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Family Notices









TAFF VALE RAILWAY STOCK. MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS AT BRISTOL. IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN, £250 ORDINARY STOCK FOR EACH £100, On Monday afterix^n, a special meeting of the proprietors of the Tuff Vaie R iilway O uopauy was held iu tha Royal Hotel, College Green, Bristol. Mr James Inskip, chairman of the company, presided over a full board of directors, and the following officials were present Messrs Harman, John Jones, Ingledew, T. H. Riches, and Coleman. There was only a small attendance of shareholders, amongst theee being a consider- able leaven from the North, where Taff Vale stock has recently been bought rather heavily. The CHAIRMAN, in opening tlio proceedings, said that they had no statutory notice which could be read. This was a meeting called by the directors of the Taff Vale Railway Company in pursuance of a promise made some time since. Therefore they wore proceeding voluntarily in the matter, and were not under any statutory regulations or parliamentary orders. The share- holders were aware that two important bills were pending in Parliament at the plesent timfl, with regard to'both of which the directors had promised to consult tha share holders if any material alteration were to be made, The first of tbesa was the Bute Docks Bill, seeking for confirmation of the working agreement entered into by the Taff Vale Rail- way Company and the Bute Docks Company, subject to confirmation by Parliament. Some of tbose present would probably remember that when he originally introduced the matter, and submitted the agreement for approval by the shareholders, it was provided that if the bill wore passed it would be optional to the shareholders either to adopt the agreement or abandon it. When they came before the House of Lords that provision was deemed objectionable, and in exercise of tho powers conferred upon Parlia- ment, it was expunged before the bill left the committee. Under those circumstance* the directors thought it right to place the matter before the shareholders for their approval of this alteration. Parliament said in effect :— "You must make up your minds before you ask us to make up our minds. Do not ask us to pass an optional or permissive bill, but teli us you mean to carry out the agreement and then come to us and ask us to confirm It." This was not a very important alteration because, so far as he knew the views and wishes of his colleague* and the shareholders generally, all had agreed that as the working agreement now stood and with the apportionment of revenue settled, subject to the confirmation of Parliament in the second Honse, they would vote for the adoption of the agree- ment if Parliament had thought fit to leave it optional. He therefore proposed :— That this meeting approves of tho terms of the bill now pending in the House of Commons, entitled an Act to Confirm Certain Agreements between the Bute Docks Company and the Tall Vsle Railway Company, with respect to the maintenance and working of the undertakings ol the two companies. Mr GEORGE FISHER, deputy chairman, seconded, and the resolution was carried unani- mously. The CHAIRMAN then said that their own luff Vale Bill was pending in Parliament,and had not; yet finally emerged from the first II >u?o. It had undergone a great deal of careful examination, and as he thought he had indicated when he last had the pleasure of meeting his fellow-share- holders, and when they fixed that meeting for the present date ho wus under tho impression that everything would be fiuaily nottled, and that he would present a complote history of the affair to them. They could not, in conformity with their promise, further postpone the meeting, because the Bute Docks Bili was fixed to be in committee on the following day, and they wore, therefore, obliged to come in redemption of that promise. He was sorry to say there wax one point still remaining open in their own bill. Ho hoped it would be satisfactorily settled on the morrow (to-day, Tuesday), and he much regrsttod that he could not speak of it as finally sr.ttlcd then. It would be remembered that when he fully explained the provisions of the till two courses were indicated by him. They had asked for power to increase the nominal amount of their ordinary stock, and to divide that increased nominal amount into two equai parts, one bearing a preferred dividend and to be known as preferred ordinary stock, and the other as deferred ordinary stock. He then indicated that it was quite within the range of possibility they might be asked to aocept a simple increase of the nominal amount of their ordinary stock. That contingency had arisen, and they were asked if the bill proceeded to waive any preference of any portion of tue new stock, and tha alternative WHS now assuming this form—that instead of talcing stock for £200, with £100 preferred and deferred, they should tnke stock for £250, the whole of it making pari passu for the purposes of dividend. He supposes that the shareholders would, when thoy knew they (the directors) bad done their best to promote the accentance of the shareholders' views in the matter, be satisfied and let the bill proceed upon that modified footing. (Applause.) The of Lords, which had been dealing with this ques- tion, or the chairman, who was entrusted with very important duties, and his advisers had felt it right to ask for some concession from them (the Taff Vale Railway Company) in return for this nlLerfitum or incre&fio of thoir stock. (A lauch.) Thoy said the time had arrived when the Taff Vale Railway Company should be prepared to make a concession to tho public from whom they asked this alteration in their favour. iho suggestion made to them hid bean that they should not ask in future for any largor dividend thau their average dividend in the last seven years. That average dividend bad benn only a few shillings short of 15 per cant. per annum. He had, with the concurrence of his colleaguos, taken upon him- self to say that they would in future be satisfied with 15 per cent. per annum, and they would not refuse to place within the power of Parliament any esrnings over and above that amount. There- fore 15 per cent. was given as the present vaiue of their stocks It would be manifestly unfair to impose a limit upon the dividend below that amount, but as the last seven years had not upon the average exceeded it, they might accept that condition, aud, if it were accepted, embody it in the Act of Parliament. Whenever they had a surplus profit beyond 15 per cent. they would have the pleasure of remitting somnthing for the benefit of their freighters, (Hear, hear.) All this was subject to one question. There was outstanding the question with reference to the partly paid shares in the company. He thought it would bs best, as the matter waa now under consideration, if he aid not enter too minutely into the discussion of this subject. The matter had not advanced quite so far as newspaper reports some few days ago had led some shareholders to suppose. The matter was under consideration, and he hoped this considera- tion would result satisfactorily to the shareholders. Ho hoped so the more strongly because he felt convinced that the position the directors were taking with reference to the new shares was a sound and just one. In the House of Lords, the committee were always ready to listen to the claims of justice and falrnollll, and they bad been so fairly, and considerately dealt with by the parliamentary authorities within the last few months that he was sure there would be no refusal on their part to listen to any arguments that might be addreesed to them. He might, perhap', go one step farther, and say he did not think tho point to which be had alluded was one that ought to cause uneasiness at the present moment. (Hear, hear.) He scarcely knew what form the resolu- tion dealing with this matter ought to take, but perhaps one of the shareholders would propose that the matter should be left in the bauds of the directori;. Mr E. J. SWANN (Bristol) moved :— That th" shareholders present fully satisfied with the course taken by the directors in dealing with the alteration of the share capital, that they approve thereof, and desire that th same may be carried into effect lIy parliamentary sanction. (Hear, hear.) Mt GEORGE WHITK (Bristol) seconded the pro- position. He did Dot think they could do better at that etaga than pass such a resolution, as these were matters which should properly be wholly left in the hands of the board. The resolution was carried unanimously, and the proceedings terminated.















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