HC Deb 03 June 1946 vol 423 cc1766-84

12.10 a.m.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)

I beg to move, That the Standing Passengers (Amendment) Order, 1946 (S.R. & O. 1946, No. 695), dated 16th May, 1946, a copy of which was presented on 16th May, be annulled.

Mr. C. S. Taylor (Eastbourne)

May I raise a point of Order, Mr. Deputy- Speaker? This Order, No. 695, the annulment of which my hon. Friend is now moving, intends to revoke the Standing Passengers No. 2 Order, 1941, and the Public Service Vehicles (Equipment and Use) Regulations, 1941. The point about this Order is that it is amending two previous Orders. I have tried to get a copy of the two previous Orders in the Vote Office and there is none available. I have tried also to get a copy of the two Orders from the Library and I understand that there are only three copies of each of those Orders in the Library, which is obviously not sufficient for 640 Members of Parliament. May I ask whether, when a Debate of this nature takes place, these Orders could be provided in the Vote Office for the use of Members?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)

I do not think that is a matter for me.

Mr. Walker-Smith (Hertford)

Further to that point of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. May I ask whether you would accept a Motion that the Debate be adjourned until such time as these Orders are available for hon. Members in the Vote Office?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I cannot accept such a Motion. As I understand the hon. Member who raised the point, a number of copies, probably a limited number, are available in the Library.

Mr. C. S. Taylor

There are only three copies available in the Library for the use of the whole of the House. The only effect of this Motion is to revoke the previous Orders. Obviously, it is necessary to have the original Orders before one can consider the effect of the revoking Order on the original Orders.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I am sorry, but I cannot help the hon. Member. Perhaps he might have obtained copies had he asked the appropriate authority for them earlier.

Mr. C. S. Taylor

Who are those authorities?

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The Government Departments involved, I should imagine.

Sir W. Wakefield

During the abnormal conditions of the war, the restriction upon the number of passengers standing in buses was lifted. It was clear that be- cause of such abnormal conditions it was desirable that as many passengers as possible should be carried in buses and be able to get home as quickly as possible. The Order against which we are praying today no longer permits of the continuance of the carrying of the extra number of passengers permitted during the abnormal conditions of the war. This Order reverts to the situation which existed before these abnormal conditions arose and the number of passengers allowed to stand in buses during peak hours is, once more, again limited. We are asking that this Order should be annulled because abnormal conditions are still continuing. We consider that, except perhaps for the dropping of bombs and the falling of V1's and V2's, abnormal conditions still exist. The conditions existing to-day are indeed in many respects worse than the conditions during the war. We have only to look around to see the difficulty over fuel, the difficult food situation, and the housing conditions, to realise that we are not in normality. We are in very abnormal conditions. During the war there was a shortage of buses. That meant queues, and people had to wait in order to get home. The reason for allowing a greater number of people to stand in buses was to get them home more quickly and to shorten the queues. The shortage of buses continues. The firms which manufactured buses made aircraft and military vehicles during the war, and clearly it is not possible, in the short space of time which has elapsed since the end of the war, to replace the deficiency of the war years. The shortage of buses will continue for some time. Queues still exist, and will continue as long as these abnormal conditions remain. So it is only right that we should ask why this Order has been introduced. Why should not extra passengers continue to be conveyed in the buses and the queues shortened so that people can avoid having to wait a long time on the pavement, as they have to do now, because the extra number which could be carried in the buses is not allowed?

