§ 77. Mr. O'DONNELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the hiring of motor cars in Ireland is practically prohibited under the Order recently issued; whether he is aware that most of the owners are comparatively poor men who have invested all their capital in this business and who will be completely ruined if this Order is enforced in its present form; whether this Order is due to the want of petrol; if so, why are private motor cars allowed to run; and whether he will reconsider this question and make such arrangements as will not completely ruin car proprietors?
§ 84. Major NEWMAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the authority under which owners of motor cars let out for hire were prohibited without any notice or warning from letting out their cars except under certain special conditions; if he is aware of the hardship caused by this prohibition; and what action does he propose to take?
In view of the shortage of petrol and the fact that there was no control of the purposes for which hired cars were employed, the use of motor spirit in motor cars let for hire was prohibited, subject to certain exceptions, by a Defence of the Realm Regulation made on the 10th May. Arrangements are, however, now being made for the issue, under certain conditions, of permits for motor cars to be let for hire for business purposes, public duties, and the conveyance of passengers to and from railway stations and ports.
§ Major NEWMAN
Is it not the fact that the Order appeared in the "London Gazette" on a Saturday to be operative on the next day, so that the owners of cars had no chance at all of knowing anything about the Order until it appeared?
Though it might be claimed that this relieves the Department of a charge of slackness, still I agree that the point is one of substance.
§ Mr. O'DONNELL
May I ask before this Order was issued to men who made their living in this way any steps were taken to prevent private owners using their cars?
I have repeatedly stated in this House that allowances of petrol to private persons is very severely restricted.
Sir H. DALZIEL
Does the hon. Gentleman consider it fair or just that a notice should appear one day, and that a person should be liable to be dragged to Court the next day, and does he not think longer notice should be given?
That is, I admit, a question for consideration, but the position was very serious at the moment.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Will the Department take steps to ascertain the circumstances under which an infringement of the rule takes place before prosecutions are entered on. Why should a man be dragged to Court under such circumstances?