§ 13. Mr. HOLT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there are seven authorities controlling harbours and navigation on the Clyde; and whether he will cause a public inquiry to be held as to whether the best interests of the trade of that part of Scotland would be furthered by placing the river under a single control?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Robertson)
My right hon. Friend is aware of the existence of these various authorities on the Clyde, and proposes to consult the Secretary for Scotland and the various authorities concerned, with a view to considering whether an inquiry such as is suggested is desirable.
§ 14. Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the companies controlling the canals of the Midlands have raised the transit rates to the detriment of local industries; and will he consider the advisability of promoting legislation for the purpose of giving effect to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Canals, so far as they relate to the Midlands?
Formal notice has been given by certain canal companies in the Midland district of their intention to increase rates on 1st July, subject to the statutory maxima. As regards the latter part of the question, I am afraid I can only refer my hon. Friend to the answer which my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade gave on the 9th instant to the hon. Member for the Stretford Division, of which I am sending him a copy.
§ Mr. J. WARD
May we take it for granted that the canal companies are merely increasing their rates because the railway companies are doing the same, and without having the same reason?
I understand that only one of these companies is either controlled or owned by a railway company.
The answer I gave just now referred to a previous reply to the hon. Member for Stretford, in which that matter was answered.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
As bearing upon this matter, may I ask the hon. Gentleman if he is not aware that it came out in evidence before that Royal Commission that there is an understanding between the railway companies and the privately-owned canals that there should be no cutting of rates?
I am aware that there is in a certain number of cases, but, in regard to the notices given, only one company is so controlled.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Are the Board of Trade paying any particular regard to the conditions existing in the Midlands in the destruction of industry by the railway and canal companies raising their rates?