HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc16-7
32. Lieutenant W. Shepherd

asked the Minister of War Transport if he will state the number of train-men who have left trains on running lines during the past 12 months.

Mr. Barnes

The information which the hon. and gallant Member is understood to require is, for the 12 months ended 31st January, 1946, as follows:

Drivers, 195; Firemen, 276, Guards, 526; Total, 997.

Lieutenant Shepherd

In view of the disastrous effect which this has on the railway service, will the Minister tell us what steps he is taking to ensure that it will not be repeated in the forthcoming year?

Mr. Barnes

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that the responsibility for these matters rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the management of the railway companies and that the railway companies take disciplinary action in cases of this description.

Mr. Popplewell

Is it not a fact that before men leave their trains in this way they have worked a lot of overtime? Is it not also a fact that, so far as train-men generally are concerned, they have done a really magnificent job of work during the war?

Mr. Barnes

I think everyone is only too anxious to acknowledge the magnificent service which railwaymen have rendered during the war, but that does not justify any individual railwayman leaving his train or his duty under present conditions.

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