Carriage Seats (Reservation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Railways – in the House of Commons on 9th December 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent Stoke

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that a railway porter and a Euston Hotel porter stood from 2.15 p.m. to 2.45 p.m. on No. 14 platform, Euston Station, on the 26th November, 1942, in order to reserve three first-class seats; that a paper was pinned on the seats, "Not for public use"; that both men were given gratuities, while many Serving men and women of the Armed Forces were overcrowded in the train; and what action does he intend to take to stop this practice?

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

Three passengers from the Euston Hotel travelled on the 2.50 p.m. train to Stoke on 26th November. Their luggage was taken to the train by one of the hotel porters, who placed it on three seats in one compartment. The porter stayed by the compartment to watch the luggage until the three passengers arrived. I am assured that no other porter attended to these passengers. One seat only was labelled "Not for public use"; the labelling was done, not by the porter, but by the Stationmaster's staff. My information is that the train was well loaded, but not overcrowded. My Noble Friend has given instructions that in future no hotel porter or other porter may reserve seats for intending passengers by placing luggage on them, unless the passengers are themselves present when this is done.