HC Deb 15 February 1922 vol 150 cc1056-8W
Lieut.-Colonel CROFT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he can now make a statement as to the decision of the Government with regard to dividends of the North British Railway. Company and compensation to this company?


I am not in a position to make any statement with regard to the dividends which may have been declared by the North British Railway Company, for the reason that this is a matter which under the Companies Clauses Act, 1845, rests entirely with the directors and proprietors of the company. As regards the compensation, I can only state that the liability of the Government to make payments by way of compensation for the use of the railways of the Kingdom is governed by an agreement between the Government and the railway companies. Before compensation due to the railway companies under the agreement can be determined, the agreed procedure requires formulation and examination of the claims.

The whole claim of the North British Railway Company has not yet been received, but a number of charges which that company seek to include in their account are not regarded by the Government as properly a liability of the taxpayer. In the last resort, the compensation due will fall to be determined by the Courts in the manner for which the agreement provides, but I am always ready to discuss with any company any useful proposals with a view to settlement of these very complicated questions by negotiation.