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SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL.
14 May, 1908.]
213. Do you know what reason actuated Holland in refusing to adopt Greenwich time ! You say it is 20 minutes behind Greenwich time ! —It was their local time, and I believe they thought that if they adopted Greenwich time they would lose a certain amount of daylight. I may say that I know that a good many Dutch people are strongly in favour of their adopting the MidEuropean time, but they do not like to Germanise themselves more than they can help.
214. Do they do the same thing in Belgium ?– Belgium has Greenwich time for railways and for private use.
214a. Will you continue, please ?—I fear that if the clocks were put forwards and backwards as suggested by Mr. Willett, very great confusion would be entailed. Speaking as a railway man, I may say that every driver, guard and signalman would have to alter his clock or watch, and if he omitted to do so (and I should not like to trust it altogether to our men to do it), we might have a very serious state of matters; not only might it be dangerous, but there might be an accident. Then, again, if the clocks were not altered at the men's homes, they would come on duty late. But the principal difficulty, so far as the Great Eastern Railway is concerned, would be as regards the train services in connection with the Continent. If you take our line as an illustration, at present a train leaves Liverpool Street at 8.30, and the steamer running in connection with it arrives at the Hook of Holland at 5 o'clock. If the clocks were altered as suggested, the steamer would arrive at 4.40, 4.20, 4, and 3.40, as the case might be, as each 20 minutes was put on, whereas the Dutch train onwards would start after 5 o'clock— 10 minutes after 5, I think, is the time it is due to start, practically 5 o'clock—and the passengers in the extreme case would have to wait an hour and 20 minutes, which, particularly at 5 o'clock in the morning, would not be very pleasant for them. It may be urged that the Great Eastern Company could start later from England; but there are some statements that I should like to put before the Committee, showing what our connections with the North are (handing in the same). There is a train which runs to Parkeston in connection with the arrival and departure of steamers, and it connects at all those various towns which the Committee will see in the list; and these trains with which it connects at Rugby, York or Peterborough, are, in many instances trains from the North to London; and obviously the other railway companies would not alter those trains if we altered our train; it would be impossible for them to do that. Then in the other direction a Dutch train arrives at the Hook of Holland to connect with the boat leaving at 11.20. I do not think the continental companies would alter the times of their trains to suit the new times; so that we should have to show that the steamer started at 11.40, 12, 12.20 and 12.40. The arrival at Parkeston would be proportionately later, and the train, instead of leaving at 6.30 and arriving at 8 a.m., as at present, would be booked,
in the extreme case, at 7.50, and arrive at Liverpool Street at 9.20, and that hour is the busiest. In order that the Committee may somewhat appreciate what it means, I would like to hand in a statement showing the arrivals of our morning trains at different dates. This is from a return made to me every morning, to show that our punctuality is. You will see the number of trains and the hours of their arrival, and when they are due to arrive. 215. You consider that, according to the scheme proposed by Mr. Willett, it would be practically impossible for you to cope with the traffic 2–I think so; it would cause an enormous amount of confusion and trouble. You will appreciate that the continental train cannot always run exactly to time, and if it is running at 9 o'clock, when the most important business trains are coming in, if it is behind time it would throw a number of other trains out. 216. But your objections would be met, would they not, if continental nations adopted the same scheme 2—Not to alter it as often as that. My objections would be met if the clocks were put forward an hour once and for all, and not altered forwards and backwards. 217. You do not see any objection to the adoption of that course as regards railway traffic and the corresponding boat traffic 2–No. 218. And you see your way to recommend the adoption of that course ?—I think so. Of course I only speak so far as railways are concerned; there may be other trades that have objections to the adoption of that course, but so far as railway traffic is concerned there would be no objection to it. 219. May I ask if you are authorised to speak for the Board of Directors ?—Yes. 220. Do you adopt the electrical synchronisation of time at any of your stations ?—We have the time sent round every morning by electricity at 10 o’clock to each station. 221. Where is it sent from ; where is the master clock 2–At Liverpool Street. 222. To all your stations?—Yes, the time is not sent on to the clock, the time is sent to the station. 223. There is no electrical connection ?–No, it is the stationmaster's duty, when he receives it, to see that his clock is right. 224. Have you anything else to say as regards your"main evidence 2—No, I do not think so. Mr. Pirie. 225. Would your objections to the suggested alterations of the time be, to a large extent, obviated by the fact that the alterations would take place on Sundays?—I do not think they would. 226. If the scheme were found in this country, after a year's trial, so enormously beneficial as the promoters of the scheme expect it to be, from the public point of view, do not you think it likely that other nations would probably adopt the scheme also ?—I do not think that any nation would adopt this 20 minutes shifting. 227. I was not meaning the 20 minutes simply, . but the idea of two alterations in the year ?— Very likely. I should prefer not to have any alterations
14 May, 1908.]
alterations, but to adopt it once for good and for all.
