HC Deb 08 May 1936 vol 311 cc2082-5

2.23 p.m.

Sir G. FOX

I beg to move, in page 2, line 11, after "licence," to insert: at a fee not exceeding one shilling and threepence. This Amendment deals with the fee which drivers will have to pay for a provisional licence. To-day they have to pay, first of all, 5s. for the provisional licence, then 7s. 6d. for the test, and if they are successful in the test they pay another 5s. That is a total of 17s. 6d. Everyone has to pay that sum to get a licence to drive a vehicle of this character. In the Committee, the Minister made an important statement. He said he was prepared after a full year of the working of the provisional licence to see whether the cost could be reduced. I therefore ask him to reduce the cost of this licence at the earliest possible moment.

2.26 p.m.


I beg to second the Amendment.

My reasons are the same as those put forward by the hon. Member for Henley (Sir G. Fox). These licences cost too much. They are a heavy burden on the young men who are the next generation of drivers, and who have to go to their employers and ask them for a loan, which may be as much as a whole week's wages, to enable them to pay for the licence to drive. We ought not to tax those drivers. Taxation ought only barely to cover the cost of administration. As with the Charity Commissioners so with the Ministry of Transport; there should he no question of their making profit by any fee which they find it necessary to charge for licences. There are strong grounds for asking for the reduction proposed in the Amendment.

2.27 p.m.

Captain HUDSON

Here, again, there must be some misapprehension, because if the Amendment is accepted it will put up the cost of the licences from is. to is. 3d. The licence which we are discussing under Clause 2 is the vocational licence, granted by the Chairman of the Traffic Commission, and the fees at present charged are purely nominal. Under powers given to the Minister in Section 31 of the Act of 1934, he can charge what fee he likes, and the amount he decided upon in this case was 1s. I can assure the House that the Minister has no intention of increasing the fee by the additional 3d. that the Amendment invites him to charge.

Sir G. FOX

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment. In doing so

I express the hope that at a very early date the cost of licences of other sorts of vehicle might also be reduced to a purely nominal price.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

2.29 p.m.


As was the case with the previous Bill which received its Third Reading this morning, the House passed the Second Reading without a discussion, and it might be as well if I said—[HON. MEMBERS: "No," and "Agreed".] As it seems to be the wish of the House that we should take the Third Reading at once, I do not propose to continue my remarks.


I enter a protest against this procedure. As the promoter of the Bill rightly said, it passed its Second Reading without any explanation being given to the House, and before we pass to the Third Reading we are certainly entitled to know something about its provisions. I suggest that the promoter should make his statement.

2.30 p.m.


I take the same view. We ought to have some sort of explanation, because thousands of His Majesty's subjects will be affected by the Bill, and it ought not to pass us without a word.

Question put, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

The House divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 3.

Division No. 172.] AYES. [2.30 p.m.
Adams, D. (Consett) Bull, B. B. Ellis, Sir G.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Burke, W. A. Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Channon, H. Findlay, Sir E.
Adamson, W. M. Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.
Albery, I. J. Charleton, H. C. Frankel, D.
Alexander, Bt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Chater, D. Gallacher, W.
Ammon, C. G. Chorlton. A. E. L. Gardner, B. W.
Aske, Sir R. W. Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Garro-Jones, G. M.
Assheton, R. Cobb, Sir C. S. Goldle, N. B.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Cooke, J. O. (Hammersmith, S.) Goodman, Col. A. W.
Banfield, J. W. Croft, Brig. -Gen. Sir H. Page Green, W. H. (Deptford)
Barnes, A. J. Crookstiank, Capt. H. F. C. Griffith, F. Kingstey (M'ddl'sbro, W.)
Barr, J. Cross, R. H. Grimston, R. V.
Batey, J. Crossley, A. C. Gunston, Capt. D. W.
Baxter, A. Beverley Cruddas, Col. B. Hall, G. H. (A[...]erdare)
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Porism'h) Daggar, G. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Bellenger, F. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hamilton, Sir G. C.
Benson, G. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hannah, I. C,
Bossom, A. C. De la Bère, R. Harris, Sir P. A.
Boulton, W. W. Drewe, C. Harvey. G.
Broad, F. A. Duncan, J. A. L. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Henderson. A. (Kingswinford)
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Ede, J. C. Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.) Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P. Marklew, E. Savery, Servington
Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Mathers, G. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Hills, A. (Pontefract) Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Shinwell, E.
Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Messer, F. Silkin, L.
Hopkin, D. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Silverman, S. S.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Milner. Major J. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.
Hulbert, N. J. Montague, F. Simpson, F. B.
Hume, Sir G. H. Moreing, A. C. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Jackson, Sir H. Morgan, R. H. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)
Jagger, J. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. Sorensen, R, W.
Jenkins, A, (Pontypool) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Spears, Brig. -Gen. E. L.
Joel, D. J. B. Muff, G. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)
John, W. Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Oliver, G. H. Sutcliffe, H.
Keeling, E. H. Paling, W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Kelly, W. T. Palmer, G. E. H. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Klrkpatrlck, W. M. Parker, H. J. H. Thome, W.
Lathan, G. Peake, O. Thurtle, E.
Lee, F. Penny, Sir G. Tinker, J. J.
Leech, Dr. J. W. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Touche, G. C.
Uelghton, Major B. E. P. Potts, J. Vlant, S. P.
Leslie, J. R. Pownall, Sir Assheton Walkden, A. G.
Llewellln, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Rankin, R. Walker, J.
Lloyd, G. W. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmln) Ward, Lleut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Loftus, P. C. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Watklns, F. C.
Lovat-Fraser, J. A, Rlckards, G. W. (Sklpton) Wayland, Sir W. A.
McCorquodale, M. S. Ritson, J. Wells, S. R.
MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R (Scot. U.) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Williams, O. (Swansea, E.)
Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle cf Wight) Ropner, Colonel L, Wilson, C. H. (Attercllffe)
MacLaren, A. Rowson, G. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Malnwarlng, W. H. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Womersley, Sir W. J.
Making, Brig. -Gen. E. Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Sandeman, Sir N. S.
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sanderson, Sir F. B. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Mr. Storey and Mr. Groves.
Denman. Hon. R. D. Seely, Sir H. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Fox, Sir G. W. G. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson
and Mr. McKie.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.