§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the overcrowding of third-class compartments on the London and North Western Railway at Euston Station; whether he is aware that on Saturday the 8th, when the thermometer was at 84 degrees in the shade, one compartment of the 4.10 p.m. train to the North was packed by the order of the officials, notwithstanding the strongest protest, with 13 passengers, and remained so packed till it reached Rugby; and whether, in view of the fact that cattle trucks are forbidden to be packed with more than their registered number, he will order an inquiry, and enforce penalties against the London and North Western Railway Company, so as to insure that their third-class passengers at the Euston Terminus shall be treated at least as well in the hot weather as cattle?
§ MR. BURT
The attention of the Board of Trade had not been drawn to overcrowding on the London and North Western Railway at Euston until the hon. Member gave notice of this question. The Company state that extra vehicles were added to the train referred to, but that an unexpected number of passengers arrived almost at the last moment, and amongst them a lady with a child in her arms and three other little ones at her side. As she was anxious to proceed by the train the lady and children were placed in a particular third-class compartment, with the intention that they should be changed at Willesden Junction. This was not done through a failure on the part of the telephone. The hon. Member can seethe correspondence. Overcrowding is the subject of bye-law; the case is not one for inquiry.
§ MR. BARTLEY
Arising out of the answer, are we to understand that the London and North Western Railway 89 Company at their terminus at Euston has so little carriage accommodation that if a lady and three children happen to arrive at the last moment before the starting of a train the passengers must submit to be overcrowded on the journey all the way to Rugby? Is it not reasonable to require a great Company to have sufficient accommodation available to prevent that? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that those complaints of overcrowding are made daily?
§ MR. BURT
Our information is that this was a very unusual occurrence, and that the Railway Company do all they can to prevent overcrowding. If the hon. Member wishes to put any further question perhaps he will give notice. I may repeat that the Board of Trade have no power to deal with cases of this kind except by calling the attention of the Railway Companies to them.