HC Deb 22 May 1940 vol 361 cc135-6
22. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Transport whether the difficulties in regard to the use of railway coal wagons have now been overcome; and what steps have been taken to increase the number of wagons available?

Sir J. Reith

The railways are now experiencing no difficulty in providing sufficient empty wagons to meet colliery requirements. In view of this and of many other urgent demands it is not at present thought necessary to add to the number available.

Mr. Griffiths

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any provision at all is being made for the increased output of coal which is now being authorised; and is he satisfied that the existing supply of wagons will meet the increased production of coal when it becomes available?

their road vehicles were concerned during the periods from 27th August, 1938, to 28th January, 1939, and from 26th August, 1939, to 27th January, 1940, were respectively as follow:

Sir J. Reith

Yes, Sir. I think I can assure the hon. Member that everything is being done that is possible now to guard against trouble next winter. In fact the trouble which was occasioned before was not due to the shortage of wagons. There is not likely to be any trouble due to that cause, and we will try to prevent it happening from any cause.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

May I ask my right hon. Friend, as there are now sufficient wagons available, to see to it that Southampton may be supplied with the quantity of coal that it wants?