§ 41. Mr. LAWSON
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the North of England Coal Trade Association have passed a resolution supporting the private mineral railway owners' claim to equal relief with the users of public railways under the Rating and Valuation Act; and whether he is prepared to give this resolution his serious consideration before giving a final decision on the matter?
§ Commodore KING
I have been asked to reply. I have seen the resolution referred to. The Association was not prepared to support the private railways at a time when their inclusion would have reduced the rate of rebate on coal conveyed over public railways, and I presume therefore that the new resolution means only that the Association will lend its support to an effort to secure 1898 an additional grant from the Exchequer. This the Government is not prepared to recommend to the House. If the resolution means more than this the Association can meet its own views by pooling the rebates which its members receive and sharing them with the owners of private mineral railways.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that the resolution states very definitely that the Association desires that the private mineral railway-owners should receive relief on the same terms as the others?
§ Mr. CONNOLLY
Do the Government favour a readjustment by agreement between the whole of the coal-owners concerned, and will the Government take steps towards this end?