Railways (Damage to Crops)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th October 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Lieut-Colonel Geoffrey Clifton-Brown:

asked the Minister of Transport what has been the extent of damage by fire to agricultural crops this summer caused by railway engines; and to what extent it is estimated to be due to the discontinuance of preventive attachments being fitted to the engines.

Photo of Mr Alfred Barnes Mr Alfred Barnes , East Ham South

The total number of reported lineside fires affecting agricultural land, alleged to have been caused by railway engines this, year so far, is roughly 4,000. It is not established however, that spark ignition was the cause in all such cases. I am unable at the moment to state the extent of the damage caused to agricultural crops, but I am making inquiries and will communicate with the hon. Member. There has been no discontinuance of preventive attachments to engines.

Lieut.-Colonel Clifton-Brown:

Can the Minister say why this year the damage has been so much greater than in any other year?

Photo of Mr Alfred Barnes Mr Alfred Barnes , East Ham South

Apparently everybody is aware of the reason except the hon. and gallant Member.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what causes the fires, apart from spark ignition, in the case of railway engines?

Photo of Mr Alfred Barnes Mr Alfred Barnes , East Ham South

I am not able to get the proportions of fires due to particular causes.