1916.11.25.De Worms et Cie Cardiff

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Worms & Cie

Cardiff, 25th November 1916 Saturday
MM. Worms & C° Paris

Dear Sirs,
We beg to confirm our letter of yesterday and are this morning in receipt of your favour of the 22nd inst. Situation. Tonnage remains exceedingly scarce, what there is available enquires for either Spanish or Egyptian Ports. Our Authorities are obviously again checking shipments to the former Country despite the fact that their needs of Iron Ore, etc., are greater than ever. Of course, they want to turn such tonnage to the French Atlantic Ports if possible. The Limitation Schemes Executive met yesterday in London but failed to arrive at any settlement of the demurrage question, and thus shipments for Italy are likely to be further postponed, as few Shippers, if any, will incur the responsibilities thrust on them by the new War Charter. At the same Meeting much optimism was expressed by the Authorities on the tonnage question for the near future, which we think was quite unjustifiable, and we now wait to learn whether you have been able to obtain any tonnage through the Bureau des charbons as suggested through Messrs Burness yesterday. One thing is very certain neither the Admiralty locally nor our Control Committee can obtain anything for us for Havre or Bordeaux, although we shall continue our efforts to obtain their assistance.
The British Government held Conferences yesterday in London anent the threatened trouble with the Miners over wages. We believe that a way out will be found, even though a larger control of the Collieries and labour be forced upon the Government in order to keep things going. People violently opposed hitherto to such interference, would now gladly welcome same on the lines on which British Railways have been managed since the War began. Contracting for next year is thus, you can readily understand, practically in abeyance until the future can be more clearly forecasted, both by Buyer and Seller.
Port Said. "Media" ss left La Pallice yesterday afternoon and we trust will be here Monday morning, in which case the Tredegar C° may give her very quick despatch. We are afraid some of our other steamers are falling back in readiness, and thus we are more anxious than ever to obtain another forward boat, nothing seems available although for mid December Owners are enquiring more freely. This we explained to Messrs Burness, who you have authorised to charter a Holt liner of about 5.000 tons, ready 10/23rd December, and we now wait to learn whether Owners will fix the steamer in the face of your warning that considerable detention may be her lot if her readiness be in any way deferred.
Marseilles. "Noya" ss apparently cannot be finished before Monday. No tonnage prompt or distant enquires, and from what we can hear anything that comes on the Market will probably be "directed" by the Authorities to fix with the PLM Contractors.
Algiers. "Saint Barnabe" ss ought to arrive in Barry by Monday and from present appearances should get good despatch. We note that you are not averse to shipping a further 2.500 tons by a later boat, and it is not improbable that we may arrange a shipment jointly with our neighbours, Messrs Corys and Agius, who both want further tonnage. Already we have a steamer in view.
Havre. We made every arrangement possible with the Dock C° and labour to load SS "Knottingley" (which was then thought to be out in Barry Roads) by tonight, when we ascertained that the new Owners intended to dry dock her before loading. We are trying: to defer such dry docking, but owing to the non-arrival of the steamer nothing can be arranged. Needless to say the Collieries are very annoyed, and Mr. Jenkins from whom we yesterday, as a special favour, obtained the release of the cargo is by no means content... Unfortunately Owners have the right by charter of dry docking when required. We are making effort to find another boat or even two, and we shall secure the option of the Tancarville Canal if it can be obtained.
Swansea. "Hiram" ss would have finished loading this afternoon and sailed tonight, unfortunately one of her steam pipes became leaky and consequently she would have to stay there until Monday night, therefore loading will suspended at 1 pm and only completed Monday noon. Captain is agreeable to go to the Tancarville Canal on the distinct understanding that doing so incurs no extra expense, and that he gets some gratuity for extra trouble. Mr. Jeffreys seems to have over-looked the fact that fees are payable for passing through the Gates which doubtless Mr. Fremont will arrange if you explain matters, as we tried to do at the telephone just now. Probably steamer will be offered for a second voyage in a day or so, but it takes sometime now to cable Norway.
