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operatives and an increase in their wages. The facilities of transit were increased and cheapened; public comfort and convenience promoted, and the grievances of operatives removed. And what occurred in Glasgow occurred in the other towns of England where the tramways were owned by the people. In Leeds the annual profit was $59,170. Municipal management was undertaken in that city mainly for the sake of redressing the grievances of conductors, engineers, and drivers, who were underpaid by the tramway companies and compelled to work fourteen hours a day. Huddersfield has kept down profits by unprofitable extensions of the service and by a reduction of fares, but it had a balance of $31,495 to its credit. Sheffield's profits out of her tramways for 1897 were $36,650. Blackpool, serving its 25,000 people with an electric railway, made a profit of $14,920. Plymouth also did a good year's business on her tramways.
I wish here to express my acknowledgments to my friend, Mr. Jay D. Miller of Chicago for his inestimable service in assisting me to formulate my bill, and also to the host of others—the managers of the New Haven Road among them—to whom I am indebted for the information which I have gathered together in this volume. If ever I have struck a blow at an individual, it has been not out of malice but because in him has seemed, at times, to be incarnated the evils of the system which he represented.
THE LAST STRAW UPON THE CAMEL'S BACK.
The latest fiat of our Imperial Railway Court pools one American railroad with another and in the process increases the National Debt by the substitution of $100,000,000 of 31 per cent., hundred year, paper made, gold promising, bonds for $50,000,000 of railroad stock. In other words, under this railroad decree, we, our children and our children's children to the third and four generation are to be saddled with the annual payment of $1,750,000 in gold, on $50,000,000 in bonds that represent to their issuers only the cost of so many pieces of printed paper and at the end of one hundred years, our descendants are to be compelled, at the point of the bayonet if necessary, to give up so much of their flesh and blood as may be requisite to transform these paper issues into solid gold.
The capital stock of the controlling railroad in this instance is $100,000,000. The balance of the railroad stocks of the United States is something over $5,000,000,000. With a few more strokes of the Imperial Railway pen, these $5,000,000,000 of railway stock will be transformed into $10,000,000,000 of bonds; the entire National Railway System will be pooled under one management and the National Debt of the United States will be brought up to a figure vastly higher than it was at the close of the Civil War.
The total tax levied by our private railway managers on the people of the United States for the payment of the dividends on the outstanding railroad stocks of the United States, in 1896, was $87,603,371. Under the impending imperial regime this tax will be increased to $350,000,000 annually ; this is in solid gold and it will be collected as rigidly and as mercilessly as were ever the taxes levied by the Emperor of Rome upon his subject provinces.
ONE MORE STRAW.
WEIGHING THE MAIL UPON THE SEABOARD
AIR LINE IN 1896.
This document—which I have just received-is such a commentary on “ Railroading under Present Conditions," and so complements my work that I feel compelled to give a summary of it here, with the omission only of proper names.
Every four years, the mail transported over one fourth of the railway system of the United States is weighed during a period of thirty days, and upon the average weight thus determined depends the compensation of the various railways for the following four years. During the quadrennial weighing in March, 1896, upon the Seaboard Air Line, whose Main Line extends from Portsmouth, Va., to Atlanta, Ga., there occurred the following curious incidents: About three hundred sacks of documents franked by Senator — and Representative -- were sent to the various station
agents of this company in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia ; the sacks
eighed one hundred to one hundred and twentyfive pounds each; two, three, four, or five sacks were sent to an agent; in RAILROAD MAIL the agents received envelopes containing slips of paper, or labels, franked by Senator — and addressed to various persons at various offices in Georgia and South Carolina, a large portion of the addresses being RAILROAD EMPLOYEES or postmasters.
Some agents were furnished by railroad officials with lists of addresses in North Carolina and Vir. ginia. The division superintendents and roadmasters gave oral instructions to the agents under them as to pasting on labels or writing addresses on the books which were not previously addressed, but tags of sacks were addressed, (who is railroad agent at that point). The books were then remailed and again transported over the routes of this company, to be again weighed. Fifteen sacks were delivered at
Va., addressed in bulk to General Superintendent That night the books were addressed in the railroad building by his secretary (Williams) and a division superintendent (Wishnant) and remailed the following morning to various addresses along their route. A newspaper, N. C., --), learning of the transaction, published a short article headed “ A Mistake," stating in substance, that a United States Senator, in mailing documents to his constituents, had, by mistake, addressed them to station
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