First-Class Compartments

Oral Answers to Questions — Railways – in the House of Commons on 21st October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Robert Boothby Mr Robert Boothby , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Eastern

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether travellers holding third- class tickets are entitled to use first-class carriages if no seating accommodation in the third-class is available?

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

The instructions issued to railway staff are that, when third-class accommodation on a train is seriously overcrowded, third-class passengers may be allowed to occupy first-class seats without extra charge. It is, however, necessary to have some regard to the requirements of passengers holding first-class tickets who may join the train later in its journey.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

Is it not a fact that this is a democratic country and that to nine-tenths of the population democracy means travelling first with a third-class, ticket?

Photo of Mr Robert Boothby Mr Robert Boothby , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Eastern

Who is to decide what is serious overcrowding?

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

That is left to the discretion of the competent railway officials who are charged with administering the instruction.

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

Is not the best solution to wipe out first-class travelling altogether?

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

I said a day or two ago, in reply to a Question, that I think the reasons" in favour of the retention of first-class accommodation still hold good.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Is it correct that a third-class passenger cannot enter a first-class carriage without permission from the guard or ticket collector?

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

A third-class passenger has no prerogative right to a first-class seat without permission of the competent official. That is the only possible system, and I think the officials are doing very well.