DIRECTOR   Cuticle Cuthbert


In those statistical documents, which have been published so often, we find that the total amount of annual liabilities incurred by tbe new resesu, when completed, would be, for the companies, 235,584,037P., including l7,797,032f. for redemption. As to the State guarantee, which insures 4.65 per cont., it will amount to 184,188,250?. I need only lay before you thi figures just mentioned, namely, 656,000,000f., as the earnings in 1867 of an unfinished roseau, to prove that the whole of this reseau, prudently developed, must give as much as is necessary to recover permanently the whole of these debts, and that the estimates made at various periods will not be exeei ded. But another criticism has been made by M. de Janzo with reference to the agreements of 1859 and 1863. The objection is that, at present, the companies have no interest in the matter ; that they have no interest in securing a careful working management, since, in reality, they are reduced to mere agents of the States ; and that, consequently, careful management would offer them no advantage of any kind. Is the Northern Company in the position desoribed by the hon. M. de Janze ? Are they obliged to apply for the Government guarantee to such an extent as to be completely disinterested and to work no longer on their own account ? They are threatened only with one danger perhaps, that of seeing in a given time theii profits divided. As to the Mediterranean Company, their new reseau is 3,207 kilometres ; they demand to reduce it to 1,643 kilometres, consequently to diminish the guarantee, as I said before. Can a company who might require the State guarantee for the whole of their reseau, who might be obliged to come and say to the State, " to pay a bond, we want the 4.65f. guaranteed to us on the whole of the sums borrowed by us for our new reseau ;" can such a company propose to decline the guarantee of an agreement which entitles it to a sum of 677,000,O00E ? To propose such a question is to answer it. Now let us consider the Southern Company. To appreciate the amount of the guarantee granted to this company, wo must begin by deducting all the old reseau, which, on account of the difficulty of balancing the accounts at the time of the last agreement, has been inoluded in the interest guarantee, the old reseau which gave such returns last year, though even the Exhibition was unfavourable to it, that in 1868 the company demanded for the interest guarantee tbe small sum of 17,000f. Thus the least development, tbe least prosperous circumstance which may ocour, and increase, on one of tbe great lines of this company, tbe conditions of traffic already so favourable, would suffice to render the company independent, at present at least, of the guaranteed interest. As to the Eastern, that remains absolutely in the same condition as in 1863. Yet no, there is a change ; the com puny have made, without subsidy or interest guarantee, a line required by the populations adjoining Pari;, one of those suburban lines which are so costly, as you are aware. Lastly, as to the Orleans Company.