§ 40. Mr. Wakefield
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that members of His Majesty's Services frequently have to wait several hours for train connections during the night at Swindon Junction Railway Station; that waiting and rest accommodation at or near the station is inadequate; and what steps does he propose to take to remedy this position?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Yes, Sir. I am aware of the unsatisfactory conditions to which my hon. friend has called attention. I am glad to inform him that the Army welfare department is now constructing a new rest room for Service personnel on Swindon Station, and I trust that a considerable improvement will result.
§ Mr. Wakefield
May I thank the Minister for his reply and ask whether he is aware that this step will cause great satisfaction among troops who have to change and wait for many hours at the station?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I ought to make it plain that the Great Western Railway have made great efforts to provide this improvement. They have put at the disposal of the Y.M.C.A. a large part of their restaurant and certain room space, but the Y.M.C.A. have not been able to find the staff during the night, and, there- 1055 fore, the troops have been without anywhere to go. The real responsibility for this lies with the welfare department of the War Office, who are constructing new rest rooms. They have been impeded by a shortage of timber, and we are endeavouring to speed up the supply.
Cannot the Minister get the military authorities to lend men for the night? That is what we have done at Plymouth, and it is very satisfactory.