1916.08.18.De James Burness and Sons.Londres

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

London, 18th August 1916
Messrs Worms & C° - Paris

Dear Sirs,
Limitation schemes. We were asked by Mr. Hipwood of the Board of Trade to attend a Meeting there today at 3.30 p.m. to advise on the extension of the limitation of freights to the Italian ports and the Mediterranean generally.
In addition to Mr. Hipwood there were present Mr. Holmden (H. Clarkson & Co.), Mr. Weigall (S. Weigall & Co.), Mr. steel Lambert Bros.) and Mr. Falconer (J. B. & Sons).
Mr. Hipwood explained that it had been decided by the Authorities to extend to the Italians the limitation of freights scheme now in working for the French Bay & Channel ports and he asked the advice of those present as to the basis on which such a scheme should be drawn up. Mr. Hipwood also showed us a table of Mediterranean rates drawn up by Mr. Pan Radcliffe on the basis of 65/- Marseilles, a copy of which we enclose; we understand that these rates are based on the assumption that the boat had to return in ballast from each port. Mr. Hipwood explained that the basis of 65/- was an error on Mr. Radcliffe's part and the basis should have been 62/6 for Marseilles.
After some discussion Mr. Hipwood was asked whether a basis of 60/- Genoa would be considered satisfactory by the Italians; he said he thought this would be so and it was eventually recommended that the Shipowners' Committee should be asked to draw up the equivalent rates of freight for all Mediterranean ports on the basis of 60/- Genoa & 57/6 Marseilles from Cardiff, from which we conclude that they would work out at about 7s/6d less than those shown in Mr. Radcliffe's table.
It was also desired to fix the rates of freight to the Spanish & Portuguese Atlantic ports and these rates it was recommended should be based on the limitation rate for Bordeaux, viz. 34/- from Cardiff.
The Mersey & Clyde rates for all ports to be 1s/- and the Tyne & East Coast of Scotland rates to be 2s/- per ton above the Cardiff basis.
Mr. Hipwood informed the Meeting that Italy would require 1.000.000 tons of coal per month and was at present getting 7/8.000.000 tons per annum.
Mr. Falconer gave it as his opinion that the effect of fixing these rates would be that the Depots would not get their tonnage in as much as the Coal allocated for Italy would control the position by absorbing all the tonnage and, licences being issued for Italian ports, automatically boats would have to fix for those places. Mr. Steel was strongly of opinion that the bunkering ports in the Mediterranean should be left outside the scheme altogether. Mr. Hipwood said he did not think this was practicable but eventually added a rider to his minutes to the effect that it was strongly recommended that the regular bunkering ports should be excluded altogether or that the limitation rates for these ports should be fixed at say 5s/- per ton over the parity to enable merchants to obtain their tonnage.
Coal prices are to be fixed for shipments to Italy on the same basis as those to France and Mr. Hipwood said it was to be expected that France would want to include in the scheme her North African ports.
Mr. Hipwood said he did not think the Italian scheme could be brought into working order before the 1st October.
We are, dear Sirs,
Yours truly,

James Burness & Sons

[Pièce jointe: Table of estimated freiht based upon Marseilles 65/-]

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