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THE MIDLAND RAILWAY., Issue 7962, 18 July 1889
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY.
At an extraordinary meeting of shareholders held in London recently the number of directors was increased to seven, and Mr Walter Chamberlain, of Birmingham (whom the chairman described as "a gentleman of considerable commercial experience and ability, and who has a very substantial interest in New Zealand"), was elected to the vacancy. The formal business having been disposed of the Chairman (Mr Salt, M.P.) said:— "There is really nothing,however, to say at the moment, except that everything is proceeding favorably. AVo have telegraphed out there to open the line so far as it is finished. We have also sent out telegrpphfc instructions to prepare a contract for the next section of tho railway in the direction of Reefton : and we have also sent instructions by telegraph to commence the Burveys at tho Springfield end. Mr Wilson, our engineer, will go out in the course of a month or two with full powers to take charge of the company's affairs, and the special instructions to him will be to push on all the works of the company as rapidly as possible. Mr Avigdor: I should like particularly to say a few words as to the extreme difficulties which they havo had recently to contend with. The Board cannot very well blow their own trumpets, and I do not think this meeting should be closed to-day without there being brought to the notice of the shareholders the difficulty there has been in raising the necessary capital of the com pany, and how very strenuously your directors have worked in order to safeguard your interests. From one cause or another, which it is hardly necessary to explain, New Zealand securities havo for some years, and until quite recently, been a drug in the market, and it has really only been through the most extraordinary and personal exertions on tho part of the Board that this recent debenture issue was a success. You know perfectly well, I think, that in consequence of the various articles which appeared some years ago in the papers and in books, and in consequence also of the undoubted extravagance of the New Zealand Government, there was a period until quite recently when anything which came from New Zealand was perfectly detested by the London money market. How well your chairman and the other gentlemen operating with him worked to pull this thing through they themselves cannot tell you, but I, as an outsider, may say so. I know that no directors of any c Jtnpany could have a larger stake in a concern. Their interests are now so absolutely tied up with this company that it gives me very special pleasure to move a vote of thanks to the Board, It is clearly unfair that any body of gentlemen should have to bear the brunt as they have done without some mark of recognition. Therefore I should like, in moving this aB a matter of form o add beyond the gratitude the shareholders feel to the direotors in having successfully carried through an issue surrounded with difficulty, and which for many months seemed almost impossible. The Chairman: Mr Avigdor is a very large shareholder, and I have to thank him very much for the way in which he has
mentioned the efforts of the Board. lam bound to say that we have had a great deal of trouble, and trouble which has not always, if at all, been caused by ourselves, but by circumstances into which we need not enter now. There is just one thing I want to say before we part, and it is that I hope our shareholders will give some attention now to the value of the shares. People can pretty well tell the position of the debenture issue, founded as it is both upon the railway and the landed property of the company. I think, therefore, the shareholders might give a little more attention to the shares, and if they examine their position properly they will in all probability find there is a very fine prospect before them. I cannot, as chairman, now say more, because one has to be very cautious in these matters, but I am very anxious that the shareholders should not be disposed to part with property which eventually will be very valuable.—(Applause.)
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY., Issue 7962, 18 July 1889
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