The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30
A great deal was said about the management of railways, but his firm opinion was that the railways in this country would compare favorably with those in any other part of the Empire. The amount of the appropriation last year was £748,000, and they had 1726 miles of railway to provide for, When they had only 1521 miles the expenditure was £751,000, so that they were spending less now than they did in 1884 85, and had, besides, an increased mileage to attend to. It might be that they were not doing the work properly, but people were inclined to grumble, and to make Mr Maxwell responsible for all the sins under the sun. He was held to be a detestable character, deliberately ruining the railways of the colony, the moat hard-hearted man under the sun, and altogether a very bad character! He could assure them that the Government believed Mr Maxwell to be a painstaking, capable, and accomplished officer, and that these railways would show that as far as expenses and cost of management were concerned, that they would compare with any lines in the world. They were continually hearing of great accidents, involving thousands of pounds in other colonies, but they did not hear of any such accidents in this country. He thought that this must be considered as testimony of great weight in favour of the management in New Zealand. One accident alone might run away with a £1,000,000, and although they might at any time meet with an accident, they had so far escaped, a fact which should be placed to the credit of the railway management of the colony.