§ 82. Mr. ATKEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the great delays, inconvenience, and expense caused to traders by the present railway system of allocating traffic; that Mr. W. Woodsend, contractor, Nottingham, who has in hand the extension of Player's tobacco factory, Radford, is now receiving 1,000 tons of cement, at 30 tons per week, which was ordered to be delivered at Radford (Midland) Station; that the railway offered delivery at either Basford (Midland) or the London and North Western Station, Newark Street, both of which stations are £50 miles further away from the work in question; that ingoing to the Basford (Midland), which was the one selected, this cement passes through the Radford Station; that the cartage back will entail an estimated additional cost of £150 expended in unproductive and unnecessary work; that up to the present 200 odd of the 1,000 tons have been delivered; and will he see his way to instruct the 1169 Railway Executive to discontinue the pre-sent system of allocation, and give to the traders of the country some encouragement in their work of reconstruction by saving to them inconvenience, delay, and expense?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I am looking into the particular case to which my hon. Friend refers and will let him know the result. With regard to the last part of his question. I would refer him to the first part of the answer given on the 1st July to a question which he asked on this subject.
§ 83. Mr. ATKEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the facilities which have been given to Mr. L. Tompkin, manufacturer's agent, Nottingham, by the London and North-Western Railway Company for the past eighteen months in the distribution of cement to local builders have been withdrawn; that this withdrawal involves the unnecessary use of railway trucks and causes great inconvenience to the building trade; and will he instruct the railway company concerned to renew an arrangement which has been in existence for the past fifteen years?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
My right hon. Friend was not aware of the circumstances referred to, but he is making inquiries and will let my hon. Friend know the result.
§ 91. Mr. MACQUISTEN
asked the President, of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, while passenger fares have been raised by 50 per cent., goods traffic is, in spite of the fall in the purchasing power of the sovereign, being carried at pre-war rates; whether a rise of only 10 per cent. in goods tariffs would make all British railways paying propositions and enable fares to be reduced and people to reside in the country; and whether the present low goods rates render coasting traffic unprofitable and so not only congest the railways but also prevent the development of one of the best training schools for seamen?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
It is the case that the circumstance that there has been no general increase in railway rates adds to the difficulties in connection with coastwise traffic. The present financial position of the railways is one that should be dealt with as soon as possible, but a 10 per cent. increase in goods tariffs would not enable fares to be reduced and the railways to be carried on without loss.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Will he tell us what percentage is required? Is if not a case that the total goods rates of this country come to something over £1,000,000,000, and that 10 per cent. on that would give us £100,000,000? And would not increased coasting traffic ease the congestion of the docks?