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OUR MINES AT HOME., Issue 7992, 22 August 1889
OUR MINES AT HOME.
BLUR SPUR AND GABRIELS GULLY CONSOLIDATED GOLD COMPANY. "•rly in the month of May a meeting of tiu local shareholders in the above company was held at Lawrence, to tako into consideration the manner in which the affairs of the. company were being conducted. The meeting, which was presided over by Mr M'Nab, was largely attended, and the outcome was tint tho following series of resolutions was adopted: Mr J. M'Kinlay moved and Mr W. Johnston seconded: (1) Ttut up to the present time the management of the company haa been most unsatisfactory to the loial shareholders, inasmuch a3 they have no voice in the management thereof ; nor bavn the; any meaus of knowing what is being don 1 ) by the management, there not having boon any meeting of the local shareholders since the Consolidated Company commenced operations. Mr 15. Kllis moved and Mr J. 0. Brown seconded: (2) That, in the opinion of the local shareholders, the position of tho local Board is unprecedented, the chairman of directors apparently being subject to no control; and also by his having the power to appoint the other local director himself tho ehareholdeis are unrepresented in any way. Mr J C. Brown moved and Mr W. Johnston seionded: (3) That the local shareholders having heard that Mr J. C. Brown represented to the London Board that it was insisted on as part of the agreement that he (Mr J. C. Brown) should be appointed managing director for a period of three year*, beg to inform the London Board most distinctly that no such proposition ever emanated from them; and if such representation was made to them it was quite unauthorised, undesired, and most decidedly against the wishes of the then mine owne-s, Mr J. M'Kinlay moved and Mr J. 0. Brown seconded : (4) That this meeting desires to represent to the London Board that, inasmuch as most of the local shareholders being men who have themselves worked the mines to advantage for a considerable number of years, they should decidedly have a voico in the management thereof. Mr S. Johnston moved and Mr W. M'Culljch seconded: (5) That the local Board of Directors, comistmg only of two mentis very unsatisfactory, a3 the chairman having two votes to the other's one puts the whole of the power in the chairman's hands, and that in the opinion of the locil shareholders the Board should conbist of not less than three, and that t»vo out of the three should be elected by tho local shareholders at a general meeting, the present remuneration to be divided between the two so elected. Mr D. M'lntosh moved and Mr S. Johnston seco-ded: (C) That the London Board bo asked to explain their action in sending Mr Jackson here as au exoart at a salary of L 350 and travelling expenses, especially as his services are of no valuo to the company, bb he has been unable up to tho present to point out or make any suggestions on matters requiring his attention. Mr E. Lawson proposed and Mr J. M'Farlane seconded: (7) That a copy of the resolutions passed at this meeting be forwarded to tho chairman of the London Board of Directois, and that they bo signed by the chairman of the meeting; also, that a committee consisting of MewM J. M'Kinlay, A. M'Nah, W. Johnston, E. Ellis, and D. M'lntosh, be appointed to conduct all correspondence between the London Board and the local shareholders,
In pursuance of the instruction contained in tho seventh resolution, Mr M'Nab, as chairman of the meeting above referred to, and as one of the Sub-committee appointed, forwarded a letter covering the resolutions to Sir Walter Buller, chairman of the London Board of Directors of the Consolidated Company, who has submitted the following reply : 8 Victoria Chambers, Victoria street, London, S.W., 27th June.
Dear Sir,—l have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 3rd May, coveting covie3 of resolutions pissed at a meeting of shareholders in the Blue Spur and Gabriels Gully Consolidated Gold Company, Limiter 1 , held at Lawrence on the evening of Thursday, 2nd May. Your letter was placed beforo my colleagues and duly considered at ycitcrdiy's meeting of the Board.
