HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1508-9
48. Mr. Hurd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost of the warrants for free travel and at half fare issued to Poles and other foreigners during the past year; and why they are not charged the ordinary fare.

Sir S. Cripps

As the answer includes a number of figures, I am circulating it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hurd

At the same time, will the Chancellor undertake to keep a close watch on these free travel vouchers, so that the generosity of the British public is not abused?

Sir S. Cripps

I always keep a close watch on the expenditure of money.

Mr. Tiffany

Could my right hon. and learned Friend give an answer to the last part of the Question, which has obviously nothing to do with the figures he is to circulate?

Sir S. Cripps

I think that will be found in the answer which I am circulating.

Following is the answer:

During the year 1947–48, the latest year for which figures are available, warrants for travel, free and at half fare, were issued to Poles at a cost of about £477,000. Of this figure, about £469,000 represented the cost of travel on leave, under normal service arrangements, by members of the Polish Resettlement Corps which is now being disbanded; it excludes the cost of travelling on duty by members of that Corps.

In the same period, warrants for free travel were issued to persons brought to this country under the European Volunteer Worker Scheme, at a cost of about £170,000.

Certain facilities for cheap travel are available for workers, whether British or foreign, placed in employment in essential industries. The figures given above do not include the cost of travel by Polish and other foreign workers under these arrangements.

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