Railway Rates Tribunal.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 20th February 1922.

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Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS:

57.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport of how many members the Railway Rates Tribunal consists; how many cases they have yet considered; whether they are being paid; if so, how much and since what date; and whether their pay, if any, falls upon the railway companies or upon the public?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The three permanent members of the Railway Rates Tribunal were duly appointed, in accordance with the provisions of the Railways Act of last Session, at the beginning of November last and are receiving salaries at the following rates:

The President£5,000 per annum
One member£3,000 ""
One member£2,000 ""
The salaries and other expenses of the Tribunal are recoverable from the Amalgamated Railway Companies. The Railways Act requires the Tribunal to deal with such matters as the conditions of carriage and the fixing of standard charges, upon the submission of the railway companies, which are to be made by prescribed dates. Apart from these matters and from the functions to be exercised after the appointed day for the introduction of standard charges, it is open to the railway companies and traders to make applications to the Tribunal for a modification of charges under the transitory provisions of the Act, but I understand that the Tribunal has not yet been called upon to hear any such application. I may remind the hon. Member that all three members of the Tribunal are also members of the Rates Advisory Committee upon which falls the statutory task of settling the classification of merchandise for the purposes of Part III of the Railways Act, and on this work they are at present engaged. No duplication of salary is being made.

Lieut.-Cotonel GUINNESS:

Is their time fully occupied?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I believe they are fully occupied with the work for which they are engaged.

Photo of Sir William Pearce Sir William Pearce , Stepney Limehouse

Can individual traders make application for reduced rates, or are they supposed to wait until trade associations act on their behalf?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

There is nothing to hinder individual traders from making application.

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

If these officials at £10,000 a year are new officials, what has become of the Railway and Canal Commissioners, who were also in existence before the Act and were paid large salaries?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The Rates Tribunal is discharging new duties of the greatest possible value to the traders of the country and are being paid by the railway companies.

Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton

What duties do the Railway and Canal Commissioners discharge?

Photo of Mr Arthur Neal Mr Arthur Neal , Sheffield, Hillsborough

Many of their old duties remain.