HC Deb 01 March 1948 vol 448 cc17-8
30. Mrs. Jean Mann

asked the Minister of Transport under what authority bands and music on the steamers of the River and Firth of Clyde have been prohibited, and if he is aware that this decision is depriving holidaymakers and tourists of a feature that has given enjoyment to countless thousands in the past.

Mr. Barnes

This is a matter for the British Transport Commission. They inform me that arrangements are being made for the bands to continue this year, under licence, on the understanding that the licences will be withdrawn if there is a recurrence of abuses such as are said to have arisen in the past.

Mrs. Mann

Will my right hon. Friend tell his friends on the Transport Commission that their decision to continue the music will give happiness to a great many people?

Mr. Barnes

If I may say so, my friends on the Transport Commission are also the hon. Lady's friends.

Miss Herbison

Would my right hon. Friend also find from the Commission what are their views on the painting of these ships—since he found out about the bands—because these things, which may seem to be trivial, are causing a great deal of dissatisfaction among people in the west of Scotland.

Mr. Barnes

That point really arises in the answer to the next Question.

Captain John Crowder

May I ask what were the abuses?

Mr. Barnes

I understand that one of them was that these bands receive no direct payment and that they were unduly pestering the passengers for gifts.

Sir R. Ross

Will the Minister consider meeting the hon. Lady's difficulty by having better known items of broadcasting on the steamers where they cannot ask for money?

Mr. Barnes

I am unable to understand the purport of the hon. Member's question.

31. Mrs. Mann

asked the Minister of Transport under whose authority a uniform colour scheme has been imposed on the steamers on the river and Firth of Clyde; and if he will give an explanation.

29. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport what consideration guided the Railway Executive in their choice of a colour scheme for the Clyde steamers.

Mr. Barnes

This is a matter for the British Transport Commission. They inform me that, in settling the colour scheme, they had in mind that about four-fifths of all the Commission's steamships are already similarly painted, and that, as regards the Clyde, only the relatively small number of former L.N.E.R. steamers are affected by the change.

Mrs. Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the four-fifths referred to were painted a nice sunshiny yellow, and that now the sunshiny yellow, and the bright reds of the earlier L.N.E.R., have been obliterated into a dull buff colour, exactly similar to Income Tax reminders, plus a mourning black hem on the top of the funnel, and we very much resent it?

Mr. Barnes

I am not quite sure which represents my hon. Friend's greatest objection, the removal of the colour, red, or the Income Tax colour, but we shall consider both.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will the Minister confirm the statement that the "Duchess of Montrose" is to be painted red?

Mr. J. S. C. Reid

Is it really necessary for these vessels to go into mourning to celebrate their transfer to national ownership?

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