HC Deb 05 May 1952 vol 500 cc28-9
49. Mr. A. Woodburn

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give an assurance that, in any changes made in the organisation of rail transport, Scotland will be safeguarded from being overburdened with uneconomic services and that railroads will be recognised as national arteries vital to the maintenance of population in all parts of the country.

Mr. Braithwaite

The right hon. Member will not expect me to anticipate the Government's proposals for the reorganisation of transport.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the separation of Scotland from other transport is a very serious economic step to take and that when the previous Government, under Sir Eric Geddes, proposed this scheme the Chambers of Commerce, the trade unions, the municipalities, and every organised body in Scotland protested? Is the Minister going to consult the trade unions, the Chambers of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Industry before taking any drastic steps of this kind?

Mr. Braithwaite

I have no doubt that there will be many bodies desiring consultation when the White Paper appears. Meanwhile, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that all the factors he has enunciated will be fully considered when deciding policy.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is one of the pledges made by the Scottish Tories which it would be very wise to forget?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of the very definite promise made by the Prime Minister regarding Scotland receiving special treatment, will the Minister consider bringing in a special Bill dealing with Scotland and referring it for special consideration to the Scottish Grand Committee?

Mr. George Chetwynd

Is it not clear, as a result of these questions and answers on transport, that the Parliamentary Secretary is a better stonewaller than his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is a goalkeeper, for he has succeeded only in scoring through his own goal?