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CARDIFF CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

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CARDIFF CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. The annual meeting of the members was held yes- terday (Thursday), Mr. E. S. Hill, president, in the chair. There was a large attendance, including Messrs. J. Cory, J. J. Hoist (vice-presidents), C. H. Page, M. Krieger, L. V. Sherley, D. Griffiths, J. Willans, J. P. Ingledew, C. Thompson, J, Marychurch, M. Kohn, A. Thackeray, J. Thomas, W. J. Trounce, J. H. Wilson, Ronnfeldt, J. Angel, J. Angel, jun,, J. A. Le Boulanger, C. E. Stallybrass, J. B. Treatt, E. C. Downing, E. Richards, T. E. Heath, J. B. Ferrier, S. D. Jenkins, Gr. S. Stowe, J. Marquand, Rees Jones. D.R. Williams, T. Plain, J. Almond, James. A. Dalziel, secretary, &c. A letter was read from Mr. F. Hill, secretary to the Post-office, stating that an arrangement was now in operation for the delivery of letters in Bute and Penarth Docks but the continuance of this arrangement would necessarily depend to a great extent upon the depart- ment being furnished every day with a list of the ship- ping in the docks. The PRESIDENT gave a complete and succinct account of the matters discussed and business done at the Asso- ciated Meeting of Chambers of lfemmerce, in London, at which Mr. Hill and Mr. Howard were the representa- tives of this Chamber. He concluded by stating that the invitation of Cardiff to the Associated Chambers would be accepted in 1873, and that the Associated Chambers, at the end of their meeting, paid this Cham- ber the compliment of asking him (Mr. Hill) to move the election of the officers. Mr. C. H. PAGE moved a vote of thanks to the Presi- dent for his interesting report, and for so ably repre- senting this Chamber in London. Mr. JOHN Cory seconded the motion, which was car- ried with applause, and briefly acknowledged by Mr. Hill. THE ANNUAL REPORT. The annual report of the Chambei, a copy of which was in the hands of each member, was taken as read. The statement of accounts appended showed that sub- scriptions, including one of £10 10s. from the Marquis of Bute, amounted to X270 18s., and the sale of news- papers and books to E-5. The ordinary expenses were £ 232 35s; the current expenses, JE35 lis. 2d.; and the special expenses, j625 6s., of which 910 10s. was the subscription to the General Association, and X9 the President's expenses at the general autumnal meet- ings of Associated Chambers at London and Plymouth. There was a balance due to the bank and the treasurer of X12 5s. 4d., and additional liabilities since the beginning of the present year, amounted to 932 9s. Sd., leaving a rather large balance upon the debtor side, though that was an improvement upon the amount of last year. The report consisted of a resume of the business done during the year. In respect of Mr. R. T. Byrne's motion upon the removal of the Custom House and Shipping Office, the report stated that there are some reasons for hoping the year 1872 will see the accomplishment of the long-desired change." Upon the Tribunals of Commerce Bill, to be introduced into Parliament, the Committee appointed to consider it reported that they cannot recommend the adoption of the Bill in its present form, as it appears to go far beyond the views expressed by this Chamber, which were in favour of the creation of Courts of Reconciliation, the extension of the present County Court Jurisdiction, and the association of Commercial Assessors with Judges." The report dealt as follows with the trade of the port of Cardif-t During the past year the trade of the port experienced a severe check in consequence of a difference between the colliers and their employers, which, unhappily, ended in a strike of some twelve weeks duration. An arbitration was at length agreed to and the men resumed work. The re- sult of this arbitration has lately been made known, and it is highly creditable both to the good feeling of the mas- ters and to the patience and moderation of the men. It may be hoped that confidence will in future be felt in this mode of settling such disputes, instead of resorting to a -violent measure, which inflicts loss and injury upon not only all those immediately concerned, but upon many others, while it is highly injurious to the interests of the port. The following statistics, some of which have been kindly furnished by Mr. T. S. Miller, H.M.'s Collector of Customs, will be interesting, as illustrating the magnitude of the trade which has been done during the year 1871, notwithstanding the drawback above referred to. The total number of vessels that left the port of Cardiff was 11,112. representing a tonnage of 2,207,713 tons. These are divided as follows :—Foreign with cargo—sail- ing ships, 3389, tonnage, 1,219,384 steamers, 804, ton- nage, 400,318 total, 4193, tonnage, 1,619,702. Coasting —sailing ships, 5246, tonnage, 371,786; steamers, 1673, tonnage, 216,225 ;—6919 588,011. Gross total—vessels, 11,112; tonnage, 2,207,713. Of these 1014 sailing vessels and 84 steamers entered the port with cargoes from foreign parts. The number of vessels registered in the Custom House as belonging to the port of Cardiff is 136, with a tonnage of 28,362 tons. The