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THE FEDERATED CHAMBERS OF TRADE. HALF-YEARLY MEETING AT PENAWriff. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS DISCUSSED. The half-yearly conference of the Federated Chambers of Trade of Glamorgan, Monmouth- shire, and Brecknock was hold at the Peaarth Hotel, Penarth, on Wednesday last, Mr. W. R. Edmunds, solicitor, Merthyr, presiding over a very large attendance, the numbers present and interest shown surpassing all previous re- cords. The Hon. Secretary (Councillor Isaac Ed- wards, Dowlais) read copies of letters which had been exchanged between himself and Mr. IT T. Richards, M.P., on behalf of the Miners' Federation in the matter of weekly pays at local collieries, Mr. Richards having written assuring the Federation that as far as the min- ers were concerned, they would be only too pleased to see a system of weekly pays coming into operation. Correspondence which had been exchanged with Mr. Gascoyne Dalziel, secretary of the Masters' Committee of the Coalowners' Association, was also read, in which reference was made to the clause affecting the payment of wa in the existing Conciliation Board agreement. The advisability of taking further action was discussed, several gentlemen present being of the opinion that it would be unwise to interfere while the present delicate negotia- tions were in progress, others being of the opin- ion that now was the best time for laying their views before both parties.—It was eventually resolved that fresh representations be made, drawing the attention of both sides to the great benefit that would accrue to all parties oonoerned, namely, employers and employed, as well as the traders who supplied the various communities with the necessities of life through the workers being privileged to receive their wages week by week instead of at longer per- iods. The question of the proposed removal of the Monmouthshire Assizes and Quarter Sessions tó Newport was discussed, and cowespondence with Mr. H. Stafford Gustard, clerk to the Monmouthshire County Council, duly approved of. Various questions affecting the railway rates and delivery arrangements in the Penydirren district of the Merthyr and Dowlais railway areas, and the inconvenience caused to traders through lack of proper facilities, was next con- sidered, and correspondence and reports of in- terviews with Mr. Upstone laid on the table. It wa-s reported that the action of the Feder- ated Chambers in support of the Brvnmawr e'r Chamber's endeavour to acquire better Post Office facilities had resulted in the Post Office authorities securing a sit-3. and that a new post- office would soon be put in hand. The matter of improved railway facilities on the Great Western Railway between Merthyr and Swansea, and on the Taff Vale Railway between Merthyr and Cardiff. and Merthyr and Abercynon, were next considered, and corres- pondence with the managers of these railways duly read and approved of. In the matter of the reform of the jury sys- tem. Mr. J. Lloyd Morgan, M.P., had written caving an assuranca that the question was still having his attention, and a resolution of thanks to Mr. Morgan for his kind and continual In- terest was passed. The President, in his report, referred to the visitation of chambers, and congratulated the members upon the new accession of strength and the revival of interest shown by other chambers, who had for some time been showing a lack of interest in the work.. A letter was read from Mr. A. J. Howfield, Merthyr (hon. treasurer to the Federation), re- gretting his absence through indisposition, and a resolution of sympathy with him was passed. —The Treasurer's account was read and approv- ed of, as well as the bills submitted for pay- ment. EXTENDING BORDERS. The Secretary, in reviewing the work done since the last meeting, informed the members in detail of the steps which had been taken to interest the Chambers formerly affiliated with the Federation, stating that at the present moment the Federation consisted of twenty-one chambers. Five new chambers had joined dur- ing the last six months, and eleven other cham- bers were considering the question of joining. Thanks to the interest exhibited by the organ- isers of these chambers and the action of the members of the Executive of this Federation, there was every likelihood of their beinir duly registered before the next meeting (loud cheers). From figure which he had received from the secretaries of the various affiliated (hambN. the Federation had a membership of 1,600 member-, and a rateable value of over £ 90,000, so that. a re^olu&oji w$g p&sgcci I by that meeting, it. would havo a strong body of weight behind it (applause). The next business on the agenda was a pre- sentation by Mr. J. Sutherland, Abercynon (past president), on behalf of the Federation, of a piece of silver plate to Mr. George Knill, Cardiff, late hon. treasurer to the Federation, who bad now retired after a period of twenty- one years' service.—Mr. Sutherland referred to the value of the services rendered by Mr. Ivnill at a time when most of the members present took very little interest in Chamber of Trade woik. In feeling terms, he wished Mr. Kniil life-long happiness te enjoy the esteem of his many friends (applause).—The Secretary also conveyed a message from Mr. John Plews, barrister, Merthyr, who for twenty years was secretary to the Federation, working in harness with Mr Knill. Mr. Plews regretted very Ir much that owing to being detained indoors by indisposition, he was unable to be present to pay a well-deserved tribute of appreciation to his friend and colleague, Mr. Knill.-Mr. J. G. Roes, Dowlais followed, as also did the Presi- dent, who complimented Mr Knill upon the sterling way in which he had maintained his interest by boing present at all the meetings during his term of office, with the exception of two.