It is the custom of many Governments to give financial assistance to public enterprises - railroads, steamships, and the like - especially at their inception, as without such help the prosposition might not be attractive to investors, and a matter of public need not developed. To encourage building railroads into unsettled regions, and pioneering work of that kind, the Government grants a "subsidy" - gives to - of so many thousands of dollars a mile of completed road, for example, and, with this assistance, the railroad goes on to completion. "Subsidies" vary greatly in their character and conditions. Some railway companies have been granted in this country large tracts of public land along their rights of way, which afterwards become valuable, as the country developed. Steamship companies are often allowed a very large annual sum for carrying the mails. In Canada and Mexico, many direct grants of money have been made; and so on.

The investor is, from time to time, encouraged to buy securities of a company by the fact of a "Government subsidy " having been allowed it. This may be a very important factor, and enough so to make an otherwise insecure investment a good one.