Bordeaux. "Château-Latour" ss you thought had left Bordeaux for Port Talbot last night. We have made all arrangements possible to load her quickly.
Chartering. Absolutely nothing seems available, and up to the present the Powell Duffryn C° have failed to obtain the large steamer for which they were in treaty, nor has the "T.Pangalo" fallen into our hands, as we go confidently reckoned upon. As explained, Captain and Broker have evidently been playing the usual Greek game with us, for even the day after she was fixed to Messrs Moxeys for Port Said, they, as you know, came to see us with, we can now understand the idea of getting a large sum of money, relatively speaking, as demurrage under the last charter, which astute scheme was happily foiled by our Mr. Arthur. The lose of her for Bordeaux is most vexatious, and still more so, that they should have fixed her for Port Said, for which place we should have been only too delighted, to have chartered her ourselves. In these busy times it is quite inexcusable that people should be put to endless trouble day after day, and have hopes repeatedly held out that were fallacious through-out.
SS "Empros". We enclose copy of letter from Broker asking for the names of your underwriters, which you promised to write us together with your value of cargo which is sure to be asked for later.
Alicante. "Hansi" ss sailed for this Port at 6 pm yesterday, and we expect "Edda" ss to arrive here Monday next to load the Malaga cargo.
Further tonnage. We may possibly on Monday or Tuesday be offered another boat for Malaga, and by then ought to have a reply from London anent licence.
Messageries. We enclose herewith certificate of sailing from Newport at 9 am today of "Bellagio" ss. Messrs Herrings are still, without success seeking offers of other tonnage to follow. French Marine. You said that "Haut-Brion" ss may have left Brest last night for Barry Signal Station, and in due course you will let us know when "Pontet-Canet" ss and "Michel" ss may be expected here.
State Railways. We presume "Saint-Eloi" ss will be leaving Fecamp shortly and we are having docking orders in readiness for her at Barry Signal Station.
Goods Line. "Pomerol" ss will be leaving Swansea today, and "Bidassoa" ss Newport on Tuesday next.
Chargeurs réunis. We were glad to hear through Messrs Burness that "Amiral Duperre" ss should leave Havre on the 26th. inst. and required 2.100 tons of Bunker coals. We have advised all concerned.
"Breton" ss. We shall in due course send you receipted invoice for Messrs John Shearman & C°'s a/c of £69-10-0.
"Barsac" ss repairs A/C may be presented by Messrs Mordey, Carney & C° at any moment. Messrs Nixon, Page & C° have been very throughly into matters, and effected substantial savings. We shall have to pay on presentation, although we shall try and consult you before doing so.
Anthracite per "Cooee" ss. We thank you for endorsed B/L and have collected and already credited you the amount of freight due there under from Messrs Lamberts, to whom we have now handed that document.
Customs Port said. We are just wiring "Freight 75/- Coals 32/6".
Telephone. You were happily able to speak to us this morning to our mutual benefit; since then the information we gave you that "Istrar" ss sailed from Falmouth last Saturday direct for Port Said has been confirmed by her Brokers. Messrs Burness seem to be of the contrary opinion and are enquiring the real facts from Owners. Nowadays it is very hard to get full information of the movement of steamers for very obvious reasons. Again the Naval People told the Writer yesterday that "Empros" ss they understood was sunk, whereas your information was that she did not do so, and is still floating about, as a derelict dangerous to navigation.
Messrs Burness wire they have fixed Mr. Holt's steamer "Oopack" 47/5200 tons, and we have arranged that such cargo shall be supplied, put on board, and trimmed by the Tredegar C°.
War risks. We are informed by our Brokers that so far they have failed to get any Lloyds' underwriters to accept our sailings for December to North French and Bay Ports at 30/-%, and that today's rate is 40/-%. They are however going to sound the Market again on Monday, when they hope the position will be more favourable.
Yours very truly,

G. W. Moore

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