|Thursday, May 8, 1952||The Newmarket Era||Page 2|
The editorial page
Flies around the honey pot
Mr. Donald Gordon, president of the Canadian National Railways, told a parliamentary railway committee last week that the C.N.R. was embarked upon a five-year diesel program which would mean a substantial saving in operating costs in the future. One would think that the members of the committee would have applauded this effort of a government-owned operation to save money. Instead, committee members were doubtful.
Chester McLure said diesel operation in Prince Edward Island has already thrown men out of work (diesel operation on the island had meant an operational saving of $291,000, or 16 percent). Clarence Gillis feared for Nova Scotia coal sales. The C.N.R. now buys about 1,200,000 tons from Nova Scotia a year. Jean François Pouliot objected to the proposal of close the steam repair shops at Rivière du Loup once the diesel program gets underway.
None of these three men seemed interested in the fact that dieselization would save the C.N.R. considerable funds, and that saving meant a saving for the country. Despite the fact that Mr. Gordon assured the committee that every effort would be made to train present C.N.R. personnel in diesel operation, the committee members seemed more concerned with the preservation of special preserves than with the improvement of a government owned railway.
What is distressing about this is that the sort of situation which was reported from the railway committee room is so common. The government has become on big honey-pot and the flies are clustering about it in ever growing numbers. Instead of government funds being considered as a sacred trust, they have become fair game to all who wish to pursue it.