§ Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport if he can give the total amount of capital expenditure made by the railways since 1939; what is to happen to it in the post-war period: what was the percentage allowed for administration purposes in any extension in pre-war times; what is allowed now; and what is allowed for the extension of sidings and for lines laid in or near Government establishments.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
The net capital expenditure by the four main line railway companies during the three years 1940 to 1943 was £7,158,000; the assets represented by it are the property of those companies. In addition, since the beginning of the war, railway works of a capital368W nature estimated to cost £17,500,000 have been financed by my Department; and, pending ultimate disposal, these works remain Government property. As regards the second half of the Question, each railway company follows its pre-control accounting practice in regard to all overheads, including administration on costs, so far as its own capital works are concerned. The overheads charged in connection with railway works financed by the Ministry of War Transport represent out of pocket expenses only. The amount charged as overheads for works provided by a railway company for the exclusive use of a Government establishment are negotiated between the Departments concerned and the railway company.