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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76

My Offer

My Offer

is to work out and apply the Stage System to every detail, both of coaching and goods traffic; to do this in the least possible space of time, and then to resign my post; and all I will ask in the shape of remuneration is my actual expenses. I only ask such temporary powers and appointment as will enable me to see the work faithfully carried out; in fact, such powers over one section as the Minister for Railways exercises over the whole. It would be worse than madness to entrust this work to officials who have proved themselves so bitterly and unscrupulously hostile to the new system.

I know that, sooner or later, it must and will be tried, but, I am anxious that the first trial should take place while I am here to watch over it. No one else understands it, or could work out its details properly. Should it fall into the hands of the officials, I know well what will happen. They will seek to destroy it by pretended improvements. They hate its simplicity, and will seek to complicate it in every possible way. They detest its distinctive feature—the assistance it renders to the poor districts—and will destroy it by placing more stage stations on the page 37 long-distance stages, without regard to the location of population, which will thus largely curtail its value as a distributive and land-settlement system. The effect will be to raise all the fares and rates to the distant and least accessible lands, and, by thus compelling the most thinly populated districts to pay more than their fair share of the revenue, retard their settlement and progress.

Even in this mutilated form, they know that it would give greatly better financial results than the present system, and they would claim that these results were due to their "improvements," whereas they would only have secured a part, of the revenue that might have been obtained had the system not been tampered with, and its great distributive capabilities most seriously injured.

I have done my very best to help my fellowcitizens in this important matter, and I now ask them to help me by using all their influence with their various Parliamentary representatives to at once procure a trial of the new system. I think I may fairly ask for and expect this little help. It is not much, and there should be at least one man in each district able and willing to render it.