HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc793-4
59. Dr. Edith Summerskill

asked the Home Secretary why taximeter-cab drivers are prohibited from using the Lucas head-lamp mask, while it is generally used by owners of private motor-cars?

Sir J. Anderson

I understand that certain headlamp masks manufactured by the firm to which the hon. Lady refers for use with lamps of low power were accidentally distributed for general sale. They give too much light when fitted to a headlamp of the usual power, and the Commissioner of Police was unable to give his approval to their use on taxi-cabs. The attention of the manufacturers was called to the matter, and I am informed that they are taking steps to withdraw these masks and replace them.

Dr. Summerskill

Could the right hon. Gentleman tell me why it was that last week taximen using these lamps were working in Palace Yard and were apprehended by the police, though private drivers using them were on the road?

Sir J. Anderson

I have explained that a rather unfortunate mistake was made. It may well be that a taxi driver, who comes under the direct notice of the police, came under observation before private drivers who were using these lamps on the road.