HC Deb 11 August 1887 vol 319 cc75-6
MR. P. O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether it has come to his knowledge that it has been publicly alleged that the Midland Railway Company are filling up the places of their engine drivers now on strike with men, several of whom were discharged from their own service and the service of other Companies for drunkenness, physical incapacity, and neglect of duty, or in-competency for its proper discharge; and, whether, in the interest of the public safety, he will inquire into these allegations, and, if they are true, address a remonstrance to the Company on these matters?

MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, I should like to ask him whether his attention has been called to a statement that, on Sunday last, August 7th, a District Traffic Inspector was in charge of and driving au engine in steam from Nottingham to Peterborough, with a fitter as fireman, and that the Traffic Inspector had never passed an examination as being qualified to take charge of a train in steam; and, whether he will make any representation to the Midland Railway Company as to the danger to the public of such a proceeding?

MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)

asked whether, as a matter of fact, many of the men recently employed by the Midland Railway, but discharged, were now rapidly asking to be taken back on the old terms?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

In reference to the Question on the Paper, I can only repeat the answer which I gave the other day, that the Board of Trade have no power to interfere in questions between Railway Companies and their servants; and for the same reason I am unable to make the inquiry suggested by the hon. Member. With regard to the second Question, I can only say that if the hon. Gentleman is good enough to hand me any information bearing out the remarks he has made, I will cause investigation to be made; but for the reason I have given, I have no power to interfere between the Directors and their servants, and the Board of Trade have no power in the matter.

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked if the hon. Gentleman was able to ascertain the truth of the statement that engines had been burned—that was to say, that their tubes, &c, had been destroyed?


I can only say that the Midland Railway Company has not made any communication to me on the subject, and I am not empowered to ask.