HC Deb 28 June 1934 vol 291 cc1445-8

11.22 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel. HEADLAM

I beg to move, in page 5, line 19, after "not," to insert: and whether or not the court makes an order under section six of the principal Act disqualifying him for holding or obtaining a licence to drive a motor vehicle. This is a drafting Amendment, its object being to make it clear that the power to disqualify pending the passing of a driving test is in addition to, and not in derogation from, any existing power to disqualify a person from holding or obtaining a driving licence.

Amendment agreed to.

11.23 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 6, line 12, at the end, to insert: (5) Where the applicant for the grant of a licence to drive has paid to the licensing authority a fee for the issue of a provisional licence to enable him to learn to drive a motor vehicle he shall not be required to pay a further fee on the issue of a licence to drive. This Amendment is, I think, self-explanatory, and I will content myself with saying that, if a man has applied for a provisional licence to learn to drive during this month and qualifies in driving next month, having paid 5s. for his licence this month, I think it is a real hardship that he should be called upon to pay a further 5s. next month. Even under the present regulations it is a ground of complaint that anyone who suffers from a disability, and has to undergo a test and pays 5s. originally for his licence, is called upon to pay another 5s. I think that one fee ought to be sufficient in these cases.


I beg to second the Amendment.

11.24 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I appreciate my hon. Friend's point, but the fee for a driving licence is not in the nature of a tax; it is merely a charge made in respect of the administrative expenses of the local authority in preparing and maintaining the necessary records and other documents in these cases. In theory-there is something to be said for a higher fee in the first instance, and then a lower fee subsequently, but in practice it has been found that a flat rate of 5s. is best. I do not honestly think there is any real reason why this should not be paid. On the whole it is fair and it pays the administration expenses of the local authorities. It is not a tax, and on the whole it is better to leave it as it is.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made:

In page 6, line 15, after "the," insert "selection and appointment of."—[Lieut.-Colonel Headlam.]


I beg to move, in page 6, line 23, to leave out paragraph (b).

This is a provision by which a driver has to pay 10s. for a driving fee. The Minister in Committee promised to give further consideration to the point. Will the Parliamentary Secretary tell us what has come of that promise?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I think the hon. Member is mistaken about any promise being given. It was the amount of the fee that we were discussing in Committee, and the objection was raised that it was too much. I explained that we put the maximum of 10s. in the Bill. We did not think it would come to anything like that, but we thought it better to fix that maximum.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

11.29 p.m.


I beg to move, That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned. I make this Motion in order to ask the Chief Whip how far it is intended to go to-night?


I beg to second the Motion.

11.30 p.m.


It cannot be denied that we have made very substantial progress. We have got through the main part of the Bill. It is now 11.30, and I think if I could get an assurance from all quarters of the House that we can conclude all stages of the Bill—the remaining part of the Report stage and the Third Reading—by not later than 1.30 to-morrow, we might now adjourn the Debate. I must make it clear to the House that I must have an assurance from all quarters because many people are interested in this matter. If I got that assurance, I shall be prepared to agree to the adjournment of the Debate.

11.31 p.m.


So far as the Opposition is concerned, we shall be only too glad for the Government to finish this Bill by 1.30 to-morrow. We have nothing much further to say on the Bill, and we certainly shall not delay it.


May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury whether there is any other business to be taken To-morrow?

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)

The hon. and gallant Member seconded the Motion for the Adjournment, and has exhausted his right to speak.


May I ask whether there is any other business to be discussed to-morrow before this Bill is taken, or whether we shall go straight on with the Report stage and after that take Third Reading, and then after half-past one continue with other business?


The business announced for to-morrow is the Third Reading of the Road Traffic Bill, the Third Reading of the Milk Bill, the Third Reading of the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill and the Second Reading of the Administration of Justice (Appeals) Bill. It is clear that the first Order to be taken to-morrow will be the conclusion of the Report stage of the Road Traffic Bill, followed by the Third Reading, the agreement being that we should conclude it by half-past one and then proceed with the Third Reading of the Milk Bill and subsequently with the Third Reading of the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill. If it is understood in all quarters of the House that that shall be the programme, I shall be glad to accept the Motion.

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), and on re-committal, to be further considered To-morrow

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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

Adjourned at Twenty-six Minutes before Twelve o'Clock.