§ 67. Mr. J. H. THOMAS
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether his attention has been called to the alarming increase in the number of fatal accidents caused to railwaymen through the non-observance 2078 by the railway companies of the working rules whereby a look-out should be provided to protect men working in gangs on the permanent way; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter?
§ Mr. NEAL
I am fully alive to the importance of the point raised by my right hon. Friend, and no opportunity has been or will be omitted by my Department of impressing upon the railway companies the necessity of taking steps to ensure that gangs working on the permanent way shall be enabled to obtain protection by the appointment of look-out men whenever danger be likely to arise. No doubt my right hon. Friend has in mind certain cases involving serious loss of life which have recently happened, but I am glad to say that there has been a marked reduction in recent years in the number of fatal accidents to men working on the permanent way, the average annual number for the four years from 1911 to 1914 having been 80, and for the last three and a half years, 52.