HC Deb 15 May 1919 vol 115 cc1810-1W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the necessity for effecting economy on the railways and for the adoption of any measures calculated to minimise danger to life and limb, he will favourably consider the appointment of a committee of practical railwaymen to consider and examine the various automatic coupling devices on the market and impose tests on a selected number in order to ascertain the most effective means for the operation of coupling to be performed automatically, with a view to adoption on the railways?


The Railway Employment (Safety Appliances) Committee, which has been in existence since 1906, and of which the right hon. Member for Derby is now a member, examined a very large number of automatic coupling devices some years ago, but came to the conclusion that such couplers were not suitable for wagons of the type commonly in use on British railways. They have therefore been making investigations with a view to finding a type of hand coupler that would eliminate the use of the coupling pole, and many devices for this purpose have been and are still being examined by the Committee and tried under actual working conditions.