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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/32

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LETTER III.

THE GENERAL MANAGER ON THE WITNESS STAND.

Chicago, April 22, 1911.

My Dear Boy:—Did it ever occur to you how easily a bright lawyer could tangle up many an able railway official on the witness stand? Nowadays we have to spend more or less valuable time testifying about service, rates, capitalization, valuation, practices, methods, and a score of other things that become of public interest. Whether this is just or unjust, necessary or unnecessary, is beside the question. It is a condition, not a theory, that confronts us. The wise railway man, therefore, so orders his official life that it may endure the scrutiny of both the persecutor and the prosecutor, of both the inquisitor and the investigator, of both the muckraker and the political economist. It sometimes happens, since men are only boys grown tall, that public hearings are accompanied by stage settings for dramatic effect; that trifling inconsistencies are magnified into egregious errors. Let

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