1916.01.13.De James Burness and Sons.Londres

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James Burness & Sons
London and 3, Bute Crescent, Cardiff
138, Leadenhall Street

London, 13th January 1916
Messrs Worms & C° - Paris

Dear Sirs,
Natal coal for Messageries C°. We confirm our conversation by telephone this morning with reference to the rebates under the f.a.s. contract last year when we referred you to Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co's letter of the 8th March and our reply of the following day which we thought put on record what undoubtedly was the understanding we believed we had with them, viz. that all cif cargoes were included in the f.a.s. contract & the rebate was payable thereon.
You told us that the Messageries Co. now want an offer of a cargo of 3/4000 tons, shipment in February, for Djibouti, that shipment to be included not only in the quantity of the rebate but also in the amount of the rebate to be paid under this year's f.a.s. contract when we said that Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co. had agreed to this for this year. You also requested us to put the same enquiry to Messrs Mann, George & Co. foroa cargo of Transvaal Coal as the Messageries Co. wished to compare the two descriptions.
You further mentioned we might tell Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co. that we were putting this enquiry before Messrs Mann, George & Co. and that you would strongly recommend them to give way for last year even if they have to ask the Messageries Co. higher figures for cif, cargoes this year because you were fully committed to them for the rebates on last year's f.a.s. contract.
We at once saw Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co. who asked us if we could hold back putting the enquiry before Messrs Mann, George & Co. because if both of them came into the market for freight it would probably have the effect of putting up the rate. To this we replied somewhat reluctantly that we would do so until you next came through on the telephone but that we ought to carry out our instructions.
Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co. then told us they were going through the whole of their correspondence with reference to the matter of the rebates and promised definitely to let us have some sort of a proposal later in the day. In the afternoon they said that having regard to all the circumstances they would be willing to bear 6d of the 9d to be paid to the Messageries Co. on the quantity shipped c.i.f. last year if you & ourselves would agree to cover the remaining 3d, thus enabling the Messageries Co. to have 9d rebate on the full quantity of 20,969 tons 16 cwt.
Shortly afterwards we received your letter of the 11th inst. and we gave it to Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co., together with the copy letter from the Messageries Co., for their perusal mentioning at the same time that we thought it very important, if possible, to give the Company complete satisfaction by granting the 1/- rebate; they said they would give the matter further consideration and let us know something definite early tomorrow morning. They also hope then to be in a position to make a cif offer for the Djibouti cargo but, as we mentioned to you on the telephone this evening, 60/- freight has just been paid for the "Locks!ey Hall" for a cargo of Natal Coal for Perim and this of course has made the market a very strong one.
We had the opportunity of telling you of the foregoing on the telephone this evening and will advise you as soon as we hear further from Messrs Mitchell Cotts & Co. tomorrow.
We are, dear Sirs,
Yours truly,

James Burness & Sons

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