HC Deb 20 December 1916 vol 88 cc1468-9
102. Mr. BROOKES

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the rising of the House, he will state the general intentions of the. Government with regard to the reduced railway services and the increases in fares; and whether he will permit any discussion on the subject?


A large reduction in the number of passengers travelling on the railways is necessary to enable the railway companies to cope with the demands on them for other traffic, both here and in France. With this end in view it is proposed to restrict the passenger train service on and after the 1st January, and also to increase ordinary passenger fares from that date by 50 per cent., leaving unaffected workmen's fares and season tickets for distances not exceeding 40 miles. I do not know what opportunity there may be for discussion, but I have to assure the hon. Member that some such steps as these are necessary in the national interest.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there are a very large number of workmen in this country who travel daily to and from their work who are not in a position to purchase workmen's tickets. Will consideration be given to cases of this kind?


Will there be some consideration given or exemption made in the case of commercial travellers whose time is almost entirely spent on the railway? Will the hon. Gentleman receive a deputation to consider the matter?


The two points submitted to me shall be considered by the Department, and I have no doubt that any deputation that desires to interview the President or myself will be received.


There are many clerks quite as badly off—will their case be looked into?


Will the matter also of the suburban traffic in the neighbourhood of large towns be considered; there is the question of clerks and others who travel at workmen's fares?


Will school children be exempted—there are many thousands of them?

Commander BELLAIRS

Will the hon. Gentleman make the rule concerning the 40 miles elastic enough to bring into consideration towns which might be just over 40 miles?


I will take note of the points submitted to me, and will consult my right hon. Friend the President of the Board in the matter.