HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 cc969-70
17. Mr. Montgomery

asked the Minister of Transport what will be the total capital sum available for railway investment in 1970; and by what percentage this exceeds the actual sum expended on capital investment by the railways in 1963 on the basis of constant prices.

Mr. Mulley

I would refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward M. Taylor) on 9th December, 1969.—[Vol. 793, c. 62.]

Mr. Montgomery

Does not the right hon. Gentleman feel that this dramatic fall is inconsistent with the needs of the railways, bearing in mind that the National Plan specified that there should be a minimum of £13.5 million a year spent on railways at 1964 prices?

Mr. Mulley

As I have explained before, the economic situation has meant stringency both in public expenditure and in the public investment by nationalised industries. Having regard to all the circumstances, I do not feel that the railways share is unfair. But the hon. Gentleman will know that I announced an important new investment project yesterday.