228. Do you see no difficulties in the way, or no objections to the alteration that you propose in winter time 2—Of course there would be some objection in winter; it would not be so agreeable, but then I think that the balance of advantage would be not to have an alteration, and put up with the disadvantages of being earlier in winter. I think one outweighs the other.
229. But your scheme would cause very serious disadvantage in winter?—I do not think it would be very serious. It is not what one would like to adopt, no doubt.
230. You have been quite clear about the 20 minutes proposal, but you are evidently rather in favour of starting an hour earlier. What is the advantage do you think in that ?—The sun rises and it is broad daylight while we are lying in bed, and I would rather have that daylight utilised in the evening for the purposes of pleasure or recreation, or whatever it may be and go to bed earlier, when it is dark. 231. That is what I call a personal reason, but as a railway manager do you think that there would be advantages to the railway companies?—Yes, I think we should burn less gas and get rather more work out of our men. I think also that it might induce people to travel rather more; they would have more leisure in the evening. 232. If you were to alter the whole time by an hour all the year round, that would, of course, simply come to the same thing as if people generally agreed to make their habits of life an hour earlier ?—I quite agree with that; if you could induce people to make their habits of life earlier, then you need not alter your clocks. 233. Then in fact it would be a much better thing to induce people to alter their habits than to alter the clock 2–Yes, if you could induce them to do so. 234. And assuming that by law you made the bank hours an hour earlier every day, that would have the same effect 7–To a certain extent, yes. The bank is not everything, of course. 235. But it is, of course, a determining factor? —Yes. 236. Altering the bank hours gave us the holiday at any rate 2–Yes. 237. With regard to the continental service, you carry a very large amount of mails by your railway, do you not ?—We carry some mails. 238. Almost, I suppose, the larger part of the mails?—No, we carry part of the Dutch mails. We do not carry the German mails. 239. Do they come by Queenborough 7–Some do, some come by Ostend. 240. But anything that applies to your company in this respect, would apply equally to the South Eastern and Chatham Company, would it not ? —I would rather not answer for them. I believe you have a witness from the London and South Western Company to follow me, but they have not a train from the North running in connection.
You will observe the number of connections that we have with this northern train. 241. I am quite familiar with it. I often travel by it 2–They have not any train of that sort, they have to travel from London, and a man has to see what time he arrives in London, to catch the train on. 242. If this project was carried out without the continental railways making any alteration in their times at all on their systems, the effect would be that the mails would arrive, I think, in summer an hour and 20 minutes later than at present ?–Yes. 243. Do you know at what time they are delivered ?–Our mails are delivered between 9 and 10 o’clock, not by the first delivery. 244. This would mean delivery somewhere in the neighbourhood of noon ?–Yes. 245. And in the northern towns, I think I am right in saying that, your mails are delivered about half past 4?–We do not carry any mails to the North. 246. The continental mails, I mean 2—I do not know what time they leave. 247. If I am right in saying that they are delivered about 4.30 at present, that means that they would be delivered at 6 o'clock 7–Yes, that is so.
248. What is the proportion of continental passenger traffic, as distinguished from inland, in your company ?—I should say that the number of people travelling to and from the Continent by all routes in the year is about a million and a quarter to a million and a half. 249. And the total number of passengers that you carry ?—I do not mean by our route, I am taking all the routes for that. 250. All routes throughout the Kingdom ?–Yes, for the Continent. 251. The number of people travelling on the Continent is about a million and a half 2–Yes, I will not be positive, but that is about it. 252. As a mere question personally, can you give it me on your system, as between inland and continental traffic 2–It would not be 1 per cent., I should think. 253. I may take it at not more than I per cent. of continental traffic as compared with the rest of your passenger traffic 2–Yes. 254. Do you think that the other railway companies are of a similar proportion ?—I would rather they answered for it. I should think the South Eastern Company would have more. 255. Continental traffic 2–Yes. 256. Naturally, but that is about it?—Yes, in our case. 257. With reference to putting the time on an hour for the whole year and adopting really Mid-European time, you recognise that the daylight here varies much more than it does in more southern latitudes 2–I suppose it would. 258. That our range is from 16 hours daylight in the height of summer to 8 hours daylight in the depth of winter?—I have not calculated it. 259. That is about it 2–I take it from you. 260. Thereabouts ?—Yes.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL. 17 *
