§ 71. Sir COOPER RAWSON
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has received any representations with regard to the dislocation of business and financial loss now being caused to home producers throughout the British Isles owing to the increased delay by the railway companies in clearing and returning wagons, particularly since the amalgamations have taken effect; and whether, in view of the fact that foreign consignors are able to deliver their products at certain points in the country in shorter time than the home producers, he will have the whole question investigated, and take such steps as are necessary to effect the adoption by the railway companies of some new system, and, in the meantime, an improvement in existing conditions?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I have received certain representations with regard to delay in clearing and returning wagons required for the conveyance of coal and other traffic, and some of these representations have been investigated at my request by the companies concerned. The companies explain that during the periods of exceptionally inclement 1239 weather experienced during last winter their operations were hampered and delays and shortage of wagons in some cases resulted. Such shortage cannot, however, in the companies' view, be attributed to amalgamation. As regards the second part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question, I have no evidence that preference is given to foreign as against home produce, and if any specific instances are brought to my notice in which it is alleged that this is the case, I will certainly give them consideration.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
In consequence of the answers given from time to time to various questions, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman's Department has any plenary powers at all for anything?
§ Sir C. RAWSON
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Midland Railway Company recently succeeded in conveying a truck of coal from Whitwick to Leicester, a distance of five miles, in 14 days?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
If my hon. Friend would give me specific instances, I will bring them to the notice of the railway company.