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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

"Reproductive" Works

"Reproductive" Works.

We fear that a great deal of delusion exists on the subject of borrowing for "reproductive" works. If a million of money is borrowed in England, it is thought to be wholly satisfactory if there is a probability of the public work on which it is ex- page 39 pended bringing in sufficient revenue over working expenses to pay the interest. Such a result is entirety satisfactory so far as the public department concerned is interested, yet it may not be wholly so on the broad grounds of the country's welfare. At present a traveller can proceed all the way from Adelaide to Brisbane by train; a few years ago he must have gone by steamer. This means that large revenues have been taken from the shipping trades by the railways. Recently the line between Sydney and Newcastle was completed, and the disastrous effect due opening of that line had on the Sydney-Newcastle steamship trade is well-known. Money was taken from one industry to pay, or to help to pay, interest to British capitalists, A cable tramway between King Street, Sydney, and Ocean Street, Woollahra, will shortly be constructed. It is expected the line till earn interest as well as expenses. But it is clear that it Will lessen by thousands of pounds the receipts of the omnibuses cow running on the route. British capitalists will receive interest—we might call it a guaranteed dividend—on traffic worked at present in another form by Australian capital. Some thousands a year will be paid to British capitalists on traffic the profits of which at present remain in Australia, and this is a "reproductive" work.