HC Deb 10 December 1920 vol 135 cc2683-5

(1) References in Section ten of the Motor Car Act, 1903, to motor cars shall be deemed to include references to vehicles within the moaning of this Act.

(2) The power of the Minister under Subsection (2) of Section twelve of the Motor Car Act, 1903, to make Regulations as to the speed of motor cars exceeding two tons in weight unladen shall include power to make Regulations as to the speed on any road of any agricultural tractor, whether it exceeds two tons in weight unladen or not.

(3) For the purposes of the Motor Car Acts, 1896 and 1903, and of any other enactments relating to the use of vehicles on roads, the weight unladen of any vehicle shall be taken to be the weight of the vehicle inclusive of the body and all parts (the heavier being taken where alternative bodies or parts are used) which are necessary to or oidinarily used with the vehicle when working on a road, but exclusive of the weight of water, fuel, or accumulators (other than boilers) used for the purpose of propulsion and of loose tools or loose equipment:

Provided that in the case of a vehicle which weighs more than seven and a quarter tons and is specially constructed so that all or part of the superstructure is a permanent, or essentially permanent, fixture and the axle weights of which do not exceed the maximum axle weights prescribed under the Motor Car Act, 1903, or any Act amending that Act, the weight unladen of the vehicle shall be deemed to be seven and a quarter tons.

(4) All sums received by a county council by way of fees for licences granted under Section three of the Motor Oar Act, 1903, and all penalties recovered in respect of offences under the Motor Car Acts, 1896 and 1903, shall be paid into the Exchequer.

(5) The Motor Car (International Circulation) Act, 1909, shall have effect as though the references therein to the Motor Car Act, 1903, included references to this Act.


I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to add the words and the Minister may in any Regulation made under this Sub-section authorise for the prescribed purposes the use of any agricultural tractor on any public road for the purpose of hauling any number of farm implements and machinery. The Clause as at present drafted places an agricultural tractor under two tons weight in the category of a commercial car, with the result that there must be a reduction of speed when it is run on the road. At the same time, an agricultural tractor even under two tons can only have one trailer. The result will be that you will have to have an enormous number of journeys to carry the implements and machinery necessary from one farm or field to another. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that that is undesirable. It wastes fuel and petrol, which is very costly and wanted. It means more use of the roads and of the farmer's capital, and it is not really necessary. If the hon. Gentleman can see his way to accept this Amendment I think it would be a very good thing. The Royal Agricultural Society desire it very much and it would save the farmer. I make no apology for bringing it forward. The only apology I could make is that I should be the one to propose the Amendment, seeing that I have never got nearer farming than intensive culture of mustard and cress at school.


It is a little difficult to understand what my hon. and gallant Friend really desires to do by his Amendment. Under the Finance Act this class of vehicle is permitted to draw the following objects on the road: their own necessary gear, farming implements and supplies of fuel and material required for the purposes of the vehicle or for agricultural purposes.


Where is that stated?


In the Finance Act. Vehicles used solely in trade or agriculture are permitted to do this at the low duty of 5s., which is practically a registration fee. By Clause 7, with which we are now dealing and which my hon. Friend proposes to amend, the powers of the Ministry to make Regulations for motor cars are laid down, and they provide for the running of agricultural tractors whether they exceed two tons or not. Why we should be asked to authorise some greater use of haulage vehicles than that permitted by the Act when they escape the vehicular licence and are only charged the registration fee of 5s., I fail to understand. I trust the Amendment will not be pressed.


In view of what the hon. Gentleman has said, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. I understood however, that agricultural tractors could not be followed by more than one vehicle, whatever it was, and that was felt not only to be a great injustice but also uneconomical. As the hon. Gentleman says that agricultural tractors of this kind may not only carry fuel and water but also have behind them agricultural vehicles to any reasonable number, I am willing to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


The next Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Springburn Division of Glasgow (Mr. Macquisten) has nothing to do with this Clause, and I am rather doubtful whether it comes within the scope of the Bill. At any rate, if it does, it might be brought up as a new Clause. We are dealing in Clause 7 with weights and not with speed.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.