Opening of Canal a Gradual Process -- Hindrances to Quicker and Fuller Use -- Officials Deprecate Condition -- Superintendent's Opinion as to Qualifications of Efficient Carriers -- Steady Decline in Canal Traffic Arrested in 1917 -- New Commodities Carried in This Year -- Government Control Discourages Canal Traffic in 1918 -- Business Corporations and War Craft Use Canal -- Decline in Traffic Turned to Increase in 1919 -- Government Activities Lessened -- Several Encouraging Features -- Superintendent Sees Bright Prospect -- Business Conditions Affect Traffic Adversely in 1920 -- New Common Carriers -- New Private Operators -- Oil Company Prominent in Use of Canal -- New Prospects -- Ability to Carry Perishable Products Shown -- Traffic Increased in 1921 -- Combined Lake and Canal Boat Appears -- Package Service Inaugurated in Small Way -- Plans to Use Canal During Railroad Strike -- Promising Association Formed to Promote Canal Use -- New Type of Boat -- Example of the Manchester Ship Canal.

When the State decided to build the Barge canal the authorizing law required, by implication at least, that the canals should be kept open for navigation during the major portion of the usual season all through the years of construction. The opening of the new waterway to navigation, therefore, has been a gradual process, one of adding new sections of enlarged channel piece by piece to a canal already in full operation. Accordingly it is not possible to point to any definite date as the beginning of Barge canal traffic. Of course there came a day, May 15, 1918, when the canal through its whole length could pass boats of full Barge canal dimensions, but for a year or two prior to that time such commerce as does not need the whole extent of the canal for its accommodation had been plying on the new waterway in enlarged craft.

In discussing the commerce on the Barge canal the negative features, if the term may be used, loom larger than the positive. Moreover the recital appears less like a history than an explanation, so many untoward situations have arisen to hinder the building up of canal traffic. Up to the time when considerable portions of the enlarged waterway were opened to traffic, affairs in general had been proceeding according to expectation. It was known that there were not many really good boats in service at the beginning of new canal construction nor many indeed of mediocre or even poorer quality. The unsettled canal policy of the preceding years had not conduced to any other condition. And no one wondered that after another decade these few boats had become still fewer or that dilapidation and unseaworthiness were fast overtaking them all. Nor was it anticipated that new boats would be built until shortly before the completion of the entire canal project. But just as the time was approaching when boat-builders should get busy, the unlooked-for, the almost unbelievable happened. Boat construction for the canal became impossible because the whole world was at war. This impossibility in turn was followed by a series of events as unfavorable as they were unexpected.

Thus it is that we find the State canal officials deprecating both the lack of boats and the inability of builders to increase the numbers. In 1915 a considerable portion of the new canal was open to traffic, but by that time costs had reached such a height as to make boat-building, and every other form of construction, for that matter, almost prohibitive. And after the United States entered the war, what had been impracticable because of excessive cost became virtually impossible because of inability to secure labor and materials at any price. When peace was restored costs were slow to come down and moreover the Federal authorities retained control of the State canals and private capital would not enter the field in competition. And so, after these several years since the canal was completed, the building up of canal traffic can be said to have only just begun.

But there have been other obstructions and other causes of delay. During the years of new construction the canals, of course, could make no strong appeal to shippers and traffic more and more sought other channels. The railroads were alive to the opportunity and succeeded in turning most of it to their lines. Once diverted it was hard to regain. The old shippers had to be won back and the new generation which had sprung up had to be educated. Then for some unaccountable reason, ignorance it may be, there has been a prejudice against the canals and this has had to be overcome. There has been, too, a wide-spread belief that the canals are suited to carry only a very few kinds of bulky cargo and that passage through them is so slow as to render them almost useless for modern times. Two other barriers, perhaps the most insuperable, and they go hand in hand, are the lack of sufficient transportation companies capable of maintaining a far-reaching, dependable and efficient freight service and the further lack of through routes, through rates, railroad interchange, prorates, through bills of lading and the other privileges accorded by rail carriers.

