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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE , --------------------------------------'------'--------.----.------...

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Merthyr Chamber of Trade.I

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Merthyr Chamber of Trade. I IS A PUBLIC ABATTOIR NECESSARY ? SPIRITED DEBATE. PROPOSED INTERCHANGE OF RETURN TICKETS. The monthly meeting of the Merthyr Chamber of Trade was held at the Bush Hotel, on Tuesday night. Mr. Charles Morgan Davies (president) presided, and there were also present:—Messrs. Henry Bailey. Henry -0m,eii, J. Lloyd, M. Warlow, T. Gunter, H. C. Davies, Thomas (Park-place), W. "Francis, N. Moss, T. Powell. J Prag, M. Goodman, J. T. Docton, Dr. Biddle, Messrs. H. M. Lloyd, J. Jenkins, Dr. W. W. Jones, Messrs. W. Jenkins, W. W. Meredith, W. R. Edmunds, D. C. Harris. T. Rich; with Mr. A. J. Howfield (hon. sec.) and Mr. W. T. Jones (assistant sec.). The question of the Shop Hours Act was adjourned. RETURN TICKETS TO CARDIFF. Mr. D. C. Harris moved That the Rhymney and Taff Vale Railway Companies be asked to allow the interchange of ordinary return tickets from Merthyr to Cardiff and Dowlais to Cardiff." He said that this privilege was granted for many years, and was useful, particularly to J commercial travellers. He had been asked by some commercial travellers to request the I Chamber to try apd revive the system.—Mr. W. R. Edmunds thought they had better wait and see if the fusion of the companies took place, ¡ as then there would be no difficulty.—Mr. W. Francis said that a commercial traveller told him ti at he had to travel from Cardiff to Dowlais, and work his way down to Merthyr. Until a few years ago he could use his return ticket from the Merthyr station, but now that privilege had been stopped. He seconded the motion.—Mr. A. J. Howfield agreed that the concession would be of great assistance to the commercial community. In these days most travellers had to pay their own fares, and this concession would, if granted, save them eight- pence a journey. The resolution was carried. PUBLIC ABATTOIRS. Dr. Biddle moved That this Chamber thoroughly approves of the steps taken by the Health Committee and the Medical Officer of Health, for the purpose of securing a supply of wholesome meat for the public. Further, that some immediate action should be taken to provide public abattoirs in the Borough, so that the examination of carcases might be facilitated." An interesting debate followed.—Dr. Biddle said that inspectors of meat were as essential as an inspector appointed by Government, and he thought if one or two abattoirs were pro- vided such inspection would be facilitated. He read a report written in 1906 by Dr. Spencer Lowe, upon local slaughter houses, saying that the slaughter houses were conjested, some premises were in a filthy state, in too close proximity to dwellings,, and that in his opinion pubiic abattoirs would be better. When the incorporation inquiry was held, one of the advantages mentioned was that if incorporation took place the Council would i.uilu abattoirs. OY ,-Councillor H M. IJóyQ said the Council [ had to promise to provide three things beforfl incorporation was granted, an abattoir, # refuse destructor, and a small-pox hospital. Mr. Henry Bailey (Priday, Metford & Co.) said that abattoirs at Pontypridd and othet places in South Wales were white elephants. As regarded the condition of the local slaughter- houses, he contended that if they did not comply with the bye-laws it was the fault of' the servants of the Corporation, who were paid to look after them. He spoke from exporience and observation when lie said that nowhere in the whole of Glamorganshire would they find better kept slaughter-houses than at Merthyr. They could kill twenty or thirty more beasts a week than they now did, and the butchers were always willing for the inspectors to pay surprise visits.—Mr. W. W. Meredith said that an undertaking had been given that the Cor- poration would provide abattoirs, but in vietf j of the tremendous expenditure which had to be faced by the Corporation to-day he did not think the Council should be hurried. Besides the Corporation would have to buy vested interests if they closed private slaughter- houses. It would be very awkward for people living at Treharris. Quakers' Yard, and Dowlais Top to have to drive their beasts to Merthyt to be slaughtered. Most eff the matters mentioned in Dr. Lowe's report had bean attended to. and he did not think the public had any fault to find with the slaughter-houses to-day. The general public were crying down the increase in the rates, but they could not have improvements and low rates. He there- fore did not agree with the resolution, in its entirety, but he moved as an amendment that the Chamber approved of what the health committee and Medical Officer had done foi the purpose of securing a supply of wholesome meat for the public. MISLEADING FIGURES. j Mr. H. C. Davies (High-street) said he was < butcher, and agreed with the first part of the resolution. The Corporation took action as to the inflation of animals because there was j such a lot of meat coming into Merthyr which j was not sold by butchers, but by male and female hawkers. Butchers did not attempt to remove a carcase until it had been examined l by the Corporation Inspector. lie also