§ 77. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the Home Secretary if it is one of the duties of the traffic adviser of Scotland Yard to inspect omnibuses and other vehicles which it is desired shall ply for hire in the London area; if so, why did the traffic adviser refuse to inspect the All- 2319 weather omnibus, after stating that it would not be satisfactory because the hood would darken the streets and the rain from the hood would annoy pedestrians; why, when pressed, did he say he could not inspect the omnibus without the permission of the Commissioner; why, when the inventor of the hood wrote to the Commissioner asking that the omnibus should be inspected, permission was refused; in view of this refusal, why did the Commissioner, at the request of the traffic combine, send a man specially to Willesden to inspect the omnibus without the knowledge of the inventor; and will instructions be given that a fair inspection of this omnibus should be made, and an opportunity given to the inventor to meet any objections which may be put forward by Scotland Yard against licensing the omnibus?
The duties of one of the traffic advisers include the inspection of public vehicles to see if they conform to the prescribed conditions, and can therefore be licensed. One of these conditions forbids the attachment of a canopy to the top deck of an omnibus, and he therefore declined to inspect the vehicle in question without the permission of his superiors, and permission was withheld because it was known that the condition mentioned above was not complied with. One of the Assistant Commissioners arranged to have a vehicle with a canopy inspected, not with a view to its being licensed, nor at the request of the traffic combine, but on general grounds because the subject was coming up before a Committee of the Ministry of Transport on which he represents the Commissioner. It was not known till the vehicle was seen that the canopy was of the "Allweather" type. Pending the report of the Committee in question, the Commissioner must regard the subject as sub-judice, and the Committee will doubtless consider any representations made by the inventor.
§ Viscount CURZON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the authorising of a canopy on omnibuses would be the greatest boon possible to those who have to use them?
I imagine that is one of the questions which may be considered by the Committee now sitting.