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STATE RAILROAD OWNERSHIP.
A TRANSLATION OF
THE DOCUMENT SUBMITTED TO THE PRUSSIAN PARLIA.
PORTANT RAILROADS THEN
For several years the question of changing the railroad policy of Germany from the “mixed system "—that is, a system composed partly of railroads worked by the state and partly of roads owned and worked by private corporations—to an exclusively state system has been warmly discussed, and finally decided in favor of the state system, which is begun by acquiring all the principal railroads of Prussia (not of the other German states) by the government of that country. When the Prussian cabinet submitted to Parliament in November, 1879, its plan for aoquiring the remaining important private railroads in Prussia, it presented with the bill granting the necessary powers and means a long and elaborate document in justification of its action, which is probably the most important government document respecting railroads ever published, and the most complete statement of the arguments in favor of a state railroad system.
It must be remembered that this question has had the attention of the best minds in Germany for several years, during which the books and pamphlets published concerning it probably number hundreds, and that thus the government had the opportunity to make use of all that could be said on this side of the question. Being thus the formal statement of the reasons which have caused for the first time one of the great nations of the world to unite its railroads under government administration, we have thought it desirable that it should be put on record in our language, for the benefit of railroad men, legislators and students of the economics and politics of transportation,