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BARRY RAILWAY COMPANY. HALF-YEARLY MEETING. INTERESTING STATISTICS. The sixteenth half-yearly general meeting of the proprietors of the Barry Railway Company was held at the Park Hotel, Cardiff, on Friday after- noon. In the absence of Lord Windsor, the chairman of the company, who is abroad, Mr. Archibald Hood presided. The other directors present were Mr. John Cory. Mr. Edward Davies, Mr. Robert Forrest. Mr. T. R. Thompson, and Mr. T. Webb. There was a fair attendance of share- holders. The Chairman, in proposing that the report by the directors and the statement of accounts for the half-year ended June 30, 18!,2 (a >•><wc of which has already appeared in these columns), be received and adopted, said the passenger traffic for ■ the past half-year had slightly diminished, a circumstance which was due to the fact chat nearly all their workmen were housed at Barry, and had, therefore, no occasion to travel to and fro to Cardiff or Penarth. The merchandise traffic had also somewhat diminished. This was attri- butable to the strikes in the building trades in Cardiff curtailing building operations. As to the power which the company possessed of running into Cardiff with passengers, some people might think they were very slow in the matter, more especially in view of the fact that they had had, for some time, power to construct a railway. The directors, however, had deemed it expedient not to proceed with the construction of that short rail- way connecting Barry with the Great Western Station at Cardiff and Cardiff Docks. They had thought fit to enter into negotiations with the Great Western Railway Company by which they misjht be saved the expense of making the railway. Possibly the shareholders might consider they had not acted wisely, but they might rest assured that the Board had done all for the best. Until the bridge outside the station at Cardiff was widened there could not be sufficient access for the Barry trains. Nevertheless, they were negotiating with the Great Western Railway Company with the view of running their trains into the Cardiff station pending the completion of this bridge but he was not very hopeful they would do much good in that way. In any event, the matter would continue to receive the best attention of the Barry directors; and the result of the negotiations would be known long before the next half-yearly meeting. He thought they ought to congratulate themselves upon the working expenses of their line. These were only a little over 44 per cent. of the receipts, compared with 54 per cent. on the Taff Railway, and a little less than 150 on the Rhymney Railway. (Hear, hear.) The working expenses were a little higher than in the last half-year, and about the same in the corresponding period of last year. He did not like to predict what they would be in the ensuing half-year, but tfte price of coal was apparently falling—a circumstance which many of them deemed unfortunate—(laughter)—'and it might be the means of effecting a further saving, They expected to derive considerable benefit from the opening of the graving dock. At present, between the graving dock and the low water entrance, they were paying dividend upon an out- lay of capital of over £ 161,000. which was wholly unproductive. By the completion of the graving dock, they hoped to get at least as much revenue as would pay the interest on the outlay, to which extent they might reasonably expect to be re- lieved. As to the low-water entrance, he did not wish to say more than that it would be the means of making their dock much more attractive than it had ever been. (Hear. hear.) Since they last met there had been issued £80,OtlO of 31 per cent. debentures, the prices for which ranged from 101{ to a little over 103J-. Thus they woald see that their undertaking stood pretty well in the estimation of the public. (Hear, hear.) With respect /to the claim by the representatives of the late Mr. T. A. Walker, about which the newspapers make so much, the arbitrator had awarded a little over one-fourth of the original claim. He might say, as indicating the directors' sense of justice, that they offered .£50,000, while the re- presentative of Mr. Walker obtained £ 54,000, and had to pay their own expenses. On the whole, they might fairly consider they were in a good working condition, and with a fair prospect of doing as well in the future as they had done in the past. They must not, however, rest entirely upon their oars. They still required the assistance of all their friends, to keep the traffic now coming to the Barry Dock. Some of their friends had done very well, but if the whole community were to consider what benefit they had received from the Barry Dock and Railway, even greater assistance than they had had would be theirs. The fact was they had reduced the railway rates by something like 3d. per ton. (Hear, hear.) Under these circumstances it well behoved every freighter in the district to give them a fair share of his traffic. It was all the more gratifying to know that they had been able to do this, and still find their neighbour prospering, notwithstanding that it was predicted that the Barry Dock and Railway would ruin all com- petitors, and particularly the town of Cardiff. It seemeel that Cardiff was growing apace, in- creasing and prospering; and it was the wish of the Barry directorate that that should continue. They had the satisfaction of knowing