HC Deb 19 June 1968 vol 766 c1083
3. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Minister of Transport what action he intends to take to reduce the increasing loss on British Railways.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Richard Marsh)

The results so far this year do not suggest an increasing loss.

Mr. Galbraith

No, but even if there will not be an increasing loss, does the Minister not intend to do anything to reduce the loss, which is almost as important as preventing it from going up?

Mr. Marsh

If the hon. Gentleman is wrong in his basic assumptions, he really cannot switch the question. The point is that British Railways will not, on their results so far, show an increasing loss. The evidence is that the new arrangements for dealing with their finances will make British Railways a more viable proposition in future.

Mr. Moyle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the solution of the Southern Region commuting problem which has been pressed by hon. Members on both sides will be solved only if we have substantial public expenditure, and will he resist the blandishments of hon. Members opposite, in their own interests as much as ours?

Mr. Marsh

I think that my hon. Friend misrepresents the views of hon. Members opposite. It is not so much that they are arguing against public expenditure on the railways, which is obviously essential, but merely that they are obsessed to take any opportunity, however unfounded, to denigrate nationalised industries.

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