§ 11. Sir PARK GOFF
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many taxi-cabs or other vehicles have been licensed during the months of February and March; and how many discharged sailor and soldier drivers and mechanics have been employed during that period?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
During these two months the number of public carriages licensed in the Metropolis was 1,743, and the number of fresh licences issued to drivers and conductors was 5,445. The exact number of soldiers and sailors cannot be given, but it is believed that about 90 per cent. of the fresh licences were issued to ex-Service men. No information as to mechanics is available.
§ Sir P. GOFF
Can the right hon. Gentleman give any indication now as to how soon the public may expect more vehicles on the streets?
§ 22. Sir FRANCIS BLAKE
asked the Home Secretary whether the scarcity of taxi-cabs at present plying for hire is due to the increased cost of tyres, petrol, and oil, which makes it difficult to earn of reasonable profit from the legal fares; and whether he proposes to make any alteration in this respect?
§ Mr. SHORTT
I understand that the scarcity of taxi-cabs is largely due to the present insufficiency of the spare parts needed to replace those requiring renewal. It would appear that owing to the reduced competition drivers enjoy more constant 1355 employment and earn profits above the normal. I am advised that no alteration of fares is called for.
§ 29. Sir P. GOFF
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now see his way to release those taxi-cabs which are still in France and which belong to English companies, and are built especially to Scotland Yard requirements?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Bridge-man)
I am informed by the War Office that there are now no taxi-cabs in France belonging to the War Department.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Will my hon. Friend facilitate the sending over of spare parts, as there are a great many taxi's in this country waiting for spare parts?