§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether representations have reached him that, under the proposed scale of charges of the Great Western Railway, under the Railway and Canal Traffic Act of 1888, the maximum charges, as compared with existing rates, for Class A, cannel, cinders, coal, coke, and culm, will be increased, on a distance of 10 miles, from 11d. to 3s., and on all distances up to 150 miles, though on a decreasing ratio, but making an average increase of 77.8 per cent; and whether he will submit the proposed charges of Railway Companies to a Committee of Experts before any Provincial Order for sanctioning such rates is made?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE: (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
I have made inquiries of the Great Western Railway Company, and they inform me that the comparison made by the hon. Member must be made between existing charges and the proposed new maximum rates. They also inform me that the proposed maximum rates show a reduction on their present powers. I have already made arrangements for securing skilled advice, and, if it should prove necessary, I will obtain further assistance of this nature.
§ MR. BARTLEY
Am I to understand that nothing is to be settled until the report of an expert Committee shall have been made.
§ *SIR M. H. BEACH
I do not propose to appoint a Special Committee upon the matter, but to avail myself of assistance in considering cases as they arise.