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Family Notices



THE IRON TRADE. Wet or dry, hot or cold, no weather seems to stop the toil of the millman or the puddler. In this respect the Iron Trade is free from the hindrances incidental to many other kinds of labour, and the ironmasters can relv upon an average amount of work being done week by week and year by year. And it is well that this is the case, or the enormous demand could not be met. Happily, too, the labour question, which some years ago used to cause a terible amount of excitement, is for the time at rest, and employers and employed seem to live and work peaceably together. The export of railroad iron keeps increasing every month, and we notice that Russia, Prussia, United States, and British India, all are taking much larger quan- tities than ever. This increasing demand causes all the furnaces and mills and forges in the land to glow with the moil and toil of the busy life. As a result, labour has its rewards. The men are getting better wages, and the masters are getting better prices, for in all the markets the prices are rising. Better prices are also obtained for rails, and the Welsh iron trade was never better off for orders for railway iron. In Staffordshire, too, notwithstanding that she has not the geographical advantages of other districts, the range of prices for manufactured iron is stiffening so that consumers must look forward to a time when prices will be very materially increased. The engineering establishments are also well" off for orders for their locomotives, and from the port of Liverpool alone more than £ 34,000 worth of machinery have been sent to various quarters. The iron shipbuilding yards of Clyde are full of work. During last mouth there 'were eighteen vessels built, with a total of 12,586 tons. Some time ago we were threatened with being swallowed up by our Continental rivals. It is now seen where the large orders have to be sent, and but for the extent and capacity of our productive power the demand could not be met. The works both in France and Belgium are not near large enough for the trade of the world, and to this country the buyer must send for years to come. It is true that both Russia and the United States contain within themselves the coal and the ironstone, but they are as yet undeveloped and in the United States the high price of labour will pre- clude any extensive development of iron industry; but this is of very little consequence to the American people they have thousands of miles of uncultivated soil, which for years to come will absorb all the labour that can be thrown into the market, and they can much better afford to buy the cheap iron of England than by an unhealthy, process, increase the price of their own. We notice by a cable message from the Times correspondent at Phila- delphia, the House of Representatives has passed the Bill to reduce the taxation, together with General Schenck's amendments which fixes pig iron at 7 dols. a ton, the present duty being 9 dols. scrap-iron at 6 dols. a ton, now 8 dols. Steel rail bars are low, but the amendment fixes steel Lars at I.Ic. per lb. bars part steel, atl je. Bes- semer rails, at lAc. No iron or steel duties were referred to in the amendment. The reduction of two dollars a ton on imported pig-iron will have a favourable effect upon. our exports to the States. The inquiry for finished iron continues decidedly aoth e in South Wales. Orders have been numerous in the market, and buyers have yielded to higher quotatioas than they had intended to give but makers have shewn little disposition to burden themselves with fresh engagements at present. Good orders are secured at advanced rates. The works throughout the district are in full employment and makers will have no difficulty in keeping them so for some time to come, if prospects are to be relied on. A strong tendency is already evinced to advanced prices in all departments, and there is every reason to believe that higher rates of quotations will shortly be generally estab- lished. In the home trade there is scarcely any change to report. For pig iron there is some improvement in the de- mand, and higher prices are obtained. Bars, &c., are in average request. At the Dowlais Ironworks, where an unusually active state of things prevails, experiments arc being tried with the view of attempting a better fusion of steel ingots by the application of gas flame. At present all the ingots that cannot be worked up by the Bessemer pro- cess are sent off as waste to Sheffield cutlers. Should the experiment be successful, the company expect to effect a. considerable saving of material. "0. SOUTH WALES COAL^AND THE HOUSE. OF In the debate upon the votes of supplies in the House of Commons allusion was made h- several o{ the speakers South ales ooaL The remarks, as a rule, were anything but complimentary, but they will doubtless be of interest to our readers, who will be able to rightly estimate their rr T n6 JL y part of tile evening's sitting, the Hon. H. G. Liddell, the proprietor of considerable coal mines in the counties of Durham and Northumberland asked the Financial Secretary, in the absence of the First Lord of the Admirality, whether there was any objection to lav upon the table, in a Compendious form, the result of a series of experimental trials made during the last twelve months on board her Majesty's steamers Urgent and Lucifer, at Portsmouth, with Welsh and North Country coal, with the view of ascertaining the best proportions in mixed coal and the best form of furnace to be used for the consumptioa of smoke. Mr Baxter's reply was that there would be no objection to lay upon the table the results of the experiments referred to. They were very interesting and instructive, and he: might add, were thoroughly confirmatory of the wisdom «f the eourse adopted by the Admiralty in ordering te h* used by her Majesty's ships a mixture of North Coontro bituminous and South Wales anthracite coal ™ Later at night, when tW Navy Estimate were under discussion, Sir John Hay, m making an attack UDO* tlT new Purchase Department, said there was a colherJ in Wales called Hirwam Colliery, the coal of which mieht hL applied to certain uses, but was of a dangerous and iiTfllw character, and was condemned by the nroDer ■-fit to be Navy iroffl th, pXbStj- carrying it would be set on fire. Nevertheless, 18,000 W of that coal were received at Sheerness, havin- S purchased at a Wh rate. Coals for the Admiralty were no longer bought by tender, but by a friend of the Secre- tary to the Admiralty, a Mr M'CuIloch, who, it was uS- stood, received 3d a ton from the Admiralty for everv t^» of coal received by them-what he might receive at other end of course nobody knew* There was a eenfcW man of the same name as Mr M'CuIloch who was the manager of the Hirwain Colliery he did not know whether they were related in any way, but Hirwain coal was certainiv bought by Mr MCuUoch. Some of the coal so purchased was placed on board the Megaera, and when on the line she caught fire, and might have been lost, owing to the fuel she carried. A return had been moved for upon the subject, but the right hon. gentleman proposed to nve a much larger return than was asked for, and it had not w 1 been produced c Mr Baxter, after completely refuting two af i. brought against the Purchase Departmeat-which SirT been guilty of using Hirnaki coll ^that ^y>d anthracite coal of South Wales, and'ou^ht iw i? j by itself, but which was nns e use^ mixing with bituminous coal In L Very ^St -coals for ment wtnm I an coaDected wi^ the Purchase Depart- 16 ?e,v«r saw or heard of until he became nffir. 'J' Admiralty, was sent down to show the ? w rt ought to he used and ought to. be mixed with 0 tuminouB coal; and in both instances the report was that havxng the matter explained to them, the mixture w& £ Satisfactory. With respeot to the Mezjera. KP- regretted that the papers were not on the table but, when produced, they would not support any of the which had been made. Sir G. Elphinstone, who followed, was of ewionthat the Admiralty ought to employ patent fupl Thp PVrmrh bought the bees Welsh coal. They crushed it, aad the result was more steam and better work, while the nKipg were kept clean. At present ehe smoke coroded the rigging, destroyed the clotLmg of the ship's company, and deteriorated every part, of the ship. The present source of supply was maintained for nothing else than in order to get political capital for the G ovcyaooffflt, :=7