Without the full consideration and investigation contemplated in the Bill during the period of two years of continued control, it is impossible to estimate the cost of the new Ministry. The exact numbers of the staff to be transferred from other Departments can only be laid down when the Bill has become an Act, but it is not thought that a large additional staff will be required in the immediate future.
asked whether the right hon. Member for Cambridge took part in the construction and drafting of the Ministry of Ways and Communications Bill; if so, why his name does not appear on the back of the Bill; and whether, in the event of the Bill becoming an Act, it is the intention to appoint the right hon. Member for Cambridge Ministry of Ways and Communications?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. My right hon. Friend's name does not appear upon the back of the Bill, because such a course would be unusual in the circumstances. It is the Prime Minister's intention to invite him to assume the duties of Minister of Ways and Communications when that post is created.
asked if a financial statement and papers will be supplied to Members before the Ways and Communications Bill comes on showing the result of the working of the railways under Government control and the effect of the rise of wages and the increased fares upon the railroad earnings and profits?
My right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge proposes to deal with this question on the Second Heading of the Bill; but if, subsequently, a general desire be shown for further information, it will be supplied as far as is practicable.
I have not had an opportunity of discussing this with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, but if there is any information to that effect which will be useful I shall have it circulated.