that they had been the means of immensely increasing the trade of the district. He asked what would have become of all the traffic which was now absorbed at Barry It would have gone to Newport and Swansea, and perhaps some of the coal would not have been produced at all. (Hear. hear.) Mr. T. R. Thompson seconded the adoption of the report and the accounts. He observed that they had shipped at Barry over 4.000,000 tons of coal in one year yet, notwithstanding, the trade at the Cardiff Docks had materially increased, j The promoters of the Barry undertaking were held up to obloquy the alanmste, of whom were undoubtedly acting in the interests of their opponents, said they were going to ruin Cardiff. He should like to know what would have been the effect of the district if the 4,000,000 tons of coal which had been shipped at Barry had been thrown upon the Cardiff and Penarth Docks during the past year?(Hear.hear.)Tbere were gentlemen present well acquainted with the commerce of the neighbour- hood who would tell them that to work docks at high pressure meant enormous loss to shipping, enormous loss to colliery proprietors, and an unde- fined loss to the public at large. He contended that if these 4,000,000 tons of coal had been attempted to be thrown upon the Cardiff and Penarth Docks, it would have been impossible to ship it there, and the trade would have been driven to Swansea and Newport. Ho, therefore, claimed that instead of the promoters of th" Barry under- taking being the enemies of Cardiff, it was the detractors of that project. (Hear, hear.) As to the dividend, he could tell the meeting that if it had been the desire of the directors to inflate the dividend, there would have been no difficulty in doing so; but they aimed at keeping up their property efficiently, and providing the proper reserves. Items which could reasonably have been charged to capital had been charged to revenue and he saw no reason whatever why the 10 per cent. dividend should not be maintained in the future. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Edward Davies, as one of the freighters, referred to by the Chairman, said the reduction in railway rates had been nearer 5d. per ton than 3d. (Hear. hear.) It would be within their re- collection that when the Barry scheme was first mooted, the rates of the Taff Vale Railway Com- pany were -80 per ton per mile, a voluntary reduc- tion having been made from '87 to '80. The shadows of Barry sent the rates down to '77, and they further went down to '74 before Barry was opened. But to compare the present ratts with the time when they were "80, the reduction was ex- actly ld. per ton per mile and taking the average distance on the Barry line at 20 miles, the reduc- tion which was represented exceeded 5d. per ton. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman quite confirmed what Mr. Davies had said.. but he always liked to be within the mark. (Laughter.) The total amount saved to the district by the Barry undertaking was about £150,000 per annum. Mr. Thompson That's taking it at '74. If you take it at '80 it is very much more. The Chairman said that was the direct advan- tage. What had been the indirect advantage of giving proper facilities for the shipment of coal, he would not attempt to estimate. As he remarked before, it was very gratifying to know that this had been done without injuring their neighbours. The report was adopted; and a motion was carried formally declaring a dividend on the ordinary stock at the rate of 10 per cent. per annnm. on the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. John Cory. Mr. H. P. Linton proposed that the remunera- tion of the board of directors he increased from the amount now paid— £ 100 each—to the sum of £2,000 a year. He showed that, by comparison with the Taff Vale Railway Company, the Rhym- ney, the Brecon and Merthyr, &c., that the re- muneration hitherto paid was exceedingly low. Mr. Llewellyn Wood seconded the motion. In doing go, he referred to the observation of the Chairman respecting the help which shareholders who were freighters could give to the Barry Com- pany. He remarked that they had at their doors a dock with tips always idle, always waiting for trade. Whenever the Barry traffic reached 100.000 ton- a week, they might t..ke it that some- body/had had to wait for accommodation. So soon as that took place, there was a stream of tonnage going to Penarth Dock. where tips could be always obtained. He put it to the directors, with deference but with consid&ral confidence, that unless they had tipping accommodation for 20,000 or 30,000 tons more than they could now accommodate, they would be feeding Penarth Dock as they had been doing in the past. If they were to receive the full effect of their friends' co-operation they must give them more tips at Barry. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman was glad to hear such observa- tions. which pointed in the direction of extending the Barry Dock. He could assure them that this was a subject to which the Board had given occasional consideration, and that they would more particularly consider it in future. The motion granting increased-remuneration to the directors was unanimously carried, and the Chairman spoke in acknowledgement. A vote of thanks to the Board of Directors, proposed by Colonel Page and seconded by Mr. Jeffreys, brought the meeting to a close.



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