HC Deb 15 December 1971 vol 828 cc434-5
7. Sir E. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what financial support the Government plans to provide for British Rail in 1972.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

My right hon. Friend will be making a statement early in the New Year about renewal of undertakings to pay grant on unremunerative rail passenger services. Following the announcement of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the House on 9th November we are considering with the Railways Board the need for special assistance in the light of price restraint.

Sir E. Brown

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Could he say whether in his consultation with the Railways Board he is keeping within the limits suggested by the C.B.I. of a 5 per cent. increase?

Mr. Griffiths

Obviously the Railways Board's finances are affected by the C.B.I. initiative and it will be important to take this into account in my right hon. Friend's discussions with the board.

Mr. Mulley

Could the hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that when a statement is made it will be made in this House? Will he make sure that this is done as soon as possible, because there is great anxiety about some of these routes and about the general financial position of British Rail?

Mr. Griffiths

Yes, Sir.