The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
It is now twelve years since I conceived the idea of trying to reform railway administration, and from then till now, almost without exception, I have devoted the hours from 7 to 12 p.m. every evening to the study of railway questions and fighting this battle. I am very deeply impressed with the vast importance of the subject, and have felt that nothing short of entire devotion to it could effect any real good. What is said in the foregoing pages is the result of this prolonged study, and the views expressed are carefully formed opinions, not mere impressions.
My great aim is to so alter existing conditions that all those who want a piece of land can obtain it under such conditions as will enable them to make profitable use of it, and obtain it by fair and right means, without taking from those that have.
What the poor man has to dread, and the rich man too—if he only knew it—is not the landlord; it is the small, number of landlords that is his danger. If their number were increased a thousand-fold they would lose their power, for they could not then lock up the land as they do now. What we want, if possible, is to make every man the owner of his own freehold, then all would be interested in maintaining law, order, and the rights of property. The poverty and misery in the world is a disgrace to the age, and I say again, that the only way to permanently relieve it is to enable all who wish to do so to live on land.
I appeal to those of my fellow colonists and my readers generally who agree with me in the views I take to help me in this matter, and to agitate this question to the utmost extent of page 59 their power. A reform like this can only come from the people. A perusal of the history of the movement, as recorded on pages 9 to 12, will show that previous Ministries on both sides of the House have strenuously opposed this reform. What the present Ministry will do in the matter remains to be seen.