The text of Mr Major’s Parliamentary written question on the British Railways Board, published on 22nd May 1980.
Mr. Major Asked the Minister of Transport whether there is a procedure to involve his Department in the planning arrangements of the British Railways Board.
Mr. Fowler The British Railways Board prepares a corporate review each year and submits it to me. The review helps it in its business decisions. It helps me to judge the effects of decisions I have to make, as on investment, financial targets, or support. While the review is and must remain that of the board, it will help very much if my Department and where appropriate the Treasury, can be kept in touch with its preparation and have the opportunity to comment. This must, of course, respect the position of the board as well as of Ministers, and must rest on a high degree of mutual confidence. I am glad to say that discussions with the board have now made clear how my Department and the Treasury are to be involved in the board’s planning arrangements. My officials will now start to receive papers of the 1980 review, on which the board has been engaged for some time. The board will in due course submit its completed review to me.