asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport if 'he has received protests against the transfer of control of the Scottish railway systems from Scotland to London, involved in the provisions of the Railway Act, 1921; if, as one result of this transfer of control, the present basis of return fares, which are less than twice the single fare, are in future to be standardised upon the more costly English basis; and what steps, if any, he proposes to take to safeguard the interests of the Scottish people?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. As to the second part, Part III of the Railways Act, 1921, provides that each amalgamated company shall, as from the appointed day, levy the standard charges (including fares) settled by the Rates Tribunal. Until the appointed day the companies may make the charges in existence on the 15th August, 1921, but are at liberty to make such reductions as they think fit, and it is understood that, in making a general reduction in ordinary fares on 1st January next, they intend to make a reservation and, as a general rule, to adopt a standard basis of double the single fare for the return journey. Sections 60 and 76 of the Act give the Rates Tribunal power to hear applications from interested parties for reduction of charges made by the companies, and the Tribunal may make such modification as it may deem just. The Minister has no power to intervene.