said that the reports issued by the meat Inspectors. were misleading to the public. The last report stated that 7441bs. of meat was con- demned. But of that, 5421bs. was offal, bullock's lights, &c., which were not eaten by people, and livers weighed 310lbs., so that only 1701bs. of the 7441bs. was meat. He also pointed out that the majority of the meat condemned was veal and common beef, which were brought into the district. The butchers did not think an abattoir at all necessary. I Within 350 yards in the town of Merthyr there: were four slaughter-houses, with three times: more air space than was required, and ninety per cent. of the meat consumed in the borough I was killed there. That was not too much work, he contended, for an inspector to supervise; whereas if public abattoirs were built in various centres the' staff of inspectors would have to be increased, and the Corporation would have to go to increased expense. The object of a Chamber of Trade, he contended, was to protect traders, but the motion favoured the taking away of what was really the butchers' work- shopr. h- Dr. W. W. Jones, in seconding Dr. Biddle s motion, agreed that this was neither the proper time or place to debate such a subject, because the question of interfering with vested interests came up: The butchers were as much entitled | to the protection of the Chamber as othet traders. Ti erefore, though he secorde-I the motion, he would like the last part of it with- drawn. Dr. Jones dealt with the importance of meat inspection. Consumption was pro- duced by diseased milk, and although not proved, he believed consumption was also brought about by diseased meat. As regarded the brttcliers, no registered slaughter-houses could be closed without payment of compen- sation. He did not think the present method of meat inspection adequate or sufficient to safeguard the public against danger. A tremendous amount of diseased meat was sold daily in spite of the inspection that took place, as it was impossible for the inspectors to ge thoroughly over all the slaughter-houses from Pant to Treharris. He had never doubted the honesty of butchers they were fair and I desirous that nothing but the best of meat should be sold. But he had seen a great deal of ignorance displayed by butchers—ignorance that was almost astonishing, and if it was necessary to build, a public abattoir in order to secure the proper inspection of meat it ought to be done. He had seen, quite recently, flukey liver sold to poor people in Merthyr; he had also seen diseased meat sold. He agreed that a large quantity of meat was voluntarily sur- rendered. He also thought that there should be ou a place provided locally where foreign meat could be inspected and stamped. DEFECTS RECTIFIED. Mr. J. T. Docton said there appeared to be a great deal of red-tapeism about the resolution. The Chamber should protect traders, and not seek to close their shops, or harass them.—Dr. Biddle I do not intend to do so, or shut up any shop whatever.—Mr. Docton: Don't be thin-skinned. You are not used to public debate (laughter).—Dr. Biddle I am not thin- skinned. I thought I was pig-skinned (laughter)4 —Mr. Docton referred to the great expense that would be involved if the abattoir question were proceeded with at once. Since Dr. Lowe wrote his report, nearly all defects in slaughter-houses had been rectified the local slaughter-houses were a credit to the borough. Mr. n. C. Davies moved a direct negative.— Mr. J. T. Docton seconded, and said the rate- payers, if appealed to, would never sanction such a huge expenditure.—Mr. Hy. Bailey supported the amendment, as did also Mr. D. C. Harris, who said that butchers were doing all that could be expected of them. Abattoirs were white elephants. He produced the rules of the Merthyr Butchers' Association, one of which read that any member wilfully offering for sale meit unfit for human food should forfeit I the protection of the Association (hear, hear). If 90 per cent. of meat slaughtered locally were so killed within a space of 300 yards he thought an abattoir unnecessary.—Mr. Meredith pro- posed as another amendment, and Air. lI. C. Davies seconded, that the first part of the motion only be adopted.—After replying to the argu. ments, Dr. Biddle withdrew the latter part of the motion, and the amendment was carried unanimously. Melsrs. Hy. Bailey, W. W. Meredith and Hy. Owen were appointed to attend the meeting 01 the Federated Chambers at Penarth. j CEFN TRAMWAYS. | Mr. W. W. Meredith drew attention to the application to be made to the Board of Trade on the 24th inst., byt he Merthyr Traction Co., j to vary the orgiinal order to run trams to th# j Morning Sun, Cefn, and moved that the Cham. br support the Corporation in protesting against the application. The Chamber gave the Traction Company its support when they first came to the town, and yet they had not I been consulted in regard to the alteration.— Mr. F. A. Phillips seconded the resolution, which was carried.—Mr. Henry Bailey We took first action in favour of getting the Black Maria, We should have credit for that. Mr. Timothy Davies, relieving officer, and Mr. W. H. Roberts, sub-postmaster, Gwaelod- ygarth, were elected members of the Chamber,

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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE , --------------------------------------'------'--------.----.------...