§ MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any communication has been addressed by the Board of Trade to the Great Western Railway Company in connection with the accident at Reading on 27th December, 1899, respecting which the inspector found that it was due to carelessness on the part of certain men, but remarked in his report men who have been for fourteen or fifteen hours on the foot plate could hardly be expected to display that unremitting vigilance which is necessary for safety; and what was the nature of the communication, whether any reply has been received from the railway company, and what was its nature.
§ MR. RITCHIE
Yes, Sir; the report was forwarded to the company on the 20th March—that is, immediately it was issued. The Board of Trade have not heard from the company on the subject; if necessary, a further communication shall be addressed to them. The hon. Member no doubt observed that the inspecting officer himself inferred that the long hours were caused by the Christmas traffic.