§ 36. Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
asked the Minister of Transport the total cost of labour on British railways in 1913–14 and similarly the cost of labour in 1929; and to what extent the increased cost has affected freight and passenger charges?
§ Mr. PARKINSON
I have been asked to reply. From a return issued by the Board of Trade in 1915 it is estimated that the total amount of salaries and wages paid to the staffs of the railway companies in Great Britain in respect of the year 1913 was about £44,500,000, exclusive of the amounts paid to staffs employed at the companies' docks and certain other non-railway businesses. Figures for 1929 are not yet available; but according to the last railway companies (staff) return the total amount of salaries and wages paid by the railway companies in respect of all their businesses in 1928 was about £118,000,000. The hon. Member will Observe that the figure for 1928 includes the remuneration of certain staffs not covered by the return for 1913. With regard to the latter part of the question, as the increased costs borne by the railway companies are not confined to increases in salaries and wages, my hon. Friend is unable to give the information desired.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Can the hon. Gentleman state how comparable staffs compare in the two periods? Has there been any increase or a decrease since 1914?
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
In view of this immensely increased cost, does the Government think it desirable that some inquiry should be held as to the effect of this enormous expenditure—probably quite just expenditure—upon freight charges?
§ Mr. ARTHUR LAW
Will the Government appoint a Committee to investigate the condition of the people prior to 1914?