HC Deb 23 June 1938 vol 337 cc1249-51
38. Mr. Hulbert

asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider making regulations to permit the installation of radio receiving-sets in taximeter-cabs in order to bring London into line with Continental cities in this respect?

Sir S. Hoare

If there is a general public desire for more noise in the streets of London, this matter would be considered, but at present the Commissioner of Police, who is the licensing authority for taxicabs in London, takes the vew, with which I concur, that in the general public interest it is preferable that wireless sets should not be installed in London taxicabs.

48. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter

asked the Home Secretary whether, in order to ameliorate the difficulties of the London cab trade, he will authorise more stands, for not more than three cabs each, to be placed in by-streets off lines of traffic, each one equipped with a telephone call-box; and will he also arrange existing telephone call-boxes on cab ranks to be made more widely known in the Metropolitan residential areas?

Sir S. Hoare

The Commissioner of Police has informed me that he proposes to investigate, in consultation with the London Cab Ranks Joint Committee, the possibility of appointing additional cab ranks in by-streets and the question of equipping any such additional ranks with telephone call-boxes will be considered at the same time. As regards the last part of the question, the London Telephone Directory already gives considerable prominence to the telephone numbers of cab ranks in London.

53. Miss Wilkinson

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that many London taximeter-cab drivers have had to purchase cabs on hire purchase since the Commissioner's order in 1936; and whether, as in view of the heavy competition of private-hire cars, subject to none of the disabilities, expenses, and regulations imposed on taximeter-cab drivers, it is difficult, and in some cases impossible, for the men to keep up payments on the cars, lie will give special speedy consideration to the London position in order to check unfair competition pending the Commissioner's report?

Sir S. Hoare

I recognise the anxiety of the taximeter-cab drivers that this question shall be reviewed without delay, and as I stated in reply to a question last week it has been arranged to investigate the question by means of a small committee as quickly as possible. Legislation, however, would be necessary to give effect to the drivers' proposals.

Mr. Turton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Sir Oswald Mosley has declared himself a convinced supporter of the hon. Lady's policy in this respect?

Miss Wilkinson

Does the Home Secretary's reply mean that the London taxi-men, in view of their special case, will be treated on merit and not have to wait until the committee has reported with regard to the rest of the country.

Sir S. Hoare

A question of that kind must depend upon the procedure of the committee, but however they act, I see no reason why we should not have their report in the comparatively near future.

Sir William Davison

Will not my right hon. Friend press upon the committee the importance of an early report?

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us when the committee propose to commence their sittings, when evidence will be taken, and how soon he thinks that the report will be published?

Sir S. Hoare

I hope to be able to make a statement on the personnel of the committee in the comparatively near future. I think I should wait until then before attempting to answer the other questions of the hon. Member.

Mr. Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether he is prepared to receive a deputation, which has been asked for by cab drivers, in order that they may put their point of view with regard to the question being limited to London, to which the Hackney Carriage Act applies?

Sir S. Hoare

I suggest to the hon. Member that that is the kind of question that ought to go to the committee.