I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state what power the new Traffic Department of the Board of Trade will be given to ensure that all new schemes for London locomotion seeking statutory authority are brought before it for examination; whether the Department will possess power to take evidence during such examination; whether the report of each scheme made by the Department on such examination will be forwarded to the Committee of Parliament before whom that scheme appears; and what steps, if any, are being taken to empower the Commissioner to deal with those items of London traffic which stand outside the present scope of the Board of Trade, namely, those under the control of the Home Office and the Local Government Board.
The new branch of the Board of Trade will have no power to compel promoters to submit their schemes for preliminary examination before the deposit of Bills, unless such submission should be required hereafter by an alteration of Standing Orders. In the meantime I do not anticipate that the absence of compulsory powers, either in this matter, or the taking of evidence, will seriously interfere with the work of preliminary examination. The Board of Trade will make any communication which may be necessary as the result of such examination to the Parliamentary Committee which deals with the matter. As regards matters falling within the scope of the Home Office and Local Government Board, the Board of Trade are in communication with those Departments, and are assured of their co-operation.
asked if changes would be made in the Standing Orders next session to coincide with the right hon. Gentleman's Answer.
I do not think any Amendment will be necessary, but if it should be, the matter will not be lost sight of.