The public and this House are entitled to know the reasons which have compelled the Minister of Transport to bring forward this Order at this particular time. We are entitled to ask the Minister whether it is because of the strain on conductors and conductresses. Is that the reason behind the introduction of an Order of this kind? During the war we had women conductors. It would not be right in a Debate of this kind not to pay a very great tribute to those women who carried on so gallantly in the very trying wartime conditions. They did magnificently and the public is without a doubt grateful to them for what they did. They carried on in those abnormal conditions under a great strain, the buses carrying many more standing passengers than it is proposed to allow now. The conductresses are now being replaced by ex-Servicemen coming back from campaigns much fitter and stronger than the women. These men should be able to carry on and overcome whatever extra strain exists. I would like to pay a tribute to these ex-Servicemen for the atmosphere they are bringing into the buses. They are wonderfully cheerful, and it is a good thing for members of the public living under great hardship and stress and just having come through a great war, to have this cheery atmosphere, and to feel that they are looked after so well by these men who have returned to their work. But surely, if there is a strain on the conductors—if the women were able to carry on through the war—the ex-Servicemen should be able to bear it. Ought not we to consider the greatest good for the greatest number? Many workers who are anxious to get home after working long hours have to stand in queues, and in that way they become even more tired than they should be. That will not help national production. We have had many requests from the Prime Minister and other Ministers to increase national production, but if workers have to stand unnecessarily long hours, then production will be affected. That is an important point directly affecting this Order. It is a point which should be considered and not overlooked.

We on this side of the House really cannot accept this present position. It is not good enough that the public should have to suffer inconvenience in this way; nor is it satisfactory that conductors and conductresses should have this unnecessary strain. Why, at the peak hours, cannot an extra conductor or conductress be put on to buses, one to be on the top, and the other on the lower deck in order to collect the fares? Why cannot tickets be issued at the queues by machine or some other means in order to ease the work of conductors and conductresses at peak hours? This Order simply increases the inconvenience of the public. There are many improvements which can be made to overcome the difficulties of conductors and conductresses, but they, perhaps, are long-term improvements. It is for the coming months that we are concerned, and we think, too, that there should be more consideration for the public. The public deserves some relief after six years of war. It wants easement of strain and hardship, and it is no use at all imposing this Order and thereby putting more hardship upon the public. Abnormal conditions exist, and will continue to exist for some time to come. While abnormal conditions persist, there should be greater opportunities for the public to travel without this restriction, and I do ask that this Order should be annulled.

12.24 a.m.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)

I beg to second the Motion.

This Order, the annulment of which has been so lucidly moved by my hon. Friend— [Interruption]—lucidly enough, I think, for it to percolate into the mentality of some hon. Members opposite— by removing the relaxation upon restrictions, puts the legal position of standing passengers back to where it was in the early part of 1941. I suggest that this provision commits the fatal folly, especially for a Minister of Transport, of putting the cart before the horse. Of course, it is generally agreed that no one will stand in a bus if he can sit down. The fact that people have to stand in buses is due solely to the shortage of adequate transport today, and it is, therefore, dealing with the matter in the wrong order to impose, or re-impose, this restriction upon standing in buses rather than to adopt the constructive proposal of providing more bus transport. That there is this acute shortage will not, I am sure, be disputed. Any Member who cares to visit the immediate neighbourhood of Victoria station during the rush hour will see substantial and pathetic evidence in support of that, and I ask the right hon. Gentlemen opposite, whose own transportation is provided for, very properly, in official cars, to appreciate that a very great part of the population of London and Greater London has to travel under conditions of very great difficulty today. That being so, it appears to be wholly unjustifiable at this moment to re-impose restrictions, the effect of which will merely be that the bus queues will grow longer and that people who could be proceeding homeward in the comparatively comfortable circumstances of standing will continue to stand in queues, often in the rain, not even beginning their journey home.

I feel that the House is entitled to an explanation of the reasons which have impelled the right hon. Gentleman, who, I am sure, means well, to go back to the legal position of early 1941. One cannot altogether free one's mind from the feeling that these Orders are not wholly unconnected with the attempt by a certain number—a quite small minority, I believe—of the bus personnel a short time ago to take the law on this matter into their own hands. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will re-assure the House that there is, in fact, no connection. It would manifestly be fatal to act, and display conduct in these affairs so that it even appeared that a Minister of the Crown should yield to pressure of that sort. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will find himself able to give a reassurance to the House on this matter.

