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74   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

under this law, to give the forester, when appointed, supervision of forest protection work in general, including that of railway fire inspection.

The railways have, for the most part, shown a uniformly friendly attitude toward the work, and have made honest efforts to meet the various requirements. There is every reason to believe that henceforth the railways will be found near the foot instead of at or near the head, in the list of agencies responsible for forest fires, providing the amount of damage rather than number of fires be considered.

Railways not   Before this condition shall be fully reached, however, Subject to the it is urgently necessary that further action be taken as

Commission to two classes of railways which are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Railway Commission. These are the various rail-ways operating under provincial charters, and the Government rail-ways, consisting of the Intercolonial, Prince Edward Island, and National Transcontinental.

In regard to the first class, action in the form of new legislation, or, in some cases, a more complete enforcement of existing legislation, is required in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta. The governments of these provinces have already been approached in this matter, and it is hoped that steps will be taken to improve conditions as to fire protection on provincially-chartered rail-ways. The one great essential, which has all too generally been lacking, is the provision of an adequate inspection staff for this line of work.

During the past year, marked improvement has been shown in the matter of fire protection on Government railways. In the spring of 1913, following representations made by this Commission and by the government of New Brunswick, a system of special fire patrols was established along the line of the National Transcontinental railway between Edmundston and Moncton, N.B., and special instructions were issued to all employees relative to reporting and extinguishing fires occurring along the railway line. There is still much to be done, however, before the fire protection afforded on Government railways will be as efficient as on the lines now subject to the Railway Commission. Much still remains to be done in the matter of removing inflammable material from the rights-of-way of the Transcontinental and the Intercolonial. The former is in an especially dangerous condition, and measures should be adopted to destroy the debris at the earliest possible moment. Patrols should be established and regulations applied similar to those in force on the New Brunswick division. More attention should also be paid to the fire-protective appliances in use on


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