HC Deb 14 March 1889 vol 333 cc1644-5
MR. GRAY (Essex)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that many railway companies have recently very considerably increased their rates and are now actually charging these increased rates; and, whether there are any means by which traders may be protected from the injury thus inflicted upon them?


In consequence of the statements which have been publicly made in many parts of the country on this question, I communicated with the Chairman of the Railway Companies Association, who informs me that the railway companies made considerable alterations in rates at the end of last year in view of the operation of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act; that these alterations were generally in the direction of cancelling obsolete through rates, and also rates which appeared open to objection on the ground of undue preference; that the cancelling of these special rates had the effect of raising the charges made for carriage, as the ordinary rates would then apply instead of the special rates; that since the 1st of January the railway companies have made no advances in their rates, and have no intention of doing so without complying with the provisions of the Act; and that if, by inadvertence, any rates have been charged in any district above those in force on the 1st January, the railway companies ask that the person so charged will communicate with the General Manager of the company making the increased charge, when the matter shall be put right.