§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Transport whether ho is aware of the serious national loss still occurring from the stoppage of industry in the North of England through the failure of the North-Eastern Railway Company to supply sufficient wagons; whether he can state in detail what steps His Majesty's Government have taken to remedy the shortage, and in particular what orders have been placed for new wagons and when delivery is expected; and what has been done to hasten the repairing of wagons and locomotives and their return from France?
§ Mr. NEAL
I am aware of the position on the North-East Coast and am in constant communication with the North-Eastern256W
if less than one halfpenny, shall not be charged, and if the fraction be one halfpenny, or more, it shall be charged as one penny.
Railway Company who are doing all that is possible to improve the supply of wagons, and especially of the type necessary to carry steel traffic. The Company are now constructing, or have ordered outside, over 11,000 new wagons. Of these, 944 are bolster wagons, which are receiving priority over other types. The return of wagons from France is the subject of constant communication with the War Office, and the return is being expedited. All locomotives suitable for use on English railways have already been returned to this country.
§ Major KELLEY
asked the Minister of Transport whether 13,000 railway trucks are being sold or have been sold to Belgium recently?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
I have been asked to answer this question. So far as the Disposal Board is concerned, the number of wagons sold to Belgium is 5,662, and I these were all unsuitable for use on British railways. I understand that about 3,000 were previously sold to Belgium by the War Office.