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I GREAT BARGAINS IN NEW AND…

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To Correspondents.

THE BEDDGELERT RAILWAY.

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THE BEDDGELERT RAILWAY. There are apparently still some sensible people left in the world. We are driven to this comforting conclusion by the action jus-t taken by the promoters of the rival schemes for a light railway to Beddgelert. Instead of jumping at each others' throats, and making lawyers rich by feeling them to swear, or to get others to swear that white is black and that black has always been white, these sensible people have come to a mutual understanding, under which, in- stead of opposing they will mutually as- sist each other. The promoters of the Portmadoc scheme will be allowed, without opposition from the Narrow Guage Com- pany, to make their line from Portmadoc to Beddgelert, and the little company with the big name, the North Wales Narrow Gauge Company, will in similar manner be per- mitted unopposed by the Portmadoc people to extend their line from Rhyd-ddu to Bedd- gelert. But while commending the sound com- mon sense which has brought; about such an arrangement, we would venture to hope that the interests of the public have not been overlooked in the arrangement. If, for instance, Beddgelert is to be transformed into a second Afcn Wen, a place simply to show the public how not to do it, to try people's patience by the delays and incon- veniences incident to the mutual jealousies of rival companies, then we say "A plague on both your railways." There are many and various public inter- ests, involved in this question of the Bedd- gelert Light Railway, and public men who approach the question should first of all re- lieve themselves of all purely personal and selfish feeling in the matter and consider it from the one standpoint of the public good. Take the case of the Beddgelert people themselves. With all due respect to Mr W. G. Thomas, one of the arguments he made use of at the meeting of the Carnarvon Town Council on Tuesday should have been told to the marines. It was hardly calculated to convince even the somewhat prejudiced members of the Town Council, and would have been absurdly inadequate to influence the Light Railway Commissioners. Mr W. G. Thomas said it would be better for the Beddgelert people themselves to have the line running to Carnarvon only, rather than through Beddgelert from Portmadoc to Car- narvon,because then people who would other- wise have got out to enjoy the natural beauties of Beddgelert, would run straight on from one town to the other. Surely common sense would say that it was just twice as good for Beddgelert people to have direct communication with both Portmadoc and Carnarvon, to have two sources from which to draw, two places where they could tap the great annual stream of tourists, as it would be to possess only one. Then there is the very important ques- tion raised by Mr Griffith Owen—that of terminal charges. Are we to have at Beddgelert a double set of terminal charges, one on the Carnarvon side and the other on that leading to Portmadoc? This we take to he one of the questions most vitally affecting the interests of the whole scheme. We don't want Beddgelert made into another Dinas or Afon Wen, or any other kind cf junction where rival compan- ies can at their own sweet will and pleasure fleece the poor public, and especially the traders. Then again, apart from the question of terminal charges, stands that of reshipment. The very nature of the staple industry of the district is such as demands the lowest possible minimum amount of handling of the slate from the time it leaves the quarry until it reaches the hands of the consumer. Every separate handling it has to undergo means additional per centage to the break- ages-and the total of these represents an enormous allnualloss to both seller and pur- chaser. We again insist upon due regard being paid to the interests of the public in what- ever scheme may hereafter be, or may have heretofore been, agreed upon. The public whether it be the individual or the com- munity, does not like being ordered to n "stand behind the ropes." It is bad enough to be compelled to stand behind the ropes when we see favours extended to those who are not thus confined. It is still worse when the benefits obtainable are not mere favours but actual privileges to which we have a right. To unnecessarily order the public to stand behind the ropes when fav- ours are being dispersed is a bit of officious- ness which the public is inclined to resent; but when the ropes behind which they are ordered to go shut them out from privileges to which they have a perfect right, then the officiousness becomes an impertinence, and what would be a simple act of discourtesy becomes a veritable a.ct of robbery-for to deprive the public, whether the individual or the community, of its privileges is to rob it of its rights. 0 Now if the new scheme involves making Beddgelert into a double terminus, neces- sitating either double terminal changes or a second) handling of slates, it will mean ordering every one interested in the slate trade, and every person travelling between Carnarvon and Portmadoc, to "get behind the ropes." If the new scheme does not enil)race the extension of the present narrow guage frcm Dinas to Carnarvon, it means ordering Carnarvon, and all its public trade interests, to "keep behind the ropes." Now, however, accustomed Carnarvon public, men may be to hear and to be forced to obey such orders on other ocassions, we earnestly trust'that on this, where the in- terests of tbe whole town are concerned they will not calmly and quietly submit to the indignity. The "pious opinion" resolution passed by the Carnarvon Town. Council on Tuesday "hoping" the Narrow Guage Com- pany would extend their line from Dinas to Carnarvon, is worth less than the paper on which the record of the resolution will be kept. Carnarvon will be blind to its own interests, unless it takes advantage of the opportunity now afforded it of getting out- side the ropes of London and North Western Railway Monopoly by securing a thorough and independent opening from Carnarvon to the Cambrian system.