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Resolution from Oxford-street…

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I SWANSEA BUILDERS' COMPLAIfTS. GRIEVANCES AT THE ANNUAL BANQUET. I APPEAL TO THE MEN FOR CONSIDERATION." The members of the Swansea Building Trades' Employers' Association, to the number of about seventy, dined together a.t the I-htel Metiopole on Thursday evening. The president (Air. Ben Bennett) filled the chief seat at the cross-table, and was su.p- ported by Ald. Da.vid Davies (deputy- Mayor), Messrs. W. 0. Jenkins, C. ,8. Thomas, E. E. Morgan (borough architect), Albert D. Jenkins (borough estate agent), C. T. Ruthen, Capt. A. H. Thomas (Chief Constable), C. R Peacock, G. Brinley BDwen (secretary), H. A. Ellis, F. J. Mer- cer (Llaneily), J. Arnold (Ulydach), J. Thomas (Neath), J. R. Williams (Pontar- dawej, P. Austin, T. Rioharda, and W. Bennett. The general company included: Messrs. George Llvvd (Llovd Bros.), J. and F. Weaver, T. D. Jones Bowen, Thomas and Jones, T. D. Jones, Parkinson, L. J. Hodgens, A. J. Maries, Elias Morgan, G. H Cann, F. Whitford, E. Williams, T. W. Thomas, A. W. Thomas, J. K Owen, T. Harrison, S. Marquise, J. Pye, D. W. Thomas and others. The Mayor (Aid. Corker) who was away in Dublin, sent. an apology. The lown and Trade" was given by Mr. Willie Jenkins, who reinariked upon the erf the town during the last 30 years, and said he thought they could oan- graruiiate themselves on having xnait bu.4, ness and commercial men upon the Boroug h Ctvuncil and Harbour Trust. (flea.r, hear,. Aid. David Davies responded, and, en- larging on the fact that the memibens of tshe a 4eiation to one of the most ancient trades in the world, he spoke f; t'h? wonderful magniiiccnce and beauty of build- ings like the Ooiiseiim ait Rome and the Milan Cathedral, and aaid tha.t sometimes one wondered whether we had yet attained t.he high pofdtion ()üoupioo by the Greeks and Romans in '•espect to building and archi- t-edure. The Pyran'iid^ ?f Egypt, of Cleo- patra's NEdloo, were &100 referred to, and the density-mayor oh served thiat in those days they built under otiheir conditions as there was an unlimited supply of cheap loboux. He thought the curae of to-day was the eagerness to do things as cheaply as possible, and the secret of bad dwellings was the demand for houses as cheap instead of as sound as possible. (Hear, hear). Then, aig&in the competition between individual builders tempted them to undertake things which they could not, honestly carry out to their own or to the public advantage. (Hear, hear.) It was certain that if a great Swan- sea was to grow up no class of cotmm.unity stood to profit by its growth more tihnn the builders, bccaaise ii there was going to be a larger Swansea. there mfUist be a material in- crease in the numher of houses. The prob- lem of tlia scarcity of houses wtwld have to he solved in some fashion or other. The present conditions with poop-Ie-many of therm living in perfect hovels and 1 roused worse than many animals—would never be tolera,ted much longer. And the hardship was net only to thesm, but tiheir srufferingB reaated upon the whole comimiunity, be- cause slums, were plagiue spots, in- viting diseases of every kind. (Hew, hlffllr.) And so whatever happened there was a neetd for bonuses in Swansea, and th-A need the boiilderrs would nl9.iv!e to supply. (Hear, hear.) Apalrt from the labour unrest, the prwipects of the building trad-e were fairly good, whilst he thought the prospects of the town amd trade generally were most radiant and most encouraging in every wiay. (Hear, hear.) The trade of the port was leaping upwards week bv week-proctac&Uy aill their industries were going well, and Swansea was the I BEST-PAID WORKING AREA __L ? I I ?n tiM Nvhoje imilgiaonl A?a "I'l? peapue were ewung the E?cot 'W" they 0'4t to be living iu the best cottages in the ooamtry. (Aipp louse). The President, who was mo-st (y),rdila&IY re- ceived, proposed the toast of "The Yisi- tors," and especially welcomed the archi- tects and merchants, and the friends flflotm Nearth and. Pontaardawe. Mr. C. T. Ruthen, in response, said he was pleased to see that the Corporation had oome to see that houses for the workers must be built, but houses could not be put up for the alum dweller without some loss to the ratepayers. The public would have to provide a proportion of the rent. If tack- led to-day the housing problem could be remedied more economically than if de-, laved. Every trade was faced with higher Mr. Bsn Bennett, the new president. wages and he thought that the workmen should have proper wages, especially in the building trades, where men could not work oontinoously throughout the yenr. The