HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1300-1W
Sir W. Smithers

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the remarks made by the chairman of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company at their annual general meeting, he will set up a committee consisting of a representative from each of the big railway systems to sit permanently in Whitehall, and instruct all Government Departments to send their traffic requirements to this committee, so that the transport demands of the Government may be co-ordinated and the necessary orders issued by railway experts with governmental authority?

Mr. Attlee

I do not think that complete centralisation of all Government demands on the railways, as my hon. Friend seems to propose, is practicable or desirable and I do not understand that it was so suggested at the meeting referred to. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport is aware of the need for co-ordinating the demands on transport, including railways, and steps have already been taken to secure closer co-ordination between the chief importing Departments and the transport authorities at the principal ports. The possibility of strengthening the machinery which already exists at the centre is under consideration.