HC Deb 23 March 1866 vol 182 c840

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether any, and if so what, steps are taken to insure the fitness and competency of persons applying for licences as drivers of hackney carriages?


, in reply, said, the measures taken by the Commissioners of Police to inquire into the character and qualifications of persons making application for the licences of drivers of hackney carriages were very strict. The candidate first had to send in an application stating several points respecting his character and qualifications. He had to produce a certificate signed by two ratepayers who had personally known him for three years, stating their opinion of his character and his fitness for such employment. He had also to present a certificate from his last employer, vouching that he was competent to act as the driver of a hackney carriage, and that he knew the town well. All these papers were referred to a sergeant of police, who then made inquiry into the character and qualifications of the applicant; and not until all these inquiries had taken place was the licence given by the Commissioners of Police. Of course, with the enormous number of licences of that description which had to he given from time to time there might be individual cases in which the person appointed might not be completely qualified.