Reference is made to these hindrances and delays, not by way of apology, but because knowledge of them is necessary to an understanding of canal commerce. Furthermore this subject is so closely allied to the topics discussed in the preceding three chapters that the four must be read virtually as one.

In our further study of canal traffic let us consider for a moment what the two chief canal officials had to say in regard to commerce on the canal soon after any considerable portion was opened by navigation. Their comments will serve to confirm and to amplify what has just been said. In his annual report for 1917, presented to the Legislature of 1918, State Engineer Williams said:

"During the past year much as been said in the public press as to the lack of boats suitable for use on the new canal. It is true that such a condition exists. There are practically no boats of a type suited for efficient operation on the new system and few, if any, are in course of construction. When the canal was planned, it was assumed that the boats to operate in its channel would be provided by private capital, and such was the logical conclusion to draw. The war, however, has entirely changed this aspect of the situation, and without definite assurances from the Federal Government that it will coöperate, it seems very doubtful if capital can be attracted to this field until peace returns. This is not surprising, inasmuch as capital cannot now be induced to take up any new transportation scheme unless the Government renders assistance. The unfortunate condition exists, however, that if a decision to help is not speedily arrived at, this splendid canal will not be permitted to play its part as a war resource this coming navigation season, not because it will not be open for navigation, but because there will be practically no equipment to float upon it.

In speaking of the advisability of use being made of the Barge canal by the Federal government, Superintendent of Public Works Wotherspoon had the following to say in his annual report of 1917. Incidentally it throws light on the subject of canal speed.

"Failure to make use of a waterway possessing all the physical and economical elements required for success, and paralleling the railroad routes, would be looked upon by the future historians as an inexcusable blunder. Whether the canals be used for the carrying of materials and supplies for the armies abroad, or whether they will serve the general business interests of the country, the benefits are the same.

"If economy in freight movement is desired, the canals will supply it. If a prompt and speedy receipt of freight is demanded, the waterway at the present time excels the railroads. Whatever may have been the performance of the railroads in other times, it is a matter that may be proved beyond doubt that cargoes by canal pass from Buffalo to New York in less time than by rail. Already, with a portion of the old canal in use and by means of antiquated canal boats, a fleet has made the trip from the Great Lakes to New York in a little more than seven days. With the new canal in use for its entire length, five days may be counted as the maximum time of passage.

"To secure a test of comparison, inquiry was made as to the time consumed by the railroads in carrying freight between Buffalo and New York City. Records were sought regarding some half dozen cars. Tracing of one car showed that it was 23 days in transit and the least time taken by any car followed was eight days. Taking the six cars as a whole, the average time consumed by a car in making the trip from Buffalo to New York was 11 days. Arguments, therefore, against water transportation on the ground of slow delivery, are treated with impatience."

In this same report General Wotherspoon gave his opinion of what should be the qualifications of an efficient canal carrier. He said:

"The new waterways of this State constitute a great system. If the people are to receive the benefits had in mind when the project was approved, operations upon it must be conducted in a large way. While some business will await the individual boat-owner, his efforts alone cannot avail in restoring commerce to the canals in sufficient amount to justify their maintenance.

"In the development and transaction of ordinary business, a high degree of efficiency has been reached and the worth of those engaged in operating on the canal will be measured by the same standards. The splendid waterways about to be thrown open for use present a wide field for the activities of energetic, enterprising men who are capable of maintaining a dependable freight service. The organization of an operating company must be equal in efficiency to that of a railroad and the personnel of the management must be such as to command the confidence and respect of the shipping public. The shipper may not be expected to entrust merchandise of high value to a carrier whose ability either to make delivery as required, or render reparation in case of failure, is not assured. As a matter of fact, the development of canal commerce depends entirely upon the nature of the service rendered. Service not only embraces frequent and regular sailings but also all of the incidental features demanded by the shipper.

