§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Government are prepared to take into consideration the desirability of appointing a Select Committee, or Royal Commission, to inquire into all matters relating to the Railway Companies in the United Kingdom, having a special regard to the interests of the entire community, and so as to determine the advisability of purchase of railways by the State, in accordance with the provisions of the General Railway Act of 1844?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The hon. Member is probably aware that the Railway and Canal Traffic Bill has already been introduced in the other House; and the Government are not, therefore, prepared to take into consideration the advisability of appointing a Select Committee, or a Royal Commission, to inquire into all matters relating to railways, as such a course would have the effect of postponing legislation on a subject in which the agricultural, the mercantile, and all other classes of the community are deeply interested. The question as to the desirability of the purchase of railways by the State, in accordance with the provisions of the General Railway Act of 1844, is not one with which the Government is prepared to deal.
§ MR. WATT
gave Notice that on an early day he would call attention to the present position of affairs with regard to the Railway Companies of the United Kingdom; and move—That, in the opinion of this House, the time has arrived when the Government should 718 appoint a Committee or Royal Commission to take into consideration the question of acquiring the Railways of the United Kingdom, in accordance with the provisions contained in the General Railway Act of 1844.