asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he is aware that the railway rates on home-grown timber are still 100 per cent. above the pre-War rates, although the increased cost-of-living figure has fallen from 176 to 81, and the cost of railway labour, stores, and material has been much reduced; and whether, seeing that the selling price of such timber is now only 25 per cent. above pre-War price, and the railway rate now has an extraordinarily high proportion to the selling price, he will use his influence with the railway companies to reduce the existing rate and thereby encourage a hardly-hit home industry?
I would refer the hon. and learned Member to my reply of the 8th instant to the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Betterton), of which I am sending him a copy.
Has the hon. Member forgotten that in the reduction of railway rates that are coming into operation to-day home-grown timber is not included, and is he aware that it now costs more to convey English timber from Sussex to London than it does to bring foreign timber from Finland to London?
I have not forgotten those facts.