Issued by municipalities to raise funds in order to give financial assistance to a railroad. This is nothing more nor less than a "subsidy" (refer to that subject) except that, in order to give the assistance, the municipality finds it necessary to borrow the funds. A great many bonds of this nature were issued by the Southern and Central States during the period immediately following the Civil War, and a great many of these issues have been repudiated. "Railroad aid bonds " are a questionable investment, as well as bonds issued in aid of any special enterprise, although perhaps "railroad aid bonds " have stood the test better than similar issues marketed to give assistance to manufacturing concerns. This recent decision in one of the Western courts, bearing upon an issue of " manufacturing aid bonds," is pertinent to the subject:
"The benefit resulting to the local public of a town by the establishment of manufactories is not different in kind from the benefit to such public arising from the establishment and operation of grocery stores. The manufacturer, the merchant, the mechanic, and the labourer are equal promoters of the public good and equally entitled to public aid. No line can be drawn in favour of one of them to the exclusion of the others, and a recognition of the right thus to distribute money procured by taxation would subject the municipalities to importunities and impositions innumerable."
A great many of the most reputable bond houses have consistently refused to handle any bonds issued in aid of railway or other private enterprises.