~... MEETING .OF SHAREHOLDERS. * i ! SOME PLAIN SPEAKIXG. ■ Owing to the call-room of the Stock Exchange being required at 3.1.5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, the meeting of TalisConsolidated shareholders had to be adjourned until 1.30 o'clock today. After ;sve went to pres3 yesterday, Mr.. A. i£. W-hyte, in answer to a request from Sir. V. Colbeck that he should state what the Auckland Stock Exchange had done in regard to the Talisman Company, said: "It has attempted to crea-te differences "between Auckland and Wellington." Mr. Colbeck: "Nonsense." Mr. Whyte: " We have no wish to work Bgainst the Auckland shareholders." Mr. W. Colbeck: '"Bring a definite (charge against the Stock Exchange." S Mr. Wliyte said that it was not to the interest of the. Talisman Company that .-stock brokers should take such a prominent action in these maters. One would -- t/liink the-Exchange was the ™ ringbolt" around which the Talisman '. Company should revolye. The Wellington shareholders never intended to move the office oi the Company from Auckland to Wellington. Wellington shareholders had only dominated Mr. Peacoeke because he 'was a big shareholder. Messrs. Knight and Weston were botli independent men, and ilie £200 remuneration was not an incentive "So them to go on the Board. Mr. Weston strongly opposed" any remuneration being given- Captain Smith had declined to go on the advisory board bejfore Mr. Peacock" was suggested. ~ / Mr. Whyte claimed that owing to the a«tion of the Wellington Committee the dividend paid by the Company'had. been ". increased... .'!'. "'. '-'". I '.'.'' \ Mr. W. Colbeck: "Bunkum!" Mr. Whyte: Thank you. Perhaps you J-emember "that the London directors got £SOO each if the company paid 4/- per share per annum, but they got no increase . iii honorarium if the "dividend'was raised io 0/3 per annum. Continuing, Mr. Whvte said the usefulness of the Advisory Board was considered questionable by some Auckland shareholders, »ut he assured them that they had' Proxies from all over New Zealand in <* favour of such a Board. He claimed Ihat if such a Board had been in exist■ence, the mine would not be flooded now. 'Another advantage of such a Board would be to get information. Even if they could out-vote Auckland sharehold- '- ere, they did not wish to" ride roughshod over them. Already 135,000 proxies had been 6ent Home. It .had been suggested to the London directors that Messrs. Knight, Weston, and Peaeocke Should be appointed an Advisory Board. Mr. G. L. Peaeocke endorsed. Mr. [Whyte's remarks about the Exchange constituting itself spokesman for Auckland shareholders. He contended there could be no difference in the interests of Auckland and • Wellington shareholders. : Mr. Peaeocke then read a letter forrwarded by Mr. Weston in which he stated that there was no intention to remove the office to Wellington. Mr. Peaeocke said personally he considered the office should be in Auckland, and would always advocate that course being continued. As far as he knew* Wellington shareholders were content Sor the office to remain here. If a committee was appointed by that meeting, iie trusted it would be bona fide representatives of shareholders, but personally, he could not see what good , such a committee could do. . Mr. D. B. McDonald eaid that so far the meeting , 'had only heard one side of the question. Statements had been made by the two gentlemen who represented Wellington, and an opportunity •should be afforded for answering them. As the room would bo required in a few •cninutes. he moved that the meeting be adjourned until 1.30 o'clock on Friday g.t the same place. This was agreed to. Mr. J. C. Colbeck wished to 6ay a few words in reply to Mr. Whyte and Mr. Peaeocke, but the Chairman ruled .that the meeting being adjourned, no .further speaking could be permitted. SECOXD MEETING OP SHAREHOLDERS. At. 1.30 o'clock this afternoon shareholders in the Talisman G.M. Co. (Ltd.) 'again assembled in the call room of the ■Auckland Stock Exchange to continue the consideration of Mr. Noakes' motion to appoint a committee to look after the interest of Auckland shareholders. fMr. John Dawson again presided, and ■•read- the following telegram from Mr. ■Whyte:—"Regret I could not stay for !to-day'3 meeting. Sincerely trust Auckland "shareholders will offer no opposition to our proposals. We are convinced they are in the best interests v of the shareholders as a whole, and ftliat is. our sole aim and .object. We are ndt all like ' Mr. Coltfeck, able to visit the mine "weekly, and we desirt a reliable source for the information oi ■ all shareholders , . "The-proposed board I — -jsre in honour bound not—to -traffic in j '■the shares of the Company.' While fully recognising the value of the Auckland Exchange when confined 'to its legitimate .lousiness, we trustj should -a committee be formed, it-will be-entirely-free irom of that body."' .---•- Mr J. C. Colbeek opened the discus- .-■ eioii. He also regretted 3Ef Whyte's ab- . sense, as he had wished" to'sp'eak plainly because he considered that gentleman's statement was not true to fact. He also considered Mr Peaeocke had laboured that statement. He referred to the - allegations that a recommendation from •the manager had been suppressed, re putting in bigger pumps, and the result - ! was the mine had been flooded. Mr Col- - heck said the truth was that the b'igges-t pump in the Talisman was" put in. use on Mr Stansfield'3 recommendation. Of ■■; course they could not fpresee that the Crown would stop pumping. As to the ■"Wellington committee getting an, in- - creased dividend for shareholders, he considered that absurd. Increased divi- ... dends were the result of improvement in ..the mine. Mr Whyte had stated 'the advisory board would not interfere in I the management of the mine. If the ■Board was to take no part in the manelement of the mine, where -.was the - need to pay three, gentlemen £200 a year each and travelling expenses? Mr Colbeck claimed that the Auckland Stock Exchange was justified in calling this meeting in the interests of its client. He contended that £he Wellington people were trying to seize the reins of government, and that soon there "would be nn London Boara" of Directors," but the Company's headquarters would be in Wellington. He strongly supported -the formation of a comniMtee in Auck ' land. He suggested the names of Mr Solm Daw-son and Captain James Daw--60!1. - _ Mr. D. B. McDonald strongly suptn.e' appointment of Captain PmiHi. He also Mr. Colbeck's ra:iip liMhjt added with that of Mr. John IWw«on. The advice of the gentlemen rc.oniiii'iiiilt-d by Wellington would be Bo use as a board, because they did opt
know anything about mining. Those three gentlemen -would represent not only Auckland shareholders, but those elsewhere in New Zealand. The £600 a year proposed" to be paid to the Advisory Board, together with the travelling expenses, would fceep six men employed in the mine a year, which would be of much greater benefit to shareholders. He felt full confidence in Mr. Stafford to look after shareholders' interest. Mr. McDonald said Mr. Whyte's speech was a Culmination against the . Auckland Stock Exchange. Mr. Whyte 1 wanted to know 'Why the Exchange should interfere in this matter. The reason was that sharebrokers' clients asked them to look after their interests. The members of the Auckland Stock Exchange had no wish to interfere, but they wanted to protect the interests of their clients. The proxies sent out from Wellington did not state for what purpose they, were wanted. While objecting to sharebrpkers interfering, he noticed that the Wellington committee had nominated Mr. --Wilson —a sharebroker — to represent them on the London Board of Directors. . Xlf.. G."_L. Peacocke "explained le had no knowledge of the fact alleged by Mr. Whyte, but that gentleman had informed him that 'he could prove that the manager's recommendation re pumps, was not acted upon, Mr. Slater said these disagreements were not for the benefit of shareholders. The mine was a good one, why not leave it alone. He objected to the parochial cry of Auckland v. Wellington. If the Wellington committee benefited themselves they must also benefit the rest of the shareholders. Mr. Muhony Mr. Whyte's speech seemed an attempt to draw a xed herring across the scent. Mr. Whyte argued that because certain brokers had taken action, everything from Auckland must be bad, and everything from Wellington was- to be good. There had been continual interference from Wellington for the past 18 months. He thought the representatives in Auckland, Mr. Hanna and. Captain Smith, had given every satisfaction in- the pist. He was opposed to an advisory with two-thirds of the representation held in Wellington. In Mr. Stansfield they had an excellent mine superintendent, and there was a danger that the interference of an advisory board might cause that gentleman to retire from the position he now so ably filled. Mr. Whyte's principal contention seemed to be that shareholders had no right to speak on this matter. In answer to a question, Mr B. Anderson said that a. motion to do away with the present attorneys in Auckland was proposed by the nominee of the Wellington committee. Any time Auckland suggested starting a committee of shareholders representatives came up from Wellington to prevent it. Had not Auckland shareholders a right to have a committee as well as Wellington? It would have been courteous of the Wellington committee to have consulted the Auckland attorneys before suggesting the appointment of an advisory board. Mr Hay said about a month ago hie firm sent'a circular to all shareholders in the Talisman Company, and had now got in a large number of proxies. Whether or not a committee was formed at , that meeting that movement would go on. Mr Slater: "What do we want an advisory board for? Leave it to the manager alone." (Cheers, and hear, hear.) Mr Warren Blyth considered it ridiculous for Wellington people to appoint a representative for Auckland on the advieory board. It was absurd to have an advisory board at all. The -Chairman said lie objected to withdrawing the attorneyship from Captain Smith and Mr. Hanna. The principal advocates yesterday of an Advisory 'Board were Messrs. Whyte and Peacocke, and they did their work well. They suggested nialandes on the part of anyone but themselves. They claimed that the Exchange wa3 only interested in the fluctuations of stocks, and should not interfere in this matter. He considered the shareholders were right in acting in the interest of the shareholders. They were honourable men engaged' in honourable avocation. To cause violent fluctuations in_ shares would in the end spoil the business of the brokers. He had been doing business on the Exchange for 25 years, and had' not any complaint to make against the members of the Exchange. Mala fides had been suggested against the directors in Mr. Whyte's statement that the board got £800 a year as long as they paid 4/- ajyear dividend. The impression conveyed "svas, that as the directors got no extra honorarium for a larger dividend they only paid 4/- and no more. As to closing down the Crown pump, Mr. Daw gave ample notice of his intention to v .do so. Prior to that the Crown mines directors had tried to get the Talisman Company to contribute towards the cost of keeping the low levels unwatered. Mr. Dawson.said he believed that the Talisman directors did not think the Crown wa3 unwatering the Talisman, and then Mr. Daw proved it by closing dcwn. The motion to appoint a committee ■ was then adopted. Messrs Dawson, J. C. Colbeck and Captain James Smith were then nominated a committee. Mr Gr li. Peacoeke, in explanation, stated he had not acted against the interest of Auckland shareholders. He assured them that there were many Auckland shareholders who recognised that statement of his was true. The Wellingi ton committee commanded the majority i pf the votes in New Zealand, and must therefore represent many Auckland ahare- . holders. Thereotfere many matters coni necied with the mine management that he considered could be reformed. For in-' j stance, Mr StansfieM could only report to . Messrs Beewick and Moring, and not to ; the board of directors. j > -Mr. Peacoeke said he thought the f directors should have a copy of all re- , ports sent to Messrs Bewick and Moreing. > The allegation was not that the London . board wa-s. riot aware of the state of . affairs before the low level was flooded . when the Crown stopped pumping, but j that had they known all Mr. Stansfield > had reported, due provision migHt ■ have ! been made. The advisory board would s to of use in the tmsiness managemen . of the Company, but they would » recommend anything connected with. the x actual mine management. He was ? thoroughly in accord with the proposal j to appoint Captain Smith on the Comt pany. He was advised that the Wellings ton people had nothing to do with rj the proposal.to do away with the ser_f vices of the local attorneys. He was 3 certain that suggestion did not come t from anyone in New Zealand, but, 0 j strange to say, it was supported by all d| the board. In justice to himself he : wished to say that he never asked to ■ z be nominated on tho advisory board. He !- considered if there were two representatives for Wellington, there should ateo ,- jbe two from Auckland. The advisory n i board might be useful to do away with s I unlounaea rumous-s regarding the mine. n It was well to have a board to refute n snrh unfounded rancour?. , c The i:;ouc:: to appoint the committee tjss na:ned wt?s then agreed to,
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