HC Deb 27 February 1929 vol 225 cc2085-7

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."


I would like to ask those in charge of this Bill if they will bear in mind that there is a great deal of feeling among the people in Edinburgh about the difference in the charges made for admission to the platforms at the London, Midland and Scottish station and the Waverley Railway Station. In one case the charge is ld., and in the other case it is 3d. This charge of 3d. is a heavy burden on poor people who wish to go on to the platform to see their relatives off by train. I do not wish to delay the Bill, and I only call attention to this matter in the hope that the anomaly may be remedied.


Are we to have any reply from the hon. Member in charge of this Bill? Courtesy alone entitles the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) to some expression of opinion in answer to his request. I am not sure who is in charge of this Bill, hut, if anyone is in charge, clearly we ought to have a reply.


I stood up to reply when the lion. Member himself rose. I wish to say that the point which has been raised by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) will certainly be given full consideration.


What does that mean? I am glad to know that there is an hon. Member in charge of this Bill and representing this particular railway company, and if he is cognisant of the affairs of that company surely he must be in a position to say quite definitely and without any ambiguity what the company can do in this matter. It is a perfectly reasonable request which has been made. There appears to be no reason why the anomaly which has been pointed out should exist. Why should anyone be charged 3d. to go on one platform and only 1d. on another? I cannot see why anybody should be charged at all for going on to a platform to see persons off by train. At all events there is no reason for a charge of that kind being made in Scotland. We have no desire to do anything unfair towards this railway company, and if they are in a position to reduce the charge to that which is made by other companies we shall be satisfied. But information has been conveyed to me, in a somewhat surreptitious but none the less welcome fashion, that this point has now been settled, and, therefore, there appears to be no reason why I should detain the House.


I would like to call the attention of the House to the extraordinary contrast between what is happening this evening and what took place last evening. Last evening a Member who was in charge of a particular Bill was denied a hearing, or at least an attempt was made to deny him a hearing. To-night we have a demand that the Member in charge of the Bill should get up in his place and should not remain silent.


May I, by leave of the House make this observation in reply? There is a very big difference—


The House is no longer in Committee and the hon. Member has already spoken once.


But on a point of correction. May I not be permitted to say—


The point has already been decided.