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THE TAFF VALE RAILWAY COMPANY. HALF-YEARLY MEETING. The half-yearly meeting of the directors and shareholders of the above company was held on Tuesday afternoon, at the Royal Hotel, Bristol. Mr. Arthur Guest (chairman of directors) pre- sided, and there was a large attendance, the other directors present being Mr. R. L. G. Vassall (deputy chairman), Mr. David Evans, Mr. Thomas Rees, Mr. D. A. Thomas, M.P., illr: J. P. Thompson, Mr. J. Tomlinson, Mr. P. A. Vyvyan-Robinson, Mr. Joseph Wethered, and Colonel Josiah Wilkinson. The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the report and statement of accounts, said he thought he was singularly fortunate in that for the first time since he had had the honour of presiding at their meetings he was able to present a far dif- ferent statement of affairs than had hitherto been the case. They had not only a substantial increased dividend, but the accounts showed a considerable reduction in the working expenses, the Taff Vale Company having this year taken a record amongst all the railways in the kingdom. (Applause.) Their dividend had been arrived at by reason of in- creased traffic and careful economy. In the receipts and expenditure on capital account there was increase on the expenditure side in connec- tion with the issue of new stock, which had resulted very advantageously to the company. Their outlay on capital expenditure was singu- larly small, being but £ 9,679 13s. 8d. The work- ing stock of the company remained in much the same condition. With reference to the estimate of further expenditure, he wished to point out that the £ 5,300 for the construction of the double line between Penarth Dock and the town was necessary in the company's interest. A single line was dangerous, and they could work the double line more economically. There was also an item of £ 3,400 re gas for carriages. They proposed to bring their system of lighting carriages in harmony with most of the railways in the kingdom, and gas was both cheaper and afforded a better light. With respect to the item of .£13,000 for increased siding and station accommo- dation, it was an estimate not likely to be ap- proached, and certainly not exceeded. Having referred to the large increase in their passenger traffic, merchandise, minerals, and live stock, he emphasised the fact that their shipping receipts were also on the increase, particularly in coal and coke. and went on to point out the economies effected in the locomotive department, saying they looked forward to further substantial decreases under this head. Dealing subsequently with the report, he drew attention to the fact that nothing had been placed to the credit of the new subsidy for the half-year. They had had considerable diffi- culty in arriving at any estimate of what they would probably receive from the Bute subsidy. Of course, the larger their revenue the less would be their receipts under the agreement they had entered into with the Marquis of Bute but he would say further that, notwithstanding that they had taken every means in their power to ascertain from the Bute Docks Company what subsidy they would receive, they had been unable to get a satisfactory response, and this, despite the fact that they had held their meeting and pre- pared their dividend. That morning, even, he had received a telegram from Sir William Thomas Lewis regretting that he (Sir William) could not supply him with the figures, and recommending the company not to include any estimate in their accounts, as they knew the Bute subsidy question was dead. It died on the 19th of May, and he was sure he was expressing the opinion of the Board when he said that they did not wholly regret that it had passed away. (Hear, hear.) Of course, there could be a final adjustment under this head, and they antici- pated a sum of money would be paid to the com- pany, but being unable to get any information thereon they had thought it unwise to put any- thing down in their accounts. He went on to remind them that the Bute Docks Bill as presented at the last session of Parliament was a bad one, and like his friend, Mr. Boyle, of the Rhymney, he would say they had no objection to further dock accommodation, though they would endeavour to look after the dock which was their own property. (Hear, hear.) Their Bill for widening the Rhondda lines had received con- firmation, and they had made ample provision in that respect, as it was proposed to raise £ 1)00,000 and proceed with the work as soon as possible. They would be asked at a special meeting to sanction the creation of new stock, but should not expend anything like the amount they were asked to sanction. Proceeding, he said they had been canvassed amongst themselves as to whether or not ttny should hold their general meeting at Cardiff. It had been represented to them that some Cardiff gentlemen thought they ought at least to have it turn and turn about. Bristol, it was true, held a large amount of their stock, but large blocks of stock were held at Cardiff. They had come to no decision on the subject, but it would receive consideration, and an expression of opinion was invited from the shareholders before any definite action was taken. Their record for the past year had been exceptional. They looked forward to further economies, and his only fear was that they should become too sanguine. He ventured to predict, however, that if the trade of the district continued, they would be able to pre- sent a similar satisfactory statement at their next meeting. (Applause.) Mr. Vassall having seconded the adoption of the report and balance-sheet, Mr. George White stated that maDy of them had watched with satisfaction the progress made by the Taff Vale Company under the direction of the new Board. They looked for- ward to further improvement. The whole thing could not be twisted round in a. few months, but, given reasonable time, he would predict a satisfac- tory future. He was perfectly satisfied with the performance of the Board during the past twelve months, and looked forward to their redeeming their promise to place the Taff Vale Railway affairs on a very different footing so far as the share- holders were concerned. There had been an attempt made in certain quarters to mini- mise the value of the Board's work, and that kind of thing always succeeded to a certain extent; but the position of the Company, as made clear that day, would remove all misunderstanding on that head. In conclusion, however, he strongly urged the neces- sity of maintaining their general meeting at Bristol, arguing that Bristol was a convenient centre, and that he was certain the majority of the shareholders would be adverse to the proposal to hold them at Cardiff. He wished to move a re- solution on the subject, not in a spirit of apposi- tion, but to test the feeling of those present, so that the directors might have some knowledge of their feeling in regard to the matter. The Chairman pointed out that he would not be in order in moving any resolution of the kind, and repeated his promise that nothing would be done in the matter without first consulting the opinions of the shareholders. The report and balance sheet was then adopted unanimously, and on the motion of the-chairman a dividend of 31 per cent. on ordinary stock (equivalent to 8h per cent. per annum on the old ordinary stock ) payable (less income-tax) on the 12th August was declared, leaving a balance of £ 1,893 3s. 3d. to be carried forward to the current half-year. The following retiring directors were then un- animously re-elected — Messrs. Thomas Rees, Charles Thomas, David Alfred Thomas, and Philip Augustus Vyvyan Robinson. The Chairman subsequently announted that Mr. Wilberforce Tribe, the retiring auditor, was unwilling to take office again, and having paid a high tribute of praise to that gentleman's uniform courtesy and ability, a resolution was adopted appointing Mr. F. N. Tribe, a member of the same firm of accountants, to act in his stead. On the motion of the Chairman, the following resolutions were also passed That the directors be and are hereby authorised to make compensation by a cash payment out of the funds of the Company for any loss arising from a transfer of any shares, stock, or securities issued or to be issued by the Company in pursuance of a forged transfer or of a transfer under a forged power of attorney, and that they be and are hereby further authorised to, at their discretion from time to time, or at any time, provide a fund to meet claims for such com- pensation in the manner authorised by the Forged Transfers Act, 1891. And that they be and are hereby further authorised to impose such reasonable restrictions on the transfer of the Company's shares, stock, or securities, or with respect to powers of attorney for the transfer thereof, as the said directors may from time to time consider requiste for guarding against losses arisng from forgery. A special meeting was subsequently held, when sanction was given for the raising, under the powers contained in the Taff Vale Railway Acts of 1889, 1890, and 1891, or any of them, of the sum of £ 223,530, or any part thereof, by the creation and issue of new Ordinary or Preference Shares or Stock of the Company, and the raising of £50,000 on Mortgage of the Company's property. The usual votes of thanks terminated the pro- ceedings.

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