HC Deb 08 March 1911 vol 22 c1204

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention had been called to the loss in transit by Mr. Alfred Rowntree, of Field House Dairy, Kirkby Overblow, Pannal, Yorkshire, of seven quarts of cream, consigned in June last by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to Southport, owing to the carelessness of the company's servants; whether he is aware that the company admitted that the loss was due to some luggage falling violently from a barrow and tipping the cream can over, and that, although the consignment note was in the revised form of owner's risk contract throwing upon the company the onus of proving that the loss was not due to their negligence, the company disclaimed all liability, and alleged that such disclaimer was endorsed by the Railway Companies' Joint Committee who decide upon the validity of such claims; and whether, in view of the monopoly enjoyed by railway companies, the admitted inability of milk producers to pay companies' risk rates for the carriage of milk, and the entire helplessness of consignors to protect themselves against loss under the circumstances above mentioned, he will take steps to prevent the supposed benefit to the consignor of the revised form of consignment note being nullified by the interpretation put upon it by the offending railway company or by the Railway Companies' Joint Committee?


I have asked the railway company for their observations on this case, which has not previously been brought to my notice, and I will communicate with the hon. Member when I receive their reply.


I desire to ask the hon. Gentleman whether he will consider the desirability of appointing an officer, or some Department, of the Board of Trade to whom small traders could be referred in such cases of arbitrary action on the part of a railway company.


The hon. Member has his question written out. Will he not put it on the Paper?