§ MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he has stated to a deputation representing private waggon owners that he is willing to omit the clauses dealing with automatic couplings from the Railway Regulation Bill; and 1148 whether it is still his intention to proceed with the Bill in its present form?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE
No, Sir, I did not say to the deputation that these clauses would be omitted, but that the matter would receive consideration. The suggestion made at the deputation was that a Bill omitting the clauses dealing with automatic couplings and confined to the other safety appliances should be passed and that an inquiry should without delay be instituted into the disputed points connected with automatic couplings. This suggestion I promised should be considered.
§ MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Is the right honourable Gentleman aware that the number of accidents in coupling operations in 1897 was 19 on British railways and 214 on American lines?