§ 54. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that no agreement will be entered into with the National Union of Railwaymen in the secret conference now in progress which will increase the amount of the heavy subsidy at present paid to the railways out of public funds, or will increase the fares or goods rates paid by the public, until Parliament has had an opportunity of discussing the matter and arriving at a decision thereon?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the practice which has arisen of secret negotiations being undertaken by Ministers with outside bodies Involving expenditure out of public funds without discussion in Parliament has greatly prejudiced the position of Parliament in the eyes of the public and has caused the demand for direct action?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Well, if it has had that effect, it is a recent effect only, because such negotiations have never been conducted in any other way by the Department concerned, and they could not be. It must be obvious that we could not discuss wages agreements in a body of this size.