"The traffic available for canal transportation moves to and from practically every section of the country. Its first demand is for through routes and through rates. To care for it, canal lines must serve as broad a territory as the competing railroads. They must prorate and interchange traffic with connecting water or rail lines, giving shippers a through bill of lading, with the privilege of specifying through routes, and assume all of the liabilities and conditions of carriage incurred by rail carriers. The rates of the canal companies must be on a fixed basis, published in tariff form, and should include marine insurance. In other words, the companies which shall operate on the new canal should be worthy of the splendid plant placed at their disposal."

We saw in the chapter on Federal control that the year 1918, the first year the Barge canal was open throughout its entire length, was not favorable for private use of the new waterway. Nevertheless General Wotherspoon in commenting on the traffic of this year says that one who studies the record and analyzes the freight movement "can take no discouragement from the results attained, in spite of the fact that total tonnage fell below the 1917 business by 137,955 tons. He cannot fail to be impressed with the many indications of the rehabilitation of the canals as a commercial factor."

The steady annual decrease of more than fifteen per cent yearly for the preceding ten years was arrested, the Superintendent went on to say, and although the decline was not turned into an increase it was limited to nine per cent. Except for extraordinary conditions, due to war, it was believed that the 1917 tonnage would have been exceeded. The decrease appeared to be in west-bound traffic, which was accounted for by war conditions, and there was a favorable omen in the increased proportion of through freight. Moreover the canals were not alone in their experience. The record of business done by Great Lakes and Hudson river boat lines disclosed a similar situation. In this year for the first time modern transportation practices were in operation in the stabilizing of rates by publication in tariff form and in the maintenance of a traffic organization having responsible authorities guaranteeing its activities.

Also the efficiency of the canal as a carrier of high class freight was demonstrated. There were certain commodities which were new on the list of canal cargoes or which had not appeared on the list for several years. Among these were gasoline, kerosene and other oils, molasses, coffee, copper, and electrical machinery, apparatus and supplies. Flour too was shipped in considerable quantities for the first time in many years. War orders of knit goods were also shipped by canal. At two Barge canal terminals it was found necessary to build additional warehouses because of the large volume of traffic.

It was in 1917, it will be recalled, that a traffic bureau had been established in the department of the Superintendent of Public Works. During its second year it had been able to reach out into wider fields. For one thing a study had been made of the possibility of shipping coal by canal and the conclusion was reached that in the use of the new waterway lay the solution of the fuel distributing problem for much of New York state territory and even a part of Canada. Early in 1918 the Superintendent presented his plan for coal distribution to the Federal authorities, but the suggestion ended with a partial survey of the situation by Government engineers.

The freight rates that prevailed during 1918 did not favor canal traffic. The United States was in control of the waterways and the parity of rail and canal tariffs at first in force and the later small differential militated against any large use of the canal, even if boats had been available. In the preceding year the State had made provision for coöperative rates between rail and water carriers, but its authority stopped at the State boundaries and moreover canal men did not attempt to have the new law enforced. Accordingly, with the exception of through rates between New York city and some western points by way of the canal and the Great Lakes, there was no coöperation between the various carriers. In spite of repeated urging that it was necessary to establish through rates by all practicable routes between producing and consuming areas tributary to the waterway, in order to broaden the spheres of usefulness and influence of the canal, the Federal government did nothing, although it had acknowledged the wisdom of adopting such a course by the general policy it had followed in other parts of the country.

One gratifying aspect of canal traffic was the use made of the waterway by several large business corporations, which operated their own boats for carrying their own raw materials or manufactured products. Two companies to enter this field in 1918 are among the largest business concerns in the country. A somewhat incidental but a very important use of the Barge canal in both 1917 and 1918 was that made, chiefly by the United States, for the passage of war and other craft built at inland shipyards, such as submarine chasers, mine layers, mine sweepers and steel trawlers, or such as car ferries, floats and tugboats or an occasional large boat, which was being transferred from lakes to ocean service.

