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Letters to the Editor.




NATIONALIZATION OF THE RAILWAYS. Sir,—According to your report in the "Leader" of August 31st, Mr. Trainer, of the Social Democcatic Federation, gave a very eloquent and stirring address" at Abercynon, in which he states "the profits of our railways were scmething enormous, that some of the employees were receiving only 15 or 16 shillings per week in wages, and that on New Zealand Government Railways not a single one received less than 8s. per day." Are these statements correct? Let us see. The following are the dividends paid on ordinary stocks for the half-year ending June 30, 1907:- Great Eastern, Ii-; Great Northern, 3; .Great Western, 3; South Eastern, 1; Midland, 3; L. and N. Western, 51; Great Central, nil; Metropolitan, i- per cent. per annum. The value of the paid-up capital of the Railways of the United Kingdom in 1906 was thirteen hundred millions. On this the average rate of interest was 3.43 per cent. when all allowance is made for watered stock." How can anyone in the face of these figures, talk about enor- mous railway profits? The fact of the matter is, English Railways at the present time are perhaps in a more diffi- cult position than they have ever been placed since they were built. A grea'- shrinkage has occurred in the capital ,alue, of their stock; their working ex- penses have increased, and yet they are hide-bound and limited as regards the amount which they might charge for car- riage. There is no ot]l' trading com- munity in the country/that is not per- mitted to make a chajrge somewhat com- mensurate with the increased cost of working which was due to causes beyond their control, such as the increased prices of materials. Railway Companies and their prosperity are closely and in- timately bound up with the welfare and trade of the country, and any blow, from any cause, with any motive, which was aimed at and affected the conditions of railways would be the hardest blow that could be struck at the prosperity of the country. Thirteen hundred million sterling has been invested in railways at about 3t per cent. Investors have been content to accept a comparatively small return for their money, because they be- lieve in the absolute security of the rail- ways, and because they indulge in the


Aberdare Bankruptcy Court

Labour Jottings.

Aberdare Miners' Demonstration.


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