At a meeting of the Committee held at the Golf House on Monday the 6th day of December 1915.
Mr W R Fleetwood in the Chair, Messrs L A Middleton, Carver, Riddell, David, Adie, Ault, Tyndall, Neale, Tayton & King
Apologies were received from Mr Godlee and Mr McTherson both of whom were unwell.
Report of the Economies Committee
The Economies Committee reported they had met several times and submitted the following report as the result of their deliberations –
In the opinion of the Sub Committee any scheme can only be successful if it receives assistance from the four main parties interested in the continuation of the Club, viz – Landlords, Debenture Holders, Members and Officials. Each of these classes will have to judge whether in their own interests it is better to cooperate and to make some sacrifice to enable the Club to carry on, or to face liquidation.
There are two main difficulties –
The task of carrying on without a loss.
The reinstatement of a solvent cash position at 31 October last.
With regard to 1.
A Statement of Account is enclosed giving the Sub Committee’s estimate of receipts and payments for the year ending 31 October 1916. This shows a deficit of £211 before taking any account of depreciation or of Debenture interest. The details are of course subject to the observations of the General Committee. Two items will no doubt receive particular attention viz the remuneration of the Professional and the Steward. The view of the Sub Committee with regard to the first is that the Professional must be invited to adopt a suggestion from the Committee to accept a salary of £30 for one year in exchange for the duties of keeping in order the lawns in front of the Club House and to make arrangements for the shop to be kept open at suitable times, but his personal attendance to be a matter within his own discretion. He could then elect to find other work and to do what club repairing etc may be necessary at odd times, or he would be at liberty to rely upon making up his income by lessons, etc as now. Whichever course he chooses he would be able to retain the regular income from club cleaning etc as at present. With regard to the Steward here again the Sub Committee have come to the conclusion that for one year at any rate he must be asked to accept an inclusive salary not exceeding £50. His duties to continue as at present with the exception that if necessary he will be relieved of any secretarial work he now performs. This arrangement would enable him to supplement his income from other sources if the opportunity offers.
The Sub Committee then suggest that the Landowners be asked to remit one third of the rent for one year, and the Debenture Holders to waive their interest for the same period. If these requests are acceded to, the estimated deficit would be brought down to £100 exclusive of depreciation, and the Sub Committee feel that if all the members will take an interest in the Club’s future this deficit ought to be made good by an increase over what has been estimated as the income. For example, if the Club continues we can straightaway secure £40 by electing new members who have already applied.
If it is decided to continue on some such lines as above it is suggested that the second difficulty viz the cash deficiency at 31 October last of £320 might be dealt with as follows and they put forward for consideration the suggestion that the present debenture holders be asked to consent to the issue (or re-issue) of £400. Debentures to rank in all respects pari passu with those still in existence, thus equalling the amount redeemed by the Club. But if possible they should be issued in bonds of £5 or less.
It is clear that if the Club is to continue the members must heartily cooperate. Several ways lie open by which money might be found but the Sub Committee are of opinion that the above plan of reissuing debentures for £400 has advantages over merely asking members to subscribe to a list and it avoids the difficulty of fixing the amount of a whip. On the other hand it offers an opportunity to the better off members without invidiousness to subscribe larger amounts with some prospect of getting back their money. The new Debentures would so far as interest is concerned be in the same position as the present issue and would not receive payment of interest until 31 October 1917. The annual draw for redemption of Debentures would not however be interrupted.
The Sub Committee realise that if the above scheme is approved a considerable personal effort on the part of the Committee may be necessary to carry it through. Every member should be urged to participate and it would no doubt mean a personal canvass in many cases with a view to securing substantial applications to head the list.
They further suggest that the Scheme does not rule out a subscription list. Indeed this may be necessary if the denomination of the Debentures is at £5 or more. It is quite to be expected that in certain cases where an application involving £5 could not be lightly entertained, some opportunity of subscribing would be welcomed. An appeal might well be made to make up some at least of the waived subscriptions of members on military duties.
An objection to the scheme may be raised on the ground that it only carries on for one year. But the Sub Committee have deliberately framed their proposals to this end. They hope that by the end of next year the general outlook will be clearer and that with prudent management during the next twelve months the Club’s position will be substantially better than it is at the present time.
Copies had been sent to the members of the Committee for their consideration and after the report had been considered at considerable length it was resolved that the scheme as outlined above be adopted and that the Economies Committee be empowered to proceed with it without delay.
Election of members
The following ladies were elected members of the Club in accordance with applications received.
Miss Laura A Sharpe, 45 Bath Row, Birmingham
Miss HWF Sharpe, 45 Bath Row, Birmingham.
Resolved that the Annual Meeting be held at the Golf House on Tuesday 28th December at 5pm.
A Godlee, Chairman