HC Deb 12 March 1940 vol 358 cc998-9
45. Vice-Admiral Taylor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the fact that foreign visitors bringing cars into this country are exempt from motor car taxation for a period of three months, he will take steps to ensure that members of His Majesty's Forces, on active service outside the United Kingdom, are granted similar exemption whilst on leave in this country; and, whether, for that purpose, production of the leave warrant upon the request of a police officer in uniform can be substituted for the obligation to display the usual Road Fund licence?

Sir J. Simon

It is proposed to include in the Finance Bill a Clause providing for the relaxation of the statutory provisions relating to motor licence duties so as to enable a member of His Majesty's Forces on short leave from service afloat or overseas to drive a motor car or motor cycle of which he has allowed the licence to expire but which is registered in his name. In these cases it is proposed to issue documents exempting the holder from motor licence duty valid for a period of three weeks on payment of a fee of 10s. in the case of a motor car and 2s. in the case of a motor cycle. His Majesty's Government believe that it would be the wish of the House that immediate effect should be given to this concession, and it will, therefore, be put into force in anticipation of Parliamentary authority as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

I am very much obliged to my right hon. Friend for that announcement, which will give great satisfaction.

Colonel Nathan

While joining in expressing appreciation to the right hon. Gentleman, may I ask whether, as a drafting or technical point, he will consider the advisability of allowing a modification where the registration is in the name of the wife and not in the name of the serving man?

Viscountess Astor

You are sure it is a wife and not an unmarried wife?

Sir J. Simon

There are, I believe, certain difficulties about doing so in the case of any kind of wife, but I will look into the point.