asked the Prime Minister if he will issue an instruction to all Government Departments to rely in future upon the Ministry of Transport to provide for their railway rolling stock requirements, to forthwith hand over to the Ministry of Transport all railway rolling stock in use or intended for use upon statutory railways, and to release from public service all officials hitherto employed upon this work in the several Departments?
I have been asked to answer this question. All main line wagons owned by Government Departments have been, or are being, transferred to the Ministry of Transport Pool and allocated to the railways, with the exception of wagons controlled by the Admiralty and the Office of Works. Those owned by the Admiralty are special wagons for naval traffic and are unsuitable for common use. Wagons hired by the Government are being returned as rapidly as possible to their owners. So far as the present circumstances permit, wagons suitable for general use will be handed over to the Ministry of Transport.
May I ask the Prime Minister, to whom I addressed the question, if he will see how futile it is for him to ask the traders of the country to unselfishly follow him in his desire for better working of the railways when his own Ministers, in this case in particular, as far as I could hear the answer, the Commissioner of Works, will not place his wagons in the hands of the Ministry of Transport to be moved with the other wagons of the country? I should like an answer from the Prime Minister.