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RIYlH, DEE FISHERY BOARD. THE DUKE OF WESTMINSTER AND THE SLUICES BILL. SEVERE CRITICISM. The annual meeting of this Board was held at Chester Town Hall on Saturday, the Duke of Westminster presiding over a large attendance. On the motion of Mr. John Thompson, seconded, by the Rev. C. Wolley Dei, his Grace was re-elected chairman for the ensuing year. Mr. John Thompson, in moving the adoption of the accounts, l-oaid on the salmon fishery ac- count the receipts for net licenses were con- siderably in excess of the previous year, the revenue from trammel nets showing an increase of 930, and that from draft nets an increase of f45; while, as might be expected from the very dry season they had experienced, there was a, falling off in rod licenses. The balance of £ 68 £ brought forward from the previous year consis- ted of consols, which it was necessary to sell in order to pay the costs of the Board in opposing the Dee Sluices Bill, which amounted to £ 615, That expense had swallowed up all their assests but they had been able to finish up the year with a balance in hand of £84. As to the sea fisheries, the amount received from the County Councils of Cheshire and Flintshire were each £ 45 less than in the previous year. The Chester Town Council had granted them X,35, but when the Council saw what the result of the past year had been upon their finances he hoped they would reconsidei their decision and make an increased grant. Mr. H. E. Taylor seconded. Mr. S. Perks inquired if it was not possible GO obtain some assistance from the Board of Trade in view of the serious inroad which the Dee Sluices Bill had made upon their finances. Mr. Thompson replied that they had already approached the Board of Trade, who were unable to help them, as it would be showing partisanship. The Duke of Westminster, referring to the legal expenses incurred in opposing the bill, said he must say he never knew in hiR experi- ence a case where, in the face of such opposition fiom so many quarters, a bill of than sort was forced up to the House of Commons. He could only attribute the best motives to the promoters. He believed they were acting as they considered for the benefit of the town, but he must find fault with their judgment, and, he might almost say, their common sense in carrying on a bill as they did in the face of very considerable opposi- tion on the part of a large proportion of the ratepayers of Chester. The Town Council it- self only favoured the bill by a majority of one or two the riparian proprietors, the Conserv- ancy Board, and the Fishery Board were dead against it; the Board of Trade, in the interest of the Dee Conservancy and the fisheries, opposed it and notwithstanding all this the promoters carried forward the bill, as he thought, and as it had proved, mistakenly and with a remarkable want of judgment on their part. It had entailed a cost of about 912,000, money lost to the rate- payers and to the riparian proprietors, the Dee Conservancy Board, and the Fishery Beard. He must say lie regarded it almost as a want of ordinary common sense on the part of the Chester Corporation. He did not know whether ib was too late for the Fishery Board to make any movement with regard to the disposal of the Chester sewage. At the present moment, as they were aware, it was proposed to arrest the sewage on the south side of the river and carry it to the sewage works now existing, where it was again sent out into the Dee; but the Corporation of Chester had bought at con- siderable expense a farm on the sands at Sea- land, and he could not conceive why, having purchased that, they should not utilize it for the disposal of the sewage of Chester. He thought it would be a desirable thing to stop the sewage of the city from polluting the river, and if so, the river would be very considerably benefited. The salmon would have a much freer access to the upper waters, instead of being sent beck to sea by the sewage at present coming from the city. Chester was herself in fault. Her own sewage polluted the river, and it seemed to him rather a hard case that they should come on the outside people to remedy an abuse which they carried on themselves. He thought the opponents of the bill had saved the town and the surrounding district from what would have proved a very great evil. Clever though the scheme was, and captivating, as it certainly captivated him in the first instance, it seemed on further examination to be only really an injurious way of arresting the pollu- tion of the river. He thought it would be a good tking to petition the Chester Town Coun- cil to dispose of their sewage upon the land they had acquired at considerable cost at Sealand, and which, he believed, was not unsuitable for the purpose. Mr. H. E. Taylor said from his experience he did not know of any land so suitable for the disposal of sewage and the clarifying of the water as that which now belonged to the Chester Cor: poration. It was a most perfect natural filter bed. He hoped a petition would be sent to the Corporation, and that as a result the sewage of the south side of the river would not be turned into the present sewers, because they were already unable, through the very small gradient to discharge the sewage which got into them. That was evidenced by the fact that during the summer months they had had to be cleaned out by hand. If the sewage was taken below to Sealand, the Fishery Board and everybody else would be perfectly satisfied. The Duke of Westminster then moved:— f That the Chester Corporation be requested to arrange for the distribution of their effluent sewage over the land which has been purchased, and no longer discharge it into the Dee.' The Rev. C. Wooley Dod, in seconding, said he visited the Chester sewage works last sum- mer in company with an official of the fishery department of the Board of Trade, who said there was no doubt the discharge of the effluent was detrimental to the interest of the fishery. Mr. J. G. Holmes asked if the Chester Cor- poration were to adopc the proposal what steps would be taken as to the other towns on the banks of the river, such as Flint, Connah's Quay and other places which emptied their sewage into it. Mr. John Thompson said the simplest wry out of the uiiriculty would be to make the river into a stream under the Livers Pollution Act; and then a board would be formed to see that no sewage was turned into it. The Duke of Westminster that this would be a good course. The resolution was then carried, and the accounts adopted. The Hon. Secretary (Major Leadbetter) sub mitted his annual report in which particulars were given of the results of the fishing during the past; year. A discussion followed on the question of the desirability of altering the by-laws with a view to the better protection of the mussel-beds, but no action was taken. Mr John Jones (Connah's Quay), by whom the subject was introduced, gave notice of motion for next meeting.

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