HC Deb 03 March 1965 vol 707 cc1316-7
20. Mr. Harold Walker

asked the Minister of Transport if he will state the apportionment of costs of repairs carried out in British Railways workshops to new, privately manufactured, rolling stock.

Mr. Tom Fraser

No, Sir. I am told by the Railways Board that this information would be very difficult to compile and that, in any case, to disclose it would be against the commercial interest of both the Board and its suppliers.

Mr. Walker

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the 325 workers who are facing redundancy in the traditional locomotive manufacturing centre of Doncaster are becoming increasingly resentful of the fact that they are compelled to work regularly on repairing the inefficient products of private enterprise? Is he further aware that in the workshops at Doncaster recently nearly 300 locomotives made by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd., which had done very low mileages indeed, had to have new axles fitted to them—

Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

Oh, no.

Mr. Walker

—and that many new or nearly new locomotives fitted with Mirlees-National, Bickerton and Day engines have had to be stripped down by workers who are facing redundancy? Is my right hon. Friend further aware that British Railways have had to hire—

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. Does an hon. Member wish to raise a point of order?

Mr. A. Royle

On a point of order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to endeavour to make a speech at Question Time?

Mr. Speaker

I always hope that hon. Members will keep supplementary questions as short as possible in the interests of other hon. Members. Perhaps so far as the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) got with his supplementary the Minister could now answer.

Mr. Fraser

I fully understand my hon. Friend's concern about his constituents who are employed in the railway workshops at Doncaster. However, I think that he knows full well that the questions which he is putting to me are management matters with which only the Railways Board can deal. It would be intolerable if I were to get myself involved in those matters.

Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of my right hon. Friend's previous reply, I beg to give notice that I will seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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