HC Deb 22 November 1939 vol 353 c1242W
Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport in view of the anxiety of very many parents to visit their evacuated children at Christmas time, and that no special trains will be run for this purpose on 24th or 31st December, whether the special facilities will be available on some other convenient day?

Captain Wallace

The hon. Member will appreciate that other demands upon the railways, including the conveyance of personnel of the Fighting Services proceeding on leave and returning to duty, are likely to be abnormally heavy about Christmastide and the New Year, and I should not feel justified in providing the special facilities which he suggests at that time. So far as Sunday, 24th December, is concerned, the Government feel that those in the receiving areas, and especially those who are looking after or organising festivities for evacuated children, ought not to be burdened with additional visitors at Christmas time. The same applies to New Year's Eve, particularly in Scotland.

It is hoped that the services to be provided on the three Sundays preceding Christmas Eve will cover most of the London reception areas which are not already served by cheap facilities and to which a return journey can be made in one day. The special services will be resumed at the beginning of the New Year.