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town talk,


Cholera and its Remedy.

Locking the Doors of Railway…


In the individual, partial paralysis of the brain evidences itself by weakness at the extremities. So in corporations, which are nothing more nor less than aggregations of individuals, where the central ruling 1 power, the head, the executive, or by whatever name it may be called, is weak in conception and fulfilment of the duties devolving upon it, that the legs and arms of such executive must inevitably fail in performing what ought to be their legitimate functions. We fear that this is too true an illustration of the condition of several of our railway companies. The irregularities that railway directors too often commit in the gross are imitated fey their underlings in matters of detail; in the one case, to the pecuniary loss of the share- holders; and, in the other, to the danger of the public safety. These observations are painfully true of that magnificent line of railway known as the Great Western. Again the rumour is circulated that the coming dividend will be unfavourable, and, in con- sequence, there has been a considerable fall in the market value of the shares. To add to the difficulties of the company, it is reported to be virtually without a head. It is not long since a gentleman was appointed to the lucrative and important post of chairman, who was deemed in all respects well qualified to perform the onerous duties incident to such a position. He, however, is about to retire, and Mr. Watkin, whose railway experience is great, was pitched upon to fill the vacancy. Bat, brilliant as the offer is in one sense, Mr. Watkin, for no doubt very good reasons, will, it is said, decline to accept the post. Perhaps he has not the courage to undertake the Herculean task of setting in order the mismanagement which has hitherto clung about the conduct of the affairs of this great undertaking. As to the practical working of the line, an incident has just come to light, which proves that, notwithstanding the recent railway accidents, both doors of the carriages in which the passengers are confined are sometimes looked. Last session, owing to the indifference of the Government, or perhaps the inability of that insouciant statesman, Mr. Milner Gibson, to devise a general measure, Lord St. Leonards brought in a bill declaring it to be absolutely illegal to lock both doors of railway carriages. At the special request of the Government the bill was withdrawn their representative in the House of Lords stating that the Government had under their considera- tion a general Act for regulating all railways. The consequence of the withdrawal is that, on the Great Western Railway, as the secretary of the Com- pany admits in a letter to Lord St. Leonards, both doors of P,ggODgor oeoriiagoo are HOmetimeS luukea. The reason for persisting in a prac- tice that ought to be declared illegal, and would have been so now but for the interposition of the Government, is that it is necessary to enable the guards to collect the tickets at such stations as Swindon! Lord St. Leonards thought that the discus- sion in the House of Lords would have been as effectual as the bill itself if passed into law. But the public know that corporations are proof against what is called moral influence," and that nothing less than legal compulsion will operate upon them. The latest admission made by the Secretary of the Great Western Railway Company is an instance in point.The Press.

The Cattle Plague.

Close of the New Zealand War.