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. Monmouthshire Epiphany Sessions.




[No title]

: Shipping Intelligence.



PORT OF NEWPORT. To the Editor of lite Monmouthshire Merlin self "'MerJrr'P?er °f bsV wn,<^ *1>0 calls him- for th» f upon tnmsdf ro sneer at my project for the formation of a new ballast bank, and therebV the ,c- t;Vn °. 3 ge trac|P' Iand at Present wholly nnproduc- oui corresponded commences by charging me with yoclte-XifheT °,^ -^1 now ad- Ivrr,! V J JT lead tllose letters, he certainly evinces extraordinary forgetfulness of their meaning. The'probabi- hty, however, is, that he never read them or should he have done so, tlie perusal must have been ve y cur Toe letters were intended to (>vnn«» 11 sure, to check, one of tlie rZ'itJ t ,so,ne.u,ea- svnonsis vir tl oreateht evils pointed out ill my »-Z a V",g overboard of ballast in the Chan- Si *tn,re "7T who took the trouble to read them attentiveh^o apply h, a prohibitory sense, to the discharge of ballast, where^ er'e was no reason to apprehend it would interfere with the Channel or river navigation. I am asked if ] didn't div~li 1 the reckless conduct of masters, who discharged V 11 m!"1 ,T.h „fth, rive, or btlow P" ocl" v t did, and still as strongly condemn the same pernicious habit* but in no instance was the hatLut discharged u here I propose to erea jetty heads, or within the line of Ouojs projected L my Mercator" next proceeds to dilate upon the presumed peril which vessels encounter in moving from their m-e^enr discharging place to the loading whan* and says {hat his opinion is confirmed by the statement of several masters of yesseistradingtotheport. From this he conclude" (and f his opinion be correct, quite properly too), that the danger would be greatly augmented by vessels discharging their bal- last at the mouth o. the river. It no doubt suits MercatorV purpose very well, to parade this creditable authority for his statement before the public but will he allow me to ask |,im lfhis informants were any of those offenders, who, in the dis- charge of my duty as Conservator of the Port, I have over and over again, been obliged to punish for obstructing the navigation 1 His statement implies this, if anything at all, that vessels are not free from danger unless they bring their ballast positively to the wharfs, and there discharge it but he must allow me to put before the readers of these letters the starting fact, that vessels bound for this port, in fine weather, have been known to commence throwing ballast overboard of Cornwall, and to arrive in Newport with a swept hold. I Your correspondent next challenges the stability of the sub- 1 stratum which 1 propose for the ballast bank, and speaks of the flow and ebb of the tide," "strong winds," and ground swells, these, I boldly maintain, can afford no cause of alarm for no substance will be discharged as ballast, whose specific t parity could be aflected by the tide-way upon the line of coast to which my plan refers; and such substances as stones, ehaltt lime, and silex, would be used to form the sub-stratum. The winds, which have also given your correspondent so much alarm would hare little or nothing to do with the mutter; and as to the ground swells, the masters who told him about the great peril of vessels moving from one side of the river to the other, without ballast, could also have informed him that ground swells are broken to the westward, and exhaust themseh-estonn before reaching our coast. Besides all this, if Mercator" would take the trouble of going to the cast point of our river, he would find mounds of ballast deposited there for the last 2t> years, which neither tides, strong winds, nor ground swdla" have in the slightest degree disturbed. How, then, can he have such dreadful forebodings of the strength and durability of the ballast bank ? If the eub-strttum were to be washed awav, I quite agree with your correspondent, that it would be fatal to the safe navigation of the Channel; hut maintaining that such a consequence would be utterly impossible, my pre- sent position perfectly harmonises with the letters alluded to by Mercator. He fails to make the distinction, that in these letters I reprehended the throwing overboard of ballast within the Channel navigation and that I now advocate its deposit within a given line, where it could in nowise interfere with such navigation That distinction "Mercator" should have been candid enough to make; but it would not have suited him to admit too much. After a few ill-judged remarks, and an assumption which I care nothing for, he proceeds to give his pinion as to the practicability of forming the propose(i4>ank t anr aPPar1°.n.t necessity, goes into a