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At the City Police Court this morning, before His Worship the Mayor and Mr Wishart, J.P.s, a charge under the railway by-laws was preferred against Henry Crust, proprietor of the New Zealand Forwarding Agency, of having been guilty of a breach of by-law 27, in having consigned by railway cartridges not distinctly marked “ dangerous ” on the outside of the package in which they were contained, and not specifying particulars in the consignment note. Defendant pleaded guilty. Mr Haggitt, who represented the Railway Department, said that the charge was brought under by-laws 27 and 31, which provided that any consignor forwarding dangerous or explosive goods by rail without marking them “dangerous” was liable to a penalty not exceeding LlO. In the present case he did not ask for a heavy penalty, for, although Mr Crust had committed a breach of the by-law, he had not done it wilfully, but had been led into it by trusting other people, instead of ascertaining what the character of the goods sent by him was. The cartridges were sent with other goods from Dunedin to Kingston, and it was on arrival there that the discovery was made that the package contained cartridges. It was an exceedingly important thing that this by-law should be strictly observed, as a consequence of neglect might result in something serious —in fact, in a whole train being wrecked. Benzine, fireworks, matches, oil of vitriol, etc., were mentioned in the same by-law, and declared to be dangerous goods. The object of the by-law was as much for the protection of the goods themselves as for the protection of persons travelling by rail, and the department was determined that in future the bylaw should be strictly enforced. When goods were marked “dangerous” special provision for their conveyance was made, and every precaution taken in forwarding them to their destination. He had only to add that Mr Crust bad helped the department as much as possible, and that although he had committed a technical breach of the by • law he was very little to blame. The department, therefore, merely asked for the infliction of a nominal penalty. The object of the prosecution was to. give full publicity to the by-law, and to let it be seen that it was not only a foolish but an unlawful thing to forward such goods hy railway without giving the authorities notice of the character of the consignment. The Bench: We understand that this is the first case of this sort that has been brought in New Zealand. Mr Haggitt: So far as the department here is concerned, it is certainly the first. The Bench: That being so, we are of opinion that the object which the prosecution have in view will be fully attained by publicity being given to this case. The fine, therefore, will be a nominal one—los, without costs.

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Bibliographic details

THE RAILWAY BYLAWS., Issue 7922, 1 June 1889

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THE RAILWAY BYLAWS. Issue 7922, 1 June 1889

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