HC Deb 23 February 1866 vol 181 c969

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, with a view to insure the safety of the public, he had endeavoured to impress upon the railway authorities the necessity of providing means by which passengers in railway trains could communicate with the guard of the train? He also wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether his attention has been called to a recent accident on the Great Western Railway, when, a; collision having occurred, the passengers in one of the trains were unable to escape, owing to the fact that the doors of the train were locked? He would also beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman, whether he intends to introduce a Bill by which a penalty would be imposed on all railway companies, the officers of which either did not provide sufficient means of communication between the passengers in a train and the guard, or who locked the doors of a passenger train, thus cutting off all chance of escape in case of accident?


I should be willing to give the hon. Baronet the particulars to which he has referred, if I had had earlier notice of the Question. As to his further inquiry—whether we have endeavoured to induce railway companies to adopt some means of communication between the passengers and guard, and between the guard and driver—my answer is, we have done so. I have myself seen the Chairman of the Committee appointed by the principal railway companies to consider the question more than once, and I have pressed upon him the necessity of doing something. The hon. Member for Dudley has given notice of a Bill on the subject, and when he brings it forward we can discuss the question.