THE COLONIAL BANK.
The thirtieth half-yearly meeting of the proprietors was held this afternoon. The Hon. G. M'Lean, chairman of directors, presided, and there was a fair attendance of shareholders. At the suggestion of tho chairman, tLc report and balance-sheet were taken as read, [llm report has already been published in our columns ] The Cuaibman, in moving ths adoption of the report, said that he was glad to bo able to meet the proprietors under circumstances tint wore a little different from those under which they had been in the habit of meeting for some time past. Tbe colony had grown apace, and, although the prosperity they saw going on throughout the country had not yet reached all points, it was bound 10 filter through all the colony. TVy saw the rapid strides that the colony was takinsr; that last year onr exports exceeded our imports by nearly a million; that there was a marked incrtaso in our output of frozen mutton—though it could not ue all carried away, he expected more ships would come 10 load up; that a new industry, that of flax, had arisen, cne fhip having loaded 4,000 bales in Wellington, whilo large quantities were going to America, and when totted up our export of this product would be found to be something considerable ; that wo had a largo export of grain ; and that altogether a large amount of money was being poured into the colony to help its prosperity. When they looked at the balance-sheet now before them, they would see that the bank had shared in this measure of prosperity. The directors had this half-year been able to pay theusual dividend, to put aside a good sum towards reserve, and prnrido sufficiently for all bad and doubtful debts. The bank's deposits had risen consider .bly during tbe past half-year, aud the directors were now enabled to be prudent in takins thera, restrictions being placed on accepting deposits from outside tho colony. The increase of deposits, therefore, represented an increase of the wealth of the colony. These deposits were spread all over the country, and in small sums, to that ho might well call this the people's bank. There was nothing eke, so far as he knew, that called for remark in connection with the balance-sheet. One consequence of tho advance in the operations of the bank was that the directors were now able to pick their own business to some extent, and were able to guard against any misiakc made in tho past. The bank was going on cautiously, and as tho c.dony prospered this was the bank that would prosper with it. It was entirely a New Zealand Institution its shares _ were spread over a largo rumber of people; it had many friends all over the colony to help it, and ho had no doubt it would progress satisfactorily in the future by continuing as it was going on at present. Ho neod not say much rnoro, but could not sit down without remarking with gladness the spirit of self-reliance that was growing in the colony as evidenced by the support accorded to the Exhibition. This t-pirit of self-reliance did credit to tho country—it showed that New Zealand was to he a great country, and he had no doubt that tho Inhibition would promote its interests to a largo extent. He begged to move tho adoption of the report.
MrW. D. Stewart, M.H.8., seconded the motioi:, and in. doing so said that tho Hharfcholdera might be congratulated upon the healthy ua'.ure of the report. There was little doubt that the bank was making steady progre?p, acd that it was under careful man?gement, so there was no reason *hy it should not develop with the development of the colony. One feature of the bank -was that it was essentially ft colonial institution. One source of its btrength was that its shares were held oil over the colony, and he also observed that there was a very kindly fecliug manifeetrd towards it throughout tho country. This bank, be believed, ftood nnrivalltd on that account, and had peculiar claims upon the support cf colonists. With tho increase of exports to which thechairmon had made reference, and the enhanced values which farmers and producers generally were roceivirg. there was little doubt that the colony was improving, and ho saw no reason why it should not continue to improve, or why tho bank should not prosper in the future as in the past. Tho motion was put and carried unanimously.
Mr G. E. Eliott said that lie bad a motion to propOFe —one of which he bad g'ven due notice. Some litt'o time ago a resolution was brought forward adding L4OO to the fees payahle to the directors. It was said that this was expressly intended to mean thattho Hon. O. M'Lean was to be voted tho L4OO. No one said anything against the resolution and it was pass°d. They were told that to grant this L4OO it was only necessary to alter the word "seven " to the word " eleven" in the deed of settlement; but the alteration thus mido would defeat the object the shareholders had in view, for as the clause readas amended there wasno mention of Mr M'Lein nor of the directors having power to grant him L4OO, the clause now reading that the directors were to divide the LI.IOO between them. Now, the directors were not going to live for ever, and it might comn about that when new nvn got on the Board, they wovdd tike the clause as it read, and say : "Why should we pay Mr M'Lean this L4CO? " Under the addition that he (Mr Eliott) proposed to the clause that sum of L4OQ would lapse if Mr I.l' Lean vacated office, but if ho wrre to return, the shareholders could reinstate it, and if no 000 else moved in that direction ha (Mr Eliott) would do so. He would movotbat after the lavt word in clause 51, to the word " determine," there should be added the following words:—" When from any cauhc the present president of tho bank Bball cease to hold that office, then from that date tho yearl7 amour.t to tho directors shall be the sumofl7oo." And if that were carried he would suggest—thoueh he would not make a motion ou the subject—that in atry proxy papers that were issued these words should be printed on the papers, to prevent another misunderstanding. Everyoneof the shareholders who voted on tho question when it was previously before them thought that they were voting L4OO to Mr M'Lean, instead of which they were voting LI, 100, to bo divided as the directors thought fit. Mr A. Slioo agreed with Mr Eliott that some other purpose might be accomplished than an additional payment to the chairman. The value of tho services of that gentloraan deserved to be very highly appreciated, but it was not right that the extra sum should he voted to the general body of tho directors. For that reason ho teconded tha motion.
