asked the Minister of War Transport what are the latest figures regarding thefts of goods consigned by rail; and whether these show an increase or decrease on previous figures.
In the first six months of 1945, £1,311,000 was paid by the four main line railway companies and the Cheshire Lines Committee in respect of 321,000 claims for articles lost or stolen. This compares with £1,197,500 and 343,750 claims in the first six months of 1944 and with £1,207,000 and 322,500 claims in the second six months of 1944. I regret that separate figures for thefts are not available.
Having regard to this very high and disquieting increase, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has in mind any proposed action, and whether he will possibly consider the release of more railway police?
I agree that this is a very serious development, and it is receiving every consideration.