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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/73

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Preventing vs. Paying Claims.

emergencies? Is not an emergency a test of a system, a proof of its elasticity? Can we develop the highest efficiency of superintendents when we, the executive and general officers, place upon them the burden of departing from a system that fails to meet their practical problems? Is it not a species of unconscious administrative cowardice for boards of directors to impose implied and practical responsibility without conferring corresponding authority? Can such questions be ignored as exceptional, trifling, and captious? Do they not reach to the heart of railway organization and efficiency? Will the railways correct such errors themselves, or will they await once more the remedy by legislatures and commissions?

If a study of conditions does not convince you theoretically that one claim bureau should handle freight, stock, fire, and personal injury claims—in short all claims covering injuries to persons and damages to property—go down on the Chesapeake & Ohio and watch them do it practically. Instead of several specialists duplicating each other’s itineraries, you will find some all-round claim men doing a variety of practical stunts. When they do strike a really different and highly technical case, they utilize