§ 45. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Prime Minister whether any steps have been taken by His Majesty's Government to restrict the use of petrol in country districts; and, if so, why have steps not first been taken to restrict the use in London, where there are facilities for persons to travel by underground railways and omnibuses?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE (for the Prime Minister)
The question of maintaining an adequate supply and proper distribution of petrol for purposes of national importance is engaging the serious attention of several departments of Government, but so far no action of a general character has been taken either in the country districts or in London.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Why is it that in country districts supplies of petrol are only given to certain privileged persons, while ordinary persons who have had their horses commandeered cannot get enough petrol to take them to the station?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
There are questions on the Paper about that. I am looking into the matter, particularly the cases suggested by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Snowden). I do not know what action has been taken, and I am not aware of any authority for anyone doing what the hon. Gentleman suggests.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how long he has been, engaged in considering the matter?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I know, for instance, that the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Munitions have been in conference about it. It is a very difficult question. I was discussing it last week, and I hope that a decision will be arrived at soon upon the subject.
§ 54. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the Minister of Munitions if the Sheffield Committee of Munitions of War has been authorised to act as the local authority for the granting of permits for the supply of petrol to users of motor vehicles; if so, why has this body been given such power; and, if not, what is the explanation of the fact that persons in Sheffield requiring petrol are refused supplies by dealers unless they have the permit of this committee?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Are we to understand that there is no information on the subject and that, the committee has received no authority from the right hon. Gentleman's Department to act as the dispenser of petrol?