HC Deb 07 July 1919 vol 117 cc1364-5
16 and 22. Mr. RAPER

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he will state the constitution and terms of reference of the Committee appointed to investigate the claims of the Gattie goods transport scheme; and whether any of the members of this Committee either are, or ever have been, in any way associated with the Board of Trade or other Government Department; (2) whether any of the members of the Committee appointed to investigate the claims of the Gattie goods transport scheme have been or still are either directors of railway companies or in any way associated with railway wagon construction firms?


The terms of reference to the Committee are to investigate Mr. A. W. Gattie's proposals for improving the method of handling goods and traffic, and to consider the practicability of the introduction of any of the suggested improvements into the existing transport system. The Committee will consist of the hon. Member for the Maldon Division, who will be chairman, Sir John Aspinall, Mr. F. T. Hopkinson, General Sir Philip Nash, and a representative of labour. None of the members is or has been an official of the Board of Trade, but I cannot say whether any of them has or has not at some time been associated with a Government Department. One of the members—Sir John Aspinall—is a director of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, but, so far as I am aware, none of them is connected with a wagon-building company.


Will the inquiry be held with open doors?


I cannot answer absolutely offhand, because the matter must, obviously, be to some extent in the hands of the chairman, but I will represent the suggestion to him to see if he has any objection.


Have any of the gentlemen put on the Committee any practical knowledge of the handling of railway traffic?


Oh, yes!


Have all of them?