HC Deb 06 June 1962 vol 661 cc461-2
34. Mrs Castle

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take steps to prohibit smoking on the lower decks of double-decker buses.

Mr. Hay

The Government are considering the whole question of smoking in public places, including public service vehicles, in the light of the recent report of the Royal College of Physicians.

Mrs. Castle

But is it not quite wrong that this decision should be left to the bus operators? Is it not really time that, without any more delay, non-smokers should get at least equal treatment with smokers? If there are two decks in a bus why cannot the non-smokers be given one of them? Why should they sit choking in other people's smoke?

Mr. Hay

I do not object to what the hon. Lady says, but in practice smoking on the lower decks of double-decker buses is already prohibited by the operators themselves in about 90 per cent. of all double-decker vehicles. All I am saying is that we ought to look at the whole problem of smoking in public places before coming to a unilateral decision on these matters.

Mr. Shinwell

When is this fanaticism going to stop? What with the Whips and what with standing orders and restrictions of various kinds, we cannot even get a smoke nowadays.

Mr. Hay

I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was smoking so much these days that he was about to burst into flames.

Mr. Rankin

The hon. Gentleman said that the Government were considering the whole problem of smoking in public places. Does that include smoking in aircraft, which, at a different level, are in much the same position as single-deck buses?

Mr. Hay

All I can answer for is double-decker buses.