HC Deb 19 February 1920 vol 125 cc1097-8W

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether he is aware that the concession of a free railway ticket once in every twelve weeks allowed to workmen employed away from home on certain contracts under the directorate is to be discontinued; whether he is aware that this concession was agreed to on account of the abnormal circumstances arising out of the war; and whether, in view of the fact that these abnormal circumstances still exist, he will reconsider the decision arrived at?


The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative. In regard to the remainder, this concession, which followed that of cheap railway facilities to munition workers, was granted under the abnormal circumstances prevailing during the earlier part of the War when building construction of a most urgent character, for which local labour was not available, had to be undertaken in all parts of the country. The concession to munition workers was withdrawn on national grounds in the first half of 1918, and as the conditions which led to the concession being granted to building employés have ceased to exist, it has been decided also to discontinue free railway facilities to the latter. I regret that I am unable to see my way to recommend a reconsideration of the matter, into which the factor of economy of public money also enters.