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that they did get hold of it is very evi- mence foreclosure proceedings on the dent, and accounts for the reason why mortgages whenever you choose to do old Meadows wished to marry you at so, thereby losing the interest on a peronce before you found out your good for- fectly safe investment of your money.' tune. The boy Oscar, of course,
He understood me at once, and if ever thought of the value of what he was do- rage and baffled cunning and hate were ing for us; he simply thought it might depicted on a human face, I saw it in do you good, and Meadows, whom he the fat countenance of Mr. Meadows tocordially hates, harm. It has certainly
It has certainly day. So you will be one of the richest been the salvation of your dear old home, women in the state before long,'Emily," and of your mother, whom you will be able said Tim, after a short pause,“when this. to take abroad to more congenial climate thing is realized, and it can be as and for scientific expert treatment, and soon as your mother is able to attend to no doubt spared to you for many years the necessary details of the business." to come, please God and the saints. I Emily Caskey looked up startled, called on your ancient lover this after- something in her lover's voice attractnoon," said Conductor Tim, with a shy, ing her attention. “What is it, dear?" roguish smile, “and he gave me the she said, lifting her now glad, lovely eyes worst tongue-lashing I ever had in my to his somewhat wistful but moody, life. He says he is a stockholder in the handsome face. railroad and he will see that I am dis- “You will be too rich for a
poor railroad charged inside of forty-eight hours. conductor with only very remote prospects And this is what I said: 'In respect to of promotion to any higher position. the Walnut Farm property, Mr. Mead- Then he arose from his chair and stood ows, about which you were so very kind before her, this handsome lover, and he (and I emphasized the word kind) as to was good to look at. Then he said in a speak to Miss Caskey about yesterday, low voice, “You may choose from the and the conditions and alternative you highest in the land Emily, but you will stated, in case she failed to comply, al- never find one to love you more faithlow
to draw your attention to a fully than I do, and shall all my lifesmall word you will find in the American time." dictionary, that denotes mineral of much Emily turned her beautiful face to his, value in the commercial world It be- her heart throbbing, her whole soul in gins with the third letter of the alphabet, her lovely eyes, and slipped her hands viz, a big C, and another big C, which within his own. “Oh, Tim, my love!” spells Cannel Coal, with a fourteen feet was all she said; but it was enough, for thick vein at the outcrop on the Walnut he took her in his arms in one long, Farm, and you are at liberty to com- sweet caress.
MR. JOHN PLUMMER, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES.
In a country like Australia, in which are to be found immense districts untraversed by navigable rivers, railway construction becomes a pressing necessity for the purpose of providing a means of communication between the leading ports and the interior, but the limited population of the six federating States, barely four millions at the close of 1903,
has precluded the idea of the work being conducted by private enterprise, although the earlier attempts were a result of individual effort. As the main object of Australian railway construction is to assist in opening up and developing the country, rather than providing dividends for shareholders, each of the State Governments has had to assume
the responsibility of constructing its own railway system, for which purpose considerable sums of money have been borrowed, the total loan expenditure for that purpose to June 30, 1904, being £136,600,855. Practically, railway construction constitutes the leading item of Australian indebtedness; the loan expenditure on all other works, including telegraphs, telephones, water supply, sewerage, harbors, rivers, navigation, roads and bridges, public works and buildings, defence, etc., amounting to only £83,520,606. Nearly the whole of the Australian public debt, £227,637,163, unlike that of most other countries, has been expended in connection with railways and other public works, which, at the present time, represent a value several millions in excess of Australian public obligations. The various states may have borrowed somewhat freely, but they can show substantial security for every shilling of loan money obtained. In 1903-4 the total length of railways open for traffic in the Commonwealth was 14,464 miles, of which Victoria possessed 3,381 miles, New South Wales 3,362 miles, Queensland 3,030 miles, Western Australia 2,170 miles, South Australia 1,901 miles, and Tasmania 620 miles. The progress of construction has become increasingly rapid during each successive decade, which explains in some measure the frequency of recent borrowings. With the exception of 6404 miles constructed in connection with mining, timber-getting, and other industrial enterprises, the whole of the railways are the property of the respective State Governments. In New South Wales the State railways are placed in charge of three Commissioners, and of a single Commissioner in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Western Australia, those of Tasmania being in the hands of a General Manager, under the control of the State Minister for Lands and Works. Proposals for constructing a line from Adelaide, in South Australia, across the continent, to Port Darwin, in the extreme north, and from Adelaide to Western Australia, are under consideration. The latter line, if completed, would enable an almost unbroken journey from
Brisbane, by way of Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, to Western Australia, to become accomplished, but the gauges of the different States would have first to be made uniform. The total cost of construction and equipment of the various Government lines to June 30, 1094, was £131, 930, 764; the gross earnings in 1903-4 being £11,193,518, and the net earnings £4,065,631, thus producing a fair rate of interest on the amount of capital invested. The net earnings would have been considerably larger had the lines through several of the less populated districts been of a "pioneer" character. The greater portion of the railways are substantially built, and will endure for generations. In places engineering difficulties of considerable magnitude
