HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc568-9
37. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is now able to make a statement on the question of service men travelling between their billets and their centres during the times of running of workmen's omnibuses being rated as workmen, and charged accordingly?

The Minister of Transport (Captain Wallace)

I have inquired into the practice throughout the country and have ascertained that, where workmen's tickets are issued on regular public service vehicle stage services they are, as a general rule, available within the specified hours to any passengers, including members of His Majesty's Forces. Where workmen's tickets are not so available to all corners I am asking the Regional Transport Commissioners to approach the operators concerned with a view to securing that the privilege of workmen's fares, subject to the usual conditions, should be extended to non-commissioned officers and men of His Majesty's Forces, except in special cases, such as workmen's services intended solely for workpeople going to particular factories, collieries or other establishments. Such services would rarely be of use to members of His Majesty's Forces, and an extension of the privilege to such services might result in displacement of the people for whom the services are intended.

Mr. Gibson

Apart from the special case of vehicles proceeding to a particular works, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman use his influence to make these vehicles available to anyone of the fighting Services?

Captain Wallace

That is the purport of my answer.

Mr. Stephen

Will the Minister not also extend this to commissioned officers as well as non-commissioned officers?

Captain Wallace

That is a different Question. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put it on the Paper.