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levied on the workers for inattention, late hours, or bad work, to the purchase of books for their daily use. There is a double advantage in this course. Formerly these fines went week by week into the pocket of the master; and the man who had a fraction of his scanty earnings thus arrested would seldom admit that the fine was justly inflicted—he would seldom fail to attribute it to his employer's wish to rob him of his hard-earned cash, and to load with curses those who grind the faces of the poor. Under the new system, he sees that his superior has no personal interest in inflicting such fines-that, in fact, they are inflicted only as a means of discipline; and out of his very faults good is made to come both to himself and to others of his class. It would have been wise and useful for the Committee to have examined one of the managers of these mill-libraries, of which there are several in Manchester and the neighbouring towns. Many curious and interesting facts would thus have come to light. But as it is, this Report is so satisfactory, that Mr. Ewart will well deserve the thanks of every friend of education for the inquiry which he has conducted to so successful a result.
IV.-RAILWAYS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. The Parliamentary proceedings of 1849, in respect to Railways have been marked by the same caution as those of the preceding year a caution which, if exhibited earlier, would have prevented a mass commercial difficulty. The Railway Acts of 1848, as noticed in the last number of the Companion, amounted in number to 83, of which there were only about 30 that empowered the construction of new branch lines ; the rest related to leases, amalgamations, deviations, amendments, and increased capital for finishing lines already com. menced. The mileage of new railway sanctioned did not exceed 300 miles. In the session just terminated (1849), the operations have become still more limited. The new Acts are but 35 in number; and only 12 of these contain provisions for new branch lines. The only new companies incorporated have been two for India; viz.: those for the East India Railway, and the Indian Peninsula Railway. There are seven of the Acts which sanction leases, purchases, or amalgamations of different companies. The remaining 14 Acts relate to amendments, deviations, consolidation of Acts, and increase of capital. The new capital, however, and the new portions of railway, are both small in quantity, as compared with those of the five preceding sessions; and much of the capital is required because the companies find almost insuperable difficulties in raising money on loan. of the 35 new Acts, 21 relate to England, 9 to Scotland, 1 to Ireland, 2 to Wales, and 2 to India.
The following is a list of the Railway Acts passed in the session of 1849; with a few words explanatory of the main object or objects of each Act:1. Caledonian; purchase of the Wishaw and Coltness Railway. "}, Caledonian ; lease of the Glasgow, Barrhead, and Neilston Railway.
3. Chester and Holyhead ; additional capital. 4. Cockermouth and Workington; branch to Bridgefoot; and amend5. East Anglian; additional time and powers for works. 6. East Indian; incorporating the company. 7. East Lancashire ; new branches at Preston ; and amendments. 8. East Lothian; dissolution of company. 9. Eastern Union; amendments. 10. Edinburgh and Glasgow; amalgamation with Union Canal Company. 11. Edinburgh and Glasgow ; purchase of Wilsontown and Coltness Rail
way. 12. Edinburgh and Northern ; new pier and works at Granton. 13. Edinburgh and Northern ; additional capital. 14. Glasgow, Kilmarnock, and Ardrossan ; additional powers. 15. Great Indian Peninsula ; incorporating the company. 16. Great Northern; deviations; enlargement of stations. 17. Irish South Eastern; amendment of Acts. 18. Lancashire and Yorkshire; extensions and amendments. 19. Lancashire and Yorkshire, and London and North Western; joint
lease of Preston and Wyre Railway. 20. Lancaster and Carlisle ; lease of Lancaster and Preston Railway. 21. Leeds and Thirsk; additional capital. 22. London and Blackwall; extension of time for works. 23. Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire; amendment of Acts. 24. Newcastle and Carlisle ; new branch and alterations, 25. North Western ; alterations and amendments. 26. Reading, Guildford and Reigate ; connecting line near Guildford. 27. Shrewsbury and Birmingham ; new branches and works. 28. Shrewsbury and Chester; new branches and works. 29. South Western ; extension of time for new branches. 30. South Western ; extension from Datehet to Windsor. 31. Stirling and Dunfermline; deviations; extension of time. 32. Stockton and Darlington; lease of Middlesboro' Dock. 33. Taff Vale; branch to Dowlais. 34. York, Newcastle, and Berwick; new branches. 35. York and North Midland; deviations in branch lines.
The monetary or Stock-Exchange aspect of the railway system has exhibited most lamentable features during 1849. The half-yearly dividends declared by the companies, and the current market prices of the shares, have suffered an amount of declension beyond even the gloomy anticipations entertained in the preceding year. In the last Companion (p. 101), a sketch was given of the progressive decline of dividend in most of the principal lines. The London and North Western is almost the only company which has maintained in 1849 the same rate of dividend, even, as in the preceding year, viz. 7 per cent. The Great Western, the Midland, the Lancashire and Yorkshire, the York and Newcastle, the York and North Midland, the Eastern Counties, the South Eastern, the South Western, Brighton, the Manchester and Lincolnshire-all have suffered a decided diminution of dividend. These ten great companies, whose works up to the present time have cost over One Hundred Millions Sterling, have on an average declared, for the half-year ending in the summer of 1849, a dividend on the regular non-guaranteed shares
at the rate of less than 4 per cent. per annum-somewhere between 3 and 4 per cent. The remaining companies, about 60 in number, (omitting the London and North Western) can hardly have reached an average of 2 per cent. per annum in the same half-year. Many of them, including the Caledonian, the Chester and Holyhead, the Great Northern, the Eastern Union, and others, in which the outlay has been very large, have barely realized enough to pay guaranteed interest and preference dividends, leaving 'nothing whatever for the regular shareholders; and a few, though open for traffic, have been unable to pay even the guarantees.
