--A called meeting of the Council was held yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock. Present: Messrs. Saunders
, and Griffin
, from a special committee appointed to present a plan for the establishment of a depot or depots where the necessaries of life will be furnished at reasonable rates, begged leave to submit the following report:
"The present scarcity of supplies in the city is not the result of any actual scarcity throughout the country, but is attributable to the requirements and action of the Government
in part, to the apprehension of impressment on the way to market, to the desire of some holders to hold for higher prices, and to the want of facilities of transportation.
"It is desirable that the city should undertake, on a large scale, to procure supplies of articles of general need, because in this way only can arrangements be made with the Government
by which conflict with its policy will be avoided, purchases be made at comparatively low rates, and transportation be provided.
Holders also would be more willing to part with their produce when assured that it was required for the wants of a large community, and would not become the subject of speculation.
In addition to these palpable reasons it is now an object of the first importance to furnish these supplies at the lowest possible price.
A very large proportion of every population consists of those who, while able to pay moderate prices and unwilling to be recipients of charity, are not able to pay the excessive rates now demanded for every article of general necessity, and purchases made in large quantities and sold in small quantities, without the intervention of a profit, would under the system proposed be within their reach.
"Your committee recommend the appointment of a Board, either of citizens or members of the Council, or both, who shall have charge of the details of this plan; that this Board shall have authority to procure warehouses, appoint agents and fix their compensation, designate the character of the purchases, make regulations for the control of agents, arrange for transportation, and generally exercise such powers on behalf of the city as may be incident to those already specified; that the Board shall report at each monthly meeting of the Council their action under this authority.
"Your committee believe it to be unnecessary to make provision for the compensation of the members of the Board, under the conviction that for services of this character, at this stage of affairs, suitable men can easily be found to perform the duties required without compensation.
"Your committee recommend no appropriation at this meeting, because the Council can meet at any moment when the Board of Supplies, or their agent, is prepared to purchase, and the amount of appropriation can be better ascertained."
On motion of Mr. Scott
, the report was adopted.
On motion, the following gentlemen were appointed a committee, as provided for by the above report:
Messrs. L. W. Glazebrook
, R. O. Haskins
, James A. Scott
, David J. Burr
, David J. Saunders
, Thomas W. McCance
, Richard G. Morriss
, and Wm. J. Yarborough
--five members of the Council and three citizens.
On motion, an appropriation of $50,000 was made, to be applied to the relief of the poor of the city.
After some other unimportant business, the Council adjourned.