Image from page 185 of “Legislative regulation of railway finance in England” (1911)

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Image from page 185 of “Legislative regulation of railway finance in England” (1911)
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Identifier: legislativeregul00wang
Title: Legislative regulation of railway finance in England
Year: 1911 (1910s)
Authors: Wang, Ching-Chun, 1883-
Subjects: Railroads and state Railroads Theses
Contributing Library: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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ed intosome participation in their faults. In the midst of this chaos,a royal commission was appointed to examine the whole matter,with a view toward Government purchase as a solution of the pro-blem. Parliament intended to postpone 2,11 action until thecommission had finished its work; but the prevailing difficulties made early action necessary. Therefore, in 1866 the Railway 2 Companies Securities Act was passed for the purpose of remedyingthe situation. By 1867 the panic subsided; but the old ominous contro-versy over the nature and value of railway securities was stillrife. In fact it held all other financial matters in abeyance. Of the aggregate railway capital of about 1450,000,000 more than 27^ 3 represented debenture debts, the number of investors in such se- 4 curities numbered no less than 100,000. 1. Economist, 1866, pp. 1484-1485. 2. 29 & 30, V. c. 108. See Chapter on Registration of RailwyaSecurities. 3. London Times, Feb. 6, 1867, p. 9. 4. Hansard,, vol. 185, p. 297.

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Meanwhile it became clear that the current belief was that a man lending money upon a debenture, lent it upon a mortgage not only of the income, but also the property of a railway company. But this belief was shattered by the decision of the Lord Justice in 1 the London, Chatham and Dover Companys land case, in which theprinciple governing the question was laid down at some length andwith great perspicuity. It was held that the holders of railwaydebentures were not only without any immediate hold on the generalproperty of the undertaking as distinguished from its income, butwere not entitled to any claim to the rents or proceeds from thesale of the companys Burplus land. In other words, the debenture-holders had only a hold on the tolls and earnings of the line andnot on the property of the company. The whole question seemed tohave turned on the interpretation given to the word undertakingin the security which the debenture-holders received for theirmoney. The popular idea was that by

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