HC Deb 10 December 1920 vol 135 cc2701-3

(1) There shall, subject to the prescribed exceptions, be exhibited on every vehicle which is chargeable with duty as a hackney carriage, in conjunction with the mark required under this Act to be fixed on the vehicle indicating the registered number of the vehicle, a distinctive sign indicating that the vehicle is a hackney carriage and the number of persons which the vehicle seats, and regulations made by the Minister under this Act shall provide for the sign to be so exhibited.

The penalties imposed by this Act in relation to the identification mark to be fixed to a vehicle shall apply to the sign to be exhibited under this provision as they apply to the identification mark so to be fixed.

(2) Where a licence has been taken out in respect of any vehicle at the rate of duty appropriate to a hackney carriage seating not more than a certain number of persons, the person keeping the vehicle shall, if it is used on any occasion for the purpose of carrying more persons that the number aforesaid, be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of an amount not exceeding three times the difference between the duty actually paid on the licence and the duty payable on a licence for a vehicle being a hackney carriage seating the number of persons so carried, or twenty pounds, whichever amount is the greater.


I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the word "carrying" ["purpose of carrying"] and to insert instead thereof the word "seating."

This Amendment, and the one which immediately follows, is intended to deal with a certain situation that has arisen. The vehicle is taxed according to its seating capacity and the provision in Clause 11 is that if the vehicle is used for a greater number of persons than it is taxed in respect of, it shall be liable to pay a higher duty. It has been represented to my right hon. Friend by a number of omnibus owners and hackney carriage owners that there is a view of this Clause which might work considerable public inconvenience. We all know that it is absolutely essential that sometimes persons should stand inside some of these public vehicles. When there has been a great event happening, vehicles become overcrowded, and it is usually permitted that a limited number of persons, four or five, may stand inside the vehicle. By so doing there may be a breach of police regulations and police Acts, but we do not propose to interfere with that by this Amendment. We propose to meet the views of the omnibus proprietors, and not to say that they shall come under liability to pay a higher duty because they permit people in time of pressure to stand in the vehicles. It is purely from the revenue point of view that we are concerned, and not the police point of view.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: in Sub-section (2) leave out the words "the number of persons so carried, or twenty pounds, whichever amount is the greater" and insert instead thereof the words "that greater number of persons"— [Mr. Neal].


I beg to move, after Sub-section (2), to insert a new Subsection— (3) Where not less than twelve hackney vehicles of a similar type, and belonging to one owner, are registered with a county council, and the council is satisfied that one of those vehicles (hereinafter referred to as "the old vehicle") has been destroyed or withdrawn permanently from use as a hackney vehicle, the council shall, on issuing to that owner a licence in respect of another hackney vehicle to he used for the same purpose as the old vehicle, allow a rebate from the duty payable on that licence at the rate of one-quarter of the duty paid in respect of the licence for the old vehicle for every complete three months between the date when the old vehicle was destroyed or withdrawn, and the expiration of the licence for that vehicle, and where any such rebate is so allowed the licence for the old vehicle shall be forthwith cancelled. This is really quite a simple provision. Where there is a hackney carriage undertaking which owns not less than 12 vehicles—that excludes the small man who owns two or three—and which is renewing on a programme the licence for the vehicles which drop out through obsolescence may be transferred to the new vehicles.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.