HC Deb 25 February 1920 vol 125 cc1698-9W

asked the Minister of Transport whether he sent a letter to the Federation of British Industries intimating his intention to consult with them on the question of the revision of rates, fixing of charges, etc.; if so, will he state in what respect this federation of employers can be said to be representative of the interests of the consuming public; and whether it is to be taken as a considered policy on the part of his Department to make arrangements of this character with the employing classes in the community on all matters in which their interests are affected?


I think my hon. Friend has been misinformed. The letter to which I think he refers, and of which I will send him a copy, asked the Federation of British Industries, the Associated Chambers of Commerce, and the Central Chamber of Agriculture to assist the Minister with their views as to the system upon which railway rates and charges should be based and compiled. The letter has been published in the Press, I believe. The Minister did so in the knowledge that much work, investigation and skilled consideration had been devoted by members and committees of these bodies to the principles of the science of rate fixing. If my hon. Friend knows of any representative body of consumers which has similarly devoted study and skilled consideration to that aspect of the question, I shall be glad to hear from him. It is the settled policy of the Ministry to consult representatives of all classes of the community upon the subjects upon which it is thought they can give useful advice or assistance.