HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 cc1186-7
35. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the considerable dissatisfaction caused by the decrease since the outbreak of war in the number of omnibuses in use in the London Passenger Transport area, he will now increase the allocation of petrol to the London Passenger Transport Board?

Captain Wallace

As I explained in a reply which I gave to the hon. Member on 6th December, approximately 600 omnibuses have been restored to service by the board since fuel rationing was first introduced. The total amount of fuel available for goods and public passenger transport generally is limited, and some reduction in services must inevitably result. The fuel now available to the board represents a percentage 1 their normal consumption approximately equivalent to the percentage allotment for goods and public passenger vehicles generally, and I should not feel justified in authorising an increase which could only be at the expense of other services.

Mr. Strauss

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that, in spite of the restoration of some services, there are still very serious inconveniences to the travelling public of London; further, does he not agree that in the comparative claims of private and public passenger transport the latter is more important and should receive first consideration?

Captain Wallace

I have said in my answer that the London Passenger Transport Board are getting their fair share of the amount of fuel that is available for public passenger service vehicles gener- ally, and I can only give them more by cutting other public passenger services down.