RAILROADS: The Southern Pays Up

Southern Railway last week paid off its last bank loan, thus joined the aristocracy of U.S. railroads whose members owe neither the banks, nor RFC.

Southern got its membership the hard way. Mired during the depression, it borrowed $31,405,000 from RFC. Things got better and in 1936-40 Southern earned a cool $18,457,000. But its management plugged its ears against the squawks of dividendless shareholders (the last Southern dividend was in 1931), used these profits to pay debts. RFC was paid in full in May 1941, three years ahead of time.

This week Southern shareholders were glad management had ignored them. Their...

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