§ 47. Mr. LAMBERT
asked the Prime Minister whether, before any increase in railway charges for passengers and goods is sanctioned by the Government, a full statement will be presented to and the approval of Parliament obtained?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)
It has been decided by the Government, with the approval of the House, that the railways must pay their way, and, in our opinion, the necessary rates must be imposed as soon as the Advisory Committee has reported.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Is the House to have no voice whatever to the Government making arrangements which result in railway rates being increased to all the traders of the country?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I think this was fairly fully discussed, and it was decided that an Advisory Committee should be appointed to state the rates which were necessary to make the railways pay their way. That policy is being continued.
§ Mr. MARRIOTT
Has the Government considered the point that raising the rates may possibly diminish the revenue?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Oh, yes. It is obvious that there is a point where the increase of rates will defeat its own 1720 object. In the meantime, we must impose rates which will prevent a charge on the Exchequer.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
When does the right hon. Gentleman expect the Advisory Committee to report as to the necessity or not of an increase in railway charges?
§ 69. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Minister of Transport whether workmen's fares on the railways have been increased proportionately with those of other classes of passengers to meet the increased cost involved by the various increases in wages granted to railway workmen?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether he thinks it is fair that workmen should be exempted from paying their fair share of the increase due to the raising of wages to men in their own class, and that the members of the middle classes should always have to pay the piper and never be allowed to call the tune?
70. Colonel NEWMAN
asked the Minister of Transport whether in any further increase of railway fares which may be made on the advice of the Rates Advisory Committee the same consideration will be given to those whose business or profession entails constant and long-distance travelling as is given to those privileged to use workmen's tickets?
§ Mr. NEAL
The Rates Advisory Committee will, I am sure, take into consideration all relevant considerations affecting the various classes of the community which travel on the railways when the question of any further increase in fares is under review. As regards workmen's fares, I refer the hon. and gallant Member to Question 69 on the Order Paper to-day.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
Have you asked them or will you ask them to consider the question of workmen's fares?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Will they also be empowered to consider the charging of fares to railway directors?