Orders of the Day — Railway Industry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th April 1975.

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Photo of Mr Roger Moate Mr Roger Moate , Faversham 12:00 am, 14th April 1975

The hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) has only just entered the Chamber and has made a typical offensive remark. If he is suggesting that it is only the railwaymen who work hard and that the commuters who travel to and from London do not, it is an offensive and rather pointless interjection.

Many speeches from Labour Members have given an appearance of total complacency about the present situation, and this is equally depressing. It may be that all is well, that there is no financial problem and that industrial relations are perfect. If so, it is strange that nearly every informed critic in the Press, the travelling public and Conservative Members feel that there is a sense of financial crisis and that British Railways are in trouble. However, there has been not been a suggestion by Labour Members that that is the state of affairs.

Recently Mr. Farrimond was quoted as saying that British Railways were bust and bankrupt to an extent never before known. It was only the hon. Member for West Bromwich, East who made the slightest concession to the situation when he said that the morale of employees of British Railways was low. Other Labour Members and the Minister have given the impression that the situation is not too bad.