Is my right hon. Friend aware that his hon. Friends correctly warned the Government in 1968 that the present organisation of NCL and Freightliners would result in the transfer of freight from rail to road, contrary to the objective of the 1968 Act? Bearing this in mind, will my right hon. Friend consider taking action to reverse this trend, if necessary implementing the quantity licensing provisions or declaring a withdrawal of the freight subsidy until heavy lorries are taxed according to their true costs?
I note what my hon. Friend has said about the 1968 Act. He will also recall that under that Act the National Freight Corporation has a duty to use rail where to do so is efficient and economic. That duty is clearly upon it, although it is not a mandatory use of rail, for that would be contrary to the purpose of the NFC. Quantity licensing and the other issues which my hon. Friend has mentioned are issues that will be discussed in the course of the consultations on the transport review.