§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministery of War Transport what was the necessity for the refusal by his Department of the request made by the hon. Member for Daventry that permission should be given for the use of transport by members of the Woffendon branch of the British Legion to convey them to an Armistice Day service at Blakesley, when such permission was subsequently properly granted by the 2425W Regional Transport Commissioner; on what grounds and on whose representations the Commissioner reversed the Minister's decision; and whether the Ministry were first consulted.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
On 26th October I received my hon. Friend's request for a special coach for the use of the Wappenham Branch of the British Legion, to enable them to attend an Armistice Service on Sunday, 12th November. I replied to his letter on 2nd November, making it plain that I understood that the coach was wanted for a morning service. I explained the reasons why it is contrary to my Noble Friends' general policy to allow special vehicles on Sunday mornings. On 9th November the Commissioner's Chief Assistant received a further request from the Area Secretary of the Associated Road Operators, who explained that the coach was needed for Sunday afternoon. Regional Transport Commissioners have discretion to allow coaches on Sunday afternoons, and in view of the short time in which the necessary arrangements had to be made, he authorised a coach, while immediately informing me of what he had done. At the same time he wrote to my hon. Friend to let him know that his original request had now been agreed to.