§ MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he will be prepared, on the 8th of May, on the occasion of the Motion of the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire (Mr. Channing), on the subject of the safe working of railways, or sooner, to inform the House whether the smaller and branch railways have yet been called upon to adopt, or have adopted, the same automatic brake as is in use by the leading trunk lines of this country, and whether such brake is capable of universal coupling with any other rolling stock, so as to insure safe interchange of traffic with all other railways; and, whether he has, or can obtain, any Reports of the results of the working of automatic brakes on the Indian Railways?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH) (Bristol, W.)
The Board of Trade have no power to call upon the Railway Companies to adopt any particular brake; but the Circular of the 30th of August, 1877, setting out the conditions which, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, brakes should fulfil, was sent to the small as well as to the great Companies. And the half-yearly Return presented to Parliament in accordance with the Act of 1878 deals with the brakes of all the Companies. The Board of Trade have no information as regards the working of automatic brakes in India, but will communicate with the India Office. I am, however, 1213 informed that such brakes are only used in India to a very limited extent.