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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 9 (April 1, 1931)


This extract from a recent speech by the Governor-General of the Dominion should be pasted up in every city office, and recited at every meeting of Chambers of Commerce, as a prayerful preliminary to the business of the day:-

“It is up to the townsman to remember that his ultimate economic salvation lies not on his own urban doorstep, however well scrubbed it may be, not even in his comfortable office with his typewriters, dockets and files around him, but in the fair green countryside where New Zealand's butter, cheese, wool, meat, fruit, honey, and flax and timber are being produced, ay, and up in the back-blocks where conditions are hard and life is strenuous, but where the vital spark of the nation is still aglow and the spirit of the sturdy resourceful pioneer, who laid the foundations of her economic structure barely one hundred years ago, is still determined and resourceful.”

It is a fact that is too little realised by the comfortable city dweller, who is apt to be hypnotised, in a manner, by the sight of the luxuries of his town, by the big buildings going up all around him, by the heavy traffic of business, and the still heavier traffic of the town pleasure-seekers. Lord Bledisloe, essentially a country-lover, is exactly the man for the times. Only too well he realises the necessity for directing more attention to the country, and to its industries, upon which all the towns depend. The Railway Department's periodical commerce trains, too, have their splendid uses towards this end, for they compel, in an attractive way, the city man to focus his attention for a while on what the country means to him.