TO THE EDITOR OF THE CARLISLE PATRIOT
SIR, - The above (see previous railway posting) extracts from the speech of
MR. LEADBETTER afford a specimen of the highsounding but unmeaning
balderdash by which unthinking people are led to embark their money in
reckless speculations. "The fruit," which is made the ground-work of his
sanguine augury of success, consists, we are told by himself, in the partial
supply of the town of Paisley with Ayrshire coals, and in the erection of
two ironworks on the Ayr Line, which ironworks, I am informed, ruined their
unfortunate owners in a very few years. Mr. LEADBETTER'S delicacy, of
course, induced him to conceal the last-mentioned circumstance from his
hearers, when he took the opportunity, as he says, "of communicating to them
such particulars as may be interesting to them and to the public:"-or in
other words, when he took the opportunity of a Meeting of the Ayr Company to
promulgate some topics calculated, in his opinion, to induce the applicants
for shares in the Dumfries Line to take their scrip and pay their deposits.
The most important of these topics is the connection by railway, of the
Firth of Clyde with-with what do you suppose?-the internal districts of the
country? The sea-ports on the opposite side of the island? Far better than
these;-with the SOLWAY FIRTH!-with another arm of the sea on the same coast!
Only imagine the facilities which the Ayrshire landowners would possess
"of bringing to market the concealed treasures of their estates," (as Mr. L.
roguishly calls them.) by sending them per rail to Dumfries, and thence
shipping them to Dublin and Wexford; while the coal-owners at Whitehaven
would, in a spirit of reciprocal accommodation, send their coals per rail to
the Clyde, on their way to Belfast and Londonderry.
MR. LEADBETTER'S illustrations do not bear examination any more than his
statistics. Most people would be of opinion that the honest farmer would
not go far wrong in irrigating his sterile lands, instead of deluging his
fertile plains. MR. LEADBETTER, however, thinks otherwise, and thereupon
predicts that Government will withdraw the preference which it gives at
present to the Caledonian Line. Nous verrons.
But my object in addressing you is not so much to discuss what MR.
LEADBETTER did say, as to call attention to what he left unsaid. He is the
avowed champion of the Dumfries Line. He has been crammed to expound its
merits on all oportunities. He had rehearsed at Dumfries and elsewhere, the
part he performed at Glasgow. He is admittedly in the full confidence of
the Promoters. Why then was he silent upon that most important subjects of
all - MONEY? Why could he not tell his anxious audience that the scrip for
the proposed Line had been taken up and the deposits paid thereon? Surely
that would have been a circumstance "interesting both to them and the
public." It is some months since it was announced that applications had
been received for nearly all the capital. The applicants were respectfully
informed that the scrip was ready to be issued, and were coaxingly told that
the deposit would be limited to five per cent. Why then, did not MR.
LEADBETTER announce the gratifying fact that the applications had produced
"fruit" in the shape of deposits; Why were not the "concealed treasures" of
the alleged applicants brought to light? Public report distinctly answers,
because these parties have changed their minds-because their eyes have been
opened to the purely selfish objects of the Ayr Railway Company, to the
delusive nature of their scheme, and to the certainty of their money being
squandered in an idle and hopeless contest. After six months exertions
public confidence has not been bestowed on this project. It is a bubble
which would have fallen to the ground and burst, but for inflation by the
Glasgow and Ayr Railway Company, the value of whose own stock in the market
requires that the sparkling delusion should be kept afloat for a time.
Those who have faith enough to advance deposits in such a concern will find
out a meaning for MR. LEADBETTER'S "true outlet." It will prove an outlet
for their spare cash-a true outlet, and no mistake. -LOOKER-ON