Mr. A. T. DAVIES
asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the large number of ex-soldiers who periodically since the War desire to attend re-unions of ex-service men, he will make inquiry with a view to the practicability of reduced fares for such men; and if satisfied, after consultation with the Secretary of State for War, as to the desirability of extending such favour to ex-service men whether he will take means as from the beginning of the New Year to arrange for such special rates?
§ Mr. NEAL
In view of the financial position of the railways any concession that might be made in the direction indicated would fall upon the taxpayer. I am afraid I can hold out no hope of reduced fares being granted exceptionally in favour of men travelling to such meet-874W ings. The number of such claims is very great. They all appeal to our sympathies, but I must ask the hon. Member to realise that with increased costs of everything up over 200 per cent, it is not possible to give low fares in special cases without facing either increased subsidies or increased charges to other users. The present increases in rail charges being far less than the increases in cost of all the ingredients of transportation, namely, materials and wages.