asked the First Commissioner of Works the number of railway wagons owned or controlled by his Department; what reasons, if any, he can advance why they are more usefully employed under the control of his Department than they would be if controlled by the Minister of Transport; if he will give particulars as to the time railway wagons owned by his Department were under-load, empty, and in transit for the four weeks ended 20th June, 1920, the four weeks ended 18th July, and for the past four weeks, respectively; and what number are now unemployed
There are 1,405 wagons under the control of my Department. Of this number, 365 are used for coal traffic and were under load and in transit during the whole period referred to by the hon. Member. The remaining 1,040 wagons are used in connection with the housing schemes which are being caried out by my Department. I regret that it is not possible to give the figures in the form asked for, but the average number of days each wagon was lying empty during the period in question was as follows:—
|4 weeks ending June 20th||…||3½ days|
|4 weeks ending July 18th||…||4 days|
|4 weeks ending October 16th||…||3 days|
Is not the right hon Gentleman aware that a number of these wagons have been lying idle at Chepstow for a considerable time, and also is he not aware that if the wagons were under the control of the Ministry of Transport, the whole of the statistics asked for would be included in the statistics published?