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LABOUR REPRESENTATION ON FOOD…

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LABOUR REPRESENTATION ON FOOD COMMITTEE. CORPORATION PIGGERIES AND RABBIT I HUTCHERY? I t. special meeting of the Abergavenny Town Council was held on Monday night, principally for the purpose of considering the question of appointing labour representatives on the Food Control Committee, arising out of the recent application of the local Federation of Trade Unions. The Mayor (Alderman Z. Wheatley, J. P.) presided, and there were also present Councillor J. R. Beckwith (Deputy Mayor). Councillors P. Telford, T. A. Delafield, W. J. Tong, W. Horsington. G. R. Plowman, Altred Graham, F. Sadler, F. J. Mansfield, and W. J. Meale. The Town Clerk read a letter from Mr. John St irk (secretary of the local Federation of Trades Unions) asking if the Town Hall would be vacant on the previous Friday evening in the event of tiie Federation requiring it for a public meeting. He had replied that it would be vacant and that the charge was 30s. No meeting was held the charge was 30S. o meetin- was held Resignations. H. I The Town Clerk also read letters trom Nir. w Rosser and Mr. W. C. Downes, declining a seat 01: the Food Control Committee, to which they had been appointed by the Town Council. The latter said that he understood that he was ap- pointed to represent the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, but as he did not belong to that society he must decline the honour. A letter was ad from Mr. Stark to the effect that following the interview of Federation delegates with the Mayor on the 12th inst., he appealed to the Town Council to bring the matter in question to a favourable issue, and he submitted two nominations of Federation representatives to fill the vacancies created by the resignations of Messrs. Rosser and Downes. The nominations were Mr. Phillips, representing the Shop Assistants' Union and Mr. -S. Owers, representing the N. U.R. The Mayor said that at their last meeting they very carefully considered the application made by the Federation of Trades Unions for repre- sentation on the Food Control Committee, and they decided to elect Mr. Rosser, Mr. Stark and Mr. Downes. On Tuesday evening last, about half-past 10, he received a deputation consisting of Mr. Rosser, Mr. A. J. Duck and Mr. Stark, who stated that Mr. Rosser and Mr. Downes would not accept the invitation of the Council to sit on the Food Control Committee and that they proposed to tender their resignations next day. The delegation pointed out that they were desirous of submitting two other names in the place of these, Mr. Owers and Mr. Phillips. He told them that if the resignations were placed in writing the Town Clerk would immediately call a meeting of the Town Council to consider tue matter. They stated that it was their desire that Mr. Owers should be elected to serve on the committee, and therefore he brought the name before them but it was for the Council to nominate any persons they felt disposed to and vote on them, as they voted upon them last time. He should like to mention that they had elected the chairman and the secretary of the Federa- tion, and now he understood that Mr. Owers was coming to represent the N.U.R. He should like, for the sake of peace, to try to make this effort a great success, if it was possible, though he did not play second fiddle to anyone with regard to the efforts the Food Control Com- mittee had made at Abergavenny. In order to save friction, however, he would like to see, if possible, Mr. Owers co-opted to represent the railwaymen. There was another name he would like to suggest, and that was Mr. Geo. Thurston, who represented the bakers. He was a very close runner on the last occasion, and he believed he was fourth on the list. Councillor Beckwith said he had pleasure in proposing that his friend Sid Owers be elected on the committee. He said at the first meeting that he was greatly in favour of the Federation having three representatives on the committee, and he was still of the same opinion. Councillor Meale seconded. Federation or N.U.R. ? I Councillor Tong asked if they could have an answer to the question as to who Mr. Owers represented-the Federation or the N.U.R. ? Councillor Meale said that he was the N.U.R. delegate on the Federation, and through that body he came to represent them on the Food Control Committee. Councillor Tong said that did not answer his question. The Mayor There is a Federation to which the N. U.R. belong. Does Mr. Owers come from the Federation or the N.U.R. ? Councillor Graham To whom are you going to put the question ? Councillor Beckwith said that it seemed that they were quibbling over the matter. The representatives of the Federation represented the whole of the trades in Abergavenny, and the N.U.R. was represented in the Federation. He did not see what difference it made. Mr. Owers represented the Federation in the interests of the N.U.R. Councillor Sadler proposed that Mr. George Thurston be elected on the committee. He would be a very useful member because he was used to foodstuffs Councillor Plowman said he had very great pleasure in seconding the proposition. Councillor