HC Deb 25 July 1956 vol 557 cc385-6
1. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether, in view of the reversion of Western Region, British Railways, to the traditional chocolate and cream colouring for express passenger rolling stock and green for express locomotives for such world-famous trains as the Cornish Riviera Limited, he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission to discontinue the title "Western Region" and, in the interests of esprit de corps of the railwaymen concerned and service to the travelling public, restore the prenationalisation nomenclature, "Great Western", for all services and routes formerly operated by that railway, and likewise for the other regions of British Railways.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

I welcome the reintroduction of traditional colours in the railway regions as a further sign that the regional boards are stimulating the sense of regional pride essential to efficient operation, but I do not consider it would be appropriate for me to give a direction as my hon. Friend suggests.

Mr. Nabarro

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is the declared objective of Her Majesty's Government to convert the nationalised industries, as far as possible, into commercial enterprises, and would it not be in consonance with that objective to restore those magic words "Great Western", which were the nomenclature of the world's most famous railway?

Mr. Watkinson

It is my declared objective to try, with the British Transport Commission, to make a success of the very large organisation which it runs. To that extent, I welcome this idea of bringing back a feeling of regional pride, but I do not go to the extent of saying that I am prepared to give any kind of direction to the Commission on this matter.

Mr. D. Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman recognise that there are many more important things to do on the Great Western than to pander to the whims of a conceited general manager?

Hon. Members


Mr. Watkinson

I think that it would be very unfortunate for this House, bearing in mind that I thought that both parties were committed to not interfering in the day-to-day management, not to leave the regions to run their own affairs in these matters in the way they think best.

Mr. Nabarro

A quite sympathetic Answer, for all that.

Back to