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I THE TINPLATE OUTLOOK. THERE are several ominous clouds on the horizon of the tinplate trade. New factors of no little significance have made their appearance since the Armis- tice, and employers and workmen are looking to the future with some forebod- ing. Our staple trade, it is beyond question, will have to face in the coming months keener competition than ever, not only from America, but also in other countries which have hitherto been de- pendent upon South Wales for supplies. The Americans we are told, are cutting prices in neutral markets with a view to their ultimate capture, and the increased costs in this country make it impossible for us to follow them in this direction. What controls the situation is the price of steel, and in this matter, the Ameri- cans have a big pull over Welsh makers. Proposals are on foot also, to build tin- plate mills in Australia, Norway and Sweden. Fortunately, the Welsh trade i admirably organized and we note with satisfaction that a joint delegation of em- ployers and workmen has been appointed to visit the United States to study Ameri- can methods. This is a step in the right direction, and should be productive of; good results. It is refreshing too, in when there is so much distrust i between Capital and Labour, to find em- ployers and workmen combined in safe- guarding the industry in which they are so vitally concerned. SWISS VALLEY. I wE have every sympathy with the correspondent who, in another column, complains of the continued clos- ing of Swiss Valley to the public. Why this stupid piece of red tape was not cut months ago is beyond the comprehension of the average man. There may have been good reasons for the closure in the early days of the war when blood-curd- ling stories were current of atrocious Huns on the prowl, looking out for water- works to poison. Surely, however, that danger, if it ever existed, has long since passed away. Swiss Valley as our cor- respondent points out, is one of our none too numerous beauty spots. Within easy i reach of the town it offers a wonderful combinaton of charms, and in these blazing days of June, the two artificial lakes and their charming setting make up a. picture of surpassing beauty. It is nothing short of a scandal to deny the public access to this favourite resort and we trust that the Waterworks Committee will take the necessary action without delay. j THE COAL OUTPUT. I ONE of the most disquieting signs of the times is the serious decrease in the coal output. For the coming year it i estimated that only 217 million tons will he raised as against 287 millions in 1913 and 230 millions last year. This decline is made all the more ominous when it is borne in mind that many thousands of miners have now come back j to the pits. Lessened production of coal. as our London crrespondent pointed out ir. his striking article last week, will have ( far-reaching and disastrous effects upon trade and commerce. It will handicap i every British industry and also re-act most unfavourably upon our economic position. Coal is one of our greatest national assets. It is the corner stone of industry at home, and as an export, our stand-by in foreign trade as a substitute for currency. A lessened output means dear coal, and dear coal in turn meaifc that the price of every manufactured article is made dear. Take tinplates for instance. The threatened increase of 4s. 6d. a ton in the price of coal will send up the price of tinplates which already have to meet increasingly keen competi- tion from the American mills. To-day American plates are being offered at a price which the Welsh makers cannot touch What will be the position of the home manufacturers later on with coal at an enhanced figure ? The same thing applies to all home industries, not to speak of the hardships imposed upon poor people who cannot afford to pay fancy fancy prices for fuel. No one grudges the miner good wages and shorter hours, but it is unfortunately only too true that as his wages advance, his productive capacity diminishes. This is not credit- able to the miner who seems to have adopted for his policy the pernicious principle of "take it easy."

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