When we review the traffic on the canals for 1919 we find that this year turned the tide of decrease that had been going on for a decade or more into an actual increase. It exceeded the tonnage of 1918 by about seven per cent and the increase on the Erie branch was about twenty-five per cent. In our consideration of Federal control it was shown how the Railroad Administration had agreed to lessen its activities in several particulars during this year. The beneficial effect was obvious even in the face of the continued menace of Government operation. A most important concession was gained in the establishment of certain through rates to the west. For the first time in the history of the canals shippers in New England were enabled to utilize the New York canal route to western territory on a differential rate basis. Also there was an encouraging prospect in the activity manifested by several industrial corporations, some of them of national repute, in seeking manufacturing and warehouse sites along the new waterway. In reporting on the navigation of the year the Superintendent of Public Works gave an interesting incident. He said that a fleet composed of boats of the old type made the trip from seaboard to Lake Erie in four and two-thirds days, a record never before achieved.

In his annual report for 1920 Superintendent of Public Works Walsh said:

"The years 1918, 1919 and 1920 have marked the turning point in canal traffic. An average annual decrease of approximately 15% was arrested in 1918 but a 9% decrease was shown that year. The season of 1919 produced an increase of 7% over the preceding year and 1920 surpassed the 1919 record by 15%. In a sense, therefore, the total gain since the new waterway came into use is about 30%, and with this start, accomplished during a period of the Nation's history fraught with difficulties and obstacles that were not easily overcome, I predict a constantly increasing annual traffic. In my judgment the next five years will witness the restoration of water-borne commerce through the State between the Niagara frontier and tidewater that will eclipse even the wonderful achievement of the original Erie Canal. Inland waterway transportation generally is coming into more and more favorable regard throughout the country. The shipping public is returning to first principles. The transportation instrumentalities that contributed more than any other factor to the building up of this country in the early days -- the natural water courses -- have again come to be considered by straight thinking men as invaluable assets and facilities deserving of utilization and development. An unwavering policy of modernizing these facilities on the part of Federal and State governments offers, in my opinion, the final solution of our great transportation problem."

It should be remembered that these are the words of a man who has spent his life in the transportation business, chiefly on the State waterways.

At its beginning the year 1920 bade fair to show a much greater increase in canal traffic than the figures for the whole year actually recorded. For the first month the traffic was double that of the preceding year, but later there came adverse conditions. A general business depression curtailed production and there was much less to be shipped, by either rail or water. What little building there was almost ceased. Also there was decreased production at the coal mines. The grain business, although there were bumper crops, was disappointing. An acute car shortage in the grain country held back the movement till almost the close of the navigation season. Also a sharp decline in the grain market made those who had brought at a high figure more anxious for a quick delivery that would enable them to turn over their capital with a minimum of loss than for saving a few cents a bushel in carrying charges, and this turned the traffic away from the canal. But of greater effect were the preferential grain rates between the Missouri river territory and the Gulf ports. The largest surplus of domestic exportable grain was in Kansas and Nebraska and ordinarily the bulk of this commerce would have moved by rail and lake through Chicago or Milwaukee to Buffalo and there have been available for canal traffic. But a maladjustment of rates, as the Superintendent of Public Works termed it, favored the all-rail route to the south and diverted most of the Missouri river crop from the usual rail-lake-Atlantic route to the Gulf ports. In this experience the Superintendent saw a very grave menace to the prosperity of the ports not alone of Buffalo and New York but of Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia as well. It was a subject, he considered, which demanded the most careful attention and possibly litigation before the Interstate Commerce Commission.

The year 1920 witnessed the entrance of four new transportation companies in the common carrier service on the canal; also the large expansion of another and the broadening of the scope of service of a sixth. Among the four new companies was one which promised to be the foremost canal carrier. Back of it was a corporation formed primarily for ocean service and the canal activity was supplemental to its ocean business. The permanence of the operations of this company as well as the efficiency of its service was guaranteed by the substantial character of its members. Its entrance into canal transportation was the first evidence of big business recognizing the opportunities for profitable operation offered by the new waterway and so it was most gladly welcomed by shipping interests.

