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- THE EAST DENBIGHSHIRE ELECTION.

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CHESTER GRACES.

I SALT USED IN INDIA.

» THE SALT UNION.

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» THE SALT UNION. Sir,—You did me the favour to publish in your valuable paper letters on the above subject and an answer from Bombay, also notice of the re-copy in the Calcutta Englishman of 14th June. I asked that an analysis should be made of the salt evaporated from sea water in Bombay to see if the using of such, unmixed with Liverpool salt, was not the cause of the great sickness in Bombay, I maintain the small particles of gold in such salt is very injurious, as well as the earthy and impure matters. The salt tax in India is 121b. per head, and if the population is taken at 300,000,000 you will get the consumption. Again, in China the tax is 71b., therefore the population gives a consumption of 2! million tons. My contention is to get a part of this trade. I have already shewn Russia is importing large quantities ofaline earth by camel transport in the north, also that the trade is generally managed in China by the great companies. Now, if we had a stock of, say, 10,000 tons at Hong Kong, these companies could be supplied, who would take it in the interior. I am aware at present there are difficulties, except in their hands, as Liverpool salt is only used for confectionery purposes. We shew a sad want of enterprise, and the directors of the Salt Union are much to blame. They appear to be asleep, and are so full of their own importance and the idea of keeping the head office in London, that I am afraid not much ean be done until some practical merchants take hold. The unfortunate holders of ordinary shares are the sufferers. All losses have been put on their shoulders, and the 910 shares that were issued to the extent of two million pounds sterling are quoted at 2J, shewing a loss of If million pounds sterling. I consider it very unfair that the interest on the preference and debentures have not been reduced, and for all shares to bear the losses together, instead of being favoured by these directors, who are stated to have such enormous influence. If such was the case, why do they not come forward now the Hooley- Jameson loan is in the market for China ? The salt dues are one of the securities, therefore if they have any influence, let them shew it, and get Liverpool salt introduced in China, and so benefit their shareholders, give work to the operative population at Winsford and North- wich, and also give health to the Chinese population. As regards Bombay, an agreement has to be made with the Indian Government, so as to give an advantage to English or Liverpool salt against the sea-evaporated native impure salt. These two markets, if opened, will give relief to all, and take with the Calcutta market, to which we ship all the salt England can give. I have received letters marked private and confidential' from parties connected with the Salt Union, but, of course, I can make no use of the information they contain. I have no secrecy in my writing, and my only object is to benefit the ordinary shareholders in the Salt Union. I know nothing about stock-jobbing and one class of interests trying to freeze out the other. I want to benefit all, and I hope some younger and more talented party may take up my ideas, and we (the ordinary share- holders) get only a portion of the losses, and that the preference and debenture holders bear their proportion, that the directors will rouse up from their apparent sleep, and shew if they have the influence they boast of, by getting salt an entry into China by the Hooley-Jameson loan security, and keeping a stock of never less than 10,000 tons for the Chinese Companies supply at Hong Kong. My health will not allow me to attend meetings in London, so I ask some younger and more talented party to take up the subject at the next general meeting, and so get the directors into practical business work. If not, let the shareholders appoint those who will. It is not a matter of favouritism. What is wanted is plain business work and fair play. The word 'preference' on these shares, I maintain, should only mean a preference in any profits when such exist, that is, a share with the ordinary equal when the profits exist, but not that they should have all and perhaps a share of the extra issue, which I consider ought never to have been made if any part of it is taken to pay divi- dends on these preference and debenture shares. I cannot see how it was wanted to increase capital when the trade was falling off. An explanation is wanted, and whether the directors are in any way liable for these great dividends they have been paying preference and debenture shares. And I again repeat the ordinary share- holders want fair play, and a younger advocate than myself who can attend the meetings in London, and have our claims threshed out, and relief given.—Yours truly, HBNRY HOLBROOK. Parkgate, 18th Sept., 1897.

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