19 JUNE 1926, Page 17

TIPS IN TRAINS [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—"

Rubberneck " quotes dining-car attendants' wages as being no more than 33s., basing his statement, apparently, on what individual waiters have told him. Since writing my previous communication to the Spectator I chanced to ask a recently retired railway official just what the dining-ear people got. Though not connected with the catering depart- ment himself, he gave me to understand that £4 a week was the usual pay for such on his line. Tips, of course, extra,

naturally I .

" Rubberneck " animadverts on the iniquities, he has supposedly discovered, of head waiters. On this score he declares, with vigour, " I am again informed, and feel pretty sure it is true, that the head waiter receives all the tips, that the rest are bound to hand over to him their own taki gs, and that, from this total, he returns to each a small per- centage, keeping the bulk himself."

Surely not, oh surely not ? One who had been, ere passing to other things, head waiter at a good class business men's hotel in a large provincial city, told me that his invariable practice, while in that position, was to divide up with "the ,boys." What decent man, whether in hotel or dining-car, -would do otherwise ? And dining-care head waiters are not inhuman though, according to this critic, they be woeful ogres. Is it, mayhap, for fear of them that he seeks shelter in a pseudonym, instead of plainly putting down his name and whereabouts ? There are black and white sheep, admittedly, in most flocks. I am not in any position to controvert that

" there have been cases, according to four different waiters, where the job has had to be bought, literally, off the head waiter." I scarcely think the habitude is universal. Then as to meals, the waiter, who, joining his train at 7.30 a.m. went fainting until 3 p.m., and at night got no dinner, but had to wait till he reached home, at nine o'clock, for nourish- ment—no people, in such dose contact with the pantry, could, I conceive it, go unfed.-I am, Sir, &c.,

13 The Willows, Bred: Road, Liverpool. A. C. Gamma.