§ 9. Sir BASIL PETO
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the position of the railway industry as disclosed by the annual accounts of recent years, and having regard to the importance to all other industries of transport facilities supplied at a reasonable cost, he will advise the appointment of a Royal Commission or a Departmental Committee to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and make recommendations for the reorganisation of the railway industry?
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)
I have been asked to reply.
As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, the Railways Act, 1921, provided for an extensive reorganisation of the railways. Important changes of this kind cannot yield their full results at once and I do not consider that any such inquiry as is suggested in the question would serve a useful purpose.
§ Sir B. PETO
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that, since 1921 the financial position of the railway com- 190 panies has become worse, and that it is largely due to the policy of driving traffic on to the roads?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
No, Sir. If the financial position of the railway companies has become worse since the date mentioned by my hon. Friend, it is largely due to a period or bad trade, the, general strike and the coal strike.