The only sensible argument, as my hon. Friend suggests, for imposing this great strain on the public is that it is hoped in some way to relieve the strain on the bus crews. I find it a little difficult to understand how the strain which was so successfully borne by the lady members of the bus crews for five years should prove an excessive strain for the returning Servicemen who are, one is glad to see, again manning the buses. The only reason for any such strain at all is the necessity for collecting fares. I should be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman would explain to the House whether that is the reason; whether it is, in fact, considered to be right to impose this additional inconvenience on the public solely to facilitate the collection of fares. If so, it would be a somewhat striking action on the part of the present Government to pay so conspicuous a tribute to the principles of a profit motive, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not think I am trying to steal their thunder when I say that I would rather that a bit of that profit were lost if the British public were able to get home a little more speedily and with a little less discomfort.

12.30 a.m.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Barnes)

I observe that the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield) and the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) have requested certain statements from me, which I shall be very happy to give. I also notice that when one is proposing to continue these powers one is urged to revert to prewar practices of freedom as quickly as possible, but when action is taken on the lines that I am proposing to take tonight one is then urged to maintain these compulsory powers on the grounds of the abnormality of present day conditions. I think hon. Members will have to realise that they cannot use those arguments too freely in so many directions.

Now that this issue has been raised, I would like to take the opportunity of removing a good many misunderstandings that have surrounded this problem of standing passengers on our public service vehicles, which has been created during recent months. May I, first of all, remind the House very briefly of the history of this problem? Before the war it was a common practice, arising from the Traffic Act of 1930, for a maximum number of five passengers to be standing in our public service vehicles during peak hours. We all recognise that during the war the most abnormal conditions developed in our transport system and, by general agreement and negotiations from September, 1939, to October, 1941, the number of standing passengers was lifted from five to eight. Then, from October, 1941, to May of this year, the number was increased to 12. I think hon. Members will agree that to crowd 12 additional passengers into any public service vehicle means not only difficulties to the transport staff, but discomfort to the passengers who have to stand and to the rest of the passengers in the vehicle. That is not a situation to which we would look forward as a normal state of affairs.

What I am proposing to do in revoking one regulation and amending the other, is to revert to the prewar practice. I would like to remind the House of the circumstances under which we have arrived at that position, file hon. Member for St. Marylebone paid his tribute to the conductresses and the members of the Transport staff who carried on under very difficult conditions during the war. I would like warmly to associate myself with those commendations. But there is a very common practice of praising working people when it suits individuals and condemning them on other occasions. I remember that when we had the transport difficulties in November of last year the attitude of hon. Members opposite was entirely different from the attitude which they are adopting tonight. Those same conductresses and bus drivers who carried on when many of our big industrial cities were being subjected to blitzing, began, if you like, to take the law into their own hands and object to the continuation of these regulations after the war with Germany had ceased. I had just taken over this office and had to make myself acquainted with the whole of the circumstances. I discovered that there was, as is often the case in troubles of this description, a psychological background to their grievances. Their grievance was that the months were passing, and no one appeared to be bothering whether the wartime concessions and agreements, which they had freely negotiated under wartime conditions, were to be removed within a reasonable time.

When the matter was reviewed it appeared to me that this was a fairly practical problem to be resolved by agreement after the war, in the same way that we moved into those conditions during the war. The first thing upon which to be satisfied was the period in which the public transport undertakings of this country could reasonably increase their services to remove the necessity of the wartime regulations. As a result of the discussions that took place between the officers of my Department, representatives of important transport undertakings and representatives of the trade union,, there was a general agreement that by progressive reduction we should eventually come to the required position in about the middle of this year. As a matter of fact, by three successive stages—in the early part of January of this year, in February of this year, and now by these two regulations, one to be amended and one to be revoked—we have completed the process which was then agreed upon that would eventually get us back to more or less prewar conditions. I would explain to hon. and right hon. Members that this was not authorised by myself until I was satisfied with regard to the convenience of the public.