ave been successfully overcome, espec-. ially in New South Wales, where the great cantilever bridge
the Hawkesbury is one of the largest and finest in existence. Compared with certain sparsely settled countries, the cost of railway construction in the Commonwealth has been remarkably low, being £9,890 per mile, as against £14,355 in Brazil, £12,810 in the United States, £12,067 in Canada, £10,363 in Cape Colony, £10,213 in the Argentine, £10,103 in Chili, and £9,417 in Mexico. At the same time the work has been of a more solid and durable character than in several of the countries mentioned. Considering the limited number of population, the Commonwealth railways are proportionately amongst the best-paying lines in the world, the average net revenue per train mile being 21.6d., against 25.0d. in the United Kingdom, 17.7d. in Belgium, and 29.5d. in the United States. The number of passengers carried in 1903-4 was 110,163,232, while the goods traffic showed a total of 14,985,106 tons. The rolling stock included 2,191 engines, 3,921 passenger carriages, and 41,918 goods trucks. In New South Wales ;he railways are divided into unree syste-ns, the south, running from Sydney across the Murray to Melbourne; west, from Sydney to Bourke; and north, from Sydney to Brisbane. In Victoria the lines form seven distinct groups, covering the State with a complete network of
lines. In Queensland the railways constitute a number of separate systems, three of which have Brisbane for their center, while others run inland from each of the principal ports. In South Australia the railways are divided into three systems, radiating from Adelaide, with the exception of a short line in the Northern Territory; in Western Australia the railways comprise five systems, connecting the larger centers of population; while in Tasmania, Hobart, Launceton, and other places are similarly linked together. These figures will afford some idea of what the federated States have done with the greater portion of their
borrowed capital. They may have been somewhat hasty at times, but they have ample assets in the shape of their railways alone to meet all their obligations.
The only fault that can be found with the State policy of the past, according to the New South Wales Government Statistician, “is that in some cases expensive lines have been laid down in empty country, the requirements of which could have been effectually met for many years to come by light and cheap lines.” Had this been done the net profits of the Commonwealth railways would have been largely increased.
Our collective conceits, like those of every other nation, bring now and then certain ludricrous developments. One of them is our anxiety to explain the results of our political campaigns every four years.
The explanations we give are always flattering to our national pride. Yet, such pride is a very dangerous friend, and hence a real enemy of all truth, as it deadens our mental perceptions. Our real progress does not commence but in proportion as we abandon all conceit and self-esteem. All personal and national troubles from the self-esteem which prevents us from seeing our mistakes.
And as nation we must have made some serious mistakes. Would we have as many troubles as
we have always had, without such serious mistakes? Sometimes it looks as if we have had even more trouble than many other nations.
To be sure, we can stand more troubles because we h: ve more adyantages. But why to inve trouble. in proportion to advantages? We thus cancel all the advantages we have.
Those advantages come from our geographical isolation, and so from our
independence of any military or commercial interference on the part of other powerful nations. Then come our
territorial immensities, giving us an industrial supremacy that few other nations ever had. Finally comes our racial mixture, through which we collect the boldest minds of all nations. Suppose that such a mixture brings some objectionable features. Well, is not that in part at least due to the very imperfections of our internal industrial adjustments? What can fail to bring trouble as long as our nation imitates the old ones in cardinal injustice where that is most fatal, viz, in industrial development?
Wrongly, very wrongly, we have always assumed that our progress was fundamentally distinct from that of all other nations. If that was
an actual fact we would have hardly had one-tenth of the troubles, disagreements and wretched problems with which we have always struggled, and struggle yet, with as little success as humanity everywhere else. Perhaps some of our friends will tell us that if we want to be prosperous we must have quantities of trouble in all directions. That is just the kind of prosperity that all despotisms have produced. That dreadful
prosperity business is what kills the public conscience of nations, because it materializes all progress, and morality runs away from all our important affairs in life. Thus we refuse to grasp all the primal principles of honest governmental action.
What, then, can be done by our millions of voters when they register their will every few years? Most of them need that fallacious prosperity which barely keeps them alive. The rest need the same to preserve the wealth they may have obtained, so that to escape from fears of poverty, which are sometimes more trying than the actual poverty itself, when the latter is not very hard. Then, it happens that men are creatures of habit, and so we only miss the needs and comforts to which we have been long accustomed, when we don't see others close by enjoy them. And here is where we modern people get the worst of modern development, because it places the poor so close to the extremely wealthy that it makes poverty more trying by the strong contrasts we evolve, and which are totally unnatural in the order of God.
