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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/64

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Phoenix, Arizona, May 13, 1911.

My Dear Boy:—You ask me to give you my views on the handling and settling of freight claims.

I restrain my impatience and consequent desire to jump on you hard. Allow me, therefore, with expressions of distinguished consideration, to invite your esteemed attention to the fact that your valued request contains no mention of an intelligent desire for possible enlightenment on the most important feature of the problem, namely, the prevention of claims, the eradication of causes.

A railroad is a complex proposition. Seldom can we discuss one of its problems independently. So ramified are its activities that the penumbra of one shadow coincides with the outline of the next. Studied from the broadest view of railway administration, freight claims are found too often doing duty as a shadow which hides the real substance, poor