HC Deb 18 October 1939 vol 352 cc849-50
14. Mr. Walkden

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view, of the collapse of the scheme for road and rail co-operation prepared under the aegis of the Ministry by the Road and Rail Central Conference, he will introduce legislation to establish a National Transport Board to take over these vital services, together with inland navigation, in order to ensure that ample and efficient transport facilities may be provided as economically as possible for all necessary purposes on fair and reasonable terms?

Captain Wallace

No scheme has been prepared under the aegis of my Department and I understand that the negotiations between the road and rail interests, to which the hon. Member refers, have not broken down. I am not prepared to recommend the introduction of legislation on the lines suggested.

Mr. Walkden

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it was stated in the Press that negotiations have broken down?

Captain Wallace

My information is that negotiations have not definitely broken down, and I sincerely hope they have not.

Mr. Woodburn

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that national interests should come before either road or rail interests?

Captain Wallace

That is precisely why I could not agree to the proposal in the question.