Meale proposed that Mr. Phillips be elected, but there was no seconder. Councillor Graham said that he did not wish to divide the Council, but they had had two nominations, and it would save further trouble if they proceeded to the business. There had been enough trouble and dispute about it al- ready, and if it was going to conciliate the best thing they could do was to proceed. He did not like to be driven, and he was still of the same opinion. He was willing to give a little, and, if possible, take a little. He should like to have seen one of those resignations (that of Mr. Rosser's) withdrawn. He thought they might elect one until they saw what the chairman's attitude might be. It would be yielding a little to the Council and the Council would be yielding to them. It would be a means of reconciliation between the opposing factions. Councillor Beckwith said that he had ex- pressed his opinion to liis friend Mr. Rosser in a conversation just before he came into the room. Mr. Rosser told him distinctly that he could not accept, and remembering the work he had to do in connection with the school potato scheme and other business, he did not think they ought to press him. Councillor Tong said he did not think that they ought to let this matter be settled on the idea that there were factions in it. He did not care where his words went. He voted straight, and not party. He had not been a party man for many years, and when he was a party man he was a straight party man. To-day they had banished party, and he maintained that in voting as they did at the last meeting they had acted in the best interests of the town. They picked out the chairman and secretary of the Federation, and that in itself, whether it was taken so or not, was a compliment to Trades Unionism. They recognised the body in the heeds, and he very much regretted that their action had not been taken as an act of grace on their part and as an election, and he regretted that it should be considered that they were acting according to factious. He did not care a rap who was elected. He had already voted, and he should not vote again. He considered Uiat their vote should have been accepted with a better grace than it had been. In reply to a question it was stated that the resignations were in writing.. Councillor Tong said that they ought to have b-cn reported to the Food Controller. Councillor Graham said that when he handed ÎJ: his resignation it was not accepted, and there- of <j re they had a precedent for not accepting these resignations. The Mayor These resignations are in writing. Yours was a different matter. I think you agreed not to let it come before the Council, Ö and it waS dealt with by the Food Control Committee. On the proposition of Councillor Meale, seconded by Councillor Beckwith, the resigna- tions were accepted, and Messrs. Owers and Thurston were then elected. Councillor Palmer's Resignation. I The Town Clerk reported that Councillor Primer had paid the fine, and his resignation was now complete as far as he was concerned. It was for the Council to declare the vacancy and the notice must be signed by three members of the Council and counter-signed by the Town Clerk. The vacancy would be filled at the next meeting. The Mayor proposed that the resignation be accepted, and Councillor Horsington reluctantly seconded.. Councillor Telford Who has the option of filling the vacancv ? The Mayor The Council fill it by co-option. There are no elections. Councillor Tong There is nothing said about men of military age. I suppose r The Town Clerk No. Fresh-water Fish for the Public. The Town Clerk read a resolution recomm- mended bv the Sanitary and Water Committee, as follows:—That the Council ask the Food Controller to take immediate steps so as to cause the fresh-water fish to be brought into the market at a controlled price, with a view to in- creasing the food supplies for human consump- tion, and that a copy of this resolution be for- warded to each Council in the county, the M.P. for the division, and the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries." The Town Clerk also read a resolution re- ceived from the Usk Council, as follows That in view of the scarcity of food this Council urge the Food Controller to authorise the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries to cancel the bye-laws restricting the netting of salmon in the river Usk, that authority be given to the Usk Board of Conservators to commence netting the river as soon as possible, and that arrangements be made by the Conservators to enable the in- habitants of the towns and districts situated on the river to have the opportunity of purchasing the fish at a reasonable price also to remove the present restrictions on ground bait fishing, so that ground bait fishing may commence at the same time as fly fishing, as formerly." Councillor Telford proposed the adoption of the resolution recommended by the Sanitary and Water Committee. All up and down the country local authorities were adopting the same line, but they did not go far enough. He thought it ought to be compulsory. It was no use going to the Board of Conservators and requesting them to do a certain thing, because they would not