57. Brigadier-General BROWN
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that drivers of agricultural tractors only are being asked to pass a test for general driving and are only being issued a three months' licence till they do so; and, in view of the impossibility of driving an agricultural tractor many miles along roads to the rendezvous for a driving test and of the handicap, expense, and hindrance to farm operations caused thereby, whether he will amend the regulations as regards driving tests by abolishing the test when the application for a driving licence is to drive an agricultural tractor only?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of TRANSPORT (Captain Austin Hudson)
Instructions have already been given that, in the case of the drivers referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend, examiners should make every effort to arrange the test at a convenient rendezvous. My right hon. Friend has no power under Section 6 of the Road Traffic Act of 1934 to make regulations exempting drivers of any particular class of vehicle from the necessity of undergoing a test.
Does that mean that the test will be for driving an agricultural tractor only? Does my hon. and gallant Friend think that some of the testers could drive the tractors themselves?
§ Captain HUDSON
I do not think I can add to the answer I have given, except to say that, keeping within the Act, we are doing our very best to see that these drivers are treated as well as possible.
Then why cannot they test them without the test for lorries and confine it to the agricultural tractors only? These men never want to drive anything except a tractor and they never have any chance to do it, so why should they have to do the other tests?
§ Captain HUDSON
My right hon. Friend cannot, without an amending Bill, alter the provisions of an Act passed by this House. Perhaps if my hon. and gallant Friend has a particular case in mind, he will communicate further with me upon it.