§ MR. JAMES BIGWOOD (Middlesex, Brentford)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to a letter in The Times, of the 13th instant, in which it is alleged that an inspector of the South Western Railway Company at Clapham Junction, whilst a train was in motion, forced a man into the compartment of a carriage labelled "Ladies' carriage," in spite of the protests of the sole lady occupant, with the consequence that the lady, in her dread, jumped out of the moving train; and whether he has taken any steps to obtain from the Railway Company explanations of this alleged act on the part of one of their superior servants, especially in the light of a recent notorious occurrence on the same Company's line?
§ MR. RITCHIE
Before my hon. Friend's Question appeared on the Paper I had communicated with the Railway Company, and I have received a reply from Sir Charles Scotter to the following effect—The letter which appeared in The Times of the 13th instant is, I much regret to say, substantially correct, and the only explanation which the inspector complained of has to offer for his misconduct is, 'that it was raining very hard at the time, and he did not notice that the compartment referred to was labelled as reserved for ladies.' I send you herewith a specimen of the label pasted on both ends of the carriage. The inspector was, therefore, without any excuse in allowing a male passenger to enter the compartment. When the case was brought under our notice, the inspector was immediately suspended from duty, end the directors are now considering how such a serious breach of the Company's regulations shall be dealt with. I may say that the inspector will not be allowed in any case to resume duty on a passenger platform.