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INATIONAL TRADE DEIFENCEI t ASSOCIATION. I The annual meeting of the subscribers in thei Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales District: was held at the Queen Hotel, Chester, on Friday, I Mr. J. L. Kemp presiding. The usual formal business was transacted, and Messrs. Kemp and! own (Warrington) were ,æ-elected to represent ] the wholesale trade on the Central Committee l for 1901. The annual meeting of delegates from the retail!j associations in the district followed, and was welii attended and representative. Among others present were Alderman W. J. P. Pugh (Shrews I bury), Messrs. L. Hayes (Whitchurch, president Salop L.V. Association), W. Maddox, and J Thomas (Shrewsbury), A. Hickenbotham (North and South Shropshire L.V. Association;. Councillor E. Sheldon and Mr. J. Bytheway (Ludlow), Messrs. William Hulme and Joseph Massey (Stockport), J, McLeavy, J. Carter. and J. H. Roberts (Birkenhead), F. Geary (Beau maris), Councillor S. May and Mr. W. Cottam (Macclesfield), Messrs. F. Coleclough and D. Par- tington (Crewe), J. A. Gorst inorthwicb), J. B- Bayley and J. McLeavy (C-ongleton), G. Gosling (Hyde), R Burrows, C. Bennett and R. Billingtou (Chester), S. R. Johnson, B. Hutchinson and John Lloyd (Wrexham), E. S. Foster (Rhyl), M- Churchill (Llandudno), G. R. Gowenlock S (Oswestry) &c. fl Among the members of the wholesale trade present were the following: -Messrs. T. J. Down jf and J. Henry (Greenall, Whitley And Co., Ltd.), R J. L. Kemp, W. T. Marshall and R. E. jB Egginton (Chester Northgate Brewery Co. S Ltd.), W. Stanley Smith (Soames and Co., Wrex- ham), H. J. Martin and F. Coveney (Birkenhead B Brewery Co., Ltd.), J. W. Montgomery (Chester jijg Lion Brewery Co., Ltd.), J. K. Kemp (Chester;, H. A. Newton (manager National Trade Defence Association, London), J. R. Rae (district agent* and secretary), &c. m Mr. T. J. Down was called to the chair, and after a few introductory remarks, in which he gave a hearty welcome to the delegates, said he I would not detain them at any length, as they were all anxious to hear Mr. Newton, who had come specially from London to address them. He was glad to see such a large and representa- tive meeting, and would at once call on the retail delegates to present their report. The report referred to the proceedings of the Central Committee during the year, especially to the work done in connection with the Genera] Election. The result of the election, so far as the district was concerned, was that they were exactly in the same position as before, viz.—members favourable to the Trade. 18; unfavourable, 12. Reference was also made to the legislation attempted during the last session of Parliament, to the fact that the National Trade Defence Fund would in future be known as the National Trade Defence Association, and it concluded by express- ing confidence in the association as a useful and necessary organisation in the interests of the Trade. Alderman Pugh (Shrewsbury), in submitting the report, referred to the different events of the year, and to the unanimity which characterised their meetings in London. Councillor S. May (Macclesfield) proposed the,! the report be adopted, and that Messrs. Pugh, McLeavy and Geary, the retail representatives for 1900, be cordially thanked for their services. He had no doubt that they had done their duty, and had every confidence in putting the resolution to the meeting.—Mr. Partington (Crewe) seconded, and Mr. H. A. Newton, in supporting it, referred to the very anxious year which they had spent. When they last met the South African War occu- pied their thoughts. Then this year had been an eventful as well as an anxious one. They had had the General Election, and had come through it, he thought, very successfully. Their chief trouble, and the one which had caused more anxiety to the Trade leaders and to himself, had been the arsenical epidemic. He had been re- f"quested from many quarters to call agitation meetings on the subject, but he deprecated the !calling of metings until they were in a position 'to say exactly what was wanted. The whole subject was being most thoroughly investigated, jand when the result of the investigation was made public it could be shewn that the Trade had done its best to get at the truth and to find an effectual remedy for the trouble which had arisen. No doubt the scare would be used, in fact it was being used, by the advocates of the so-called I" pure beer movement," of which Sir Cuthbert Quilter was the prime mover. They all desired [pure beer, but he pointed out that even the passing of such a measure as that which was [being agitated for would not ensure the purity [of beer. Even beer brewed from malt, bops and water might be impure, as had been proved by an eminent analyst. The fact that arsenic had been [found in some of the ingredients used in the lproduction of beer must be admitted, but he 'claimed that until the completion of the enquiry ? which was going on it was unfair to condemn ?beer as the sole cause of the mishap. (Hear, !hear.) There was one thing they must remember. When Mr. Gladstone in 1880 repealed the malt tax he gave them a free mash tun, and for that free mash tun the brewers had to pay something tlike £ 600,000. If, therefore, the arrangements [made in 1880 were to be altered the brewers l would be entitled to some compensating reduction in the amount of taxation which they had at present to pay. In fact the whole of the fiscal i arrangements made in 1880 must be revised. R This was admitted on all sides, and even Sir William Harcourt, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1895, said that the free mash was ;a bargain which, if you are prepared to break it. 8 will necessitate the reconsideration of the whole system of the beer duty." In conclusion Mr. ► Newton referred to the necessity for continuing the local organisation. They had an excellent a report, and had shewn an excellent result, and he hoped they would do even better in the future. B They had troubles to face, not from the Govern- s ment, but from those who were possessed with one idea, viz., that of entire prohibition, but he l took it that the people of this country were opposed to such a policy. (Hear, hear.) [ Messrs. Stanley Smith and R. Burrows were g appointed scrutineers, and on a vote conducted by ballot it was found that Messrs. Pugb, Churchill and McLeavy were elected as repre- 1 sentatives of the district on the Central Com- fmittee for 1901. These gentlemen returned ? thanks for their election, and Mr. McLeavy, in f his remarks, referred to the form of questions to j candidates, and hoped that in future the policy | "of the National Trade Defence Association would tbe followed, and that one set of questions would be put to the candidates. He also urged the ,necessity of adhering to the lines laid down by ti-I., t association. I Mr. Hulme (Stockport) made a few practical i suggestions on the pure beer question, and it is understood that these are being carefully con- | tsidered by the Central Association. Mr. Sheldon | j (Ludlow) and others followed. and Mr. Geary I (Beaumaris), the retiring representative for North Wales, made a few remarks, and thanked the retail associations for their past conifdence. I i Councillor Maddox (Shrewsbury) proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Newton for his attendance and address. It was gratifying to him to have been present that day and to know that their interests were being so carefully attended to in London. (Hear, hear.)—Mr. McLeavy (Congleton) seconded, and the motion was unanimously agreed to.—Mr. Newton having replied, a vote of thanks to Mr. J. L. Kemp, the chairman of the district, for his services to the association during the past year was proposed by Mr. E. S. Foster (Rhyl), and seconded by Mr. Gowenlock (Oswestry), and unanimously agreed to. On the motion of Mr. McLeavy (Birkenhead), seconded by Mr. Churchill (Llandudno), Mr. Rae the district agent and secretary, was also thanked for his work during the year.—Mr. Rae, in reply, expressed his thanks to all those who had so loyally worked with him, and he felt quite sure that if the Trade would work together in the future as they had done in the past they would have little to fear from their enemies. I





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