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Railway Staffs (War Bonus)

Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport the reasons for rejecting the claim for an increase in pay by railway staff earning between £500 and £1,000 a year; how many staff are affected; and whether the companies were willing to advance these salaries?

The decision not to pay war bonus to railway staff whose salaries are between £500 and £1,000 a year was taken in pursuance of the Government's policy on stabilisation and in accordance with decisions made in comparable cases by the National Arbitration Tribunal and the Industrial Court. The number of persons affected is 1,768.

My hon. and gallant Friend will understand that the views of the railways are conveyed to the Ministry by the Railway Executive Committee, who are the agents of the Government, and their advice has to be regarded as confidential.

Why is it that this small number of salaried people, who bear a vast burden of responsibility, should apparently be the only railway employees who are not allowed to have an advance?

Because the decision was made by my Noble Friend after consultation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and together they examined very carefully every aspect of the question. I think my hon. and gallant Friend ought to take it that the decision is final.