The year 1920 witnessed also several newcomers among the industrial concerns operating their own boats on the canal. The most active of the private operators, the Standard Oil Company of New York, calls for special notice of its canal business. It was one of the first to use the new canal and in 1920 its fleet had grown to nine tank barges, each having a capacity of nearly 200,000 gallons, and these were in constant service. From a distributing base on the Hudson river at Albany cargoes were carried to cities and villages situated on all of the four enlarged canals, the company having acquired property adjacent to the waterways and having erected large storage tanks on the shores. At Rochester in 1920 the company spent more than $100,000 in providing a harbor and docking facilities for its barges and its investment in property and terminals along the State canals, together with its canal floating equipment, ran into the millions of dollars. During the 1920 season these barges had a mileage record of 29,316 miles and they carried 94,862 tons of petroleum products. It is said that during the season the company did not ship one carload by rail to such of its stations as had both rail and canal connections, all of the supply going by water. Moreover the company had under construction five self-propelled tankers, each of 700 tons capacity, which it was building for the next season. "I accept the interest and operations of this huge corporation," said the Superintendent of Public Works, " as final proof of the efficiency of the new canal system. Sagacious in the extreme the corporation early made preparation for an extensive utilization of the Barge Canal System, even before the new waterway assumed completed proportions, and the annually increasing volume of tonnage carried through the canals by its tank barges gives conclusive answer to those who question the economy of canal shipping."

The prospect opened by the 1920 season was bright. New sources of traffic were being developed. Among those was imported flaxseed, 81,465 tons being carried from New York to Buffalo. With the completion of the grain elevator at New York an increase in the commodity was expected. A large corporation owning great tracts of timber land in Canada established a pulpwood distributing terminal on the canal at Oswego. Maine pulpwood concerns were getting ready to ship over the canal many thousand tons of their wood. The location of an internationally famous rubber manufacturing concern at Buffalo presented the prospect of carrying by canal crude rubber and other imported raw materials. A large power-developing company in the lower Mohawk region was planning to bring by canal the 75,000 tons of coal it would need each year.

The season of 1920 also demonstrated the value of the canal as a carrier of other than low grade and coarse freights. Many barge loads of perishable commodities such as potatoes, apples and onions, were handled, so that even the development of a refrigerator barge was considered. A peculiar but interesting instance of perishable freight was a cargo of live eels. This shipment, originating at Quebec and carried in four specially constructed barges, entered the canal at Oswego and was speedily transported to the New York market. This unusual venture was so successful that its promoter arranged for building other boats, planning to carry on a regular traffic in eels the next year.

Speaking of the possibilities of future canal business, Superintendent Walsh, in his annual report for the year 1920, said:

"There is no commodity produced or consumed throughout the territory traversed or connected by the waterway that is not potential canal freight. Everything that is transported by rail lines can be safely and economically carried in canal service. A tremendous volume of tonnage awaits the inauguration of a high class transportation service on the waterway and, with the creation of such service, the success of the undertaking will be assured."

The traffic on the canals in 1921 showed an increase over that of the preceding year. In some respects this increase was quite marked. The grain trade increased more than two hundred per cent and was limited only by the number of boats available. The record for the year was 13,736,010 bushels, or 365,990 tons. Among other commodities the large shipments of building brick were noteworthy. Considerable quantities of phosphate rock, nitrate of soda and crude sulphur were sent from Florida to Trenton, Ontario. The rates quoted the shippers on these latter materials were for transportation from the mines to the final destination, including the ocean passage, and it is said that the water route effected a saving of $2.50 per ton compared with rail rates. The sending of automobiles by canal had become so common as to have lost its novelty. Begun a year before because of a scarcity of railroad cars, it had been continued because shippers appreciated the advantage the canal gave in a saving of both time and money. There were certain commodities which showed reduced shipments in 1921, but in nearly every instance the decrease simply reflected the business depression of the period.

