HC Deb 23 November 1955 vol 546 cc1461-2
24 and 25. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) if he will make a statement on the revised programme of capital expenditure for the modernisation of the British Railways, stating the amount which he has sanctioned to be spent in each region, and the amount sanctioned to be spent on main line diesels, diesel-electric and on electrification;

(2) when it is intended to carry out the modernisation, including the change over to diesel power, of the railways within the area covered by Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester; and what capital expenditure he has sanctioned in this area under the modernisation programme.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As I explained in answer to a similar Question by the hon. Member on 29th June, I do not make allocations of capital for these purposes. So far as progress with the Modernisation and Re-equipment programme is concerned, I would ask the hon. Member to await the periodic forecasts to be issued by the British Transport Commission.

Mr. Ellis Smith

In regard to Question No. 25—these are two separate Questions —does the Minister agree that the density of population and the relative volume of output of the area are greater than in any other part of the world? If so, will he ensure that the modernisation programme, especially as it was this area which built London's Underground, is given complete priority?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I agree that the area is of very great importance, particularly from the industrial point of view. I am certain that the Transport Commission has that very much in mind.

Mr. Renton

Bearing in mind my right hon. Friend's statutory responsibilities with regard to capital expenditure by the British Transport Commission, will he use his best endeavours to ensure that the modernisation programme is carried out in such a way as to achieve the maximum economy in the use of coal?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Yes, Sir.

At the end of Questions

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