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SHIPPING COMMERCE AT CONNAH'S…

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SHIPPING COMMERCE AT CONNAH'S QUAY. —— SERIOUS DECREASE. ACTION BY THE DISTRICT COUNCIL. At a meeting of the Connah's Quay District Council on Wednesday evening, Mr. J. T. Humphreys presiding over a good attendance, Councillor H. Hughes brought forward the following resolution :— That this Council draw the attention of the Dee Conservancy Board to the large decrease in the volume of foreign shipping, especially timber vessels, coming to Connah's Quay, due to the lack of facility afforded by the Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway Company, and also to certain rates charged which are considered unreasonable, and to ask them to take such steps as may conduce to a revival of the timber trade, and to place shipping generally on a more satis- factory basis. Mr. Hughes said that there was a decrease in the volume of shipping was a foregone con- clusion, and especially with regard to the timber vessels. From information he had gathered, previously it was no uncommon occurrence for some 10 or 12 foreign vessels to be at the Quay loaded with timber but it waa a unique sight now to see even one timber vessel land. The cause of this, so far as he could gather, was not the difficulty in dealing ^ith these vessels, but rather the practice of discharging the cargo, and conveying it by rail to the destination. Here the raiway com- pany were at fault. The timber landed at the Quay to be delivered by rail at Wrexham, was not conveyed within the specified period, and the railway company frequently sent word that there were no wagons at disposal to discharge the goods within the specified time. Such a niode of conducting the traffic was quite un- reasonable. Goods delayed in this manner were often thrown out of the market on account of their late arrival. They knew the railway charges were governed by Act of Parliament, but although these charges were legal, it was not advisable to make the legal charge; in fact, it would be injudicious. Their contract should be carried out at a reasonable charge, with a view to encouraging trade and traffic. Then a rate of 2d. per ton was charged on vessels landing or leaving the Quay. Also the rate of a penny a ton levied for cranage, he understood, was regarded as a grievance. Assuming the owners of vessels were not willing to go to the cost of cranage, and remained in the dock, the other vessels outside were pre- sented from getting in. As a consequence traffic was impeded both in and out. Again, vessels coming further up the river than Connah's Quay, which moored at the Quay to wait for the tide were liable to a rate of 2d. per ton- This was another grievance, and he believed that toll was taken by the railway company. Before the railway company owned the wharf vessels passing further up the river permitted, free of charge, to hang at the Quay to catcb the tide. These matters were jjrievance8, and most of the seafaring people and aK? 8 *n kk** district thought these unreason- able charges should be avoided, if good trade H?8 revived- The half-yearly report of Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay way, stated that there was a reduction in And wel1 there miSht be> 'or convit;We!t Dot afforded Proper facilities for in oZ,eir g°°ds.—Mr. Blain had pleasure in -wuuiiig cue resolution. He thought prompt action should be taken towards reviving: Jhat'onT^ tra1e-, Merchante had toT^m that on the arrival of their timber at ConnaX Quay tbey had to cancel further orders for its «xiIr)>arVCK' -Carry ifc to Birkenhead to ConnahVq i The Wrexham- Mold and V'onuah s Quay Railway took five or six davs wheTer? to Wrexham or Suabon in two d 'r°m,?lr^nhead they could be taken concurr^yi Chairman said he thoroughly matter the present resolution. The tiniB j ■ before the Council for a long ^raa 6 thought that now their Council havfi district authority, any action would inhah>reater for?e takeQ by them, than by the in f Dts signing petitions, as they had done adopti^*6* He thought they were the £ *he right course in drawing Board tn UAion the Dee Conservancy that grievances, and most likely towards. would take the necessary steps Sh»U w« lmProvernent.—Mr. John Coppack: air e at) roach the railway company P—The tioQ ia th important point in the resolu- stiPpinlr large decrease in the volume of ^ates. yv a what are termed unreasonable Pany. 6 can complain to the railway corn- stand whff' CoPPack said he failed to under- t° Cou{ja?r>e the hindrance lay in vessels coming berth r Quay» unless there was a want of °f irnr.^00^ out8ide. Then the mode of transit tho 8 rail would not affect the landing of Ri 688el. He did not see how this prevented P8 coming to Connah's Quay. He felt certain, however, that to secure a large foreign trade they needed a proper reception for the vessels when landing. Large vessels could not hind at the Quay, for they would ground. 1 hey wanted a floating dock. The rate charged 2 nnage was not taken by the railway com- pany, but by the Conservancy Board. All the railway company charged was the penny per T T ve88els loading outside the dock.