Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 4, 1920, Lethbridge, Alberta
MONDAY. THIS LiSTHHHlDGE DAILY HERALD I PAGE NINE our Railways and The Cost of Living r f '3 i t c-'v f. C 1 f 1 T 7 1 EFORE the Privy Council at Ottawa, 1 protest against the new railway rates Vias been -made on the grounds that the giving of the new rates would raise the cost of living by a percentage many times higher than the percentage actually charged by trie Canadian r It was pointed out that the numerous middle- men who act asrthe distributors of goods would each add his percentage of profit to the freight rate, so'thatl altKough ;the railways might only -receive say 40 cents additional freight charge on a shipment the public, would be forced, by the distributing middlemen, to pay many times that amount The jmanagements -the various Canadian railways through'-thisr-their to draw the attention rbf newspaper readers to the highly significant fact that the recent in- creasef in. United States railway rates-an increase to the increase in actually been followed by in the cost of living in that A great Canadian manufacturer recently made public-without any solicitation and with- out the previous knowledge of the railway man-, agements-figures which proved that the retail selling-price of a .yard of plain -loth in Winnipeg after being hauled Irom Montreal to Toronto and Toronto to Winnipeg, would' be increased only one-halt a cent even after the wholesaler had added 20% Profit to the new freight rate and the retailers another He showed that these distributor, whether rightly or wrongly, added 15 cents to his mill price of 16 cents per yard. Yet the railways carried the raw cotton for this yard of goods from Texas to Montreal, and the finished goods from the mill to Toronto and Toronto to Winnipeg for one and one-half cents. One and one-half cents as against fifteen cents. We venture .to believe that, whatever the ex- planation or the justification rriay be, the same serijms additions to cost by the distributing trades will be found in relation to almost, every article of common household use. This is not to attack distributors. They may, themselves, be victims of a bad system; or of an overcrowded trade. But it is to point out that if they add whatever percentages they, as a trade, find convenient on tofi of the freight rates the railways cannot help either themselves or the public. The oppressive results of these practices should not be'charged against the railway cited as reasons for holding freight rates, down; merely because railway rates can be held -dowri while other places :soar as the various ;trades find necessary- RAILWAY charges always must be a serious item in determining cost of production. But the management of your railways urge upon your attention this antiquated, over- loaded and wasteful systems of distributing goods are much more properly a subject for public anxiety. Canada'canniotProsper without 'Prosperous Railway s.Canadian Railways, cann6i Prosper ttnless Canada Prospers. In all sincerity let us suggest that the people of Canada beware of those who would restrict and even strangle the railways simply because control exists there, and is not so con- venient in other departments of com- mercial activity. The Railway Association of Canada 263, ST. JAMES' STREET, MONTREAL, P.Q.