HC Deb 17 July 1940 vol 363 cc199-200
25. Mr. Butcher

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make arrangements with the London Passenger Transport Board to permit wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen to travel free of charge on their system?

Sir J. Reith

While appreciating the motive of my hon. Friend's suggestion, I am sorry it is not one which I feel I could require the London Passenger Transport Board to adopt.

Mr. Butcher

Will my right hon. Friend explain to me how these wounded men are able to pay the increased fares over the many short distances which their disabilities compel them to travel? Will he reconsider his decision?

Mr. Granville

Was not this the custom in most Dominions and also in this country during the last war, when wounded soldiers and sailors travelled free on trams, buses and railways?

Sir J. Reith

No, Sir. I am informed that in the last war no free travel was given.

Sir Percy Harris

Will the Government consider the possibility of providing special free passes for these men?

Mr. Buchanan

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider following the example of the Corporation of Glasgow, where a standard fare of one penny covers the whole of the system?

Sir J. Reith

I think the Supplementary Question of the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) raises another point, as the Question relates to free facilities. With regard to my right hon. Friend's Question, I am prepared to ask the appropriate authority to consider that, but I do not think it is a matter for the Ministry of Transport.