§ 33. Mr. McGovern
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take steps to secure the all-night opening of one or two restaurants, in view of the difficulties of travel when troops and members of the public are arriving during the early hours of the morning and have no proper means for securing a meal and refreshment?
§ Mr. E. Brown
The hours of opening of places for public refreshment in Scotland are controlled by the local authorities. I have received no representations in favour of the all-night opening of any restaurants, and I have no power to take the action suggested. The hours of opening of railway refreshment rooms and the provision of canteens for members of the Services are matters for the Minister of Tranport and for the Service Departments respectively.
§ Mr. McGovern
Is the Minister aware that trains come to Glasgow from London during the night from 12 to 4 in the morning and that troops and other passengers are often stranded, having nowhere to go? Could he not make strong representations to the local authority to see that provision is made for these men?
§ Mr. Brown
I am informed that, for the Services, there are in Glasgow from 12 to 14 hostels in the centre of the town, open all night and providing meals and beds for 980 men, and that more are being provided to bring that number up to 1,280. There are six coffee stalls in the central division, open between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. There are no station buffets open at night. At the Central Station, one was opened experimentally for three weeks from midnight to 4 a.m., but in that time only seven cups of tea were supplied, and the experiment was dropped.
§ Mr. McGovern
Is it not the Minister's advice to the general public that they should congregate round coffee stalls in the black-out, as hundreds of people are congregating, and that no accommodation should be provided?