HC Deb 18 June 1941 vol 372 cc636-7
28. Mr. Higgs

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether he is aware that transport undertakings refuse to relax their regulations regarding the use of return tickets which are available on the date of issue only; and will he consider extending their period of utility to members of the Auxiliary Fire Service and Home Guard when these men have been called out for service on raid nights?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Colonel Llewellin)

The concession already announced whereby tickets at monthly return rates are available on the main line railways to full-time Civil Defence workers and to fire watchers has been extended to the Home Guard. I do not think that it would be reasonable to require that the availability of day return tickets should be extended as my hon. Friend suggests.

Mr. Higgs

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that the majority of these men are giving their services, does he not consider it very hard that when they have been working all night they should have to pay their return fare, and will he give further consideration to this minor suggestion?

Colonel Llewellin

It is a question of pay. If they are working in their employer's premises all night, it may well be that the employer should pay the return fares and not put the obligation upon the railway company.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Is the principle of payment the right one?

Mr. Davidson

Is the Minister aware that at the present moment it is the men who pay, and will he make an inquiry into the matter with the object of distributing this burden among the proper people?

Colonel Llewellin

All I was anxious to point out was that, in my view, the people who should pay are not the railway companies.

Mr. Higgs

But it costs the railway companies nothing at all.