With regard to London Transport, there are 500 more buses operating at peak hours than at the VE-Day period. [An HON. MEMBER: "All No. 11's."] It is no use hon. Members advocating the solution of more buses and then trying to dismiss it when we have practical evidence of more buses. Whatever hon. Members may say, these are facts; they are things that stand out without fear of contradiction. From VE-Day to November, 1945, was the period in which the dispute was developing. If this had not been dealt with in that rough-and-ready way, trying to obtain a common sense compromise that met every legitimate need, it might very well have developed into a very considerable difficulty. With regard to London Transport, the mileage increase from VE-Day to November, 1945, was 300,000 miles per week; from November, 1945, to May, 1946—the period in which I am operating this decison—the weekly increase in mileage of the London Transport system alone was over 1,000,000 miles—a total of 1,300,000 miles per week. That works out at approximately a 38 per cent, increase in weekly mileage. In the provinces the increase of public vehicle mileage from VE-Day to November, 1945, was over 1,000,000 miles a week. From November, 1945, to May, 1946, there was an increase of over 2,000,000 miles in the provincial centres of this country.

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)

When the right hon. Gentleman says " provincial centres " does he include the rural areas as well?

Mr. Barnes

Certainly. These figures represent an increase in the total weekly mileage of these services of 4,300,000 miles per week during the 12 months since VE-Day. That represents a very substantial expansion in the public road passenger services of this country. I cannot conceive any way in which we could have aggravated this position more than to have maintained under that expansion of those services the onerous conditions that prevailed during the war, which could have been justified only in the very restricted services that prevailed during the war.

Sir W. Wakefield

I wonder if the right hon. Gentleman could amplify the vety interesting figures he has given us, by telling us the figures of buses running at the present time, compared with the numbers of buses running in prewar days, and also the mileage then. That will help us to get a better comparison.

Mr. Barnes

I was not able in the short time at my disposal to complete these figures. What I was anxious to do was to convey to hon. Members the considerable expansion of services that has taken place, and which I satisfied myself last November would take place when I agreed to the progressive removal of those onerous wartime conditions. That has been carried out by agreement. The London Passenger Transport Board's services are now almost back to prewar conditions. But still expansions are taking place; because, I think, we have to face the fact that it is of no use merely getting back to prewar conditions in transport, and that there will be a general increase in the desire for travel, and that we shall, possibly, have to aim at a very enlarged service. But at the present moment the London Passenger Transport Board's services are as I say practically back to prewar standard, and measures are in hand for continuing the process.

I consider that, in developing a policy of this character, I have to keep before me three broad considerations. The first is the comfort and convenience of the travelling public; the second is the improvement in road transport services; and the third is the welfare of the platform staff. We saw at the end of last year how difficult it would become if that good relationship that has always existed between the operative staff of our transport services and the general public were interrupted, and that was avoided on that occasion. Therefore, in my view, the House would be doing a wrong thing if it stood in the way of reverting to this prewar practice. I found a very deep sense of grievance in the minds of the staff. It is of no use the hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames trying to convey that this resentment was limited to a comparatively small section of the workers in the transport industry. It was very widespread. It applied throughout the country, and it was clear that if this had not been dealt with by the common-sense method of spreading it over six months, side by side with the expansion of the services, we might have met eventually a temperamental situation with which it would have been extremely difficult to grapple. Having taken the opportunity of conveying to hon. and right hon. Members these details of the expansion of the services and, I hope, a full justification of the decision I am making, I ask the House now to support my action.

Sir W. Wakefield

Could the Minister give us any views he may have formed on constructive suggestions to help to relieve the strain on conductors and conductresses until such time as there is an adequate bus service, and standing in any numbers in queues is no longer necessary?

Mr. Barnes

This, of course, leaves us with the problem we have always had of the peak hour traffic, and neither the operation nor the revoking of this Order will affect appreciably the problem of peak hour traffic in our great industrial cities. A few days ago I made an appeal in reply to a question, that the problem of staggering should be squarely faced. The broad situation we meet with regard to peak hour traffic is this. It does not matter how rapidly we expand our services, there is a general tendency towards shorter hours in all forms of industry, and an irresistible movement of opinion towards uniform hours. While these two processes go on side by side, it is impossible to organise our transport facilities to grapple with the huge concentration of traffic of these two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. I made an appeal on that occasion—and I repeat it now in reply to the hon. Gentleman opposite—that unless public authorities and the large corporations cooperate with our transport authorities to stagger hours and spread over the working day, we shall still have to face this problem of peak hour traffic.

