§ THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH rose to move, in connection with "The Outline of Proposals as to the Future Organisation of Transport Undertakings in Great Britain and their Relation to the State" recently presented to Parliament by command of His Majesty, for a Return showing—
- 1. The mileage, capital, and net receipts in the year 1913 of the railways in Great Britain included in Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the Scottish group, giving the figures for each of the railways separately and also the total figures for each group; and
- 2. The expenditure for each such railway in the years 1913 and 1919 and the estimated expenditure for the year 1920, giving also the total figures for each group.
§ Moved, That there be laid before the House a Return showing (1) The mileage, capital, and net receipts in the year 1913 of the railways in Great Britain included in Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and the Scottish group, giving the figures for each of the railways separately and also the total figures for each group; and (2) the expenditure for each such railway in the years 1913 and 1919 and the estimated expenditure for the year 1920, giving also the total figures for each group.—(The Duke of Buccleuch.)
THE EARL OF LYTTON
My Lords, I agree with the noble Duke that the 713 information for which he has asked is necessary in order to understand the policy of the Government, and I have made inquiries of the Ministry of Transport as to whether this Return can be supplied. I am told that it is not possible at the moment to give this information, and for this reason—that although the proposed grouping of railways in Great Britain shown in the Command Paper to which he refers in the Question does include the more important companies, that is only in order to give a general idea of the proposals of the Government in this matter; but the exact composition of the groups has not yet been determined; and before the composition of these groups is definitely determined the Government are anxious to ascertain the views of the railway companies and also of the representative bodies of traders and users as to the proposals now outlined, and they are at this moment taking steps to consult these bodies. Although, for these reasons, it is not possible to give this Return at the present moment, the Government will undertake that the information will be made available when the detailed proposals for carrying out their scheme are laid before Parliament. For these reasons I hope that the noble Duke will not press his Motion.
THE MARQUESS OF CREWE
Cannot the noble Earl see that the figures are supplied a little before the actual detailed proposals are laid before Parliament? It will certainly be of interest to the noble Duke and others that they should have time to discuss and study this Return before the proposals are put in the form of a Bill.
THE EARL OF LYTTON
I will make representations to the Department, and I have very little doubt that they will give the information as soon as it can be obtained.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.