HC Deb 23 June 1943 vol 390 cc1138-9
16. Mr. R. J. Taylor

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware of the indignation felt by the majority of first-class passengers travelling from King's Cross at the practice of scats being claimed on behalf of intending travellers before their arrival at the station; and whether he proposes to stop this practice?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)

My Noble Friend gave instructions to the railway companies some time ago that no hotel or railway porter should be allowed to reserve a seat in any railway carriage unless the intending passenger was present when the reservation was made. In view of my hon. Friend's representations, I am bringing the matter again to the attention of the Railway Executive Committee, and I have arranged for a special reminder to be issued to the staff at King's Goss.


Is my hon. Friend aware that that warning has been totally disregarded, and that only on Friday it appeared that notice was being taken, because one of the hotel porters said, "I have got my passenger with the case today"?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am very glad that the warning has now been effective.

Mr. Foster

Is my hon. Friend not aware that porters at railway stations take the luggage of first-class passengers and rush into first-class compartments to claim seats, and that there is a general scramble to get seats in the compartment?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I cannot prevent passengers from engaging porters.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is it not a fact that porters will do that for anybody for a reasonable tip?

Mr. Taylor

Is it right that porters should claim seats before passengers are there?

Mr. Noel-Baker

No, Sir. That is contrary to the instructions that have been given.