HC Deb 31 May 1933 vol 278 cc2033-6

(1) The minimum period prescribed by order under Section twenty-two of the Finance Act, 1921 (which provides for the taking out of licences in respect of certain nechanically propelled vehicles for periods of the year), may be shorter in the case of vehicles to which this Section applies than in the case of other vehicles.

(2) This Section applies to vehicles which—

  1. (a) are authorised to be used on roads by virtue of an order made under Section three of the Road Traffic Act, 1930; and
  2. (b) exceed such weight (not being less than eleven tons) as may be prescribed by order made under the said Section twenty-two; and
  3. (c) are chargeable with duty under paragraph 5 of the Second Schedule to the Finance Act, 1920.

(3) This Section shall come into operation on the first day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty-four.—[Mr. Stanley.']

Brought up, and read the First time.

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This new Clause deals with a point which is also raised in a new Clause down in the name of the hon. Member for Wrexham (Mr. A. Roberts). As things are, a vehicle operating under a special order, that is to say an outsize vehicle over the maximum, will have to pay tax at a very heavy annual rate. But, if that vehicle is not operating except on infrequent occasions and it is necessary to pay tax for the whole year, it would amount to a very heavy tax in proportion to its use. The Minister has power to prescribe a period during which licences may be issued, but I am advised it is necessary for me, in the exercise of such powers, to apply such exemption to all motor vehicles without differentiation. Therefore, if I wanted to prescribe a shorter period for these special cases, I should have to apply it to all motor vehicles. The effect of this Amendment is to give me power to prescribe shorter periods for some vehicles than for others. If given this power, I propose to issue an Order which would enable me to grant all these heavy vehicles licences for a minimum period of 15 days subject to a surcharge of 10 per cent.


As a similar Clause appears later in the names, of some of my hon. Friends and myself, I wish to thank the hon. Gentleman and the Government for having dealt with the matter and to say that, while it does not give us everything we expected, it gives us 15 days as a minimum and a 10 per cent. extra tax, which will be a help to the very heavy traffic with which it deals.


While I appreciate the motive that led my hon. Friend to put the Clause on the Paper and while I appreciate that in the circumstances of the case he may desire to make these Orders, I wish to put on record that in my view it is a bad principle to enable heavy vehicles to be licensed not for a year but for a short period, particularly vehicles which may do the maximum of damage to the roads over which they travel. The whole system of granting short period licences is wrong. I would prefer to go to the other extreme and require that no licence should be issued for less than 12 months.

Clause added to the Bill.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again," put, and agreed to.—[Captain Margesson.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned accordingly at Four Minutes before Twelve o'Clock