HC Deb 02 August 1944 vol 402 cc1367-8
22. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport if he will recommend that a decoration should be given to all concerned with the British railways for their magnificent and often unseen work for the war effort.

Mr. Noel-Baker

As I said in answer to a Question last week, the Government are fully conscious that all ranks of the railway personnel have, in common with those engaged in other forms of national production, done most notable work for the nation during the war. More than four hundred individual decorations, medals and commendations have so far been awarded to railwaymen for outstanding service, and no doubt further recommendations will be made. My Noble Friend considers that this method of recognition is more appropriate than that suggested by my hon. Friend.

Sir W. Smithers

To reinforce that claim, will the hon. Gentleman remind his Noble Friend of the brilliant and efficient service to the nation that has been carried out under private enterprise?

Mr. Watkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that railwaymen, instead of receiving decorations, or in addition to receiving decorations, would be much more gratified if the railways were made into a great public service at the end of the war?

24. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport if he will take suitable steps to convey to the omnibus drivers and conductors of the L.P.T.B. the gratitude and admiration of the people of London for their courtesy, skill and courage during the period of the war.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend for this opportunity of paying tribute once again to the magnificent way in which all road transport workers and, not least, the drivers and conductors of the London Passenger Transport Board, have responded to the severe and testing demands made upon them by the war. I propose to convey the terms of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question and of this reply to the chairman of the board, and I am sure that, in so doing, I shall only be voicing the general sentiment both of the country and of the House.

Sir T. Moore

While thanking my hon. Friend for his satisfactory reply, might I ask him whether, in view of the various "Salute" weeks that we have had recently, he does not consider that something might be done to pay a tribute to the transport services of this country?

Mr. McEntee

Will my hon. Friend ask that drivers and conductors of other public vehicles shall receive a similar tribute?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I did mention the drivers of other public vehicles.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

Will the Minister also convey our thanks and appreciation to those soldiers who served the public so nobly while the transport strike was on?