§ 52. Major DESPENCER-ROBERTSON
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the cases of motorists who have exceeded the speed-limit and have not been fined nor had their licences endorsed, while other motorists in a different county have been fined and had their licences endorsed; and whether he can take steps to ensure that all such cases shall be dealt with in a uniform manner?
I do not know to what particular cases my hon. Friend refers. If a defendant is convicted of exceeding a speed limit, the Court is required, in the absence of special reason to the contrary, to order 800 particulars of the conviction to be endorsed on the offender's driving licence, and attention was drawn to this requirement in a. Home Office circular which was issued to courts of summary jurisdiction on 28th September last. The question what fine, if any, should be imposed, within the statutory maximum, is for the court to decide in its discretion according to the circumstances of the individual case, and my right hon. Friend has no authority to give directions to the courts as to the manner in which this discretion should be exercised.
§ Major DESPENCER-ROBERTSON
Is the hon. Member aware that at Llandudno the other day several motorists who had undoubtedly exceeded the 30miles per hour limit were let off by the magistrates without an endorsement, and does he not think that that constitutes a real grievance to those motorists who have had their licences endorsed?
Endorsement only follows upon conviction. If there is no conviction, nothing happens.
§ 58. Mr. GROVES
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a police trap was operating on the Buck-burst Hill portion of the new Epping road on Wednesday, 20th March, at 9 p.m.; that the police were using an ordinary commercial van advertising Sandon flannel trousers, and that the police car preceded an ordinary motorist for one mile at 28 miles per hour then slowed to 25 miles per hour, and as the motorist attempted to pass the police car it accelerated to 30 miles per hour, thus causing the motorist to exceed the speed limit in order to safely pass; and whether he will ensure the stopping of such practices and the non-prosecution of the motorist in question, Mr. A. Offley, of Stratford?
My right hon. Friend is informed that proceedings against Mr. Offley have been started, and while the case is pending he cannot, of course, interfere, nor would it be proper for him to make any comment on the statements made in the question, though he must not be taken as accepting their accuracy.
§ Sir ASSHETON POWNALL
Can my hon. and gallant Friend say whether any instructions are given to police cars on the subject of overtaking?
I cannot deal with anything in this question. Generally speaking, very definite instructions have been issued to the Metropolitan mobile patrols that they must not accelerate when being overtaken. Among other reasons, it is against the Highway Code.
§ Lieut.-Commander BOWER
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say whether the police van in question received any fee for the free advertisement given to this particular brand of flannel trousers?