HC Deb 15 May 1941 vol 371 cc1236-7
11. Mr. David Adams

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now able to reply favourably to the letter from a certain council, of whose name he has been informed, dated 29th March, requesting that some 200 men transferred from that area to another, one hour distant by omnibus, now receiving 24s. 6d. each subsistence allowance, should receive instead travelling costs of 12s. each weekly, as this would effect substantial economy, permit the men to return to their families, cultivate their allotments, etc., under dispersal conditions not possible where they work?

Mr. Bevin

I am unable to provide assistance towards the daily travelling expenses of workpeople to and from work. While the Government grant certain allowances in respect of workers who are transferred, the question of daily travelling is left, as it has always been, to be determined by negotiation between the workpeople and their employers, through the normal negotiating machinery of the industry. A system of Government grants for daily travelling, which would have to be general in its scope, would create more difficulties than it would remove.

Mr. Adams

Is the Minister not misinterpreting the Question? The suggestion is that the travelling expenses to be allowed should be an alternative to the 24s. 6d. subsistence allowance.

Mr. Bevin

It is impossible for the Minister of Labour to undertake to pay, through his Department, excess travelling allowances. It is administratively impossible to adjust. The arrangement has been to allow it to be negotiated either with a Government Department, where a Government Department is the employer, or in collective agreement, where it can be defined and arranged, through the employers, and made applicable to the circumstances of each industry.