20. Dr. Russell Thomas
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport how many men of military age are employed as conductors, drivers, cleaners, etc., by the London Passenger Transport Board; and how many of these are Army reservists receiving reserve pay?
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Sir Arthur Salter)
There are of military age in the employment of the London Passenger Transport Board 7,690 drivers, 865 conductors and 819 washers and general hands on road vehicles; the Board have not applied for the deferment of the calling-up of conductors, washers and general hands. So far as the Board is aware, none of the men in any of these classes are Army reservists receiving reserve pay.
Does not my hon. Friend agree that a large number of these conductors could be easily replaced and does he not think that it is bad for the morale of people like small traders who have 1212 ruthlessly had their businesses closed that they should be retained?
§ Sir A. Salter
I think that the hon. Member misunderstood my answer. I said in regard to conductors that no deferment has been asked for. Some of those for whom deferment has not been asked have not been called up either because they are medically unfit or because the military work to which they were assigned was not required at the moment.
Has not the Transport Board a truly bad record in regard to recruitment for the Territorial Army before the war?