HC Deb 20 December 1906 vol 167 c1720

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the registers kept by county councils containing the names of the owners of and the numbers of motorcars are open to the inspection of the public; and, if not, will he, in the public interest, take steps to make such registers open to inspection on payment of a nominal fee or on compliance with reasonable regulations.


My right hon. friend has asked me to reply to this Question. The registers referred to in it are not open to the inspection of the public, but a person can have a copy of the entries relating to any specified motor-car on payment of a fee of 1s., if he shows that he has a reasonable cause for requiring it. The point whether the registers should be open to inspection was considered by the Royal Commission on Motor Cars, but they did not think that sufficient cause had been shown for amending the regulation on the subject in the direction indicated. I will, however, note the suggestion.

In reply to further Questions,


said he was aware of the fact that the police sometimes had considerable difficulty in getting the names of owners, and, in his judgment, the police ought to have equal access with the public, under proper safeguards, to these registers, if there was real cause for looking at them. He was aware, too, that under certain circumstances owners of motor cars might be subjected to considerable annoyance, and perhaps intimidation, through their names and addresses becoming known to advertising touts if these registers were open without any qualification. The Royal Commission had that aspect of the question before it.