I need hardly say that the resolutions, expressive ai they appear to be of the views of a mijority of the local shareholders, are entitled to, and have duly received the most careful attent'on on the p»rt of the Board. I Tvill now proceed to notice them seriatim: R. solution 1 —The manigement of the mine 3 cannot have been more unsatisfactory to the local shareholders than it ha.i been to the London Board. As I hive alreidy explained to Sir Robert Stout, our mist seriom complaint against Mr Brown was that just at tho time of our statutory metting, in May last year, wc were iuduced by two successive telegraphic reports from the colony, showing L<'oo worth of gold won from the mineß at a cost of only LOO, to encourage the shareholders to expect immediate large returns ; and that then wc were left for mouths together in total ignorance of what was baing done at the mines, and of the reasons for the persistent silence, whilst the results for all the subsequent months have thown that the rost of getting out the gold is cons'deraWy more than a tenth. The Board could not resist the conclusion that they had been deliberately deceived in this respect, and made to deceive others, When, at length, the London Board appointed a local inspector, with instructions to make frequent visits to the mines and to inspect the books of the company—to act in-ltpendently of the local Beard, and to report by lttter weekly and by cable monthly for the information of the shareholders in this ccuntiy—Mr Brown resented the appointment, apparently regarding tho inspector in tho 1 ght of a "spy and detective," and persistently disobeyed tho instructions of the London Board with regard to such inspector, Under there circumstances, the London directors felt that it would be quite Impossible for them to administer the affairs of the company in New Zealand with credit to themselves or to the satisfaction of the general body of shareholders.
Resolution 2. —The objections raised by the local shareholde r s have been practically anticipated by the action of the subscribing shareholders in this country who, in the exercise of the powers conferred by section 88 of the Artic'es of Association, have by resolution passed at an "extraordinary meeting," convened for that purpose, removed the local directors from office.
Resolution 3.—The Lor don Board fully recognise the fores of what is stated in this resolution, and are moat anxious to be in touch with the local shareholders, whose practical experience in the working of the mines ought to be of great value to the company. The experiment of a loerd board of directors having signally failed, the London Board, who havo in any caee to hear the responsibility, have decided to take the entire control into their own hands, and to adnrnister the affairs of the Company in New Zealand through a general manager, who will he directly accountable to the head offije, but will be instructed to take the local shareholders into his confidence at all time?, and to invite their co-operation and assistance in the prosecution of a very difficult undertaking. Resolution 4.—The statement referred to in this resolution was certainly put forward by the promoter in this country as a reason for the clause in the agreement to which it refers. But as koth Mr J. 0. Brown and the New Zealard vendors disclaim it, the e is nothing to be (rained by saying anything further on the subject. Resolution s.—As to the recommendation contained in this resolution, I can only refer you to my observations on the third resolution. Even if the London Board were prepared to advocate such a cjurso as the appointment of three local directors, I am parsuaded that, in the light of recent events, the subscribing shareholders in this country would never entertain the proposal for a moment. Resolution o,—My observations in regard to the first resolution wiil. I think, explain sufficiently the necessity for the appoint ment of an inspector. What the Beard wanted was not so much a " nrning expiTt" as a tV\oT<yvisVi\y Vio-ncat and capa\rte man, whose reports tliey could place before the subscribing shareholders without the slightest misgivinf. Mr Howaid Jackson came to the Board very highly recommended, and subsepequcnt events have, in tho opinion of the Board, amply justified his appointment; for it was not till we had appointed an inspector that Mr Brown see Tied to realise the necessity of keeping the head office in f orrmd of what he was doing or proposing to do at the mines. Now that the local directors have been removed, it becomes necessary to appoint a general manager, who will act utider a piwer of attorney, and represent tho company in New Zealand. The able and exhaustive reports recehed from Mr Howard Jackson by eveiy mail since his appointment induce the Board to believe that he is sprci lly fitted for such a position. But as the crrrectne=s of this view can only be determin'd by results we have decided to mako the office a provisional one, and Mr Jackson's appointment as general manager (as from tho 21st instant) is accordingly only up to the end of the present year; thus leaving the Board free at tho end of that time to renew the engagement, or to make other arrangements, aB circumstances may require.
Resolution 7 —lnthaukiogyou fur sending so promptly copies of the resolutions passed at your meeting, I need hardly assure you of the (ienirecf the Board tone 1 ; in harmony with tht local shareholders ar.d to co-opeiate with them
as far as possible. With this view I shall be at all times glad to receive and attend to any suggestions or recommendations that your Committee may have to offer. I shall feel obliged by your communicating to your Committee, and, in whatever manner you may think desirable, to the local shareholders generally, the contents of this letter.—l am, etc., W. L. Buixer, Chairman.
OUR MINES AT HOME., Issue 7992, 22 August 1889
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