12.47 a.m.

Mr. Challen (Hampstead)

We have heard from the Minister what strikes me as being a great deal of bureaucratic pabulum with statistics provided by his Department but hardly touching at all the human problem that London has to face. Talk about " peak hours " about " staggering," and so forth is idle in the face of the problem which Londoners have to meet. I do not know whether the Minister has travelled by bus as I have for a number of years, and as most London Members have. I do not know whether he reads his morning and evening newspapers. If he does, he must read day after day of the utter confusion that takes place in the bus services owing to the breakdown in the tubes. In today's paper I read that for two hours, transport on the Piccadilly line was hung up and the men and women going to work had to come out and take buses. What is the good of talking about staggering and peak hours when faced with a situation of that nature? A railway line breaks down, the electric current fails, and people are stuck in the tunnels and brought out to the surface buses. Talk about going back to 1941 conditions does not touch the problem at all.

I would remind the Minister, as he has been reminded already, that we are in fact going back to legislation of 1941. The Minister is invoking emergency powers to restore the " five standing " rule in buses. I suggest to him that we are under as great an emergency as ever we were. For my part I pay the greatest tribute to the conductors and to those who are termed " conductresses "—though personally I like the term " conductors "In their case also. I find that these women, throughout the war, have been gallant and helpful in the work they did in the buses. I do not believe they are prepared to prevent the earners of bread and butter from travelling, or that they wish to leave standing in queues people waiting to go home from work, or to go to work—[An HON. MEMBER: " Waiting to go home to bed."] Yes, waiting to go home to bed, wives waiting to go home to cook their husbands' dinners or husbands waiting to go home to eat those dinners. I do not believe that those conductors are so hardhearted and inhuman as hon. Members suggest.

The Minister was talking bureaucratic nonsense. He was retailing statistics given to him by his Department to justify a return to 1941 conditions. We arc under a greater emergency now than we ever were before the war. London traffic is getting worse and worse. London passengers are getting very angry. I do not believe they are prepared to put up with legislation of this nature.

12.52 a.m.

Mr. Wilkins (Bristol, South)

I have been very surprised at the reception which this Order has received in my constituency. I feel that the Minister should be anxious to know the effects of such an Order on the public mind. It was perhaps unfortunate that the Order came into effect in my part of the country during a bad spell of rainy weather. The result, as I am informed on the authority of my own son—I think I can believe his evidence—is that people had to wait for 25 minutes in the queue, getting wet to the skin. Following representations of people who were in the queue, and of the tramway regulators, on two succeeding nights the tramway company provided additional buses, which took the people for the time being, but they were taken off suddenly at the end of two days.

I submit that this Order is premature. If we had waited a little longer until there was more transport I could have understood it. I have heard hon. Members say that in London there are great difficulties. We have tried to overcome our difficulties in Bristol by providing a conductor at the queue at the terminus with an automatic machine giving out tickets before people entered the buses, and thereby reducing the amount of work to be done on the vehicles. It was a very simple expedient. We have been using it for many months, but it does not solve the problem.

I reinforce what has been said by the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor), who is so regular in his attend ance at Evening Prayers. Hon. Members on this side are very much concerned about this matter. Until such time as adequate transport facilities are available there should be some relaxation in the number of standing passengers. You told us just now in your speech—

Mr. Speaker

I do not remember telling the hon. Member anything at all.

Mr. Wilkins

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I mean my right hon. Friend the Minister. He told us just now that his main concern was the comfort and convenience of the passengers. I would respectfully submit to him that the principal concern should be the convenience before the comfort of the passengers. To get all the people home from their place of employment is important to them. I would respectfully ask him to give further consideration to this Order and see if something cannot be done to ameliorate the effect it is having on the travelling public.

12.56 a.m.

