HC Deb 22 February 1927 vol 202 cc1579-81
50. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received a copy of the resolution passed by the travelling showmen of Great Britain at their annual meeting at the Agricultural Hall, Isling- ton, on 20th January, in which they regret that the concessions in last year's Budget on the licences for their vehicles do not apply to their steam and petrol lorries, although these are only used for the purpose of moving from one fair ground to another and are not used as common hauliers; if he is aware that a large percentage of the showmen find it impossible to pay the increased licence fee of 100 per cent., and are thus prevented from pursuing their calling; and whether he will favourably consider this matter with a view to a further concession in this year's Budget?


I have received a copy of the resolution in question, but I have no information as to whether showmen are in fact taking out licences for fewer vehicles. An exceptional concession was made last year in respect of showmen's traffic, and, having regard to the damage which it undoubtedly causes to the roads, I cannot hold out any prospect of my being able to extend the concession further.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Will the right hon. Gentleman try and receive a small deputation, between now and the time of the introduction of the Budget, to deal with this matter, which is causing hardship to a class of poor men who cannot afford to be ruined?


There is a certain procedure—a rule—which governs the kind of deputations which are received at the Treasury before a Budget, and I am not sure that this would fall in that class. Obviously, if we opened the door wide, there would be an illimitable number, but if the hon. and gallant Member will write to me on the subject, I will see what usefulness would attach to a deputation being received. perhaps by one of the officials of the Department.

Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY

Will the right hon. Gentleman have a tax on petrol, and avoid all these difficulties?


I cannot anticipate the Budget.

Colonel DAY

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider allowing a rebate to these showmen when their vehicles are not in use?


I think we arrived at a very good arrangement on this with general consent last Session.