HC Deb 24 March 1938 vol 333 cc1373-5
79. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has any statement to make as to the attitude of the London Passenger Transport Board to its employés in the Territorial Army?

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Burgin)

Following upon the Debate in this House on 8th March, I have been in communication with the London Passenger Transport Board, and I think that a satisfactory solution of this matter has now been reached. The board are willing to grant one additional week's leave of absence with pay (less Territorial Army allowances) to members of their staff joining the Territorial Army. The board propose no limitation until it appears to be necessary for the protection of the public services for which they are responsible. At this stage they will consult with me again. The board's difficulty, which is common to all transport undertakings, is that the maximum demand for service coincides with the normal camping season and so prevents the release of men for training. There are times in the year arising out of seasonal changes in the volume of traffic to be carried when the board could readily release a number of men. I am in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, with a view to seeing what arrangements may be possible to avoid the withdrawal from their work of a large number of men simultaneously, particularly during the peak periods of traffic.

Mr. Keeling

For his successful negotiations, I should like to thank my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Thorne

In view of that statement, is it not now possible to get the Second Reading of the Bill through as quickly as possible?

Mr. Burgin

I earnestly hope so, as the Bill relates to the construction of public works which are urgently required, and delay in the passage of the Bill means the possible risk of unemployment for a number of persons.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to convey to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War the necessity for having winter camps if necessary, so as not to make inroads in the normal holidays of the staff of the London Passenger Transport Board?

Mr. H. G. Williams

Is it not the case that road traffic in London is lighter during August than other months of the year?

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is still objection to Clause 48?

Mr. Burgin

If reference is made to Clause 48, I hope hon. Gentlemen will await the statement on the Bill. Clause 48 is required in the Bill, and it has my blessing.