—Mr. Jones supported the resolution, and Baid tionahTv WaQt of berth room, and unques- transit^f W1as a lack of facility for the he h™ J°^S by rail.—Mr. H. Hughes said shipninfn \lB m°tir0n in the interests of the resoh!?; Pe°p e' and for no °ther motive.—The carried ?Q Wa8 the° Pufc to the m««ting, and to ferwa^animOU6l/ ZTheClerk was instructed Cons. "rd coPles °/ the resolution to the Dee and Or, at,v.y ^?ar and the Wrexham, Mold, Dd C°nnah's Quay Railway Company. THE SUGGESTED REFORMS. [Ry OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] Hopes are expressed that the discussion at the meeting of the Urban District Council on Wednesday, with reference to the trade of the tort, will have a good effect, and that the Wrexham, Mold, and Connah's Quay Railway secufaDy WiU endeav<mr to expedite traffic, and Possibi food accommodation for ships as ^nditiok ^he flVer is.in as &°°d a navigable iiumber of present as it has been for a great re&son WH ^eare» and there is certainly no not reach th foreign timber trade should characte 8atne gigantic proportions which ag0 r. this particular trade some years jj0w 6 er facilities for towing to the port are Dri f ° ^» this having been carried out by Va e enterprise. The port is also the nearest the large coal fields around Wrexham. Uabon, and Buckley, which are easily Accessible by the railways, and there appears no tangible reason why the supply of timber in these localities should not come to this Port in preference to Birkenhead. One im- Portant point raised in the discussion was the Provision of more suitable berthing accommo- ation, the suggestion being made that a oating dock would greatly add to the foreign rade of the port. At present ships have to lie aground the greater portion of the time "hile discharging, and this, in certain in. stances, proves hurtful to ships, inasmuch is the Dee, being a strong tidal river, with sandy bottom, the berths are constantly changing in formation, and ships at times lie ^ei7 awkwardly in consequence. If a floating °ck were constructed the danger of receiving would be obviated, and there would bean jncentive to shipowners to charter their ships to the port. With respect to the shipment of bricks and the charge of Id. per ton for the use of the company's steam cranes, general com- Plaints are expressed against this charge. The way company's rates are free on board, and 1powners consider it a hardship to be called ePi°n ^0 pay a toll which is not legitimate. If bv if *°ad *n the docks where cranes worked acd are employed, the charge of Id. per *nd 1 H n°k enf°rced> but on low spring tides, con neap tide, this is not always n,ent, inasmuch as the ships are detained ^or water to float them into the river *hareaa if the loading takes place at the to p_ 88 under the steam cranes they are enabled often ueed 8ea mucb earlier. Ships are also tide Waiting for a loading berth on neap ^here*1 °^naecinence of the docks being full, shipg f the railway company would load °f the Id. per ton toll, work could be instead °« dut"ing the whole of the neap tides, Mi°ie there being a great rush to have the e completed in a few days e spring tides ue in force. This is certainly disadvantageous to the railway company themselves, as often extra labour has to be employed in addition to the regular staff. which could easily cope with the traffic if it was worked regularly. The mooring charge of 2d- a ton upon ships bound up to Saltney is also a grievance, but the company are empowered to levy the toll by Act of Parliament. They consider that when loaded ships bound to Saltney, Chester, or other discharging places up the river, moor alongside their wharves, they do so as a con- venience to the place where they are bound to, and the fact that they occupy berths alongside their wharves is a hindrance to them in deal- ing with the shipping traffic of the port. Consequently they enforce this charge to deter ships that are neither discharging nor loading cargoes from mooring alongside their wharves, as their berthing accommodation is only sufficient to deal with their own traffic. The other charge to which objection is taken is the 2d. per ton dues levied by the River Dee Conservancy Board. This amount is charged on ships leaving and coming to the port with cargoes, but light ships or ships in ballast are not affected. Shipowners do not attempt to minimise the great improvement effected by the Conservancy Board in the river since that body has taken over its management. The navigable channel is in a better and deeper condition at present than it has been for years, and ships of large drought can come to the port on ordinary spring tides. It is, however, thought by all interested in shipping that the present dues are exorbitant, and that if a reduction of the dues by one half was made, there would be no objection on the part of shipowners to pay this amount. Other grievances exist, but if the intervention of the District Council has the effect of remedying those enumerated, it certainly will prove beneficial to shipping, and a large increase in the shipping trade of the port can be confidently anticipated.

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