§ LORD COTTESLOE
asked the Lord President, Whether the attention of the Board of Trade has been called to two fatal accidents which occurred recently to passengers by railway, where deaths resulted from leaving the trains while in motion, on which inquests were held by Dr. Lankester on the 20th inst.; and whether that Department has now under 697 their consideration the question of requiring that platforms at railway stations should be of uniform height, and that continuous footboards be provided for all railway carriages, to the want of which the accidents in question were attributed by the coroner and jury?
§ THE DUKE OF SOMERSET
also asked when the Royal Commission on the subject of Railways would commence their inquiry, and what were the names of the Commissioners?
§ THE DUKE OF RICHMOND
said, the matter referred to by the noble Duke had occupied the attention of Members of the Government, including those who drew up the Order to regulate the proceedings of the Commission. Whether the arrangements connected with that matter were complete he did not know—if the noble Duke had given him Notice of his Question, he would have been able to inform him. The Answer to the Question of the noble Lord (Lord Cottesloe) was that both the accidents referred to had been reported in due course to the Board of Trade. His noble Friend would recollect that this was not the first time that accidents of this sort had occurred, and that it was not the first time that such accidents had occupied the attention of the Board of Trade. An accident of this sort was the cause of Sir Donald Macleod's death in 1872. The Board of Trade at the time directed that an inquiry should be made into the cause of the accident, and a very full Report was made by Captain Tyler, in which he recommended that by a general agreement the platforms at railway stations should be made of uniform height, and that continuous foot-boards should be provided for all railway carriages. His noble Friend would perceive that foot-boards could not be made uniform unless all the platforms were of the same level. The subject had been under the consideration of the Board of Trade, but the misfortune was that the Board of Trade had no power to require the improvements recommended by Captain Tyler to be made. They could only call the attention of companies to the fact that accidents had occurred in consequence of foot-boards not being continuous. It seemed to him that this was one of the points that might very fairly and legitimately come under the consideration of the Royal Commission which had been alluded to by his noble Friend.