HC Deb 16 October 1940 vol 365 cc688-90
29. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will institute a limited system of free railway passes for relatives who desire to visit evacuated women, children and elderly parents; and whether he will enable members of Air-Raid Precautions and Auxiliary Fire Service and similar services to secure free railway passes or reduced fares on the days they are exempted from duty?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

As regards the first part of the Question, I have nothing to add to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health to my hon. Friend on 15th August. On the second part, I would suggest that my hon. Friend should inform my right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security of the circumstances in which he considers that A.R.P. workers and those engaged on similar duties should be given free passes or reduced fares, as any such concession would fall to be paid for out of public funds.

40. Mr. Brooke

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that evacuation facilities are not yet universally known; and whether he will arrange for posters and clear information about all these facilities, as they at present exist in the area, to be exhibited inside all public shelters where space for display is available?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Horsbrugh)

Facilities for the evacuation of school children have been widely published in the Metropolitan area. There are numerous registration centres and the facilities are well known to parents. The planned evacuation of mothers and children from London was at once made known by the London County Council, as evacuating authority, to their dispersal officers and to the Metropolitan borough councils and other evacuating districts concerned, who were asked to arrange for the immediate display of posters in rest centres, large public shelters, and other strategic points. Further facilities have recently been authorised for the evacuation of mothers and children and certain additional groups who can make their own arrangements to be received elsewhere, and these facilities are also now set out in poster form in shelters and other suitable places. The London County Council have also just issued very widely a comprehensive circular to enable all those to whom inquiries are addressed to know exactly what advice they should give regarding the facilities now afforded under the Government evacuation scheme. My right hon. Friend will do everything possible to ensure that any fresh facilities which may become available from time to time shall be made as widely known as possible.

Mr. Brooke

Will my hon. Friend request the London County Council to entrust the important matter of drafting and designing these posters to someone who really understands publicity; and is she aware that the newest poster on evacuation has no persuasive power whatever, and that its information power is not all that it ought to be?

Miss Horsbrugh

I think that my hon. Friend will agree that that poster is published from the point of view of information. I agree that more persuasion should also be used, but if the hon. Member and other hon. Members will assist us, perhaps the persuasion can be done better personally than by poster.