HC Deb 06 March 1928 vol 214 cc955-6
26. Mr. G. HALL

asked the Secretary for Mines if he can give information showing the reduction per ton given in the rail rates, under the preferential rail rates, for the movement of coal on the State railways in Poland, France, Belgium and South Africa, giving the figures for each country separately?

Commodore KING

As the reply involves a number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

It is not possible in all cases to compare the preferential rail rates with the ordinary rail rates and the details of the rates for each country are very voluminous. But the following are typical cases of rates in the countries mentioned by the hon. Member:

Poland (preferential rate on Upper Silesian coal for export).—To Dantzig and Gdynia, 7.20 Z1. per metric ton.

This is a reduction of 8½ Z1. (4s.) per ton as compared with the ordinary rate for complete train-loads of at least 700 tons.

France.—Reductions on the general railway tariff varying from 20 per cent. to 35 per cent. are afforded for coal for export on all the French railways, including the State railways, but these reductions are subject to the traffic being forwarded in wagons of 20 tons, or in specified minimum train-loads or total quantities per annum.

Belgium.—So far as information is available it would appear that the average reduction in the railway rates on coal exported overland is about 2½ (Belgian) francs (3½d.) per ton and in the case of coal exported by sea and for bunkering the reduction is about 10 (Belgian) francs (1s. 2d.) per ton.

In the case of these three countries special rates have also been arranged with the railway administrations of other countries for through coal traffic, but in the majority of cases it is impossible to say what reduction on ordinary rates these represent.

South Africa.—Details of the preferential rates and rebates in force are not available.