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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 11 (June 1, 1930)

Consideration of Loyal Users

page 18

Consideration of Loyal Users.

Obviously in any action that might be taken in the direction of a general increase in the low-rate of goods they were going to put an impost on that man who had been loyal to the institution because of the fact that his neighbour had not been able to make such a detailed analysis of the position and had deserted the institution with his better - rate goods, while leaving the lower-rate goods to the Railways Department.

How could that inequity be fought? There seemed to be only one way in which to do it, and that was to say to the man who could not recognise the advantages that he or the community received in respect of the low rates: “If you are going to adopt some other form of transport, let that be your standard, but let us be consistent and make it the standard of transport throughout. You cannot have the benefit of the low rate on the low-rate commodities if you are prepared to go to some other form of transport with your high-rate commodities.” That seemed to be a perfectly fair and equitable position to take up, not only from the point of view of the railways, but from the point of view of the users of the railways.

That was the position the railways had reached. The capacity of the country to carry a deficiency on account of the railways was, as in other countries, limited. With a deficiency approaching £1,000,000 for a country with a population of 1 ½ million it was apparent that New Zealand was reaching the limit of its resources in that regard. It had to be recognised that there was a limit to the ability of the country to pay for those low rates through taxation. When all was said and done, it reduced itself to a question of the distribution of the transport costs.