Mr. David Renton (Huntingdon)

I too, like the hon. Member for South Bristol (Mr. Wilkins), listened with great care and attention to the Minister. He convinced me at any rate that he has in- creased the facilities over the whole country quite considerably during the past year. But a major factor which he appears to have overlooked is that since VE-day the demand for transport, and especially bus transport, has increased immensely, and the increased facilities of which he has given us evidence, have to be regarded in the light of the increased demand. When we come to weigh one against the other can we be sure the time has come for reducing the number of standing passengers a bus can carry? If I may say so with the greatest respect, the emphasis in this Debate has been on the problem of bus transport in London, but there is a no less serious—perhaps a more serious—problem in the rural areas. I say without hesitation that, if this rule comes into operation and is enforced rigidly in rural areas, there will be many school children who will not get to school at all. I know of rural places where the children are only getting to school because a large number of them are allowed to stand on the buses; and I will give the Minister particulars if he wishes. I do not wish to be merely contentious and destructive in this argument. I would like to put one constructive suggestion and it is this. The Minister may know that on some of the trams there is a front exit and an entrance at the rear. It seems to me that there could be a method of controlling the standing passengers and helping the conductors very greatly by easing the flow of people through the vehicle. It does not appear that a great many fares are lost on the trams on account of the use of the front exit because as a matter of fact it is worked by the driver who has a bell which is rung for him if a passenger wishes to get off. It should not be very difficult when a bus is brought in for overhaul to make a quick modification, and to adapt a number of vehicles in that manner. In conclusion, I would say that British people are cooperative with one another, and are long suffering in adversity. But they would rather get home quickly, even in some kind of discomfort, than wait in queues to travel in comfort.

12.59 a.m.

Mr. Walker-Smith (Hertford)

I rise to make only one short point which I had hoped to make by way of interrogation rather than by formal speech. The Minis- ter has referred in some detail to the increases in services. In common with other hon. Members I listened with great attention to that. I was however hoping to hear something from him with regard to improvements in the spacing and phasing of bus services. As I see it, we are faced with an alternative between having passengers standing in buses and having them standing in queues. If the Minister were able to improve the phasing and spacing of the actual bus services, he would have a stronger case for the action he is now taking, because by doing so, he would reduce the time spent in standing in those queues. It may be that the actual time schedules are perfectly worked out. I do not know. But it is common knowledge that the actual running of the buses on many Metropolitan routes leaves a lot to be desired. The No. 11 buses are a particularly blatant instance of this. They are rather like Wordsworth's clouds which "moved together when they moved at all."It is this question of mass arrival and long delays which makes people stand for a long time in a queue, and reconciles them to standing in crowded buses as the lesser of two evils, particularly in inclement weather. I should be very grateful if the Minister would consider that aspect of the case in the light of the action he now proposes to take.

1.1 a.m.

Mr. C. S. Taylor (Eastbourne)

I am sorry that the Minister did not listen to the arguments from all sides of the House before he replied to this Debate. I think he might have given us just a little longer run for our money before he rose to answer the speeches of the mover and seconder. I think we are all agreed that the main reason for this Order tonight is that there are not enough buses. I do ask the Minister to exercise a little imagination in dealing with this problem. For example, has he considered issuing books of tickets, say, 25 1½d. or 2d. tickets, to those who wish to travel regularly on buses, so that when they walk on to the bus the ticket collector can tear off a ticket and does not have to bother to collect fares and punch tickets? We are thinking not only of the comfort cf the passengers, but of the comfort and the amenities of the ticket collector, and I understand that the reason why this Order is introduced is that the ticket collectors found it difficult to collect the fares and issue the tickets in a crowded bus. We are thinking of ways and means whereby the ticket collector's job could be made a little less hard than perhaps it is in a crowded bus at the moment. Several points have been mentioned, such as automatic machines at the big queues, selling of tickets by inspectors, in order to relieve the conductors on the buses.