—In acknowledging the gift, Mr. Knill spoke a few feeling words, and said he would ever remember the kind sentiments expressed towards him (cheers). The question of revis:on of rules was next re- ferred to as a recommendation of the sub- committee, and it was agreed that a special committee be formed to consider the same with a view to bringing the rules up to date. A report of the recent conference in Merthyr in the matter of the suggested fusion of the Taff Vale, Rhymney, and Cardiff Railways- and an account of the subsequent interview with Mr. Beasley. in Cardiff, were read, and a resolution unanimously adopting the recom- mendations of such committee was passed — The President reported that Councillor Isa.-c Edwards and himself had that morning jour- neyed to Penarth from London, and were re- turning that night in order to be present in the House of Lords on the following day to give evidence in the matter of this fusion. NATIONAL FEDERATION. The Secretary gave a detailed report of the visit of tha President and himself as delegates to the National Chamber of Trade Session, held on the 24th of April in Gloucester, referring to the kind Welshman, Alderman Jones, who was president of the Gloucester Traders' Associa- tion, and the reception thev received at tho hands of the local Chamber. The business O¡5 cussed was dealt with in detail, and a ooO"t in- spiring sermon, having special reference to lb* part played by traders in the life of the nation. delivered at the Gloucester Cathedral by Dear. Spence Jones, was dwelt upon in eulogistic terms. A strong declaration was made in fav- our of the establishment of commercial courts to decide technical matters, rather than leave questions requiring a profound technical know- ledge to be discussed by common juries and judges having no special knowledge of com- mercial matters, as is the case at present. With regard to telephones, a committee was appoint ed to represent the small users of telephones, this committee being given instructions to watch the course of events, so that when the period for the surrender by the National Tele- phone Company of their vast business to the Government at the end of 1911 should arrive, it should be seen to that the new rates to be uni versally established should not be oppressive. —A resolution was also passed, approving of municipal telephones, it being pointed out to those members who were opposed .to municipal trading that this was not a question of munici- pal versus private trading, but municipal versus government trading. The experience of the country proved conclusively that municipalities and local authorities could deal with these matters more efficiently and much cheaper than the Government could.—An excellent paper was read by Mr. Thomas, Torquay, upon "Co-oper- ative Stores and Income Tax," and it was de- cided that copies of the paper be distributed among the various chambers.—A long discus- sion took place upon the coupon trade, and the great injustice which was being done to traders by this class of business, and also by the multiple shop system, provident associations. and proprietary clothing clubs, which merely put up shop-5 in districts with a view to getting from such districts all the money they possibly could, without in any form contributing to the benefit of the locality or helping to bear the burdens of public life; the managers of these shops being prohibited from taking an active and living interest in the various localities in Ic which they temporarily resided, their endeav- ours being confined to getting from the locality the maximum of money at the minimum of exp5n;e.—The question of street hawking and pedlars' licences was discussed, and also strong expressions of opinion given regarding the enor- mous increase in the rates imposed by the Board of Education upon local authorities.— Hearty approval was given to the objects of the Daylight Saving Bill, and support urged for the Territorial Army. In concluding, Councillor Isaac Edwards dwelt upon the im- mense power of the National Chamber of Trade. showing what a force it could be in the country .if all the chambers rallied loyally to its support, and by contributing to its funds enable the, most excellent officials of the National Chamber to carry out effectively the enormous amount of work entrusted to them. The question of the existence of the National 'Chamber was most important. This was a day of combines. On the one hand. they saw the creation of great monopolies and the forming °f trusts; and on the other extreme, the work- ers joining to put up co-operatives stores, which were nothing more than trading societies competing with the individual traders who had ing w Bo strenuously striven to maintain the suprem- acy of the country, and whose ability and ster- hn<r character had made Britain the commer- cial pride of the world. The National Cham- br sourrht to the individual trader and thre individual chamber into one solid, compact body, ready to fight for the interests of traders. Its growth had been phenomenal, and its potentialities were limitless; and although with barely twelve years of existence, it had Jtn affili- ated membership of over 100,000. The National Chamber was in every sense of the word national, and depended for its existence upon the chambers affiliated to it contributing to- wards its maintenance. The National Cham- ber, and any other similar organization, could no more do its work effectively without proper financial support than a motor-car could move without petrol. The reports were received with hearty ao clamation, and' it was resolved that the Secre- tary procure cSopies of the printed reports of the National Chamber meeting for distribution amonij the affiliated chambers.—Tho Secretary and President were again authorised to attend the meeting of the Executive Council, to be helli in Liverpool.





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