HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 cc1224-5W
Sir R. Aske

asked the Minister of Transport whether he has now been able to review the arrangements for providing cheap rail facilities to enable parents to visit their children in reception areas with a view to extending the facilities to those areas to which a return journey cannot he made in one day?

Captain Wallace

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of Health, and I are anxious that the parents of children at schools which have been evacuated under the Government scheme to more remote districts should be given facilities for visiting their children if at all possible. As stated by the Minister of Health on the 30th November in reply to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies), one factor which must be considered in cases where the return journey cannot be made in one day is the possibility of accommodation for the night in the reception area.

I have, in agreement with my right hon. Friend, arranged for special facilities to be available before Christmas for Rediuth and Camborne, a district to which a considerable number of London school children were evacuated. A train will, under this arrangement, leave Paddington at mid-day on Saturday, 16th December. Visitors will have a choice of returning at mid-day on Sunday, the 17th, or of staying till the evening, in which case they will travel by a night train arriving at Paddington early on the morning of the 18th. If the experiment proves to be a success I will, in consultation with my right hon. Friend, consider the extension of similar facilities to other areas after Christmas.