meet them in that direction, and the only way to do it was to send direct to the CFood on- troller in order that he might take immediate steps to put in operation a scheme whereby the fish could be caught and used for the food of the peopley Councillor Graham seconded. Councillor Beckwith, in supporting, said that he thought the idea was to throw the river open for everybody to catch what they liked. He believed that the Almighty sent the rivers to be fished for the benefit of the community. He should like to add a little rider that they send to these kind gentlemen who had control of the river and tell them that there was a war on, and ask them to permit the public to fish for the fish which were in the river. The Mayor Is that an amendment ? Councillor Beckwith Yes. Councillor Graham said he felt like seconding the amendment, but he was pledged to second the resolution. He was with Councillor Beckwith all the way. He hoped the resolution framed by the Town Clerk would go in preference to the one from the Usk Council. He supported the Usk people up to a certain point, but if they approached the Usk Board of Conservators they were asking the people who possessed the privilege to give it up, and they were not likely to do that. The resolution was carried. The Rent of the Allotments. Councillor Graham said that a special meeting of the Allotments Committee had been held as the result of a communication which had been sent to them, and they asked the Council to rescind the previous resolution fixing the rental of the allotments. He moved that the standing orders be suspended for the purpose. Councillor Horsington seconded, and it was carried. On the proposition of Councillor Grahjftn, seconded by Councillor Horsington, the previous resolution was rescinded, and Councillor Graham then proposed that the tenants of the new allot- ments for the first and second year be charged 7s. 6d per annum, and that the rent for the third year be settled at a later date, tenants taking up allotments already cultivated to be charged 10s. 6d. Councillor Sadler seconded. The Mayor said that the arrangements would last for two years and then the matter would be reconsidered The resolution was carried. Town Council and Breeding of Pigs and Rabbits. Councillor Horsington said that there were some piggeries in the corner of the Fairfield, and he should like to see them taken up by the allot- ment holders, either collectively or individually. He suggested that they should be put in order so that those who had plenty of waste stuff from the allotments would be able to help in the breeding and rearing of pigs. The Mayor said he was going to make a sug- gestion that that place, or some other place, be used for a rabbit hutchery. He thought that they could breed thousands of rabbits. Councillor Graham Do you suggest turning them on the allotments ? The Mayor It would not be a bad idea. (Laughter). Councillor Beckwith seconded the resolution. Councillor Plowman said that it concerned his committee—the Markets Committee. They had stripped the place of the galvanised sheets for the allotments at Llanfoist. Councillor Horsington said that there were plenty of galvanised sheets by the railings. Councillor Delafield suggested that it would be much better for them to keep the piggeries in their own hands, and the chairman of the Markets Committee could bring the market refuse there. The Mayor If you did that in connection with a rabbit hutchery you would produce a lot of food for Abergavenny. The matter was referred to the Markets Com- mittee. I Misapprehension Among Farmers & Cottagers ? ( Councillor Horsington raised the question of I the produce brought to Abergavenny, and asked if the Council could not do anything to explain the existing position to farmers and others in the district. There was a good deal of misappre- hension at the present time, and certain people in the outlying district were under the im- pression that they could not bring certain things into market. They wanted all the bacon, pig meat and cheese brought into market that they could get. He did not know what was the best means of securing this, whether it was best to put up posters in the market or to approach the Farmers' Union with a view to getting them to bring in as much as they could. They wanted to explain to people who had got wrong ideas into their heads that the restrictions did not stop them bringing in their produce. Councillor Meale There is no use in troubling the Markets Committee with that. If you put up a notice and offer 3d. or 4d. per lù. extra they will bring it in. The Mayor said that it could come before the Food Control Committee. Councillor Horsington If it comes before the committee and there is no report issued it will not be known to the public, like many other good things which the committee have done. The Mayor There is nothing to prevent* any- one bringing anything into Abergavenny. Councillor Horsington said lie wanted that statement to go forth to the public in the country districts. Tenders were received for the field in the Castle Meadows adjoining the Gsk bridge, and the tender of Henry Colborne at £ 21 per annum was accepted.

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