asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how many road-haulage firms, invited to become controlled undertakings under the new road haulage scheme, have signed the agreement unconditionally and how many have reserved for future negotiation the matter of a reasonable settlement of the financial conditions?
So far, 91 firms have signed an agreement with my Ministry and have thus become controlled undertakings. Seventy-eight other firms have made known without reservation their intention to do so. With some of these firms, however, certain details still remain to be settled. Fifty other firms have made known their intentions to sign agreements subject to a satisfactory settlement of the financial arrangements. This condition was made by a number of firms which subsequently became controlled undertakings. In general, it has not proved an obstacle to eventual agreement. Up to the present time no firm has definitely refused an invitation to become a controlled undertaking on the grounds that the financial arrangements were unsatisfactory; a few difficult cases, however, are still under discussion.
Will my hon. Friend include in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of these firms?
I think it would be more satisfactory to do that when the whole scheme is complete, but I will certainly consider that suggestion.
Has not the time arrived when the Government should take over the whole transport system of the country and not leave it to private enterprise?