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memorial to government on the subject, to be submitted to the Chamber for its action.
Messrs. OPDYKE, Blunt, MARSHALL, DUer and Nye were named as the committee.
Mr. Phelps presented the following resolutions, which were adopted : Resolved, That the Chamber of Commerce and merchants of NewYork, representing the unanimous sense of their body, record with sincere grief, and with high respect for his virtues, the death of Lindley MURRAY HOFFMAN, a member of this Chamber for many years past, who departed this life yesterday.
Resolved, That as a merchant, his industry, his systematic attention to business, his unwavering good faith and fidelity, his unspotted honor and unstained integrity, entitle him to a lasting good name in the commercial annals of our country.
Resolved, That we equally declare our high esteem for his virtues as a man, for his kindness of heart, his liberality in useful public enterprises, and his activity in works of charity; for his modesty, and also for his elevated Christian spirit, and for the unostentatious simplicity and blameless purity of his private life.
Resolved, That in common with the whole commercial community of this city, by whom he has been so long known and esteemed, we respectfully tender our sympathy to his mourning relatives and friends, and that these resolutions be communicated to them as a last mark of our respect.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by the Secretary to the family of the deceased member.
The Secretary reported that the Annual Report of the Chamber for the past year had been completed, and copies were now ready for distribution for the use of the members.
The following nominations were made June 6th, for election July 3d, 1861 :
Nominated by Hugu N. Camp, 149 Pearl-street, BENJAMIN H. Field. SAMUEL COLGATE,
Egisto P. FABBRI. Charles Dimon,
73 South-street, CALEB BARSTOW. John EADIE,
CALEB F. LINDSLEY. William LYELL,
34 Cedar-street, J. Smith HOMANS. Tuomas RICHARDSON,
DANIEL OGDEN. JAMES A. ROOSEVELT, 94 Maiden Lane, J. LEE SMITH. THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 94 Maiden Lane, J. LEE SMITH. BARNET L. Solomon, 369 Broadway, John H. LYELL.
As the first Thursday in July will fall on the anniversary of our national independence, the Chamber adjourned to meet on Wednesday, the 3d day of July.
Monthly Meeting of the Boston Board of Trade. At a meeting of the government at the rooms of the Board, No. 55 Merchants’ Exchange, on Monday, June 3, 1861, Vice-President Richard
son in the chair, the committee on the present crisis presented their second report, as follows:
On the 7th of May your committee met Henry L. Wuting, Esq., of the United States Coast Survey, at his request, to consider the subject of fitting out a fleet of fishing vessels to assist the blockading squadron on the Southern coast.
Mr. WHITING, who was direct from Washington, exhibited a paper signed by Commodore PAULDING, of the United States Navy, and followed in a verbal statement of the views and suggestions of the Commodore, in behalf, as was understood, of the Navy Department. This interview resulted in a second on the next day, when, by our invitation, several owners of fishing vessels and gentlemen engaged in business here and elsewhere were present. At the meeting on the 8th ult. Mr. Wuiting again stated the objects of the government, and was followed by Commander Smith, of the United States Navy, substantially in concurrence.
After further discussion on the part of our own citizens, voted, on motion of Albert G. Browne, Esq., that the chair appoint a committee of five to report the terms on which a fleet of from fifty to one hundred vessels of from fifty to one hundred tons burthen would be equipped for the proposed service.
This committee performed the duty assigned before the adjournment, and a written agreement, signed by several highly responsible persons, was prepared at the instant and delivered to Mr. Wuting for the consideration of the Navy Department, which gave a specific answer to each question propounded by Com. PAULDING.
Having thus initiated the measure, your committee, as in the case of the “Massachusetts Soldiers' Fund," left the further prosecution of it to others, and especially to the cominittee of five. But, as Mr. BROWNE, the chairman of that committee, has placed in our hands a copy of Mr. Whiting's letter to him, after a conference with Com. Paulding at Washington, as well as a copy of his reply, we may remark that no arrangement has been made. Indeed, it seems by this correspondence that the Navy Department has abandoned the plan as concerns the present season, at least, to our regret, since we cannot but believe that a fleet of the kind suggested, composed of vessels of the most approved models, and manned by intelligent, energetic and brave seamen, who are thoroughly acquainted with every inlet and harbor between the Bay of Chaleur and the Gulf of Mexico, would prove of immense importance to the steamers and other ships of the navy in the existing blockade of the ports of the so-styled Confederate States.
