HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc1257-8
23. Mr. Murray

asked the Minister of Transport when she expects to receive the next report from the joint steering group on railway policy.

Mrs. Castle

I have reviewed the future of the group with the Chairman of the British Railways Board and his successor. The group has already reported on its major remits, including all those that might involve legislation. If the group is to continue there would have to be substantial changes in membership, affecting both the Railways Board members and those from the Government Departments concerned. In these circumstances Sir Stanley Raymond, Mr. Johnson and I have agreed that it would be right to wind up the group.

Mr. Murray

Will my right hon. Friend accept the congratulations of the House for accepting the recommendations of the group and will she make public her thanks to the members who served on it?

Mrs. Castle

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for that question because it is appropriate that the House should place on record its appreciation of the first-class work, much of it completely voluntary, which was done by all the members of the group, including those from outside industry. We should also record our appreciation of the excellence of the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr. Peter Walker

Is the Minister aware that we should like to be associated with her gratitude to the steering group for the work which has been done and to the very distinguished men, many of whom gave their time quite voluntarily?

Mrs. Castle

I am grateful to the hon. Member.