1. Captain A. EVANS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the Government guaranteed railway loan has been or is to be appropriated to the Great Western Railway Company; whether he will make any allocation or any part thereof conditional upon the reopening of the Penarth dock and require that there shall be no other similar curtailment of public services; and whether he will provide in any fresh grant of State assistance for similar safeguards to prevent the reduction of employment by the concerns so aided?
I presume that my hon. and gallant Friend refers to the agreement with the main line railway companies. The amount allocated to the Great Western Railway Company was 1345 £5,435,660. As regards the remainder of the question, there is no provision in the agreement empowering me to impose such a condition as he suggests, nor do I think it would be appropriate in this or similar agreements to attempt to introduce considerations so clearly extraneous to the purposes for which assistance is afforded.
Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the unfortunate moral effect of the closing of these docks, which makes the work of the South Wales Development Council extremely difficult, and will the Government approach the Great Western Railway Company with a view to seeing whether anything can be done to improve the present situation?
1. Captain EVANS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial assistance has been afforded by the Government to the Great Western Railway Company since 1926 towards the cost of improving and maintaining the machinery and facilities of Penarth dock?
Under the Development (Loan Guarantees and Grants) Act, 1929, a grant towards interest was given to the Great Western Railway Company in respect of a comprehensive scheme of dock and other improvements in South Wales, which included an expenditure ranking for grant at Penarth Dock of approximately £5,000. It was a condition of the grant in respect of Penarth dock that it would be withheld in respect of any period during which, by the action of the railway company, the facilities of the port were not available to shipping and trade.
I beg to give notice that I will raise the whole question on the Adjournment at an early date.