HC Deb 28 January 1931 vol 247 cc970-2
59. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

asked the Minister of Transport if he can make any statement on the electrification of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway line between Glasgow and the Ayrshire coast resorts; when this scheme is to be put in hand; its cost; and the date of completion?


I am informed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company that they have been examining the possibilities of electrifying the lines in and around Glasgow, but that, so far, a definite decision in the matter has not been reached.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

In view of the large number of business men who work in Glasgow and live around these coastal resorts, and the large number of holidaymakers from Glasgow who go there, will the Minister consider taking steps to expedite a decision in the matter?


I will do everything I can. As the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, I am in complete sympathy with his object, but he will realise, what I have had to point out before, that the railways are not mine. They belong to private companies.


Cannot the right Gentleman bring some pressure to bear on the railways in such cases, as these examinations of possibilities have been in progress for years?


The hon. Member informs me that the railway companies are very slow. I hope he will never accuse a State Department of being slow.

61. Mr. MALONE

asked the Minister of Transport what steps are being taken to expedite work on general electricity development and on the electrification of certain railway lines with a view to the provision of work for the unemployed?


I would refer the hon. Member to the section on electricity in the chapter on "Economic Reorganisation" in the recent White Paper on "Measures taken in connection with Unemployment" (Cmd. 3746, pp. 13 and 14). Since the date of that paper, I have found opportunities to confer personally with leading representatives of the Electricity Industry in London, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester, and have appealed to them to speed up transmission and distribution development in advance of normal programmes, both in urban and rural areas, as well as to expedite changes-over, where necessary, to standard frequency, and voltage. I have also draw attention to the need of more general arrangements for hire and hire purchase of apparatus and of a regular "after-sales service." As regards the second part of the question, work is well in hand on the extension schemes of the London Electric Railways and on that of the Dagenham-Upminster section of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, towards which grants have been made under the Development (Loan Guarantees and Grants) Act, 1929. The Southern Railway electrified over 55 route miles in 1929 and 1930, and are proceeding with other sections; and the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway is also being electrified. I am informed that the London and North Eastern Railway are making definite progress with regard to their proposals for electrification of their old Great Northern suburban system.


How much work is likely to be provided by the various activities to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred?


I am afraid I could not say.


Cannot the right hon. Gentleman provide us with some sort of estimate after inquiry?


I cannot give an estimate. I can only say that we are going on with every practicable scheme and pushing on in all possible ways. In that way we are setting an example to everybody concerned.


Is the Minister aware that we have had repeated promises from the London and North Eastern Railway that schemes would be—[Interruption].