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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 12 (April 1, 1930)

Railways and The Public

page 7

Railways and The Public

To haul what the farmer grows the Iron Horse burns what the miner hews. As more than three-quarters of the total quantity of coal used on the railways of New Zealand is locally produced, the above fact has a very definite bearing on the national aspects of transport. It supplies one quite convincing reason why the rail method of conveyance should be used wherever preference as between road and rail can be given. With world prices sagging, the need for keeping the home market in a good buying condition is particularly pressing.

But the miner and the farmer are not alone affected. Every section of the community benefits if the railway returns are good, and if they are bad, feels the pinch of the tightened belt, the hungry day of the Rangitikei.

Our railways are now a highly efficient transport instrument evolved through long years of experience in the business, with their economic principles of operation fully understood and their actual financial situation in plain view.

They respond in general to the law of increasing return—the more they are used the better they pay.

In these present times, special attention should be paid by the average citizen—the business man, the employee, the manufacturer, the primary producer—to the effect that can be produced by their own actions in regard to the means they use for transport, and the relation of those actions not only to the general transport situation, but also to their actions and reactions on the welfare of the community as a whole.

The time is ripe for a straight talk to the taxpayer regarding the personal effect on himself of the present patronage accorded to services competing with the railways. The situation differs vitally from that obtaining where private railways are running. There, if the lines fail to return a reasonable profit upon the investment, the shareholders alone are the losers. They have put their money into something that proves a bad investment, and they either accept the position philosophically, or pull out at the first opportunity. Here the situation is wholly different. Here the shareholders are the people as a whole. They cannot pull out, neither can they afford to adopt a philosophical attitude. The opportunity is theirs to make the railways successful by using them or to let the railways be a deadweight on the community by failing to use them. There is no way by which this issue can be evaded. For this reason page 8 it is well that a reminder should be given the public from time to time of the fact that, to some extent, national prosperity, so far as it is affected by transport, is in their own hands.

Empire Farmers’ Party
Expression of Thanks for Dominion's Hospitality

The Dominion tour of the delegation of farmers from Great Britain, Canada and South Africa was completed in Auckland on 25th March.

Before departing, the leaders of the delegation, Mr. S. R. Whitley (Great Britain), and Mr. A. V. Allan (South Africa), handed the New Zealand Herald the following message addressed to the press of the Dominion:—

“We of the Empire Farmers' party who have been touring through New Zealand, wish to leave behind us a message of grateful thanks to all in the Dominion who have worked so hard to make our visit a happy and memorable one. The time has been all too short and hurried, but it is marvellous how much has been accomplished, due mainly to excellent staff-work on the part of the Farmers’ Union, Agricultural Department officials, chambers of commerce, civic authorities and the various other organisations before our arrival. Much of this work had been accomplished behind the scenes.

“We are indeed grateful, and would have those responsible to know it. The arrangements for our comfort have been highly appreciated by all our party. To those who came to receive us, who generously motored us everywhere in great comfort and who entertained us officially and privately with lavish hospitality, we can never sufficiently express our gratitude. That our company was appreciated beyond doubt has greatly added to our enjoyment. We only hope that a reunion with many friends, either in one of the sister Dominions or in the Homeland, may not be too long delayed; these new friendships must be kept fresh and bright by renewals as frequent as may be possible.

“To the womenfolk of the Dominion we would specially record our thanks. Their life is a very full one, and yet they always found time to add to our comfort and enjoyment as only women can. To the officials of the Railway Department who were responsible for our transport and tour arrangements and from whom we received never-failing kindness and courtesy, we would express our sincere thanks for hard work most efficiently carried out.

“For the rest of our lives we shall always have in our hearts a warm corner for the people of New Zealand and look forward to many happy reunions.”

Pleasing Our Patrons

Writing in the Tasmanian Journal of Agriculture,” Mr. C. L. Gillies, Dip.C.A.C., B.Agr., Chief Agronomist, makes the following appreciative reference to the transport arrangements made by the New Zealand Railways for the recent Dominion tour of the Tasmanian Farmers’ Party:—

“To the New Zealand Government Railways must be given the credit for a most efficiently run tour. Preliminary arrangements for the tour, as well as accommodation and transport, were entirely in their hands. The party owes a special debt to the Commercial Branch and two of its officers, Messrs. Pawson and Craig, who accompanied the party as business managers over the South and North Islands respectively.”

Railway Concessions Simplified

The Railway Department has decided to simplify the method of granting the concession in railage charges for race-horses travelling to and from race meetings. Under the new regulation it will not be necessary for owners to obtain certificates from the secretaries of the racing clubs, and in the case of race-horses travelling on a circuit of race meetings the certificate of journeys will not be required. The new tariff regulation reads as under: “Race-horses, hunters, and polo ponies travelling to and from a race meeting, hunt club meeting, or polo match, will be charged 25 per cent, less than the appropriate rate under this regulation, provided that the necessary certificate in one of the forms provided is endorsed on the consignment note and signed by the owner or trainer, and provided, further, that in the case of horses forwarded from a race or hunt club meeting or polo match the journey is commenced not later than fourteen days after the concluding days of such meeting or match.” In order to entitle them to receive the benefit of the concession, owners or trainers when consigning race-horses, etc., will require to certify on the consignment note that the animals have been duly nominated to compete or have competed at a race or hunt club meeting or polo match, the name of the meeting or match to be stated in every case; but where entries for hunt club meetings and polo matches are not made by nomination, as in the case of race club meetings, it will be sufficient if the horses are certified as proceeding to compete or as having competed in accordance with the certificates. It will not be necessary now for horses to be returned to the original forwarding station in order to obtain the benefit of the concession. The new regulation operates immediately.