§ 26. Mr. HANNON
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can make any statement on the schemes for electrification of railways which have been definitely completed or which will be completed at an early date: and when operations on these schemes will be commenced?
Grants were approved by the Development (Public Utility) Advisory Committee in November towards schemes for electrifying the London Midland and Scottish Railway between Dagenham and Upminster, and also the Wirral Section (Birkenhead to West Kirby and Bidston Junction to New Brighton). It is anticipated that an early start will be made on both these works. The Company have also undertaken to electrify the track between Barking and Dagenham. Following upon the remission of the Railway Passenger Duty, the Southern Railway Company propose to electrify their line between Coulsdon and Brighton: Bedhill and 21 Guildford; and Preston Park and Worthing. Contracts for a considerable amount of this work are expected to be let shortly. The Company have also announced their intention to electrify by next summer their lines between Hounslow Junction, "Whit-ton Junction and Windsor; Dartford and Gravesend; and Wimbledon and West Croydon. In addition the Railway Companies are understood to be considering further schemes of electrification.
§ Mr. HANNON
Is any progress being made with the London and North Eastern Railway scheme in relation to Liverpool Street?
The difficulty of the London and North Eastern Railway in relation to Liverpool Street is the problem of the whole of London traffic. You cannot disconnect one from the other. Negotiations on those lines are taking place at present.
§ Mr. HANNON
Is it not a fact that two or three years ago a scheme for the electrification of the London and North Eastern Railway relating to Liverpool Street had actually been completed? Has the right hon. Gentleman taken any steps to ascertain how soon it can be given effect to?
It is true that certain engineers submitted a scheme, but the railway company turned it down then, and they have turned it down to-day. The Government are not in a position to say to a private company. "You must adopt this particular scheme." That is their business and not the Government's.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Are we to understand from the right hon. Gentleman's reply that the electrification of Liverpool Street is to be held up pending agreement with the combine?
I did not say it was to be held up. I said negotiations were taking place, because it could not be separated from the general question of London traffic.