The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 61
or to appoint a number of railway commissioners. This means creating not less than from six to nine highly-paid billets, which, of course, certain gentlemen in the Department would expect to occupy. No gentlemen know better than Messrs. Richardson and Maxwell that, under the proposed system, there would be no need of these officers. It would, in fact, kill the "railway expert"—that is, the "expert" whose business it is to rob Peter to pay Paul, in order that the lines as a whole may pay. This process will be more fully explained under the heading, "Differential rating." When men feel their occupation sliding from under them, it is but natural that they should resist the innovation to the utmost; and who shall blame them?
When non-political railway boards were first spoken of, I, in common with others, was taken with the idea; but a very little investigation soon proved the whole thing an absurdity, and that they never could have been proposed with any other view than to create offices. How can there be such a thing as non-political boards when the property they are to control belongs to the Government, and they must, in some form or other, account to the Government for what they do? The proposition is a farce— page 20 simply an attempt to hoodwink the public. It would, no doubt, be convenient to the Government to have such a buffer, for they would practically retain all the power and patronage; while they would shunt every complaint and all the failures on to the "non-political" boards.
We ought strenuously to oppose the creation of these boards or commissioners until we have first settled