[ The Argentine Great Western Railway (Ferrocarril Gran Oeste Argentino). ] Eighteen printed items relating to the restructuring of the company. Including 'Plan of Reconstruction' ('Strictly Private'), 'Scheme of Arrangement', circulars, accounts.
The company, founded in 1887, operated a broad gauge railway network in the Argentine provinces of San Luis, San Juan and Mendoza, and was taken over on a lease by the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway in 1907. It features in three studies: Colin M. Lewis, 'British Railways in Argentina 1857-1914: A Case Study of Foreign Investment' (1983); H. R. Stones, 'British Railways in Argentina 1860-1948' (1993); and Winthrop R. Wright, 'British-Owned Railways in Argentina – Their Effect on Economic Nationalism, 1854-1948' (1974). The present eighteen items are in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. From the papers of debenture stockholders 'Patrick F. Evans Esq. & ano[the]r.' (see Item 17 below). The material describes how, 'in consequence of the non-payment of the Government Guarantee' by the Argentine government, and a 'falling off in the earnings [...] largely attributable to exceptional commercial depression, specially affecting the produce of the Cuyo provinces', meetings are held at which there is 'friction' between the various interests. Despite a warning by bankers J. S. Morgan & Co. that 'any steps involving the liquidation of the Company would be fatal to all interests', the firm goes into liquidation, following which a 'Plan of Reconstruction' and 'Scheme of Arrangement' are proposed to the Debenture Stock Holders, 'in view of the conflicting claims of the various Stocks of the Company and the great expense entailed by the Company being carried on, as at present, under the supervision of the Court'. ONE: 'Plan of Reconstruction'. London, 4 April 1894. Headed 'Strictly Private'. 4pp., 8vo. On four leaves stapled together. Begins: 'The failure of the Argentine Government to pay the guarantee due to the Company under its concession has inflicted a loss upon the Company of over £143,000 per annum. | Up to the present time it has not been found practicable to arrive at any settlement with the Government either with regard to the amounts or to the payments still to become due in the future. | In these circumstances, there seems no alternative for the Company but to seek the readjustment of its fixed capital charges with a view to its present earning powers, securing to the Debenture holders participation in any additions thereto, whether arising from a settlement with the Government or increase of business, by means of Income Stock for a portion of their holdings.' The document claims that 'the falling off in the earnings has been largely attributable to exceptional commercial depression, specially affecting the produce of the Cuyo provinces'. TWO: Circular from 'Walter Heald, | Secretary', writing from the Company's headquarters, '4, Finsbury Circus, | London, E.C., 27th April, 1894.' Docketed: 'Recd 25 April 1894'. 1p., 4to. Enclosing Item One, which it describes as 'a plan prepared with a view of so reducing the fixed charges as to insure their regular payment by the Company, whilst giving the Debenture holders such a gradual advance in the rate of interest as the means of the Company will permit. This course is rendered necessary in consequence of the non-payment of the Government Guarantee, and the fact that the Debenture interest is now two years in arrear.' Also announcing a meeting on 9 May 1894. THREE: Circular 'To the Debenture Stock Holders', signed in type by 'R. H. Atkinson, Lieut.-Col. | A. G. Clarke. | R. D. Peebles. | M. Van Raalte. | C. M. Rose. | T. Frame Thomson.' Undated [July, 1894]. 