Sir T. POLSON
asked the Minister of Transport whether the present cost of freight is making it impossible for the owners of small fishing boats to dispose of their catches in the London market, with the result that many of them are quite unable to earn a livelihood and have been reduced to a state bordering on destitution; and whether he can see his way to make such a concession as will enable these men to reap some reward for their labour?
§ Mr. NEAL
I am not aware that the present level of railway freights is having the effect attributed to them by the hon. Member. The charges now in force are in accordance with the advice of the Rates Advisory Committee, who, before making their recommendations, held a public inquiry at which representatives of the fishing industry gave evidence. These charges are of an interim character only, pending a general revision of railway rates, but I cannot hold out any hope of a reduction in the immediate future.