HL Deb 28 October 1952 vol 178 cc1031-2

2.46 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the annual total money value of the goods (including passengers' luggage) stolen when in charge of or being carried by (a) British Railways; (b) British Road Services; (c) British Overseas Airways and (d) British European Airways, since these organisations were established by Parliament and what percentage of the value carried is lost by theft.]


My Lords, as the information requested by the noble Lord contains a considerable number of figures, I will, with your Lordships' and the noble Lord's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


My Lords, I beg, to thank the noble Earl for the trouble he has taken. Already having had a conversation with him prior to the meeting of your Lordships' House, I feel sure that that is the best course to pursue. Perhaps when I have studied the figures the noble Earl will allow me to ask for further information, should such be necessary.

Following are the figures referred to by Lord Birkenhead:

1. The British Transport Commission and the two Airways Corporations have provided the following information:—

(a) British Railways

The following claims were paid in respect of traffic (excluding minerals and livestock) which was lost, stolen and pilfered

1948 2,778,367
1949 1,728,986
1950 1,406,835
1951 1,707,466

(b) British Road Services

1948, 1949, 1950 (no figures are readily available).

1951: Claims paid and outstanding in respect of goods lost, stolen, pilfered and damaged amount to £653,609, of which about one-third is estimated to represent claims for damage.

(c) British Overseas Airways Corporation

(d) British European Airways Corporation

The Corporations estimate that thefts of goods carried by them or entrusted to them for carriage were as follows:—

B.O.A.C. B.E.A.
£ £
1946–47 20,784* 970
1947–48 38,388* 3,600
1948–49 43,383* 1,230
1949–50 28,107 2,430
1950–51 15,785 2,500
1951–52 40,000 5,000
* Excluding British South American Airways Corporation for which figures are not readily available.

2. The total value of the goods carried by the various undertakings is not known.