This diminution in the actual commercial value of the undertakings has told unfavourably on the market prices. The disastrous state of matters in 1848 was brought about rather by political and commercial panic, than by deterioration in the real merits of the railway system; but the result of an over supply of lines is now felt significantly in diminished mileage receipts. The number of persons who wish to travel, and have the means of paying for travelling, does not increase so rapidly as the amount of capital laid out upon new rail. ways: hence the sum available for net profits is relatively smaller ; hence the dividends are less; and hence the market prices are lower. The London and North Western, the Brighton and South Coast, and one or two other companies, have their shares at a somewhat higher price in October, 1849, than in October, 1848; but with these exceptions a declension has been general. In some of the Companies the market price of shares was seven times as great in 1845 as in October 1849.
There have lately been issued many Parliamentary papers, besides the Annual Reports of the Railway Commissioners, which contain a mass of valuable information relating to the present state of the rail. way system. The object of these papers has been to exhibit both the social and the financial results of the system--the results to the travelling public, and to the railway operatives, as well as to the shareholders.
The first of these Returns which we shall notice gives an account of the number and classification of all the persons employed in all the railways, in any capacity, at a particular date.
This Return, applicable to May 1, 1848, is divided into three portions. 1st. The Railways which were open for traffic on that day; 2nd. Those which were in course of construction on that day; and, 3rd. Those on which works had not yet commenced. The lengths o these three portions were as follow : Finished and open
4253 Miles. In Progress
2958 Not commenced
The number of companies engaged on those works was about 170. The number and description of persons employed on the whole were as follows:
On Lines not open. 102 93 21 405 1897 243 145
open for Traffic. Secretaries
30 Treasurers .
2475 Porters and Messengers
887 29,087 147,325
26 6250 685 71
A few of the above, such as secretaries, engineers, &c. are probably enumerated twice, in relation to the opened and the unopened portion of the same company's lines; but without attending to this slight diminution, we have the very large total of 240,865 persons employed upon British railways at one time. Of course the artificers and labourers who form so large a per centage of the whole, are relatively much more numerous on the partially finished than on the finished lines. The number of stations in the 4253 miles of railway open for traffic on the day in question was 1321, being nearly equal to one station for every three miles. If any day in the year 1849 had been taken for the enumeration, the numbers employed would probably have been smaller ; for the difficulty of raising funds has compelled many of the companies to suspend operations on new works. Of the 2958 miles in progress on the day of the return (a year and a half previous to the preparation of this paper) several hundreds have been since finished; but of the 4430 miles then not commenced, and of the new works afterwards sanctioned by Acts of 1848 and 1849, only a small amount has been put in operation.
The above Return refers to May 1, 1848. Another Parliamentary paper, for December 31, 1848, relates both to the mileage and the capital accounts, and exhibits some very instructive features. It in
cludes the names of 213 companies. In other Returns many companies are included in one with which they have been amalgamated; and this accounts for the discrepancy which often appears in such lists. The number of miles of railway belonging to all these companies open for traffic on the last day of 1848 was 5127. The excess of this beyond the 5080 miles given in another Return for the same date, is attributable to the admission of a few miles of mineral (not passenger) railway in the one return, and not in the other. The length in progress was 2111, and the length not yet commenced 4795, making a total authorized length of 12,033 miles. (The former Return for the 1st May in the same year, eight months previous, gave a total of 11,641 miles.) All the lines then open were doublerailed, except 750 miles.
The financial arrangements of the companies present an astounding result. There had been paid up in actual cash by shareholders, to the end of 1847, the sum of 126, 149,476l, and by the lenders of money on debentures or other securities 40,788,765l., making a total of 166,938,2411. During the year 1848 the capital received by the companies, in shares, was 30,359,1021., and by loans 2,875,7151., together 33,234,8181. This sum added to the former gives, for the total money paid by shareholders and security-holders down to the 31st December, 1848, the truly enormous sum of 200,173,059l. In addition to all this, the various companies retained powers to raise, by existing shares, by new shares, or by loans, in 1849 and subsequent years, a further sum of 143,717,7731. There is yet another addition to be made, in respect to Acts passed in 1849; but this is not a very large item, relatively to former years.
The following is an abstract of the actual working of the whole of the railways, in one given half-year.
The number of companies actually working in the United Kingdom, to which this Return relates, is 73. On account of the pending arrangements between some of the companies, concerning amalgama. tions and leasings, it is doubtful how far exact accuracy could be attained; but the above is given as that which corresponded to the actual number of distinct companies working their lines at the close of 1848.
The total number of passengers conveyed on the 5080 miles of passenger railway then open, in the half-year ending December 31, 1848, was 31,630,292 ; viz. 3,743,602 first class ; 12,191,549 second class ; 7,184,032 third class; 8,450,624 Parliamentary class; and 60,485 mixed class. The Parliamentary class includes those whom the companies are obliged to accommodate, with at least one train a day in each direction, at a penny per mile; the third class comprises those extra passengers whom the companies voluntarily convey, at fares lower than those of the second class; the mixed class is composed of those whom it has been found difficult to place under any of the other three headings. If we consider the third class as a general term, to be made up of the three last-mentioned classes, we have the number 15,695, 140. The gross receipts for conveying all the passengers amounted to 3,283,3011.; viz. first class, 1,003,5161. ; second class, 1,360,4681. third class, 919,3171.