A new type of vessel made its appearance on the canal in 1921, a boat used for combined lake and canal service, although it was intended originally only for canal use. There were five of these vessels and the first to traverse the canal carried a cargo of 83,000 bushels of oats (1,328 tons) from the head of the Lakes to the ocean. The boats measured 242.6 feet by 36.1 feet, thus filling the canal locks well toward their full capacity, and were designed to carry 1,500 tons on a ten-foot and 1,750 tons on an eleven-foot draft. The greatest load any of them carried during the season was a little over 1,600 tons. Each boat was equipped with two 140-horse-power semi-Diesel oil engines and twin screws. This fleet was an important innovation, which in a way promised much for the Barge canal. Still it attempted to do something that was not contemplated when the Barge canal was begun, namely, to combine equally successful and economical navigation of both the lakes and the canal in a single boat. The record of the fleet has not yet proved that such a thing can be done.

The boats owned by corporations and used for shipping their own products continued in successful operation. The most conspicuous example, the Standard Oil Company, placed in service the five power cargo barges it had been building the year before and also some other new barges. This company's boats had a total mileage in 1921 of 60,326 miles and a record of transporting 39,016,063 gallons of oil products, or a tonnage of 128,754 tons.

A package service was inaugurated in a small way during the year and this gave promise of growing into something that would fill a long-felt need. Superintendent Cadle mentioned this in his annual report as a favorable indication. A service of this kind would have to be quick in order to succeed and there was a wide field for exploitation, in such cargoes for example as shipments to upstate markets of fruit received at New York by water from California or the South. The canal had been used to some extent for carrying home-grown apples, potatoes and onions, but its advantages for such purpose were as yet not well appreciated. A package service would help in this respect. Pacific coast lumber, coming by water through the Panama canal, continued to be reshipped through the Barge canal and the prospect was good for increased traffic in this material.

The Superintendent appointed a publicity agent in 1921 and considerable was done by way of spreading information concerning the canal through this new channel. Press articles, public meetings, lectures at colleges and schools and motion pictures were the tools in this educational campaign.

The canal was kept open till December 25, 1921, a record without precedent in any recent years.

In October of this year it seemed for a time very probable that there would be a strike which would tie up all the railroads of the land. That the people of the state might suffer as little as possible from such an occurrence Governor Miller took steps so to organize shipping by canal and highway that all need would be met. The Governor appointed a special emergency committee, of which the Superintendent of Public Works was chairman and the Commissioner of Highways, the Commissioner of Farms and Markets, the Adjutant-General and the Superintendent of State Police were the other members. Forty-eight hours after its appointment this committee had perfected an organization which, it was felt, would be sufficient for the emergency. The strike, however, was averted and the need for using the canals and highways as the sole means of transportation passed. Nevertheless there was comfort to the citizens in the feeling that there were at hand means for preventing such a calamity as was threatened. In this connection a most pertinent query presents itself: If the canals are so valuable in an emergency, why not recognize their value for ordinary occasions, why not use them to their capacity all the time?

Many canal structures in close proximity at Lyons

Example of many canal structures in close proximity -- at Lyons. At the left a terminal with a frame warehouse; in the distance a lock, two Taintor gates, a spillway, a power-house, a highway bridge and an electric railway bridge. The boats are of modern type, built expressly for Barge canal traffic.

