HC Deb 22 July 1943 vol 391 cc1044-5
2. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the railway warrants issued to workers who have been directed are not available for two days either side of the Bank Holiday on a return journey from their homes; how will this arrangement affect work-people where their shut-down period terminates on the Tuesday after Bank Holiday; is he aware that the railway companies have refused to meet this difficulty; and will he take action in order to avoid friction which may lead to two or more days loss of production?

Mr. Tomlinson

My right hon. Friend has been advised by my noble Friend the Minister of War Transport that the congestion on the railways immediately before and after Bank Holidays will not permit of extra passenger travel without detriment to essential war traffic. He has, therefore, agreed that the use of cheap travel warrants for transferred workers should, like other forms of privilege travel, be suspended for a few days at these times, and it is regretted that the war situation will not allow any variation of this decision.

Mr. Smith

In view of the position that these workpeople will be in and that production should come before everything else, will my hon. Friend approach the Minister of Transport with a view to having this matter reconsidered and treated as a matter of urgency?

Sir Patrick Hannon

This is really a matter of urgency, and will not the hon. Gentleman see the Minister of Transport again? It means a serious stop in production if these people cannot travel back to their work.

Mr. Tomlinson

This does not interfere with travelling back to their work. It is the travelling away that is interfered with. In view of what my hon. Friend has said, I will see what can be done.