HC Deb 16 November 1955 vol 546 cc418-9
49. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will approve without delay that part of the railway modernisation programme which includes the improvement of buildings and facilities at Parkeston Quay, Harwich, in view of the growing importance of this port to the tourist industry.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have received no proposals of this kind. I understand however, that the British Transport Commission is, in accordance with its modernisation plan, drawing up a programme of new works at packet ports which will include a scheme for Parkeston Quay, the improvement of which it regards as important and necessary.

Mr. Ridsdale

Will not my right hon. Friend agree that until the facilities at Harwich and Liverpool Street are greatly improved, it is not possible to deal as efficiently as we should like with the tourists who use the port of Harwich? Will he not agree that it is unfair to blame the personnel of the railways for any shortcomings until the equipment has been brought up to date?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend's last sentence. The staff at the port do a particularly good job under rather difficult conditions. The fact that the modernisation plan provides for the expenditure, in all, of £12 million on packet ports in general indicates that the Commission largely shares my hon. Friend's views.

Mr. Lagden

So that motorists may reach Parkeston Quay at all, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the necessary improvements at Gallows Corner, Essex, are carried out with as little delay as possible?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I will certainly take note of my hon. Friend's views.

Mr. H. Morrison

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the railway modernisation scheme is still alive in view of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Budget?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the right hon. Gentleman will tax his memory as to what was said in the debate, he will recall very specific assurances on that subject.