HC Deb 15 April 1920 vol 127 c1841
70. Captain BOWYER

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that most of the steel works in the country are overcrowded with finished materials which the railway companies are unable to transport; that numbers of steel works are working short time on account of this congestion; that for want of materials workmen in shipyards are being suspended; that this lack of transit is due to the shortage of wagons and locomotives; and what steps it is proposed to take to set right this state of affairs?


I have made inquiries, and, with the exception of the North-East Coast, there is no evidence that stocks of steel are accumulating and causing stoppage of work, though there is a general shortage of special bolster wagons. The position on the North-East Coast is receiving constant consideration, and every effort is being made by the railway companies and the Ministry of Transport to improve the supply of trucks for despatch of traffic from the steel works. I am arranging to hold a meeting of traders and railway representatives next week and will invite hon. Members of all the constituencies particularly interested to be present. The question is a difficult one, but I am not satisfied with its present condition.


May I ask if there is any connection between the conditions on the North-East Coast and the amount of tonnage that is being laid up in the docks and harbours of those ports?


I would prefer to have notice of that question.