1p., 4to. Begins: 'The Committee appointed at the Meeting of June 7th have arrived at the conclusion that, in view of the conflicting claims of the various Stocks of the Company and the great expense entailed by the Company being carried on, as at present, under the supervision of the Court, a Scheme of Reconstruction is desirable in the interests of all parties. | After protracted negotiations, during which they have received every courtesy from the Directors, and all information required, has been placed at their disposal, the accompanying Scheme has been agreed upon, the effect of which is as follows:- […]'. The scheme is described in five numbered sections, the fourth section concerning the 'Government Guarantee' by 'the Argentine Government'. FOUR: Circular from Heald, addressed as Item Two, and dated 'July, 1894.' Docketed: 'Recd 3 August 1894'. Announcing 'a Meeting of the Debenture Stock Holders to be held at Winchester House, Old Broad Street, in the City of London, on Thursday, the 9th August, 1894, at Three o'clock in the Afternoon, for the purpose of considering the proposed Scheme and passing any Resolutions which the Meeting may consider desirable.' Sent with the Item Three, which it states 'explains shortly the effect of the Scheme, so that the Board consider it unnecessary to do more than to give you this notice of the proposed Meeting, and at the same time to hand you, enclosed, a full copy of the Scheme itself'. FIVE: 'Scheme of Arrangement'. Undated [July 1894]. 15pp., 4to. Stapled pamphlet. Printed by Doherty & Co., London. SIX: Another printing of the Item Five, in smaller format (8vo instead of 4to), with no apparent variations in the text, and with all but two of the fifteen pages appearing to be set identically. SEVEN: 'Year 1891-92. | Report of the Directors and Statement of Accounts to 30th June, 1892.' 11pp., 12mo. Stapled pamphlet. Printed by William Brown & Co., London. Docketed: 'Recd 12 Dec. 1892.' EIGHT: 'Year 1892-93. | Report of the Directors and Statement of Accounts to 30th June, 1893.' 11pp., 12mo. Stapled pamphlet. Printed by William Brown & Co., London. Docketed: 'Recd 5 Dec 1893'. NINE: Circular 'To the Holders of First Mortgage Debenture Stock', from 'George Russell, Chairman of the Board of Directors' and 'C. M. Rose, Chairman of the Committee of Debenture Stock Holders'. From 4 Finsbury Circus, 3 October 1894. 1p., 4to. Enclosing Items Ten and Eleven. TEN: Notice from 'Walter Heald | Liquidator.' 4 Finsbury Circus, 1 October 1894. Headed: 'In the High Court of Justice. | Companies Winding Up. | Mr. Justice Vaughan Williams. | In the Matter of The Companies Acts 1862 to 1893 and In the Matter of The Argentine Great Western Railway Company Limited and In the Matter of The Joint Stock Companies Arrangement Act 1870.' 1p., 4to. ELEVEN: Proxy, not completed in manuscript, headed as Item Ten which it accompanies. Appointing 'Sir George Russell Baronet M.P. of Swallowfield Park Reading or failing him Mr. C. M. Rose of 3 Throgmorton Avenue in the City of London' to vote on the signatory's behalf. 1p., 4to. [October 1894.] TWELVE: Circular 'To the Debenture-holders of The Argentine Great Western Railway Co.' from J. S. Morgan & Co., 26 Old Broad Street, London, 16 May 1894. 1p., 4to. The firm boasts of having 'negotiated the various classes of the securities of the above Company', and claims to be 'most desirous that nothing shall be done to injure any of them'. It urges the holders to 'send their Proxies to the Directors', pointing out that 'any steps involving the liquidation of the Company would be fatal to all interests'. THIRTEEN: Circular 'To the 5 per cent. Debenture Stockholders of the Argentine Great Western Railway Company', from T. Frame Thomson, Chairman of the 'Provisional Committee of Dissentient 5 per cent. Debenture Stockholders', 21 Delahay Street, Westminster, 1 June 1894. 1p., 4to. Urges stockholders to attend the meeting of 7 June 1894, asserting that it is 'clearly in the interest of all concerned that further friction should be avoided'. FOURTEEN: Circular from Walter Heald. | Secretary.' Without place or date. 1p., 4to. Quoting a resolution passed at a 'Meeting of Debenture Holders held at Winchester House, on Wednesday the 9th instant', and announcing a meeting on 7 June 1894. FIFTEEN: Proxy, not completed in manuscript, accompanying Item Fourteen. 1p., 4to. SIXTEEN: Envelope with embossed penny postage stamp, with printed address to 'The Secretary, | Argentine Great Western Railway Company, Limited, | 4 Finsbury Circus, | London, E.C.' SEVENTEEN: Printed 'Distribution under Scheme of Arrangement by an Order of the High Court of Justice dated the 31st day of October, 1894.' Addressed by Heald from Finsbury Circus. Completed in manuscript on behalf of 'Patrick F. Evans Esq. & anor.' With manuscript 'Summary of Stocks' and 'Summary of Cash'. Perforated and numbered 667. EIGHTEEN: Leaf (pp.13-14) removed from The Times, 17 July 1894. Possibly retained because of the bankruptcy notifications.