FRANCE: Government Into Rails

In France all the railroads lose money but the Government, which actually operates only Ouest-Etat and Alsace-Lorraine, pays all the losses. In fact, Finance Minister Vincent Auriol announced last week, France's privately controlled railroads— biggest of which are the Paris-Lyons- Mediterranee, Paris-Orleans, Est, Midi and Nord—have a joint capital of only 8,000,000,000 francs (about $352,000,000) but already owe the State 25,000,000,000 (about $1,100,000,000). Only way to clean up this mess, he said, was for the Government to take over every mile of track in the country and 80% of the railroads' stock, try...

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