The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 9 (February 25, 1927)
Editorial — Our Empire
Whilst our Royal visitors on their Imperial mission are helping by that most magnetic of all agencies — the personal touch—to strengthen the cohesion between the many parts of Britain's far-flung Empire; and “at a time when all the nations under the flag are breathing freely—for has not the Imperial Conference evolved a formula which meets the needs of each Imperial unit as well as of the whole conglomerate mass?—at such a time the railway users and railway workers of this Dominion may well lift their minds for a space from the tasks of every day, and calmly consider under what broad conditions of government their lives proceed.
Through a thousand years of turmoil, testing, and development, Britain slowly evolved those practical principles of freedom which in speech, in action, and in civil protection have made her great in the Homeland, and successful—as no other nation has been successful—in planting colonies overseas. Those colonies, grown to Dominion or Common-wealth stature, zealously foster that love of freedom, and stand together, a cluster of free nations, for its protection. Well they know that their Empire's highest aspiration—which approximates closely to Bacon's ideal of heaven upon earth for the individual mind—is to “move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.”
Railways, like most of the civilising influences which the blossoming of mechanical genius has brought to mankind, took their rise during the period known economically as the Industrial Revolution. The peace which supremacy at sea then gave Britain, enabled her to forge ahead during this great change period, the inventions of which produced the demands for transport facilities that railways alone could supply. But peace at home, and concentration in the fields of manufacture and commerce, did not rob the Briton of his adventurous spirit. Opportunity for expansion lay in the sun-filled lands where British enterprise and daring had planted the Union Jack. Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand became peopled with the same hardy stock which had for century upon century repelled every attack on their island home and every encroachment on their firmly established freedom-securing customs and institutions.
Thus has developed the greatest Empire in the world's history. But it is not for its size, great as that is; nor for its wealth, though that is well-nigh incalculable, that New Zealanders love their Empire. It is because the Empire stands—more than any other force upon the whole round globe—for right dealing, fair play, and the preservation of individual freedom with full opportunity for individual development. Britain brought freedom and taught freedom wherever her flag of Empire waved.
Emerson, great though his admiration for his native America, was constrained to say that Britain had yielded more able men in five hundred years than any other nation. The scroll of Empire history is studded with the names of sages, singers, patriots and heroes to whom the Homeland meant the dearest of ties—something more vital than life itself. “Our ancestors” said Burke, “have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire; and have made the most extensive, and the only honourable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness, of the human race.” While those methods and sentiments continue to guide the peoples and rulers of the British Commonwealth of Nations, our Empire, proceeding towards its high destiny, will continue to find the signals set at “clear.”page 3
Photograph of the Royal Grain which is carrying the Royal Party over the North Island portion of their tour in N.Z.
After inspection of the Royal Grain at Wellington.
Left Rt. Hon. J. G. Coates, Prime Minister and Minister of Railways; Centre—Mr. G. S. Lynde, Chief Mechanical Engineer; Right—The Hon. F. J. Rolleston, Acting Minister of Railways.
The Royal Tour Includes Visits To:—
Auckland, Bay of Islands, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tokaanu (Camp), National Park, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Dannevirke, Hastings, Napier, Woodville. Masterton, Welligton, Picton, Blenheim, Havelock, Nelson, Glenhope, Murchison, Westport, Inangahua, Reefton, Hokitika, Greymouth, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Ranfurly, Cromwell, Pembroke, Queenstown, Kingston, Lumsden, Gore, Invercargill, Bluff.