§ 11. Mr. HOHLER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has made any inquiry, and, if so, with what result, as to why the twenty-two trucks of coal, particulars of which, with the number of each truck and the dates of despatch, were given him by letter dated the 23rd February last, and which were despatched by railway from the Pinxton, Creswell, and Exhall collieries between the 22nd December, 1914, and the 29th January, 1915, consigned to the Gillingham Co-operative Society, Limited, Gillingham, Kent, had not been delivered up to the 24th February last; whether they have now been delivered and, if so, what was the cause of the delay; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure the delivery of coal by the railway companies within a reasonable time with a view to thereby reducing the price of coal?
The Railway Executive Committee informs me that eight of the trucks in question are known to have arrived, and others have probably been delivered. Apart from these particular trucks the supply of coal to the society appears to have been well maintained. There has been a great increase in the amount of coal put on rail for this district, and it has been necessary to regulate the flow of the traffic.
§ 12. Mr. HOHLER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he would consider the desirability of taking steps to close the railways for passenger traffic from Saturday midnight to Sunday midnight, with a view, during that period, to 1547 enable the railway companies to deal with the congestion of goods traffic in their sidings?
I have no doubt that the Railway Executive Committee are alive to the needs of the situation, and will take whatever steps may be found necessary; but I will communicate to them the hon. and learned Member's suggestion.
§ Mr. HOHLER
Is the President of the Board of Trade taking any steps to meet the situation in regard to the great demand for coal due to the difficulty of delivery?
Special inquiries have been set on foot, and it is possible that further steps may be taken.