§ MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the number of complaints against increased railway rates sent in by traders under the Act of last Session; and what arrangements are being made to facilitate the hearing of such complaints?
§ MR. BRYCE
About 1,800 complaints have been filed; many of these, however, contain complaints from a large number of traders against more than one railway company, and in most of them a number 292 of rates are involved. The principal permanent officers of the Department have been engaged in dealing with the cases, but the pressure of work is so great that I have appointed Mr. Pelham, who was recently employed in connection with the revision of canal tolls and charges, to assist the Department. The Board of Trade are using their best endeavours to consider these complaints as expeditiously as possible, in order that, in those cases in which no amicable settlement should have been arrived at, traders may be able to lodge their complaints as soon as possible with the Railway Commissioners.