§ Mr. REES
asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is aware that the number of screw-coupled vehicles is largely on the increase, owing to the use of screw-up couplers on fast goods trains, so that the increased risk applies to a constantly-increasing proportion of stock; and whether the cost of using central automatic buffer couplers would be actually less than that of the present screw-coupling and side-buffers?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
My advisers inform me that they are not aware that the number of screw-coupled vehicles is largely on the increase as compared, that is, with loose-coupled stock, and they doubt if the cost of central buffers with automatic couplers would be materially less than that of side buffers and screw-couplings. The increased risk in coupling-screw coupled326W
stock due to the men having to go between the vehicles would be obviated if they refrained from doing so until the vehicles were at rest, and I am directing the railway companies' attention to this point.