From the earliest days of railway enterprise, there has been in almost every country a very close contact between the railways and the State. Legislatures have been influenced in promoting control over the railways by a number of factors: (1) railways are in the nature of an important public utility; (2) railways, until the recent development of motor transport, had a virtual monopoly of the means of inland transport; (3) there was a danger that discrimination and undue preference might be practised to the detriment of certain industries, places, or individuals; (4) a railway must obtain powers to purchase land and easements under compulsion, as otherwise the construction might be held up by a single landlord; (5) in some countries political, administrative, strategical, or tariff policies have been important factors. Bismarck, for instance, declared unequivocally that ‘it is impossible to carry out a customs tariff policy independently of a railway tariff policy’. These aspects have been strongly emphasized by German economists; for example, Professor Hermann Schumacher, in an article on ' The Nationalization of Railways in Prussia ‘, said: