HC Deb 19 November 1919 vol 121 cc950-1W
Lieut.-Colonel WEIGALL

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that, owing to the lack of necessary railway trucks and sheets provided by the Midland, Great Eastern, and Great Northern Railway Companies, loss of time of men and horses and wastage of large quantities of foodstuffs are now occurring; and what action it is proposed to take to improve transport facilities and prevent the further reduction of arable acreage in the coming year?


I am aware of the general shortage of empty wagons, but no cases of wastage of foodstuffs owing to lack of transport facilities have been brought to my notice. In reply to the latter part of the question, I beg to refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer to the hon. Member for West Leyton on the 22nd October.


asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the serious dislocation of trade in the granite and road-stone quarrying industry in the counties of Somerset, Gloucester, and Cornwall through the failure of the railway companies to provide an adequate supply of wagons or other effective means of transport for the carrying on of this industry; and, if so, will he take steps to remedy this serious state of affairs and thus prevent further unemployment in this industry?


I am aware the general shortage of wagons and every effort is being made to improve the situation. If the hon. Member will give information as to the sending and receiving points, it may be possible to suggest means by which the traffic can be conveyed by water


asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the brick manufacturers in Peterborough and district have made many complaints about the shortage of wagons, which prevents them from supplying bricks to the various builders and contractors and local authorities for building houses, etc.; if he is aware that, if a proper supply of wagons were supplied so that the bricks required could be sent to the various parts of the country, it would be the means of finding employment for many thousands of men engaged in the building trade; and if he intends taking action in the matter?


Yes; but the hon. Member will realise that in the present general shortage of wagons an additional number can only be given to the Peterborough brick manufacturers at the expense of other districts.