§ 56. Captain R. TERRELL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport if he will state the aggregate amount of expenditure on roads and bridges obtained from local rates and from the direct taxation of motor vehicles during the past year; whether the proportion is officially regarded as fair; and whether he is aware of the strength of agricultural feeling on the disparity of the contribution and the weight of the local burden?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of TRANSPORT (Mr. Neal)
Accurate particulars are not yet available as to the amount spent out of rates upon roads and bridges during the past financial year. The best estimate I can form is that a total sum of approximately£50,000,000 was spent by highway authorities, towards which payments have been made or promised from the Road Fund amounting to about£10,000,000. I am aware of the views held on the subject of this expenditure by certain representa- 973 tives of agricultural interests, but I do not think that they appreciate to the full extent the benefit accruing to local authorities by the introduction of the new motor licence duties.
§ Captain TERRELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the question, whether the proportion is officially regarded as fair?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Do not the Government think it is time there should be a complete inquiry into the method of how roads are constructed and the expense of roads? It is a matter of the very first importance and of extreme difficulty.
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
Has that inquiry going on any bearing upon the financial side of the question as between motor traffic and the local authorities?