§ Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Minister of Transport (1) how far coal wagons of small capacity and various types have been discarded in favour of standard pattern 20-ton wagons since the findings of the Samuel Commission on the advantages of the latter type of wagon;
(2) how far railway ownership of coal wagons has superseded private ownership since the findings of the Samuel Commission on the advantages of the former system?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
The latest available figures are for the 31st December, 1926, and at that date the stock of railway-owned standard gauge wagons in Great Britain allocated specially to mineral traffic, compared with the position at the 31st December, 1925, was as follows:
Increase (+) or Decrease (-), 1926, compared with 1925. Capacity. Number. Per Cent. Under 12 tons -3,854 -4.8 12 tons +4,905 +11.3 Over 12 tons and under 20 tons -521 -1.8 20 tons and over +110 +0.5 +640 +0.4
The corresponding increase in the total tonnage capacity was 19,127 tons, or 0.9 per cent.
Particulars are not available of the number of privately-owned coal and coke wagons withdrawn from traffic during 1101W 1926, but the new wagons registered for private owners by the railway companies during the year included the following vehicles for the conveyance of coal and coke:
Number. Under 12 tons … Nil 12 tons … 6,043 20 tons … 215 6,258
I have no information as to the number of privately-owned coal wagons in service at the date on which the Report of the Royal Commission on the Coal Industry (1925) was issued, or as to the number in service at the present time, and I am therefore unable to say how far railway-ownership of such wagons has superseded private ownership.