The year 1921 witnessed the formation of an organization which should go far in bringing such measure of success to the Barge canal as it deserves. This organization seems to be founded on the right principle, that of securing for waterways what is absolutely essential, if they are to succeed, and doing it by the most practical and reasonable means. The organization is named The Great Lakes, Hudson and Atlantic Waterways Association, Inc. It was formed at Albany on March 16 and held its first convention in Buffalo on June 29, 1921. The personnel of the Association and the purpose for which it was established as well as what it has already done give promise that it will meet the real needs of adopting some definite plan to make our inland waterways fulfill their mission as transportation routes and of bringing ocean facilities to the inland shipper. The Association does not favor any particular waterway, but came together in full appreciation of the fact that the time had arrived when selfish and partisan ends should be put aside and all believers in waterways should stand together and by united effort secure the benefits that may be expected to follow a full and intelligent use of all water routes. The organization is lending its influence toward the establishment of uniform rates on barge lines operating between the Great Lakes and the Hudson, the maintenance of regular schedules, the preparation of official classifications of freights and the issuance of through bills of lading from inland cities to foreign ports. In a word, it is undertaking the task of bringing ocean transportation facilities to the inland shipper by applying the principles which govern the operation of ocean vessels to the inland water carrier. Since the Association is made up largely of men engaged the business of transportation, such aims as it professes seem certain of effecting beneficial results. A phrase used at the meetings of the organization aptly defines its task -- to make the public canal-minded. This task, to borrow another phrase, one from a speaker at the first convention, is to do what the old proverb declares to be impossible -- not only to lead the public to water, but also to make it drink, or, in traffic language, to make it use the canal.

A very important requisite to canal success is complete coöperation between rail and water carriers. As explained elsewhere this desideratum has not yet been secured for the Barge canal, but the operators think they can accomplish more by amicable relations with the railroads than by forcing them to do something against their will and so the law has not been invoked to right what appears to most persons to be a grave injustice against the public.

It may be that a recent boat design will do more to bring commerce to the canal than anything that has gone before. The new design uses in part the principle of the speed boat known as a sea-sled, but the craft is more like a catamaran. Its chief virtue is the high rate of speed without washing the banks. To make the curves at high speed a special steering device is necessary. A certain type of racing boat has a rudder forward as well as aft; the new canal boat secures the same result by an arrangement of pontoons. Canal boats already make better time than the average rail shipment. If the new design can reduce this time materially, the canal will have a most signal advantage over the railways.

This chapter, because its subject deals with a period of transition and growth, cannot be finished. The building up of traffic on the new canal has begun and recent developments have made the prospect look bright, but much still remains to be accomplished. It is probable that people in general have very little idea how stupendous, under conditions that now exist, is the task of bringing to the canal the volume of traffic which it is capable of handling and which, in the opinion of waterway advocates, it should handle, both rightfully and to the benefit of the State and its citizens. What the general manager of the Manchester ship canal said concerning the development of commerce on that waterway will help us to understand why we should not yet expect the Barge canal to have attained a large amount of success. We quote a paragraph from the report of the Commission on Barge Canal Operation, which contains this statement.

"A practical example of what organization means," said the Commission, "is to be found in the management of the Manchester canal, Manchester, England. This being a ship canal it is generally dismissed from consideration when internal waterways are under discussion. Though this waterway was intended for ocean-going ships, no more practical lesson has even been taught than is contained in the history of and the results already attained on this canal. The enterprise was undertaken and carried through by private capital, and though the thousands of stockholders have as yet received no return in the way of direct dividends, the original investment has been returned many fold in the way of increased values and expansion of industry. A city which is said to have been on the verge of extinction as a city of importance has been redeemed and nearly doubled in population in less than twenty years, and the prosperity of a territory within a radius of forty miles has been permanently assured. A reduction in rates for delivery on all classes of goods from 40 to 80 per cent. has insured universal participation in the benefits. This, too, has been accomplished without detriment to Liverpool, to which Manchester and vicinity have previously paid heavy tribute, for Liverpool's growth and expansion have kept pace with those of Manchester. How this has been accomplished is best summarized by Mr. Herbert L. Gibson, General Manager of the Manchester Ship Canal: 'The struggle of carrying the bill, authorizing the construction of the canal, through Parliament, was strenuous and exhausting. The engineering feats were executed in a manner to excite the admiration of visitors from all parts of the world; but great as have been the efforts put forth in these directions, they were nothing to the tremendous task of diverting traffic from beaten tracks to this new route. This has been done only through organization and the employment of trained experts. In spite of all that has been accomplished we feel that as yet we have only touched the fringe of a commerce which will ultimately go to Manchester.'"

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