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tors of Railways. They have already reaped an abundant harvest by the baneful practices in which they should no longer be permitted to indulge. To use the language of Mr. Hudson, "they must bear in mind who received these shares." They have been suffered to pocket millions after millions of premiums on new issues, by sales in anticipation of the produce of future branch Lines, calculated on the scale of profits of the trunk Lines, and derived from that excess of profits on the latter which legitimately belonged to the public. Let them be satisfied with what
they have got; and let them not, by an irritating and vexatious course of procedure, provoke inquiry into the justice of their title to the booty in their possession. Besides, there will be few prizes for some time, at least. In the history of no country, has there been such a barefaced sacrifice of the public interests for the benefit of private associations, who, without any efficient restraint or restriction, have been suffered to monopolize, and for their own selfish purposes to employ the means of communication of a great industrial nation.
UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA
Speech of James Morrison, Esq., M. P., in the House of Commons, 17th May, 1836, on moving a Resolution relative to the periodical Revision of Tolls and Charges levied on Railroads and other Public Works.
In bringing forward the motion of which I have given notice, if I trespass for a short time on the attention of the House, I must plead the importance and magnitude of the interests involved in the question as my excuse. Honourable Members, Sir, may differ from me on this subject; some may consider my apprehensions as altogether unfounded-some, admitting the evil which I would seek to remedy, may think I exaggerate its probable effects whilst others, perhaps, agreeing that something is necessary to be done, may allege that the remedy I propose is inapplicable or insufficient; but all must allow that the change now going on, and which is likely at no distant period to transfer our chief public conveyances from the King's highways to a number of joint-stock railway companies, is a subject which demands the early, the deliberate, and the serious attention of Parliament.
I need not, Sir, occupy the time of the House by pointing out how important it is to a commercial and manufacturing people like ourselves that our means of conveying persons and goods from place to place should be as perfect as possible; every one must be aware how much has been done in this way during the last twenty or thirty years. It would be difficult to estimate the value of these improvements, or their effect upon the trade and prosperity of the country. They have carried competition not only into our smaller towns, but even into our villages; and the facilities which they have afforded to the dealer in visiting the warehouses of the manufacturer and the merchant, as well as in obtaining whatever he might require at the least expense and in the shortest space of time, have promoted in no inconsiderable degree that remarkable developement of our internal industry during the last twenty years, which has so far outstripped the anticipations of those the best acquainted with the subject. I should have hesitated much before I brought forward this resolution had I thought it would check in any degree individual enterprise or fair and legitimate speculation; but I am persuaded it will have no such effect. Though my proposition had been years ago the law of the land, I believe we should not have had one