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CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ON RAILWAYS.

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CAPITAL EXPENDITURE ON RAILWAYS. On the outbreak of war all the companies stopped capital expenditure wherever possible. In certain cases this was im- practicable, since work had already been started and large sums expended, which would be- come remunerative only when the works were completely finished. This remark applies especially to the various electrication schemes in hand on the North-Eastern, the Brighton, and the London and South Western Railways. In general, the companies appear to have spent on capital account during the year only about one- half of what they bad originally intended. The Midland Co., which had a large amount of cash in hand, took up £ 1,000,000 of the War Loan. Those whose capital account was nearly, if not quite, overdrawn have found it necessary to raise what further funds they required by re- deemable securities, the investor having been frightened by the remarkable fall in values which has been notable for many years past and has been merely accentuated by the war. Unless capital can get security combined with a fair return, it will not be forthcoming, and to keep our railways ahead of traffic require- ments additional capital to be found at a rate which for many years past has averaged some 23 millions per annum, and a com- parison of the capital invested in our railways with the number of men employed shows that each £ 200 expended provides work fof only about one additional railway man. X

I BARMOUTH COUNTY SCHOOL IGOVERNORS.

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