I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that automatic couplings are used on the American railways, and that the Legislature compels the companies to adopt them in order to prevent accidents to shunters; whether he will introduce the system into the United Kingdom; and whether he can state the number of accidents and deaths from shunting in the United Kingdom in the year 1898?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE
Yes, Sir, but I cannot introduce the American or any other system into the United Kingdom. As I have already stated in the House, I am considering whether a Bill should be introduced to place upon Railway Companies an obligation to apply some form of automatic coupler to their stock. The number of railway servants killed and injured in shunting accidents in 1898 were 129 killed and 2164 injured.