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IRON AND COAL TRADES. (From the Colliery Guardian.) CARDIFF.—There is but little change to note in the demand for steam coal, the continental inquiry being still brisk. Freights to the Mediterranean and Adriatic are advancing, and such are the unreasonable demands made by some owners of vessels that considerable difficulty is experienced in securing adequate tonnage at anything like a fair price. Coal being contraband of war, very many will not iisk a freight to Trieste and other Austrian ports. House coal is in moderate request on coasting account, while the local sale continues to decrease. The men of the Rhondda Valley have held several meetings in reference to the application for an advance of wages, and at one of these they determined to stand out unless a rise was conceded. Ii is believed, however, that on second thoughts they will see the folly of this couise, for it is perfectly clear that under present circumstances the demand is a most un- reasonable one In the iron trade matters are remarkably quiet, and hardly a:«y addition has been made to the order list during the past fortnight. The extreme heat is beginning to tell at the puddling forges, and the quantity of iron turned out has decreased considerably. SWANSEA.—The adjourned meeting of the trustees of the Swansea harbour was held on Monday, under the presi- dency of Mr. Starling Benson, the chairman of the Trust, and the statistical returns then read show that notwith- standing the present depression of the iron and tin-plate trades, the general trade of the port is sound and satisfac- tory. The total income over expenditure for the past month was about £640, although there was a large defi- ciency upon the South Docks estate. The executive com- mittee recommended the erection of a combined railway and carriage bridge over the new cut, and asked that an additional hydraulic engine of eighty horse power be at once supplied for the South Docks in order to meet the requirements of the shipping there. The new works com- mitte reported that the works in connection with the extension of the piers were nearly completed, the outlay up to the end of the past month being about .£24,500. It was generally expected that the extension of the piers would give an increased depth of water at the entrance channel of from three to four feet, so that a much larger class of vessels would be able to trade with the port. The Parliamentary ctnuraitteft reported that most fawuraWa terms had been obtained for the trustees in reference to the new railway bills which had been brought forward during the present session. The whole of the reports were unanimously received and adopted by the Trust, and the clerk received the thanks of the members for the able and successful way in which he had conducted the opposition to the various bills before the Parliamentary committee. The coal trade of the port still continues very brisk, and freights are on the advance. NEWPOKT.—The feeling of despondency in the staple trades was beginning to wear away when two heavy fail- ures reported on Monday once moie shook credit in this immediate district. The failures referred to are Snead and Co., bankers, Chepstow, and Chapman and Co., timber merchants, of the same place. They were not directly con- nected with either the coal or iron trades, Chepstow being more of an agricultural district, but indirectly several of the colliery proprietors of the Forest of Dean are affected. In the iron trade, transactions are pretty nearly suspended, all parties preferring to wait until the quarterly meeting before entering into new engagements. The belief is gain- ing ground that there will be no reduction in the list prices, and that the war on the Continent will not, as predicted, cause a decrease in the European demand. The tin-plate works are fairly employed, but the complaint is heard on all sides that orders are scarce. The revival in the Ameri- can demand is only of a limited character. There is no lack of inquiry for steam coal on foreign account, and had it not been for the rise in freights, there would bo an unusually brisk trade doing. No. improvement in the house coal trade. MERTHYR.It would be impossible to describe the feelings of those who are now engaged at the iron works intheneigh- bourhood. That the congest on the Continent has seriously disturbed our commercial relations with other countries is but too plainly apparent; and the few orders at the iron works, and the consequent slackness of the trade have now showed to our artizans and labourers that they will proba- wiil probably suffer in common with those engaged in other branches of industry. Within the last few days at Dowlais. Cyfarthfa, and, we nave heard, Plymouth, a notice in Welsh ■ and English of a reduction in wages was posted up, and and men who, not many weeks ago, were almost coining money and spending it foolishly, now begin to rub their eyes and ask themselves whether this is a reality.



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