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The return of the railroads to their private owners at 12.01 this morning marks the end of an experiment in government ownership which the nation will not soon wish to repeat. This with the passage of the conservative railroad bill puts an end to propositions for the nationalization of industry.
But the heritage of the private owners is not much to be envied. Government operation rather thoroughly scrambled the eggs. The reverse process is bound to be one of the greatest difficulty.
A reassuring feature is the attitude of the President and Congress in taking a firm stand against further dictation by the servants of the public. The tyranny of railroad employees has been checked. At the same time the President points out in his letter to the unions, that they have no cause for interpreting this determination of the public not to countenance arbitrary rule by the brotherhoods to mean that the representatives of that same public will not safeguard Labor's just interests.
If private ownership and operation can, under the present circumstances, put our transportation system on an efficient basis, no one should ever again question its wisdom. The American people must with peculiar patience give private ownership and operation a fair and thorough trial. To do less would be to invite industrial chaos.
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