56. Lieut.- Colonel W. GUINNESS
asked the Minister of Transport whether he can now state the cost to the public of the concession by which the Army when not travelling on duty receive their railway tickets under certain conditions for one-third of the rate payable by the general public?
§ Mr. NEAL
The difference between the money value of the concessional fares paid by officers and men of His Majesty's Army when travelling on leave, and the full public fares, is estimated by the Railway Executive Committee to have amounted in April of last year to 902 £470,000 for the month. As demobilisation has proceeded, there has been a progressive decrease. In October the difference had fallen to £158,000, or 66 per cent. less than in April, and a further reduction has no doubt since occurred.
As demobilisation is now practically at an end, is it proposed to finish this present arrangement and to return to the pre-War custom of paying ordinary rates?
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Is it the duty now of the Secretary of State for War to be the guardian of the public purse?
§ Colonel YATE
I would like to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will sec that officers are not deprived of this very small concession?
§ Sir S. HOARE
Is it not a fact that the Minister of Transport said last December that he was discussing the matter with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he hoped to arrive at a. decision immediately 2 Has any decision been reached?