HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 cc404-6
35. Mr. Holdsworth

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to a recent decision by the Appeal Tribunal under the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, whereby traffic which has been carried on for 10 years has been: withdrawn from two firms of road hauliers without compensation; and whether he will consider the introduction of amending legislation to deal with this and similar cases?

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Burgin)

I have seen in the Press a report of the decision to which I presume the hon. Member refers, and I have the whole matter under consideration. No proposals for amendment of the law relating to the powers and duties of the Appeal Tribunal have been made to me by any national association as a result of this decision.

Mr. Holdsworth

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these two firms had a capital of £10,000 and employed 40 men, and that by a Nazi and arbitrary decision of this tribunal the whole thing has closed down?

Mr. Magnay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great concern of haulage contractors in the north with regard to this decision, and will he give it his personal attention?

Mr. Burgin

I have already assured the House that the whole matter is under my consideration. The difficulty is that when the Road and Rail Traffic Act was passed it was the wish of Parliament that this tribunal should be completely independent. Accordingly, the tribunal is independent and has given a decision. I am aware of the consequences of that decision and am considering the matter.

Mr. Holdsworth

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman has accepted the report of the Transport Advisory Council that each trader should have a free choice of the transport that he desires, and what becomes of that suggestion if there is simply going to be one form of transport left? What is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to do in the matter?

Sir Ronald Ross

Was it not owing to the dissatisfaction of the road industry with the appeal to the Minister direct under the 1930 Road Traffic Act that the independent tribunal was set up?

Mr. Burgin

It is sufficient for the moment to say that the tribunal by the Act is completely independent and its decisions are final. I, am aware' of the consequences of this decision, and, as I have told the House, I am giving the matter personal consideration.

Mr. Holdsworth

May I give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment at the first available opportunity?