§ 26. Mr. Thorne
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how many railway wagons are owned by private owners; what are the biggest wagons that are now being used; and how many are owned by the various railway companies.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)
There are approximately 600,000 privately owned railway wagons, of which about 20,000 are of special types. The remaining 580,000 were requisitioned at the beginning of the war. The railway companies own about 660,000. There are some specially constructed wagons which can carry loads of 50 tons or more, but the largest wagons used for normal traffic carry 20 tons.
§ Mr. Thorne
Have the Government considered the advisability of pooling all the wagons so that there will be better facilities for transport all over the country?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Apart from the 20,000 I spoke of, which would be more nuisance 1755 than they are worth, they are completely pooled.