Government Regulation of Railway Rates: A Study of the Experience of the United States, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Australia

By Hugo Richard Meyer | Go to book overview

for the purpose of making such through rates on freight as would promote the free exchange of goods. On the other hand, this refusal of the several European State railway systems to coöperate with one another is one of the most characteristic outcomes of the State ownership and the State management of the railways. It seems to be impossible for a State that is engaged in fostering industries by means of protection to refrain from regulating the railway rates with a view to supplementing the protective tariff. It is not a mere coincidence that Great Britain, the great exponent of free trade, should be the only country of Europe that has steadfastly refused to regulate railway rates with a view to checking imports.

In 1879 Prussia entered upon the policy of State ownership, and in 1880 the Prussian Government broke off the arrangements under which the railways of Prussia had cooperated with those of Austria and Hungary, for the purpose of making such rates as would enable the grain of the Danubian countries to go to England by rail and sea, by way of Stettin and Hamburg. The Austro-Hungarian railways tried to save themselves by transferring the grain of eastern Europe to the Elbe at Laube-Tetschen and Aussig, the head of navigation on the Elbe for vessels carrying average loads of 300 to 400 tons. But the competition of the American grain in Liverpool soon

Prussia refuses to
promote Trans-
cantinental Traffic

-134-

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