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REPORT OF DIRECTORS. At the half-yearly meeting whieh was held in the month of February last, your directors explained to you, that the course which they would feel it their duty to pursue, would be, to press as lightly as possible on the resources of the proprietors p p during the continuance of monetary and commercial difficulty, and to confine their operations within the narrowest limits con- sistent with their obligations to the contractors, and with maintaining in good condition the works which were already begun. On this principle, your directors have steadily con- tinued to act; they have confined the active prosecution of the works to the most important portions of the line they have entertained no new project; they have incurred no new en- gagements, beyond those which you have already sanctioned, and they have made no application to Parliament, except for a bill,, authorising them to pay 5 instead of 4 per cent. on the calls paid by the shareholders. The application for such a bill was indispensable, to give .effect to ,tiio agreement which had been entered into by the 11 a Great Western Company, for that purpose, and to meet the wishes and expectations of the South Wales proprietors, re- peatedly urged on their directors. Both these companies used their utmost efforts to procure the passing of the bill. The resolution of the two Houses of Parliament, prohibiting the payment of interest on calls out of capital, did not seem to im- pose any restriction with respect to lines already authorised; but the committee of the House of Commons, of which Sir Robert Peel was the chairman, considered that such a bill, if not inconsistent with the letter, would be inconsistent with the spirit of those resolutions, and the bill was thus lost. Your directors, however, have received from the Great Western Company a, renewal of the assurance which is con- tained in the Report of the 25th August, 1847, that if their endeavours to obtain the sanction of Parliament should fail, the Great Western Company would substitute "a full pecu- niary equivalent in some other form;" they feel confident, how- ever, that you will see the propriety of their giving, effect to that assurance, at such time and in such manner as shall not be in contravention of the decision of Parliament. Mr. Brunei's Report, which is annexed, will explain to you fully the progress which has been made in the works. Your Directors have thought it right to concentrate their efforts and resources on that portion of the line which lies between New- port and Swansea, because, it will bring a large and profitable .cl section into early operation; because, they are satisfied it will raise the value of your property, by giving the most undeniable proof of its capability j, and because it will essentially contri- bute to the reduction of the amount of interest which would be otherwise chargeable against the capital of the company. Their attention must next be directed to the completionjof that portion which will connect Newport with the Great Western Railway at Gloucester, and they will be prepared to resume active operations beyond Swansea, as soon as circumstances will justify them in so doing. In the session of 1846, when it was proposed that the South Wales Railway should cross the Severn at Hock Crib, the Gloucester and Dean Forest Company had a bill before Parlia- ment, for making a line of railway from Gloucester to a junc- tion with the Monmouth and Hereford railway, with a branch from Grange Court to Hagloe, a distance of about seven miles, at the eastern extremity of our line. Contemplating the pos- sibility of our failing to obtain the sanction of the Legislature,, or the Admiralty, to cross the Severn in the mode proposed, your Directors entered into an agreement with the Gloucester and Forest of Dean Company, that the option should be given to us to become the owners of that branch. The arrangement has been completed, and this portion of railway now consti- tutes an integral part of our main line to be constructed under our management, and to belong to ourselves. Your Directors have confined the Calls which they have madeon the Proprietors within the narrowest practicable'limits. Upon the whole, they consider that these Calls have been paid with reasonable punctuality but in some instances they have felt it their duty to press, through the solicitors, for the pay- ment of such arrears as were due, and they think the time is now arrived for them to announce that they will, at the next half-yearly meeting, or at some Special General Meeting, to be convened for the purpose, proceed to the forfeiture of those shares on which the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th instalments shall then be unpaid. The amounts at present due by the proprietary on these in- stalments are— 12nd. Instahaeut, due 22nd Jan., 1846, 1,193 Shares, at £ 2 10s., £ 2,9S2 10s. 3rd „ „ loth „ 1S47, 2,252 „ at £ 5 0s., £ 