HC Deb 29 January 1941 vol 368 cc546-7
29. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will at once send a representative, who is able to understand the workpeople's needs, to inter- view their representatives, where required, in the North Staffordshire area covered by the correspondence which has been sent to the Minister; is he aware of the urgent need for immediate action; has he considered the correspondence sent to him by the hon. Member for Stoke; and, in view of the fine tone of the workpeople's letter, what immediate action is to be taken to deal with the deplorable state of affairs?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

As I have informed my hon. Friend by letter, I sent an officer from headquarters to review the transport services for workers in North Staffordshire. All the representations and suggestions which have been made were carefully considered and steps, including review of the railway services, are being taken to relieve the congestion on the bus services at peak periods and to make the most advantageous use of the vehicles and drivers available.

Mr. Smith

It is evident that that is part of our difficulty, but the letter I received dealt with a different problem altogether. This Question deals with the whole North Staffordshire area in regard to which I stated a few weeks ago that I could not speak in public as to what the difficulty was, but that the Minister of Transport had been informed, and that it was time it was dealt with.

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I understood that this was a question in which my hon. Friend the Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) was also interested.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman have special inquiries made? This is not a question of inconvenience to the public so much as inconvenience to and restriction of production, both for export and also for munitions. It is a very serious matter.

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

My hon. Friend knows that we are very active in this matter, so much so as to be expediting the improvement of the railway facilities. That is being brought forward by about two months.

Sir J. Lamb

But the trouble is the delay.