This meeting was an analysis of the financial implications following the eight hours miners act 1911
The usual half-yearly meeting of the Great Western Railway at Paddington on Friday 10th February 1911 (presided over by Viscount Churchill) had unusual interest for dwellers in West Cornwall, inasmuch as it dealt with the decision of the Board to spent £30,000 improvements at Penzance between the station and Marazion (passing the scheme without discussion). The dividend, already announced at the rate 7 per cent, per annum, leaving £98,875 to carried forward, compared with dividend of 7 per cent per annum the corresponding half year, with £86,998 carried forward.
The retiring directors included Mr. T. Robins, Bolitho of Trengwainton, who offered himself re-election. Another matter of local interest the mention of the fact that the doubling West Cornwall Railway between Hayle Station and Angarrack Station has been brought into use.
A much more- important matter was the co-operation with the London and South Western Company, which was hinted at by Sir Charles Scotter, when presiding recently at the meeting of the latter Company.
Viscount Churchill said that the capital outlay was £554,911, which included £15,826 for the purchase of the Liskeard and Caradon Railway
There was an all-round decrease of passenger traffic, amounting in all 4,960,757 in numbers and £89.736 money. First class passengers decreased 117,358 in numbers, but showed an increase of £29,490 money. Second-class 960,357 decrease in numbers and of £16,570 in money. The remaining loss (£41,344) was in the third-class traffic. Season tickets had increased 7,644 in numbers and £6,219 in money. The nett result was a decrease of £83,517, which was mostly accounted for by the loss of traffic in South Wales owing to the coal trade dispute and the absence of any real summer in 1909 and a decrease in the number of excursionist especially to London. The proportion of expenditure to receipts, however, was satisfactory.
The passenger traffic showed an increase of 19,221 train miles; electric haulage increase of 762 train miles; rail motors an increase of 56,798 train miles and a decrease of goods and minerals £59 997: a nett increase of 15,260 train miles. Lord Churchill said that the Eight Hours Act and the trouble arising therefrom in South Wales had lost them £70,000 in mineral revenue and £35.000 in passenger results, a total of £105,000, and but for this there would probably have been the normal increase. This had brought them to the verge strike; but there were signs of a growing desire for the repeal of the Act. He reminded them that there was a probability, owing to the restricted output, of the rise in the price of coal.
As the G.W.R. uses 1 ½ million tons of coal per annum every increase of 6d per ton means an additional £ 37,500 expenditures. However, they are closely watching the markets.
Viscount Churchill confirmed Sir Charles Scotter’s statement as to negotiations in the joint interest of the London and the South Western Railway and the Great Western.
He bad had a further conference with Sir Charles Scotter and had carried the matter a stage further. It would be most impolitic to go in to detail, but whatever he arranged would be in the best interest of the Great Western and the public, and they might set their minds at rest.