§ 19. Mr. TINKER (for Mr. KIRKWOOD)
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the complaints regarding the fares charged by David McBrayne (1928), Limited, on the Skye route between Mallaig and Portree, which are excesesive compared with Clyde steamer fares; and will he bring this to the notice of the company with a view to bringing these fares to the same level as the charges on Clyde steamers?
I am not aware of the complaints to which the hon. Member refers. The fares charged by Messrs. McBrayne between Mallaig and Portree have twice been reduced since the new company was formed, first in 1929 and again so recently as March of this year, and I have no reason to consider that the present fares are excessive.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
In view of the fact that the McBrayne Company receive a very large subsidy for carrying the mails to the West Highlands, cannot the hon. Gentleman make some investigation into this matter and make comparisons between the fares charged by this company and the ordinary steamboat fares to other parts in the West of Scotland?
I find that the single fares charged only average 25 per cent. above the pre-War rate, and that the charge for return tickets is 40 per cent. above the pre-War rate. I do not think that, in existing circumstances, one can consider those charges excessive.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
But does not the hon. Gentleman realise that other steamboat companies have reduced their fares very considerably below those figures, and have special fares for special occasions?