HC Deb 05 June 1919 vol 116 c2209
70. Mr. RAPER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will explain why, having regard to the fact that ton-mile statistics are compiled in every other country in the world, including China, the Board of Trade, although urged to do so by independent authorities, have refused to demand these statistics from the railway managers?


The general form in which accounts and statistical returns have to be prepared by the railway companies is prescribed by the Railway Companies (Accounts and Returns) Act, 1911. The form was adopted on the recommendation of a Departmental Committee which reported in 1909, and they were unable to agree on a recommendation that the railway companies should be required to prepare ton-mile statistics.


Am I to understand that what is considered an elementary necessity for ordinary business concerns does not apply to the railway companies and the Board of Trade?


The only thing the hon. Members is to understand is that we are acting under the recommendation of a Departmental Committee. I imagine it is hardly worth while reopening the subject until the new Ministry is established.