HC Deb 01 June 1960 vol 624 c1431
27. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Transport to what extent, in making the capital allocation to the British Transport Commission for the railway modernisation programme, he considered the amount required for the introduction of diesel train services on the Marylebone, High Wycombe, Princes Risborough line, including alterations to stations, bridges and tracks, and new trains and oil installations; what provision he made for these purposes in his total allocation; and to what extent the cost of this part of the programme is to be met out of Treasury loans.

Mr. Hay

Allocations to the British Transport Commission are based on annual programmes of investment submitted by the Commission and covering the activities as a whole of that body. Expenditures on services such as those to which the hon. Member refers would come from within the allocation, and be financed either from the Commission's internal resources or by Exchequer advances.

Mr. Darling

Is the fact that the hon. Gentleman cannot give the figures for which I ask evidence that he and his right hon. Friend have sufficient confidence in the Transport Commission that it can go ahead without that Parliamentary scrutiny that was asked for early this morning? Is he aware that some of his hon. Friends have been pressing the Commission, quite rightly, to undertake this expenditure—although it is a small scheme it will mean heavy expenditure—no doubt on the grounds that what benefits their constituents is desirable, but that public expenditure that does not benefit their constituents is probably wasteful and extravagant, and ought to be stopped?

Mr. Hay

I have tried to answer the Question on the Order Paper. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I do not rise to the various types of bait he has cast over me in that supplementary question.

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