HC Deb 05 March 1951 vol 485 cc23-4
18. Mr. P. Thorneycroft

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement as to his present intentions with regard to the levels of railway rates and fares.

23. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Transport what increases he proposes to authorise in railway passenger fares and freight charges; and whether he will give an assurance that none of these increases shall come into effect until this House has had an opportunity to consider them.

24. Mr. Grimond

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in considering applications by the railways for permission to raise freights, he will bear in mind the hardship this causes to remote areas in the Highlands and Islands; and whether he will take steps to introduce some form of rebate on long hauls.

Mr. Barnes

I am not yet in a position to make a statement on this subject.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that when the Government intervened in the recent wage negotiations he must have advised his colleagues at that time about the effect that that settlement would probably have on freights and fares? In those circumstances, what is the cause of the delay?

Mr. Barnes

The hon. Member ought to appreciate that I should require a submission from the Transport Commission. That submission has now been received and will be given full and adequate consideration.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Do we understand from that reply that the Transport Commission have now made their representations and recommendations to the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Barnes


Mr. Thorneycroft

In that case, how soon can we expect the right hon. Gentleman to give them consideration?

Mr. Barnes

I suggest that, for the moment, the hon. Member waits and sees.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Why is the right hon. Gentleman not able to answer the second part of Question No. 23? In view both of the importance to the economy of this country and the fact that the situation has been aggravated by the direct intervention of the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend, cannot he give an assurance that no steps will be taken until the House is consulted?

Mr. Barnes

It is not for me to determine the business of the House. When issues are being determined the hon. Member knows the course of procedure to follow if the matter is to be debated here.

Mr. Monslow

Is my right hon. Friend aware that railway workers are no longer going to be considered the Cinderellas of industry, whatever decisions are taken?

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