11,260 4th „ 12th. July, 1817, 4,800 at £ 5 0s., £ 21,000 JLms will make the total number ot chares in arrears 4,800, and the total amount t38,242 10s. The forfeiture of these Shares will not release the Proprie- tors of them from the liability of paying the arrears due by them, and the Solicitors are now taking the necessary legal ttepa, under instructions from. the Board-, to recover those ar- rears. There will still remain unpaid on the 5th and 6th Instal- ments about £ 65,000; but as those instalments were only made payable on the oth January and 6th April in the present year, your Directors think it would be harsh and precipitate to pro- ceed to the-forfeiture of those Shares at the same time, They will, however, use every possible effort to recover the arrears due on-them, and they will not hesitate to recommend the for- ftureoftheShatesif the arrears are not paid within a rea- sonable period. It is right to mention. that the 5,000 Shares which the Swan- sea Yale Company agreed to receive in payment, for the pur- chase of their Line, under the arrangement set forth in the Report of the 24th February, 1847, and approved by you, have been placed in trust for that purpose. An Act having been passed in the Session of Parliament of 1347, authorising the Railway Commissioners to, extend the pme which may have been given to Railway Companies, for the construction of their Lines, and for obtaining compulsory possession of land, your Directors applied to them for such ex- tension, and a certificate to the desired eifect has been obtamed. The usual statement of Accounts is appended to this Report. CHARLES RUSSELL, Chairman.. EXGIXEEIV8 B.KPORT. 6" Duke-street, Wastminstcr, August 19th, 1S48: OENTIIKMBX, ■ The necessity of limiting the expenditure has, unfortunately, contititted during the last, as iu the preceding halt year, and the works have not, there- fore, proceeded ntbire rapidly niy endeavour has been made tp regulate the advance ofthe s\y,era.\ portions, sb-a» .to ensure their simultaneous comple- <K>n, and to devote the available funds as much as "possible to the more im- portant works, and tljose which must ultimately govern the opening of any portion of thei^ne,unfortunately, however, titis is not practicable to the xtent that may be desiredf-there are many works which, once commenced, tftouot be much delayed, nnlcs;! entlrely suspendeI¡;nçh as Tunnelling, and all other works'; in which the eifeets of water have" to be, encountered, and thus, the tunnelling beyond Swansea, -nd the work# alpngrfhe coast at Llan- etlv, Peinbrev, auh aloiijj the shores of the River Tpwy, towards Carmarthen, iave absorbed some of the funds which might, perhaps, have been more pro- fitably employed in rendering available the works east of Swansea. I The works generally, which are in progress throughout the whole distance iirom Gloucester to the neighbourhood of Haverfordwest have proceeded very satisfttctorffly, < excepting as to the rate, for the reasons before referred to,; ao new diliiiulties Uaye hsen encountered)1 to affect either thsjr ,(wst or efficiency. The destruction by fire of a timber bridge, across the Usk, at Newport, will not cause any delay to the works generally; the loss, which (so. far as the Company is concerned) is borne by\the Contractor, was covered, or nearly so, by the insurance, which, under the terms of the Contract, he was bound to effect upon all timber bridges, during their construction after completion, these structures are not exposed to the same risk, being covered with ballast, and otherwise protected, bt sides which, it is only while fresh creosoted, and covered with tar, that they are,so inflarainablei The Con- tractor is proceeding rapidly with the restoration of this bridge. The works east of Chepstow are in a forward state. The heavy, works at,Chepstow and at Newport, including the tunnel at thei latter place, are in a very forward state; the. tunnel last mentioned is com- pleted. The Contract for the Bridge at Chepstow, which had been post- pon.,as long as it conveniently could be, is now about to be let. The principal works between Cardiff and Neath, viz., those at Bridgend and Margam, are proceeding rapidly, and between Neath and Swansea they are very forward; in fact, between Newport and Swansea, if every endeavour were made to expedite the works, they might be completed in ten or twelve months; and east of Newport, assuming the Gloster and Dean Forest Rail- way to be completed, the whole might with similar exertion be finished in twelve or fifteen months. Several portions of the Line are now, and others will seon be ready, for receiving the permanent way, and a large portion of the rails being in hand, and the other materials in the course of delivery, this work will soon be commenced. I am, Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, (Signed) I. K. BRUNEL. To the Directors of The South Wales Railway Company.









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