§ 49. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with regard to the new tax on Diesel oil, whether it is intended that railway Diesel engines shall be permitted to use untaxed fuel or not?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Duff Cooper)
The proposed duty of 8d. per gallon will apply solely to oil used in road vehicles. Railway Diesel engines will be entitled to run on oil which has only paid the existing duty of 1d.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
Is not this giving a very big advantage to railway transport as against road transport—an unfair advantage?
§ Sir P. HARRIS
Can the hon. Gentleman say why this preference is given to railways over road users, especially as road users have to make a contribution for the maintenance of the roads?
§ Mr. COOPER
The duty was introduced in order to prevent the competition which Diesel oil was carrying on with petrol in road vehicles, and the loss to the Exchequer which was resulting from that competition.
§ Mr. GODFREY NICHOLSON
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the competition which Diesel railway engines carry on with coal?