HC Deb 27 November 1906 vol 165 cc1423-4
MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

On behalf of the hon. Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to recent criticisms upon the action of the Commissioner of Police in reference to the licensing of motor omnibuses; whether he is aware that upwards of 7,000,000 people are carried every week in such motor omnibuses; will he say whether the licensing is in the hands of promoted policemen with no technical knowledge; and, if so, whether he will consider the advisability of appointing one or more qualified engineers as inspectors to assist the Chief Commissioner.


Yes, Sir. My attention is called to this matter daily. The Commissioner of Police, as Public Carriage Licensing Authority, has, as expert adviser, a motor engineer of recognised reputation whom he consults whenever the necessity arises. There is no disagreement between the licensing authority and omnibus manufacturers and owners as to structural details on which expert advice is necessary, but only as to the interpretation to be put upon the words "undue noise and vibration." A committee, none of the members of which are promoted police officers, determines whether the vehicle under inspection is "unduly noisy" or not, the issue they have to deal with being one not requiring technical knowledge.