HC Deb 12 May 1915 vol 71 cc1658-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any railways have given, or intend to give, special facilities for race meetings; whether he is aware that railway companies have withdrawn their usual facilities of reduced fares for Manchester lads' clubs for the annual Whitsuntide camps; and whether he will inquire into this discrimination against lads' clubs?


If by special facilities my hon. Friend means cheap fares, no railway company is giving or proposes to give special facilities for race meetings. In fact, as I announced yesterday, the question is at present under discussion whether the fares for such meetings should not be specially raised. My hon. Friend will thus see that he is under a misapprehension in thinking that there is any discrimination against lads' clubs. The whole question of the possibility of making any relaxation of the rule abolishing cheap booking facilities in favour of certain well-defined classes of cases of the nature of that to which my hon. Friend refers is now being considered in a sympathetic spirit; but my hon. Friend will appreciate the difficulty of making exceptions without giving rise to further demands which, if granted, would nullify the object of the new rule.


In view of the sympathetic reply, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the great value to the nation in the increased health and efficiency due to the work of these boys' clubs?


Yes, the good work done by these boys' clubs will certainly be one of the facts taken into account.