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“…probable future developments of the country:”– The Royal Commission on Transportation

In June of 1931, Sir Henry Thornton, president of the Canadian National Railway, called for a Commission to consider the state of the railway system in Canada.  A combination of overcapacity and the sharp downturn in the economy had resulted in a “considerable shrinkage” in earnings.  An Order in Council dated November 20, 1931, created the Royal Commission on Transportation, commonly known as the Duff Commission.  Walter Murray was named as one of the seven commissioners.   The mandate was “to inquire into the whole problem of transportation in Canada, particularly in relation to railways, shipping and communication facilities therein, having regard to present conditions and the probable future developments of the country”.  The commission held hearings across the country with submissions and testimony from dozens of individuals, companies, commissions and governments.  The final report was submitted on September 13, 1932.