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Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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South Eastern And Chatham Railway (Electrification)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Trade Facilities Committee have undertaken to guarantee capital expenditure and interest of six and a half millions by the South Eastern Railway Company, such expenditure including an amount of about one and a half millions for the erection of a power station for the sole use of the South Eastern Railway Company; and, seeing that such outlay upon a power station by the South Eastern Railway Company would defeat the objects of the Electricity Supply Act, 1919, and of the Electricity Supply Bill now before the House, that the. South Eastern Railway Company has undertaken to keep the capital cost of its power station apart from other capital expenditure under its scheme, and also keep separate accounts of costs of generation, so that the travelling public may not suffer from undue capital expenditure and abnormally high costs of generation, and that in the public interest one super-station, as contemplated in the 1919 Act, would more adequately meet the transport and power and lighting needs of the areas affected, whether he will inquire further into this matter?

The Treasury have expressed their willingness on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee under the Trade Facilities Act, to guarantee the principal and interest of a loan of £6,500,000 to be raised for the purpose of electrifying the suburban service of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company, and for the erection of a power station. As regards the erection of the power station, the recommendation of the Advisory Committee has been given subject to the approval of the Electricity Commissioners, who are at the present time holding an inquiry into the applications which have been made by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company and other parties for permission to erect a station in the area concerned.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the security the Government will hold against the advance to the South Eastern Railway Company under the Trade Facilities Act?

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. No advances are made by His Majesty's Government under the Trade Facilities Act which is limited to guarantees of loans raised by the parties concerned. The South Eastern and Chatham Company have undertaken to make annual payments sufficient to cover the service of the guaranteed loan.

Railway Carriage Doors (Security)


asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is prepared to appoint a Select or Departmental Committee to inquire into the question of the provision of better security of the doors of carriages on passenger trains and whether he is aware that inventions have been produced which automatically keep the doors of the carriages locked until the train becomes stationary?

I have been asked to reply to this question. A number of devices for locking railway carriage doors automatically until a train becomes stationary have been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Transport and examined by the Inspecting officers of railways. I am advised that such devices would be liable to interfere with the egress of passengers in the event of accident or emergency and are also open to other practical objections. In the circumstances, I do not think that an inquiry such as my hon. Friend suggests is called for.