Oral Answers to Questions — Rhodesian Railways.

– in the House of Commons on 8th July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has any information regarding the proposal to bring the Rhodesian railway system under public ownership and control; and whether he will consider, with a view to action, the importance of the railway system in Northern Rhodesia being placed under the control and authority of the Northern Rhodesian Government?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

On 3rd June the Legislative Assembly of Southern Rhodesia accepted a resolution that in the opinion of the Assembly the public transport system of the Colony should be acquired by the State. It is proposed that this matter should be raised at the Railway Conference which the three Governments interested in the Rhodesia railway system had previously agreed should be held to discuss certain other railway questions.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Does the Under-Secretary appreciate the importance of the railway system in Northern Rhodesia being under the control of the Northern Rhodesian Government to improve the condition of the employees in the service?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

My hon. Friend will know that this is a very large and important question. It is to be discussed at the conference, and there will have to be a good deal of expert investigation and discussion before such a large question can be settled.

Photo of Mr George Mathers Mr George Mathers , Linlithgowshire

Will the authority of my right hon. Friend's office be required, and will it be possible for him to lay down conditions with regard to the conditions under which the employees shall work?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

Yes, Sir, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that this affects both Southern and Northern Rhodesia, and, therefore, affects both the Colonial Office and the Dominions Office.

Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

Will the House be informed before any action is taken?