14 May, 1908.]
261. I gather that your sympathy is with the effort to utilise the daylight in the summer ? —Yes. 262. And for that sake you would be willing to incur the disadvantages, such as they are, of the hour earlier time in the winter ?—I think, from a railway point of view, I would. 263. I gather from your precis that you think that a single alteration once for all is the best plan 2–Yes, I do. 264. But you do not see so much objection to an alteration once a year forwards, and once a year backwards 2—Not so much objection to that as I see to these continual alterations. 265. The 20 minutes on the Sundays 2–Yes, I think that is a very objectionable idea. 266. Is it a fact that early on Sunday is the time at which there is least traffic 2–Yes. 267. If you had to choose a time to make the alteration at all, you would choose early on Sunday morning?—Yes, I should. 268. Does the month make a difference 2—I do not think the month makes much difference. 269. While you are here could you tell me, supposing that you made the alteration in the month of April, whether it would be wise to avoid Easter time or not with the holiday traffic 2– There is not very much holiday traffic early on Sunday morning. 270. You think it would not matter ?—I would rather that it did not take place at Easter time, I think, but it would not matter very materially. I have not considered that point. 271. Then is September the best month for the change if we revert to the old time for the winter ? —I think it would not matter very much whether it was September or October. I should like it to coincide with the summer services more particularly. 272. That would be towards September ?—Yes. 273. You think then that early in April and towards the end of September would be the best times for an hour change 2–If you altered it, perhaps, yes. 274. If it were altered in September it would be merely coming back to your present system ? —Yes. 275. That is all ?—That is all. 276. And all your experience in the regulation of traffic that you now have throughout the year, would be available for the six months from September to the following April 2–Yes, but I do not apprehend that when once the hour was altered and all the clocks altered and so on, there would be much difficulty about it, except as regards the continental traffic. 277. You think, whether you reverted in the winter time to the present practice or not, it would not make any serious difference to your inland traffic 2–No. 278. And what we have to weigh carefully of course, is the continental traffic, which is about 1 per cent of the total 2–Yes, in our case. I do not know that it is 1 per cent. of the total traffic of England; I doubt whether it is. 279. I am speaking, of course, of passenger
traffic 2–Yes. I am speaking of our Great M
the end of
Eastern traffic ; because I cannot say what percentage of the North Western traffic, for instance, is continental; I have no notion whatever, and I do not suppose they could tell you, because they book most of their continental passengers, I presume, to London.
280. We should like as exact information, of course, as we can get, but if we cannot have it we are content with what you can give us?—I have no doubt that other general managers would be able to speak for their own lines. I do not know who is coming.
281. Can you give me the proportion of tonnage that is dealt with on your lines, or generally in the Kingdom, as between continental and home trade 7–No, I could not do that, but of course it is relatively small.
282. The continental tonnage is relatively small ?–Yes, compared with the home tonnage, certainly.
283. It is comparatively insignificant?—Yes,
284. I suppose the home trade on the railways is known, is it not; do you keep any statistics of it 2–Yes, I could have told you, if I had thought that you would have asked the question, exactly what tonnage we carry, home and continental. There would be no difficulty in giving that information.
285. Perhaps you will kindly send it in ?— Yes, of course, I will send it in for my own line; I should not like to speak for other lines.
286. But that is all I want, and I think all that would be useful is the tonnage. That would be a proper comparison ?–Yes. 287. Is there any kind of traffic of a very important sort that cannot be measured by tonnage 2–No, I think we could give you the tonnage. Almost everything is carried by the ton, except bullion and things like that, which are not of importance. 288. In speaking about the railway servants, the railway men, one recognises, of course, that there is a difficulty there; but you have that difficulty now if they are late on time. If any railway man's watch is wrong and he is late on time he suffers ?—Yes; but it is incumbent upon him to alter his watch. 289. It would be part of his duty, probably, to see that his watch is right 2–Yes, to see that his watch is right. It is like winding his watch up at night; he might sometimes forget it.
