§ 32. Mr. GILBERT
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to recent inquests held in London on deaths caused by heavy motor lorries; whether he is aware that these lorries are not fitted with proper side guards, and that the coroners' juries recommended that these lorries should be so protected; and will he consider as to issuing an Order compellin all heavy Army or commercial motor lorries to be provided with similar side guards to motor omnibuses?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Major Astor)
My right hon. Friend is aware that there have been recommendations of coroners' juries to the effect stated by the hon. Member. The question of requiring heavy motor lorries to be provided with life guards was considered by the Departmental Committee on Road Locomotives and Heavy Motor Cars which reported last October, but the Committee were unable to come to any definite conclusion, and recommended that further investigations should be made with a view to overcoming the difficulties in the way of the provision of life guards for the great variety of heavy motor lorries. As the hon. Member is aware, it is proposed that the powers of the Local Government Board in relation to vehicles on roads should be transferred to the Ministry of Ways and Com- 583 munications. I think this matter must be left to be dealt with by the new Department.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
May I ask whether, on account of the number of inquests which have recently been held, the Department cannot take action without waiting for the further recommendations of the Committee?
§ Major ASTOR
No action is recommended. The Committee said that further investigation was required before action could be recommended.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
Is it not required that such action should be taken if the Committee cannot make up its mind on the question?