amount of coal exported was 2,919,461 tons. The amount of iron exported was 258,570 tons, besides 66,030 tons of patent fuel, and 9,940 tons of coke. The imports are estimated as follow :—Iron ore and pig iron. 100,000 tons timber, 85,000 loads es- parto grass, 12,000 tons grain, 388,000 cwt, equal to 122,200 qrs. to which must be added considerable impor- tations of fruit and vegetables The number of seamen shipped in the port during the past year was 14,142, the per centage of desertion being only l-36. The total num- ber of men who did not join their vessels was 335, of which number the owners refused to prosecute 163 convictions, 55 no trace of, 117. The PRESIDENT moved the adoption of the report. Mr. C. H. PAGE seconded, and after some discussion it was agreed to. THE BECONSTITUTION OF THE CHAMBER. The PRESIDENT, in bringing forward his scheme for the reconstitution of the Chamber, said he was one of those who did not think it desirable at the time to make the alteration which was made a year ago; but it appeared to be the wish of the majority and he acquiesced in the change. It was then thought that the alteration would cause a larger measure of interest to be taken in the proceedings of the Chamber, and that a larger number of members would attend its discussions. If it had had that effect, he should have been content to accept the situation but looking aj; the report, he" saw, that, except in February, there were never thirty members present at any one meeting, and the average attendance throughout the year was only 19 out of the 162 members of the Chamber. To have any use, the Chamber must reflect the feeling of the commercial classes, and to do so, it was necessary that it should be of a representative character. With a representative body, as a Board of Directors would be, there would be the sense of responsibility which was lacking in the general body of members, and men who felt the respon- sibility of attending would then attend and not, as at present, allow business to keep them away, each think- ing that one more or less could not matter. He pro- posed to ask them first to assent to a preamble declar- ing that a change was necessary; because if it was thetr opinion that no change should take place they need not discuss the details. His scheme provided for a body of representative and elected directors, and for two general meetings of the members in the year. The Mayor of Cardiff, for the time being, the Member for the Borough, and the Collector of Customs would be ex officio members of the Board. He at first proposed to make the Foreign Consuls members also but when the details of this scheme became known, three of those gentlemen sent in letters expressive of their wish to become subscribing members of the Chamber, and consequently they had the advantage of three gentlemen who were directly representatives of the commerce of those countries for which they were consuls. His first proposition-what he termed the preamble-would be that in the opinion of this Chamber it is desirable to alter the constitution, upon the principle set forth in the printed rules lately distributed amongst the members but subject to a revision of the clauses." Mr. C. THOMPSON seconded the motion without com- mitting himself to the details of the scheme, some of which, he thought, would require considerable altera- tion. His principal reason for supporting the scheme was tli *(t t, with 24 directors they ensnrcc1 a good attend- ance at the monthly meetings while under the present system, out of the 162 members, an average of 19 only attended through the absence of a feeling of respon- sibility among the members that their attendance. was required. If the Chairman's proposal was carried, he should move a resolution referring the details to a committee of six. Mr. C. H. PAGE also supported the motion without committing himself to the clauses, and remarked that an old report now before him showed that out of twenty- four directors formerly existing, the average attendance was eleven, or nearly 50 per cent., while out of the 162 members the average attendance was nineteen, or only about 12 per cent. Mr. J. J. HOI,ST had opposed the change when it was first made, but now thought it had resulted in a greater interest among the members in the work of the Chamber than was formerly taken (hear, hear). He thought it would be very undesirable to go back to the old system, which had been tried and found wahting; though he admitted that it was very desirable that some of the rules should be amended, and some restrictions placed upon the admission of new members, the present rule enabling any man, woman, or child to become a mem- ber on paying the subscription. He proposed, as an amendment, that it was undesirable to make any other change at present than with regard to the election of members but he agreed with the President that it was desirable that the Mayor, the Collector of Customs, and the Borough Member, should be ex officio members. Mr. INGLEDEW thought the present system worked better than that formerly existing, and in regard to the attendance under both systems, thought that the fact that the average attendance was nineteen members showed more interest among the members in the Cham- ber than when under the directorate there was