HC Deb 14 November 1962 vol 667 cc377-8
46. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give a general direction to the British Transport Commission that they should not introduce economies in meals provided by British Railways.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the recent action of the British Transport Commission in cutting out fish from railway meals has caused a great deal of discontent amongst fishermen? Dr. Beeching has already made enemies of the railwaymen. Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman approve of his making enemies of the fishermen as well?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

I hope that the hon. Member's fears of the effect of this on the fishing industry are exaggerated. But I must point out that changes in the composition or price of meals on restaurant cars is a matter for the Commission, and my right hon. Friend cannot interfere. There is the further point that, although the catering division as a whole made a profit of £750,000 in 1961, the restaurant car service lost over £250,000.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Will my hon. and gallant Friend hear in mind that, although British Railways has reduced the number of courses from four to three, apparently removing the fish course—which has caused great concern to my constituency in Aberdeen—the main course can be either fish or meat? Will he publicise this fact and see also that large portions of fish are served?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

If that proves to be correct, I can assure my hon. Friend that we will publicise the fact.

Mr. Thorpe

Is it not a fact that British Railways has enough fish in stock to continue serving the public for the next nine months?

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