HC Deb 21 August 1940 vol 364 c1291
33. Mr. Butcher

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will ask the Charges (Railway Control) Consultative Committee, as an alternative to suggesting methods of increasing revenue, to recommend savings that may be effected by the main line railways by such means as the dismissal of redundant directors, more modern methods of working and other similar economies?

Sir J. Reith

The Consultative Committee's function is only to advise on the adjustment of charges to meet variations in working costs outside the companies' control, due to changes in rates of wages and prices of materials and to operation under war conditions, so far as they can be proved. The railway companies already have an incentive to economy since, under the terms of Government control, they retain a direct interest in net revenue.

Mr. Butcher

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask whether he will give an assurance that, in view of the very heavy burden which is now placed upon the community in respect of railway rates, there will be no further increase until all possible alternatives have been explored?

Sir J. Reith

Yes, Sir.