Sir Eric Geddes: No, Sir, it is not intended to saddle the rates with £30,000,000, but perhaps my right hon. Friend will wait until the Bill is introduced.
Sir Eric Geddes: The Bill will be introduced to-morrow.
Sir Eric Geddes: I cannot accept the statements upon which the hon. baronet bases the first part of his question, and as to the remainder I must ask him to await the introduction at an early date of the Bill for the re-organisation of railways.
Sir Eric Geddes: It is a little difficult to say what is lateral and what is longitudinal. I have been reconsidering the whole question, and when the Bill is introduced my right hon. Friend will see what the proposals are.
Sir Eric Geddes: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Exhaustive inquiries have been made, and it has been found that, if the practice obtaining prior to 1917 were again adopted, considerable additional staff would be required. In the circumstances it is not considered practicable to revert to the old practice.
Sir Eric Geddes: I regret if there has been any carelessness. As to the prospect of reverting to the old system, it is obvious that, as in every business, we have to economise at the present time. I certainly hope the old practice can be reverted to later on.
Sir Eric Geddes: It worked very expensively.
Sir Eric Geddes: No. As I have said, we may revert to it in time, but not at present.
Sir Eric Geddes: The point referred to by my hon. Friend is under consideration by the Departmental Committee on the Regulation of Road Vehicles, and I propose to defer consideration of the matter until I receive their recommendations.
Sir Eric Geddes: I would refer my Noble Friend to page 6 of Return No. 66 presented to the House on the 5th of April, a copy of which I am sending him. This Return gives the particulars asked for up to the 7th of March. A further sum of £706,960 6s. 5d. has been collected between that date and the 31st of March, but particulars of the amounts paid in respect of each class of vehicle for the latter period are...
Sir Eric Geddes: I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on the 22nd of March in reply to a similar question by the hon. Member for St. Pancras, S.E. (Mr. J. W. Hopkins), of which I am sending him a copy.
Sir Eric Geddes: If my hon. Friend will look at the answer and then put down any further question, I think he will see that I am very sympathetic with the taxicab drivers.
Sir Eric Geddes: The arrangement for the first year had to be rather different, but in the case of every old vehicle, where a refund was claimed and obtained, a voucher has been given that one simply has to attach to the application.
Sir Eric Geddes: The hon. Baronet told me, I think, that such a request was coming, but I must plead guilty to not having seen it myself.
Sir Eric Geddes: I do not think I have been asked to receive a deputation.
Sir Eric Geddes: Certainly.
Sir Eric Geddes: The preliminary scheme for the classification of roads in England and Wales and Scotland is complete and will be operative during the current financial year. Some particulars of the scheme are set out in Appendix 6 to the 10th Annual Report on the Administration of the Road Improvement Fund, which was presented to the House on 15th February, and additional information upon the subject will be...
Sir Eric Geddes: I am not aware of what is stated by the hon. Member. The whole question of the issue of tickets at fares less than the ordinary has been inquired into by the Rates Advisory Committee, set up under Section 21 of the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, whose Report has been issued as a Command Paper (Cmd. 1148). The Committee are of opinion that the issue of cheap tickets to clubs, associations...
Sir Eric Geddes: The answers to the various statements in the hon. Member's' question are in the affirmative, though, as the hon. Member is aware, the Electricity Commissioners have made arrangements by which the inquiry will be shortened as far as possible with a view to reducing expenditure to a minimum. As regards the final sentence, I would refer him to the answer which I have just given to Questions 15...
Sir Eric Geddes: Perhaps the hon. Baronet will put a question down.