Those very great contrasts, unknown long ago, unknown even now in many lands, create intense class antipathies, and as education does not teach us how to develop more brotherly like, we all seem to be strangers to high social ideals of honest government. Under such conditions our party votes are practically without any meaning. We then generally vote for the continuation of the evils we know, so as to possibly avoid the evils we don't know. The unknown is so dreadful when we lack fundamental perceptions of the right and the true! We have thus recently managed to ac-. tually build up a republic or democracy without any healthy opposition party with which to at least check the excesses of the party in power, irrespective of
We then have virtually dropped —we and England most especiallythe status of a benign despotism, whatever that may mean, in regard to the rights of the working people.
A benign despotism, or in fact any kind of despotism, rests, in the long run, on the silent worship of one or more individuals at the top of the national
structure, on the emphatic concensus of the people in regard to the good personal traits and wishes of that one or few men in question. That has been the real situation for some time in our nation. In the absence of solid, definite ideals or concepts with which to remedy our present evils, what can we do but worship men? And we have no right to blame the idols we see fit to erect, build up, even if they don't do much for us. What can they do after all but to execute the poor, selfish laws that we all seem to consider about right if not perfect? And how soon we, sovereign people, would demolish those idols if they dared to preach to us the truth, the right, the fundamental equity and honesty we all need and don't seem yet to care about!
As long as any given nation, republic or empire, either with the open concensus of the vote, or the silent one that does not vote, is troubled with serious problems, what is needed, in forms the most imperative, is a compact opposition with sound, well defined, specific governmental ideals. Any mere longing for the acquisition of power to rule, is demoralizing and lowers all standards of governmental morality. The opposition in question, that we need, should then stand for principles the simplicity and solidity of which should attract, invite the consolidation of the people so as to have such principles placed in law, by whichever set of men may be in power at the time, or by the new fellows we may send as our public clerks, to replace the previous unlawful chaps or officers and the like.
Under our lame educational systems the people at large are bound to prefer a political creed which boldly stands by the wrong or incomplete, to any other political hash which is not distinctly any better, or which does not fully reveal the hideousness of the social wrongs preached by the party in power. That is the history of all nations which have posed as liberal or advanced while really they have kept humanity sunk into a new set of social sins, which look to us more attractive than the old sins, because the latter belonged to our ances
tors and the new have been invented by our own precious selves and lords of creation.
And if history repeats itself in some things, as they tell us, it certainly does in the prolongation of evils, no matter how much they may be changed and remodeled, simply because we insist yet on egotism as the supreme force of collective life. Before any kind cf majority stands by altruism in human laws and governmental functions, some important minority must do that and teach it to the masses. But who teaches that to the people? A few insignificant fellows, possibly. No minority of im
portant men dares to proclaim how we could and should apply to our social and national life the simple and noble thoughts of the Decalogue and the Lord's prayer.
We all act as if such thoughts were simply meant for us to chatter about, for us to perpetually neglect where they are most sacred and indispensable, viz, in the laws and adjustments of each social compact. If they are not there all our lives shall remain the sinful vortex that we are yet having, and our supposed individualized goodness will not bring us the kind of life that God wants
to have and enjoy.
FACTS ABOUT THE PENSION FUND OF THE
PENNSYLVANIA R. R.
The pension plan was started January 1, 1900, and as finally approved by the company's stockholders, provides that the company
is to contribute all the money necessary for the payment of pension allowances, and for the operation of the department; also that the maximum amount disbursed for pension allowances under existing regulations shall not exceed in any one year the sum of $390,000. Department operations are controlled by a board of officers comprising the vice-presidents, the general manager, and the assistant comptroller of the railroad company, vested with full power to make and enforce department rules and regulations.
All officers and employes who have attained the age of 70 years are retired and placed upon the pension pay roll, while those of ages between 65 and 70 years, after 30 years' service, are retired and pensioned, either at their own request or upon the request of the employing officer, if found to be permanently incapacitated by a board of company physicians. Retirement is based on age, and pension allowance on vice and pay, that is, for each year of service one per centum of the average
monthly pay for the ten years immediately preceding retirement.
During the four years of operation, ending December 31, 1903, there has been paid in pension allowances the sum of $1,224,087 59, the
expense eration for the same period having been $20,134.78.
Up to the end of 1903 there had been retired and granted pension allowances 2,126 employes, while 527 pensioners had died. Of the total number retired, 456 were between ages 65 and 70, and 348 of these were relieved at their own request with the approval of the proper employing officer, which indicates that the number of requests to be relieved originating with the employes themselves was in the proportion of three to every one emanating from the employing offi
Provision is made that no one beyond the age of thirty-five years will be admitted into the company's service (the exception being in cases of former employes, whom the company may desire to engage within a period of three years from the time they were last in the service, or of professional men or specialists). Employment in the company's