§ Mr. JOHN HOPE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that railway companies have in use a special private classification of goods to which the public are denied access, with the result that it becomes impossible for traders to ascertain correctly what class their traffic is chargeable under, and that the ordinary classification which is open to the public is thus rendered incomplete and misleading; and whether, seeing that the non-publication of this document is a direct contravention of Sub-section 1, Section 33, of the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1888, he will take steps to compel the railway companies to have the same published?
I understand that railway companies issue to their staff special instructions relating to the carriage of certain articles, and it is, no doubt, to those instructions that my hon. Friend refers. So far as those instructions do not 1026W alter or add to the General Railway Classification, it does not appear that the companies are bound to publish them under the Section cited. Certain entries in the instructions were, however, recently brought to my notice as being practically amendments of the General Classification, and the Board of Trade are in communication with the Railway Clearing House on the subject.