Th* Ghatrman said that ns the resolution referred to him it was fitting that he should gay a few word*. He certainly was obliged to those gentlemen for the manner in which they had spoken of himself, and he felt gratified that they had appreciated the services which he had been enabled to give. There was never any man alive bnt when he died and went his way » better man generally came along, and probably when he went a better man would step into his shoes.—(Mr Sliuo : Th<?n wo will treat him just as well.) Ho asked the i-hareholders to leave the matter as it stood. The business of tbo bank was increasing, and tho responsibilities would Increase with it. ITo had no fear that tho amount would be diverted from himpelf f o long as he was able to fulfil tho duties which now devolved upon him. Those who had been entrusted with the conduct of financial institutions in this colony of late years would know that money did not compensate them for their anxiety, and he did not think that the direotors would be overpaid if they received double their present fee. Moreover, some money should be left to send directors on missions.
Mr Eliott said that in the face of the expression the ohairman had given of his views on the subject, he did not wish to press the matter to a division. He had pointed out the views generally of the shareholders out3ide of Dunedin, but seeing very little prospect _ of his proposal being carried, he desired, with the permission of the seconder, to withdraw it. Mr Sligo, in assenting to the withdrawal, reiterated what he had already Btated: that he had seconded the motion because the money had
been voted for one purpose and nr'ght be diverted to another.
The resolution was accordingly withdrawn.
Mr N. Y. A. Wales thought before tIK-y separated a vote of thankß should be accorded to the directors, tho general manager, and staff. Looking at the balancesheet shareholders had reason to congratulate themso'.vos on tho progress the bank was making. It would ho found that the deposits were increasing, and that tho note circulation was increasing, which carried with it tho burden of increased taxation, for they had now to pay o»er L2,oooayear to the Government. The business of the bank appeared to bo conducted on a good sjund principle; and although it wa f not growing rapidly it wits growing steadily anil progressing satisfactorily. The shareholders, therefore, owed to the directors and stuff their best thanks for the way in which the bank's business was managed. Mr H. J. Walter seconded the motion. Som.9 seven or eight years ago, in seconding the adoption of the directors' rep >r*, he stated that lie had such confidence in the bank that lie advised his fi lends to do th?ir business with it. Subsequent events had proved that lie wab nat a false prophet. Mr Eliott begged leave to support the motion in order to show that he had no feeling in the matter. He was sure that the directors had done thoir duty, and that they mud; have passed many sleepless nights in steering the bank through the shoals and quicksands of tho depression which had visited us lately. Speaking personally, he confessed that he would not be a bank director if he could, because he could , not do without his rest. |
Mr Stratford, K.M., advised the directors, now that there was a fresh impetus in gold mining, to send experienced officers to manage the bank's business' on the go'dfields. He hoped that tho directors would visit Nenthorn and such places, and look after the comfort of their officers.
The vote was put and carried unanimously. The Chairman, in acknowledging it on behalf of himself and co-directors, said that they fult very much obliged for the kindly reference made to them; and to Mr Stratford for the way in which ho had placed the matt r of the goldfi.dds agencies before thf m. He believed it was quite true that the Colotiial Bank was the popular bank on tho gold fields, and he was glad to say that it was so. He could assure Mr Stratford that, vty» to the present at all Gv-nta, no undue ri*k had been taken, notwithstanding the very good support they got from the sroldfislds. The Colonhl B;tnk had as good officers and inspectors as uuy institution in New Zealand. That errors of judgment had been committed hewasnotgoingtodeny; but who amongst them had gone through life without considerable errors of judgment? i.L.iughter.) He assured the meeting that every care in the way of inspection had been taken, and that the officers of the bank did their utmost for the good of the institution.
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THE COLONIAL BANK., Evening Star, Issue 8021, 25 September 1889
THE COLONIAL BANK. Evening Star, Issue 8021, 25 September 1889
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