HC Deb 17 June 1953 vol 516 cc953-4
13. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Civil Aviation what is now the position of the porter staff employed by him at the various airports in relation to tipping.

Mr. Profumo

Ministry of Civil Aviation porters are forbidden to solicit tips in any way, but it would not be practicable to ban the acceptance of tips freely and spontaneously offered.

Mr. Champion

As this is a practice which is obviously growing, will the Minister introduce, or at least look at, with a view to introducing, the excellent American red-cap system, which works extremely well and is a great relief to passengers?

Mr. Profumo

My knowledge of the customs in America shows that the habit of tipping is more prevalent there than it is over here. I do not think there is any need to change the regulations that we already have.

Mr. Shackleton

Will the Minister not seriously consider the suggestion made by my hon. Friend? I do not know whether he has ever been on an American railway station. There are disadvantages, but one of the advantages is that one does know how much to tip. It would be useful to have such a system.

Mr. Profumo

An added complication is that Ministry of Civil Aviation porters are civil servants. The arrangement that we have at the present time meets the convenience of the public and it would be wrong to try to change it.