§ MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that the Committee of the Railway Clearing House have decided no longer to issue for public use the sectional maps of railways, with distances marked thereon, formerly issued by Mr. Airey, and considering that, in the absence of such maps, traders will frequently have great difficulty in determining the legality of the rates charged by railway companies, the Board of Trade will consider the desirability of themselves issuing similar maps as official publications; whether he is aware that, in contravention of Section 14 of the Regulation of Railways Act, 1873, the distances are in some cases omitted from the rate books required to be kept by railway companies for public inspection; and, if he can see his way to compel the railway companies to comply strictly with the obligation imposed upon them by this section, and also require them to publish the distance tables which he stated that, in compliance with their obligations, they have had already prepared?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. CT. RITCHIE,) Croydon
I am in communication with the Railway Association with reference to this matter, and it is engaging their attention at the present time. The statute to which my hon. Friend refers imposes a penalty for a contravention of Section 14, and it is of course open to any person aggrieved to institute proceedings. I cannot compel the companies to do more in the way of publication of distances than the law demands. The distance tables referred to are compiled by the companies for their own use, but they arc, no doubt, valuable in assisting the companies to compute the distances for insertion in their rate books.