Mr J. McLachlan M.H.R., has received the following letter from Sir Joseph Ward, Minister for Railways :— Sib,—With reference to -your letter of the 21st ulto. m regard to the appointment of a stationmaster at Ealing, I have the honour to inform you that the matter has been very exhaustively inquired into as the result of representations previously made by yourself and other persons interested, and I regret to say that the re3ult of my inquiries has established the fact that the business at the station is so small as to entirely preclude the possibility of the request for a stationmaster being favourably entertained. As yon are aware flag stations are established at places where the traffic is, generally speaking, very small, and for the | convenience of settlers m sparsely popu- j j lated districts, who, but for the existence ! of flag stations, would necessarily be comI polled to lose a large amount of valuable time m travelling to and from officered stations. There are a very large number of flag stations throughout the railway , system of the colony which do a much greater business than is done at Baling, without any more conveniences, and if the principle were to be recognised that officers are to be placed m charge of all such stations, the expense involved would be so large as to compel the closing of a very considerable number of the flag stations owing to th.B fact of the business done thereat being insufficient to warrant the expenditure involved. It will I think be apparent to you that such a course would be inimical to the best interests of the persons residing m the districts served by the flag stations, and you will, no doubt, recognise that m these circumstances it is better to follow the present practice than to close all flag stations at whioh the business is insufficient to warrant the appointment of an officer.
A very close watch is kept over the business done at the various officered and flag stations throughout the colony, and increased fttoilities are granted from time to time as the business warrants, and I am sure you will agree with me that this is the only satisfactory system of dealing with the large business such as that carried on by the Railway Department of the colony.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6568, 12 May 1905
Ealing Station. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6568, 12 May 1905
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