HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc4-5
8. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements he has made for the movement of fruit, vegetables and livestock this year by rail; and if he is satisfied that they will be successful in preventing deterioration in transit.

Mr. Barnes

This is a matter for the consignors of such goods and the British Transport Commission.

Mr. Bossom

Is not the Minister aware that a very considerable amount of fruit from the part of Kent which I represent was destroyed last year owing to the unsatisfactory transport arrangements? Can he give an assurance that it will not occur this year?

Mr. Barnes

I cannot give an over-all assurance that no goods will ever be spoiled in transit, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Commission and the Railway Executive are fully alive to this problem and are doing all they can to see that the arrangements are properly carried through.

Mr. Sparks

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that a good deal of this delay and loss arises through the senders failing adequately to label this traffic? When it is found very often nobody knows what to do with it, and that leads to deterioration.

Mr. Henry Strauss

What on earth is an "over-all assurance"?

Mr. Bossom

Is the Minister aware that this fruit was properly labelled? There is no doubt about that. Will he answer my Question, and say what arrangements have been made to prevent this sort of thing from occurring again this year? We need the food. We do not want to waste it unnecessarily.

Mr. Barnes

I am satisfied that it is not within the powers of the Minister to make these arrangements. They have been delegated to the British Transport Commission and its Executive. It is a normal business transaction.

Back to