HC Deb 03 December 1951 vol 494 cc2028-9
76 and 77. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Transport (1) if he will appoint a working party to investigate and report on the transport problems and needs of the area within a 50-mile radius of Manchester, the report to be prepared like the London Working Party Report to him;

(2) if he will have an investigation made into the transport needs of North Stafford. shire and the city of Stoke-on-Trent; and if he will give special attention to the need for increased transport facilities for people engaged in the mining and pottery industries.

Mr. Maclay

In view of the general duty laid on the British Transport Com- mission by the Transport Act, 1947, to see that adequate and efficient transport facilities are provided throughout the country, it is, at any rate at present, for them to consider whether the appointment of special committees of investigation is necessary.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Seeing that this matter is one aspect of production and that before the war most of the large-scale capital expenditure was in the South of England, has not the time arrived when the Minister should take the initiative so that industry can be run as efficiently as possible, which includes the efficient transportation of the workers?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Member will no doubt recollect that as long ago as 15th December, 1947, he had a similar question down to my predecessor whose reply at that time stated: It will be the duty of the British Transport Commission to see that transport facilities in the country as a whole are adequate and sufficient."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th December, 1947; Vol. 445, c. 286.] I think the hon. Member is now coming well towards our side in holding the view that something further might be done.

Mr. Erroll

Will my right hon. Friend pay particular attention to the inadequacy of the roads in this particular area?

Mr. Maclay

Yes, we will look at that supplementary also.