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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 61

Railway Reform League's Petition.*

Railway Reform League's Petition.*

When Mr. Richardson told the House that he had intended to refer this petition to a select (no doubt he meant selected) page 30 Committee, I believe he spoke truthfully; nothing would have suited him better than to have referred it to men who would have done what the Public Petitions Committee has done, referred it back to him for consideration, or as unworthy of consideration. When, however, Mr. Richardson found that the petition asked that the Commission might consist of Commissioners appointed by each of the Chambers of Commerce in New Zealand, as well as the Minister of Public Works, and the General Manager of the New Zealand Railways, he at once saw he would have little or no influence with it, and took his measures accordingly.

Sooner or later a Commission to enquire into railway matters must be appointed, and I would earnestly impress upon my fellow colonists the necessity of seeing that it is so composed as to be free from political influence. For this purpose a Parliamentary Commission will not do. I mean no disrespect to Parliament, but all such Commissions must be more or less under political influence and pressure.

As the question to be settled is

* This petition was signed by over 50 representative bodies, and over 7,000 citizens. The leading papers of the Colony have also advocated an enquiry.