Oral Answers to Questions — Railway Stations (Booking Office Delays).

– in the House of Commons on 3rd June 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether, in view of the time required at railway booking offices to check Service warrants and the consequent delay in the issue of tickets generally, he will now authorise the Services to issue a form of warrant which shall be valid as a ticket?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

As I informed my hon. Friend in a reply to a Supplementary Question on 25th March, this suggestion had then been considered and rejected on the ground that it was not practicable. It is, however, being examined afresh, and I will let my hon. Friend know the result as soon as I can.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

While I thank the hon. Gentleman for his reply, will he bear in mind that it takes about four times as long to check a Service warrant as to issue an ordinary ticket, and that in consequence many civilians either miss the train or else have to take a platform ticket and pay on the train, which practice itself delays the collection of tickets?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

Yes, Sir. I am aware of the great difficulties caused by the large number of Service warrants which are now dealt with. Various plans for meeting the difficulty are now under consideration.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that, apart from the effect on civilians, the men themselves often have to queue up at these booking offices carrying heavy kits, and that they really ought to be relieved from this burden?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

I think that the inconvenience caused to the men and the public is very considerable.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Would there be any difficulty in supplying a book of vouchers similar to the arrangement for Members of Parliament?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

That is one of the plans under consideration, but the accountancy difficulties are considerable.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Does accountancy really matter?

Photo of Mr George Mathers Mr George Mathers , Linlithgowshire

Is my hon. Friend aware that the War Department issue vouchers for tickets to places where stations do not exist, and that it has been known for a voucher to be given for a bus journey from Thurso to Kirkwall?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

I hope that my hon. Friend will send me details.