Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76



Since January, 1883, when I placed the Stage System of Railway Administration before the world, the following nations have adopted it, to a greater or less extent, and in a more or less modified form.

Commencing with Hungary in August, 1889, a year or two later Austria, followed with a still worse adaptation (our railway officials endorsed this as much the best), which gave little or no financial improvement. In 1895 Russia followed, with very as-tounding financial results. Next came Denmark and Switzerland last year, and now Prussia is following.

Of these six nations which have copied our idea, the one that has prospered most—financially and otherwise—is the one that has imitated us most closely—Hungary.

I ask my fellow colonists what would have been the position of New Zealand—what would have been their position this day—if the Stage System had been introduced here, as it ought to have been 12 or more years ago?

I claim no credit for myself. The idea came to me. I saw its vast importance, and have earnestly and honestly tried to do my duty in the matter. I ask my fellow colonists to do theirs, and see that a trial of the new system is made, while I am here to watch over it. If this is not done, then they will never reap page 6 its full benefits. Once let it fall into the hands of the departmental officers and all its best features will be ruined. A perusal of the following pages will show that the dishonest, I may say disreputable, way in which they have throughout dealt with this question fully justifies me in what I say.

I have felt that to draw prominent attention to the evidence given by the officers of the Department, at the inquiry of 1886, was to create a public scandal, which I have sought to avoid, but as I am driven to it, have in the following pages gone pretty fully into the matter. These officers know well that if the case were reheard, I would examine them on oath and compel them either to recant all their former evidence or else stand an action for perjury.

Petitions to Parliament, asking for a trial of the new system, have been sent almost every session. They are a mere farce. They are treated as so much waste paper; but if a few of the leading men in each electorate would send a joint letter to their representative, requesting him to see that this matter is attended to, it would soon be done, for they would be able to show these letters to the Ministry, who would soon see that votes depended on it.

The financial success of the new system is now assured. It is no longer a matter of my theory, but one of ascertained fact, proved by nearly ten years' trial. Its great advantages, from a land settlement and social intercourse point of view, have never been disputed, not, even by the railway officials, who have contented themselves with asserting that it is impracticable, and if brought into force would lead to enormous loss of revenue. Both these assertions are now proved to be false. Why then should we not have it?