HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc863-4
47. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister if he will consider recommending the appointment of a Royal Commission to investigate and report on all matters affecting the co-ordination of road and rail transport, and postpone the Government's proposals with regard to transport until this Commission's report has been received.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Prime Minister aware that two Royal Commissions have already come down against the proposals of the present Government and that a special committee under the chairmanship of the present Minister of State for Economic Affairs has come down against the proposals contained in the Government's White Paper? Will he say why he cannot adopt the suggestion contained in the Question, because no one in this country has a good word for his proposals so far as transport is concerned?

The Prime Minister

Two Royal Commissions have already reported without solving the difficulties. That can hardly be urged as an argument for appointing another one.

Mr. Ernest Davies

If the Prime Minister is unfavourably disposed to appointing a Royal Commission, will he acquaint himself at first hand with the excellent work which the road services are doing and disabuse himself of the completely erroneous ideas he has, particularly concerning the numbers employed on administrative work?

The Prime Minister

All these matters are going to be the subject of active and animated debate in this House. I do not see why we should try and take little chippings off the main topic in advance.

Mr. Shinwell

What difficulty does the Prime Minister expect to remove by denationalising road transport? Can he tell us? Do not wait for the debate, tell us now.

The Prime Minister

I have explained why I think the present state of waste and confusion, restriction and endless impediment should be brought to an end. [Interruption.] This is the first opportunity I have had of offering my condolences to the right hon. Gentleman on the result of the recent election.