HC Deb 04 May 1966 vol 727 cc1602-3
34. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Transport, if she will make a statement on the progress made towards an integrated transport service.

Mrs. Castle

Good progress has been made with a reassessment of the rôle of the railways in national transport policy, with plans for a National Freight Authority, and with studies of the ways in which public passenger transport can be improved. The Chairmen of the Regional Economic Planning Councils are, at my request, urgently examining the transport needs of their regions and conducting pilot studies into particular problems of integration. The Transport Co-ordinating Council for London, which I recently set up, is already tackling specific problems. I shall set out further details of my proposals in the forthcoming White Paper.

Mr. Hamilton

If this matter is of extreme urgency, as my right hon. Friend would agree it is, for exports and increased productivity, would she explain why there is no mention of it in the Queen's Speech? Can she give an undertaking that she will produce the White Paper before the Summer Recess?

Mrs. Castle

I expect that the reason it was not in the Queen's Speech is that if we were to put in it everything going on in every Government Department we would need a book, not a speech. The fact that it was not mentioned does not mean that work is not being urgently pursued on all these matters; it is. The House will realise that, with fundamental information of this nature, it is necessary for all kinds of consultations to take place in preparing the details of the policy. I hope to bring the White Paper before the House this summer.

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