HC Deb 23 July 1958 vol 592 cc422-3
40. Mr. MacDermot

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the growing public concern at the delay in publishing the report of the inquiry into the Lewisham train crash on 4th December, 1957; and whether he will now state when the report may be expected.

Mr. Nugent

The Report of the inquiry into the St. Johns, Lewisham, railway accident will be published tomorrow.

Mr. MacDermot

While welcoming that announcement, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he can explain to the House why there has been such an inordinate delay in publishing the Report, particularly after the court proceedings arising out of the crash had been completed? Secondly, can he confirm that the report reveals no defects in the system as a contributory cause of this accident?

Mr. Nugent

I think I had better leave the hon. Member and everyone interested to read the Report and draw their conclusions after they have read it. With regard to the delay, there were complicating factors; amongst others, the criminal prosecution of the driver, and the fact that our Chief Inspecting Officer died and further evidence had to be taken. I can assure the House that no time was lost in producing the two Reports, which will come out together, and which were complicated and difficult Reports. I think that when hon. and right hon. Gentlemen read them, they will realise that the time has been well used.