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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 12 (April 1, 1928.)

“Engaged in a Great National Service.”

“Engaged in a Great National Service.”

Speaking recently at the Railwaymen's Carnival at Manchester—a carnival organised for the crowning of the Queen of Railwaymen of the United Kingdom (Miss Mabel Ruth Kitson, the daughter of a railway signalman)—the Rt. Hon. J. H. Thomas (with whom was associated Sir Ralph Wedgwood and other representatives of the companies and employees) voiced the views of the workers in the railway industry in the following well-chosen words:—

“This joint gathering involves no sacrifice of principle on either side. It is rather a demonstration of the common recognition that both are engaged in a great national service, the efficiency and success of which are our equal concern. I go further and say that, until this elementary economic truth is not only recognised but practised, there cannot be achieved the best results which will ensure a fair and equitable standard of life for the workers; and also a fair return on capital.

“Such a meeting will do much to promote a better understanding between us. It affords an opportunity for the officials to get into closer and more human contact with the rank and file, and it shows the men that the officials are really anxious to mix among other employees on a common level.

“While such an association is calculated to engender a better understanding, it will, at the same time, help to create that primary condition so essential to industrial peace—the confidence of each side in the other, because mere letter agreements, however watertight from the legal point of view, are not really worth while unless they are entered into with the genuine desire and intention to play the game.

“Efficiency must be the order of the day, and the only way to secure that is by team work.

“It is indisputable that the efficiency and safety of our British railways are second to none in the world. Our motto is service, and we intend to hand down to posterity a great transport organisation.”

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