reason that houses could not be put up to let for 3s. 6d. per week was because men did not now work so many hours as they :Med to. aiid were paid higher wages, and the cost of materials h&d gone up. He ea- timated that during the last twenty veanp coats in the building 1r&de had advanced from 25 to 30 per cent, and it was there- fore impossible to build houses to let at 5g, per week as oould be done twenty or thirty years ago. (Hear, hear.) And the time was ooming when the public authority woudd have to subsidise a scheme to provide for the slum dweller. (Hear, hear.) >1 ■ II ■»« Mr. Peacock also replied and said that before the hous:ng question could be pro- perly solved tenants must be taught to take care of property, damag0 to which should be a pen 11 offence. He further said that whilst he agreed with shorter hours and good wages for the men he would like to ask if the men gave an honest day's work for their money. (A voice: "No.") The tendency nowadays in that respect was not to level up but level down, and he contended that it would he better if the buiilders I REVERTED TO THE OLD SYSTEM OF PIECEWORK nndprt" which the best work was put in by those who were not afraid to put their becks into it. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Mercer (Llaneily) and Mr. Arnold (Neath) further responded. Mr. C. S. Thomas gave "Th-e Swansea Building Trades Employers' Association," aoid defended the architects in the matter rrf prime costs, specifications, etc. He added that the builder who did the best class of work wa.3 punished by the man who did "jerry" work, and so he appealed for the best work to be put into a job. (Hear, hear. ) Mr. Austin, in respond, regretted the a bsence of the Mayor, but said they had an ex- cellent substitnte in the Deputy Mayor, who was ane of the principal mrmbers of the Corporation. (Fear, hear.) Ho went on to express the hope that all sections of the building trade employers would stand to- gether as one man and fight for their rights. t (Hear, hear.) The President also replied and declared that the builder's lot was a very unhappy one. He had attended meetings of the as- sociation for thirty years, and he could tell them tha-t if they heard some of the ings there people would alter their tone as to the state of the building trade. It had been said that the increased oosts had been from 26 to 30 per cent, in the last twenty years. He would say that that had been brought about in the last dozen years, and yet the builders' prices to-day were very much the same as then. (Hear, bear.) A builder writing in the "Times" recently oomplained about the difficulty in getting his material* at a reasonable cost. The fact was the builder nowadays was surrounded by "rings," not of the retailor but of the manufacturer, who, whether it was for bricks, cement, pipes, or anything else, kept it up. The people, on the other hand. were asking for cheap houses; bmt tihe fact was that it was impossible for I a builder to put up a house to be remuner- ative to-day. (Rear, hear.) Then a-gain they had got the men combined making ap- plications for increased wages and shorter hours. It WiaJS suggested by some of t'he j speakers that the demands should be given. ery well, if they were satisfied that the cost of building was not, too giroat, but bauldens had an idea that iit was pcsasilble to ma ike an article too expensive, and the re- suilt would be less building and less work. (Hear, hear.) He invited all preeent to look round the town and see how much buildinig work there was going on apart from public work. Well, that sort of wort could not last far ever, and WHAT WAS WANTED IN fTWANSEA I was more building enterprise 0111 the paat of private firms tfiiid individuals—(hear, hear) —and so raise the status of the town arahi- tootwmalv and in other ways. (HaM', h.) | There w? no body of men tbat iM?ded h?p Pnd sympa,4?y to-Osy so much as tie builders, who were working under greater difficulties than any other class of trades- men in the town. They were quite willing that their employes should Eve, but, as Mit. Peacookbad sai d, they WANTED THE MEN TO CONSIDER I THEM, and remember that there were times owing to the stress of weather and other things when the employers themselves lost a lot of, money. (Hear hear). Mr. E?Mhs Morgan aaw repli-ed in a MiKa- tous speech. Needless to ?dd, Mr. Brinley Bowen, the secret&ry, a musical an4ibusiaA htms?lf, had armriged a choioe programme cf music, and this wa? contributed to by Miss May Ralrries (who was encored), 3ir. W. Wil- liams, Mr. Rees Williams, and Mr. W. G. K. Onley. Mr. W. C. Ilcrrnon, A.R.G.O., was the capable acoompa'mst.

II " OH, IS 'E?" I

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