§ 7. Mr. LINDSAY
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that the period of the availability of return tickets from various stations in Ireland to London has been reduced from six months to two months; if he is aware that such reduction causes inconvenience to those hon. Members from Ireland who attend this House; and if he will consider the desirability of having the previous arrangement reverted to?
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Sir Eric Geddes)
As I stated in a reply to the hon. Member for Waterford on 18th February, the change to which the hon. Member refers took place generally in September, 1918, and while I regret any inconvenience which may be caused to hon. Members of this House, it would not be possible to accord them exceptional exemption from the present regulation, which I think reasonable as an aid to check abuse.
§ Mr. LINDSAY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say why the change was made? It has been in operation for many years.
§ Sir E. GEDDES
There was a reduced charge for the return ticket, and with a ticket available for six months there was a far greater chance of selling the return half of the ticket.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not suppose that any hon. Member of this House would try to sell his ticket?
§ Sir E. GEDDES
I suggest nothing of the kind, but hon. Members of this House take tickets like other members of the public, and the restrictions were imposed because the public generally were abusing the privilege.
§ Mr. PEMBERTON BILLING
Is it not time to consider the travelling facilities of Members of this House, who travel in most cases in the interests of the public and the Government?