John T. HEARD, F. W. LINCOLN, Jr.,
GARDNER BREWER. Office Rooms Board of Trade, Boston, June 1, 1861.
Annual Meeting of the Montreal Board of Trade. Report of the Council of the Montreal Board of Trade for the year ending March 31, 1861.
The Council, in submitting their report, would beg to refer, as briefly as possible, to some of the various matters which have engaged their attention since the last annual meeting.
The questions of assuming Lake St. Peter debt, and the abolition of tonnage dues on sea-going vessels so frequently urged by their predecessors, were again brought before the government and Parliament. The Council strongly represented, that the improvement of the river between Quebec and Montreal was a public and not a local work—that, from the deepening of the channel, a much larger class of ships could now ascend to Montreal from sea, and that in consequence, the rates of freight inwards and outwards since the improvement had been made had gradually decreased, a result in which the producers and consumers of the country were alike interested. The Council are glad to be able to say that the government, by an act of last session, finally abolished all lake and river dues on shipping from sea, coming to Montreal, and assumed as a provincial debt the expense of deepening and improving the river and Lake St. Peter.
A memorial, numerously signed by members of the Board, in reference to a custom which has prevailed at this port, of charging for every package taken to the examining warehouse, was placed before the Council
, who, after a careful consideration of all the facts, concurred in opinion that the practice (which does not prevail at other ports) should be abolished.
A memorial to this effect was forwarded to the finance minister, but no action has yet been taken thereon, and the Council would invite the attention of their successors to this matter.
A bill having been introduced into Parliament, providing for a change in the law respecting the pilotage of vessels below Quebec, the Council, assisted by the Quebec Board of Trade, successfully opposed its obnoxious provisions. The Council, however, regret that notwithstanding their earnest representations to the government, on the necessity of a change being made in the system by which the pilots between Quebec and Montreal are now paid on the tonnage of the ship instead of by the draft of water, no notice whatever has been taken of the subject. The efforts made by the Trinity Board and the Harbor Commissioners have been attended with no better result. It must be remembered, that until a new system of remuneration shall compel pilots to become thoroughly acquainted with the new channel and improvements, the advantage of the large outlay on these works is to a great extent lost
From various facts brought before the attention of the Council, it is apparent that the returns of produce received by canal and river have been most imperfect; and the Council have urged on the commissioner of customs the necessity of obliging all vessels descending the river or canal, filing a duplicate manifest of all cargo at the canal office.
The serious losses and inconvenience which resulted from the robbery of Canadian mails en route to the United States, induced the Council to open a correspondence with the post-office department, and to make some suggestions in reference to the future safe conduct of this most important service. They have also lately addressed the Postmaster-General on the subject of forwarding mails for New-York and Boston by the night express trains recently established, who concurred in opinion with the Council
, that a great advantage would thereby be secured to the mercantile community; that he had entered into correspondence with the Postmaster-General of the United States on the subject, and that no effort of his would be wanting to carry out the proposed arrangement.
The advantages which resulted from the construction of the Grand
Trunk Railway and from the Victoria Bridge to the commerce of the province, and particularly to the trade of Montreal, are annually made more apparent; and the import trade in dry goods, hardware and groceries have advantages from the railway for distribution of goods to all points that must more and more tend to make Montreal a place where stocks can be most profitably held. The Council, however, deem it their duty to notice the business arrangements of the company, under which produce and other property is carried from distant points in the United States to this place and to Portland at cheaper pro rata rates than the same produce and property is carried from one point in Canada to another. The Parliament, in granting the company an act of incorporation, no doubt intended that the produce of the people of Canada should at all times be carried at the same mileage as the produce or property of strangers. Whatever may be the rates which the Grand Trunk Company deem it necessary to charge for any service performed, let that charge be uniform, and paid by all its customers alike. Nor is it only from the cheaper rates at which produce is carried from foreign states that Canada trade suffers, for such has been the amount of the foreign freight on the road that the company have been unable to do even a small portion of the local produce trade.
