§ MR. HENEAGE
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the great obstruction, danger, and inconvenience caused by the long lines of "crawling cabs" in the most densely-crowded thoroughfares of the Metropolis; and, whether he will take some steps to cause the abatement of this nuisance, by increasing the number of convenient cab-stands, and by a stricter enforcement of the regulations respecting empty cabs?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. H. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
My attention has been called to this subject. The number of cab-stands has been con siderably increased in the last four years. There is now, exclusive of the City and of railway stations, room on the cab-stands for more than half the total number of vehicles that have licenses; and if you take into account the number of cabs accommodated at railway stations and in the City, the number engaged or making their way to cab-stands, the number laid up or brought out only at night, it may fairly be said that there is cab-stand space enough for all the cabs actually awaiting hire at any time of the clay. The police do put the law against crawling in force as far as they can, but it is not easy to rebut the cabman's usual excuse that he has just put down a fare and is going to a cabstand; and I doubt whether very frequent prosecutions for crawling would be encouraged by the Magistrates or approved by the public. So long as the convenience of the public leads them to hire a passing cab instead of sending to a cab-stand, it will be difficult to put a 420 stop altogether to the practice of crawling. I have, however, called the attention of the police to the right hon. Gentleman's complaint.
§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
May I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that more cab-stands to accommodate three or four more cabs on each would be more convenient?
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
And may I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the best way of dealing with the difficulty would be to do away with the law forbidding crawling, which is an excellent and most useful thing?