HC Deb 20 March 1923 vol 161 c2377W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport what decrease, since August, 1920, has taken place in the wages paid to their servants by the railway companies; what diminution of expenditure on coal by the companies has occurred since the same date; and what reserves have the principal railway companies now accumulated?

Colonel ASHLEY

The. railway companies inform me that the expenditure on salaries and wages by the railway companies in Great Britain in 1922 was approximately £117,000,000. At the rates of salaries and wages in force in August, 1920, they estimate that the expenditure was at the annual rate of approximately £154,000,000, and, at the March, 1923, rates, of £111,000,000. The expenditure on salaries and wages for the year 1913 was approximately £47,000,000. The total amount charged to locomotive running by the railway companies of Great Britain in respect of fuel for the year 1922 was approximately £15,000,000. It is understood that this represents the expenditure up to the point at which the coal is placed in a locomotive tender. The approximate annual expenditure on fuel for the year 1920 on the same basis was £25,000,000. For the year 1923, if the February level of prices and consumption be assumed, the expenditure on fuel is estimated at approximately £14,000,000. The expenditure for 1913 was approximately £8,500,000. The depreciation and reserve funds shown in the balance-sheets of the railway companies in Great Britain at 31st December, 1922, amounted approximately to £130,000,000. The corresponding figure at 31st December, 1913, was approximately £20,700,000.