HC Deb 26 March 1908 vol 186 c1568
MR. MADDISON (Burnley)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the Railway Employment Safety Appliance Committee has had any trials of automatic couplings or made any report on them, and, if it has expressed any view throwing doubt on their value as safety-appliances, on what evidence it is based.


The Committee which consists of Colonel Yorke, my hon. friend the Member for Derby, and Mr. Turnbull of the London and North Western Railway were asked to consider whether it was advisable that investigations and experiments should be undertaken in regard to automatic couplings, and they reported after very full consideration that it appeared to be impracticable to fit such appliances to existing waggon stock and that consequently any extensive tests of automatic couplers under present conditions would be of no value. The Committee's Report will be presented when they have concluded their investigations.


I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has refused to appoint a juror on the Italian Committee which is to conduct trials of automatic couplers; and, if so, whether he will reconsider his decision, seeing that the use of automatic couplings in the United States has shown that they have been the means of considerable saving of life and limb.


His Majesty's Government have received no invitation to nominate a juror on this Committee.