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Costs, Revenue and Returns 1880–1914

  • Francis E. Hyde

Abstract

We must now return to the early 1880s. John Burns had become Chairman of the recently incorporated Company and the keynote of new activity was sounded by him in his speech at the Ordinary General Meeting on 27 April 1881. ‘The steam navigation of this country’, he declared, ‘like almost every branch of industry, is carried on under circumstances of keen competition and, for any company to succeed, it must be possessed of the best boats with which to do its work efficiently … coupled with which there has to be the strictest observance of economy in details.’1 Against the background of such an objective it was proposed to apply the Company’s reserves to the building of large powerful ships while at the same time reducing liabilities and working costs. By such a policy it was hoped that more than adequate facilities would be provided for meeting likely changes in the pattern of trade. In retrospect this was a bold decision, designed as it was to offset prospective loss and increase competitive strength in those branches of the trade likely to be subjected to fluctuating conditions.

Keywords

Freight Rate Large Ship Earning Capacity Ordinary General Fast Ship 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    Ibid., Article 7.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    MIP, Correspondence, David MacIver to Charles MacIver 1874–5 as cited in Chapter 1.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
  4. 19.
    CP, SLB, Charles MacIver to Bateson, Bright and Warr, 6 July 1883.Google Scholar
  5. 21.
    MIP, Press cuttings Liverpool Daily Post, 13 January 1885.Google Scholar
  6. 22.
  7. 27.
  8. 31.
  9. 32.
  10. 36.
  11. 37.
    Ibid., under 1886.Google Scholar
  12. 38.
  13. 52.
    52, 65–7.Google Scholar
  14. 54.
    F. E. Hyde, Liverpool and the Mersey, op. cit., p. 115.Google Scholar
  15. 55.
    CP, SLB, John Burns to M.D.H.B., 23 November 1893; 13 December; 1893; 8 February 1894.Google Scholar
  16. 56.
    Ibid., 23 November 1893.Google Scholar
  17. 57.
    Ibid., 13 December 1893; the Dock Board disclaimed the view put forward by John Burns.Google Scholar
  18. 58.
    Ibid., 23 November 1893; ‘the strange conclusion would follow’, wrote Burns, ‘that by the trustees of the port these large ships would be actually driven from it.’Google Scholar
  19. 60.
    cit., p. 52; T. H. Ismay’s efforts to persuade the Dock Board to do this dated back to 1890.Google Scholar
  20. 62.
  21. 65.
    CP, Accounts and related papers; report of the directors, 10 April 1885; VR, 27 March 1889.Google Scholar
  22. 71.
    Ibid., Ivernia was of 14,278 tons gross, twin screws with quadruple-expansion engines; Saxonia was of 14,297 tons gross with same engine power.Google Scholar
  23. 73.
  24. 75.
    CP, Report ofthe directors, 21 April 1910.Google Scholar
  25. 76.
  26. 77.
  27. 78.
  28. 79.
  29. 83.
    CP, Report on the Negotiations in relation to the Agreement of the 30 July 1903, made between H.M. Government and the Company, prepared by the Companys Solicitors for the use of the Chairman and Directors, 2 vols (1905); hereafter cited Cunard and the Government; I, 17.Google Scholar
  30. 90.
    32, 3 March 1902. Messrs Watson and Smith, stockbrokers of Glasgow, called upon Messrs Penny and MacGeorge, stockbrokers acting for the trustees of the late Lord Inverclyde, to find out what price would be taken for a large block of Cunard shares.Google Scholar
  31. 91.
  32. I, 22: Mr O’Hagan’s many activities are recorded in his autobiography, Leaves from my Life, 2 vols (1929).Google Scholar
  33. 93.
    Ibid., I, 32, 3 March 1902.Google Scholar
  34. 94.
    Ibid., I, 34–5.Google Scholar
  35. 95.
    Ibid., I, 38; Sir Christopher Furness had a first interview with Lord Inverclyde on 12 April 1902.Google Scholar
  36. 96.
    Ibid., I, 33.Google Scholar
  37. 97.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 12 March 1902.Google Scholar
  38. 98.
    Ibid., Lord Selborne to Lord Inverclyde, 13 March 1902; Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 18 March 1902; CP, Cunard and the Govt, I, 35.Google Scholar
  39. 99.
    Ibid., Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 18 March 1902.Google Scholar
  40. 100.
  41. 101.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Selborne to Lord Inverclyde, 5 April 1902.Google Scholar
  42. 102.
  43. 103.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 29 March 1902.Google Scholar
  44. 104.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 29 March 1902.Google Scholar
  45. 106.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Inverclyde to Lord Selborne, 29 March 1902.Google Scholar
  46. 108.
    Bruce Ismay, 18 May 1905.Google Scholar
  47. 109.
    CP, Correspondence, Lord Selborne to Lord Inverclyde, 24 April 1902.Google Scholar
  48. CP, Cunard and the Govt, I, 46, 5 May 1902.Google Scholar
  49. 112.
  50. 114.
    Eaves, op. cit., under 1903.Google Scholar
  51. 117.
    Ibid., 4 June 1902.Google Scholar
  52. Ibid., 4 June 1902, J. Bruce Ismay to C. Dawkins or J. P. Morgan, junior.Google Scholar
  53. 119.
    Dawkins to J. Bruce Ismay, 5 June 1902.Google Scholar
  54. 123.
    B. Peat to Lord Inverclyde, 11 June 1902.Google Scholar
  55. 126.
    Furness to Lord Inverclyde, 3 July 1902.Google Scholar
  56. 126.
    Ibid., 70.Google Scholar
  57. 126.
    Chamberlain, 1 August 1902.Google Scholar
  58. 126.
  59. 130.
    Chamberlain to Lord Inverclyde, 4 August 1902.Google Scholar
  60. 131.
    W. Balfour to Lord Inverclyde, 7 August 1902.Google Scholar
  61. 132.
    W. Balfour to Lord Inverclyde, 26 September 1902; WS, Cable dated 1 October 1902.Google Scholar
  62. 133.
    CP, Agreement under Treasury minute, 31 July 1903, Second Schedule, Clauses 2A and 2B.Google Scholar
  63. 134.
    Ibid., Part I, Clause 5, Section 5.Google Scholar
  64. 138.
    An overdraft to the O.S.N. Co. was increased from £400,000 to £550,000 and extended under subsequent arrangements to 1907. This information was supplied by Mr P. Cotterell, Department of Economic History, The University, Leicester.Google Scholar
  65. 139.
    CP, Analysis from reports of directors and accounts, 1880–1914.Google Scholar
  66. 140.
    Ibid., 1907–14.Google Scholar
  67. 141.
    CP, Report of directors and accounts for OGM, 15 April 1915.Google Scholar
  68. 142.
    RC. on Unseaworthy Ships, Final Report and Minutes of Evidence (1874) Vol. 7; Evidence by John Burns, 24 April 1874, Q.14,985.Google Scholar
  69. 143.
    Ibid., Q. 15,006.Google Scholar
  70. 144.
    Ibid., Q.15,009.Google Scholar
  71. 147.
  72. 148.
    CP, Analysis from reports of directors and accounts, 1880–1914.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Francis E. Hyde 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis E. Hyde
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolUK

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