repetition of some of his earlier crudities, which I at once dismiss, reserving fur future purposes, such observations as I may have to otlcr upon them. Mercator," by way of a finish, takes me upon the geologi- cal conformation of the proposed ballast bank and felicitates himsalf upon my having gone a little too far in anticipatino- the formation and growth of a fertile soil, from the materials of which the strata would be composed. Whether Professor Buck- land ever wrote a treatise upon that department of geology, I cannot take upon myself to say, not having had time, or pro- bably a taste, tor the perusal of works upon a subject of so ab- struse a nature; but I am ready, at all events; to make one admission; for Mercator" having stated the negative, I will assume it to be the case. A friend, however, has placed in un- hands an authority in every respect equal to that of Dr. Buck- land, and in agricultural science, infinitely his superior ,1 mean the eminent Professor Liebeg. Dr. Liebeg, in his Chemistry in its application to Agriculture and Philosophy," says, Arable land is originally formed by the crumbling of rocks, and its properties depend on the nature of its principal component parts, band, clay, and lime, are the names given to the principal constituents of the different kinds of soil." The learned professor further says, "land of the greatest fertility contains argillaceous earths, and other disintegrated mintrals, with chalk and sand in such a proportion as to fix free access of air and moisture and its fertility is greater or less in differ- ent parts according to the proportion of clay or sand which it contains." I could multiply authorities from the same work. but I do not wish to encumber my letter with lengthened quo- tations. "Mercator" concludes by substituting Cardiff for Newport, were my project to be tried, but fails to prove the lauded eligibility of the former place. He, however, has made one grand discovery, which of itself ought at oncc to consign my project to the tomb of all the capulets." He fears that in strong gales, vessels, moored at the proposed buoys, would be blown upon the Somerset coast! Alarming possibilitv AVill Mercator "say how it is that vessels taken in gales of wind in the channel, (probably equi distant from both shores if not closer to the Somerset coast), are not driven upon it, and in- stantly dashed to pieces ? lie writes as if it were compulsory for vessels to discharge the whole of their ballast at the buoys buch a suggestion I never intended to offer, but left it optional with the masters to discharge what ballast they thought proper at the buoys, and finish discharging at the jetty heads. Having now replied generally to Mercator:s objections, I wIll conclude with a few remarks upon some important points °,rn'LsJ"°pS,!S rhlch he has left wholly untouched. With an he avoids WaS no intended for his purpose, tions of land a^US'0n t0 extraordinary reclama- „„„„ various pU of .he which I propose and = *man? respects, similar to the plan might have beenconsid^i °° W £ Te natural difficulties which being established!? "mtable- precedent point, an admission of the DracHn J^.ercator's silence on the standing his specious objections^ °Jrmy ""hpme, notwith- can be carried out, which where one projeet culty of execution, another that f*' °r rat'ler exceeds in diffi- the success of the latter may be reisnnof?86*1' surel>' a ll0Pe of cator has not, in the slightest d,><, entertained. Mer- tliat the port is in want of a ball ikt^sTee attempted to disprove not promptly taken to meet the emerJimLand t-hat if stops bo must inevitably arise to the interest* • sen°us detriment he ventured to deny the grave chare? wt* fi'V Neither has masters of inward-bound vessels for tl,0 brought against throwing ballast overboard, in the channel11?18 'ev.ous babit of your correspondent has done 110tliinc- Iipv*'jat'°v In fact, scheme, which, at all events, had its oria-in in° "'bcuhng a to remedy an admitted evil, while, at thf> !lame time, he pro- poses no means for meeting what must sooner or ll?6' pr°" all—the want of efficient and permanent""o .S f™'?* unloading ballast. That I should expect som# «, v ?-, \0n would not be unreasonable but J have no, KnT1 with the smallest insight into Mereator's nroieeti/n^ any such to be found out of Pinnock's Geography 1 al? tr.u.^ *?aPPy that Mercator has courted this discus si on, for 11 it do not eventuate m some adopted T,lan it w'n all events, call the attention of our townsmen to a' subject of the deepest local interest. uujin 01 I am, sir, your most obedient servant WATKIN RICHARDS, Harbour-Master Newport, 1st January, 1846. MMter. -+-

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