls until March 31st, and there was nothing to prevent a revision at the end of that period. The Mayor said that if the vendors raised the price of milk the Council might have to consider the question of imposing the maximum toll, because if miik was advanced to 4d a quart that would be about 75 per cent profit on the toll. Mr George Davies if they raise the price of milk in come the other milk carts selling milk at the original price. The Town Clerk explained that this was not a tax on milk, only, but on fish and other marketable t commodities, but in the case of milk carts the toll was not 6d each day, 'but 3d. THE SUCTION GAS PLANT. The Surveyor reported to the water committee that the new plant at Crowhill had been delivered and was working satisfactorily. The committee' instructed the Borough Accountant to forward a cheque for £ 395 Is to Messrs Fielding & Platt on account of the plant. The committee reported having deputed the Chairman and the Surveyor to make the necessary arrangements for the opening and the closing of the market until the 29th September next, and recom- mended that notice to terminate their engagement on the 29th September next be given to Messrs Simpson A Morse. Recommended that Mr William Jones, auctioneer, of High Street, be let the space in the Corn Market lately occupied by Alderman T. L. James, at an annual rent of X3; that Mr Munt be granted a repairing lease of the house in Hill Lane, lately occupied by the late Mr Joseph Thomas, shoe- maker, the term to run concurrent with the term of the premises in High Street now held by Mr Munt, and that the rent of the premises be ClO per annum. âThe report was adopted. SANITARY MATTERS. The sanitary committee reported that the Town Clerk had read a letter from the Rev. J. H. Davies, vicar of St. Mary's, calling attention to the urgent necessity of providing burial accommodation for St. Mary's parish, and it was arranged that a special meeting of the Council should be called to consider the matter. Recommended that a watering van to bold 300 gallons, and of 1:; cwt. weight, be obtained at a cost of £ 1.) 10s; and that the street from the Queen's Hotel to the Bridge End Square; the Old and New Bridges; and the Castle Square be tar painted. An estimate for the new work in Bridge Street was received and considered, and the committee recommended that the work be proceeded with, and that the County Council be asked for their propor- tion of the cost. The Surveyor reported that the drains at the Stonemason's Arms had not been con- nected with the main sewer, and the committee recommended that statutory notice be served, and the Surveyor be authorised to do the necessary work in default of the notice being complied with. The report was adopted. FOR THE FIRE BRIGADE. A report of the Fire Brigade Committee was read, and it was resolved that 300 feet of leather and can- vas hose be ordered for the Brigade. REDUCTION OF OVERDRAFT. The financial statement was read, and the Mayor said it showed practically a reduction of X200 on the overdraft as compared w'ith the statement 12 months ago. That he regarded as satisfactory considering that the rates had not been increased. THE BOROUGH GUIDE. The Council decided to again accord their patron- age to Mr A. J. Burrough in a reprint of the Borough Guide. The Town Clerk mentioned that he had received applications for copies of the Guide from all parts of the kingdom.

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