Mr. G. Wilson
asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements he is making or the control of the British Transport Commission's expenditure of the payment made to them in respect of their revenue deficit.
§ Mr. Marples
The change from loans to outright payment of voted moneys216W makes it necessary for me to look closely at the amounts sought by the Commission. The Commission's accounts for 1960, showing the amount of the deficit as certified by the auditors, will provide a basis on which the total payment for the year can be determined. For the interim payments the Commission are providing supporting evidence in the form of periodical returns on which I shall be able to satisfy myself or inquire further into the case for meeting the Commission's requirements.
I must, however, make it clear to the House that I am not, by virtue of making these payments, taking over any managerial responsibility from the Commission, who must be left to conduct their affairs with a proper sense of financial responsibility. This means that, while I should certainly expect to be consulted about developments which might materially affect the sum now to be provided, the Commission must remain primarily responsible for the financial results of the year, and I do not think it would be right, nor would I be able, to undertake the detailed control which would normally be associated with expenditure out of voted moneys.