Although the efforts made last year by the Council of the Board in conjunction with the corporation of the city, the Grand Trunk Company and Harbor Commissioners were successful as to deciding on the best site for a passenger and local freight station for the Grand Trunk Company, nothing has yet been done in their construction. This is much to be regretted, as it is difficult to estimate the loss to the company and to the trade of the city, arising out of the present means of transacting business at Point St. Charles.
The Board being represented in the Harbor Commission, it is proper to state here, that the commissioners are pushing forward to completion the twenty feet channel at lowest water and lowest tide between this city and Quebec, and it is expected the same will be finished in 1863. In the harbor a channel from the foot of the Lachine Canal to opposite St. Helen's Island, of 300 feet wide and twenty feet deep at low water, is rapidly progressing and will probably be completed in 1863. A new wharf and basin, specially adapted for and capable of berthing three ocean steamers, is completed. Several deep water-berths for sailing vessels have been obtained by dredging below the island wharf, and a contract has been given out by the commissioners for the construction of a new wharf running down from the end of the Victoria Pier. This wharf will be made accessible to vessels drawing twenty feet at lowest water, and will accommodate about ten large ships. Extensive as these improvements may appear, the Council are of opinion that the increase of the trade of the port warrants their construction, and there can be no question that far greater outlay must yet be made, and important additional facilities be created, before all the advantages possessed by Montreal, as a receiving and distributing point, can be made apparent.
The Council regret that no adequate measures have yet been adopted by government to enable the St. Lawrence route from the upper lakes to compete in cheapness with the route through the Erie Canal to NewYork and the New England States. The means by which this desirable result might be accomplished have, since 1848, been constantly urged by this Board on the attention of the government, but hitherto without effect, and when it is considered that with our canals and railways completed, we fail to attract more than seven per cent. of the trade of Western Canada and the Western States down the St. Lawrence, and that ninetythree per cent. of that interior trade flows through the canals and over the rail-roads of New-York, such a statement ought to command the attention of the country. Although the receipts at Montreal of flour, wheat, peas, corn, barley and oats have increased from equal to 3,793,907 bushels in 1859, to 6,558,245 in 1860; yet at New-York, equal to 52,787,190 bushels were received in 1860, against 28,224,340 in 1859, showing a larger proportionate increase, and indicating the magnitude of that business we have the opportunity to share.
In view of these facts the Council are of opinion that without an enlargement of the Welland Canal, and the construction of a canal into Lake Champlain, as so often urged by the Board, the trade of Western Canada and the Western States must continue to flow as now through American channels, leaving our Canadian canals and railways comparatively deserted, and consequently unremunerative, while the interest in the capital invested in these public works has to be paid by excessive duties on imports. The Council refer to this important matter because they desire to express their decided belief, that with the navigation improved and perfected, and the facilities for water power at Montreal developed, this port would control an enormous trade in western produce as the most advantageous point for distribution, with reference to either home consumption or foreign demand, while the cheap return tonnage furnished would greatly benefit the St. Lawrence as a competing route for imports to the Western States,
The subject of a bankrupt law will probably engage the attention of the legislature at its present sitting, and this important question should at once receive the attention of the Board. The Council are, however, strongly of opinion that any such act should apply to both sections of the province; that it should be very simple in its provisions, defining clearly what are acts of insolvency, affording speedy and inexpensive means for creditors becoming possessed of the debtors' effects; and while protecting the honest, should provide means of signally punishing the fraudulent trader. Numerously signed memorials having been presented to the Council, asking for certain alterations of the constitution, and for an improvement in the efficiency of the Board of Arbitration, the matter was placed in the hands of a committee, who reported in favor of a new by-law extending the period of voting for office-bearers and making other suggestions which were prepared to be laid before the last quarterly meeting, but which, in consequence of there being no quorum, must now be laid before the annual meeting.
The retiring Council recommend to their successors' attention the question of securing inspection of grain at this port, and they would also urge the importance of a Port Warden's office being created, whose duties would be the survey of vessels in loading and discharging, under such regulations as might be found in the custom of other ports; there can be no doubt that rates of insurance by the St. Lawrence might be thereby considerably reduced.
John Young, President. Montreal, 23d March, 1861.