None of these points has been answered by the Minister. I hope that before we have to divide on this Motion or before we consider whether we are going to divide or not, the Minister will answer some of the points that have been raised, not only on this side of the House but on his side of the House also. [An HON. MEMBER: "One."] Perhaps only one, but I know that there are other hon. Members opposite who are concerned about this matter. I discussed the Order with certain hon. Members opposite before we had this Debate tonight, and they are sympathetic, just as we are, towards the public who have to remain in the bus queues in pouring rain night after night without being able to get home. Where is the Dunkirk spirit of "Get you home"? That is what we ask now and I hope the Minister will reply.

1.4 a.m.

Sir W. Wakefield

The Minister did ask us whether we would withdraw this

Prayer. When he made his request, he had still to listen to quite a number of speeches. I ask him whether, in view of what has been said from all quarters of the House, he will not reconsider the position and postpone this Order, perhaps for another six months, until more buses are on the road, or until some action can be taken such as has been suggested from the Floor of the House tonight. The Minister did say that this Order was putting us back to prewar conditions in so far as the transportation of passengers was concerned. But we are not back to prewar conditions. That is the point we are making. It is for that reason that I beseech the Minister to reconsider this Order, to give the public the consideration to which they are entitled and to help them to get home more quickly than will be possible if the Order is not annulled. We do not want to divide the House, but if he will not reconsider this Order I feel that, as we are not back in prewar conditions, we shall have no option but to divide as a protest.

Question put, That the Standing Passengers (Amendment) Order, 1946 (S.R. & O., 1946, No. 6951, dated 16th May, 1946, a copy of which was presented on 16th May, be annulled.

The House divided: Ayes, 17: Noes, 105.

Division No. 191. AYES. 1.8 a.m.
Barlow, Sir J Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Thomas, J. P. L, (Hereford)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Neven-Spence, Sir B. Wadsworth, G.
Challen, C. Ronton, D. Walker-Smith, D
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Hope, Lord J. Studholme, H. G. Sir Wavell Wakefield and Mr. Boyd-Carpenter.
Mellor, Sir J. Taylor, C S (Eastbourne)
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Driberg, T. E. N. Jeger, G. (Winchester)
Attewell. H. C. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepoels)
Baird, Capt. J. Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Keenan, W.
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J. Farthing, W. J. Kenyon, C
Barton, C. Fletcher, E. G. M (Islington, E.) Key, C. W.
Bechervaise, A. E. Foot, M. M. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr, E.
Bing, Capt. G. H. C Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Kinley, J
Binns, J. Gibson, C. W. Leslie J. R.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Lewis, A W. J. (Upton)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Gordon-Walker, P. C. Lipton, Lt.-Cot. M.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Mack, J. D.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Griffiths, D. (Rather Valley) McKay, J. (Walisend)
Burke, W. A. Gunter, Capt. R. J. McLeavy, F.
Champion, A. J. Hale, Leslie Middleton, Mrs. L.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Mitchison, Maj. G. R
Collindridge, F Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Monslow, W.
Collins, V. J. Herbison, Miss M. Morris, Lt -Col H. (Sheffield, C.)
Corlett, Dr. J. Hewitson, Capt. M. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Grossman. R H. S. Holman, P. Moyle, A.
Daines, P. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Neal, H. (Claycross)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hoy, J. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hubbard, T. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Pearson, A.
Diamond, J. Irving, W. J. Perrins, W.
Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Sheffington, A. M. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Papplewell, E. Snow, Capt. J. W. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Pritt, D. N. Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Ranger, J. Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.) Williams J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Rhodes, H. Swingler, S. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Roberts, A. Symonds, Maj. A. L. Wills, Mrs. E. A
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Woodburn, A.
Royle, C. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Yates, V. f.
Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) Zilliacus, K
Shurmer, P. Warbey, W. N.
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Watkins, T. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Simmons, C. J. Weitzman, D. Mr. Joseph Henderson and Mr. Hannan
Sir W. Wakefield

I beg to move, That the Standing Passengers (Revocation) Order, 1946 (S.R. & O., 1946, No. 696), dated 16th May, 1946 a copy of which was presented on 16th May, be annulled. In principle this Order is the same as the one we have just discussed. It refers to trolley buses. I do not want to go over the ground again, and I move the Motion formally.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I beg to second the Motion.

Question put, and negatived.

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