HC Deb 24 November 1959 vol 614 cc203-4
45. Mr. D. Price

asked the Prime Minister whether he will put the British Transport Commission directly under the Minister of Transport, so that British Railways may be directly responsible to the House of Commons for their efficiency.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

This would, of course, be a very drastic change, which would require new legislation. As regards the relationship between British Railways and this House, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave on 12th November to my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore).

Mr. Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a good deal of dissatisfaction in the country, and also among people working on British Railways and customers of British Railways, about the present arrangement of answerability for this public service? Will my right hon. Friend undertake to look at the matter again and also, in looking at it, to review the experience of war time, when we had a Minister of War Transport, who, I understand, was prepared to answer Questions in this House about some of the operations of our transport system?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. Of course I shall be glad to study this, I say only that it is a very large issue and rather difficult to deal with by way of Question and Answer. It is the whole problem set by nationalisation.