Chairman. 290. It would increase his responsibilities 2– Yes. Mr. Pearce. 291. One must agree that the more often that is done the worse it would be 2–Precisely. 292. But, so far as the mere framing of time tables is concerned, I do not notice that you make any difficulty of that at all ?-No, not the local 5 time 14 May, 1908.]
time tables, because they would stand as they did; only, if a train was timed to start at 12, it would still remain in the book to start at 12, but the watch would be put backward or forward, and therefore no alteration would be required in the local time table. 293. It occurs to me that if the alteration were made throughout the year (there is nothing, of course, compulsory in your proposal anywhere), there would be no reason in particular why the railway companies should not make all their time tables an hour later, and so keep their present practice intact and make every train conform to the nominal time 2—I do not quite follow you. 294, I do not know that it matters very much. I am thinking that the mere change in the name of the hour, calling 9 o'clock 10 o’clock, would be of no consequence at all ?–Not at all. 295. If you run the 9 o'clock train at 10 o’clock 2 —Wait a moment. You mean that we should have to alter the train without altering the hour ! 296. The proposal is that, by making 9 o'clock 10 o’clock, all your trains which are now running at 10 o’clock would be running by the new 10 o'clock, an hour earlier ?–Yes, or the trains which are now running at 9 o'clock would really be running at 8 o’clock, which would become 9 o'clock. 297. That is so; they would be running at the same instant of time in point of duration of the day, but by the new named hour?—Yes. 298. And that is all ?–Yes. 299. Then that would not dislocate your time table at all ?–Not at all. 300. Or the arrangements between each of the trains all through the day, except that they would begin an hour earlier ?—That is all; as long as the hours were altered a train, as you rightly say, would be running at 9 o'clock, although, as a matter of fact, it would be the old 10 o’clock.
301. Surely that would be the old 8 o’clock 2– No.; we were talking about going back again, I thought.
302. I was speaking of that. In case of a change once for all, there would be only one re-arrangement of your train service 7–It would be so. 303. But in the case of a change every halfyear (I am speaking now of a single change) there would be always a change in closing up the train service in April 2–Yes. 304. And opening it in September ?—Yes; but you would not alter your local time book. Whether it was later or earlier you would still be running at 9 by the clock. 305. The new time in the six months in the summer and the old time in the six months in the winter ?–Yes, precisely. 306. Having regard to the great difference between our winter daylight and our summer daylight, are you agreeable to the notion that that kind of change would be more advantageous to the general population ?—I must say that, personally, I am in favour of adopting Mid
European time altogether, and not having even two changes in the year. I think there would be a great deal of confusion and trouble in that. 307. Now with regard to the continental train service, which is a matter of considerable importance, of course, what does it matter what the time tables are on the other side 2—When you run your trains from Harwich to various ports, what inconvenience does anybody feel now because they arrive at Mid-European time or Eastern European time 2—None; because we can fit it in if we know what it is. There is no change. For instance, for the trains, say, on from Holland to Germany, the time tables are made in this way. The time that a train arrives by West European or Greenwich time is 11 o'clock; but the time on the other side of the frontier is 12; and therefore the train starts at 12.10, and everybody knows it, and it is so set down in the time book. 308. Do you run your boats for different parts of the Continent at different hours ?—We run our principal services to the Hook of Holland and Antwerp. 309. I thought you ran boats to Norway and Denmark too ?–There is a service of boats to Denmark, but it is a 36 hours service, and they do not run to catch a train the same as we do at the Hook of Holland; there are not through services in connection with them. They catch the train to Copenhagen and have an ample margin. 310. Is the continental time the dominating factor in regulating your continental trains ?— It is not the dominating factor, any more than the English time is the dominating factor, but the time table has to be arranged taking both into consideration. 311. So that all these trains, of which you have given us a list here (and there are a good many I see) via Peterborough, coming all the way from Glasgow or Sheffield or Leeds, under the proposals that we are making, assuming that there was only one hour's change in the summer, would run still at the times set down here; or would you alter them ?–If you did not alter them it would mean, as I say, the passengers waiting at the continental port or missing their connections coming from the continental port. 312. But in respect of these through trains, which I see run rather early in some places, under the new time table in the summer time they would run nominally an hour later than they do?—Yes. 313. You would have to alter your time tables for that ?—I do not think we could get over it by altering them, because you see these trains with which we connect are the main line trains of the Great Northern, the London and North. Western or the Midland, as the case may be. 314. Arranged with reference to inland traffic : —Yes, precisely. 315. Have you thought at all about the difference that this scheme would make to the consumption of artificial light 2—There is no doubt that there would be a saving, but it is impossible to put a figure on it. I am not prepared to say what it would be. 316. But 14 May, 1908.]
SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL,
316. But there would be a saving ?—Yes. 317. And the whole saving would be obtained if you only had the summer alteration ?–Yes.
318. Would not the saving be very appreciable, even in winter, if you knocked off work an hour earlier ?–Not so appreciable, I think; there would be something. I have not calculated it exactly, but it occurs to me that in the dead of winter there would not be much saving, but in the beginning and end of winter there would.
319. There would not be any loss?—No.
320. I rather gathered from what you said that one of the advantages that you would expect to get from the adoption of this change is that your traffic would go on longer at night; more people would travel ?–Yes, and they would begin earlier in the morning too. 321. Let us assume that your last train at night from some place starts at 9 o'clock by present time; it would really start at 8 if the hour was altered ?–Yes. 322. What you are looking forward to is the fact that the new train will start at 9 o'clock by present time; that people will stay in the country an hour longer and traffic will go on an hour longer ?—What I was thinking of was this. Take people in the City, where now the offices close at 6 o'clock, and they would close at 5. It will give the clerk an hour more to go out and amuse himself at golfing or cricketing. 323. And he would go and do these things, whereas at present he does not go 2–Yes. 324. And you would have the satisfaction of bringing him back; you would expect to run an additional train later on in the day ?— If there was traffic for it. 325. Otherwise you would get no advantage 2– By getting away earlier, you see, he might come by an existing train, because we have trains running after dark now, and we should still have some trains, even if the hour was altered, running after dark. 326. You would not expect that it would involve an extra train service 2–No ; I think our trains are late enough. In some cases we run an allnight service, and there it would certainly not involve an extra train. 327. As you say in your precis, the London train from Parkeston leaves at 6.30 and arrives at 8 o’clock 7–That is so. 328. And in the extreme case it would have to leave at 7.50 and arrive at 9.20 ?–Yes. 329. And you could not do that, I imagine, without altering the whole of your time tables on that part of your service 2–It would require a great deal of alteration, but you will see from that statement how thick the traffic is. I think there are 81 trains in and out of Liverpool Street between 9 and 10 o’clock. 330. And if this alteration took place twice a year, it would mean that practically twice a year your time tables would have to be completely altered ?–Yes. 331. Which would be very inconvenient for the M
people regularly going in and out of town 2– Yes, you see a continental train running at that time is very inconvenient, because you cannot ensure the same punctuality with a train that runs in connection with a boat, with the chance of fog or bad weather at sea; you cannot possibly do it. Chairman.
332. But, going back to the alteration of one hour for good and all, may we take it that your view is that in regard to the three or four months no changes will take place in spite of the alteration in the hour—that people will not get up at 4 o'clock in the morning ?–I should think that if the hour was altered all through the year, workshops and offices would open, and banks would open and close at the same hours as now. 333. So that we may summarise your evidence as being opposed to the piecemeal alteration proposed by Mr. Willett 2–Yes. 334. But on the other hand, you see every possible advantage in changing the time to midEuropean time 2—I will not say every possible advantage. I think that the balance of advantage is in favour of it. 335. You would rather that it was done than not ?–Yes. 336. And you say that is the view that your Board takes on the subject 2–Yes. 337. Are you still in favour of that even if foreign nations did not come into line with us?— I fancy that they would, you know. 338. But if they did not, you would still be in favour of the change 2–It requires some thinking out. I should want to think of it before giving a definite opinion. I rather fancy that I should. 339. But you have not quite considered the matter in all its bearings 2–No. 340. So that on the whole your view is that an alteration to Mid-European time would be generally advisable in the interests, at any rate, of your own railway ?–Yes, of the railways.