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Railway Wagons (Shortage, Nottinghamshire)

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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6.

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether his attention has been called to the serious loss of coal output in the Nottinghamshire district during the last three months owing to the lack of railway wagons; how this compares with the loss in the country as a whole; and what steps he has taken to improve the supply of wagons in this district.

Yes, Sir, I am aware of the serious loss of output which has occurred in the Nottinghamshire district during the last three months owing to the lack of railway wagons. This loss represents about 28 per cent. of the loss in the country as a whole. These losses are accounted for mainly by railway operational difficulties arising from a number of causes including severe weather and heavy sickness among train crews. I am in constant touch with my noble Friend the Minister of War Transport and the railway authorities on this matter, and I am glad to say in the last few weeks there has been a substantial decrease in losses from this cause.

Can the Minister say how many tons he estimates have been lost, how many miners are unemployed in Nottinghamshire, and how much has been paid in wages without any results?

I cannot answer that question without notice. It varies from week to week, and the greatest loss occurred during the period of very severe weather when no work at all was possible. If the hon. Gentleman would like to know, I will get the figures for him.