Sir John Reith: I have understood so.
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir, before the end of the present week.
Sir John Reith: As my hon. and gallant Friend will be aware, carriers' licences are issued by independent statutory licensing authorities, who are bound by the provisions of the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, and neither they nor the Ministry can go beyond them. It is obviously desirable, however, that every consideration should be given to holders of carriers' licences serving with His Majesty's Forces,...
Sir John Reith: I desired to convey that it is not a question of what should be done, but of what can be done under the existing Act. Every consideration will be given, and we have little doubt that the end which my hon. and gallant Friend wishes will, in fact, be achieved.
Sir John Reith: I am quite prepared to consider anything.
Sir John Reith: The present time-table provides three through trains daily between London and Durham in both directions, and there is an additional through train from London to Durham on Fridays. Two other daily services each way involve a change at York or Darlington. This is the best that can be provided under present conditions and, while the inconvenience occasioned by reduced services is regretted, hon....
Sir John Reith: I should like to assure the hon. Member, with regard to the first point, that the Ministry of Transport is in touch with the Department of Mines and the Ministry of Shipping about the transport of coal generally. With regard to the second point, I will ask the Railway Executive Committee to look into it.
Sir John Reith: As the answer includes many figures, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the Official Report.
Sir John Reith: The fatal accidents have increased—162 as against 60; and non-fatal accidents have decreased—8,286 as against 9,023.
Sir John Reith: The railways are now experiencing no difficulty in providing sufficient empty wagons to meet colliery requirements. In view of this and of many other urgent demands it is not at present thought necessary to add to the number available.
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir. I think I can assure the hon. Member that everything is being done that is possible now to guard against trouble next winter. In fact the trouble which was occasioned before was not due to the shortage of wagons. There is not likely to be any trouble due to that cause, and we will try to prevent it happening from any cause.
Sir John Reith: I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which my predecessor gave on 8th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Seaham (Mr. Shinwell). As was then pointed out, the increase authorised by the Minister's Order was 10 per cent., subject to certain fractions rules, the operation of which was explained. General rules are almost bound to produce some anomalies, and the present case is one. The...
Sir John Reith: In this particular case the anomaly has operated to the benefit of workmen and workmen's fares. If it were not for Bow Street being partly an L.M.S. Station, the fare would have been 6d. and not 5½d. This is one anomaly in a very complicated question.
Sir John Reith: The statement in preparation by the Electricity Commissioners will show for all company and municipal supply authorities (including those in the London area) who have increased charges for electricity since the outbreak of war, the present charges, and what the increases are. The statement will, I hope, be ready next week. When forwarding a copy to my hon. Friend, I will also send a return...
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir. This matter is being considered, and in arriving at a decision the need for economy and efficiency will be borne in mind.
Sir John Reith: No, Sir, I do not think so, but the matter is being considered.
Sir John Reith: Yes, Sir, this matter is now under consideration but it is not yet possible to announce a decision. It should be possible within a fortnight.
Sir John Reith: I am not aware that the B.B.C. has acted contrary to the powers vested in it, but I should be glad to have any information that the hon. Member may have.
Sir John Reith: I know that the B.B.C. has been trying to eliminate this evil of song plugging. I know that the items in a dance band programme were, and are, chosen on their merits, but I know that the B.B.C. finds an extraordinary difficulty in getting the co-operation of all concerned. They have been doing what they can and hope to minimise the evil.
Sir John Reith: The Press staff at the British Legation at The Hague numbers five, two of whom speak Dutch. The staff at the German Legation is larger but results are not necessarily proportionate to the numbers employed. The staff at the Legation would be supplemented if it were thought necessary by the head of the Mission.