§ Mr. Goldie
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the recent increase in demurrage charges for railway wagons amounts in Warrington and district to approximately 500 per cent. as compared with the corresponding period last year; what is the reason for such increase; and whether, in view of the hard ship involved on coal distributors and purchasers in such area, he will take steps to reduce the amount of such demurrage charge?
§ Captain Wallace
My attention had not previously been drawn to the effect which my hon. and learned Friend alleges has been produced by the operation of the demurrage regulations in Warrington and district. I may remind him that I have already given an assurance that these regulations will be administered with due regard to any genuine difficulties which traders may have in giving strict compliance, provided they can show that they have taken all reasonable steps to adjust themselves to the needs of the situation. I should add that the Railway Executive Committee are, at my request, considering whether some relief can be given to traders whose liability for demurrage charges arose during the recent exceptional weather conditions and may have been due to such conditions.