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Royal Co-operative Collecting Society. Annual Meeting at Pontypridd. The annual meeting of the Pontypridd and Rhondda branch of the Royal Co-op- erative Collecting Society was held at the Park Hotel, Pontypridd, on Tuesday, March 9th. 1 The chair was taken by Mr. NEI be, Swansea (manager of the South Wales District), and he was supported by Mr. W. Watson (the general secretary), Bir- I mingham, Mr. George Hutchinson (of the Board of Management, Bolton, Lanca- shire), Mr. Weeks (district manager, Pontypool), Mr. N. J. Pulling (manager of the Rhondda and Pontypridd Branch, Ferndale). The proceedings were preceded by a dinner, to which ample justice was done. The chairman proposed the toast of the Royal Co-operative Collecting Society, and remarked that this was the first occasion upon which they had the Mon- mouthshire men, and on the present oc- casion they were honoured by the presence of Mr. Watson, the general secretary, and Mr. Hutchinson, of the Board of Man- agement (applause). It was with confid- ence that he was now proposing that toast, as there was no other society which had only been in existence for ten years, could show equal progress (hear, hear). During that period there had been built up a premium income of L50,000 and this without the adventitious aid of a big capital (hear, hear). All the moaey which had been raised belonged to the members who had a controlling interest in the society. During the same period there had been saved also a. good reserve fund. At the same time all the men were paid fair trades union rates of wages (hear, hear). All the men had 25 per cent. on the books, and so much enthus- iasm was taken in the work that he felt that in South Wales there was a great prospect for the Society (hear, hear). Good work had already been done, but he hoped that better work still would be accomplished in the future (applause). All the men doing their best, they would be able to secure that position for the society which would be a credit to such an institution, and also a credit to them- selves. Referring to the management of the concern, the chairman added that the men at the head of affairs were those who themselves knew what it was to get up business, as well as how to control it; they were all good workers. He then proposed the toast of the "The Royal Co-operative Collecting Society." Mr. Hutchinson, in responding, pre- faced an interesting speech by explaining that that was the first opportunity he had ever had of addressing a body of Welshmen, and he was very pleaised to have had the opportunity, as he had heard a good deal of the Rhondda, but had never had the privilege of being here before. With regard to the Society, they had had difficulties to encounter, but in the worst of storms there was always observable some relieving feature, even in the darkest of days. As with the Israelitish army, with the rocks on either side of the Jordan in front of them, and the Prudential Army, they had had to stayd still and look for the bright streak in the dark cloud. But those men who had undergone those trials and diffi- culties, were the men who were able to speak to others in the same trials and in the same difficulties (hear, hear). As far as his connection with the insurance work was concerned, he had nothing to be ashamed of. They had had to combat with the great insurance companies, so to be regarded as the "fighting society" that the Royal Co-operative Insurance Society came to be regarded as the fight- ing society. (Voices: "Quite right' and applause.) The men connected with the society were those who had been ready to do the fighting, and now they had an institution of that honour and standing of which they need not be ashamed (applause). Having explained the genesis of the society as being due to the unjust treat- ment meted out to the originators by another concern, the speaker maintained that it was only right that every man should have an interest in that business which he created, and in the Society. Every agent had a financial interest in his books, not only in the agreement, which they entered into, but by the rules of the society also (hear, hear). Mr. Watson, who was cordially received also responded, and said that he had been longing to get the society estab- lished in the industrial centre of the Rhondda Valley, for it was a society for which there was room throughout the country, and eapecialliy so in South Wales. The Society had conferred bene- fits upon hundreds of thousands of people who could not have been so benefited by means of the Insurance Companies. There was one striking feature, and that was that he had never found any difficulty in getting good men to represent it (hear, hear). He had carefully refrained from endeavouring to poach upon other people's preserves, by offering fabulous sums. It was only about three or four weeks ago that he was asked to interview about 20 men belonging to another institution who were desirous of becoming agents of the society, but he had at the outset made it clear that it should be understood that the interview was not of his seeking. He had never sought to tempt men to leave other companies. In the case of a society such as theirs, they were prevented by law from spending more than a limited sum in expansion expenses, but the society had had offers from other con- cerns) to amalgamate, and between £ 50,000 and £ 60,000 was offered, which of itself, showed that it was a valuable asset. Nothing gave him more pleasure than to note the splendid progress which the society had made in South Wales, thanks to the efforts of Mr Newcombe, Mr Pelling, and Mr. Weekes. The noble band of workers whom they had in South Wales augured well for the future (hear, hear). Mr. Weekes having spoken in gratify- ing terms, Mr. Pelling remarked that in the Rhondda they had had to fight against unscrupulous opposition. Messrs Skim, Prior, and W. L. Wil- liams, also spoke, remarking that speak- ing as exiperienced insurance agents, they had found the Society the most satisfac- tory to work under. The proceedings were interspersed with musical selections contributed by Messrs Pelling, Daniels, Bartley, and others.

Blaengwynfi.

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