Sir H. DALZIEL
(by Private Notice) asked the President of the Board of Trade whether there is any foundation for the rumours current regarding a further increase in railway fares; and what arrangements are being made, in view of the coming holidays, for travelling facilities for munition workers?
§ Mr. G. ROBERTS
I have been in communication with the Railway Executive Committee on the subject of the munition workers' holidays. The companies will do all they can to provide the necessary special trains for the conveyance of the munition workers during their holidays, but steamboat facilities must necessarily be very limited owing to the small number of steamboats now remaining in the railway companies' possession. It is imperative that the railway journeys shall be confined within the narrowest limits possible, if reasonable accommodation is to be provided for the large number who will wish to travel during the holidays. It is not proposed to make any reduction in the fares, but there is no foundation whatever for any of the statements that have been made that the fares are about to be increased. There is no present intention of making such an increase.
§ Colonel BURN
May I ask my hon. Friend whether there is any truth in the report that railway journeys are to be 1798 limited to 70 miles, and does he realise the serious effect that would have on watering places that depend on holiday people?
§ Mr. ROBERTS
I gather that the Railway Executive regards it as very desirable that the length of journeys should be limited, in order to provide the widest possible facilities for the greater number; but, so far as I am aware, there is no limit as regards the actual mileage. We make that suggestion solely in the general interest of those who desire to take holidays.