HC Deb 01 December 1952 vol 508 cc1098-9
55. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Transport to give, in a convenient form, comparative figures to show the variation in accidents on the railways before and after nationalisation.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The average annual number of train accidents of all kinds was 1,313 for the years 1946 and 1947, and 1,226 for 1948–51. I have an analysis of these and some figures relating to accidents before the war which I will send to my hon. Friend.

Sir W. Smithers

Will the Minister make it public that since nationalisation, it is alleged—[HON. MEMBERS: "By whom?"]—that accidents and inefficiency have not increased?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think that in fairness to all working on the railways, I should deprecate any attempt to draw from these terrible accidents, which do occur from time to time, any poltical lessons. Actually, the number of accidents since the war has regrettably increased, though the number of passenger accidents remains about the same as before the war.

Mr. J. Hynd

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no one on this side of the House will seek to make political capital out of the unexpected answer given to the disgraceful supplementary question of the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers)?

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