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We sincerely hope that the information supplied by the Wellington correspondent of the " Lyttelton Times," to the effect that he has reason to believe that the Government intend shortly to appoint Mr Maxwell Chief Commissioner of Railways, with Mr < -'Conor as one of the Assistant Commissioners, the third being a commercial man, is incorrect. We do not say that all the fault which has been found, and to a large extent justly found with our railway management, is to be laid to the charge of Mr Maxwell, but most certainly the deßi'ro of the public generally is that that gentleman should occupy a subordinate position, and that the supreme control of railway matters should be vested m a Board on which would be found the very highest expert knowledge as well as tbo most thorough acq.Uß r witL..~tliflL_ra<iuirementß of the various industries and localities which are, or should be, served by the railway. The largo salary of £2500 a year voted by Parliament was granted purposely for the obtainment of a railway expert from the United Kingdom or America, und if it bo not sufficient to secure the very highest talent Parliament, we feel sure, would far rather increase it than put up with Mr Maxwell's appointment. It is not to be supposed of course that Ministers would give the full salary voted to Mr Maxwell — it would be too absurd to give him three times ..his present pay for carrying out the same duties under the altered name of Chief Commissioner — but not only would any increase at all be resented, the mere appointment itself would be exceedingly unpopular m the country. Mr O'Conor might perhaps be acceptable as one of the Assistant Commissioners (the other being a business man) though we should prefer Mr Hannay, but Mr O'Conor's presence on the Commission would only be tolerated with some first-class railway export as Chief Commissioner. To put Mr Maxwell mid Mr O'Conor on the Commission is to stereotype all the 'bad features of the present management, for the other Assistant Commissioner would be absolutely powerless. Surely the Government cannot have determined upon so extremely unwise a course. If they have, then most certainly they have made a most egregious mistake, and one for which Parliament and the country will assuredly call them to account.

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Bibliographic details

THE RAILWAY BOARD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1975, 20 October 1888

Word Count

THE RAILWAY BOARD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1975, 20 October 1888