HC Deb 15 November 1939 vol 353 cc695-6
30. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take steps to introduce special cheap rail tickets to enable relatives to visit inmates of sanatoria situated a long way from their homes on Sundays, as the complete suspension of Sunday excursion tickets makes it impossible for poor families to visit their sick relatives for long periods at a stretch?

Captain Wallace

While I sympathise with the desire of relatives to visit inmates of sanatoria, I regret that it is not possible, in present conditions, to arrange special cheap railway facilities for this purpose.

Mr. Gallacher

Will not the Minister reconsider this matter and discuss it with the railway companies, in view of the fact that, in general, sanatoria are very far out in the country and that in many cases it is very costly for people to travel to see their relatives and friends there?

Captain Wallace

I have discussed it with the Railway Executive Committee.

Mr. Neil Maclean

In view of the fact that a number of the inmates of sanatoria have been evacuated to very distant parts of the country because the sanatoria they were in have been taken over by the military, will not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman reconsider the answer he has given?

Captain Wallace

We are endeavouring to run the railways as a self-supporting concern, and I do not think that in cases where a concession could not be made on a self-supporting basis it is permissible to insist on it being given.