an average attendance of eleven. The object of the Cham- ber was discussion upon commercial subjects, and it appeared to him that they were more likely to get a subject properly discussed and properly ventilated by 160 members than if they limited the discussion to a representative body of 24, unless, which was doubtful, the entire wisdom of the 160 could be concentrated in the beads of the 24 (hear, hear). At the February meeting the attendance was 48, in March 28, in Octo- ber 27, and had it not been for the June meeting, at which there were only two members present, the aver- age would have been much larger than 19. At the time the average attendance of directors was 11, there were 116 members, and the whole of the discussions were then reduced within the limit of these eleven people. Though the rules might require amendment, he did not think it wise to return to the old constitution (hear, hear). Mr. SWEELEY said when the constitution was changed he recollected a proposition made by Mr. Iiichard Cory to hold quarterly meetings of the members of the Chamber, and he thought that would be a better scheme than either the present system or that brought forth by Mr. Hill. He did not believe that the little usefulness which belonged to the Chamber had anything to do with the constitution of the Chamber (hear, hear). It did not matter what the constitution of the Chamber was, and he did not think it mattered whether they had a body of directors or whether they had their meetings entirely open. In regard to the particular resolution which the President had put forward, he should cer- tainly object to vote for it, on account of its vague- nesss, and he should certainly not commit himself to an alteration upon the principle set forth in the printed rules, because that must mean the principle set forth in the 12th clause, which, unwisely he thought, divided the Chamber into clauses. That was the very first blot he could bit, and yet it was the principle underlying the resolution. He saw a great difficulty in placing the basis of the altered constitution upon that principle. Mr. PAGE and Mr. THOMPSON did not think the prin- ciple of the 12th rule the principle upan which the alteration was to be made. Mr. INGLEDEW said there was no principle existing in the scheme, except in that clause (hear, hear). The PRESIDENT said the principle was the appoint- ment of a directorate. Mr. SHERLEY said he should hesitate to support the proposed alteration, because of the vagueness of the motion, on account of the principle which he had re- ferred to, though he thought the rules Mr. Hoist indi- cated might be advantageously amended. The PRESIDENT having replied, the motion was put to the meeting. Four hands were held up in its favour, and the whole of the other members voted against it. It was accordingly lost. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT. The PRESIDENT said that the next business was the appointment of President. He had the pleasure of proposing a gentleman very well known to all the mem- bers-a gentleman of high commercial position, and of great ability-one whose urbanity and courtesy was ex- hibited on all occasions. He had intimated that he would accept the office if it were their pleasure to elect him. That gentleman was Mr. George Thomas Clark, ef Dowlais (hear, hear). Mr. SHERLEY: Is he a member ? The Secretary said that he was. Mr. C. H. PAGE seconded the motion. From Mr. Clark's special knowledge of the staple trades, his great abilities, and his high position, he would prove an ex- cellent successor to the retiring President, and do great good to the Chamber (hear, hear). He hoped Mr. Clark would be elected unanimously, because -he believed his assent to accept the office was based upon that con- dition. Mr. HOLST supported the motion. Mr. SIIERLEY There can be no two opinions upon the advantage of electing Mr. Clark as president, but is he a member? His name is not on the list of members published in the report. The Secretary He has become a member since the printing of the report. Mr. SHERLEY I only had this report yesterday. The Secretary It was printed ten days ago. Mr. SHERLEY Is he a member now ? The Secretary: He is a member now. The motion was unanimously adopted. ELECTION OF VICE-PRESIDENTS. The retiring President was proposed as one of the vice-President, but he declined on the ground that he had already held office as Vice-President and President for two years. Mr. J. McConnochie was proposed, Mr. Sherley said he had no authority to speak for Mr. McConnochie but was there not a practical difficulty in the way of electing an absent member. They had been courteous enough to ask Mr. G. T. Clark if he would act as President, and it would have been but courteous to ask Mr. McConnochie before his name was proposed. The President said it had not been usual to ask gentlemen beforehand. No surprise could have been greater to him than when last year he was told that he had been elected President in his absence. Mr McConnochie, Mr. Walter Insole, and Mr. A. T. Luco- vich were then elected Vice-Presidents, Mr. Howard was elected auditor, and Mr. A. Dalziel re-elected Treasurer and Secretary. This was all the business.

CONVOCATION.

AFTER THE FESTIVAL.

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