New Clause. — (Expenses of Employees, etc., in Travelling to and from Work.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1952.

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Photo of Mr Ellis Smith Mr Ellis Smith , Stoke-on-Trent South 12:00 am, 17th June 1952

I wish to place on record my satisfaction that an assurance has been given that the Chancellor and his officials are prepared to consider this suggestion between now and the next Finance Bill. I assure my hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) that none of us desires to be a party to increasing the danger of abuses. We know that already too much administrative expenditure is incurred in dealing with abuses. We all want to safeguard the position.

Having said that, I assure the Minister that there is more in this suggestion than appears on the surface. One of the greatest needs of British economy is mobility of labour. In spite of the optimism of the Minister, I do not think that the position is improving to any great extent. He was making a political point. Something should be done about this matter.

In Lancashire, thousands of men and women travel between 15 and 25 miles a day between north-east Lancashire and Trafford Park. It becomes a serious problem when one or more members of each family pays an abnormal amount for travelling of this description. Instead of improving, as the Minister suggested, it appears that the position will worsen considerably. I have had a number of letters from constituents asking that some action should be taken. In the present position we have not been able to do anything.

I hope that between now and the next Finance Bill the Minister will ask representative organisations to submit details to him. He should ask managements to request working people to put on paper details of their travelling expenses. He should consult the Ministry of Labour. I am convinced that if that is done a Clause of this kind will be adopted sooner or later.