HC Deb 10 April 1957 vol 568 c1106
26. Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether his attention has been drawn to a complaint by the Central Consultative Committee that too few people appreciate the fact that they exist to receive representations and make recommendations on any matter, including charges, affecting the services provided by the British Transport Commission; and what action he proposes to take to bring the existence and functions of this committee to the notice of the public.

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, Sir. No suitable opportunity is lost of drawing attention to the existence of the Central and Area Transport Consultative Committees and to the most valuable work they do. I hope that my hon. Friend's Question will help in this direction.

Sir W. Anstruther-Gray

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the Committee has lost the confidence of ordinary people because so many of its members represent public bodies? Will he consider reforming its constitution?

Mr. Watkinson

I am not at all aware that it has lost the confidence of the public. I am afraid it is inevitable that consultative committees of this type have to have a fairly large proportion of public bodies represented on them, for it very often facilitates their work to do so.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Committee is doing extremely valuable work, particularly in connection with branch lines? Is it not the case that before any branch line is closed the matter is referred to the Committee?

Mr. Watkinson

I said in my Answer that most valuable work was done by these Committees. I hope that hon. Members who are interested in them will read their current reports, which are just out, for they are very good indeed.